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Hut that by quick command from sovran Jove I was despatched for their defence
and guard : And listen why ; for I will tell you now What never yet was heard in
tale or song. From old or modern bard, in hall or bower. Bacchus, that first from
... Us thy vowed priests, till utmost end Of all thy dues be done, and none left out ;
Ere the blabbing eastern scout, The nice morn, on the Indian steep From her
cabined loophole peep, And to the tell-tale sun descry Our concealed solemnity.
Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph, that liv'st unseen Within thy airy shell,8 By slow
Meander's margent green, And in the violet-embroidered vale, Where the love-
lorn nightingale Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well ; Canst thou not tell
me of ...
You may as well spread out the unsunned heaps Of misers' treasure by an
outlaw's den, And tell me it is safe, as bid me hope Danger will wink on
opportunity, And let a single helpless maiden pass Uninjured in this wild
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
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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.