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XIII.

L'ALLEGRO.

ENCE loathed Melancholy,

HE

Of Cerberus and blackest Midnight born, In Stygian cave forlorn

(holy, 'Mongst horrid shapes, and shrieks, and fights unFind out fome uncouth cell,

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Where brooding darkness spreads his jealous wings, And the night-raven sings;

There under ebon fhades, and low-brown'd rocks, As ragged as thy locks,

In dark Cimmerian desert ever dwell.
But come thou Goddess fair and free,
In Heav'n ycleap'd Euphrofyne,
And by men, heart-easing Mirth,
Whom lovely Venus at a birth
With two fifter Graces more
To ivy-crowned Bacchus bore;
Or whether (as some sager fing)

The frolic wind that breathes the spring,
Zephyr with Aurora playing,
As he met her once a Maying,

There on beds of violets blue,

And fresh-blown roses wash'd in dew,
Fill'd her with thee a daughter fair,

So buxom, blithe, and debonair.

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And Laughter holding both his fides.
Come, and trip it as you go

On the light fantastic toe,

And in thy right hand lead with thee,

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The mountain nymph, fweet Liberty;
And if I give thee honor due,

Mirth, admit me of thy crew

To live with her, and live with thee,

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In unreproved pleasures free;
To hear the lark begin his flight,
And finging startle the dull night,
From his watch-tow'r in the fkies,
Till the dappled dawn doth rise;
Then to come in spite of forrow,

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And at my window bid good morrow,

Through the fweet-briar, or the vine,
Or the twisted eglantine:

While the cock with lively din

Scatters the rear of darkness thin, And to the stack, or the barn-door, 'Stoutly ftruts his dames before:

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Oft

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Oft lift'ning how the hounds and horn

Chearly rouse the flumb'ring morn,
From the fide of some hoar hill,

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Through the high wood echoing shrill:
Some time walking not unseen

By hedge-row elms, on hillocs green,
Right against the eastern gate,

Where the great fun begins his state,
Rob'd in flames, and amber light,

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The clouds in thousand liveries dight,
While the plow-man near at hand

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Ruffet lawns, and fallows gray,
Where the nibbling flocks do stray,
Mountains on whose barren breast
The lab'ring clouds do often rest,
Meadows trim with daisies pied,
Shallow brooks, and rivers wide.
Towers and battlements it fees

Bofom'd high in tufted trees,

Where perhaps fome beauty lies,
The Cynosure of neighb'ring eyes.

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Hard

Hard by, a cottage chimney smokes,

From betwixt two aged oaks,
Where Corydon and Thyrfis met,
Are at their favory dinner fet
Of herbs, and other country messes,
Which the neat-handed Phillis dreffes;
And then in haste her bow'r fhe leaves,
With Theftylis to bind the sheaves;
Or if the earlier season lead

To the tann'd haycock in the mead.
Sometimes with secure delight
The upland hamlets will invite,
When the merry bells ring round,
And the jocond rebecs found

To many a youth, and many a maid,
Dancing in the chequer'd fhade;

And young and old come forth to play
On a sunshine holy-day,

Till the live-long day-light fail;

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Then to the spicy nut-brown ale,

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With ftories told of many a feat,

How faery Mab the junkets eat,
She was pincht, and pull'd she said,
And he by friers lanthorn led

Tells how the drudging Goblin fwet,

To earn his cream-bowl duly fet,
When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,

His fhadowy flale hath thresh'd the corn,

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That

That ten day-lab'rers could not end;

Then lies him down the lubbar fiend,
And ftretch'd out all the chimney's length,
Basks at the fire his hairy ftrength,

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And crop-full out of doors he flings,

Ere the first cock his matin rings.

Thus done the tales, to bed they creep,
By whisp'ring winds foon lull'd asleep.
Towred cities please us then,

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And the bufy hum of men,

Where throngs of knights and barons bold
In weeds of peace high triumphs hold,
With ftore of ladies, whose bright eyes
Rain influence, and judge the prize

Of wit, or arms, while both contend
To win her grace, whom all commend.
There let Hymen oft appear

In faffron robe, with taper clear,
And pomp, and feast, and revelry,
With mask, and antique pageantry,
Such fights as youthful poets dream
On fummer eves by haunted stream.
Then to the well-trod stage anon,
If Johnson's learned fock be on,
Or sweetest Shakespear, fancy's child,
Warble his native wood-notes wild.

And ever against eating cares,

Lap me in foft Lydian airs,

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