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ENCE, vain deluding joys, The brood of Folly, without father bred How little you bested, Or fill the fixed mind with all your toys: Dwell in some idle brain, And fancies fond with gaudy shape possess, As thick and numberless As the gay motes that people the sun-beams, Or likest hov'ring dreams, The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train. 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, 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 For other beauties praise above The sea-nymphs, and these powers offended : Yet thou art higher far descended; Thee bright-haird Westa, long of yore, To solitary Saturn bore; His daughter she (in Saturn's reign, -Such mixture was not held a stain); Oft in glimmering bowers and glade He met her, and in sweet shade Of woody Ida's inmost grove, While yet there was no fear of Jove. Come, pensive nun, devout and pure, Sober and stedfast, and demure, All in a robe of darkest grain, Flowing with majestic train,
And sable stole of Cyprus lawn 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; 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, And join with thee calm Peace and Quiet, Spare Fast, that oft with gods doth diet, And hear the muses in a ring a Ay round about Jove's altar sing; And add to these retired Leisure, That in trim gardens takes his pleasure; But first, and chiefest, with thee bring, Him that yon' soars on golden wing, Guiding the fiery-wheeled throne, The Cherub Contemplation ; And the mute silence hist along, *Less Philomel will deign a song In her sweetest, saddest plight, Smoothing the rugged brow of night, While Cynthia checks her dragon yoke, Gently o'er th’ accustom'd oak ; Sweet bird that shunn'st the noise of folly, Most musical, most melancholy! Thee, chantress of the woods among, I woo to hearthy evening song; . And, missing thee, I walk unseen On the dry smooth-shaven green, To behold the wand'ring moon, Riding near her highest noon ; Like one that had been led astray Through the heav'ns' wide pathless way; And oft, as if her head she bow’d, Stooping thro' a fleecy cloud, Oft on a plat of rising ground, I hear the far-off curfeu sound;
Over some wide water'd shore,
That own'd the virtuous ring and glass,
Sent by some spirit to mortal's good, - Or th’ unseen genius of the wood. But let my due feet never fail To walk the studious cloister's pale, And love the high embowed 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 and anthems clear, As may with sweetness, thro' mine ear, Dissolve me into ecstasies, And bring all heav'n 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 heav'n doth shew, And ev'ry herb that sips the dew ; Till old experience do attain To something like prophetic strainThese pleasures, Melancholy, give, And I with thee will choose to live.
HPNo. loathed Melancholy