IOHN Lord Vicount BRACLY,

Son and heire apparent to the Earle

of Bridgewater, &c.

            MY LORD,

THis Poem, which receiv'd its

first occasion of birth from your

selfe, and others of your noble

familie, and much honour from

your own Person in the performance, now

returns againe to make a finall dedication

of it selfe to you. Although not openly

acknowledg'd by the Author, yet it is a

legitimate off-spring, so lovely, and so

much desired, that the often copying of

it hath tir'd my pen to give my severall


friends satisfaction, and brought me to a

necessitie of producing it to the publick

view; and now to offer it up in all rightfull

devotion to those faire hopes, and rare

Endowments of your much-promising

Youth, which give a full assurance, to all

that know you, of a future excellence.

Live sweet Lord to be the houour of your

Name, and receive this as your owne,

from the hands of him, who hath by many

favours beene long oblig'd to your most

honour'd Parents, and as in this repræ-

sentation your attendant Thyrsis, so now

in all reall expression

        Your faithfull, and most

                humble Servant,

                        H. LAVVES.



the Præsident of WALES

at Ludlow, 1634.

        The first Scene discovers a wild


                The attendant Spirit descends or enters.

BEfore the starrie threshold of Ioves Court

My mansion is, where those immortall shapes

Of bright aëreall Spirits live insphear'd

In Regions mild of calme and serene aire,

Above the smoake and stirre of this dim spot

Which men call Earth, and with low-thoughted care

Confin'd, and pester'd in this pin-fold here,

Strive to keepe up a frail, and feaverish being

Vnmindfull of the crowne that Vertue gives

After this mortall change to her true Servants

Amongst the enthron'd gods on Sainted seats.

Yet some there be that by due steps aspire


To lay their just hands on that golden key

That ope's the palace of Æternity:

To such my errand is, and but for such

I would not soile these pure ambrosial weeds

With the ranck vapours of this Sin-worne mould.

        But to my task. Neptune besides the sway

Of every salt Flood, and each ebbing Streame

Tooke in my lot 'twixt high, and neather Iove

Imperial rule of all the Sea-girt Iles

That like to rich, and various gemms inlay

The unadorned bosome of the Deepe,

Which he to grace his tributarie gods

By course commits to severall government

And gives them leave to weare their Saphire crowns,

And weild their little tridents, but this Ile

The greatest, and the best of all the maine

He quarters to his blu-hair'd deities,

And all this tract that fronts the falling Sun

A noble Peere of mickle trust, and power

Has in his charge, with temper'd awe to guide

An old, and haughtie Nation proud in Armes:

Where his faire off-spring nurs't in Princely lore

Are comming to attend their Fathers state,

And new-entrusted Scepter, but their way

Lies through the perplex't paths of this dreare wood,

The nodding horror of whose shadie brows

Threats the forlorne and wandring Passinger.

And here their tender age might suffer perill

But that by quick command from Soveraigne Iove

I was dispatcht for their defence, and guard,

And listen why, for I will tell yee now

What never yet was heard in Tale or Song


From old, or moderne Bard in hall, or bowre.

     Bacchus that first from out the purple Grape

Crush't the sweet poyson of mis-used Wine

After the Tuscan Mariners transform'd

Coasting, the Tyrrhene, shore, as the winds listed,

On Circes Iland fell (who knowes not Circe

The daughter of the Sun? whose charmed Cup

Whoever tasted lost his upright shape,

And downward fell into a grovling Swine)

This Nymph that gaz'd upon his clustring locks

With Ivie berries wreath'd, and his blith youth

Had by him, ere he parted thence, a Son

Much like his Father, but his Mother more,

Whom therefore she brought up and Comus nam'd,

Who ripe, and frolick of his full growne age,

Roaving the Celtick, and Iberian fields

At last betakes him to this ominous wood,

And in thick shelter of black shades imbowr'd

Excells his Mother at her mightie Art

Offring to every wearie Travailer

His orient liquor in a Chrystall glasse

To quench the drouth of Phúbus, which as they tast

(For most doe tast through fond intemperate thirst)

Soone as the Potion works, their humane count'nance

Th'expresse resemblance of the gods is chang'd

Into some brutish forme of Wolfe, or Beare

Or Ounce, or Tiger, Hog, or bearded Goat,

All other parts remaining as they were,

And they, so perfect in their miserie,

Not once perceive their foule disfigurement,

But boast themselves more comely then before

And all their friends; and native home forget


To roule with pleasure in a sensuall stie.

Therefore when any favour'd of high Iove

Chances to passe through this adventrous glade,

Swift as the Sparkle of a glancing Starre

I shoote from heav'n to giue him safe convoy,

As now I doe: but first I must put off

These my skie robes spun out of Iris wooffe,

And take the weeds and likenesse of a Swaine,

That to the service of this house belongs,

Who with his soft Pipe, and smooth-dittied Song,

Well knows to still the wild winds when they roare,

And hush the waving woods, nor of lesse faith,

And in this office of his Mountaine watch,

Likeliest, and neerest to the present aide

Of this occasion. But I heare the tread

Of hatefull steps, I must be viewlesse now.

        Comus enters with a Charming Rod in one hand,

                his Glasse in the other, with him a rout of

                Monsters headed like sundry sorts of wilde Beasts,

                but otherwise like Men and Women, their apparell

                glistring, they come iu making a riotous and vnru-

                ly noise, with Torches in their hands.

        Comus. The starre that bids the Shepheard fold,

Now the top of heav'n doth hold,

And the gilded Carre of Day

His glowing Axle doth allay,

In the steepe Atlantik streame,

And the slope Sun his upward beame

Shoots against the duskie Pole,

Pacing toward the other gole


Of his Chamber in the East.

Meane while welcome Joy, and Feast,

Midnight shout, and revelrie,

Tipsie dance, and Jollitie.

Braid your Locks with rosie Twine,

Dropping odours, dropping Wine.

Rigor now is gone to bed,

And Advice with scrupulous head,

Strict Age, and sowre Severitie

With their graue Sawes in slumber lie.

We that are of purer fire,

Immitate the starrie quire,

Who in their nightly watchfull Spheares,

Lead in swift round the Months and Yeares.

The Sounds, and Seas with all their finnie drove,

Now to the Moone in wavering Morrice move,

And on the tawny sands and shelves,

Trip the pert Fairies and the dapper Elves;

By dimpled Brooke, and Fountaine brim,

The Wood-nymphs deckt with daisies trim,

Their merry wakes, and pastimes keepe,

What hath night to doe with sleepe?

Night hath better sweets to prove,

Venus now wakes, and wakens Love.

Come let us our rights begin

'Tis onely day-light that makes Sin

Which these dun shades will ne're report.

Haile Goddesse of Nocturnall sport

Dark-vaild Cotytto, t'whom the secret flame

Of mid-night Torches burnes; mysterious Dame

That ne're at call'd, but when the Dragon woome

Of Stygian darknesse spets her thickest gloome


And makes one blot of all the aire,

Stay thy cloudie Ebon chaire,

Wherein thou rid'st with Hecat', and befriend

Vs thy vow'd Priests, till utmost end

Of all thy dues be done, and none left out

Ere the blabbing Easterne scout

The nice Morne on th'Indian steepe

From her cabin'd loop hole peepe,

And to the tel-tale Sun discry

Our conceal'd Solemnity.

Come, knit hands, and beate the ground

In a light fantastick round.

The Measure.

Breake off, breake off, I feele the different pace

Of some chast footing neere about this ground,

Run to your shrouds, within these Brakes, and Trees

Our number may affright: Some Virgin sure

(For so I can distinguish by mine Art)

Benighted in these woods. Now to my charmes

And to my wilie trains, I shall e're long

Be well stock't with as faire a Heard as graz'd

About my Mother Circe. Thus I hurle

My dazling Spells into the spungie aire

Of power to cheate the eye with bleare illusion,

And give it false presentments, lest the place

And my queint habits breed astonishment,

And put the Damsel to suspicious flight,

Which must not be, for that's against my course;

I under faire prætents of friendly ends,

And wel-plac't words of glozing courtesie

Baited with reasons not unplausible


Wind me into the easie hearted man,

And hug him into snares; when once her eye

Hath met the vertue of this Magick dust,

I shall appeare some harmlesse Villager

Whom thrift keepes up about his Country geare

But here she comes, I fairly step aside

And hearken, if I may, her buisnesse here.

The Ladie enters.

This way the noise was, if mine eare be true

My best guide now, me thought it was the sound

Of Riot, and ill manag'd Merriment,

Such as the jocund Flute, or gamesome Pipe

Stirs up among the loose unleter'd Hinds

When for their teeming Flocks, and granges full

In wanton dance they praise the bounteous Pan,

And thanke the gods amisse. I should be loath

To meet the rudenesse, and swill'd insolence

Of such late Wassailers; yet ô where else

Shall I informe my unacquainted feet

In the blind mazes of this tangled wood?

My Brothers when they saw me wearied out

With this long way, resolving here to lodge

Vnder the spreading favour of these Pines

Stept as they se'd to the next Thicket side

To bring me Berries, or such cooling fruit

As the kind hospitable woods provide.

They left me then, when the gray-hooded Ev'n

Like a sad Votarist in Palmers weeds

Rose from the hindmost wheels of Phúbus waine.

But where they are, and why they came not back

Is now the labour of my thoughts, 'tis likeliest


They had ingag'd their wandring steps too far,

And envious darknesse, e're they could returne,

Had stolne them from me, else ô theevish Night

Why shouldst thou, but for some fellonious end

In thy darke lanterne thus close up the Stars,

That nature hung in Heav'n, and fill'd their lamps

With everlasting oile to give due light

To the misled, and lonely Travailer.

This is the place, as well as I may guesse

Whence even now the tumult of loud Mirth

Was rife, and perfect in my listening eare,

Yet nought but single darknesse doe I find,

What might this be? a thousand fantasies

Begin to throng into my memorie

Of calling shapes, and beckning shadows dire,

And ayrie tongues, that syllable mens names

On Sands, and Shoars, and desert Wildernesses.

These thoughts may startle well, but not astound

The vertuous mind, that ever walks attended

By a strong siding champion Conscience. ----

O welcome pure-ey'd Faith, white-handed Hope

Thou flittering Angel girt with golden wings,

And thou unblemish't form of Chastitie

I see yee visibly, and now beleeve

That he, the Supreme good, t'whom all things ill

Are but as slavish officers of vengeance

Would send a glistring Guardian if need were

To keepe my life, and honour unassail'd.

Was I deceiv'd, or did a sable cloud

Turne forth her silver lining on the night?

I did not erre, there does a sables cloud

Turne forth her silver lining on the night


And casts a gleame over this tufted Grove.

I cannot hallow to my Brothers, but

Such noise as I can make to be heard fardest

Ile venter, for my new enliv'nd spirits

Prompt me; and they perhaps are not farre off.


        Sweet echo, sweetest Nymph that liv'st unseene

                        Within thy ayrie shell

                By slow Meander's margent greene,

        And in the violet-imbroider'd vale

                Where the love-lorne Nightingale

        Nightly to thee her sad Song mourneth well.

        Canst thou not tell me of a gentle Paire

                That likest thy Narcissus are?

                        O if thou have

                Hid them in some flowrie Cave,

                        Tell me but where

        Sweet Queen of Parlie, Daughter of the Sphære,

        So maist thou be translated to the skies,

And give resounding grace to all Heav'ns Harmonies.

        Com. Can any mortall mixture of Earths mould

Breath such Divine inchanting ravishment?

Sure something holy lodges in that brest,

And with these raptures moves the vocal aire

To testifie his hidden residence;

How sweetly did they float upon the wings

Of Silence, through the emptie-vaulted night

At every fall smoothing the Raven downe

Of darknesse till she smil'd: I have oft heard


My mother Circe with the Sirens three,

Amidst the flowrie-kirtl'd Naiades

Culling their Potent hearbs, and balefull drugs

Who as they sung, would take the prison'd soule

And lap it in Elysium, Scylla wept,

And chid her barking waves into attention,

And fell Charybdis murmur'd soft applause:

Yet they in pleasing slumber lull'd the sense

And in sweet madnesse rob'd it of it selfe,

But such a sacred, and home-felt delight,

Such sober certainty of waking blisse

I never heard till now. Ile speak to her

And she shall be my Queene. Haile forreine wonder

Whom certaine these rough shades did never breed

Vnlesse the Goddesse that in rurall shrine

Dwell'st here with Pan, or Silvan, by blest Song

Forbidding every bleake unkindly Fog

To touch the prosperous growth of this tall wood.

        La. Nay gentle Shepherd ill is lost that praise

That is addrest to unattending Eares,

Not any boast of skill, but extreame shift

How to regaine my sever'd companie

Compell'd me to awake the courteous Echo

To give me answer from her mossie Couch.

        Co. What chance good Ladie hath bereft you thus?

        La. Dim darknesse, and this leavie Labyrinth.

        Co. Could that divide you from neere-ushering

        La. They left me weary on a grassie terfe.   (guides?

        Co. By falshood, or discourtesie, or why?

        La. To seek i'th vally some coole friendly Spring.

        Co. And left your faire side all unguarded Ladie?

         La. They were but twain, & purpos'd quick return.



         Co. Perhaps fore-stalling night prævented them.

        La. How easie my misfortune is to hit!

         Co. Imports their losse, beside the præsent need?

        La. No lesse then if I should my brothers lose.

         Co. Were they of manly prime, or youthful bloom?

        La. As smooth as Hebe's their unrazord lips.

        Co. Two such I saw, what time the labour'd Oxe

In his loose traces from the furrow came,

And the swink't hedger at his Supper sate;

I saw them under a greene mantling vine

That crawls along the side of yon small hill,

Plucking ripe clusters from the tender shoots,

Their port was more then humaine; as they stood,

I tooke it for a faërie vision

Of some gay creatures of the element

That in the colours of the Rainbow live

And play i'th plighted clouds, I was aw-strooke,

And as I past, I worshipt; if those you seeke

It were a journy like the path to heav'n

To helpe you find them. La. Gentle villager

What readiest way would bring me to that place?

        Co. Due west it rises from this shrubbie point.

        La. To find out that good shepheard I suppose

In such a scant allowance of starre light

Would overtask the best land-pilots art

Without the sure guesse of well-practiz'd feet.

        Co. I know each lane, and every alley greene

Dingle, or bushie dell of this wild wood,

And every boskie bourne, from side to side

My daylie walks and ancient neighbourhood,

And if your stray attendance be yet lodg'd

Or shroud within these limits, I shall know


Ere morrow wake, or the low-roosted larke

From her thach't palate rowse, if otherwise

I can conduct you Ladie to a low

But loyall cottage, where you may be safe

Till further quest'. La. Shepheard I take thy word,

And trust thy honest offer'd courtesie,

Which oft is sooner found in lowly sheds

With smoakie rafters, then in tapstrie halls,

And courts of Princes, where it first was nam'd,

And yet is most prætended: in a place

Lesse warranted then this, or lesse secure

I cannot be, that I should feare to change it,

Eye me blest Providence, and square my triall

To my proportion'd strength. Shepheard lead on.

The two Brothers.

        Eld. bro. Vnmuffle yee faint stars, and thou fair moon

That wontst to love the travailers benizon

Stoope thy pale visage through an amber cloud

And disinherit Chaos, that raigns here

In double night of darknesse, and of shades;

Or if your influence be quite damm'd up

With black usurping mists, some gentle taper

Though a rush candle from the wicker hole

Of some clay habitation visit us

With thy long levell'd rule of streaming light

And thou shalt be our starre of Arcadie

Or Tyrian Cynosure. 2 Bro. Or if our eyes

Be barr'd that happinesse, might we but heare

The folded flocks pen'd in their watled cotes,

Or sound of pastoral reed with oaten stops,

Or whistle from the Lodge, or village cock


Count the night watches to his featherie Dames,

T'would be some solace yet, some little chearing

In this close dungeon of innumerous bowes.

But ô that haplesse virgin our lost sister

Where may she wander now, whether betake her

From the chill dew, amongst rude burs and thistles?

Perhaps some cold banke is her boulster now

Or 'gainst the rugged barke of some broad Elme

Leans her unpillow'd head fraught with sad fears.

What if in wild amazement, and affright

Or while we speake within the direfull graspe

Of Savage hunger, or of Savage heat?

        Eld: bro. Peace brother, be not over exquisite

To cast the fashion of uncertaine evils,

For grant they be so, while they rest unknowne

What need a man forestall his date of griefe

And run to meet what he would most avoid?

Or if they be but false alarms of Feare

How bitter is such selfe-delusion?

I doe not thinke my sister so to seeke

Or so unprincipl'd in vertues book

And the sweet peace that goodnesse bosoms ever

As that the single want of light, and noise

(Not being in danger, as I trust she is not)

Could stir the constant mood of her calme thoughts

And put them into mis-becomming plight.

Vertue could see to doe what vertue would

By her owne radiant light, though Sun and Moon

Were in the flat Sea sunck, and Wisdoms selfe

Oft seeks to sweet retired Solitude

Where with her best nurse Contemplation

She plumes her feathers, and lets grow her wings


That in the various bustle of resort

Were all to ruffl'd, and sometimes impair'd.

He that has light within his owne cleere brest

May sit i'th center, and enjoy bright day,

But he that hides a darke soule, and foule thoughts

Benighted walks under the mid-day Sun,

Himselfe is his owne dungeon.

        2 Bro. 'Tis most true

That musing meditation most affects

The Pensive secrecie of desert cell

Farre from the cheerefull haunt of men, and heards,

And sits as safe as in a Senat house

For who would rob an Hermit of his weeds

His few books, or his beades, or maple dish,

Or doe his gray hairs any violence?

But beautie like the faire Hesperian tree

Laden with blooming gold, had need the guard

Of dragon watch with uninchanted eye

To save her blossoms, and defend her fruit

From the rash hand of bold Incontinence.

You may as well spread out the unsun'd heaps

Of misers treasure by an outlaws den

And tell me it is safe, as bid me hope

Danger will winke on opportunitie

And let a single helplesse mayden passe

Vninjur'd in this wild surrounding wast.

Of night, or lonelynesse it recks me not

I feare the dred events that dog them both,

Lest some ill greeting touch attempt the person

Of our unowned sister.

        Eld. Bro. I doe not brother

Inferre, as if I thought my sisters state


Secure without all doubt, or controversie:

Yet where an equall poise of hope, and feare

Does arbitrate th'event, my nature is

That I encline to hope, rather then feare

And gladly banish squint suspicion.

My sister is not so defencelesse left

As you imagine, she has a hidden strength

Which you remember not.

        2 Bro. What hidden strength

Vnlesse the strength of heav'n, if meane that?

        Eld. Bro. I meane that too, but yet a hidden strength

Which if heav'n gave it, may be term'd her owne:

'Tis chastitie, my brother, chastitie:

She that has that, is clad in compleat steele,

And like a quiver'd nymph with arrowes keene

May trace huge forrests, and unharbour'd heaths

Infamous hills, and sandie perillous wilds

Where through the sacred rays of chastitie

No savage fierce, bandite, or mountaneete

Will dare to soyle her virgin puritie

Yea there, where very desolation dwells

By grots, and caverns shag'd with horrid shades

She may passe on with unblench't majestie

Be it not done in pride, or in presumption.

Some say no evill thing that walks by night

In fog, or fire, by lake, or moorish fen

Blew meager hag, or stubborne unlayd ghost

That breaks his magicke chaines at curfeu time

No goblin, or swart Faërie of the mine

Hath hurtfull power ore true virginity.

Doe yee beleeve me yet, or shall I call

Antiquity from the old schools of Greece


To testifie the armes of Chastitie?

Hence had the huntresse Dian her dred bow

Faire silver-shafted Queene for ever chast

Wherewith we tam'd the brinded lionesse

And spotted mountaine pard, but set at nought

The frivolous bolt of Cupid, gods and men

Fear'd her sterne frowne, & she was queen oth' woods.

What was that snakie headed Gorgon sheild

That wise Minerva wore, unconquer'd virgin

Wherewith she freez'd her foes to congeal'd stone?

But rigid looks of Chast austeritie

And noble grace that dash't brute violence

With sudden adoration, and blancke aw.

So deare to heav'n is saintly chastitie

That when a soule is found sincerely so,

A thousand liveried angels lackie her

Driving farre off each thing of sinne, and guilt,

And in cleere dreame, and solemne vision

Tell her of things that no grosse eare can heare,

Till oft converse with heav'nly habitants

Begin to cast a beame on th' outward shape

The unpolluted temple of the mind

And turnes it by degrees to the souls essence

Till all bee made immortall; but when lust

By unchast looks, loose gestures, and foule talke

But most by leud, and lavish act of sin

Lets in defilement to the inward parts,

The soule growes clotted by contagion,

Imbodies, and imbrutes, till she quite loose

The divine propertie of her first being.

Such are those thick, and gloomie shadows damp

Oft seene in Charnell vaults, and Sepulchers


Hovering, and sitting by a new made grave,

As loath to leave the body that it lov'd,

And link't it selfe by carnall sensualitie

To a degenerate and degraded state.

        2 Bro. How charming is divine Philosophie!

Not harsh, and crabbed as dull fools suppose,

But musicall as is Apollo's lute,

And a perpetuall feast of nectar'd sweets

Where no crude surfet raigns. El:bro. List, list I heare

Some farre off hallow breake the silent aire.

        2 Bro. Me thought so too, what should it be?

        Eld: bro. For certaine

Either some one like us night founder'd here,

Or else some neighbour wood man, or at worst

Some roaving robber calling to his fellows.

        2 Bro. Heav'n keepe my sister, agen agen and neere,

Best draw, and stand upon our guard.

        Eld: bro. Ile hallow,

If he be friendly he comes well, if not

Defence is a good cause, and Heav'n be for us.

The attendant Spirit habited like a shepheard.

That hallow I should know, what are you, speake,

Come not too neere, you fall on iron stakes else.

        Spir. What voice is that, my yong Lord? speak agen.

        2 Bro. O brother 'tis my father Shepheard sure.

        Eld: bro. Thyrsis? whose artfull strains have oft de

The huddling brook to heare his madrigale,          (layd

And sweeten'd every muskrose of the dale,

How cam'st thou here good Swaine, hath any ram

Slip't from the fold, or yong kid lost his dam,

Or straggling weather the pen't flock forsook,


How couldst thou find this darke sequester'd nook?

        Spir. O my lov'd masters heire, and his next joy

I came not here on such a triviall toy

As a strayd Ewe, or to pursue the stealth

Of pilfering wolfe, not all the fleecie wealth

That doth enrich these downs is worth a thought

To this my errand, and the care it brought.

But ô my virgin Ladie where is she,

How chance she is not in your companie?

        Eld:bro. To tell thee sadly shepheard, without blame

Or our neglect, wee lost her as wee came.

        Spir. Aye me unhappie then my fears are true.

        Eld:bro. What fears good Thyrsis? prethee briefly

        Spir. Ile tell you, 'tis not vaine, or fabulous      (shew.

(Though so esteem'd by shallow ignorance)

What the sage Poëts taught by th'heav'nly Muse

Storied of old in high immortall verse

Of dire Chimera's and inchanted Iles

And rifted rocks whose entrance leads to hell,

For such there be, but unbeliefe is blind.

     Within the navill of this hideous wood

Immur'd in cypresse shades a Sorcerer dwells

Of Bacchus, and of Circe born, great Comus,

Deepe skill'd in all his mothers witcheries,

And here to every thirstie wanderer

By slie enticement gives his banefull cup

With many murmurs mixt, whose pleasing poison

The visage quite transforms of him that drinks,

And the inglorious likenesse of a beast

Fixes instead, unmoulding reasons mintage

Character'd in the face; this have I learn't

Tending my flocks hard by i'th hilly crofts


That brow this bottome glade, whence night by night

He and his monstrous rout are heard to howle

Like stabl'd wolves, or tigers at their prey

Doing abhorred rites to Hecate

In their obscured haunts of inmost bowres.

Yet have they many baits, and guilefull spells

T'inveigle, and invite th'unwarie sense

Of them that passe unweeting by the way.

This evening late by then the chewing flocks

Had ta'ne their supper on the savourie herbe

Of Knot-grass dew-besprent, and were in fold

I sate me downe to watch upon a bank

With ivie canopied, and interwove

With flaunting hony-suckle, and began

Wrapt in a pleasing fit of melancholy

To meditate my rural minstrelsie

Till fancie had her fill, but ere a close

The wonted roare was up amidst the woods,

And filld the aire with barbarous dissonance

At which I ceas't, and listen'd them a while

Till an unusuall stop of sudden silence

Gave respit to the drowsie frighted steeds

That draw the litter of close-curtain'd sleepe.

At last a soft, and solemne breathing sound

Rose like a steame of rich distill'd Perfumes

And stole upon the aire, that even Silence

Was tooke e're she was ware, and wish't she might

Deny her nature, and be never more

Still to be so displac't. I was all eare,

And took in strains that might create a soule

Vnder the ribs of Death, but ô ere long

Too well I did perceive it was the voice


Of my most honour'd Lady your deare sister.

Amaz'd I stood, harrow'd with griefe and feare,

And ô poore haplesse nightingale thought I

How sweet thou sing'st, how neere the deadly snare!

Then downe the lawns I ran with headlong hast

Through paths, and turnings often trod by day

Till guided by mine eare I found the place

Where that dam'd wisard hid in slie disguise

(For so by certain signs I knew) had met

Alreadie, ere my best speed could prævent

The aidlesse innocent Ladie his wish't prey,

Who gently ask't if he had seene such two

Supposing him some neighbour villager;

Longer I durst not stay, but soone I guess't

Yee were the two she mean't, with that I sprung

Into swift flight till I had found you here,

But farther know I not. 2 Bro. O night and shades

How are yee joyn'd with hell in triple knot

Against th'unarmed weaknesse of one virgin

Alone, and helplesse! is this the confidence

You gave me brother? Eld:bro. Yes, and keep it still,

Leane on it safely, not a period

Shall be unsaid for me; against the threats

Of malice or of sorcerie, or that power

Which erring men call Chance, this I hold firme,

Vertue may be assail'd, but never hurt,

Surpriz'd by unjust force, but not enthrall'd,

Yea even that which mischiefe meant most harme,

Shall in the happie triall prove most glorie.

But evill on it selfe shall back recoyle

And mixe no more with goodnesse, when at last

Gather'd like scum, and setl'd to it selfe


It shall bee in eternall restlesse change

Selfe fed, and selfe consum'd, if this faile

The pillar'd firmament is rottennesse,

And earths base built on stubble. But come let's on.

Against th'opposing will and arme of heav'n

May never this just sword be lifted up,

But for that damn'd magician, let him be girt

With all the greisly legions that troope

Vnder the sootie flag of Acheron,

Harpyies and Hydra's, or all the monstrous bugs

'Twixt Africa, and Inde, Ile find him out

And force him to restore his purchase backe

Or drag him by the curles, and cleave his scalpe

Downe to the hipps.

        Spir. Alas good ventrous youth,

I love thy courage yet, and bold Emprise,

But here thy sword can doe thee little stead,

Farre other arms, and other weapons must

Be those that quell the might of hellish charms,

He with his bare wand can unthred thy joynts

And crumble all thy sinewes.

        Eld. Bro. Why prethee shepheard

How durst thou then thy selfe approach so nŽere

As to make this relation?

        Spir. Care and utmost shifts

How to secure the Ladie from surprisall

Brought to my mind a certaine shepheard lad

Of small regard to see to, yet well skill'd

In every vertuous plant, and healing herbe

That spreds her verdant leafe to th'morning ray,

He lov'd me well, and oft would beg me sing,

Which when I did, he on the tender grasse


Would sit, and hearken even to extasie,

And in requitall ope his leather'n scrip,

And shew me simples of a thousand names

Telling their strange, and vigorous faculties,

Amongst the rest a small unsightly root,

But of divine effect, he cull'd me out;

The leafe was darkish, and had prickles on it,

But in another Countrie, as he said,

Bore a bright golden flowre, but not in this soyle:

Vnknowne, and like esteem'd, and the dull swayne

Treads on it dayly with his clouted shoone,

And yet more med'cinall is it then that Moly

That Hermes once to wise Vlysses gave,

He call'd it Hæmony, and gave it me

And bad me keepe it as of soveraine use

'Gainst all inchantments, mildew blast, or damp

Or gastly furies apparition;

I purs't it up, but little reck'ning made

Till now that this extremity compell'd,

But now I find it true, for by this means

I knew the foule inchanter though disguis'd,

Enter'd the very limetwigs of his spells,

And yet came off, if you have this about you

(As I will give you when wee goe) you may

Boldly assault the necromancers hall,

Where if he be, with dauntlesse hardihood

And brandish't blade rush on him, breake his glasse,

And shed the lushious liquor on the ground

But sease his wand, though he and his curst crew

Feirce signe of battaile make, and menace high,

Or like the sons of Vulcan vomit smoake,

Yet will they soone retire, if he but shrinke.


        Eld. Bro. Thyrsis lead on apace Ile follow thee,

And some good angell beare a sheild before us.

        The Scene Changes to a stately palace set out with all

                manner of deliciousnesse, soft musicke, tables spred

                with all dainties. Comus appeares with his rabble,

                and the Ladie set in an inchanted chaire to whom he

                offers his glasse, which she puts by, and goes about

                to rise.

        Comus. Nay Ladie sit; if I but wave this wand,

Your nervs are all chain'd up in alablaster,

And you a statue; or as Daphne was

Root bound that fled Apollo.

        La. Foole doe not boast,

Thou canst not touch the freedome of my mind

With all thy charms, although this corporall rind

Thou hast immanacl'd, while heav'n sees good.

        Co. Why are you vext Ladie, why doe you frowne?

Here dwell no frowns, nor anger, from these gates

Sorrow flies farre: see here be all the pleasurs

That fancie can beget on youthfull thoughts

When the fresh blood grows lively, and returns

Brisk as the April buds in primrose season.

And first behold this cordial julep here

That flames, and dances in his crystall bounds

With spirits of balme, and fragrant syrops mixt.

Not that Nepenthes which the wife of Thone

In Ægypt gave to Iove-borne Helena

Is of such power to stirre up joy as this,

To life so friendly, or so coole to thirst.

Why should you be so cruell to your selfe,


And to those daintie limms which nature lent

For gentle usage, and soft delicacie?

But you invert the cov'nants of her trust,

And harshly deale like an ill borrower

With that which you receiv'd on other termes,

Scorning the unexempt condition,

By which all mortall frailty must subsist,

Refreshment after toile, ease after paine,

That have been tir'd all day without repast,

And timely rest have wanted, but faire virgin

This will restore all soone.

        La. T'will not false traitor,

T'will not restore the truth and honestie

That thou hast banish't from thy tongue with lies,

Was this the cottage, and the safe abode

Thou told'st me of? what grim aspects are these,

These ougly-headed monsters? Mercie guard me!

Hence with thy brewd inchantments foule deceiver,

Hast thou betray'd my credulous innocence

With visor'd falshood, and base forgerie,

And wouldst thou seek againe to trap me here

With lickerish baits fit to ensnare a brute?

Were it a draft for Iuno when she banquets

I would not tast thy treasonous offer; none

But such as are good men can give good things,

And that which is not good, is not delicious

To a wel-govern'd and wise appetite.

        Co. O foolishnesse of men! that lend their eares

To those budge doctors of the Stoick furre,

And fetch their præcepts from the Cynick tub,

Praising the leane, and sallow Abstinence.

Wherefore did Nature powre her bounties forth


With such a full and unwithdrawing hand,

Covering the earth with odours, fruits, and flocks

Thronging the seas with spawne innumerable

But all to please, and sate the curious tast?

And set to work millions of spinning worms,

That in their green shops weave the smooth-hair'd silk

To deck her Sons, and that no corner might

Be vacant of her plentie, in her owne loyns

She hutch't th'all-worshipt ore, and precious gems

To store her children with; if all the world

Should in a pet of temperance feed on Pulse,

Drink the clear streame, and nothing weare but Freize,

Th'all-giver would be unthank't, would be unprais'd,

Not halfe his riches known, and yet despis'd,

And we should serve him as a grudging master,

As a penurious niggard of his wealth,

And live like Natures bastards, not her sons,

Who would be quite surcharg'd with her own weight,

And strangl'd with her wast fertilitie;          (plumes,

Th'earth cumber'd, and the wing'd aire dark't with

The heards would over-inultitude their Lords,

The sea ore-fraught would swell, and th'unsought dia-

Would so emblaze the forehead of the Deep,     (monds

And so bestudde with stars that they below

Would grow inur'd to light, and come at last

To gaze upon the Sun with shameless brows.

List Ladie be not coy, and be not cosen'd

With that same vaunted name Virginitie,

Beautie is natures coine, must not be hoorded,

But must be currant, and the good thereof

Consists in mutuall and partaken blisse,

Vnsavourie in th'injoyment of it selfe


If you let slip time, like a neglected rose

It withers on the stalke with languish't head.

Beautie is natures brag, and must be showne

In courts, at feasts, and high solemnities

Where most may wonder at the workmanship;

It is for homely features to keepe home,

They had their name thence; course complexions

And cheeks of sorrie graine will serve to ply

The sampler, and to teize the huswifes wooll.

What need a vermeil-tinctur'd lip for that

Love-darting eyes, or tresses like the Morne

There was another meaning in these gifts?

Thinke what, and be adviz'd, you are but yong yet.

     La. I had not thought to have unlockt my lips

In this unhallow'd aire, but that this Jugler

Would thinke to charme my judgement, as mine eyes

Obtruding false rules pranckt in reasons garbe.

I hate when vice can bolt her arguments

And vertue has no tongue to check her pride:

Impostor doe not charge most innocent nature

As if she would her children should be riotous

With her abundance, she good cateresse

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 lewdy-pamper'd Luxurie

Now heaps upon some few with vast excesse,

Natures full blessings would be well dispenc't

In unsuperfluous even proportion,

And she no whit encomber'd with her store,


And then the giver would be better thank't,

His praise due paid, for swinish gluttony

Ne're looks to heav'n amidst his gorgeous feast,

But with besotted base ingratitude

Cramms, and blasphemes his feeder. Shall I goe on?

Or have I said anough? to him that dares

Arme his profane tongue with reproachfull words

Against the Sun-clad power of Chastitie

Faine would I somthing say, yet to what end?

Thou hast nor Eare, nor Soule to apprehend

The sublime notion, and high mysterie

That must be utter'd to unfold the sage

And serious doctrine of Virginitie,

And thou art worthy that thou shouldst not know

More hapinesse then this thy præsent lot.

Enjoy your deere Wit, and gay Rhetorick

That hath so well beene taught her dazling fence,

Thou art not fit to heare thy selfe convinc't;

Yet should I trie, the uncontrouled worth

Of this pure cause would kindle my rap't 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 shake,

Till all thy magick structures rear'd so high,

Were shatter'd into heaps ore thy false head.

        Co. She fables not, I feele that I doe feare

Her words set off by som superior power;

And though not mortall, yet a cold shuddring dew

Dips me all o're, as when the wrath of Iove

Speaks thunder, and the chaines of Erebus

To some of Saturns crew. I must dissemble,

And try her yet more strongly. Come; no more,


This is meere morall babble, and direct'

Against the canon laws of our foundation,

I must not suffer this, yet 'tis but the lees

And setlings of a melancholy blood;

But this will cure all streight, one sip of this

Will bathe the drooping spirits in delight

Beyond the blisse of dreams. Be wise, and taste. --

        The brothers rush in with swords drawne, wrest his

                glasse out of his hand, and breake it against the

                ground; his rout make signe of resistance, but are

                all driven in; the attendant Spirit comes in.

        Spir. What, have you let the false enchanter scape?

O yee mistooke, yee should have snatcht his wand

And bound him fast; without his rod revers't,

And backward mutters of dissevering power

Wee cannot free the Ladie that sits here

In stonie fetters fixt, and motionlesse;

Yet stay, be not disturb'd, now I bethinke me,

Some other meanes I have which may be us'd,

Which once of Melibæus old I learnt

The soothest shepheard that ere pip't on plains.

        There is a gentle nymph not farre from hence

That with moist curb sways the smooth Severn stream,

Sabrina is her name, a virgin pure,

Whilome shee was the daughter of Locrine,

That had the scepter from his father Brute.

She guiltlesse damsell flying the mad pursuit

Of her enraged stepdam Guendolen

Commended her faire innocence to the flood

That stay'd her flight with his crosse-flowing course,


The water Nymphs that in the bottome playd

Held up their pearled wrists and tooke her in,

Bearing her straite to aged Nereus hall

Who piteous of her woes reatd her lanke head,

And gave her to his daughters to imbathe

In nectar'd lavers strew'd with asphodil,

And through the porch, and inlet of each sense

Dropt in ambrosial oyles till she reviv'd,

And underwent a quicke, immortall change

Made goddesse of the river; still she retaines

Her maiden gentlenesse, and oft at eve

Visits the heards along the twilight meadows,

Helping all urchin blasts, and ill lucke signes

That the shrewd medling elfe delights to make,

Which she with precious viold liquors heales.

For which the shepheards at their festivalls

Carroll her goodnesse lowd in rusticke layes,

And throw sweet garland wreaths into her streame

Of pancies, pinks, and gaudie daffadills.

And, as the old Swaine said, she can unlocke

The clasping charme, and thaw the numming spell,

If she be right invok't in warbled Song,

For maidenhood she loves, and will be swift

To aid a virgin such as was her selfe

In hard besetting need, this will I trie

And adde the power of some adjuring verse.


        Sabrina faire

                Listen where thou art sitting

        Vnder the glassie, coole, translucent wave,

                In twisted braids of lillies knitting


        The loose traine of thy amber-dropping haire,

                Listen for deare honours sake

                Goddesse of the silver lake

                                                Listen and save.

Listen and appeare to us

In name of great Oceanus,

By th'earth-shaking Neptun's mace

And Tethys grave majesticke pace,

By hoarie Nereus wrincled looke,

And the Carpathian wisards hooke,

By scalie Tritons winding shell.

And old sooth saying Glaucus spell,

By Leucothea's lovely hands,

And her son that rules the strands,

By Thetis tinsel-flipper'd feet;

And the songs of Sirens sweet,

By dead Parthenope's deare tomb,

And fair Ligea's golden comb,

Wherewith she sits on diamond rocks

Sleeking her soft alluring locks,

By all the Nymphs that nightly dance

Vpon thy streams with wilie glance,

Rise, rise and heave thy rosie head

From thy coral-paven bed,

And bridle in thy headlong wave

Till thou our summons answerd have.

                                        Listen and save.

Sabrina rises attended by water Nimphes and sings.

        By the rushie fringed banke,

                Where growes the willow and the osier dancke

                                My sliding chariot stayes,


                Thicke set with agat, and the azurne sheene

        Of turkkis blew, and Emrould greene

                        That in the channell strayes,

                Whilst from off the waters fleet

                   Thus I set my printlesse feet

                Ore the cowslips velvet head,

                            That bends not as I tread,

                   Gentle swaine at thy request

                             I am here.

        Spir. Goddesse deare

Wee implore thy powerfull hand

To undoe the charmed band

Of true virgin here distrest,

Through the force, and through the wile

Of unblest inchanter vile.

        Sab. Shepheard tis my office best

To helpe insnared chastitie;

Brightest Ladie looke on me,

Thus I sprinckle on thy brest

Drops that from my fountaine pure

I have kept of precious cure,

Thrice upon thy fingers tip,

Thrice upon thy rubied lip,

Next this marble venom'd seate

Smear'd with gummes of glutenous heate

I touch with chast palmes moist and cold,

Now the spell hath lost his hold.

And I must hast ere morning houre

To waite in Amphitrite's bowre.


Sabrina descends and the Ladie rises out

of her seate.

        Spir. Virgin, daughter of Locrine

Sprung of old Anchises line

May thy brimmed waves for this

Their full tribute never misse

From a thousand pettie rills,

That tumble downe the snowie hills:

Summer drouth, or singed aire

Never scorch thy tresses faire,

Nor wet Octobers torrent flood

Thy molten crystall fill with mudde,

May thy billowes rowle a shoare

The beryll, and the golden ore,

May thy loftie head be crown'd

With many a tower, and terrasse round,

And here and there thy banks upon

With groves of myrrhe, and cinnamon.

Come Ladie while heaven lends us grace,

Let us fly this cursed place,

Lest the sorcerer us intice

With some other new device.

Not a wast, or needlesse sound

Till we come to holyer ground,

I shall be your faithfull guide

Through this gloomie covert wide,

And not many furlongs thence

Is your Fathers residence,

Where this night are met in state

Many a freind to gratulate


His wish't presence, and beside

All the Swains that there abide,

With Iiggs, and rurall dance resort,

Wee shall catch them at their sport,

And our suddaine comming there

Will double all their mirth, and chere,

Come let us hast the starrs are high

But night sits monarch yet in the mid skie.

        The Scene changes presenting Ludlow towne and the

                Presidents Castle, then come in Countrie dancers, af-

                ter them the attendant Spirit with the two Brothers

                and the Ladie.


Spir. Back shepheards, back enough your play,

        Till next Sun-shine holiday,

        Here be without duck or nod,

        Other trippings to be trod

        Of lighter toes, and such Court guise

        As Mercury did first devise

        With the mincing Dryades

        On the lawns, and on the leas.

This second Song præsents them

     to their father and mother.

        Noble Lord, and Lady bright,

        I have brought yee new delight,

        Here behold so goodly growne.

        Three faire branches of your owne,

        Heav'n hath timely tri'd their youth,

        Their faith, their patience, and their truth,


        And sent them here through hard assays

           With a crowne of deathlesse Praise,

                To triumph in victorious dance

        Ore sensuall Folly, and Intemperance.

                The dances ended, the Spirit Epilogizes.

Spir. To the Ocean now I flie,

And those happie climes that lie

Where day never shuts his eye,

Vp in the broad fields of the skie:

There I suck the liquid ayre

All amidst the gardens faire

Of Hesperus, and his daughters three

That sing about the golden tree,

Along the crisped shades, and bowres

Revells the spruce and jocond Spring,

The Graces, and the rosie-bosom'd Howres

Thither all their bounties bring,

That there æternall Summer dwells

And west winds, with muskie wing

About the cedar'n alleys fling

Nard, and Cassia's balmie smells.

Iris there with humid bow

Waters the odorous banks that blow

Flowers of more mingled hew

Then her purfl'd scarfe can shew,

And drenches with Elysian dew

(List mortalls, if your eares be true)

Beds of Hyacinth, and roses)

Where young Adonis oft reposes,

Waxing well of his deepe wound

In slumber soft, and on the ground


Sadly sits th'Assyrian Queene;

But farre above in spangled sheene

Celestiall Cupid her fam'd Son advanc't,

Holds his deare Psyche sweet intranc't

After her wandring labours long,

Till free consent the gods among

Make her his æternall Bride,

And from her faire unspotted side

Two blissful twins are to be borne,

Youth, and Ioy; so Iove hath sworne.

        But now my taske is smoothly done,

I can fly, or I can run

Quickly to the greene earths end,

Where the bow'd welkin slow doth bend,

And from thence can soare as soone

To the corners of the Moone.

        Mortalls that would follow me,

Love vertue, she alone is free,

She can teach yee how to clime

Higher then the Sphærie chime;

Or if vertue feeble were

Heav'n it selfe would stoope to her.

The principall persons in this Maske; were

The Lord BRACLY,
   The Lady ALICE

The End.

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