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Would send a glistering guardian, if need were,
To keep my life and honour unassailed.
Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night ?
I did not err; there does a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
And casts a gleam over this tufted grove :
I cannot halloo to my brothers, but
Such noise as I can make to be heard farthest
I'll venture, for my new enlivened spirits
Prompt me; and they perhaps are not far off.

Song.

Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph, that liv'st unseen

Within thy airy shell,

By slow Meander's margent green, And in the violet-embroidered vale,

Where the love-lorn nightingale
Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well ;
Canst thou not tell me of a gentle pair
That likest thy Narcissus are ?

Oh! if thou have
IIid them in some flowery cave,

Tell me but where,

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Sweet queen of parley, daughter of the sphere,

So mayst thou be translated to the skies, And give resounding grace to all Heaven's harmonies.

COMUS.

Can any mortal mixture of earth's mould Breathe such divine enchanting ravishment ?

Sure something holy lodges in that breast,
And with these raptures moves the vocal air
To testify his hidden residence :
How sweetly do they float upon the wings
Of silence, through the empty-vaulted night,
At every fall smoothing the raven down
Of darkness till it smiled! I have oft heard
My mother Circe with the Sirens three,
Amidst the flowery-kirtled Naiades
Culling their potent herbs and baleful drugs,
Who, as they sung, would take the prisoned soul
And lap it in Elysium : Scylla wept,
And chid her barking waves into attention,
And fell Charybdis murmured soft applause ;
Yet they in pleasing slumber lulled the sense,
And in sweet madness robbed it of itself ;
But such a sacred and home-felt delight,
Such sober certainty of waking bliss,
I never heard till now. I'll speak to her,
And she shall be my queen. Hail, foreign wonder !
Whom certain these rough shades did never breed,
Unless the goddess that in rural shrine
Dwell'st here with Pan, or Sylvan; by blest song
Forbidding every bleak unkindly fog

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To touch the prosperous growth of this tall wood.

LADY.

Nay, gentle shepherd, ill is lost that praise
That is addressed to unattending ears ;
Not any boast of skill, but extreme shift
How to regain my severed company,
Compelled me to awake the courteous Echo
To give me answer from her mossy couch.

COMUS.

What chance, good lady, hath bereft you thus ?

LADY,

Dim darkness, and this leafy labyrinth.

COMUS.

Could that divide you from near-ushering guides ?

LADY.

They left me weary on a grassy turf.

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