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That at her flowery work doth sing,
And the waters murmuring,

With such consort as they keep,

Entice the dewy-feathered Sleep.

And let some strange mysterious dream
Wave at his wings, in airy stream
Of lively portraiture displayed,
Softly on my eyelids laid;


And, as I wake, sweet music breathe
Above, about, or underneath,

Sent by some Spirit to mortals good,
Or the unseen Genius of the wood.
But let my due feet never fail
To walk the studious cloister's pale,
And love the high embowèd roof,
With antique pillars massy-proof,
And storied windows richly dight,
Casting a dim religious light.
There let the pealing organ blow,
To the full-voiced quire below,
In service high and anthems clear,

As may with sweetness, through mine ear,
Dissolve me into ecstasies,

And bring all Heaven before mine eyes.
And may at last my weary age
Find out the peaceful hermitage,
The hairy gown and mossy cell,
Where I may sit and rightly spell
Of every star that heaven doth shew,
And every herb that sips the dew,
Till old experience do attain
To something like prophetic strain.
These pleasures, Melancholy, give;
And I with thee will choose to live.




Part of an Entertainment presented to the Countess Dowager of Derby at Harefield by some Noble Persons of her Family; who appear on the Scene in pastoral habit, moving toward the seat of state, with this song:

I. Song.

Look, Nymphs and Shepherds, look!
What sudden blaze of majesty

Is that which we from hence descry,
Too divine to be mistook?

This, this is she

To whom our vows and wishes bend:
Here our solemn search hath end.

Fame, that her high worth to raise
Seemed erst so lavish and profuse,
We may justly now accuse
Of detraction from her praise :

Less than half we find expressed;
Envy bid conceal the rest.

Mark what radiant state she spreads,
In circle round her shining throne
Shooting her beams like silver threads:
This, this is she alone,

Sitting like a goddess bright
In the centre of her light.

Might she the wise Latona be,
Or the towered Cybele,

Mother of a hundred gods?
Juno dares not give her odds:

Who had thought this clime had held
A deity so unparalleled?



As they come forward, THE GENIUS OF THE WOOD appears, and, turning toward them, speaks.



Gen. Stay, gentle Swains, for, though in this disguise, I see bright honour sparkle through your eyes; Of famous Arcady ye are, and sprung Of that renownèd flood, so often sung, Divine Alpheus, who, by secret sluice, Stole under seas to meet his Arethuse; And ye, the breathing roses of the wood, Fair silver-buskined Nymphs, as great and good. I know this quest of yours and free intent Was all in honour and devotion meant To the great mistress of yon princely shrine, Whom with low reverence I adore as mine, And with all helpful service will comply To further this night's glad solemnity, And lead ye where ye may more near behold What shallow-searching Fame hath left untold; Which I full oft, amidst these shades alone, Have sat to wonder at, and gaze upon. For know, by lot from Jove, I am the Power Of this fair wood, and live in oaken bower, To nurse the saplings tall, and curl the grove With ringlets quaint and wanton windings wove; And all my plants I save from nightly ill Of noisome winds and blasting vapours chill; And from the boughs brush off the evil dew, And heal the harms of thwarting thunder blue, Or what the cross dire-looking planet smites, Or hurtful worm with cankered venom bites. When evening grey doth rise, I fetch my round Over the mount, and all this hallowed ground; And early, ere the odorous breath of morn Awakes the slumbering leaves, or tasselled horn Shakes the high thicket, haste I all about,




Number my ranks, and visit every sprout

With puissant words and murmurs made to bless. 60
But else, in deep of night, when drowsiness
Hath locked up mortal sense, then listen I
To the celestial Sirens' harmony,

That sit upon the nine infolded spheres,
And sing to those that hold the vital shears,
And turn the adamantine spindle round
On which the fate of gods and men is wound.
Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie,
To lull the daughters of Necessity,
And keep unsteady Nature to her law,
And the low world in measured motion draw
After the heavenly tune, which none can hear
Of human mould with gross unpurgèd ear.
And yet such music worthiest were to blaze
The peerless height of her immortal praise
Whose lustre leads us, and for her most fit,
If my inferior hand or voice could hit
Inimitable sounds. Yet, as we go,
Whate'er the skill of lesser gods can show
I will assay, her worth to celebrate,
And so attend ye toward her glittering state;
Where ye may all, that are of noble stem,
Approach, and kiss her sacred vesture's hem.

II. Song.

O'er the smooth enamelled green,
Where no print of step hath been,
Follow me, as I sing

And touch the warbled string;
Under the shady roof

Of branching elm star-proof

Follow me.

I will bring you where she sits,




Clad in splendour as befits
Her deity.

Such a rural Queen

All Arcadia hath not seen.

III. Song.

Nymphs and Shepherds, dance no more
By sandy Ladon's lilied banks;
On old Lycæus, or Cyllene hoar,
Trip no more in twilight ranks;
Though Erymanth your loss deplore,

A better soil shall give ye thanks.
From the stony Mænalus
Bring your flocks, and live with us;
Here ye shall have greater grace,

To serve the Lady of this place.

Though Syrinx your Pan's mistress were,
Yet Syrinx well might wait on her.

Such a rural Queen

All Arcadia hath not seen.



BLEST pair of Sirens, pledges of Heaven's joy,
Sphere-born harmonious sisters, Voice and Verse,
Wed your divine sounds, and mixed power employ,
Dead things with inbreathed sense able to pierce :
And to our high-raised phantasy present
That undisturbèd song of pure concent,
Aye sung before the sapphire-coloured throne
To Him that sits thereon,

With saintly shout and solemn jubilee;
Where the bright Seraphim in burning row
Their loud uplifted angel-trumpets blow,
And the Cherubic host in thousand quires
Touch their immortal harps of golden wires,


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