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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.

MILTON.

CHAPTER XVII.

IL PENSEROSO.

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

As the gay motes that people the sunbeams,
Or likest hov'ring 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, that strove
To set her beauty's praise above

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The sea-nymphs, and their pow'rs 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 glimm'ring bow'rs 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,
Guiding the fi'ry-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'ns' 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 forscok
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
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 pow'r
Might raise Musæus from his bow'r,

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 Canace 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 aught else great bards beside
In sage

and solemn tunes have sung,
Of tourneys and of trophies hung;
Of forests and enchantments drear,
Where more is meant than meets the ear.

Thus Night oft see me in thy pale er,
Till civil-suited Morn appear.
Not trick'd and frounc'd as she was wont
With the Attic boy to hunt,
But kerchief'd in a comely cloud,
While rocking winds are piping loud,
Or usher'd with a shower still,
When the gust hath blown his fill,
Ending on the rustling 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 axe 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 honey'd thigh, That at her flow'ry work doth sing, 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 airy stream
Of lively portraiture display'd,
Softly on my eyelids 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 cloister's pale,
And love the high imbowed roof,
With antique pillars massy proof,
And storied windows richly dight,
Casting a dim religious light.
There let the pealing organ blow,
To the full-voiced quire below,
In service high, and anthems clear,
As may with sweetness, through mine ear
Dissolve me into ecstacies,
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 sit and rightly spell
Of ev'ry star that Heav'n doth shew,
And ev'ry 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. MILTON. .

CHAPTER XVIII.

MORNING HYMN.

THESE are thy glorious works, Parent of good;
Almighty! thine this universal frame,
Thus wondrous fair! thyself how wondrous then!
Unspeakable! who sitt'st above these Heav'ns,

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