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LYCIDAS.

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In this Monody, the author bewails a learned friend, unfor

tunately drowned in his passage from Chester on the Irish seas, 1637; and by occasion foretells the ruin of our corrupted clergy, then in their height,

Yet once more, O ye laurels, and once more
Ye myrtles brown, with ivy never sere,
I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude,
And with forc'd fingers rude,
Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year. 5
Bitter constraint, and sad occasion dear,
Compels me to disturb your season due:
For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime,
Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer:
Who would not sing for Lycidas ? He knew
Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhime.
He must not float upon his watery bier
myrtles brown] Hor. Od. i. 25. 17.

Pulla magis atque myrto. Warton.

dead] Phillisides is dead. Past. Ægl. on Sir P. Sid. ney's death, by L. B. v. 8 (Todd's Spenser, viii, 76), and

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v. 71.

Sweet bowres of myrtel twigs, and lawrel faire.' 10 Who] • Neget quis carmina Gallo. Virg. Ecl. x. 3.

Peck. watery] See Theod. Prodrom. Dos. et Rhod. Am. p. 254, ed. Gaulm.

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15

So

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Unwept, and welter to the parching wind,
Without the meed of some melodious tear.

Begin then, Sisters of the sacred well,
That from beneath the seat of Jove doth spring,
Begin, and somewhat loudly sweep the string.
Hence with denial vain, and

coy excuse, may some gentle Muse With lucky words favour my

destin'd

urn, he

passes turn, And bid fair

peace be to my sable shroud. For we were nurs'd upon the self-same hill Fed the same flock by fountain, shade, and rill.

Together both, ere the high lawns appear'd 25 Under the opening eyelids of the morn, We drove a field, and both together heard What time the gray-fly winds her sultry horn, Battning our flocks with the fresh dews of night,

And as

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14 melodious] Cleveland's Obsequy on Mr. King, 'I like not tears in tune.' Todd.

17 sweep] E qui Calliopea alquanto surga,' Dante Purg. i. 9.

19 Muse] 'Gentle Muse—he passes." See Jortin's Tracts, i. p. 341.

nurs'd] Compare Past. Ægl. on Sir P. Sidney's death, by L. B. ver. 85.

Through many a hill and dale, &c.' 26 orening] Middleton's Game at Chess.

Like a pearl, Dropp'd from the opening eyelids of the morn.' And Crashaw's Translation of Marino, . The lids of day.'

Warton, Todd. 9 Battning] Drayton's Ecl. ix.

. Their battening flocks on grassie leas to hold.' Warton.

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Oft till the star that rose, at evening, bright, 30
Toward heav'n's descent had slop'd his west'ring
Meanwhile the rural ditties were not mute, [wheel.
Temper'd to th' oaten flute,
Rough Satyrs danc'd, and Fauns with cloven heel
From the glad sound would not be absent long,
And old Damætas lov'd to hear our song.

But, О the heavy change, now thou art gone,
Now thou art gone, and never must return!
Thee, Shepherd, thee the woods, and desert caves
With wild thyme and the gadding vine o'ergrown,
And all their echoes mourn.
The willows, and the hazel copses green,
Shall now no more be seen,
Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays.
As killing as the canker to the rose,
Or taint-worm to the weanling herds that graze,
Or frost to flow'rs, that their gay wardrobe wear,
When first the white-thorn blows;
Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherd's ear. [deep

Where were ye, Nymphs, when the remorseless Clos'd o'er the head of your lov'd Lycidas? For neither were ye playing on the steep,

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83 Temper'd] On this word see P. Fletcher's Purple Isl. c. ix. st. 3. Par. Lost, vii. 598. Warton.

37 thou art gone] Browne's Sheph. Pipe (ec). 4). "But he

is gone.

50 Where] Spenser's Astrophel, st. 22, Ah, where were ye the while his shepheard peares, &c.

Wurton.

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To scorn delights, and live laborious days;
But the fair guerdon when we hope to find,
And think to burst out into sudden blaze,
Comes the blind Fury with th' abhorred shears,
And slits the thin-spun life. But not the praise,
Phæbus replied, and touch'd my trembliug ears;
Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil,
Nor in the glist'ring foil
Set off to th' world, nor in broad rumour lies; 60
But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes,
And perfect witness of all-judging Jove;
As he pronounces lastly on each deed,
Of so much fame in heav'n expect thy meed.

O fountain Arethuse, and thou honour'd flood,
Smooth-sliding Mincius, crown'd with vocal reeds,
That strain I heard was of a higher mood :
But now my oat proceeds,
And listens to the herald of the sea

74 blaze] So P. Reg. iii. 47.

• For what is glory but the blaze of fame.' Warton. 75 blind] Spenser's R. of Rome. st. xxiv. If the blind Furie which warres breedeth oft. Warton. 77 touched] Virg. Ecl. vi. 3.

-Cynthius aurem
Vellit, et admonuit.

Peck. 9 foil] See Shakes. Henry IV. act. i. s. 2. Warton.

5 fountain] Hom. Od. xiii. 408. Kprvn'Apɛdovon. Virg, Ecl. x. 4. Æn. jii. 694. Warton.

higher] 'I'll tune my reed unto a higher key. Browne's Brit. Past. iv. 41.

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