Look, look ! Rejoice and wonder
That you, offending
(For all your crimes)
so much the care
Of him that bears the thunder.
can endure no longer,
Your great ones,
should your less invade ;
Or that your weak,
though bad, be made
A prey unto the stronger.
therefore means to settle
her seat again ;
And let down in his
The Age of better metal.
Which deed he doth the rather,
That even Envy may
Time not enjoy'd his head
Alone beneath his father.
that his care conserveth,
As time, so all
time's honors too,
what heav'n should do,
And not what earth deserveth.
[A tumult, and clashing of arms
But hark ! what tumult from
yond cave is heard ?
What noise, what strife, what earthquake and alarms,
As troubled Nature for her maker fear'd ;
And all the Iron Age were up in arms !
Hide me, soft cloud, from their profaner eyes,
Till insolent Rebellion take the field :
And as their spirits with their counsels rise,
I frustrate all with showing but my shield.
[She retires behind a cloud.
AGE presents itself, calling forth the EVILS.
Age. Come forth, come forth, do we not hear
What purpose, and how worth our fear,
The king of gods hath on us ?
He is not of the Iron breed,
That would, though Fate did help the deed,
Let Shame in so upon us.
Rise, rise then
up, thou grandame Vice,
Of all my issue, Avarice,
Bring with thee Fraud and Slander,
Corruption with the golden hands,
Or any subtler Ill, that stands
To be a more commander.
Ambition, Pride, and Scorn,
Force, Rapine, and thy babe last born,
Smooth Treachery, call
Arm Folly forth, and Ignorance,
And teach them all our Pyrrhic dance ;
We may triùmph together,
Upon this enemy so great,
Whom if our forces can defeat,
And but this once bring under,
We are the masters of the skies,
Where all the wealth, height, power, lies,
The sceptre, and the thunder.
Which of you would not in a war
Attempt the price of any scar,
To keep your own states even ?
But here, which of you is that he,
Would not himself the weapon be,
To ruin Jove and heaven ?
About it then,
and let him feel
The Iron Age is turn'd to steel,
Since he begins to threat her :
And though the bodies here are less
Than were the giants ; he'll confess
Our malice is far greater.
enter for the Antimasque and DANCE, to
two drums, trumpets and a confusion of
music: At the end of which, PALLAS re-appears,
shewing her shield. The EVILS are turned to
Pal. So change, and perish,
scarcely knowing how,
That 'gainst the gods do take so vain a vow,
And think to equal with your mortal dates,
Their lives that are obnoxious to no fates.—
'Twas time t' appear, and let their
'Gainst whom they fought, and with what destiny.
Die all, that can remain of you, but stone
And that be seen awhile, and then be none !
Now, now descend, you both belov'd of Jove,
And of the good on earth no less the love;
[The scene changes ; and she
the GOLDEN AGE.
Descend, you long, long wish'd and
And as your softer times divide the air,
So shake all clouds off with your golden hair ;
For Spite is spent : the Iron Age is fled,
And, with her power on earth, her name is dead.
ASTRÆA and the GOLDEN AGE
descending with a
G. Age. And are we then
To live again
With men ?
Ast. Will Jove such
pledges to the earth restore
G. Age. Or the purer ore!
G. Age. But do they know,
How much they owe ?
Ast. And will of grace receive
it, not as due?
Pal. If not, they harm
themselves, not you.
G. Age. True.
Cho. Let narrow
natures, how they will, mistake,
The great should still
be good for their own sake.
[They come forward.
Pal. Welcome to earth, and
Ast. G. Age. But how,
without a train
Shall we our state sustain ?
Pal. Leave that to
Jove : therein you are
No little part of his Minerva's care.
You far-fam'd spirits of this happy
That, for your sacred songs have gain'd the style
Of Phoebus' sons, whose notes the air aspire
Of th' old Egyptian, or the Thracian lyre,
That CHAUCER, GOWER, LIDGATE, SPENSER hight,
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.
Chau. Gow. We come.
best of fire,
that which Pallas doth inspire.
see you yonder souls, set far within the shade,
That in Elysian bowers the blessed seats do keep,
That for their living good, now semigods are made,
And went away from earth, as if but tam'd with sleep ?
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,
wake, wake, wake, as you had never slept !
haste and put on air, to be their guard,
Whom once but to defend, is still reward.
Pallas throws a lightning from her shield.
[The Scene of light discovered.
Cho. To which let all that doubtful
Ast. Now Peace.
G. Age. And Love.
Ast. G. Age. All, all
Chau. And Strife,
Lid. And Fear,
Spen. And Pain,
Omnes. All cease.
Pal. No tumor of an iron
The causes shall not come again.
Cho. But, as of old, all now
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.
Already do not all things smile ?
Ast. But when they have
The Age's quickening power :
Age. That every thought
a seed doth bring,
And every look a plant doth
And every breath a flower,
Pal. Then earth
unplough'd shall yield her crop,
Pure honey from the oak
The fountain shall run milk
The thistle shall the lily
And every bramble roses
And every worm make silk.
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.
Pal. But here's not all
: you must do more,
Or else you do but half
Poe. The male and female us'd to join,
And into all delight did
Then Feature did to form
And Youth call'd Beauty
forth to dance,
grace was by :
It was a time of no
So much of love had nought
fear'd a jealous eye.
The language melted in the
Yet all without a blush
with open vow.
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
I have now to stay ;
My silver feet, like roots,
Into the ground, my wings
And I cannot
Of all there seems a second birth,
It is become a heaven on
Jove is present here,
I feel the god-head ;
nor will doubt
But he can fill the place
Whose power is every where.
This, this, and only such as
The bright Astræa's
Where she would pray to live,
And in the midst of so much
Unbought with grace, or fear
law to mortals give.
they dance the Galliards and Corantos.
Pallas. [ascending, and calling the Poets.]
'Tis now enough ;
behold you here,
What Jove hath built to be
hither must retire.
And as his bounty gives you
Be ready still without your
To shew the
world your fire.
Like lights about Astræa's throne,
You here must shine, and all
fervor and in flame ;
That by your union she may
And you, sustaining her,
The Age still
by her name.
Who vows, against or heat or cold,
To spin you garments of her
That want may
touch you never ;
And making garlands every
To write your names in some
you may live for ever.
Cho. To Jove, to Jove, be all
the honor given,
thankful hearts can raise from earth to heaven.