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Rigour now is gone to bed,
And to the tell-tale Sun descry
THE MEASURE Break off, break off, I feel the different pace Of some chaste footing near about this ground, Run to your shrouds, within these brakes and
trees ; Our number may affright: some virgin sure (For so I can distinguish by mine art) Benighted in these woods. Now to my charms, And to my wily trains : I shall ere long Be well-stock'd with as fair a herd as graz'd About my mother Circe, Thus I hurl My dazzling spells into the spungy air, Of power to cheat the eye with blear illusion, And give it false presentments, lest the place And my quaint habits breed astonishment, And put the damsel to suspicious flight; Which must not be, for that's against my course : I, under fair pretence of friendly ends, And well-plac'd words of glozing courtesy, Baited with reasons not unplausible, Wind me into the easy-hearted man, And hug him into snares. When once her eye Hath met the virtue of this magic dust, I shall appear some harmless villager, Whom thrift keeps up about his country gear. But here she comes ; I fairly step aside, And hearken, if I may, her business here.
The LADY enters.
This way the noise was, if mine ear be true, My best guide now : methought it was the sound Of riot and ill-manag'd merriment, Such as the jocund flute, or gamesome pipe, Stirs up among the loose unletter'd hinds; When for their teeming flocks, and granges full, In wanton dance they praise the bounteous Pan, And thank the gods amiss. I should be loath To meet the rudeness, and swill'd insolence, Of such late wassailers ; yet, O! where else Shall I inform my unacquainted feet In the blind mazes of this tangled wood ? My brothers, when they saw me wearied out With this long way, resolving here to lodge Under the spreading favour of these pines, Stept, as they said, to the next thicket side, To bring me berries, or such cooling fruit As the kind hospitable woods provide. They left me then, when the gray-hooded Even, Like a sad votarist in palmer's weed, Rose from the hindmost wheels of Phoebus' wain. But where they are, and why they came not back, Is now the labour of my thoughts.
Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph, that liv'st unseen
Within thy aery shell,
By slow Meander's margent green, And in the violet-embroider'd vale,
Where the love-lorn nightingale
Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well ;
That likest thy Narcissus are ?
0, if thou have
Tell me but where,
So may'st thou be translated to the skies, And give resounding grace to all Heaven's har. monies.
And she shall be my queen.- Hail, foreign won
der ! Whom certain these rough shades did never breed, Unless the goddess that in rural shrine Dwell'st here with Pan, or Sylvan ; by blest song Forbidding every bleak unkindly fog To touch the prosperous growth of this tall wood. Lady. Nay, gentle shepherd, ill is lost that
praise That is address'd to unattending ears.
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 sceptre from his father Brute. 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, strewed with asphodel; And through the porch and inlet of each sense Dropt in ambrosial oils, till she reviv'd, And underwent a quick immortal change, Made goddess of the river : still she retains