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Heaven's youngest-teeméd star
Hath fixed her polished car,

Her sleeping Lord with handmaid lamp attending;
And all about the courtly stable
Bright-harnessed angels sit in order serviceable.

122. FROM COMUS.

SONG,

Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph, that liv'st unseen

Within thy aery shell,

By slow Meander's margent green
And in the violet-embroidered 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.

Enter Comus.

Comus. Can any mortal mixture of earth's mould

Breathe such divine enchanting ravishment?
Sure something holy lodges in that breast,
And with these raptures moves the vocal air
To testify his hidden residence.
How sweetly did they float upon the wings
Of silence, through the empty-vaulted night,
At every fall smoothing the raven-down
Of darkness, till it smiled! I have oft heard
My mother Circe with the sirens three,
Amid the flowery-kirtled Naiades,
Culling their potent herbs and baleful drugs;
Who, as they sung, would take the prisoned soul,
And lap it in Elysium : Scylla wept,
And chid her barking waves into attention,
And fell Charybdis murmured soft applause :
Yet they in pleasing slumber lulled the sense,
And in sweet madness robbed it of itself;
But such a sacred and home-felt delight,
Such sober certainty of waking bliss,
I never heard till now. - I'll speak to her,

And she shall be my queen. — Hail, foreign wonder!
Whom certain these rough shades did never breed,
Unless the goddess that in rural shrine
Dwell'st here with Pan, or Sylvan: by blest song
Forbidding every bleak unkindly fog
To touch the prosperous growth of this tall wood.

123. From LYCIDAS.

Where were ye, Nymphs, when the remorseless deep
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, 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 uncessant care To tend the homely, slighted shepherd's trade, And strictly meditate the thankless Muse? Were it not better done, as others use, 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 mind) 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 abhorréd 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 rumor lies; But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes, And perfect witness of all-judging Jove: As he pronounces lastly on each deed, Of so much fame in Heaven expect thy meed."

124. From L’ALLEGRO. Haste thee, Nymph, and bring with thee Jest and youthful Jollity, Quips and Cranks, and wanton Wiles, Nods, and Becks, and wreathéd Smiles, Such as hang on Hebe's cheek, And love to live in dimple sleek; Sport that wrinkled care derides, And Laughter holding both his sides. Come, and trip it, as you go, On the light fantastic toe; And in thy right hand lead with thee The mountain-nymph, sweet Liberty; And, if I give thee honor due, Mirth, admit me of thy crew, To live with her, and live with thee, In unreprovéd pleasures free. To hear the lark begin his flight, And singing startle the dull Night, From his watch-tower in the skies, Till the dappled Dawn doth rise; Then to come in spite of sorrow, And at my window bid good morrow, Through the sweet-brier or the vine, Or the twisted eglantine : While the cock, with lively din, Scatters the rear of darkness thin, And to the stack or the barn door Stoutly struts his dames before.

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And ever, against eating cares, Lap me in soft Lydian airs, Married to immortal verse; Such as the meeting soul may pierce, In notes, with many a winding bout Of linkéd sweetness long drawn out, With wanton heed and giddy cunning; The melting voice through mazes running, Untwisting all the chains that tie The hidden soul of harmony; That Orpheus' self may heave his head From golden slumber on a bed Of heaped Elysian flowers, and hear Such strains as would have won the ear Of Pluto, to have quite set free His half-regained Eurydicé.

These delights if thou canst give, Mirth, with thee I mean to live.

125. From IL PENSEROSO. 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 Cyprus 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 With a sad leaden downward cast Thou fix them on the earth as fast: And join with thee calm Peace and Quiet, Spare Fast, that oft with gods doth diet, And hears the Muses in a ring Aye round about Jove's altar sing: And add to these retired Leisure, That in trim gardens takes his pleasure. But first, and chiefest, with thee bring Him that yon soars on golden wing, Guiding the fiery-wheeléd throne, The cherub Contemplation; And the mute Silence hist along, 'Less Philomel will deign a song, In her sweetest, saddest plight, Smoothing the rugged brow of Night, While Cynthia checks her dragon yoke, Gently o’er the accustomed oak: Sweet bird, that shunn'st the noise of folly, Most musical, most melancholy! Thee, chantress, oft, the woods among, I woo, to hear thy even-song; And, missing thee, I walk unseen On the dry smooth-shaven green To behold the wandering moon, Riding near her highest noon, Like one that had been led astray Through the heaven's wide pathless way; And oft, as if her head she bowed, Stooping through a fleecy cloud Oft, on a plat of rising ground, I hear the far-off Curfew sound, Over some wide-watered shore, Swinging slow with sullen roar.

FROM “PARADISE Lost." 126. EXORDIUM OF BOOK I.

Of man's first disobedience, and the fruit
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste
Brought death into the world, and all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat,
Sing, heavenly Muse, that on the secret top
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire
That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen seed,
In the beginning, how the Heavens and Earth
Rose out of Chaos : Or, if Sion hill
Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that flowed
Fast by the oracle of God; I thence
Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song,
That with no middle flight intends to soar
Above the Aonian mount, while it pursues
Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme.
And chiefly thou, O Spirit, that dost prefer
Before all temples the upright heart and pure,
Instruct me, for thou know'st; thou from the first
Wast present, and, with mighty wings outspread,
Dove-like satt'st brooding on the vast abyss
And mad'st it pregnant: what in me is dark
Illumine; what is low raise and support;
That to the height of this great argument
I may assert eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to men.

12. SATAN. (Book I.)

He scarce had ceased when the superior fiend
Was moving toward the shore : his ponderous shield,
Ethereal temper, massy, large and round,
Behind him cast; the broad circumference
Hung on his shoulders like the Moon, whose orb
Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views
At evening from the top of Fesolé,
Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,
Rivers, or mountains in her spotty globe.
His spear, to equal which the tallest pine
Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast
Of some great ammiral, were but a wand,
He walked with, to support uneasy steps

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