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Yet, when he walks his tempting rounds, the sorcerer

By magic pow'r their human face restores, “ And outward beauty to delude the sight.

S.Spi.“ Lose they the mem'ry of their former state?

F. Spi. “No, they (so perfect is their misery) “ Not once perceive their foul disfigurement, “ But boast themselves more comely than before ; « And all their friends and native home forget, << To roll with pleasure in a sensual sty.

S.Spi. “Degrading fall ! from such a dire distress “What pain too great our mortal charge to save ?

F. Spi. For this, when any favour'd of high Jove « Chances to pass thro' this advent'rous glade,

Swift as the sparkle of a glancing star de I shoot from heaven to give him safe convoy, - As now I do; and opportune thou con'st « To share an office which thy nature loves. * This be our task ; but first I must put off ". These my sky robes spun out of Iris' woof, 6. And take the weeds and likeness of a swain i That to the service of this house belongs, 6. Who with his soft pipe and smooth-ditty'd song ** Well knows to still the wild winds when they roar; And hush the waving woods; nor of less faith, " And in this office of his mountain watch “ Likeliest and nearest to the present aid

Of this occasion. Veil'd in such disguise “ Be it my care the sever'd youths to guide " To their distress’d and lonely sister; thine 130 « To cheer hier footsteps thro' the magic wood.

I 20

“ Whatever blessed spirit hovers near,
“ On errands bent to wand'ring mortal good,
“ If need require him summon to thy side ;
“ Unseen of mortal eye such thoughts inspire,
“ Such heaven-born confidence, as need demands
“ In hour of trial.

“ Swift as winged winds “ To my glad charge I fly.

[Exit. F. Spi. “ ----I'll wait awhile

140 “ To watch the sorcerer, for I hear the tread “ Of hateful steps : I must be viewless now.”

S. Spi.

Comus enters with a charming rod in one hand, his

glass in the other, with bim a rout of Men and Women dressed as Bacchanals; they come in making a riotous and unruly noise, with torches in their hands.

Comus speaks.] The star that bids the shepherd fold Now the top of heav'n doth hold, And the gilded car of day His glowing axle doth allay In the steep Atlantic stream ; And the slope sun his upward beam Shoots against the dusky pole, Pacing tow'rd the other gaol

150 Of his chamber in the east; Mean-while welcome joy and feast.

SONG,

Now Phæbus sinketh in the west,
Welcome song and welcome jest.

Midnight shout and revelry,
Tipsy dance and jollity:
Braid your locks with rosy twine,
Dropping odours, dropping wine.

Rigour now is gone to bed ;
And Advice with scrup’lous head,
Striet Age and sour Severity,
With their grave saws, in slumber lie.

160

We, that are of purer fire,
Imitate the starry choir,
Who, in their nightly watchful spheres,
Lead in swift round the months and years.
The sounds and seas, with all their finny drove,
Now to the moon in wav'ring morrice move,
And, on the tawny sands and shelves,
Trip the pert Fairies and the dapper Elves.

170

SONG. By a Womar.
By dimpled brook and fountain brim
The Wood-nymphs, deck'd with daisies trim,
Their merry wakes and pastimes keep;
What has night to do with sleep?

Night has better sweets to prove;
Venus now wakes and wakens Love :
Come; let us our rites begin ;

'Tis only day-light that makes sin.
Comus. Hail, goddess of nocturnal sport,
Dark-veil'd Cotytto! to whom the secret fiamė

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Of midnight torches burn. Mysterious dame!
That ne'er art callid but when the dragon-womb
Of Stygian darkness spits her thickest gloom,
And makes one blot of all the air,
Stay thy cloudy ebon chair,
Wherein thou rid'st with Hecat', and befriend
Us thy vow'd priests, till utmost end
Of all thy dues be done, and none left out;
Ere the blabbing eastern scout,
The nice Morn, on th’ Indian steep

190
From her cabin loop-hole peep,
And to the tell-tale Sun descry
Our conceal'd solemnity.

SONG. By COMUs and Woman.
From tyrant laws and customs free
We follow sweet variery ;
By turns we drink, and dance, and sing,
Love forever on the wing.

Why should niggård rules control
Transports of the jovial soul ?
No dull stinting hour we own;
Pleasure counts our time alane.

200

Comus. Come, knit hands and beat the ground In a light fantastic round.

A Dance.
Break off, break off ; I feel the diff'rent pace
Of some chaste footing near about this ground.

210

Run to your shrouds within these brakes and trees;
Our numbers inay 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

another Circe. Thus I hurl
My dazzling spells into the spungy air,
Of pow'r to cheat the eye with blear illusion,
And give it false presentments, lest the place
And my quaint habits breed astonishment,
And pnt the damsel to suspicious flight ;
Which inust 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 inagic 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 bus’ness here.

220

Enter the Lady.

Lady. This way the noise was, if mine ear be true, My best guide now: methought it was the sound 230 Of riot and ill-manag'd merriment; “ Such as the jocund Alute or gamesome pipe “Stirs up among the loose unletter'd hinds,

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