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Where Joy and white-rob'd Peace resort,
And Venus keeps her festive court,
Where Mirth and Youth each evening meet,
And lightly trip with nimble feet,
Nodding their lily-crowned heads :
Where Laughter rose-lip'd Hebe leads;
Where Echo walks steep hills among,
List'ning to the shepherd's song.
Yet not these flow'ry fields of joy
Can long my pensive mind employ :
Haste, Fancy, from these scenes of folly,
To meet the matron Melancholy,
Goddess of the fearful eye,
That loves to fold her arms and sigh!
Let us with silent footsteps go
To charnels and the house of woe,
To Gothic churches, vaults, and tombs, .
Where each sad night some virgin comes,
With throbbing breast, and faded cheek,
Her promis'd bridegroom's urn to seek;
* Or to some Abbey's mould'ring tow'rs,
Where, to avoid cold wintry show'rs,
The naked beggar shiv'ring lies,
While whistling tempests round her rise,
And trembles lest the tott'ring wall
Should on her sleeping infants fall,
· Now let us louder strike the lyre,
For my heart glows with martial fire,
I feel, I feel, with sudden heat,
My big tumultuous bosom beat;
The trumpet's clangors pierce mine ear,
A thousand widows' shrieks I hear ;
Give me another horse! I cry;
Lo! the base Gallic squadrons fly!
Whence is this rage? --- What spirit, say,
To battle hurries me away?
'Tis Fancy, in her fiery car,
Transports me to the thickest war,
There whirls me o'er the hills of slain,
Where Tumult and Disorder reign ;
Where mad with pain the wounded steed .
Tramples the dying and the dead :
Where giant-Terror stalks around,
With sullen joy surveys the ground,
And pointing to th' ensanguin'd field,
Shakes his dreadful Gorgon-shield! -
O guide me from this horrid scene,
To high-arch'd walks and alleys green,
Which lovely Laura seeks, to shun.
The fervours of the mid-day sun ;
The pangs of absence. () remove, -
For thou canst place me near my love,
Canst fold in visionary bliss,
And let me think I steal a kiss.
When young-ey'd Spring profusely throws
From her green lap the pink and rose ;
When the soft turtle of the dale
To Summer tells her tender tale,
When Autumn cooling caverns seeks,
And stains with wine his jolly cheeks,
When Winter, like poor pilgrim old,
Shakes his silver beard with cold,
At ev'ry season let my ear
Thy solemn whispers, Fancy, hear.
O warm, enthusiastic maid!
Without thy pow'rful, vital aid,
That breathes an energy divine,
That gives a soul to ev'ry line,
Ne'er may I strive with lips profane
To utter an unhallow'd strain,
Nor dare to touch the sacred string,
Save when with smiles thou bid'st me sing.
O hear our prayer, 0 hither come
From thy lamented Shakespear's tomb,
On which thou lov'st to sit at eve,..
Musing o'er thy darling's grave; .
O Queen of numbers, once again..
Animate some chosen swain,
Who fill'd with unexhausted fire;
May boldly strike the soundingslyre,
May rise above the rhyming throng,
And with some new, unequall'd song
O’er all our list'ning passions reign,
O'erwhelm our souls with joy and pain;
With terror shake, with pity move,
Rouze with revenge, or melt with love..
O deign t'attend his ev'ning walk,
With bim ip groves and grottos talk :.
Teach him to scorn with frigid art
Feebly to touch th’unraptur'd heart;
Like lightning, let his mighty verse
The bosom's inmost foldings pierce :
With native beauties win applause,
Beyond cold critics' studied laws:
O let each Muse's fame increase,
O bid Britannia rival Greece!
(MILTON.) Hence loathed Melancholy, Of Cerberus and blackest Midnight born, In Stygian cave forlorn, 'Mongst horrid shapes, and shrieks, andsi ghts 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 desart ever dwell.
But come, thou'goddess fair and free,
In heav'n yclep'd 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 sages sing)
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,
Filld 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,
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-tow'r 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 reir of darkness thin,
And to the stack, or the barn-door,
Stoutly struts his dames before :
Oft list ning how the hounds and horn
Chearly rouse the slumb’ring morn,
From the side of some hoar hill,
Through the high wood echoing shrill :
Sometime walking not unseen
By hedge-row elms, on hillocks green,
Right against the eastern gale,
Where the great sun begins his state,
Rob'd in flames, and amber light,
The clouds in thousand liveries dight;
While the plough-man near at hand
Whistles o'er the furrow'd land,
And the milk-maid singeth blithe,
And the mower whets his scythe,
And every shepherd tells his tale
Under the hawthorn in the cale..
Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures,
Whilst the lardskip 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 pied : 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 Phyllis dresses ;
And then in haste her bower she leaves,
With Thestylis to bind his sheaves ;
Or, if the earlier season lead,
To the tann'u 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 many a youth, and many a maid,
Dancing in the chequer'd shade;
And young and old come forth to play
On a sunshine holiday,
Till the live-long day-light fail ;
Then to the spicy nut-brown ale,
With stories told of many a feat,
How Fairy Mab the junkets eat;
She was pincht, and pull’d, she said,
And he by friars' lanthorn 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 hath thresh'd the corn,
That ten day-labourers could not end,
T'hen lies him down the lubbar 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 mattin rings.
Thus done the tales, to bed they creep,
By whispering winds soon lull'd asleep.
Tow'red cities please us then, And the busy hum of men, Where throngs of knights and barons bold, In weeds of peace high triumphs hold,