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Tow'red cities please us then,
And the busy hum of men,
Where throngs of knights and barons bold:
In weeds of peace high triumphs hold,
With store 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 saffron robe, with taper clear,
And pomp, and feast, and revelry,
With mask and antique pageantry,
Such sights as youthtul poets dream,
On summer-eves, by haunted stream.
Then to the well-trod stage anon,
If Jonson's learned sock be on,
Or sweetest Shakspeare, Fancy's child,
Warble bis native wood-notes wild.
And ever against eating cares
Lap me in soft Lydian airs;
Married to immortal verse,
Such as the melting soul may pierce,
In notes, with many a winding bout
Of linked sweetness long drawn out,
With wanton heed, and giddy cunning,
The melting voice through mazes running,
Untwisting all the chains that tie
The hidden souls of Harmony;
That Orpheus' self may heave his head
From golden slumber on a bed
Of heap'd Elysian flowers, and hear
Such strains as would have won the ear
Of Pluto, to have quite set free
His half-regaio'd Eurydice.
These delights if thou canst give,
Mirth, with thee I meau to live.
Hence, vain deluding Joys,
The brood of Folly, without father bred !
How little you bestead,
Or fill the fixed mind with all
Dwell in some idle brain,
And fancies fond with gaudy shapes possess,
As thick and numberless
As the gay motes that people the sun-beamsz Or likest hovering dreams,
The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train.
But bail, thou Goddess, sage and holy!
Hail, divinest Melancholy !
Whose saintly visage is too bright
To hit the sense of human sight,
And therefore to our weaker view,
O'erlaid with black, staid Wisdom's hue;
Black, but such as in esteem,
Prince Memnon's sister might beseem,
Or that starr'd Ethiop queen that strove
To set her beauty's praise above
The sea-nymphs, and their powers offended:
Yet thou art higher far descended ;
Thee bright-hair'd Vesta, long of yore,
To solitary Saturn bore;
His daughter she (in Saturn's reign
Such mixture was not held a stain).
Oft in glimm'ring bowers and glades
He met her, and in secret shades
Of woody Ida's inmost grove,
While yet there was no fear of Jove.
Come, pensive nun, devout and pure,
Sober, steadfast, and demure,
All in a robe of darkest grain,
Flowing with majestic train,
And sable stole of cypress lawn,
Over thy decent shoulders drawn.
Come, but keep thy wonted state,
With even step and musing gait;
And looks cornmercing with the skies;
Thy rapt soul sitting in thine eyes ;
There, held in holy passion still,
Forget thyself to marble, till
With a sad leaden downward cast,
Thou fix them on the earth as fast;
And join with thee cał. Peace, and Quiet;,
Spare Fast, that oft with Gods doth-diet,
And hear the Muses in a ring
Aye round about Jore's altar sing;
And add to these retir'd Leisure,
That in trim gardens takes his pleasure;
But first and chiefest, with thee bring.
Him that yon? soars on golden wing,
Guiding the fiery-wheeled throne,
The cherub Contemplation :-
And the mute Silence hist.along,-
'Less Philomel will deign a song,
In her sweetest, saddest plight,
Smoothing the rugged brow of night,
While Cynthia checks her dragon yoke,
Gently o'er th' accustom'd oak;,
Sweet bird, that shunn'st the noise of folly;
Moșt musical, most melancholy!
Thee, chauntress, oft the woods among,
I woo to hear thy ev'ning song;
And missing thee, I walk unseen
On the dry smooth-shaven green,
To behold the wand'ring moun, -
Riding near her bighest noon,
Like one that lad been led astray
Through the Heav’n’s wide pathless way ;-
And oft, as if her head she bow'd,
Stooping through a fleecy cloud.
Oft on a plat of rising ground
I hear the far-off curfew sound,
Over some wide-water'd shore,
Swinging slow with sullen roar,
Or if the air will not permit, Some still removed place will fit, Where glowing embers through the room, Teach light to counterfeit a glooni, Far from all resort of mirth, Save the cricket on the hearth, Or the bellman's drowsy charm, To bless the doors from nightly harm. Or let my lamp at midnight hour, Be seen in some high lonely tow'r, Where I may oft out-watch the Bear, With thrice great Hermes, or unsphere The spirit of Plato, to unfold! What worlds, or what vast regions hold The immortal mind, that hath forsook Her mansion in this fleshly nook: And of those demons that are found In fire, air, floud, or under-ground, Whose power hath a true consent With planet, or with element.
Sonietime let gorgeous 'Tragedy In scepter'd pall come sweeping by, Presenting Thebes' or Pelops' line, Or else the tale of Troy divine, Or what (though rare) of later age, Ennobled hath thy buskin'd stage. But, I sad virgin, that thy power Might raise Musæus from his bower, Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing Such notes as, warbled to the string, Drew iron lears down Pluto's cheek, And made hell grant what Love did seek; Or call up him that left half-told The story of Cambuscan bold, Of Camball, and of Algarsife, And who had Canace to wife, That own'd the virtuous ring and glass, And of the wondrous horse of brass, On which the Tartar king did ride ; And if aught else great bards beside
In sage and solemo tunes have sung,
Of tourneys and of trophies hung,
Of forests, and enchantments drear,
Where more is meant than meets the ear.
Thus night oft see me in thy pale career,
Till civil suited morn appear,
Not trick' and flounc'd as she was wont
With the attic boy to hunt,
But kerchief's in a comely cloud,
While rocking winds are piping loud,
Or usher'd with a shower still,
When the gust hath blown his fill,
Ending on the rustling leaves,
With minute drops from off the eaves.
And when the sun begins to fling
His flaring beams, me, Goddess, bring
To arched walks of twilight groves,
And shadows brown that Sylvau loves,
Of pine or monumental oak, -
Where the rude axe with heaved stroke
Was never heard the Nymphs to daunt,
Or fright them from their hallow'd hauntan
There in close covert by some brook,
Where no profaner eye may look,
Hide me from day's garish eye;
While the bee with honey'd thigh,
That at her flow'ry work doth sing,
And the waters murmuring,
With such concert as they keep,
Entice the dewy-feather'd sleep:
And let some strange mysterious-dream.
Ware at his wings in airy streana
Of lively portraiture display'd,
Softly on my eye-lids laid;
And as I wake, sweet music breathe
Above, about, or underneath,
Sent by some spirit to mortals good,
Or th' unseen Genius of the wood.
But let my due feet never fail
To walk the studious cloister's pale,