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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 dames 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 furrow'à land,
And the milkmaid singeth blithe,
And the mower whets his sithe,
And every shepherd tells his tale
Under the hawthorn in the dale.

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Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures,
Whilst the landscape round it measures;

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Russet lawns, and fallows gray,
Where the nibbling flocks do stray;
Mountains, on whose barren breast
The labouring clouds do often rest;
Meadows trim with daisies pide,

75 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.

80 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,

85 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, 1o the tann'd haycock in the mead.

Sometimes with secure delight
The upland hamlets will invite,
When the merry bells ring round,
And the jocund rebecks sound
To many a youth, and many a maid,

05 Dancing in the chequer'd shade; And young

and old come forth to play
On a sunshine holy-day,
Till the livelong daylight fail:
Then to the spicy nut-brown ale,

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With stories told of many a feat,
How fairy Mab the junkets eat:
She was pinch’d, and pull’d, she sed,
And he, by friar's lantern led,
Tells how the drudging Goblin swet, 105
To earn his cream-bowl duly set,
When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,
His shadowy flail hath thresh'd the corn,
That ten day-labourers could not end;
Then lies him down the lubber fiend, 110
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 matin rings.

Thus done the tales, to bed they creep, 115
By whispering winds soon lull'd asleep.
Tower'd 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

125 In saffron robe, with taper clear, And

pomp, and feast, and revelry, With mask, and antique pageantry, Such sights as youthful poets dream On summer eves by haunted stream. 130 Then to the well-trod stage anon, If Jonson's learned sock be on,

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Or sweetest Shakspeare, Fancy's child,
Warble his native wood-notes wild.
And ever, against eating cares,

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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, 140
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 145
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.

150 These delights if thou canst give, Mirth, with thee I mean to live.

MILTON.

IL PENSEROSO.
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

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As the gay motes that people the sunbeams;

Or likest hovering dreams, The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train. 10 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 starr'd Ethiop queen that strove To set her beauty's praise above

20 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, 25 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. 80

Come, pensive Nun, devout and pure,
Sober, steadfast, and demure,
All in a robe of darkest grain,
Flowing with majestic train,
And sable stole of cyprus lawn,

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Over thy decent shoulders drawn.
Come, but keep thy wonted state,
With even step, and musing gait;

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