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A MASKE PERFORMED BEFORE THE PRAES- COMUS
IDENT OF WALES AT LUDLOW, 1634. THE A Maske
FIRST SCENE DISCOVERSAWILD WooD. THE
ATTENDANT SPIRIT DESCENDS OR ENTERS.

BEFORE the starrie threshold of Joves Court
My mansion is, where those immortall shapes
Of bright ačreall Spirits live insphear'd
In Regions mild of calme and serene aire,
Above the smoake and stirre of this dim spot
Which men call Earth, and with low-thoughted care
Confin'd, and pester'd in this pin-fold here,
Strive to keepe up a fraile, and feaverish being
Unmindfull of the crowne that Vertue gives
After this mortall change to her true Servants
Amongst the enthron'd gods on Sainted seats.
Yet some there be that by due steps aspire
To lay their just hands on that golden key
That ope's the palace of AEternity:
To such my errand is, and but for such
I would not soile these pure ambrosial weeds
With the ranck vapours of this Sin-worne mould.
so. But to my task. Neptune besides the sway
Of every salt Flood, and each ebbing Streame
Tooke in my lot 'twixt high, and neather Jove
Imperial rule of all the Sea-girt Iles
That like to rich, and various gemms inlay
The unadorned bosome of the Deepe,
Which he to grace his tributarie gods
By course commits to severall government
And gives them leave to weare their Saphire crowns,
And weild their little tridents, but this Ile
The greatest, and the best of all the maine
He quarters to his blu-hair'd deities,
And all this tract that fronts the falling Sun
A noble Peere of mickle trust, and power
Has in his charge, with temper'd awe to guide
An old, and haughtie Nation proud in Armes:
Where his faire off-spring nurs’t in Princely lore

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