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PRIMEVAL Hope, the Aonian Muses say, When man and nature mourned their first decay; When every form of death, and every woe, Shot from malignant stars to earth below; When Murder bared his arm, and rampant War Yoked the red dragons of his iron car; When Peace and Mercy, banished from the plain, Sprung on the viewless winds to heaven again ; All, all forsook the friendless, guilty mind, But Hope, the charmer, lingered still behind.
Now when the world with sin ’gan to abound,
And is the Virgin, sixth in her degree,
* Bildric, belt, girdle, the Zodiac.
THE RETURN OF THE GOLDEN AGE.
All crimes shall cease, and ancient fraud shall fail,
YEA, Truth and Justice then
Will down return to men,
Mercy will sit between,
Throned in celestial sheen, With radiant feet the tissued clouds down-steering, And Heaven, as at some festival, Will open wide the gates of her high palace hall.
ECHO AND NARCISSUS.
song. Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph, that liv'st unseen
Within thy aëry shell,
Where the love-lorn nightingale
Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well ;
O, if thou have
Tell me but where,
So mayst thou be translated to the skies, And give resounding grace to all heaven's harmonies.
[Milton has imitated the story of Narcissus in the account which he makes Eve give of the first sight of herself, reflected in the fountain.]
That day I oft remember when from sleep
As I bent down to look, just opposite
[The author, Thomas Blacklock, was blind from the age of six months, in consequence of small pox. Yet he paints flowers with artist-like precision.]
LET long-lived pansies here their scents bestow,
TO A MIRROR.
FROM GARCILASO DE LA VEGA.
SINCE still my passion-pleading strains
Have failed her heart to move,
The charms that make me love.
Reflect on her the thrilling beam
Of magic from her eye ;
And, self-enamoured, die.
And round about the same her yellow hair,
The which Pactolus, with his waters sheer, Throws forth upon the rivage round about him near.