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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Elizabethan Verse. 1907.

The Holy Well

John Fletcher (1579–1625)

FROM thy forehead thus I take

These herbs, and charge thee not awake

Till in yonder holy well

Thrice, with powerful magic spell,

Filled with many a baleful word,

Thou hast been dipped. Thus, with my cord

Of blasted hemp, by moonlight twined,

I do thy sleepy body bind.

I turn thy head unto the east,

And thy feet unto the west,

Thy left arm to the south put forth,

And thy right unto the north,

I take thy body from the ground,

In this deep and deadly swound,

And into this holy spring

I let thee slide down by my string.

Take this maid, thou holy pit,

To thy bottom; nearer yet;

In thy water pure and sweet,

By thy leave I dip her feet;

Thus I let her lower yet,

That her ankles may be wet;

Yet down lower, let her knee

In thy waters washèd be.

There stop. Fly away,

Everything that loves the day!

Truth, that hath but one face,

Thus I charm thee from this place.

Snakes that cast your coats for new,

Chameleons that alter hue,

Hares that yearly sexes change,

Proteus altering oft and strange,

Hecate with shapes three,

Let this maiden changèd be,

With this holy water wet,

To the shape of Amoret!

Cynthia, work thou with my charm!

Thus I draw thee free from harm,

Up out of this blessèd lake:

Rise both like her and awake!