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llis shadowy flail hath thrash'd the corn,
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,
These delights if thou canst give,
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,
oft outwatch the Bear,
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,
But kercheft in a comely cloud,
But let my due feet never fail
There let the pealing organ blow,
And may at last my weary age
Till old experience do attain
These pleasures, Melancholy, give,
ON HIS BEING ARRIVED AT THE AGE OF
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.
That I to manhood am arrived so near;
That some more timely-happy spirits indu'th.
It shall be still in strictest measure even
To that same lot, however mean or high,
All is, if I have grace to use it so,.
WHEN I consider how my life is spent
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning, chide;
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;
TO HIS FRIEND CYRIAC SKINNER.
CYRIAC, this three-years-day these eyes, though clear,
To outward view, of blemish or of spot,
Nor to their idle orbs doth sight appear