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810

To such a flame of sacred vehemence,
That dumb things would be moved to sympathize,
And the brute earth would lend her nerves, and shake,
Till all thy magic structures, rear’d so high,
Were shatter'd into heaps o'er thy false head.

Comus. She fables not; I feel that I do fear 800
Her words set off by some superior power ;
And though not mortal, yet a cold shuddering dew
Dips me all o'er, as when the wrath of Jove
Speaks thunder, and the chains of Erebus,
To some of Saturn's crew. I must dissemble,
And try her yet more strongly. Come, no more ;
This is mere moral babble, and direct
Against the canon-laws of our foundation;
I must not suffer this; yet ’tis but the lees
And settlings of a melancholy blood :
But this will cure all straight; one sip of this
Will bathe the drooping spirits in delight,
Beyond the bliss of dreams. Be wise, and taste.
The Brothers rush in with swords drawn, wrest his glass out of

his hand, and break it against the ground : his rout make sign of resistance, but are all driven in. The attendant Spirit comes in.

Spir. What, have you let the false enchanter 'scape ? O ye mistook, ye should have snatch'd his wand, And bound him fast; without his rod reversed, And backward mutters of dissevering power, We cannot free the lady that sits here In stony fetters fix’d, and motionless : Yet stay, be not disturb’d; now I bethink me, 820 Some other means I have, which may be used, Which once of Melibæus old I learnt, The soothest shepherd that e'er piped on plains.

There is a gentle nymph, not far from hence,

830

That with moist curb sways the smooth Severn stream,
Sabrina is her name, a virgin pure;
Whilom she was the daughter of Locrine,
That had the sceptre from his father Brute.
She, guiltless damsel, flying the mad pursuit
Of her enraged stepdame, Guendolen,
Commended her fair innocence to the flood,
That stay'd her flight with his cross-flowing course.
The water-nymphs, that in the bottom play'd,
Held up their pearled wrists, and took her in,
Bearing her straight to aged Nereus' hall,
Who, piteous of her woes, rear'd her lank head,
And gave her to his daughters to imbathe
In nectar'd lavers, strew'd with asphodel;
And through the porch and inlet of each sense
Dropt in ambrosial oils, till she revived,

840 And underwent a quick immortal change, Made goddess of the river: still she retains Her maiden gentleness, and oft at eve Visits the herds along the twilight meadows, Helping all urchin blasts, and ill-luck signs That the shrewd meddling elf delights to make, Which she with precious vial'd liquors heals : For which the shepherds, at their festivals, Carol her goodness loud in rustic lays, And throw sweet garland wreaths into her stream, 850 Of pansies, pinks, and gaudy daffodils. And, as the old swain said, she can unlock The clasping charm, and thaw the numbing spell, If she be right invoked in warbled song ; For maidenhood she loves, and will be swift To aid a virgin, such as was herself, In hard-besetting need ; this will I try, And add the power of some adjuring verse.

SONG.

Sabrina fair,
Listen where thou art sitting

860 Under the glassy, cool, translucent wave,

In twisted braids of lilies knitting
The loose train of thy amber-dropping hair;

Listen, for dear honour's sake,
Goddess of the silver lake,

Listen and save.
Listen, and appear to us,
In name of great Oceanus;
By the earth-shaking Neptune's mace,
And Tethys' grave majestic pace;

870
By hoary Nereus' wrinkled look,
And the Carpathian wizard's hook ;
By scaly Triton's winding shell,
And old soothsaying Glaucus' spell;
By Leucothea's lovely hands,
And her son that rules the strands;
By Thetis' tinsel-slipper'd feet,
And the songs of Syrens sweet;
By dead Parthenope's dear tomb,
And fair Ligea's golden comb,

880 Wherewith she sits on diamond rocks, Sleeking her soft alluring locks; By all the nymphs that nightly dance Upon thy streams with wily glance; Rise, rise, and heave thy rosy head From thy coral-paven bed, And bridle in thy headlong wave, Till thou our summons answer'd have.

Listen and save.

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Sabrina rises, attended by water-nymphs, and sings. By the rushy-fringed bank,

890 Where grow the willow and the osier dank,

My sliding chariot stays,
Thick set with agate, and the azure sheen
Of turkis blue, and emerald green,

That in the channel strays;
Whilst from off the waters fleet
Thus I set my printless feet
O'er the cowslip's velvet head,

That bends not as I tread;

900

910

Gentle swain, at thy request,

I am here,

Spir. Goddess dear,
We implore thy powerful hand
To undo the charmed band
Of true virgin here distress'd,
Through the force and through the wile
Of unbless'd enchanter vile.

Sabr. Shepherd, 'tis my office best
To help ensnared chastity :
Brightest lady, look on me;
Thus I sprinkle on thy breast
Drops that from my fountain pure
I have kept, of precious cure;
Thrice upon thy finger's tip,
Thrice upon thy rubied lip:
Next this marble venom'd seat,
Smear'd with gums of glutinous heat,
I touch with chaste palms, moist and cold :-
Now the spell hath lost his hold;
And I must haste, ere morning hour,
To wait in Amphitrite's bower.

920

Sabrina descends, and the Lady rises out of her seat.

Spir. Virgin, daughter of Locrine,
Sprung of old Anchises' line,
May thy brimmed waves for this
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,
Nor wet October's torrent flood
Thy molten crystal fill with mud;

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