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They can affirm his praises best,
How good he is, how just
And fit for highest trust ; Nor yet grown stiffer with command, But still in the Republic's hand
How fit he is to sway
That can so well obey !
And (what he may) forbears
And has his sword and spoils ungirt
So when the falcon high
Falls heavy from the sky,
Where, when he first does lure,
-What may not then our Isle presume While victory his crest does plume ?
What may not others fear
As Cæsar he, ere long, to Gaul,
And to all states not free
The Pict no shelter now shall find
But from this valour, sad
Happy, if in the tufted brake
Nor lay his hounds in near
But Thou, the War's and Fortune's son,
And for the last effect
Besides the force it has to fright
The same arts that did gain
Elegy on a Friend drowned in the Irish Channel.
Yet once more, O ye laurels, and once more
Begin then, Sisters of the sacred well That from beneath the seat of Jove doth spring; Begin, and somewhat loudly sweep the string ;
Hence with denial vain and coy excuse :
For we were nursed upon the self-same hill,
But, О the heavy change, now thou art gone, Now thou art gone, and never must return ! Thee, Shepherd, thee the woods, and desert caves With wild thyme and the gadding vine o'ergrown, And all their echoes, mourn : The willows and the hazel copses green Shall now no more be seen Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays : As killing as the canker to the rose, Or taint-worm to the weanling herds that graze, Or frost to flowers, that their gay wardrobe wear When first the white-thorn blows; Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherds' ear.
Where were ye, Nymphs, when the remorseless deep Closed o'er the head of your loved Lycidas ? For neither were ye playing on the steep Where your old bards, the famous Druids, lie, Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high, Nor yet where Deva spreads her wizard stream: Ay me! I fondly dreamHad ye been there—for what could that have done? What could the Muse herself that Orpheus bore The Muse herself, for her enchanting son, Whom universal nature did lament, When by the rout that made the hideous roar His gory visage down the stream was sent, Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore ?
Alas! what boots it with incessant care To tend the homely, slighted, shepherd's trade And strictly meditate the thankless Muse ? Were it not better done, as others use, To sport with Amaryllis in the shade, Or with the tangles of Neæra's hair? Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise (That last infirmity of noble mind) To scorn delights, and live laborious days; But the fair guerdon when we hope to find, And think to burst out into sudden blaze, Comes the blind Fury with the abhorréd shears And slits the thin-spun life. “But not the praise," Phoebus replied, and touch'd my trembling ears ; “Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil, Nor in the glistering foil Set off to the world, nor in broad rumour lies : But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes And perfect witness of all-judging Jove; As he pronounces lastly on each deed, Of so much fame in heaven expect thy meed."
O fountain Arethuse, and thou honour'd flood Smooth-sliding Mincius, crown'd with vocal reeds! That strain I heard was of a higher mood : But now my oat proceeds, And listens to the herald of the sea That came in Neptune's plea ; He ask'd the waves, and ask'd the felon winds, What hard mishap hath doom'd this gentle swain ? And question'd every gust of rugged wings That blows from off each beakéd promontory : They knew not of his story ; And sage Hippotades their answer brings, That not a blast was from his dungeon stray'd ; The air was calm, and on the level brine Sleek Panope with all her sisters play'd. It was that fatal and perfidious bark Built in the eclipse, and rigg'd with curses dark, That sunk so low that sacred head of thine.
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