صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

Here behold so goodly grown
Three fair branches of your own;
Heaven hath timely tried their youth,
Their faith, their patience, and their truth
And sent them here through hard assays
With a crown of deathless praise,
To triumph in victorious dance
O'er sensual Folly and Intemperance.

The Dances being ended, the Spieit epiloguizes.

Spi. To the ocean now I fly,
And those happy climes that lie
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,1 and his daughters three
That sing about the golden tree:
Along the crisped shades and bowers
Revels the spruce and jocund Spring;
The Graces, and the rosy-bosom'd Hours,
Thither all their bounties bring;
There eternal Summer dwells,
And West-winds, with musky wing,
About the cedars' alleys fling
Nard and Cassia's balmy smells.
Iris there with humid bow
Waters the odorous banks, that blow
Flowers of more mingled hue
Than her purfled2 scarf can shew;
And drenches with Elysian dew
(List, mortals, if your ears be true),
Beds of hyacinth and roses,

1 'Hesperus:' see Ovid, Met. ix.—2 'Parried:' fringed.

Where young Adonis oft reposes,
Waxing well of his deep wound
In slumber soft, and on the ground
Sadly sits the Assyrian queen :a
But far above in spangled sheen
Celestial Cupid, her fam'd son, advanc'd
Holds his dear Psyche2 sweet entranc'd,
After her wandering labours long,
Till free consent the Gods among
Make her his eternal bride,
And from her fair unspotted side
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;
And from thence can soar as soon
To the corners of the moon.

Mortals, that would follow me,
Love Virtue; she alone is free:
She can teach ye how to climb
Higher than the sphery chime;3
Or if Virtue feeble were,
Heaven itself would stoop to her.

1'Assyrian queen:' Venus.—2 'Cupid' and 'Psyche:' see Emerson's ' Essay on Love.'—* 'Sphery chime:' music of spheres.

ARCADES.1

a jflastt,

PRESENTED AT HABEFIELD, BEFORE THE COUNTESS-DOWAGER

OF DERBY.

I. 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 she2
To whom our Tows 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.

1 'Arcades:' the fragment of a larger performance, the rest of which was probably in prose. It was performed at Harefield before the Countess of Derby, its heroine, not later than 1636. She was married at the time to Lord Chancellor Egerton, and died in 1635-6. She was related to Edmund Spenser, who celebrated her, when a widow, in his 'Colin Clout's come home again,' as Amaryllis.—2 'This is she:' namely, the Countess of Derby.

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 Latona1 be,
Or the tower'd Cybele,2
Mother of a hundred gods 1
Juno dares not give her odds:

Who had thought this clime had held

A deity so unparallel'd 1

As they come forward, the Genius of the Wood appears, and turning towards them, speaks.

Gen. Stay, gentle Swains; for, though in this disguise, 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;

''Latona:' Diana. — 2 Cybele:' mother of the gods.

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,
To nurse the saplings tall, and curl the grove
With ringlets quaint, and wanton windings wove.
And all my plants I save from nightly ill
Of noisome winds, and blasting vapours chill:
And from the boughs brush off the evil dew,
And heal the harms 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 ground
Over the mount, and all this hallow'd round;
And early, ere the odorous breath of morn
Awakes the slumbering leaves, or tassel'd horn
Shakes the high thicket, haste I all about,
Number my ranks, and visit every sprout
With puissant words, and murmurs made to bless.
But else in deep of night, when drowsiness
Hath lock'd up mortal sense, then listen I
To the celestial Syrens'1 harmony,
That sit upon nine infolded spheres,
And sing to those that hold the vital shears,
And turn the adamantine spindle round,
On which the fate of gods and men is wound.

1 'Syrens:' this is an apt allusion to Plato's notion of Fate or Necessity holding a spindle of adamant, while, with her three daughters, Lachesis, Clotho, and Atropos, she conducts a ravishing musical harmony. Nine Syrens or Muses sit on the summit of the spheres, and produce a music, in harmony with which the spindle revolves, and the three daughters of Fate for ever sing —a notion involving many and mysterious lessons.

« السابقةمتابعة »