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TO THE MUSE.
Then let dumb nature in that plea rejoice,
Of age have robb’d thee of thy warlike charms, But be not thou to that dominion brought: And plac'd thee here, an image in my rhyme; For speech in thee, some men’s disparagement, The owl now haunts thee, and, oblivion's plant, Thy purer gifts with glory shall augment.
The creeping ivy, has o’er-veil'd thy towers;
And Rother, looking up with eye askant, In Parian marble of divinest price,
Recalling to his mind thy brighter hours, In fairest gems, in silver and in gold,
Laments the time, when, fair and elegant, In flow'ry sweets, that have been steeped thrice Beauty first laugh'd from out thy joyous bowers!
In Phæbus' beams, and now his image hold, In fountains, and in woods, in beauteous meads, In palaces of pomp, and love withal,
THE TEMPLES OF VENUS AND MARS. In scooped chariots, and in fiery steeds, I am, indeed, most rich and prodigal !
First, in the chapel of the Paphian queen, The Sun cannot behold a greater lord,
Wrought on the wall, there may by you be seen Nor doth the eye of Jove survey a man,
A sight indeed full piteous to behold, Whose fortune can such boundless wealth afford,
The broken sleep; and the sighs deadly cold; E'er since the artificial world began :
The sacred tears; the wailings, a whole quire; Thy face, which faults Olympus, is to me
The fiery strokes of the unrein'd desire ;
All, that love's servants in this world endure;
Pleasure; and hope ; desire ; fool-hardiness; Daughter of Jove, encircled by the Hours,
Beauty; and youth; and purchas'd wantonness; The warbling Spring comes dancing from the gate
Gold; charms; and force; and lies; and flattery: Of Heaven, and, ripe in majesty and state,
And waste expense; bus'ness; and jealousy, Pours from her golden ewer the purpling flowers
Upon whose head a golden sun-flower bland, On mead, on mountain, on the hallow'd marge
And the false cuckoo sate upon her hand; Of sacred rivers ; and the Mermaid chants
Feasts; instruments; and carols; and ripe dances; The seas into a calm ; and the wood-haunts
Lust; and array; and all the circumstances Of coy Diana 'echo all at large
Of Love; that I may reckon, and reckon on With the smooth songs of Philomel : awake,
Till the mid-summer, and yet ne'er have done; Daughter of Heaven, and blameless memory;
All these were painted the fresh wall upon, Put on thy flowery sandals, and uptake
And more than I can tell to any one; Thy golden rod, beloved of the Sky!
For Mount Cithæron was depicted there, And with a tongue, like vernal thunder, make
Where Venus hath her princely dwelling fair. Virtue the heir of immortality!
All the world glow'd with the delightful place,
The fount, eye, soul of passion and of grace; TO A BIRD THAT HAUNTED THE WATERS OF LAKEN There was the garden, and the lustiness:
Be sure they not forgot the porter, Idleness; O melancholy bird, a winter's day,
Nor fair Narcissus, that from love is gone;
Nor yet the folly of King Solomon;
Nor Circe, nor Medea's charmed cup;
Nor Turnus, and his hard and fiery rage; And giv’n thyself a lesson to the fool
Nor golden Cræsus in the Persian cage: Unthrifty, to submit to moral rule,
By which it may be seen, that neither gold, And his unthinking course by thee to weigh. Nor stronger wisdom, nor the courage bold,
There need not schools, nor the professor's chair, Nor strength, nor art, nor beauty's powerful face, Though these be good, true wisdom to impart:
Can hold with Venus any equal pace : He, who has not enough for these to spare, What party in her realm have they, who rules Of time, or gold, may yet amend his heart,
The rolling world, and makes all people fools; And teach his soul by brooks and rivers fair: Such as these were, who in her snare were caught, Nature is always wise in every part.
And often cried, “ Alas!" and all for nought:
Ten thousands more may date from her their woe.
The froth-born Goddess, ravishing to see, O thou, brave ruin of the passed time,
Was naked, fleeting in the ample sea; When glorious spirits shone in burning arms, And, downwards from the waist, was hid from sight
And the brave trumpet, with its sweet alarms, By the green waves, as any crystal bright:
A citole in her right hand softly held;
And thy full vigour, and the eating harms And blush'd like fire, aad like all Eden smellid,
IN THE WINTER.
A garland of the rose; and a white pair
Every great pillar of this house of war
Was tun-great, of bright iron blazing far.
Of felony, and all the compassing ;
The pick-purse; and pale fear, with ghastly soul; And now to tell you, on the westward side,
The smiler, with the knife under the cloke; What colours the great painters did provide, The stables burning with the pitchy smoke; What portraiture upon the wall was spread, The treason of the murdering of the bed ; Within the temple of grim Mars the red ;
The open war, whose wounds for ever bled; All painted was the wall, in dismal grace,
Contest with bloody knife, and menace keen, Like to the inward of the grisly place,
And full of scritching cries the doleful scene; Calld the great temple of the God in Thrace, The slayer of himself then saw I there, Where Mars his sovereign mansion still doth hold, His own heart-blood had bathed all his hair; In frosty regions and eternal cold.
The nail, too, driven in the skull at night;
The cold death with the gaping mouth upright; A forest on the wall was there exprest
Amidst of all the temple sate Mischance, In which there never wons nor man nor beast, With great discomfort, and pale countenance ; With knotty, knarry, barren trees, right old, And saw I Madness, laughing in his ire ; And sharp with stubs, and hideous to behold, Armed Complaint; Outery; and fierce Desire Where, like the thunder, ran a rumble through, Of fiery outrage; in the bushes put, As though a storm would break down ev'ry bough, I saw the corpse of him whose throat was cut; And downward, (and a savage hill o'erbent,) And flow'd the crimson blood on slaughter's bed, There stood the fane of Mars armipotent;
A thousand slain, and not of sickness dead; Wrought all of burned steel : the entrance keen The tyrant with his prey from subject reft; Was long, and strait, and ghastly to be seen; The town destroy'd, and not a rafter left; And thereout came a rage, and air, God knows, The burnt ships dancing on the waves I saw; The gates from their great hinges heav'd and rose: The hunter strangled in the wild bear's paw; The northern liglit in at the door there shone; The child, eat by the fretting sow in cradle; For window on the massy wall was none,
The cook, too, scalded, maugre his long ladle; Through which men might the open light discern: And every mortal act in every part; The door was all of adamant eterne,
The carter, over-ridden with his cart, And clenched overthwart, and end-ways long, Under the wheel full low he lay adown. With iron tough, and, for to make it strong,
PROCESSION AND HYMN IN HONOUR
OF PAN. Leading the way, young damsels danced along, Bearing the burden of a shepherd song; Each having a white wicker over brimm'd With April's tender younglings: next, well trimm'd, A crowd of shepherds with as sunburnt looks As may be read of in Arcadian books; Such as sat listening round Apollo's pipe, When the great deity, for earth too ripe, Let his divinity o'erflowing die In music, through the vales of Thessaly: Some idly trail'd their sheep-hooks on the ground, And some kept up a shrilly-mellow sound With ebon-tipped flutes: close after these, Now coming from beneath the forest-trees, A venerable priest full soberly, Begirt with ministering looks: always his eye Stedfast upon the matted turf he kept, And after him his sacred vestments swept. From his right hand there swung a vase, milk-white, Of mingled wine, out-sparkling generous light; And in his left he held a basket full Of all sweet herbs that searching eye could cull: Wild thyme, and valley-lilies whiter still Than Leda's love, and cresses from the rill. His aged head, crowned with beechen wreath, Seem'd like a poll of ivy in the teeth Of winter hoar. Then came another crowd Of shepherds, lifting in due time aloud Their share of the ditty. After them appear'd, Up-follow'd by a multitude that rear'd Their voices to the clouds, a fair-wrought car, Easily rolling so as scarce to mar The freedom of three steeds of dapple brown: Who stood therein did seem of great renown Among the throng. His youth was fully blown, Shewing like Ganymede to manhood grown; And, for those simple times, his garments were A chieftain king's: beneath his breast, half bare, Was hung a silver bugle, and between His nervy knees there lay a boar-spear keen. A smile was on his countenance; he seem'd, To common lookers-on, like one who dream'd Of idleness in groves Elysian : But there were some who feelingly could scan A lurking trouble in his nether-lip, And see that oftentimes the reins would slip Through his forgotten hands: then would they sigh, And think of yellow leaves, of owlet's cry, Of logs piled solemnly.—Ah, well-a-day, Why should our young Endymion pine away!
Soon the assembly in a circle rangid, Stood silent round the shrine: each look was changed To sudden veneration : women meek Beckon'd their sons to silence; while each cheek Of virgin-bloom paled gently for slight fear. Endymion too, without a forest peer, Stood, wan and pale, and with an unawed face, Among his brothers of the mountain-chase. In midst of all, the venerable priest Ey'd them with joy from greatest to the least, And, after lifting up his aged hands, Thus spake he: -“ Men of Latmos! shepherd
Thus ending, on the shrine he heap'd a spire
“O thou! whose mighty palace-roof doth hang
Of unseen flowers in heavy peacefulness;
Be still the unimaginable lodge
For solitary thinkings; such as dodge
That spreading in this dull and clodded earth
Gives it a touch ethereal-a new birth:
A firmament reflected in a sea;
An element filling the space between ;
With uplift hands our foreheads lowly bending,
And giving out a shout most heaven-rending, Hear us, great Pan !
Conjure thee to receive our humble Pæan,
Upon thy Mount Lycean!" “ Othou, for whose soul-soothing quiet, turtles Passion their voices cooingly among myrtles,
Ever while they brought the burden to a close, What time thou wanderest at eventide
A shout from the whole multitude arose,
Of dolphins bob their noses through the brine.
[bred Their summer coolness; pent up butterflies
Fair creatures! whose young children's children
But in old marbles ever beautiful.
By the feud
Eterne Apollo! that thy Sister fair
When thy gold breath is misting in the west,
She unobserved steals unto her throne,
As if she had not pomp subservient;
As if thine eye, high Poet! was not bent
As if the ministring stars kept not apart,
Feel palpitations when thou lookest in:
O Moon! old boughs lisp forth a holier din
The while they feel thine airy fellowship. “ O Hearkener to the loud-clapping shears, Thou dost bless every where with silver lip, While ever and anon to his shorn peers
Kissing dead things to life. The sleeping kine,
Couched in thy brightness, dream of fields divine:
One obscure hiding place, one little spot
Has thy fair face within its tranquil ken,
And from beneath a sheltering ivy-leaf Leading to universal knowledge-see,
Takes glimpses of thee; thou art a relief Great son of Dryope,
To the poor patient oyster, where it sleeps The many that are come to pay their vows
Within its pearly house.—The mighty deeps, With leaves about their brows!
The monstrous sea is thine-the myriad sea!
O Moon! far-spooming Ocean bows to thee,
With long-forgotten story, and wherein And Tellus feels his forehead's cumbrous load. No reveller had ever dipp'd a chin
But those of Saturn's vintage; mouldering scrolls, Cynthia! where art thou now? What far abode Writ in the tongue of heaven, by those souls Of green or silvery bower doth enshrine
Who first were on the earth; and sculptures rade
Of ancient Nox;—then skeletons of man,
These secrets struck into him; and unless
He might have died: but now, with cheered feel, Is wan on Neptune's blue: yet there's a stress He onward kept; wooing these thoughts to steal Of love-spangles, just off yon cape of trees,
About the labyrinth in his soul of love.
“What is there in thee, Moon! that thou should's O, not so idle : for down-glancing thence
My heart so potently? When yet a child (move She fathoms eddies, and runs wild about
I oft have dried my tears when thou hast smil'd. O'erwhelming water-courses; scaring out
Thou seem'dst my sister; hand in hand we went The thorny sharks from hiding-holes,and frightning From eve to morn across the firmament. Their savage eyes with unaccustomed lightning. No apples would I gather from the tree, Where will the splendor be content to reach ? Till thou hadst cool'd their cheeks deliciously: O love! how potent hast thou been to teach No tumbling water ever spake romance, Strange journeyings! Wherever beauty dwells, But when my eyes with thine thereon could dance: In gulf or aerie, mountains or deep dells,
No woods were green enough, no bower divine, In light, in gloom, in star or blazing sun,
Until thou liftedst up thine eyelids fine: Thou pointest out the way, and straight 'tis won. In sowing time ne'er would I dibble take, Amid his toil thou gav'st Leander breath ;
Or drop a seed, till thou wast wide awake;
No one but thee hath heard me blithely sing
If it went not to solemnize thy reign.
Yes, in my boyhood, every joy and pain
By thee were fashion’d to the self-same end;
And as I grew in years, still didst thou blend Poor Cynthia greeted him, and sooth'd her light With all my ardours: thou wast the deep glen; Against his pallid face: he felt the charm
Thou wast the mountain-top—the sage's penTo breathlessness, and suddenly a warm
The poet's harp—the voice of friends—the sun; Of his heart's blood : 'twas very sweet; he stay'd Thou wast the river—thou wast glory won; His wandering steps, and half-entranced laid Thou wast my clarion's blast—thou wast my steedHis bead upon a tuft of straggling weeds,
My goblet full of wine-my topmost deed :To taste the gentle moon, and freshening beads, Thou wast the charm of women, lovely Moon! Lash'd from the crystal roof by fishes' tails.
O what a wild and harmonized tune And so he kept until the rosy veils
My spirit struck from all the beautiful!
THE INDIAN LADY'S SONG.
Why dost borrow
The natural hue of health, from vermeil lips? With nothing save the hollow vast, that foam'd
To give maiden blushes Above, around, and at his feet; save things
To the white rose bushes ?
Or is it thy dewy hand the daisy tips ?
“O Sorrow, Rudders that for a hundred years had lost
Why dost borrow