And early, ere the odorous breath of morn
Awakes the slumb'ring leaves, or tassel'd horn
Shakes the high thicket, haste I all about,
Number my ranks, and visit every sprout
With puissant words, and murmurs made to bless;
But else, in deep of night when drowsiness.
Hath lock'd 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 measur'd motion draw
After the heavenly tune, which none can hear
Of human mould, with gross unpurged 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,


my inferior hand or voice could hit

73 gross] Compare Shakesp. Merchant of Venice, act v. sc. 1. 'There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st,

But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubims:
Such harmony is in immortal sounds!
But whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close us in, we cannot hear it.'

Shakesp. Mid. N. D. act iii. sc. 1.

'And I will purge thy mortal grossness so,' &c. Warton.




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.


O'ER the smooth enamell'd 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.


NYMPHS and shepherds dance no more
By sandy Ladon's lilied banks;





89 star] 'Sun-proof arbours.' Sylvester's Du Bartas, 171, and G. Peele's David and Bethsabe, 1599.

'This shade, sun-proof, is yet no proof for thee.'

Warton and Todd.

97 By sandy Ladon's lilied banks] Giles Fletcher's Christ's Victorie and Triumph, 1632. To Ladon sands,' p. 14. and ‘On either side bank't with a lily wall,' p. 49. A. Dyce.

97 sandy] Browne's Brit. Past. ii. st. iv. p. 107.
'The silver Ladon on his sandy shore.'

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.

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O FAIREST flower, no sooner blown but blasted,
Soft silken primrose fading timelessly,

Summer's chief honour, if thou hadst out-lasted
Bleak Winter's force that made thy blossom dry;
For he being amorous on that lovely dye

That did thy cheek envermeil, thought to kiss, But kill'd, alas, and then bewail'd his fatal bliss.


For since grim Aquilo his charioteer

By boisterous rape th' Athenian damsel got,
He thought it touch'd his deity full near,

10] Shakespeare's Passionate Pilgrim.

'Swet Rose, fair flower, untimely pluckt, soon vaded,
Pluckt in the bud, and vaded in the spring!
Bright orient pearle, alack, too timely shaded,
Fair Creature, kild too soone by Death's sharpe sting.'


6 kiss] Shakesp. Venus and Adonis,

'He thought to kiss him, and hath kill'd him so.' Newton.


If likewise he some fair one wedded not,
Thereby to wipe away the infamous blot

Of long-uncoupled bed, and childless eld, Which 'mongst the wanton Gods a foul reproach was held.


So mounting up in icy-pearled car,
Through middle empire of the freezing air
He wander'd long, till thee he spy'd from far
There ended was his quest, there ceas'd his care.
Down he descended from his snow-soft chair,


But all unwares with his cold-kind embrace Unhous'd thy virgin soul from her fair biding place.



Yet art thou not inglorious in thy fate;
For so Apollo, with unweeting hand,
Whilome did slay his dearly-loved mate,
Young Hyacinth, born on Eurotas' strand,
Young Hyacinth, the pride of Spartan land;

But then transform'd him to a purple flower: Alack, that so to change thee Winter had no power!


Yet can I not persuade me thou art dead,

Or that thy corse corrupts in earth's dark womb,


12 infamous] The common accentuation of our elder poetry. Drummond's Urania, 1616,

'On this infamous stage of woe to die.' Todd.

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