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Y. Bro. “Short is the course of ev'ry lawless pleasure; “Grief like a shade on all its footsteps waits, “Scarce visible in joy's meridian height, “But downward as its blaze declining speeds “The dwarfish shadow to a giant spreads." F. Wom. No more; these formal maxims misbecome
you; They only suit suspicious shrivell’d Age.
SONG. By a Man and two Women.
Live and love, enjoy the fair,
From the fruits of sweet delight
E. Bro. How can your impious tongues profane the
Of sacred Virtue, and yet promise pleasure
delirium of the fev'rish mind, “ And always Hies at reason's cool return.
F. Wom. “ Perhaps it may; perhaps the sweetest
joys “ Of love itself from passion's folly spring; “ But say, does wisdom greater bliss bestow ? E. Bro. “ Alike from love's and pleasure's path you
stray, “ In sensual folly blindly seeking both, “ Your pleasure riot, lust your boasted love. 320
Capricious, wanton, bold, and brutal, lust “ Is meanly selfish, when resisted cruel, “ And like the blast of pestilential winds “ Taints the sweet bloom of Nature's fairest forms: « But love, like od'rous Zephyr's grateful breath,
Repays the flow'r that sweetness which it borrows; “ Uninjuring, uninjur’d, lovers move “ In their own sphere of happiness content, " By mutual truth avoiding mutual blame.” But we forget : who hears the voice of Truth
330 In noisy riot and intemp’rance drown'd? Thyrsis, be then our guide ; we'll follow thee, And some good angel bear a shield before us!
[Exeunt Brothers and Spirit. F. Wom. Come, come, my friends, and partiers of
my joys, Leave to these pedant youth their bookish dreams; “ Poor blinded boys, by their blind guides misled ! “ A beardless Cynick is the shame of nature,” Beyond the cure of this inspiring cup ; “ And my contempt, at best my pity, moves.” Away, nor waste a moment more about 'em. 340
Away, away, away,
There yields the melting fair. [Exeunt singing. * E. Bro. “ She's gone! may scorn pursue her wan.
ton arts, “ And all the painted charms that vice can wear. “ Yet oft' o'er credulous youth such Sirens triumph, “ And lead their captive sense in chains as strong “ As links of adamant. Let us be free, “And to secure our freedom, virtuous.
350 7. Bro.“ But should our helpless sister meet the rage “Of this insulting troop what could she do? “What hope, what comfort, what support, were left?
Spi. “She meets not them; but yet, if right I guess, " A harder trial on her virtue waits. E. Bro. “ Protect her Heav'n! But whence this sad
conjecture? Spi. “This ev’ning late, by then the chewing flocks “ Had ta’en their supper on the sav'ry herb “Of knot-grass dew-besprent, and were in fold, “I sat me down to watch upon a bank
360 “ With ivy canopy'd, and interwove “With flaunting honeysuckle, and began,
Wrapp'd in a pleasing fit of melancholy, “ To meditate my rural minstrelsy, “ Till Fancy had her fill; but ere a close,
* The first det ends here as now performed.
44 "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. r. Bro. “ What follow'd then? O! if our helpless
sisterSpi. “ Strait an unusual stop of sudden silence 370 “ Gave respite to the drowsy-flighted steeds “ That draw the litter of close-curtain'd Sleep. “ At last a soft and solemn breathing sound “ Rose like a steam of rich distillid perfumes, “ And stole upon the air, that ev’n Silence “ Was took ere she was’ware, and wished 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 oh! ere long
380 “ Too well I did perceive it was the voice “ Of my most honour'd lady your dear sister.
7. Bro. “O my foreboding heart! too true my fears.
Spi. “ Amaz'd I stood, harrow'd with grief and fear, " And O! poor hapless nightingale, thought I, “ How sweet thou sing'st, how near the deadly snare ! " Then down the lawns I ran with headlong haste, “ Thro' paths and turnings often trod by day, “ Till guided by my ear I found the place " Where the damn'd wizard, hid in sly disguise, 390
by certain signs I knew) had met “ Already, ere my best speed to prevent, “ The aidless innocent lady, his wish'd prey, “ Who gently ask'd if he had seen such two,
“Supposing him some neighbour villager.
405 “ How are ye join’d with hell in triple knot
Against th' unarm'd weakness of one virgin, “ Alone and helpless ! Is this the confidence “You gave me brother?
E. Bro. “ Yes, and keep it still, " Lean on it safely; not a period “ Shall be unsaid for me. Against the threats “ Of malice or of sorcery, or that pow'r “ Which erring men call Chance, this I hold firm, « Virtue
410 Surpris'd by unjust force but not inthrall’d; “ Yea, even that which mischief meant most harm “ Shall in the happy trial prove most glory: “ But evil on itself shall back recoil, “ And mix no more with goodness ; when at last " Gather'd like scum, and settled to itself, “ It shall be in eternal restless change,
Self-fed and self-consum’d. If this fail “ The pillar'd firmament is rottenness, “ And earth's base built on stubble. But come, let's on; “ Against th’ opposing will and arm of Heav'n 421
May never this just sword be lifted up; “ But for that damn'd magician, let him be girt “ With all the griesly legions that troop