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Battening our flocks with the fresh dews of night,

Oft till the star that rose at evening bright,


Towards Heaven's descent had sloped his westering wheel.

Meanwhile the rural ditties were not mute,
Tempered to the oaten flute;

Rough Satyrs danced, and Fauns with cloven heel
From the glad sound would not be absent long,
And old Damotas loved to hear our song.

But oh, the heavy change, now thou art gone!
Now thou art gone, and never must return!
Thee, Shepherd! thee the woods, and desert caves
With wild thyme and the gadding vine o'ergrown,
And all their echoes, mourn.

The willows, and the hazel copses green,

Shall now no more be seen,

Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays.

As killing as the canker to the rose,

Or taint-worm to the weanling herds that graze,

Or frost to flowers, that their gay wardrobe wear,

When first the white thorn blows;

Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherds' ear.


Where were ye, Nymphs! when the remorseless deep 50 Closed o'er the head of your loved 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:

Ay 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 made 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,


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