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Thither forth-right he rode to rouse the prey,
That shaded by the fern in harbour lay,
And, thence dislodged, was wont to leave the wood
For open fields, and cross the crystal flood.
Approached, and looking underneath the sun,
He saw proud Arcite and fierce Palamon,
In mortal battle doubling blow on blow:
Like lightning flamed their falchions to and fro,
And shot a dreadful gleam; so strong they strook
There seemed less force required to fell an oak.
He gazed with wonder on their equal might,
Looked eager on, but knew not either knight:
Resolved to learn, he spurred his fiery steed
With goring rowels to provoke his speed;
The minute ended that began the race,
So soon he was betwixt 'em on the place,
And, with his sword unsheathed, on pain of life
Commands both combatants to cease their strife.
1698-99.

1700.

80

FROM

5

TRANSLATIONS FROM HOMER
Now when twelve days complete had run their race,
The gods bethought them of the cares belonging to their

place.
Jove at their head ascending from the sea,
A shoal of puny pow'rs attend his way.
Then Thetis, not unmindful of her son,
Emerging from the deep, to beg her boon,
Pursued their track, and, wakened from his rest,
Before the sovereign stood, a morning guest.
Him in the circle, but apart, she found;
The rest at awful distance stood around.
She bowed; and ere she durst her suit begin,
One hand embraced his knees, one propped his chin.
Then thus: “If I, celestial sire, in aught
Have served thy will or gratified thy thought,
One glimpse of glory to my issue give,
Graced for the little time he has to live.
Dishonoured by the king of men he stands;

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15

His rightful prize is ravished from his hands.
But thou, O father, in my son's defence
Assume thy pow'r, assert thy providence !
Let Troy prevail, till Greece th' affront has paid
With doubled honours, and redeemed his aid.

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1698–99.

1700.

HUNTING SONG

DIANA

With horns and hounds I waken the day,
And hie to the woodland-walks away;
I tuck up my robe, and am buskined soon,
And tie to my forehead a wexing moon.
I course the fleet stag, and unkennel the fox,
And chase the wild goats o'er the summits of rocks;
With shouting and hooting we pierce through the sky,
And Echo turns hunter and doubles the cry.

5

CHORUS

With shouting and hooting we pierce through the sky,
And Echo turns hunter and doubles the cry.

IO

1700.

1700.

ANNE, COUNTESS OF WINCHILSEA

THE TREE

5

Fair tree, for thy delightful shade!
'T is just that some return be made;
Sure some return is due from me
To thy cool shadows and to thee.
When thou to birds dost shelter give
Thou music dost from them receive;
If travellers beneath thee stay
Till storms have worn themselves away,
That time in praising thee they spend,
And thy protecting power commend;
The shepherd here, from scorching freed,
Tunes to thy dancing leaves his reed,

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Whilst his loved nymph in thanks bestows
Her flow'ry chaplets on thy boughs.
Shall I then only silent be,
And no return be made by me?
Nol let this wish upon thee wait,
And still to flourish be thy fate;
To future ages mayst thou stand
Untouched by the rash workman's hand,
Till that large stock of sap is spent
Which gives thy summer's ornament;
Till the fierce winds, that vainly strive
To shock thy greatness whilst alive,
Shall on thy lifeless hour attend,
Prevent the axe, and grace thy end,
Their scattered strength together call
And to the clouds proclaim thy fall;
Who then their ev'ning dews may spare,
When thou no longer art their care,
But shalt, like ancient heroes, burn,
And some bright hearth be made thy urn.

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30

16897

1903.

TO THE NIGHTINGALE

Exert thy voice, sweet harbinger of Spring!

This moment is thy time to sing,
This moment I attend to praise,
And set my numbers to thy lays.
Free as thine shall be my song;

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As thy music, short or long.
Poets wild as thee were born,

Pleasing best when unconfined,
When to please is least designed,
Soothing but their cares to rest :
Cares do still their thoughts molest,

And still th' unhappy poet's breast,
Like thine, when best he sings, is placed against a thorn.

She begins, let all be still !
Muse, thy promise now fulfil!

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Sweet, oh sweet! still sweeter yet!
Can thy words such accents fit?

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Canst thou syllables refine,

Melt a sense that shall retain

Still some spirit of the brain,
Till with sounds like these it join?
'T will not be! then change thy note;
Let division shake thy throat:
Hark! division now she tries,
Yet as far the Muse outflies.
Cease then, prithee, cease thy tune!
Trifler, wilt thou sing till June?
Till thy business all lies waste,
And the time of building's past?
Thus we poets that have speech
Unlike what thy forests teach,
If a fluent vein be shown
That's transcendent to our own,
Criticise, reform, or preach,
Or censure what we cannot reach.

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35

1713.

A NOCTURNAL REVERIE

5

In such a night, when ev'ry louder wind
Is to its distant cavern safe confined,
And only gentle Zephyr fans his wings,
And lonely Philomel, still waking, sings,
Or from some tree, famed for the owl's delight,
She, hollowing clear, directs the wand'rer right:
In such a night, when passing clouds give place,
Or thinly vail the heav'ns' mysterious face;
When in some river, overhung with green,
The waving moon and trembling leaves are seen;
When freshened grass now bears itself upright,
And makes cool banks to pleasing rest invite,
Whence springs the woodbind and the bramble-rose,
And where the sleepy cowslip sheltered grows;
Whilst now a paler hue the foxglove takes,
Yet chequers still with red the dusky brakes;
When scattered glow-worms, but in twilight fine,
Show trivial beauties watch their hour to shine,
Whilst Salisb'ry stands the test of every light,

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In perfect charms and perfect virtue bright;
When odours which declined repelling day
Through temp'rate air uninterrupted stray;
When darkened groves their softest shadows wear,
And falling waters we distinctly hear;
When through the gloom more venerable shows
Some ancient fabric, awful in repose;
While sunburnt hills their swarthy looks conceal,
And swelling haycocks thicken up the vale;
When the loosed horse now, as his pasture leads,
Comes slowly grazing through th' adjoining meads,
Whose stealing pace and lengthened shade we fear,
Till torn up forage in his teeth we hear;
When nibbling sheep at large pursue their food,
And unmolested kine re-chew the cud;
When curlews cry beneath the village-walls,
And to her straggling brood the partridge calls;
Their short-lived jubilee the creatures keep,
Which but endures whilst tyrant-man does sleep;
When a sedate content the spirit feels,
And no fierce light disturb whilst it reveals,
But silent musings urge the mind to seek
Something too high for syllables to speak,
Till the free soul, to a compos’dness charmed,
Finding the elements of rage disarmed,
O’er all below a solemn quiet grown,
Joys in th' inferior world and thinks it like her own:
In such a night let me abroad remain,
Till morning breaks and all's confused again;
Our cares, our toils, our clamours, are renewed,
Or pleasures, seldom reached, again pursued.

1713.

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JOSEPH ADDISON

FROM

AN ACCOUNT OF THE GREATEST ENGLISH POETS

Long had our dull forefathers slept supine,
Nor felt the raptures of the tuneful Nine;
Till Chaucer first, a merry bard, arose,

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