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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 starrid Ethiop queen that strove
To set her beauties praise above
The Sea-Nymphs, and their pow'rs offended;
Yet thou art higier far descended:
Tbee bright- bair'd Vestà long of yore
To Solitary Saturn bore;
His daugtíter she (in Saturn's reign,
Such mixture was not held a stain),
Oft in glimmering bowers and glades

met her, and in secret shades
Of woody Ida's inmošt grove,
While yet there was no fear of Jove.
Coine, pensive Nun, devout and pure,
Sober, stedfast; and demure,
All in a robe of darkest grain,
Flowing with majestic train;
And sable stole of Cyprus lawn;
Over thy decent shoulders drawn;
Come, but keep thy wonted state,

even step, and musing gate,
And looks coinmercing 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 dowriward cast
Thou fix them on the earth as fast:
And join with the calm Peace and Quiet,
Spare Fast, that oft, with Gods doch diet,
And hears the Muses in a ririg
Ay rourid 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 fiery - wheeled throne, The cherub Coutemplation; And the mute Silence hist along, 'Less. Philomel will deign a song, In her sweetest, saddest plight, Smoothing ihe 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 chauntress oft the woods among I woo to hear thy even - song, And, missing thee, I walk unseen On the dry smooth-shaven green, To behold the wand'ring moon, Riding near lier 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 leècy cloud. Oft on a plat of rising ground, I hear the far-off curfeu 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 mirtlı , Save the cricket on the hearth, Or the belman's drowsy charm, To bless the doors from nighly harm: Or let my lamp, at midnight hour, Be seen in some high lonely tow's, Where I may oft but- watch the Bear, With thrice great Hermes, or unsplere The spirit of Plato to unfold What worlds or what vast regions hold The 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,

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Whose power hath a true consent
With planet, or with element.
Sometime let Gorgeous Tragedy
In scepter'd pall come sweeping by,
Presenting Thebes' or Pelops' line,
Or else

tale of Troy divine,
Or what (though rare ) of later age
Enno bled hath the buskin'd stage.
But, 0 sad Virgin, that thy power
Might raise Musæus from his bower,
Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing

notes, as warbled to the string,
Drev iron tears down Pluto's cheek,
And made Hell grant what Love did seek.
Or call


him that left half told The story of Cambuscan bold, Of Cambalt, 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 ought else great bards beside sage and solemn tunes have


and of trophies hung, -
Of forests, and enchantments drear,
Where more is meant than 'meets the ear.
Thus Nighr oft see me in thy pale career,
Till civil - suited Morn appear,
Not trickt and frounc'd as she was wont,
With the Attic boy to hunt,
But kerchieft in a comely cloud,
While rocking winds are piping loud,
Or usher'd with a shower still,
When the gust hath blown bis 6ll,

on the russling leaves,
With mirure 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

la Of


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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 honied thie,
That at her flowery work doch sing, .
And the waters murmuring.
With such consort as they keepa
Entice the dewy - feather'd sleep;
And let some stronge møsterious dream
Wave at his wings in airy stream
Of lively portraiture display'd,
Sofily on my eye- lids laid,
And, as I wake, sweet music breathe
Above, about, or underneath ,
Sent by some Spirit to morțals good,
Qr th' unseer, Genius of the wood,
Bnç let my due feet never fail
To walk the studious cloysters pale,
And love the high embowed roof,
With antic pillars massy proof,
And storied windows richly dight,
Casting a dim religious light,
There let the pealing organ blow,
To the full - yoịc'd quire below,
In service high, and anthems clear,
As may with sweetness, through mine ear,
Dissolve me into ecstasies,
And bring all Heav'n before mine eyes.
And may at last my weary age
Find out ihe peaceful hermitage,
The hairy gown and mossy cell,
Where I may sit and rightly spell
Of every star that Heav'n doth shew,

every herb ibat 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.

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AND EVE"). Two of far nobler shape, erect and tall, Godlike erect! with native honour clad In naked majesty seem'd lords of all, And worthy seem'd; for in their looks divine The image of their glorious Maker shone, Truth, wisdom, sanctitude severe and pure, (Severe, but in true filial freedom plac'd,) Whence true authority in men: though both Not equal, as their sex not equal seem'd; Por contemplation he and valour formid, For sa fitness she and sweet attractive grace; He for God only, she for Gad in him. His fair large front and eye sublime, declar'd Absolute rule; and hyacinthin lacks Round froin his parted forelock manly hung · Clustring, but not beneath his shoulders broad:

a veil down to the slender waist Her unadorned golden tresses wore Dissheveld; but in wanton ringlets ward, As the vine curls her tendrils, which imply'd Subjection, but requir'd with genıle sway, And by her yielded, by him best receiv'd: Yielded with coy subinission, modest pride, And sweet reluctant amorous delaya Nor those mysterious parts were then conceal'd, Then was pot guilty shame, dishonest shame Of nature's works, honour dishonourable! Sin - bred! how have ye troubled all mankind With shows instead, mere shows, of seeming pure, And banish'd from man's life his happiest life, Simplicity and spotless innocence! So pass'd they naked on, por shun'd the sight of God or Angel, for they thought no ill. So hand in hand they pass'd, the loveliest pair

since in love's embraces met; Adam the goodliest man of men since born

the fairest of her daughters Eve.





*) Paradise lost, Book IV.


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