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SCENE I.-A Wood. Conus Enters with a rout of Men and Women,
dressed as Bacchanals.
SONG, by a Bacchanal.
Midnight shout and revelry,
With their grave saws to slumber lie.
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,
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?
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.
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,
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,
you thus ?
Forbidding ev'ry bleak unkindly fog,
SONG, by a Mun.
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.
Enter the two Brothers, meeting.
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
Immur'd in cyprus shades, a sorcerer dwells, All alone--and in her arms
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
By a Man and two Women. Let us withdraw a while!
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
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,
First Man and Woman.
She. O thou wert born to please me,
He. My life, my only love!
She. Thro all the woods I'll praise thee,
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
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
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
queen Where, woven with the poplar bough,
of love. The muntling vine will shelter you.
The pulse of life retreating,
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,
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?
of the grove:
Away, nor waste a moment more about
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,
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;
To Comus' court repair ;
SCENE I.-A gay
who is seated in an enchunted chair.
Are the only tumults here,
Love and harmony live here."
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
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.
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 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.
By a Nymph. .
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,