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That nature hung in Heav'n, and fill’d their lamps
With everlasting oil, to give due light
To the misled and lonely traveller?
This is the place, as well as I may guess,
Whence even now the tumult of loud mirth
Was rife and perfect in my list'ning ear;
Yet nought but single darkness do I find.
What might this be? A thousand fantasies
Begin to throng into my memory,
Of calling shapes, and beck’ning shadows dire,
And airy tongues, that syllable men's names
On sands, and shores, and desert wildernesses.
These thoughts may startle well, but not astound
The virtuous mind that ever walks attended
By a strong siding champion, Conscience.
O welcome pure-ey'd faith, white-handed hope,
Thou hovering angel, girt with golden wings,
And thou, unblemish'd form of chastity;
I see ye visibly, and now believe
That he, the Supreme Good, t whom all things ill
Are but as slavish officers of vengeance,
Would send a glist'ring guardian, if need were,
To keep my life and honour unassail’d.
Was I deceiv'd, or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night?
I did not err; there does a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
And casts a gleam over this tufted grove.
I cannot halloo to my brothers, but
Such noise as I can make to be heard farthest
I'll venture; for my new enliven'd spirits
Prompt me; and they perhaps are not far off.
Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph, that liv’st unseen
Within thy airy shell,
By slow Meander's margent green, And in the violet embroider'd vale,
Where the love-born 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 Now'ry cave,
Tell me but where,
Sweet queen of Parly, daughter of the sphere,
So may’st thou be translated to the skies,
And give resounding grace to all Heaven's harmonies
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 smild! I have oft heard My mother Circe, with the Sirens three, Amidst the flow'ry-kirtled Naiades Culling their potent herbs, and baleful drugs, Who, as they sung, would take the prison'd soul, And lap it in Elysium; Scylla wept, And chid her barking waves into attention, And fell Charybdis murmur'd soft applause: Yet they in pleasing slumber lull'd the sense, And in sweet madness robb’d it of itself; But such a sacred and home-felt delight, Such sober certainty of waking bliss,
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 prosp'rous growth of this tall wood.
O gentle sleep, Nature's soft nurse, how have I frighted thee, That thou no more wilt weigh my eye-lids down, And steep my senses in forgetfulness! Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs, Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee, And hush'd' with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber; Than in the perfum'd chambers of the great, Under the canopies of costly state, And lulld with sounds of sweetest melody? O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile, In loathsome beds; and leav'st the kingly couch, A watch-case, or a common larum-bell? Wilt thou upon the high and giddy mast, Seal up the ship-boy's eyes, and rock his brains In cradle of the rude imperious surge; And in the visitation of the winds, Who take the ruffian billows by the top, Curling their monstrous heads, and hanging them With deafʼning clamours in the slippery clouds, That, with the hurly, death itself awakes ? Canst thou, O partial sleep! give thy repose To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude; And, in the calmest and the stillest night, With all appliances and means to boot, Deny it to a king ?
LOVELINESS OF FILIAL AFFECTION.
(From the “Fall of Jerusalem.")
Javan. Oh ! farewell then
The faithless dream, the sweet yet faithless dream,
That Miriam loves me!
Miriam. Love thee! I am here,
Here at dead midnight by the fountain's side,
Trusting thee, Javan, with a faith as fearless
As that which the instinctive infant twines
Toits mother's bosom-Love thee! when the sounds
Of massacre are round me, when the shouts
Of frantic men in battle rack the soul
With their importunate and jarring din,
javan, I think on thee, and am at peace.
Our famish'd maidens gaze on me, and see
That I am famish'd like themselves, as pale,
With lips as parch'd and eyes as wild, yet I
Sit patient with an enviable smile
On my wan cheeks, for then my spirit feasts
Contented on its pleasing thoughts of thee.
My very prayers are fuls of thee, I look
To heaven and bless thee; for from them I learnt
The way by which we reach the eternal mansions.
But thou, injurious Javan! coldly doubtest.
And-Oh! but I have said too much. Oh! scorn not
The immodest maid, whom thou hast vex'd to utter
What yet she scarce dared whisper to herself.
Javan. Will it then cease! will it not always sound Sweet, musical as thus? and wilt thou leave me?
Miriam My father!
Javan. Miriam! is not thy father
(Oh, that such flowers should bloom on such a stock!)
The curse of Israel? even his common name
Simon the assassin! of the bloody men
That hold their iron sway within yon city,
Miriam. O cease, I pray thee cease!
Javan! I know that all men hate my father!
Javan! I fear that all should hate my father;
And therefore, Javan, must his daughter's love,
Her dutiful, her deep, her fervent love,
Make up to his forlorn and desolate heart
The forfeited affection of his kind.
Is it not written so in our Law? and He
We worship came not to destroy the Law.
Then let men rain their curses, let the storm
Of human hate beat on his rugged trunk,
I will cling to him, starve, die, bear the scoffs
Of men upon my scatter'd bones with him.
Javan. Oh, Miriam! what a fatal art has thou
Of winding thought, word, act, to thy sole purpose ,
The enamouring one even now too much enamour'd!
I must admire thee more for so denying,
Than I had dared if thou hadst fondly granted.
Thou dost devote thyself to utterest peril,
And me to deepest anguish; yet even now
Thou art lovelier to me in thy cold severity
Flying me, leaving me without a joy,
Without a hope on earth, without thyself;
Thou art lovelier now than if thy yielding soul
Had smiled on me a passionate consent.
Go; for I see thy parting homeward look,
Go in thy beauty! like a setting star,
The last in all the thick and moonless heavens,
O’er the lone traveller in the trackless desert.
Go! if this dark and miserable earth
Do jealously refuse us place for meeting,
There is a heaven for those who trust in Christ.
EFTSOONS they heard a most melodious sound,
Of all that mote delight a dainty eare,
Such as at once might not on living ground,
Save in this paradise, be heard elsewhere:
Right hard was it for wight that did it heare,
To read what manner musick that mote be: For all that pleasing is to living eare
Was there consorted in one harmonie, Birds, voices, instruments, windes, waters,—all agree.
The joyous birds shrouded in chearful shade, Their notes unto the voyce attemp’red sweet;
The angel call soft trembling voyces made To the instruments divine respondence meet: The silver sounding instruments did meet