May 2 John Milton

L’Allegro      John Milton
In his pictorial poem “L’ Allegro” or the lively man, he hails the goddess of Mirth and considers her possible parentage, perhaps the offspring of love and wine or, more wisely, of the West Wind and Dawn:
But come thou goddess fair and free,
In heaven 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 blue
And fresh-blown roses washed in dew,
Filled her with thee, a daughter fair,
So buxom, 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 ye go
On the light fantastick 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 watchtower in the skies,
Till the dappled dawn doth rise;
Then to come in spite of sorrow
And at my window bid goodmorrow
Through the sweet-briar or the vine
Or the twisted eglantine;
While the cock with lively din
Scatters the rear of darkness thin,
An to the stack, or the barn door
Stoutly struts his dames before;
Oft listening 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 hedgerow elms on hillocks green,
Right against the Eastern gate,
Where the great sun begins his state,
Robed in flames and amber light,
The clouds in thousand liveries dight;
While the ploughman near at hand
Whistles oe’r the furrowed land,
And the milkmaid singeth blithe,
And the mower whets his scythe,
And every shepherd tells his tale
Under the hawthorn in the dale.