COMUS - Aphra Behn Poems


Poems » aphra behn » comus


Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph that liv'st unseen
  Within thy airy shell
By slow Meander's margent green,
    And in the violet-imbroider'd vale
    Where the love-lorn nightingale
  Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well:
    Canst thou not tell me of a gentle pair
    That likest thy Narcissus are?
        O if thou have
        Hid them in some flow'ry cave,
          Tell me but where
          Sweet Queen of Parley, Daughter of the Sphere,
    So mayst thou be translated to the skies,
    And give resounding grace to all heav'ns harmonies.


Sabrina fair
    Listen where thou art sitting
      Under the glassy, cool, translucent wave,
    In twisted braids of lilies knitting
The loose train of thy amber-dropping hair;
        Listen for dear honour's sake,
        Goddess of the silver lake,
      Listen and save.

Listen and appear to us
In name of great Oceanus,
By the earth-shaking Neptune's mace,
And Tethys' grave majestic pace;
By hoary Nereus' wrinkled look,
And the Carpathian wizard's hook;
By scaly Triton's winding shell,
And old soothsaying Glaucus' spell;
By Leucothea's lovely hands,
And her son that rules the strands;
By Thetis' tinsel-slipper'd feet,
And the songs of Sirens sweet;
By dead Parthenope's dear tomb,
And fair Ligea's golden comb,
Wherewith she sits on diamond rocks
Sleeking her soft alluring locks;
By all the nymphs that nightly dance
Upon thy streams with wily glance,
Rise, rise, and heave thy rosy head
From thy coral-pav'n bed,
And bridle in thy headlong wave,
Till thou our summons answer'd have.
      Listen and save.


  By the rushy-fringed bank,
  Where grows the willow and the osier dank,
      My sliding chariot stays,
Thick set with agate, and the azurn sheen
Of turkis blue, and em'rald green
      That in the channel strays,
Whilst from off the waters fleet
Thus I set my printless feet
    O'er the cowslip's velvet head,
    That bends not as I tread;
Gentle swain at thy request
    I am here.