Page images

In narrow Mazes oft it seem'd to meet, And look’d, as lightly press’d by Fairy Feet. Wandring I walk'd alone, for still methought Tosome strangeEnd so strange aPath was wrought: At last it led me where an Arbour stood, The sacred Receptacle of the Wood : This Place unmark'd tho'oft I walk'd the Green, In all my Progress I had never seen: And seiz'd at once with Wonder and Delight, Gaz'd all around me,new to the transporting Sight. 'Twas bench'd with Turf, and goodly to be seen, The thick young Grass arose in fresher Green: The Mound was newly made, no Sight could pass Betwixt the nice Partitions of the Grass; The well-united Sods so closely lay; And all around the Shades defended it from Day. For Sycamours with Eglantine were spread, A Hedge about the Sides, a Covering over Head. And so the fragrant Brier was wove between, TheSycamour and Flow'rs were mix'd withGreen, (That Nature seem'd to vary the Delight; And satisfy'd at once the Smell and Sight,

[ocr errors]

The Master Workman of the Bow'r was known
Through Fairy-Lands, and built for Oberon ;
Who twining Leaves with such Proportion drew,
They rose by Measure, and by Rule they grew:
No mortal Tongue can half the Beauty tell;
For none but Hands divine could work so well.
Both Roof and Sides were like a Parlour made,
A soft Recess, and a cool Summer shade;
The Hedge was set so thick, no foreign Eye
The Persons plac'd within it could espy:
But all that pass’d without with Ease was seen,
As if nor Fence nor Tree was plac'd between.
'Twas border'd with a Field; and fome was plain
With Grass; and some was sow'd with rising Grain.
That (now the Dew with Spangles deck'd the

Ground :)
A sweeter spot of Earth was never found.
I look’d, and look’d, and still with new Delight;
Such Joy my Soul, such Pleasures filld my Sight:
And the fresh Eglantine exhald a Breath;
Whofe Odours were of Pow'r to raise from Death:
Nor sullen Discontent, nor anxious Care,
Ev’n tho' brought thither, could inhabit there:

[ocr errors]

But thence they fled as from their mortal Foe; For this sweet Place cou'd only Pleasure know.

Thus, as I mus’d, I cast aside my Eye, And faw a Medlar-Tree was planted nigh; The spreading Branches made a goodly Show, And full of opening Blooms was ev'ry Bough: A Goldfinch there I saw with gawdy Pride Of painted Plumes, that hopp'd from side to side, Still pecking as she pass’d; and still she drew TheSweets from ev'ry Flow'r,and fuck'd the Dew: Suffic'd at length, she warbled in her Throat, And tun'd her Voice to many a merry Note, But indistinct, and neither sweet nor clear, Yet such as footh'd my Soul, and pleas'd my Ear.

Her short Performance was no fooner try'd, When she I fought, the Nightingale, reply'd; So sweet, fo fhrill, so variously she sung, That the Grove eccho'd, and the Valleys rung: And I so ravish'd with her heav'nly Note I stood intranc'd, and had no room for Thought. But all o'er-pouer'd with Extasie of Bliss, Was in a pleasing Dream of Paradise;

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

At length I wak'd ; and looking round the Bow'r
Search'd ev'ry Tree, and pryd on ev'ry Flow'r,
If any where by chance I might espy
The rural Poet of the Melody:
For still methought she sung not far away;
At last I found her on a Laurel Spray,
Close by my side she fate, and fair in Sight,
Full in a Line, against her opposite ;
Where stood with Eglantine the Lawrel twin'd:
And both their native Sweets were well conjoin'd.

On the green Bank I fate, and listen'd long;
(Sitting was more convenient for the Song !)
Nor till her Lay was ended could I move,
But wish'd to dwell for ever in the Grove.
Only methought the Time too swiftly pass’d,
And ev'ry Note I fear'd wou'd be the last.
My Sight, and Smell, and Hearing were employd,
And all three Senses in full Gust enjoy'd.
And what alone did all the rest surpafs,
The sweet Poffesfion of the Fairy Place;
Single, and conscious to my Self alone,
Of Pleasures to th' excluded World unknown.

[ocr errors]

Pleasures which no where else were to be found, And all Elysium in a spot of Ground.

Thus while I fate intent to see and hear, And drew Perfumes of more than vital Air, All suddenly I heard th’approaching sound Of vocal Musick, on th'enchanted Ground : An Host of Saints it seem’d, so full the Quire; As if the Bless'd above did all conspire, To join their Voices, and neglect the Lyre. At length there issu'd from the Grove behind A fair Assembly of the Female Kind: A Train less fair, as ancient Fathers tell, Seduc'd the Sons of Heaven to rebel. I pass their Form, and ev'ry charming Grace, Less than an Angel wou'd their Worth debase; But their Attire like Liveries of a kind, All rich and rare is fresh within my Mind. ' In Velvet white as Snow the Troop was gown’d, The Seams with sparkling Emeralds set around: Their Hoods and Sleeves the same; and purfled o'er With Diamonds, Pearls, and all the shining store Of Eastern Pomp: Their long descending Train With Rubies edg'd, and Saphires, swept the Plain:

« PreviousContinue »