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To keep my life and honour unassail'd.
Such noise as I can make to be heard farthest
Sweet Echo, sweetest Nymph, that liv'st unseen
By slow Meander's margent green,
And in the violet-embroider'd vale,
Where the love-lorn nightingale
Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well;
That likest thy Narcissus are?
O, if thou have
Hid them in some flowery cave,
Tell me but where,
Sweet queen of parly, daughter of the sphere
And give resounding grace to all Heaven's har
Comus. Can any mortal mixture of earth's mould Breathe such divine enchanting ravishment?
Sure something holy lodges in that breast,
How sweetly did they float upon the wings
Culling their potent herbs and baleful drugs;
And chid her barking waves into attention,
I never heard till now. I'll speak to her,
Dwell'st here with Pan, or Sylvan; by blest song
Forbidding every bleak unkindly fog
To touch the prosperous growth of this tall wood. Lady. Nay, gentle shepherd, ill is lost that
That is address'd to unattending ears:
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 mossy couch. Comus. What chance, good Lady, hath bereft you thus?
Lady. Dim darkness, and his leafy labyrinth. Comus. Could that divide you from near ushering guides?
Lady. They left me weary on a grassy turf. Comus. By falshood, or discourtesy, or why? Lady. To seek i' the valley some cool friendly
Comus. And left your fair side all unguarded,
Lady. They were but twain, and purpos'd quick
Comus. Perhaps forestalling night prevented them.
Lady. How easy my misfortune is to hit!
Comus. Imports their loss, beside the present.
Lady. No less than if I should my Brothers lose. Comus. Were they of manly prime, or youthful bloom?
Lady. As smooth as Hebe's their unrazor'd lips. Comus. Two such I saw, what time the labour'd ox
In his loose traces from the furrow came,
Of some gay creatures of the element,
That in the colours of the rainbow live,
And play i' the plighted clouds. I was aw-struck,
What readiest way would bring me to the place? Comus. Due west it rises from this shrubby point. Lady. To find out that, good Shepherd, I suppose In such a scant allowance of star-light,
Would overtask the best land pilot's art,
Without the sure guess of well-practis'd feet.
Comus. I know each lane, and every alley green,
Dingle, or bushy dell of this wild wood,
And every bosky bourn from side to side,
But loyal cottage, where you may be safe
Shepherd, I take thy word
And trust thy honest offer'd courtesy,
Which oft is sooner found in lowly sheds
I cannot be, that I should fear to change it.-
Enter the two BROTHERS.
Elder Brother. Unmuffle, ye faint stars; and thou, fair moon,
That wont'st to love the traveller's benison,
Stoop thy pale visage through an amber cloud,
In double night of darkness and of shades;