Home  »  The Oxford Book of English Verse  »  316. From ‘Comus’ iv

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

John Milton. 1608–1674

316. From ‘Comus’ iv

The Spirit epiloguizes:TO the Ocean now I fly, 
And those happy climes that ly 
Where day never shuts his eye, 
Up in the broad fields of the sky: 
There I suck the liquid ayr         5
All amidst the Gardens fair 
Of Hesperus, and his daughters three 
That sing about the golden tree: 
Along the crispèd shades and bowres 
Revels the spruce and jocond Spring,  10
The Graces, and the rosie-boosom’d Howres, 
Thither all their bounties bring, 
That there eternal Summer dwels, 
And West winds, with musky wing 
About the cedar’n alleys fling  15
Nard, and Cassia’s balmy smels. 
Iris there with humid bow, 
Waters the odorous banks that blow 
Flowers of more mingled hew 
Than her purfl’d scarf can shew,  20
And drenches with Elysian dew 
(List mortals, if your ears be true) 
Beds of Hyacinth, and roses 
Where young Adonis oft reposes, 
Waxing well of his deep wound  25
In slumber soft, and on the ground 
Sadly sits th’ Assyrian Queen; 
But far above in spangled sheen 
Celestial Cupid her fam’d son advanc’t, 
Holds his dear Psyche sweet intranc’t  30
After her wandring labours long, 
Till free consent the gods among 
Make her his eternal Bride, 
And from her fair unspotted side 
Two blissful twins are to be born,  35
Youth and Joy; so Jove hath sworn. 
  But now my task is smoothly don, 
I can fly, or I can run 
Quickly to the green earths end, 
Where the bow’d welkin slow doth bend,  40
And from thence can soar as soon 
To the corners of the Moon. 
  Mortals that would follow me, 
Love vertue, she alone is free. 
She can teach ye how to clime  45
Higher then the Spheary chime; 
Or if Vertue feeble were, 
Heav’n it self would stoop to her.