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Although not openly acknowledged by the author, yet it is a legitimate offspring,
so lovely, and so much desired, that the often copying of it hath tired my pen to
give my several friends satisfaction, and brought me to a necessity of producing it
Their merry wakes and pastimes keep ; What hath night to do with sleep ? Night
hath better sweets to prove, Venus now wakes, and wakens Love. Come, let us
our rites begin ; 'Tis only daylight that makes sin, Which these dun shades will ...
When once her eye Hath met the virtue of this magic dust, I shall appear some
harmless villager, Whom thrift keeps up about his country gear. But here she
comes ; I fairly step aside, And hearken, if I may, her business here. [The Lady
What chance, good lady, hath bereft you thus ? LADY. Dim darkness, and this
leafy labyrinth. COMUS. Could that divide you from near-ushering guides ? They
left me weary on a grassy turf. COMUS. By falsehood, or discourtesy, or why ?
But Beauty, like the fair Hesperian tree Laden with blooming gold, hath need the
guard Of dragon-watch with unenchanted eye, To save her blossoms, and
defend her fruit From the rash hand of bold Incontinence. You may as well spread
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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.