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And more of fortunate deserve the style,
Than those whose heavens with double summers smile.
Run on, great prince, thy course in glory's way,
The end the life, the evening crowns the day;
Heap worth on worth, and strongly soar above
Those heights which made the world thee first to love;
Surmount thyself, and make thine actions past
Be but as gleams or lightnings of thy last,
Let them exceed those of thy younger time,
As far as autumn doth the flowery prime.
Through this thy empire range, like world's bright eye,
That once each year surveys all earth and sky,
Now glances on the slow and resty Bears,
Then turns to dry the weeping Auster's tears,
Hurries to both the poles, and moveth even
In the figured circle of the heaven:
Oh, long, long haunt these bounds which by thy sight
Have now regain'd their former heat and light.
Here grow green woods, here silver brooks do glide,
Here meadows stretch them out with painted pride,
Embroidering all the banks, here hills aspire
To crown their heads with the ethereal fire,
Hills, bulwarks of our freedom, giant walls,
Which never friends did slight, nor sword made thralls :
Each circling flood to Thetis tribute pays,
Men here in health outlive old Nestor's days:
Grim Saturn yet amongst our rocks remains,
Bound in our caves, with many metall’d chains,
Bulls haunt our shade like Leda's lover white,
Which yet might breed Pesiphae delight,
Our flocks fair fleeces bear, with which for sport
Endymion of old the moon did court,
High-palmed harts amidst our forests run,
And, not impaled, the deep-mouth'd hounds do shun;
The rough-foot hare safe in our bushes shrouds,
And long-wing'd hawks do perch amidst our clouds.
The wanton wood-nymphs of the verdant spring,
Blue, golden, purple flowers shall to thee bring,
Pomona's fruits the Panisks, Thetis' girls,
The Thule's amber, with the ocean pearls ;
The Tritons, herdsmen of the glassy field,
Shall give thee what far-distant shores can yield,
The Serean fleeces, Erythrean gems,
Vast Plata's silver, gold of Peru streams,
Antarctic parrots, Ethiopian plumes,
Sabæan odours, myrrh, and sweet perfumes :
And I myself, wrapt in a watchet gown
Of reeds and lilies, on mine head a crown,
Shall incense to thee burn, green altars raise,
And yearly sing due pæans to thy praise.
Ah! why should Isis only see thee shine ?
Is not thy Forth, as well as Isis, thine ?
Though Isis vaunt she hath more wealth in store,
Let it suffice thy Forth doth love thee more :
Though she for beauty may compare with Seine,
For swans and sea-nymphs with imperial Rhine,
Yet for the title may be claim'd in thee,
Nor she nor all the world can match with me.
Now when, by honour drawn, thou shalt away
To her, already jealous of thy stay,
When in her amorous arms she doth thee fold,
And dries thy dewy hairs with hers of gold,
Much asking of thy fare, much of thy sport,
Much of thine absence, long, howe'er so short,
And chides, perhaps, thy coming to the north,
Loathe not to think on thy much-loving Forth :
Oh, love these bounds, where of thy royal stem
More than an hundred wore a diadem.
So ever gold and bays thy brows adorn,
So never time may see thy race outworn,
So of thine own still mayst thou be desired,
Of strangers fear'd, redoubted, and admired;
So Memory thee praise, so precious hours
May character thy name in starry flowers ;
So may thy high exploits at last make even,
With earth thy empire, glory with the heaven.
I. I know that all beneath the moon decays, And what by mortals in this world is brought, In Time's great periods shall return to nought; That fairest states have fatal nights and days; I know that all the Muse's heavenly lays, With toil of sp’rit, which are so dearly bought, As idle sounds, of few, or none, are sought, That there is nothing lighter than vain praise; I know frail beauty like the purple flower, To which one morn oft birth and death affords, That love a jarring is of minds' accords, Where sense and will envassal Reason's power;
Know what I list, all this can not me move, But that, alas! I both must write and love.
II. Ah me! and I am now the man whose muse In happier times was wont to laugh at love, And those who suffer'd that blind boy abuse The noble gifts were given them from above. What metamorphose strange is this I prove? Myself now scarce I find myself to be, And think no fable Circe's tyranny, And all the tales are told of changed Jove;
Virtue hath taught with her philosophy
My mind into a better course to move:
Reason may chide her fill, and oft reprove
but what is that to me? Who ever think, and never think on ought But that bright cherubim which thralls my
How that vast heaven, entitled first, is rolld,
If any glancing towers beyond it be,
And people living in eternity,
Or essence pure that doth this all uphold:
What motion have those fixed sparks of gold,
The wandering carbuncles which shine from higli
By sp’rits, or bodies crossways in the sky,
If they be turn’d, and mortal things behold;
How sun posts heaven about, how night's pale
With borrow'd beams looks on this hanging round,
What cause fair Iris hath, and monsters seen
In air's large field of light, and seas profound,
Did hold my wandering thoughts, when thy
Bade me leave all, and only think on thee.
If cross'd with all mishaps be my poor life,
If one short day I never spent in mirth,
If my sp’rit with itself holds lasting strife,
If sorrow's death is but new sorrow's birth;
If this vain world be but a mournful stage,
Where slave-born man plays to the scoffing stars,
If youth be toss'd with love, with weakness age;
If knowledge serves to hold our thoughts in wars,
If Time can close the hundred mouths of Fame,
And make what's long since past, like that's to be ;
If virtue only be an idle name,
If being born I was but born to die;
Why seek I to prolong these loathsome days ?
The fairest rose in shortest time decays.
Dear chorister, who from those shadows sends,
Ere that the blushing morn dare show her light,
Such sad, lamenting strains, that night attends,
Become all ear; stars stay to hear thy plight,
If one whose grief even reach of thought transcends,
Who ne'er, not in a dream, did taste delight,
May thee importune who like case pretends,
And seems to joy in woe, in woe's despite.
Tell me (so may thou fortune milder try,
And long, long sing) for what thou thus complains,
Since winter's gone, and sun in dappled sky,
Enamour'd, smiles on woods and flowery plains?
The bird, as if my questions did her move,
With trembling wings sigh’d forth, I love, I love.'
Sweet soul, which, in the April of thy years,
For to enrich the heaven mad’st poor this round,
And now, with flaming rays of glory crown'd,
Most blest abides above the sphere of spheres ;
If heavenly laws, alas! have not thee bound
From looking to this globe that all upbears,
If ruth and pity there above be found,
Oh, deign to lend a look unto these tears,
Do not disdain, dear ghost, this sacrifice,
And though I raise not pillars to thy praise,