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by John Milton -

Part of an entertainment presented to the Countess Dowager of Darby atHarefieldby som Noble persons of her Familywho appear on the Scene inpastoral habitmoving toward the seat of State with this Song -


Look Nymphsand 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

Heer 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 then half we find exprest

Envy bid conceal the rest. -

Mark what radiant state she spreds

In circle round her shining throne

Shooting her beams like silver threds

This this is she alone

Sitting like a Goddes bright

In the center of her light. -

Might she the wise Latona be

Or the towred Cybele

Mother of a hunderd gods;

Juno dare's not give her odds;

Who had thought this clime had held

A deity so unparalel'd? -

As they com forwardthe genius of the Wood appearsand turning toward themspeaks -

Gen. Stay gentle Swainsfor though in this disguise

I see bright honour sparkle through your eyes

Of famous Arcady ye areand sprung

Of that renowned floodso often sung

Divine Alpheuswho by secret sluse

Stole under Seas to meet his Arethuse;

And ye the breathing Roses of the Wood

Fair silver-buskind Nymphs as great and good

I know this quest of yoursand free intent

Was all in honour and devotion ment

To the great Mistres of yon princely shrine

Whom with low reverence I adore as mine

And with all helpful service will comply

To further this nights glad solemnity;

And lead ye where ye may more neer behold

What shallow-searching Fame hath left untold;

Which I full oft amidst these shades alone

Have sate to wonder atand gaze upon:

For know by lot from Jove I am the powr

Of this fair Woodand live in Oak'n bowr

To nurse the Saplings talland curl the grove

With Ringlets quaintand wanton windings wove.

And all my Plants I save from nightly ill

Of noisom windsand blasting vapours chill.

And from the Boughs brush off the evil dew

And heal the harms of thwarting thunder blew

Or what the cross dire-looking Planet smites

Or hurtfull Worm with canker'd venom bites.

When Eev'ning gray doth riseI fetch my round

Over the mountand all this hallow'd ground

And early ere the odorous breath of morn

Awakes the slumbring leavesor tasseld horn

Shakes the high thickethaste I all about

Number my ranksand visit every sprout

With puissant wordsand murmurs made to bless

But els in deep of night when drowsines

Hath lockt up mortal sensethen listen I

To the celestial Sirens harmony

That sit upon the nine enfolded Sphears

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 musick ly

To lull the daughters of Necessity

And keep unsteddy Nature to her law

And the low world in measur'd motion draw

After the heavenly tunewhich none can hear

Of human mould with grosse unpurged ear;

And yet such musick worthiest were to blaze

The peerless height of her immortal praise

Whose lustre leads usand for her most fit

If my inferior hand or voice could hit

Inimitable soundsyet as we go

What ere the skill of lesser gods can show

I will assayher worth to celebrate

And so attend ye toward her glittering state;

Where ye may all that are of noble stemm

Approachand kiss her sacred vestures hemm. -


O're the smooth enameld 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 splendor as befits

Her deity.

Such a rural Queen

All Arcadia hath not seen. -


Nymphs and Shepherds dance no more

By sandy Ladons Lillied banks.

On old Lycaeus or Cyllene hoar

Trip no more in twilight ranks

Though Erymanth your loss deplore

A better soyl shall give ye thanks.

From the stony Maenalus

Bring your Flocksand live with us

Here ye shall have greater grace

To serve the Lady of this place.

Though Syrinx your Pans Mistres were

Yet Syrinx well might wait on her.

Such a rural Queen

All Arcadia hath not seen. - -