A maske      1634

                                 the first scene discovers a wild wood

A Guardian spirit, or Dæmon

Before the starrie threshold of Ioves court

my mansion is, where those immortall shapes

of bright aereall spirits live insphear'd

in regions mild of calme & serene aire where the banks

amidst the gardens 2 Hesperian gardens, on^ whose bancks

æternall roses grow & hyacinth

bedew'd wth nectar & celestiall songs            *      *

æternall roses *yeeldgrow, & hyacinth      blow grow blosme

& fruits of golden rind, on whose faire tree

the scalie-harnest wactchfull dragons ^ ever keeps

his uninchanted never charmed eye, & round the verge

& sacred limits of this *happie Isle blissfull*blissfull

the jealous ocean that old river winds

his farre-extended armes till wth steepe fall

halfe his wast flood ye wide Atlantique fills
& halfe the slow unfadom'd poole of styx[l] stygian poole

I doubt me gentle mortalls these may seeme but soft I was not sent to court yor

strange distances to heare & unknowne climes wth distant worlds, & strange removed clim[e]

yet thence I come and oft from thence behold

above the smoake & stirre of this dim, -[narrow] spot,

wch men call earth, & wth low-thoughted care

2 strive to keepe up a fraile & feavourish beeing

beyond the written date of mortall change

1 confin'd, and pester'd in this pinfold heere,

unmindfull of the crowne that vertue gives

after this mortall change to her true servants

amoungst the enthron'd gods on sainted seates

yet some there be that by due steps aspire

to lay thire just hands on that golden key

That *shews the palace of æternity                   * ope's

to such my errand is, & but for such

I would not soyle these pure ambrosiall weeds,

wth the ranck vapours of this sin-worne mould

but to my^taskebuisnese now. Neptune whose sway besids the sway

of every salt flood & each ebbing streame

tooke in by lot twixt high, & neather Iove

imperiall the rule & title ofall theeach sea-girt Isles

that like to rich gemms inlay & various gems inlay

the unadorned bosome of ye deepe

wch he to grace his tributarie gods

by course committs to severall goverment

and give them leave to weare thire saphire crowns

and weild thire little tridents, but this Isle

the greatest & the best of all his empire the maine

he quarters to his blu-hair'd dieties

and all this tract that fronts ye falling sun

a noble peere of mickle trust & power

has in his charge wth temper'd aw to guide

an old and haughtie nation proud in armes

where his faire ofspring nurs't in princely lore

are comming to attend thire fathers state

and new entrusted scepter. but thire way

lies through the perplext paths of this dreare wood

the nodding horror of whose shadie brows

threats the forlorne & wandring passinger

and heere thire tender age might suffer perill

but that by quick command from soveraigne Iove

I was dispatch't for thire defence, & guard

and listen why, for I will tell you now

what never yet was heard in tale or song

from by old or moderne Bard in hall, or bowre

Bacchus, that first from out the purple grape

crush't the sweet poyson of mis-used wine

after the Tuscaine mariners transform'd

Coasting the Tyrrhene shore, as ye winds listed

on Circe's Island fell, (who knows not Circe

the Daughter of ye sun, whose charmed cup

whoever tasted lost his upright shape

& downeward fell into a groveling swine)

thisnymph that gaz'd upon his clustring locks

wth ivie beeries wreath'd, & his blith youth

had by him ere he parted thence, a son

much like his father, but his mother more

wch therfore she brought up, and nam'd him Comus nam'd   whome

who ripe & frolick of his[  ] full growne age

roaving the Celtick, & Iberian feilds

at last betaks him to this ominous wood

& in thick *covert of black shade imbour'd     *

excells his mother at her potentmight[ie] art              shelter

offring to every wearie travailer

his orient like liquor in a crystall glasse

to quench the drouth of Phoebus, wch as they tast

(for most doe tast through ^fondweake intemperate thirst)

soone as the potions works thire humaine countnance

th'expresse resemblance of o' the gods is chang'd

into some brutish forme of wolfe or beare

or Ounce, or tiger, hog, or bearded goate

all other parts remaining as before they were

and they, so perfect is thire miserie

not once perceave thire foule disfigur^ement

but boast themselves more comely then before

& all thire freinds & native home forget

to roule wth pleasure in a sensuall stie

therfore when any favour'd of high Iove

chances to passe through this advent'urous glade

swift as the sparkle of a glauncing starre

I shoote from heaven to give him safe convoy

as ow I doe, but first I must put off

these my sky robes spun out of Iris woofe

and take ye weeds and liknesse of a swayne

that to the service of this house belongs

who wth his soft pipe & smoth dittied song

well knows to still the wild winds when they roare

& hush the waving woods, nor of lesse faith

and in this office of his mountaine watch

neerest & likliest to give thepræsent aide chance aide

[f] ys occasion of this occasion, but I heare the tread

of virginhateful[l] steps I must be veiwlesse now. Exit goes out

Comus enters^wth a charming rod & glasse of liquor with his rout all headed like some wild bests thire

garments some like mens & some like womens they begincome on in a wild &

humorous antick fashion

intrant kwuasovtes

Co. The starre that bids ye shepheard fold

now the top of heav'n doth hold

and the gilded carrre ofday

his glowing axle doth allay

in the steepe Tartessian* streame     *Atlantick

& the slope sun his upward beame

shoots against the xnorthren pole     xdusky

pacing toward the other goale

of his chamber in the east

meane while welcome joy & feast

midnight shout and revelry

tipsie dance and jollity

braid yor locks wth rosie twine

dropping odours, dropping wine

Rigor now is gon to bed,

[A]dvice & nice [         l w]wth her scrupulous head

Strict age, and sowre severity

wth thire grave saws in slumber lie

wee that are of purer fire

imitate the starrie quire

who in their nightly watchfull spheares

in lead wth swift round the months and yeares.

the sounds & seas with all thire finnie drove

now to the moone in wavering morrice move

and on the^*tawnieyellow sands & shelves                        *tawnie

trip the pert fayries, & the dapper elves

by dimpled brooke and fountayne brim

the wood nimphs deck't wth daysies trim

thire merrie wakes & pastimes keepe

what hath night to doe wth sleepe

night has better sweets to prove

Venus now wakes, & wakens Love

Come let us our rights begin

tis only daylight that makes sin

wch these dun shades will ne're report

Haile goddesse of nocturnall sport

Dark-vaild Cotytto, to whome the secret flame

of midnight torches burnes, mysterious Dame

that neere art call'd but when the dragon womb

of Stygian darknesse spitts her thickest glo^ome ~~ *and makes one blot
                                                                                                                        (& befreind
*and makes a blot of nature and throws a blot^ ~~of all
ye aire

stay thy polishtclowdie ebon chaire                ~~wherin thou rid[st] ridst wth Hecate^

of ~~ till all thy dues bee don & noug^htnone        left out 0 & favour our close revelrie jocondrie

ere the blabbing eastreane scout                            us thy vow'd preists till utmost end

the nice ['] morne on th'Indian steepe

from her cabin'd loopehole peepe

and to ye telltale sun discry

our conceal'd sollemnity

Come knit hands, & beate ye ground

in wth a light & frolick fantastick round

the measure (in a wild rude & wanton antick)

Comus. Breake off, breake off, I heare feele the different pace

Of some chast footing neere about this ground

some virgin sure benighted in these woods

for so I can disdinguish by myne art

run to yor shrouds wthin these braks & trees            they all scatter

our number may affright. Some virgin sure

(for so I can distinguish by myne art)

benighted in these woods; now to my traines charmes

& to my mothers charmes wilie trains, I shall ere long

be well stock't wth as faire a heard as graz'd

about my mother Circe thus I hurle

my p^owder'ddazling spells into the spungie aire blind *bleare

of power to cheate the eye wth *s^leight^illusion

and give it false præsentments^lestelse the place

and my quaint habits breed astonishment

and put the damse[l]l to suspicious flight

wch must not be, for thats against my course

I under faire prætence of freindly ends

and well-plac't words of glozing courtesie

baited wth reasons not unplausible

wind me into the easie hearted man

and hugge him into ^snaresnets. when once her eye

hath met the vertue of this magick dust

I shall appeare some harmelesse villager

whome thrift keeps up about his countrie geare          thirst

but heere she comes I fairly step aside

& hearken, if I may, her buisnesse heere.

         the Ladie enters

this way the noise was, if my eare be true

my ^bestguide now, me thought it was the sound

of riot, & ill manag'd merriment

such as the jocond flute or gamesome pipe     whenthat           grangesgar^ners full

stirrs up amoungst the loose unletter'd hinds
                                     ~~when for thire teeming flocks, &
in wanton dance they^ador[e] praise the bounteous Pan

& thanke the gods amisse, I should be loath

to meet the rudenesse & swill'd insolence

of such late wassailers yet Oh where else   ~~shall I informe my unacquainted feete

in the blind ^mazesalleys of these this ^tangledarched wood

my brothers when they saw me wearied out

wth this long way resolving heere to lodge

under the spredding favour of these pines

stept, as they sed, to the next thicket side

to bring me berries, or such cooling fruit

as the kind hospitable woods provide

they left me then, when the gray-hoodded Ev'n

like a sad votarist in palmers weeds

rose from the hindmost weeles of Phoebus chaire waine

but where they are and why they came not back

is now the labour of my thoughts, tiz likliest

they had ingadg'd thire youthlywandring steps too farre

to the soone parting light and envious darknesse ere they could returne

had stolne them from me;else O theevish night

why shouldst thou, but for some fellonious end

in thy darke lanterne thus close up the starres

that nature hung in heaven & fill'd thire lamps

wth ever lasting oyle to give *thire* light *due

to the misled & lonely travailer

this is^place as well as I may guesse

whence even now the tumult of Loud mirth

was rife & perfect in my listening eare

yet nought but single darknesse doe I find

what might this be? a thousand fantasies

begin to throng into my memorie

of calling shaps, & beckning shadows dire

and ayrie toungs *that lure night wanderers * that syllable
mens nams

on sands, & shoars, & desert wildernesses.

these thoughts may startle well, but not astound

the vertuous mind, that ever walks attended

by a strong siding champion conscience----

O welcome pure-eyd Faith, white-handed Hope
thou 4flittering angell girt wth golden wings

and thou *unspotted forme of chastity         *unblemish't

I see yee visibly, & while I see yee

this dusky hollow is a paradice

& heaven gates ore my head^& now I beleeve<

that ^he the supreme good to' whome all things ill

are but as slavish officers of vengeance

would send a glistring *cherub if need were        *guardian

to keepe my life, & honour unassaild.

was I deceav'd, or did a sable cloud

turne forth her silver lining on the night

I did not erre, there dos a sable cloud

turne forth her silver lining on the night

& casts a gleame over this tufted grove
I cannot hallow to my brothers, but

such noise as I can make to be heard fardest

Ile venter, for my new-enliv'nd spirits

prompt me & they perhapps are not farre hence


Sweet Eccho sweetest nymph that liv'st unseene

        within thy ayrie *shell                     *cell

     by^*slowMænders margent greene              *slow

   nd in the violet-imbroider'd vale

     where the love-lorne nightingale

nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well

Canst thou not tell me of a gentle paire

   that likes't thy Narcissus are?

      Oh if thou have

     hid them in some flowrie cave

        tell me but where

Sweet Queene of parlie, daughter of the spheare

So m[--] maist thou be translated to the skies

*[And] hol[d----------]*to all heavns harmonies             *and give resounding

            Comus enters.looks in and speaks

Co. can any mortall mixture of earths mould

breath such divine encha^unting ravishment

sure somthing holy lodges in that brest

and wth these raptures moves the vocall aire

to testifie his hidden residence

how sweetly did they flote upon the wings

of silence, through the empty vaulted night

at every fall smoothing the raven downe

of darknesse till she smil'd, I have oft heard sitting
                                        ~~^amidst the flowrie kirtl'ed Naiadees
my mother Circe wth the Sirens three                potent
                                culling thire potent hearbs, & balefull druggs
who as they sung wou'ld take the prison'd soule ~~powerfull

& lap it in Elizium, Scylla would weepe wept            ~~m[i]ghty

and and chidegher barking waves into attention

and fell Charybdis murmur'd soft applause

yet they in pleasing slumber lull'd the sense

and in sweet madnesse rob'd it of it selfe

but such a sacred, & home felt delight

such sober certainty of waking blisse

I never heard till now. Ile speake to her

and she shall be my queene. Haile forreine wonder

home^certainethese rough shades did never breed

unlesse the goddesse that in rurall shrine

*liv'st heere wth Pan or Silvan, by blest song         *dwell'st

forbidding every bleake unkindly fogge

to touch the *prospering growth of this tall wood          *prosperous

Ladie Nay gentle shepheard ill is lost that praise

that is addrest to unattending eares

not any boast of skill, but extreme shift

how to reagaine my sever'd companie

compell'd me to awake the courteous Echo

to give me answere to give me from her mossie cou^tch

Co. what chance good La. hath bereft you thus

La. dim darknesse, & this leavie labyrinth

Co. could that divide you from ^neerethire ushering hands guids

La. they left me wearied on a grassie terfe[  ]

Co. by falshood, or discourtesie or why

La. to seeke i'th valley some^coolefreindly spring

Co. and left yor faire side all unguarded Ladie

La. they were but twaine, & purpos'd quick returne

Co. perhapps fore stalling night prævented them

La. how easie my misfortune is to hit

Co. imports thire losse beside the praesent need

La. no lesse then then if I should my brothers loose.

Co. were they of manly prime, or youthfull bloome

La. as smooth as Hebe's thire unrazor'd lipps.

Co. such tow I saw what tyme the labour'd oxe

in his loose traces from the furrow came

& the swinck't hedger at this supper sate

I saw' em under a greene mantling vine

that crawls along the side of yon smal hill.

plucking ripe clusters from ye tender shoots

thire port was more then humaine as they stood

I tooke it for a faerie vision

of some gay creatures of the element

that in the colours of ye rainbow live

& play ith plighted clowds, I was aw-strooke

& as I past, I worship't, if those you seeke

it were a journy like the path to heav'n

to helpe you find them out. La Gentle villager

what readiest way would bring me to that place

Co. due west it rises from this shrubbie point

La. to find out that good shepheard I suppose

in such a scant allowance of starre light

would overtaske the best land-pilots art

wthout^thesure steerage of guesse of well-practiz'd feet

Co. I know each lane, & every alley greene

dingle, or bushie dell of this *wide wood         wild--

& every bosky bosky bosky bourne from side, to side

my dayly walks, & ancient neihbour neighbourhood

and if yor stray attendance be yet lodg'd

[o]r shroud^ed wth^inwthin these ^*limits I shall knowI shall know        *shroudie

ere the larke r[-]se rowse ere morrow wake or the low-roosted larke

from her thetch't rouse palate rowse, if otherwise          pallat

I can conduct you Ladie to a low

but loyall cottage, where you may be safe

till furder quest be made La. Shepheard I take thy word

& trust thy honest offer'd courtesie

wch oft is sooner found in lowly sheds

with & smoakie rafters, then in tapstrie halls

& courts of princes where where it first was nam'd

& is2 prætended yet1 yet is most prætended. in a place

lesse warranted then this I cannot be or lesse secure

I cannot be, that I should feare to change it

eye eye me blest providence, & square^mythis tryall

to my proportion'd strength, shepheard lead on. Exeunt

the tow brothers enter

1 bro. unmuffle ye faint starres, & thou faire N moone

that wont'st wont'st to love the travailers benizon

stoope thy pale visage through an amber cloud

and disinherit Chaos, that raignes heere

in double night of darknesse & of shades.

or if yor influence be quite dam'd up

wth black usurping mists, some gentle taper

though a rush candle from the wicker hole

of some clay habitation visit us

wth ^thya long levell'd rule of streaming light

and thou shalt be our starre of Arcadie

or Tyrian Cynosure. 2 bro. or if our eyes

be barr'd that happinesse, might wee but heare

the folded flocks pen'd in^thirewatled c[osat] cotes

or sound of pastorall reed wth oaten stopps

or wistle whistle from ye lodge, or village cock

count the night watches to his featherie dames

t'would be some solace yet, some little cheering

in^thislone^sad close dungeon of innumerous bowes.

ead the xbut oh that haplesse vergin our lost sister
                                                     (amoungst rude burrs & thistles
per over where may she^wandernow,whether betake her perhapps some cold hard banke

gainst from the chill dew in this dead solitude ^su^rrounding wilde.
    perhaps some cold bank is
[n]ste[a]d of perhapps some cold banck[e]is her boulster now (fraught
wth sad feares

[       ]s do- or 'gainst the rugged barke of some broad elme

wnehapps some she leans her thou*ghtfull head musing at our unkindnesse
unpillow'd head frau

old banke is or elsewhat if in wild amazment, and affright

so fares as did forsaken Proserpine
----       rowling
----        when the big^ wallowing flakes of pitchie clowds
& darknesse wo^und her in. 1 Bro[.] Peace brother peace

[]          <Reconstructed '[pa]per over [a]gainst'>

bu[t O that haplesse virgin our lost sister]

wh[ere may she wander now, whether betake her]

fr[om the chill dew amoungst rude burrs & thistles]

[perhapps some cold banke is her boulster now]

o[r gainst the rugged barke of some broad elme]

l[eans her unpillow'd head fraught wth sad feares]

w[hat if in wild amazment, & affright]

or [while we speake wthin the direfull graspe]

o[f salvage hunger or of salvage heate]

1 [bro. peace brother be not over exquisit]

t[o cast the fashion of uncertaine evills]

[wch grant they be so while they rest unknowne]

[what need a man forestall thehis date of greife]

[and run to meet what he would most avoid]

[or if they be but false alarms of feare]

[how bitter is thissuch selfe delusion]

I doe not thinke my sister so to seeke

or so unprincipl'd in vertues booke

and the sweet peace yt goodnesse bosomes ever

as that the single^wantof light & noise (not beeing in danger, as I trust she is n

could stirre the s[tabl]e [co]nstant mood of her calme thoughts

& put them into misbecomming plight

Vertue could ad all her see to doe what vertue would

by her owne radiant light though sun & moone

were in the flat sea sunke: and wisdom's selfe

oft seeks to solitarie sweet retire oft seeks to sweet retired solitude

where wth her best nurse Contemplation

she plum'es her feathers, & lets grow her wings

that in the various bustle of resort

were all to ruffl'd, and sometymes impair'd

he that has light wthin his^ownecleere brest

may sit i'th center, and enjoy bright day

but he that hides a darke soule, & foule thoughts

walks in black vapours, though the noontyde brand~~ benighted walks under ye

blaze in the summer solstice[]~~ 2 Bro. tis most true himselfe midday sundungeonis his owne

that musing meditation most affects

the pensive secrecie of desert cell

farre from the che^erfull haunt of men^andorheards

and sits as safe as in a senate house

for who would rob a Hermit of his beads g^owneweeds beads

his^fewbooks, orhis ^beadshairie gowne, or maple dish

or doe his gray hairs any violence

but beautie like the faire Hesperian tree

laden wth blooming gold had need the guard

of dragon watch wth uninchaunted eye

to save her blossoms & defend her fr^uite fruite

from ye rash hand of bold incontinence.

you may as well spread out the unsun'd heapes

of misers treasure by an outlaws den

and tell me it is safe, as bid me thinke hope

danger will winke on opportunity

and let a single helplesse mayden passe

uninjur'd th in this vast, & hideous wild wide surrounding wast.

of night, or lonlinesse it recks not2 me1

I feare the dread events that dog them both

lest some ill greeting touch attempt the person

of our unowned sister. 1 Bro: I doe not brother

inferre, as if I thought my sisters state

secure, wthout all doubts or question, no

besh^rew me but I would I could be willing though now i'th darke to trie

a tough ^encounterpassado wth the shaggiest ruffian

that lurks by hedge or lane of this dead circuit

to have her by my side, though I were sure

she might be free from perill where she is

but where an equall poise of hopes & feares

dos arbitrate the event my nature is

that I incline to hope, rather then feare

and gladly2 banish1 squint suspition suspicion

my sister is not so defenceless left

[] as you imagine brother she has a hidden strength

bu wch you remember not 2 bro. what hidden strenth

wh unlesse the strength of heave'n, if you meane that

fr 1 bro. I meane that too, but yet a hidden streng^th

[per] wch, if heaven gave it, may be term'd her owne

o tis chastitie, my brother, chastitie

l she that has that is clad in compleate steele            (keene
                           -----------and like a quiverd nymph wth arrows
w     & may (^upon any needfull accident

may be it not [d---]don in pride or in wilfull tempting)præsumption)

ormay ^tracewalke through huge forrests, & unharbour'd heaths

o infamous hills, & pe sandie perilous wilds

l where through the sacred raysaw* of chastitie    *rays

t no salvage feirce, bandite, or mountaneere

[w] will shall dare to soile her virgin puritie

[w] yea even where very desolation dwells

by grots, and cavern's shag'd wth horrid shads

& yawning denns where glaring monsters house

she may passe on wth unblensh't majestie majestie.

bee it not don in pride or in præsumption
Nay more Some say
Some say^^ no evill thing that walks by night

in fog, or fire, by lake, or moorie fen

wrin[cl]l'd Blue [*]^meagerwrinckled hagge, or stubborne unlayd Ghost

that breaks his magick chains at curfew tyme

swart faerie of the mine

has ^hurtfullpower o'rer true virginity

doe yee beleeve me yet, or shall I call

antiquity from the old schooles of Greece

to testifie the arms of chastitie

hence had the huntresse Dian her dred bow
                                     -----faire silver-shafted Q. for ever chast

wherewith she tam'd the brinded lionesse

& spotted mountayne pard, but set at naught

the frivolous bolt of Cupid, gods & men

fear'd her sterne frowne, & she was Q. o'th woods

what was that snakie-headed Gorgon sheild (unconquer'd

that wise Minerva wore, *^æternall virgin          *unvanquish't

freezind wherwith she freez'd her foes to congeal'd stone

but rigid looks of chast austerity

& noble grace that dash't brute violence and blank aw

wth suddaine adoration of her purenesse^of bright rays

So deare to heaven is sainctly chastitie

that when it finds a soule^is foundsincerely so
a thousand liveried angells lackey her
                                   -------driving farre off each thing of sin &

and in cleere dreame & sollemne vision

tell her of things nothat grosse eare can heare

till oft converse wth heavnly habitants

begins to cast a beame on th'outward shape

the unpolluted temple of the mind

and turnesby it by degrees to the souls essence

till all be made immortall. but when lust

by unchast looks, loose gestures, & foule talke

& most by^leud &* the lascivious act of sin          lavish

lets in defilement to ye inward parts

the soule grows clotted by contagion

imbodies, and imbrute's till she loose2 quite1

the divine propertie of her first beeing

such are those thick & gloomie shadows dampe

oft seene in charnel vaults, & monumesepulchers

hovering, & sitting by a new made grave

as loath to leave the bodie that it lov'd

& link't it selfe by carnall sensualtie

to a degenerate, & degraded state.

2 Bro. how charming is divine philoso(phy Hallow within

not harsh, & crabbed as dull fooles suppose

but musicall as is Apollo's lute

and a perpetuall feast of nectar'd sweets

where no crude surfeit reigns. 1 Brother. list bro. list (I hear^ed me thought

some farre-of hallow breake the silent aire

2 Bro. mee thought so to, what should it be. 1 Bro. hallow farre off for certaine

either either some one like us night founder'd heere

or else some neighbour woodman, or at worst

some roaving some curl'd^hedge man of ye swoord calling to his fellows

robber 2 Bro. heav'n keepe my sister. yet agen, agen & neere.

1 Bro. best draw, & stand upon our guard. 1 Bro. Ile hallow

if he be freindly he comes well, if not
                         ---------- a just defenceis a
he may chaunce^scratchhad best looke to his forehead, heere be brambles
defence is a good cause & heav'n be for us
   he hallows hallo the guardian Dæmon hallows agen & enters

     in the habit of shepheard

that hallow, I should know, what areyouspeake

Come not too neere, you fall on^ironpointed stakes else

Dæ. what voice is that? my yong lord? speake agen

2 Bro: oh. brother tis my fathers shepheard sure

1 Broth. Thyrsis? whose artfull streines have oft delay'd

the huddling brooke to heare his madrigall

and sweetned every muskrose of the valley dale

how cam'st thou heere good shepheard, hath any ramme

slip't leapt ore^from histhe^the penne^or young ki kid lost his damme

or straggling weather [  ] hath the pen't flock forsook?

how couldst thou find this darke sequest'erd nooke

Dæ. O my lov'd maisters heire, & his next joy

I came not heere on such a triviall toy

as a stray'd ewe, or to pursue the stealth

of pilfering wolfe, not all the fleecie wealth

that doth enrich these downs is worth a thought

to this my errand, & the care it brought

but oh my virgin Ladie where is she

how chance she is not in yor companie

1 Bro. to tell thee sadly shepheard; wthout blame

or our neglect wee lost her as wee came

Sheph. ay me unhappie! then my fears are true

1 bro. what feares, good *shep. preethee breifly shew *Thyrsis

Dæ. Shep. Ile tell you. Tis not vaine or fabulous

(though so esteem'd by shallow ignorance)

what the sage poets, taught by th'heav'nly Muse

storied of old in high immortall verse

of dire chimæra's and inchaunted Isles

& rifted rocks whose entrance leads to hell.
                                --------for such there be, but unbeleife is blind

wthin the navill of this hideous wood

immur'd in cipresse shades a sorcerer dwells

of Bacchus & of circe borne, great Comus

~~deepe learnt enur'd in all his mothers witcheries

~~skill'd and heere to every thirstie wanderer

by sly enticement gives his banefull cup

wth many murmurs mixt, whose pleasing poison

the visage quite transforms of him yt drinks

and**the inglorious likenesse of a beast      *makes

fixes insteed, unmoulding reasons mintage
characterd in the face this have I learn[']t

[t]ending my flocks hard by i'th^hillie pastur'd^croftslawn[']s

that brows this bottome glade whence night by night

he & his monstrous rout are heard to howle

like stabl'd wolvs, or tigers at thire prey

doing abhorred rites to Hecate

in thire obscured haunts of inmost bowers

Yet have they they many baits, & gil guilefull spells

to' inveigle & invite th'unwarie spell sense

of them yt passe unweeting by the way.

this evening late by then the chewing flocks

had tane thire supper on the savourie herbe

of knot grasse dew besprent, and were in fold

I sate me downe to watch, upon a banke

with ivie canopied, & interwove          blowing

wth^blowing s[ucklin]g* honiesuckle, & began    *flaunting *flaunting

2 to meditate my rurall minstrelsie

1 wrapt in a plesing fit of melancholy

till fancie had her fill, but ere^athe close

the wonted roare was up amidst the woods

and fill'd the aire wth barbarous dissonance

at wch I cease'd, & listen^d them awhile

till an unusuall stop of suddaine silence

gave respit to the drousie flighted steeds

that draw the litter of close-curtain'd sleepe         *

Atlast a soft^*still[--]ft[--]*& sollemne breathing sound *sweet soft

rose like^athe soft steame of^**slowdistill'd perfumes *slow*rich

and stole upon the aire, that even silence
was tooke e're she was ware, & wish't she might

deny her nature & be never more<

still to be^sodisplac't. I was all eare

and tooke in streins that might create a sould

under the ribbs of Death. but oh ere long

too well I might perceave it was ye voice

of my most honour'd Ladie yor deare sister

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

and O poore haplesse nightingale thought I

how sweet thou sing'st, how neere the deadly snare

then downe the lawnes I ran wth headlong hast

through paths & turnings often trod by day

till guided by myne eare I found the place

where that damn'd wisard hid in sly disguise

(for so by certaine signes I knew) had met

alreadie ere my best speed could prævent

the^aidlessehelplesse innocent Ladie his wisht prey who tooke him

who gen who gently askt if he had seene such tow

supposing him some neighbour villager

longer I durst not stay, but soone I gues't

yee were the tow she meant, & wth that I sprung

into swift flight till I had found you heere

and this but furder know I not. 2 Bro. O night & shades

how are yee joyn'd wth hell in triple knot

against th'unarmed weakenesse of one virgin

alone, & helplesse, is this the confidence

you gave me brother? 1 Bro. yes: and keepe it still

leane on it safely not a period

shall be unsaid for me, against the threats

of malice, or of sorcerie, or that power

wch erring men call chance this I hold firme

vertue may be assayl'd but never hurt

surpris'd by unjust force, but not enthrall'd and

Yea even that wch mischeife ment most harme

sha[l]l in the happie triall prove most glory

but evill on it selfe shall back recoyle

till all to place & mixe no more wth goodnesse, when at last

gather'd like scum & setled to it s'elfe

it shall be in æternall restlesse change

selfe fed, & selfe consum'd         if this faile

the pillar'd firmament is rottennesse

and earths base built on stubble. but Come lets on

against th'opposing will & arme of heav'n

may never this just swoord be lifted up.

but for yt damn'd magician, let him be girt

wth all the greisly legions that troope

under the sootie flag of Acheron

harpyes & Hydra's or^allthe monstrous Buggs

twixt Africa & Inde. Ile find him out

and force him to release his new got prey restore his purchase back

or drag him by the curls & cleave his scalpe

downe to the hipps l[--] hips. Dæ. alas good ventrous youth

I love thy courage yet & bold emprise

*swoord but heere thy swo^*swoord steele can doe thee little stead
small availe

farre other arms & other weapons must

be those that quell the might of hellish charms

he wth his bare wand can *unquilt thy joynts *unthred

& crumble every^all thy sinews. 1 Bro. why preethee shep.

how durst thou then thy selfe approach so neere

as to make this relation. Dæ. care, & utmost shifts

how to secure the ladie from surprisal

brought to my mynde a certaine shepheard lad

of small regard to see to yet well skill'd

in every vertuous plant, & healing herbe

that spreds her verdant leafe to th'morning ray

he lov'd me wel, & oft would beg me sing

wch when I did he on the tender grasse

would sit and hearken even to extasie

& in requitall ope his leatherne scrip

& shew me simples of a thousand hews names

telling thire strange & vigorous faculties

amoungst the rest a small unsightly root

but of divine effect he culld me out

the leafe was darkish & had prickles on it

but in an other countrie as he said

bore a bright golden flowre, but not in this soile

unknowne & like esteem'd & the dull swayne

treads on it dayly wth his clouted shoone ~~& yet more med'cinall^is itthen that

he call'd^itHæmonyx & gave it me     entgaveMoly,^wchthat Mercury~~Hermes onceto wise ulysse[s]

& bad me keepe it as of soveraine use

gainst all enchauntments, mildew blast, or dampe

or gastly Furies apparition

I purs't it up, but little reckoning made

till now that this extremity compell'd

but now I find it true, for by this meanes

I knew the fowle enchanter though disguis'd

enter'd the very limetwigs of his spells

and yet came off, if you have this about you
                            *when on the way *
(as I will give you as^w^ee goe) you may when we goe,
boldly assault hye necromantikcers hall

where if he be wth suddaine violence dauntless hardyhood

& brandish't blades rush on him, breake his glasse

and^shedpowre the lushious potion liquor on the ground

butand sease his wand. though he & his curs't crew

feirce signe of battaile make & menace high

or like the sons of Vulcan vomit smoake

yet they2 will1 soone retire if he but shrinke
                                                                        (before us
1 Bro. Thyrsis lead on apace I follow thee
                                                and some good angell beare a sheild
& good heaven cast his best regard upon us      Ex

   the scene [-ch]a changes to a stately pallace set out wth all manner

   of deliciousness.^tables spred wth all dainties Comus is discover'd wth his rabble, & the Ladie set in

 an inchanted chaire She offers to rise

Co. nay ladie sit, if I but wave this wand La: foole thou art over proud
                                                                doe not boas thou canst not yor nerves are all chain'd up in alablaster touch the freedome of my
                                   or mind wth all thy charmes and you a statue, fixt, as Daphne was although this corporall rind
                                                                thou hast immanacl'd while
root-bound, that fled Apollo.why doe heavn sees good
ye frowne Co. why are you vext Ladie,
                                                                why do yuo frow

heere fro heere dwell no frowns^nor anger, from these gates

sorrow flies farre. see here be all the pleasures

that youth & fancie fancie can^invent beget on youthfull thoughts

when the^*freshbriske blood return grows lively & returnes    *fresh
brisk as the Aprills budds in primrose season
                                            that wch follows heere is in the
                                                (pasted leafe begins poore ladie
                                                (and first behold this &c.
('pasted leafe')
why should you be so cruell to yor
selfe, and to those daintie lims
wch nature lent for gentle
usage, and soft delicacie, but
you invert the cov'nants of her
trust, and harshly deale like an
ill borrower wth that wch you
receav'd on other terms scorning
the unexempt condition by wch all
mortall frailtie must subsist
refreshment after toile, ease
after paine, that have bin

and first behold this cordiall julep heere
yt flams & dances in his crystall bounds
wth spirits of baulme, & fragrant syrops mixt
not that
Nepenthes wch the wife of Thone
in Ægypt gave to Ioveborne Helena
is of such power to stirre up joy as this
to life so freindly or so coole to thirst
poore ladie thou hast need of some refreshing
that^havehastbin tir'd all day wth out repast
& timely rest^have hast wanted, heer^ebut faire virgin
this will restore all soone. La. t'will not false traitor tir'd &c.

t'will not restore the truth & honestie

that thou hast banisht from thy toungue wth lies

was this the cottage & the safe abode

thou toldst me of? what grim aspects are these

these ougly headed monster? mercie guard me!

Hence wth thy hel brewd opiate foule brud brewd enchauntments foule

hast thou betrayd my credulous innocence

wth visor'd falshood & base forgeries

and wouldst thou seeke againe to trap me heere

wth lickerish baites fit to ensnare a brute?

were it a draft for Iuno when she banquets

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 delicious to a well govern'd, & wise

Co. O foolishnesse of men &c.
                                                (that wch follows heere is in the
Co. Oh foolishness of men! that lend thire eares
                                                pasted leafe begins poore ladie
to those budge doctors of the stoick gowne furre
                                                and first behold this &c.
and fetch thire precepts from the
Cynick tub

praising the leane, & sallow abstinence

wherfore did nature powre her bounties forth

wth such a full & unwithdrawing hand

covering the earth wth odours, & wth fruits, & flocks

thronging cramming the seas wth spawne innumerable
                        but all to please & sate the curious taste
the feilds wth cattell & the aire wth fowle~~

and set to worke millions of spinning worms

that in thire greene shops weave the smooth haird silke
to adorne deck
[--]^to^deck^ her sons, and that no corner might

be vacant of her plentie in her owne loynes

she hutch't the' all-worship't ore & precious gemms

to store her children wth. if all the world

should in a pet of temperance feed on pulse fetches pulse

drinke the cleere streame, & nothing weare but freise

th'all giver would be' unthank't would be unprais'd

not halfe his riches knowne, & yet dispis'd

and wee should serve him as a gruding maister
           [  ]                         as a penurious niggard of his wea[lth]
& liveg^likeas^natures bastards not her sons

who would be quite surcharg'd w'th her owne waight                (dark't wth plumes

and strangl'd wth her wast fertilitie~~            th'earth cumber'd & the wing'd aire

the heards would over multitude thire Lords

the sea orefraught the [o]^resea orefraught would swellheave her waters up

above the shoare, and th'unsought diamonds

would so be studde the center wth thire starrelightwould          deepe

were they not taken thence that they below      ~~and so^emblaze the forhead of ye
                                             and^so bestudde wth starres yt they below
would grow enur'd to daylight & come at last

to gaze upon the sun wth shamelesse browes.

list Ladie be not coy, nornor and be not cozen'd

with that same vaunted name virginity

beautie is natures coine must not be hoorded

but must be curreant, & the good therof

~~consists in mutuall & partaken blisse

~~unsavoury in th'enjoyment of it selfe

~~if you let slip tyme like ~~an neglected rose

~~it withers on the stalke & fades away wth languish't head

beautie is natures brag & must be shewne

in courts, at feasts, on high sollemnities

where most may wonder at the workmanship.

it is for homely features to keepe home

they had thire name^from thence, coarse beetle bro brows complexions

and cheeks of sorrie graine will serve to ply

the sample, or to teize the huswifes wooll

what need a ve[r]meil tinctur'd lip for that hence wth thy hel bru'd
liquor lest I

love-darting eyes, or tresses like the morne th[row]i[t] against ye gr[ound] were it a draft

there was a nother meaning in these guifts                    &c

thinke what, ^& be advis'd, you are but young yet & looke upon this cord [ia]ll julep [-]

that flames & dances in his ch crystall bounds

wth spirits of balme & fragrant syrops mixt

not that nepenthes wch the wife of Thon

in Ægypt gave to Iove borne Helena

is of such power to stirre up joy as this

to life freindly2 so1, or so coole to thirst

poore ladie thou hast need of some refreshing

that hast bin tir'd all day wth out repast

& timely rest hast wanted heere sweet Ladie faire [-] virgin

this will restore all soone La stand back false traitor

thou can'st not touch the freedome of my mynd

wth all thy charmes although this corporall rind

thou hast immanacl'd, while heaven sees good

was this the cottage, & the safe abode               (m[-]ie gua[r]d me
               me of?                    ougly               what grim aspects are these?
[t]hou toldst amou^ng'st these [-] musl'd monsters^mercie guard me these ougly headed monsters
                  how have I bin betrai'd
O my simplicity what sights are these? wth darke disguises       bruage
whether deluded             &soothing flatteries
and soothing lies^& soothing flatteries. hence wth thy teacherous

thou man of lies & falshoodfalshood fraud, if thou give me it        ~~bru'd sorcerie

I throwit on the ground, were it a draft for Iuno
   should reject
I hate it from thy hands treasonous offer, none

but such as are good men can give good things

La. I had not thought to have unlockt my lips

in this unhallowed aire, but that this juggler

would thinke to charme my judgement as myneeyes

obtruding false rules pranck't in reasons garbe

I hate when vice can boult her arguments

and vertue has no tongue to check her pride

impostor doe^not charge most innocent nature

as if she^wouldment her children should be riotous

wth her abundance, she good cateresse

inte[n]ds means her provision only to the good

that live according to her sober laws

and holie dictate of spare temperance

if every just man that now pines wth want

had but a moderate & beseeming share

of that wch lewdly-pamperd Luxurie

now heapes upon some few wth vast excesse

natures full blessings would be well dispens't

in unsuperfluous eeven proportion

and she no whit encumberd wth her store

and then the giver would be better thankt

his praise due paid, for swinish gluttonie

ne're looks to heav'n amidst his gorgeous feast

but wth besotted base ingratitude              no more

cramms & blasphems his feeder. Co. Come y'are too morall

your morall stuffe            tilted
this is meere morall stuffe the very ees this meere moral bable, &

&setlings of a melancholy blood against the canon laws of our foundation
                                I must not suffer this, yet t[i]s but the lees
but this will cure all streite, one sip of this and setlings of a melancholy blood

will bath the drooping spirits in delight

beyond^ye blisseof dreames. be wise & tast.

the brothers rush in strike his glasse downe the monsters shapes make

as though they would resist but are all driven in. Dæmon enter wth them

Dæ. what have you let the false enchaunter spasse scape?

oh yee mistooke, yee should have snatch't his wand

& bound him fast; wth out his^rod art revers't

and backward mutters of dissevering power

wee cannot free the La. that remaines heere sits

in stonie fetters fixt & motionlesse.

yet stay, be not disturb'd, now I bethinke me
some other meanes I have
there is another way that may be us'd

wch once of Melibæus old I learn't

the soothest shepheard that er'e pip't on plaines

there is a gentle nymph not farre from hence

that wth moist curbe swaies the smooth severne streame

Sabrina is her name a virgin goddesse chast pure

whilome she was the Daughter of Locrine

that had the scepter from his father Brute

she guiltlesse damsell flying the mad pursuite

of her enraged stepdame Guendolen

commended her faire innocence to the fl[ou]d*streame floud

that stayd her flight wth his crosse flowing course

the waternymphs that in the bottome playd

held up thire^pearled white writst to receave^& carie take took her in

bearing and bore^straite her to aged Nereus hall

who piteous of her woes, rear'd her lanck head

and gave her to his daughters to imbath

in nectar'd lavers strew'd wth Asphodil

and through the porch & inlet of each sence

dropt in ambrosiall oyles till she reviv'd

and underwent a quick immortall change

made goddesse of the river, still she retaines

her maiden gentlenesse, and oft at eeve

visits the heards along the twilight meadows

helping all urchin blasts, & ill luck signes

that the shrewd medling Elfe delights to leave makes

and often takes our cattell wthwth strange pinches

which she wth precious viold liores heales

for wch the shepheads at thire festivals

carroll her goodnesse loud in lovely layes                  *rustick

and throw sweet garland wreaths into her streame

of pancies^pinks &** & of bonnie daffadils   *gaudie

and as the old swaine sed, she can unlock

the each clasping charme & secret holding spell^thaw the melt each numming spell

if she be right invok't in warbled song

for maidenhood she loves & will be swift

to^aidea virgin such as was her selfe

**in honourd vertues cause, this will I trie *in hard distressed need

and adde the powerpower[ca]ll of some strong* verse adjuring


        Sabrina faire

          listen virgin where thou sit'st art sitting

   under the glassie coole translucent wave

          in twisted braids of lillies knitting

   the loose traine traine of thy amber-dropping haire

          listen for deare honours sake

          Goddesse of the silver lake

                listen and save

   Listen and appeare to us              to be said

in name of great Oceanus~~               by th'earthshaking neptunes mace
                                                and Tethys grave majestick pace
by Leucothea's lovely hands
                                  by hoarie Nereus wrin[cl]ed wrincled looke
& her son that rules the strands
                                                and the Carpathian wizards hooke
by Thetis tinsel-slipper'd feet
                                                by Scaly Tritons winding shell
and the songs of Sirens sweet and old sooth-saying Glaucus spell

by dead Parthenope's deare tomb by leucotheas &c

and faire Lige'as golden combe

wherwth she sits on diamond rocks

sleeking her soft alluring locks            ~~by all the nymphs that nightly dance

rise rise & heave thy rosie head              upon thy streams wth wilie glance

from thy corall-paven bed

and bridle in thy headlong wave

till thou our summons answerd have

        Listen & save

Sabrina rises attended wth the water nymphs


By the rushie-fringed banck

    where grows the willow, & the osier danck

my sliding chariot stayes

thick set wth Agat, and the azurne sheene

of turquis turkis blew, & emrald emrauld greene

that my rich wheeles inlayes that in the channell straies

Whilst from off the waters fleet

thus I set my printlesse feet

   ore the couslips velvet head

   that bends^not as I tread

Gentle swaine at thy beherequest

I am heere

Dæ. Goddesse deere

wee implore thy powerfull hand

to undoe the mag charmed band

of true virgin heere distres't

through the force, & through the wile

of unblest enchanter vile.

Sa. Shepheard tis my office best

to helpe ensnared chastitie

vertuous Brightest ladie looke on me

thus I sprinckle on thy brest

drops that from my fountaine pure

I have kept of precious cure

thrice upon thy fingers tip

thrice upon thy rubied lip.

next this marble venom'd seate

smear'd wth gumms of glutenous heate
                                                          Sabrina descends
I touch wth chast palmes moist & cold

now the spell hath lost his hold                   -------the ladie rises out

and I must hast ere morning howre              of her seate

To waite in Amphitrites in her bowre

Dae Virgin daughter of Locrine

sprung of old Anchises line
may thy^ crystall waves for this

thire full tribute never misse

from a thousand petty rills

that tumble downe fromthe snowie hills

summer drouth, or singed aire

never scorch thy tresses faire

nor wet Octobers torrent flood

thy molten crystal fill wth mud

may thy billowes roule a shore

the beryll & ye golden ore

may thy lofty head be crownd

wth many a towre, & terrace round

and heere & there thy bancks upon

wth groves of mirrhe, & cinnamon. Song ends

Come Ladie while heav'n lends us grace

let us fly this cursed place

lest the sorcerer us intice

wth some other new device

not a wast or needlesse sound

till wee come to holyer ground

I shall be yo'r faithfull guide

through this gloomie covert wide

and not many furlongs thence

is yor fathers residence

where this night are^metcome in state

many a freind to gratulate

his wish't præsence, & beside

all the swayns that neere abide

wth Iiggs & rurall dance resort

wee shall catch them at thire sport

and our suddaine comming there

will double all thire mirth & cheere                   *

come let us hast the starres *are high            grow

But night raignes sitts monarch yet in the mid skie Exeunt.

        the scene changes and then is præsented Ludlow towne

        & the præsidents castle then enter countrie dances & such

        like gambols &c.
Afte those sports the Dæmon wth ye 2 bro. & the Ladie enter

  the Dæmon sings

Back shepheards back enough yor play

till next sunshine Holyday

heere be wth out duck or nod

other trippings to be trod      such neate

*flighter of speediernimbler toesng, & courtly^such   neate guise       of lighter toes, &
such court guise

such as Hermes* did^*[first]devise            Mercury        *first

wth the mincing Dryades

on the lawns, & on the leas

Noble Lord & Ladie bright 2 song.

I have brought yee new delight

heere behold so goodly growne

three faire branches of yor owne

Heav'n hath timely try'd thire youth

thire faith, thire *patience, & thire truth temperance*patience

and sent them heere through hard assayes

wth to a crowne of deathlesse bays praise

to triumph in victorious dance

ore sensuall folly, & intemperance

  they dance.              the dances all ended

the Dæmon sings. or sayes

To the Ocean now I fly

and those happie climes that lie

where day never shuts his eye

up in the *plaine feilds of the skie *broad

farre beyond ~~ye earths end

where the ~~welkin cleerelow doth bend

ther I suck the liquid aire

all amidst the gardens faire

of AtlasHesperus & his da^ughtersneeces three

that sing about the golden tree

there æternall summer dwells

and west winds wth musky wing

about the myrtle* alleys fling             *cedar'ne
balme balme, & casia's fr^agrantbalmy smells

Iris there wth garnish't* bow              *garish humid

waters the odorous anks yt blow

flowers of more mingled hew

then her^purfl'dwatchet scarfe can shew

yellow, watchet, greene, & blew

and drenches oft wth manna dew

beds of Hyacinth, & roses

where many a cherub soft reposes<

now my *messagetaske well2 1is ^smoothlydon             *buisnesse

I can fly, or I can run

quickly to the earths greene^earths end

where the bow'd welkin slow doth bend

and from thence can soare as soone

to the corners of ye moone

mortalls that would follow me

love vertue she alone is free

she can teach yee how to clime

higher then the sphærie chime

of if vertue feeble were

heaven it selfe would bo^wstoope to her. Exit

                the end.             Finis[.]

           The Dæmon sings or says

To the Ocean now I fly,

and those happie climes that lie

where day never shuts his eye

up in the broad feilds of ye skie:

there I suck the liquid aire

all amidst the gardens faire

of Hesperus & his daughters three

where grows the right borne gold^that sing about the golden tree.upon his native tree.

along the crisped shades and bowrs

revells the spruce and jocond Spring

the Graces and the rosie-bosom'd Howrs

thither all thire bounties bring

that there eternall Summer dwells

& west winds wth muskie wing

about the cedar'ne alleys fling

Nard & Cassia's baulmie smells

Iris there wth humid bow

waters the odorous banks that blow

flowers of more mingled hew

then her purfl'd scarfe can shew

yellow, watchet, greene, & blew

& drenches wth Sabæanx dew          xElysian

beds of hyacinth & roses     (list mortals if yor eares be true)

where young Adonis oft reposes

waxing well of his deepe wound

in slumber soft, & on the ground

sadly sits th'Assyrian Queene

but farre aboe in spangled sheene

celestiall Cupid her fam'd son advanc't

holds his deare psyche sweet entranc't

after her wandring labours long

till free consent the gods among

make her his eternall Bride

and from her faire unspotted side

tow blissfull twins are to be borne

Youth & Ioy: so Iove hath sworne

But now my taske is smoothly don

I can fly, or I can run

quickly to the greene earths end

where the bow'd welkin slow doth bend

& 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 yee how to clime

higher then the sphearie chime

or if vertue feeble we

heaven it selfe would stoope to her.

        The end.

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