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And sweeten'd every muskrose of the dale.
How cam'ít thou here, good Swain? hath any ram
Slipt from the fold, or young kid lost his dam,
Or straggling weather the pent flock forsook ?
How could'st thou find this dark sequefter'd nook ?

SPIRIT.
0 my lov'd master's heir, and his next joy, 501
I came not here on such a trivial toy
As a stray'd ewe, or to pursue the stealth
Of pilfering wolf; not all the fleecy wealth
That doth enrich these downs, is worth a thought
To this my errand, and the care it brought.

506 But, O my virgin Lady, where is she? How chance she is not in your company?

ELDER BROTHER,
To tell thee sadly, Shepherd, without blame,
Or our neglect, we lost her as we came.

SPIRIT.

510

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on his musical compositions ; and a 497. How cam'f thou here, good very fine one it is, and more gen- Swain ? &c] In the Manuteel than that which we took no- script it is good Shepherd: but that tice of before, as that was put into agrees not so well with the meahis own mouth, but this is spoken sure of the verse. And in the next by another.

verse the Manuscript had at first 496. of the dale.] In the Leapt o'er the pen, which was cor

rected into Slipt from his folds as it Manuscript it was at first

is in the Manuscript, or the fold, as of the valley,

in all the editions.

509. TO

SPIRIT. Ay me unhappy! then

my

fears are true. ELDER BROTHER. What fears, good Thyrsis ? Prethee briefly shew.

SPIRIT I'll tell

ye;

'tis not vain or fabulous, (Though fo esteem'd by shallow ignorance) What the fage poets, taught by th' heav'nly Muse, Story'd of old in high immortal verse, Of dire chimera's and inchanted iles, And rifted rocks whose entrance leads to Hell ; For such there be, but unbelief is blind. Within the navel of this hideous wood,

520 Immur'd in cypress shades a sorcerer dwells, Of Bacchus and of Circe born, great Comus, Deep skill'd in all his mother's witcheries, And here to every thirsty wanderer

516

By

509. To tell thee fadly, Shepherd,] before address’d him by the name Sadly, soberly, seriously, as the of Shepherd, word is frequently used by our old 513. I'll tell ye ;] In the Manuauthors, and in Paradise Lost, VI. script, and edition of 1637 it is, 541. where see the note.

I'll tell you.

520. Within the navel] That is 512. What fears, good Thyrsis ? ] in the midst, a phrase borrow'd He had written at first good Shep- from the Greeks and Latins. berd: but this was alter'd to good

523. Deep skill'd] He had writTbyrfis for variety, as he had just ten at first Enur d.

530. Cha

a

By lly enticement gives his baneful

cup,

525 With many, murmurs mix'd, whose pleasing poison The visage quite transforms of him that drinks, And the inglorious likeness of a beaft Fixes instead, unmolding reason's mintage Charácter'd in the face; this have I learnt

530 Tending my flocks hard by i'th' hilly crofts, That brow this bottom glade, whence night by night He and his monstrous rout are heard to howl Like stabled wolves, or tigers at their prey, Doing abhorred rites to Hecate

535 In their obscured haunts of inmost bowers, Yet have they many baits, and guileful spells, To' inveigle and invite th’unwary sense Of them that pass unweeting by the way,

This

thy skin.

530. Charácter'd in the face ; ] And 2 Henry VI. A& 3. Sc. 4. The word is often pronounced

Show me one scar charácter'd on with this accent by our old writers. So Spenser, Faery Queen, B. 3. Cant. 3. St. 14.

531. i'th' billy crofts, ] He And writing strange characters in had written at first rib pafiur'd

' the ground.

lawns, which agrees not so well

with what follows. So Shakespear, Two Gentlemen

534. Like stabled wolves, or tiof Verona, Act 2. Sç. 10.

gers at their prey,] This comWho art the table wherein all parison in all probability was formd my thoughts

from what Virgil says of Circe's Are visibly chará ter'd and in- iland, Æn. VII. 15. gray'd.

a

This evening late, by then the chewing flocks

540 Had ta’en their supper on the favory herb Of knot-grass dew-besprent, and were in fold, I sat me down to watch upon a bank With ivy canopied, and interwove With flaunting honey-suckle, and began,

545 Wrapt in a pleasing fit of melancholy, To meditate my rural minstrelsy, Till fancy had her fill, but ere a close The wonted roar was up amidst the woods, And fill'd the air with barbarous diffonance;

550 At which I ceas'd, and listen’d them a while, Till an unusual stop of sudden filence Gave respit to the drousy flighted steeds, That draw the litter of close-curtain'd sleep;

At

Hinc exaudiri gemitus, iræque dew. Spenser's Shepherd's Calenleonum

dar December, ac formæ magnorum ululare

My head besprent with hoary frost luporum :

I find. Quos hominum ex facie Dea fæva potentibus herbis

Fairfax, Cant. 12. St. 101. Induerat Circe in vultus ac terga

His filver locks with duft he foul ferarum.

besprent. 542. Of knot-grass dew-besprent,] 545. With fiaunting honey-suckle,] It This species of grass is“ men- was at firft spreading or blowing tion'd in Shakespear's Midsum- 553. - the drouly frighted fleeds, mer Night's Dream, Act 3. Sc. 7. That draw the litter of close-cur. And dew-besprent is sprinkled with tain'd sleep;] So I read drousy

flighted

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a

At last a soft and folemn breathing sound 555
Rose like a steam of rich distillid perfumes,
And stole

upon

the air, that even Silence
Was took ere she was ware, and wish'd she might
Deny her nature, and be never more
Still to be so displac'd. I was all ear,
And took in strains that might create a foul

Under

560

flighted according to Milton's Ma- That guides thy lazy team. nuscript; and this genuin reading And as Mr. Thyer farther observes, Dr. Dalton has also preferved in Comus. Drousy-frighted is nonsense, the epithet also of close-curtain

and manifestly an error of the press sleep

, was perhaps borrow'd from in all the editions. There can be Shakespear, Macbeth, A2. Sc. 2. no doubt that in this passage Mil- and wicked dreams abuse ton had his eye upon the following

The curtain'd sleep. description of night in Shakespear, 2 Henry VI. Act 4. Sc. I.

555. At last a soft and folemn And now loud howling wolves breathing sound &c) No doubt aroufe the jades,

but that our poet in these charmThat drag the tragic melancholy ing. lines imitated his favorite night,

Shakespear, Twelfth Night at the Who with their drousy, flow, beginning.

and flagging wings Clip dead mens graves

That ftrain again, it had a dy

ing fall; The idea and the expression of O, it came o'er my ear, like the drousy-flighted in the one are plainly

sweet south, copied from their drousy, flow, and That breathes upon a bank of flagging wings in the other and

violets, Fletcher in the Faithful Shep- Stealing and giving odor. herdess has much the same image,

Thyer.

Act 4.

thee yet

Night, do not steal away: I woo Before these two lines were correct

ed as they are at present, the author To hold a hard hand o'er the had written them thus, rusty bit

At

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