Act II

SCENE I.A Pasture.

Enter Old Shepherd ringing a bell, and Priest of Pan following.

Priest. Shepherds all, and maidens fair,
Fold your flocks up, for the air
’Gins to thicken, and the sun
Already his great course hath run.
See the dew-drops how they kiss
Every little flower that is;
Hanging on their velvet heads,
Like a rope of crystal beads;
See the heavy clouds low falling,
And bright Hesperus down calling
The dead Night from under ground;
At whose rising mists unsound,
Damps and vapours fly apace,
Hovering o’er the wanton face
Of these pastures, where they come,
Striking dead both bud and bloom:
Therefore, from such danger lock
Every one his lovèed flock;
And let your dogs Lie loose without,
Lest the wolf come as a scout
From the mountain, and, ere day,
Bear a lamb or kid away;
Or the crafty thievish fox
Break upon your simple flocks.
To secure yourselves from these,
Be not too secure in ease;
Let one eye his watches keep,
Whilst the other eye doth sleep;
So you shall good shepherds prove,
And for ever hold the love
Of our great god. Sweetest slumbers,
And soft silence, fall in numbers
On your eyelids! So, farewell:
Thus I end my evening’s knell.


SCENE II.The Wood before Clorin’s bower.

Enter Clorin, sorting herbs.

Clo. Now let me know what my best art hath done,
Helped by the great power of the virtuous moon
In her full light. Oh, you sons of earth,
You only brood, unto whose happy birth
Virtue was given, holding more of nature
Than man, her first-born and most perfect creature,
Let me adore you! you, that only can
Help or kill nature, drawing out that span
Of life and breath even to the end of time;
You, that these hands did crop long before prime
Of day, give me your names, and, next, your hidden power.
This is the clote, bearing a yellow flower;
And this, black horehound; both are very good
For sheep or shepherd bitten by a wood
Dog’s venomed tooth: these rhamnus’ branches are,
Which, stuck in entries, or about the bar
That holds the door, kill all enchantments, charms
(Were they Medea’s verses), that do harms
To men or cattle: these for frenzy be
A speedy and a sovereign remedy,
The bitter wormwood, sage, and marigold;
Such sympathy with man’s good they do hold:
This tormentil, whose virtue is to part
All deadly killing poison from the heart:
And, here, narcissus root, for swellings best:
Yellow lysimachus, to give sweet rest
To the faint shepherd, killing, where it comes,
All busy gnats, and every fly that hums:
For leprosy, darnel and celandine,
With calamint, whose virtues do refine
The blood of man, making it free and fair
As the first hour it breathed, or the best air:
Here, other two; but your rebellious use
Is not for me, whose goodness is abuse;
Therefore, foul standergrass, from me and mine
I banish thee, with lustful turpentine;
You that entice the veins and stir the heat
To civil mutiny, scaling the seat
Our reason moves in, and deluding it
With dreams and wanton fancies, till the fit
Of burning lust be quenched, by appetite
Robbing the soul of blessedness and light:
And thou, light vervain, too, thou must go after,
Provoking easy souls to mirth and laughter;
No more shall I dip thee in water now,
And sprinkle every post and every bough
With thy well-pleasing juice, to make the grooms
Swell with high mirth, and with joy all the rooms.

Enter Thenot.

The. This is the cabin where the best of all
Her sex that ever breathed, or ever shall
Give heat or happiness to the shepherd’s side,
Doth only to her worthy self abide.
Thou blessèed star, I thank thee for thy light,
Thou by whose power the darkness of sad night
Is banished from the earth, in whose dull place
Thy chaster beams play on the heavy face
Of all the world, making the blue sea smile,
To see how cunningly thou dost beguile
Thy brother of his brightness, giving day
Again from chaos; whiter than the way
That leads to Jove’s high court, and chaster far
Than chastity itself, you blessèed star
That nightly shines! thou, all the constancy
That in all women was or e’er shall be;
From whose fair eye-balls flies that holy fire
That poets style the mother of desire,
Infusing into every gentle breast
A soul of greater price, and far more blest,
Than that quick power which gives a difference
’Twixt man and creatures of a lower sense!

  By PanEris using Melati.

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