Page images
PDF
[ocr errors]

Comus enters with a charming rod in one hand, his glass in the other; with him a rout of monslers, headed like sundry sorts of wild beasis, but otherwise like men and women, their apparel glislering; they come in making a riotous and unruly noise, with torches in their hands.

Com. The star that bids the shepherd fold, Now the top of Heav'n doth hold, And the gilded car of day 95 His glowing axle doth allay In the steep Atlantic stream,

[ocr errors]

Shoots against the dusky pole,
Pacing toward the other goal IOO
Of his chamber in the east.
Meanwhile welcome Joy, and Feast,
Midnight Shout, and Revelry,
Tipsy Dance, and Jollity.
Braid your locks with rosy twine, 105
Dropping odors, dropping wine.
Rigor now is gone to bed,
And Advice with scrupulous head,
Strićt Age, and sour Severity
With their grave saws in slumber lie. I IO
We that are of purer fire
Imitate the starry quire,
Who in their nightly watchful spheres,
Lead in swift round the months and years.
The sounds and seas, with all their finny drove, 115
Now to the moon in wavering morrice move;
And on the tawny sands and shelves
Trip the pert faeries and the dapper elves.
By dimpled brook, and fountain brim, -
The Wood-Nymphs deck'd with daisies trim, 120
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, 125
'Tis only day-light that makes sin,

[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors][merged small]

In the blind mazes of this tangled wood?

My Brothers, when they saw me wearied out
With this long way, resolving here to lodge
Under the spreading favor of these pines,
Stept, as they said, to the next thicket side 185
To bring me berries, or such cooling fruit
As the kind hospitable woods provide.
They left me then, when the gray-hooded Even,
Like a sad votarist in palmer's weed,
Rose from the hindmost wheels of Phoebus' wain. 190
But where they are, and why they came not back,
Is now the labor of my thoughts; 'tis likeliest
They had engag'd their wand'ring steps too far,
And envious darkness, ere they could return,
Had slole them from me; else O thievish Night 195
Why should'st thou, but for some fellonious end,
In thy dark lantern thus close up the stars,
That nature hung in Heav'n, and fill'd their lamps
With everlasting oil, to give due light
To the misled and lonely traveller? 2OO
This is the place, as well as I may guess,
Whence even now the tumult of loud mirth
Was rise, and perfeói in my list'ning ear,
Yet nought but single darkness do I find.
What might this be? A thousand fantasies 205
Begin to throng into my memory, -
Of calling shapes, and beck'ning shadows dire,

And aery tongues, that syllable mens names On

« PreviousContinue »