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And harshly deal like an ill borrower,
It withers on the stalk with languish'd head.
In courts, at feasts, and high solemnities,
It is for homely features to keep home,
The sampler, and to tease the huswife's wool.
'Twill not, false traitor ! 690 What need a vermeil-tinctur'd lip for that, Twill not restore the truth and bonesty,
Love-darting eyes, or tresses like the Morn?
Would think to charm my judgment, as mine
And holy dictate of spare Temperance: Com. O foolishness of men ! that lend their ears If every just man, that now pines with want, To those budge doctors of the Stoic fur,
Had but a moderate and beseeming share And fetch their precepts from the Cynic tub, Of that which lewdly-pamper'd Luxury
770 Praising the lean and sallow Abstinence.
Now heaps upon some few with vast excess, Wherefore did Nature pour her bounties forth 710 Nature's full blessings would be well dispens'd With such a full and unwithdrawing hand, In unsuperfluous even proportion, Covering the Earth with odours, fruits, and focks, And she no wit encumber'd with her store; Thronging the seas with spawn innumerable, And then the Giver would be better thank'd, But all to please and sate the curious taste? His praise due paid : for swinish Gluttony And set to work millions of spinning worms, Ne'er looks to Heaven amidst his gorgeous feast, That in their green shops weave the smooth-haird But with besotted base ingratitude
Crams, and blasphemes his feeder. Shall I go on? To deck her sons ; and that no corner might Or have I said enough? To him that dares . 780 Be vacant of her plenty, in her own loins Arm his profane tongue with contemptuous words She hutch'd the all-worshipt ore, and precious Against the sun-clad power of Chastity, gems,
Fain would I something say, yet to what end? To store her children with : if all the world 720 Thou hast nor ear, nor soul, to apprehend Should in a pet of temperance feed on pulse, The sublime notion, and high mystery, Drink the clear stream, and nothing wear but That must be utter'd to unfold the sage frieze,
(prais'd, And serious doctrine of Virginity; The All-giver would be unthank'd, would be un. And thou art worthy that thou should'st not know Not balf his riches known, and yet despis'd; More happiness than this thy present lot. And we should serve him as a grudging master, Enjoy your dear wit, and gay rhetoric, 790 As a penarious niggard of his wealth;
That hath so well been taught her dazzling fence; And live like Nature's bastards, not her sons, Thou art not fit to hear thyself convinc'd: Who would be quite surcharg'd with her own Yet, should I try, the uncontrolled worth weight,
Of this pure cause would kindle my rapt spirits And strangled with her waste fertility;
To such a flame of sacred vehemence, The Earth cumber'd, and the wing'd' air dark's That dumb things would be mov'd to sympathize, with plumes,
730 And the brute Earth would lend her nerves, and The herds would over-multitude their lords,
shake, The sea o'er fraught would swell, and the unsought Till all thy magic structures, reard so high, diamonds
Were shatter'd into heaps o'er thy false head. Would so imblaze the forehead of the deep, Com. She fables not; I feel that I do fear. 800 And so bestud with stars, that they below Her words set off by some superior power; Would grow inur'd to light, and come at last And though not mortal, yet a cold shuddering To gaze upon the Sun with shameless brows.
dew List, lady: be not coy, and be not cosen'd Dips me all o'er, as when the wrath of Jove With that same vaunted name, Virginity. Speaks thunder, and the chains of Erebus, Beauty is Nature's coin, must not be hoarded, To some of Saturn's crew. I must dissemble, But must be current; and the good thereof 740 And try her yet more strongly.--Come, no more; Consists in mutual and partaken bliss,
This is mere inoral babble, and direct Unsavoury in the enjoyment of itself;
Against the canon-laws of our foundation; If you let slip time, like a neglected rose I must not suffer this: yet ’ris but the less
And settlings of a melancholy blood : 810 Listen, and appear to us,
By hoary Nereus' wrinkled look,
glass out of his hand, and breah it against the By scaly Triton's winding shell,
And her son that rules the strands,
By Thetis tinsel-slipper'd feet,
Sleeking her soft alluring locks;
From thy coral-paven bed,
There is a gentle nymph not far from hence, Till thou our summons answer'd bare,
Listen, and save. stream, Sabrina is her name, a virgin pure; Whilom she was the daughter of Locrine,
SABRINA rises, attended by water-nymphs, and 'That had the sceptre from his father brute.
sings. She, guiltless damsel, flying the mad pursuit Of her enraged stepdame Guendolen, 830
By the rushy-fringed' bank, Commended her fair innocence to the flood,
Where grows the willow, and the ozier dank, That staid her fight with his cross-flowing Thick set with agate, and the azurn'sheen
My sliding chariot stays, course.
Of turkis blue, and emerald green,
That in the channel strays;
Whilst from off the waters feet
Thus I set my printless feet
O'er the cowslip's velvet head,
That bends not as I tread; And through the porch and inlet of each sense
Gentle swain, at thy request, Dropt in ambrosial oils, till she reviv'd, 840
I am here. And underwent a quick immortal change,
Sp. Goddess dear, Made goddess of the river : still she retains
We implore thy powerful hand Her maiden-gentleness, and oft at eve
To undo the charmed band Visits the herds along the twilight meadows,
Of true virgin here distrest,
Through the force, and through the wile,
Sabr. Shepherd, 'tis my office best
To help ensnared chastity:
Brightest lady, look on me;
910 And throw sweet garland-wreaths into her stream Thus I sprinkle on thy breast Of pansies, pinks, and gaudy daffodils. 851
Drops, that from my fountain pure"
I have kept, of precious cure;
Thrice upon thy rabied lip:
Next this marble venom'd'scat,
Smear'd with gums of glutinous heat,
I touch with chaste palms moist and cold :In hard-besetting need; this will I try,
Now the spell hath lost his hold; And add the power of some adjuring verse.
And I must haste, ere morning hour,
To wait in Amphitrite's bower.
Sabrina descends, and the Lady rises out of her Sabrina fair,
seal. Listen where thou art sitting
860 Under the glassy, cool, translucent wave, Sp. Virgid, daughter of Loerine In twisted braids of lilies knitting
Sprung of old Anchises' line, The loose train of thy amber-dropping hair; May thy brimmed waves for this Listen for dear honour's sake,
Their fail tribute never miss
From a thousand pretty rills
That tumble down the snowy hills:
Summer drought, or singed air,
There I suck the liquid air
980 Never scorch thy tresses fair,
All amidst the gardens fair Nor wet October's torrent flood
930 Of Hesperus, and his daughters three Thy molten crystal fill with mud ;
That sing about the golden tree: . May thy billows roll ashore
Along the crisped shades and bowers The beryl and the golden ore;
Revels the spruce and jocund Spring ; May thy lofty head be crown'd
The Graces, and the rosy-bosom'd Hours, With many a tower and terrace round,
Thither all their bounties bring ; And bere and there thy banks upon
There eternal Summer dwells, With groves of myrrh and cinnamon.
And west-winds, with musky wing,
990 Come, lady, while Heaven lends us grace, About the cedar'd alleys fling Let us fly this cursed place,
Nard and cassia's balmy smells. Lest the sorcerer us entice
940 | Iris there with humid bow With some other new device.
Waters the odorous banks, that blow Not a waste or needless sound,
Flowers of more mingled hew Till we come to holier ground;
Than her purfled scarf can show ; I shall be your faithful guide
And drenches with Elysian dew Through this gloomy covert wide,
(List, mortals, if your ears be true) And not many furlongs thence
Beds of hyacinth and roses, Is your father's residence,
Where young Adonis oft reposes, Where this night are met in state
Waxing well of his deep woiind
1000 Many a friend to gratulate
In slumber soft, and on the ground His wish'd presence; and beside
Sadly sits the Assyrian queen: All the swains, that there abide,
But far above in spangled sheen With jigs and rural dance resort ;
Celestial Cupid, her fam'd sun, advanc'd, We shall catch them at their sport,
Holds his dear Psyche sweet entranc'd. And our sudden coming there
After her wandering labours long, Will double all their mirth and cheer:
Till free consent the Gods among
Make her his eternal bride,
Two blissful twins are to be born,
Youth and Joy : so Jove hath sworn. The Scene changes, presenting Ludlow lown and
But now my task is smoothly done, the president's castle ; then come in country
I can fiy, or I can run, dancers, after then the Attendant Spirit, with
Quickly to the green earth's end, the two Brothers and the Lady.
Where the bow'd welkin slow doth bend ;
Mortals that would follow me,
Love Virtue; she alone is free : Sp. Back, shepherds, back ; enough your play,
She can teach ye how to climb
1029 Till next sun-shine holiday :
Higher than the sphery chime; Here be, without dock or nod,
Or if Virtue feeble were,
Heaven itself would stoop to her.
Original Various Readings of Comus,
Prom Milton's MS, in his own hand. Noble lord, and lady bright, I have brought ye new delight;
Stage-DIRECTIONS. “A guardian spirit or Here behold so goodly grown
dæmon" (enters.] After v. 4, “ In regions mild, Three fair branches of your own;
&c." These lines are inserted, but crossed. Heaven bath timely tried their youth, Their faith, their patience, and their truth, Amidst th’ Hesperien gardens, on whose banks And sent them here through hard assays
Bedew'd with nectar and celestiall songs, With a crown of deathless praise,
Eternall roses grow, and hyacinth, To triumph in victorious dance
And fruits of golden rind, on whose faire tree Q'er sensual Folly and Intemperance.
The scalie-harnest dragon ever keeps
His unenchanted eye; around the verge The dances [being] ended, the Spirit epiloguizes And sacred limits of this blissful isle,
The jealous ocean, that old river, windes Sto To the ocean now I dy,
His farre extended armes, till with steepe fall And those happy climes that lie
Halfe his wast food the wild Atlantique fills, Where day never shuts his eye,
And halfe the slow unfadum'd stygian poole. Up in the broad fields of the sky:
But soft, I was not sent to court your worder
With distant worlds, and strange removed | Ver. 145. Breake off, breake off, I hear the dif climes.
ferent pace Yet thence I come, and oft from thence behold.
Of some chaste footing neere about
this ground; In the third of the preceding lines, “ Eternal Some virgin sure benighted in these roses yeeld” had been also written, and then
woods, « bloome;" both which are crossed, and grow re
For so I can distinguish by myne arte mains. After stygian poole the following lines,
Run to your shrouds within these braks through which the pen is drawn, occur:
Our number may affright.
This disposition is redaced to the présent con-
And to my mother's charmes.-
My powder'd spells into the spungic air,
of power to cheat the eye with sleight
illusion, Ver. 14. That shews the palace of æternity.
And give it false præsentments, Ver. 18. But to my buisnesse now. Neptune
else the place.
And blind is written for sleight.
Ver. 175. When for their teeming flocks, and
garners full. bowre.
Ver. 176. - they adore the bounteous Pan. Ver. 58. Which therefore she brought up and Praise had been first written and crossed through; nam'd him Comus.
and adore written over it, but also crossed; and In the margin, whome.
a line drawn under to signify that the original Ver. 62. And in thick covert of black shade im- word should be restored. Mr. Whiter in his howr'd
learned Specimen of a Commentary on Shakespeare, Excels his mother at her potent art. first noticed this method of emendation, adopted Covert is written first, then shelter.
by the poet. See the Specimen, p. 132-134. Ver. 67. For most doe taste through weaké in- Ver. 181. In the blind alleys of this ercked temperate thirst.
wood. Ver. 2. All other parts remaining as before. Ver. 190. Rose from the hindmost wheeles of Ver. 90. Neerest and likeliest to give præsent
Phoebus' chaire. aide.
Ver. 193 They had eugag'd thire youthly steps Ver. 02. Of virgin steps. I must be viewlesse
To the soone-parting light, and envious Virgin is expunged for hatefull.
darkness STAGE-DIRECTION. " Goes out.-Comus enters
Had stolne them from me. with a charming rod and glasse of liquor, with Ver. 199. With everlasting oyle to give thire his rout all headed like some wild beasts; thire
light. garments, some like men's and some like women's. Ver. 208. And ayrie toungs that lure night-easThey come on in a wild and antic fashion. In
derers. trant Κωμάζοντές.»
Ver. 214. Thou flittering angel girt with golden Ver. 97. In the steepe Tartarian streame.
wings, Ver. 99. Shoots against the northern pole.
And thou unspotted forme of Chastity, Dusky is a marginal correction.
I see ye visibly, and while I see yjet, Ver. 108. And quick Law with her scrupulous
This duskye hollote is a paradise, head.
And heaven gates ore my head: now ! Ver. 114. Lead with swift round the months and
Ver. 219. Would send á glistering cherab, if Ver. 117. And on the yellow sands and shelves.
need were. Yellow is altered to tawny.
Ver; 229. Prompt me; and they perhaps are Ver. 122. Night has better sweets to prove.
not far hence.
Ver. 231. Within thy ayrie cell.
Cell is in the margin.
Ver. 243. And give resounding grace, is written · And throws a blot dre all the aire.
in the margin of the manuscript; and the for Ver. 134. Stay thy polisht ebon chaire mer part of the line, which regularly concluded
Wherein thou ridest with Hecaté, the song, -is blotted out with great care ; but
Before Comus speaks åt v. 244, is this STAGE
Ver. 254. Culling their powerfull herbs.
Ver. 257, Scylla would weepe, [tion
She might be free from perill where she is, Chiding her barking waves into atten
But where an equal poise of hope and It was at first And chide.
fear. Ver. 268. Liv'st here with Pan and Sylvan. For encounter he had first written passado, and Ver. 270. To touch the prospering growth of this hopes and fears ; and Beshrew me but I would, intall wood.
stead of I could be willing. Ver. 279. Could that divide you from thire Ver. 415. As you imagin, brother : she has a ushering hands.
hidden strength. Ver. 280. They left me wearied on a grassie Ver. 421. She that has that, is clad in compleate turf.
steele: Ver. 304. To help you find them out.
And may on every needful accident, Ver, 310. Without sure steerage of well prac
Be it not don in pride or wilfull tempting, tiz'd feet.
Walk through huge forests and unVer. 312. Dingle or bushie dell of this wide
harbour'd heaths, wood.
Infamous bills, and sandie perilous In a different hand “ wild wood.”
[Chastitie, Ver. 316. Within these shroudie limits.
Where, through the sacred awe of Ver. 321. Till further quest be made.
No savagę fierce, bandite, or mounVer. 323. And smoakie rafters.
taneere, Ver. 326. And is pretended yet.
Shall dare to soile her virgin puritie. Ver. 327. Less warranted than this I cannot be. Ver. 428. Yea, even where very desolation Ver. 329. - Square this tryal.
[horrid shades; After v. 330, STAGE-DIRECTION. “Exeunt.
By grots and caverns shagg'd with The two Brothers enter."
And yawning dens, where glaring monVer. 340. With a long-levell’d rule of streaming
sters house, light.
She may pass on, &c. Ver. 349. In this sad dungeon of innumerous The line And yawning, &c. is crossed, and thereboughs,
fore omitted, I suppose, in the printed copies. But first lone, then sad, and lastly close.
Ver. 432. Nay more, no evill thing, &c. Ver. 352. From the chill dew, in this dead soli- Ver. 433. In fog, or fire, by lake, or moorie fen, tude?
Blue wrinkled hag, or stubborne unPerhaps some cold banke is her boul
Then, unvanquish'd, then, unconquer'd.
at our unkindnesse:
forsaken Proserpine, Ver. 454. That when it finds a soul sincerely so. When the big rowling flakes of pitchie Ver. 465. And most by the lascivious act of sin. And darknesse wound her in. (clouds Ver. 471. Oft seene in charnel vaults, and mo1 Br. Peace, brother, peace, I do not
numents, think my sister, &c.
Hovering, and sitting by a newe-made Dead solitude is also surrounding wild. Some of
grare. the additional lines (v. 350—366.) are on a sepa- Ver. 481. List, list, methought I heard. räte slip of paper.
Ver. 485. Some curld man of the sword calling to Ver. 361. Which, grant they be so, &c.
his fellows. Ver. 362. The date of grief.
Hedger is also written over curl'd man of the Ver. 365. This self-delusion.
sword. Ver. 371. Could stirre the stable mood of her Ver. 490. Had best looke to his forehead : here calme thoughts.
be brambles. Ver. 376. Oft seeks to solitarie sweet retire. STAGE-DIRECTION. “ He hallous: the guardian Ver. 383. Walks in black vapours, though the damon hallows again, and enters in the habit of a noon-tide brand
shepherd.” Blaze in the summer solstice. Ver. 491. Come not too neere; you fall on Ver. 388. -of men or heards.
pointed stakes else. Ver. 390. Por who would rob a hermit of his Ver. 192. Dam. What voice, &c. beads,
Ver. 496. And sweetend every musk-rose of the His books, or his haire gowne, or ma.
Ver. 497. How cam'st thou heere good shepVer. 400. Bid me think.
Then, “his fold;" Then“ the fold."
(darke, to trie Ver. 513. I'll tell you.
[c-rcuit, It had been first written, Enur'd; and lastly That lurks by hedge or lane of this dead Deep skill'd. To have her by my side, though I were Ver: 531. Tending my flocks hard by i' th' pas