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Oft in glimmering bowers and glades
He met her, and in secret shades
Of woody Ida's inmost grove,

Whilst 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

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With a sad leaden downward cast

Thou fix them on the earth as fast.

And join with thee calm Peace and Quiet,

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Spare Fast, that oft with gods doth diet,
And hears the Muses in a ring

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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

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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 outwatch 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 underground,
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 Musæus from his bower;

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Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing

Such notes as, warbled to the string,

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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 owned 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

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ΙΙΟ

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In sage and solemn tunes have sung,

Of 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,

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Not tricked and frounced, as she was wont
With the Attic boy to hunt,

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Where the rude axe with heavéd 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 honeyed thigh,

That at her flowery work doth sing,

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As may with sweetness, through mine ear,
Dissolve me into ecstasies,

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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 heaven doth shew,
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.

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LYCIDAS.

In this Monody the Author bewails a learned Friend, unfortunately drowned in his passage from Chester on the Irish Seas, 1637; and, by occasion, foretells the ruin of our corrupted Clergy, then in their height.

YET once more, O ye laurels, and once more,
Ye myrtles brown, with ivy never sere,

I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude,
And with forced fingers rude

Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year.
Bitter constraint and sad occasion dear
Compels me to disturb your season due;
For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime,
Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer.
Who would not sing for Lycidas? he knew
Himself to sing, and build the lofty rime.
He must not float upon his watery bier
Unwept, and welter to the parching wind,
Without the meed of some melodious tear.

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Begin, then, Sisters of the sacred well

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That from beneath the seat of Jove doth spring;

Begin, and somewhat loudly sweep the string.
Hence with denial vain and coy excuse :

So may some gentle Muse

With lucky words favour my destined urn,

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And, as he passes, turn

And bid fair peace be to my sable shroud!

For we were nursed upon the self-same hill,

Fed the same flock, by fountain, shade, and rill;
Together both, ere the high lawns appeared

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Under the opening eyelids of the Morn,

We drove a-field, and both together heard

What time the grey-fly winds her sultry horn,

Battening our flocks with the fresh dews of night,
Oft till the star that rose at evening bright

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Toward heaven's descent had sloped his westering wheel.

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