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TKB FIRST SCENE DISCOVERS A WILD WOOD.
DER'S SURKAME in block capitals)
The Attendant Spirit descends or enters.
BEFORE the starry threshold of Jove's court
My mansion is, where those immortal shapes
Of bright aëreal spírits live inspherd
In regions mild of calm and serene air,
Above the smoke and stir of this dim spot,
Which men call Earth ; and, with low-thoughted.
Confin'd and pester’d in this pin-fold here,
Strive to keep up a frail and feverish being,
Unmindful of the crown, that Virtue gives,
After this mortal change, to her true servants,
Amongst the enthron’d Gods on sainted seats.
Yet some there be, that by due steps aspire
To lay their just hands on that golden key,
Part of an Entertainment presented to the Countess.
Dowager of Derby at Harefield, by some noble persons of her family ; who appear on the scene in pastoral habit, moving toward the seat of state, with this Song.
Look, Nymphs, and Shepherds, look,
What sudden blaze of majesty
Is that which we from hence descry,
Too divine to be mistook :
This, this is she
To whom our vows and wishes bend;
Here our solemn search hath end.
Fame, that, her high worth to raise,
Seem'd erst so lavish and profuse,
We may justly now accuse
Of detraction from her praise;
Less than half we find exprest,
Envy bid conceal the rest,
Mark, what radiant state she spreads,
In circle round her shining throne,
Shooting her beams like silver threads;
This, this is she alone,
Sitting like a Goddess bright,
In the center of her light.
Might she the wise Latona be, ... - .
Or the tower'd Cybele
Mother of a hundred Gods?
Juno dares not give her odds:
Who had thought this clime had held
A deity so unparallelld ? As they come forward, the Genius of the wood ap
pears, and turning toward them, speaks... Genius. Stay, gentle Swains; for, though in
I see bright honour sparkle through your eyes;
Of famous Arcady ye are, and sprung
Of that renowned flood, so often sung,
Divine Alphéus, who by secret sluce
Stole under seas to meet his Arethuse;
And ye, the breathing roses of the wood,
Fair silver-buskin’d Nymphs, as great and good;
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,
Qr hurtful worm with canker'd venom bites.
When evening gray doth rise, I fetch my round
Over the mount, and all this hallow'd ground;
And early, ere the odorous breath of morn
Awakes the slumbering leaves, or tassel'd horn
Shakes the high thicket, haste I all about,
Number my ranks, and visit every sprout
With puissant words, and murmurs made to bless.
But else in deep of night, when drowsiness
Hath lock'd up mortal sense, then listen I
To the celestial Syrens' harmony,
That sit upon the nine infolded spheres,
And sing to those that hold the vital shears,