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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 :
This, this is she
Fame, that her high worth to raise
Less than half we find expressed ;
Envy bid conceal the rest.
Sitting like a goddess bright
In the centre of her light.
Who had thought this clime had hele]
As they come forward, 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,
30 Stole under seas to meet his Arethuse; And ye, the breathing roses of the wood, Fair silver-buskined 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
40 What shallow-searching Fame hath 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, 50 And heal the harms of thwarting thunder blue, Or what the cross dire-looking planet smites, Or hurtful worm with cankered venom bites. When evening grey doth rise, I fetch my round Over the mount, and all this hallowed ground; And early, ere the odorous breath of morn Awakes the slumbering leaves, or tasselled horn Shakes the high thicket, haste I all about,
Number my ranks, and visit every sprout
80 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.
I will assay,
Follow me, as I sing
And touch the warbled string ;
Clad in splendour as befits
By sandy Ladon’s lilied banks ;
Trip no more in twilight ranks ;
A better soil shall give ye thanks.
Such a rural Queen
AT A SOLEMN MUSIC.
BLEST pair of Sirens, pledges of Heaven's joy,
With those just Spirits that wear victorious palms,
ON TIME. Fly, envious Time, till thou run out thy race : Call on the lazy leaden-stepping Hours, Whose speed is but the heavy plummet's pace; And glut thyself with what thy womb devours, Which is no more than what is false and vain, And merely mortal dross; So little is our loss, So little is thy gain ! For, when as each thing bad thou hast entombed, And, last of all, thy greedy self consumed, Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss With an individual kiss, And Joy shall overtake us as a flood ; When every thing that is sincerely good, And perfectly divine, With Truth, and Peace, and Love, shall ever shine About the supreme throne Of Him, to whose happy-making sight alone When once our heavenly-guided soul shall climb,