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And hearing, as I lay at ease along,
Your swains contending for the prize of song!
I also dared attempt (and, as it seems,
Not much displeased attempting) various themes,
For even I can presents boast from you,
The shepherd's pipe, and ozier basket too,
And Dati, and Francini, both have made
My name familiar to the beechen shade,
And they are learn'd, and each in every place
Renown’d for song, and both of Lydian race.
Go, go, my lambs, untended homeward fare;
My thoughts are all now due to other care.
While bright the dewy grass with moonbeams
And I stood hurdling in my kids alone, [shone,
How often have I said (but thou hadst found
Ere then thy dark cold lodgment underground)
Now Damon sings, or springes sets for hares,
Or wickerwork for various use prepares !
How oft, indulging fancy, have I plann'd
New scenes of pleasure that I hoped at hand,
Call’d thee abroad as I was wont, and cried
What, hoa! my friend—come, lay thy task aside; Haste, let us forth together, and beguile The heat beneath yon whispering shades awhile, Or on the margin stray of Colne's clear flood, Or where Cassibelan's gray turrets stood ! There thou shalt cull me simples, and shalt teach Thy friend the name and healing powers of each, From the tall bluebell to the dwarfish weed, What the dry land, and what the marshes breed,
For all their kinds alike to thee are known,
And the whole art of Galen is thy own.
Ah, perish Galen's art, and wither'd be
The useless herbs that gave not health to thee !
Twelve evenings since, as in poetic dream
I meditating sat some statelier theme,
The reeds no sooner touch'd my lip, though new,
And unessay'd before, than wide they few,
Bursting their waxen bands, nor could sustain
The deep-toned music of the solemn strain;
And I am vain perhaps, but I will tell
How proud a theme I chose-ye groves, fare-
“Go, go, my lambs, untended homeward fare ;
My thoughts are all now due to other care.
Of Brutus, Dardan chief, my song shall be,
How with his barks he plough'd the British sea,
First from Rutupia's towering headland seen,
And of his consort's reign, fair Imogen;
Of Brennus, and Belinus, brothers bold,
And of Arviragus, and how of old
Our hardy sires the Armorican control'd,
And of the wife of Gorloïs, who, surprised
By Uther, in her husband's form disguised,
(Such was the force of Merlin's art) became
Pregnant with Arthur of heroic fame.
These themes I now revolve-and Oh-if Fate
Proportion to these themes my lengthen'd date,
Adieu my shepherd's reed--yon pine tree bough
Shall be thy future home, there dangle thou
Forgotten and disused, unless ere long
Thou change thy Latian for a British song:
A British ?-even som -the
of man Are bounded; little is the most he can; And it shall well suffice me, and shall be Fame and proud recompense enough for me, If Usa, golden-hair'd, my verse may learn, If Alain bending o'er his crystal urn, Swift-whirling Abra, Trent's o'ershadow'd stream, Thames, lovelier far than all in my esteem, Tamar's ore-tinctured flood, and, after these, The wave-worn shores of utmost Orcades.
“Go, go, my lambs, untended homeward fare ; My thoughts are all now due to other care. All this I kept in leaves of laurel rind Enfolded safe, and for thy view design'd, This—and a gift from Manso's hand beside, (Manso, not least his native city's pride) Two cups that radiant as their giver shone, Adorn'd by sculpture with a double zone. The spring was graven there; here slowly wind The Red Sea shores with groves of spices lined; Her plumes of various hues amid the boughs The sacred, solitary phønix shows, And, watchful of the dawn, reverts her head To see Aurora leave her watery bed. -In other part, the expansive vault above, And there too, even there, the god of love ; With quiver arm'd he mounts, his torch displays A vivid light, his gem-tipt arrows blaze,
Around his bright and fiery eyes he rolls,
Nor aims at vulgar minds or little souls,
Nor deigns one look below, but, aiming high,
Sends every arrow to the lofty sky;
Hence forms divine, and minds immortal, learn
power of Cupid, and enamour'd burn.
“ Thou also, Damon, (neither need I fear
That hope delusive) thou art also there;
For whither should simplicity like thine
Retire, where else such spotless virtue shine ?
Thou dwell'st not (thought profane) in shades below,
Nor tears suit thee-cease then, my tears, to flow.
Away with grief: on Damon ill bestow'd !
Who, pure himself, has found a pure abode,
Has pass'd the showery arch, henceforth resides
With saints and heroes, and from flowing tides
Quaffs copious immortality and joy
With hallow'd lips !—Oh! blest without alloy,
And now enrich'd with all that faith can claim,
Look down, entreated by whatever name,
If Damon please thee most (that rural sound
Shall oft with echoes fill the groves around)
Or if Deodatus, by which alone
In those ethereal mansions thou art known.
Thy blush was maiden, and thy youth the taste
Of wedded bliss knew never, pure and chaste,
The honours, therefore, by divine decree
The lot of virgin worth, are given to thee :
Thy brows encircled with a radiant band,
And the green palm branch waving in thy hand,
Thou in immortal nuptials shalt rejoice,
And join with seraphs thy according voice,
Where rapture reigns, and the ecstatic lyre
Guides the blest orgies of the blazing quire.
AN ODE, ADDRESSED TO MR. JOHN ROUSE,
LIBRARIAN, OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD,
On a lost Volume of my Poems, which he desired me to
replace, that he might add them to my other Works de
posited in the Library. This ode is rendered without rhyme, that it might more adequately represent the original, which, as Milton himself
is of no certain measure. It may possibly for this reason disappoint the reader, though it cost the writer more labour than the translation of any other piece in the whole collection,
My twofold book! single in show,
But double in contents,
Neat, but not curiously adorn'd,
Which, in his early youth,
A poet gave, no lofty one in truth, Although an earnest wooer of the muse
Say while in cool Ausonian shades
Or British wilds he roam'd,
Striking by turns his native lyre,
By turns the Daunian lute,
And stepp'd almost in air-