Page images

Would send a glistering guardian, if need were,

To keep my life and honour unassailed.

Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud

Turn forth her silver lining on the night?

I did not err; there does a sable cloud

Turn forth her silver lining on the night,

And casts a gleam over this tufted grove:

I cannot halloo to my brothers, but

Such noise as I can make to be heard farthest

I '11 venture, for my new enlivened spirits

Prompt me; and they perhaps arc not far off.


Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph, that liv'st unseen
Within thy airy shell,8
By slow Meander's margent green,
And in the violet-embroidered vale,

Where the love-lorn nightingale
Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well;
Canst thou not tell me of a gentle pair
That likest thy Narcissus are?

Oh! if thou have
Hid them in some flowery cave,
Tell me but where,


Sweet queen of parley, daughter of the sphere, So mayst thou be translated to the skies, And give resounding grace to all Heaven's harmonies.


Can any mortal mixture of earth's mould Breathe such divine enchanting ravishment? Sure something holy lodges in that breast, And with these raptures moves the vocal air To testify his hidden residence: How sweetly do they float upon the wings Of silence, through the empty-vaulted night, At every fall smoothing the raven down Of darkness till it smiled! I have oft heard My mother Circe with the Sirens three, Amidst the flowery-kirtled Naiades Culling their potent herbs and baleful drugs, Who, as they sung, would take the prisoned soul And lap it in Elysium: Scylla wept,9 And chid her barking waves into attention, And fell Charybdis murmured soft applause; Yet they in pleasing slumber lulled the sense, And in sweet madness robbed it of itself; But such a sacred and home-felt delight, Such sober certainty of waking bliss, I never heard till now. I '11 speak to her, And she shall be my queen. Hail, foreign wonder! Whom certain these rough shades did never breed, Unless the goddess that in rural shrine Dwell'st here with Pan, or Sylvan; by blest song Forbidding every bleak unkindly fog



Nay, gentle shepherd, ill is lost that praise
That is addressed to unattending ears;
Not any boast of skill, hut extreme shift
How to regain my severed company,
Compelled me to awake the courteous Echo
To give me answer from her mossy couch.


What chance, good lady, hath bereft you thus?


Dim darkness, and this leafy labyrinth.


Could that divide you from near-ushering guides'?


They left me weary on a grassy turf.

« PreviousContinue »