Page images

All to one female idol bend,

ON THE While her high pride does scarce descend

DEATH OF THE LORD PROTECTOR. To mark their follies, he would swear That these her guard of eunuchs were,

We must resign! Heav'n his great soul does claim And that a more majestic queen,

In storms, as loud as his immortal fame : Or humbler slaves, he had not seen.

His dying groans, his last breath, shakes our isle, All this with indignation spoke,

And trees uncut fall for his fun'ral pile; In vain I struggled with the yoke

About his palace their broad roots are tost Of mighty Love: that conqu’ring look,

Into the air.—So Romulus was lost! When next beheld, like lightning strook

New Rome in such a tempest miss'd her king, My blasted soul, and made me bow

And from obeying fell to worshipping. Lower than those I pity'd now.

On Oeta's top thus Hercules lay dead, So the tall stag, upon the brink

With ruin'd oaks and pines about him spread. Of some smooth stream about to drink,

The poplar, too, whose bough he wont to wear

On his victorious head, lay prostrate there.
Surveying there his armed head,
With shame remembers that he fled

Those his last fury from the mountain rent:
The scorned dogs, resolves to try

Our dying hero from the continente spaniards reft, The combat next; but if their cry

Ravish'd whole townsritain left.

As his last legs Invades again his trembling ear,

The ocears

Which so long our hopes confin’d, He strait resumos leis wuuucu caiu,

uu limits to his vaster mind; Leaves the untasted spring behind,

Our bounds' enlargement was his latest toil,
And, wing'd with fear, outflies the wind.

Nor hath he left us pris'ners to our isle:
Under the tropic is our language spoke,
And part of Flanders hath receiv'd our yoke.

From civil broils he did us disengage,

Found nobler objects for our martial rage;

And, with wise conduct, to his country shew'd Design or Chance makes others wive,

The ancient way of conquering abroad. But Nature did this match contrive:

Ungrateful then! if we no tears allow Eve might as well have Adam fled,

To him that gave us peace and empire too. As she deny'd her little bed

Princes that fear'd him grieve, concern'd to see To him, for whom Heav'n seem'd to frame

No pitch of glory from the grave is free. And measure out this only dame.

Nature herself took notice of his death, Thrice happy is that humble pair,

And, sighing, swell’d the sea with such a breath, Beneath the level of all care!

That to remotest shores her billows rollid, Over whose heads those arrows fly

Th’approaching fate of their great ruler told.
Of sad distrust and jealousy;
Secured in as high extreme
As if the world held none but them.

To bim the fairest nymphs do shew
Like moving mountains topp'd with snow;

Fair! that you may truly know
Aud ey'ry man a Polypheme

What you unto Thyrsis owe, Iues this Galatea seem :

I will tell you how I do Ayu may presume her faith to prove;

Sacharissa love and you.
Ha putter death that proffers love.

Joy salutes me when I set
All Culorist that kind Nature thus
View all the world had sever'd us ;

My blest eyes on Amoret;

But with wonder I am strook,
Ajuwun tor survives us two,
А. Тук цін : tox only you !

While I on the other look.

If sweet Amoret complains,
I have sense of all her pains ;
But for Sacharissa I

Do not only grieve, but die.

All that of myself is mine, Twice twenty slender virgin-fingers twine

Lovely Amoret! is thine ; This curioue web, where all their fancies shine.

Sacharissa's captive fain

Would untie his iron chain,
As nature them, so they this shade have wrought,
Bottas their bands, and various as their thought.

And those scorching beams to shun,
Not Juno's bird, when his fair train dispread,

To thy gentle shadow run.

If the soul had free election He woos the female to his painted beds

To dispose of her affection, No, not the bow, which so adorns the skies,

I would not thus long have borne bus glorious in, or boasta so many dyes,

Haughty Sacharissa's scorn:

But 'tis sure some pow'r above,

Who already have of me Which controls our wills in love!

All that's not idolatry; If not love, a strong desire

Which, though not so fierce a flame, To create and spread that fire

Is longer like to be the same. In my breast, solicits me,

Then smile on me, and I will prove Beauteous Amoret! for thee.

Wonder is shorter liv'd than love.
'Tis amazement more than love
Which her radiant eyes do move :
If less splendor wait on thine,

TO A LADY IN RETIREMENT. Yet they so benignly shine,

Sees not my love how time resumes I would turn my dazzled sight

The glory which he lent these flow'rs; To behold their milder light:

Though none should taste of their perfumes, But as hard 'tis to destroy

Yet must they live but some few hours. That high flame as to enjoy;

Time what we forbear devours!
Which how eas'ly I may do,
Heav'n (as eas'ly scal'd) does know!

Had Helen, or the Egyptian Queen,
Amoret! as sweet and good

Been ne'er so thrifty of their graces, As the most delicious food,

Those beauties must at length have been Which but tasted does impart

The spoil of age, which finds out faces Life and gladness to the heart.

In the most retired places.
Sacharissa's beauty's wine,
Which to madness doth inclines

Should some malignant planet bring
Such a liquor as no brain

A barren drought or ceaseless show'r That is mortal can sustain.

Upon the autumn or the spring, Scarce can I to heav'n excuse

And spare us neither fruit nor flow'r,
The devotion which I use

Winter would not stay an hour.
Unto that adored dame;
For 'tis not unlike the same

Could the resolve of love's neglect
Which I thither ought to send;

Preserve you from the violation So that if it could take end,

Of coming years, then more respoçt "Twould to Heav'n itself be due,

Were due to so divine a fashion, To succeed her and not you;

Nor would I indulge my passion.

MILTON-A.D. 1608-74.

L'ALLEGRO. Hence loathed Melancholy,

Of Cerberus and blackest Midnight born, In Stygian cave forlorn, 'Mongst horrid shapes, and shrieks, and sights

unholy, Find out some uncouth cell,

Where brooding Darkness spreads his jealous And the night-raven sings;

[wings, There under ebon shades and low brow'd rocks, As ragged as thy locks,

In dark Cimerian desart ever dwell.
But come, thou Goddess, fair and free,
In Heav'n yclep'd Euphrosyne,
And by men, heart-easing Mirth,
Whom lovely Venus at a birth
With two sister Graces more
To ivy-crowned Bacchus bore;
Or whether (as some sages sing)
The frolic wind that breathes the spring,
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.
Haste thee, Nymph, and bring with thee
Jest and youthful Jollity,
Quips and cranks, and wanton wiles,
Nods and becks, and wreathed smiles,
Such as hang on Hebe's cheek,
And love to live in dimple sleek;
Sport that wrinkled Care derides,
And Laughter holding both his sides.
Come, and trip it as you go
On the light fantastic toe;
And in thy right hand lead with thee,
The mountain-nymph, sweet 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 singing startle the dull night,
From his watch-tower in the skies,
Till the dappled dawn doth rise ;
Then to come in spite of sorrow,
And at my window bid good-morrow,
Through the sweetbriar, or the vine,
Or the twisted eglantine:
While the cock with lively din
Scatters the rear of darkness thin,
And to the stack, or the barn-door,
Stoutly struts his dames before ;
Oft list'ning how the hounds and horn
Cheerly rouse the slumb'ring morn,

From the side of some hoar hill,
Through the high wood echoing shrill:
Some time walking not unseen
By hedge-row elms, on hillocks green,
Right against the eastern gate,
Where the great Sun begins his state,
Rob’d in flames, and amber light,
The clouds in thousand liveries dight,
While the plowman near at hand
Whistles o'er the furrow'd land,
And the milkmaid singeth blithe,
And the mower whets his scythe,
And every shepherd tells his tale
Under the hawthorn in the dale.
Strait mine eye hạth caught new pleasures,
Whilst the landskip round it measures;
Russet lawns, and fallows gray,
Where the nibbling flocks do stray,
Mountains on whose barren breast
The lab'ring clouds do often rest ;
Meadows trim with daisies pied,
Shallow brooks and rivers wide.
Towers and battlements it sees
Bosom'd high in tufted trees,
Where perhaps some beauty lies,
The Cynosure of neighb'ring eyes.
Hard by a cottage chimney smokes,
From betwixt two aged oaks,
Where Corydon and Thyrsis met,
Are at their savory dinner set
Of herbs, and other country messes,
Which the neat-handed Phyllis dresses ;
And then in haste her bower she leaves,
With Thestylis to bind the sheaves ;
Or if the earlier season lead
To the tann'd haycock in the mead.
Sometimes with secure delight
The upland hamlets will invite,
When the merry bells ring round,
And the jocund rebecks sound
To many a youth, and many a maid,
Dancing in the chequer'd shade ;
And young and old come forth to play
On a sunshine holyday,
Till the live-long daylight fail ;
Then to the spicy nut-brown ale,
With stories told of many a feat,
How fairy Mab the junkets eat,
She was pinch'd and pull'd, she said,
And he by friar's lantern led ;
Tells how the drudging goblin sweat,
To earn his cream-bowl duly set,
When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,
His shadowy flail hath thresh'd the corn
That ten day-lab'rers could not end ;
Then lies him down the lubbar fiend,

[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

And stretch'd out all the chimney's length, Black, but such as in esteem
Basks at the fire his hairy strength,

Prince Memnon's sister might beseem, And crop full out of doors he flings,

Or that starr'd Ethiop queen that strove Ere the first cock his matin rings.

To set her beauty's praise above Thus done the tales, to bed they creep,

The sea-nymphs, and their pow’rs offended: By whisp'ring winds soon lull’d asleep.

Yet thou art higher far descended. Towered cities please us then,

Thee bright-hair'd Vesta long of yore And the busy hum of men,

To solitary Saturn bore; Where throngs of knights and barons bold

His daughter she (in Saturn's reign, In weeds of peace high triumphs hold,

Such mixture was not held a stain) With store of ladies, whose bright eyes

Oft in glimmering bowers and glades Rain influence, and judge the prize

He met her, and in secret shades Of wit, or arms, while both contend

Of woody Ida's inmost grove, To win her grace, whom all commend.

While yet there was no fear of Jove. There let Hymen oft appear

Come pensive nun, devout and pure, In saffron robe, with taper clear,

Sober, stedfast, and demure, And Pomp, and Feast, and Revelry,

All in a robe of darkest grain, With Mask and antique Pageantry,

Following with majestic “rain, Such sights as youthful poets dream,

And sable stole of Cyprus lawn, On summer eves by haunted stream.

Over thy decent shoulders drawn. Then to the well-trod stage anon,

Come, but keep thy wonted state, If Jonson's learned sock be on,

With even step, and musing gait, Or sweetest Shakespear, Fancy's child,

And looks commercing with the skies, Warble his native wood-notes wild.

Thy rapt soul sitting in thine eyes: And ever against eating cares,

There held in holy passion still, Lap me in soft Lydian airs,

Forget thyself to marble, till Married to immortal verse,

With a sad leaden downward cast Such as the meeting soul may pierce

Thou fix them on the earth as fast: In notes with many a winding bout

And join with thee calm Peace, and Quiet, Of linked sweetness long drawn out,

Spare Fast, that oft with Gods doth diet, With wanton heed, and giddy cunning,

And hears the Muses in a ring, The melting voice through mazes running,

Ay round about Jove's altar sing: Untwisting all the chains, that tie

And add to these retired Leisure, The hidden soul of harmony;

That in trim gardens takes his pleasure ; That Orpheus' self may heave his head

But first, and chiefest, with thee bring, From golder slumber on a bed

Him that yon soars on golden wing, Of heap'd Elysian flow'rs, and hear

Guiding the fiery-wheeled throne, Such strains as would have won the ear

The cherub Contemplation; Of Pluto, to have quite set free

And the mute Silence hist along, His half regain'd Eurydice.

'Less Philomel will deign a song, These delights, if thou canst give,

In her sweetest, saddest plight,
Mirth, with thee I mean to live.

Smoothing the rugged brow of Night,
While Cynthia checks her dragon yoke,
Gently o'er th' accustom'd oak ;

Sweet bird that shunn'st the noise of folly,

Most musical, most melancholy! Hence vain deluding Joys,

Thee chauntress oft the woods among The brood of Folly without father bred,

I woo to hear thy evening-song ; How little you bested,

And missing thee, I walk unseen Or fill the fixed mind with all your toys?

On the dry smooth-shaven green, Dwell in some idle brain,

To behold the wand'ring moon And fancies fond with gaudy shapes possess,

Riding near her highest noon, As thick and numberless

Like one that had been led astray As the gay motes that people the sun-beams,

Through the Heav'ns wide pathless way; Or likest hovering dreams,

And oft, as if her head she bow'd, The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train.

Stooping through a fleecy cloud. But hail thou Goddess, sage and holy,

Oft on a plat of rising ground, Hail divinest Melancholy,

I hear the far-off curfew sound, Whose saintly visage is too bright

Over some wide-water'd shore, To hit the sense of human sight,

Swinging slow with sullen roar; And therefore to our weaker view

Or if the air will not permit, O'erlaid with black, staid Wisdom's hue;

Some still removed place will fit,


Where glowing embers through the room

Hide me from Day's garish eye, Teach light to counterfeit a gloom,

While the bee with honied thigh, Far from all resort of mirth,

That at her flowery work doth sing, Save the cricket on the hearth,

And the waters murmuring, Or the bellman's drowsy charm,

With such concert as they keep, To bless the doors from nightly harm.

Entice the dewy-feather'd sleep: Or let my lamp at midnight hour,

And let some strange mysterious dream Be seen in some high lonely tow'r,

Wave at his wings in airy stream Where I may oft out-watch the Bear,

Of lively portraiture display'd, With thrice great Hermes, or unsphere

Softly on my eye-lids laid. The spirit of Plato to unfold

And as I wake, sweet music breathe What worlds, or what vast regions hold

Above, about, or underneath, The immortal mind that hath forsook

Sent by some spirit to mortals good, Her mansion in this fleshly nook:

Or th’unseen Genius of the wood, And of those demons that are found

But let my due feet never fail In fire, air, flood, or under ground,

To walk the studious cloysters pale, Whose power hath a true consent

And love the high embowed roof, With planet, or with element.

With antic pillars massy proof, Sometime let gorgeous Tragedy

And storied windows richly dight, In scepter'd pall come sweeping by,

Casting a dim religious light. Presenting Thebes' or Pelops' line,

There let the pealing organ blow Or the tale of Troy divine,

To the full voic'd quire below Or what (though rare) of later age

In service high, and anthems clear, Ennobled hath the buskin'd stage.

As may with sweetness, through mine ear, But, O sad Virgin, that thy power

Dissolve me into ecstasies, Might raise Musæus from his bower,

And bring all Heav'n before mine eyes. Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing

And may at last my weary age Such notes, as warbled to the string,

Find out the peaceful hermitage, Drew iron tears down Pluto's cheek,

The hairy gown and mossy cell, And made Hell grant what Love did seek.

Where I may sit and rightly spell Or call up him that left half told,

Of every star that Heav'n doth shew, The story of Cambuscan bold,

And every herb that sips the dew; Of Camball, and of Algarsife,

Till old Experience do attain And who had Canace to wife,

To something like prophetic strain. That own'd the virtuous ring and glass,

These pleasures, Melancholy, give,
And of the wondrous horse of brass,

And I with thee will choose to live.
On which the Tartar king did ride ;
And if aught else great bards beside
In sage and solemn tunes have sung,
Of tourneys and of trophies hung,

Of forests and inchantments drear,

Yet once more, O ye laurels, and once more Where more is meant than meets the ear.

Ye Myrtles brown, with Ivy never sear, Thus Night oft see me in thy pale career,

I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude, Till civil-suited Morn appear,

And with forc'd fingers rude Not trick'd and flounced as she was wont

Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year. With the Attic boy to hunt,

Bitter constraint, and sad occasion dear, But kerchief'd in a comely cloud,

Compels me to disturb your season due: While rocking winds are piping loud,

For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime, Or usher'd with a shower still,

Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer: When the gust hath blown his fill,

Who would not sing for Lycidas? he knew Ending on the rustling leaves,

Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhime. With minute drops from off the eaves.

He must not float upon his wat'ry bier And when the sun begins to fling

Unwept, and welter to the parching wind, His flaring beams, me Goddess bring

Without the mead of some melodious tear. To arched walks of twilight groves,

Begin then, Sisters of the Sacred Well, And shadows brown that Sylvan loves

That from beneath the seat of Jove doth spring, Of pine, or monumental oak,

Begin, and somewhat loudly sweep the string. Where the rude axe with heaved stroke

Hence with denial vain, and coy excuse, Was never heard the nymphs to daunt,

So may some gentle Muse Or fright them from their hallow'd haunt.

With lucky words favour my destin'd urn, There in close covert by some brook,

And as he passes turn, Where no profaner eye may look,

And bid fair peace be to my sable shroud:

« PreviousContinue »