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And a perpetual feast of nectar'd sweets,
480 Some far off hallow break the silent air.
2 Bro. Methought so too ; what should it be ?
I Bro. For certain
485 2 Bro. Heav'n keep my Sister! Again, again, and Best draw, and stand upon our guard.
[near; i Bro. I'll hallow; If he be friendly, he comes well; if not, Defense is a good cause, and Heav'n be for us.
The attendent Spirit, habited like a shepherd.
That hallow I should know, what are you ? speak; 490
again. 2 Bro. O brother, 'tis my father's shepherd, sure. 1 Bro. Thyrsis ? whose artful strains have oft de
lay'd The huddling brook to hear his niadrigal, 495 And sweeten'd every mulkrose of the dale. How cam'st thou here, good Swain ? hath Slipt from the fold, or young kid loft his dam, Or straggling wether the pent flock forsook ? How could'st thou find this dark sequester'd nook ? 500 Spi. O my lov'd master's heir, and his next joy, I came not here on such a trivial toy As a stray'd ewe, or to pursue the stealth Of pilfering wolf; not all the fleecy wealth That doth enrich these downs, is worth a thought 505 To this my errand, and the care it brought. But, O my virgin Lady, where is he? How chance she is not in your company ?
1 Bro. To tell thee fadly, Shepherd, without blame, Or our neglect, we lost her as we came.
510 Spi. Ay me unhappy! then my fears are true.
Bro. What fears, good Thyrfis ? Pr’ythee briefly Spi. I'll tell you ; 'tis not vain or fabulous, [shew. (Though so esteem'd by shallow ignorance) What the sage poets, taught by th' heav'nly Mufe, 515 Story'd of old in high immortal verse, Of dire chimera's and inchanted iles, And rifted rocks whose entrance leads to Hell; For such there be, but unbelief is blind. Within the navel of this hideous wood,
520 Immur'd in cypress shades, a sorcerer dwells, Of Bacchus and of Circe born, great Comus, Deep skill'd in all his mother's witcheries, And here to every thirsty wanderer By lly enticement gives his baneful cup,
525 With many murmurs mix’d, whose pleasing poison The visage quite transforms of him that drinks, And the inglorious likeness of a beast Fixes instead, unmolding reason's mintage Charácter'd in the face ; this have I learnt 530
Tending my Accks hard by i'th' hilly crofts,
540 Had ta’en their supper on the favory herb Of knot-grafs dew-beferent, and were in fold, I sat me down to watch upon a bank With ivy canopied, and interwove With flaunting honey-suckle, and began,
545 Wrapt in a pleasing fit of melancholy, To meditate my rural minstrelsy, Till fancy had her fill, but ere a close The wonted roar was up amidst the woods, And fill'd the air with barbarous dissonance ; 550 At which I ceas'd, and listen'd them a while, Till an unusual stop of sudden filence Gave respit to the drousy-fighted steeds, That draw the litter of close-curtain'd sleep; At last a soft and folemn breathing found
555 Rofe like a steam of rich distill’d perfumes, And stole upon the air, that even Silence Was took ere she was ware, and wish'd she might Deny her nature, and be never more, Still to be fo displac’d. I was all ear,
And took in strains that might create a soul
2 Bro. O night and shades,
i Bro. Yes, and keep it still, Lean on it safely ; not a period
585 Shall be unsaid for me : against the threats Of malice or of sorcery, or that power Which erring men call Chance, this I hold firm,
Virtue may be assail'd, but never hurt,
most glory :
SPI. Alas! good ventrous Youth,
1 Bro. Why pr’ythee, Shepherd,