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Is now the labour of my thoughts ; 'tis likeliest
[Praise of Chastity.] And envious darkness, ere they could return,
[From Comus.] Had stole them from me: else, 0 thievish night,
| 'Tis Chastity, my brother, Chastity; Why should'st thou, but for some felonious end,
| She that has that is clad in complete steel, In thy dark lantern thus close up the stars,
And like a quiver'd nymph with arrows keen, That nature hung in heaven, and fill'd their lamps
May trace huge forests, and unharbour'd heaths, With everlasting oil, to give due light
Infamous hills, and sandy perilous wilds, To the misled and lonely traveller?
Where, through the sacred rays of Chastity, This is the place, as well as I may guess,
No savage fierce, bandit, or mountaineer, Whence even now the tumult of loud mirth
Will dare to soil her virgin purity: Was rife, and perfect in my listening ear;
Yea, there, where very desolation dwells, Yet nought but single darkness do I find.
By grots and caverns shagg'd with horrid shades, What might this be! A thousand fantasies
She may pass on with unblench'd majesty, Begin to throng into my memory,
Be it not done in pride, or in presumption. Of calling shapes, and beckoning shadows dire,
Some say no evil thing that walks by night And airy tongues, that syllable men's names
In fog or fire, by lake or moorish fen, On sands, and shores, and desert wildernesses.
Blue meagre hag, or stubborn unlaid ghost, These thoughts may startle well, but not astound,
That breaks his magic chains at curfew time; The virtuous mind, that ever walks attended
No goblin or swart fairy of the mine, By a strong-siding champion, Conscience.
Hath hurtful power o'er true virginity. O welcome pure-eyed Faith, white-handed Hope,
Do ye believe me yet, or shall I call Thou hovering angel, girt with golden wings,
Antiquity from the old schools of Greece And thou, unblemish'd form of Chastity!
To testify the arms of Chastity ? I see ye visibly, and now believe
Hence had the huntress Dian her dread bow, That He, the Supreme Good, to whom all things ill
Fair silver-shafted queen, for ever chaste, Are but as slavish othcers of vengeance,
Wherewith she tam'd the brinded lioness Would send a glistering guardian, if need were,
And spotted mountain-pard, but set at nought To keep my life and honour unassail'd.
The frivolous bolt of Cupid ; gods and men Was I deceiv'd, or did a sable cloud
Fear'd her stern frown, and she was queen o'th' woods. Turn forth her silver lining on the night?
What was that snaky-headed Gorgon shield I did not err; there does a sable cloud
That wise Minerva wore, unconquer'd virgin, Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
Wherewith she freez'd her foes to congeal'd stone, And casts a gleam over this tufted grove:
But rigid looks of chaste austerity, I cannot halloo to my brothers, but
And noble grace that dash'd brute violence Such noise as I can make to be heard farthest,
With sudden adoration and blank awe? I'll venture; for my new enliven'd spirits
So dear to heaven is saintly Chastity,
That when a soul is found sincerely so,
A thousand liveried angels lacquey her,
Driving far off each thing of sin and guilt,
And in clear dream and solemn vision
Tell her of things that no gross ear can hear,
Till oft converse with heavenly habitants
Begin to cast a beam on th' outward shape,
The unpolluted temple of the mind,
And turns it by degrees to the soul's essence,
Till all be made immortal.
[The Spirit's Epilogue in Comus.]
To the ocean now I fly, So may'st thou be translated to the skies,
And those happy climes that lie And give resounding grace to all heaven's harmonies.
Where day never shuts his eye,
Up in the broad fields of the sky :
There I suck the liquid air
All amidst the gardens fair Breathe such divine enchanting ravishinent ?
Of Hesperus, and his daughters three Sure something holy lodges in that breast,
That sing about the golden tree : And with these raptures moves the vocal air
Along the crisped shades and bowers To testify his hidden residence:
Revels the spruce and jocund spring ; How sweetly did they float upon the wings
The Graces, and the rosy-bosom'd hours, Of silence, through the empty vaulted night,
Thither all their bounties bring ; At every fall smoothing the raven down
There eternal summer dwells, Of darkness, till it smild! I have oft heard
And west-winds, with musky wing, My mother Circe, with the Syrens three,
About the cedar 'n alleys fling Amidst the flowery-kirtled Naiades,
Nard and Cassia's balmy smells. Culling their potent herbs and baleful drugs,
Iris there with humid bow Who, as they sung, would take the prison'd soul
Waters the odorous banks, that blow And lap it in Elysium : Scylla wept,
Flowers of more mingled hue And chid her barking waves into attention.
Than her purfled scarf can shew : And fell Charybdis murmur'd soft applause.
And drenches with Elysian dew Yet they in pleasing slumber lull'd the sense,
(List, mortals, if your ears be true) And in sweet madness robb'd it of itself;
Beds of hyacinth and roses, But such & sacred and home-felt delight,
Where young Adonis oft reposes, Such sober certainty of waking bliss,
Waxing well of his deep wound I never heard till now.
In slumber soft, and on the ground
Sadly sits the Assyrian queen :
But now my task is smoothly done,
Mortals, that would follow me,
Zephyr with Aurora playing,
Haste thee, nymph, and bring with thee
Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures,
Hard by a cottage-chimney smokes,
Sometimes, with secure delight,
L'Allegro. Hence loathed Melancholy, Of Cerberus and blackest midnight born, In Stygian cave forlorn, 'Mongst horrid shapes, and shrieks, and sights
In dark Cimmerian desert ever dwell.
To many a youth and many a maid,
Towered cities please us then,
And ever against eating cares,
These delights, if thou canst give,
Or fill the fixed inind with all your toys!
As the gay motes that people the sun-beams, Or likest hovering dreams,
The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train.
Black, but such as in esteein
Come, pensive nun, devout and pure,
The hairy gown and mossy cell,
These pleasures, Melancholy, givo, And I with thec will choose to live.
And of those demons that are found
But, I sad virgin, that thy power
Thus, Night, oft see me in thy pale career,
But let my due feet never fail To walk the studious cloisters pale; And love the high embowed roof, With antic pillars massy proof, And storied windows richly dight, Casting a dim religious light. There let the pealing organ blow To the full-voic'd quire below, In service high, and anthems clear, As may with sweetness, through mine car, Dissolve me into ecstacies, And bring all hear'n before mine eyes.
And may at last my weary age Find out the peaceful hermitage,
Begin, then, sisters of the sacred well,
For we were nurs'd upon the self-same hill,
Battening our flocks with the fresh devs of night, | Oft till the star, that rose, at evening, bright, Toward heaven's descent had slop'd his westering
But, О the heavy change, now thou art gone,
deep Clos'd o'er the head of your lov'd Lycidas ? For neither were ye playing on the steep, Where your old bards, the famous Druids, lie, Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high, Nor yet where Deva spreads her wizard strcam: Ah me! I fondly dream! Had ye been there--for what could that have done? What could the muse herself that Orpheus bore, The muse herself, for her enchanting son, Whom universal nature did lament, When, by the rout that made the hideous roar, His gory visage down the stream was sent, Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore ?
Alas! what boots it with incessant care
Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduced
Than to submit, boasting I could subdue
The Omnipotent. Ay ine! they little know To sport with Amaryllis in the shade,
llow dearly I abide that boast so vain : Or with the tangles of Neæra's hair?
Under what torments inwardly I groan. Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise While they adore me on the throne of hell. (That last infirmity of noble mind)
With diadem and sceptre high advanced, To scorn delights, and live laborious days;
The lower still I fall; only supreme But the fair guerdon, when we hope to find,
In misery : such joy ambition finds. And think to burst out into sudden blaze,
But say I could repent, and could obtain Comes the blind fury with the abhorred shears, By act of grace my former state ; how soon And slits the thin-spun life. But not the praise,' Would height recall high thoughts, how soon unsay Phæbus replied, and touch'd my trembling ears; What feigud submission swore! Ease would recant Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil,
Vows made in pain, as violent and void. Nor in the glistering foil
For never can true reconcilement grow Set off to the world, nor in broad rumour lies;
Where wounds of deadly hate have pierc'd so deep; But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes, Which would but lead me to a worse relapse And perfect witness of all-judging Jove;
And heavier fall: so should I purchase dear As he pronounces lastly on each deed,
Short intermission bought with double smart. Of so much fame in heaven expect thy meed.' This knows my Punisher; therefore as far
From granting he, as I from begging peace: [Satan's Address to the Sun.]
All hope excluded thus, behold, instead
Of us outcast, exil'd, his new delight, [From · Paradise Lost.']
Mankind, created, and for him this world. O thou, that, with surpassing glory crown'd,
So farewell hope ; and with hope, farewell fear; Look'st from thy sole dominion like the God
Farewell remorse : all good to me is lost; Of this new world; at whose sight all the stars Evil, be thou my good ; by thee at least Hide their diminish'd heads; to thee I call,
Divided empire with heaven's king I hold, But with no friendly voice; and add thy name, By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign; O Sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams,
As man ere long and this new world shall know. That bring to my reinembrance from what state I fell, how glorious once-above thy sphere;
[Assembling of the Fallen Angds.] Till pride and worse ambition threw me down, Warring in heaven against heaven's matchless king,
[From the same.] Ah, wherefore? He deserv'd no such return
All these and more came flocking; but with looks From me, whom he created what I was
Down cast and damp, yet such wherein appear'd In that bright eminence, and with his good
Obscure some glimpse of joy, t' have found their chief Upbraided none, nor was his service hard.
Not in despair, t' have found themselves not lost What could be less than to afford him praise,
In loss itself; which on his countenance cast The easiest recompense, and pay him thanks?
Like doubtful hue: but he, his wonted pride How due !--yet all his good prov'd ill in me,
Soon recollecting, with high words that bore And wrought but malice; lifted up so high,
Semblance of worth, not substance, gently raised I’sdained subjection, and thought one step higher Their fainting courage, and dispell’d their fears. Would set me highest, and in a moment quit
Then straight commands that, at the warlike sound The debt immense of endless gratitude,
Of trumpets loud and clarions, be uprear'd So burdensome still paving, still to owe :
His mighty standard ; that proud honour claim'd Forgetful what from him I still received;
Azazel as his right, a cherub tall ; And understood not that a grateful mind
Who forthwith from the glitt'ring staff unfurl'd By owing owes not, but still pays, at once
Th’imperial ensign, which, full high advanc'd, Indebted and discharged: what burden then?
Shone like a meteor streaming to the wind, 0, had his powerful destiny ordain'd
With gems and golden lustre rich emblaz'd Me some inferior angel, I had stood
Seraphic arms and trophies, all the while Then happy; no unbounded hope had raised
Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds :
At which the universal host up sent
Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night.
All in a moment through the gloom were seen
Ten thousand banners rise into the air
Appear'd, and serried shields in thick array,
Of depth immeasurable: anon they move To me alike, it deals eternal wo:
In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood Nay, curs'd be thou; since against his thy will Or flutes and soft recorders; such as rais'd Chose freely what it now so justly rues.
To height of noblest temper heroes old Me miserable !-which way shall I fly
Arming to battle; and, instead of rage, Infinite wrath and infinite despair?
Deliberate valour breath'd, firm and unmor'd, Which way I dy is hell; myself am hell;
With dread of death, to flight or foul retreat ; And in the lowest deep a lower deep
Nor wanting power to mitigate and 'suage, Still threatening to devour me opens wide ;
With solemn touches, troubled thoughts, and chase To which the hell I suffer seems a heaven.
| Anguish, and doubt, and fear, and sorrow, and pain, 0, then at last relent; is there no place
From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they, Left for repentance, none for pardon left ?
Breathing united force, with fixed thought None left but by submission; and that word
Mov'd on in silence to soft pipes, that charm'd Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
Their painful steps o'er the burnt soil; and now