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The air was calm, and on the level brine
Next, Camus, reverend sire, went footing slow, His mantle hairy, and his bonnet sedge, Inwrought with figures dim, and on the edge Like to that sanguine flower inscribed with woe. "Ah! who hath reft," quoth he, "my dearest pledge?" Last came, and last did go,
The Pilot of the Galilean Lake;
Two massy keys he bore of metals twain
(The golden opes, the iron shuts amain).
He shook his mitred locks, and stern bespake :— "How well could I have spared for thee, young swain,
Enow of such as, for their bellies' sake,
Creep, and intrude, and climb into the fold!
Of other care they little reckoning make
And shove away the worthy bidden guest.
Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how to
A sheep-hook, or have learnt aught else the least 120 That to the faithful herdman's art belongs!
What recks it them? What need they? They are sped;
And, when they list, their lean and flashy songs
The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed,
Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw
But that two-handed engine at the door
Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more."
Return, Alpheus; the dread voice is past
The white pink, and the pansy freaked with jet,
The musk-rose, and the well-attired woodbine,
To strew the laureate hearse where Lycid lies.
Let our frail thoughts dally with false surmise,
Weep no more, woeful shepherds, weep no more, For Lycidas, your sorrow, is not dead,
Sunk though he be beneath the watery floor.
So sinks the day-star in the ocean bed,
And yet anon repairs his drooping head,
And tricks his beams, and with new-spangled ore 170 Flames in the forehead of the morning sky:
So Lycidas sunk low, but mounted high,
Through the dear might of Him that walked the waves,
Where, other groves and other streams along,
Thus sang the uncouth swain to the oaks and rills,
At last he rose, and twitched his mantle blue :
[TO THE NIGHTINGALE.]
O NIGHTINGALE that on yon bloomy spray
Foretell my hopeless doom, in some grove nigh; As thou from year to year hast sung too late For my relief, yet hadst no reason why.
Whether the Muse or Love call thee his mate,
[ON HIS HAVING ARRIVED AT THE AGE OF
How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,
Stolen on his wing my three-and-twentieth year! My hasting days fly on with full career, But my late spring no bud or blossom shew'th. Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth That I to manhood am arrived so near; And inward ripeness doth much less appear, That some more timely-happy spirits endu’th.
Yet, be it less or more, or soon or slow,
It shall be still in strictest measure even To that same lot, however mean or high, Toward which Time leads me, and the will of Heaven, All is, if I have grace to use it so,
As ever in my great Task-Master's eye.
DONNA leggiadra, il cui bel nome onora
L' erbosa val di Reno e il nobil varco, Bene è colui d' ogni valore scarco Qual tuo spirto gentil non innamora, Che dolcemente mostrasi di fuora,
De' sui atti soavi giammai parco,
E i don', che son d' amor saette ed arco,
Quando tu vaga parli, o lieta canti,
Che mover possa duro alpestre legno, Guardi ciascun a gli occhi ed a gli orecchi L'entrata chi di te si truova indegno;
Grazia sola di sù gli vaglia, innanti
Che 'l disio amoroso al cuor s' invecchi.
QUAL in colle aspro, a l' imbrunir di sera,
Va bagnando l'erbetta strana e bella
Fuor di sua natia alma primavera,
Così Amor meco insù la lingua snella
E 'l bel Tamigi cangio col bel Arno.