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(Not being in danger, as I truft she is not)
Could it'r the constant mood of her calm Thoughts,
And put them into misbecoming plight.
Virtue could see to do what Virtue would
By her own radiant light, though Sun and Moon
Were in the flat Sea funk: Ard Wisdom's self
Oft seeks to sweet retired Solitude;
Where with her best nurse, Contemplation,
She plumes her feathers, and lets grow her wings,
That in the various bustle of resort
Were all too ruffled, and sometimes impair’d.
He that has light within his own clear breast,
May fit i'th' Center, and enjoy bright day;
But he, that hides a dark soul, and soul thoughts,
Benighted walks under the mid-day San ;
Himself is his own dungeon.
r. Bro. Tis moft true,
That musing meditation most affects
The pensive fecrecy of de fart Cell,
Far from the cheerful haunt of men and herds,
And fits as safe as in a Senate House:
For who would rob a Hermit of his Weeds,
His few Books, or his Beads, or Maple Dish,
Or do his
But Beauty, like the fair Hesperian Tree
Laden with blooming Gold, had need the guard
Of Dragon watch with uninchanted eye,
To save her blossoms and defend her fruit
From the rash hand of bold incontinence.
You may as well spread out the unsunnd heaps
Of Miser's Treasure by an Out law's den,
And tell me it is safe, as bid me hope
Danger will wink on Opportunity,
And let a single helpless Maiden pass
Uninjur'd in this wild surrounding waste,
Of night or loneliness, it recks me not;
I fear the dread events that dog them both,
Left fome ill-grecting touch attempt the person
Of our unowned Sister.
Eld. Bro. I do not, Brother,
Infer, as if I thought my Sister's state
Secure, without all doubt or controverlie :
Yet where an equal poise of hope and fear
Does arbitrate th’ Event, my Nature is
That I incline to hope rather than fear,
And gladly banish squint suspicion.
My Sister is not so defenceless left
As you imagine ; she has a hidden strength,
Which you remember not.
Y. Bro. What hidden strength,
Unless the strength of Heav'n, if you mean that ?
Elder Bro. I mean that too; but yet a hidden strength,
Which, if Heav'n gave it, may be term’d her own :
'Tis chastity, my Brother, chastity.
She that has that, is clad in compleat steel.
And like a quiver'd Nymph with Arrows keen
May trace huge Forests, and unharbour'd Heaths,
Infamous Hills, and fandy perilous wilds.;
Where, through the sacred rays of Chastity,
No Savage fierce, Banditti, or Mountaneer
Will dare to foyl her Virgin purity :
Yea there, where every desolation dwells
By grots, and caverns shag'd with horrid shades,
may pass on with unblench'd majesty;
Be it not done in pride, or in presumption,
Some say no evil thing that walks by night,
In fog, or fire, by lake, or moorish fen,
Blue meager Hagg, or stubborn unlaid Ghost,
That breaks his magick chains at Curfeu time,
No Goblin, or swart Fairy of the Mine,
Hath hurtful power o'er true Virginity.
believe me yet, or shall I call
Antiquity from the old Schools of Greece,
To teltifie the arms of Chastity?
Hence had the huntress Diana her dread bow,
Fair silver-lhafted Queen, for ever chaste,
Wherewith the tam'd the brinded Lioness,
And spotted mountain Pard, but set at nought
The frivolous bolt of Cupid ; gods and men
Fear'd her stern frown, and she was Queen o'th' Woods.
What was that snaky-headed Gorgon shield
That wise Minerva wore, unconquer'd Virgin,
Wherewith fhe freez'd her foes to congeal'd stone,
But rigid looks of chaste austerity,
And noble grace, that dash'd brute violence
With sudden adoration, and blank awe ?
So dear to Heav'n is Saintly Chastity,
That when a Soul is found sincerely so,
A thousand livery'd Angels lacquey her,
Driving far off each thing of sin and guilt,
And in clear dream, and folemn vision,
Tell her of things, that no gross ear can hear :
Till oft converse with heav'nly habitants
Begin to caft'a beam on th' outward shape,
The unpolluted Temple of the mind,
And turn it by degrees to the Soul's essence,
Till all be made immortal: but when Luft,
By unchaste looks, loose gestures, and foul talk,
But most by leud and lavish act of fin,
Lets in defilement to the inward parts,
The Soul grows clotted by contagion,
Imbodies, and imbrutes, till she quite lose
The divine property of her first being.
Such are those thick and gloomy th:dows damp,
Oft feen in Charnel Vaults, and Sepulchres,
Lingring, and fitting by a new-made grave,
As loth to leave the Body, that it lov’d,
And linkt it self by carnal sensuality
To a degenerate and degraded state.
r. Bro. How charming is divine Philofophy!
Not harsh, and crabbed, as dull fools suppose,
But mufical as is Apollo's Lute,
And a perpetual feast of nectar'd sweets,
Where no crude surfeit reigns. Eld. Bro. Lift, lift; I hear
Some far-off hallow break the silent Air.
7. Bro. Methought so too; what should it be?
Eld. Bró. For certain
Either some one like us night-founder'd here.
Or else fome Neighbour Woodman, or, at worst,
Some'roving Robber calling to his fellows.
7. Bro. Heav'n keep my fiiter. Again! again! and Best draw, and stand upon our guard.
[near! Eld. Bro. I'll hallow; If he be friendly he comes well; if not, Defence is a good cause, and heav'n be for us:
The attendant Spirit, habited like a Shepherd.
That hallow I should know; what are you? speak.
Come not too near, you fall on Iron ftakes else.
Spir. What voice is that? my young Lord ? speak agen.
Y. Bro. O brother, 't's my Father's Shepherd fure..
Eld. Bro. Thyrfis? whose artful strains have of delaydi
The huddling brook to hear his madrigal,
And sweeten'd ev'ry musk-rose of the dale ?
How cam'st thou here, good Swain ? hath any ram.
Slipt from the fold, or young Kid loft his dam,.
Or ftraggling Weather the pent flock forfook?
How could it thou find this dark sequefter'd nook :
Spir. O my lov'd Master's heir, and his next joy,
I came not here on fuch a trivial toy
As a stray'd Ewe, or to pursue the stealth
O pilfering Wolf; not all the fleecy wealth
Thát doth inrich these downs, is worth a thought
To this my errand, and the care it brought.
But, O my Virgin Lady, where is she?
How chance she is not in your company?
Eld. Bro. To tell thee fadly, Shepherd, without blames. Or our neglect, we loft her as we came.
Spir. Ah me unhappy! then my fears are true.
Eld. Bro. What fears, good Thyrfus ? Prethee briefly
Spir. I'll tell ye, 'tis not vain or fabulous, Ethew.
('Though so esteemid by shallow ignorance)
What the sage Poe's, taught by th' heav'nly Muke,
Story'd of old in high inmortal verse,
Of dire Chimera's, and inchanted Iles,
And rifted Rocks, who'e entrance leads to Hell ;.
For such there be, but unbelief is blind.
Within the navel of this hideous Wood,
Immur'd in Cypress shades a Sorcerer dwells,
Of Bacchus and of Circe born, great Comus,
Deep skill'd in all bis Motier's Witcheries ;
And here to every thirty wanderer,
By fly enticement gives his banerul cup,
With many murmurs mixt, whose pleasing poison
The visage quite transforms of him that drinks,
And the inglorious likeness of a beast
Fixes instead, unmoulding reason's mintage
Character'd in the face ; this have I learnt,
Tending my flocks hard by i'th' hilly crofts,
That brow this bottom glade, whence night by night:
He and his monstrous rout are heard to howl
Like (tabled Wolves, or Tigers at their prey,
Doing abhorred rites to Hecate:
In their obscured haunts of inmoft bowers.
Yet have they many baits, and guileful spells
To inveigle and invite th' unwary sense
Of them, that pass unweeting by the way.
This evening late, by then the chewing flocks
Had ta'en their supper on the favoury Herb
Of Knot-grafs dew besprent, and were in fold,
I sat me down to watch upon a bank
With Ivy canopied, and interwove
With faunting Hony-suckle, and began,'.
Wrapt in a pleasing fit of Melancholy,
To meditate my rural minstrelfie,
Till fancy had her fill; but ere a close
The wonted roar was up amidst the Woods,
And fill'd the air with barbarous diffonance ;
At which I ceas'd, and liften’d them a while,