To Lycidas

To Lycidas, on his forsaking the Lyre

Wherefore does Lycidas renounce the song?
That song, the list’ning maidens joy’d to hear
Why is that lyre neglected and unstrung?
That used to charm with witching noted the ear!

Has life no joys for Lycidas to sing?
O let not care thus play the tyrant’s part
But strike again the soft harmonious string
Again lead captive ev’ry female heart!

Again for Lycidas some nymph shall twine
The lasting myrtle, with the crown of bays
And ah dear Lycidas the task be mine!
To weave the garland that rewards thy lays!