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

30 Towards Heaven's descent had sloped his westering

wheel.
Meanwhile the rural ditties were not mute,
Tempered to the oaten flute;
Rough Satyrs danced, and Fauns with cloven heel
From the glad sound would not be absent long,
And old Damætas loved to hear our song.

But oh, the heavy change, now thou art gone !
Now thou art gone, and never must return !
Thee, Shepherd ! thee the woods, and desert caves
With wild thyme and the gadding vine o'ergrown, 40
And all their echoes, mourn.
The willows, and the hazel copses green,
Shall now no more be seen,
Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays.
As killing as the canker to the rose,
Or taint-worm to the weanling herds that graze,
Or frost to flowers, that their gay wardrobe wear,
When first the white thorn blows;-
Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherds' ear.

Where were ye, Nymphs! when the remorseless deep 50 Closed o'er the head of your loved Lycidas ? For neither were ye playing on the steep, Where your old bards, the famous Druids, lie; Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high; Nor yet where Deva spreads her wizard stream: Ay me! I fondly dream Had ye been there,- for what could that have done? What could the Muse herself that Orpheus bore,The Muse herself for her enchanting son, Whom universal Nature did lament,

60
When, by the rout that made the hideous roar,
His gory visage down the stream was sent,-
Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore ?

Alas! what boots it with incessant care
To tend the homely slighted shepherd's trade,
And strictly meditate the thankless Muse ?
Were it not better done as others use,

70

So

To sport with Amaryllis in the shade,
Or with the tangles of Neæra's hair ?
Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise
(That last infirmity of noble minds)
To scorn delights, and live laborious days;
But the fair guerdon when we hope to find,
And think to burst out into sudden blaze,
Comes the blind Fury with the abhorred shears,
And slits the thin-spun life.—“But not the praise,”
Phæbus replied, and touched my trembling ears:
“Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil,
“Nor in the glistering foil
“Set off to the world, nor in broad rumour lies;
“But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes,
“And perfect witness of all-judging Joye;

As he pronounces lastly on each deed,
“Of so much fame in Heaven expect thy meed.”

O fountain Arethuse ! and thou honoured flood,
Smooth-sliding Mincius, crowned with vocal reeds!
That strain I heard was of a higher mood:
But now my oat proceeds,
And listens to the herald of the sea
That came in Neptune's plea;
He asked the waves, and asked the felon winds,
What hard mishap hath doomed this gentle swain ?
And questioned every gust of rugged winds
That blows from off each beaked promontory :-
They knew not of his story;
And sage Hippotades their answer brings
That not a blast was from his dungeon strayed,
The air was calm, and on the level brine
Sleek Panope with all her sisters played.
It was that fatal and perfidious bark,
Built in the eclipse, and rigged with curses dark,
That sunk so low that sacred head of thine.

Next Camus, reverend sire, went footing slow,
His mantle hairy, and his bonnet sedge,
Inwrought with figures dim, and on the edge,
Like to that sanguine flower, inscribed with woe.
Ah! who hath reft (quoth he) my dearest pledge ?

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