« PreviousContinue »
“ And, as the old swain said,” she can unlock
Enter the Second Spirit.
Haste, Lycidas, and try thy tuneful strain,
SONG. By Second Spirit.
In twisted braids of lilies knitting
Listen for dear honour's sake,
Listen and save.
SABRINA rises and sings.
By the rushy-fringed bank,
My sliding chariot stays,
That in the channel strays;
“Whilst from off the waters fleet
I am here.
RECITATIVE. Second Spirit.
Of true virgin here distress’d,
[SABRINA descends, and the Lady rises out of her seat ;
the Brothers embrace her tenderly.
E.Bro. “I oft had heard, but ne'er believ'd till now, “ There are, who can by potent magic spells “ Bend to their crooked purpose nature's laws, “ Blot the fair moon from her resplendent orb, “ Bid whirling planets stop their destin'd course, 400 “ And thro’ the yawning earth from Stygian gloom 66 Call
meagre ghost to walks of light :
So, - -for some mysterious end !" Y. Bro. Why did I doubt? Why tempt the wrath
of heav'n To shed just vengeance on my weak distrust? “ Here spotless innocence has found relief, “ By means as wond'rous as her strange distress." E. Bro. The freedom of the mind, you see, no
charm, No spell can reach ; that righteous Jove forbids, Lest man should call his frail divinity 'The slave of evil, or the sport of chance. Inform us, Thyrsis, if for this thine aid, We aught can pay that equals thy desert.
First Spirit discovering himself. Pay it to Heaven! There my mansion is : “ But when a mortal, favour'd of high Jove, “ Chances to pass thro' yon advent'rous glade, “ Swift as the sparkle of a glancing star
“ I shoot from heav'n to give him safe convoy." That lent you grace to escape this cursed place; To heaven, that here has try'd your youth,
420 Your faith, your patience, and your truth, And sent you thro’ these hard essays With a crown of deathless praise, [Then the two first Spirits advance and speak alternately the following lines, which Milton calls epiloguizing.
To the ocean now I fly,
earth's end, Where the bow'd welkin slow doth bend ;
And from thence can soar as soon
Chorus. Taught by virtue, you may