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(Not being in danger, as I truft she is not)
Could ftr the conftant mood of her calm Thoughts,
And put them into mifbecoming plight.
Virtue could fee to do what Virtue would
By her own radiant light, though Sun and Moon
Were in the flat Sea funk: And Wisdom's felf
Oft feeks to fweet retired Solitude;
Where with her beft nurse, Contemplation,
She plumes her feathers, and lets grow her wings,
That in the various buftle of refort

Were all too ruffled, and fometimes impair'd.
He that has light within his own clear breaft,
May fit i'th' Center, and enjoy bright day;
But he, that hides a dark foul, and foul thoughts,
Benighted walks under the mid-day Sun;
Himfelf is his own dungeon.

Y. Bro. Tis moft true,

That mufing meditation most affects
The penfive fecrecy of defart Cell,
Far from the cheerful haunt of men and herds,
And fits as fafe 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 gray Hairs any violence ?
But Beauty, like the fair Hefperian Tree
Laden with blooming Gold, had need the guard
Of Dragon watch with uninchanted eye,
To fave her bloffoms and defend her fruit
From the rafh hand of bold incontinence.
You may as well spread out the unfunn'd heaps
Of Mifer's Treasure by an Out law's den,
And tell me it is fafe, as bid me hope
Danger will wink on Opportunity,
And let a fing'e helplefs Maiden pafs
Uninjur'd in this wild furrounding wafte,
Of night or loneliness, it recks me not;
I fear the dread events that dog them both,
Left fome ill-grecting touch attempt the perfon

Of

Of our unowned Sifter.

Eld. Bro. I do not, Brother,

Infer, as if I thought my Sifter's state
Secure, without all doubt or controversie :
Yet where an equal poife of hope and fear
Does arbitrate th' Event, my Nature is
That I incline to hope rather than fear,
And gladly banifh fquint fufpicion.
My Sifter is not fo defenceless left
As you imagine; she has a hidden ftrength,
Which you remember not.

Y. Bro. What hidden ftrength,

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 fteel. And like a quiver'd Nymph with Arrows keen May trace huge Forefts, and unharbour'd Heaths, Infamous Hills, and fandy perilous wilds; Where, through the facred rays of Chastity, No Savage fierce, Banditti, or Mountaneer Will dare to foyl her Virgin purity: Yea there, where every defolation dwells By grots, and caverns fhag'd with horrid fhades, She may pafs on with unblench'd majesty; Be it not done in pride, or in prefumption, Some fay no evil thing that walks by night, In fog, or fire, by lake, or moorish fen, Blue meager Hagg, or ftubborn unlaid Ghost, That breaks his magick chains at Curfeu time, No Goblin, or fwart Fairy of the Mine, Hath hurtful power o'er true Virginity. Do ye believe me yet, or fhall I call Antiquity from the old Schools of Greece, To teftifie the arms of Chaftitý ? Hence had the huntress Diana her dread bow, Fair filver-fhafted Queen, for ever chaste,

Where

Wherewith she tam'd the brinded Lioness,
And fpotted mountain Pard, but fet at nought
The frivolous bolt of Cupid; gods and men
Fear'd her ftern frown, and fhe was Queen o'th' Woods.
What was that fnaky-headed Gorgon fhield
That wife Minerva wore, unconquer'd Virgin,
Wherewith the freez'd her foes to congeal'd stone,
But rigid looks of chafte aufterity,
And noble grace, that dafh'd brute violence
With fudden adoration, and blank awe?
So dear to Heav'n is Saintly Chastity,
That when a Soul is found fincerely fo,
A thoufand livery'd Angels lacquey her,
Driving far off each thing of fin and guilt,
And in clear dream, and folemn vifion,
Tell her of things, that no grofs ear can hear:
Till oft converfe 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 effence,
Till all be made immortal: but when Luft,
By unchafte looks, loofe geftures, and foul talk,
But moft by leud and lavish act of fin,
Lets in defilement to the inward parts,
The Soul grows clotted by contagion,
Imbodies, and imbrutes, till fhe quite lofe
The divine property of her firft being.
Such are thofe thick and gloomy fhadows 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 felf by carnal fenfuality
To a degenerate and degraded state.

Y. Bro. How charming is divine Philofophy!
Not harfh, and crabbed, as dull fools fuppofe,
But mufical as is Apollo's Lute,

And a perpetual feast of nectar'd fweets,

Where no crude furfeit reigns. Eld. Bro. Lift, lift; I hear

Some far-off hallow break the filent Air.

Y. Bro. Methought fo too; what should it be?
Eld. Bro. For certain

Either fome one like us night-founder'd here.
Or elfe fome Neighbour Woodman, or, at worfst,
Some roving Robber calling to his fellows.

Y. Bro. Heav'n keep my fiiler. Again! again! and Best draw, and ftand upon our guard. [near!*

Eld. Bro. I'll hallow;

If he be friendly he comes well; if not,
Defence is a good caufe, and heav'n be for us.

The attendant Spirit, habited like a Shepherd.

That hallow I fhould know; what are you? fpeak.
Come not too near, you fall on Iron ftakes elfe.

Spir. What voice is that? my young Lord? fpeak agen.
r. Bro. O brother, 'tis my Father's Shepherd fure..
Eld. Bro. Thyrfis? whofe artful ftrains have oft delay'di
The huddling brook to hear his madrigal,
And sweeten'd ev'ry musk-rose of the dale?
How cam'ft 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't thou find this dark fequefter'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 ftray'd Ewe, or to pursue the stealth
Of pilfering Wolf; not all the fleecy wealth
That doth inrich thefe 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 blame, Or our neglect, we loft her as we came.

Spir. Ah me unhappy! then my fears are true.
Eld. Bro. What fears, good Thyrfis? Prethee briefly
Spir. I'll tell ye, 'tis not vain or fabulous,

Ffhew. (Though

(Though fo esteem'd by fhallow ignorance)
What the fage Poets, taught by th' heav'nly Mufe,
Story'd of old in high immortal verfe,
Of dire Chimera's, and inchanted Ifles,

And rifted Rocks, whofe entrance leads to Hell 3-
For fuch there be, but unbelief is blind.

Within the navel of this hideous Wood,
Immur'd in Cyprefs fhades a Sorcerer dwells,
Of Bacchus and of Circe born, great Comus,
Deep fkill'd in all his Mother's Witcheries;
And here to every thirty wanderer,
By fly enticement gives his baneful cup,
With many murmurs mixt, whofe pleafing poifon
The vifage quite transforms of him that drinks,
And the inglorious likeness of a beast
Fixes instead, unmoulding reafon'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 monftrous rout are heard to howl
Like ftabled Wolves, or Tigers at their prey,
Doing abhorred rites to Hecate

In their obfcured haunts of inmoft bowers.
Yet have they many baits, and guileful spells
To inveigle and invite th' unwary fenfe
Of them, that pafs unweeting by the way.
This evening late, by then the chewing flocks
Had ta'en their fupper on the favoury Herb
Of Knot-grafs dew befprent, and were in fold,
I fat me down to watch upon a bank
With Ivy canopied, and interwove
With flaunting Hony-fuckle, and began,
Wrapt in a pleafing 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,

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