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Meanwhile welcome joy and feast, Midnight shout and revelry, Tipsy dance and
jollity. Braid your locks with rosy twine, Dropping odours, dropping wine. Rigour
now is gone to bed, And advice with scrupulous head. Strict age, and sour ...
My best guide now : methought it was the sound Of riot and ill-managed
merriment, Such as the jocund flute, or gamesome pipe, Stirs up among the loose
unletter'd hinds, When, for their teeming flocks, and granges full, In wanton dance
... the fresh blood grows lively, and returns Brisk as the April buds in primrose-
season. And first behold this cordial julep here, That flames and dances in his
crystal bounds,33 With spirits of balm and fragrant syrups mixed. Not that 65
Wherewith she sits on diamond rocks, Sleeking her soft alluring locks ; By all the
nymphs that nightly dance Upon thy streams with wily glance, Sise, rise, and
heave thy rosy head From thy coral-paven bed, And bridle in thy headlong wave,
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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.