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L'ALLEGRO.

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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 wings, And the night raven sings;

There, under ebon shades, and low-browed rocks,
As ragged as thy locks,

In dark Cimmerian desert ever dwell!
But come, thou Goddess fair and free!
In Heaven ycleped Euphrosynè,
And by men, heart-easing Mirth;
Whom lovely Venus, at a birth,
With two sister Graces more,
To ivy-crowned Bacchus bore;
Or whether (as some sager sing)
The frolic wind that breathes the spring,
Zephyr, with Aurora playing,
As he met her once a-Maying,
There on beds of violets blue,
And fresh-blown roses washed in dew,
Filled her with thee a daughter fair,
So buxom, blithe, and debonair.

Haste thee, Nymph! and bring with thee
Jest, and youthful Jollity,
Quips, and Cranks, and wanton Wiles,
Nods, and Becks, and wreathed Smiles,
Such as hang on Hebè's cheek,
And love to live in dimple sleek;
Sport that wrinkled Care derides,
And Laughter holding both his sides.

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Come! and trip it, as you go,
On the light fantastic toe ;
And, in thy right hand, lead with thee
The mountain nymph, sweet Liberty;
And, if I give thee honour due,
Mirth! admit me of thy crew,
To live with her, and live with thee,
In unreproved pleasures free;
To hear the lark begin his flight,
And, singing, startle the dull Night,
From his watch-tower in the skies,
Till the dappled Dawn doth rise ;
Then to come, in spite of Sorrow,
And at my window bid good-morrow,
Through the sweet-briar, or the vine,
Or the twisted eglantine:
While the cock, with lively din,
Scatters the rear of Darkness thin;
And to the stack, or the barn-door,
Stoutly struts his dame; before:
Oft listening how the hounds and horn,
Cheerly rouse the slumbering Morn,
From the side of some hoar hill
Through the high wood echoing shrill :
Some time walking, not unseen,
By hedge-row elms, on hillocks green,
Right against the eastern gate,
Where the great sun begins his state,
Robed in flames, and amber light,
The clouds in thousand liveries dight;
While the ploughman, near at hand,
Whistles o'er the furrowed land;
And the milkmaid singeth blithe ;
And the mower whets his scythe;
And every shepherd tells his tale
Under the hawthorn in the dale.

Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures,
Whilst the landskip round it measures;
Russet lawns, and fallows gray,
Where the nibbling flocks do stray;

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Mountains, on whose barren breast
The labouring clouds do often rest;
Meadows trim with daisies pied,
Shallow brooks and rivers wide :
Towers and battlements it sees
Bosomed 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 savoury dinner set,
Of herbs, and other country messes,
Which the neat-handed Phyllis dresses;
And then in haste her bower she leaves,
With Thestylis to bind the sheaves ;
Or, if the earlier season lead
To the tanned 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 chequered shade;
And young and old come forth to play
On a sunshine boly-day,
Till the live-long day-light fail :
Then to the spicy nut-brown ale,
With stories told of many a feat,
How fairy Mab the junkets eat :
She was pinched and pulled, 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 liath threshed the corn
That ten day-labourers could not end;
Then lies him down the lubber fiend,
And stretched out all the chimney's length,
Basks at the fire his hairy strength,

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And crop-full out of doors he flings,
Ere the first cock his matin rings.
Thus done the tales, to bed they creer,
By whispering winds soon lulled 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,
With Mask, and antique Pageantry ;-
Such sights 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 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 heaped Elysian flowers, and hear
Such strains as would have won the ear
Of Pluto, to have quite set free
His half regained Eurydice.-
'These delights, if thou canst give,
Mirth! with thee I mean to live.

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HENCE vain deluding Joys!

The brood of Folly without father bred; How little you bestead,

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 sun-beams;
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 starred 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-haired Vesta, long of yore,
To solitary Saturn bore;
His daughter she (in Saturn's reign
Such mixture was not held a stain):
Oft in glimmering bowers and glades
He met her, and in secret shades
Of woody Ida's inmost grove,
While yet there was no fear of Jove.

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