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The first scene discovers a mild wood. The Attendant Spirit descends or enters.]
ATTENDANT SPIRIT. Before the starry threshold of Jove's court My mansion is,
where those immortal shapes Of bright aerial spirits live insphered In regions
... arms : Where his fair offspring, nursed in princely lore, Are coming to attend
their father's state, And new-entrusted sceptre ; but their way Lies through the
perplexed paths of this drear wood, The nodding horror of whose shady brows
Hut that ...
... Who, ripe and frolic of his full-grown age, Roving the Celtic and Iberian fields,4
At last betakes him to this ominous wood ; And, in thick shelter of black shades
embowered, Excels his mother at her mighty art, Offering to every weary traveller
... with his soft pipe and smooth-dittied song, Well knows to still the wild winds
when they roar, And hush the waving woods ; nor of less faith, And in this office of
his mountain Watch, Likeliest, and nearest to the present aid Of this occasion.
The sounds and seas, with all their finny drove, Now to the moon in wavering
morrice move ; And, on the tawny sands and shelves, Trip the pert fairies and the
dapper elves. By dimpled brook, and fountain brim, The wood-nymphs, decked
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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.