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Why shouldst thou , but for some felonious end , In thy dark lanthorn 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
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 ...
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
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
... As a penurious niggard of his wealth , And live like Nature ' s bastards , not her
sons , Who would be quite surcharged with her own weight , And strangled with
her waste fertility ; The earth cumbered , and the winged airdarked with plumes ...
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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.