told it me,
And now I do believe it), if I keep
My virgin-flower uncropt, pure, chaste, and fair,
No goblin, wood-god, fairy, elf, or fiend,
Satyr, or other power that haunts the groves,
Shall hurt my body, or by vain illusion
Draw me to wander after idle fires;
Or voices calling me in dead of night,
To make me follow, and so tole me on,
Through mire and standing pools, to find my ruin.
Else why should this rough thing, who never knew
Manners nor smooth humanity, whose heats
Are rougher than himself and more mis-shapen,
Thus mildly kneel to me? Sure there is a power
In that great name of virgin, that binds fast
All rude uncivil bloods, all appetites
That break their confines: then, strong chastity,
Be thou my strongest guard, for here I’ll dwell
In opposition against fate and hell!

[Retires into the bower.

SCENE II.In the Neighbourhood of a Village.

Enter Old Shepherd, with four couples of Shepherds and
Shepherdesses, among whom are PERIGOT and AMORET.

Old Shep. Now we have done this holy festival
In honour of our great god, and his rites
Performed, prepare yourselves for chaste
And uncorrupted fires; that as the priest
With powerful hand shall sprinkle on your brows
His pure and holy water, ye may be
From all hot flames of lust and loose thoughts free.
Kneel, shepherds, kneel; here comes the priest of Pan.

Enter Priest of Pan.

Priest. Shepherds, thus I purge away

[Sprinkling them with water.

Whatsoever this great day,
Or the past hours, gave not good,
To corrupt your maiden blood.
From the high rebellious heat
Of the grapes, and strength of meat,
From the wanton quick desires
They do kindle by their fires
I do wash you with this water;
Be you pure and fair hereafter!
From your livers and your veins
Thus I take away the stains;
All your thoughts be smooth and fair:
Be ye fresh and free as air!
Never more let lustful heat
Through your purgèed conduits beat,
Or a plighted troth be broken,
Or a wanton verse be spoken
In a shepherdess’s ear:
Go your ways, ye are all clear.

[They rise and sing.

Sing his praises that doth keep
Our flocks from harm,
Pan, the father of our sheep;
And arm in arm
Tread we softly in a round,
Whilst the hollow neighbouring ground
Fills the music with her sound.

Pan, O great god Pan, to thee
Thus do we sing!
Thou that keep’st us chaste and free
As the young spring;
Ever be thy honour spoke,
From that place the Morn is broke
To that place Day doth unyoke!

[Exeunt all except Perigot and Amoret.

Peri. [Detaining her.] Stay, gentle Amoret, thou fair-browed
Thy shepherd prays thee stay, that holds thee dear,
Equal with his soul’s good.

Amo. Speak; I give
Thee freedom, shepherd; and thy tongue be still
The same it ever was, as free from ill
As he whose conversation never knew
The court or city; be thou ever true!

Peri. When I fall off from my affection,
Or mingle my clean thoughts with foul desires,
First, let our great god cease to keep my flocks,
That, being left alone without a guard,
The wolf, or winter’s rage, summer’s great heat
And want of water, rots, or what to us
Of ill is yet unknown, fall speedily,
And in their general ruin let me go!

Amo. I pray thee, gentle shepherd, wish not so:
I do believe thee; ’tis as hard for me
To think thee false, and harder, than for thee
To hold me foul.

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter/page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.