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That must be utter'd to unfold the sage

And serious doctrine of virginity;

And thou art worthy that thou shouldst not know
More happiness than this thy present lot.
Enjoy your dear wit, and gay rhetorick,

That hath so well been taught her dazzling fence;
Thou art not fit to hear thyself convinced:
Yet, should I try, the uncontrolled worth


Of this pure cause would kindle my rapt spirits

To such a flame of sacred vehemence,


That dumb things would be moved 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 o'er thy false head.
Coм. She fables not; I feel that I do fear


Her words, set off by some superiour power;

And though not mortal, yet a cold shuddering dew
Dips me all o'er, as when the wrath of Jove
Speaks thunder, and the chains of Erebus,
To some of Saturn's crew. I must dissemble,
And try her yet more strongly. Come, no more;
This is mere moral babble, and direct
Against the canon-laws of our foundation;
I must not suffer this; yet 'tis but the lees

And settlings of a melancholy blood:

But this will cure all straight; one sip of this

Will bathe the drooping spirits in delight,

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



The BROTHERS rush in with swords drawn, wrest his glass out of his hand, and break it against the ground; his rout make sign of resistance, but are all driven in. The ATTENDANT SPIRIT comes in.

SPIR. What, have you let the false enchanter 'scape?
O, ye mistook; ye should have snatch'd his wand,
And bound him fast: without his rod reversed,
And backward mutters of dissevering power,
We cannot free the Lady that sits here

797. And the brute earth: That is, the unfeeling earth would sympathize and assist.-T. WARTON.

800. "These six lines are aside, but I would point the first thus: She fables not, I feel that; that is, I fear she does not fable."-SYMPSON. To fable is to feign, to invent.

802. And though not mortal, &c. Her words are assisted by somewhat divine; and I, although immortal, and above the race of man, am so affected with their force, that a cold shuddering dew, &c. Here is the noblest panegyric on the power of virtue, adorned with the sublimest imagery. It is extorted from the mouth of a magician and a preternatural being, who, although actually posse sed of his prey, feels all the terrours of human


nature at the bold rebuke of innocence, and shudders with a sudden cold sweat, like a guilty man.-T. WARTON.

809. Lees. I like the manuscript reading best:

This is mere moral stuff, the very lees, &c. Yet is bad; but very inaccurate.-HURD.

815. Ye m stook. The circumstance in the text, of the brothers forgetting to seize and reverse the magician's rol, while by contrast it heightens the supe rior intelligence of the Attendant Spirit, affords the opportunity of introducing the fiction of raising Sabrina; which, exclusive of its poetical ornaments, is recommended by a local propriety, and was peculiarly interesting to the audience, as the Severn is the famous river of the neighbourhood.-T. WARTON.

In stony fetters fix'd, and motionless:

Yet stay; be not disturb'd; now I bethink me,
Some other means I have which may be used,
Which once of Melibous old I learn'd,

The soothest shepherd that e'er piped on plains.
There is a gentle nymph not far from hence,


That with moist curb sways the smooth Severn stream, 825
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 play'd,
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'à 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 elfe delights to make,
Which she with precious viall'd liquours heals:
For which the shepherds at their festivals
Carol her goodness loud in rustick 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,

824. There is a gentle nymph, &c. Sabrina's fabulous story may be seen in the "Mirrour for Magistrates," in the sixth song of Drayton's "Polyolbion," and in the tenth canto and second book of Spenser's "Faerie Queene." The part of the fable of Comus, which may be called the Disenchantment. is evidently founded on Fletcher's "Faithful Shepherdess." The moral of both dramas, is the triumph of Chastity. This, in both, is finely brought about by the same sort of machinery. Sabrina, a virgin and a king's daughter, was converted into a river-nymph, that her honour might be preserved inviolate. Still she preserves her maiden gentleness, and every evening visits the cattle among her twilight meadows, to heal the mischiefs inflicted by elfish magick. For this she was praised by the shepherds. She protects virgins in distress. She is now solemnly called, to






deliver a virgin imprisoned in the spell of a detestable sorcerer. She rises at the invocation, and leaving her car on an osiered rushy bank, hastens to help ensnared chastity. She sprinkles on the breast of a captive maid precious drops selected from her pure fountain: she touches thrice the tip of the lady's finger, and thrice her ruby lip, with chaste palms moist and cold, as also the envenomed chair, smeared with tenacious gums. The charm is dissolved, and the Nymph departs to the bower of Amphitrite. 828. Brute, Brutus.

845. Urchin blasts. The urchin or hedgehog, from its solitariness, the ugliness of its appearance, and from a popular opinion that it suckled or poisoned the udders of the cows, was adopted into the demonologick system: and its shape was sometimes supposed to be assumed by mischievous elves. T. WARTON.

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.

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 majestick pace;
By hoary Nereus' wrinkled look,
And the Carpathian wisard'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-slipper'd 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,

863. Sabrina's hair drops amber, because, in the poet's idea, her stream was supposed to be transparent; as the river of bliss, in Paradise Lost, (iii. 358,) and as Choaspe has an amber stream, Paradise Regained, (iii. 288.) But Chonspes was called "golden water." Amber, when applied to water, means a luminous clearness; when to hair, bright yellow.-T. WARTON.

869. Earth-shaking is the epithet Homer gives to Neptune. Tethys is the wife of Oceanus, and mother of the gods.

Nereus was a sea deity, the father of the
Nereids, by Doris, an ocean-nymph. The
Carpathian wisard is Proteus, who had
a cave at Carpathus, an island near

873. Triton was Neptune's trumpeter. Glaucus was another sea-deity. Leucothea, the white sea-goddess,

879. Purthenope and Ligea were two of the Syrens. The tomb of the former was at Naples, which was therefore called Parthenope.

My sliding chariot stays,

Thick set with agate, and the azurn 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,



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Smeared 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.

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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,

893. Azurn sheen. Sheen is again used as a substantive for brightness, in line 1003 of this poem.



ton's History of England, Book i.-New


924. Brimmed waves, that is, waves that rise to the brim or edge of the river's bank; meaning, full waves.

923. Sprung of old Anchises' line, for Locrine was the son of Brutus, Brutus of Silvius, Silvius of Ascanius, Ascanius 934. The sense of these four lines is, of Æneas, Eneas of Anchises. See Mil-May thy head be crowned round about

And here and there thy banks upon

With groves of myrrh and cinnamon!

Come, Lady, while Heaven lends us grace,
Let us fly this cursed place,

Lest the sorcerer us entice


With some other new device.
Not a waste or needless sound,
Till we come to holier ground;
I shall be your faithful guide
Through this gloomy covert wide;
And not many furlongs thence
Is your father's residence,
Where this night are met in state
Many a friend to gratulate
His wish'd presence; and beside
All the swains, that there abide,
With jigs and rural dance resort:
We shall catch them at their sport;
And our sudden coming there

Will double all their mirth and chere.
Come, let us haste; the stars grow high;

But night sits monarch yet in the mid sky.




The scene changes, presenting Ludlow town and the President's castle: then come in Country Dancers; after them the ATTENDANT SPIRIT, with the Two BROTHERS, and the LADY.


SPIR. Back, shepherds, back; enough your play,

Till next sun-shine holiday:

Of lighter toes, and such court guise

Here be, without duck or nod,

Other trippings to be trod

As Mercury did first devise,

With the mincing Dryades,

On the lawns, and on the leas.

This second Song presents them to their Father and Mother.

Noble Lord, and Lady bright,



I have brought ye new delight;

Here behold so goodly grown

Three fair branches of your own:

Heaven hath timely tried their youth,


Their faith, their patience, and their truth;

And sent them here through hard assays

With a crown of deathless praise,

To triumph in victorious dance

O'er sensual folly and intemperance.


with towers and terraces, and here and | Two Brothers and the Lady being now there may thy banks be crowned upon to dance, he describes their elegant way with groves of myrrh and cinnamon. of moving by trippings, light toes, court 960. Duck or nod. By ducks and nodsguise, &c. The word mincing he uses to our author alludes to the country peo express the neatness of their gait.ple's awkward way of dancing; and, the PECK.

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