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SCENE I.-A Wood. Conus Enters with a rout of Men and Women,

dressed as Bacchanals.
Comus. The star, that bids the shepherd fold,
Now tbe top of heaven doth hold,
And the gilded car of day
His glowing axle doth allay
In the steep Atlantic stream;
And the slope sun his upward beam
Shoots against the dusky pole,
Pacing toward the other goal
Of his chamber in the east;
Meantime welcome joy and feast!

SONG, by a Bacchanal.
Now Phæbus sinketh in the west,
Welcome song, and welcome jest,

Midnight shout and revelry,
Tipsy dance and jollity;
Braid
your
locks with

rosy twine,
Dropping odours, dropping wine!
Rigour now is gone to bed,
And Advice with scrup'lous head,
Strict Aye, and sour Severity,

With their grave saws to slumber lie.
Comus. We that are of purer fire,
Imitate the starry choir,
Who in their nightly watchful spheres
Lead in swift round the months and years.
The sounds and seas, with all their finny drove,
Now to the moon in wav'ring morrice move,
And on the tawny sands and shelves
Trip the pert fairies and the dapper elves.

A

ried out,

SONG, by a Bacchant.

Canst thou not tell me of a gentle pair,

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

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

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

Telt one but where, Wnat has night to do with sleep?

Sweet Queen of party, daughter of the sphere : Night has better sweets to prove,

So may'st thou be iranslated to the shies, Venus nou wakes, and wakens love :

And give resounding grace to all heav'n's harCome 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-veil'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'é: art calld, but when the dragon womb And hearken, 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 eben chair,

Lady. This

way
the noise

was,

if mine ear be Wherein 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 conceal'd 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 ber 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 coine 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 had engag’d their wandering steps too far:

I cannot halloo to my brothers, but ground

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

[A dance.

I have ventured, “ for my new enliven'd spirits Comus. Break off, break off! I feel the diff'rent

Prompt me," and they perhaps are not far off. pace

Comus. ( Aside.) “Sure something holy lodges Of some chaste footing near about this ground; Run to your shrouds, within these brakes and and with these raptures moves the vocal air

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

To testify his hidden residence: [Exeunt.

How sweetly did they float upon the wings

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

At ev'ry fall smoothing the raven down

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

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

And lap it in Elysium : Scylla wept, My spells 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

cind 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 liv'st un- I never heard till now."-I'll speak to her,

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

der, By slow Alæunder' margent green,

Whom certain these rough shades did never And in the vio:et-embroider'd vale,

breed, Where the love-dorn nightingale

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

song

seen

Το

you thus ?

Forbidding ev'ry bleak unkindly fog,
To touch the pros’prous growth of this tall wood.“ Enter Comus's Crew from behind the Trces.
Lady. Nay, gentle shepherd, ill is lost that
praise,

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

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

prove, Comus. What chance, good lady, hath bereft And she in return yield the raptures of love !

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

The most splendid palace grous durk 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 left your fair side all unguarded,

what ye gave; lady? Lady. They were but iwain, and purpos'd

CHORUS. quick return.

Away, away, away, Comus. Im; 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

[Exeunt," ful bloom? Ledy. As smooth as Hebe's their unrazor'd lips.

SCENE II.- A Wood.
Comus. Two such I saw " what time the la-
bour'd ox

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 hill, E. Bro. List, list; I hear
Plucking 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 t90 ; what should it be? stood,

E. Bro. Either some one like us sight-founI took it for a fairy vision

der'd here, Of some gay crcatures of the element,

Or else some neighbour wood-man, or at worst, That in the colours of the rainbow live, Some roving robber calling to bis fellows. And play i'th' plaited clouds. 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 upon our guard. It were a journey like the path to heaven,

T. Bro. I'll halloo; 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 fur 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. Or sbroud within these limits, I shall know Y. Bro. O brother 'tis my father's shepherd Ere morrow wake, “ or the low roosted lark From 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 Jady? 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 tliy offer'd service. In a place Or our neglect, we lost her as we came. Less warranted than this, or less sccure,

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

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

[Ereunt. 1 Spir. Within the bosom of this bideous

wood,

sure.

true.

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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 inonstrous rout are heard to howl;

Fair were that form, if virtue dwelt within; Yet have they many baits and guileful spells, But from the wanton advocate of shame 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 timbrel's jarring sound,

become you. And wild tumultuous mirth, proclaim their pre- They only suit suspicious shrivell d age.

sence; Onward they move; and this way guide their

SONG. steps.

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

[They retire.

Lite, and love, enjoy the fair, Enter Comus's crew revelling; the Elder Bro Banish sorrow, banish care ; ther advances and speaks.

Mind' not what old doturds 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 fright! 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;

DUET.
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 have we with day to do?

She. Thro all the woods I'll praise thee,
Sons of care 'twas made for you?

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

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

-jealous She. Can

апу

harm

Не. . 1 Wom. Oh! how unseemly shews in blooming youth,

She. Can any harm assail us, my shepherd of Such grey severity !—But come with us; We to the bower of bliss will guide your steps.

Ile. Can uny harm assail us, my rural queen of

loce? SONG,

She. Feel how my heart is beating, my shepherd Would you taste the noon-tide air ? To yon fragrant bower repair,

He. The pulse of life retreating, my

rural

queen Where, woven with the poplar bough,

of love. The muntling vine will shelter you.

The pulse of life retreating,
She.

My shepherd of the Down each side a fountain flows,

grove. Tinkling, murmuring, as it goes

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

She.

Dear idol of my love. Sultry Phæbus scorching round.

E. Bro. “ From virtue sever'd, pleasure phrenRound 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.

In noisy riot and intemp’rance drown'd?

sweets.

-assail us

the grove?

of the grove:

Away, nor waste a moment more about

'em!''

Thyrsis, be thou our guide! we'll follow thee; And some good angel bear a shield before us !

(Exeunt Brothers and Spirit. “ 1 W'om. Come, come, my friends,

and

partners of my joys, Leave to yon pedant youths their bookish

dreams; A beardless Cynic is the shame of nature, Beyond the cure of this inspiring cup;

CHORUS.
Away, away, away,

To Comus' court repair ;
There night outshines day,
There yields the melting fair,

[Exeunt,

ACT II.

SCENE I.-A gay

Pavilion.
Comus and Attendants on each side of the Lady,

who is seated in an enchunted 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 ivy-crowned Bacchus bore !
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 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!

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

chain'd
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 repeut, by way of soliloquy, the first six lines, and then sings the ballad. She is observed by EUPHROSYNE, who, by her gestures, expresses her different sentiments of the subject of her complaint, suitably to the character of their

several songs.

SONG. Haste thee nymph, and bring with thee Jest and youthful jollity, Quips und cranks, and wanton wiles, Nods 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!

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

RECITATIVE.
How gentle was my Damon's air !
Like sunny beams his golden hair,
His voice was like the nightingale's
More sweet his breath than flowery vales.
How hard such beauties to resign!
And yet that cruel task is mine.

BALLAD.
On every hill, in every grove,

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

my

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

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

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

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

RECITATIVE.

By EUPHROSYNE.
Love, the greatest bliss below,
How to taste few women know;
Fewer still the

way

hace hit
How a fickle swain to quit.
Simple nymph, then learn of me,
How to treat inconstancy.

SONG.

By a Nymph. .
Come, come, bid adieu to fear!
Love and harmony reign here.
No domestic jealous jars,
Bazzing slanders, wordy wars,
In our presence

will

appear ; Love and harmony reign here.

Sighs to amorous sighs returning, Pulses beating, bosoms burning, Bosoms with warm wishes panting, Words to speak those wishes wanting,

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