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Dwell in some idle brain,
And fancies fond with gaudy shapes possess, As thick and numberless
As the gay motes that people the sun-beams; Or likest hovering dreams
The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train. 10 But hail, thou Goddess, sage and holy, Hail divinest Melancholy, Whose saintly visage is too bright To hit the sense of human sight, And therefore to our weaker view
15 O'erlaid with black, staid Wisdom's hue; Black, but such as in esteem Prince Memnon's sister might beseem, Or that starr'd Ethiop queen that strove To set her beauties' praise above
20 The sea-nymphs, and their powers offended; Yet thou art higher far descended ; Thee bright-hair'd Vesta long of yore To solitary Saturn bore ; His daughter she (in Saturn's reign
25 Such mixture was not held a stain): Oft in glimmering bowers and glades He met her, and in secret shades Of woody Ida's inmost grove, While yet there was no fear of Jove.
30 Come pensive Nun, devout and pure, Sober, steadfast, and demure, All in a robe of darkest grain, Flowing with majestic train, And sable stole of Cyprus lawn,
35 Over thy decent shoulders drawn. Come, but keep thy wonted state, With even step, and musing gait, And looks commercing with the skies, Thy rapt soul sitting in thine eyes :
40 There, held in holy passion still, Forget thyself to marble, till With a sad leaden downward cast Thou fix them on the earth as fast:
19. Ethiop queen; Cassiope, who was so beautiful that the Nereids determined on her destruction. She was carried, it syid, to the skies, and made a star of: hence the epithet.
And join with thee calm Peace and Quiet
Oft, on a plat of rising ground,
56. The cheerful character of the former poem rendered it vecessary to commence with a description of morning sights an vleasures; in his the poet properly begins with evening.