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360 1L PKNSEROSO.

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 heaped Elysian flowers, and hear
Such strains as would have won the ear
Of Pluto to have set quite free
His half-regained Eurydice.

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

IL PENSEROSO.— Milton.

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

As the gay motes that people the sunbeams, Or likest hovering dreams,

The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train.
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 starred Ethiop queen that strove
To set her beauty's praise above
The Sea-Nymphs, and their powers offended:
Yet thou art higher far descended;
Thee bright-haired Vesta, long of yore,
To solitary Saturn bore;
His daughter she (in Saturn's reign
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.
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
Over thy decent shoulders drawn.
Come, but keep thy wonted state,
With even step, and musing gait,
And looks commercing with the skies,
Thy rapt soul sitting in thine eyes:

2Q2 IL PENSEROSO*

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 shunn'st the noise of folly,

Most musical, most melancholy!

Thee, chauntress, 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 bellman'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 fleshly 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 sceptred pall come sweeping by,
Presenting Thebes, or Pelops' 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 Musseus 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,

364 IL PENSEROSO.

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 kerchiefed 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 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 aery stream

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