Page images
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

Weep no more, woeful Shepherds! weep no more!
For LYCIDAS, your sorrow, is not dead;
Sunk though he be, beneath the wat'ry floor.
So sinks the Day Star in the ocean bed:
And yet anon repairs his drooping head,
And tricks his beams; and, with new-spangled o'er,
Flames in the forehead of the morning sky.

So, LYCIDAS, sunk low; but mounted high
Through the dear might of Him that walked the waves,
Where other groves, and other streams along,
With nectar pure, his oozy locks he laves;

And hears the unexpressive Nuptial Song
In the blest Kingdoms meek, of joy and love.
There, entertain him, all the Saints above,
In solemn troops, and sweet societies:
That sing; and, singing, in their glory move;
And wipe the tears, for ever, from his eyes.

Now, LYCIDAS! the Shepherds weep no more!
Henceforth, thou art the Genius of the shore!
In thy large recompense; and shalt be good
To all that wander in that perilous flood.


Thus sang the uncouth Swain to th' oaks and rills,
While the still Morn went out with sandals
He touched the tender stops of various quills,
With eager thought warbling his Doric Lay.
And now the sun had stretched out all the hills;
And now was dropped into the western bay.

At last, he rose, and twitched his mantle blue;
To-morrow, to fresh woods and pastures new!


HENCE, loathed Melancholy!

Of CERBERUS and blackest Midnight born,

In Stygian cave forlorn.

'Mongst horrid shapes, and shrieks, and sights unholy; Find out some uncouth cell,

Where brooding Darkness spreads his jealous wings,
And the night-raven sings!

There, under ebon shades, and low-browed rocks
As ragged as thy locks,

In dark Cimmerian desert ever dwell!

But come, thou Goddess fair and free,

In heaven ycleped EUPHROSYNE;
And by men, heart-easing Mirth;
Whom lovely VENUS, at a birth,
With two sister Graces more,
To ivy-crowned BACCHUS bore.

Or whether, as some sager sing,
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 washed in dew,
Filled her with thee; a daughter fair,
So buxom, blithe, and debonair!

Haste thee, Nymph! and bring with thee

Jest, and youthful Jollity,

Quips, and Cranks, and wanton Wiles,
Nods, and Becks, and wreathed Smiles,
Such as hang on HEBE's cheek,
And love to live in dimple sleek;
Sport that wrinkled Care derides,
And Laughter holding both his sides.

Come! and trip it, as you go,
On the light fantastic toe!

And, in thy right hand, lead with thee
The mountain Nymph, sweet Liberty!
And if I give thee honour due,
Mirth! admit me of thy crew!
To live with her, and live with thee,
In unreprovèd pleasures free!

To hear the lark begin his flight,
And, singing, startle the dull night,
From his watch-tower in the skies;
Till the dappled dawn doth rise:
Then to come, in spite of sorrow,
And, at my window, bid 'Good morrow!'
Through the sweet-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 struts his dames before;
Oft list'ning how the hounds and horn.
Cheerly rouse the slumb'ring Morn,

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

From the side of some hoar hill,
Through the high wood echoing shrill.

Sometime walking, not unseen,
By hedgerow elms, on hillocks green,
Right against the Eastern Gate,
Where the great sun begins his State,
Robed in flames and amber light,
The clouds in thousand liveries dight:
While the plowman, near at hand,
Whistles o'er the furrowed land;
And the milkmaid singeth blithe;
And the mower whets his scythe;
And every shepherd tells his tale
Under the hawthorn in the dale.

Straight, mine eye hath caught new pleasures,

Whilst the landscape round it measures;

Russet lawns, and fallows gray,

Where the nibbling flocks do stray.
Mountains, on whose barren breast
The labouring clouds do often rest.

Meadows trim, with daisies pied,
Shallow brooks, and rivers wide.
Towers and battlements it sees
Bosomed high in tufted trees;
Where, perhaps, some Beauty lies,
The cynosure of neighbouring eyes.
Hard by, a cottage chimney smokes
From betwixt two agèd oaks;





Where CORYDON and THYRSIS met,
Are at their savoury dinner set,
Of herbs and other country messes;
Which the neat-handed PHILLIS dresses:
And then, in haste, her bower she leaves,
With THESTYLIS, to bind the sheaves;
Or, if the earlier season lead,
To the tanned haycock in the mead.

Sometimes, with secure delight,
The upland hamlets will invite.
When the merry bells ring round,
And the jocund rebecks sound

To many a Youth, and many a Maid,
Dancing in the checkered shade;

And young and old come forth to play
On a sunshine holiday

Till the livelong daylight fail.

Then to the spicy nut-brown ale; With stories told, of many a feat, How Fairy MAB, the junkets eat. She was pinched, and pulled, she said; And by the Friar's Lanthorn led. Tells, How the drudging Goblin sweat To earn his cream-bowl duly set; When, in one night, ere glimpse of morn, His shadowy flail hath threshed the corn, That ten day-labourers could not end! Then lies him down, the lubber Fiend; And, stretched out all the chimney's length..

« PreviousContinue »