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At nighi t'th' heath-bells purple hood they

fly, And like to princes in their slumbers lie, Secure from rain, and dropping dues, aud all In silken beds and roomy painted hall. So merrily they spend their summer day, Now in the corn-fields, now in the new-mown

hay, One almost fancies that such happy things, With coloured hoods, and richly burnished

wings, Are fairy folk, in splendid masquerade Disguised, as if of inortal folk afraid ;Keeping their joyous pranks a mystery still, Lest glaring day should do their secrets ill.



The quality of mercy is not strained;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blessed ;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes :
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becoines
The throned monarch belter than his crown:
His sceptre shows the force of temporal




The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings.
But mercy is above this sceptre sway:
It is enthroned in the heart of kings;
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest

When mercy seasons justice. Therefore,

man, Though justice be thy plea, consider this That in the course of justice, none of us Should see salvation. We do


for mercy; And that same prayer should teach us all to

render The deeds of mercy.



True, therefore doth heaven divide The state of man in divers functions, Setting endeavours in continual molion ; To which is fixed, as an aim or butt, Obedience : for so work the honey bees; Creatures that, by rule in nature, teach The art of order to a peopled kingdom.



They have a king, and officers of sorts; Where some like magistrates, correct at

home; Others, like merchants, venture trade abroad; Others, like soldiers, armed in their stings, Make boot upon the summer's velvet buds; Which pillage they, with merry march, bring

home To the tent-royal of their emperor, Who, busied in his majesty, surveys The singing masons building roofs of gold; The civil citizens kneading up the honey; The poor mechanic porters crowding in Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate; The sad-eyed justice, with his surly hum, Delivering o'er to executors pale The lazy yawning drone. I this infer, That many things having full reference To one consent, may work contrariously; As many arrows, loosed several ways, Fly to one mark; As many

several ways meet in one town; As inany

fresh streams run in one self sea; As many lines close in the dial's centre; So many a thousand actions once afoot, End in one purpose, and be all well borne Without defeat.


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ON HIS BLINDNESS. When I consider how my light is spent Ere half my days in this dark world

and wide, And that one talent which is death to

hide, Lodged with me useless, though my

soul more bent To serve wherewith my Maker, and present My true account, lest He, returning,

chide; • Doth God exact day-labour, light de

nied ?' I fondly ask; bilt patience, to prevent That murmur, soon replies;—“God doth not

need Either man's work, or his own gists;

who best Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best;

his state Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed, And post o’er land and ocean without

resi ; They also serve, who only stand and wait.


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O for a lodge in some vast wilderness,
Some boundless contiguity of shade,
Where rumour of oppression and deceit,
Of unsuccessful or successful war,
Might never reach me more. My ear is

pain’d, My soul is sick, with every day's report Of wrong and outrage, with which earth is

fill'd. There is no flesh in man's obdurate heart, It does not feel for man; the natural bond Of brotherhood is severed as the flax That falls as under at the touch of fire. He finds his fellow guilty of a skin Not colour'd like his own; and having power To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy


Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
Lands intersected by a narrow frith
Abhor each other. Mountains interposed
Make enemies of nations, who had else
Like kindred drops been mingled into one.
Thus man devotes his brother, and destroys;
And, worse than all, and most to be deplored
As human nature's broadest; foulest blot,

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