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Of pine or monumental oak,
Where the rude axe with heavéd stroke
Was never heard the nymphs to daunt,
Or fright them from their hallow'd haunt.
There in close covert by some brook,
Where no profaner eye may look,
Hide me from day's garish eye,
While the bee with honey'd thigh,
That at her flowery work doth sing,
And the waters murmuring,
With such consort as they keep,
Entice the dewy-feather'd sleep :
And let some strange mysterious dream
Wave at his wings in airy stream
Of lively portraiture display'd,
Softly on my eye-lids laid ;
And as I wake sweet music breathe
Above, about, or underneath,
Sent by some sp’rit to mortals good,
Or th’unseen Genius of the wood.
But let my due feet never fail
To walk the studious cloisters pale,
And love the high embowéd roof,
With antique pillars' massy proof,
And storied windows richly dight,
Casting a dim religious light :
There let the pealing organ blow
To the full-voic'd quire below,
In service high, aud anthems clear,
As may with sweetness, through mine ear,
Dissolve me into ecstasies,
And bring all heaven before mine eyes.
And may at last my weary age
Find out the peaceful hermitage,
The hairy gown and mossy cell,
Where I may sit and rightly spell
Of ev'ry star that heaven doth shew,
And every herb that sips the dew :
Till old experience do attain
To something like prophetic strain.
These pleasures, Melancholy, give,
And I with thee will choose to live.
3. MORNING HYMN, These are thy glorious works, Parent of good! Almighty! thine this universal frame, Thus wondrous fair! thyself how wondrous then ! Unspeakable! who sitt'st above these heavens, To us invisible, or dimly seen In these thy lowest works; yet these declare Thy goodness beyond thought and power divine Speak, ye who best can tell, ye sons of light, Angels : for ye behold him, and with songs And choral symphonies, day without night, Circle his throne rejoicing; ye in heaven, On earth, join, all ye creatures, to extol Him first, him last, him midst, and without end. Fairest of stars, last in the train of night, If better thou belong not to the dawn, Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling morn With thy bright circlet, praise him in thy sphere, While day arises, that sweet hour of prime. Thou sun, of this great world both eye and soul, Acknowledge him thy greater; sound his praise In thy eternal course, both when thou climb'st, And when high noon hast gain’d and when thou fall’st, Moon, that now meet'st the orient sun, now fly’st With the fix'd stars, fix'd in their orb that flies; And ye five other wand'ring fires that move In mystic dance, not without song resound His praise, who, out of darkness, call'd up light. Air, and ye elements, the eldest birth Of nature's womb, that in quaternion run Perpetual circle, multiform, and mix, And nourish all things; let your ceaseless change Vary to our great Maker still new praise. Ye mists, and exhalations, that now rise From hill or streaming lake, dusky or grey, Till the sun paint your fleecy skirts with gold, In honour to the world's great Author rise,
Whether to deck with clouds th' uncolour'd sky,
Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers,
Rising or falling still advance his praise.
His praise, ye winds, that from four quarters blow,
Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye pines,
With every plant, in sign of worship wave.
Fountains, and ye that warble, as ye flow,
Melodious murmurs, warbling, tune his praise.
Join voices, all ye living souls : ye birds,
That singing up to heaven's gate ascend,
Bear on your wings, and in your
notes his praise Ye that in waters glide, and ye
The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep;
Witness if I be silent, morn or eve,
To hill or valley, fountain or fresh shade,
Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise.
Hail, universal Lord ! be bounteous still
To give us only good; and if the night
Have gather'd aught of evil, or conceald,
Disperse it, as now light dispels the dark.
4. SATAN'S ADDRESS TO THE SUN.
O thou that, with surpassing glory crown'd,
Look’st from thy sole dominion like the god
Of this new world: at whose sight all the stars
Hide their diminish'd heads : to thee I call,
But with no friendly voice, and add thy name,
O sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams,
That bring to my remembrance from what state
I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere ;
Till pride and worse ambition threw me down,
Warring in heav'n against heav'n's matchless king
Ah, wherefore ? he deserv'd no such return
From me, whom he created what I was
In that bright eminence, and with his good
Upbraided none ; nor was his service hard.
What could be less than to afford him praise,
The easiest recompense, and pay him thanks?
How due! yet all his good prov'd ill to me,
And wrought but malice; lifted up so high
I 'sdain'd subjection, and thought one step higher
Would set me high’st, and in a moment quit
The debt immense of endless gratitude
So burthensome, still paying, still to owe;
Forgetful what from him I still receiv'd;
And understood not that a grateful mind
By owing owes not, but still pays at once
Indebted and discharg'd : what burthen then ?
O had his powerful destiny ordain'd
Me some inferior angel, I had stood
Then happy ; no unbounded hope had rais'd
Ambition. Yet why not? some other
As great might have aspir’d, and me, though mean,
Drawn to his part : but other powers as great
Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within
Or from without, to all temptations arm'd.
Hadst thou the same free will and power to stand ?
Thou hadst. Whom hast thou then,or what t'accuse.
But Heaven's free love, dealt equally to all ?
Be then his love accurs’d, since love or hate,
To me alike, it deals eternal woe.
Nay, curs'd be thou: since against his thy will
Chose freely, what it now so justly rues.
Me miserable! which way shall I fly
Infinite wrath and infinite despair?
Which way I fly is hell ; myself am hell ;
And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep
Still threat’ning to devour me opens wide,
To which the hell I suffer seems a heaven.
O then at last relent: is there no place
Left for repentance, none for pardon left ?
None left but by submission; and that word
Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduc'd
With other promises and other vaunts,
Than to submit, boasting I could subdue
Th' Omnipotent. Ah me, they little know
How dearly I abide that boast so vain;
Under what torments inwardly I groan,
While they adore me on the throne of hell:
With diadem aud sceptre high advanc'd,
The lower still I fall, only supreme
In misery ; such joy ambition finds.
But say I could repent, and could obtain,
By act of grace, my former state ; how soon
Would height recall high thoughts, how soon unsay
What feign'd submission swore ! ease would recant
Vows made in pain, as violent and void:
For never can true reconcilement grow
Where wounds of deadly hate have pierc'd so deep •
Which would but lead me to a worse relapse,
And heavier fall : so should I purchase dear
Short intermission, bought with double smart.
This knows my punisher : therefore as far
From granting he, as I from begging peace.
All hope excluded thus, behold instead
Of us outcast, exil'd, his new delight
Mankind created, and for him this world.
So farewell hope, and with hope farewell fear,
Farewe!l, remorse; all good to me is lost:
Evil, be thou my good : by thee at least
Divided empire with heaven's king I hold,
By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign
As man ere long, and this new world, shall know.
5. INVOCATION TO LIGHT.
Hail, holy light, offspring of heaven first-born,
Or of th' eternal co-eternal beam !
May I express thee unblam’d ? since God is light,
And never but in unapproached light
Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee,
Bright effluence of bright essence increate.
Or hear'st thou rather pure
Whose fountain who shall tell ? before the sun,
Before the heavens thou wert, and at the voice
Of God, as with a mantle, didst invest
The rising world of waters dark and deep,
Won from the void and formless infinite.
Thee I revisit now with bolder wing,