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Who would not sing for Lycidas ? he knew
Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhime.
He must not float upon his watery bier
Unwept, and welter to the parching wind,

Without the meed of some melodious tear.

Begin then, Sisters of the sacred well,

That from beneath the seat of Jove doth spring,
Begin, and somewhat loudly sweep the string.
Hence with denial vain, and coy excuse;
So may some gentle Muse
With lucky words favour my

destin'd urn, And as he passes turn,

And bid fair peace be to my sable shroud.

For we were nurst upon the self-same hill, Fed the same flock by fountain, shade, and rill.

Together both, ere the high lawns appear'd

Under the opening eye-lids of the morn,
We drove afield, and both together heard
What time the grey-fly winds her sultry horn,
Battening our flocks with the fresh dews of night,
Oft till the star that rose, at evening, bright,
Toward Heaven's descent had sloped his west'ring
Meanwhile the ruralditties were not mute, (wheel.

Temper’d to th’oaten flute;
Rough Satyrs danced, and Fauns with cloven heel
From the glad sound would not be absent long,

And old Damætas lov'd to hear our song.

But O the heavy change, now thou art gone, Now thou art gone, and never must return!.

Thee, Shepherd, thee the woods, and desert caves

With wild thyme and the gadding vine o'ergrown,

And all their echoes mourn.

The willows, and the hazel copses green,

Shall now no more be seen

Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays.
As killing as the canker to the rose,
Or taint-worm to the weanling herds that graze,
Or frost to flowers, that their gay

wardrobe wear When first the white-thorn blows,

Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherds ear.

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Where were ye, Nymphs, when the remorseless Closed o'er the head of your lov’d Lycidas? For neither were ye playing on the steep, Where your old Bards, the famous Druids, lie, Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high,

Nor yet where Deva spreads her wisard stream. Ay me! I fondly dream !

Had ye been there—for what could that have

ne?

What could the Muse herself that Orpheus bore,

The Muse herself for her inchanting son,

Whom universal Nature did lament,

When, by the rout that made the hideous roar, His goary visage down the stream was sent Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore ?

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Alas! what boots it with incessant care

To tend the homely slighted shepherd's trade,

And strictly meditate the thankless Muse?

Were it not better done as others use,

To sport with Amaryllis in the shade,
Or with the tangles of Neæra's hair ?

Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise,
(That last infirmity of noble mind)
To scorn delights, and live laborious days ;
But the fair guerdon when we hope to find,
And think to burst out into sudden blaze,

Comes the blind Fury with the abhorred shears, And slits the thin--spun life. “But not the praise(Phæbus reply'd, and touch'd my trembling ears ;) “ Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil, “ Nor in the glistering foil “ Set off to th' world, nor in broad rumour lies, “ But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes, And perfect witness of all-judging Jove; As he pronounces lastly on each deed, “ Of so much fame in heaven expect thy meed.”

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