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Presented to the Countess Dowager of Derby, at Harefe d by some noble persons of her family; who appear on the scene in pastoral habit, moving toward the seat of stats with this song:
Look, nymphs, and shepherds, look,
Is that which we from hence descry,
This, this is she
To whom our vows and wishes bend:
Fame, that, her high worth to raise,
Mark, what radiant state she spreads,
Sitting like a goddess bright,
Might she the wise Latona be,
Who had thought this clime had held
As they come forward, the Genius of the Wood appears, and turning towards them speaks :
Stay, gentle swains; for, though in this disguise, I see bright honour sparkle through your eyes; Of famous Arcady ye are, and sprung Of that renowned flood, so often sung, Divine Alpheus, who by secret sluice Stole under seas to meet his Arethuse; And ye, the breathing roses of the wood, Fair silver-buskin'd nymphs, as great and goods I know, this quest of yours, and free intent, Was all in honour and devotion meant To the great mistress of yon princely shrine, Whom with low reverence I adore as mine; And, with all helpful service, will comply To further this night's glad solemnity; And lead ye, where ye may more near behold What shallow-searching Fame hath left untold; Which I full oft, amidst these shades alone, Have sat to wonder at, and gaze upon : For know, by lot from Jove I am the power Of this fair wood, and live in oaken bower, To nurse the saplings tall, and curl the grove With ringlets quaint, and wanton windings wove And all my plants I save from nightly ill Of noisome winds, and blasting vapours chill: And from the boughs brush off the evil dew, And heal the harms of thwarting thunder blue, Or what the cross dire-looking planet smites, Or hurtful worm with canker'd venom bites.
When evening grey doth rise, I fetch my roun
And keep unsteady nature to her law,
And so attend ye toward her glittering states
O'er the smooth enamell'd green Where no print of step hath been, Follow me, as I sing
And touch the warbled string,
Under the shady roof
Of branching elm star-proof.
I will bring you where she sits,
Such a rural queen
All Arcadia hath not seen.
Nymphs and shepherds, dance no more
Bring your flocks, and live with us;
Al Arcadia hath not seen.