... 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.
... would take the prisoned soul And lap it in Elysium : Scylla wept,9 And chid her
barking waves into attention, And fell Charybdis murmured soft applause ; Yet
they in pleasing slumber lulled the sense, And in sweet madness robbed it of
... Till an unusual stop of sudden silence Gave respite to the drowsy-flighted -2
steeds That draw the litter of close-curtained sleep ; At last a soft and solemn-
breathing sound 23 Rose like a steam of rich distilled perfumes, And stole upon
the air ...
The scene cluinges to a stately palace, set out with all manner of deliciousness ;
soft music, tables spread icith all dainties, CoMUS appears with his rabble, and
Ike Lady set in an enchanted chair, to whom he offers his glass, which she puts hi
Why should you be so cruel to yourself, And to those dainty limbs which Nature
lent For gentle usage, and soft delicacy ? But you invert the covenants of her trust
, And harshly deal, like an ill borrower, With that which you received on other ...
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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.