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(For most do taste through fond intemperate thirst), Soon as the potion works, their human countenance, The express resemblance of the gods, is changed Into some brutish form of wolf, or bear, Or ounce, or tiger, hog, or bearded goat, All other parts remaining as they were ; And they, so perfect in their misery, Not once perceive their foul disfigurement, But boast themselves more comely than before ; And all their friends and native home forget, To roll with pleasure in a sensual sty. Therefore when any, favoured of high Jove, Chances to pass through this adventurous glade, Swift as the sparkle of a glancing star I shoot from heaven, to give him safe convoy, As now I do; but first I must put off These my sky robes spun out of Iris' woof, And take the weeds and likeness of a swain, That to the service of this house belongs, Who, with his soft pipe and smooth-dittied song, Well knows to still the wild winds when they roar, And hush the waving woods ; nor of less faith, And in this office of his mountain watch, Likeliest, and nearest to the present aid
Of this occasion.
But I hear the tread
Of hateful steps ! I must be viewless now.
[COMUS enters with a charming rod in one hand, his glass in the other ; with
him a rout of monsters, headed like sundry sorts of wild beasts, but otherwise like men and women, their apparel glistering ; they come in making a riotous and unruly noise, with their torches in their hands.]
The star that bids the shepherd fold,
Meanwhile welcome joy and feast,
locks with rosy twine,
Who, in their nightly watchful spheres,