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As the kind hospitible Woods provide.
They left me then, when the gray-hooded Ev'n
Like a fad Votarist in Palmer's wed
Rose from the hindmost wheels of Phæbus' wain.
But where they are, and why they came not back,
Is now the labour of my thoughts; 'tis likeliett
They had engag'd their wandring steps too far,
And envious darkness, ere they could return,
Had stole them from me ; else, O thievish night,
Why should'it thou, but for some felonious end,
In thy dark lanthorn 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 mis-led and lonely Traveller?
This is the place, as well as I may guess,
Wherce even now the tumult of loud Mirth
Was rife, and perfect in my liftning ear;
Yet nought but single darkness do I find.
What might this be? A thousand fantasies
Begin to throng into my memory,
Of calling shapes, and beck'ning shadows dire,
And airy tongues, that syllable mens names
On Sands, and Shoars, and defart Wildernesses,
These thoughts may startle well, but not astound
The virtuous mind, that ever walks attended
By a strong fiding champion, Conscience.
O welcɔme, pure-ey'd faith, white-handed Hope,
Thou hovering Angel girt with golden wings,
Ani thou unblemisht form of Chaiiity ;
I see ye visibly, and mo:v believe
That he, the supreme Good, t'whom all things ill
Are but as slavish officers of vengeance,
Would find a glift’ring Guardian, if need were
To keep my life and honour unaffail'd,
Was I deceiv'd, or did a fabie cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
I did not err, there dies a fable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
And casts a gleam over this tufted Grove.
I cannot hallow to my Brothers, but
Such noise as I can make to be heard farthest
I'll venjure, for my new enliven'd spirits
Prompt me; and they perhaps are not far off.
W'eet Echo; freetest Nymph, that livf unseen
Within thy airy frell,
By low Meander's margent green, And in the violet-embroider'd vale,
Where the love-lorn Nightingale Nightly to thee ber fad Song mourneth well; Canh thou not tosll me of a gentle Pair
That likust thy Narcissus are?
O if thou have
Hid them in some flow'ry Cave,
Tell me but where,
Sweet Queen of Parly, Daughter of the Sphere ;
Sa maył thou be translated to the Skies,
And give resounding grace to all Heav'n's harmonies.
Comus. Can any mortal mixture of Earth's mould
Breathe such Divine inchanting ravishment ?
Sure something holy lodges in that breast,
And with these raptures moves the vocal air
"To teltisie his hidden residence;
How sweetly did they float upon the wings
Of filence, through the empty vaulted in ght,
At every fall fmoothing the raven down
Of darkness till it smild: I have oft heard
My Mother Circe with the Sirins three,
Amidst the flow'ry-kirtlcd Naiades,
Culling their potent herbs, and baleful drugs,
Who, as they fung, would take the prison d Soul,
And lap it in Elyfium ; Scylla west,
And chid her barking waves into attention,
And fell Charybdis murmur'd foft applause :
Yet they in pleasing slumber lulld the Sense,
And in sweet madness robb’d it of itself,
But such a sacred, and home-felt delight,
Such fober certainty of waking Bliss
I never heard till now. I'll speak to her,
And she shall be my Queen. Hail, fo.eign wonder,
Whom certain these rough shades did never breed.;
Unless the Goddess that in rural shrine
Dwell't here with Pan, or Silvan, by blest Song
Forbidding every bleak unkindly Fog
To touch the prosşerous growth of this tall Wood,.
La. Nay, gentle Sepherd, 171 is lost that praite,
That is addrest to unattending Ears :
Not any boast of k ll, but cxtreme shift
How to regain my fever'd company,
Compelld me to awake the courteous Echo,
To give me answer from her mossie Couch.
Co. What chance, good Lady, hath bereft you tus?
La. Dim darkness, and this leafy Labyrinth.
Co. Could that divide you from near ushering guides?
La. They left me weary on a graslie turf.
Co. By fairhood, or discourtefie, or why?
La. To seek i'th' Vally fome cool friendly Spring.
Co. And left your fair fide all unguarded, Lady?
La. They were but twain, and purpos'd quick return.
Co. Perhaps forefalling night prevented them.
La. How easie my misfortune is to hit!
Co. Imports their lofs. beside the present necd?
La. No less than if I should my Brothers lose.
Co. Were they of m?nly prime, or youthful bloom ?
La. As smooth as Hebe's their unrazor'd lips.
Co. 'Two fuch I saw, what time the labour'd Oxe
In his loose traces from the surrow came,
And the swink't hedger at his fupper sat;
I saw them under a green mantling Vine,
That crawls along the side of yon small hill,
Plucking ripe clutters from the tender shoots ;
Their port was more than human, as they stood :
I took it for a fairy vision
Of some gay creatures of the Element,
That in the colours of the Rainbow live,
And play i'th' plighted clouds. I was aw-strook,
And, as I paft, I worshipt; if those you seek,
It were a journey like the path to Heav'n,
To help you find them. La. Gentle Villager,
What readiest way would bring me to that Place?
Co. Due welt it rises from this shrubby point.
La. To find out that, good Shepherd, I suppose
In such a scant allowance of Star-light
Wcu'd over-task the best Land-Pilot's art,
Without the sure'guess of well-pratis'd feet.
Co. I know each lane, and every alley green,
Dingle, or bushy dell of this wild Wood,
And every bcfky bourn from side to side,
My daily walks and ancient neighbourhood ;
And if your stray attendance be yet lodg'd,
Or shroud within these limits, I shall know
E:e morrow wake, or the low-roosted Lark
From her thatch’t pallat rowse : if otherwise,
I can conduct you, Lady, to a low
But loyal cottage, where you may be safe
Till further quelt
. La. Shepherd, I take thy word,
And trust thy honest offer'd courtefie,
Which oft is sooner found in lowly sheds
With smoaky rafters, than in tap'stry Halls
And Courts of Princes, where it first was nam'd,
And yet is most pretended: In a place
Less warranted than this, or less secure,
I cannot be, that I should fear to change it.
Eye me, bleft Providence, and square my trial
To my proportion'd strength. Shepherd, lead on.
Enter the two Brothers. "Eld. Bro. Unmuffle, ye faint Stars; and thou fair Moon,
That wont'st to love the travellers benizon,
Stoop thy pale visage through an amber cloud,
And difinherit Chaos, that reigns here
In double night of darkness, and of shades:
Or if your influence be quite dam’d up
With black usurping mists, some gentle taper,
Though a Rush-Candle from the wicker hole
Of some clay habitation, visit us
With thy long levell?d rule of streaming light ;
And thou shalt be our Star of Arcady,
Of Tyrian Cynosure. Y. Bro. Or if our eyes
Be barr'd that happiness, might we but hear
The folded flocks pen'd in their watled cotes,
Or sound of pastoral reed with oaten itops ;
Or whistle from the Lodge, or village Cock
Count the night-watches to his feathery Dames,
'Twould be fome solace yet, some little chearing
In this close Dungeon of innumerous boughs.
But ( that hapless Virgin, our lost fifter !
Where may he wander now, whither betake her
From the chill dew, amongst rude burs and thistles ?
Perhaps some cold bank is her Boulster now,
Or 'gainst the rugged bark of some broad Elm
Leans her unpillow'd head, fraught with 'sad fears.
What if in wild amazement, and affright,
Or, while we speak, within the direful grafp
Of favage hunger, or of favage heat?
Eld. Bro. Peace, Brother; be not over-exquisite
To cast the fashion of uncertain evils ;
For grant they be so, while they reft unknown,
What need a man foreftall his date of grief,
And run to meet what he would' molt avoid?.
Or if they be but false alarms of Fear,
How bitter is such felf-delufion?
I do not think iny Sister fo to seek,
Or so unprincipled in Virtue's book,
And the sweet peace that goodness bosoms ever,
As that the single want of light and noile