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PRESENTED AT LUDLOW CASTLE, 1634.
JOHN, EARL OF BRIDGEWATER,
THEN PRESIDENT OF WALES.
JOHN LORD VISCOUNT BRACKLEY,
MY LORD, This poem, which received its first occasion of birth from yourself and others of your noble family, and much honour from your own person in the performance, now returns again to make a final dedication of itself to you. Although not openly acknowledged by the author,yet it is a legitimate offspring, so lovely and so much desired, that the often copying of it hath tired my pen to give my several friends satisfaction, and brought me to a necessity of producing it to the public view; and now to offer it up in all rightful devotion to those fair hopes, and rare endowments of your much pramising youth, which give a full assurance, to all that know you, of a future excellence. Live, sweet Lord, to be the honour of your name, and receive this as your own, from the hands of him, who hath by many favours been long obliged to your most honoured parents, and as in this representation your attendant Thyrsis, so now in all real expression Your faithful and most humble servant,
* This is the dedication to Lawes's edition of the Mask, 1637.
The Attendant Spirit, afterwards in the habit of
THE CHIEF PERSONS, WHO PRESENTED, WERE,
The Lord Brackley.
The first Scene discovers a wild Wood.
BEFORE the starry threshold of Jove's court
But to my task. Neptune, besides the sway