Comus (Excerpts)

Poem By John Milton

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Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph that liv'st unseen
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Within thy airy shell
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By slow Meander's margent green,
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And in the violet-imbroider'd vale
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Where the love-lorn nightingale
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Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well:
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Canst thou not tell me of a gentle pair
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That likest thy Narcissus are?
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O if thou have
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Hid them in some flow'ry cave,
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Tell me but where
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Sweet Queen of Parley, Daughter of the Sphere,
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So mayst thou be translated to the skies,
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And give resounding grace to all heav'ns harmonies.

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Sabrina fair
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Listen where thou art sitting
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Under the glassy, cool, translucent wave,
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In twisted braids of lilies knitting
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The loose train of thy amber-dropping hair;
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Listen for dear honour's sake,
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Goddess of the silver lake,
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Listen and save.


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Listen and appear to us
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In name of great Oceanus,
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By the earth-shaking Neptune's mace,
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And Tethys' grave majestic pace;
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By hoary Nereus' wrinkled look,
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And the Carpathian wizard's hook;
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By scaly Triton's winding shell,
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And old soothsaying Glaucus' spell;
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By Leucothea's lovely hands,
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And her son that rules the strands;
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By Thetis' tinsel-slipper'd feet,
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And the songs of Sirens sweet;
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By dead Parthenope's dear tomb,
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And fair Ligea's golden comb,
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Wherewith she sits on diamond rocks
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Sleeking her soft alluring locks;
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By all the nymphs that nightly dance
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Upon thy streams with wily glance,
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Rise, rise, and heave thy rosy head
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From thy coral-pav'n bed,
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And bridle in thy headlong wave,
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Till thou our summons answer'd have.
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Listen and save.


SABRINA RISES, ATTENDED BY WATER-NYMPHS, AND SINGS
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By the rushy-fringed bank,
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Where grows the willow and the osier dank,
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My sliding chariot stays,
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Thick set with agate, and the azurn sheen
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Of turkis blue, and em'rald green
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That in the channel strays,
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Whilst from off the waters fleet
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Thus I set my printless feet
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O'er the cowslip's velvet head,
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That bends not as I tread;
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Gentle swain at thy request
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I am here.

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On His Blindness

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg'd with me useless, though my soul more bent

On Shakespear

What needs my Shakespear for his honour'd Bones,
The labour of an age in piled Stones,
Or that his hallow'd reliques should be hid
Under a Star-ypointing Pyramid?

Light

HAIL holy light, ofspring of Heav'n first-born,
Or of th' Eternal Coeternal beam
May I express thee unblam'd? since God is light,
And never but in unapproached light

Sonnet Vii: How Soon Hath Time, The Subtle Thief Of Youth

How soon hath Time, the subtle thief of youth,
Stoln on his wing my three and twentieth year!
My hasting days fly on wtih full career,
But my late spring no bud or blossom shew'th.

Arcades

Part of an entertainment presented to the Countess Dowager of
Darby at Harefield, by som Noble persons of her Family, who
appear on the Scene in pastoral habit, moving toward the seat
of State with this Song.

From 'samson Agonistes' I

OH how comely it is and how reviving
To the Spirits of just men long opprest!
When God into the hands of thir deliverer
Puts invincible might