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1745

1750

Chor. All is best, though we oft doubt,
What th' unsearchable dispose
Of highest Wisdom brings about,
And ever hest found in the close.
Oft he seems to hide his face,
But unexpectedly returns,
And to his faithful champion hath in place
Bore witness gloriously ; whence Gaza mourns,
And all that band them to resist
His uncontrollable intent:
His servants he, with new acquist
Of true experience, from this great event
With
peace

and consolation hath dismist And calm of mind all passion spent.

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COMUS;

A MASK,

PRESENTED AT LUDLOW CASTLE,

1634,

BEFORE

JOHN, EARL OF BRIDGEWATER,

Then President of Wales.

26th year of our author's age. In the title page of the first edition, printed in 1637, it is said that it was presented on Michaelmas night, and there was this motto,

Eheu! quid volui misero mihi! floribus austrum

Perditus--In this edition, and in that of Milton's poems in 1645, there

was prefixed to the Mask the following dedication. To the Right honourable JOHN Lord Viscount Brackly, son

and heir apparent to the EARL of BRIDGEWATER, &c.

My Lord,

THIS poem, which received its first occasion of birth from yourself and others of your noble family, and much honour

from your own person in the performance, now returns again to make a final dedication of itself to you. Although not openly acknowledged by the author, yet it is a legitimate offspring, so lovely, and so much desired, that the often copy, ing of it hath tired my pen to give my several friends sutisfaction, and brought me to a necessity of producing it to the public view; and now to offer it up in all rightful devotion to those fuir hopes, and rare endowments of your much proinis. ing youth, which give a full assurance, to all that know you, of a future excellence. Live, sweet Lord, to be the honour of your name, and receive this as your own from the hands of him, who hath by many favours been long obliged to your most honoured parents, and as in this representation your attendant Thyrsis, so now in all real expression Your faithful and most humble Servant,

H. LAIVES:

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