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In wanton dance they praise the bounteous Pan, And thank the gods amiss. I should be loth To meet the rudeness and swill'd insolence Of such late wassailers; yet O! where else Shall I inform my unacquainted feet, In the blind mazes of this tangled wood ? My brothers, when they saw me wearied out With this long way, resolving here to lodge, Under the spreading favour of these pines, Stept, as they said, to the next thicket side, To bring me berries, or such cooling fruit As the kind hospitable woods provide. They left me then, when the gray-hooded even, Like a sad votarist in palmer's weed, Rose from the hindmost wheels of Phæbus' wain: But where they are, and why they came not back, Is now the labour of my thoughts; 'tis likeliest They had engag’d their wandering steps too far ; And envious darkness, ere they could return, Had stole them from me: else, O thievish night, Why should'st thou, but for some felonious end, In thy dark lantern thus close up the stars, That nature hung in heaven, and fill'd their lamps With everlasting oil, to give due light, To the misled and lonely traveller? This is the place, as well as I may guess, Whence even now the tumult of loud mirth Was rife, and perfect in my listening ear; Yet nought but single darkness do I find. What might this be? A thousand fantasies Begin to throng into my memory, Of calling shapes, and beckoning shadows dire, And aery tongues, that syllable men's names On sands, and shores, and desert wildernesses. These thoughts may startle well, but not astound, The virtuous mind, that ever walks attended By a strong siding champion, Conscience. O welcome, pure ey'd Faith, white handed Hope, Thou hovering angel, girt with golden wings, And thou, unblemish'd form of Chastity! I see ye visibly, and now believe That He, the Supreme Good, to whom all things ill Are but as slavish officers of vengeance, Would send a glistering guardian, if need were, To kept my life and honor unassail'd. Was I deceiv'd, or did a sable cloud Turn forth her silver lining on the night? I did not err: there does a sable cloud Turn forth her silver lining on the night, And casts a gleam over this tufted grove.
I cannot hallo to my brothers, but
Sweet Echo, sweetest nynıph, that liv’st, unseen,
Within thy aery shell,
By slow Meander's margent green, And in the violet-embroider'd vale,
Where the love-lorn nightingale Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well ; Canst thou not tell me of a gentle pair,
That likesi thy Narcissus are ?
0, if thou have
Tell me but where,
So may'st thou be translated to the skies,
Enter ComuS. Comus. Can any mortal mixture of earth's mould Breathe such divine, enchanting ravishinent ? Sure something holy lodges in that breast, And with these raptures moves the vocal air To testify his hidden residence. How sweetly did they float upon the wings Of silence, through the empty-vaulted night, At every fall smoothing the raven-down Of darkness, till it smil'd! I have oft heard My mother Circé, with the Syrens three, Amidst the flowery-kirtled Naiades, Culling their potent herbs and baleful drugs; Who, as they sung, would take the prison'd soul, And lap it in Elysium: Scylla wept, And chid her barking waves into attention, And fell Charybdis murmur'd soft applause : Yet they in pleasing slumber lull’d the sense, And in sweet madness robb’d it of itself: But such a sacred and home-felt delight, Such sober certainty of waking bliss, I neve heard till now. I'll speak to her, And she shall be my queen. Hail, foreign wonder! Whom certain these rough shades did never breed, Unless the goddess that, in rural shrine, Dwell'st here with Pan, or Sylvan; by bless'd song Forbidding every bleak, unkindly fog To touch the prosperous growth of this tall wood.
Lad. Nay, gentle shepherd, ill is lost that praise, That is address’d to unattending ears ;
Not any boast of skill, but extreme shift
Com. What chance, good Lady, hath bereft you thus?
Com. Two such I saw, what time the labour'd ox
Lad. Gentle villager,
Com. Due west it rises from this shrubby point.
Lad. To find out that, good shepherd, I suppose,
Com. I know each lane, and every alley green,
Lad. Shepherd I take thy word, And trust thy honest offer'd courtesy, Which oft is sooner found in lowly shed, With smoky rafters, than in tap’stry halls In courts of princes, where it first was nam’d, And yet is most pretended : in a place Less warranted than this, or less secure, I cannot be, that I should fear to change it.Eye me, bless'd Providence, and square my trial To my proportion'd strength.-Shepherd, lead on.
Right against the castern gate, Where the great sun begins his state, Robed in flames, and amber light, The clouds in thousand liveries dighi; While the ploughman, near at hand,. Whistles o'er the furrow'd land, And the milk-maid singeth blithe, And the mower whets his scythe, And every shepherd tells his tale, Under the hawthorn in the dale. Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures Whilst the landscape round it measures ; Russet lawns, and fallows gray, Where the nibbling flocks do stray, Mountains, on whose barren breast The laboring clouds do often rest ; Meadows trim, with daisies pied, Shallow brooks, and rivers wide: Towers and battlements it sees, Bosom’d high in tufted trees, Where, perhaps, some beauty lies, The cynosure of neighboring eyes. Hard by, a cottage-chimney smokes, From betwixt two aged oaks, Where Corydon and Thyrsis, met, Are at their savoury dinner set, Of herbs, and other country messes, Which the neat-handed Phillis dresses; And then in haste her bower she leaves, With Thestylis to bind the sheaves; Or, if the earlier season lead, To the tan'd haycock in the mead.
Sometimes, with secure delight,