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L Y C I D A S.
In this Monody the Author bewails a Learned Friend, unfortunately drown'd in his passage from Chester on the Irish Seas, 1637. And by occasion foretells the ruin of our corrupted Clergie, then in their height.
T7"ET once more, O ye Laurels, and once more
Ye Myrtles brown, with Ivy never fear,
I come to pluck your Berries harsh and crude,
And with fore'd fingers rude,
Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year,
Bister constraint, and fad occasion dear,
Compels me to difturb your season due:
For Lycidas is dead, dead e'er his prime,
Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer:
Who would not sing for Lycidas? he knew
Himself to sing, and build the lossy Rhyme,
He must not flote upon his watry bier
Unwept, and welter to the parching wind,
Without the meed of some melodious tear.
Begin then, Sisters of the Sacred well,
That from beneath the feat of Jove doth spring,
Begin, and somewhat loudly sweep the string.
Hence with denial vain, and coy excuse,
So may some gentle Muse
With lucky words favour my'destin'd Urn,
And as he passes turn,
And bid fair peace be to my fable shrowd.
For we were nurst upon the self-fame Hill,
Fed the same flock} by fountain, shade, and rill.
Together both, e'er the high Lawns appear'd Under the opening Eye-lids of the morn, We drove a field, and both together heard -• What time the Gray-fly winds her sultry horn, Batt'ning our flocks with the fresh dews of night, Oft till the Star that rose, at Ev'ning, bright,.
Towards Heav'ns descent had stop'd his westering
Mean while the Rural ditties were not mute,^-w^ec^
Temper'd to th' Oaten Flute,
Rough Satyrs danc'd, and Fauns with clov'n heel,
From the glad sound would not be absent long,
And oidDamatas lov'd to hear our Song.
But O the heavy change, now thou art gone,
Now thou art gone, and never must return I
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 layes,
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 Clos'd o'er the head of your lov'd Lycidas? [^eeP For neither were ye playing on the steep, Where your old Bards, the famous Druids, lye,
Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high,
Nor yet where Deva spreads her wisard stream*
Ay me, I fondly dream!
Had ye been there—for what could that have done
What could the Muse her self that Orpheus bore,
The Muse her self for her enchanting Son,
Whom Universal Nature did lament,
When by the rout that made the hideous roar,
His goary visige down the stream was sent,
Ppwn the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shoar.
Alas! What boots it with unceflant care
To end, the homely flighted Shepherds trade,
And strictly meditate the thankless Muse,
Were it not better done as others use,
To sport with AwafyUis in the shade,
Or with the tangles of Neara'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 j
But the fair Guerdon when we hope to find,
And think to burst out into sudden blaze,
Gomes the blind Fury with th' abhorred (hears,
And flits the thin spun Life, But not the praise,
Phœbus reply'd, and touch'd my trembling ears 5
Fame is no plant that grows on mortal foil,
Nor in the glistering foil
Set off to th'world, nor in broad rumour lies,
But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes,
And perfect witness of all-judging Jove -t
As he pronounces lastly on each deed,
Of so much fame in Heav'n expect thy meed.
O Fountain Arethuse3 and thou honour'd flood, Smooth-Aiding 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 Fellon Winds, What hard mishap hath doom'd this gentle swain? And questioned every gust of rugged winds That blows from off each beaked Promontory y 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 Tanope with all her Sisters play'd.