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As they come forward, the Genius of the wood appears, and turning toward them, speaks.

Genius.
Stay, gentle swains, for though in this disguise,
I see bright honour sparkle through your eyes ;
Of famous Arcady ye are, and sprung
Of that renown'd flood, so osten sung,
Divine Alpheus, who, by secret sluice,
Stole under seas to meet his Arethuse;
And ye, the breathing roses of the wood,
Fair silver-buskin'd nymphs, as great and good,
I know this quest of yours, and free intent,
Was all in honour, and devotion meant,
To the great mistress of yon princely shrine,
Whom with low reverence, I adore as mine;
And, with all helpful service, will comply
To further this night's glad solemnity;
And lead ye where ye may more near behold;
What shallow-searching fame hath left untold;
Which I, full oft, amidst these shades alone,
Have sat to wonder at, and gaze upon :
For know, by lot from Jove, I am the power
Of this fair wood, and live in oaken bower,
To nurse the saplings tall, and curl the grove
With ringlets quaint, & wanton windings wove.
And all my plants I save from nightly ill
Of noisome winds, and blasting vapours chill :
And from the boughs brush off the evil dew,
And heal the harms of thwarting thunder blue,
Or what the cross dire-looking planet smites,
Or hurtful worm with canker'd venom bites.
When evening gray doth rise, I fetch my round
Over the mount, and all this hallow'd ground;
And early, ere the odorous breath of morn
Awakes the slumbering leaves, or tassellid horn
Shakes the high thicket, haste I all about,
Number my ranks, and visit every sprout,
With puissant words, & murmurs made to bless.
But else in deep of night, when drowsiness
Hath lock'd

up mortal sense, then listen I
To the celestial Syrens' 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,
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 highth 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,
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.

II. SONG.

O'ER the smooth enameli'd green, Where no print of step hath been,

Follow me, as I sing,

And touch the warbled string.
Under the shady roof
Of branching elm, star-proof.

Follow me,
I will bring you where she sits,
Clad in splendor, as befits

Her deity.
Such a rural queen
All Arcadia hath not seen,

III. SONG.

Nymphs and shepherds, dance no more
By sandy Ladon's lilied banks;
On old Lycæus, or Cyllene hoar,
Trip no more in twilight ranks ;
Though Erymanth your loss deplore,

A better soil shall give ye thanks.
From the stony Mänalus
Bring your flocks, and live with us,
Here ye shall have greater grace,
To serve the Lady of this place.
Though Syrinx your Pan's mistress were,
Yet Syrinx well might wait on her.

rural

queen All Arcadia hath not seen.

Such a

III.

Qual in colle

aspro,

al imbrunir di sera L'avezza giovinetta pastorella Va bagnando l'herbetta strana e bella

Che mal si spande a disusata spera
Fuor di sua natia alma primavera,

Cosi Amor meco insù la lingua snella
Desta ill fior novo di strania favella.

Mentre io di te, vezzosamente altera,
Canto, dal mio buon popol non inteso

E'l bel Tamigi cangio col bel Arno.

Amor lo volse, ed io a l'altrui peso
Seppi ch' Amor cosa mai volse indarno.

Deh! foss'il mio cour lento e'l duro seno
A chi pianta dal ciel si buon terreno.

CANZONE.

RIDONsI donne e giovani amorosi

M'accostandosi attorno, e perche scrivi,
Perche tu scrivi in lingua ignota e strana
Verseggiando d' amor, e comte t'osi ?
Dinne, se la tua speme sia mai vana,
E de pensieri lo miglior t'arrivi ;
Cosi mi van burlando, altri rivi
Altri lidi t'aspettan, ed altre onde
Nelle cui verdi sponde
Spuntati ad hor, ad hor a la tua chioma
L'immortal guiderdon d'eterne frondi
Perche alle spalle tue soverchia soma ?

Canzon dirotti, e tu per me rispondi
Dice mia Donna, e'l suo dir, é il mio cnore
Questa e lingua di cui si vanta Amore.

IV.

DATI, e tel' dirò con maraviglia,
Quel ritroso io ch'amor spreggiar soléa
E de suoi lacci spesso mi ridea

Gia caddi, ov' huom dabben talhor s'impiglia. Ne treccie d'oro, ne guanc a vermiglia

M’abbaglian sì, ma sotto nova idea
Pellegrina bellezza che'l cuor bea,

Portamenti alti honesti, e nelle ciglia
Quel sereno fulgor d'amabil nero,

Parole adorne di lingua piu d'una,

E'I cantar che di mezzo l'hemispero Traviar ben puo la faticosa Luna,

SONNETS.

1.

TO THE NIGHTINGALE.

O NIGHTINGALE, that, on yon bloomy spray,

Warblest at eve, when all the woods are still, Thou, with fresh hope, the lover's heart dost fill,

While the jolly Hours lead on propitious May. Thy liquid notes, that close the eye of day,

First heard before the shallow cuckoo's bill,
Portend success in love; O, if Jove's will

Have link'd that amorous power to thy soft lay, Now timely sing, ere the rude bird of hate

Foretell my hopeless doom, in some grove nigh ;
As thou,

from
year

to
year,
hast

sung too late For my relief, yet hadst no reason why:

Whether the Muse, or Love, call thee his mate, Both them I serve, and of their train am I.

II.

Donna leggiadra, il cui bel nome honora

L'herbosa val di Rheno, e il nobil varco ;
Bene è colui d'ogni valore scarco

Qual tuo spirto gentil non innamora ;
Che dolcemente mostra si di fuora
De sui atti soavi giamai parco,
Ei don', che son d'amor saette ed arco,

La onde l' alta tua virtu s'infiora.
Quando tu vaga parli, o lieta canti

Che mover possa dura alpestre legno,

Guardi ciascun a gli occhi, ed a gli orecchi
L'entrata, chi di te si trouva indegno;

Gratia sola di su gli maglia, inanti
Che'l disio amoroso al cuor s'invecchi.

E degli occhi suoi auventa si gran

fuoco Che l'incerar gli orecchi mi fia poco.

Per certo i bei vostr'occhi, Donna mia

Esser non puo che non sian lo mio sole
Si mi percuoton forte, come ei suole

Per l'arene di Libia chi s'invia,
Mentre un caldo vapor (ne sentì pria)

Da quel lato si spinge ove mi duole,
Che forse amanti nelle lor parole

Chiaman sospir ; io non so che si sia :
Parte rinchiusa, e turbida si cela

Scosso mi il petto, e poi n'uscendo росо

Quivi d' attorno o s'agghiaccia, o s'ingiela;
Ma quanto a gli occhi giunge a trovar loco

Tutte le notti a me suol far piovose
Finche mia Alba rivien colma di rose.

VI.

Giovane piano, e semplicette amante

Poi che fuggir me stesso in dubbio sono,
Madonna a voi del mio cuor l'humil dono

Farò divoto; io certo a prové tante,
L'hebbi fedele, intrepido, costante,

De pensieri leggiadro accorto, e buono ;
Quando rugge il gran mondo, e scocca il tuono,

S'arma di se, e d'intero diamante :
Tanto del forse, e d'invidia sicuro,

Di timori, e speranze, al popol use,

Quanto d'ingegno, e d'alto valor vago,
E di cetta sonora, e delle muse;

Sol troverete in tal parte men duro,
Ove Amor mise l'insanabil ago.

VII.

ON HIS BEING ARRIVED TO THE AGE OF 23. * How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth, Stolen, on his wing, my three and twentieth year! My hasting days fly on with full career,

But my late spring no bud or blossom sheweth. Perhaps my semblance might deceive the truth,

That I to manhood am arrived so near,

Written at Cambridge in 1631, and sent in a letter to a friend, who had importuned our author to take orders

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