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Hence, loathed Melancholy,

Of Cerberus and blackest midnight born

In Stygian cave forlorn,

'Mongst horrid shapes, and shrieks, and sights unholy !

Find out some uncouth cell,

Where brooding Darkness spreads his jealous wings,

And the night-raven sings;

There under ebon shades, and low brow'd rocks

As ragged as thy locks,

In dark Cimmerian desert ever dwell.

But come, thou goddess fair and free,

In heaven yclept Euphrosyne,
And by men, heart-easing Mirth,
Whom lovely Venus, at a birth
With two sister Graces more,
To ivy-crowned Bacchus bore:

Or whether (as some sager) singl

The frolic wind, that breathes the spring,

Zephyr with Aurora playing,
As he met her once a Maying,

There on beds of violets blue

And fresh-blown roses wash'd in dew,

Fill'd her with thee, a daughter fair,

So buxom, blithe and debonair.

Haste thee, Nymph, and bring with thee

Jest and youthful Jollity,

Quips and Cranks, and wanton Wiles,2

Nods and Becks and wreathed Smiles

Such as hang on Hebe's cheek,

And love to live in dimple sleek ;
Sport that wrinkled Care derides,

And Laughter holding both his sides.

Come and trip it, as you go,
On the light fantastic toe;

And in thy right hand lead with thee
The mountain-nymph, sweet Liberty;
And, if I give thee honour due,
Mirth, admit me of thy crew,

To live with her, and live with thee,
In unreproved pleasures free;
To hear the lark begin his flight,
And singing, startle the dull night,
From his watch-tower in the skies,
Till the dappled dawn doth rise;
Then to come in spite of sorrow,
And at my window bid good morrow,
Through the sweet-briar, or the vine,
Or the twisted eglantine;

While the cock with lively din,
Scatters the rear of darkness thin,
And to the stack or the barn-door
Stoutly struts his dames before:
Oft listening how the hounds and horn
Cheerly rouse the slumbering morn,
From the side of some hoar hill,

Through the high wood echoing shrill :
Sometimes walking, not unseen,

By hedge-row elms, on hillocks green,

Right against the eastern gate
Where the great Sun begins his state,
Robed in flames and amber light,
The clouds in thousand liveries dight;
While the ploughman near at hand,
Whistles o'er the furrowed land,
And the milkmaid singeth blithe,
And the mower whets his scythe,
And every shepherd tells his tale1
Under the hawthorn in the dale.

Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures,
Whilst the landskip round it measures;
Russet lawns, and fallows gray,

Where the nibbling flocks do stray;
Mountains, on whose barren breast
The labouring clouds do often rest;
Meadows trim with daisies pide,
Shallow brooks and rivers wide.
Towers and battlements it sees
Bosom'd high in tufted trees,
Where perhaps some beauty lies,
The cynosure of neighbouring eyes."
Hard by, a cottage chimney smokes,
From betwixt two aged oaks ;
Where Corydon and Thyrsis, met,

Are at their savoury dinner set

Of herbs, and other country messes,
Which the neat-handed Phillis dresses;
And then in haste her bower she leaves
With Thestylis to bind the sheaves;
Or, if the earlier season lead,

To the tann'd haycock in the mead.
Sometimes, with secure delight,
The upland hamlets will invite,
When the merry bells ring round,
And the jocund rebecks sound
To màng ă youth and many a maid,
Dancing in the chequer'd shade;
And young and old come forth to play
On a sunshine holy-day,

Till the live-long day-light fail.

Then to the spicy nut-brown ale,

With stories told of many a feat,

How faery Mab the junkets eat;
She was pinch'd, and pull'd, she said,

And he, by friars' lantern led;

Tells how the drudging Goblin sweat,
To earn his cream-bowl duly set,
When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,
His shadowy flail had thrash'd the corn,
That ten day-labourers could not end;
Then lies him down the lubber fiend,
And stretch'd out all the chimney's length
Basks at the fire his hairy strength;
And crop-full out of doors he flings,
Ere the first cock his matin rings.
Thus done the tales, to bed they creep,

By whispering winds soon lull'd to sleep.
Tower'd cities please us then,

And the busy hum of men,

Where throngs of knights and barons bold,
In weeds of peace, high triumphs hold,
With store of ladies, whose bright eyes
Rain influence, and judge the prize
Of wit, or arms, while both contend
To win her grace, whom all commend.
There let Hymen oft appear

In saffron robe, with taper clear;
And pomp, and feast, and revelry,
With masque and antique pageantry;
Such sights as youthful poets dream
On summer eves by haunted stream.
Then to the well-trod stage anon,
If Jonson's learned sock be on,7
Or sweeteet Shakspeare, Fancy's child,
Warble his native wood-notes wild.

And ever against eating cares,

Lap me in soft Lydian airs,
Married to immortal verse,

Such as the meeting soul may pierce,
In notes with many a winding bout
Of linked sweetness long drawn out,

With wanton heed and giddy cunning,

The melting voice through mazes running,
Untwisting all the chains that tie

The hidden soul of harmony;

That Orpheus' self may heave his head
From golden slumbers on a bed

Of heap'd Elysian flowers and hear
Such strains as would have won the ear
Of Pluto, to have quite set free
His half regain'd Eurydice.
These delights if thou canst give,

Mirth, with thee I mean to live.

Milton shows his early fondness for the Italian language, by taking from it the titles of these poems. L'Allegro is the mirthful (man), and Il Penseroso the melancholy (pensive rather, or thoughtful). These two poems are supposed, with good reason, to have been written at Horton in Buckinghamshire, where his parents were residing at the time of their composition. I mention this circumstance, first because it is pleasant to know when poetry is written in poetical places, and next for the sake of such readers as may happen to know the spot.

1 “Some, sager, sing."-Ben Jonson, in one of his Masks. "Because," says Warburton, "those who give to Mirth such gross companions as Eating and Drinking, are the less sage mythologists."

2"Quips, and Cranks, and wanton Wiles."-What a Crank is, the commentators are puzzled to say. They guess, from analogy with "winding turns" (which

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