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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 sweet-briar, 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 listening how the hounds and horn
Cheerly rouse the slumbering 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 sithe,
And every shepherd tells his tale
Under the hawthorn in the dale.

Straight mme eye hath caught new pleasures,

Whilst the landskip round it measures;

Russet laws, and fallows gray,

Where the nibbling flocks do stray,

Mountains, on whose barren breast,

The labouring clouds do often rest;

Meadows trim with daisies pide,„

Shallow brooks, and rivers wide:

Towers and battlements it sees

Bosom'd high in tufted trees^

Where perhaps some Beauty lies,

The'Cynosure of neighbouring eyes.

Hard by, a cottage chimney smoaks,

From betwixt two aged oaks,

Where Corydon and Thyrsis, met,

Are at their savoury dinner set

Of herbs, and other country messes,

Which the neat-handed Phillis dresses j

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 bid come forth to play

On a sun-shine holy-day,

Till the live-long day-light fail:

Then to the spicy nut-brown ale,

With stories told of many a feat,

How faery Mab the junkets eat;

She was pinch'd, and pull'd, she sed;

And, he, by friars lantern led,

Tells how the drudging Goblin swet,

To earn his cream-bowl duly set,

When in one night, ere glimpse of mora,

His shadowy flail hath thresh'd the corn,

That ten day-labourers could not end;

Then lies him down the lubbar fiend,

And, stretch'd out all the chimney's length,

Basks at the fire his hairy strength;

And crop-full out of doors he flings,

Ere the first cock his matin rings.

Tims done the tales, to bed they creep,

By whispering winds soon lull'd asleep.

Tower'd 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 mask, 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 wood-notes wild.

And ever, against eating cares,
Lap me in soft Lydian airs,
Married to immortal verse;
Such as the meeting 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 flowers, 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 1 mean to live.



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