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As they come forward, THE Gen1us OF THE WOOD appears, and, turning toward them, speaks.
Gen. Stay, gentle Swains, for, though in this disguise,
Stole under seas to meet his Arethuse;
What shallow-searching Fame hath left untold;
And heal the harms of thwarting thunder blue,
Vol. 1. M
Number my ranks, and visit every sprout
With puissant words and murmurs made to bless. 60
But else, in deep of night, when drowsiness
Hath locked 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, 70
And the low world in measured 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,
If my inferior hand or voice could hit
Inimitable sounds. Yet, as we go,
Whate'er the skill of lesser gods can show
I will assay, her worth to celebrate, 80
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 enamelled green,
Where no print of step hath been,
Under the shady roof
Of branching elm star-proof
Follow me. go
I will bring you where she sits,
Clad in splendour as befits
Nymphs and Shepherds, dance no more
By sandy Ladon's lilied banks;
Trip no more in twilight ranks;
A better soil shall give ye thanks.
Such a rural Queen
All Arcadia hath not seen.
AT A SOLEMN MUSIC.
BLEST pair of Sirens, pledges of Heaven's joy,
Sphere-born harmonious sisters, Voice and Verse,
Wed your divine sounds, and mixed power employ,
Dead things with inbreathed sense able to pierce;
And to our high-raised phantasy present
That undisturbed song of pure concent,
Aye sung before the sapphire-coloured throne
To Him that sits thereon,
With saintly shout and solemn jubilee;
Where the bright Seraphim in burning row 11
Their loud uplifted angel-trumpets blow,
And the Cherubic host in thousand quires
Touch their immortal harps of golden wires,
With those just Spirits that wear victorious palms,
Hymns devout and holy psalms
That we on Earth, with undiscording voice,
May rightly answer that melodious noise;
As once we did, till disproportioned sin
Jarred against nature's chime, and with harsh din 20
Broke the fair music that all creatures made
To their great Lord, whose love their motion swayed
In perfect diapason, whilst they stood
In first obedience, and their state of good.
O, may we soon again renew that song,
And keep in tune with Heaven, till God ere long
To his celestial consort us unite,
To live with Him, and sing in endless morn of light!
FLY, envious Time, till thou run out thy race:
Call on the lazy leaden-stepping Hours,
Whose speed is but the heavy plummet's pace;
And glut thyself with what thy womb devours,
Which is no more than what is false and vain,
And merely mortal dross;
So little is our loss,
So little is thy gain!
For, when as each thing bad thou hast entombed,
And, last of all, thy greedy self consumed, 1 o
Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss
With an individual kiss,
And Joy shall overtake us as a flood;
When every thing that is sincerely good,
And perfectly divine,
With Truth, and Peace, and Love, shall ever shine
About the supreme throne
Of Him, to whose happy-making sight alone
When once our heavenly-guided soul shall climb,
Then, all this earthly grossness quit, 20
Attired with stars we shall for ever sit,
Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee, O Time!
UPON THE CIRCUMCISION.
Ye flaming Powers, and winged Warriors bright,
Entered the world now bleeds to give us ease.
His infancy to seize!
O more exceeding love, or law more just?
And that great covenant which we still transgress
Will pierce more near his heart.