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As they come forward the Genius of the wood appears, and turring

towards them, speaks.
Gen. Stay, gentle Swains ! for tho' in this disguise,
I see bright honour sparkle through your cyes ;
Of famous Arcady. ye are,

and

sprung Of that renowned flood, so often sung, Divine Alphéus, who by secret sluice

39 Stole under seas to meet his Arethuse; And ye, the breathing roses of the wood, Fair, silver-buskined Nymphs, as great and good ; I know, this quest of yours, and free intent, Was all in honour and devotion meant To the great mistress of yon princely shrine, Whom with low reverence I adore as mine; And, with all helpful service, will comply To further this night's glad solemnity; And lead ye, where ye may more near behold What shallow-searching Fame hath left untold ; Which I full oft, amidst these shades alone, Have sat to wonder at, and gaze upon : For know, by lot from Jove I am the power Of this fair wood, and live in oaken bower, To nurse the saplings tall, and curl the grove With ringlets quaint, and wanton windings wove: And all my plants I save from nightly ill Of noisome winds, and blasting vapours chill : And from the boughs brush off the evil dew,

50 And heal the harms of thwarting thunder blue, Or what the cross dire-looking planet smites, Or hurtful worm with cankered venom bites. When Evening gray doth rise, I fetch my round Over the mount, and all this hallowed ground, And early, ere the odorous breath of Morn Awakes the slumbering leaves, or tasseled horn Shakes the high thicket, haste I all about, Number my ranks, and visit every sprout With puissant words, and murmurs made to bless : 60 But else, in deep of night, when drowsiness Hath locked up mortal sense, then listen I To the celestial Sirens' harmony,

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That sit upon the nine infolded spheres,
And sing to those that hold the vital shears,
And turn the adamantine spindle round,
On which the fate of gods and men is wound.
Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie,
To lull the daughters of Necessity,
And keep unsteady Nature to her law,
And the low world in measured motion draw
After the heavenly tune, which none can hear
Of human mould with gross unpurgèd ear;
And yet such music worthiest were to blaze
The peerless height of her immortal praise,
Whose lustre leads us, and for her most fit,
If my inferior hand or voice could hit
Inimitable sounds, yet as we go,
Whate'er the skill of lesser gods can shew,
I will assay, her worth to celebrate,
And so attend ye toward her glittering state;
Where ye may all that are of noble stem
Approach, and kiss her sacred vesture's hem.

so

II. SONG

O'ER the smooth enameled green,
Where no print of step hath been,

Follow me as I sing,

And touch the warbled string,
Under the shady roof
Of branching elm star-proof.

Follow me,
I will bring you where she sits,
Clad in splendour as befits

Her deity.
Such a rural queen
All Arcadia hath not seen.

90

III. SONG.

NYMPHS and Shepherds ! dance no more

By sandy Ladon's lilied banks;
On old Lycæus or Cyllenè hoar

Trip no more in twilight ranks;

100

Through Erymanth your loss deplore,

A better soil shall give ye thanks.
From the stony Mænalus
Bring your flocks, and live with us;
Here ye shall have greater grace,
To serve the lady of this place.
Though Syrinx your Pan's mistress were,
Yet Syrinx well might wait on her.

Such a rural queen
All Arcadia hath not seen.

a

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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.

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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 rhyme.
He must not float upon his watery bier
Unwept, and welter to the parching wind,
Without the meed of some melodious tear.

Begin then, Sisters of the Sacred Well !
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,
And as she 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
Under the opening eyelids of the morn,
We drove a-field, and both together heard
What time the gray-fly winds her sultry horn.

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