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Which once of Melibæus old I learnt,
The soothest shepherd that e'er piped on plains.

There is a gentle nymph not far from hence,
That with moist curb sways the smooth Severn stream,
Sabrina is her name, a virgin pure;
Whilome she was the daughter of Locrine,
That had the sceptre from his father Brute.
She, guiltless damsel, flying the mad pursuit
Of her enragéd stepdame Guendolen,
Commended her fair innocence to the flood,
That stay'd her flight with his cross-flowing course.
The water-nymphs that in the bottom play'd,
Held up their pearléd wrists and took her in,
Bearing her straight to aged Nereus' hall,
Who piteous of her woes rear'd her lank head,
And gave her to his daughters to imbathe
In nectar'd lavers strew'd with asphodel,
And through the porch and inlet of each sense
Dropt in ambrosial oils till she revived,
And underwent a quick immortal change,
Made goddess of the river; still she retains
Her maiden gentleness, and oft at eve
Visits the herds along the twilight meadows,
Helping all urchin blasts, and ill-luck signs
That the shrewd meddling elf delights to make,
Which she with precious vial'd liquors heals:
For which the shepherds at their festivals
Carol her goodness loud in rustic lays,
And throw sweet garland wreaths into her stream
Of pansies, pinks, and gaudy daffodils.
And, as the old swain said, she can unlock
The clasping charm, and thaw the numbing spell,
If she be right invoked in warbled song;
For maidenhood she loves, and will be swift
To aid a virgin, such as was herself,
In hard-besetting need: this will I try,
And add the power of some adjuring verse.

Song.
Sabrina fair,

Listen where thou art sitting
Under the glassy, cool, translucent wave,

twisted braid of lilies knitting

The loose train of thy amber-dropping hair;

Listen for dear honor's sake,
Goddess of the silver lake,

Listen, and save.
Listen, and appear to us
In name of great Oceanus,
By the earth-shaking Neptune's mace,
And Tethys' grave majestic pace,
By hoary Nereus' wrinkled look,
And the Carpathian wizard's look,
By scaly Triton's winding shell,
And old soothsaying Glaucus' spell,
By Leucothea's lovely hands,
And her son that rules the strands,
By Thetis' tinsel-slipper'd feet,
And the songs of Sirens sweet,
By dear Parthenope's dear tomb,
And fair Ligea's golden comb,
Wherewith she sits on diamond rocks,
Sleeking her soft alluring locks,
By all the nymphs that nightly dance
Upon thy streams with wily glance,
Rise, rise, and heave thy rosy head
From thy coral-paven bed,
And bridle in thy headlong wave,
Till thou our summons answer'd have.

Listen, and save.

[Sabrina rises, attended by water-nymphs, and sings.]

SABRINA.

By the rushy fringéd bank,
Where grows the willow and the osier dank,

My sliding chariot stays,
Thick set with agate, and the azure sheen
Of turquoise blue, and emerald green,

That in the channel strays;
Whilst from off the waters fleet
Thus I set my printless feet
O'er the cowslip's velvet head,

That bends not as I tread; Gentle swain, at thy request

I am here.

SPIRIT.

Goddess dear, We implore thy powerful hand To undo the charmed band Of true virgin here distress'd, Through the force, and through the wile, Of unbless'd enchanter vile.

SABRINA.

Shepherd, 'tis my office best To help ensnaréd chastity : Brightest lady, look on me; Thus I sprinkle on thy breast Drops that from my fountain pure I have kept of precious cure; Thrice upon thy finger's tip, Thrice upon thy rubied lip; Next this marbled venom’d seat, Smear'd with gums of glutinous heat, I touch with chaste palms moist and cold: Now the spell hath lost his hold; And I must haste ere morning hour To wait in Amphitrite's bower.

[Sabrina descends, and the LADY rises out of her seat. I

SPIRIT.

· Virgin, daughter of Locrine,
Sprung of old Anchises' line,
May thy brimméd waves for this
Their full tribute never miss
From a thousand petty rills,
That tumble down the

snowy

hills :
Summer drouth, or singéd air
Never scorch thy tresses fair,
Nor wet October's torrent flood
Thy molten crystal fill with mud;
May thy billows roll ashore
The beryl, and the golden ore;
May thy lofty head be crown'd
With many tower and terrace round,
And here and there thy banks upon
With groves of myrrh, and cinnamon.

Come, lady, while Heaven lends us grace,
Let us fly this cursed place,
Lest the sorcerer us entice
With some other new device.
Not a waste or needless sound,
Till we come to holier ground;
I shall be your faithful guide
Through this gloomy covert wide,
And not many furlongs thence
Is your father's residence,
Where this night are met in state
Many a friend to gratulate
His wish'd presence, and, beside,
All the swains that near abide,
With jigs and rural dance resort;
We shall catch them at their sport,
And our sudden coming there
Will double all their mirth and cheer:
Come, let us haste, the stars grow high,
But night sits monarch yet in the mid sky.

[The scene changes, presenting Ludlow Town and the President's

Castle; then come in country dancers; after them the ATTENDANT SPIRIT, with the two BROTHERS and the LADY.]

Song.

SPIRIT.

Back, shepherds, back, enough your play,
Till next sunshine holiday;
Here be, without duck or nod,
Other trippings to be trod
Of lighter toes, and such court guise
As Mercury did first devise
With the mincing Dryades
On the lawns, and on the leas.

[This second song presents them to their Father and Mother.]
Noble lord, and lady bright,
I have brought ye new delight;
Here behold so goodly grown
Three branches of your own;

Heaven hath timely tried their youth,
Their faith, their patience, and their truth,
And sent them here through hard assays
With a crown of deathless praise,
To triumph in victorious dance
O’er sensual folly and intemperance.

[The dances ended, the Spirit epiloguises.] To the ocean now I fly, And those happy climes that lie Where day never shuts his eye, Up in the broad fields of the sky: There I suck the liquid air All amidst the gardens fair Of Hesperus, and his daughters three, That sing about the golden tree: Along the crispéd shades and bowers Revels the spruce and jocund Spring; The Graces, and the rosy-bosom'd Hours, Thither all their bounties bring; There eternal Summer dwells, And west winds with musky wing About the cedarn alleys fling Nard and cassia's balmy smells. Iris there with humid bow Waters the odorous banks, that blow Flowers of more mingled hue Than her purfled scarf can show, And drenches with Elysian dew (List, mortals, if your ears be true) Beds of hyacinth and roses, Where young Adonis oft reposes, Waxing well of his deep wound In slumber soft, and on the ground Sadly sits the Assyrian queen; But far above, in spangled sheen, Celestial Cupid, her famed son, advanced, Holds his dear Psyche sweet entranced, After her wandering labors long, Till free consent the gods among Make her his eternal bride, And from her fair unspotted side

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