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Would think to charm my judgment, as mine eyes,
Obtruding false rules prank'd in reason's garb.
I hate when vice can bolt her arguments,
And virtue has no tongue to check her pride.
Impostor, do not charge most innocent Nature,
As if she would her children should be riotous
With her abundance; she, good cateress,
Means her provision only to the good,
That live according to her sober laws,
And holy dictate of spare temperance:
If every just man, that now pines with want,
Had but a moderate and beseeming share
Of that which lewdly-pamper'd luxury
Now heaps upon some few with vast excess,
Nature's full blessings would be well dispens'd
In unsuperfluous even proportion,
And she no wit incumber'd with her store;
And then the giver would be better thank'd,
His praise due paid; for swinish gluttony
Ne'er looks to heav'n amidst his gorgeous feast,
But with besotted base ingratitude
Crams, and blasphemes his feeder. Shall I go on?
Or have I said enough? To him that dares
Arm his profane tongue with contemptuous words
Against the sun-clad pow'r of Chastity,
Fain would I something say, yet to what end?
Thou hast nor ear, nor soul to apprehend
The sublime notion, and high mystery,
That must be utter'd to unfold the sage
And serious doctrine of Virginity,
And thou art worthy that thou shouldst not know
More happiness than this thy present lot.
Enjoy your dear wit, and gay rhetoric,
That hath so well been taught her dazzling fence,
Thou art not fit to hear thyself convinc'd;
Yet should I try, the uncontrolled worth
Of this pure cause would kindle my rapt spirits
To such a flame of sacred vehemence,
That dumb things would be mov'd to sympathize,
And the brute earth would lend her nerves, and
Till all thy magic structures rear'd so high,
Were shatter'd into heaps o'er thy false head.
COм. She fables not, I feel that I do fear 800
Her words set off by some superior power :
And though not mortal, yet a cold shudd'ring dew
Dips me all o'er, as when the wrath of Jove
Speaks thunder, and the chains of Erebus,
To some of Saturn's crew. I must dissemble, 805
And try her yet more strongly. Come, no more,
This is mere moral babble, and direct
Against the cannon laws of our foundation;
I must not suffer this, yet 'tis but the lees
And settlings of a melancholy blood:
But this will cure all strait, one sip of this
'This is mere moral stuff, the very lees.' 'Yet' is bad. 'But' very inaccurate. Hurd.
797 brute] Hor. Od. i. xxxiv. 9. Bruta tellus.' Warton. 809 lees] I like the MS. reading best,
Will bathe the drooping spirits in delight, Beyond the bliss of dreams. Be wise, and taste.
The BROTHERS rush in with swords drawn, wrest his glass out of his hand, and break it against the ground; his rout make sign of resistance, but are all driven in. The ATTENDANT SPIRIT comes in.
SPIR. What, have you let the false inchanter 'scape?
ye mistook, ye should have snatch'd his wand, And bound him fast; without his rod revers'd, And backward mutters of dissevering power, We cannot free the Lady that sits here In stony fetters fix'd, and motionless :
Yet stay, be not disturb'd: now I bethink me,
Some other means I have which may be us'd,
Which once of Melibœus old I learnt,
The soothest shepherd that e'er pip'd on plains.
There is a gentle nymph not far from hence, That with moist curb sways the smooth Severn stream,
Sabrina is her name, a virgin pure;
Whilome she was the daughter of Locrine,
That had the sceptre from his father Brute.
816 revers'd] Ov. Metam. xiv. 300. 'Converse verbere virga.' This Sandys translates, her wand reverst.' Warton. 826 Sabrina] Rob. of Gloucester's Chron. 61. p. 25. ed. Hearne.
She, guiltless damsel, flying the mad pursuit
Of her enraged stepdame Guendolen,
Commended her fair innocence to the flood,
That stay'd her flight with his cross-flowing course.
The water nymphs that in the bottom play'd,
Held up their pearled wrists, and took her in,
Bearing her straight to aged Nereus' hall,
Who piteous of her woes, rear'd her lank head,
And gave her to his daughters to imbathe
In nectar'd lavers strow'd with asphodil,
And through the porch and inlet of each sense
Dropp'd in ambrosial oils, till she reviv'd,
And underwent a quick immortal change,
Made Goddess of the river: still she retains
Her maiden gentleness, and oft at eve
Visits the herds along the twilight meadows,
Helping all urchin blasts, and ill-luck signs
That the shrewd meddling elf delights to make,
Which she with precious vial'd liquors heals.
For which the shepherds at their festivals
Carol her goodness loud in rustic lays,
And throw sweet garland wreaths into her stream
Of pancies, pinks, and gaudy daffodils.
And, as the old swain said, she can unlock
The clasping charm, and thaw the numbing spell,
If she be right invok'd in warbled song,
For maidenhood she loves, and will be swift 855
To aid a virgin, such as was herself,
829 She] So ed. 1645, and MS. Eds. 1637, and 1695, 'The.' Tickell, Fenton, Ed. 1713, and Warton, 'She.'
In hard-besetting need; this will I try,
And add the pow'r of some adjuring verse.
Listen where thou art sitting
Under the glassy, cool, translucent wave,
In twisted braids of lilies knitting
The loose train of thy amber-dropping hair;
Listen for dear honour's sake,
Goddess of the silver lake,
Listen and save.
Listen and appear to us
In name of great Oceanus,
By th' earth-shaking Neptune's mace,
And Tethys' grave majestic pace,
By hoary Nereus' wrinkled look,
And the Carpathian wisard's hook,
By scaly Triton's winding shell,
And old soothsaying Glaucus' spell,
By Leucothea's lovely hands,
863 amber-dropping] Consult Warton's note. Todd gives an extract from Nash's Terrors of the Night, 1594. Their haire they ware loose unrowled about their shoulders, whose dangling amber trammells reaching downe beneath their knees, seemed to drop baulme on their delicious bodies.'
868 great] Hes. Theog. 20. 'QKɛavóv TE μéyav. Newton. 871 hoary] Virg. Georg. iv. 392. 'Grandævus Nereus.'
72 Carpathian] Carpathius vates.' Stat. Ach. i. 136. Val. Flacc. ii. 317.