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Why shouldst thou, hut for some felonious end, In thy dark lanthom thus close up
the stars That Nature hung in heaven, and filled their lamps With everlasting oil,
to give due light To the misled and lonely traveller ? This is the place, as well as I
I do not, brother, Infer, as if I thought my sister's state Secure without all doubt or
controversy ; Yet, where an equal poise of hope and fear Does arbitrate the event
, my nature is That I incline to hope rather than fear, And gladly banish squint ...
Why should you be so cruel to yourself, And to those dainty limbs which Nature
lent For gentle usage, and soft delicacy ? But you invert the covenants of her trust
, And harshly deal, like an ill borrower, With that which you received on other ...
Wherefore did Nature pour her bounties forth With such a full and unwithdrawing
hand, Covering the earth with odours, fruits, and flocks, Thronging the seas with
spawn innumerable, But all to please and sate the curious taste ? And set to ...
... and yet despised ; And we should serve him as a grudging master, As a
penurious niggard of his wealth, And live like Nature's bastards, not her sous,
Who would be quite surcharged with her own weight, And strangled with her
waste fertility ...
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I much prefer John Kinsella's updated version 'A Dialogic Mask' which, rather engagingly, includes John Milton's original in a beautifully produced hardback. Comus is available from Arc Publications.