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no manner of ill, because she means none; yet, to szy truth, she is never alone, but is still accompanied with old songs, hönest thouguts, and prayers, but short ones; yet they have their efficacy, in that thcy . are not palled with ensuing idle cogitations. Lastly, her dreams are so chaste, that she dare tell them; only a Friday's dream is all her superstition; that she conceals for fear of anger. Thus lives he, and all her ca. e is, she may die in the spring-time, to have store ci porwerk stuck upon her winding sheet
John Milton. 1608–1674. (Manual, p. 187-205.)
121. FROM THE HYMN OF THE NATIVITY,
All meanly wrapt in the rude manager lies;
With her great Master so to sympathize;
No war, or battle's sound
The idle spear and shield were high up hung,
The trumpet spake nut to the armed throng;
But peaceful was the night,
His reign of peace upon the earth began:
Whispering new joys to the mild ocean,
The stars, with deep amaze,
Bending one way their precious influence;
Or Lucifer, that often warned them thence;
The shepherds on the lawn,
Sat simply chatting in a rustic row;
Was kindly come to live with them below;
When such music sweet
As never was by mortal finger strook;
As all their souls in blissful rapture took :
l'he oracles are dumb, No voice or hideous hum
Runs through the archéd ronf in words deceiving.
With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving.
The lonely mountains o'er
A voice of weeping heard and loud lament;
The parting Genius is with sighing sent:
In consecrated earth,
The Lars and Lemures moan with midnight plaint;
Affrights the Flamens at their service quaint;
But see, the Virgin blessed
ime is, our tedious song should here have ending:
Heaven's youngest-teeméd star
Her sleeping Lord with handmaid lamp attending:
122. FROM COMus.
Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph, that liv'st unseen
Within thy aery shell,
By slow Meander's margent green
Where the love-lorn nightingale
· That likest thy Narcissus are?
O if thou have
Tell me but where,
Breathe such divine enchanting ravishment?
And she shall be my queen. - Hail, foreign wonder!
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, * Phoebus 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."