Lapas attēli

Of Phoebus' sons, whose notes the air aspire
Of th'old Egyptian, or the Thracian lyre,
Put on your better flames, and larger light,

To wait upon the Age that shall your names new nourish,

Since Virtue press'd shall grow, and buried Arts shall flourish.

[blocks in formation]

Lid. Spen.

We come.

Our best of fire,

Is that which Pallas doth inspire.
[They descend.

Pal. Then see you yonder souls, set far within the


That in Elysian bowers the blessed seats do keep, That for their living good, now semi-gods are made, And went away from earth, as if but tam'd with sleep?1 These we must join to wake; for these are of the strain

That justice dare defend, and will the age sustain.

Cho. Awake, awake, for whom these times were kept, O wake, wake, wake, as you had never slept! Make haste and put on air, to be their guard, Whom once but to defend, is still reward.

Pal. Thus Pallas throws a lightning from her shield. [The scene of light discovered. Cho. To which let all that doubtful darkness yield.

1 And went away from earth, as if but tam'd with sleep.] This is from Hesiod:

Θνησκον δ ̓ ὡς υπνῳ δεδμημενοι.

It is remarkable that Ovid, who, in his description of the Golden Age, copied Hesiod, has neglected to take notice of so beautiful a circumstance. WHAL.

Put on air, is also from Hesiod: nɛpa eσoaμevoi.

Ast. Now Peace.

G. Age. And Love.
Ast. Faith.

G. Age. Joys.

Ast. G. Age. All, all increase.

Chau. And Strife,

Gow. And Hate,

Lid. And Fear,
Spen. And Pain,

Omnes. All cease.

Pal. No tumour of an iron vein.

The causes shall not come again.

Cho. But, as of old, all now be gold.
Move, move then to the sounds;

And do not only walk your solemn rounds,
But give those light and airy bounds,
That fit the Genii of these gladder grounds.

The first DANCE.

Pal. Already do not all things smile?
Ast. But when they have enjoy'd a while
The Age's quickening power:

[A pause.

Age. That every thought a seed doth bring,
And every look a plant doth spring,
And every breath a flower:

Pal. The earth unplough'd shall yield her crop,
Pure honey from the oak shall drop,

The fountain shall run milk:

The thistle shall the lily bear,
And every bramble roses wear,
And every worm make silk.

Cho. The very shrub shall balsam sweat,
And nectar melt the rock with heat,
Till earth have drank her fill:

That she no harmful weed may know,
Nor barren fern, nor mandrake low,
Nor mineral to kill.

Here the main DANCE.

After which,

Pal. But here's not all: you must do more,
Or else you do but half restore
The Age's liberty.

Poe. The male and female us'd to join,
And into all delight did coin

That pure simplicity.

Then Feature did to Form advance,
And Youth call'd Beauty forth to dance,
And every Grace was by:

It was a time of no distrust,

So much of love had nought of lust,
None fear'd a jealous eye.

The language melted in the ear,
Yet all without a blush might hear,
They liv'd with open vow.2

Cho. Each touch and kiss was so well placed,
They were as sweet as they were chaste,
And such must yours be now.

Here they dance with the Ladies.

Ast. What change is here? I had not more Desire to leave the earth before,

Than I have now to stay;

My silver feet, like roots, are wreath'd
Into the ground, my wings are sheath'd,
And I cannot away.

2 They lived with open vow.] Aperto vivere voto. PERS.

Of all there seems a second birth,
It is become a heaven on earth,
And Jove is present here.

I feel the god-head; nor will doubt
But he can fill the place throughout,
Whose power is every where.
This, this, and only such as this,
The bright Astræa's region is,
Where she would pray to live,
And in the midst of so much gold,
Unbought with grace, or fear unsold,
The law to mortals give.

Here they dance the Galliards and Corantos.

Pallas [ascending, and calling the Poets].
'Tis now enough; behold you here,
What Jove hath built to be your sphere,
You hither must retire.

And as his bounty gives you cause
Be ready still without your pause,
To shew the world your fire.

Like lights about Astræa's throne,
You here must shine, and all be one,
In fervour and in flame;

That by your union she may grow,
And, you sustaining her, may know
The Age still by her name.

Who vows, against or heat or cold,
To spin your garments of her gold,
That want may touch you never;
And making garlands ev'ry hour,
To write your names in some new flower,
That you may live for ever.

Cho. To Jove, to Jove, be all the honour given,

That thankful hearts can raise from earth to heaven.

It is with regret I inform the reader that the excellent old folio here deserts us. I am not quite sure that the concluding pages enjoyed the benefit of Jonson's superintendence; but as by far the greatest portion of the volume undoubtedly did, it is come down to us one of the correctest works that ever issued from the English press.

The second folio, which has a medley of dates from 1630 to 1641, has no such advantages. No part of it, I am well persuaded, was seen by Jonson; as, exclusive of the press-errors, which are very numerous, there is a confusion in the names of the speakers, which he could not have overlooked. I have revised it with all imaginable care, and endeavoured to preserve that uniformity of arrangement of which he was apparently so solicitous.

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »