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IL PENSEROSO.

HENCE, vain deluding joys,

The brood of Folly without father bred!

How little you bestead,

Or fill the fixed mind with all your toys!

Dwell in some idle brain,

And fancies fond with gaudy shapes possess,

As thick and numberless

As the gay motes that people the sun-beams;

Or likest hovering dreams,

The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train.

But hail, thou Goddess, sage and holy,

Hail, divinest Melancholy!

Whose saintly visage is too bright

To hit the sense of human sight,

And therefore to our weaker view

O'erlaid with black, staid Wisdom's hue;

Black, but such as in esteem

Prince Memnon's sister might bescem,

Or that starr'd Ethiop queen that strove

To set her beauty's praise above

The Sea-Nymphs, and their pow'rs offended;

Yet thou art higher far descended;

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