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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

CHAPTER XI.

John Milton. 1608–1674. (Manual, p. 187-205.)

121. FROM THE HYMN OF THE NATIVITY,
It was the winter wild,
While the heaven-born child

All meanly wrapt in the rude manager lies;
Nature, in awe to him,
Had doffed her gaudy trim,

With her great Master so to sympathize;
it was no season then for her
To wanton with the sun, her lusty paramour.

No war, or battle's sound
Was heard the world around,

The idle spear and shield were high up hung,
The hooked chariot stood
Unstained with hostile blood;

The trumpet spake nut to the armed throng;
And kings sat still with awful eye,
As if they surely knew their sovereign Lord was by.

But peaceful was the night,
Wherein the Prince of Light

His reign of peace upon the earth began:
The winds, with wonder whist,
Smoothly the waters kissed,

Whispering new joys to the mild ocean,
Who now hath quite forget to rave,
While birds of calm sit brooding on the charmed warc.

The stars, with deep amaze,
Stand fixed in steadfast gaze,

Bending one way their precious influence;
And will not take their flight,
For all the morning light,

Or Lucifer, that often warned them thence;
But in their glimmering orbs did glow,
Until their Lord himself bespake, and bid them go.

The shepherds on the lawn,
Or e'er the point of dawn,

Sat simply chatting in a rustic row;
Full little thought they than,
That the mighty Pan

Was kindly come to live with them below;
Perhaps their loves, or else their sheep,
Was all that did their silly thoughts so busy keep.

When such music sweet
Their hearts and ears did greet,

As never was by mortal finger strook;
Divinely-warbled voice
Answering the stringéd noise,

As all their souls in blissful rapture took :
The air, such pleasures loath to lose,
With thousand echoes stil! prolongs each heavenly close

l'he oracles are dumb, No voice or hideous hum

Runs through the archéd ronf in words deceiving.
Apollo from his shrine
Can no niore divine,

With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving.
No nighti; trance, or breathéd spell,
Inspires the pale-eyed priest from the prophetic cell.

The lonely mountains o'er
And the resounding shore,

A voice of weeping heard and loud lament;
From haunted spring and dale,
Edged with poplar pale,

The parting Genius is with sighing sent:
With flower-inwoven tresses torn,
The Nymphs, in twilight shade of tangled thickets, mouri

In consecrated earth,
And on the holy hearth,

The Lars and Lemures moan with midnight plaint;
Ir, urns and altars round,
A dreai and dying sound

Affrights the Flamens at their service quaint;
And the chill marble seems to sweat,
While each peculiar power foregoes his wonted seat.

But see, the Virgin blessed
Hath laid her Babe to rest;

ime is, our tedious song should here have ending:

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 harmonico,

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, * 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."

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