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With black usurping mists, fome gentle taper,
Though a Rush-Candle from the wicker hole
Of some clay habitation, visit us
With thy long levellid rule of streaming light,
And thou shalt be our Star of Arcady,
Or Tyrian Cynosure. 2. Bro. Or if our eyes
Be barr'd that happinefs, might we but hear
The folded flocks pen’d in their watled coats,
Or found of pastoral reed with oaten stops,
Or whistle from the Lodge, or village Cock
Count the night watches to his feathery Dames,
'Twould be some solace yet, some little chearing
In this close dungeon of innumerous bows.
But O that hapless Virgin! our loft fifter,
Where may she wander now, whither betake her
From the chill dew, amongst rude burs and thistles?
Perhaps some cold bank is her Boulfter now,
Or 'gainst the rugged bark of some broad Elm
Leans her unpillow'd head, fraught with fad fears,
What if in wild amazement, and affright,
Or, while we speak, within the direful' grasp
Of Savage hunger, or of Savage heat?
Eld. Bro. Peace, Brother, be not over-exquisite
To cast the falhion of uncertain evils;
For grant they be so, while they rest unknown,
What need a man forestall his date of grief,
And run to meet what he would most avoid?
Or if they be but false alarms of Fear,
How bitter is fuch self-delusion?
I do not think my Sister so to seek,
Or so unprincipl'd in Virtue's book,
And the sweet peace that goodness bosoms evers
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 calm Thoughts,
And put them into mis-becoming plight.
Virtue could fee to do what Virtue would
By her own radiant light, though Sun and Moon
Were in the flat Sea sunk. And Wisdom's self
Oft seeks to sweet retired Solitude,
Where with her best nurse Contemplation
She plumes her feathers and lecs. grow
That in the various bustle of refort
Were all to ruffl'd, and sometimes impair’d.
He that has light within his own clear breast
May fit i'th Center, and enjoy bright day,
But he that hides a dark soul, and foul thoughts,
Benighted walks under the mid-day Sun;
Himself is his own dungeon.
2. Bro. 'Tis most true,
That musing meditation most affects
The pensive fecrecy of desart Cell,
Far from the chearful haunt of men and herds,
And fits as safe as in a Senat House,
For who would rob a Hermit of bis Weeds,
His few Books, or his Beads, or Maple Dish,
Or do his
But Beauty, like the fair Hesperian Tree
Laden with blooming Gold, had need the guard
Of Dragon-watch with uninchanted eye,
To fave hier 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 Out-law's den,
And tell me it is safe, as bid me hopo
Danger will wink on Opportunity,
And let a single helpless Maiden pass
Uninjur'd in this wilde surrounding wast.
Of night, or loneliness it wreaks me not,
I fear the dread events that dog them both,
Lelt some ill-greeting touch attempt the person
Of our unowned Sister.
Eld. Bro. I do not, Brother,
Inferr, as if I thought my Sister's state
Secure without all doubt, or controversie:
Yet where an equal poise of hope and fear
Does arbitrate th’Event, my Nature is
That I encline to hope, rather than fear,
And gladly banish squint suspicion.
My Sister is not so defenceless left
As you imagine, she has a hidden strength
Which you remember not.
2. Bro. What hidden strength, Unless the strength of Heav'n, if you mean that?
Eld.Bro. I mean that too, but yet a hidden strength, Which if Heay'n give it, may be term'd her own: 'Tis chastity, my Brother, chastity: She that has that, is clad in compleat steel, And like a quiver'd Nymph with Arrows keen May trace huge Forrests, and unharbour'd Heaths Infamous Hills, and sandy perilous wildes, Where through the sacred rays of Chastity,
No savage fierce Bandite, or Mountaneer
Will dare to soyl her Virgin purity,
Yea there, where
By grots, and caverns shag'd with horrid Thades,
She may pass on with unblench?d majesty,
Be it not done in pride, or in presumption.
Some say no evil thing that walks by night,
In fog, or fire, by lake, or moorish fen,
Blew meager Hag...or stubborn unlaid Ghost,
That breaks his magick chains at Curfue time,
No Goblin, or swart Faiery of the mine, 12
Hath hurtful power o'er true Virginity.
ye believe me yet, or shall I call
Antiquity from the old Schools of Greece
To testifie the arms of Chastity..
Hence had the huntress Dian her dread bow,
Fair filver-shafced Queen for ever chaste,?cm
Wherewith the cam'd the brinded Lioness: ; :
And spotted mountain Pard, but set at noughci i
The frivolous bolt of Cupid, gods and men's
Feard her sternfrown,and she wasQueen o'ch'Woods.
What was that snaky-headed Gordan shield is
That wife Minerva wore, unconquerd Virgin,