Imatges de pÓgina
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May rise above the rhyming throng,
And with some new unequall'd song
O'er all our list'ning passions reign,
O'erwhelm our souls with joy and pain,
With terrour shake, with pity move,
Rouse with revenge, or melt with love.
O deign t' attend his ev'ning walk,
With him in groves and grottoes talk:
Teach him to scorn with frigid art
Feebly to touch th' unraptur❜d heart ;
Like lightning let his mighty verse
The bosom's inmost foldings pierce;
With native beauties win applause,
Beyond cold critics' studied laws:
O let each Muse's fame increase!
O bid Britannia rival Greece!

WARTON

CHAP. XVI.

L' ALLEGRO.

HENCE loathed Melancholy,

Of Cerberus, and blackest Midnight born,
In Stygian cave forlorn,

'Mongst horrid shapes, and shrieks, and sighs unholy, Find out some uncouth cell,

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

There under ebon shades, and low-brow'd rocks,

As ragged as thy locks,

In dark Cimmerian desert 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,

M

Till the livelong daylight fail;
Then to the spicy nutbrown ale,
With stories told of many a feat,
How fairy Mab the junkets ate;
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 shad'wy flail had thresh'd the corn,
That ten day-labourers could not end;
Then hes him down the lubber fiend,
And, stretch'd out all the chimney's length,
Basks at the fire his hairy strength,
And, cropful, out of doors he flings,
Ere the first cock his matin rings.
Thus done the tales, to bed they creep,
By whisp'ring winds soon lull'd asleep.
Tow'red cities please us then,
And the busy hum of men,

Where throngs of knights and barons bold
In weeds of peace high triumphs hold,
With store of ladies, whose bright eyes
Rain influence, and judge the prize
Of wit, or arms, while both contend
To win her grace, whom all commend.
There let Hymen oft appear
In saffron robe, with taper clear,
And pomp, and feast, and revelry,
With masque and antique pageantry,
Such sights as youthful poets dream,
On summer eves, by haunted stream.
Then to the well-trod stage anon,
If Jonson's learned sock be on,
Or sweetest Shakspeare, Fancy's child,
Warble his native woodnotes wild.

And ever against eating cares
Lap me in soft Lydian airs,
Married to immortal verse,

Such as the melting soul may pierce,

In notes with many a winding bout
Of linked sweetness long drawn out,
With wanton heed, and giddy cunning,
The melting voice through mazes running,
Untwisting all the chains that tie

The hidden soul of Harmony ;

That Orpheus' self may heave his head
From golden slumber on a bed
Of heap'd Elysian flow'rs, and hear
Such strains as would have won the ear
Of Pluto, to have quite set free
His half regain'd Eurydice.
These delights if thou canst give,
Mirth, with thee I mean to live.

MILTON.

CHAP. XVII.

IL PENSEROSO.

HENCE vain deluding joys,

The brood of Folly, without father bred!
How little you bestead,

Or fill the fixed mind with all your toys!
Dwell in some idle brain,

And fancies fond with gaudy shapes possess,
As thick and numberless

As the gay motes that people the sunbeams,
Or likest hov'ring dreams,

The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train. But hail, thou Goddess, sage and holy! Hail divinest Melancholy !

Whose saintly visage is too bright,

To hit the sense of human sight,
And therefore to our weaker view
O'erlaid with black, staid wisdom's hue:
Black, but such as in esteem

Prince Memnon's sister might beseem,
Or that starr'd Ethiop queen, that strove
To set her beauty's praise above

Till the livelong daylight fail;
Then to the spicy nutbrown ale,
With stories told of many a feat,
How fairy Mab the junkets ate;
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 shad'wy flail had thresh'd the corn,
That ten day-labourers could not end;
Then lies him down the lubber fiend,
And, stretch'd out all the chimney's length,
Basks at the fire his hairy strength,
And, cropful, out of doors he flings,
Ere the first cock his matin rings.
Thus done the tales, to bed they creep,
By whisp'ring winds soon lull'd asleep.
Tow'red cities please us then,
And the busy hum of men,

Where throngs of knights and barons bold
In weeds of peace high triumphs hold,
With store of ladies, whose bright eyes
Rain influence, and judge the prize
Of wit, or arms, while both contend
To win her grace, whom all commend.
There let Hymen oft appear
In saffron robe, with taper clear,
And pomp, and feast, and revelry,
With masque and antique pageantry,
Such sights as youthful poets dream,
On summer eves, by haunted stream.
Then to the well-trod stage anon,
If Jonson's learned sock be on,
Or sweetest Shakspeare, Fancy's child,
Warble his native woodnotes wild.

And ever against eating cares
Lap me in soft Lydian airs,
Married to immortal verse,

Such as the melting soul may pierce,

In notes with many a winding bout
Of linked sweetness long drawn out,
With wanton heed, and giddy cunning,
The melting voice through mazes running,
Untwisting all the chains that tie

The hidden soul of Harmony;
That Orpheus' self may heave his head
From golden slumber on a bed
Of heap'd Elysian flow'rs, and hear
Such strains as would have won the ear
Of Pluto, to have quite set free
His half regain'd Eurydice.
These delights if thou canst give,
Mirth, with thee I mean to live.

MILTON.

CHAP. XVII.

IL PENSEROSO.

HENCE vain deluding joys,

The brood of Folly, without father bred!
How little you bestead,

Or fill the fixed mind with all your toys!
Dwell in some idle brain,

And fancies fond with gaudy shapes possess,
As thick and numberless

As the gay motes that people the sunbeams,
Or likest hov'ring dreams,

The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train. But hail, thou Goddess, sage and holy! Hail divinest Melancholy !

Whose saintly visage is too bright,

To hit the sense of human sight,
And therefore to our weaker view
O'erlaid with black, staid wisdom's hue:
Black, but such as in esteem

Prince Memnon's sister might beseem,
Or that starr'd Ethiop queen, that strove
To set her beauty's praise above

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