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These thoughts may startle well, but not astound
Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph, that liv'st unseen,
Within thy airy shell,
By slow Meander's margent green, And in the violet embroider'd vale, te
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?
0, if thou have
Tell me but where,
So may'st thou be translated to the skies, And give resounding grace to all heaven's harmo. nies.
Com. 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 smil'd! I have oft heard My mother Circe with the Sirens three, Amidst the flow'ry-kirtled Naiads, 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,
Lad. Nay, gentle shepherd, ill is lost that praise,
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. Com. What chance, good lady, hath bereft you
thus? Lad. Dim darkness, and this leafy labyrinth. Com. Could that divide you from near-ushering
guides? Lad. They left me weary on a grassy turf. Com. By falsehood, or discourtesy, or why?
Lad. To seek i' th' valley some cool friendly
spring. Com. And left your fair side all unguarded, lady? Lad. They were but twain, and promis'd quick
return. Com. Perhaps forestalling night prevented them. Lad. How easy my misfortune is to hit! Com. Imports their loss, beside the present need? Lad. No less than if I should my brothers lose. Com. Were they of manly prime, or youthful
bloom? Lad. As smooth as Hebe's their unrazor'd lips.
Com. Two such I saw, what time the labour'd ox In his loose traces from the furrow came, And the swink'd hedger at his supper sat; I saw them under a green mantling vine, That crawls along the side of yon
small hill, Plucking ripe clusters from the tender shoots ; Their port was more than human, as they stood:
took it for a fairy vision Of some gay creatures of the element, That in the colours of the rainbow live, And play i' th' plighted clouds. I was awe-struck, And, as I pass'd, I worshipp'd; if those you seek, It were a journey like the path to heav'n, To help you find them.
Gentle villager, What readiest way would bring me to that place?
Com. Due west it rises from this shrubby point.
Lad. 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.
Com. I know each lane, and every alley green,
Shepherd, I take thy word,