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I must not suffer this, yet 'tis but the lees

And settlings of a melancholy blood:

But this will cure all straight: one sip of this

Will bathe the drooping spirits in delight

Beyond the bliss of dreams.

Be wise, and taste.

The BROTHERS rush in with swords drawn, wrest his glass out of his hand, and break it against the ground: his rout make sign of resistance, but are all driven in. The ATTENDANT SPIRIT comes in.]


What, have let the false enchanter 'scape?


Oh! ye mistook, ye should have snatched his wand,
And bound him fast; without his rod reversed,
And backward mutters of dissevering power,

We cannot free the lady that sits here

In stony fetters fixed, and motionless :

Yet stay, be not disturbed; now I bethink me,
Some other means I have which may be used,
Which once of Melibous old I learnt,

The soothest shepherd that e'er piped on plains.

There is a gentle nymph not far from hence,

That with moist curb sways the smooth Severn stream,——
Sabrina is her name, a virgin pure;

Whilome she was the daughter of Locrine,42

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That had the sceptre from his father Brute.

She, guiltless damsel, flying the mad pursuit
Of her enraged stepdame Guendolen,
Commended her fair innocence to the flood,

That stayed her flight with his cross-flowing course.

The water nymphs that in the bottom played,
Held up their pearléd wrists, and took her in,
Bearing her straight to aged Nereus' hall,
Who, piteous of our woes, reared her lank head,
And gave her to his daughters to embathe
In nectared lavers strewed with asphodel,

And through the porch and inlet of each sense
Dropped in ambrosial oils till she revived,
And underwent a quick immortal change,
Made goddess of the river: still she retains
Her maiden gentleness, and oft at eve
Visits the herds along the twilight meadows,
Helping all urchin blasts, and ill-luck signs
That the shrewd meddling elf 43 delights to make,
Which she with precious vialed liquors heals;
For which the shepherds at their festivals

Carol her goodness loud in rustic lays,

And throw sweet garland wreaths into her stream,

Of pansies, pinks, and gaudy daffodils.

And, as the old swain said, she can unlock

The clasping charm, and thaw the numbing spell,

If she be right invoked in warbled song ;

For maidenhood she loves, and will be swift


To aid a virgin, such as was herself,

In hard-besetting need: this will I try,

And add the power of some adjuring verse.

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