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They had engag‘d their wandering steps too far,
I did not err, there does a fable cloud
S O N G. SWEET Echo, sweetest nymph, that liv'st unseen
Within thy aery shell,
By Now Meander's margent green, And in the violet-embroider'd vale,
Where the love-lorn nightingale Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well; 235 Cant thou not tell me of a gentle pair
That likest thy Narcissus are?
O if thou have
Tell me but where,
So may'st thou be translated to the skies,
Com. Can any mortal mixture of earth's mold Breathe such divine inchanting ravishment? 245 Sure fomething holy lodges in that breast, And with these raptures moves the vocal air To testify his hidden residence: How sweetly did they flote upon the wings VOL. III.
Of silence, through the empty-vaulted night, 250
LA. Nay, gentle Shepherd, ill is lost that praise
boast of skill, but extreme shift How to regain my
company, Compell’d me to awake the courteous Echo To give me answer from her mossy couch. [thus?
Com. What chance, good Lady, hath bereft you LA. Dim darkness, and this leafy labyrinth.
Com. Could that divide you from near-ushering
guides ? LA. They left me weary on a grassy turf. 280 COM. By falfhood, or discourtesy, or why? LA. To seek i'th' valley fome cool friendly spring. COM. And left your fair fide all unguarded, Lady? LA. They were but twain, and purpos’d quick re
COM. Perhaps fore-stalling night prevented them.
bloom? La. As smooth as Hebe's their unrazor'd lips. 290
COM. Two such I saw, what time the labor'd ox In his loose traces from the furrow came, And the swinkt hedger at his supper fat; I saw them under a green mantling vine That crawls along the side of yon small hill, 295 Plucking ripe clusters from the tender shoots; Their port was more than human, as they stood: I took it for a faëry vision Of some gay creatures of the element, That in the colors of the rainbow live,
300 And play i'th' plighted clouds. I was aw-ftruck, And as I pait, I worshipt; if those you seek, It were a journey like the path to Heaven, To help you find them. LA. Gentle Villager,
What readiest way would bring me to that place? 305
Com. Due west it rises from this shrubby point.
LA. To find out that, good Shepherd, I suppose, In such a scant allowance of star-light, Would overtask the best land-pilot's art, Without the fure guess of well-practis'd feet. 310
Com. I know each lane, and every alley green, Dingle, or bushy dell of this wild wood, And every bosky bourn from side to side, My daily walks and ancient neighbourhood; And if your stray-attendence be yet lodg’d, 315 Or shroud within these limits, I shall know Ere morrow wake, or the low-roosted lark From her thatcht pallat rouse; if otherwise, I can conduct you, Lady, to a low But loyal cottage, where you may be safe
320 Till further quest.
LA. Shepherd, I take thy word, And trust thy honest offer'd courtesy, Which oft is sooner found in lowly sheds With smoky rafters, than in tap'stry halls And courts of princes, where it first was nam'd, 325 And yet is most pretended : In a place Less warranted than this, or less secure, I cannot be, that I should fear to change it. Eye me, blest Providence, and square my trial To my proportion'd strength! Shepherd, lead on. 330
The two BROTHERS. i Bro. Unmuffle, ye faint Stars, and thou fair Moon, That wont'st to love the traveller's benizon,