Now on, my muse, and tell 'em, when they rise,
When downy sleep forsakes their tender eyes,
How they may look as fair as morning skies.
Vetches, and beaten barley, let 'em take,
And with the whites of eggs a mixture make;
Then dry the precious paste with sun and wind
And into powder very gently grind.
Get hart's-horn next (but let it be the first
That creature sheds), and beat it well to dust.
Six pound in all; then mix and sift 'em well,
And think the while how fond Narcissus fell;
Six roots to you that pensive flower must yield
To mingle with the rest, well bruis'd and cleanly pill'd.
Two ounces next of gum, and thural seed,
That for the gracious gods does incense breed,
And let a double share of honey last succeed.
With this whatever damsel paints her face,
Will need no flattering glass to show a grace.
The Court of Love, a tale from Chaucer.
Once as I lay, by heavy sleep oppress'd,
With this strange whim my fancy was possess'd:
I dreamt that Cupid call'd me to his court
On Mount Cithera, where his slaves resort;
Where Venus, queen and goddess, fills the throne,
Her kingdom sharing with her darling son;
There was I straight commanded to appear,
By Mercury, the winged messenger.
Away I went, through strange and distant lands,
The coast enquiring where love's palace stands
At last a crowd of travellers I found,
And ask'd them whither they so fast were bound.
One, looking like a maid, cried, "Gentle friend,
To Cupid's court our willing steps we bend."
"Oh, where's his court?" said I. The nymph replied,
"High on Cithera stands, with tow'ring pride,
A stately castle, his imperial seat,
In which he lives magnificently great."
Her steps I follow'd, till my eager sight,
Reaching the hill, found her description right;
Amaz'd I saw the building large and strong,
Vast were the domes, the marble turrets long;
But gold and jewels hid the massy stone
And stretching to the skies, with lustre shone:
Sapphires and rubies mingled various lights,
More sparkling than the stars in winter nights:
And Phoebus darted on tnis happy place
His lustre, to regain the queen's good grace;
For chancing once unluckily to find
Mars in her arms, he had enrag'd her mind;
But now to please th' offended queen he strove,
Which shew'd his longing for the sweets of love:
For all the gods that on Olympus dwell,
E'en Jove and Pluto, kings of heaven and hell,
All things that live on earth, or breathe above,
The mighty joys of this best realm approve.