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Where through the sacred rays of chastity, 425
No savage fierce, bandite, 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 unblench'd 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 meager hag, or stubborn unlaid ghost,
That breaks his magic chains at curfew time, 435
No goblin, or swart faery of the mine,

Hath hurtful power 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, and set at nought The frivolous bolt of Cupid; Gods and men 445

426 bandite] Tickell changed bandite' into 'banditti,' and 'Dian' into 'Diana.'

429 shagg'd] Benlowes's Theophila, p. 226.

'Embost with trees, with bushes shagg'd.'

432 Some say] Hamlet, act 1, sc. 1. 'But then, they say, no spirit walks abroad.'

433 fog] Milton here had his eye on Fletcher's F. Shepherdess, act 1. I have heard, (my mother told it me),' &c. Newton.

Fear'd her stern frown, and she was queen o' th'


What was that snaky-headed Gorgon shield, That wise Minerva wore, unconquer'd virgin, 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 liveried angels lacky her,
Driving far off each thing of sin and guilt,
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, 460
The unpolluted temple of the mind,

And turns 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,
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.

449 freez'd] Dante Inferno, c. ix. Che se'l Gorgon si


455 liveried] Nabbes's Microcosmus, p. 22.

469 divine] Hor. Sat. ii. ii. 79.

Atque affligit humo divinæ particulam auræ !' Todd.



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 by carnal sensuality
To a degenerate and degraded state.

2 BR. 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.

1 B. List, list, I hear

Some far off halloo break the silent air.

2 B. Methought so too; what should it be? 1 B. For certain

Either some one like us night-founder'd here, Or else some neighbour woodman, or, at worst, Some roving robber calling to his fellows.




2 B. Heav'n keep my Sister. Again, again, and Best draw, and stand upon our guard.

1 B. 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 ATTENDANT SPIRIT, habited like a shepherd.

That halloo I should know, what are you? speak;

478 Apollo's] Love's Lab. Lost, act iv. sc. iii.

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Come not too near, you fall on iron stakes else. SPIR. What voice is that? my young Lord? speak again.

2 B. O brother, 'tis my father's shepherd, sure. 1 B. Thyrsis? Whose artful strains have oft


The huddling brook to hear his madrigal,


And sweeten'd every muskrose of the dale.
How cam'st thou here, good swain? hath any ram
Slipt from the fold, or young kid lost his dam,
Or straggling wether the pent flock forsook?
How could'st thou find this dark sequester'd nook?
SPIR. Omy lov'd master's heir, and his next joy,
I came not here on such a trivial toy
As a stray'd ewe, or to pursue the stealth
Of pilfering 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, O my virgin Lady, where is she?
How chance she is not in your company? [blame,
1 BR. To tell thee sadly, Shepherd, without
Or our neglect, we lost her as we came.



SPIR. Aye me unhappy! then my fears are true. 1 BR. What fears, good Thyrsis? Prithee briefly show.

SPIR. I'll tell ye; 'tis not vain or fabulous, Though so esteem'd by shallow ignorance, What the sage poets, taught by th' heavenly Muse,

509 sadly] Soberly, seriously. P. L. vi. 541. Newton.

Storied of old in high immortal verse,

Of dire chimeras, and inchanted isles,
And rifted rocks whose entrance leads to Hell;
For such there be, but unbelief is blind.


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 here to every thirsty wanderer
By sly enticement 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, unmolding reason's mintage
Character'd in the face: this I have learnt



Tending my flocks hard by i' th' hilly crofts, That brow this bottom-glade, whence, night by


He and his monstrous rout are heard to howl,
Like stabled wolves, or tigers at their
Doing abhorred rites to Hecate


In their obscured haunts of inmost bowers.


Yet have they many baits, and guileful spells,
T' inveigle and invite th' unwary sense
Of them that pass unweeting by the way.
This evening late, by then the chewing flocks 540
Had ta'en their supper on the savoury herb
Of knot-grass dew-besprent, and were in fold,

520 navel] Ætolos, qui umbilicum Græciæ incolerent. Liv. lib. xxxv. c. 18.

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