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Where I may oft out-watch the Bear,
With thrice great Hermes, or unsphere
The spirit of Plato to unfold
What worlds, or what vast regions hold .
The mortal mind that hath forsook
Her mansion in this fleshly nook :
And of those demons that are found
In fire, air, flood, or under ground,
Whose power hath a true consent
With planet, or with element.
Sometime let gorgeous Tragedy
In scepter'd pall come sweeping by,
Presenting Thebes', or Pelop's line,
Or the tale of Troy divine,
Or what (though rare) of later age
Ennobled hath the buskin'd stage.
But, O sad Virgin, that thy power
Might raise Musæus from his bower,
Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing
Such notes, as warbled to the string,
Drew iron tears down Pluto's, cheek,
And made Hell grant what Love did seek.
Or call up him that left half told,
The story of Cambuscan bold,
Of Camball, and of Algarsife,
And who had Canace to wife,
That own'd the virtuous ring and glass,
And of the wondrous horse of brass,
On which the Tartar king did ride ;
And if oughe else great bards beside
In sage and solemn tunes have sung, Of turneys and of trophies hung, Of forests, and enchantments drear, Where more is meant than meets the ear. Thus Night oft see me in thy pale career, Till civil-suited Morn appear, Not trickt and frounct as she was wont With the Attic boy to hunt, But kercheft in a comely cloud, While rocking winds are piping loud, Or usher'd with a shower still, When the gust hath blown his fill, Ending on the russling leaves, With minute drops from off the caves. And when the sun begins to fling His flaring beams, me goddess bring To arched walks of twilight groves, And shadows brown that Sylvan loves Of pine, or monumental oak, Where the rude axe with heaved stroke Was never heard the nymphs to daunt, Or fright them from their hallow'd haunt, There in close covert by some brook, Where no profaner eye may look, Hide me from Day's garish eye, While the bee with honied thigh, That at her flowery work doth sing, And the waters murmuring, With such consorts as they keep, Entice the dewy-feather'd sleep:
And let some strange mysterious dream
Wave at his wings in aery stream
Of lively portraiture display'd,
Softly on my eye-lids laid.
And as I wake, sweet music breathe
Above, about, or underneath,
Sent by some spirit to mortals good,
Or th' unseen Genius of the wood.
But let my due feet never fail
To walk the studious cloisters pale,
And love the high embowed roof,
With antic pillars massy proof,
And storied windows richly dight,
Casting a dim religious light.
There let the pealing organ blow,
To the full voic'd quire below,
In service high, and anthems clear,
As may with sweetness, through mine ear,
Dissolve me into extasies,
And bring all Heav'n before mine eyes.
And may at last my weary age
Find out the peaceful hermitage,
The hairy gown and mossy cell,
Where I may sit and rightly spell
Of every star that Heav'n doth shew,
And every herb that sips the dew;
Till old Experience do attain
To something like prophetic strain.
These pleasures, Melancholy ! give,
And I with thee will choose to live.
Partofthe Entertainment presented to the Countess Dowager
of Derby, at Harefield, by some noble persons of her family, who appear on the scene in pastoral habit, moving toward the seat of state, with this song.
Look Nymphs, and Shepherds look,
What sudden blaze of majesty
Is that which we from hence descry,
Too divine to be mistook!
This, this is she
To whom our vows and wishes bend;
Here our solemn search hath end.
Fame, that her high worth to raise,
Seem'd erst so lavish and profuse,
We may justly now accuse
Of detraction from her praise ;
Less than half we find exprest,
Envy bid conceal the rest.
Mark what radiant state she spreads,
In circle round her shining throne,
Shooting her beams like silver threads ;
This, this is she alone,
Sitting like a goddess bright,
In the center of her light.
Might she the wise Latona be,
Or the towered Cybele,
Mother of a hundred gods ;
Juno dares not give her odds;
Who had thought this clime had held
A deity so unparallel'd ? As they come forward the Genius of the wood appears,
and turning toward them, speaks. Gen. Stay, gentle Swains, for though in this dis
guise, I see bright honour sparkle through your eyes ; Of famous Arcady ye are, and sprung Of that renowned flood, so often sung, Divine Alpheus, who by secret sluice Stole under seas to meet his Arethuse; And ye, the breathing roses of the wood, Fair silver-buskin'd Nymphs as great and good, I know this quest of yours, and free intent Was all in honour and devotion meant To the great mistress of yon princely shrine, Whom with low reverence I adore as mine, And with all helpful service will comply To further this night's glad solemnity; And lead ye where ye may more near behold What shallow-searching Fame hath left untold; Which I full oft amidst these shades alone Have sat to wonder at, and gaze upon : For know by lot from Jove I am the power Of this fair wood, and live in oaken bower,