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ried out,

SONG, by a Bacchunt.

Canst thou not tell me of a gentle pair,

That likest thy Narcissus are ? By dimpled brook, and fountain brim,

0! if thou have The wood-nymphs, deck'd with duisies trim,

Hid them in some flow'ry cate, Their merry wakes and pastimes keep:

Tell me but where, What has night to do with sleep?

Swocet Queen of parly, daughter of the sphere : Night has better sweets to prove,

So may'st thou be translated to the skies, Venus now wakes, and wakens love :

And give resounding grace to all head'n's hurCome let us our rites begin!

monies ! 'Tis only day-light that makes sin.

Comus. “Can any mortal mixture of earth's Comus. Hail, goddess of nocturnal sport

mould " Dark-reil'd Cocytto, t’whom the sacred flame Breathe such divine enchanting ravishment? Of midnight torches burns; mysterious dame, But see, she approaches; I step aside That ne'er art callid, but when the dragon womb And bearken, if I may her business hear." Of Stygian darkness spits her thickest gloom, And makes one blot of all the air,"

The Lady enters. Stay thy cloudy ebon chair,

Lady. This way the noise was, if mine ear be Whereiu thou rid'st with Hecate; and befriend

true, Us thy vow'd priests !

My best guide now; methought it was the sound Till the nice morn on th' Indian steep

Of riot and ill-manag'd mirth. I should be loth From her cabin loop-holes peep,

To meet the rudeness, and swill'd insolence And to the tell-tale sun descry

Of such late rioters; yet, O! where else Our conceald solemnity.

Shall I inform my unacquainted feet

In the blind mazes of this tangled wood?
DUET, by a Man and Woman.

Comus. (Aside) I'll ease her of that care, and

be her guide. From tyrant laws and customs free,

Lady. My brothers, when they saw me weaWe follow sweet variety; By turns we drink, and dance and sing,

Stepp'd, as they said, to the next thicket side, Time for ever on the wing.

To bring me berries, or such cooling fruit Why should niggard rules controul As the kind hospitable woods provide. Transports of the jovial soul?

But where they are, and why they come not No dull stinting hour we own ;

back, Pleasure counts our time alone.

Is now the labour of my thoughts; 'tis likeliest Comus. Come! Knit hands and beat the They bad engag’d their wandering steps too far: ground

I cannot halloo to my brothers, but

Such noise as I could make to be heard farthest In a light fantastic round.

[A dance. Comus. Break off, break off! I feel the diff'rent

I have ventured, “ for my new enliven'd spirits

Prompt me," and they perhaps are not far off. pace Of some chaste footing near about this ground;

Comus. (Aside.) “Sure something holy lodges Run to your shrouds, within these brakes and And with these raptures moves the vocal air

in that breast, trees; Our number may affright; some virgin sure,

To testify his hidden residence: (Ereunt.

How sweetly did they float upon the wings

Of Silence, thro’the empty-vaulted night,
Manet Comus.

At ev'ry fall stooothing the raven down

Of darkness, 'till it smil'd; I have oft heard (For so I can distinguish by my art.)

My mother Circe, with the Sirens three, Benighted in these woods. Now to my charms, Who, as they sung, would take the prison'd soul, And to my wily trains! Thus I hurl

And lap it in Elysium : Scylla wept, My sells into the air-When once her eye And chid her barking waves into attention, Hath inet the virtue of this magic dust, And fell Charybdis murmur'd soft applause; I shall appear some harmless villager.

Yet they in pleasing slumber lull'd the sense, But see she stops, and seems

And sweet in madness robb’d it of itself. As she'd address herself in song.

But such a sacred and hoine-felt delight,

[Ludy sings behind. Such sober certainty of waking bliss, Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph, that lio'st un- I never heard till now."—I'll speak to her,

And she shall be my queen.—Hail, foreign wonWithin thy airy cell,

der, By slow Mænnder' margent green,

Whom certain these rough shades did never And in the violet-embroider'd rak,

breed, Where the love-lorn nightingale

Unless the goddess, that in rural shrine Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth Dwell'st here with Pan, or Silvan, by bless'd well.




what ye gave ;

Forbidding ev'ry bleak unkindly fog
To touch the pros'prous growth of this tall wood.

Enter Comus's Crew from behind the Trees. Lady. Nay, gentle shepherd, ill is lost that praise,

SONG, by a Man. That is addressed to unattending ears; Fly swiftly, ye minutes, 'till Comus receive Not any boast of skill, but extreme shift The numeless soft transports that beauty can How to regain my sever'd company

give ; Compellid ine to awake the courteous Echo, The bowl's frolic joys let him teuch her to To give me answer from her mossy couch.

prove, Comus. What chance, good lady, hath berest And she in return yield the raptures of love ! you thus ?

Without love and wine, wit and beauty are Lady. Dim darkness, and tbis leafy labyrinth. vain, Comus. Could that divide you from near ush'r- All grandeur insipid, and riches a pain; ing guides?

The most splendid palace grows dark as the Lady. They left me weary on a grassy turf,

grave; To seek i'th' valley some cool friendly spring. Love and wine give, ye Gods; or take back Comus. And leit your fair side all unguarded,

lady? Lady. They were but twain, and purpos’d

CHORUS. quick return.

Away, away, away, Comus. Iunț orts their loss, beside the present

To Comus court repair ; need?

There night outshines the day, Lady. No less than if I should my brothers lose.

There yields the melting fair. Comus. Were they of manly prime, or youth

[Excunt," ful bloom? Lady. As smooth as Hebe’stheir unrazor'd lips. Comus. Two such I saw “ what time the la

bour'd ox

A Halloo heard.
In his loose traces from the furrows came,
And the swink't hedger at his supper sat;

Enter the two Brothers, meeting,
I saw them" under a green mantling vine
That crawls along the side of yon small bill,

E. Bro. List, list; I hear Placking ripe clusters from the tender shoots; Some far-off halloo break the silent air. Their port was more than human; “ as they Y. Bro. Methought so too; what should it be! stood,

E. Bro. Either soine one like us night-founI took it for a fairy vision

der'd here, Of some gay creatures of the element, Or else some neighbour wood-man, or at worst, 'I bat in tbe colours of the rainbow live, Some roving robber calling to his fellows. And play i'th' plaited cloud:. I was awe struck, Y. Bro. Heav'n keep my sister! again ! again! And as I pass'd I worshipp'd;” if those you

and near! seek,

Best draw, and stand upou our guard. It were a journey like the path to heaven,

T. Bro. I'll balloo; To belp you find them.

If he be friendly, he comes well; if not, Lady. Gentle villager, what readiest way Defence is a good cause, and heav'n be for us;"

would bring me to that place? Comus. I know each lane, and ev'ry alley

Enter Spirit, habited like a Shepherd. green,

Y. Bro. That halloo I should know-What Dingle, or bushy dell of this wild wood,

are you? speak. My daily walks and ancient neighbourhood; 1 Spir. What voice is that? my young lord ! And if your stray attendance be yet lodg’d,

speak again. Os shroud within these limits, I shall know Y. Bro. O brother 'tis my father's shepherd Ere morrow wake, “ or the low roosted lark Huu her thatch'd pillar rouse;" or grant it 1 Spir. O my lov'd master's heir and his next otherwise,

joy, I can conduct you, lady, to a low

Where is my virgin lady? where is she? But loyal cottage, where you may be safe till How chance she is not in your company? farther quest.

E. Bro. To tell thee sadly, shepherd, without Lady. Shepherd, I take thy word,

blame, And trust thy offer'd service. In a place Or our neglect, we lost her as we came. Less warranted than this, or less secure,

1 Spir. Ah me unhappy! then my fears are I cannot be, that I should fear to change it. Eve me, bless'd Providence, and square my trial

E. Bro. What fears, good Thyrsis? prithee To my proportion'd strength! Shepberd, lead briefly shew. on.

[Breunt. 1 Spir. Within the bosom of this hideous




Immur'd in cyprus shades, a sorcerer dwells, All alone-and in her arms
Of Bacchus and of Circe born, great Comus, Your breast may beat to love's alarms,
Deep skill'd in all his mother's witcheries,

Till bless'd, and blessing, you shall own
And wanton as his father. This I learnt

The joys of love are joys alone. Tending my Aocks hard by; whence night by Y. Bro. How low sinks beauty, when by vice night,

debas'd! He and his monstrous rout are heard to howl;

Fair were that form, if virtuc dwelt within; Yet have they many baits and guileful spells, But from the wanton advocate of sbame T'inveigle and invite th’ unweary sense.

To me the warbled song harsh discord sounds. [A loud laugh.

2 Wom. No more; these formal maxims misBut hark! the beaten timbrells jarring sound, become you. And wild tumultuous mirth, proclaim their pre- They only suit suspicious shrivell’d age.

sence; Onward thiy move; and this way guide their

SONG. steps.

By a Man and two Women. Let us withdraw a while! [They retire.

Live, and love, enjoy the fair, Enter Comus's crew revelling; the Elder Bro- Banish sorrow, banish care ; ther addances und speaks.

Mind not what old dotards say ; E. Bro. What are you? speak! that thus in Age has had his share of play, wanton riot

But youth's sport begins to-day. And midnight revelry, like drunken Bacchanals, From the fruits of sweet delight Invade the silence of these lonely shades?

Let not scare-crow virtue frigkt! 1 Wom.

Ye godlike youths, Here in pleasure's vineyard we
Bless the propitious star that led you to us, Rove, like birds, from tree to tree,
We are the happiest of the race of mortals, Careless, airy, gay and free.
Of freedom, mirth, and joy, the only heirs;

E. Bro. How can your impious tongues proBut you shall share them with us; for this cup,

fane the name This nectur'd cup, the sweet assurance gives

Of sacred Virtue, and yet promise pleasure Of present, and the pledge of future bliss.

In lying songs of vanity and vice?

1 Wom. Turn not away, but listen to our SONG.

strain, By a Man.

That sball in pleasing slumber lull the sense, By the gayly circling glass

And sweet in madness rob it of itself.
We can see how minutes pass;

By the hollow cask are told
How the wuning night grows old.

First Man and Woman.
Soon, too soon, the busy day

She. O thou wert born to please me,
Drives us from our sport and play. He. My life, my only love!
What hate we with day to do?

She. Throʻall the woods I'll praise thee,
Sons of cure 'twas made for you?

He. My rural Queen of love. [She offers the cup, which they both put by. She. Thus happy, never

Ile. E. Bro. Forbear, nor offer us the poison'd

-jealous She. Can



lle. 1 Wom. Oh! how unscemly shews in blooming youth,

She. Can any harm assail us, my shepherd of

the grove? Such grey severity!—But come wish us; We to the bower of bliss will guide your steps.

He. Can any harm assail us, my rural queen of

love? SONG.

She. Feel how my heart is beating, my shepherd

of the grove: Would you taste the noon-tide air? To yon fragrant bower repair,

lle. The pulse of life retreating, my rural queen

of love. Where, woven with the poplar bough,

The pulse of life retreating, The muntling rine will shelter you.


My shepherd of the Down each side a fountain flous,

grove. Tinkling, murn.uring, as it goes

He. Thus love's sweet poison drinking Lightly o'er the mossy ground,


Dear idol of my love. Sultry Phabus scorching round.

E. Bro. “ From virtue sever'd, pleasure phrcaRound the languid herds and sheep

zy grows, Stretch'd o'er sunny hillocks sleep

And always flies at reason's cool return. While on the hyacinth and rose

But we forget; who hears the voice of truth, The fair does all alone repose.

Iu noisy riot and intemp’rance drown'd?


-assail us



Thyrsis, be thou our guide ! we'll follow thee; Away, nor

moment more about And some good angel bear a shield before us!

'en !" Ereunt Brothers and Spirit.

CIIORUS. “ 1 Wom. Come, come, my friends, and partners of my joys,

Away, away, away, Leave to yon pedant youtbs their bookish

To Comus' court repair ; dreams;

Tere night outshines day, A beardless Cynic is the shame of nature,

There yields the melting fair. Beyond the cure of this inspiring cup;




SCENE I.— A gay Pavilion.
Couts and Attendants on each side of the Lady,

who is seated in an enchanted chair.
Come, thou goddess fair and free,
In heaven yclep'd Euphrosyne,
And by men heart-easing Mirth,
Whom lovely Venus at a birth,
With two sister graces more,
To iry-crowned Bacchus bore !
Haste thee, nymph, and bring with the
Jest and youthtul jollity,
Quips and cranks, and wanton wiles,
ods and becks, and wreathed smiles,
Such as hang on Hebe's cheek,
And love to live in dimple sleek;
Sport, that wrinkled care derides,
And Laughter holding both his sides!
Come, and trip it as you go,
On the light fantastic toe:
And in thy right hand lead with thee,
The mountain nymph, sweet Liberty!

SONG. Haste thee nymph, and bring with thee Jest and youthful jollity, Quips and cranks, and wanton wiles, Nods and becks, and wreathed smiles, Such as hang on Hebe's cheek, And love to live iv dimple sleek ; Sport, that wrinkled care derides, And Laughter holding both his sides!

CHORUS. Haste thee, nymph, 8c. &c.

Are the only tumults here,
All the woes you need to fear ;

Love and harmony live here."
Lady. How long must I, by magic fetters

To this detested seat, hear odious strains
Of shameless folly, which my soul abhors !
Comus. Now softly slow sweet Lydian airs

attune, And breathe the pleasing pangs of gentle love. Enter EUPHROSYNE and Pastoral Nymph, who

advances slow, with a melancholy and desponding air, to the side of the stage, and repeat, by way of soliloquy, the first sir lines, and then sings the ballad. She is observed by EUPHNOSYNE, who, by her gestures, erpresses her different sentiments of the subject of her complaint, suitably to the character of their several songs.

How gentle was my Damon's air !

beams his golden hair,
His voice was like the nightingale's
More sweet his breath thun

flowery vales.
How hard such beauties to resign?
And yet that cruel task is mine.

On every hill, in every grove,

Along the margin of each stream, Dear conscious scenes of former love, I mourn, and Damon is


theme. The hills, the groves, the streams remain,

But Damon there I scek iu vain. From hill from dale, each charm is fled;

Groves, flocks and fountains please no more. Each flower in pily droops its head,

Ali nature does my loss deplore. All, all reproach the faithless swuin, Yet Damon still I seek in vain.


Love, the greatest bliss below,
How to taste few women know;
Fewer still the way have hit
How a fickle swain to quit.
Simple nymph, then learn of me,
How to treat inconstancy.


By a Nymph. . * Come, come, bid adieu to fear! Love and harmony reign here. No domestic jealous jars, Buzzing slnnders, wordy wars, In our presence will appear; Lore and harmony reign here. * Sighs to amorous sighs returning, Pulses beating, bosoms burning, Bosoms with warm wishes panting, Hords to speak those wishes wanting,


But such as are good men, can give good things;

And that which is not good is not delicious The wanton god, that pierces hearts,

To a well-govern'd and wise appetite.
Dips in gall his pointed darts :

Shall I go on, or have I said enough?
But the nymph disdains to pine,
Who bathes the wound with rosy wine.

Comus. Enough to shew,

That you are cheated by the lying boasts Farewell lovers, when they're cloy'd;

Of starving pedants, that affect a fame If I am scorn'd, because enjoy'd,

From scorning pleasures, which they cannot Sure the squeamish fops are free

reach. To rid me of dull company. They have charms, whilst mine can please ;

“ SONG, by a Nymph. I love them much, but more my ease,

« Preach not to me your musty rules, Nor jealous fears my love molest,

Ye drones that mould in idle cell ! Nor faithless dows shall break my rest.

The heart is wiser than the schools, Why should they e'er give me pain,

The senses always reason well. Who to give me joy disdain ?

It short my span, I less can spare All I ask of mortal man,

To pass a single pleasure by ; Is to love mewhilst he can.

An hour is long, if lost in care ; [Ereunt EUPHROSYNE and Pastoral Nymph.

They only live, who life enjoy.
Comus. Cast thine eyes around and see
How from every element

Comus. List, lady; be not coy, and be not Nature's sweets are cull'd for thee,

cozen'd And her choicest blessings sent.

With that same vaunted name, Virginity. “ Hither Summer, Autumn, Spring,

What need a vermeil-cinctur'd lip for that, Hither all your tributes bring;

Love-darting eyes, or tresses like the morn? All on bended knee be seen,

There was another meaning in these gifts; Paying homage to your queen!"

Think what, and be advis'd; you are but young [The Lady attempts to rise. yet; Nay, lady, sit ; if I but wave this wand,

This will inform you soon. One sip of this Your nerves are all bound up in alabaster,

Will bathe the drooping spirits in delight, And you a statue.

Beyond the bliss of dreams. Be wise, and taste. Lady. Fool, do not hoast;

[The Brothers rush in with their suords Thou canst not touch the freedom of my mind

drawn, wrest the glass out of his hand, With all thy charms, altho' this corp'ral rind

and break it against the ground; He Thou hast immanacled, while heaven sees

and his rout are all driven out. good. Comus. Why are you vex'd, Lady? why do

Enter the Spirit. Here dwell no frowns nor anger; from these Spi. What, have you let the false Enchanter gates

'scape? Sorrow flies far. See, here be all the pleasures O, ye mistook! you should bave snatch'd his That fancy can beget on youthful thoughts :

wand, And first behold this cordial julap here,

And bound him fast; without his rod revers’d, That flames and dances in his crystal bounds! We cannot free the lady, that sits here Lady. Know, base deluder, that I will not In stony fetters fix'd, and motionless. taste it.

Yet stay, be not disturb'd; now I bethink me, Keep thy detested gifts for such as these. There is a gentle nymph not far from hence

[Points to his

Sabrina is her name, a virgin pure, Comus. Why should you be so cruel to your

That sways the Severn stream: she can unlock self,

The clasping charm, and thaw the numbing And to those dainty limbs, which pature lent

spell, For gentle usage and soft delicacy;

If she be right invok'd in warbled song. That have been lir'd all day without repast, “ Haste, Lycidas, and try the tuneful strain And timely rest have wanted? But, fair virgin, This will restore all soon.

[To the Second Spirit Lady. "Twill pot, false traitor!

Which from her bed the fair Sabrina calls." 'Twill not restore the truth and honesty

Sabrina fair, That thou hast banish'd from thy tongue with " Listen where thou art sitting lies.

Under the glassy, cool, translucent wave,
Was this the cottage, and the safe abode In twisted braids of lilies knitting,
Thou told'st me of? Hence with thy brew'd The loose train of thy amber-dropping hair;"

Come for dear honour's sake,
Were it a draught for Juno when she banquets, Goddess of the silver lake,
I would not taste thy treas'nous offer—None, Attend and save!

you frown?


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