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Thus,night,oft see me in thy pale carreer,
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 guft hath blown his fill,
Ending on the russling leaves,
With minute drops from off the eaves.
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 ax 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 thie,
That at her flow'ry work doth fing,
And the waters murmuring
With such confort, as they keep,
Entice the dewy-feather'd sleep;
And let fome ftrange 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 fome Spirit to mortals good,
Or th' unseen Genius of the wood.




But let my due feet never fail

155 To walk the studious cloysters' pale, And love the high-embowed roof, With antic pillars maffy proof, And storied windows richly dight, Casting a dim religious light.

160 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,

165 And bring all Heav'n before mine eyes. And


my weary age Find out the peaceful hermitage, The hairy gown and moffy cell, Where I may fit and rightly spell

170 Of every star, that Heav'n doth shew, And every herb, that fips the dew; Till old experience do attain To something like prophetic strain. These pleasures,Melancholy, give,

175 And I with thee will choose to live.

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ARCADES. Part of an 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 *.


1. SON G.
OOK Nymphs, and Shepherds, look,

What sudden blaze of majesty
Is that which we from hence descry,
Too divine to be mistook:

This, this is the
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,
may justly now accuse

10 Of detraction from her praise ;

* This Lady must have been Alice, daughter of Sir John Spenfer of Althorp, Northamptonshire, and widow of Ferdinando Stanley the fifth Earl of Derby. And as Harefield is in Middlesex, and, according to Camden, lieth a little to the north of Uxbridge, we may conclude, that Milton made this poem while he resided in that neighbourhood with his father at Horton near Colebrooke. It should seem tog, that it was made before the Mask at Ludlow, as it is a more imperfect essay. And Frances the second daughter of this Countess-dowager of Derby being married to John Earl of Bridgewater, before whom was presented the Mask at Ludlow, we may conceive in some measure how Milton was induced to compole the one after the other. The alliance between the families naturally and easily accounts for it, and in all probability, the Genius of the wood in this poem, as well as the attendant spirit in the Mask, was Mr. Henry Lawes, who was the great master of music at that time, and taught most of the young nobility,

Less than half we find expreft,
Envy bid conceal the rest. -


Mark what radiant state the spreads,
In circle round her shining throne,
Shooting her beams like silver threads;
This, this is the alone,

Sitting like a Goddess bright,
In the centre of her light.



Might she the wife Latona be,
Or the towred Cybele,
Mother of a hundred Gods ;
Juno dares not give her odds ;

Who had thought this clime had held
A deity so unparallel'di


As they come forward, the Genius of the Wood appears,

and turning toward them, speaks.



TAY, gentle Swains, for, though in this disguise,

I see bright honor sparkle through your eyes ;
Of famous Arcady ye are, and sprung
Of that renowned flood, so often sung,
· Divine Alpheus, who by secret sluce

Stole under feas to meet his Arethufe ;
And ye, the breathing roses of the wood,
Fair filver-bulkin'd Nymphs as great and good,
I know this quest of yours, and free intent
Was all in honor and devotion meant

To the great mistress of yon princely shrine,
Whom with low reverence I adore as mine,

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And with all helpful service will comply
To further this night's glad folemnity;
And lead


ye may more near behold
What shallow-searching Fame hath left untold;
Which I full oft admidit these shades alone
Have fat 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,
To nurse the faplings tall, and curl the grove
With ringlets quaint, and wanton windings wove.
And all my plants I fave from nightly ill
Of noisome winds, and blasting vapors chill :
And from the boughs brush off the evil dew,
And heal the arms of thwarting thunder blue,
Or what the cross dire-looking planet smites,
Or hurtful worm with canker'd venom bites.
When evening gray doth rise, I fetch my round.
Over the mount, and all this hallow'd ground,
And early, ere the odorous breath of morn
Awakes the slumb'ring leaves, or tafel'd horn
Shakes the high thicket, hafte I all about,
Number my ranks, and visit every sprout
With puissant words, and murmurs made to blefs ;
But else in deep of night, when drowsiness
Hath lock'd up mortal sense, then liften I
To the celestial Sirens' harmony,
That fit upon the nine-infolded spheres,
And sing to those, that hold the vital shears,
And turn the adamantin fpindle round,
On which the fate of Gods and men is wound.
Such sweet compulsion doth in music lic,
To lull the daughters of Neceflity,
And keep unsteady nature to her law,
And the low world in measur'd motion draw





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