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I shall be your faithful guide
Through this gloomy covert wide,
And not many furlongs thence
Is your Father's residence,
Where this night are met in state
Many a friend to gratulate
His with'd presence, and beside
960 All the swains that near abide, With jigs, and rural dance resort ; We shall catch them at their sport, And our sudden coming there Will double all their mirth and chear;
965 Come let us haste, the stars grow high, But night fits monarch yet in the mid sky.
The Scene changes, presenting Ludlow town and the
President's castle; then come in country-dancers, after them the attendent Spirit, with the two Brothers and the Lady.
Spir. Back, Shepherds, back, enough your play,
Till next sunshine holyday ;
Here be without duck or nod
Other trippings to be trod
Of lighter toes, and fach court-guise,
As Mercury did first devise
With the mincing Dryades
On the lawns, and on the leas.
This second Song presents them to their Father and
Noble Lord and Lady bright,
I have brought you new delight,
Here behold so goodly grown
Three fair branches of your own;
Heav'n hath timely try'd their youth,
Their faith, their patience, and their truth,
And sent them here thro' hard assays
With a crown of deathless praise,
To triumph in victorious dance
O’er sensual folly and intemperance.
The dances ended, the Spirit epilogwizes.
Spir. To the ocean now I fly,
And those happy climes, that lies
Where day never shuts his eye,
Up in the broad fields of the sky:
There I suck the liquid air
All amidst the gardens fair
Of Hesperus and his daughters three,
That fing about the golden tree :
Along the crisped shades and bowers
Revels the spruce and jocond spring,
The Graces, and the rosy-bosom'd Hours,
Thither all their bounties bring;
'That there eternal Summer dwells
And west-winds with musky wing
About the cedarn alleys fling
Nard and Caflia's balmy smells.
Iris there with humid bow
Waters the odorous banks, that blow
Flowers of more mingled hue
Than her purfled scarf can fhew,
And drenches with Elysian dew
(Lift, mortals, if your ears be true)
Beds of hyacinth and roses,
Where young Adonis oft reposes,
Waxing well of his deep wound
In slumber soft, and on the ground
Sadly fits th’ Assyrian queen ;
But far above in spangled sheen
Celestial Cupid her fam’d son advanc’d,
Holds his dear Psyche sweet intranc'd,
After her wand'ring labors long,
Till free consent the Gods among
Make her his eternal bride,
And from her fair unspotted fide
Two blissful twins are to be born,
Youth and Joy; so Jove hath sworn.
But now my task is smoothly done,
I can fly, or I can run
Quickly to the green earth's end,
Where the bow'd welkin slow doth bend, 1025
And from thence can foar as foon
To the corners of the moon.
Mortals, that would follow me,
Love Virtue, she alone is free,
She can teach you how to clime
Higher than the sphery chime;
Or, if Virtue feeble were,
Heav'n itself would stoop to her.
Oh! beauty! beauty !
Wher shall we find a praise, thats que
In this monody the Author bewails a learned friend,
unfortunately drown'd in his passage from Chester
on the Irish Seas, 1637, and by occafion foretels
the ruin of our corrupted clergy then in their
ET once more, O ye Laurels, and once more,
Ye Myrtles brown, with Ivy never fere,
I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude,
And with forc'd fingers rude
Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year. 5
Bitter constraint and fad occasion dear
Compels me to difturb your season due:
For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime,
Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer:
Who would not sing for Lycidas ? he knew
10 Himself to sing and build the lofty rhime. He must not flote upon his watry bier Unwept, and welter to the parching wind Without the meed of fome melodious tear. Begin then, Sisters of the sacred well,
15 That from beneath the seat of Jove doth spring, Begin, and somewhat loudly sweep the string:
This poem was made upon the unfortunate and untimely death of Mr. Edward King, son of Sir John King, Secretary for Ireland, a fellow-collegian and intimate friend of Milton, who, as he was going to visit his relations in Ireland, was drowned Aug. 10. 1637, in the 25th year of his age. This poem is with great judgment made of the paftoral kind, as both Mr. King and Milton had been designed for holy orders and the pastoral care, which gives a peculiar propriety to several passages in it.
Hence with denial vain and coy excuse.
So may some gentle Muse
With lucky words favor my
And, as he passes, turn,
And bid fair peace be to my fable shroud.
For we were nurst upon the self-fame hill,
Fed the same flock by fountain, shade, and rill.
Together both, ere the high lawns appear’d
Under the opening eye-lids of the morn,
We drove a field, and both together heard
What time the gray-fly winds her sultry horn,
Batt'ning our flocks with the fresh dews of night,
Oft till the star, that rose at evening bright, 30
Toward Heaven's descent had nop'd his west'ring wheel.
Mean-while the rural ditties were not mute,
Temper'd to th’oaten flute,
Rough Satyrs danc'd, and Fauns with cloven heel
From the glad found would not be absent long, 35
And old Damætas lov'd to hear our song.
But the heavy change, now thou art gone,
Now thou art gone, and never must return!
Thee, Shepherd, thee the woods and desert caves
With wild thyme and the gadding vine o'ergrown
And all their echoes mourn.
The willows and the hazel copfes green
Shall now no more be seen,
Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays.
As killing, as the canker to the rose,
45 Or taint-worm to the weanling herds, that graze, Or frost to flow'rs, that their
When first the white-thorn blows,
Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherds ear,