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Oh, welcome, pure-eyed Faith, white-handed Hope, Thou hovering angel girt
with golden wings, And thou unblemished form of chastity ! I see ye visibly, and
now believe That he, the Supreme Good, to whom all things ill Are but as slavish
Which, if Heaven gave it, may be termed her own ; 'T is chastity, my brother,
chastity : She that has that is clad in complete steel, And, like a quivered nymph
with arrows keen, May trace huge forests, and unharboured heaths, Infamous
So dear to Heaven is saintly chastity,13 That when a soul is found sincerely so, A
thousand liveried angels lackey her, Driving far off each thing of sin and guilt,
And, in clear dream and solemn vision, Tell her of things that no gross ear can
To him that dares Arm his profane tongue with contemptuous words Against the
sun-clad power of chastity, Fain would I something say, yet to what end ? Thou
hast nor ear, nor soul, to apprehend The sublime notion, and high mystery, That ...
Shepherd, 'tis my office best To help ensnared chastity : Brightest lady, look on
me ; Thus I sprinkle on thy breast Drops, that from my fountain pure I have kept, of
precious cure ; Thrice upon thy finger's tip, Thrice upon thy rubied lip ; Next this ...
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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.