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Is now the labour of my thoughts; 'tis likeliest
[Praise of Chastity.] And envious darkness, ere they could return,
[From Comus.] Had stole them from me: cise, o thievish night,
| 'Tis Chastity, my brother, Chastity; Why should'st thou, but for some felonious end,
She that has that is clad in complete steel, In thy dark lantern thus close up the stars,
And like a quirer'd nymph with arrows keen, That nature hung in heaven, and fill'd their lamps
May trace huge forests, and unharbour'd heaths, With everlasting oil, to gire due light
Infamous hills, and sandy perilous wilds, To the misled and lonely traveller?
Where, through the sacred rays of Chastity, This is the place, as well as I may guess,
No savage fierce, bandit, or mountaineer, Whence even now the tumult of loud mirth
Will dare to soil her virgin purity: Was rife, and perfect in my listening ear;
Yea, there, where very desolation dwells, Yet nought but single darkness do I find.
By grots and caverns shagy'd with horrid shades, What might this be? A thousand fantasies
She may pass on with unblench'd majesty, Begin to throng into my memory,
Be it not done in pride, or in presumption. Of calling shapes, and beckoning shadows dire,
Some say no evil thing that walks by night And airy tongues, that syllable men's names
In fog or fire, by lake or moorish fen, On sands, and shores, and desert wildernesses.
Blue meagre hag, or stubborn unlaid ghost, These thoughts may startle well, but not astound,
That breaks his magic chains at curfew time; The virtuous mind, that ever walks attended
No goblin or swart fairy of the mine, By a strong-siding champion, Conscience.
Hath hurtful power o'er true virginity. O welcome pure-eyed Faith, white-handed Hope,
Do ye believe me yet, or shall I call Thou hovering angel, girt with golden wings,
Antiquity from the old schools of Greece And thou, unblemish'd form of Chastity!
To testify the arms of Chastity? I see ye visibly, and now believe
Hence had the huntress Dian her dread bow, That He, the Supreme Good, to whom all things ill
Fair silver-shafted queen, for ever chaste, Are but as slavish officers of vengeance,
Wherewith she tam' the brinded lioness Would send a glistering guardian, if need were, And spotted inountain-pard, but set at nought To keep my life and honour unassail'd.
The frivolous bolt of Cupid ; gods and men Was I deceiv’d, or did a sable cloud
Fear'd her stern frown, and she was queen o'th' woods. Turn forth her silver lining on the night?
What was that snaky-headed Gorgon shield I did not err; there docs a sable cloud
That wise Minerva wore, unconquer'd virgin, Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
Wherewith she freez'd her foes to congeal'd stone, And casts a gleain over this tufted grove:
But rigid looks of chaste austerity, I cannot halloo to my brothers, but
And noble grace that dash'd brute violence Such noise as I can make to be heard farthest,
With sudden adoration and blank awe? I'll renture; for my new enliven'd spirits
So dear to heaven is saintly Chastity,
That when a soul is found sincerely so,
A thousand liveried angels lacquey her,
Driving far off each thing of sin and guilt,
And in clear dream and solemn vision
Tell her of things that no cross car can hear.
Till oft converse with hearenly habitants
Begin to cast a beam on th' outward shape,
The unpolluted temple of the mind,
And turns it by degrees to the soul's essence,
Till all be made immortal.
[The Spirits Epilogue in Comus.]
To the ocean now I fly, So may'st thou be translated to the skies,
And those happy clinies that lie And give resounding grace to all heaven's harmonies.
Where day never shuts his eye,
Un in the broad fields of the sky :
There I suck the liquid air
All amidst the gardens fair Breathe such divine enchanting ravishment ?
Of Hesperus, and his daughters three Sure something holy lodges in that breast,
That sing about the golden tree : And with these raptures moves the vocal air
Along the crisped shades and bowers To testify his hidden residence:
Revels the spruce and jocund spring ; How sweetly did they float upon the wings
The Graces, and the rosy-bosom'd hours, Of silence, through the empty vaulted night,
Thither all their bounties bring; At erery fall smoothing the raven down
There eternal summer dwells, Of darkness, till it smild! I have oft heard
And west-winds, with musky wing, My mother Circe, with the Syrens three,
About the cedar 'n alleys fling Amidst the flowery-kirtled Naiades,
Nard and Cassia's balmy smells. Culling their potent herbs and baleful drugs,
Iris there with humid bow Who, as they sung, would take the prison'd soul
Waters the odorous banks, that blow And lap it in Elysium : Scylla wept,
Flowers of more mingled hue And chid her barking waves into attention.
Than her purtled scarf can shew; And fell Charybdis murinur'd soft applause.
And drenches with Elysian dew Yet they in pleasing slumber lulld the sense,
(List, mortals, if your ears be true) Aid in sweet madness robb'd it of itself;
Beds of hyacinth and roses, But such a sacred and home-felt delight,
Where young Adonis oft reposes, Such zober certainty of waking bliss,
Waxing well of his deep wound I never heard till now.
In slumber soft, and on the ground
Sadly sits the Assyrian queen :
But now my task is smoothly done,
Mortals, that would follow me,
Zephyr with Aurora playing,
Haste thee, nymph, and bring with thee
Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures,
Hard by a cottage-chimney smokes,
Sometimes, with secure delight,
Remains of Milton's House at Forest Hill, near Oxford;
the scenery around which is described in L'Allegro.
L'Allegro. Hence loathed Melancholy, Of Cerberus and blackest midnight born, In Stygian cave forlorn, 'Mongst horrid shapes, and shrieks, and sights
unholy; Find out some uncouth cell, Where brooding Darkness spreads his jealous
In dark Cimmerian desert ever dwell.
To many a youth and many a maid,
Towered cities please us then,
And ever against eating cares,
These delights, if thou canst give,
Or fill the fixed inind with all your toys !
As the gay motes that people the sun-beams, Or likest hovering dreams,
The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train.
Black, but such as in esteem
Come, pensive nun, devout and pure,
The hairy gown and mossy cell, .
These pleasures, Melancholy, give, And I with thee will choose to live.
And of those demons that are found
But, 0 sad virgin, that thy power
Thus, Night, oft see me in thy pale career,
But let my due feet never fail To walk the studious cloisters pale; And love the high embowed roof, With antic pillars massy proof, And storied windows richly dight, Casting a dim religious light. There let the pealing organ blow To the full-voic'd quire below, In service high, and anthems clear, As may with sweetness, through mine ear, Dissolve me into ecstacies, And bring all hear'n before mine eyes.
And may at last my weary age Find out the peaceful hermitage,
Begin, then, sisters of the sacred well,
For we were nurs'd upon the self-same hill,
But, О the heavy change, now thou art gone,
deep Clos'd o'er the head of your lov'd Lycidas ? For neither were ye playing on the steep, Where your old bards, the famous Druids, lie, Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high, Nor yet where Deva spreads her wizard stream: | Ah me! I fondly dream! Had ye been there-for what could that have done? What could the muse herself that Orpheus bore, The muse herself, for her enchanting son, Whom universal nature did lament, When, by the rout that inade the hideous roar, His gory visage down the stream was sent, | Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore?
Alas! what boots it with incessant care To tend the homely, slighted, shepherd's trade, And strictly meditate the thankless Muse! Were it not better done, as others use, To sport with Amaryllis in the shade, Or with the tangles of Neæra's hair! Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise (That last infirmity of noble mind) To scorn delights, and live laborious days; But the fair guerdon, when we hope to find, And think to burst out into sudden blaze, Comes the blind fury with the abhorred shears, And slits the thin-spun life. “But not the praise,' Phæbus replied, and touch'd my trembling ears; ‘Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil, Nor in the glistering foil Set off to the world, nor in broad rumour lies; But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes, And perfect witness of all-judging Jove; As he pronounces lastly on each deed, Of so much fame in heaven expect thy meed.'
Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduced
[Satan's Address to the Sun.]
(From Paradise Lost.'] O thou, that, with surpassing glory crown'd, Look'st from thy sole dominion like the God Of this new world ; at whose sight all the stars Hide their diminish'd heads; to thee I call, But with no friendly voice; and add thy name, O Sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams, That bring to my remembrance from what state I fell, how glorious once-above thy sphere; Till pride and worse ambition threw me down, Warring in heaven against heaven's matchless king. Ah, wherefore! He deserv'd no such return From me, wbom he created what I was In that brige finence, and with his good Upbraided nule, nor was his service hard. What could be less than to afford him praise, The easiest recompense, and pay him thanks How due !-yet all his good prov'd ill in me, And wrought but malice ; lifted up so high, I’sdained subjection, and thought one step higher Would set me highest, and in a inoment quit The debt immense of endless gratitude, So burdensome still paying, still to owe : Forgetful what from him I still received; And understood not that a grateful mind By owing owes not, but still pays, at once Indebted and discharged: what burden then ? 0, had his powerful destiny ordain'd Me some inferior angel, I had stood Then happy; no unbounded hope had raised Ambition! Yet why not some other power As great might have aspir’d, and me, though mean, Drawn to his part ; but other powers as great Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within Or from without, to all temptations arı'd. Hadst thou the same free will and power to stand ? Thou hadst : whom hast thou, then, or what to accuse, But heaven's free love dealt equally to all ? Be then his love accurst ; since love or hate, To me alike, it deals eternal wo : Nay, curs'd be thou ; since against his thy will Chose freely what it now so justly rues, Me miserable !-which way shall I fly Infinite wrath and infinite despair? Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell; And in the lowest deep a lower deep Still threatening to derour me opens wide; To which the hell I suffer seems a heaven. 0, then at last relent; is there no place Left for repentance, none for pardon left! None left but by submission; and that word Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
[Assembling of the Fallen Angels.]
(From the same.] All these and more came flocking; but with looks Down cast and damp, yet such wherein appear'd Obscure some glimpse of joy, t' have found their chief Not in despair, t' have found themselves not lost In loss itself; which on his countenance cast Like doubtful hue: but he, his wonted pride Soon recollecting, with high words that bore Semblance of worth, not substance, gently raised Their fainting courage, and dispelld their fenrs. Then straight commands that, at the warlike sound Of trumpets loud and clarions, be uprear'd Ilis mighty standard ; that proud honour claim'd Azazel as his right, a cherub tall; Who forthwith from the glitt'ring staff unfurl'd Th’imperial ensign, which, full high advanc'd, Shone like a meteor streaming to the wind, With gems and golden lustre rich emblaz'd Seraphic arms and trophies, all the while Sonorous metal blowing martial sounds : At which the universal host up sent A shout, that tore Hell's concave, and beyond Frighted the reign of Chaos and old Night. All in a moment through the gloom were seen Ten thousand banners rise into the air With orient colours waving : with them rose A forest huge of spears; and thronging helms Appear'd, and serried shields in thick array, of depth immeasurable: anon they move In perfect phalanx to the Dorian mood Or flutes and soft recorders ; such as rais'd To height of noblest temper heroes old Arming to battle; and, instead of rage, Deliberate valour breath'd, firm and unmov'd, With dread of death, to flight or foul retreat; Nor wanting power to mitigate and 'suage, With solemn touches, troubled thoughts, and chase Anguish, and doubt, and fear, and sorrow, and pain, From mortal or immortal minds. Thus they, Breathing united force, with fixed thought Mov'd on in silence to soft pipes, that charm'd Their painful steps o'er the burnt soil; and now