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From the Pastoral Fragment, entitled "The Sad Shepherd."
Know ye the witch's dell?
Scathlock. No more than I do know the walks of hell.
Alken. Within a gloomy dimble she doth dwell,
Down in a pit, o'ergrown with brakes and briars,
Close by the ruins of a shaken abbey,
Torn with an earthquake down unto the ground,
As fearful and melancholic as that
She is about; with caterpillars' kells,
And knotty cobwebs, rounded in with spells.
Down to the drowned lands of Lincolnshire;
To make ewes cast their lambs, swine eat their farrow,
George. I thought a witch's banks
Had inclosed nothing but the merry pranks
Scath. As it would quickly appear had we the store Of his collects.
Ay, this good learned man
Can speak her right.
Scar. He knows her shifts and haunts
Alken. And all her wiles and turns. The venom'd plants
And martagan: the shrieks of luckless owls
A MEETING OF WITCHES
FOR THE PURPOSE OF DOING A MISCHIEF TO A JOYFUL HOUSE,
AND BRINGING AN EVIL SPIRIT INTO BIRTH IN THE MIDST
From the Masque of Queens.
Charm. The owl is abroad, the bat and the toad,
And so is the cat-a-mountain ;
The ant and the mole both sit in a hole,
And the frog peeps out of the fountain :
The moon it is red, and the stars are fled,
But all the sky is a-burning.
1st Hag. I have been all day looking after
And soon as she turn'd her beak to the south,
2nd Hag. I have been gathering wolves' hairs,
And all since the evening star did rise.
3rd Hag. I, last night, lay all alone
On the ground to hear the mandrake groan ;
4th Hag. And I have been choosing out this skull
From private grots, and public pits;
5th Hag. Under a cradle I did creep,
By day; and when the child was asleep
6th Hag. I had a dagger: what did I with that?
I scratch'd out the eyes of the owl before,
I tore the bat's wing; what would you have more?
Dame. Yes, I have brought to help our vows
Horned poppy, cypress boughs,
The fig-tree wild that grows on tombs,
And now our orgies let us begin.
You fiends and fairies, if yet any be
Worse than ourselves, you that have quak'd to see
These knots untied (she unties them)-exhale earth's rottenest
And strike a blindness through these blazing tapers.
Charm. Deep, O deep we lay thee to sleep;
We leave thee drink by, if thou chance to be dry;
Dame. Stay; all our charms do nothing win
Our magic feature will not rise,
The ground with vipers, till it sweat.
Charm. Blacker go in, and blacker come out :
At thy going down, we give thee a shout;
At thy rising again thou shalt have two;
A cloud of pitch, a spur and a switch,
His head of a drake, his tail of a snake.
(A loud and beautiful music is heard, and the Witches vanish.)
A CATCH OF SATYRS.
Silenus bids his Satyrs awaken a couple of Sylvans, who have fallen asleep while they should have kept watch.
Buz, quoth the blue fly,
Hum, quoth the bee;
Bůz ǎnd hum they cry,
And so do we.
In his eàr, in his nòse,
Thùs, do you see?
Elsè it was hè.
"It is impossible that anything could better express than this, either the wild and practical joking of the satyrs, or the action of the thing described, or the quaintness and fitness of the images, or the melody and even the harmony, the intercourse, of the musical words, one with another. None but a boon companion with a very musical ear could have written it. It was not for nothing that Ben lived in the time of the fine old English composers, Bull and Ford, or partook his canary with his "lov'd Alphonso," as he calls him, the Signor Ferrabosco. -A Jar of Honey from Mount Hybla, in Ainsworth's Magazine, No. xxx. p. 86.