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With such consort as they keep,
Entice the dewy feather'd Sleep;
And let some strange mysterious dream
Wave at his wings in aery stream
Of lively portraiture display'd,
Softly on my eye-lids laid.
And, as I wake, sweet music breathe
Above, about, or underneath,
Sent by some spirit to mortal good,
Or the unseen genius of the wood.

But let my due feet never fail
To walk the studious cloysters pale,
And love the high-embowed roof,
With antic pillars massy proof,
And storied windows richly dight,
Casting a dim religious light:
There let the pealing organ blow,
To the full-voic'd quire below,
In service high and anthems clear,
As may with sweetness, through mine ear,
Dissolve me into ecstacies,
And bring all Heaven before mine eyes.

And may at last my weary age
Find out the peaceful hermitage,
The hairy gown and mossy cell,
Where I may sit and rightly spell
Of every star that Heaven doth shew,
And every herb that sips the dew;
Till old experience do attain
To something like prophetic strain.

These pleasures, Melancholy, give,
And I with thee will choose to live.

Over some wide-water'd shore,
Swinging slow with sullen roar :
Or, if the air will not permit,
Some still removed place will fit,
Where glowing embers through the room
Teach light to counterfeit a gloom;
Far from all resort of mirth,
Save the cricket on the hearth,
Or the belman's drowsy charm,
To bless the doors from nightly harm.
Or let my lamp at midnight hour,
Be seen in some high lonely tower,
Where I may oft out-watch the Bear,
With thrice-great Hermes, or unsphere
The spirit of Plato, to unfold
What worlds or what vast regions hold
The immortal mind, that hath forsook
Her mansion in this fleshly nook :
And of those demons that are found
In fire, air, flood, or under ground,
Whose power hath a true consent
With planet, or with element.
Sometime let gorgeous Tragedy
In scepter'd pall come sweeping by,
Presenting Thebes, or Pelops' line,
Or the tale of Troy divine ;
Or what (though rare) of later age
Ennobled hath the buskin'd stage.

But, O sad virgin, that thy power
Might raise Musæus from his bower!
Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing
Such notes, as, warbled to the string,
Drew iron tears down Pluto's cheek,
And made Hell grant what love did seek!
Or call up him that left half-told
The story of Cambuscan bold,
Of Camball, and of Algarsife,
And who had Canace to wife,
That own'd the virtuous ring and glass;
And of the wondrous horse of brass.
On which the Tartar king did ride :
And if aught else great bards beside
In sage and solemn tunes have sung,
Of turneys, and of trophies hung,
Of forests, and enchantments drear,
Where more is meant than meets the ear.

Thus, Night, oft see me in thy pale career,
Till civil-suited Morn appear,
Not trick'd and frounc' as she was wont
With the Attic boy to hunt,
But kercheft in a comely cloud,
While rocking winds are piping loud,
Or ushered with a shower still
When the gust hath blown his fill,
Ending on the russling leaves,
With minute drops from off the eaves.
And, when the Sun begins to fling
His flaring beams, me, goddess, bring
To arched walks of twilight groves,
And shadows brown, that Sylvan loves,
Of pine, or monumental oak,
Where the rude axe, with heaved stroke,
Was never heard the nymphs to daunt,
Or fright them from their hallow'd haunt.
There in close covert by some brook,
Where no profaner eye may look,
Hide me from day's garish eye,
While the bee with honied thigh,
That !! Howery work doth sing,


LYCIDAS. Yer once more, O ye laurels, and once more, Ye myrtles brown, with ivy never-sere, I come to pluck your berries harsh and crude: And, with forc'd fingers rude, Shatter your leaves before the mellowing year : Bitter constraint, and sad occasion dear, Compels me to disturb your season due: For Lycidas is dead, dead ere his prime, Young Lycidas, and hath not left his peer : Who would not sing for Lycidas ? he knew 10 Himself to sing, and build the lofty rhyme. He must not float upon his watery bier Unwept, and welter to the parching wind, Without the meed of some melodious tear.

Begin then, Sisters of the sacred well, That from beneath the seat of Jove doth spring; Begin, and somewhat loudly sweep the string. Hence with denial vain, and coy excuse: So may some gentle Muse With lucky words favour my destin'd urn; 20 And, as he passes, turn And bid fair peace be to my sable shroud.

For we were nurs'd upon the self-same hill, Fed the same flock, by fountain, shade, and rill. Together both, ere the high lawns appear'd Under the opening eye-lids of the Morn, We drove afield, and both together heard What time the gray-fly winds her sultry horn, Battening our flocks with the fresh dews of night, Oft till the star, that rose, at evening bright, 30 Toward Heaven's descent had slop'd his westering wheel.

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Meanwhile the rural ditties were not mute, It was that fatal and perfidious bark,

100 Temper’d to the oaten flute;

Built in the eclipse, and rigg'd with curses dark, Rough Satyrs danc'd, and Fawns with cloven heel That sunk so low that sacred head of thine. From the glad sound would not be absent long; Next Camus, reverend sire, went footing slow, And old Damætas lov'd to hear our song.

His mantle hairy, and his bonnet sedge, But, О the heavy change, now thou art gone, Inwrought with figures dim, and on the edge Now thou art gone, and never must return! Like to that sanguine flower inscribed with woe. Thee, shepherd, thee the woods, and desert caves “ Ah! who hath reft” (quoth he) “my dearest With wild thyme and the gadding vine o'ergrown,

pledge?" And all their echoes, mourn :

40 Last came', and last did go, The willows, and the hazel copses green,

The pilot of the Galilean lake; Shall now no more be seen

Two massy keys he bore of metals twain, 110 Fanning their joyous leaves to thy soft lays. (The golden opes, the iron shuts amain,) As killing as the canker to the rose,

He shook his miter'd locks, and stern bespake: Or taint-worm to the weanling herds that graze,

“ How well could I have spared for thee, young Or frost to flowers, that their gay wardrobe wear,

swain, When first the white-thorn blows;

Enow of such, as for their bellies' sake Such, Lycidas, thy loss to shepherds' ear.

Creep, and intrude, and climb into the fold? Where were ye, Nymphs, when the remorseless of other care they little reckoning make, deep

Than how to scramble at the shearers' feast, Clos'd o'er the head of your lov'd Lycidas? 51 And shove away the worthy bidden guest; For neither were ye playing on the steep,

Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how to Where your old bards, the famous Druids, lie,

hold Nor on the shaggy top of Mona high,

A sheep-hook, or have learn'd aught else the least Nor yet where Dera spreads her wizard stream : That to the faithful herdman's art belongs ! 121 Ay me! I fondly dream!

What recks it them? What need they? They Had ye been there. for what could that have

are sped; done?

And, when they list, their lean and flashy songs What could the Muse herself that Orpheus bore, Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw; The Muse herself, for her enchanting son,

The hungry sheep look up, and are not fer, Whom universal Nature did lament,

60 But, swoln with wind and the rank mist they When, by the rout that made the hideous roar,

His gory visage down the stream was sent, Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread :
Down the swift Hebrus to the Lesbian shore ? Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw
Alas! what boots it with incessant care

Daily devours apace, and nothing sed :
To tend the homely, slighted, shepherd's trade, But that two-handed engine at the door

130 And strictly meditate the thankless Muse? Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more. Were it not better done, as others use,

Return, Alpheus, the dread voice is past, To sport with Amaryllis in the shade,

That shrunk thy streams; return, Sicilian Muse, Or with the tangles of Neæra's hair?

And call the vales, and bid them hither cast Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise Their bells, and flowerets of a thousand hues. (That last infirmity of noble mind)

71 Ye valleys low, where the mild whispers use To scorn deliglits and live laborious days;

Of shades, and wanton winds, and gushing brooks, But the fair guerdon when we hope to find, On whose fresh lap the swart-star sparely looks; And think to burst out into sudden blaze,

Throw hither all your quaint enamellid eyes, Comes the blind Fury with the abhorred shears, That on the green turf suck the honicd showers, And slits the thin-spun life. “ But not the praise," And purple all the ground with vernal flowers Phæbus replied, and touchi'd my trembling ears; Bring the rathe primrose that forsaken dies, 142 “ Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil, The tufted crow-toe, and pale jessamine, Nor in the glistering foil

The white pink, and the pansy freak'd with jet, Set off' to the world, nor in broad rumour lies : The glowing violet, But lives and spreads aloft by those pure eyes,

The musk-rose, and the well-attired wood-bine, And perfect witness of all-judging Jove; 81 With cowslips wan that hang the pensive head, As he pronounces lastly on each deed,

And every flower that sad embroidery wears: Of so much faine in Heaven expect thy meed." Bid Amaranthus all his beauty shed, O fountain Arethuse, and thou honour'd flood, And datladillies fill their cups with tears, 150 Smooth-sliding Mincius, crown'd with vocal reeds ! | To strew the laureat herse where Lycid lies, That strain I heard was of a higher mood :

For, so to interpose a little ease, But now my oat proceeds,

Let our frail thoughts dally with false surmise ; And listens to the herald of the sea

Ay me! whilst thee the shores and sounding seas That came in Neptune's plea;

Wash far away, where'er thy bones are hurl'd, He ask'd the waves, and ask'd the felon winds, Whether beyond the stormy Hebrides, What hari inishap hath doom'd this gentle swain? Where thou, perhaps, under the whelming tide, And question’ıl every gust of rugged wings Visit'st the bottom of the monstrous world ; That blows from off cach beaked promontory: Or whether thou, to our moist vows denied, They knew rot of his story;

Sleep'st by the fable of Bellerus old,

160 And sage Hippotades their answer brings,

Where the great vision of the guarded mount That not a blast was from his dungeon stray'd; Looks toward Namancos and Bayona's hold; The air was calm, and on the level brine

Look homeward, angel, now, and melt with ruth : Sleck Panope with all her sisters play'd.

And, O ye dolphins, waft the hapless youth.

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waves ;


Weep no more, woful shepherds, weep no more, 1 To lay their just hands on that golden key,
For Lycidas your sorrow is not dead,

That opes the palace of Eternity :
Sunk though he be beneath the watery floor ; To such my crrand is; and, but for such,
So sinks the day-star in the occan bed,

I would not soil these pure ambrosial weeds
And yet anon repairs liis drooping head, 169 With the rank vapours of this sin-worn mould.
And tricks his beams, and with new-spangled ore But to my task. Neptune, besides the sway
Flames in the forehead of the morning sky: Of every salt flood, and cach ebbing stream,
So Lycidas sunk low, but mounted high,

Took in by lot 'twixt high and nether Jove
Through the dear might of him that walk'd the Imperial rule of all the sea-girt isles,

That, like to rich and various gems, inlay
Where, other groves and other streams along, The unadorned bosom of the deep:
With nectar pure

his oozy
locks he laves,

Which he, to grace his tributary gods,
And hears the unexpressive nuptial song,

By course commits to several government, • In the blest kingdoms meek of joy and love. And gives them leave to wear their sapphire crowns, There entertain him all the saints above,

And wield their little tridents : but this isle, In solemn troops, and sweet societies,

The greatest and the best of all the main, That sing, and, singing in their glory, move, He quarters to his blue-hair'd deities; And wipe the tears for ever from his eyes.

And all this tract that fronts the falling Sun Now, Lycidas, the shepherds weep no more;

180 A noble peer of mickle trust and power llenceforth thou art the genius of the shore, Has in his charge, with temper'd awe to guide In thy large recompense, and shalt be good An old and haughty nation, proud in arins: To all that wander in that perilous flood.

Where his fair offspring, nurs’d in princely lore, Thus sang the uncouth swain to the oaks and Are coming to attend their father's state, rills,

And new-entrusted sceptre : but their way
While the still Morn went out with sandals gray; Lies through the perplex'd paths of this drear wood,
He touch'd the tender stops of various quills, The nodding horrour of whose shady brows
With eager thought warbling his Doric lay ; Threats the forlorn and wandering passenger;
And now the Sun had stretch'd out all the hills, And here their tender age might sufler peril, 40
And now was dropt into the western bay: 191 But that by quick command from sovran Jove
At last he rose, and twitch'd his mantle blue : I was dispatch'd for their defence and guard ;
To-morrow to fresh woods, and pastures new.

And listen why ; for I will tell you now
What never yet was heard in tale or song,
From old or modern bard, in hall or bower.

Bacchus, that first from out the purple grape

Crush'd the sweet poison of misused wine,

After the Tuscan mariners transform’d,
Coasting the Tyrrhene shore, as the winds listed,

On Circe's island fell : (Who knows not Circe, 50 THE ATTENDANT Spirit, afterwards in the habit of The daughter of the Sun, whose charmed cup THYRSIS.

Whoever tasted, lost his upright shape,

And downward fell into a grovelling swine ?) Comus, with his crew.

This nymph, that gaz'd upon his clustering locks THE LADY.

With ivy berries wreath'd, and his blithe youth, FIRST BROTHER.

Ilad by him, ere he parted thence, a son Second BROTHER.

Much like his father, but his mother more, Sabrina, the Nymph.

Whom therefore she brought up, and Comus nam’d:

Who, ripe and frolic of his full grown age,
The chief persons, who presented, were

Roving the Celtic and Iberian fields

At last betakes him to this ominous wood;
The lord Brackley.

And, in thick shelter of black shades imbower'd,
Mr. Thomas Egerton his brother.

Excels his mother at her mighty art,
The lady Alice Egerton.

Otiering to every weary traveller
His orient liquor in a crystal glass,

To quench the drought of Phæbus; which as they
The first Scene discovers a wild wood.

(For most do taste through fond intemperate thirst :) Tlie ATTENDANT SPIRIT descends or enters.

Soon as the potion works, their human countenance,

The express resemblance of the gods, is chang'd BEFORE the starry threshold of Jove's court

Into some brutish form of wolf, or bear,

70 My mansion is, where those immortal shapes Or ounce, or tiger, hog, or bearded goat, Of bright aëreal spirits live inspher'd

All other parts remaining as they were ; In regions mild of calm and serene air,

And they, so perfect is their misery, Above the smoke and stir of this dim spot,

Not once perceive their foul disfigureinent, Which men call earth ; and, with low-thoughted care But boast themselves more comely than before ; Confin’d and pester'd in this pin-fold here,

And all their friends and native home forget, Strive to keep up a frail and feverish being, To roll with pleasure in a sensual stye. Unmindful of the crown that Virtue gives, Therefore when any, favour'd of high Jove, After this mortal change, to her true servants, 10 Chances to pass through this adventurous glade, Ar the enthron'd gods on sainted seats. Swift as the sparkle of a glancing star

SO he, that by due steps aspire

I shoot from Heaven, to give him safe convoy,




As now I do: but first I must put off

Come, knit hands, and beat the ground
These my sky-robes spun out of Iris' woof, In a light fantastic round.
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, Break off, break off, I feel the different pace
Well knows to still the wild winds when they roar,

Of some chaste footing near about this ground. And hush the waving woods; nor of less faith,

Run to your shrouds, within these brakes and trees; And in this office of his mountain watch

Our number may affright : some virgin sure Likeliest, and nearest to the present aid 90

(For so I can distinguish by mine art) 149 Of this occasion. But I hear the tread

Benighted in these woods Now to my charms, Of hateful steps; I must be viewless now.

And to my wily trains: I shall ere long

Be well-stocked with as fair a herd as graz’d Comus enters with a charming-rod in one hand, his About my mother Circe. Thus I huri

glass in the other ; with him a rout of monsters, My dazzling spells into the spungy air, headed like sundry sorts of wild beasts, but otherwise of power to cheat the eye with blear illusion, like men and women, their apparel glistering; they and give it false presentments, lest the place come in making a riotous and unruly noise, with | And my quaint habits breed astonishment, torches in their hands.

And put the damsel to suspicious flight;

Which must not be, for that's against my course :
I, under fair pretence of friendly ends,

160 The star, that bids the shepherd fold,

And well-plac'd words of glozing courtesy Now the top of Heaven doth hold;

Baited with reasons not unplausible, And the gilded car of day

Wind me into the easy-hearted man, His glowing axle doth allay

And hug him into snares. When once her eye In the steep Atlantic stream;

Hath met the virtue of this magic dust, And the slope Sun his upward beam

I shall appear some harmless villager, Shoots against the dusky pole,

Whom thrift keeps up about his country gear. Pacing towards the other goal

100 But here she comes; I fairly step aside, Of his chamber in the east.

And hearken, if I may, her business here.
Meanwhile welcome Joy, and Feast,
Midnight Shout, and Revelry,

THE LADY enters.
Tipsy Dance, and Jollity.
Braid your locks with rosy twine,

This way the noise was, if mine ear be true, 170 Dropping odours, dropping wine.

My best guide now; methought it was the sound Rigour now is gone to bed,

Of riot and ill-manag'd merriment, And advice with scrupulous head.

Such as the jocund flute, or gamesome pipe, Strict Age and sour Severity,

Stirs up among the loose unletter'd hinds; With their grave saws, in slumber lie.

110 When for their teeming flocks, and granges full, We, that are of purer fire,

In wanton dance they praise the bounteous Pan, Imitate the starry quire,

And thank the gods amiss. I should be loth Who, in their nightly watchful spheres,

To meet the rudeness, and swill'd insolence, Lead in swift round the months and years.

Of such late wassailers; yet, O! where else The sounds and seas, with all their finny drove, Shall I inform my unacquainted feet

180 Now to the Moon in wavering morrice move; In the blind mazes of this tangled wood ? And, on the tawny sands and shelves, 119 My brothers, when they saw me wearied out Trip the pert faeries and the dapper elves,

With this long way, resolving here to lodge By dimpled brook and fountain brim,

Under the spreading favour of these pines, The wood-nymphs, deck'd with daisies trim, Stept, as they said, to the next thicket side, Their merry wakes and pastimes keep;

To bring me berries, or such cooling fruit What hath night to do with sleep?

As the kind hospitable woods provide. Night hath better sweets to prove,

They left me then, when the gray-hooded Even, Venus now wakes, and wakens love.

Like a sad votarist in palmer's weed,

189 Come, let us our rites begin ;,

Rose from the hindmost wheels of Phoebus' wain. 'Tis only day-light that makes sin,

But where they are, and why they came not back, Which these dun shades will ne'er report: - Is now the labour of my thoughts; 'tis likeliest Hail, goddess of nocturnal sport,

128 They had engag'd their wandering steps too far; Dark-veil'd Cotytto! to whom the secret flame And envious darkness, ere they could return, Of midnight torches burns; mysterious dame, Had stole them from me: else, O thievish Night, That ne'er art call’d, but when the dragon woom Why should'st thou, but for some felonious end, Of Stygian darkness spets her thickest gloom, In thy dark lantern thus close up the stars, And makes one blot of all the air ;

That Nature hung in Heaven, and fill'd their Stay the cloudy ebon chair,

lamps Wherein thou rid'st with Hecat', and befriend With everlasting oil, to give due light Us thy vow'd priests, till utmost end

To the misled and lonely traveller ?

200 Of all thy dues be done, and none left out;

This is the place, as well as I may guess, Ere the babbling eastern scout,

Whence even now the tumult of loud mirth The nice Morn, on the Indian steep

Was rife, and perfect in my listening ear; From her cabin’d loop-hole peep,

140 Yet nought but single darkness do I find. And to the tell-tale Sun descry

What this might be? A thousand fantasies Our conceal'd solemnity.

Begin to throng into my memory,



Of calling shapes, and beckoning shadows dire, Forbidding every bleak unkindly fog
And aery tongues, that syllable men's names 208 To touch the prosperous growth of this tall wood.
On sands, and shores, and desert wildernesses. Lad. Nay, gentle shepherd, ill is lost that praise
These thoughts may startle well, but not astound, That is address'd to unattending ears;
The virtuous mind, that ever walks attended Not any boast of skill, but extreme shift
By a strong siding champion, Conscience.

How to regain my sever'd company,
O welcome pure-ey'd Faith, white-handed Hope, Compell’d me to awake the courteous Echo 275
Thou hovering angel, girt with golden wings, To give me answer from her mossy couch.
And thou, unblemish'd form of Chastity !

Com. What chance, good lady, hath bereft you I see ye visibly, and now believe

thus ? That he, the Supreme Good, to whom all things Lad. Dim darkness, and this leafy labyrinth. ill

Com. Could that divide you from near-ushering Are but as slavish officers of vengeance,

guides? Would send a glistering guardian, if need were, Lad. They left me weary on a grassy turf. 280 To keep my life and honour unassail'd.

220 Com. By falsehood, or discourtesy, or why? Was I deceiv'd, or did a sable cloud

Lad. To seek i' the valley some cool friendly Turn forth her silver lining on the night?

spring I did not err, there does a sable cloud

Com. And left your fair side all unguarded, lady? Turn forth her silver lining on the night,

Lad. They were but twain, and purpos'd quick And casts a gleam over this tufted grove : I cannot halloo to my brothers, but

Com. Perhaps forestalling night prevented them. Such noise as I can make to be heard farthest Lad. How easy my misfortune is to hit ! I'll venture ; for my new-enliven'd spirits

Com. Imports their loss, beside the present need ? Prompt me; and they perhaps are not far off. Lad. No less than if I should my brothers lose.

Com. Were they of manly prime, or youthful bloom ?

289 Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph, that liv'st unseen

Lad. As smooth as Hebe's their unrazor'd lips. Within thy aery shell,

Com. Two such I saw, what time the labour'd ox 231

In his loose traces from the furrow came,
By slow Meander's margent green,

And the swink'd hedger at his supper sat ;
And in the violet-embroider'd vale,
Where the love-lorn nightingale

I saw them under a green mantling vine,

That crawls along the side of yon small hill,
Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well ;
Canst thou not tell me of a gentle pair

Plucking ripe clusters from the tender shoots ;
That likest thy Narcissus are?

Their port was more than human, as they stood :

I took it for a faery vision
O, if thou have
Hid them in some flowery cave,

Of some gay creatures of the element,
That in the colours of the rainbow live,

300 Tell me but where,

240 Sweet queen of parley, daughter of the sphere !

And play i' the plighted clouds. I was aw-struck, So may'st thou be translated to the skies,

And, as I past, I worshipt; if those you seek, And give resounding grace to all Heaven's har- It were a journey like the path to Heaven,

To help you find them. monies.


Gentle villager,
Enter Comus

What readiest way would bring me to that place ?

Com. Due west it rises from this shrubby point. Comus. Can any mortal mixture of earth's Lad. To find out that, good shepherd, I suppose, mould

In such a scant allowance of star-light, Breathe such divine enchanting ravishment ? 245 Would overtask the best land-pilot's art, Sure something holy lodges in that breast,

Without the sure guess of well-practis'd feet. 310
And with these raptures moves the vocal air Com. I know each lane, and every alley green,
To testify his hidden residence.

Dingle, or bushy dell of this wild wood,
How sweetly did they float upon the wings And every bosky bourn from side to side,
Of silence, through the empty vaulted night. My daily walks and ancient neighbourhood ;
At every fall smoothing the raven-down 251

And if your stray attendants be yet lodg'd, 315
Of darkness, till it smil'd! I have oft heard Or shroud within these limits, I shall know
My mother Circe with the Syrens three,

Ere morrow wake, or the low roosted lark
Amidst the flowery-kirtled Naiades,

From her thatch'd pallet rouse ; if otherwise
Culling their potent herbs and baleful drugs ; I can conduct you, lady, to a low,
Who, as they sung, would take the prison'd soul, But loyal cottage, where you may be safe
And lap it in Elysium : Scylla wept,

Till further quest.
And chid her barking waves into attention,


Shepherd, I take thy word And fell Charybdis murmur'd soft applause : And trust thy honest offer'd courtesy, Yet they in pleasing slumber lull’d the sense, Which oft is sooner found in lowly sheds And in sweet madness robb’d it of itself ; 261 With smoky rafters, than in tap'stry halls But such a sacred and home-felt delight,

In courts of princes, where it first was nam'd 325 Such sober certainty of waking bliss, I never heard till now. - I'll speak to her,

And yet is most pretended : in a place

Less warranted than this, or less secure, And she shall be my queen. - Hail, foreign wonder! I cannot be, that I should fear to change it. Whom certain these rough shades did never breed, Eye me, blest Providence, and square my trial is that in rural shrine

To my proportion'd strength. – Shepherd, lead on. or Sylvan; by blest song


Unless the goditi
Dwell'st het

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