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TO CORINNA, TO GO A-MAYING. 47
ET up, get up for shame; the blooming
Upon her wings presents the god unshorn.
See how Aurora throws her fair
Fresh-quilted colours through the air ;
Get up, sweet slug-a-bed, and see
The dew bespangling herb and tree.
Each flower has wept and bow'd toward the east
Above an hour since, yet you are not drest,
Nay not so much as out of bed ;
When all the birds have matins said,
And sung their thankful hymns : 'tissin,
Nay profanation, to keep in,
Whenas a thousand virgins on this day
Spring sooner than the lark to fetch in May.
Rise and put on your foliage, and be seen
To come forth, like the spring-time, fresh and
And sweet as Flora. Take no care
For jewels for your gown or hair ;
Fear not, the leaves will strew
Gems in abundance upon you ;
Besides, the childhood of the day has kept,
Against you come, some orient pearls unwept;
Come, and receive them while the light
Hangs on the dew-locks of the night ;
And Titan on the eastern hill
Retires himself, or else stands still
Till you come forth. Wash, dress, be brief in
praying; Few beads are best when once we go a-maying.
PROPHETS and poets were of old
Made of the same celestial mould.
True poets are a saint-like race,
And with the gift receive the grace ;
Of their own songs the virtue feel,
Warm’d with an heav'n-enkindled zeal.
A poet should have heat and light;
Of all things a capacious sight;
Serenity with rapture join'd;
Aims noble; eloquence refined,
Strong, modest; sweetness to endear;
Expressions lively, lofty, clear.
High thoughts; an admirable theme;
For decency a chaste esteem;
For harmony a perfect skill;
Just characters of good and ill ;
And all concenter'd—souls to please,
Instruct, inflame, melt, calm, and ease.
Such graces can nowhere be found
Except on consecrated ground;
Where poets fix on God their thought,
By sacred inspiration taught;
Where each poetic votary sings
In heavenly strains of heavenly things.
LYCIDAS. Yet once more, O ye laurels, and once more, Ye myrtles brown, with ivy never sere, I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude, And with forced fingers rude Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year : Bitter constraint and sad occasion dear Compels me to disturb your season due, For Lycidas is dead; dead ere his primeYoung Lycidas, and hath not left his peer. Who would not sing for Lycidas ? he knew
Himself to sing and build the lofty rhyme.
He must not float upon his watery bier
Unwept, and welter to the parching wind
Without the meed of some melodious tear.
For we were nurs’d upon the self-same hill,
Fed the same flock by fountain, shade, and rill.
Together both, ere the high lawns appear'd
Under the opening eyelids of the morn,
We drove afield; and both together heard
What time the grey fly winds her sultry horn,
Batt'ning our flocks with the fresh dews of night,
Oft till the star that rose at evening bright
T'wards heaven's descent had slop'd his westering
wheel. 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 tain-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 shepherd's ear.
But weep not, woful shepherds, weep no more For Lycidas, your sorrow is not dead, Sunk though he be beneath the watry floor. So sinks the day-star in the ocean-bed,
And yet anon repairs his drooping head,
And tricks his beams, and with new-spangled ore
Flames in the forehead of the morning sky:
For Lycidas sunk low, but mounted high
Through the dear might of Him who walk'd the
Where other groves and other streams along,
With nectar pure his oozy locks he laves,
And hears the unexpressive nuptial song
In the blest kingdoms meek of joy and love:
There entertain him all the saints above,
In solemn troops and sweet societies
That sing, and singing in their glory move,
And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes.
SLEEP. How many thousand of my poorest subjects Are at this hour asleep! O sleep, O gentle sleep, Nature's soft nurse, how bave I frighted thee, That thou no more wilt weigh mine eyelids down, And steep my senses in forgetfulness? Why rather, sleep, liest thou in smoky cribs, Upon uneasy pallets stretching thee, And hush'd with buzzing night-flies to thy slumber, Than in the perfum'd chambers of the great, Under the canopies of costly state, And lull'd with sounds of sweetest melody? O thou dull god, why liest thou with the vile In loathsome beds, and leav'st the kingly couch