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Of Camball, and of Algarsife,
And who had Canace to wife,
That owned the virtuous ring and glass;
And of the wondrous horse of brass,
On which the Tartar king did ride;
And if ought else great bards beside,
In sage and solemn tunes, have sung,
Of tourneys, and of trophies hung;
Of forests, and enchantments drear,
Where more is meant than meets the ear.
Thus, Night! oft see me in thy pale career,
Till civil-suited Morn appear,
Not tricked and frounced, as she was wont
With the Attic boy to hunt,
But kercheft in a comely cloud,
While rocking winds are piping loud,
Or ushered with a shower still,
When the gust hath blown his fill,
Ending on the rustling leaves,
With minute-drops from off the eaves.
And, when the Sun begins to fling
His flaring beams, me, Goddess ! bring
To arched walks of twilight groves,
And shadows brown, that Sylvan loves,
Of pine, or monumental oak,
Where the rude axe, with heavèd stroke,
Was never heard the Nymphs to daunt,
Or fright them from their hallowed haunt.
There, in close covert by some brook,
Where no profaner eye may look,
Hide me from Day's garish eye,
While the bee with honeyed thigh,
That at her flowery work doth sing,
And the waters murmuring,
With such consort as they keep,
Entice the dewy-feathered Sleep:
And let some strange mysterious Dream
Wave at his wings in airy stream
Of lively portraiture displayed,
Softly on my eyelids laid.
And, as I wake, sweet music breathe
Above, about, or underneath,
Sent by some Spirit to mortals good,
Or the unseen Genius of the wood.
But let my due feet never fail
To walk the studious cloisters pale,
And love the high embowed roof,
With antique pillars massy proof,
And storied windows richly dight,
Casting a dim religious light.
There let the pealing organ blow,
To the full-voiced quire below,
In service high, and anthems clear,
As may with sweetness, through mine ear,
Dissolve me into ecstasies,
And bring all Heaven before mine eyes.
And may, at last, my weary age
Find out the peaceful hermitage,
The hairy gown and mossy cell,
Where I may sit, and rightly spell
Of every star that Heaven doth shew,
And every herb that sips the dew;
Till old experience do attain
To something like prophetic strain.-
These pleasures, Melancholy! give,
And I with thee will choose to live.
Presented to the Countess Dowager of Derby, at Harefield, by some noble
persons of her family, who appear on the scene in pastoral habit, moving toward the seat of state, with this song.
Look Nymphs, and Shepherds look !
What sudden blaze of majesty
Is that which we from hence descry,
Too divine to be mistook !
This, this is she
To whom our vows and wishes bend;
Here our solemn search hath end.
Fame, that her high worth to raise,
Seemed erst so lavish and profuse,
We may justly now accuse
Of detraction from her praise;
Less than half we find exprest,
Envy bid conceal the rest.
Mark, what radiant state she spreads,
In circle round her shining throne,
Shooting her beams like silver threads;
This, this is she alone,
Sitting like a Goddess bright,
In the centre of her light.
Might she the wise Latona be,
Or the towerèd Cybele,
Mother of a hundred gods;
Juno dares not give her odds;
Who had thought this clime had held
A deity so unparalleled ?
As they come forward the Genius of the wood appears, and turning
towards them, speaks.
Gen. Stay, gentle Swains ! for tho' in this disguise,
I see bright honour sparkle through your eyes ;
Of famous Arcady.ye are, and sprung
Of that renowned food, so often sung,
Divine Alphéus, who by secret sluice
Stole under seas to meet his Arethuse;
And ye, the breathing roses of the wood,
Fair, silver-buskined Nymphs, as great and good ;
I know, this quest of yours, and free intent,
Was all in honour and devotion meant
To the great mistress of yon princely shrine,
Whom with low reverence I adore as mine;
And, with all helpful service, will comply
To further this night's glad solemnity;
And lead ye, where ye may more near behold
What shallow-searching Fame hath left untold ;
Which I full oft, amidst these shades alone,
Have sat to wonder at, and gaze upon :
For know, by lot from Jove I am the power
Of this fair wood, and live in oaken bower,
To nurse the saplings tall, and curl the grove
With ringlets quaint, and wanton windings wove:
And all my plants I save from nightly ill
Of noisome winds, and blasting vapours chill :
And from the boughs brush off the evil dew,
50 And heal the harms of thwarting thunder blue, Or what the cross dire-looking planet smites, Or hurtful worm with cankered venom bites. When Evening gray doth rise, I fetch my round Over the mount, and all this hallowed ground, And early, ere the odorous breath of Morn Awakes the slumbering leaves, or tasseled horn Shakes the high thicket, haste I all about, Number my ranks, and visit every sprout With puissant words, and murmurs made to bless : 60 But else, in deep of night, when drowsiness Hath locked up mortal sense, then listen I To the celestial Sirens' harmony,
That sit upon the nine infolded spheres,
And sing to those that hold the vital shears,
And turn the adamantine spindle round,
On which the fate of gods and men is wound.
Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie,
To lull the daughters of Necessity,
And keep unsteady Nature to her law,
And the low world in measured motion draw
After the heavenly tune, which none can hear
Of human mould with gross unpurgèd ear;
such music worthiest were to blaze
The peerless height of her immortal praise,
Whose lustre leads us, and for her most fit,
If my inferior hand or voice could hit
Inimitable sounds, yet as we go,
Whate'er the skill of lesser gods can shew,
her worth to celebrate,
And so attend ye toward her glittering state ;
Where ye may all that are of noble stem
Approach, and kiss her sacred vesture's hem.
O'ER the smooth enameled green,
Where no print of step hath been,
Follow me as I sing,
And touch the warbled string,
Under the shady roof
Of branching elm star-proof.
I will bring you where she sits,
Clad in splendour as befits
Such a rural queen
All Arcadia hath not seen.
NYMPHS and Shepherds ! dance no more
By sandy Ladon's lilied banks;
On old Lycæus or Cyllenè hoar
Trip no more in twilight ranks;