The Birth of Merlin, or, the Childe Hath Found His Father

Thunder, then musick.

Enter Joan fearfully, the Devil following her.

Hence, thou black horror! is thy lustful fire
Kindled agen? Not thy loud throated thunder
Nor thy adulterate infernal musick
Shall e're bewitch me more: oh, too too much
Is past already.

Why dost thou fly me?
I come a lover to thee, to imbrace
And gently twine thy body in mine arms.

Out, thou hell-hound!

What hound so e're I be,
Fawning and sporting as I would with thee,
Why should I not be stroakt and plaid withal?
Will't thou not thank the lion might devour thee,
If he shall let thee pass?

Yes, thou art he;
Free me, and Ile thank thee.

Why, whither wouldst?
I am at home with thee, thou art mine own,
Have we not charge of family together?
Where is your son?

Oh, darkness cover me!

There is a pride which thou hast won by me,
The mother of a fame, shall never die.
Kings shall have need of written chronicles
To keep their names alive, but Merlin none;
Ages to ages shall like sabalists
Report the wonders of his name and glory,
While there are tongues and times to tell his story.

Oh, rot my memory before my flesh,
Let him be called some hell or earth-bred monster,
That ne're had hapless woman for a mother!
Sweet death, deliver me! Hence from my sight:
Why shouldst thou now appear? I had no pride
Nor lustful thought about me, to conjure
And call thee to my ruine, when as at first
Thy cursed person became visible.

I am the same I was.

But I am chang'd.

Agen Ile change thee to the same thou wert,
To quench my lust.--Come forth, by thunder led,
My coajutors in the spoils of mortals. (Thunder.

Enter Spirit.

Claspe in your ebon arms that prize of mine,
Mount her as high as palled Hecate;
And on this rock Ile stand to cast up fumes
And darkness o're the blew fac'd firmament:
From Brittain and from Merlin Ile remove her.
They ne're shall meet agen.

Help me some saving hand,
If not too late, I cry: let mercy come!

Enter Merlin.

Stay, you black slaves of night, let loose your hold,
Set her down safe, or by th'infernal Stix,
Ile binde you up with exorcisms so strong,
That all the black pentagoron of hell
Shall ne're release you. Save your selves and vanish! (Exit Spirit.

Ha! What's he?

The childe has found his father. Do you not know me?


Oh, help me, gentle son.

Fear not, they shall not hurt you.

Relievest thou her to disobey thy father?

Obedience is no lesson in your school;
Nature and kind to her commands my duty;
The part that you begot was against kinde,
So all I ow to you is to be unkind.

Ile blast thee, slave, to death, and on this rock
Stick thee an eternal monument.

Ha, ha, thy powers too weak; what art thou, Devil,
But an inferior lustful incubus,
Taking advantage of the wanton flesh,
Wherewith thou dost beguile the ignorant?
Put off the form of thy humanity,
And cral upon thy speckled belly, serpent,
Or Ile unclasp the jaws of Achoron,
And fix thee ever in the local fire.

Traitor to hell! curse that I e're begot thee!

Thou didst beget thy scourge: storm not, nor stir;
The power of Merlins art is all confirm'd
In the Fates decretals. Ile ransack hell,
And make thy masters bow unto my spells.
Thou first shall taste it.-- (Thunder and lightning in the rock.
Tenibrarum princeps, devitiarum & infirorum deus, hunc incubum in ignis eterni abisum accipite, aut in hoc carcere tenebroso in sempeternum astringere mando.
(The rock incloses him.
So! there beget earthquakes or some noisom damps,
For never shalt thou touch a woman more.--
How chear you, mother?

Oh, now my son is my deliverer,
Yet I must name him with my deepest sorrow. (Alarum afar off.

Take comfort now: past times are ne're recal'd;
I did foresee your mischief, and prevent it.
Hark, how the sounds of war now call me hence
To aid Pendragon that in battail stands
Against the Saxons, from whose aid
Merlin must not be absent. Leave this soyl,
And Ile conduct you to a place retir'd,
Which I by art have rais'd, call'd Merlins Bower.
There shall you dwell with solitary sighs,
With grones and passions your companions,
To weep away this flesh you have offended with,
And leave all bare unto your aierial soul:
And when you die, I will erect a monument
Upon the verdant plains of Salisbury,
No king shall have so high a sepulchre,
With pendulous stones that I wil hang by art,
Where neither lime nor morter shalbe us'd,
A dark enigma to the memory,
For none shall have the power to number them,--
A place that I will hollow for your rest,
Where no night-hag shall walk, nor ware-wolf tread,
Where Merlins mother shall be sepulcher'd. (Exeunt.

On to Act V, Scene II
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