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... parts remaining as they were ; And they, so perfect in their misery, Not once
perceive their foul disfigurement, But boast themselves more comely than before ;
And all their friends and native home forget, To roll with pleasure in a sensual sty.
... and lets grow her wings, That in the various bustle of resort Were all too ruffled,
and sometimes impaired. He that has light within his own clear breast May sit i'
the centre, and enjoy bright day ; But he that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts,
... but when lust, By unchaste looks, loose gestures, and foul talk, But most by
lewd and lavish act of sin, Lets in defilement to the inward parts, The soul grows
clotted by contagion, Embodies, and embrutes, till she quite lose The divine
Harpies and Hydras, or all the monstrous forms 'Twixt Africa and Ind, I '11 find him
out, And force him to restore his purchase back, Or drag him by the curls to a foul
death, Cursed as his life. Alas ! good venturous youth, I love thy courage yet, ...
Till now that this extremity compelled : But now I find it true ; for by this means I
knew the foul enchanter, though disguised, Entered the very lime-twigs of his
spells, And yet came off : if you have this about you, (As I will give you when we
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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.