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Bid amaranthus all his beauty shed,

And daffadillies fill their cups with tears,

To strew the laureate hearse where Lycid lies.
For so to interpose a little ease,

Let our frail thoughts dally with false surmise:-
Ay me! whilst thee the shores and sounding seas
Wash far away, where'er thy bones are hurled,
Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides,
Where thou perhaps, under the whelming tide,
Visitest the bottom of the monstrous world;
Or whether thou, to our moist vows denied,
Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old,

Where the great Vision of the guarded mount
Looks toward Namancos and Bayona's hold;
Look homeward, Angel, now, and melt with ruth:
And, O ye dolphins, waft the hapless youth!

Weep no more, woeful shepherds, weep no more,
For Lycidas, your sorrow, is not dead,
Sunk though he be beneath the watery floor :

So sinks the day-star in the ocean bed,

And yet anon repairs his drooping head

And tricks his beams, and with new-spangled ore

Flames in the forehead of the morning sky:

So Lycidas sunk low, but mounted high

Through the dear might of Him that walked the waves;
Where, other groves and other streams along,

With nectar pure his oozy locks he laves,
And hears the unexpressive nuptial song
In the blest kingdoms meek of joy and love.
There entertain him all the Saints above,
In solemn troops, and sweet societies,
That sing, and singing in their glory move,
And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes.

Now, Lycidas, the shepherds weep no more;
Henceforth thou art the Genius of the shore,
In thy large recompense, and shalt be good
To all that wander in that perilous flood.

Thus sang the uncouth swain to the oaks and rills, While the still morn went out with sandals grey; He touched the tender stops of various quills, With eager thought warbling his Doric lay: And now the sun had stretched out all the hills, And now was dropt into the western bay: At last he rose, and twitched his mantle blue: To-morrow to fresh woods, and pastures new.

ON HIS BLINDNESS

WHEN I consider how my light is spent

Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present

My true account, lest He returning chide,—
Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?

I fondly ask :-But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: God doth not need
Either man's work, or His own gifts; who best

Bear His mild yoke, they serve Him best: His state

Is kingly; thousands at His bidding speed

And post o'er land and ocean without rest:

They also serve who only stand and wait.

ON HIS DECEASED WIFE

METHOUGHT I saw my late espoused saint

Brought to me like Alkestis from the grave,

Whom Jove's great son to her glad husband gave, Rescued from death by force, though pale and faint. Mine, as whom washed from spot of child-bed taint Purification in the Old Law did save,

And such as yet once more I trust to have
Full sight of her in Heaven without restraint,
Came vested all in white, pure as her mind;
Her face was veiled, yet to my fancied sight
Love, sweetness, goodness in her person shined
So clear as in no face with more delight.
But oh! as to embrace me she inclined,

I waked, she fled, and day brought back my night.

ON SHAKESPEARE

WHAT needs my Shakespeare, for his honoured bones, The labour of an age in piled stones?

Or that his hallowed reliques should be hid

Under a star-y-pointing pyramid?

Dear son of memory, great heir of fame,

What need'st thou such weak witness of thy name?
Thou in our wonder and astonishment

Hast built thyself a live-long monument.

For whilst, to shame of slow-endeavouring art
Thy easy numbers flow, and that each heart
Hath from the leaves of thy unvalued book
Those Delphic lines with deep impression took,
Then thou, our fancy of itself bereaving,

Dost make us marble with too much conceiving;
And so sepulchered in such pomp dost lie,
That kings for such a tomb would wish to die.

SONG ON MAY MORNING

Now the bright morning star, day's harbinger, Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her The flowery May, who from her green lap throws The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose.

Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire Mirth and youth and young desire! Woods and groves are of thy dressing, Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing. Thus we salute thee with our early song,

And welcome thee and wish thee long.

INVOCATION TO SABRINA, FROM COMUS

SABRINA fair!

Listen, where thou art sitting,
Under the glassy, cool, translucent wave,
In twisted braids of lilies knitting

The loose train of thine amber-dripping hair,
Listen for dear honour's sake,

Goddess of the silver lake,

Listen and save!

Listen, and appear to us,

In name of great Oceanus,

By the earth-shaking Neptune's mace,

And Tethys' grave majestic pace;

By hoary Nereus' wrinkled look,
And the Carpathian wizard's hook;
By scaly Triton's winding shell,
And old soothsaying Glaucus' spell;

By Leucothea's lovely hands,

And her son that rules the strands;
By Thetis' tinsel-slippered feet,

And the songs of sirens sweet;

By dead Parthenope's dear tomb,
And fair Ligea's golden comb,
Wherewith she sits on diamond rocks
Sleeking her soft alluring locks;

By all the nymphs that nightly dance
Upon thy streams with wily glance;
Rise, rise, and heave thy rosy head
From thy coral-paven bed,

And bridle in thy headlong wave,
Till thou our summons answered have.
Listen and save!

INVOCATION TO ECHO, FROM COMUS

SWEET Echo, sweetest Nymph, that liv'st unseen
Within thine airy shell

By slow Meander's margent green,

And in the violet-embroidered vale,

Where the love-lorn nightingale

Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well;
Canst thou not tell me of a single pair

That likest thy Narcissus are?

O, if thou have

Hid them in some flowery cave,

Tell me but where,

Sweet Queen of Parley, daughter of the Sphere !

So mayest thou be translated to the skies,

And give resounding grace to all Heaven's harmonies.

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