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Or have I said enough? To him that dares 780
Arm his profane tongue with contemptuous words
Against the sun-clad pow'r of Chastity,
Fain would I something say, yet to what end?
Thou hast nor ear, nor soul, to apprehend
The sublime notion, and high mystery,

That must be utter'd to unfold the sage
And serious doctrine of virginity;
And thou art worthy that thou shouldst not know
More happiness than this thy present lot.
Enjoy your dear wit, and gay rhetoric,

790 That hath so well been taught her dazzling fence; Thou art not fit to hear thyself convinc'd: Yet, should I try, the uncontrolled worth of this pure cause would kindle my rapt spirits To such a flame of sacred vehemence,

795 That dumb things would be mov'd to sympathize, And the brute earth would lend her nerves, and shake, Till all thy magic structures, rear'd to 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 shudd'ring 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, 805 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:

810 But this will cure all straight; one sip of this Will bathe the drooping spirits in delight, Beyond the bliss of dreams. Be wise, aud 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.

Spirit. What, have you let the false enchanter 'scape ? O ye mistook, ye should have snatch'd his wand, 815 And bound him fast; without his rod revers'd, 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 us’d, Which once of Meliboeus old I learnt, The soothest shepherd that e'er pip'd on plains.

There is a gentle nymph not far from hence, That with moist curb sways the smooth Severn stream, 825 Sabrina is her name, a virgin pure; Whilom she was the daughter of Locrine,

That had the scepter from his father Brute.
She, guiltless damsel, flying the mad pursuit
Of her enraged stepdame Guendolen,

Commended her fair innocence to the flood,
That staid 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;

835 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 reviv'd,

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 elfe delights to make,
Which she with precious vial'd liquors heals ;
For which the shepherds at their festivals
Carol her goodness loud in rustic laye,
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 numming spell,
If she be right invok'd in warbled sông;
For maidenhood she loves, and will be swift 855
Te aid a virgin, such as was herself,
In hard-besetting need; this will I try,
And add the pow'r of some adjuring verse,

Sabrina fair,
Listen where thoạ art sitting

860 Under the glassy, cool, translucent wave,

In twisted braids of lilics 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 th’ 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 sooth-saying Glaucos' spell, By Leucothea's lovely hands,

875 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 comh,


Wherewith she sits on diamond rocks,
Sleeping 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. Sabrina rises, attended by water-nymphs, and sings. By the rushy-fringed bank,

890 Where grows 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
Thas I set my printless feet
O'er the cowslip's velvet head,

That bends not as I tread; Gentle Swain, at thy request,

900 I am here. Spir. Goddess dear, We implore thy pow'rful hand To undo the charmed band Of true virgin here" distrest,

905 Through the force and through the wile Of unblest 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:

915 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,

920 To wait in Amphitrite's bow'r.

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

930 Thy molten crystal fill with mud;

May thy billows roll ashore
The beryl and the golden ore;
May thy Lofty head be crown'd
With many a tow'r and terrace round,

935 And here and there thy banks upon With groves of myrrh and cinnamon.

Come, Lady, while Heav'n lends us grace,
Let us fly this cursed place,
Lest the sorcerer us entice

With some other new device.
Not a waste or needless sound,
Till we come to holier ground;
I shall be your faithful guide
Through this gloomy covert wide,

945 And not many furlongs thence Is your Father's residence, Where this night are met in state Many a friend to gratulate His wish'd presence; and beside

950 All the swains, that there abide, With jigs and rural dance resort; We shall catch them at their sport, And or sudden coming there Will double all their mirth and cheer;

955. Come, let us haste, the stars grow high, But night sits monarch yet in the mid sky. The scene changes, presenting Ludlow town and the

President's castle; then come in country dancers, after them the Attendant Spirit, with the Two Brothers and the Lady.

Spir. Back, Shepherds, back; enough your play,
Till next sun-shine holiday :
Here be, without duck or nod,

Other trippings to be trod
Of lighter toes, and such court guise
As Mercury did first devise,
With the mincing Dryades,
On the lawns, and on the leas.

965 This second Song presents them to their Father and Mother.

Noble Lord, and Lady bright,
I have brought ye new delight;
Here behold so goodly grown
Three fair branches of your own;
Hleav'n hath timely tried their youth,

Their faith, their patience, and their truth,
And sent them here through hard assays
With a crown of deathless praise,
To triumph in victorious dance
O’er sensual folly and intemperance.

975 The dances being ended, the Spirit epiloguizes. Spir. To the ocean now I fly,

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And those happy climes that lie
Where day never shuts his eye,
Up in the broad fields of the sky:
There I suck the liquid air
All amidst the gardens fair
Of Hesperus, and his daughters three
That sing about the golden tree:
Along the crisped shades and bowers
Revels the spruce and jocund Spring;
The Graces, and the rosy-bosom’d Hours,
Thither all their bounties bring;
There eternal Summer dwells,
And west-winds, with musky wing,
About the cedarn alleys fling
Nard and Cassia's balmy smells.
Iris there with humid bow
Waters the odorous banks, that blow
Flowers of more mingled hue
Than her purfled scarf can shew;
And drenches with Elysian dew
(List, mortals , if your ears be true),
Beds of hyacinth and roses,
Where young Adonis oft reposes,
Waxing well of his deep wound
In slumber soft, and on the ground
Sadly sits th’ Assyrian queen:
But far above in spangled sheen
Celestial Cupid , her fam'd son, advanc'd,
Holds his dear Psyche sweet entranc'd,
After her wand'ring labours long,
Till free consent the gods among
Make her his eternal bride,
And from her fair unspotted side
Two blissful twins are to be born,
Youth and Joy; so Jove hath sworn.

But now my task is smoothly done,
I can fly, or I can run,
Quickly to the green earth’s end,
Where the bow'd welkin slow doth bend;
And from thence can soar as soon
To the corners of the moon.

Mortals that would folloy me,
Love virtue; she alone is free:
She can teach ye how to climb
Higher than the sphery chime;
Or if Virtue feeble wére,
Heav'n itself would stoop to her.






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