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llis shadowy flail hath thrash'd the corn,
That ten day-laborers could not end;
Then lies him down, the lubber fiend,
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, By whispering winds soon lulld 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, 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 Johnson'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-regained Eurydice.

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

IL PENSEROSO.

COME, pensive Nun, devout and pure, Sober, stedfast, and demure, All in a robe of darkest grain, Flowing, with majestic train, And sable stole of Cyprus lawn, Over thy decent shoulders drawn. Come, but keep thy wonted state, With even step, and musing gait, And looks commercing with the skies, Thy wrapt soul sitting in thine eyes; There, held in holy passion still, Forget thyself to marble, till With a sad leaden downward cast Thou fix them on the earth as fast: And join with thee calm Peace, and Quiet, Spare Fast, that oft with gods doth diet, And hears the Muses in a ring, Aye round about Jove's altar sing: And add to these retired Leisure, That in trim gardens takes his pleasure : But first, and chiefest, with thee bring, Him that yon soars on golden wing, Guiding the fiery wheeled throne, The cherub Contemplation: And the mute silence hist along, 'Less Philomel will deign a song, In her sweetest, saddest plight, Smoothing the rugged brow of night, While Cynthia checks her dragon yoke, Gently o’er the accustomed oak: Sweet bird, that shunnest the noise of folly, Most musical, most melancholy! Thee, chantress, oft, the woods among, I woo, to hear thy even-song ; And, missing thee, I walk unseen On the dry smooth-shaven green, To behold the wandering moon, Riding near her highest noon, Like one that had been led astray Through the heaven's wide pathless way ; And oft, as if her head she bowed, Stooping through a fleecy cloud. Oft, on a plat of rising ground, I hear the far-off curfew sound, Over some wide-watered shore, Swinging slow with sullen roar : Or, if the air will not permit,

Some still removed place will fit,
Where glowing embers through the room,
Teach light to counterfeit a gloom;
Far from all resort of mirth,
Save the cricket on the hearth,
Or the belman's drowsy charm,
To bless the doors from nightly harm.
Or let my lamp at midnight hour,
Be seen in some high lonely tower,
Where I

may

oft outwatch the Bear,
With thrice great Hermes, or unsphere
The spirit of Plato, to unfold,
What worlds or what vast regions hold
The immortal mind that hath forsook
Her mansion in this fleshy nook:
And of those demons that are found
In fire, air, flood, or under ground,
Whose power hath a true consent
With planet, or with element.
Sometime let gorgeous Tragedy
In sceptered pall come sweeping by,
Presenting Thebes, or Pelops's line,
Or the tale of Troy divine;
Or what (though rare) of later age
Ennobled hath the buskined stage.

But, O sad Virgin, that thy power Might raise Musæus from his bower! Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing Such notes, as, warbled to the string, 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,

* Chaucer.

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 heaved 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 honied 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 aery 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 digbt,
Casting a dim religious light:

There let the pealing organ blow,
To the full-voiced choir below,
In service high, and anthems clear,
As may with sweetness, through mine ears
Dissolve me into ecstacies,
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.

SONNET.

ON HIS BEING ARRIVED AT THE AGE OF

TWENTY-THREE.

How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of

youth, Stolen on his wing my three and twentieth year! My hasting days fly on with full career,

But my late spring no bud er blossom shew'th.
Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth,

That I to manhood am arrived so near;
And inward ripeness doth much less appear,

That some more timely-happy spirits indu'th.
Yet be it less or more, or soon or slow,

It shall be still in strictest measure even

To that same lot, however mean or high,
Toward which time leads me, and the will of Heaven;

All is, if I have grace to use it so,.
As ever in my great Taskmaster's eye.

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WHEN I consider how my life is spent

Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent, which is death to hide,

Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present

My true account, lest he returning, chide;
Doth God exact day-labour, light denied ?
I fondly ask : But patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, God doth rot need

Either man's work, or his own gifts ; who best

Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best; his state Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed,

And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.

SONNET.

TO HIS FRIEND CYRIAC SKINNER.

CYRIAC, this three-years-day these eyes, though clear,

To outward view, of blemish or of spot,
Bereft of light, their seeing have forgot ;

Nor to their idle orbs doth sight appear
Of sun, or moon, or star, throughout the year,

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