Page images
PDF
EPUB

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,
Fill’d 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 goi .
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,
Mirty, 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-tower 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 rear of darkness thin,
And to the stack, or the barn-door,
Stoutly struts his dames before:
Oft list’ning how the hounds and horn
Cheerly rouse the slumb’ring morn,
From the side of some hoar hill,
Through the high wood echoing shrill:
Some time walking not unseen
By hedge-row elms, on hillocks green,
Right against the eastern gate,
Where the great sun begins his state,

Rob’d in flames and amber light,
The clouds in thousand liveries dight;
While the ploughman 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 dale.
Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures
Whilst the landskip round it measures,
Russet lawns, and fallows grey,
Where the nibbling flocks do stray,
Mountains, on whose barren breast
The lab'ring 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 sav'ry dinner set,
Of herbs, and other country messes,
Which the neat-handed Phillis dresses ;
And then in haste her bower she leaves,
With TH ESTYLIS to bind the sheaves ;
Or, if the earlier season lead,
To the tann'd haycock in the mead.
Sometimes with secure delight
The upland hamlets will invite,
When the merry bells ring round,
And the jocund rebecs 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 faery Mas the junkets eat,
She was pinch'd and pull’d, she said,
And he by friar's lantern led ;

Tells how the drudging Goblin swet, 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-lab’rers could not end; Then lies him down the lubber 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 matin rings. Thus done the tales, to bed they creep, By whisp’ring 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, With store of ladies, whose bright eyes Rain influence, and judge the prize Of wit, or arms, while both contend To win her grace, whom all commend. There let Hymen oft appear In saffron robe, with taper clear,

« PreviousContinue »