« AnteriorContinuar »
Drew iron tears down Pluto's cheek,
And made Hell grant what love did seek ;
Or call up him that left half-told
The story of Cambuscan bold,
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 aught else great bards beside
In sage and solemn tunes have sung,
Of turneys, 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 kerchieft 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 archèd walks of twilight groves,
And shadows brown, that Sylvan loves,
Of pine, or monumental oak,
Where the rude axe with heavéd 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 cloister's 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.
ARCADES. Part of an Entertainment 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 :
. I. 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 expressed ;
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 towered 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 toward them, speaks.
Gen. Stay, gentle Swains, for, though in this disguise, I see bright honour sparkle through your eyes ; Of famous Arcady ye are, and sprung Of that renowned flood, so often sung, Divine Alpheus, 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 grey 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 tasselled 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.
And yet 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 show
I will assay, her worth to celebrate,
80 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 enamelled 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,