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393 Enter The Two BROTHERS.
Of dragon-watch, with unenchanted eye,
To save her blossoms, and defend her fruit, El. Br. Unmuffe, ye faint stars; and thou, fair From the rash band of bold Incontinence. Moon,
You may as well spread out the unsunn'd heaps
Danger will wink on Opportunity,
Uninjur'd in this wild surrounding waste.
Lest some ill-greeting touch attempt the person With thy long-levell’d rule of streaming light ; Of our unowned sister. And thou shalt be our star of Arcady,
I do not, brother, Or Tyrian Cynosure.
Infer, as if I thought my sister's state Sec. Br.
Or, if our eyes
Secure, without all doubt or controversy ;
And gladly banish squint suspicion.
What hidden strength, Where may she wander now, whither betake her Unless the strength of Heaven, if you mean From the chill dew, among rude burs and thistles ?
that ? Perhaps some cold bank is her bolster now, El. Br. I mean that too, but yet a hidden strength, Or 'gainst the rugged bark of some broad elm Which, if Heaven gave it, may be term’d her Leans her unpillow'd head, fraught with sad fears.
355 | 'Tis Chastity, my brother, Chastity : What, if in wild amazement and affright?
She, that has that, is clad in complete steel ; Or, while we speak, within the direful grasp And, like a quivered nymph with arrows keen, Of savage hunger, or of savage heat ?
May trace huge forests, and unharbour'd heaths, El. Br. Peace, brother : be not over-exquisite Infamous hills, and sandy perilous wilds; To cast the fashion of uncertain evils :
Where, through the sacred rays of Chastity,
Will dare to soil her virgin purity :
By grots and caverns shagg'd with horrid shades, How bitter is such self-delusion !
365 She may pass on with unblench'd majesty, I do not think my sister so to seek,
Be it not done in pride, or in presumption.
Some say, no evil thing that walks by night
Blue meager hag, or stubborn unlaid ghost (Not being in danger, as I trust she is not,) That breaks his magic chains at Curseu time, Could stir the constant mood of her calm thoughts, No goblin, or swart faery of the mine,
436 And put them into misbecoming plight.
Hath hurtful power o'er true virginity.
Do ye believe me yet, or shall I call
376 Hence had the huntress Dian her dread bow,
And spotted mountain-pard, but set at nought Were all-to ruffled, and sometimes impair'd. The frivolous bolt of Cupid; gods and men He that has light within his own clear breast, Fear’d her stern frown, and she was queen o' the May sit i' the centre, and enjoy bright day:
woods. But he, that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts, What was that snaky-headed Gorgon shield, Benighted walks under the mid-day Sun;
That wise Minerva wore, unconquer'd virgin, Himself is his own dungeon.
385 Wherewith she freez'd her foes to congeal'd stone, Sec. Br.
'Tis most true,
450 That musing Meditation most affects
And noble grace, that dash'd brute violence The pensive secrecy of desert cell,
With sudden adoration and blank awe? Far from the cheerful haunt of men and herds, So dear to Heaven is saintly Chastity, And sits as safe as in a senate-house ;
That, when a soul is found sincerely so,
A thousand liveried angels lackey her,
And, in clear dream and solemn vision,
Tell her of things that no gross ear can hear; Laden with blooming gold, had need the guard Till oft converse with heavenly habitants
Begin to cast a beam on the outward shape,
Within the navel of this hideous wood, 520 The unpolluted temple of the mind,
Immur'd in cypress shades a sorcerer dwells,
460 Of Bacchus and of Circe born, great Comus,
By sly enticement gives his baneful cup,
With many murmurs mix’d, whose pleasing poison The soul grows clotted by contagion,
The visage quite transforms of him that drinks, Imbodies, and imbrutes, till she quite lose
And the inglorious likeness of a beast The divine property of her first ng.
Fixes instead, unmoulding reason's mintage Such are those thick and gloomy shadows damp, Character'd in the face : this have I learnt 530 Oft seen in charnel vaults and sepulchres 471 | Tending my flocks hard by i' the hilly crofts, Lingering, and sitting by a new made grave, That brow this bottom-glade; whence night by As loth to leave the body that it lov’d,
night And link'd itself by carnal sensuality
He and his monstrous rout are heard to howl, To a degenerate and degraded state.
Like stabled wolves, or tigers at their prey,
In their obscured haunts of inmost bowers,
Yet have they many baits, and guileful spells, And a perpetual feast of nectar'd sweets,
To inveigle and invite the unwary sense Where no crude surfeit reigns.
Of them that pass unweeting by the way. El. Br.
List, list; I hear This evening late, by then the chewing flocks Some far off halloo break the silent air.
481 Had ta'en their supper on the savoury herb 541 Sec. Br. Methought so too; what should it be? Of knot-grass dew-besprent, and were in fold, El Br.
For certain I sat me down to watch upon a bank
Wrapt in a pleasing fit of melancholy,
Till fancy had her fill; but, ere a close, Best draw, and stand upon our guard.
The wonted roar was up amidst the woods, El. B.
I'll halloo : And fill'd the air with barbarous dissonance; 550 If he be friendly, he comes well; if not,
At which I ceas'd, and listen'd them a while, Defence is a good cause, and Heaven be for us, Till an unusual stop of sudden silence
Gave respite to the drowsy frighted steeds, (Enter the Attendant Spirit, habited like a shopherd.] At last a soft and solemn-breathing sound
That draw the litter of close-curtain'd Sleep; That halloo I should know; what are you ? speak; Rose like a steam of rich distillid perfumes, Come not too near, you fall on iron stakes else. And stole upon the air, that even Silence Spir. What voice is that? my young lord ? speak Was took ere she was 'ware, and wish'd she might again.
492 Deny her nature, and be never more, Sec. B. O brother, 'tis my father's shepherd, sure. Still to be so displac'd. I was all ear,
560 El. B. Thyrsis ? Whose artful strains have oft And took in strains that might create a soul delay'd
Under the ribs of Death : but 0! ere long, The huddling brook to hear his madrigal,
Too well I did perceive it was the voice And sweeten'd every muskrose of the dale? Of my most honour'd lady, your dear sister. How cam’st thou here, good swain ? hath any ram Amaz'd I stood, harrow'd with grief and fear, Slipt from the fold, or young kid lost his dam, And, O poor hapless nightingale, thought I, Or straggling wether the pent flock forsook ? How sweet thou sing'st, how near the deadly How could'st thou find this dark sequester'd nook?
snare! Smir. O my lov'd master's heir, and his next joy, Then down the lawns I ran with headlong haste, came not here on such a trivial toy
502 Through paths and turnings often trod by day, As a stray'd ewe, or to pursue the stealth
Till, guided by mine ear, I found the place, 570 Of pilfering wolf; not all the fleecy wealth, Where that damn’d wisard, hid in sly disguise, That doth enrich these downs, is worth a thought (For so by certain signs I knew,) had met To this my errand, and the care it brought. Already, ere my best speed could prevent, But, O my virgin lady, where is she?
The aidless innocent lady, his wish'd prey ; How chance she is not in your company ?
Who gently ask'd if he had seen such two, El. B. To tell thee sadly, shepherd, without blame, Supposing him some neighbour villager. Or our neglect, we lost her as we came. 510 Longer I durst not stay, but soon I guess'd Spir. Ay me unhappy! then my fears are true. Ye were the two she meant; with that I sprung El. B. What fears, good Thyrsis? Pr’ythee briefly Into swift fight, till I had found you here; show.
But further know I not.
580 (Though so esteem'd by shallow ignorance,) How are ye join'd with Hell in triple knot What the sage poets, taught by the heavenly Muse, Against the unarm'd weakness of one virgin, Storied of old in high immortal verse,
Alone and helpless! Is this the confidence Of dire chimera and enchanted isles,
You gave me, brother? And rifter intrance leads to Hell; El. Br.
Yes, and keep it still ; For Prof is blind.
Lean on it safely ; not a period
Shall be unsaid for me : against the threats And shed the luscious liquor on the ground.
But seize his wand; though he and his curs'd
Fierce sign of battle make, and menace high,
El. Br. Thyrsis, lead on apace, I'll follow thee;
And some good angel bear a shield before us.
The Scene changes to a stately palace, set out with Self-fed, and self-consum'd: if this fail,
all manner of deliciousness : soft music, latérs The pillar'd firmament is rottenness,
spread with all dainties. Comus appears uit And Earth's base built on stubble.
his rabble, and the Lady set in an enchanted
chair, to whom he offers his glass, which she Against the opposing will and arm of Heaven 600
puts by, and goes about to rise. May never this just sword be lifted up;
Nay, lady, sit ; if I but wave this wand,
Your nerves are all chain'd up in alabaster, 660 Harpies and Hydras, or all the monstrous forms And you a statue, or, as Daphine was, 'Twixt Africa and Ind, I'll find him out,
Root-bound, that fled Apollo. And force him to return his purchase back,
Fool, do not boast ; Or drag him by the curls to a foul death,
Thou canst not touch the freedom of my mind Curs'd as his life.
With all thy charms, although this corporal rind Spir.
Alas! good venturous youth, Thou last immanacled, while Heaven sces good. I love thy courage yet, and bold emprise; 610 Com. Why are you vex'd, lady? Why do you But here thy sword can do thee little stcad;
frown? Far other arms and other weapons must
Here dwell no frowns, nor anger; from these gates Be those, that quell the might of hellish charms : Sorrow flies far : see, here be all the pleasures, He with his bare wand can unthread thy joints, That fancy can beget on youthful thoughts, And crumble all thy sinews.
When the fresh blood grows lively, and returns El. Br.
Why pr’ythee, shepherd, Brisk as the April buds in primrose-season. 671 How durst thou then thyself approach so near, And first, behold this cordial julep here, As to make this relation ?
That flames and dances in his crystal bounds, Spir.
Care, and utmost shifts, With spirits of balm and fragrant syrops mix'd;
Not that nepenthes, which the wife of Thone
To life so friendly, or so cool to thirst.
For gentle usage and soft delicacy ? Would sit and hearken even to ecstasy,
But you invert the covenants of her trust,
And harshly deal like an ill borrower
By which all mortal frailty must subsist,
630 Refreshment after toil, ease after pain,
And timely rest have wanted; but, fair virgin,
'Twill not, false traitor ! 690 Treads on it daily with his clouted shoon :
'Twill not restore the truth and honesty, And yet more med’cinal is it than that moly, That thou hast banished from thy tongue with lies. That Hermes once to wise Ulysses gave;
Was this the cottage, and the safe abode,
Thou toldst me of? What grim aspects are these,
These ugly-headed monsters ? Mercy guard me! 'Gainst all enchantments, mildew, blast, or damp, Hence with thy brew'd enchantments, foul de. Or ghastly furies' apparition.
ceiver ! I purs'd it up, but little reckoning made,
Hast thou betray'd my credulous innocence Till now that this extremity compellid:
With visor'd falsehood and base forgery?
And wouldst thou seek again to trap me here
Were it a draught for Juno when she banquets,
But such as are good men can give good things;
And that which is not good, is not delicious
To those budge doctors of the Stoic fur,
If every just man, that now pines with want, And fetch their precepts from the Cynic tub, Had but a moderate and beseeming share Praising the lean and sallow Abstinence.
Of that which lewdly pamper'd Luxury 770 Wherefore did nature pour her bounties forth 710 Now heaps upon some few with vast excess, With such a full and unwithdrawing hand, Nature's full blessings would be well dispens'd Covering the Earth with odours, fruits, and flocks, In unsuperfluous even proportion, Thronging the seas with spawn innumerable, And she no whit encumber'd with her store ; But all to please and sate the curious taste ? And then the Giver would be better thank'd, And set to work millions of spinning worms, His praise due paid : for swinish Gluttony That in their green-shops weave the smooth-hair'd Ne’er looks to Heaven arnidst his gorgeous feast, silk,
But with besotted base ingratitude To deck her sons; and that no corner might Crams, and blasphemes his feeder. Shall I go on? Be vacant of her plenty, in her own loins
Or have I said enough? To him that dares 780 She hutch'd the all-worshiptore, and precious Arm his profane tongue with contemptuous words gems,
Against the sun-clad power of Chastity, To store ber children with : if all the world 720 Fain would I something say, yet to what end? Should in a pet of temperance feed on pulse, Thou hast nor ear, nor soul, to apprehend Drink the clear stream, and nothing wear but | The sublime notion, and high mystery, frieze,
That must be utter'd to unfold the sage The All-giver would be unthank’d, would be un- And serious doctrine of Virginity; prais'd,
And thou art worthy that thou shouldst not know Not half his riches known, and yet despis’d : More happiness than this thy present lot. And we should serve him as a grudging master, Enjoy your dear wit, and gay rhetoric,
790 As a penurious niggard of his wealth ;
That hath so well been taught her dazzling fence ; And live like Nature's bastards, not her sons, Thou art not fit to hear thyself convinc'd : Who would be quite surcharg'd with her own Yet, should I try, the uncontrolled worth weight,
Of this pure cause would kindle my rapt spirits And strangled with her waste fertility ;
To such a flame of sacred vebemence, The Earth cumber'd, and the wing'd air dark’s That dumb things would be mor’d to sympathize, with plumes,
730 And the brute Earth would lend her nerves, and The herds would over-multitude their lords,
shake, The sea o'erfraught would swell, and the unsought Till all thy magic structures, rear'd so high, diamonds
Were shatter'd into heaps o'er thy false head. Would so imblaze the forehead of the deep, Com. She fables not; I feel that I do fear 800 And so bestud with stars, that they below
Her words set off by some superior power; Would grow inur'd to light, and come at last And though not mortal, yet a cold shuddering dew To gaze upon the Sun with shameless brows.
Dips me all o'er, as when the wrath of Jove List, lady: be not coy, and be not cosen'd
Speaks thunder, and the chains of Erebus, With that same vaunted name, Virginity.
To some of Saturn's crew. I must dissemble, Beauty is Nature's coin, must not be hoarded, And try her yet more strongly: - Come, no more ; But must be current; and the good thereof 740 This is mere moral babble, and direct, Consists in mutual and partaken bliss,
Against the canon-laws of our foundation ; Unsavoury in the enjoyment of itself ;
I must not suffer this : yet 'tis but the lees If you let slip time, like a neglected rose
And settlings of a melancholy blood :
810 It withers on the stalk with languish'd head. But this will cure all straight : one sip of this Beauty is nature's brag, and must be shown Will bathe the drooping spirits in delight, In courts, at feasts, and high solemnities,
Beyond the bliss of dreams. Be wise and taste. Where most may wonder at the workmanship; It is for homely features to keep home, They had their name thence ; coarse complexions,
The Brothers rush in with swords draun, wrest his And cheeks of sorry grain, will serve to ply 750
glass out of his hand, and break it against the The sampler, and to tease the huswife's wool.
ground; his rout make sign of resistance; but are What need a vermeil-tinctur'd lip for that,
all driven in. The Attendant Spirit comes in. Love-darting eyes, or tresses like the Morn?
SPIRIT. There was another meaning in these gifts ; Think what, and be advis'd; you are but young What, have you let the false enchanter 'scape? yet.
Oye mistook, ye should have snatch'd his wand, Lad. I had not thought to have unlock'd my lips And bound him fast; without his rod revers'd, In this unhallow'd air, but that this juggler And backward mutters of dissevering power, Would think to charm my judgment, as mine eyes, We cannot free the Lady that sits here Obtruding false rules prank'd in reason's garb. In stony fetters fix'd, and motionless :
819 I hate when Vice can bolt ber arguments, 760 Yet stay, bo not disturb’d; now I bethink me, And Virtue has no tongue to check her pride. Some other means I have which may be us’d, Impostor! do not charge most innocent Nature, Which once of Melibæus old I learnt, As if she would her children should be riotous The soothest shepherd that e'er pip'd on plains. With her abundance; she, good cateress,
There is a gentle nymph not far from hence, Means her provision only to the good,
That with moist curb sways the smooth Severn That live according to her sober laws,
stream, And holy dictate of spare Temperance :
Sabrina is her name, a virgin pure;
Whilom she was the daughter of Locrine,
My sliding chariot stays,
Thick set with agate, and the azurn sheen
830 That in the channel strays; Commended her fair innocence to the flood,
Whilst from otl' the waters fleet
Sp. Goddess dear,
We implore thy powerful hand And through the porch and inlet of each sense To undo the charmed band Dropt in ambrosial oils, till she reviv'd, 840 Of true virgin here distrest, And underwent a quick immortal change,
Through the force, and through the wile, Made goddess of the river : still she retains
Of umblest enchanter vile. Her maiden gentleness, and ott at eve
Sabr. Shepherd, 'tis my office best Visits the herds along the twilight meadows,
To help ensnared chastity : Helping all urchin blasts, and ill-luck signs Brightest lady, look on me;
910 That the shrewd meddling elfe delights to make, Thus I sprinkle on thy breast Which she with precious vial'd liquors heals; Drops, that from my fountain pure For which the shepherds at their festivals
I have kept, of precious cure; Carol her goodness loud in rustic lays,
Thırice upon thy finger's tip And throw sweet garland wreaths into her stream Thrice upon thy rubied lip : Of pansies, pinks, and gaudy datfodils.
Next this marble venom'd seat,
Smear'd with gums of glutinous heat,
Now the spell hath lost his hold;
To wait in Amphitrite's bower.
Sp. Virgin, daughter of Locrine Sabrina fair,
Sprung of old Anchises' line, Listen where thou art sitting
May thy brimmed waves for this 860
Their full tribute never miss
From a thousand petty rills,
That tumble down the snowy hills:
Summer drought, or singed air,
Never scorch thy tresses fair,
990 Listen, and appear to us,
Thy molten crystal fill with mud;
May thy billows roll ashore
The beryl and the golden ore;
May thy lofty head be crown'd 870
With many a tower and terrace round,
And here and there thy banks upon
With groves of myrrh and cinnamon.
Come, lady, while Heaven lends us grace,
Let us fly this cursed place,
940 And her son that rules the strands,
With some other new device. By Thetis' tinsel-slipper'd feet,
Not a waste or needless sound,
Till we come to holier ground;
I shall be your faithful guide
880 Wherewith she sits on diamond rock,
Through this gloomy covert wide,
And not many furlongs thence Sleeking her soft alluring locks ;
father's residence, By all the nymphs that nightly dance
Where this night are met in state Upon thy streams with wily glance,
Many a friend to gratulate Rise, rise, and heave thy rosy head,
950 From thy coral-paven bed,
His wish'd presence; and beside And bridle in thy headlong wave,
All the swains, that there abide,
With jigs and rural dance resort ;
We shall catch them at their sport,
And our sudden coming there
Will double all their mirth and cheer: SABRINA rises, attended by water-nymphs, and sings.
Come, let us haste, the stars grow high, By the rushy-fringed bank,
890 But night sits monarch yet in the mid sky. Where grows the willow, and the ozier dank,