Page images

DIRGE IN CYMBELINE. Sung by Guiderus and Arviragus over Fidele, supposed

to be dead.


fair Fidele's grassy tomb

Soft maids and village hinds shall bring Each opening sweet of earliest bloom,

And rifle all the breathing spring. No wailing ghost shall dare appear

To vex with shrieks this quiet grove; But shepherd lads assemble here,

And melting virgins own their love. No wither'd witch shall here be seen;

No goblins lead their nightly crew : The female fays shall haunt the green,

And dress thy grave with pearly dew!
The redbreast oft, at evening hours,

Shall kindly lend his little aid,
With hoary moss, and gather'd flowers,

To deck the ground where thou art laid.
When howling winds, and beating rain,

In tempests shake thy sylvan cell; Or, 'midst the chase, on every plain,

The tend thoug on thee shall dwell; Each lonely scene shall thee restore;

For thee the tear be duly shed; Belov'd, till life can charm no more,

And mourn'd till Pity's self be dead,


e Innrednom of Serenser.

Burkil que animæ tentes in limine primo.

V. Imitation. á sad mingled sounds and infant plaints we hear,

that pierce the entrance shrill, and wound the tender ear, A

It me! full sorely is my heart forlorn,

To think how modest worth neglected lies, While partial Fame doth with her blast adorn, Such deeds alone as pride and pomp disguise, Deeds of ill sort, and mischievous emprize: Lend me thy clarion, Goddess ! let me try To sound the praise of Merit, ere it dies, Such as I oft have chaunced to espy Lost in the dreary shades of dull obscurity. In ev'ry village mark'd with little spire, Embower'd in trees, and hardly known to fame, There dwells, in lowly shed and mean attire, A matron old, whom we school-mistress name, Who boasts unruly brats with birch to tame; They grie sore, in piteous durance pent, Aw'd by the pow'r of this relentless dame, And oft times, on vagaries idly bent, For unkempt hair, or task unconn'd, are sorely shent. And all in sight doth rise a birchen tree, Which Learning near her little dome did stowe, Whillow a twig of small regard to see, Tho' now so wide its waving branches flow, And work the simple vassal's mickle woe; For not a wind might curl the leaves that blow, But their limbs shudder'd, and their pulse beat low, And as they look'd, they found their horror grew, Aud shap'd it into rods, and tingled at the view.

So have I seen (who has not may conceive)
A lifeless phantom near a garden plac'd,
So doth it wanton birds of peace bereave,
Of sport, of song, of pleasure, of repast;
They start, they stare, they wheel, they look aghast;
Sad servitude ! such comfortless annoy
May no bold Briton's riper age e'er taste!
Ne superstition clog his dance of joy,
Ne vision empty, vain, his native bliss destroy.

Near to this dome is found a patch so green,
On which the tribe their gambols do display,
And at the door impris'ning board is seen,
Lest weakly wights of smaller size should stray,
Eager, perdie, to bask in sunny day!
The noises intermix'd, which thence resound,
Do Learning's little tenement betray,
Where sits the dame, disguis'd in look profound,
And eyes her fairy throng,and turns her wheel around.

Her cap, far whiter than the driven snow,
Emblem right meet of decency does yield;
Her apron, dy'd in grain, as blue, I trowe,
As is the hare-bell that adorns the field ;
And in her hand, for sceptre, she does wield
Tway birchen sprays, with anxious fear entwin'd,
With dark distrust and sad repentance fillid,
And stedfast hate, and sharp affliction join'd,
And fury uncontroll’d, and chastisement unkind.

Few but have kenn'd, in semblance meet pourtray'd
The childish faces of old Æol's train,
Libs, Notus, Auster : these in frowns array'd.
How then would fare or earth, or sky, or maio,
Were the stern god to give his slaves the rein ?
And were not she rebellious breasts to quell,
And were not she her statutes to maintain,
The cot no more, I ween, were deem'd the cell
Where comely peace of mind, and decent order dwell.

A russet stole was o'er her shoulders throws, A russet kirtle fenc'd the nipping air ; 'Twas simple russet, but it was her own; 'Twas her own country bred the flock so fair: 'Twas her own labor did the fleece prepare; And, sooth, to say, her pupils, rang'd around, Thro' pious awe did term it passing rare, For they in gaping wonderment abound, And think, no doubt, she been the greatest wight on

ground. Albeit ne flatt'ry did corrupt her truth, Ne pompous title did debauch her ear, Goody, good woman, gossip, n'aunt, forsooth, Or dame, the sole additions she did hear; Yet these she challeng'd, these she held right dear; Ne would esteem him act as mought behove Who should not honor'd eld with these revere; For never title yet so mean could prove, But there was eke a mind which did that title love. One ancient hen she took delight to feed, The plodding pattern of the busy dame, Which, ever and anon, impell’d by need, Into her school, begirt with chickens, came; Such favor did her past deportment claim: And if neglect had lavish'd on the ground Fragment of bread, she would collect the same; For well she knew, and quaintly could expound, Whatsin it were to waste the smallest crum she found. Herbs, too, she knew, and well of each could speak; That in her garden sipp'd the silv'ry dew, Where no vain flow'r disclos'd a gaudy streak, But herbs for use, and physic, not a few, Of grey renown, within those borders grew; The tufted basil, pun provoking thyme, Fresh baum, and marygold of cheerful hue, The lowly gill, that never dares to climb, And more I fain would sing,disdaining here to rhyme.

Yet euphrasy may not be left unsung,
That gives dim eyes to wander leagues around,
And pungent radish, biting infant's tongue,
And plantain ribb'd that heals the reaper's wound,
And marj'rum sweet, in shepherd's posie found,
And lavender, whose pikes of azure bloom
Shall be, erewhile, io arid bundles bound,
To lurk amidst the labors of her loom,
And crown her kerchief clean with mickle rare per.

And here trim rosemarine, that whilom crown'd
The daintiest garden of the proudest peer,
Ere, driven from its envy'd site, it found
A sacred shelter for its branches here;
Where edg’d with gold its glitt'ring skirts appear.
O wassel days! O customs meet and well!
Ere this was banish'd froin its lofty sphere;
Simplicity then sought this humble cell,
Nor ever would she more with thane and lordling

dwell. Here oft the dame, on Sabbatli's decent eve, Hymned such psalms as Sternhold forth did mete; If winter 'twere, she to her hearth did cleave, But in her garden found a summer-seat: Sweet melody! to hear her then repeat How Israel's sons, beneath a foreign king, While taunting foe-men did a song intreat, All, for the nonce, untuning ev'ry string, Uphung their useless lyres-small heart had they

to sing. For she was just, and friend to virtuous lore, And pass'd much time in truly virtuous deed; And in those elfins' ears would oft deplore The times when Truth by Popish rage did bleod, And tortious death was true Devotion's meed; And simple Faith in iron chains did mourn, That nould on wooden image place her creed; And lawny saints in smould'ring flames did burn: Ah! dearest Lord, forefend, thilk days should e'er


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