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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 tann'd 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 chequer'd shade;
And young and old come forth to play
On a sunshine holy-day,
Till the live-long day-light fail;
Then to the spicy nut-brown ale,
With stories told of many a feat,
How faery Mab the junkets eat;
She was pinch'd, and pull’d, sh said,
And he by friar's lantern led;
Tells how the drudging goblin swet,
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,
And, stretch'd out all the chimney's length
Basks at the fire bis hairy strength,
And crop-full out of door he flings,
Ere the first cock his matin rings.
Thus done the tales, to bed they creep,
By whisp'ring winds soon lull’d asleep.

Tower'd cities please is 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

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

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145

150

IL PENSEROSO.

Hence, vain deluding Joys,

The brood of Folly without father bred! How little you bested,

Or fill the fixed mind with all your toys!

1. The idea of this poem is said to have been taken from a song in a comedy by Fletcher, called 'The Nice Valor; or, Passionate Madman. There is, indeed, a slight general resemblance in the two piecee; but, even supposing an imitation so far as it goes, it is not enough to affect the originality of Il Penseroso.

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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.
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, 135
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 gunning,
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 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.
These delights if thou canst give,
Mirth, with thee I mean to live.

130

145 |

150

IL PENSEROSO.

Hence, vain deluding Joys,
The brood of Folly without father bred!

How little you bested,
Or fill the fixed mind with all your toys!

1. The idea of this poem is said to have been taken from **** in a comedy # Fletcher, called “The Nice Valor; or Passionate Madman.” “There is, indeed, a slight general resemblance in the two pieces; but, even supposing an imitation so far as it goes, it is not enough to affect the originality of Il Penseroso.

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