Act 5 Scene III

Scene: A Pasture.

Enter Old Shepherd and Priest of Pan.

Priest of Pan.
Sure, they are lost for ever: 'tis in vain
To find them out with trouble and much pain,
That have a ripe desire and forward will
To fly the company of all but ill.
What shall be counselled now? shall we retire,
Or constant follow still that first desire
We had to find them?
Old Shepherd.
We had to find them? Stay a little while;
For, if the morning's mist do not beguile
My sight with shadows, sure I see a swain;
One of this jolly troup's come back again.


Priest of Pan.
Dost thou not blush, young shepherd, to be known
Thus without care leaving thy flocks alone,
And following what desire and present blood
Shapes out before thy burning sense for good;
Having forgot what tongue hereafter may
Tell to the world thy falling off, and say
Thou art regardless both of good and shame.
Spurning at virtue and a virtuous name?
And like a glorious desperate man, that buys
A poison of much price, by which he dies,
Dost thou lay out for lust, whose only gain
Is foul disease, with present age and pain,
And then a grave? These be the fruits that grow
In such hot veins, that only beat to know
Where they may take most ease, and grow ambitious
Through their own wanton fire and pride delicious.
Right holy sir, I have not known this night
What the smooth face of mirth was, or the sight
Of any looseness; music, joy, and ease,
Have been to me as bitter drugs to please
A stomach lost with weakness, not a game
That I am skilled at thoroughly: nor a dame,
Went her tongue smoother than the feet of time,
Her beauty ever-living like the rhyme
Our blessèd Tityrus did sing of yore;
No, were she more enticing than the store
Of fruitful summer, when the loaden tree
Bids the faint traveller be bold and free;
'Twere but to me like thunder 'gainst the bay,
Whose lightning may enclose, but never stay
Upon his charmèd branches; such am I
Against the catching flames of woman's eye.
Priest of Pan.
Then, wherefore hast thou wandered?
Then, wherefore hast thou wandered? 'Twas a vow
That drew me out last night, which I have now
Strictly performed, and homewards go to give
Fresh pasture to my sheep, that they may live.
Priest of Pan.
'Tis good to hear you, shepherd, if the heart
In this well-sounding music bear his part.
Where have you left the rest?
Where have you left the rest? I have not seen,
Since yesternight we met upon this green
To fold our flocks up, any of that train;
Yet have I walked those woods round, and have lain
All this long night under an agèd tree;
Yet neither wandering shepherd did I see,
Or shepherdess; or drew into mine ear
The sound of living thing, unless it were
The nightingale, among the thick-leaved spring
That sits alone in sorrow, and doth sing
Whole nights away in mourning; or the owl,
Or our great enemy, that still doth howl
Against the moon's cold beams.
Priest of Pan.
Against the moon's cold beams. Go, and beware
Of after-falling.
Of after-falling. Father, tis my care.


Old Shepherd.
Here comes another straggler; sure I see
A shame in this young shepherd.—Daphnis?
A shame in this young shepherd.—Dephnis? He.
Priest of Pan.
Where hast thou left the rest, that should have been
Long before this grazing upon the green
Their yet-imprisoned flocks?
Their yet-imprisoned flocks? Thou holy man,
Give me a little breathing, till I can
Be able to unfold what I have seen;
Such horror, that the like hath never been
Known to the ear of shepherd. Oh, my heart
Labours a double motion to impart
So heavy tidings! You all know the bower
Where the chaste Clorin lives, by whose great power
Sick men and cattle have been often cured;
There lovely Amoret, that was assured
To lusty Perigot, bleeds out her life,
Forced by some iron hand and fatal knife;
And, by her, young Alexis.

Enter AMARILLIS, running.

And, by her, young Alexis. If there be
Ever a neighbour-brook or hollow tree,
Receive my body, close me up from lust
That follows at my heels! Be ever just,
Thou god of shepherds, Pan, for her dear sake
That loves the rivers' brinks, and still doth shake
In cold remembrance of thy quick pursuit;
Let me be made a reed, and, ever mute,
Nod to the waters' fall, whilst every blast
Sings through my slender leaves that I was chaste!
Priest of Pan.
This is a night of wonder.—Amarill,
Be comforted: the holy gods are still
Revengers of these wrongs.
Revengers of these wrongs. Thou blessèd man,
Honoured upon these plains, and loved of Pan,
Hear me, and save from endless infamy
My yet-unblasted flower, virginity!
By all the garlands that have crowned that head,
By thy chaste office, and the marriage-bed
That still is blessed by thee; by all the rites
Due to our god, and by those virgin-lights
That burn before his altar; let me not
Fall from my former state, to gain the blot
That never shall be purged! I am not now
That wanton Amarillis: here I vow
To Heaven, and thee, grave father, if I may
Scape this unhappy night, to know the day
A virgin, never after to endure
The tongues or company of men unpure!
I hear him come; save me!
Priest of Pan.
I hear him come; save me! Retire a while
Behind this bush, till we have known that vile
Abuser of young maidens.
[They retire.

Enter Sullen Shepherd.

Sullen Shepherd.
Abuser of young maidens. Stay thy pace,
Most lovèd Amarillis; let the chase
Grow calm and milder; fly me not so fast:
I fear the pointed brambles have unlaced
Thy golden buskins. Turn again, and see
Thy shepherd follow, that is strong and free,
Able to give thee all content and ease:
I am not bashful, virgin; I can please
At first encounter, hug thee in mine arm,
And give thee many kisses, soft and warm
As those the sun prints on the smiling check
Of plums or mellow peaches; I am sleek
And smooth as Neptune when stern Æolus
Locks up his surly winds, and nimbly thus
Can show my active youth. Why dost thou fly?
Remember, Amarillis, it was I
That killed Alexis for thy sake, and set
An everlasting hate 'twixt Amoret
And her belovèd Perigot; 'twas I
That drowned her in the well, where she must lie
Till time shall leave to be. Then, turn again,
Turn with thy open arms, and clip the swain
That hath performed all this; turn, turn, I say;
I must not lie deluded.
Priest of Pan. [Coming Forward.]
I must not lie deluded. Monster, stay!
Thou that art like a canker to the state
Thou liv'st and breath'st in, eating with debate
Through every honest bosom, forcing still
The veins of any that may serve thy will;
Thou that hast offered with a sinful hand
To seize upon this virgin, that doth stand
Yet trembling here!
Sullen Shepherd.
Yet trembling here! Good holiness, declare
What had the danger been, if being bare
I had embraced her; tell me, by your art,
What coming wonders would that sight impart.
Priest of Pan.
Lust and a branded soul.
Sullen Shepherd.
Lust and a branded soul. Yet, tell me more;
Hath not our mother Nature, for her store
And great encrease, said it is good and just,
And willed that every living creature must
Beget his like?
Priest of Pan.
Beget his like? You're better read than I,
I must confess, in blood and lechery.—
Now to the bower, and bring this beast along,
Where he may suffer penance for his wrong.