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The solemn rites are well begun;
And though but lighted by the moon,
But may none wonder that they are so bright,
This is not every night.
OBERON and the knights dance out the first masquewhich was followed with this
After which, they danced forth their second masquedance, and were again excited by a
1 Faie. Nor yet, nor yet, O you in this night blest, Must you have will, or hope to rest.
3 Plants of clay,] i. e. feet of clay, from the Latin planta. WHAL. Shakspeare uses the word, with a punning allusion to the unsteady condition of his revellers, in Antony and Cleopatra: "Here they'll be, anon: some of their plants are ill rooted already."
2 Faie. If you use the smallest stay,
I Faie. And these beauties will suspect
2 Faie. Or that you have no more worth
Then followed the measures, corantos, galliards,* &c. till PHOSPHORUS the day-star appeared, and called them away; but first they were invited home by one of the Sylvans, with this
Know some measure of your nights.
It is time that we were gone.
As they will enchant the Fairy,
If you longer here should tarry.
Phos. To rest, to rest! the herald of the day, Bright Phosphorus, commands you hence; obey.
4 Then followed the measures, corantos, galliards.] "These light skirmishers, (our historian continues,) the faies, having done their devoir, in came the princesses; first the Queen, next the lady Elizabeth's Grace, then the lady Arbella, the countesses of Arundell, Derby, Essex, Dorset, and Montgomery; the lady Hadington, the lady Elizabeth Grey, the lady Winsor, the lady Katharine Peter, the lady Elizabeth Guildford, and the lady Mary Wintoun. By that time these had done, it was high time to go to bed, for it was within half an hour of the sun's rising." To this the speech of Phosphorus alludes." The Ambassadors of Spaine, of Venice, and of the Low Countries were present at this and all the rest of these glorious sights, and in truth such they were." Winwood's State Papers, vol. iii. p. 181.
The moon is pale, and spent; and winged night
After this, they danced their last dance into the work. And with a full SONG the star vanished, and the whole machine closed.
O yet how early, and before her time,
What haste the jealous Sun doth make,
And once more shew his head!
Lest, taken with the brightness of this night,
The world should wish it last, and never miss his light.