« PreviousContinue »
Ay me unhappy! then my fears are true.
What fears, good Thyrsis?
Prythee briefly shew.
I'll tell ye; 't is not vain or fabulous
Within the navel19 of this hideous wood,
With many murmurs mixed, whose pleasing poison
He and his monstrous rout are heard to how] Like stabled wolves, or tigers at their prey, Doing abhorréd rites to Hecate In their obscured haunts of inmost bowers. Yet have they many baits and guileful spels To inveigle and invite the unwary sense Of them that pass unweeting by the way. This evening late, by then the chewing flocks Had ta’en their supper on the savoury herb Of knot-grass dew-besprent,21 and were in fold, I sat me down to watch upon a bank With ivy canopied, and interwove With flaunting honeysuckle, and began, Wrapt in a pleasing fit of melancholy, To meditate my rural minstrelsy, Till Fancy had her fill ; but, ere a close, The wonted roar was up amidst the woods, And filled the air with barbarous dissonance ; At which I ceased, and listened them a while, Till an unusual stop of sudden silence Gave respite to the drowsy-flighted 22 steeds That draw the litter of close-curtained sleep; At last a soft and solemn-breathing sound 23 Rose like a steam of rich distilled perfumes,