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That in their green shops weave the smooth-hair'd silk COMUS

To deck her Sons, and that no corner might A Maske

Be vacant of her plentie in her owne loyns
She hutch't th' all worshipt ore and precious gems
To store her children with; if all the world
Should in a pet of temperance feed on Pulse,
Drink the clear streame, and nothing weare but Freize,
Th'all-giver would be unthank't, would be unprais'd,
Not halfe his riches known, and yet despis'd,
And we should serve him as a grudging master,
As a penurious niggard of his wealth,
And live like Natures bastards, not her sons,
Who would be quite surcharg'd with her own weight,
And strangl'd with her wast fertilitie;
Th' earth cumber'd, and the wing'd aire dark't with plumes,
The heards would over-multitude their Lords,
The sea ore-fraught would swell, and th' unsought diamonds
"Would so emblaze the forehead of the Deep,
And so bestudde with stars that they below
Would grow inur'd to light, and come at last
To gaze upon the Sun with shameless brows.
List Ladie be not coy, and be not cosen'd
With that same vaunted name Virginitie,
Beautie is natures coine, must not be hoorded,
But must be currant, and the good thereof
Consists in mutuall and parktaken blisse,
Unsavourie in th' injoyment of it selfe
If you let slip time, like a neglected rose
It withers on the stalke with languish't head.
Beautie is nature's brag, and must be showne
In courts, at feasts, and high solemnities
Where most may wonder at the workmanship;
It is for homely features to keepe home,
They had their name thence; course complexions
And cheeks of sorry graine will serve to ply
The sampler, and to teize the huswifes wooll.
"What need a vermeil-tinctur'd lip for that
Love-darting eyes, or tresses like the Morne


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COMUS There was another meaning in these gifts?

A Maske Thinke what, and be adviz'd, you are but yong yet.
LADIE. I had not thought to have unlockt my lips
In this unhallow'd aire, but that this Jugler
Would thinke to charme my judgement, as mine eyes
Obtruding false rules pranckt in reasons garbe.
I hate when vice can bolt her arguments
And vertue has no tongue to check her pride:
Impostor doe not charge most innocent nature
As if she would her children should be riotous
With her abundance, she good cateresse
Means her provision only to the good
That live according to her sober laws
And holy dictate of spare Temperance,
If every just man that now pines with want
Had but a moderate, and beseeming share
Of that which lewdy-pamper'd Luxurie
Now heaps upon some few with vast excesse,
Natures full blessings would be well dispenc't
In unsuperfluous even proportion,
And she no whit encomber'd with her store,
And then the giver would be better thank't,
His praise due paid, for swinish gluttony
Ne're looks to heav'n amidst his gorgeous feast,
But with besotted base ingratitude
Cramms, and blasphemes his feeder. Shall I goe on?
Or have I said enough? to him that dares
Arme his profane tongue with reproachfull words
Against the Sun-clad power of Chastitie
Faine would I something say, yet to what end?
Thou hast nor Eare, nor Soule to apprehend
The sublime notion and high mysterie
That must be utter'd to unfold the sage
And serious doctrine of Virginitie,
And thou art worthy that thou shouldst not know
More happinesse then this thy praesent lot.
Enjoy your deere "Wit, and gay Rhetorick
That hath so well beene taught her dazling fence,


Thou art not fit to heare thy selfe convinc't; COMUS

Yet should I trie, the uncontrouled worth A Maske

Of this pure cause would kindle my rap't spirits

To such a flame of sacred vehemence,

That dumb things would be mov'd to sympathize,

And the brute Earth would lend her nerves, and shake,

Till all thy magick structures rear'd so high

Were shatter'd into heaps ore thy false head.

COMUS. She fables not, I feele that I doe feare

Her words set off by some superior power;

And though not mortall, yet a cold shuddring dew

Dips me all o're, as when the wrath of Jove

Speaks thunder, and the chaines of Erebus

To some of Saturns crew. I must dissemble,

And try her yet more strongly. Come; no more,

This is meere morall babble, and direct

Against the canon laws of our foundation,

I must not suffer this, yet 'tis but the lees

And settings of a melancholy blood;

But this will cure all streight, one sip of this

Will bathe the drooping spirits in delight

Beyond the blisse of dreams. Be wise, and tast.—

The brothers rush in with swords drawne, wrest his
glasse out of his hand, and breake it against the ground;
his rout make signe of resistance, but are all driven in;
the attendant Spirit comes in.

SPIRIT. What, have you let the false enchanter scape?
O yee mistooke, yee should have snatcht his wand
And bound him fast; without his rod revers't,
And backward mutters of dissevering power
Wee cannot free the Ladie that sits here
In stonie fetters fixt, and motionlesse;
Yet stay, be not disturb'd, now I bethinke me,
Some other meanes I have which may be us'd,
Which once of Melibaeus old I learnt
The soothest shepheard that ere pipe't on plains.
@^0L There is a gentle nymph not farre from hence

COMUS That with moist curb sways the smooth Severn stream,

A Maske Sabrina is her name, a virgin pure,

Whilome shee was the daughter of Locrine,

That had the scepter from his father Brute.

She guiltlesse damsell flying the mad pursuit

Of her enraged stepdam Guendolen

Commended her faire innocence to the flood

That stay'd her flight with his crosse-flowing course,

The water Nymphs that in the bottome playd

Held up their pearled wrists and tooke her in,

Bearing her straite to aged Nereus hall

Who piteous of her woes reard her lanke head,

And gave her to his daughters to imbathe

In nectar'd lavers strewd with asphodil,

And through the porch, and inlet of each sense

Dropt in ambroisal oyles till she reviv'd,

And underwent a quicke, immortall change

Made goddesse of the river; still she retaines

Her maiden gentlenesse, and often at eve

Visits the heards along the twilight meadows,

Helping all urchin blasts, and ill lucke signes

That the shrewd medling elfe delights to make,

Which she with precious viold liquors heales.

For which the shepheards at their festivalls

Carroll her goodnesse lowd in rusticke layes,

And throw sweet garland wreaths into her streame

Of pancies, pinks, and gaudie daffadills.

And, as the old Swaine said, she can unlocke

The clasping charme, and thaw the numming spell,

If she be right invok't in warbled Song,

For maidenhood she loves, and will be swift

To aid a virgin such as was her selfe

In hard besetting need, this will I trie

And adde the power of some adjuring verse.


Sabrina faire

Listen where thou art sitting Under the glassie, coole, translucent wave, COMUS

In twisted braids of lillies knitting A Maske

The loose traine of thy amber-dropping haire,
Listen for deare honours sake
Goddesse of the silver lake
Listen and save.

Listen and appeare to us
In name of great Oceanus,
By th' earth shaking Neptun's mace
And Tethys grave magesticke pace,
By hoarie Nereus wrincled looke,
And the Carpathian wisards hooke,
By scalie Tritons winding shell.
And old sooth saying Glaucus spell,
By Leucothea's lovely hands,
And her son that rules the strands,
By Thetis tinsel-slipper'd feet;
And the songs of Sirens sweet,
By dead Parthenope's deare tomb,
And faire Ligea's golden comb,
Wherewith she sits on diamond rocks
Sleeking her soft alluring locks,
By all the Nymphs that nightly dance
Upon thy streams with wilie glance,
Rise, rise and heave thy rosie head
From thy coral-paven bed,
And bridle in thy headlong wave
Till thou our summons answerd have.
Listen and save.


By the rushie fringed banke,

Where growes the willow and the osier dancke

My sliding chariot stayes,
Thicke set with agat, and the azurne sheene
Of turkkis blew, and Emrould greene


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