Abbildungen der Seite

“ That I incline to hope rather than fear,
“ And gladly banish squint suspicion.
“My sister is not so defenceless left
“ As you imagine ; she has a hidden strength
“ Which you remember not.
1. Bro. " What hidden strength

go “Unless the strength of Heav'n? if you mean that. E. Bro. I mean that too; but yet a hidden

strength, " Which, if Heav'n gave it, may be term’d her own; “ 'Tis chastity, my brother, chastity : “ She that has that is clad in complete steel, “ And like a quiver'd nymph with arrows keen "May trace huge forests and unharbour'd heaths, “ Infamous hills and sandy perilous wilds, • Where thro' the sacred rays of chastity No savage fierce, bandit, or mountaineer, « Will dare to soil her virgin purity; “ Yea, there where very desolation dwells, By grots and caverns shagg’d with horrid shades, “ She may pass on with unblenchid majesty, “ Be it not done in pride or in presumption. “ Some say no evil thing that walks by night “ In fog or fire, by lake or moorish fen, “ Blue meagre hag, or stubborn unlaid ghost, “ That breaks his magick chains at curfew time, “No goblin, or swart Fairy of the mine, “ Hath hurtful pow'r o'er true virginity. “ Do ye believe me yet, or shall I call “ Antiquity from the old schools of Greece




“ To testify the arms of Chastity ? “ Hence had the huntress Dian her dread bow, “ Fair silver-shafted queen, for ever chaste ! " Wherewith she tam'd the brinded lioness And spotted mountain pard, but set at nought « The friv’lous bolt of Cupid : gods and men “ Fear'd her stern frown, and she was Queen o'th'

Woods. " What was the snaky-headed Gorgon shield + That wise Minerva wore, unconquer'd virgin ! 6 Wherewith she freez'd her foes to congeal'd stone, “ But rigid looks of chaste austerity “ And noble grace, that dash'd brute violence " With sudden adoration and blank awe ? " So dear to Heav’n is saintly chastity, “ That, when a soul is found sincerely so, " A thousand livery'd angels lacquey her, “ Driving far off each thing of sin and guilt, 130 " And in clear dream and solemn vision « Tell her of things that no gross ear can hear, " Till’oft converse with heav'nly habitants “ Begin to cast a beam on th' outward shape, “ The unpolluted temple of the mind, " And turn it by degrees to the soul's essence, « Till all be made immortal. “ But when lust “ By unchaste looks, loose gestures, and foul talk, “ But most by lewd and lavish act of sin, 148 • Lets in defilement to the inward parts, “ The soul grows clotted by contagion,


“ Imbodies and imbrutes, till she quite lose “ The divine property of her first being. “ Such are those thick and gloomy shadows damp “ Oft' seen in charnel vaults and sepulchres,

Ling’ring and sitting by a new-made grave, “ As loath to leave the body that it lov’d, “ And link'd itself in carnal sensuality " To a degen’rate and degraded state.

7. Bro. “How charming is divine philosophy!
“ Not harsh and crabbed, as dull fools suppose,
“ But musical as is Apollo's lute,
“ And a perpetual feast of nectar'd sweets,
“ Where no crude surfeit reigns.”

E. Bro. - -List, list! I hear
Some far-off halloo break the silent air.

7. Bro. Methought so to; what should it be?

E. Bro. For certain Either some one like us night-founder'd here, 160 Or else some neighbour woodman, or at worst Some roving robber calling to his fellows. 7. Bro. Heav'n keep my sister! Again ! again! and

near !
Best draw, and stand upon our guard.

E. Bro. I'll halloo;
If he be friendly he comes well ; if not,
Defence is a good cause, and Heav'n be for us.

Enter the first Attendant Spirit, habited like a Shepherd. 7. Bro. That halloo I should know-What are you?


si Come not too near; you fall on iron stakes else.” F.Spi. What voice is that? my young lord ? Speak again.

170 Y. Bro. O brother, 't is my father's shepherd sure. E. Bro. Thyrsis ? whose artful strains have oft' de

The huddling brook to hear his madrigal,
And sweeten'd ev'ry muskrose of the dale,
How cam’st thou here good Swain? has any ram
Slipp'd from the fold, or young kid lost his dam,
Or straggling weather the pent flock forsook ?
How couldst thou find this dark sequester'd nook ?

F.Spi. Omy lov'd master's heir, and his next joy! “ I came not here on such a trivial toy

18o “ As a stray'd ewe, or to pursue the stealth “ Of pilf’ring wolf: not all the fleecy wealth " That doth enrich these downs is worth a thought " To this my errand, and the care it brought. « But oh!” where is my virgin lady? where is she ? How chance she is not in your company?

E. Bro. To tell thee sadly, Shepherd, without blame Or our neglect we lost her as we came.

F." Spi. Ah me! unhappy! then my fears are true. E. Bro. What fears, good Thyrsis! prithee briefly shew?

190 F.Spi. “I'll tell ye: 't is not vain, nor fabulous, i (Tho' so esteem'd by shallow ignorance) “ What the sage poets, taught by th’ heav'nly Muse, " Story'd of old in high immortal verse, “Of dire Chimeras, and enchanted isles,


! And rifted rocks, whose entrance leads to hell ;
“ For such there be ; but unbelief is blind.
E. Bro. “Proceed, good Shepherd! I am all atten-

F.Spi. Within the navel of this hideous wood,
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 wanton as his father;
“ And here to ev'ry thirsty wanderer

By sly enticements gives his baneful cup, “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, unmoulding reason's mintage “ Character'd in the face." This have I learnt Tending my dock hard by, “i'th' hilly crofts “ That brow this bottom glade,” whence night by

night He and his monstrous rout are heard to howl “ Like stabled wolves or tigers at their prey, Doing abhorred rites to Hecate " In their obscured haunts and inmost bow'rs." Yet have they many baits and guileful spells, And beauty's tempting semblance can put on T'inveigle and invite th' unwary sense “Of them that pass unweeting by the way." But hark! the beaten timbrel's jarring sound And wild tumultuous mirth proclaim their presence ; Onward they move; .“ and see! a blazing torch




[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »