L'ALLEGRO - John Lydgate Poems


Poems » john lydgate » l allegro

Hence, loathed Melancholy
    Of Cerberus, and blackest midnight born,
In Stygian Cave forlorn.
    'Mongst horrid shapes, and shrieks, and sights unholy,
Find out some uncouth cell,
    Where brooding darkness spreads his jealous wings,
And the night-Raven sings;
    There under Ebon shades, and low-brow'd Rocks,
As ragged as thy Locks,
    In dark Cimmerian desert ever dwell.
But come thou Goddess fair and free,
In Heav'n yclept Euphrosyne,
And by men, heart-easing Mirth,
Whom lovely Venus at a birth
With two sister Graces more
To Ivy-crowned Bacchus bore;
Or whether (as some Sager sing)
The frolic Wind that breathes the Spring,
Zephyr with Aurora playing,
As he met her once a Maying,
There on Beds of Violets blew,
And fresh-blown Roses wash'd in dew,
Fill'd her with thee a daughter fair,
So bucksome, blithe, and debonair.
    Haste thee nymph, and bring with thee
Jest and youthful Jollity,
Quips and Cranks, and wanton Wiles,
Nods, and Becks, and Wreathed Smiles,
Such as hang on Hebe's cheek,
And love to live in dimple sleek;
Sport that wrinkled Care derides,
And Laughter holding both his sides.
Come, and trip it as you go
On the light fantastic toe
And in thy right hand lead with thee,
The Mountain Nymph, sweet Liberty;
And if I give thee honour due,
Mirth, admit me of thy crew
To live with her, and live with thee,
In unreproved pleasures free;
To hear the Lark begin his flight,
And singing startle the dull night,
From his watch-tower in the skies,
Till the dappled dawn doth rise;
Then to come in spite of sorrow,
And at my window bid good morrow,
Through the Sweet-Briar, or the Vine,
Or the twisted Eglantine,
While the Cock with lively din,
Scatters the rear of darkness thin,
And to the stack, or the Barn door,
Stoutly struts his Dames before,
Oft list'ning how the Hounds and Horn
Cheerly rouse the slumb'ring morn,
From the side of some Hoar Hill,
Through the high wood echoing shrill.
Some time walking not unseen
By Hedge-row Elms, on Hillocks green,
Right against the Eastern gate,
Where the great Sun begins his state,
Rob'd in flames, and Amber light,
The clouds in thousand Liveries dight,
While the Plowman near at hand,
Whistles o'er the Furrow'd Land,
And the Milkmaid singeth blithe,
And the Mower whets his sithe,
And every Shepherd tells his tale
Under the Hawthorn in the dale.