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As I, to cool me, bathed one sultry day,
Fond Lydia, lurking in the sedges lay:
The wanton laugh'd, and seem'd in haste to fly,
Yet oft she stopp'd, and oft she turn'd her eye.
When first I saw (would I had never seen!)
Young Lyset lead the dance on yonder green,
Intent upon her beauties, as she moved,
Poor heedless wretch! at unawares I loved.
When Lucy decks with flowers her swelling breast, And on her elbow leans, dissembling rest, Unable to refrain my madding mind,
Nor herds, nor pasture, worth my care I find.
Come, Rosalind, O come! for, wanting thee,
Our peopled vale a desert is to me.
Come, Rosalind, O come! my brinded kine,
My snowy sheep, my farm, and all, are thine.
Come, Rosalind, O come! Here shady bowers,
Here are cool fountains, and here springing flowers:
Come, Rosalind! Here ever let us stay,
And sweetly waste the live-long time away.
In vain the season of the moon I know,
The force of healing herbs, and where they grow:
No herb there is, no season, to remove
From my fond heart the racking pains of love.
What profits me, that I in charms have skill,
And ghosts and goblins order as I will,
Yet have, with all my charms, no power to lay
The sprite that breaks my quiet night and day?
O, that, like Colin, I had skill in rhymes,
To purchase credit with succeeding times!
Sweet Colin Clout! who never yet had peer;
Who sung through all the seasons of the
Let me like Merlin sing: his voice had
To free the' eclipsing moon at midnight hour:
And, as he sung, the fairies with their queen,
In mantles blue, came tripping o'er the green.
Last eve of May did I not hear them sing,
And see their dance? And I can show the ring,
Where, hand in hand, they shift their feet so light:
The grass springs greener from their tread by night.
But hast thou seen their king, in rich array, Famed Oberon, with damask'd robe so gay, And gemmy crown, by moonshine sparkling far, And azure sceptre, pointed with a star?
Here end your pleasing strife. Both victors are;
And both with Colin may, in rhyme, compare.
A boxen hautboy, loud and sweet of sound,
All varnish'd and with brazen ringlets bound,
To each I give. A mizzling mist descends Adown that steepy rock: and this way tends Yon distant rain. Shoreward the vessels strive; And see, the boys their flocks to shelter drive.
CEASE your music, gentle swains:
Saw ye Delia cross the plains?
Every thicket, every grove,
Have I ranged, to find my love:
A kid, a lamb, my flock, I give,
Tell me only, doth she live?
White her skin as mountain-snow;
In her cheek the roses blow;
And her eye is brighter far
Than the beamy morning star.
When her ruddy lip ye view,
'Tis a berry moist with dew:
And her breath, oh! 'tis a gale
Passing o'er a fragrant vale,
Passing, when a friendly shower
Freshens every herb and flower.
Wide her bosom opens, gay
As the primrose-dell in May,
Sweet as violet-borders growing
Over fountains ever flowing.
Like the tendrils of the vine,
Do her auburn tresses twine,
Glossy ringlets all behind
Streaming buxom to the wind,
When along the lawn she bounds
Light, as hind before the hounds:
And the youthful ring she fires,
Hopeless in their fond desires,
As her flitting feet advance,
Wanton in the winding dance.
Tell me, shepherds, have ye seen
My delight, my love, my queen?
HAVE ye seen the morning sky,
When the dawn prevails on high,
When, anon, some purple ray
Gives a sample of the day;
When, anon, the lark on wing
Strives to soar, and strains to sing?
Have ye seen the' etherial blue
Gently shedding silvery dew,
Spangling o'er the silent green,
While the nightingale, unseen,
To the moon and stars, full bright,
Lonesome chants the hymn of night?
Have ye seen the broider'd May
All her scented bloom display,
Breezes opening, every hour,
This and that expecting flower,
While the mingling birds prolong,
From each bush, the vernal song?
Have ye seen the damask rose
Her unsullied blush disclose,
Or the lily's dewy bell,
In her glossy white, excel,
Or a garden varied o'er
With a thousand glories more?
By the beauties these display,
Morning, evening, night, or day,
By the pleasures these excite,
Endless sources of delight!
Judge, by them, the joys I find,.
Since my Rosalind was kind,
Since she did herself resign
To my vows, for ever mine.