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Comus. Can any mortal mixture of earth's mould Breathe such divine enchanting ravishment? 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 Circe 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 never 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 blest song
Forbidding every bleak unkindly, fog
couch. Comus. What chance, good Lady, hath bereft
thus ? Lady. Dim darkness, and his leafy labyrinth. Comus. Could that divide you from near usher
ing guides? Lady. They left me weary on a grassy turf. Comus. By falshood, or discourtesy, or why? Lady. To seek i' the valley some cool friendly
spring. Comus. And left your fair side all unguarded,
Lady? Lady. They were but twain, and purpos’d quick
return. Comus. Perhaps forestalling night prevented Lady. No less than if I should my Brothers lose. Comus. Were they of manly prime, or youthful
them. Lady. How easy my misfortune is to hit! Comus. Imports their loss, beside the present
bloom? Lady. As smooth as Hebe's their unrazor'd lips. Comus. Two such I saw, what time the la
bour'd ox In his loose traces from the furrow came, And the swink'd dedger at his supper sat ; I saw them under a green mantling vine, That crawls along the side of yon small hill, Plucking ripe clusters from the tender shoots ; Their port was more than human, as they stood : I took it for a faery vision Of some gay creatures of the element, That in the colours of the rainbow live, And play i’ the plighted clouds. I was aw-struck, And, as I past, I worshipt; if those you seek, It were a journey like the path of Heaven, To help you find them. Lady.
Gentle Villager, What readiest way would bring me to the place ?
Comus. Due west it rises from this shrubby point.
Lady. To find out that, good Shepherd, I suppose In such a scant allowance of star-light, Would overtask the best land pilot's art, Without the sure guess of well-practis'd feet.
Comus. I know each lane, and every alley green, Dingle, or bushy dell of this wild wood,
The express resemblance of the Gods, is chang'd
Comus enters with a charming-rod in one hand
his glass in the other; with him a rout of monsters, headed like sundry sorts of wild beasts, but otherwise like men and women, their apparel glistering ; they come in making a riotous and unruly noise, with torches in their hands.