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This is the place, as well as I may guess,
Within thy airy shell
By slow Meander's margent green, And in the violet-embroidered vale
Where the love-lorn nightingale
That likest thy Narcissus are ?
O, if thou have
240 Sweet Queen of Parley, Daughter of the Sphere !
So may'st thou be translated to the skies, And give resounding grace to all Heaven's harmonies !
Comus. Can any mortal mixture of earth's mould Breathe such divine enchanting ravishment ? Sure something holy lodges in that breast, And with these raptures moves the vocal air To testify his hidden residence. How sweetly did they float upon the wings Of silence, through the empty-vaulted night, 250 At every fall smoothing the raven down Of darkness till it smiled! I have oft heard My mother Circe with the Sirens three, Amidst the flowery-kirtled Naiades, Culling their potent herbs and baleful drugs, Who, as they sung, would take the prisoned soul, And lap it in Elysium : Scylla wept, And chid her barking waves into attention, And fell Charybdis murmured soft applause. Yet they in pleasing slumber lulled the sense, 260 And in sweet madness robbed it of itself; But such a sacred and home-felt delight, Such sober certainty of waking bliss, I never heard till now. I'll speak to her, And she shall be my queen.--Hail, foreign wonder ! Whom certain these rough shades did never breed, Unless the goddess that in rural shrine Dwell'st here with Pan or Sylvan, by blest song
Forbidding every bleak unkindly fog
Lady. Nay, gentle shepherd, ill is lost that praise
thus ? Lady. Dim darkness and this leavy labyrinth. Comus. Could that divide you from near-ushering
guides ? Lady. They left me weary on a grassy turf. 280 Comus. By falsehood, or discourtesy, or why? Lady. To seek i'the valley some cool friendly spring. Comus. And left your fair side all unguarded, Lady? Lady. They were but twain, and purposed quick
return. Comus. Perhaps forestalling night prevented them. Lady. How easy my misfortune is to hit ! Comus. Imports their loss, beside the present need? Lady. No less than if I should my brothers lose. Comus. Werethey ofmanly prime, or youthful bloom? Lady. As smooth as Hebe's their unrazored lips.
Comus. Two such I saw, what time the laboured ox In his loose traces from the furrow came, And the swinked hedger at his supper sat. I saw them under a green mantling vine, That crawls along the side of yon small hill, Plucking ripe clusters from the tender shoots ; Their port was more than human, as they stood. I took it for a faery vision Of some gay creatures of the element, That in the colours of the rainbow live,
300 And play i' the plighted clouds. I was awe-strook,
And, as I passed, I worshiped. If those you seek,
Comus. Due west it rises from this shrubby point.
Lady. To find out that, good shepherd, I suppose, In such a scant allowance of star-light, Would overtask the best land-pilot's art, Without the sure guess of well-practised feet. 310
Comus. I know each lane, and every alley green,
Shepherd, I take thy word,
The Two BROTHERS.
Eld. Bro. Unmuffle, ye faint stars; and thou, fair moon,
331 That wont'st to love the traveller's benison,
Stoop thy pale visage through an amber cloud,
Or, if our eyes
Eld. Bro. Peace, brother : be not over-exquisite To cast the fashion of uncertain evils;
360 For, grant they be so, while they rest unknown, What need a man forestall his date of grief, And run to meet what he would most avoid ? Or, if they be but false alarms of fear, How bitter is such self-delusion ! I do not think my sister so to seek, Or so unprincipled in virtue's book,