Billeder på siden

"DEAR daughter, fince thou claim'ft me for thy fire,

And my fair fon here shew'ft me; know, I come,

Not as an enemy, but to fet free,

From out this dark and dismal house of pain,
Both him and thee, and all the heav'nly host
Of fpirits, that, in our juft pretences arm'd,
Fell with us from on high. From them I go
This uncouth errand fole; and, one for all,
Myfelf expofe, with lonely fteps to tread

Th' unfounded deep, and, through the void immense,
To search, with wand'ring queft, a place foretold
Should be, and, by concurring figns, are now
Created, vaft and round; a place of bliss
In the purlieus of heav'n; and therein plac'd
A race of upftart creatures, to fupply,

Perhaps, our vacant room; though more remov'd,
Left heav'n, furcharg'd with potent multitude,
Might hap to move new broils. Be this, or ought
Than this more fecret, now defign'd, I haste

To know and this once known, fhall foon return,
And bring ye to the place; where thou and Death
Shall dwell at eafe, and, up and down, unfeen,
Wing filently the buxom air, imbalm'd

With odours there ye shall be fed and fill'd
Immeasurably; all things fhall be your prey."

He ceas'd: for both feem'd highly pleas'd; and Death
Grinn'd horrible, a ghaftly smile, to hear
His famine fhould be fill'd. No lefs rejoic'd
His mother bad, and thus bespake her fire.

"THE key of this infernal pit, by due,
And by command of heav'n's all pow'rful king,
I keep; by him forbidden to unlock

These adamantine gates. Against all force
Death ready ftands, to interpofe his dart,


[ocr errors]

Fearless to be o'ermatch'd by living might.

But what owe I to his commands above,

Who hates me, and hath thither thruft me down
Into this gloom of Tartarus profound,

To fit in hateful office here confin'd,
Inhabitant of heav'n, and heav'nly-born,
Here, in perpetual agony and pain,

With terrors and with clamours compafs'd round
Of mine own brood, that on my bowels feed?
Thou art my father; thou my author: thou
My being gav'ft me. Whom should I obey,
But thee? whom follow? Thou wilt bring me foon
To that new world of light and blifs, among

The gods who live at eafe, where I fhall reign.

At thy right hand voluptuous, as befeems
Thy daughter and thy darling, without end."

THUS faying-from her fide the fatal key,
Sad inftrument of all our woe, she took ;
And, ftraight the huge portcullis high up drew,
Which, but herself, not all the Stygian powers
Could once have mov'd. Then every bolt and bar
Of maffy iron, or folid rock, with ease
Unfaftens.-On a fudden, open fly,

With impetuous recoil, and jarring found,
Th' infernal doors; and, on their hinges, grate
Harsh thunder, that the lowest bottom shook
Of Erebus.




H, that this too, too folid flefh, would melt,
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew!

Or, that the Everlafting had not fix'd
His canon 'gajnft felf-flaughter!-
How weary, ftale, flat, and unprofitable,
Seem, to me, all the ufes of this world!

Fie on't! oh fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,

That grows to feed things rank and grofs in nature,
Poffefs it merely-That it should come to this!

But two months dead! nay, not fo much; not two!-
So excellent a king, that was, to this,

Hyperion to a fatyr. So loving to my mother,
That he permitted not the winds of heav'n
Vifit her face too roughly. Heav'n and earth!
Muft I remember why, he would hang on him,
As if increase of appetite had grown


By what it fed on: yet, within a month-
Let me not think - Frailty, thy name is Woman!
A little month!or ere thofe fhoes were old,'
With which the follow'd my poor father's body,
Like Niobe, all tears--why, fhe, ev'n she-
(O heav'n! a beaft that wants discourse of reason,
Would have mourn'd longer---) married with mine uncle;
My father's brother; but no more like my father,
Than I to Hercules. Within a month!
Ere yet the falt of moft unrighteous tears
Had left the flushing in her galled eyes-


She married-Oh, moft wicked speed, to poft,
With fuch dexterity, to inceftuous sheets!
It is not, nor it cannot come to good.-
But break, my heart-for I must hold my tongue.





HE is the fancy's midwife and she comes,

In fhape no bigger than an agate-ftone

On the fore-finger of an alderman ;

Drawn with a team of little atomies,
Athwart men's nofes, as they lie afleep:

Her waggon-spokes, made of long spinners' legs;
The cover of the wings of grafhoppers;
The traces, of the smallest spider's web;
The collars, of the moon-fhine's watery beams;
Her whip, of cricket's bone; the lash, of film;
Her waggoner, a fmall grey-coated gnat :
Her chariot, is an empty hazel-nut,

Made by the joiner fquirel, or old grub,

Time out of mind, the fairies' coach-makers.

AND, in this state, she gallops, night by night, Through lovers' brains; and, then, they dream of love: On courtiers' knees; that dream on curtfies ftraight: O'er lawyers' fingers; who ftraight dream on fees: O'er ladies' lips; who ftraight on kiffes dream: And, fometimes, comes fhe, with a tithe-pig's tail, Tickling the parfon, as he lies afleep; e


Then dreams he of another benefice.
Sometimes, the driveth o'er a foldier's neck ;
And, then, he dreams of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambufcadoes, Spanish blades ;
Of healths five fathom deep; and then, anon,
Drums in his ears; at which he starts and wakes;
And, being thus frighted, fwears a prayer or two-
And fleeps again.




HE curfew tolls the knell of parting day;

The lowing herd wind flowly o'er the lea;
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world-to darkness and to me.

Now, fades the glimmering landscape on the fight,
And all the air a folemn stillness holds;

Save, where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the diftant folds:
Save, that, from yonder ivy-mantled tow'r,
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of fuch, as wand'ring near her fecret bow'r,
Moleft her ancient folitary reign.

Beneath these rugged elins, that yew-tree's fhade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mould'ring heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,

The rude forefathers of the hamlet fleep.


« ForrigeFortsæt »