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L'ALLEGRO.

Hence loathed Melancholy,
Of Cerberus and blackest Midnight borit,
In Stygian cave forlorn,

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

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

There, under ebon shades, and low-brow'd rocks, As ragged as thy locks,

In dark Cimmerian desert ever dwell.
But come, thou goddess fair and free,
In Heaven sclep'd 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 sages 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 wası'd in dew,
Filld her with thee, a daughter fair,
So buxom, blithe, and debonaire.

*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 unreproved 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 listening how the hounds and horn Cheerly rouse the slumbering morn, From the side of some hoar hill, Through the high wood echoing shrill: Some time walking, not unseen, By hedge-row elms, on hillocks green,

Right against the eastern gate,
Where the grea sun begins his state,
Rob’d in flames and annber light,
The clouds in thousand liveries dight;
While the ploughman, near at hand,
Whistles o’er the furrow'd land,
And the milk-maid 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,
Bosom'd high in tufted trees,
Where, perhaps, some beauty lies,
The Cynosure of neiglıbouring eyes.
Hard by, a cottage-chimney smokes,
From betwixt two aged 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 leaves,
With Thestylis to bind the sheaves;
Or, if the earlier season lead,
To the tan'd haycock in the mead.

Sometimes, with secure delight,
The upland hamlets will invite,

When the merry bells ring round,
And the jocund rebecs sound
To many a youth, and many a maid,
Dancing in the checquer'd shade;
And young and old come forth to play,
On a sun-shine holy-day,
Till the live-long day-light fail:
Then to the spicy nut-brown ale,
With stories told of many a feat,
How faery Mab the junkets eat:
She was pinch’d and pull’d, she said;
And he, by friar's lantern led,
Tells how the drudging goblin sweat,
To earn his cream-bowl, duly set,
When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,
His shadowy fail hath thresh'd the corn,
That ten day-labourers could not end;
Then lies him down, the lubber fiend,
And, stretch'd out all the chimney's length,
Basks at the fire his hairy strength;
And, crop-full, out of doors he flings,
Ere the first cock his matin rings.

Thus done the tales, to bed they creep,
By whispering winds soon lull’d asleep.
Tower'd 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 infiuence, 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 Shakspeare, Fancy's child,
Warble his native wood-notes wild.

And ever, against eating cares,
Lap me in soft Lydian airs,
Married to immortal 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 through mazes running,
Untwisting all the chains that tie
The hidden soul 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-regain’d Eurydice.

These delights if thou canst give, Mirth, with thee I mean to live.

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