A Maske

Represented before the right

hoble: the Earle of Bridgewater

Lord president of Wales and the

right hoble: the Conntesse of


At Ludlow Castle the

29th of September 1634

The chiefe persons in the reprsentacon were./

The Lord Brackley

The Lady Alice}


Mr Thomas}

Author Jo: Milton.

A Maske./

The first sceane discovers a wild wood, then a guardian spiritt

or demon descendes or enters./

From the heavens nowe I flye

and those happy Clymes that lye

Where daye never shutts his eye

up in the broad field of the skye./

There I suck the liquid ayre

all amidst the gardens fayre

of Hesperus and his daughters three

that singe about the goulden tree./

there eternall summer dwells

and west wyndes with muskye winge

about the Cederne allyes flinge

Nard and Casias balmie smells

Iris there with humid bowe

waters the odorous bankes that blowe

Flowers of more mingled hew

then her purfld scarfe can shew

yellow, watchett, greene & blew

and drenches oft wth Manna dew

Beds of Hyacinth and Roses

where many a Cherub soft reposes./

Before the starrie threshold of Ioves Courte

my Mansion is, where those immortall shapes

of bright

of bright aereall spiritts live inspheard

in regions mylde of Calme and Cerene ayre

above the smoake and stirr of this dim spott

wch men call earth, and wch low-thoughted Care

Confinde and pestered in this pinfold heere

strive to keepe vp a fraile & fevourish beeinge

vnmindfull of the Crowne that vertue gives

after this mortall change to her true servants

amongst the enthroned gods, on sainted seats

yet some there be that with due stepps aspire

to laye their Iust hands on that goulden keye

that opes the pallace of Æ:

To such my errand is, and but for such,

I would not soile theese pure ambrosiall weedes

wth the ranke vapours of this sin-worne moulde

but to my task; Neptune besides the swaye

of everie salte flood, and each ebbinge streame

tooke in by lott, twixt high and neather Iove

imperiall rule of all the Sea-girt Isles

that like to rich and various gems in laye

the vnadorned bosom of the deepe

wch he to grace his tributarie Gods

by cous Course committs to seurall goverment

and gives them leave to weare their saphire Crownes

and weild weild their little tridents; but this Isle


the greatest and the best of all the Maine

he quarters to his blew haired dieties,

and all this tract that fronts the fallinge sunn

a noble Peere of mickle trust and power

has in his Chardge, wth tempred awe to guyde

an ould and haughty nacion, proude in armes

where his faire ofspringe nurst in princely love

are cominge to attend their fathers state

and newe entrusted scepter, but their waye

lies through the perplext paths of this dreare wood,

the noddinge horror of whose shadie browes

threats the forlorne and wandringe passinger

and heere their tender age might suffer perill

but that by quick commaund from soveraigne Iove

I was dispatcht, for their defence and guard

and listen why, for I will tell you now

what never yet was heard in tale or songe

from old or moderne bard in hall or bowre

  Bacchus that first from out the purple grapes

crusht the sweete poyson of mis-vsed wyne

after the Tuscane manners transformed

coastinge the Tyrrhene shore, as the winds listed

on Circes Island fell (whoe knows not Circe

the daughter of the Sunn, whoes charmed Cup

whoe ever tasted lost his vpright shape


and downeward fell into a grovelinge Swyne.)

This nimphe that gazed vpon his clustringe locks

wth Ivye berries wreath'd, and his blith youth

had by him, ere he parted thence a sonne

much like his father, but his mother more,

wch therfore she brought vp and Comus nam'd,

whoe ripe and frolick of his full growne age,

roavinge the Celtick, and Iberian fields

at last betakes him to this ominous wood,

and in thick shelter of black shades imbowr'd,

excells his mother at her mightie arte,

offringe to everie weary travaller

his orient liquor in a Christall glasse

to quench the drouth of Phebus, wch as they taste

(for most doe taste through fond intemperate thirst)

soone as the potion workes their humane Countenance

th'expresse resemblance of the Gods, is chang'd

into some brutish forme of Wolfe, or Beare,

or ounce, or Tiger, Hogg, or bearded goate,

all other parts remayninge as they were

and they soe perfect is their miserie,

not once perceive their fowle disfigurement

but boast themselves more comly then before,

and all their freinds, and native home forgett

to rowle wth pleasure in a sensuall stie

Therefore when any favour'd of high Iove

chaunces to pass through this advent'rous glade,

swift as the sparcle of a glauncinge starre

I shoote from heaven, to give him salfe convoy

as nowe I doe: but first I must put off

these my skye webs, spun out of Iris wooffe,

and take the weeds, and likness of a Swayne

that to the service of this house belongs

whoe wth his softe pipe,and smooth dittied songe

well knows to still the wild winds when they roare,

and hush the wavinge woods, nor of less faith

and in this office of his mountaine watch

likeliest and neerest to the prsent ayde,

of this occasion, but I heare the tread

of hatefull stepps, I must be viewles nowe./


Comus enters wth a charminge rod in one hand & a

glass of liquor in the other wth him a route of

monsters like men & women but headed like wild beasts

their apperell glist'ringe, they come in makinge a riotous

and vnruely noise wth torches in their hands./

Co: The starr that bids the shepheard fold

now the top of Heaven doeth hold,

and the gilded Carr of daye

his glowinge axle doeth allaye

in the steepe Atlantique streame


and the slope sun his vpward beame

shoots against the Northerne Pole

pacinge toward the other goale

of his Chamber in the East

meane-while welcome, Ioye & feast,

midnight shoute, and revelry

tipsie daunce and Iollitie,

braide yor locks wth rosie twine

droppinge odours, droppinge wine

Rigor now is gone to bed,

and advice wth scrupulous head,

strict age, and sowre severitie

wth their grave sawes in slumber lye

Wee that are of purer fire

imitate the starrie quire

whoe in their nightly watchfull sphears

leade in swift round the months & years,

the sounds and seas with all their finnie drove

nowe to the moone in waveringe morrice move,

and on the tawny sands and shelves

trip the pert fairies, and the dapper Ealves

by dimpled brooke, and fountaine brim

the wood nimphs decte with daisies trim

their merry wakes & pastimes keepe

what hath night to doe with sleepe


Night hath better sweets to prove

Venus now wakes, and wakens love,

Come let vs or rights begyn

tis only day light that maks sin

wch these dun shades will neere report

haile goddess of nocturnall sport

darke-vayld Cotitto, whome the secret flame

of mid night torches burne misterious dame

that neere art call'd, but when the dragon woombe

of stigian darknes, spetts her thickest [] gloome,

and makes one blot of all the aire,

staye thy cloudie Ebon chaire

wherin thou rid'st with Hecatt' and befriend

vs thy vow'd preists till vtmost end

of all thy dues be done, & none left out

ere the blabbinge Easterne scoute

the nice morne on the Indian steepe

from her Cabin'd loopehole peepe,

and to the tell tale sun descrie

our Conceal'd solempnitie,

come knitt hands & beate the ground

in a light fantastick round./

The measure in a wild, rude, & wanton Antick./

Co: Breake of, breake of, I feele the different pace

of some chast footinge, neere about this ground


run to yor shrouds wthin these brakes & trees/

they all scatter

our number may affright; some virgin sure

(for soe I can distingwish by myne arte)

benighted sure in these woods, now to my Charms

and to my wilie traynes, I shall ere longe

be well stockt with as fayre a heard as graz'd

abouts my mother Circe, thus I hurle

my dazlinge spells into the spungie aire

of powre to cheate the eye with bleare illusion

and give it false presentments, least the place,

and my quainte habitts breede astonishment

and put the damsell to suspitious flight,

wch must not be, for thats against my course,

I vnder fayre prtence of freindly ends

and well plac't words of gloweinge Curtesie

bayted with reasons not vnplausible

winde me into the easie harted man,

and hug him into snares. when once her eye

hath met the vertue of this magick dust

I shall appere some harmles villager

whome thrifte keeps vp about his Countrie geare

but heere she comes, I fayrely step aside

and hearken if I may her businesse heere

The lady enters

La This waye the noise was, if my eare be true

my best guyde nowe, me thought it was the sound


of riott and ill-manag'd merriment

such as the iocund flute or gamesome pipe

stirrs vp amonge the rude loose vnlettered hindes

when for their teeminge flocks and granges full

in wanton daunce they praise the bounteus Pan,

and thanke the Gods amisse, I should be loath

to meete the rudenes, and swill'd insolence

of such late wassailers; yet o where els

shall I acqauinte informe my vnacquainted feete

in the blinde mazes of this tangled wood,

my brothers when they sawe me wearied out

with this longe waye, resolvinge heere to lodge

vnder the spreadinge favour of these pines,

stept as they s'ed, to the next thickett side

to bringe me berries, or such coolinge fruite

as the kynde hospitable woods provide

but where they are, and whye they come not back

is now the labour of my thoughts, tis likeliest

they had ingaged their wandringe stepps too farr

and envious darknesse ere they could retorne

had stolne them from me./

I cannot hallowe to my brothers, but

such noise as I can make to be heard fardest

I'le venture, for my new enliv'n'd speritts

prompt me, and they perhaps are not farr hence,

Songe /

Sweete Echo, sweetest nymphe that liv'st vnseene

     within thy ayrie shell

   by slow Meanders margent greene

and in the violett imbroderd vale

   where the love-torne nightingale

nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well,

Canst thou not tell me of a gentle payre

     that likest thy Narcissus are

      O if thou have

     hid them in some flowrie Cave

      tell me but where. /

Sweete Queene of parlie, daughter to the spheare

soe maystthou be translated to the skyes

And hould a Counterpointe to all heav'ns harmonies

Comus looks in & speakes

Co: Can any mortall mixture of Earths mould

breath such divine enchauntinge ravishment

sure somethinge holye lodges in that brest

and with these raptures moves the vocall ayre

to testifie his hidden residence

how sweetely did they floate vpon the wings

of silence, through the empty vaulted night,

at every fall smoothinge the raven downe


of darkness till she smil'd: I haue oft heard

my mother Circe with the Sirens three

amidst the flowrie-kyrtled Niades

cullinge their potent herbs and balefull druggs

whoe when they sung, would take the prisond soule

and lap it in Elisium, Scilla wept

and chid her barkinge waves into attention

and fell Caribdis murmurd soft applause

yet they in pleasinge slumber lulld the sence

and in sweete madnes rob'd it of it selfe,

but such a sacred and homefelt delight

such sober certentie of wakinge bliss

I never heard till now, Ile speake to her

and she shalbe my Qweene; Haile forreigne wonder

whome certaine these rough shades did never breede

vnless the goddess that in rurall shrine

dwel'st heere with Pan, or Silvan, by blest song

forbiddinge every bleake vnkindly fogg

to touch the prosperinge growth of this tall wood

La: Nay gentle Shepheard, ill is lost that praise

that is addrest to vnattendinge eares

not any boast of skill, but extreame shifte

how to regayne my severd Companye

Compeld me to awake the Curteus Echo

to give me answer from her massy Couch


Co: What Chaunce good lady hath bereft you thus?

La: dym darknesse and this leavye laborinth

Co: Could that devide you from neere vsheringe guydes?

La: they left me weary on a grassie terfe

Co: by falsehood, or discurtesie, or why?

La: to seeke in the valley some coole freindly springe

Co: and lefte yor fayer side, all vnguarded ladye?

La: they were but twaine & purposd quick returne,

Co: perhaps forestallinge night prvented them

La: how easie my misfortune is to hit!

Com: imports their losse, beside the prsent neede?

La: noe lesse then if I should my brothers loose

Co: were they of manly prime, or youthfull bloome?

La: as smooth as Hebes their vnrazor'd lipps.

Co: Two such I sawe, what tyme the labour'd oxe

in his loose traces from the furrowe came

and the swink't-hedger at his supper sate,

I sawe em vnder a greene mantlinge vyne

that crawles alonge the side of yon smale hill

pluckinge ripe clusters from the tender shoots,

their porte was more then humane as they stood,

I tooke it for a faerie vision

of some gaye creatures of the Element

that in the cooleness of the raynebow live

and playe i'th plighted clouds; I was awe-strooke

and as I past I worship't: if those you seeke

it were a Iorney like the path to heav'n


helpe you finde them; La: gentle villager

what readiest waye would bringe me to that place?

Co: due west it rises from this shrubbie pointe,

La: to finde out that good shepheard I suppose

in such a scant allowance of starr light

would overtaske the best land pilots arte

wthout the sure guesse of well-practiz'd feete;

Co: I knowe each lane, and every Alley greene,

dingle, or bushie dell, of this wide wood,

and everie boskie bourne from side to side

my daylie walks and antient neighbourhood

and if yor straye attendance, be yet lodg'd

or shroud wthin these lymitts, I shall know

ere morrowe wake, or the lowe rooster larke

from her thatcht palat rowse, if otherwise

I can conduct you ladie, to a lowe,

but loyall cottage, where you may be safe

till furder quest; La: Shepheard I take thy word

and trust thy honest offer'd Curtesie

wch ofte is sooner found in lowly sheds

with smoakie rafters, then in tap'strie halls

and Courts of princes, where it first was nam'd,

and yet is most prtended, in a place lesse w

lesse warranted then this, or lesse secure

I cannott be, that I should fear to change it

Eye me blest providence, and square my tryall

to my proportion'd streingth; shepheard leade on.


The two brothers

El: bro Vnmuffle yee fainte starrs, and thou faier moone

that wonst to love the travailers benizon

stoope thy pale visadge through an amber cloude

and disinherit Chaos, that raignes heere

in double night of darkness, and of shades

or if yor influence be quite damm'd vp

wth black vsurping mists, some gentle taper

though a rushe candle, from the wicker hole

of some claye habitacion visite vs

wth thy long levell'd rule of streaming light

and thou shalt be or star of Arcady

or Tirian Cynosure: 2 bro: or if or eyes

be barr'd that happines might we but heare

the folded flocks pen'd in their watled cotes

or sound of pastorall reede with oaten stopps

or whistle from the lodge, or village Cock

count the night watches to his featherie dames

t'would be some solace yet, some little cheeringe

in this lone dungeon of inumerous bows,

but O that haples virgin or lost sister

where may she wander nowe? whether betake her

from the chill dewe, amongst rude burrs & thistles

perhaps some could banke is her boulster nowe,

or gainst the rugged barke of some broade Elme

leanes her vnpillow'd head fraught wth sad feares

or els in wild amazement and affright,


soe fares as did forsaken Proserpine

when the bigg rowling flakes of pitchie clouds

and darkness wound her in: El bro: peace brother peace

I doe not thinke my sister soe to seeke

or soe vnprincipl'd in vertues booke,

and the sweete peace that goodness bosoms ever

as that the single want of light and noise

(not beinge in danger, as I hope she is not)

could stirr the constant mood of her calme thoughts

and put them into misbecoming plight

vertue could see to doe what vertue would

by her owne radiant light, though sun & moone

were in the flatt sea sunke, and wisdoms selfe

of seeks to sweete retired solitude

where, wth her best nurse contemplacion

she plumes her feathers, and letts grow her wings

that in the various bustle of resorte,

were all to ruffl'd and sometyms impayr'd

he that has light within his owne cleere brest

may sit i'th Center, and enioye bright daye

but he that hides a dark sowle, & foule thoughts

walks in black vapours, though the noone tyde brand

blaze in the summer solstice. 2 bro: tis most true

that musinge meditacion most affects

the pensive secrecie of desert Cell

farr from the cheerefull haunte of men or heards,


she might be free from perill where she is,

but where an equall poise of hope, & feare

does arbitrate th'event, my nature is

that I encline to hope, rather then feare,

and gladly banish squint suspition,

my sister is not soe defencelesse left

as you immagine brother, she has a hidden strength

wch you remember not, 2 bro: what hidden strength?

vnless the strength of heav'n, if you meane that?

El: bro I meane that too: but yet a hidden strength

wch if heaven gave it, may be tearm'd her owne,

tis Chastitie, my brother Chastitie

she that has that is clad in compleate steele,

and like a quiver'd nimphe with arrowes keene,

may trace huge forrests, and vnharbour'd heaths

infamous hills, and sandie perrilous wildes,

where through the sacred rayes of Chastitie

noe salvage, feirce, bandite, or mountaneere

will dare to soile her virgin puritie,

yea even where, very desolacion dwells

by grots, & caverns sh[ag] shag'd wth horrid shades

and yawninge denns, where glaringe monsters house

she may pass on wth vnblensh't maiestie

be it not done in pride or /in\ prsumption

naye more noe evill thing that walks by night

noe goblinge, or swarte fayrie of the mine

has hurtefull power ore true virginitie,

doe you beleeve me yet, or shall I call

antiquitie from the ould schooles of Greece

to testifie the armes of Chastitie,

hence had the huntress Dian her dread bow

faire silver shafter Qweene, for ever chast

wherewith she tam'd the brinded Lyonesse

and spotted mountaine Pard, but sett at nought

the frivolous bolt of Cupid, Gods and men

feard her sterne frowne, & she was Qweene o'th'woods

what was that snakie headed Gorgon sheild,

the wise Minerva wore, vnconquer'd virgin

wherewith she freezed her foes to congealed stone?

but rigid lookes of chast awsteritie

and noble grace that dasht brute violence

with sudden adoracon, and blanke awe

soe deere to heav'n is sainctly Chastitie

that when a sowle is found cinceerely soe

a thousand liveried Angells, lackey her

drivinge farr of, each thing of sin, & guilte

and in cleer dreame and solemne vision

tell of her of things that noe grosse eare can heare

till oft converse with hevenly habitants

begins to cast a beame on th'outward shape

the vnpolluted temple of the mynde

and turnes it by degrees to the souls essence

till all be made immortall, but when lust

by vnchast lookes, loose gesturs, and foule talke

and most by lewde and lascivious act of sin

letts in defilement to the inward partes,

the soule growes clotted by contagion,

imbodies, and imbruts till she quite loose

the divine propertie of her first beeinge,

such are those thick, & gloomie shadowes dampe

oft seene in Charnell vaults, and sepulchers,

hoveringe and sittinge by a new [] made grave

as loath to leave the bodye that it loved

< P>and linc'kt it selfe by carnall sensualitie

to a degenerate, and degraded state./

2 bro: How charminge is divine philosophie

not harshe and crabbed as dull fooles suppose

but musicall as is Appolloes lute

and perpetuall feast of Nectard sweets

where noe crude surfeit raignes, El: bro: list, list, I heare

some farr of hollowe breake the silent ayre

2 bro: me thought soe too what should it be, el: b: for certaine

either some one like vs night founderd heere

or els some neyghbour woodman, or at worst,


some roavinge robber, callinge to his fellowes;

2 bro heav'n keepe my sister: agen, agen, & neere

best drawe, & stand vpon or guard, el: bro: Ile hallowe

if he be freindly he comes well, if not

defence is a good Cause, and heav'n be for vs

he hallowes and is answered, the guardian dæmon

comes in habited like a shepheard./

El: bro: That hallowe I should knowe, what are you speake,

come not too neere, you fall on Iron stakes els

Dae: What voice is that? my young Lord? speak agen.

2 bro: O brother tis my fathers shepheard sure

el: b: Thirsis? whose art full streynes haue oft delayed

the hudlinge brooke to heere his madrigall

and sweetned every muskerose ofthe dale,

how camst heere good shepheard, hath any ram

slipt from the fould, or young kyd lost his dam

or straglinge weather the pent flock forsooke

how couldst thou finde this darke sequesterd nooke?

De: O my Lov'd masters heire, and his next Ioye

I came not heere on such a triviall toye

as a strayed Ewe, or to pursue the stealth

of pilferinge wolfe, not all the fleecie wealth

that doeth enrich these downes is worth a thought

to this my errand and the Care it brought./

but O my virgin lady where is she


howe chaunce she is not in yor Companie?

el: bro: To tell thee sadly shepheard, wthout blame

or our neglect wee lost her as wee came,

De: Ay me vnhappie then my feares are true./

el: bro: what feares, good Thirsis prthee briefly shewe

De: Ile tell you, tis not vayne, or fabulous,

(though soe esteem'd by shallowe ignorance)

what the sage poets, taught by th- heav'nly muse

storied of old in high immortall verse

of dire Chimeras and enchanted Isles

and rifted rocks, whose entrance leads to hell

for such there be, but vnbelief is blinde,

within the navill of this hidious wood

immured in Cipress shades a sorserer dwells

of Bacchus and of Circe born, greate Comus

deepe skild in all his mothers witcheries

and heere to everie thirstie wanderer

by slye enticemt gives his banefull Cup

with many murmurs mixt, whose pleasinge poyson

the visage quite transformes of him that drinkes

and the inglorious likeness of a beast

fixes insteed, vnmouldinge reasons mintage

charactred in the face, This have I learnt

tendinge my flocks, hard by i'th hillie flocks Crofts


that browe this bottome glade, whence night by night

he and his monstrous route are heard to howle

like stabled wolves, or tigers at their preye

doeinge abhorred rites to Heccate

in their obscured haunts of inmost bowers,

yet have they many baites and guylefull spells

to invegle and invite the vnwarie sence

of them that pass vnweetinge by the waye,

this eveninge late, by then the chewinge flocks

had tane their supper on the savorie herbe

of knot grasse dew-besprent and were in fold,

I sate me downe to watch vpon a banke

with Ivie Cannopied and interwove

with flauntinge hony sucle, and began

wrapt in a pleasinge fitt of melencholy

to meditate my rurall minstrelsie

till fansie had her fill, but ere a close

the wonted roare was vp amidst the woods

and filld the aire with barbarous dissonance

at wch I ceast, and listned them a while

till an vnvsuall stop of suddaine silence

gave respite to the drowsie frighted steeds

that drawe the litter of close-curtain'd sleepe

at last a sweete, and solemne breathinge sound

rose like a softe steame of rich distill'd perfumes

and stole vpon the aire, that even silence

was tooke ere she was ware, & wisht she might

deny her nature and be never more


still to be soe displac't, I was all eare

and took in th streines that might create a sowle

vnder the ribbs of death. but O ere long

two well I might perceive, it was the voice

of my most honour'd lady, yor deere sister

amaz'd I stood, harrow'd with greife, & feare,

and O poore hapless nightingale thought I

how sweete thou singst, how neere the deadly snare,

then downe the lawnes I ran, wth headlonge hast

through paths and turnings, often trod by daye,

till guyded by myne ear, I found the place

where that damn'd wizard hid in slye disguise

(for soe by certaine signes I knowe) had met

alreadie eare my best speede could prvent,

the aideless innocent ladie his wisht prey

whoe gently askt if he had seene such two,

supposinge him some neighbour villager,

longer I durst not stay, but soone I guest

yee were the two she meant, wth that I sprung

into swift flight, till I had found you heere

but furder know I not; 2: bro: O night & shades

how are you ioyn'd with hell in triple knott

against the vnarmed weaknes of one virgin

alone, and helpeless, Is this the confidence?

you gave me brother? el: bro: yes & keepe it still

leane on it salfly, not a period

shalbe vnsai'd for me, against the threats


of malice, or of Sorcerie, or that powre

wch erringe men call chaunce this I hould firme

virtue may be assail'd but never hurte

surpris'd by vniust force, but not enthrall'd,

yea even that wch mischiefe meant most harme

shall in the happie triall prove most glorie,

but evill on it selfe shall back recoyle

and mixe noe more with goodnesse, when at last

gather'd like scum, and setl'd to it selfe

it shalbe in eternall restless change

selfe fed, and selfe consum'd, if this fayle

the pillard firmament is rottennesse

and earth's base built on stubble. but come lets on:

against the opposinge will, and arme of heav'n

may /neur\ this iust sword be lifted vp,

but for that damn'd magitian, let him be girt

with all the grisley legions that troope

vnder the sootie flagg of Acheron,

Harpies, & Hidraes, or all the monstrous buggs

twixt Africa, and Inde, I'le finde him out

and force him to restore his purchase back

or drag him by the Curles, and cleave his scalpe

downe to the hipps, Dem: Alas good ventrous youth

I love the Courage yet, and bold emprise,

but heere thy sword can doe thee little stead

farr other armes, and other weopons must


be those that quell the might of hellish Charmes,

he with his bare wand can vnthred thy ioynts,

and crumble all thy sinewes, El: bro: why pre'thee shepheard

how durst thou then thy self approach soe neere,

as to make this relacon; Dem: Care, & vtmost shifts

how to secure the lady from surprisall,

brought to my mynd a certaine shepheard lad

of smale regard to see to, yet well skill'd

in every verteus plant, and healinge herbe

that spreades her verdant leafe to th'morninge ray,

he lov'd me well, and oft would begg me singe,

wch when I did, he on the tender grasse

would sit, and hearken even to extasie

and in requitall open his leatherne scrip,

and shew me simples of a thousand names

tellinge their strange, and vigorous faculties,

amongst the rest, a smale vnsightly roote

but of divine effect, he cull'd me out

the leafe was darkish, and had prickles on it,

he call'd it Hemony, and gaue it me

and bad me keepe it as of soveraigne vse

gainst all enchauntmts, mildew blast, or dampe,

or gastlie furies apparition,

I purst it vp, but little reckoninge made

till now that this extremitie compell'd,

but now I finde it true, for by this meanes

I knew

I knew the fowle Enchaunter, though disguis'd,

entered the very lymetwiggs of his spells

and yet came off, if you have this about you

(as I will give you when wee goe) you may

boldly assaulte the Negromancers hall,

where if he be, with dauntlesse hardy-hood

and brandisht blade rushe on him, breake his glasse

and shed the lussious liquor on the ground,

but cease his wand, though he and his curst crew

fierce signe of battaile make, and menace high

or like the sonns of Vulcan vomitt smoake

yet will they soone retire, if he but shrinke.

El: bro Thirsis leade on apace, I followe thee

and some good Angell beare a shield before vs.

The Sceane changes to a stately pallace set out wth all mannr

manner of delitiousness, tables spred with all dainties

Comus apperes wth his rabble, and the lady set in an

inchauntedchayre, to whome he offers his glasse

wch she puts by, and goes about to rise./

Co: Nay ladye sit, if I but wave this wand

your nerves al are all chain'd vp in alablaster

and you a statue, or as Daphne was

roote bound, that fled Apollo, La: foole doe not boast

thou canst not touch the freedome of my mynde

with all thy charmes, although this corporall rind

thou hast immanacl'd, while heav'n sees good,

Co: Whye are you vext ladie, why doe you frowne


heere dwell noe frownes, nor anger, from these gates

sorrowe flies farr, see heere be all the pleasures

that fancie can begett on youthfull thoughts

when the fresh blood grows lively, and returnes

briske as the Aprill budds in primrose season.

and first behould this cordiall Iulep heere

that flames, and dances in his christall bounds,

with spiritts of baulme, and fragrant sirrops mixt;

Not thatNepenthes wch the wife of Thone

in Egipt gave to Iove-born Hellena

is of such power to stirre vp Ioye as this

to life, soe freindly, or soe coole too thirst,

poore ladie thou hast neede of some refreshinge

that hast been tired aldaye without repast,

a timely rest hast wanted. heere fayre Virgin

this will restore all soone; La: t'will not false traytor

twill not restore the trueth and honestie

that thou hast banisht from thy thoughts tongue wth lies,

was this the Cottage, and the safe aboade

thou touldst me of? what grim aspects are these?

these ougley headed Monsters? Mercie guard me,

hence with thy brewd enchauntmts, fowle deceaver

were it a drafte for Iuno when she banquetts

I would not taste thy treasonous offer, none

but such as are good men, can give good things

and that wch is not good, is not delitious

to a well-govern'd and wise appetite,


Co: O foolishnes of men, that lend their eares

to thosebudge doctors of the Stoick furr furr

and fetch their prcepts from the Cinick tub

praisinge the leane, and shallow abstinence.

wherefore did nature power her bounties furth

with such a full, and vnwithdraweinge hand,

coveringe the earth with odours, fruits and flocks

throngeing the seas with spawne innumerable

but all to please, and sate the Curious tast,

and set to worke millions of spinninge wormes

that in their greene shopps, weave the smoote-haired silke

to deck her sonns, and that noe corner might

be vacant of her plentie, in her owne loynes

she hutch't th'all worshipt oare, and pretious gems

to store her children with, if all the world

should in a pet of temperance, feede on pulse

drinke the cleere streame, and nothinge weare but freeze

th'allgiver would be vnthank't, would be vnprais'd

not halfe his riches knowne, and yet despis'd

and wee should serve him as a grudgeinge Master,

as a penurious niggard of his wealth

and live like natures bastards, not her sonns,

whoe would be quite surcharg'd wth her own waite

and strangl'd with her wast fertillitie,

th'earth cumberd, and the wing'd ayre dark'd wth plumes

the heards would over multitude their Lords

the sea orefraught would swell, and th'vnsaught diamonds


would soe emblaze with starrs, that they belowe

would growe enur'd to light, and come at last

to gase vpon the sunn with shameles browes.

La: I had not thought to have vnlockt my lipps

in this vnhallowed ayre, but that this Iugler

would thinke to charme my Iudgement, as my eyes

obtrudinge false rules prank't in reasons garbe.

I hate when vice can boult her arguments

and vertue has noe tongue to check her pride.

Impostor do not thinke charge most innocent nature

as if she would her children should be riotous

with her abundance, she good Chateresse

means her provision onely to the good,

that live accordinge to her sober lawes,

and holy dictate of spare temperance.

If every Iust man that now pynes with want

had but a moderate and beseeminge share

of that wch leudly-pamper'd luxurie

now heap's vpon some fewe, with vast excesse

natures full blessinge, would be well dispenst

in vnsuperfluous even proportion,

and she noe whit encomberd with her store:

and then the giver would be better thank't

his praise due payed, for swinish gluttonie

neere looks to heav'n, amidst his gorgeous feasts

but wth beesotted base ingratitude

crams, and blaspheames his feeder, Co: Come, noe more


this is meere morrall babble, and direct

against the Canon lawes of our foundacion

I must not suffer this; yet tis but the lees

and setlinge of a mellancholy bloud,

But this will cure all streite, one sip of this

will bath the droopinge spiritts in delight

beyond the blisse of dreames. be wise, and tast;

The brothers rushe in with swords drawne, wrest his glasse

of liquor out of his hand, and breake it against the ground

his rowte make signe of resistance, but are all driven in,

the Demon is to come in with the brothers./

De: What have yee left the false Inchaunter scape?

O yee mistooke, yee should have snatcht his wand,

and bound him fast, without his rod reverst

and backward mutters of disseveringe power

wee cannot free the lady that sitts heere

in stonie fetters fixt and motionlesse.

yet staye, be not disturb'd, nowe I bethinke me

some other meanes I haue that may be vsed

wch once of Millebeus old I learnt

the soothest shepheard that ere pipt on playnes

  There is a gentle Nimphe not farr from hence

that wth moist Curbe, swayes the smoote seaverne streame,

Sabrina is her name, a virgin pure,

whilome she was the daughter of Locrine

whoe had the scepter from his fathe Brute.

she guiltless dam'sell flyinge the mad persuite

of her enraged stepdame,Gwendolen

commended her faire innocense to the floud,

that stayed her flight with his Crosse floweinge course,

the water nimphs that in the bottom played

held vp their peackled wrists, and tooke her in

bearinge her straite to aged Nereus hall

whoe piteous of her woes, reard her lanke head

and gave her to his daughters to imbath

in nectar'd lavers, strewd with Asphodill

and through the portch and inlet of each sence

dropt in abrosiall oyles, till she revived

and vnderwent a quick immortal change

made goddess of the River. still she retaines

her maiden gentleness, and ofte at Eve

visitts the heards alonge the twilight meadowes

helpinge all vrchin blasts, and ill luck signes

that the shrewd medlinge Elfe delights to make,

for wch the shepheards at their festivalls

Carroll her goodnes loud in rustick layes

and throwe sweete garland wreaths into her streame

of pancies, pinkes, and gaudy daffadils.

and, as the owld swayne said, she can vnlock

the claspinge Charme, and thawe the numminge spell

if she be right invok'd in warbled songe:

for maydenhood she loves, and wilbe swifte

to ayde

to ayde a Virgin such as was her selfe

(in hard besettinge neede) this will I trie

and add the power of som adiuringe verse./


Sabrina faire

listen where thou art sittinge

vnder the glassie, coole, transelucent wave

in twisted braides of lillies knitting

the loose traine of thy Amber-droppinge haire;

listen for deere honours sake

Goddess of the silver lake

listen & save./

The verse to singe or not.

listen and appere to vs

in name of greateOceanus,

by th'earth-shakinge Neptunes mace,

and Tethis grave maiestick pace,

el br: by hoarie Nereus wrincled looke,

and the Carpathian wizards hooke,

2 bro: by scalie Tritons windinge shell,

and ould sooth-sayinge Glaucus spell,

el br: by Lewcotheas lovely hands,

and her sonne that rules the strands,

2 br: by Te[h] Thetis tinsel-slipperd feete,

and the songs of sirens sweete,

el br: by dead Parthenopes deare tombe,

Ligeas golden Combe,

wherewith she sitts on diamond rocks,

sleekinge her soft allueringe locks,

De: By all the Nimphes of nightly daunce,

vpon thy streames with wilie glaunce,

rise, rise, and heave thy rosie head,

from thy Corall paven bed,

and bridle in thy headlonge wave,

till thou or summons answered have,

                  Listen & save.

Sabrina rises attended by water nimphes

and sings./

By the rushie fringed banke

   where growes the willow, and the Osier danke

        my slydinge Charriott stayes,

Thick sett with Agate, and the Azur'd sheene

Of Turkiss blew, and Emerald greene

        that in the Channell strayes,

Whilst from of the waters fleete

thus I rest my printles feete

ore the Couslips head

    that bends not as I tread

gentle swayne at thy request

            I am heere

Amphitrites bower

Sabrina descends and

the lady rises out

of he seate./

De: Virgin daughter of Locrine

sprung of owld Anchises lyne,

may thy brimmed waves for this

their full tribute never misse

from a thousand pettie rills

that tumble downe the snowie hills


Summer, drouth, or singed aire

never scortch thy tresses fayer

nor wett Octobers torrent floud

thy molten Cristall fill with mud

may thy billowes rowle a shoare

the &beryll and the goulden Oare

may thy loftie head be Crownd

with many a towre, and terrace round

and heere and there thy banks vpon

with groves of mirhe and Cynamon.

songe ends./

el br: Come lady will /sister\ while heav'n lends vs grace

let vs fly this cursed place

least the Sorcerer vs intice

wth some other newe device,

not a wast, or needles sound

till wee come to holier ground

De: I shalbe yor faithfull guide

through this gloomie Covert wide,

and not many furlongs thence

is yor fathers residence,

where this night are met in state

many a friend to gratulate

his wisht prsence, and beside

all the swaynes that neere abide


with Iiggs, and rurall daunce resorte

wee shall catch them at their sporte,

and our suddaine Cominge there

will double all their mirth, and cheere,

el br: come let vs hast the starrs are high

but night sitts Monarch, yet in the mid skye


The sceane changes then is prsented Ludlow towne

and the Presidents Castle, then come in Countrie

daunces, and the like &c, towards the end of those

sports the demon with the 2 brothers and the

ladye come in. the spiritt singes./

Back shepheards, back, enough yor playe

till next sunshine holy daye

heere be without duck, or nod

other trippings to be trod

of lighter toes, and such court guise

as Mercurie did first devise

with the mincinge Driades

on the lawnes, and on the leas

2 songe prsents them to their father & mother./

Noble Lord and Lady bright

I have brought yee new delight

heere behould soe goodly growne

Dæmon singes or sayes./

Now my taske is smoothly done

I can flye or I can run

quickly to the earths greene end

where the bow'd welkin slow doeth bend,

and from thence can soare as soone

to the Corners of the Moone

Mortalls that would follow me

love vertue, she alone is free

she can teach you how to clyme

higher then the sphearie chime

or if vertue feeble were

Heven it selfe would stoope to her


Texts Page  | TMS | BMS | 1637
1645 | TMS Facsimile | BMS Facsimile