Song

SPIR. Back, shepherds, back! Enough your play Till next sun-shine holiday. Here be, without duck or nod, Other trippings to be trod Of lighter toes, and such court guise As Mercury did first devise With the mincing Dryades On the lawns and on the leas.

The 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.

The dances ended, the SPIRIT epiloguizes.

SPIR. To the ocean now I fly, And those happy climes that lie Where day never shuts his eye, Up in the broad fields of the sky.

There I suck the liquid air,

All amidst the gardens fair

Of Hesperus, and his daughters three

That sing about the golden tree.

Along the crisped shades and bowers

Revels the spruce and jocund Spring;

The Graces and the rosy-bosomed Hours

Thither all their bounties bring.

There eternal Summer dwells;

And west winds with musky wing

About the cedarn alleys fling

Nard and cassia's balmy smells.

Iris there with humid bow

Waters the odorous banks, that blow

Flowers of more mingled hue

Than her purfled scarf can shew,

And drenches with Elysian dew

(List, mortals, if your ears be true)

Beds of hyacinth and roses,

Where young Adonis oft reposes,

Waxing well of his deep wound,

In slumber soft, and on the ground

Sadly sits the Assyrian queen.

But far above, in spangled sheen,

Celestial Cupid, her famed son, advanced

Holds his dear Psyche, sweet entranced

After her wandering labours long,

Till free consent the gods among

Make her his eternal bride,

And from her fair unspotted side

Two blissful twins are to be born,

Youth and Joy; so Jove hath sworn.

But now my task is smoothly done: I can fly, or I can run, Quickly to the green earth's end, Where the bowed welkin slow doth bend, And from thence can soar as soon To the corners of the moon. Mortals, that would follow me, Love virtue; she alone is free. She can teach ye how to climb Higher than the sphery chime; Or, if Virtue feeble were, Heaven itself would stoop to her.

John Milton

Comus (excerpts)

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