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And a perpetual feast of nectar'd sweets,
486 Some far off hallow break the silent air.
2 Bro. Methought so too ; what should it be ?
I Bro. For certain Either some one like us night-founder'd here, Or else some neighbour wood-man, or, at worst, Some roving robber calling to his fellows. 485
2 Bro. Heav'n keep my Sister! Again, again, and Best draw, and stand upon our guard. [near ;
1 Bro. I'll hallow ; If he be friendly, he comes well; if not, Defense is a good cause, and Heav'n be for us.
The attendent Spirit, habited like a shepherd.
That hallow I should know, what are you? speak; 490
again. 2 Bro. O brother, 'tis my father's shepherd, sure. 1 Bro. Thyrfis ? whose artful strains have oft de
lay'd The huddling brook to hear his niadrigal, 495 And sweeten'd every mulkrose of the dale. How cam'st thou here, good Swain ? hath any ram Slipt from the fold, or young kid loft his dam, Or straggling wether the pent flock forsook ? How could'st thou find this dark sequester’d nook ? goo
Spi. O my lov'd mafter's heir, and his next joy, I came not here on such a trivial toy As a stray'd ewe, or to pursue the stealth Of pilfering wolf; not all the fleecy wealth That doth enrich these downs, is worth a thought 305 To this my errand, and the care it brought. But, O my virgin Lady, where is the ? How chance she is not in your company?
1 Bro. To tell thee fadly, Shepherd, without blame, Or our neglect, we loft her as we came.
510 Spi. Ay me unhappy! then my fears are true.
Bro. What fears, good Thyrfis ? Proythee briefly Spi. I'll tell you ; 'tis not vain or fabulous, (shew. (Though fo esteem'd by shallow ignorance) What the fage poets, taught by th' heav'nly Muse, 515 Story'd of old in high immortal verse, Of dire chimera's and inchanted iles, And rifted rocks whose entrance leads to Hell; For such there be, but unbelief is blind.
Within the navel of this hideous wood, 520 Immur'd in cypress shades, a sorcerer dwells, Of Bacchus and of Circe born, great Comus, Deep skill'd in all his mother's witcheries, And here to every thirsty wanderer By sly enticement gives his baneful cup,
525 With many murmurs mix’d, whose pleasing poison The visage quite transforms of him that drinks, And the inglorious likeness of a beast Fixes instead, unmolding reason's mintage Charácter'd in the face ; this have I learnt
Tending my flocks hard by i'th' hilly crofts,
545 Wrapt in a pleasing fit of melancholy, To meditate my rural minstrelsy, Till fancy had her fill, but ere a close The wonted roar was up amidst the woods, And fill'd the air with barbarous diffonance ; 550 At which I ceas’d, and listend them a while, Till an unusual stop of sudden silence Gave respit to the drousy-flighted steeds, That draw the litter of close-curtain'd fleep ; At last a soft and solemn breathing sound
555 Rose like a steam of rich diftillid perfumes, And stole upon the air, that even Silence Was took ere she was ware, and wish'd she might Deny her nature, and be never more, Still to be so displac’d. I was all ear,
And took in strains that might create a soul
1 Bro. Yes, and keep it still,
Virtue may be assail'd, but never hurt,
Spi. Alas! good ventrous Youth, I love thy courage yet, and bold emprise ; 610 But here thy sword can do thee little stead ; Far other arms, and other weapons, must Be those that quell the might of hellish charms : He with his bare wand can unthred thy joints, And crumble all thy sinews.
i Bro. Why pr’ythee, Shepherd, How durst thou then thyself approach so near,