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SONG, by a Bacchant.
Canst thou not tell me of a gentle pair,
That likest thy Narcissus are ? By dimpled brook, and fountain brim,
0! if thou have The wood-nymphs, deck'd with daisies trim,
Hid them in some flow'ry cave, Their merry wakes and pastimes keep:
Tell me but where, What has night to do with sleep?
Sxocet Queen of parly, daughter of the sphere : Night has better sweets to prove,
So may'st thou be translated to the skies, Venus nou wakes, and wakens love :
And give resounding grace to all heav'n's hurCome let us our rites begin!
monies ! 'Tis only day-light that makes sin.
1 Comus. "Can any mortal mixture of earth's Comus. Hail, goddess of nocturnal sport
mould " Dark-reilld Cocytto, t'whom the sacred flame Breathe such divine enchanting ravishment? Of midnight torches burns; mysterious dame, But see, she approaches; I step aside That ne'er art callid, but when the dragon womb And hearken, if I may her business hear." Of Stygian darkness spits her thickest gloom, And makes one blot of all the air,"
The Lady enters. Stay thy cloudy ebon chair,
Lady. This way the noise was, if mine ear be Wherein thou rid'st with Hecate; and befriend
true, Us thy vow'd priests!
My best guide now; methought it was the sound Till the nice morn on th' Indian steep
Of riot and ill-manag'd mirth. I should be loth From her cabin loop-holes peep,
| To meet the rudeness, and swill'd insolence And to the tell-tale sun descry
Of such late rioters; yet, O! where else Our concealid solemnity.
Shall I inform my unacquainted feet
In the blind mazes of this tangled wood ? DUET, by a Man and Woman. : Comus. (Aside ) l'll ease her of that care, and
be her guide. From tyrant laws and customis free,
Lady. My brothers, when they saw me weaWe follow sweet variety;
ried out, By turns we drink, and dance and sing,
Stepp'd, as they said, to the next thicket side, Time for ever on the wing.
To bring me berries, or such cooling fruit Why should niggard rules controul As the kind hospitable woods provide. Transports of the jovial soul ?
But where they are, and why they come not No dull stinting hour we own ;
back, Pleasure counts our time alone.
Is now the labour of my thoughts; 'tis likeliest Comus. Come! Knit hands and beat the
They bad engag'd their wandering steps too far:
I cannot halloo to my brothers, but ground In a light fantastic round.
Such noise as I could make to be heard farthest
I have ventured, “ for my new enliven'd spirits Comus. Break off, break off! I feel the diffrent
Prompt me," and they perhaps are not far off. pace Of some chaste footing near about this ground;
Comus. (Aside.) “Sure something holy lodges
I in that breast, Run to your shrouds, within these brakes and
| And with these raptures moves the vocal air trees;
To testify his hidden residence: Our number may affright; some virgin sure,
How sweetly did they float upon the wings [Exeunt.
Of Silence, thro' the empty-vaulted night,
At ev'ry fall smoothing the raven down
Of darkness, 'till it smil'd; I have oft heard (For so I can distinguish by my art.)
My mother Circe, with the Sirens three, Benighted in these woods. Now to my charms, Who, as they sung, would take the prison'd soul, And to iny wily trains! Thus I hurl
And lap it in Elysium : Scylla wept, My spells into the air-When once her eye And chid her barking waves into attention, Hath met the virtue of this magic dust, | And fell Charybdis murmur'd soft applause; I shall appear some harmless villager.
Yet they in pleasing slumber lull'd the sense, But see she stops, und seems
And sweet in madness robb'd it of itself. As she'd address herself in song.
But such a sacred and hoine-felt delight,
[Ludy sings behind. Such sober certainty of waking bliss, Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph, that liv'st un- I never heard till now."—I'll speak to her, seen
| And she sball be my queen.-Hail, foreign wonWithin thy airy cell,
der, By slow Mæinder margent green,
Whom certain these rough shades did never And in the violet-embroider'd ruke,
breed, Where the love-lorn nightingale
Unless the goddess, that in rural shrine
Forbidding ev'ry bleak unkindly fog.
SONG, by a Man.
Fly swiftly, ye minutes, 'till Comus receive Not any boast of skill, but extreme shift
The nameless soft transports that beauty can How to regain my sever'd company,
give; Compellid mne to awake the courteous Echo, The bowl's frolic joys let him teuch her to To give me answer from her mossy couch.
prove, Comus. What chance, good lady, hath berest | And she in return yield the raptures of love! you thus?
| Without love and wine, wit and beauty are Lady. Dim darkness, and this leafy labyrinth. pain, Comus. Could that divide you from near ush'r All grandeur insipid, and riches a pain ; ing guides?
| The most splendid palace grows durk as the Lady. They left me weary on a grassy turf,
grave; To seek i'th' valley some cool friendly spring. Love and wine gide, ye Gods; or take back Comus. And left your fair side all unguarded, what ye gave;
lady? Lady. They were but iwain, and purpos'd
CHORUS. quick return.
Away, away, away, Comus. Im; orts their loss, beside the present
To Comus' court repair; need?
There night outshines the day, Lady. No less than if I should my brothers lose.
There yields the melting fair. Comus. Were they of manly prime, or youth
[Excunt," ful bloom? Lady. As smooth as Hebe's their unrazor'd lips. Comus. Two such I saw " what time the la
SCENE II.-A Wood.
A Halloo heard.
Enter the two Brothers, meeting.
“ E. Bro. List, list; I hear Plucking ripe clusters from the tender shoots; Some far-off halloo break the silent air. Their port was more than human; “ as they Y. Bro. Methought so too ; what should it be? stood,
E. Bro. Either soine one like us uight-fourI took it for a fairy vision
der'd here, Of some gay creatures of the element,
Or else some neighbour wood-man, or at worst, That in the colours of the rainbow live, Some roving robber calling to his fellows. And play i'th'olaited clouds. I was awe struck, Y. Bro. Heav'n keep my sister! again ! again! And as I pass'd I worshipp'd;" if those you and near! seek,
| Best draw, and stand upon our guard. It were a journey like the path to heaven,
T. Bro. I'll halloo; To belp you find them.
If he be friendly, he comes well; if not, Lady. Gentle villager, what readiest way Defence is a good cause, and heav'n be for us;"
would bring me to that place? Comus. I know each lane, and ev'ry alley
Enter Spirit, habited like a Shepherd. green,
Y. Bro. That halloo I should know—What Dingle, or bushy dell of this wild wood,
are you? speak. My daily walks and ancient neighbourhood; 1 Spir. What voice is that? my young lord ? And if your stray attendance be yet lodg'd,
speak again. Or shroud within these limits, I shall know Y. Bro. O brother 'tis my father's shepherd Eze morrow wake, “ or the low roosted lark
sure. From her thatch'd pillar rouse;" or grant it 1 Spir. O my lov'd master's heir and his next otherwise,
joy, I can conduct you, lady, to a low
Where is my virgin lady? where is she? But loyal cottage, where you may be safe till How chance she is not in your company? farther quest.
E. Bro. To tell thee sadly, shepherd, without Lady. Shepherd, I take thy word,
blame, And trust thy offer'd service. In a place Or our neglect, we lost her as we came. Less Warranted than this, or less secure, | 1 Spir. Ah me unhappy! then my fears are I cannot be, that I should fear to change it.
true. Eye me, bless'd Providence, and square my trial E. Bro. What fears, good Thyrsis? prithee To my proportion'd strength! Shepberd, lead briefly shew..
[Breunt. 1 Spir. Within the bosom of this hideous
Immur'd in cyprus sbades, a sorcerer dwells,
All alone and in her arms Of Bacchus and of Circe born, great Comus,
Your breast may beat to love's alarms, Deep skill'd in all bis mother's witcheries,
Till bless'd, and blessing, you shall own Aud wanton as his father. This I learnt
The joys of love are joys alone. Tending my flocks hard by; whence night by Y. Bro. How low sinks beauty, when by vice night,
To me the warbled song harsh discord sounds. [A loud laugh.
2 Wom. No more; these formal maxims mis
Wom. No more But hark! the beaten timbrel's jarring sound,
become you. And wild tumultuous mirth, proclaim their pre- They only suit suspicious shrivell'd age.
sence; Onward th«y move; and this way guide their
By a Man and two Women. Let us withdraw a while! [They retire.
Live, and love, enjoy the fair, Enter Com us's crew revelling; the Elder Bro Banish sorrow, banish care; ther advances and speaks.
Mind not what old dotards say; E. Bro. What are you? speak! that thus in
Age has had his share of play, wanton riot
But youth's sport begins to-day. And midnight revelry, like drunken Bacchanals,
From the fruits of sweet delight Invade the silence of these lonely shades?
Let not scare-crow virtue fright! 1 Wom.
Ye godlike youths, Here in pleasure's vineyard we Bless the propitious star that led you to us,
Rove, like birds, from tree to tree, We are the happiest of the race of mortals,
Cureless, airy, gay and free. Of freedom, mirth, and joy, the only heirs;
E. Bro. How can your impious tongues proBut you shall share them with us; for this cup,
fane the name This nectur'd cup, the sweet assurance gives
Of sacred Virtue, and yet promise pleasure Of present, and the pledge of future bliss.
| In lying songs of vanity and vice?
1 Wom. Turn not away, but listen to our SONG.
strain, By a Man.
| That shall in pleasing slumber lull the sense,
And sweet in madness rob it of itself.
First Man and Woman.
She. O thou wert born to please me,
He. My life, my only love!
She. Thro all the woods I'll praise thee,
He. My rural Queen of love. [She offers the cup, which they both put by. I She. Thus happy, never
He. E. Bro. Forbear, nor offer us the poison’d
She. Can any harm sweets.
He. 1 Wom. Oh! how unseemly shews in bloom
She. Can any harm assail us, my shepherd of ing youth, Such grey severity!- But come with us;
the grove We to the bower of bliss will guide your steps.
He. Can any harm assail us, my rural queen of
She. Feel how my heart is beating, my shepherd
of the grove. Would you taste the noon-tide air?
He. The pulse of life retreating, my rural queen To yon fragrant bower repair,
of love. Where, woven with the poplar bough,
The pulse of life retreating, The mantling rine will shelter you.
My shepherd of the Down each side a fountain flous,
grove. Tinkling, murmuring, as it goes
He. Thus love's sweet poison drinking Lightly v'er the mossy ground,
Deur idol of my love. Sultry Phabus scorching round.
| E. Bro. “From virtue sever'd, pleasure phırcaRound the languid herds and sheep
zy grows, Stretch'd o'er sunny hillocks sleep
And always flies at reason's cool return. While on the hyacinth and rose
But we forget; who hears the voice of truth, The fair does all alone repose.
| Tu noisy riot and intemp’rance drown'd?
Thyrsis, be thou our guide! we'll follow thee; | Away, nor waste a moment more about And some good angel bear a shield before us!
'em !" [Ereunt Brothers and Spirit. “ 1 Wom. Come, come, my friends, and part
CIIORUS. ners of my joys,
Away, away, away, Leave to yon pedant youtbs their bookish
To Comus' court repair ; dreams;
There night outshines day, A beardless Cynic is the shame of nature,
There yields the melting fair. Beyond the cure of this inspiring cup;
SCENE I.-A gay Pavilion.
who is seated in an enchanted chair.
SONG. Haste thee nymph, and bring with thee Jest and youthful jollity, Quips and cranks, and wanton wiles, Nods and becks, and wreathed smiles, Such as hang on Hebe's cheek, And love to live in dimple sleek; Sport, that wrinkled care derides, And Laughter holding both his sides !
Are the only tumults here,
Love and harmony live here."
attune, And breathe the pleasing pangs of gentle love. Enter EUPHROSYNE and Pastoral Nymph, who
advances slow, with a melancholy and desponding air, to the side of the stage, and repeat, by way of soliloquy, the first six lines, and then sings the ballad. She is observed by EUPHROSYNE, who, by her gestures, expresses her different sentiments of the subject of her complaint, suitably to the character of their several songs.
Along the margin of each'stream,
I mourn, and Damon is my theme.
But Damon there I seek iu vain.
Groves, flocks and fountains please no more. Each flower in pily droops its head,
All nature does my loss deplore. All, all reproach the faithless swuin, Yet Damon still I seek in vain.
CHORUS. Haste thee, nymph, &c. &c.
By a Nymph. " Come, come, bid adieu to fear! Love and harmony reign here. No domestic jealous jars, Buzzing slanders, wordy wars, In our presence will appear; Love and harmony reign here. " Sighs to amorous sighs returning, Pulses beating, bosoms burning, Bosoms with warm wishes panting, Words to speak those wishes wanting,
| But such as are good men, can give good things;
And that which is not good is not delicious The wanton god, that pierces hearts,
To a well-govern'd and wise appetite. Dips in gall his pointed darts :
Shall I go on, or have I said enough? But the nymph disdains to pine,
Comus. Enough to shew, Who bathes ihe wound with rosy wine.
That you are cheated by the lying boasts Farewell lovers, when they're cloy'd;
Of starving pedants, that affect a fame If I am scorn'd, because enjoy'd,
From scorning pleasures, which they cannot Sure the squeamish fops are free
reach. To rid me of dull company. They have charms, whilst mine can please ;
“ SONG, by a Nymph. I love them much, but more my ease,
« Preach not to me your musty rules, Nor jealous fears my love molest,
Ye drones that mould in idle cell! Nor faithless dows shall break my rest.
The heart is wiser than the schools, Why should they der give me pain,
The senses always reason well. Who to give me joy disdain ?
It short my span, I less can spare All I ask of mortal man,
To pass a single pleasure by; Is to love me--whilst he can.
An hour is long, if lost in care ; [Exeunt EUPHROSYNE and Pastoral Nymph.
They only live, who life enjoy.
Comus. List, lady; be not coy, and be not Nature's sweets are culi'd for thee,
cozen'd And her choicest blessings sent.
With that same vaunted name, Virginity. “ Hither Summer, Autumn, Spring,
What need a vermeil-cinctur'd lip for that, Hither all your tributes bring;
Love-darting eyes, or tresses like the morn? All on bended knce be seen,
There was another meaning in these gifts;
Think what, and be advis'd; you are but young Paying homage to your queen!” [The Lady attempts to rise.
yet; Nay, lady, sit ; if I but wave this wand,
This will inform you soon. One sip of this Your nerves are all bound up in alabaster,
| Will bathe the drooping spirits in delight, And you a statue.
Beyond the bliss of dreams. Be wise, and taste. Lady. Fool, do not hoast;
[The Brothers rush in with their swords Thou canst not touch the freedom of my mind
drawn, wrest the glass out of his hand, With all thy charms, altho' this corp'ral rind
and break it against the ground; He Thou hast" immanacled, while heaven sees
and his rout are all driven out. good. Comus. Why are you vex'd, Lady? why do
Enter the Spirit. you frown? Here dwell no frowns nor anger; from these Spi. What, have you let the false Enchanter gates
'scape? Sorrow flies far. See, here be all the pleasures 10, ye mistook! you should have snatch'd bis That fancy can beget on youthful thoughts :
wand, And first behoid this cordial julap here, | And bound him fast; without his rod revers'd, That flames and dances in his crystal bounds! We can not free the lady, that sits here Lady. Know, base deluder, that I will not In stony fetters fix'd, and motionless. taste it.
Yet stay, be not disturb’d; now I bethink me, Keep thy detested gifts for such as thesc. There is a gentle nymph not far from hence
[Points to his crew. Sabrina is her name, a virgin pure, Comus. Why should you be so cruel to your. That sways the Severn stream: she can unlock
| The claspiny charın, and thaw the numbing And to those dainty limbs, which pature lent For gentle usage and soft delicacy;
If she be right invok'd in warbled song. That have been tir'd all day without repast,
“ Haste, Lucidas, and try the tuneful strain And timely rest have wanted? But, fair virgin, This will restore all soon.
[To the Second Spirit. “ Lady. "Twill not, false traitor!
Which from her bed the fair Sabrina calls." 'Twill not restore the truth and honesty
Sabrina fair, That thou hast hapish'd from thy tongue with “ Listen where thou art sitting lies.
| Under the glassy, cool, translucent wave, Was this the cottage, and the safe abode
In twisted braids of lilies knitting, Thou to!d'st me of? Hence with thy brew'd The loose train of thy amber-dropping hair;" enchantments!
Come for dear honour's sake,