Page images



Of CERBERUS and blackest midnight born,
In ftygian cave forlorn,

'Mongft horrid fhapes, and fhrieks, and fights

Find out fome uncouth cell,

Where brooding darknefs fpreads his jealous wings,
And the night-raven sings;

There under ebon fhades, and low-brow'd rocks,
As ragged as thy locks,

In dark Cimmerian defart ever dwell.
But come, thou goddess, fair and free,
In heav'n 'yclep'd EUPHROSYNE,
And by men, heart-eafing MIRTH,
Whom lovely VENUS at a birth,
With two fifter graces more,
To ivy-crowned BACCHUS bore:
Or whether (as fome fages fing)
The frolic wind that breathes the fpring,
ZEPHYR with AURORA playing,
As he met her once a maying,
There on beds of violets blue,
And fresh-blown roses wash'd in dew,
Fill'd her with thee, a daughter fair,
So buxom, blithe, and debonair.
Hafte thee, nymph, and bring with thee
JEST and youthful JOLLITY,

Quips and cranks, and wanton wiles,
Nods and becks, and wreathed fmiles,

Such as hang on HEBE's cheek,

And love to live in dimple fleek;

SPORT, that wrinkl'd CARE derides,
And LAUGHTER holding both his fides.
Come, and trip it as you go

On the light fantaftic toe,

And in thy right-hand lead with thee,

The mountain nymph, fweet LIBERTY;

And if I give thee honour due,
MIRTH admit me of thy crew,
To live with her, and live with thee,
In unreproved pleasures free ;
To hear the lark begin his flight,
And finging startle the dull night,
From his watch-tow'r in the fkies,
Till the dappled dawn doth rife ;
Then to come in spite of forrow,
And at my window bid good-morrow,
Through the fweet-briar, or the vine,
Or the twift'd eglantine:

While the cock with lively din
Scatters the rear of darkness thin,
And to the ftack, or the barn-door,
Stoutly ftruts his dames before:
Oft lift'ning how the hounds and horn
Cheerly roufe the flumb'ring morn,
From the fide of fome hoar hill,
Through the high wood echoing fhrill:
Some time walking not unfeen,
By edge-row elms, on hillocks green,
Right against the eastern gate,
Where the great fun begins his state,
Rob'd in flames and amber light,
The clouds in thousand liveries dight,
While the ploughman near at hand
Whistles o'er the furrow'd land,
And the milk-maid fingeth blithe,
And the mower wets his fcythe,
And ev'ry fhepherd tells his tale
Under the hawthorn in the dale.

Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures,
Whilft the landfcape round it measures,

Ruffet lawns and fallows gray,

Where the nibbling flocks do ftray,
Mountains on whofe barren breaft
The lab'ring clouds do often reft,
Meadows trim with daifies pied,
Shallow brooks, and rivers wide.

Towers and battlements it fees
Bofom'd high in tufted trees,
Where perhaps fome beauty lies,
The Cynofure of neighb'ring eyes.
Hard by a cottage chimney smokes,
From betwixt two aged oaks,
Where CORYDON and THYRSIS met,
Are at their fav'ry dinner fet,

Of herbs and other country meffes,
Which the neat-handed PHILLIS dreffes;
And then in hafte her bow'r fhe leaves
With THESTYLIS to bind the sheaves;
Or, if the earlier season lead,

To the tann'd hay-cock in the mead.
Sometimes with fecure delight
The upland hamlets will invite,
When the merry bells ring round,
And the jocund rebecks found
To many a youth and many a maid,
Dancing in the chequer'd fhade;
And young and old come forth to play
On a fun-fhine holy-day,

Till the live-long day-light fail;
Then to the spicy nut-brown ale,
With ftories told of many a feat,
How fairy MAB the junkets eat;
She was pinch'd and pull'd, the said,
And by the friar's lanthorn led;
Tells how the drudging goblin fweat,
To earn his cream-bowl duly fet,
When in one night, ere glimpfe of morn,
His fhadowy flail hath thresh'd the corn,
That ten day-lab'rers could not end;
Then lies him down the lubbar fiend,
And stretch'd out all the chimney's length,
Basks at the fire his hairy ftrength,
And crop-full out of doors he flings,
Ere the firft cock his matin rings.
Thus done the tales, to bed they creep,
By whifp'ring winds foon lull'd afleep.

Tower'd cities please us then,
And the bufy hum of men,

Where throngs of knights and barons bold,
In weeds of peace high triumphs hold,
With ftore of ladies, whofe 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 faffron robe, and taper clear,
And pomp, and feast, and revelry,
With mark, and antique pageantry;
Such fights as youthful poets dream
On fummer eves by haunted stream.
Then to the well-trod ftage anon,
If JONSON's learned fock be on,
Or fweetest SHAKSPEARE, fancy's child,
Warble his native wood-notes wild.
And ever against eating cares,
Lap me in foft Lydian airs,
Married to immortal verfe,

Such as the meeting foul may pierce
In notes, with many a winding bout
Of linked fweetnefs long drawn out.
With wanton heed and giddy cunning,
The melting voice through mazes running.
Untwisting all the chains that tie

The hidden foul of harmony;

That ORPHEUS' felf may heave his head From golden flumber on a bed

Of heapt Elyfian flow'rs, and hear

Such ftrains as would have won the ear
Of PLUTO, to have quite set free
His half-regain'd EURYDICE.
Thefe delights, if thou canft give,
MIRTH, with thee, I mean to live.


HENCE, vain deluding joys,

The brood of folly, without father bred,
How little you befted,

Or fill the fixed mind with all your toys!
Dwell in fome idle brain,

And fancies fond with gaudy fhapes poffefs,
As thick and numberlefs

As the gay motes that people the fun-beams, Or likelieft hovering dreams,

The fickle penfioners of MORPHEUS' train.
But hail, thou goddefs, fage and holy!
Hail, divineft MELANCHOLY!
Whofe faintly visage is too bright
To hit the fenfe of human fight,
And therefore to our weaker view,
O'erlaid with black, ftaid WISDOM's hue:
Black, but fuch as in esteem,

Prince MEMNON's fifter might befeem,
Or that ftarr'd Ethiop queen that strove
To fet her beauties praife above

The fea nymphs, and their pow'rs offended;
Yet thou art high'r far defcended,

The bright-hair'd VESTA long of yore
To folitary SATURN bore;

His daughter fhe (in SATURN's reign,
Such mixture was not held a ftain,)
Oft in glimmering bow'rs and glades
He met her, and in fecret fhades
Of woody Ida's inmost grove,
While yet there was no fear of JOVE,
Come, penfive nun, devout and pure,
Sober, ftedfaft, and demure,
All in a robe of darkest grain,
Flowing with majestic train,
And fable ftole of Cyprus' lawn,
Over thy decent fhoulders drawn ;
Come, but keep thy wonted ftate,
With even flep and musing gait,

« PreviousContinue »