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To keep my life and honour unassail'd.
Sweet Echo, sweetest Nymph, that liv'st unseen
By slow Meander's margent green,
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?
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, And with these raptures moves the vocal air To testify his hidden residence.
How sweetly did they float upon the wings
And chid her barking waves into attention,
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 praise,
That is address'd to unattending ears:
Comus. What chance, good Lady, hath bereft
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
Lady. How easy my misfortune is to hit!
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?
Without the sure guess of well-practis'd feet.
And every bosky bourn from side to side,
Shepherd, I take thy word And trust thy honest offer'd courtesy, Which oft is sooner found in lowly sheds With smoaky rafters, than in tap'stry halls In courts of princes, where it first was nam'd, And yet is most pretended; In a place Less warranted than this, or less secure, I cannot be, that I should fear to change it.Eye me, blest Providence, and square my trial To my proportion'd strength! Shepherd, lead on.
Enter the two BROTHERS.
Elder Brother. Unmuffle, ye faint stars; and
That wont'st to love the traveller's benison,