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The Measure.

Break off, break off, I feel the different pace,
Of som chast footing neer about this ground.
Run to your shrouds, within these Brakes and Trees,
Our number may affright: Som Virgin sure
(For so I can distinguish by mine Art)

Benighted in these Woods. Now to my charms,
And to my wily trains, I shall e're long
Be well stock't with as fair a herd as graz'd
About my Mother Circe. Thus I hurl
My dazling Spells into the spungy ayr,
Of power to cheat the eye with blear illusion,
And give it false presentments, lest the place
And my quaint habits breed astonishment,
And put the Damsel to suspicious .flight,

Which must not be, for that's against my course;
I under fair pretence of friendly ends,
And well plac't words of glozing courtesie
Baited with reasons not unplausible
Wind me into the easie-hearted man,

And hugg him into snares.

When once her eye

Hath met the vertue of this Magick dust,

I shall appear som harmles Villager

Whom thrift keeps up about his Country gear,
But here she comes, I fairly step aside,

And hearken, if I may, her busines here.

The Lady enters.

This way the noise was, if mine ear be true,
My best guide now, me thought it was the sound
Of Riot, and ill manag'd Merriment,

Such as the jocond Flute, or gamesom Pipe.
Stirs up among the loose unleter'd Hinds,
When for their teeming Flocks, and granges full
In wanton dance they praise the bounteous Pan,
And thank the gods amiss. I should be loath
To meet the rudenesse, and swill'd insolence
Of such late Wassailers; yet O where els
Shall I inform my unacquainted feet

167 omitted 1673

168, 9 order inverted 1673





169 If I may, her busines here] If I may her business hear 1673 Errata.

In the blind mazes of this tangl'd Wood?
My Brothers when they saw me wearied out
With this long way, resolving here to lodge
Under the spreading favour of these Pines,
Stept as they se'd 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-hooded Eev'n
Like a sad Votarist in Palmers weed

Rose from the hindmost wheels of Phoebus wain.
But where they are, and why they came not back,
Is now the labour of my thoughts, 'tis likeliest
They had ingag'd their wandring steps too far,
And envious darknes, e're they could return,
Had stole them from me, els O theevish Night
Why shouldst thou, but for som fellonious end,
In thy dark lantern thus close up the Stars,
That nature hung in Heav'n, and fill'd their Lamps
With everlasting oil, to give due light

To the misled and lonely Travailer?
This is the place, as well as I may guess,
Whence eev'n now the tumult of loud Mirth
Was rife, and perfet in my list'ning ear,
Yet nought but single darknes do I find.
What might this be? A thousand fantasies
Begin to throng into my memory

Of calling shapes, and beckning shadows dire,
And airy tongues, that syllable mens names
On Sands, and Shoars, and desert Wildernesses.
These thoughts may startle well, but not astound
The vertuous mind, that ever walks attended
By a strong siding champion Conscience.
O welcom pure-ey'd Faith, white-handed Hope,
Thou hovering Angel girt with golden wings,
And thou unblemish't form of Chastity,

I see ye visibly, and now beleeve

That he, the Supreme good, t' whom all things ill
Are but as slavish officers of vengeance,

Would send a glistring Guardian if need were
To keep my life and honour unassail'd.
Was I deceiv'd, or did a sable cloud

Turn forth her silver lining on the night?





I did not err, there does a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night,
And casts a gleam over this tufted Grove.
I cannot hallow to my Brothers, but

Such noise as I can make to be heard farthest
Ile venter, for my new enliv'nd spirits

Prompt me; and they perhaps are not far off.


Sweet Echo, sweetest Nymph that liv'st unseen
Within thy airy shell

By slow Meander's margent green,

And in the violet imbroider'd vale

Where the love-lorn Nightingale

Nightly to thee her sad Song mourneth well.
Canst thou not tell me of a gentle Pair
That likest thy Narcissus are?

O if thou have

Hid them in som flowry Cave,

Tell me but where

Sweet Queen of Parly, Daughter of the Sphear,
So maist thou be translated to the skies,

And give resounding grace to all Heav'ns Harmonies.

Com. Can any mortal mixture of Earths mould
Breath such Divine inchanting ravishment?
Sure somthing holy lodges in that brest,
And with these raptures moves the vocal air
To testifie his hidd'n residence ;

How sweetly did they float upon the wings
Of silence, through the empty-vaulted night
At every fall smoothing the Raven doune
Of darknes till it smil'd: I have oft heard
My mother Circe with the Sirens three,
Amid'st the flowry-kirtl'd Naiades
Culling their Potent hearbs, and balefull drugs,
Who as they sung, would take the prison'd soul,
And lap it in Elysium, Scylla wept,
And chid her barking waves into attention,
And fell Charybdis murmur'd soft applause :
Yet they in pleasing slumber lull'd the sense,
And in sweet madnes rob'd it of it self,





But such a sacred, and home-felt delight,
Such sober certainty of waking bliss

I never heard till now. Ile speak to her

And she shall be my Queen. Hail forren wonder
Whom certain these rough shades did never breed
Unlesse the Goddes that in rural shrine

Dwell'st here with Pan, or Silvan, by blest Song
Forbidding every bleak unkindly Fog

To touch the prosperous growth of this tall Wood. 270
La. Nay gentle Shepherd ill is lost that praise
That is addrest to unattending Ears,

Not any boast of skill, but extreme shift
How to regain my sever'd company

Compell'd me to awake the courteous Echo

To give me answer from her mossie Couch.

Co. What chance good Lady hath bereft you thus?
La. Dim darknes, and this leavy Labyrinth.

Co. Could that divide you from neer-ushering guides?
La. They left me weary on a grassie terf.
Co. By falshood, or discourtesie, or why?


La. To seek i'th vally som cool friendly Spring.
Co. And left your fair side all unguarded Lady?
La. They were but twain, and purpos'd quick return.
Co. Perhaps fore-stalling night prevented them.
La. How easie my misfortune is to hit!
Co. Imports their loss, beside the present need?
La. No less then if I should my brothers loose.
Co. Were they of manly prime, or youthful bloom?
La. As smooth as Hebe's their unrazor'd lips.
Co. Two such I saw, what time the labour'd Oxe
In his loose traces from the furrow came,
And the swink't hedger at his Supper sate;

I saw them under a green mantling vine
That crawls along the side of yon small hill,
Plucking ripe clusters from the tender shoots,
Their port was more then human, as they stood;
I took it for a faëry vision

Of som gay creatures of the element
That in the colours of the Rainbow live

And play i'th plighted clouds. I was aw-strook,
And as I past, I worshipt: if those you seek
It were a journey like the path to Heav'n,



To help you find them. La. Gentle villager
What readiest way would bring me to that place?
Co. Due west it rises from this shrubby point.
La. To find out that, good Shepherd, I suppose,
In such a scant allowance of Star-light,
Would overtask the best Land-Pilots art,
Without the sure guess of well-practiz'd feet,

Co. I know each lane, and every alley green
Dingle, or bushy dell of this wilde Wood,
And every bosky bourn from side to side
My daily walks and ancient neighbourhood,
And if your stray attendance be yet lodg'd,
Or shroud within these limits, I shall know
Ere morrow wake, or the low roosted lark
From her thatch't pallat rowse, if otherwise
I can conduct you Lady to a low
But loyal cottage, where you may be safe
Till further quest'.

La. Shepherd I take thy word,

And trust thy honest offer'd courtesie,

Which oft is sooner found in lowly sheds
With smoaky rafters, then in tapstry Halls

And Courts of Princes, where it first was nam'd,
And yet is most pretended: In a place
Less warranted then this, or less secure



I cannot be, that I should fear to change it.
Eie me blest Providence, and square my triall
To my proportion'd strength. Shepherd lead on.— 330

The Two Brothers.

Eld. Bro. Unmuffle ye faint stars, and thou fair Moon That wontst to love the travailers benizon,

Stoop thy pale visage through an amber cloud,
And disinherit Chaos, that raigns here
In double night of darknes, and of shades;
Or if your influence be quite damm'd up
With black usurping mists, som gentle taper
Though a rush Candle from the wicker hole
Of som clay habitation visit us

With thy long levell'd rule of streaming light,
And thou shalt be our star of Arcady,
Or Tyrian Cynosure. 2. Bro. Or if our eyes
Be barr'd that happines, might we but hear


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