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ARCADES.

Part of an Entertainment presented to the Countess Dowager of Derby, at Harefield, by some noble persons of her family; who appear on the scene in pastoral habit, moving toward the seat of state, with this song,

SONg I.

Look, nymphs, jind shepherds, look,
What sudden blaze of majesty
Is that which we from hence descry,
Too divine to be mistook?

This, this is she
To whom our vows and wishes bend
Here our solemn search hath end.

Fame, that her high worth to raise,
Seem'd erst so lavish and profuse,
We may justly now accuse
Of detraction from her praise;

Less than half we find express'd,

Envy bid conceal the rest.

Mark, what radiant state she spreads,
In circle round her shining throne,
Shooting her beams like silver threads;
This, this is she alone,

Sitting, like a goddess bright,

In the centre of her light.

Might she the wise Latona be,
Or the tower'd Cybele,
Mother of a hundred godsr
Juno dares not give her odds;

Who had thought this clime had held

A deity so unparallel'd?

As they comeforward, the Genius of the wood appears, and turning
toward them, speaks:
Gen. Stay, gentle swains, for, though in this disguise,
I see bright honour sparkle through your eyes;

Of famous Arcady ye are, and sprung

Of that renowned flood, so often sung,

Divine Alpheus, who by secret sluice

Stole under seas to meet his Arethuse;

And ye, the breathing roses of the wood,

Fair silver-buskin'd nymphs, as great and good,

I know this quest of yours, and free intent,

Was all in honour and devotion meant

To the great mistress of yon princely shrine,

Whom with low reverence I adore as mine;

And, with all helpful service, will comply

To further this night's glad solemnity;

And lead ye where ye may more near behold

What shallow-searching Fame has left untold;

Which I full oft, amidst these shades alone,

Have sat to wonder at, and gaze upon:

For know, by lot from Jove, I am the power

Of this fair wood, and live in oaken bower,

To nurse the saplings tall, and curl the grove

With ringlets quaint, and wanton windings wove;

And all my plants I save from nightly ill

Of noisome winds, and blasting vapours chill:

And from the boughs brush off the evil dew,

And heal the harms of thwarting thunder blue,

Or what the cross dire-looking planet smites,

Or hurtful worm with canker'd venom bites.

When evening gray doth rise, I fetch my round

Over the mount, and all this hallow'd ground;

And early, ere the odorous breath of morn

Awakes the slumbering leaves, or tassell'd horn

Shakes the high thicket, haste I all about,

Number my ranks, and visit every sprout

With puissant words, and murmurs made to bless;

But else, in deep of night, when drowsiness

Hath lock'd up mortal sense, then listen I

To the celestial Syrens' harmony,

That sit upon the nine infolded spheres,

And sing to those that hold the vital shears,

And turn the adamantine spindle round,

On which the fate of gods and men is wound.

Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie,

To lull the daughters of necessity,

And keep unsteady Nature to her law,

And the low world in measured motion draw

After the heavenly tune, which none can hear

Of human mould, with gross unpurged ear;

And yet such music worthiest were to blaze

The peerless height of her immortal praise,

Whose lustre leads us, and for her most fit,

If my inferior hand or voice could hit

Inimitable sounds; yet, as we go,

Whate'er the skill of lesser gods can show,

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ANNO iETATIS 17. ON THE DEATH OF A FAIR INFANT, DYING OF A COUGH.

I.

O Fairest flower, no sooner blown but blasteu,
Soft silken primrose fading timelessly,
Summer's chief honour, if thou hadst out-lasted
Bleak winter's force that made thy blossom dry;
For he, being amorous on that lovely dye

That did thy cheek envermeil, thought to kiss,
But kill'd, alas, and then bewail'd his fatal bliss.

For since grim Aquilo, his charioteer,
By boisterous rape the Athenian damsel got,
He thought it touch'd his deity full near,
If likewise he some fair one wedded not,
Thereby to wipe away the infamous blot

Of long-uncoupled bed, and childless eld,
Which, 'mongst the wanton gods, a foul reproach was held.

in.
So, mounting up in icy-pearl'd car,
Through middle empire of the freezing air
He wander'd long, till thee he spied from far;
There ended was his quest, there ceased his care
Down he descended from his snow-soft chair,

But all un'wares with his cold, kind embrace
Unhoused thy virgin soul from her fair biding-place.

IV.
Yet art thou not inglorious in thy fate;
For so Apollo, with unweeting hand,
Whilom did slay his dearly-loved mate,
I will essay, her worth to celebrate,
And so attend ye toward her glittering state;
Where ye may all that are of noble stem
Approach, and kiss her sacred vesture's hem.

O'er the smooth enamell'd green,
Where no print of step hath been,

Follow me, as I sing,

And touch the warbled string,
Under the shady roof
Of branching elm, star-proof.

Follow me;
I will bring you where she sits.
Clad in splendour as befits

Her deity.
Such a rural queen
All Arcadia hath not seen.

Nymphs and shepherds dance no more

By sandy Ladon's lilied banks;
On old Lycaeus, or Cyllene hoar,

Trip no more in twilight ranks;
Though Erymanth your loss deplore,

A better soil shall give ye thanks.
From the stony Moanalus
Bring your flocks, and live with us,
Here ye shall have greater grace,
To serve the lady of this place.
Though Syrinx your Pan's mistress were,
Yet Syrinx well might wait on her.

Such a rural queen
All Arcadia hath not seen.

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