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(Comus loq.)
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
Of silence, through the empty-vaulted night,
At every fall smoothing the raven-down
Of darkness, till it smiled! I have oft heard

mother Circe with the sirens three,
Amidst the flowery-kirtled Naiades,
Culling their potent herbs and baleful drugs;
Who, as they sung, would take the prison'd soul,
And lap it in Elysium : Scylla wept,
And chid her barking waves into attention,
And fell Charybdis murmurd soft applause :
Yet they in pleasing slumber lulld the sense,
And in sweet madness robb'd it of itself;
But such a sacred and home-felt delight,
Such sober certainty waking of bliss,
I never heard till now.

Id.

XXXVIII.

SABRINA.

(Attendant Spirit loq.) 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; Whilom she was the daughter of Locrine, That had the sceptre from his father Brute.

She, guiltless damsel, flying the mad pursuit
Of her enraged stepdame Guendolen,
Commended her fair innocence to the flood,
That staid her flight with his cross-flowing course.
The water-nymphs, that in the bottom played,
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, strew'd with asphodel ;
And through the porch and inlet of each sense
Dropp'd in ambrosial oils, till she revived,
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 pansies, pinks, and gaudy daffodils :
And, as the old swain said, she can unlock
The clasping charm, and thaw the numming spell
If she be right invoked in warbled song;
For maidenhood she loves, and will be swift
To aid a virgin, such as was herself,
In hard-besetting need : this will I try,
And add the power of some adjuring verse.

(Song.) Sabrina fair,

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 the earth-shaking Neptune's mace,
And Tethys' grave majestic pace;
By hoary Nereus' wrinkled look,
And the Carpathian wizard's hook ;
By scaly Triton's winding shell,
And old soothsaying Glaucus' spell;
By Leucothea's lovely hands,
And her son that rules the strands;
By Thetis' tinsel-slippered feet,
And the songs of sirens sweet;
By dead Parthenope's dear 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
Upon thy streams with wily glance;
Rise, rise, and heave thy rosy head,
From thy coral-paven bed,
And bridle in thy headlong wave,
Till thou our summons answer'd have.

Listen, and save!

(SABRINA rises, attended by Water-Nymphs, and sings.)
By the rushy-fringed bank,
Where grows the willow, and the osier dank,

My sliding chariot stays,
Thick set with agate, and the azure sheen
Of turkis blue, and emerald green,

That in the channel strays;
Whilst from off the waters fleet
Thus I set my printless feet
O’er the cowslip's velvet head,

That bends not as I tread :
Gentle swain, at thy request,

I am here.

SPIR. Goddess dear,
We implore thy powerful hand
To undo the charmed band
Of true virgin here distress'd,
Through the force, and through the wile,
Of unbless'd enchanter vile.

SAB. Shepherd, 'tis my office best
To help ensnared chastity:
Brightest lady, look on me.
Thus I sprinkle on thy breast
Drops, that from my fountain pure
I have kept, of precious cure ;
Thrice upon thy finger's tip,
Thrice upon thy rubied lip :
Next this marble venomed seat,
Smear'd with gums of glutinous heat,
I touch with chaste palms moist and cold :
Now the spell hath lost his hold;
And I must haste, ere morning hour,
To wait in Amphitrite's bower,

(SABRINA descends, and the Lady rises out of her seat.)

SPIR. Virgin, daughter of Locrine,
Sprung of old Anchises' line,
May thy brimmed waves for this
Their full tribute never miss
From a thousand petty rills,
That tumble down the

snowy

hills :
Summer drouth, or singed air
Never scorch thy tresses fair,
Nor wet October's torrent flood
Thy molten crystal fill with mud;
May thy billows roll ashore
The beryl and the golden ore;
May thy lofty head be crown'd
With

many a tower and terrace round,
And here and there thy banks upon
With groves of myrrh and cinnamon!

XXXIX.

SPIRIT-LIFE.

(Spirit sings.)
To the ocean now I fly,
And those happy climes that lie
Where day never shuts his eye,
Up in the broad fields of the sky:
There I suck the liquid air
All amidst the gardens fair
Of Hesperus, and his daughters three
That sing about the golden tree :
Along the crisped shades and bowers
Revels the spruce and jocund Spring ;
The Graces, and the rosy-bosom'd Hours,
Thither all their bounties bring;

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