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The divine property of her first being.
List, list; I hear
it be ? Elder Brother. For certain . .: Either some one like us night-founder'd here, Or else some neighbour woodman, or, at worst, Some roving robber calling to his fellows. i Second Brother. Heaven keep my Sister. Again,
and near! . Best draw, and stand upon our guard. · Elder Brother..
. I'll halloo: If he be friendly, he comes well ; if not, Defence is a good cause, and Heaven be for us."
[Enter the ATTENDANT SPIRIT, habited like a
Shepherd.] That halloo 1 should know; what are you? speak; Come not too near, you fall on iron stakes else. Spirit.. What voicc is that? my young Lord ?
speak again. Second Brother. O Brother, 'tis my father's
shepherd, sure, Elder Brother. Thyrsis? Whose artful strains
have oft delay'd The huddling brook to hear his madrigal, And sweeten'd every, muskrose of the dale ? How cam’st thou here, good swain ? hath any ram Slipt from the fold, or young kid lost his dam, Or straggling wether the pent flock forsook ? How could'st thou find this dark sequester’d nook?
Spirit. O my lov'd master's heir, and his next joy, I came not here on such a trivial toy As a stray'd ewe, or to pursue the stealth . Of pilfering wolf; not all the fleecy wealth, That doth enrich 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 ? Elder Brother. To tell thee sadly, Shepherd,
without blame, Or our neglect, we lost her as we came. .
Spirit Ay me unhappy! then my fears are true.
Elder Brother. What fears, good Thyrsis ? Pr’y
thee briefly shew. Spirit. I'll tell ye ; 'tis not vain or fabulous (Though so esteem'd by shallow ignorance,) What the sage poets, taught by the heavenly Muse, Storied of old in high immortal verse, Of dire chimeras, and enchanted isles, And rifted rocks whose entrance leads to Hell ; For such there be, but unbelief is blind.
Within the navel of this hideous wood,
To inveigle and invite the unwary sense . Of them that pass unweeting by the way. This evening late, by then the chewing flocks Had tak’n their supper on the savoury herb Of knot-grass dew-besprent, and were in fold, I sat me down to watch upon a bank With ivy canopied, and interwove With flaunting honey-suckle, and began,, Wrapt in a pleasing fit of melancholy, To meditate my rural minstrelsy, Till Fancy had her fill; but, ere a close, The wonted roar was up amidst the woods, And fill’d the air with barbarous dissonance ; At which I ceas'd, and listen’d them a while, Till an unusual stop of sudden silence Gave respite to the drowsy frighted steeds, That draw the litter of close-curtain'd Sleep; At last a soft and solemn-breathing sound Rose like a steam of rich distill’d perfumes, And stole upon the air, that even Silence Was took ere she was ware, and wish'd she might Deny her nature, and be never more, Still, to be so displac'd. I was all ear, And took in strains that might create a soul Under the ribs of Death : but 0! ere long, Too well I did perceive it was the voice Of my most honour'd Lady, your dear Sister. Amaz'd I stood, harrow'd with grief and fear,
And, O poor hapless nightingale, thought I,
Second Brother. O night, and shades !
Elder Brother. 'ni, Yes, and keep it still ; Lean on it safely; not a period. . Shall be unsaid for me: Against the threats Of malice, or for sorcery, or that power Which erring Men call Chance, this I hold firm;-Virtue may be assail'd, but never hurt, Surpriz’d by unjust force, but not enthralld; Yea, even that, which mischief meant most harm,