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The lonely mountains o'er,
So when the sun in bed,
Curtained with cloudy red,
The flocking shadows pale
Troop to the infernal jail, The parting Genius is with sighing sent;
Each fettered ghost slips to his several grave; With flower inwoven tresses torn
And the yellow skirted fayes, The nymphs in twilight shade of tangled thickets Fly after the night-steeds, leaving their moon-love
In consecrated earth,
But see, the Virgin blest And on the holy hearth,
Hath laid her Babe to rest; The Lares, and Lemures, mourn with midnight Time is our tedious song should here have ending; plaint;
Heaven's youngest teemed star In urns, and altars round,
Hath fixed her polished car, A drear and dying sound
Her sleeping Lord with handmaid lamp attendAffrights the Flamens at their service quaint; ing; And the chill marble seems to sweat,
And all about the courtly stable While each peculiar Power foregoes his wonted Bright harnessed angels sit in order serviceable.
Peor and Baalim
THE PASSION. Forsake their temples dim,
Erewhile of music, and ethereal mirth, With that twice battered God of Palestine;*
Wherewith the stage of air and earth did ring, And mooned Ashtaroth,
And joyous news of heavenly Infant's birth, Heaven's queen and mother both,
My muse with angels did divide to sing ; Now sits not girt with tapers' holy shine;
But headlong joy is ever on the wing; The Libyc Hammon shrinks his horn, In vain the Tyrian maids their wounded Thum- Soon swallowed up in dark and longoutliving night.
In wintry solstice like the shortened light,
For now to sorrow must I tune my song, And sullen Moloch, fled,
And set my harp to notes of saddest wo, Hath left in shadows dread
Which on our dearest Lord did seize ere long, His burning idol all of blackest hue; In vain with cymbals' ring
Dangers, and snares, and wrongs, and worse than
so, They call the grisly king,
Which he for us did freely undergo: In dismal dance about the furnace blue:
Most perfect Hero, tried in heaviest plight The brutish gods of Nile as fast,
Of labours huge and hard, too hard for human wight! Isis, and Orus, and the dog Anubis haste.
He, sovereign Priest, stooping his regal head, Nor is Osiris seen
That dropt with odorous vil down his fair eyes, In Memphian grove or green,
Poor fleshy tabernacle entered, Trampling the unshowered grass with lowings His starry front low rooft beneath the skies : loud:
O what a mask was there, what a disguise : Nor can he be at rest
Yet more; the stroke of death he must abide, Within his sacred chest;
Then lies him meekly down fast by his brethren's Naught but profoundest hell can be his shroud;
side. In vain with timbrelled anthems dark The sable-stoled sorcerers bear his worshipped ark. These latest scenes confine my roving verse;
To this horizon is my Phæbus bound: He feels from Judah's land
His godlike acts, and his temptations fierce, The dreaded Infant's hand,
And former sufferings other where are found; The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn;
Loud o'er the rest Cremona's trump doth sound;* Nor all the gods beside
Me softer airs befit, and softer strings Longer dare abide,
Of lute, or viol still, more apt for mournful things. Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine: Our babe, to show his Godhead true,
Befriend me, Night, best patroness of grief; Canin hisswaddling bands control the damned crew. Over the pole thy thickest mantle throw, ." That twice-battered God of Palestine;"-Dagon, first
• "Cremona's trump doth sound;"-alluding to the Dattered by Samson, then by the ark of God.
Christiad of Vida, a native of Cremona.
And work my flattered fancy to belief,
| When once our heavenly guided souls shall climb; That Heaven and Earth are coloured with my wo: Then, all this earthly grossness quit, My sorrows are too dark for day to know: Attired with stars, we shall for ever sit,
The leaves should all be black whereon I write, Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee, And letters, where my tears have washed, a wan- O Time.
See, see the chariot, and those rushing wheels,
UPON THE CIRCUMCISION.
Ye flaming powers, and winged warriors bright, Once glorious towers, now sunk in guiltless blood; First heard by happy watchful shepherds' ear,
That erst with music, and triumphant song, There doth my soul in holy vision sit, In pensive trance, and anguish, and ecstatic fit.
So sweetly sung your joy the clouds along
Through the soft silence of the listening night; Mine eye hath found that sad sepulchral rock Now mourn; and, if sad share with us to bear That was the casket of Heaven's richest store,
Your fiery essence can distil no tear,
He, who with all Heaven's heraldry whilere For sure so well instructed are my tears,
Entered the world, now bleeds to give us ease That they would fitly fall in ordered characters. Alas, how soon our sin
Sore doth begin Or should I thence, hurried on viewless wing,
His infancy to seize !
O more exceeding love, or law more just!
Were lost in death, till he that dwelt above
And that great covenant which we still transgress had, when he wrote it, and nothing satisfied with what was Entirely satisfied; begun, left it unfinished.
And the full wrath beside
And seals obedience first, with wounding smart,
This day; but O, ere long,
Huge pangs and strong
AT A SOLEMN MUSIC.
Blest pair of Syrens, pledges of heavenly joy, So little is our loss,
Sphere-born harmonious sisters, Voice and Verse, So little is thy gain!
Wed your divine sounds, and mixed power employ For when as each thing bad thou hast entombed, Dead things with inbreathed sense able to pierce; And last of all thy greedy self consumed, And to our high-raised fantasy present Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss
That undisturbed song of pure consent, With an individual kiss;
Aye sung before the sapphire coloured throne And joy shall overtake us as a flood,
To him that sits thereon,
Where the bright seraphim, in burning row, With truth, and peace, and love, shall ever shine Their loud uplifted angel-trumpets blow; About the supreme throne
And the cherubic host, in thousand choirs Of him, to whose happy making sight alone Touch their immortal harps of golden wires,
With those just spirits that wear victorious palma, * In these poems where no date is prefixed, and no circum- Hymns devout and holy psalms, stances direct us to ascertain the time when they were com. psed, we follow the order of Milton's own editions. And Singing everlastingly: before this copy of verses, it appears from the manuscrips
, That we on earth, with undiscording voice, that the poet had written, To be sel on a clock-case. May rightly answer that melodious noise;
As once we did, till disproportioned sin
And those pearls of dew she wears,
Gentle lady, may thy grave
ON THE MARCHIONESS OF WINCHESTER.
This rich marble doth inter
Her high birth, and graces sweet,
So have I seen some tender slip,
SONG ON MAY MORNING.
Hail, bounteous May, that doth inspire
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
ON SHAKSPEARE. 1630. What needs my Shakspeare for his honoured
Under a star-ypointing pyramid ?
For whilst, to the shame of slow-endeavouring art, Ease was his chief disease; and, to judge right,
Obedient to the moon he spent his date
In course reciprocal, and had his fate ON THE UNIVERSITY CARRIER,
Linked to the mutual flowing of the seas,
Yet (strange to think) his wain was his increase. Who sickened in the time of his vacancy, being forbid to go His letters are delivered all and gone, to London, by reason of the plague.
Only remains this superscription.
unholy! And surely Death could never have prevailed, Found out some uncouth cell, Had not his weekly course of carriage failed; Where brooding Darkness spreads his jealous But lately finding him so long at home,
wings, And thinking now his journey's end was come, And the night raven sings; And that he had ta’en up his latest inn,
There, under ebon shades, and low-browed In the kind office of a chamberlain
In dark Cimmerian desert ever dwell.
In Heaven yclep'd Euphrosyne,
Whom lovely Venus, at a birth,
To ivy-crowned Bacchus bore:
Or whether (as some sages sing)
As he met her once a Maying;
The fresh-blown roses washed in dew,
Filled her with thee a daughter fair,
And love to live in dimple sleek;
On the light fantastic toe;
To live with her, and live with thee,
To many a youth, and many a maid, In unreproved pleasures free;
Dancing in the chequered shade; To hear the lark begin his flight,
And young and old come forth to play And singing startle the dull night
On a sunshine holy-day, From his watchtower in the skies
Till the livelong daylight fail : Till the dappled dawn doth rise ;
Then to the spicy nut-brown ale, Then to come, in spite of sorrow,
With stories told of many a feat, And at my window bid good morrow,
How fairy Mab the junkets eat; Through the sweet brier, or the vine,
She was pinched, and pulled, she said: Or the twisted eglantine:
And he, by friar's lantern leu, -While the cock, with lively din,
Tells how the drudging goblin sweat, Scatters the rear of darkness thin;
To earn his cream-bowl duly set, And to the stack, or the barn door,
When in one night, ere glimpse of morn, Stoutly struts his dames before:
His shadowy flail hath threshed the corn, Oft list’ning how the hounds and horn
That ten day-labourers could not end; Cheerly rouse the slumbering morn,
Then lies him down the lubber fiend, From the side of some hoar hill,
And, stretched out all the chimney's length, Through the high wood echoing shrill: Basks at the fire his hairy strength; Sometime walking, not unseen,
And cropful out of doors he llings, By hedge-row elms, on hillocks green,
Ere the first cock his matin rings. Right against the eastern gate,
Thus done the tales, to bed they creep, Where the great sun begins his state,
By whispering winds soon lulled asleep. Robed in flames, and amber light,
Towered cities please us then, The clouds in thousand liveries dight;
And the busy hum of men, While the ploughman, near at hand,
Where throngs of knights and barons bold, Whistles o'er the furrowed land,
In weeds of peace, high triumphs hold, And the milk maid singeth blithe,
With store of ladies, whose bright eyes And the mower whets his scythe,
Rain influence, and judge the prize And every shepherd tells his tale
Of wit, or arms, while both contend Under the hawthorn in the dale.
To win her grace, whom all commend, Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures, There let Hymen oft appear Whilst the landscape round it measures, In saffron robe, with taper clear, Russet lawns, and fallows gray,
And pomp, and feast, and revelry, Where the nibbling flocks do stray,
With mask, and antique pageantry; Mountains, on whose barren breast
Such sights as youthful poets dream, The lab’ring clouds do often rest;
On summer eves by haunted stream, Meadows trim with daisies pied,
Then to the well trod stage anon, Shallow brooks, and rivers wide:
If Jonson's learned sock be on, Towers and battlements it sees
Or sweetest Shakspeare, Fancy's child, Bosomed high in tufted trees,
Warble his native woodnotes wild. Where perhaps some beauty lies,
And ever, against cating cares, The cynosure* of neighbouring eyes.
Lap me in soft Lydian airs, Hard by a cottage chimney smokes,
Married to immortal verse; From betwixt two aged oaks,
Such as the meeting soul may pierce, Where Corydon and Thyrsis met,
In notes, with many a winding bout, Are at their savoury dinner set
Of linked sweetness long drawn out, Of herbs, and other country messes,
With wanton heed and giddy cunning, Which the neat-handed Phillis dresses;
The melting voice through mazes running, And then in haste her bower she leaves
Untwisting all the chains that tie With Thestylis to bind the sheaves :
The hidden soul of harmony; Or, if the earlier season lead,
That Orpheus' self may heave his head To the tanned haycock in the mead.
From golden slumber on a bed Sometimes with secure delight
Of heaped Elysian flowers, and hear The upland hamlets will invite,
Such strains as would have won the ear When the merry bells ring round,
Of Pluto, to have quite set free And the jocund rebecs sound
His half-regained Eurydice. • “Cynosure of neighbouring eyes.”—The pole star, in
These delights if thou canst give,
the lesser bear