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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.
Let our frail thoughts dally with false surmise:-
Where the great Vision of the guarded mount
Weep no more, woeful shepherds, weep no more,
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;
With nectar pure his oozy locks he laves,
Now, Lycidas, the shepherds weep no more;
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,
My true account, lest He returning chide,—
I fondly ask :-But Patience, to prevent
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
I waked, she fled, and day brought back my night.
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?
Hast built thyself a live-long monument.
For whilst, to shame of slow-endeavouring art
Dost make us marble with too much conceiving;
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
Listen, where thou art sitting,
The loose train of thine amber-dripping hair,
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,
By Leucothea's lovely hands,
And her son that rules the strands;
And the songs of sirens sweet;
By dead Parthenope's dear tomb,
By all the nymphs that nightly dance
And bridle in thy headlong wave,
INVOCATION TO ECHO, FROM COMUS
SWEET Echo, sweetest Nymph, that liv'st unseen
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;
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.