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Mother of a hundred Gods;
Juno dares not give her odds;
Who had thought this clime had held
A deity fo unparallel'd ?
As they come forward, the Genius of the wood appears, and turning toward them, speaks.
TAY gentle Swains, for though in this difguife,
I fee bright honor fparkle through your eyes;
Of famous Arcady ye are, and sprung
Of that renowned flood, fo often fung,
Divine Alpheus, who by fecret fluce
Stole under feas to meet his Arethufe;
And ye, the breathing rofes of the wood,
Fair filver-bufkin'd Nymphs as great and good,
I know this queft of yours, and free intent
Was all in honor and devotion meant
To the great miftrefs of yon princely fhrine,
Whom with low reverence I adore as mine,
And with all helpful fervice will comply
To further this night's glad folemnity;
And lead ye where ye may more near behold
What shallow-fearching Fame hath left untold;
Which I full oft amidst these shades alone
Have fat to wonder at, and gaze upon:
For know by lot from Jove I am the Power
Of this fair wood, and live in oaken bower,
To nurse the faplings tall, and curl the grove
With ringlets quaint, and wanton windings wove.
And all my plants I fave from nightly ill
Of noisome winds, and blafting vapors chill:
And from the boughs brush off the evil dew,
And heal the harms of thwarting thunder blue,
Ör what the cross dire-looking planet fmites,
Or hurtful worm with canker'd venom bites.
When evening gray doth rife, I fetch my
Over the mount, and all this hallow'd ground, 55
And early ere the odorous breath of morn
Awakes the flumb'ring leaves, or taffel'd horn
Shakes the high thicket, hafte I all about,
Number my ranks, and visit every sprout
With puiffant words, and murmurs made to blefs;
But elfe in deep of night, when drowsinefs
Hath lock'd up mortal fenfe, then liften I
To the celeftial Sirens harmony,
That fit upon the nine infolded spheres,
And fing to those that hold the vital shears,
And turn the adamantin fpindle round,
On which the fate of Gods and men is wound.
Such fweet compulfion doth in music lie,
To'lull the daughters of Neceffity,
And keep uniteddy Nature to her law,
And the low world in measur'd motion draw
After the heav'nly tune, which none can hear
Of human mold with grofs unpurged ear;
And yet fuch mufic worthieft were to blaze
The peerlefs highth of her immortal praise,
Whofe luftre leads us, and for her most fit,
If my inferior hand or voice could hit
Inimitable founds, yet as we go,
Whate'er the fkill of leffer Gods can fhow,
I will affay, her worth to celebrate,
And fo attend ye toward her glittering state;
Where ye may all that are of noble stem
Approach, and kiss her facred vesture's hem.
II. SON G.
ER the fmooth enamel'd green,
Where no print of step hath been,
Follow me as I fing,
And touch the warbled string,
Under the fhady roof
Of branching elm star-proof.
I will bring you where the fits,
Clad in fplendor as befits
Such a rural Queen
All Arcadia hath not feen.
III. S O N G.
Ymphs and Shepherds dance
By fandy Ladon's lillied banks,
On old Lycæus or Cyllene hoar
Trip no more in twilight ranks,
Though Erymanth your lofs deplore,
A better foil fhall give ye thanks.
From the ftony Mænalus
Bring your flocks, and live with us,
Here ye fhall have greater grace,
To ferve the Lady of this place.
Though Syrinx your Pan's mistress were,
Yet Syrinx well might wait on her.
Such a rural Queen
All Arcadia hath not seen.
At LUDLOW-CASTLE, 1634.
The EARL of BRIDGEWATER, then Prefident of WALES.