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'His orient liquor in a Crystal Glasse,
To quench the drouth of Phæbus, which as they taste
(For most do taste through fond intemperate thirst)
Soon as the Potion works, their human count'nance,
Th' express resemblance of the gods, is chang’d
Into som brutish form of Woolf, or Bear,
Or Ounce, or Tiger, Hog, or bearded Goat,
All other parts remaining as they were,
And they, so perfect is their misery,
Not once perceive their foul disfigurement,
But boast themselves more comely then before
And all their friends, and native home forget
To roule with pleasure in a sensual stie.
Therfore when any favour'd of high Jove,
Chances to pass through this adventrous glade,
Swift as the Sparkle of a glancing Star,

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I shoot from Heav'n to give him safe convoy,
As now I do: But first I must put off
These my skie robes spun out of Iris Wooff,
And take the Weeds and likenes of a Swain,
That to the service of this house belongs,
Who with his soft Pipe, and smooth-dittied Song,
Well knows to still the wilde winds when they roar,
And hush the waving Woods, nor of lesse faith,
And in this office of his Mountain watch,
Likeliest, and neerest to the present ayd

90 Of this occasion. But I hear the tread

Of hatefull steps, I must be viewles now. Comus enters with a Charming Rod in one hand, his Glass in the other, with

him a rout of Monsters, headed like sundry sorts of wilde Beasts, but other-
wise like Men and Women, their Apparel glistring, they com in making a
riotous and unruly noise, with Torches in their hands.

Comus. The Star that bids the Shepherd fold,
Now the top of Heav'n doth hold,
And the gilded Car of Day,
His glowing Axle doth allay
In the steep Atlantick stream,
And the slope. Sun his upward beam
Shoots against the dusky Pole,
Pacing toward the other gole
Of his Chamber in the East.
Mean while welcom Joy, and Feast,

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Midnight shout, and revelry,
Tipsie dance, and Jollity.
Braid your Locks with rosie Twine
Dropping odours, dropping Wine.
Rigor now is gon to bed,
And Advice with scrupulous head,
Strict Age, and sowre Severity,
With their grave Saws in slumber ly.
We that are of purer fire
Imitate the Starry Quire,
Who in their nightly watchfull Sphears,
Lead in swift round the Months and Years.
The Sounds, and Seas with all their finny drove
Now to the Moon in wavering Morrice move,
And on the Tawny Sands and Shelves,
Trip the pert Fairies and the dapper Elves ;
By dimpled Brook, and Fountain brim,
The Wood-Nymphs deckt with Daisies trim,
Their merry wakes and pastimes keep:
What hath night to do with sleep?
Night hath better sweets to prove,
Venus now wakes, and wak’ns Love.
Com let us our rights begin,
'Tis onely day-light that makes Sin
Which these dun shades will ne're report.
Hail Goddesse of Nocturnal sport
Dark vaild Cotytto, ť whom the secret flame
Of mid-night Torches burns; mysterious Dame
That ne’re art call’d, but when the Dragon woom
Of Stygian darknes spets her thickest gloom,
And makes one blot of all the ayr,
Stay thy cloudy Ebon chair,
Wherin thou rid'st with Hecat', and befriend
Us thy vow'd Priests, til utmost end
Of all thy dues be done, and none left out,
Ere the blabbing Eastern scout,
The nice Morn on th Indian steep
From her cabin'd loop hole peep,
And to the tel-tale Sun discry
Our conceal'd Solemnity.
Com, knit hands, and beat the ground,
In a light fantastick round.

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The Measure. Break off, break off, I feel the different pace, Of som chast footing neer about this ground. Run to your shrouds, within these Brakes and Trees, Our number may affright : Som Virgin sure (For so I can distinguish by mine Art) Benighted in these Woods. Now to my charms,

150 And to my wily trains, I shall e're long Be well stock’t with as fair a herd as graz'd About my Mother Circe. Thus I hurl My dazling Spells into the spungy ayr, of power to cheat the eye with blear illusion, And give it false presentments, lest the place And my quaint habits breed astonishment, And put the Damsel to suspicious flight, Which must not be, for that's against my course ; I under fair pretence of friendly ends,

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And well plac't words of glozing courtesie
Baited with reasons not unplausible
Wind me into the easie-hearted man,
And hugg him into snares.

When once her eye
Hath met the vertue of this Magick dust,
I shall appear som harmles Villager
Whom thrift keeps up about his Country gear,
But here she comes, I fairly step aside,
And hearken, if I may, her busines here.

The Lady enters. This way the noise was, if mine ear be true, 170 My best guide now, me thought it was the sound of Riot, and ill manag'd Merriment, Such as the jocond Flute, or gamesom Pipe Stirs up among the loose unleter'd Hinds, When for their teeming Flocks, and granges full In wanton dance they praise the bounteous Pan, And thank the gods amiss. I should be loath To meet the rudenesse, and swill'd insolence Of such late Wassailers ; yet O where els Shall I inform my unacquainted feet

180 167 omitted 1673

168, 9 order inverted 1673 169 If I may, her busines here] If I may her business hear 1673 Errata.

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In the blind mazes of this tanglid Wood ?
My Brothers when they saw me wearied out
With this long way, resolving here to lodge
Under the spreading favour of these Pines,
Stept as they se'd to the next Thicket side
To bring me Berries, or such cooling fruit
As the kind hospitable Woods provide.
They left me then, when the gray-hooded Eev'n
Like a sad Votarist in Palmers weed
Rose from the hindmost wheels of Phæbus wain. 190
But where they are, and why they came not back,
Is now the labour of my thoughts, 'tis likeliest
They had ingag'd their wandring steps too far,
And envious darknes, e're they could return,
Had stole them from me, els Otheevish Night
Why shouldst thou, but for som fellonious end,
In thy dark lantern thus close up the Stars,
That nature hung in Heav'n, and fill'd their Lamps
With everlasting oil, to give due light
To the misled and lonely Travailer ?
This is the place, as well as I may guess,
Whence eev'n now the tumult of loud Mirth
Was rife, and perfet in my list’ning ear,
Yet nought but single darknes do I find.
What might this be? A thousand fantasies
Begin to throng into my memory
Of calling shapes, and beckning shadows dire,
And airy tongues, that syllable mens names
On Sands, and Shoars, and desert Wildernesses.
These thoughts may startle well, but not astound
The vertuous mind, that ever walks attended
By a strong siding champion Conscience.
O welcom pure-ey'd Faith, white-handed Hope,
Thou hovering Angel girt with golden wings,
And thou unblemish't form of Chastity,
I see ye visibly, and now beleeve
That he, the Supreme good, t whom all things ill
Are but as slavish officers of vengeance,
Would send a glistring Guardian if need were
To keep my life and honour "unassail'd.
Was I deceiv'd, or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night?

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I did not err, there does a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
And casts a gleam over this tufted Grove.
I cannot hallow to my Brothers, but
Such noise as I can make to be heard farthest
Ile venter, for my new enliv’nd spirits
Prompt me; and they perhaps are not far off.

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SONG.
Sweet Echo, sweetest Nymph that liv'st unseen

Within thy airy shell

By slow Meander's margent green,
And in the violet imbroider'd vale

Where the love-lorn Nightingale
Nightly to thee her sad Song mourneth well.
Canst thou not tell me of a gentle Pair

That likest thy Narcissus are ?

O if thou have
Hid them in som flowry Cave,

Tell me but where
Sweet Queen of Parly, Daughter of the Sphear,

So maist thou be translated to the skies,
And give resounding grace to all Heav'ns Harmonies.

Com. Can any mortal mixture of Earths mould
Breath such Divine inchanting ravishment ?
Sure somthing holy lodges in that brest,
And with these raptures moves the vocal air
To testifie his hidd’n residence ;
How sweetly did they float upon the wings
Of silence, through the empty vaulted night
At every fall smoothing the Raven doune
Of darknes till it smil'd: I have oft heard
My mother Circe with the Sirens three,
Amidst the flowry-kirti'd Naiades
Culling their potent hearbs, and balefull drugs,
Who as they sung, would take the prison'd soul,
And lap it in Elysium, Scylla wept,
And chid her barking waves into attention,
And fell Charybdis murmur'd soft applause :
Yet they in pleasing slumber lulld the sense,
And in sweet madnes rob'd it of it self,

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