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From the Pastoral Fragment, entitled "The Sad Shepherd."
Know ye the witch's dell?
Down in a pit, o'ergrown with brakes and briars,
Torn with an earthquake down unto the ground,
She is about; with caterpillars' kells,
And knotty cobwebs, rounded in with spells.
And rotten mists, upon the fens and bogs,
To make ewes cast their lambs, swine eat their farrow,
John. I wonder such a story could be told
George. I thought a witch's banks
Of some old woman.
Yes, her malice more.
Scath. As it would quickly appear had we the store Of his collects.
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
And mount the spheres of fire to kiss the moon!
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 OF IT.
From the Masque of Queens.
Charm. The owl is abroad, the bat and the toad,
And the frog peeps out of the fountain :
The moon it is red, and the stars are fled,
1st Hag. I have been all day looking after
A raven, feeding upon a quarter;
2nd Hag. I have been gathering wolves' hairs,
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
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? Kill'd an infant to have his fat.
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
The fig-tree wild that grows on tombs,
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
Charm. Blacker go in, and blacker come out :
At thy rising again thou shalt have two;
A cloud of pitch, a spur and a switch,
To haste him away, and a whirlwind play,
(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;
"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.