Home  »  The Oxford Book of English Verse  »  313. From ‘Comus’ i

Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.

John Milton. 1608–1674

313. From ‘Comus’ i

THE Star that bids the Shepherd fold, 
Now the top of Heav’n doth hold, 
And the gilded Car of Day, 
His glowing Axle doth allay 
In the steep Atlantick stream,         5
And the slope Sun his upward beam 
Shoots against the dusky Pole, 
Pacing toward the other gole 
Of his Chamber in the East. 
Mean while welcom Joy, and Feast,  10
Midnight shout, and revelry, 
Tipsie dance, and Jollity. 
Braid your Locks with rosie Twine 
Dropping odours, dropping Wine. 
Rigor now is gon to bed,  15
And Advice with scrupulous head, 
Strict Age, and sowre Severity, 
With their grave Saws in slumber ly. 
We that are of purer fire 
Imitate the Starry Quire,  20
Who in their nightly watchfull Sphears, 
Lead in swift round the Months and Years. 
The Sounds, and Seas with all their finny drove 
Now to the Moon in wavering Morrice move, 
And on the Tawny Sands and Shelves,  25
Trip the pert Fairies and the dapper Elves; 
By dimpled Brook, and Fountain brim, 
The Wood-Nymphs deckt with Daisies trim, 
Their merry wakes and pastimes keep: 
What hath night to do with sleep?  30
Night hath better sweets to prove, 
Venus now wakes, and wak’ns Love…. 
Com, knit hands, and beat the ground, 
In a light fantastick round.