Run to your shrouds, within these brakes and trees ; Our number may affright :
some virgin sure (For so I can distinguish by mine art) Benighted in these woods.
Now to my charms, And to my wily trains : I shall, ere long, Be well stocked with
But oh, that hapless virgin, our lost sister ! Where may she wander now ? whither
betake her From the chill dew, amongst rude burs and thistles ? Perhaps some
cold bank is her bolster now ; Or 'gainst the rugged bark of some broad elm ...
... and sandy perilous wilds ; Where, through the sacred rays of chastity, No
savage fierce, bandit, or mountaineer, Will dare to soil her virgin purity : Yea there
, where very Desolation dwells, By grots and caverns shagged with horrid shades
What was that snaky-headed Gorgon shield That wise Minerva wore,
unconquered virgin, Wherewith she freezed her foes to congealed stone, But
rigid looks of chaste austerity, And nohle grace, that dashed brute violence With
... till I had found you here, But further know I not. SECOND BROTHER. O night
and shades. How arc ye joined with Hell in triple knot Against the unarmed
weakness of one virgin EI.DF.H BROTHER. Yes, and keep it still ; Lean on 4>
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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.