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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.
“ Whatever blessed spirit hovers near,
“ 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.”
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.
Now Phæbus sinketh in the west,
Midnight shout and revelry,
Rigour now is gone to bed ;
We, that are of purer fire,
SONG. By a Womar.
Night has better sweets to prove;
'Tis only day-light that makes sin.
Of midnight torches burn. Mysterious dame!
SONG. By COMUs and Woman.
Why should niggård rules control
Comus. Come, knit hands and beat the ground In a light fantastic round.
Run to your shrouds within these brakes and trees;
another Circe. Thus I hurl
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,