« AnkstesnisTęsti »
Quips, and cranks, and wanton wiles,
Nods, and becks, and wreathed smiles,
Such as hang on Hebe's cheek,
And love to live in dimple sleek;
Sport that wrinkled Care derides,
And Laughter holding both his sides;
Come, and trip it as you go,
On the light fantastic toe,
And in thy right hand lead with thee,
The mountain-nymph, sweet Liberty;
And, if I give thee honour due,
Mirth, admit me of thy crew,
To live with her, and live with thee,
In unreproved pleasures free:
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 sweetbrier, 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 list'ning 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,
Robed in flames, and amber light,
The clouds in thousand liveries dight;
While the ploughman, near at hand,
Whistles o'er the furrow'd land,
And the milk-maid singeth blithe,
And the mower whets his scythe,
And ev'ry shepherd tells his tale
Under the hawthorn in the dale.
Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures, While the landscape round it measures, Russet lawns, and fallows gray, Where the nibbling flocks do stray; Mountains on whose barren breast The labouring clouds do often rest; Meadows trim with daisies pied; * *Dappled, spotted.
Shallow brooks, and rivers wide:
Tow'rs and battlements it sees
Bosom'd high in tufted trees,
Where perhaps some beauty lies,
The Cynosure of neighb'ring eyes.
Hard by, a cottage-chimney smokes,
From betwixt two aged oaks,
Where Corydon and Thyrsis met,
Are at their sav'ry dinner set
Of herbs, and other country messes,
Which the neat-handed Phyllis dresses:
And then in haste her bow'r 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 old come forth to play
On a sunshine holiday,
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 shadowy 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,
*The Dog-star; i. e., the mark; alluding to the star, Sirius, the chief guide to mariners.
† Alluding to the Kobold, or household spirit, who was supposed to play all kinds of merry tricks at people's expense, but who was equally obliging, if his favours were purchased by a bowl of milk. A full account of such spirits will be found in Keightley's "Fairy Mythology."
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.
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
i. e., The buskin worn by tragic actors, soccus.
As the gay motes that people the sunbeams,
Or likest hovering 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,t that strove
To set her beauty's praise above
The sea-nymphs, and their powers offended,
Yet thou art higher far descended;
Thee bright-hair'd Vesta long of yore
To solitary Saturn bore;
His daughter she (in Saturn's reign
Such mixture was not held a stain).
Oft in glimmering bowers and glades
He met her, and in secret shades
Of woody Ida's inmost grove,
While yet there was no fear of Jove.
Come, pensive nun, devout and pure,
Sober, steadfast, and demure,
All in a robe of darkest grain,
Flowing with majestic train,
And sable stole of cypress lawn,
Over thy decent shoulders drawn.
Come, but keep thy wonted state,
With even step and musing gait,
And looks commercing with the skies,
Thy rapt soul sitting in thine eyes;
There, held in holy passion still,
Forget thyself to marble, till
With a sad leaden downward cast,
Thou fix them on the earth as fast;
And join with thee calm Peace and Quiet,
Spare Fast, that oft with gods doth diet,
And hear the Muses in a ring,
Aye round about Jove's altar sing;
And add to these retired Leisure,
That in trim gardens takes his pleasure;
But first and chiefest with thee bring
Him that yon soars on golden wing,
* Son of Tithonus, by Aurora, and king of Ethiopia. He was slain in a night attack during the Trojan war.
† Cassiopeia, whose daughter, Andromeda, was, in consequence of her mother's boasting, exposed by the nymphs to be devoured by a sea-monster, which was slain by Perseus.
Guiding the fiery-wheeled throne,
The cherub Contemplation;
And the mute Silence hist along,
'Less Philomel will deign a song,
In his 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 shunn'st the noise of folly,
Most musical, most melancholy;
Thee, chantress, oft the woods among,
I woo to hear thy ev'ning song;
And missing thee, I walk unseen
On the dry smooth shaven green,
To behold the wand'ring 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 curfew sound,
Over some wide-water'd shore,
Swinging slow 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 bellman's drowsy charm,
To bless the doors from nightly harm.
Or let my lamp at midnight hour
Be seen on some high lonely tow'r,
Where I may oft outwatch the Bear,*
With thrice great Hermes,† or unsphere
The spirit of Plato, to unfold
What worlds, or what vast regions hold
Th' 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,
Whose power hath a true consent
With planet, or with element.
Sometime let gorgeous Tragedy
In sceptred pall come sweeping by,
A constellation which never sets.
Not the god Mercury, but the mystical philosopher, Hermes Trismegistus. The pallium, or long cloak, worn by leading characters in tragedy.