« AnteriorContinuar »
But first, and chiefest, with thee bring,
soars on golden wing,
Guiding the fiery-wheeled throne,
The Cherub Contemplation ;
And the mute Silence hift along,
'Less Philomel will deign a song,
In her sweetest, saddest plight,
Smoothing the rugged brow of night,
While Cynthia checks her dragon yoke,
Gently o'er th' accustom’d oak;
Sweet bird that thunn'st the noise of folly,
Most musical, most melancholy !
Thee, chauntress, oft, the woods among,
I woo to hear thy even-song ;
And missing thee, I walk unseen
On the dry smooth-shaven green,
To behold the wandering moon,
Riding near her highest noon,
Like one that had been led astray
Through the Heav’n’s wide pathless way,
And oft, as if her head she bow'd,
Stooping through a fleecy cloud.
Oft on a plat of rising ground,
I hear the far-off Curfeu sound,
Over some wide-water'd shore,
Swinging flow with sullen roar;
Or if the air will not permit,
Some still removed place will fit,
Where glowing embers through the room
Teach light to counterfeit a gloom,
Far from all resort of mirth,
Save the cricket on the hearth,
Or the belman's drousy charm,
To bless the doors from nightly harm :
Or let my lamp at midnight hour,
Be seen in some high lonely tower,
oft out-watch the Bear,
With thrice great Hermes, or unsphere
The spirit of Plato to unfold
What worlds, or what vast regions, hold
The immortal mind that hath forsook
Her mansion in this fleshly nook :
And of those Demons that are found
In fire, air, flood, or under ground,
hath a true consent
With planet, or with element.
Sometime let gorgeous tragedy
In scepter'd pall come sweeping by,
Presenting Thebes', or Pelops' line,
Or the tale of Troy divine,
Or what (though rare) of later age
Ennobled hath the buskin’d stage.
But, o sad Virgin, that thy power
Might raise Musæus from his bower,
Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing
Such notes as, warbled to the string,
Drew iron tears down Pluto's cheek,
And made Hell grant what love did seek.
Or call up him that left half told
The story of Cambuscan bold,
Of Camball, and of Algarsife,
And who had Canacé to wife,
That own’d the virtuous ring and glass,
And of the wondrous horse of brass,
On which the Tartar king did ride ;
And if ought else great bards beside
In sage and folemn tunes have sung,
Of turneys and of trophies hung,
Of forests, and inchantments drear,
Where more is meant than meets the ear.
Thus night oft see me in thy pale carreer,
Till civil-suited morn appear,
Not trickt and frounct as she was wont
With the Attic boy to hunt,
But kercheft in a comely cloud.
While rocking winds are piping loud,
Or usher'd with a shower still,
When the guft hath blown his fill,
Ending on the russling leaves,
With minute drops from off the eaves.
And when the sun begins to fling
His flaring beams, me, Goddess, bring
To arched walks of twilight groves,
And shadows brown that Sylvan loves
Of pine, or monumental oak,
Where the rude ax with heaved stroke
Was never heard the Nymphs to daunt,
Or fright them from their hallow'd haunt.
There in close covert by some brook,
Where no profaner eye may look,
Hide me from day's garish eye,
While the bee with honied thigh,
That at her flowery work doth sing, in And the waters murmuring,
With such concert as they keep,
Entice the dewy-feather'd sleep;
And let some strange mysterious dream
Wave at his wings in aery
Of lively portraiture display'd,
Softly on my eye-lids laid.
And as I wake, Sweet music breathe
Above, about, or underneath,
Sent by some Spirit to mortals good,
Or th’ unseen Genius of the wood.
But let my due feet never fail
To walk the studious cloyster's pale,
And love the high embowed roof,
With antic pillars mafiy proof,
And storied windows richly dight,
Casting a dim religious light.
There let the pealing organ blow,
To the full-voic'd quire below,
In service high, and anthems clear,
As may with sweetness, through mine ear,
Diffolve me into extasies,
And bring all Heav’n before mine eyes.
And may at last my weary age
Find out the peaceful hermitage,
The hairy gown and mossy cell,
Where I may fit and rightly spell
Of every star that Heav'n doth shew,
And every herb that sips the dew ;
Till old experience do attain
To something like prophetic strain.
These pleasures, Melancholy, give,
And I with thee will choose to live.
Part of an Entertainment presented to the Countess
Dowager of Derby at Harefield, by some noble per-
sons of her family, who appear on the scene in pal-
toral habit, moving toward the seat of state, with
OOK Nymphs, and Shepherds look,
What sudden blaze of majesty
Is that which we from hence descry,
Too divine to be mistook :
This, this is the
To whom our vows and wishes bend;
Here our folemn search hath end.
* This poem is only part of an Entertainment, or Mask, as it is also intitled in Milton's Manuscript, the rest probably being of a different nature, or composed by a different hand.