OBERON, THE FAIRY PRINCE.
A MASQUE OF PRINCE HENRY'S.
The first face of the scene appeared all obscure, and
nothing perceived but a dark rock,
with trees be-
yond it, and all wildness that could be
till, at one corner of the
cliff, above the horizon,
the moon began to shew, and rising,
a SATYR was
seen by her light to put forth his head
1 Sat. CHROMIS ! Mnasil !
None appear ?
not who riseth here ?
Silenus, late, I fear. --
if this can reach your ear.
He wound his cornet, and thought himself answered ;
but was deceived by the echo.
wake then ! come away,
Times be short are made for play ;
The humorous moon too will not stay : --
What doth make you thus delay ?
tankard touch'd your brain ?
Sure, they're fallen asleep again :
Or I doubt it was the vain
Echo, did me entertain.
[ Wound his cornet the second time, and found it.]
I thought 'twas she !
Idle nymph, I pray thee be
Modest, and not follow me :
I not love myself, nor thee.
Here he wound the third time, and was answered by
another satyr, who likewise shewed himself.
sound I better know :
List ! I would I could hear moe.
At this they came running forth
severally, to the
number of ten, from
divers parts of the rock,
leaping and making antick actions and gestures
some of them speaking,
some admiring : and
amongst them a SILENE,
who is ever the prefect
of the Satyrs, and so presented
in all their chori
2 Sat. Thank us, and you shall do so.
3 Sat. Aye, our number soon will grow.
2 Sat. See Silenus!
3 Sat. CERCOPS too!
4 Sat. Yes. What is there now to do ?
5 Sat. Are there any nymphs to woo ?
4 Sat. If there be, let me have two.
Silen. Chaster language ! These are nights,
to the shining rites
Fairy Prince, and knights
the moon their orgies lights.
2 Sat. Will they come abroad, anon ?
3 Sat. Shall we see young OBERON
4 Sat. Is he such a princely one,
spake him long agon ?
Silen. Satyrs, he doth fill with grace
season, every place ;
dwells but in his face ;
height of all our race.
Our Pan's father, god of tongue,
though he still be young,
when he crowned sung,
when first his armor rung,
Might with him be named that day
lovelier, than in May
spring, and there can stay
as he can decay.
Omn. O, that he would come away !
3 Sat. Grandsire, we shall leave to play
now ; and serve
Silen. He'll deserve
can, and more, my boys.
4 Sat. Will he give us pretty toys,
the girls withal ?
3 Sat. And to make them quickly fall.
Silen. Peace, my wantons !
he will do
you can aim unto.
4 Sat. Will he build us larger caves ?
Silen. Yes, and give you ivory staves,
hunt ; and better wine --
1 Sat. Than the master of the vine ?
2 Sat. And rich prizes, to be won,
leap, or when we run ?
1 Sat. Ay, and gild our cloven feet ?
3 Sat. Strew our heads with powder sweet ?
1 Sat. Bind our crooked legs in hoops
shells, with silver loops ?
2 Sat. Tie about our tawny wrists
of the fairy twists ?
4 Sat. And, to spight the coy nymphs' scorns,
our stubbed horns
ribands, and fine posies --
3 Sat. Fresh as when the flower discloses ?
1 Sat. Yes, and stick our pricking ears
pearl that Tethys wears.
2 Sat. And to answer all things else,
shaggy thighs with bells ;
we do strike a time,
dance shall make a chime --
3 Sat. Louder than the rattling pipes
wood gods --
1 Sat. Or the stripes
taber ; when we carry
up, his pomp to vary.
Omn. O, that he so long doth tarry !
Silen. See ! the rock begins to ope,
shall enjoy your hope ;
the hour, I know.
There the whole scene opened, and within was dis-
covered the frontispiece of a bright
palace, whose gates and walls
Before the gates lay
two SYLVANS, armed with
their clubs, and drest in
leaves, asleep. At this
the Satyrs wondering, Silenus proceeds
Silen. Look ! does not his palace show
sky of lights ?
with him, live the knights,
the noblest of the earth,
by a second birth :
prowess, and for truth,
are crown'd with lasting youth :
hold, by Fate's command,
of bliss in Fairy land.
guards, methinks, do sleep !
wake them.-- Sirs, you keep
watch, that thus do lie
in sloth !
1 Sat. They have ne'er an eye
2 Sat. Nor sense, I fear ;
sleep in either ear.
3 Sat. Holla, Sylvans ! -- sure they're caves
these, or else they're graves.
4 Sat. Hear you, friends ! -- who keeps the keepers?
1 Sat. They are the eighth and ninth sleepers !
2 Sat. Shall we cramp them ?
Silen. Satyrs, no.
3 Sat. Would we had Boreas here, to blow
heavy coats, and strip them.
4 Sat. Ay, ay, ay ; that we might whip them.
3 Sat. Or that we had a wasp or two
1 Sat. Hairs will do
well : take my tail.
2 Sat. What do you say to a good nail
their temples ?
3 Sat. Or an eel,
guts, to make them feel ?
4 Sat. Shall we steal away their beards ?
3 Sat. For Pan's goat, that leads the herds ?
2 Sat. Or try, whether is more dead,
or the other's head ?
Silen. Wags, no more : you grow too bold.
1 Sat. I would fain now see them roll'd
hill, or from a bridge
cast, to break their ridge-
: or to some river take 'em,
; and see if that would wake 'em,
2 Sat. There no motion yet appears.
Silen. Strike a charm into their ears.
At which the Satyrs fell suddenly into this catch.
Buz, quoth the blue flie,
Hum, quoth the bee :
Buz and hum they cry,
And so do we.
In his ear, in his nose,
Thus, do you see ? -- [They tickle them.
He eat the dormouse ;
Else it was he.
The two Sylvans starting up amazed, and betaking
themselves to their arms, were thus questioned
Silen. How now, Sylvans ! can you wake ?
the care you take
watch ! Is this your guise,
both your ears and eyes
so fast ; as these mine elves
have stol'n you from yourselves ?
3 Sat. We had thought we must have got
and heated them red-hot,
bored you through the eyes,
Cyclops, ere you'd rise.
2 Sat. Or have fetch'd some trees to heave
bulks, that so did cleave
4 Sat. Are you free
sleep, and can you see
yonder up aloof ?
1 Sat. Be your eyes yet moon-proof ?
1 Syl. Satyrs, leave your petulance,
frisk about and dance ;
rail upon the moon :
is too soon.
the second cock
the gates will not unlock ;
then, we know we keep
enough, although we sleep.
1 Sat. Say you so ? then let us fall
To a song,
or to a brawl :
we, grandsire ? Let us sport
Silen. Do, my wantons, what you please.
down and take mine ease.
1 Sat. Brothers, sing then, and upbraid,
use yond' seeming maid.
Now, my cunning lady : moon,
Can you leave the side so soon,
Of the boy, you keep so hid?
Midwife Juno sure will say,
This is not the proper way,
Of your paleness to be rid.
But, perhaps, it is your grace
To wear sickness in your face,
That there might be wagers laid
Still, by fools, you are a maid.
Come, your changes overthrow,
What your look would carry so ;
Moon, confess then, what you are,
And be wise, and free to use
Pleasures that you now do lose.
Let us Satyrs have a share.
Though our forms be rough and rude,
Yet our acts may be endued
With more virtue : every one
Cannot be ENDYMION.
Here they fell suddenly into an antick
dance full of
gesture and swift motion, and continued
it till the
crowing of the cock :
at which they were inter-
rupted by Silenus.
Silen. Stay, the cheerful Chanticleer
Tells you that the time is near : --
See, the gates already spread !
Every Satyr bow his head.
There the whole palace opened, and
the nation of
Faies were discovered,
some with instruments,
some bearing lights,
others singing ; and within,
afar off in perspective, the
knights masquers sit-
ting in their several
sieges : at the further end of
, in a chariot, which,
to a loud tri-
umphant music, began to move forward, drawn
two white bears, and
on either side guarded by
three Sylvans, with one going in front.
Melt earth to sea, sea flow to air,
And air fly
Whilst we in tunes, to Arthur's chair
there's nothing can be higher,
Save JAMES, to
whom it flies :
But he the wonder is of tongues, of
ears, of eyes.
Who hath not heard, who hath not seen,
Who hath not
sung his name ?
The soul that hath not, hath not been
But is the
sloth, and knows not fame,
Which him doth best comprise :
For he the wonder is of tongues, of
ears, of eyes.
By this time the chariot was come as far forth as
the face of the scene. And the Satyrs beginning
to leap and express their joy for the unused
and solemnity, the foremost SYLVAN began to
1 Syl. Give place, and silence ; you
were rude too late ;
a night of greatness, and of state,
be mixt with light and skipping sport ;
of homage to the British court,
due to Arthur's chair,
bright master, OBERON the fair ;
these knights, attendants, here preserv'd
land, for good they have deserv'd
high throne, are come of right to pay
annual vows ; and all their glories lay
and tender to this only great,
restored in this seat ;
sole power and magic they do give
of their being ; that they live
in form, fame, and felicity,
of fortune, or the fear to die.
Silen. And may they well. For
this indeed is he,
whom you must quake at, when you see.
above your reach ; and neither doth,
he think, within a Satyr's tooth :
his presence you must fall or fly.
the matter of virtue, and placed high.
to his height, are even :
their issue is akin to heaven.
a god o'er kings ; yet stoops he then
a man, when he doth govern men ;
them by the sweetness of his sway,
by force. He's such a king as they,
tyrants' subjects, or ne'er tasted peace,
in their wishes, form for their release.
that stays the time from turning old,
the age up in a head of gold.
his own true circle still doth run ;
his course as certain as the sun.
it ever day, and ever spring,
he doth shine, and quickens every thing,
new nature : so that true to call
his title, is to say, He's all.
1 Syl. I thank the wise Silenus for
forth, bright FAIES and ELVES,
and tune your lays
name ; then let your nimble feet
subtile circles, that may always meet
to him ; and figures, to express
of him and his great emperess.
that shall to-night behold the rites,
by princely Oberon, and these knights,
stop, point out the proper heir
so long to Arthur's crowns and chair.
BY TWO FAIES.
1 Faie. Seek you majesty,
to strike ?
Bid the world produce his like.
2 Faie. Seek you glory,
to amaze ?
Here let all eyes stand at gaze.
Seek you wisdom, to inspire
Touch them at no other's fire.
1 Faie. Seek you knowledge,
to direct ?
Trust to his without suspect.
2 Faie. Seek you piety,
to lead ?
In his footsteps only tread.
Every virtue of a king,
And of all, in him, we sing.
Then the lesser Faies dance forth their dance ;
which ended, a full SONG
follows by all the
The solemn rites are
well begun ;
And though but lighted by the moon,
They shew as rich,
as if the sun
Had made this night his noon.
But may none wonder that they are so bright,
The moon now borrows from a greater light
Then, princely Oberon,
This is not every night.
OBERON and the knights
dance out the first
masque dance, which was followed with this
You must not stay,
Nor be weary yet ;
This is no time to cast away ;
Or for Faies so to forget
The virtue of their feet.
Knotty legs, and plants of clay,
Seek for ease, or love delay.
But with you it still should fare
As with the air of which you are.
After which, they danced forth their second
masque dance, and were again excited by a
1 Faie. Nor yet, nor yet,
O you in this night blest,
Must you have will, or hope to rest.
2 Faie. If you use the
You'll be overta'en by day.
1 Faie. And these beauties
That their forms you do neglect,
If you do not call them forth.
2 Faie. Or that you have
no more worth
Than the coarse and country Fairy,
That doth haunt the hearth, or dairy.
Then followed the measures, corantos, galliards,
&c., till PHOSPHORUS
the day-star appeared,
and called them away ; but first they were
vited home by one of the Sylvans, with this
measure of your nights.
time that we were gone.
forms so bright and airy,
And their motions so they vary,
will enchant the Fairy,
If you longer here should tarry.
Phos. To rest, to rest ! the herald
of the day,
Bright Phosphorus, commands you hence ; obey.
The moon is pale, and spent ; and winged night
Makes headlong haste to fly the morning's sight :
Who now is rising from her blushing wars,
And with her rosy hand puts back the stars.
Of which myself the last, her harbringer,
But stay to warn you, that you not defer
Your parting longer : then do I give way,
As Night hath done, and so must you, to Day.
After this, they danced their last dance into the work;
And with a full SONG
the star vanished, and the
whole machine closed.
O yet how early, and before her time,
The envious morning up doth climb,
Though she not love
her bed !
What haste the jealous Sun doth make,
His fiery horses up to take,
And once more shew
his head !
Lest, taken with the brightness of this night,
The world should wish it last, and never
miss his light.