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Empty cause of solid harms !
But I shall find out counter-charms
Thy airy devilship to remove
From this circle here of love.
Sure I shall rid myself of thee
By the night's obscurity,
And obscurer secrecy :
Unlike to ev'ry other sprite,
Thou attempt'st not men ť affright,
Nor appear'st but in the light.
Hail, old patrician trees, so great and good!
Hail, ye plebeian underwood !
Where the poetic birds rejoice,
And for their quiet nests and plenteous food
Pay with their grateful voice.
Hail, the poor Muse's richest manor-seat !
Ye country houses and retreat,
Which all the happy gods so love,
That for you oft they quit their bright and great
Here Nature does a house for me erect,
Nature ! the wisest architect,
Who those fond artists does despise
That can the fair and living trees neglect,
Yet the dead timber prize.
Here let me, careless and unthoughtful lying,
Hear the soft winds above me flying,
With all their wanton boughs dispute,
And the more tuneful birds to both replying,
Nor be myself, too, mute.
A silver stream shall roll his waters neår,
Gilt with the sunbeams here and there,
On whose enamell’d bank I'll walk,
And see how prettily they smile,
And hear how prettily they talk.
Ah! wretched, and too solitary he,
Who loves not his own company!
He'll feel the weight of ’t many a day,
Unless he call in sin or vanity
To help to bear 't away.
So many specimens of this illustrious poet are given in the
former volume, and his shorter pieces have been so much diffused, that the following extracts from poems not so generally read, are rather offered as an apology for the absence of specimens from this great classic, than as a selection from his works.
Now the bright Morning-star, Day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose.
Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire ;
Woods and groves are of thy dressing,
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long.
The star, that bids the shepherd fold,
Now the top of heaven doth hold ;
And the gilded car of day
His glowing axle doth allay
In the steep Atlantic stream ;
And the slope Sun his upward beam
Shoots against the dusky pole,
Pacing towards the other goal
Of his chamber in the east.
Meanwhile, welcome Joy, and Feast,
Midnight Shout, and Revelry,
Tipsy Dance, and Jollity!
Braid your locks with rosy twine,
Dropping odours, dropping wine.
Rigour now is gone to bed,
And Advice with scrupulous head.
Strict Age and sour Severity,
With their grave saws, in slumber lie.
We, that are of purer fire,
Imitate the starry quire,
Who, in their nightly watchful spheres,
Lead in swift round the months and years.
The sounds and seas, with all their finny drove,
Now to the Moon in wavering morrice move ;
And, on the tawny sands and shelves,
Trip the pert faeries and the dapper elves,
By dimpled brook and fountain brim,
The wood-nymphs, deck’d with daisies trim,
Their merry wakes and pastimes keep ;
What hath night to do with sleep ?
Night hath better sweets to prove,
Venus now wakes, and wakens love.
Come, let us our rites begin ;
'Tis only day-light that makes sin,
Which these dun shades will ne'er report. -
Hail, goddess of nocturnal sport,
Dark-veil'd Cotytto! to whom the secret flame
Of midnight torches burns ; mysterious dame,
That ne'er art call’d, but when the dragon womb
Of Stygian darkness spits her thickest gloom,
And makes one blot of all the air ;
Stay the cloudy ebon chair,
Wherein thou rid'st with Hecate, and befriend
Us thy vow'd priests, till utmost end
Of all thy dues be done, and none left out;
Ere the babbling eastern scout,
The nice Morn, on the Indian steep,
From her cabin'd loop-hole peep,
And to the tell-tale Sun descry
Our conceal'd solemnity.-
Come, knit hands, and beat the ground
In a light fantastic round.
Break off, break off, I feel the different pace
Of some chaste footing near about this ground,
Run to your shrouds, within these brakes and
Our number may affright: some virgin sure
(For so I can distinguish by mine art)
Benighted in these woods. Now to my charms,
And to my wily trains : I shall ere long
Be well-stock'd with as fair a herd as graz’d
About my mother Circe, Thus I hurl
My dazzling spells into the spungy air,
Of power to cheat the eye with blear illusion,
And give it false presentments, lest the place
And my quaint habits breed astonishment,
And put the damsel to suspicious flight;
Which must not be, for that's against my course :
I, under fair pretence of friendly ends,
And well-plac'd words of glozing courtesy,
Baited with reasons not unplausible,
Wind me into the easy-hearted man,
And hug him into snares. When once her eye
Hath met the virtue of this magic dust,
I shall appear some harmless villager,
Whom thrift keeps up about his country gear.
But here she comes ; I fairly step aside,
And hearken, if I
her business here.