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Part of an Entertainment presented to the Countess Dowager
of Derby, at Harefield, by some noble persons of her family ; who appear on the scene in pastoral habit, moving toward the seat of state, with this song.
Look, Nynıphs and Shepherds, look,
What sudden blaze of majesty
Is that which we from hence descry,
Too divine to be mistook;
This, this is she
To whom our vows and wishes bend;
Here our solemn search hath end.
Fame, that her high worth to raise,
Seem'd erst so lavish and profuse,
We may justly now accuse
Of detraction from her praise ;
Less than half we find express’d,
Envy bid conceal the rest.
3 This] Jonson's Ent. at Altrope, 1603.
• This is shee,
This is shee,
In whose world of grace,' &c.
Mark what radiant state she spreads,
In circle round her shining throne,
Shooting her beams like silver threads ;
This, this is she alone,
Sitting like a Goddess bright,
In the centre of her light.
Might she the wise Latona be,
Or the tower'd Cybele,
Mother of a hundred Gods?
Juno dares not give her odds ;
Who had thought this clime had held
A deity so unparallel'd ?
As they come forward, the Genius of the wood
appears, and turning toward them, speaks. Gen. Stay, gentle Swains, for though in this
disguise, I see bright honour sparkle through your eyes; Of famous Arcady ye are, Of that renowned flood, so often sung, Divine Alphéus, who by secret sluice Stole under seas to meet his Arethuse ; And ye, the breathing roses of the wood, Fair silver-buskin'd Nymphs, as great and good,
23 give] Too lightly expressed for the occasion. Hurd. 30 Alphéus] Virg. Æn. iii. 694.
Alpheum, fama est, huc Elidis amnem
Occultas egisse vias subter mare, qui nunc
Ore, Arethusa, tuo,' &c.
And early, ere the odorous breath of morn
Awakes the slumb'ring leaves, or tassel'd horn
Shakes the high thicket, haste I all about,
Number my ranks, and visit every sprout
With puissant words, and murmurs made to bless;
But else, in deep of night when drowsiness
Hath lock'd up mortal sense, then listen I
To the celestial Sirens' harmony,
That sit upon the nine infolded spheres,
And sing to those that hold the vital shears, 65
And turn the adamantine spindle round,
On which the fate of Gods and men is wound.
Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie,
To lull the daughters of Necessity,
And keep unsteady Nature to her law,
And the low world in measur'd motion draw
After the heavenly tune, which none can hear
Of human mould, with gross unpurged ear;
And yet such music worthiest were to blaze
The peerless height of her immortal praise,
73 gross] Compare Shakesp. Merchant of Venice, act v.
• There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st,
But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubims :
Such harmony is in immortal sounds!
But whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close us in, we cannot hear it.
Shakesp. Mid. N. D. act iii. sc. 1.
And I will purge thy mortal grossness so, &c.