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Begin to cast a beam on the outward shape, l Within the navel of this hideous wood, 520 The unpolluted temple of the mind,
Immur'd in cypress shades a sorcerer dwells, And turns it by degrees to the soul's essence, 460 Of Bacchus and of Circe born, great Comus, Till all be made immortal : but when Lust, Deep skill'd in all his mother's witcheries; By unchaste looks, loose gestures, and foul talk, And here to every thirsty wanderer But most by lewd and lavish act of sin,
By sly enticement gives his baneful cup, Lets in defilement to the inward parts,
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 being.
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,
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 savory herb 541
Sec. Br. Methought so too; what should it be? Of knot-grass dew-besprent, and were in fold,
For certain I sat me down to watch upon a bank
Till fancy had her fill; but, ere a close,
The wonted roar was up amidst the woods, El Br.
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 [Enter the Attendant Spirit, habited like a shepherd.]
Gave respite to the drowsy frighted steeds,
That draw the litter of close-curtain'd Sleep; That halloo I should know; what are you? speak; At last a soft and solemn-breathing sound Come not too near, you fall on iron stakes else. Rose like a steam of rich distillid perfumes, Spir. What voice is that? my young lord ? speak And stole upon the air, that even Silence again.
492 Was took ere she was 'ware, and wish'd she might Sec. Br. O brother, 'tis my father's shepherd, sure. Deny her nature, and be never more, El. Br. Thyrsis? Whose artful strains have oft Still to be so displac'd. I was all ear, 560 delay'd
And took in strains that might create a soul The huddling brook to hear his madrigal,
Under the ribs of Death ; but O! ere long, And sweetend every musk-rose of the dale? Too well I did perceive it was the voice How cam'st thou here, good swain? hath any ram Of my most honor'd lady, your dear sister. Slipt from the fold, or young kid lost his dam, Amaz'd I stood, harrow'd with grief and fear, Or straggling wether the pent flock forsook ? And, O poor hapless nightingale, thought I, How could'st thou find this dark sequester'd nook? How sweet thou sing'st, how near the deadly Spir. O my lov'd master's heir, and his next joy,
snare! I came not here on such a trivial toy
502 Then down the lawns I ran with headlong haste, As a stray'd ewe, or to pursue the stealth Through paths and turnings often trod by day, of pilfering wolf: not all the fleecy wealth, Till, guided by mine ear, I found the placc, 570 That doth enrich these downs, is worth a thought Where that damn'd wisard, hid in sly disguise, To this my errand, and the care it brought. (For so by certain signs I knew,) had met But, O my virgin lady, where is she?
Already, ere my best speed could prevent,
Supposing him some neighbor villager.
Spir. Ay me unhappy! then my fears are true. Ye were the two she meant; with that I sprung El. Br. What fears, good Thyrsis? Prythee Into swift flight, till I had found you here; briefly show.
But further know I not. Spir. I'll tell ye: 'tis not vain or fabulous. Sec. Br.
O night, and shades! 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 chimeras, and enchanted isles,
You gave me, brother? And rifted rocks whose entrance leads to Hell; El. Br.
Yes, and keep it still; for such there be, but unbelief 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 Which erring men call Chance, this I hold firm,
crew Virtue may be assail'd, but never hurt,
Fierce sign of battle make, and menace high, Surpris'd by unjust force, but not enthrall’d: 590 Or like the sons of Vulcan vomit smoke, Yea, even that, which mischief meant most harm, Yet will they soon retire, if he but shrink. Shall in the happy trial prove most glory :
El. Br. Thyrsis, lead on apace, I'll follow thee But evil on itself shall back recoil,
And some good angel bear a shield before us. And mix no more with goodness; when at last Gather'd like scum, and settled to itself, It shall be in eternal restless change
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, tables spread The pillar'd firmament is rottenness,
with all dainties. Comus appears with his rabble, And Earth's base built on stubble.-But come,
and the Lady set in an enchanted chair, to whom let's on.
he offers his glass, which she puts by, and goes about Against the opposing will and arm of Heaven 600
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 Daphne 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 hast immanacled, while Heaven sees 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 stead ;
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 prythee, 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 Aames and dances in his crystal bounds, Spir.
Care, and utmost shifts, With spirits of balm and fragrant syrops mix'd ; How to secure the lady from surprisal,
Not that nepenthes, which the wife of Thone Brought to my mind a certain shepherd lad, In Egypt gave to Jove-born Helena, Of small regard to see to, yet well skill'd 620 Is of such power to stir up joy as this, In every virtuous plant, and healing herb, To life so friendly, or so cool to thirst. That spreads her verdant leaf to th' morning ray: Why should you be so cruel to yourself, He lov'd me well, and oft would beg me sing; And to those dainty limbs, which Nature lent 680 Which when I did, he on the tender grass For gentle usage and soft delicacy? Would sit and hearken even to ecstasy,
But you invert the covenants of her trust, And in requital ope his leathern scrip,
And harshly deal like an ill borrower And show me simples of a thousand names, With that which you receiv'd on other terms; Telling their strange and vigorous faculties : Scorning the unexempt condition, Amongst the rest a small unsightly root, By which all mortal frailiy must subsist, But of divine effect, he cull'd me out: 630 Refreshment after toil, ease after pain, The leaf was darkish, and had prickles on it, That have been tir'd all day without repast, But in another country, as he said,
And timely rest have wanted; but, fair virgin, Bore a bright golden flower, but not in this soil : This will restore all soon. Unknown, and light esteem'd, and the dull swain Lad.
"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 banish'd from thy tongue with lies That Hermes once to wise Ulysses gave;
Was this the cottage, and the safe abode, He call'd it hæmony, and gave it me,
Thou told'st me of? What grim aspects are these. And bade me keep it as of sovran use
These ugly-headed monsters ? Mercy guard me! Gainst all enchantments, mildew, blast, or damp, Hence with thy brew'd enchantments, foul de Ir 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? But now I find it true; for by this means
And would'st thou seek again to trap me here .I knew the foul enchanter though disguis'd, With lickerish baits, fit to ensnare a brute? 700 Enter'd the very lime-twigs of his spells,
Were it a draught for Juno when she banquets, And yet came off: if you have this about you, I would not taste thy treasonous offer; none As (I will give you when we go) you may But such as are good men can give good things; Boldly assault the necromancer's hall;
And that which is not good, is not delicious 'Where if he be, with dauntless hardihood, 650 To a well-govern'd and wise appetite. And brandish'd blade, rush on him; break his glass, Com. O foolishness of men that lend their cars
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 odors, 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 amidst 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-worshipt ore, and precious Arm his profane tongue with contemptuous words
Against the sun-clad power of Chastity, To store her 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 uttered 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 vehemence, The Earth cumber'd, and the wing'd air dark'd That dumb things would be mov'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 emblaze 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 ; Unsavory 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,
The Brothers rush in with swords drawn, wrest his They had their name thence; coarse complexions,
glass out of his hand, and break it against the And cheeks of sorry grain, will serve to ply 750
ground ; his rout make sign of resistance; but are The sampler, and to tease the huswife's wool. 1
all driven in. The Attendant Spirit comes in. What need a vermeil-tinctur'd lip for that, 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.
O ye 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, la this unballow'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 her arguments, 760 Yet stay, be 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,
900 Who, piteous of her woes, rear'd her lank head, I am here And gave her to his daughters to imbathe
Sp. Goddess dear,
Sabr. Shepherd, 'tis my office best
Thrice upon thy finger's tip
Now the spell hath lost his hold;
920 To aid a virgin, such as was herself,
To wait in Amphitrite's bower.
Sabrina descends, and the Lady rises out of her seat
Sp. Virgin, daughter of Locrine,
een 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,
930 Listen, and appear to us,
Thy molten crystal fill with mud; In name of great Oceanus;
May thy billows roll ashore By the Earth-shaking Neptune's mace,
The beryl and the golden ore;
870 And Tethy's grave majestic pace, By hoary Nereus' wrinkled look,
May thy lofty head be crown'd
With many a tower and terrace round, And the Carpathian wisard's hook,
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, And her son that rules the strands,
Lest the sorcerer us entice
940 By Thetis' tinsel-slipper'd feet,
With some other new device. And the songs of Syrens sweet,
Not a waste or needless sound, By dead Parthenope's dear tomb,
Till we come to holier ground; And fair Ligea's golden comb,
I shall be your faithful guide Wherewith she sits on diamond rocks,
Through this gloomy covert wide Sleeking her soft alluring locks ;
And not many furlongs thence By all the nymphs that nightly dance
Is your father's residence, Upon thy streams with wily glance,
Where this night are met in state Rise, rise, and heave thy rosy head,
Many a friend to gratulate From thy coral-paven bed,
His wish'd presence; and beside
950 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 SABRINA rises, attended by water-nymphs, and sings. I will
* Will double all their mirth and cheer: By the rushy-fringed bank,
890 Come, let us haste, the stars grow high, Where grows the willow, and the ozier dank, But night sits monarch yet in the mid sky.
And from thence can soar as soon The Scene changes, presenting Lullow town and there
the To the corners of the Moon. president's castle ; then come in country dancers,| Mortals that would follow me, after them the Attendant Spirit, with the two
Love Virtue; she alone is free: Brothers, and the Lady.
She can teach ye how to climb
Higher than the sphery chime; Spir. Back, shepherds, back; enough your play,
Or if Virtue feeble were,
Heaven itself would stoop to her.
The first Book proposes, first in brief, the whole Noble lord, and lady bright, I have brought ye new delight;
subject, Man's disobedience, and the loss there. Here behold so goodly grown
upon of Paradise wherein he was placed : then Three fair branches of your own;
touches the prime cause of his fall, the Serpent, Heaven hath timely tried their youth,
or rather Satan in the serpent; who, revolting 9701
from God, and drawing to his side many legions Their faith, their patience, and their truth,
of angels, was, by the command of God, driven And sent them here through hard assays With a crown of deathless praise,
out of Heaven, with all his crew, into the great
deep. Which action passed over, the poem hastens To triumph in victorious dance
into the midst of things, presenting Satan with his N'er sensual Folly and Intemperance
angels now falling into Hell described here, not
in the center (for Heaven and Earth may be supThe dances [being] ended, the Spirit epiloguizes.
posed as yet not made, certainly not yet accursed) Spir. To the ocean now I fly,
but in a place of utler darkness, fitliest called And those happy climes that lie
Chaos: here Satan with his angels lying on the Where day never shuts his eye,
burning lake, thunder-struck and astonished, after Up in the broad fields of the sky:
a certain space recovers, as from confusion, calls There I suck the liquid air
980 up him who next in order and dignity lay by him: All amidst the gardens fair
they confer of their miserable fall; Satan awakens Of Hesperus, and his daughters three
all his legions, who lay till then in the same manThat sing about the golden tree:
ner confounded. They rise; their numbers ; Along the crisped shades and bowers
array of battle; their chief leaders named, accordRevels the spruce and jocund Spring;
ing to the idols known afterwards in Canaan and The Graces, and the rosy-bosom'd Hours,
the countries adjoining. To these Satan directs Thither all their bounties bring;
his speech, comforts them with hope yet of regainThere eternal Summer dwells,
ing Heaven, but tells them lastly of a new world And west-winds, with musky wing,
990 and new kind of creature to be created, according About the cedar'd alleys fling
to an ancient prophecy, or report in Heaven; for, Nard and cassia's balmy smells.
that angels were long before this visible creation, Iris there with humid bow
was the opinion of many ancient Fathers. To Waters the odorous banks, that blow
find out the truth of this prophecy, and what to Flowers of more mingled hue
determine thereon, he refers to a full council. Than her purfled scarf can show;
What his associates thence attempt. PandemoAnd drenches with Elysian dew
nium, the palace of Satan, rises, suddenly built (List, mortals, if your ears be true)
out of the deep: the infernal peers there sit in Beds of hyacinth and roses,
council. Where young Adonis oft reposes, Waxing well of his deep wound
1000 OF Man's first disobedience, and the fruit In slumber soft, and on the ground
Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal. taste Sadly sits the Assyrian queen:
Brought death into the world, and all our woe But far above in spangled sheen
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man Celestial Cupid, her fam'd son, advanc'd,
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat, Holds his dear Psyche sweet entranc'd.
Sing, heavenly Muse, that on the secret top After her wandering labors long,
Of Oreb, or of Sinai, didst inspire Till free consent the Gods among
That shepherd, who first taught the chosen seed Make her his eternal bride,
In the beginning, how the Heavens and Earth And from her fair unspotted side
Rose out of Chaos : Or, if Sion hill Two blissful twins are to be born,
1010 Delight thee more, and Siloa's brook that flow'd Youth and Joy: so Jove hath sworn.
Fast by the oracle of God; I thence But now my task is smoothly done,
Invoke thy aid to my adventurous song, I can fly, or I can run,
That with no middle flight intends to soar Quickly to the green earth's end,
Above the Aonian mount, while it pursues Where the bow'd welkin slow doth bend; Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme