Page images
PDF

Towred 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 youthful poets dream,
On summer eves by haunted stream.
Then to the well trod stage anon,
If Jonson's learned sock be on,
Or sweetest Shakespeare Fancy's child,
Warble his native wood-notes wild.
And ever against eating cares,
Lap me in soft Lydian airs,
Married to inmortal Verse,
Such as the meeting 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 thro' mazes running,
Untwisting all the chains that ty
The hidden soul of harmony;
That Orpheus' self may heave his head
From golden slumber on a bed

Of heapt Elysian flowers, and hear
uch strains as would have won the ear
Of Pluto, to have quite set free
Iis half regain’d Eurydice.
These delights if thou canst give,
Tirth, with thee I mean to live.

[blocks in formation]

IL PENSEROSO.

Hence vain deluding Joys,

The brood of Folly without father bred, How little you bested,

Or fill the fixed mind with all your toys ? Dwell in some idle brain,

And fancies fond with gaudy shapes possess, As thick and numberless

As the gay motes that people the sun-beams, Or likeliest hovering dreams

The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train. But hail 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 beauties' praise above The sea-nymphs, and their pow'rs offended : Yet thou art higher far descended, Thee bright-hair'd Vesta long of yore To solitary Saturn bore ; Ilis daughter she (in Saturn's reign, Such mixture was not helu a stain,)

Oft in glimmering 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, Soter, stedfast, and demure, All in a robe of darkest grain, Flowing with majestic train, And sable stole of Cyprus lawn, Over thy decent shoulders drawn. Come, but keep thy wonted state, With even step, and musing gait, And looks commercing 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 calm Peace and Quiet, Spare Fast, and oft with gods doth diet, And hears the Muses in a ring Ay round about Jove's altar sing: And add to these retired 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 shun'st the noise of folly,
Most musical, most melancholy !
Thee chauntress oft the woods among
I woo to hear thy even-song;
And missing thee, I walk unseen
On the dry smooth-shaven green,
To behold the wand'ring moon,
Riding near her highest noon,
Like one that had 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 curfeu 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 gloom.,
Far from all resort of mirth,
Save the cricket on the hearth,
Or the belman's drousy charm,

To bless the doors from nightly harm :
Or let my lamp at midnight hour,
Be seen in some high lonely tow's,

« PreviousContinue »