페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

The Persons.

The attendant Spirit afterwards in the habit of Thyrsis.

[blocks in formation]

A

MASK

PRESENTED

At LUDLOW-Castle,

1634. &c.

The first Scene discovers a wilde Wood.

The attendant Spirit descends or enters.

BEFORE the starry threshold of Joves Court
My mansion is, where those immortal shapes
Of bright aëreal Spirits live insphear'd
In Regions milde of calm and serene Ayr,
Above the smoak and stirr of this dim spot,
Which men call Earth, and with low-thoughted care
Confin'd, and pester'd in this pin-fold here,
Strive to keep up a frail, and Feaverish being
Unmindfull of the crown that Vertue gives
After this mortal change, to her true Servants
Amongst the enthron'd gods on Sainted seats.
Yet som there be that by due steps aspire
To lay their just hands on that Golden Key
That ope's the Palace of Eternity:
To such my errand is, and but for such,
I would not soil these pure Ambrosial weeds,
With the rank vapours of this Sin-worn mould.

But to my task. Neptune besides the sway
Of every salt Flood, and each ebbing Stream,
Took in by lot 'twixt high, and neather Jove,
Imperial rule of all the Sea-girt Iles

That like to rich, and various gemms inlay
The unadorned boosom of the Deep,
Which he to grace his tributary gods

[ocr errors][merged small]

By course commits to severall government,
And gives them leave to wear their Saphire crowns,
And weild their little tridents, but this Ile
The greatest, and the best of all the main
He quarters to his blu-hair'd deities,
And all this tract that fronts the falling Sun
A noble Peer of mickle trust, and power
Has in his charge, with temper'd awe to guide
An old, and haughty Nation proud in Arms:
Where his fair off-spring nurs't in Princely lore,
Are coming to attend their Fathers state,
And new-entrusted Scepter, but their way

Lies through the perplex't paths of this drear Wood,
The nodding horror of whose shady brows
Threats the forlorn and wandring Passinger.
And here their tender age might suffer perill,
But that by quick command from Soveran Jove
I was dispatcht for their defence, and guard;
And listen why, for I will tell ye now
What never yet was heard in Tale or Song
From old, or modern Bard in Hall, or Bowr.
Bacchus that first from out the purple Grape,
Crush't the sweet poyson of mis-used Wine
After the Tuscan Mariners transform'd
Coasting the Tyrrhene shore, as the winds listed,
On Circes Iland fell (who knows not Circe
The daughter of the Sun? Whose charmed Cup
Whoever tasted, lost his upright shape,
And downward fell into a groveling Swine)
This Nymph that gaz'd upon his clustring locks,
With Ivy berries wreath'd, and his blithe youth,
Had by him, ere he parted thence, a Son
Much like his Father, but his Mother more,
Whom therfore she brought up and Comus nam'd,
Who ripe, and frolick of his full grown age,
Roaving 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 mighty Art,

Offring to every weary Travailer,

30

40

50

60

43 ye] you 1673

His orient liquor in a Crystal Glasse,

To quench the drouth of Phœbus, which as they taste
(For most do taste through fond intemperate thirst)
Soon as the Potion works, their human count'nance,
Th' express resemblance of the gods, is chang'd
Into som brutish form of Woolf, or Bear,
Or Ounce, or Tiger, Hog, or bearded Goat,
All other parts remaining as they were,
And they, so perfect is their misery,
Not once perceive their foul disfigurement,
But boast themselves more comely then before
And all their friends, and native home forget
To roule with pleasure in a sensual stie.
Therfore when any favour'd of high Jove,
Chances to pass through this adventrous glade,
Swift as the Sparkle of a glancing Star,
I shoot from Heav'n to give him safe convoy,
As now I do: But first I must put off
These my skie robes spun out of Iris Wooff,
And take the Weeds and likenes of a Swain,
That to the service of this house belongs,

Who with his soft Pipe, and smooth-dittied Song,
Well knows to still the wilde winds when they roar,
And hush the waving Woods, nor of lesse faith,
And in this office of his Mountain watch,
Likeliest, and neerest to the present ayd
Of this occasion. But I hear the tread

Of hatefull steps, I must be viewles now.

70

80

90

Comus enters with a Charming Rod in one hand, his Glass in the other, with him a rout of Monsters, headed like sundry sorts of wilde Beasts, but otherwise like Men and Women, their Apparel glstring, they com in making a riotous and unruly noise, with Torches in their hands.

Comus. The Star that bids the Shepherd fold,
Now the top of Heav'n doth hold,

And the gilded Car of Day,

His glowing Axle doth allay
In the steep Atlantick stream,

And the slope Sun his upward beam
Shoots against the dusky Pole,
Pacing toward the other gole
Of his Chamber in the East.
Mean while welcom Joy, and Feast,

100

Midnight shout, and revelry,
Tipsie dance, and Jollity.

Braid your Locks with rosie Twine
Dropping odours, dropping Wine.
Rigor now is gon to bed,

And Advice with scrupulous head,
Strict Age, and sowre Severity,

With their grave Saws in slumber ly.
We that are of purer fire

Imitate the Starry Quire,

Who in their nightly watchfull Sphears,

Lead in swift round the Months and Years.

The Sounds, and Seas with all their finny drove
Now to the Moon in wavering Morrice move,
And on the Tawny Sands and Shelves,
Trip the pert Fairies and the dapper Elves;
By dimpled Brook, and Fountain brim,
The Wood-Nymphs deckt with Daisies trim,
Their merry wakes and pastimes keep:
What hath night to do with sleep?
Night hath better sweets to prove,
Venus now wakes, and wak'ns Love.
Com let us our rights begin,

'Tis onely day-light that makes Sin
Which these dun shades will ne're report.
Hail Goddesse of Nocturnal sport

[ocr errors][merged small]

Dark vaild Cotytto, t' whom the secret flame

Of mid-night Torches burns; mysterious Dame

130

That ne're art call'd, but when the Dragon woom

Of Stygian darknes spets her thickest gloom,
And makes one blot of all the ayr,

Stay thy cloudy Ebon chair,

Wherin thou rid'st with Hecat, and befriend
Us thy vow'd Priests, til utmost end

Of all thy dues be done, and none left out,

Ere the blabbing Eastern scout,

The nice Morn on th' Indian steep

From her cabin'd loop hole peep,

And to the tel-tale Sun discry

Our conceal'd Solemnity.

Com, knit hands, and beat the ground,
In a light fantastick round.

140

« 이전계속 »