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What recks it them? What need they? They are
sped; And, when they list, their lean and flashy songs Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw; The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed But, swoln with wind and the rank mist they draw, Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread : Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw Daily devours apace, and nothing sed : But that two-handed engine at the door Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more."
Return, Alpheus, the dread voice is past, That shrunk thy streams; return, Sicilian Muse, And call the vales, and bid them hither cast Their bells, and flowerets of a thousand hues. Ye valleys low, where the mild whispers use Of shades, and wanton winds, and gushing brooks, On whose fresh lap the swart-star sparely looks ; Throw hither all your quaint enamell’d eyes, That on the green turf suck the honied showers, And purple all the ground with vernal flowers. Bring the rathe primrose that forsaken dies, The tufted crow-toe, and pale jessamine, The white pink, and the pansy freak’d with jet, The glowing violet, The musk-rose, and the well-attir'd woodbine, With cowslips wan that hang the pensive head, And every flower that sad embroidery wears :
Bid amaranthus all his beauty shed,
And daffadillies fill their cups with tears,
To strew the laureat herse where Lycid lies.
For, so to interpose a little ease,
Let our frail thoughts dally with false surmise ; .
Ay me! Whilst thee the shores and sounding seas
Wash far away, where'er thy bones are hurld,
Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides,
Where thou perhaps, under the whelming tide,
Visit'st the bottom of the monstrous world; :
Or whether thou, to our moist vows denied,
Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old,
Where the great Vision 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 Shepherds, weep no more,
For Lycidas your sorrow is not dead,
Sunk though he be beneath the watery floor;
So sinks the day star 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 sky:
So Lycidas sunk 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 oozy locks he laves,
And hears the unexpressive nuptial song,
In the blest kingdoms meek of joy and love.
There entertain him all the saints above, i
In solemn troops, and sweet societies,
That sing, and, singing, in their glory move,
And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes.
Now, Lycidas, the shepherds weep no more:
Henceforth thou art the Genius of the shore,
In thy large recompence, and shalt be good
To all that wander in that perilous food.
Thus sang the uncouth swain to the oaks and rills,
While the still morn went out with sandals gray;
He touch'd the tender stops of various quills,
With eager thought warbling his Dorick lay:
And now the sun had stretch'd out all the hills,
And now was dropt into the western bay;
At last he rose, and twitch'd his mantle blue :
To morrow to fresh woods, and pastures new. 193