« PreviousContinue »
Till now that this extremity compelled :
But now I find it true; for by this means
I knew the foul enchanter, though disguised,
Where if he be, with dauntless hardihood,
And brandished blade, rush on him; break his glass,
But seize his wand; though he and his cursed crew
Fierce sign of battle make, and menace high,
Or like the sons of Vulcan vomit smoke,
Yet will they soon retire, if he but shrink.
Thyrsis, lead on apace, I'll follow thee;
And some good angel bear a shield before us!
The scene changes to a stately palace, set out with all manner of deliciousness; soft music, tables spread with all dainties. COMUS appears with his rabble, and the LADY set in an enchanted chair, to whom he offers his glass, which she puts by, and goes about to rise.]
Nay, lady, sit; if I but wave this wand,
Your nerves are all chained up in alabaster,
Root-bound, that fled Apollo.
Fool! do not boast;
Thou canst not touch the freedom of my mind With all thy charms, although this corporal rind Thou hast immanacled, while Heaven sees good.
Why are you vexed, lady? why do you frown?
And first behold this cordial julep here,
With spirits of balm and fragrant syrups mixed. Not that Nepenthes,34 which the wife of Thone In Egypt gave to Jove-born Helena,
Is of such power to stir up joy as this,
To life so friendly, or so cool to thirst.
Why should you be so cruel to yourself,
And to those dainty limbs which Nature lent
For gentle usage, and soft delicacy?
But you invert the covenants of her trust,
And harshly deal, like an ill borrower,
With that which you received on other terms,
By which all mortal frailty must subsist,
That have been tired all day without repast,
'T will not, false traitor!
'T will not restore the truth and honesty
That thou hast banished from thy tongue with lies.
Was this the cottage, and the safe abode,
Thou told'st me of? What grim aspects are these,
And wouldst thou seek again to trap me here
To a well-governed and wise appetite.
Oh, foolishness of men! that lend their ears
To those budge doctors of the Stoic fur,