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And young and old come forth to play On a sunshine holiday, Till the livelong daylight fail; Then to the spicy nut-brown ale, With stories told of many a feat, How fairy Mab the junkets eat, She was pinch'd, and pull’d, 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 thresh'd the corn, That ten day-laborers could not end; Then lies him down the lubber fiend, And stretch'd 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 lull'd asleep. Tower'd cities please us then, And the busy hum of men, Where throngs of knights and barons bold In weeds of peace high triumphs hold, 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. 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 linkéd sweetness long drawn out,
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 heapt Elysian flowers, and hear
Such strains as would have won the ear
Of Pluto, to have quite set free
His half-regain'd Eurydice.
These delights if thou canst give,
Mirth, with thee I mean to live.

XIV.

IL PENSEROSO. HENCE, vain deluding joys,

The brood of folly without father bred ! How little you bested,

Or fill the fixéd 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 sunbeams, Or likest hovering dreams,

The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train. 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 starr'd Ethiop queen that strove To set her beauty's praise above The sea-nymphs, and their powers offended : Yet thou art higher far descended ; Thee bright-hair'd Vesta long of yore To solitary Saturn bore;

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