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And, with all helpful service, will comply
To further this night's glad solemnity;
And lead ye, where ye may more near behold
What shallow-searching Fame hath left untold;
Which I full oft, amidst these shades alone,
Have sat to wonder at, and gaze upon:
For know, by lot from Jove I am the Power
Of this fair wood, and live in oaken bower,
To nurse the saplings tall, and curl the grove
With ringlets quaint, and wanton windings wove.,
And all my plants I save from nightly ill
Of noisome winds, and blasting vapours chill:
And from the boughs brush off the evil dew,
And heal the harms of thwarting thunder blue,
Or what the cross dire-looking planet smites,
Or hurtful worm with canker'd venom bites.
When evening gray doth rise, I fetch my round
Over the mount, and all this hallow'd ground;
And early, ere the odorous breath of morn
Awakes the slumbering leaves, or tassel'd horn
Shakes the high thicket, haste I all about,
Number my ranks, and visit every sprout
With puissant words, and murmurs made to bless.
But else in deep of night, when drowsiness
Hath lock'd up mortal sense, then listen I .
To the celestial Syrens' harmony,
That sit upon the nine infolded spheres,
And sing to those that hold the vital'shears,

And turn the adamantine spindle round,
On which the fate of Gods and Men is wound.
Such sweet compulsion doth in musick lie,
To lull the daughters of Necessity,
And keep unsteady Nature to her law,
And the low world in measur’d motion draw
After the heavenly tune, which none can hear
Of human mould, with gross unpurged ear;
And yet such musick worthiest were to blaze
The peerless highth of her immortal praise,
Whose lustre ļeads us, and for her most fit,
If my inferiour hand or voice could hit
Inimitable sounds: yet, as we go,
Whate'er the skill of lesser Gods can show,
I will assay, her worth to celebrate,
And so attend ye toward her glittering state;
Where ye may all, that are of noble stem,
Approach, and kiss her sacred vesture's hem.

II. SONG, • O'ER the smooth enamell’d green Where no print of step hath been,

Follow me, as I sing

And touch the warbled string,
Under the shady roof
Of branching elm star-progf.

Follow me;

I will bring you where she sits,
Cold in splendour as befits

Her deity.
Such a rural Queen
All Arcadia hath not seen.

III. SONG. Nymphs and Shepherds, dance no more By sandy Ladon’s lillied banks ; On old Lycæus, or Cyllene hoar. Trip no more in twilight ranks; Though Erymanth your loss deplore,

A better soil shall give ye thanks.
From the stony Mänalus
Bring your flocks, and live with, us;
Here ye shall have greater grace,
To serve the Lady of this place.
Through Syrinx your Pan's mistress were.
Yet Syrinx well might wait on her.

Such a rural Queen
All Arcadia hath not seen.

VOL. IV.

COMUS:

A

M A S K,

PRESENTED AT ĽUDLOW CASTLE, 1634.

BEFORE

JOHN, EARL-OF BRIDGEWATER,

THEN PRESIDENT OF WALES.

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