« PreviousContinue »
Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures While the landscape round it measures, Russet lawns, and fallows grey, Where the nibbling Rocks do stray; Mountains on whose barren breast The lab’ring clouds do often rest; Meadows trim with daisies pied, Shallow brooks, and rivers wide. Towers and battlements it sees Bosom’d high in tufted trees, Where perhaps some beauty lies, The Cynosure of neighbouring eyes. Hard by, a cottage chimney smokes, From betwixt two aged oaks, Where Corydon and Thyrsis met, Are at their savory dinner set Of herbs, and other country messes, Which the neat land of Phyllis dresses; And then in haste her bow'r she leares, With Thestylis to bind the sheaves; Or if the earlier season lead To the tanu'd haycock in the mead. Sometimes with secure delight The upland hamlets will invite, When the merry bells ring round, And the jocund rebecs sound To many a youth and many a maid, Dancing in the chequer'd shade:
And young and old come forth to play
Ou a sunshine holiday,
Till the live-long 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 lanthorn led;
Tells how the drudging goblin sweat,
To earn his cream-bowl duly set,
When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,
His shadowy fail has thrash'd the corn
That ten day-)..b’rers could not end;
Then lays 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 matiu rings.
Thus done the tales, to bed they creep,
By whisp'ring winds soon lull'd asleep.
Towered 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,
Witb mask, and antique pageantry;
Such sights as youthful poets dream
On summer eves by haunted strean.
Then to the well-trod stage anon,
If Jonson's learned sock be on,
Or sweetest Shakespeare, Fancy's child,
Warble his native wood-uotes 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 linked 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 heap'd 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.
Hence, vain deluding joys,
The brood of folly, without father bred,
How little you bested,
Or fill the fixed 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 likeliest 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 bue;
Black, but such as in esteem
Prince Memnon's sister might beseem:
Or that starr'd Ethiop queen that strove
To set her beauties 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;
His daughter she (in Saturn's reign
Such mixture was not lield a stain).
Oft in glimmering bow’rs and glades
He met her, and in secret shades
Of woody Ida's in most
While yet there was rio fear of Jove.
Come, pensive nun, devote and pure,
Sober, steadfast, and demure,
All in a robe of darkest grain,
Flowing with majestic train,
And sable stole of Cyprus lawn,
Over thy decent shoulders drawn.
Come, but keep thy wonted state,
With even step and musing gait,
And looks commercing with the skies,
Thy rapt soul sitting in thine eyes:
There led in holy passion still,
Forget thyself to marble, till
With a sad leaden downward cast
Thou fix them on the earth as fast:
And join with thee calm Peace and Quiet,
Spare Fast, that oft with gods doth diet,
And hear the Muses in a ring
Aye round about Jove's altar sing:
And add to these retired Leisure,
'That in trim gardens takes his pleasure ;
But first, and chiefest, with thee bring
Him that yon' soars on golden wing,