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Mountains, on whose barren breast

The labouring clouds do often rest;

Meadows trim with daisies pied,

Shallow brooks and rivers wide:

Towers and battlements it sees

Bosomed high in tufted trees,

Where perhaps some beauty lies,

The Cynosure- of neighbouring eyes. 80

Hard by, a cottage chimney smokes

From betwixt two aged oaks,

Where Corydon and Thyrsis, met,

Are at their savoury dinner set,

Of herbs, and other country messes,

Which the neat-handed Phyllis dresses;

And then in haste her bower she leaves,

With Thestylis to bind the sheaves;

Or, if the earlier season lead

To the tanned haycock in the mead. 90

Sometimes with secure delight

The upland hamlets will invite,

When the merry bells ring round,

And the jocund rebecs sound

To many a youth, and many a maid,

Dancing in the chequered shade;

And young and old come forth to play

On a sunshine holy-day,

Till the live-long day-light fail:

Then to the spicy nut-brown ale, 100

With stories told of many a feat,

How fairy Mab the junkets eat:

She was pinched and pulled, she said,

And he, by friar's lantern led;

Tells how the drudging goblin sweat,

To earn his cream-bowl duly set,

When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,

His shadowy flail hath threshed the com

That ten day-labourers could not end;

Then lies him down the lubber fiend, 110

And stretched out all the chimney's length,

Basks at the fire his hairy strength,

And crop-full out of doors he flings,

Ere the first cock his matin rings.

Thus done the tales, to bed they creep,

By whispering winds soon lulled asleep.

Towered cities please us then,

And the busy hum of men;

Where throngs of knights and barons bold,

In weeds of Peace, high triumphs hold, 120

With store of ladies, whose bright eyes

Rain influence, and judge the prize

Of wit, or arms, while both contend

To win her grace, whom all commend.

There let Hymen oft appear

In saffron robe, with taper clear,

And Pomp, and Feast, and Revelry,

With Mask, and antique Pageantry;—

Such sights as youthful poets dream,

On summer eves by haunted stream. 130

Then to the well-trod stage anon,

If Jonson's learned sock be on;

Or sweetest Shakspeare, Fancy's child,

Warble his native wood notes wild.

And ever, against eating cares,

Lap me in soft Lydian airs,

Married to immortal Verse;

Such as the meeting soul may pierce,

In notes, with many a winding bout

Of linked sweetness long drawn out, i^o

With wanton heed, and giddy cunning;

The melting voice through mazes running,

Untwisting all the chains that tie

The hidden soul of harmony;

That Orpheus' self may heave his head

From golden slumber on a bed

Of heaped Elysian flowers, and hear

Such strains as would have won the ear

Of Pluto, to have quite set free

His half regained Eurydice.— ie0

These delights, if thou canst give,

Mirth! with thee I mean to live.

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Hence vain deluding Joys!

The brood of Folly without father bred; How little you bestead,

Or fill the fixed mind with all your toys! Dwell in some idle brain,

And fancies fond with gaudy shapes possess, As thick and numberless

As the gay motes that people the sun-beams; Or likest hovering dreams

The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train, 10

But hail thou Goddess, sage and holy,
Hail divinest Melancholy!
Whose saintly visage is too bright
To hit the sense of human sight,
And therefore, to our weaker view,
O'erlaid with black, staid Wisdom's hue;—
Black, but such as in esteem
Prince Memnon's sister might beseem,
Or that starred Ethiop queen that strove
To set her beauty's praise above 20

The sea-nymphs, and their powers offended:
Yet thou art higher far descended;
Thee bright-haired Vesta, long of yore,
To solitary Saturn bore;
His daughter she (in Saturn's reign
Such mixture was not held a stain):
Oft in glimmering bowers and glades
He met her, and in secret shades
Of woody Ida's inmost grove,
While yet there was no fear of Jove. 30

Come, pensive Nun I devout and pure,
Sober, steadfast, and demure,
All in a robe of darkest grain,
Flowing with majestic train,
And sable stole of cypress lawn,
Over thy decent shoulders drawn.
Come! but keep thy wonted state
With even step, and musing gait,
And looks commercing with the skies,
Thy rapt soul sitting in thine eyes: 40

There, held in holy passion still,
Forget thyself to marble, till,
With a sad leaden downward cast,
Thou fix them on the earth as fast:
And join with thee calm Peace, and Quiet,
Spare Fast, that oft with Gods doth diet,
And hear the Muses in a ring
Aye round about Jove's altar sing:
And add to these retired Leisure,
That in trim gardens takes his pleasure: 50

But first, and chiefest, with thee bring,
Him that yon soars on golden wing,
Guiding the fiery-wheeled throne,
The Cherub Contemplation;
And the mute silence hist along,
'Less Philomel will deign a song,
In her sweetest, saddest plight,
Smoothing the rugged brow of Night,
While Cynthia checks her dragon yoke,
Gently o'er the accustomed oak: 60

Sweet bird that shunn'st the noise of folly,
Most musical, most melancholy!
Thee, chantress, oft, the woods among,
I woo to hear thy even-song;
And, missing thee, I walk unseen
On the dry smooth-shaven green,
To behold the wandering moon,
Riding near her highest noon,
Like one that had been led astray,
Through the Heaven's wide pathless way; 70

And oft, as if her head she bowed,

Stooping through a fleecy cloud.

Oft, on a plat of rising ground,

I hear the far-off curfew sound,

Over some wide-watered shore,

Swinging slow with sullen roar;

Or, if the air will not permit,

Some still removed place will fit,

Where glowing embers, through the room,

Teach Light to counterfeit a gloom, 80

Far from all resort of mirth,

Save the cricket on the hearth,

Or the bellman's drowsy charm,

To bless the doors from nightly harm:

Or let my lamp, at midnight hour,

Be seen in some high lonely tower,

Where I may oft out-watch the Bear,

With thrice great Hermes, or unsphere

The spirit of Plato, to unfold

What worlds, or what vast regions hold 90

The mortal mind, that hath forsook

Her mansion in this fleshly nook:

And of those Demons that are found

In fire, air, flood, or under ground,

Whose power hath a true consent

With planet, or with element.

Some time let gorgeous Tragedy

In sceptred pall come sweeping by,

Presenting Thebes, or Pelops' line,

Or the tale of Troy divine; 100

Or what (though rare) of later age

Ennobled hath the buskined stage.

But, oh! sad Virgin, that thy power Might raise Musaeus from his bower! Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing Such notes, as, warbled to the string, Drew iron tears down Pluto's cheek, And made Hell grant what Love did seek! Or call up him that left half-told, The story of Cambuscan bold, 110

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