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Sometimes witli secure delight
The upland hamlets 40 will invite,
When the merry bells ring round,
And the jocund 4. rebecs 42 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 daylight fail;

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Then to the spicy nut-brown ale,
With stories told of many a feat,
How fairy Mab 43 the junkets 44 ate;
She was pinch'd, and pull’d, she said,
And he bý friar's lantern 45 led ;
Tells how the drudging 49 goblin" sweat.
To earn his cream-bowl duly set,
When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,
His shadowy flail hath thresh'd the corn,

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That ten day labourers 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 whispering winds soon lull'd to sleep.

Tow'red cities 48 please us then,
And the busy bum 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 49 contend
To win her grace, whom all commend.
There let Hymen so oft appear
In saffron robe with taper clear,
And pomp, and feast, and revelry,
With mask and antique pageantry;
Such sights as youthful poets dream,
On summer eves by haunted stream.
Then to the well-trod stage 2 anon,
If Jonson's 53 learned sock "4 be on,
Or sweetest Shakespeare, 65 Fancy's child,
Warble his native wood-notes wild.
And ever against eating cares
Lap me in soft Lydian airs,
Married to immortal verse,
Such as the melting soul may pierce,
In notes with many a winding bout
Of linked sweetness long drawn out,

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With wanton heed, and giddy cunning,
The melting voice through mazes running,
Untwisting all the chains that tie
The hidden soul of harmony;
That Orpheus' 57 self may heave his head
From golden slumber on a bed
Of heap'd Elysian flowers, and hear
Such strains as would have won the ear
Of Pluto,58 to have quite set free
His half-regain’d Eurydice.

These delights if thou canst give,
MIRTH, with thee I mean to live.

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140 32 Fallows, fields which have been 45 Friar's lantern, the ignis fatuus

· NOTES.

care.

1 L'Allegro, the mirthful or cheerful turn which tend to surprise and

man. This poem is intended to puzzle by their intricacy. picture the cheerfulness and plea- 14 Wanton wiles, sly, artful tricks sure of such a man.

done in sport. 2 Loathed, detested, hated.

15 Becks, signs made with the head 3 Melancholy. It is here addressed or hand.

as though it were a person. 16 Hebe, the goddess of youth. 4 Cerberus, the three-headed dog 17 Wrinkled care, the forehead be

that guarded the entrance of comes furrowed or wrinkled by

Hades (the lower world). 5 Blackest midnight, Nox, the per- 18 Derides, laughs at.

sonification of night, represented 19 Trip, dance. as the daughter of Chaos.

20 Crew, company. 6 Stygian, hateful. An adjective 21 Watch-tower, in allusion to the

from Styx, the chief river of great height to which the sky. Hades,

lark soars. 7 Ebon, dark, black, from ebony, the 22 Dappled, speckled or spotted, in name of a black wood.

allusion to the sky, the early 8 Cimmerian. The Cimmerians were morn being flecked or spotted

a people, according to Homer, with light clouds. who lived in a far-off western 23 Twisted eglantine, the honeysuckle country of perpetual mists and or woodbine so often found twindarkness. “Cimmerian dark- ing around the stems of young ness" became a proverb.

trees. 9 Yclep'd, called.

24 Hoar, appearing of a white or 10 Euphrosyne, the mirthful; one of greyish-white colour through the the three graces.

haze of distance. 11 Nymphs. The nymphs (according 25 Hillocks, little hills.

to ancient mythology) were fe- 26 Amber, a yellow or golden colour. male goddesses presiding over 27 Liveries, splendid colours. different parts of nature; us the 28 Dight, dressed, adorned, or ar. woods, seas, rivers, mountains, ranged. &c.

29 Blithe, blithe'y. 12 Quips, smart sayings or jokes, 30 Whets, sharpens. 13 Oranks, sayings having a lively | 81 Russet, reddish-brown.

ploughed, but which are left for commonly known as a Willo' the a year or more before they are Wisp,'

" "Jack o' Lantern." sown or tilled.

46 Drudging, toiling, hard-working. 33 Labouring, moving slowly, as hea- 47 Goblin, a mischievous spirit. vily laden.

43 Tower'd cities, towns with lofty or 34 Pied, of varied colour.

grand buildings. 35 Towers and battlements, referring 49 Both, wit and arms.

to the turreted castles so common 50 Hymen, the god of marriage.

in England at Milton's time. 51 Saffron, deep yellow. 36 Lies, lives, dwells.

52 Well-trod stage, the theatre. 37 Cynosure, the constellation of stars 53 Ben Jonson (1574-1637), was the

called the Lesser Bear, in which most learned of the dramatists is the North Polar Star.

of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. 38 Messes, kinds of food.

54 Sock, a low-heeled light shoe, worn 39 Tann'd, made brown by the heat in ancient times by actors of of the sun.

comedy. 40 Hamlet, a very small village, lite- 55 William Shakespeare (1564-1616), rally a little house.

was the greatest of English dra. 41 Jocund, merry, cheerful.

matists and poets. 42 Rebec, a stringed musical instru: 56 Lydian airs, noted among the an

ment something like a fiddle or cients as the most tender and guitar, with three strings, played sweet. on with a bow.

57 Orpheus, a fabulous Greek poet and 43 Mab, Queen of the fairies.

singer among the Greeks. 44 Junkets, country dainties or sweet. 58 Pluto, the god of the lower or inmeats.

fernal regions.

ALEXANDER’S FEAST.1

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'Twas at the royal feast for Persia? won
By Philip's warlike son-
Aloft, in awful state,
The god-like hero sat
On his imperial throne.

His valiant' peers * were plac'd around; Their brows with roses and with myrtle bound:

(So should desert' in arms be crown'd.)
The lovely Thais by his side,
Sate like a blooming Eastern bride,
In flower of youth and beauty's pride.—

Happy, happy, happy pair !
None but the brave,

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None but the brave,

None but the brave deserve the fair.
Timotheus, plac'd on high
Amid the tuneful choir,

With flying fingers touched the lyre ; 8
The trembling notes ascend the sky,

And heavenly joys inspire. —

The list'ning crowd admire the lofty sound:
A present deity !o they shout around !
A present deity! the vaulted roofs rebound. -

With ravished 10 ears
The monarch hears,

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Assumes " the god,
Affects to nod,

And seems to shake the spheres. The praise of Bacchus," then, the sweet

musician sung, Of Bacchus, ever fair and ever young! 30 The jolly god in triumph comes !

Sound the trumpets! beat the drums ! Flush'd with a purple grace,

He shows his honest face,
Now give the hautboys 14 breath! he comes !

he comes !
Bacchus, ever fair and young,
Drinking joys did first ordain;

Bacchus' blessing are a treasure ;
Drinking is the soldier's pleasure :
Rich the treasure:
Sweet the pleasure;
Sweet the pleasure after pain.

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