Abbildungen der Seite


Part of an Entertainment presented to the Countess Dowager of Derby, at Harefield, by some noble persons of her family; who appear on the scene in pastoral habit, moving toward the seat of state, with this song.


Look, Nymphs and Shepherds, look,
What sudden blaze of majesty

Is that which we from hence descry,
Too divine to be mistook;

This, this is she

To whom our vows and wishes bend;
Here our solemn search hath end.

Fame, that her high worth to raise,
Seem'd erst so lavish and profuse,
We may justly now accuse
Of detraction from her praise;
Less than half we find express'd,
Envy bid conceal the rest.

5 This] Jonson's Ent. at Altrope, 1603.

This is shee,

This is shee,

In whose world of grace,' &c.



Mark what radiant state she spreads,
In circle round her shining throne,
Shooting her beams like silver threads;
This, this is she alone,

Sitting like a Goddess bright,
In the centre of her light.

Might she the wise Latona be,
Or the tower'd Cybele,

Mother of a hundred Gods?
Juno dares not give her odds;

Who had thought this clime had held
A deity so unparallel'd?




As they come forward, the GENIUS of the wood appears, and turning toward them, speaks.

GEN. Stay, gentle Swains, for though in this. disguise,

I see bright honour sparkle through your eyes;
Of famous Arcady ye are, and sprung
Of that renowned flood, so often sung,
Divine Alphéus, who by secret sluice
Stole under seas to meet his Arethuse;
And ye, the breathing roses of the wood,
Fair silver-buskin'd Nymphs, as great and good,

23 give] Too lightly expressed for the occasion. Hurd. 30 Alpheus] Virg. Æn. iii. 694.

'Alpheum, fama est, huc Elidis amnem Occultas egisse vias subter mare, qui nunc Ore, Arethusa, tuo,' &c.




And early, ere the odorous breath of morn
Awakes the slumb'ring leaves, or tassel'd horn
Shakes the high thicket, haste I all about,
Number my ranks, and visit every sprout
With puissant words, and murmurs made to bless;
But else, in deep of night when drowsiness
Hath lock'd up mortal sense, then listen I
To the celestial Sirens' harmony,

That sit upon the nine infolded spheres,
And sing to those that hold the vital shears,
And turn the adamantine spindle round,
On which the fate of Gods and men is wound.
Such sweet compulsion doth in music lie,
To lull the daughters of Necessity,

And keep unsteady Nature to her law,

And the low world in measur'd motion draw

After the heavenly tune, which none can hear
Of human mould, with gross unpurged ear;
And yet such music worthiest were to blaze
The peerless height of her immortal praise,




73 gross] Compare Shakesp. Merchant of Venice, act v.

sc. 1.

'There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st,
But in his motion like an angel sings,

Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubims :
Such harmony is in immortal sounds!
But whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly close us in, we cannot hear it.

Shakesp. Mid. N. D. act iii. sc. 1.

And I will purge thy mortal grossness so, &c.

Whose lustre leads us, and for her most fit,
If my inferior hand or voice could hit
Inimitable sounds: yet as we go,

Whate'er the skill of lesser Gods can show,
I will assay, her worth to celebrate,
And so attend ye toward her glittering state;
Where ye may all that are of noble stem
Approach, and kiss her sacred vesture's hem.



O'ER the smooth enamell'd green,
Where no print of step hath been,
Follow me as I sing,

And touch the warbled string,

Under the shady roof

Of branching elm star-proof.

Follow me,

I will bring you where she sits,

Clad in splendour as befits

Her deity.

Such a rural Queen

All Arcadia hath not seen.





NYMPHS and Shepherds dance no more

[ocr errors]

89 star] Sun-proof arbours.' Sylvester's Du Bartas, 171, and G. Peele's David and Bethsabe, 1599.

'This shade, sun-proof, is yet no proof for thee.' Warton and Todd.

« ZurückWeiter »