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Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore.-
Alas! what boots it with unceffant care
To tend the homely flighted fhepherds trade,
And ftrictly meditate the thanklefs Mufe?
Were it not better done, as others use,
To fport with Amaryllis in the fhade,
Or with the tangles of Neæra's hair?
Fame is the fpur that the clear spirit doth raise
(That laft infirmity of noble mind)
To fcorn delights, and live laborious days;:
But the fair guerdon when we hope to find,
And think to burst out into fudden blaze,
Comes the blind fury with th' abhorred shears,
And flits the thin-fpun life. But not the praife,
Phoebus reply'd, and touch'd my trembling ears;
Fame is no plant that grows on mortal foil,
Nor in the gliftering foil
Set off to th' world, nor in broad rumour lies,
But lives and fpreads aloft by thofe pure eyes,
And perfect witness of all judging Jove;
As he pronounces laftly on each deed,
Of fo much fame in heav'n expect thy meed.
O fountain Arethufe, and thou honour'd floud, Smooth-fliding Mincius, crown'd with vocal reeds, That ftrain I heard was of a higher mood:
But now my oate proceeds,
And liftens to the herald of the fea
That came in Neptune's plea,
He afk'd the waves, and afk'd the felon winds
What hard mishap hath doom'd this gentle swain?
And question'd every guft of rugged winds
That blows from off each beaked promontory:
They knew not of his story,
And fage Hippotades their anfwer brings,
That not a blast was from his dungeon stray'd,
The air was calm, and on the level brine,
Sleek Panope with all her fifters play'd.
It was that fatal and perfidious bark
Built in th' eclipfe, and rigg'd with curfes dark,
That funk fo low that facred head of thine.
Next Camus, reverend Sire, went footing flow,
His mantle hairy, and his bonnet fedge,
Inwrought with figures dim, and on the edge
Like to that fanguine flower infcrib'd with woe.
Ah; who hath reft (quoth he) my dearest pledge?
Laft came, and last did go
The pilot of the Galilean lake,
Two maffy keys he bore of metals twain,
(The golden opes, the iron shuts amain)
He shook his miter'd locks, and stern befpake;
How well could I have fpar'd for thee, young
Anow of fuch as for their bellies fake,
Creep and intrude, and climb into the fold?
Of other care they little reck'ning make,
Than how to fcramble at the fhearer's feast,
And fhove away the worthy bidden guest;
Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how to hold
A fheep-hook, or have learn'd ought elfe the leaft
That to the faithful herdman's art belongs!
What recks it them? what need they? they are sped,
And when they lift, their lean and flashy fongs
Grate on their fcrannel pipes of wretched straw;
The hungry sheep took up, and are not fed,
But fwoln with wind, and the rank mist they draw,
Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread
Befides what the grim wolf with privy paw
Daily devours apace, and nothing fed,
But that two-handed engine at the door,
Stands ready to fmite once, and fmite no more.
Return Alpheus, the dread voice is paft,
That shrunk thy ftreams; return Sicilian Mufe,
And call the vales, and bid them hither caft
Their bells, and flourets of a thousand hues.
Ye valleys low where the mild whispers ufe,
Of fhades and wanton winds, and gushing brooks,
On whofe fresh lap the fwart ftar fparely looks,"
Throw hither all your quaint enamel'd eyes,
That on the green turf fuck the honied fhowres,
And purple all the ground with vernal flowres,
Bring the rathe primrofe that forfaken dies,
The tufted crow-toe, and pale jeffamine,
The white pink, and the panfie freakt with jeat,
The glowing violet,
The mufk-rofe, and the well-attir'd woodbine,
With cowflips wan that hang the penfive head,
And ev'ry flower that fad embroidery wears:
Bid Amaranthus all his beauty fhed,
And daffadillies fill their cups with tears,
To strew the laureat herse where Lycid lies,
For fo to interpofe a little cafe,
Let our frail thoughts dally with falfe furmife.
Ah me! whilft thee the fhores, and founding feas
away, where-e'er thy bones are hurl'd,
Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides,
Where thou perhaps under the whelming tide.
Vifit'ft the bottom of the monstrous world;
Or whether thou to our moist vows deny'd,
Sleep'ft by the fable of Bellerus old,
Where the great vifion of the guarded mount
Looks toward Namancos and Bayona's hold;
Look homeward angel now, and melt with ruth
And, O ye Dolphins, waft the hapless youth,
Weep no more, woful fhepherds, weep no more,
For Lycidas, your forrow, is not dead;
Sunk though he be beneath the watry floar,
So finks the day-ftar in the ocean bed,
And yet anon repairs his drooping head,
And tricks his beams, and with new spangled ore,
Flames in the forehead of the morning fky:
So Lycidas funk low, but mounted high,
Through the dear might of him that walk'd the waves,
Where other groves, and other streams along,
With Nectar pure his cozy locks he laves,
And hears the unexpreffive nuptial fong,
In the bleft kingdoms meek of joy and love.
There entertain him all the faints above,
In folemn troops, and fweet focieties,
That fing, and finging in their glory move,
And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes.
Now Lycidas the fhepherds weep no more;
Henceforth thou art the genius of the fhore,
In thy large recompenfe, and fhalt be good
To all that wander in that perilous flood.
Thus fang the uncouth fwain to th' okes and rills,
While the ftill morn went out with fandals gray,
He touch'd the tender ftops of various quills,
With eager thought warbling his Doric lay:
And now the fun had stretch'd out all the hills,
And now was dropt into the western bay:
At last he rofe, and twitch'd his mantle blue;
To morrow to fresh woods, and pastures new.
ENCE loathed Melancholy,
Of Cerberus, and blackest midnight born,
In Stygian cave forlorn
'Mongft horrid fhapes, and fhrieks, and fights unholy, Find out fome uncouth cell,
Where brooding darkness spreads his jealous wings, And the night-raven fings;
There under Ebon fhades, and low-brow'd rocks,
As ragged as thy locks,
In dark Cimmerian desert ever dwell.
But come thou Goddefs fair and free,
In heav'n yclep'd Euphrofyne,
And by men, heart-eafing mirth,
Whom lovely Venus at a birth
With two fifter graces more
To ivy-crowned Bacchus bore;
Or whether (as fome fages fing)
The frolic wind that breathes the fpring,
Zephir with Aurora playing,
As he met her once a maying,
There on beds of violets blue,
And fresh-blown rofes wafht in dew,
Fill'd her with thee a daughter fair,
So buckfom, blithe, and debonnair.
Hafte thee nymph, and bring with thee
Jeft and youthful jollity,
Quips and cranks, and wanton wiles,
Nods, and becks, and wreathed fmiles,
Such as hang on Hebe's cheek,
And love to live in dimple fleek;
Sport that wrinkled care derides,
And Laughter holding both his fides.
Come, and trip it as you go
On the light fantastic toe,
And in thy right hand lead with thee
The mountain nymph, fweet Liberty;
And if I give thee honour due,
Mirth, admit me of thy crew,
To live with her, and live with thee,
In unreproved pleasures free;
To hear the lark begin his flight,
And finging ftartle the dull night,
From his watch-tower in the skies,
Till the dappled dawn doth rife;
Then to come in fpight of forrow,
And at my window bid good-morrow,
Through the fweet briar, or the vine,
Or the twisted eglantine.
While the cock with lively din
Scatters the rear of darkness thin;
And to the stack, or the barn-dore,
Stoutly firuts his dames before,
Oft lift'ning how the hounds and horn
Chearly roufe the flumbring morn,