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That must be mortal to us both. O flowers,
That never will in other climate grow,
My early visitation, and my last
At even, which I bred up with tender hand
From the first opening bud, and gave ye names !
Who now shall rear ye to the sun, or rank
Your tribes, and water from the ambrosial fount?
Thee lastly, nuptial bower! by me adorn'd
With what to sight or smell was sweet! from thee
How shall I part, and whither wander down
Into a lower world, to this obscure
And wild ? how shall we breathe in other air
Less pure, accustom'd to immortal fruits ?

Book XI,

XXXII.

THE COURT OF DEATH.

(Michael loq.)

DEATH thou hast seen In his first shape on man; but many shapes Of death, and many are the ways that lead To his grim cave, all dismal : yet to sense More terrible at the entrance, than within. Some, as thou saw'st, by violent stroke shall die; By fire, flood, famine, by intemperance more In meats and drinks, which on the earth shall bring Diseases dire, of which a monstrous crew Before thee shall appear; that thou mayst know What misery the inabstinence of Eve Shall bring on men. Immediately a place Before his eyes appear'd, sad, noisome, dark ; A lazar-house it seem'd; wherein were laid Numbers of all diseased; all maladies

Of ghastly spasm, or racking torture, qualms
Of heart-sick agony, all feverous kinds,
Convulsions, epilepsies, fierce catarrhs,
Intestine stone and ulcer, colic pangs,
Demoniac phrensy, moping melancholy,
And moon-struck madness, pining atrophy,
Marasmus, and wide-wasting pestilence,
Dropsies and asthmas, and joint-racking rheums.
Dire was the tossing, deep the groans; Despair
Tended the sick, busiest from couch to couch ;
And over them triumphant Death his dart
Shook, but delay'd to strike, though oft invoked
With vows, as their chief good and final hope.
Sight so deform what heart of rock could long
Dry-eyed behold? Adam could not, but wept,
Though not of woman born; compassion quell'd
His best of man, and gave

him
up

to tears
A space, till firmer thoughts restrain'd excess.

Id.

XXXIII.

HISTORIC FAME.

Might only shall be admired, And valour and heroic virtue call'd : To overcome in battle, and subdue Nations, and bring home spoils with infinite Manslaughter, shall be held the highest pitch Of human glory; and for glory done Of triumph, to be styled great conquerors, Patrons of mankind, gods, and sons of gods; Destroyers rightlier call'd, and plagues of men. Thus fame shall be achieved, renown on earth; And what most merits fame in silence hid.

Id.

XXXIV.

CELESTIAL AND TERRESTRIAL.

(Attendant Spirit descends.) BEFORE the starry threshold of Jove's court My mansion is, where those immortal shapes Of bright aërial spirits live insphered In regions mild of calm and serene air, Above the smoke and stir of this dim spot, Which men call earth; and, with low-thoughted care Confined, and pester'd in this pinfold here, Strive to keep up a frail and feverish being, Unmindful of the crown that virtue gives, After this mortal change, to her true servants, Amongst the enthroned gods on sainted seats. Yet some there be, that by due steps aspire To lay their just hands on that golden key, That opes the palace of Eternity: To such my errand is; and, but for such, I would not soil these pure ambrosial weeds With the rank vapours of this sin-worn mould.

Comus.

XXXV.

THE SENSUAL LIFE.

(Comus sings.)
The star, that bids the shepherd fold,
Now the top of heaven doth hold;
And the gilded car of day
His glowing axle doth allay
In the steep Atlantic stream;
And the slope sun his upward beam
Shoots against the dusky pole,

Pacing toward the other goal
Of his chamber in the East.
Meanwhile welcome joy, and feast,
Midnight shout, and revelry,
Tipsy dance, and jollity.
Braid your locks with rosy twine,
Dropping odours, dropping wine.
Rigour now is gone to bed,
And Advice with scrupulous head:
Strict Age, and sour Severity,
With their grave saws, in slumber lie.
We, that are of purer fire,
Imitate the starry quire,
Who, in their nightly watchful spheres,
Lead in swift round the months and years.
The sounds and seas, with all their finny drove,
Now to the moon in wavering morrice move;
And, on the tawny sands and shelves,
Trip the pert fairies and the dapper elves.
By dimpled brook and fountain-brim,
The wood-nymphs, deck'd with daisies trim,
Their merry wakes and pastimes keep:
What hath night to do with sleep?
Night hath better sweets to prove;
Venus now wakes, and wakens Love.
Come, let us our rites begin;
'Tis only daylight that makes sin,
Which these dun shades will ne'er report.-
Hail, goddess of nocturnal sport,
Dark-veil'd Cotytto! to whom the secret flame
Of midnight torches burns; mysterious dame,
That ne'er art called but when the dragon womb
Of Stygian darkness spets her thickest gloom,
And makes one blot of all the air :

Stay thy cloudy ebon chair,
Wherein thou ridest with Hecate, and befriend
Us thy vow'd priests, till utmost end
Of all thy dues be done, and none left out;
Ere the blabbing eastern scout,
The nice morn, on the Indian steep
From her cabin'd loop-hole peep,
And to the tell-tale sun descry
Our conceal'd solemnity.-
Come, knit hands, and beat the ground,
In a light fantastic round.

Id.

XXXVI.

ECHO.

(Lady sings.) SWEET Echo, sweetest nymph, that livest unseen

Within thy airy shell,

By slow Meander's margent green, And in the violet-embroider'd vale,

Where the love-lorn nightingale Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well ; * Canst thou not tell me of a gentle pair

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 mayst thou be translated to the skies,
And give resounding grace to all Heaven's harmonies.

6

Illa
Flet noctem, ramoquo sedens miserabile carmen
Integrat.

Virgil, Georg. iv. 513,

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