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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 heaped Elysian flowers, and hear
Such strains as would have won the ear
Of Pluto, to have quite set free
His half regained Eurydice.

These delights if thou canst give, Mirth, with thee I mean to live.

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 pos

sess,

As thick and numberless

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 starred Ethiop queen that strove
To set her beauty's praise above
The sea-nymphs, and their powers offended.
Yet thou art higher far descended;
Thee bright-haired 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 hears 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 fiery-wheeled throne—
The cherub Contemplation;
And the mute Silence hist along,
'Less Philomel will deign a song
In her sweetest, saddest plight,
Smoothing the rugged brow of night,
While Cynthia checks her dragon yoke
Gently o'er the accustomed oak.
Sweet bird, that shunn'st the noise of fol-
ly-

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 wandering 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 bowed,
Stooping through a fleecy cloud.
Oft, on a plat of rising ground,
I hear the far-off curfew sound
Over some wide-watered 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-

IL PENSEROSO.

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 in some high lonely tower,
Where I may oft out-watch the Bear
With thrice-great Hermes, or unsphere
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,
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 buskined stage.

But, O, sad virgin, that thy power Might raise Museus from his bower! 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 boldOf Camball, and of AlgarsifeAnd who had Canace to wife, That owned the virtuous ring and glassAnd 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 sungOf turneys 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

career,

Till civil-suited Morn appear--
Not tricked and flounced, as she was wont
With the Attic boy to hunt,

But kerchiefed in a comely cloud
While rocking winds are piping loud,
Or ushered with a shower still
When the gust hath blown his fill,

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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 hallowed 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 thigh,
That at her flowery work doth sing,
And the waters murmuring
With such consort as they keep,
Entice the dewy-feathered sleep;
And let some strange mysterious dream
Wave at his wings, in airy stream
Of lively portraiture displayed,
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 cloisters 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 voiced quire below,

In service high, and anthems clear,
As may with sweetness, through mine ear,
Dissolve me into ecstasies,
And bring all heaven 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 every star that heav'n doth show, And every 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. JOHN MILTON.

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