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And they, so perfect in their miserie, COMUS
Not once perceive their foule disfigurement, A Maske
But boast themselves more comely then before
And all their friends; and native home forget
To roule with pleasure in a sensuall stie.
Therefore when any favour'd of high Jove
Chances to passe through this adventrous glade,
Swift as the Sparkle of a glancing Starre
I shoote from heav'n, to give him safe convoy,
As now I doe: but first I must put off
These my skie robes spun out of Iris wooffe,
And take the weeds and likenesse of a Swaine,
That to the service of this house belongs,
Who with his soft Pipe, and smooth-dittied Song,
Well knows to still the wild winds when they roare,
And hush the waving woods, nor of lesse faith,
And in this office of his Mountaine watch,
Likeliest, and neerest to the present aide
Of this occasion. But I heare the tread
Of hatefull steps, I must be viewlesse now.
Comus enters with a Charming rod in one hand, his Glasse in the other, with him a rout of Monsters headed like sundry sorts of wilde Beasts, but otherwise like Men and Women, their apparell glistring, they come iu [in] making a riotous and unruly noise, with Torches in their hands,
COMUS. The starre that bids the Shepheard fold,
Now the top of heav'n doth hold,
And the gilded Carre of Day
His glowing Axle doth allay,
In the steepe Atlantik streame,
And the slope Sun his upward beame
Shoots against the duskie Pole,
Pacing toward the other gole
Of his Chamber in the East.
Meane while welcome Joy, and Feast,
Midnight shout, and revelrie,
Tipsie dance, and Jollitie.
Braid your Locks with rosie Twine,
Dropping odours, dropping Wine.
Rigor now is gone to bed,
And Advice with scrupulous head,
Strict Age, and sowre Severitie
With their grave Sawes in slumber lie.
We that are of purer fire,
Immitate the starrie quire,
Who in their nightly watchfull Spheares,
Lead in swift round the Months and Yeares.
The Sounds, and Seas with all their finnie drove,
Now to the Moone in wavering Morrice move,
And on the tawny sands and shelves,
Trip the pert Fairies and the dapper Elves;
By dimpled Brooke, and Fountaine brim,
The Wood-nymphs deckt with daisies trim,
Their merry wakes, and pastimes keepe,
What hath night to doe with sleepe?
Night hath better sweets to prove,
Venus now wakes, and wakens Love.
Come let us our rights begin
"Tis onely day-light that makes Sin
Which these dun shades will ne're report.
Haile Goddesse of Nocturnall sport
Dark-vaild Cotytto, t' whom the secret flame
Of mid-night Torches burnes; mysterious Dame
That ne're at [art] call'd, but when the Dragon woome
Of Stygian darknesse spets her thickest gloome
And makes one blot of all the aire,
Stay thy clowdie Ebon chaire,
Wherein thou rid'st with Hecat', and befriend
Us thy vow'd Priests, till utmost end
Of all thy dues be done, and none left out
Ere the blabbing Easterne scout
The nice Morne on th' Indian steepe
From her cabin'd loop hole peepe,
And to the tel-tale Sun discry
Wur conceal’d Solemnity. COMUS Come, knit hands, and beate the ground A Maske In a light fantastick round.
Breake off, breake off, I feele the different pace
Of some chast footing neere about this ground,
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 charmes
And to my wilie trains, I shall e're long
Be well stock't with as faire a Heard as graz'd
About my Mother Circe. Thus I hurle
My dazling Spells into the spungie aire
Of power to cheate the eye with bleare illusion,
And give it false presentments, lest the place
And my queint habits breed astonishment,
And put the Damsel to suspicious flight,
Which must not be, for that's against my course;
I under faire praetents of friendly ends,
And wel plac't words of glozing courtesie
Baited with reasons not unplausible
Wind me into the easie hearted man,
And hug him into snares; when once her eye
Hath met the vertue of this Magick dust,
I shall appeare some harmlesse Villager
Whom thrift keepes up about his Country geare
But here she comes, I fairly step aside
And hearken, if I may, her businesse here.
This way the noise was, if mine eare be true
My best guide now, me thought it was the sound
Of Riot, and ill manag'd Merriment,
Such as the jocond Flute, or gamesome Pipe
Stirs up among the loose unleter'd Hinds
When for their teeming Flocks, and granges full
In wanton dance they praise the bounteous Pan,
And thanke the gods amisse. I should be loath
To meet the rudenesse, and swill'd insolence
Of such late Wassailers; yet 6 [oh] where else
Shall I informe my unacquainted feet
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 favour of these Pines
Stept as they se’d to the next Thicket side
To bring me Berries, or such cooling fruit
As the kind hospitable woods provide.
They left me then, when the gray-hooded Ev’n
Like a sad Votarist in Palmer weeds
Rose from the hindmost wheels of Phoebus waine.
But where they are, and why they came not back
Is now the labour of my thoughts, 'tis likeliest
They had ingag'd their wandring steps too far,
And envious darknesse, e're they could returne,
Had stolne them from me, else à [oh] theevish Night
Why shouldst thou, but for some fellonious end
In thy darke lanterne thus close up the Stars,
That nature hung in Heav'n, and fill'd their lamps
With everlasting oile to give due light
To the misled, and lonely Travailer.
This is the place, as well as I may guesse
Whence even now the tumult of loud Mirth
Was rife, and perfect in my listening eare,
Yet nought but single darknesse doe I find,
What might this be? a thousand fantasies
Begin to throng into my memorie
Of calling shapes, and beckning shadows dire,
And ayrie tongues, that syllable mens names
On Sands, and Shoars, and desert Wildernesses.
These thoughts may startle well, but not astound
The vertuous mind, that ever walks attended
By a strong siding champion Conscience.—
O welcome pure-ey'd Faith, white-handed Hope
Thou flittering Angel girt with golden wings, COMUS
And thou unblemish't forme of Chastitie A Maske
I see yee visibly, and now beleeve
That he, the Supreme good, t' whom all things ill
Are but as slavish officers of vengeance
Would send a glistring Guardian if need were
To keepe my life, and honour unassail'd.
Was I deceiv'd, or did a sable cloud
Turne forth her silver lining on the night?
I did not erre, there does a sables cloud
Turne forth her silver lining on the night
And casts a gleame over this tufted Grove.
I cannot hallow to my Brothers, but
Such noise as I can make to be heard fardest
Ile venter, for my new enliv'nd spirits
Prompt me; and they perhaps are not farre off.
Sweet echo, sweetest Nymph that liv'st unseene
Within thy ayrie shell
By slow Meander's margent greene,
And in the violet-imbroider'd vale
Where the love-lorne Nightingale
Nightly to thee her sad Song mourneth well.
Canst thou not tell me of a gentle Paire
That likest thy Narcissus are?
O if thou have
Hid them in some flowrie Cave,
Tell me but where
Sweet Queene of Parlie, Daughter of the Sphare,
So maist thou be translated to the skies,
And give resounding grace to all Heav'ns Harmonies.
COMUS. Can any mortall mixture of Earths mould
Breath such Divine inchanting ravishment?
Sure something holy lodges in that brest,
And with these raptures moves the vocal aire
To testifie his hidden residence;