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Where were ye, Nymphs, when the remorseless deep
Clos'd o'er the head of your lov'd Lycidas? 51
For neither were ye playing on the steep,
Where your old Bards, the famous Druids, lie,
Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high,
Nor yet where Deva spreads her wisard stream 155
Ay me! I fondly dream
Had ye been there, for what could that have done?
What could the Muse herself that Orpheus bore,
The Muse herself for her inchanting son,
Whom universal nature did lament,
When by the rout that made the hideous roar,
His goary visage down the stream was sent,
Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore?
Alas! What boots it with incessant care To tend the homely flighted shepherd's trade, 65 And strickly meditate the thankless Muse? Were it not better done as others use. To sport with Amaryllis in the shade, Or with the tangles of Neæra's hair? Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise 70 (That last infirmity of noble mind) To scorn delights, and live laborious days; But the fair guerdon when we hope to find, And think to burst out into sudden blaze, Comes the blind Fury with th'abhorred shears, 75 And flits the thin-spun life. But not the praise, Phœbus reply'd, and touch'd my trembling ears;
Fame Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil,
Nor in the glist'ring foil
Set off to th' world, nor in broad rumor lies, 80
But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes,
And perfect witness of all-judging Jove;
As he pronounces lastly on each deed,
Of so much fame in Heav'n expect thy meed.
O fountain Arethuse, and thou honor'd flood, 85
He ask'd the waves, and aflc'd the fellon winds,
And sage Hippotades their answer brings,
Built in th' eclipse, and rigg'd with curses dark,
Next Camus, reverend sire, went footing flow, His mantle hairy, and his bonnet sedge, Inwrought with figures dim, and on the edge 105
K k 2 Like Like to that sanguin flow's inscrib'd with woe.
Ah ! Who hath reft (quoth he) my dearest pledge?
Last came, and last did go,
The pilot of the Galilean lake,
Two mafsy keys he bore of metals twain, no
(The golden opes, the iron shuts amain)
He shook his miter'd locks, and stern bespake,
How well could I have spar'd for thee young swain,
Enow of such as for their bellies fake
Creep, and intrude, and climb into the fold? 115
Of other care they little reck'ning make,
Than how to scramble at the shearers feast,
And shove away the worthy bidden guest; (hold
Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how to
A sheep-hook, or have learn'd ought else the least
That to the faithful herdman's art belongs! 121
What recks it them ? What need they? They are sped;
And when they list, their lean and flashy songs,
Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw;
The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed; 125
But swoln with wind, and the rank mist they draw,
Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread:
Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw
Daily devours apace, and nothing said,
But that two-handed engin at the door 130
Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more.
Return Alpheus, the dread voice is past, That shrunk thy streams; return Sicilian Muse,
And call the vales, and bid them hither cast
The musk-rose, and the well-attir'd woodbine,
To strow the laureat herse where Lycid lies.
Where the great vision of the guarded mount
Looks Looks tow'ard Namancos and Bayona's hold; Look homeward Angel now, and melt with ruth: And, O ye Dolphins, waft the hapless youth.
Weep no more, woeful Shepherds, weep no more, For Lycidas your sorrow is not dead, 166
Sunk though he be beneath the watry floor;
And hears the unexpreflive nuptial song,
Thus fang the uncouth swain to th'oaks and rills, While the still morn went out with sandals gray, He touch'd the tender stops of various quills, With eager thought warbling his Doric lay: