Act 3, Scene I

Scene: Part of the Wood with the Holy Well.

Enter Sullen Shepherd, carrying AMARILLIS asleep.

Sullen Shepherd.
From thy forehead thus I take
These herbs, and charge thee not awake
Till in yonder holy well
Thrice, with powerful magic spell
Filled with many a baleful word
Thou hast been dipped. Thus, with my cord
Of blasted hemp, by moonlight twined
I do thy sleepy body bind.
I turn thy head unto the east,
And thy feet unto the west,
Thy left arm to the south put forth,
And thy right unto the north.
I take thy body from the ground,
In this deep and deadly swound,
And into this holy spring
I let thee slide down by my string.—
[Lets her down into the Well.
Take this maid, thou holy pit
To thy bottom; nearer yet;
In thy water pure and sweet
By thy leave I dip her feet;
Thus I let her lower yet,
That her ankles may be wet;
Yet down lower, let her knee
In thy waters washèd be;
There stop.—Fly away,
Everything that loves the day!
Truth, that hath but one face,
Thus I charm thee from this place.
Snakes that cast your coats for new,
Chameleons that alter hue,
Hares that yearly sexes change,
Proteus altering oft and strange,
Hecatè with shapes three,
Let this maiden changèd be,
With this holy water wet,
To the shape of Amoret!
Cynthia, work thou with my charm!—
Thus I draw thee, free from harm,
[Draws her out of the well, in the shape of Amoret.
Up out of this blessèd lake:
Rise both like her and awake!
Speak, shepherd, am I Amoret to sight?
Or hast thou missed in any magic rite,
For want of which any defect in me
May make our practices discovered be?
Sullen Shepherd.
By yonder moon, but that I here do stand,
Whose breath hath thus transformed thee, and whose hand
Let thee down dry, and plucked thee up thus wet,
I should myself take thee for Amoret!
Thou art, in clothes, in feature, voice and hue,
So like, that sense can not distinguish you.
Then, this deceit, which cannot crossèd be,
At once shall lose her him, and gain thee me.
Hither she needs must come, by promise made;
And, sure, his nature never was so bad,
To bid a virgin meet him in the wood,
When night and fear are up, but understood
'Twas his part to come first. Being come, I'll say,
My constant love made me come first and stay;
Then will I lead him further to the grove:
But stay you here, and, if his own true love
Shall seek him here, set her in some wrong path,
Which say her lover lately trodden hath;
I'll not be far from hence. If need there be,
Here is another charm, whose power will free
[Gives a scroll.
The dazzled sense, read by the moonbeams clear,
And in my own true shape make me appear.


Sullen Shepherd.
Stand close: here's Perigot; whose constant heart
Longs to behold her in whose shape thou art.
[Retires with Amarillis.
This is the place.—Fair Amoret!—The hour
Is yet scarce come. Here every sylvan power
Delights to be, about yon sacred well,
Which they have blessed with many a powerful spell;
For never traveller in dead of night,
Nor strayèd beasts have fall'n in; but when sight
Hath failed them, then their right way they have found
By help of them, so holy is the ground.
But I will farther seek, lest Amoret
Should be first come, and so stray long unmet.—
My Amoret, Amoret!
Amarillis. [Coming forward.]
Perigot. [Within.]
My love!
My love! I come, my love!
Sullen Shepherd.
My love! I come, my love! Now she hath got
Her own desires, and I shall gainer be
Of my long-looked-for hopes, as well as she.
How bright the moon shines here, as if she strove
To show her glory in this little grove


To some new-lovèd shepherd! Yonder is
Another Amoret. Where differs this
From that? but that she Perigot hath met,
I should have ta'en this for the counterfeit.
Herbs, woods, and springs, the power that in you lies,
If mortal men could know your properties!

Methinks it is not night; I have no fear,
Walking this wood, of lion or of bear,
Whose names at other times have made me quake,
When any shepherdess in her tale spake
Of some of them, that underneath a wood
Have torn true lovers that together stood;
Methinks there are no goblins, and men's talk,
That in these woods the nimble fairies walk,
Are fables: such a strong heart I have got,
Because I come to meet with Perigot.—
My Perigot! Who's that? my Perigot?
Sullen Shepherd. [Coming forward.]
Fair maid!
Fair maid! 'Aye me, thou art not Perigot?
Sullen Shepherd.
But I can tell you news of Perigot:
An hour together under yonder tree
He sat with wreathèd arms, and called on thee,
And said, “Why, Amoret, stay'st thou so long?”
Then starting up, down yonder path he flung,
Lest thou hadst missed thy way. Were it daylight,
He could not yet have borne him out of sight.
Thanks, gentle shepherd; and beshrew my stay,
That made me fearful I had lost my way
As fast as my weak legs (that cannot be
Weary with seeking him) will carry me,
I'll follow; and, for this thy care of me,
Pray Pan thy love may ever follow thee!
Sullen Shepherd.
How bright she was, how lovely did she show!
Was it not pity to deceive her so?
She plucked her garments up, and tripped away,
And with a virgin-innocence did pray
For me that perjured her. Whilst she was here,
Methought the beams of light that did appear
Were shot from her; methought the moon gave none
But what it had from her. She was alone
With me; if then her presence did so move,
Why did I not assay to win her love?
She would not sure have yielded unto me;
Women love only opportunity,
And not the man; or if she had denied,
Alone, I might have forced her to have tried
Who had been stronger: oh, vain fool, to let
Such blessed occasion pass! I'll follow yet;
My blood is up; I cannot now forbear.

Enter ALEXIS and CLOE.

I come, sweet Amoret!—Soft, who is here?
A pair of lovers? He shall yield her me:
Now lust is up, alike all women be.

[Aside and retires.
Where shall we rest? But for the love of me,
Cloe, I know, ere this would weary be.
Alexis, let us rest here, if the place,
Be private, and out of the common trace
Of every shepherd; for, I understood,
This night a number are about the wood:
Then, let us choose some place, where, out of sight,
We freely may enjoy our stol'n delight.
Then, boldly here, where we shall ne'er be found:
No shepherd's way lies here, 'tis hallowed ground;
No maid seeks here her strayèd cow or sheep;
Fairies and fawns and satyrs do it keep.
Then, carelessly rest here, and clip and kiss,
And let no fear make us our pleasures miss.
Then, lie by me: the sooner we begin,
The longer ere the day descry our sin.
[They lie down.
Sullen Shepherd. [Coming forward.]
Forbear to touch my love; or, by yon flame,
The greatest power that shepherds dare to name,
Here where thou sit'st, under this holy tree,
Her to dishonour, thou shalt buried be!
If Pan himself should come out of the lawns,
With all his troops of satyrs and of fawns,
And bid me leave, I swear by her two eyes
(A greater oath than thine), I would not rise!
Sullen Shepherd.
Then, from the cold earth never thou shalt move,
But lose at one stroke both thy life and love.
[Wounds him with his spear.
Hold, gentle shepherd!
Sullen Shepherd.
Hold, gentle shepherd! Fairest shepherdess,
Come you with me; I do not love you less
Than that fond man, that would have kept you there
From me of more desert.
From me of more desert. Oh, yet forbear
To take her from me! Give me leave to die
By her!

Enter Satyr; Sullen Shepherd runs one way, and CLOE another.

By her! Now, whilst the moon doth rule the sky,
And the stars, whose feeble light
Gives a pale shadow to the night,
Are up, great Pan commanded me
To walk this grove about, whilst he,
In a corner of the wood,
Where never mortal foot hath stood,
Keeps dancing, music, and a feast,
To entertain a lovely guest;
Where he gives her many a rose,
Sweeter than the breath that blows
The leaves, grapes, berries of the best;
I never saw so great a feast.
But, to my charge. Here must I stay,
To see what mortals lose their way,
And by a false fire, seeming bright,
Train them in and leave them right,
Then must I watch if any be
Forcing of a chastity;
If I find it, then in haste
Give my wreathèd horn a blast,
And the fairies all will run,
Wildly dancing by the moon,
And will pinch him to the bone,
Till his lustful thoughts be gone.
Oh, death!
Back again about this ground;
Sure, I hear it mortal sound.—
I bind thee by this powerful spell,
By the waters of this well,
By the glimmering moonbeams bright,
Speak again, thou mortal wight!
Here the foolish mortal lies,
Sleeping on the ground.—Arise!—
The poor wight is almost dead;
On the ground his wounds have bled,
And his clothes fouled with his blood:
To my goddess in the wood
Will I lead him, whose hands pure
Will help this mortal wight to cure.
[Exit carrying Alexis.

Re-enter CLOE.

Since I beheld yon shaggy man, my breast
Doth pant; each bush, methinks, should hide a beast.
Yet my desire keeps still above my fear:
I would fain meet some shepherd, knew I where;
For from one cause of fear I am most free,
It is impossible to ravish me,
I am so willing. Here upon this ground
I left my love, all bloody with his wounds;
Yet, till that fearful shape made me begone,
Though he were hurt, I furnished was of one;
But now both lost.—Alexis, speak or move,
If thou hast any life; thou art yet my love!—
He's dead, or else is with his little might
Crept from the bank for fear of that ill sprite.—
Then, where art thou that struck'st my love? Oh, stay!
Bring me thyself in change, and then I'll say
Thou hast some justice: I will make thee trim
With flowers and garlands that were meant for him;
I'll clip thee round with both mine arms, as fast
As I did mean he should have been embraced.
But thou art fled.—What hope is left for me?
I'll run to Daphnis in the hollow tree,
Whom I did mean to mock; though hope be small
To make him bold, rather than none at all,
I'll try him; his heart, and my behaviour too,
Perhaps may teach him what he ought to do.

Re-enter Sullen Shepherd.

Sullen Shepherd.
This was the place. 'Twas but my feeble sight,
Mixed with the horror of my deed, and night,
That shaped these fears, and made me run away,
And lose my beauteous hardly-gotten prey.—
Speak, gentle shepherdess! I am alone,
And tender love for love.—But she is gone
From me, that, having struck her lover dead,
For silly fear left her alone, and fled.
And see, the wounded body is removed
By her of whom it was so well beloved.
But all these fancies must be quite forgot.
I must lie close; here comes young Perigot,
With subtle Amarillis in the shape
Of Amoret. Pray, love, he may not 'scape!

Enter PERIGOT, and AMARILLIS in the shape of AMORET.

Belovèd Perigot, show me some place,
Where I may rest my limbs, weak with the chase
Of thee, an hour before thou cam'st at least.
Beshrew my tardy steps! Here shalt thou rest
Upon this holy bank: no deadly snake
Upon this turf herself in folds doth make;
Here is no poison for the toad to feed;
Here boldly spread thy hands; no venomed weed
Dares blister them; no slimy snail dare creep
Over thy face when thou art fast asleep;
Here never durst the dabbling cuckoo spit;
No slough of falling star did ever hit
Upon this bank: let this thy cabin be;
This other, set with violets, for me.
[They lie down.
Thou dost not love me, Perigot.
Thou dost not love me, Perigot. Fair maid,
You only love to hear it often said;
You do not doubt.
You do not doubt. Believe me, but I do.
What, shall we now begin again to woo?
'Tis the best way to make your lover last,
To play with him when you have caught him fast.
By Pan I swear, belovèd Perigot,
And by you moon, I think thou lov'st me not.
By Pan I swear,—and, if I falsely swear,
Let him not guard my flock; let foxes tear
My earliest lambs, and wolves, whilst I do sleep,
Fall on the rest; a rot among my sheep,—
I love thee better than the careful ewe
The new-yeaned lamb that is of her own hue;
I dote upon thee more than that young lamb
Doth on the bag that feeds him from his dam!
Were there a sort of wolves got in my fold,
And one ran after thee, both young and old
Should be devoured, and it should be my strife
To save thee, whom I love above my life.
How should I trust thee, when I see thee choose
Another bed, and dost my side refuse?
'Twas only that the chaste thoughts might be shown
'Twixt thee and me, although we were alone.
Come, Perigot will show his power, that he
Can make his Amoret, though she weary be,
Rise nimbly from her couch, and come to his.
Here, take thy Amoret; embrace and kiss.
[Lies down beside him.
What means my love?
What means my love? To do as lovers should,
That are to be enjoyed, not to be wooed.
There's ne'er a shepherdess in all the plain
Can kiss thee with more art; there's none can feign
More wanton tricks.
More wanton tricks. Forbear, dear soul, to try
Whether my heart be pure; I'll rather die
Than nourish one thought to dishonour thee.
Still think'st thou such a thing as chastity
Is amongst women? Perigot, there's none
That with her love is in a wood alone,
And would come home a maid: be not abused
With thy fond first belief; let time be used.
[Perigot rises.
Why dost thou rise?
Why dost thou rise? My true heart thou hast slain!
Faith, Perigot, I'll pluck thee down again.
Let go, thou serpent, that into my breast
Hast with thy cunning dived!—Art not in jest?
Sweet love, lie down.
Sweet love, lie down. Since this I live to see,
Some bitter north wind blast my flocks and me!
You swore you loved, yet will not do my will.
Oh, be as thou wert once, I'll love thee still!
I am as still I was, and all my kind;
Though other shows we have, poor men to blind.
Then, here I end all love; and, lest my vain
Belief should ever draw me in again,
Before thy face, that hast my youth misled,
I end my life! my blood be on thy head!
[Offers to kill himself with his spear.
Amarillis. [Rising.]
Oh, hold thy hands, thy Amoret doth cry!
Thou counsel'st well; first, Amoret shall die,
That is the cause of my eternal smart!
Oh, hold!
Oh, hold! This steel shall pierce thy lustful heart!
[Exit, running after her.
Sullen Shepherd. [Coming forward.]
Up and down, every where,
I strew the herbs, to purge the air:
Let your odour drive hence
All mists that dazzle sense.
Herbs and springs, whose hidden might
Alters shapes, and mocks the sight,
Thus I charge ye to undo
All before I brought ye to!
Let her fly, let her 'scape;
Give again her own shape!

Re-enter AMARILLIS in her own shape, and PERIGOT following with his spear.

Forbear, thou gentle swain! thou dost mistake;
She whom thou follow'dst fled into the brake,
And as I crossed thy way, I met thy wrath;
The only fear of which near slain me hath.
Pardon, fair shepherdess: my rage and night
Were both upon me, and beguiled my sight:
But far be it from me to spill the blood
Of harmless maids that wander in the wood!
[Exit Amarillis.


Many a weary step, in yonder path,
Poor hopeless Amoret twice trodden hath,
To seek her Perigot; yet cannot hear
His voice.—My Perigot! She loves thee dear
That calls.
That calls. See yonder where she is! how fair
She shows I and yet her breath infects the air.
My Perigot!
My Perigot! Here.
My Perigot! Here. Happy!
My Perigot! Here. Happy! Hapless! first
It lights on thee: the next blow is the worst.
[Wounds her.
Stay, Perigot! my love, thou art unjust.
Death is the best reward that's due to lust.
Sullen Shepherd.
Now shall their love be crossed; for, being struck,
I'll throw her in the fount, lest being took
By some night-traveller, whose honest care
May help to cure her.
[Aside, and then comes forward.
May help to cure her. Shepherdess, prepare
Yourself to die!
Yourself to die! No mercy do I crave;
Thou canst not give a worse blow than I have.
Tell him that gave me this; who loved him too,
He struck my soul, and not my body through;
Tell him, when I am dead, my soul shall be
At peace, if he but think he injured me.
Sullen Shepherd.
In this fount be thy grave. Thou wert not meant
Sure for a woman, thou art so innocent.—
[Flings her into the well.
She cannot 'scape, for, underneath the ground,
In a long hollow the clear spring is bound,
Till on yon side, where the morn's sun doth look,
The struggling water breaks out in a brook.

The God of the River rises with AMORET in his arms.

God of the River.
What powerful charms my streams do bring
Back again unto their spring,
With such force that I their god,
Three times striking with my rod,
Could not keep them in their ranks?
My fishes shoot into the banks;
There's not one that stays and feeds,
All have hid them in the weeds.
Here's a mortal almost dead,
Fall'n into my river-head,
Hallowed so with many a spell,
That till now none ever fell.
'Tis a female young and clear,
Cast in by some ravisher:
See, upon her breast a wound,
On which there is no plaster bound.
Yet, she's warm, her pulses beat,
'Tis a sign of life and heat.—
If thou be'st a virgin pure,
I call give a present cure:
Take a drop into thy wound,
From my watery locks, more round
Than orient pearl, and far more pure
Than unchaste flesh may endure.—
See, she pants, and from her flesh
The warm blood gusheth out afresh.
She is an unpolluted maid;
I must have this bleeding stayed.
From my banks I pluck this flower
With holy hand, whose virtuous power
Is at once to heal and draw.
The blood returns. I never saw
A fairer mortal. Now doth break
Her deadly slumber.—Virgin, speak.
Who hath restored my sense, given me new breath,
And brought me back out of the arms of death?
God of the River.
I have healed thy wounds.
I have healed thy wounds. Aye, me!
God of the River.
Fear not him that succoured thee.
I am this fountain's god: below,
My waters to a river grow,
And 'twixt two banks with osiers set,
That only prosper in the wet,
Through the meadows do they glide,
Wheeling still on every side,
Sometimes winding round about,
To find the evenest channel out.
And if thou wilt go with me,
Leaving mortal company,
In the cool streams shalt thou lie,
Free from harm as well as I:
I will give thee for thy food
No fish that useth in the mud;
But trout and pike, that love to swim
Where the gravel from the brim
Through the pure streams may be seen;
Orient pearl fit for a queen,
Will I give, thy love to win,
And a shell to keep them in;
Not a fish in all my brook
That shall disobey thy look,
But, when thou wilt, come sliding by,
And from thy white hand take a fly:
And, to make thee understand
How I can my waves command,
They shall bubble, whilst I sing,
Sweeter than the silver string.
Do not fear to put thy feet
Naked in the river sweet;
Think not leech, or newt, or toad,
Will bite thy foot, when thou least trod;
Nor let the water rising high,
As thou wad'st in, make thee cry
And sob; but ever live with me,
And not a wave shall trouble thee.
Immortal power, that rul'st this holy flood,
I know myself unworthy to be wooed
By thee, a god; for ere this, but for thee,
I should have shown my weak mortality:
Besides, by holy oath betwixt us twain,
I am betrothed unto a shepherd-swain,
Whose comely face, I know, the gods above
May make me leave to see, but not to love.
God of the River.
Alay he prove to thee as true!
Fairest virgin, now adieu:
I must make my waters fly,
Lest they leave their channels dry,
And beasts that come unto the spring
Miss their morning's watering;
Which I would not; for of late
All the neighbour-people sate
On my banks, and from the fold
Two white lambs of three weeks old
Offered to my deity;
For which this year they shall be free
From raging floods, that as they pass
Leave their gravel in the grass;
Nor shall their meads be overflown
When their grass is newly mown.
For thy kindness to me shown,
Never from thy banks be blown
Any tree, with windy force,
Cross thy streams, to stop thy course;
Alay no beast that comes to drink,
With his horns cast down thy brink;
May none that for thy fish do look,
Cut thy banks to dam thy brook;
Barefoot may no neighbour wade
In thy cool streams, wife nor maid,
When the spawns on stones do lie,
To wash their hemp, and spoil the fry!
God of the River.
Thanks, virgin. I must down again.
Thy wound will put thee to no pain:
Wonder not so soon 'tis gone;
A holy hand was laid upon.
And I, unhappy born to be,
Must follow him that flies from me.