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The Castle high of Indolence,
And its falfe luxury,
Where for a little time, alas !
We liv'd right jollily.
MORTAL Man! who livest here by toil,
Do not complain of this thy hard estate ;
That like an emmet thou must ever moil,
Is a sad sentence of an ancient date :
And, certes, there is for it reason great ;
For tho' sometimes it makes thee weep and wail,
And curse thy star, and early drudge and late,
Withouten that would come an heavyer bale,
Loose life, unruly passions, and diseases pale.
In lowly dale, faft by a river's fide,
With woody hill o'er hill encompass’d round,
A most enchanting wizard did abide,
Than whom a fiend more fell is no where found.
It was, I ween, a lovely spot of ground;
Vol. VI. 23
] And there a season alween June and May, Half prankt with spring, with summer half imbrown'd, A liflets climate made, where, footh to say, No living wight could work, ne cared even for play.
Was nought around but images of reft,
Sleep-foothing groves, and quiet lawns between,
And flowery beds that slumbrous influence kest
From poppies breath'd, and beds of pleasant green,
Where never yet was creeping creature seen.
Mean time unnumber'd glittering streamlets play'd,
And hurled every where their waters sheen,
That, as they bicker'd thro' the sunny glade,
Tho' restless still themselves, a lulling murmur made.
Join’d to the prattle of the purling rills,
Were heard the lowing herds along the vale,
And flocks loud-bleating from the distant hills,
And vacant shepherds piping in the dale ;
And now and then sweet Philomel would wail,
Or ftock-doves plain amid the forest deep,
That drowsy ruftled to the fighing gale ;
And still a coil the grashopper did keep;
Yet all these founds y blent inclined all to sleep.
Full in the passage of the vale, above,
A sable, filent, folemn, forest food,
Where nought but shadowy forms was seen to move,
As Idless fancy'd in her dreaming mood;
up the hills, on either side, a wood
Of blackening pines, ay waving to and fro,
Sent forth a sleepy horror thro' the blood ;
And where this valley winded out, below,
The murmuring main was heard, and scarcely heard to flow
A pleafing land of drowsy-head it was,
Of Dreains that wave before the half-fhut eye,
And of gay Castles in the cloud that pass,
For ever flushing round a summer sky;
There eke the soft Delights, that witchingly
Inftil a wanton sweetness thro' the breaft,
And the calm Pleasures, always hover'd nigh ;
But whate’er smack'd of noyance or unrest
Was far, far off expellid from this delicious nett.
The landscape fuch, inspiring perfeet ease,
Where Indolence (for fo the wizard hight)
Close-hid his Castle mid embowering trees,
That half shut out the beams of Phæbus bright,
And made a kind of checker'd day and night ;
Mean while, unceasing at the maffy gate,
Beneath a spacious palm, the wicked wight
Was plac'd, and to his lute, of cruel fate,
And labour harsh, complain'd, lamenting mans' ellate.
Thither continual pilgrims crowded fill,
From all the roads of carth that pass there by ;
For as they chaunc'd to breathe on neighbouring hill,
The freshness of this valley fmote their eye,
And drew them ever and anon more nigh ;
Till clustering round th' enchanter false they hung,
Ymolten with his fyren melody,
While o'er th’ enfeebling lute his hand he ffung,
And to the trembling chords these tempting verses sung :
" Behold, ye Pilgrims of this earth! behold,
66 See all but man with unearn’d pleasure gay ;
“ See her bright robes the butterfly unfold,
“ Broke from her wintry tomb in prime of May !
56 What youthful bride can equal her array ?
" Who can with her for easy pleasure vie ?
6 From mead to mead with gentle wing to stray,
66 From flower to flower on balmy gales to fly,
66 Is all she has to do beneath the radiant sky.