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Yet stay, be not disturb'd; now I bethink me,
Some other means I have which may be us'd,
Which once of Meliboeus old I learnt,
The soothest1 shepherd that e'er pip'd on plains.
There is a gentle Nymph not far from hence,
That with moist curb sways the smooth Severn stream,
Sabrina is her name, a virgin pure;
Whilom she was the daughter of Locrine,
That had the scepter from his father Brute.2
She, guiltless damsel, flying the mad pursuit
Of her enraged stepdame Guendolen,
Commended her fair innocence to the flood,
That staid her flight with his cross-flowing course.
The Water-Nymphs, that in the bottom play'd,
Held up their pearled wrists, and took her in,
Bearing her straight to aged Nereus' hall;
Who, piteous of her woes, rear'd her lank head,
And gave her to his daughters to imbathe
In nectar'd lavers, strew'd with asphodel;
And through the porch and inlet of each sense
Dropp'd in ambrosial oils, till she reviv'd,
And underwent a quick immortal change,
Made goddess of the river: still she retains
Her maiden gentleness, and oft at eve
Visits the herds along the twilight meadows,
Helping all urchin3 blasts, and ill-luck signs
That the shrewd meddling elfe delights to make,
Which she with precious vial'd liquours heals;
For which the shepherds at their festivals
Carol her goodness loud in rustick lays,
And throw sweet garland wreaths into her stream
Of pansies, pinks, and gaudy daffadils.

1 'Soothest:' truest.—2' Brute:' Brutus.—*'Urchin:' hedgehog, thought a beast of evil omen.

And, as the old swain said, she can unlock

The clasping charm, and thaw the numming spell,

If she be right invok'd in warbled song;

For maidenhood she loves, and will be swift

To aid a virgin, such as was herself,

In hard-besetting need; this will I try,

And add the power of some adjuring verse.


Sabrina fair,

Listen where thou art sitting
Under the glassy, cool, translucent wave,

In twisted braids of lillies knitting
The loose train of thy amber-dropping hair;

Listen for dear honour's sake,

Goddess of the silver lake,
Listen, and save.
Listen, and appear to us,
In name of great Oceanus;
By the earth-shaking Neptune's mace,
And Tethys'1 grave majestic pace,
By hoary Nereus' wrinkled look,
And the Carpathian wizard's2 hook,
By scaly Triton's winding shell,
And old sooth-saying Glaucus' spell,
By Leucothea's lovely hands,
And her Son that rules the strands,
By Thetis'3 tinsel-slipper'd feet,
And the songs of Syrens sweet,
By dead Parthenope's4 dear tomb,
And fair Ligea's5 golden comb,
Wherewith she sits on diamond rocks,
Sleeking her soft alluring locks;
By all the Nymphs that nightly dance
Upon thy streams with wily glance,
Rise, rise, and heave thy rosy head,
From thy coral-paven bed,
And bridle in thy headlong wave,
Till thou our summons answer'd have.

1 'Tethys:' wife of Oceanus. — 2 'Carpathian wizard:' Prolcus. — * 'Glaucus,' ' Leucothea,' 'her Son' Palaemon, 'Thetis:' all sea-deities. — ''Parthenope:' a Syren buried in Naples; see Wordsworth's sonnet on the Departure of Scott for Italy.—s 'Ligea:' another of the Syrens.

Listen, and save!

Sabrina rises, attended by Water-Nymphs, and sings.

By the rushy-fringed bank,

Where grows the willow, and the osier dank,

My sliding chariot stays,
Thick set with agate, and the azure sheen
Of turkis blue, and emerald green,

That in the channel strays;
Whilst from off the waters fleet
Thus I set my printless feet
O'er the cowslip's velvet head,

That bends not as I tread; Gentle Swain, at thy request,

I am here.

Spi. Goddess dear,

We implore thy powerful hand
To undo the charmed band
Of true virgin here distress'd,
Through the force, and through the wile,
Of unblest enchanter vile.

Sab. Shepherd, 'tis my office best
To help ensnared chastity:
Brightest Lady, look on me;
Thus I sprinkle on thy breast
Drops, that from my fountain pure

I have kept, of precious cure;

Thrice upon thy finger's tip,

Thrice upon thy rubied lip:

Next this marble venom'd seat,

Smear'd with gums of glutinous heat,

I touch with chaste palms moist and cold:—

Now the spell hath lost his hold;

And I must haste, ere morning hour,

To wait in Amphitrite's bower.

Sabbina descends, and the Lady rises out of her Seat.

Spi. Virgin, daughter of Locrine,1
Sprung of old Anchises' line,
May thy brimmed waves for this
Their full tribute never miss
From a thousand petty rills,
That tumble down the snowy hills:
Summer drouth, or singed air,
Never scorch thy tresses fair,
Nor wet October's torrent flood
Thy molten crystal fill with mud;
May thy billows roll ashore
The beryl and the golden ore;
May thy lofty head be crown'd
With many a tower and terrace round,
And here and there thy banks upon
With groves of myrrh and cinnamon!

Come, Lady, while Heaven lends us grace,
Let us fly this cursed place,
Lest the sorcerer us entice
With some other new device.
Not a waste or needless sound
Till we come to holier ground;

1 'Locrine:' descended from Eneas, the son of Anchises.

I shall be your faithful guide

Through this gloomy covert wide,

And not many furlongs thence

Is your Father's residence,

Where this night are met in state

Many a friend to gratulate

His wish'd presence; and beside

All the swains, that there abide,

With jigs and rural dance resort;

We shall catch them at their sport,

And our sudden coming there

Will double all their mirth and chere:

Come, let us haste, the stars grow high,

But night sits monarch yet in the mid sky.

The Scene changes, presenting Ludlow Town and the Presidents Castle; then come in Country Dancers; after them the Attendant Spirit, with the Two Brothers and the Lady.


Spi. Back, Shepherds, back; enough your play,
Till next sun-shine holiday:
Here be, without duck1 or nod,
Other trippings to be trod
Of lighter toes, and such court guise
As Mercury did first devise,
With the mincing Dryades,
On the lawns, and on the leas.

This second Song presents them to their Father and


Noble Lord, and Lady bright, I have brought ye new delight;

1 'Duck:' bow.

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