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Hail bounteous May, that dost inspire Mirth, and youth, and warm desire; Woods and groves are of thy dressing, Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing. Thus we salute thee with our early song, And welcome thee, and wish thee long.
AN EPITAPH ON THE ADMIRABLE DRAMATIC POET W. SHAKESPEARE.*
WHAT needs my Shakespeare for his honour'd bones, The labour of an age in piled stones?
Or that his hallow'd reliques should be hid
Under a star-y-pointing pyramid?
Dear son of memory, great heir of fame,
What need'st thou such weak witness of thy name? Thou in our wonder and astonishment
Hast built thyself a live-long monument.
For whilst to th' shame of slow-endeavouring art
Thy easy numbers flow, and that each heart
10 welcome] Chaucer's Knight's Tale, ver. 1511.
'O Maye! with all thy floures and thy grene,
Right welcome be thou, fair freshe May. Todd.
*These lines were prefixed to the folio ed. of Shakespeare's Plays in 1632, but without Milton's name or initials. It is, therefore, the first of his pieces that was published. Warton.
11 unvalued] Invaluable. Rich. III. act i. sc. 4.
'Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels.' Todd.
Then thou our fancy of itself bereaving,
Dost make us marble with too much conceiving;
ON THE UNIVERSITY CARRIER,
Who sickened in the time of his vacancy, being forbid to go to London, by reason of the Plague.
HERE lies old Hobson; Death hath broke his girt,
15 sepulchred] So accented in Shakesp. Rape of Lucrece.
1 Hobson] Seven Champions of Christendom, p. 50. 'Is Hobson there, or Dawson, or Tom Long?" Ellis's Lett. on Engl. History, 1st Ser. iii. 207. Our Hobson and the rest should have been forbidden.' Taylor's (W. Poet.) Works, fol. part ii. p. 188. 'Oh! quoth hec, I could have gone thither with my neighbour Hobson on foot, like a foole as I was, and I might have rid backe upon my neighbour Jobson's mare, like an asse as I am.'
But lately finding him so long at home,
And thinking now his journey's end was come,
In the kind office of a chamberlin
Show'd him his room where he must lodge that
Pull'd off his boots, and took away the light:
Hobson has supp'd, and's newly gone to bed.
ANOTHER ON THE SAME.
HERE lieth one, who did most truly prove
While he might still jog on and keep his trot,
Until his revolution was at stay.
Time numbers motion, yet (without a crime
Too long vacation hasten'd on his term.
Merely to drive the time away he sicken'd,
Fainted, and died, nor would with ale be quicken'd;
Nay, quoth he, on his swooning bed out-stretch'd,
That even to his last breath (there be that say't) 25
He had been an immortal carrier.
Yet (strange to think) his wain was his increase:
Only remains this superscription.
THE FIFTH ODE OF HORACE, LIB. I.
WHAT slender youth bedew'd with liquid odours
In wreaths thy golden hair,
Plain in thy neatness? O how oft shall he
Who now enjoys thee credulous, all gold,
Hopes thee, of flattering gales
Unmindful. Hapless they
T'whom thou untry'd seem'st fair. Me, in my vow'd Picture, the sacred wall declares t' have hung
My dank and dropping weeds
To the stern God of sea.
GEOFFREY OF MONMOUTH.
BRUTUS thus addresses DIANA in the country of LEOGECIA.
GODDESS of shades, and huntress, who at will Walk'st on the rowling spheres, and through the
On thy third reign the earth look now, and tell
To whom, sleeping before the altar, DIANA answers in a vision the same night.
BRUTUS, far to the west, in th' ocean wide,
2 rowling spheres] Tickell and Fenton read 'lowring spheres.'