Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VI. Fancy: Sentiment
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VI. Fancy.  1904.
 
Poems of Fancy: I. The Imagination
Hallo, my Fancy
William Cleland (1661?–1689)
 
    IN melancholic fancy,
      Out of myself,
    In the vulcan dancy,
    All the world surveying,
    Nowhere staying,        5
      Just like a fairy elf;
Out o’er the tops of highest mountains skipping,
Out o’er the hills, the trees and valleys tripping,
Out o’er the ocean seas, without an oar or shipping.
  Hallo, my fancy, whither wilt thou go?        10
 
    Amidst the misty vapors,
      Fain would I know
    What doth cause the tapers;
    Why the clouds benight us,
    And affright us        15
      While we travel here below.
Fain would I know what makes the roaring thunder,
And what these lightnings be that rend the clouds asunder,
And what these comets are on which we gaze and wonder.
  Hallo, my fancy, whither wilt thou go?        20
 
    Fain would I know the reason
      Why the little ant,
    All the summer season,
    Layeth up provision,
    On condition        25
      To know no winter’s want:
And how these little fishes, that swim beneath salt water,
Do never blind their eyes; methinks it is a matter
An inch above the reach of old Erra Pater!
  Hallo, my fancy, whither wilt thou go?        30
 
    Fain would I be resolved
      How things are done;
    And where the bull was calved
    Of bloody Phalaris,
    And where the tailor is        35
      That works to the man i’ the moon!
Fain would I know how Cupid aims so rightly;
And how these little fairies do dance and leap so lightly;
And where fair Cynthia makes her ambles nightly.
  Hallo, my fancy, whither wilt thou go?        40
 
    In conceit like Phaeton,
      I ’ll mount Phœbus’ chair,
    Having ne’er a hat on,
    All my hair a-burning
    In my journeying,        45
      Hurrying through the air.
Fain would I hear his fiery horses neighing,
And see how they on foamy bits are playing;
All the stars and planets I will be surveying!
  Hallo, my fancy, whither wilt thou go?        50
 
    O, from what ground of nature
      Doth the pelican,
    That self-devouring creature,
    Prove so froward
    And untoward,        55
      Her vitals for to strain?
And why the subtle fox, while in death’s wounds is lying,
Doth not lament his pangs by howling and by crying;
And why the milk-white swan doth sing when she ’s a-dying.
  Hallo, my fancy, whither wilt thou go?        60
 
    Fain would I conclude this,
      At least make essay,
    What similitude is;
    Why fowls of a feather
    Flock and fly together,        65
      And lambs know beasts of prey:
How Nature’s alchymists, these small laborious creatures,
Acknowledge still a prince in ordering their matters,
And suffer none to live, who slothing lose their features.
  Hallo, my fancy, whither wilt thou go?        70
 
    I ’m rapt with admiration,
      When I do ruminate,
    Men of an occupation,
    How each one calls him brother,
    Yet each envieth other,        75
      And yet still intimate!
Yea, I admire to see some natures farther sund’red,
Than antipodes to us. Is it not to be wond’red?
In myriads ye ’ll find, of one mind scarce a hundred?
  Hallo, my fancy, whither wilt thou go?        80
 
    What multitude of notions
      Doth perturb my pate,
    Considering the motions,
    How the heavens are preserved,
    And this world served        85
      In moisture, light, and heat!
If one spirit sits the outmost circle turning,
Or one turns another, continuing in journeying,
If rapid circles’ motion be that which they call burning!
  Hallo, my fancy, whither wilt thou go!        90
 
    Fain also would I prove this,
      By considering
    What that, which you call love, is:
    Whether it be a folly
    Or a melancholy,        95
      Or some heroic thing!
Fain I ’d have it proved, by one whom love hath wounded,
And fully upon one his desire hath founded,
Whom nothing else could please though the world were rounded.
  Hallo, my fancy, whither wilt thou go?        100
 
    To know this world’s centre,
      Height, depth, breadth, and length,
    Fain would I adventure
    To search the hid attractions
    Of magnetic actions,        105
      And adamantine strength.
Fain would I know, if in some lofty mountain,
Where the moon sojourns, if there be trees or fountain;
If there be beasts of prey, or yet be fields to hunt in.
  Hallo, my fancy, whither wilt thou go?        110
 
    Fain would I have it tried
      By experiment,
    By none can be denied!
    If in this bulk of nature,
    There be voids less or greater,        115
      Or all remains complete.
Fain would I know if beasts have any reason;
If falcons killing eagles do commit a treason;
If fear of winter’s want make swallows fly the season.
  Hallo, my fancy, whither wilt thou go?        120
 
    Hallo, my fancy, hallo!
      Stay, stay at home with me,
    I can thee no longer follow,
    For thou hast betrayed me,
    And bewrayed me;        125
      It is too much for thee.
Stay, stay at home with me; leave off thy lofty soaring;
Stay thou at home with me, and on thy books be poring;
For he that goes abroad lays little up in storing:
  Thou ’rt welcome home, my fancy, welcome home to me.        130
 
 
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