She that has that is clad in complete steel,
And, like a quivered nymph with arrows keen,
May trace huge forests, and unharboured heaths,

Infamous hills, and sandy perilous wilds;
225 Where, through the sacred rays of chastity,

No savage fierce, bandite, or mountaineer,
Will dare to soil her virgin purity.

Yea, there where very desolation dwells, (By grots and caverns shagged with horrid shades, 430 She may pass on with unblenched 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,

Blue meagre hag, or stubborn unlaid ghost, 435 That breaks his magic chains at curfew time,

No goblin or swart faery of the mine,
Hath hurtful power o'er true virginity.
Do ye believe me yet, or shall I call

Antiquity from the old schools of Greece 440 To testify the arms of chastity?

Hence had the huntress Dian her dread bow,
Fair silver-shafted queen for ever chaste,
Wherewith she tamed the brinded lioness

And spotted mountain-pard, but set at nought 445 The frivolous bolt of Cupid; gods and men Feared her stern frown, and she was queen o' the

woods. What was that snaky-headed Gorgon shield That wise Minerva wore, unconquered virgin,

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Wherewith she freezed her foes.to congealed stone,
But rigid looks of chaste austerity,
And noble grace that dashed brute violence
With sudden adoration and blank awe?

So dear to Heaven is saintly chastity
| That, when a soul is found sincerely so,
· A thousand liveried angels lackey her,
· Driving far off each thing of sin and guilt,
And in clear dream and solemn vision
Tell her of things that no gross ear can hear;
Till oft converse with heavenly habitants
Begin to cast a beam on the outward shape,
The unpolluted temple of the mind,
And turns it by degrees to the soul's essence,

Till all be made immortal. But, when lust, | By unchaste looks, loose gestures, and foul talk, But most by lewd and lavish act of sin, Lets in defilement to the inward parts, The soul grows clotted by contagion, Imbodies, and imbrutes, till she quite lose The divine property of her first being. Such are those thick and gloomy shadows damp 470 Oft seen in charnel-vaults and sepulchres, Lingering and sitting by a new-made grave, As loth to leave the body that it loved, And linked itself by carnal sensualty To a degenerate and degraded state.

475 Sec. Bro. How charming is divine Philosophy! Not harsh and crabbed, as dull fools suppose,


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But musical as is Apollo's lute,

And a perpetual feast of nectared sweets, 480 Where no crude surfeit reigns. Eld. Bro.

List! list! I hear Some far-off hallo break the silent air.

Sec. Bro. Methought so too; what should it be?
Eld. Bro.

For certain, Either some one, like us, night-foundered here,

Or else some neighbour woodman, or, at worst, 485 Some roving robber calling to his fellows. Sec. Bro. Heaven keep my sister! Again, again,

and near! Best draw, and stand upon our guard. Eld. Bro.

• I'll hallo. If he be friendly, he comes well; if not, Defence is a good cause, and Heaven be for us!

The ATTENDANT SPIRIT, habited like a shepherd 190 That hallo I should know. What are you? speak. Come not too near; you fall on iron stakes else. Spir. What voice is that? my young Lord?

speak again. Sec. Bro. O brother, 'tis my father's Shepherd,

..sure. Eld. Bro. Thyrsis! whose artful strains have

oft delayed
495 The huddling brook to hear his madrigal,

And sweetened every musk-rose of the dale.
How camest thou here, good swain? Hath any



Slipped from the fold, or young kid lost his dam,
Or straggling wether the pent flock forsook?
How couldst thou find this dark sequestered nook? 500

Spir. O my loved master's heir, and his next joy,
I came not here on such a trivial toy
As a strayed ewe, or to pursue the stealth
Of pilfering wolf; not all the fleecy wealth
That doth enrich these downs is worth a thought 505
To this my errand, and the care it brought.
But, oh! my virgin Lady, where is she?
How chance she is not in your company?
Eld. Bro. To tell thee sadly, Shepherd, without

blame Or our neglect, we lost her as we came.

510 Spir. Ay me unhappy! then my fears are true. Eld. Bro. What fears, good Thyrsis? Prithee

briefly shew. Spir. I'll tell ye. 'Tis not vain or fabulous (Though so esteemed by shallow ignorance) What the sage poets, taught by the heavenly 515

Storied of old in high immortal verse
Of dire Chimeras and enchanted isles,
And rifted rocks whose entrance leads to Hell;
For such there be, but unbelief is blind.
Within the navel of this hideous wood,

Immured in cypress shades, a sorcerer dwells,
Of Bacchus and of Circe born, great Comus,
Deep skilled in all his mother's witcheries,


And here to every thirsty wanderer 525 By sly enticement gives his baneful cup,

With many murmurs mixed, whose pleasing poison The visage quite transforms of him that drinks, And the inglorious likeness of a beast

Fixes instead, unmoulding reason's mintage 530 Charactered in the face. This have I learnt

Tending my flocks hard by i' the hilly crofts
That brow this bottom glade; whence night by

He and his monstrous rout are heard to howl

Like stabled wolves, or tigers at their prey, 535 Doing abhorrèd rites to Hecate

In their obscurèd haunts of inmost bowers.
Yet have they many baits and guileful spells
To inveigle and invite the unwary sense

Of them that pass unweeting by the way.
340 This evening late, by then the chewing flocks

Had ta’en their supper on the savoury herb
Of knot-grass dew-besprent, and were in fold,
I sate me down to watch upon a bank

With ivy canopied, and interwove
545 With flaunting honeysuckle, and began,

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,
560 And filled the air with barbarous dissonance;

At which I ceased, and listened them a while,

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