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Troy dam'd in burning gold, and o'er the throne A thousand busy tongues the goddess bears,
Four swans sustain a car of silver bright, (fight :
For Fame they raise their voice, and tune the string; And boldly sinks into the sounding strings.
With Time's first birth began the hcavenly lays, The figur'd games of Greece the column grace, And last, eternal, through the length of days Neptune and Jove survey the rapid race.
Around these wonders as I cast a look, 276 The youths hang o'er their chariots as they run; The trumpet sounded, and the temple shook, The fiery steeds seem starting from the stone; And all the nations, summon'd at the call, The champions in distorted postures threat ; From different quarters fill the crowded hall: And all appeer'd irregularly great.
Of various tongues the mingled sounds were heard; Here happy Horace tun'd th' Ausonian lyre In various garbs promiscuous throngs appear'd; To sweeter sounds, and temper'd Pindar's fire : Thick as the bees, that with the spring renew Pleas'd with Alcæus' manly rage t’infuse
'Their flowery toils, and sip the fragrant dew, The softer spirit of the Sapphic Muse.
When the wing'd colonies first tempt the sky, The polish'd pillar different scalptures grace; O'er dusky fields and shaded waters Ry, A work outlasting monumental brass.
Or, settling, seize the sweets the blossoms yield, Here smiling Loves and Bacchanals appear, And a low murmur runs along the field. The Julian star and great Augustus here.
Millions of suppliant crouds the shrine attend, ; The doves that round the infant poet spread And all degrees before the goddess bend; Myrtles and bays, 'hung hovering o'er his head. The poor, the rich, the valiant, and the sage,
Here, in a shrine that cast a dazzling light, And boasting youth, and narrative old-age. Sate fix'd in thought the mighty Stagirite; Their pleas were different, their request the same; His sacred head a radiant zodiac crown'd,
For good and bad alike are fond of Fame. And various animals his sides surround;
Some she disgrac'd, and some with honours His piercing eyes, erect, appear to view
Unlike successes equal merits found. (crowud; 29.4 Superior worlds, and look all Nature through. Thus her blind sister, fickle Fortune, reigns, With equal rays immortal Tully shone,
And undiscerning scatters crowns and chains. The Roman rostra deck'd the consal's throne :
First at the shrine the learned world appear, Gathering his flowing robe, he seem'd to stand And to the goddess thus prefer their prayer. In act to speak, and graceful stretch'd his hand. “ Long have we sought t'instruct and please manBehind, Rome's genius waits with civic crowns,
kind, And the great father of his country owns.
With studies pale, with midnight vigils blind; These massy columns in a circle rise,
But thank'd by few, rewarded yet by none, O'er which a pompous dome invades the skies : We bere appeal to thy superior throne : Scarce to the top I stretch'd my aching sight, On wit and learning the just prize bestow, So large it spread, and swelld to such a height. For Fame is all we must expect below.” Full in the midst proud Fame's imperial seat
The goddess heard, and bade the Muses raise With jewels blaz'd, magnificently great;
The golden trumpet of eternal Praise : The vivid emeralds there revive the eye,
From pole to pole the winds diffuse the sound,
I heard about her throne y-sung
So sung the mighty Muse, she When on the goddess first I cast my sight,
That cleped is Calliope, Scarce seem'd her stature of a cubit's height; 259
And her seven sisters ekea
Ver. 276. Around these wonders, &c.}
I heard a noise approachen blive,
That far'd as bees done in a hive,
Against her time of out-flying,
Right such a manere murmuring,
For all the world it seemed me, Such was her form, as anticnt bards have told,
Tho gan I look about and see Wings raise her arms, and wings her feet infold;
That there came entering into thi hall,
A right great company withal; Ver. 259. Scarce seem'd her stature, &c.]
And that of sundry regions,
Of all kind of conditions, &c.
Ver. 294. Some she disgrac'd, &c.]
And some of them she granted sone,
And some she warned well and fair,
And some she granted the contrair
Right as her sister, dame Fortune,
Not all at once, as thunder breaks the cloud; A troop came next, who crowns and armour worë,
“For thee" (they cry'd) “amidst alarms and strife, Fill the wide Earth, and gain upon the skies. We sail'd in tempests down the stream of life ; At every breath were balmy odours shed,
For thee whole nations fill'd with fames and blood, Which still grew sweeter, as they wider spread : And swam to empire through the purple flood. Less fragrant scents th' unfolding rose exhales, Those ills we dar'd, thy inspiration own; Or spices breathing in Arabian gales.
What virtue seem'd, was done for thee alone,” Next these the good and just, an awful train, 318 “ Ambitious fools!"(the queen reply'd, and frown'd) Thus on their knees address the sacred fane. “Be all your acts in dark oblivion drown'd; Since living virtue is with envy curs’d,
There sleep forgot, with mighty tyrants gone, And the best men are treated like the worst, Your statues moulder'd, and your names unknown !" Do thou, just goddess, call our merits forth, A sudden cloud straight snatch'd them from my And give each deed th' exact intrinsic worth.”
sight, “ Not with bare justice shall your act be crown'd," And each majestic phantom sunk in night. (Said Fame) “ but high above desert renown'd: Then came the smallest tribe I yet had seen; 356 Let fuller notes th' applauding world amaze, Plain was their dress, and modest was their mien. And the loud clarion labour in your praise,' “ Great idol of mankind! we neither claim
This band dismiss'd, behold another vrowd 328 The praise of merit, nor aspire to Fame! Prefer'd the same request, and lowly bowd; But, safe in deserts from th' applause of men, The constant tenour of whose well-spent days Would die unheard of, as we liv'd unseen. No less deserv'd a just return of praise,
"Tis all we beg thee, to conceal from sight But straight the direful trum.p of Slander sounds; Those acts of goodness which themselves requite, Through the big dome the doubling thunder O let us still the secret joys partake, bounds;
To follow Virtue ev'n for Virtue's sake.” Loud as the burst of cannan rends the skies,
“And live there men, who slight immortal Fame? The dire report through every region flies,
Who then with incense shall adore our name? In every ear incessant runours rung,
But, mortals ! know, 'tis still our greatest pride,
And on the winds triumphant swell the notes;
Evin listening angels lean from Heaven to hear: Ver. 318. The good and just, &c.]
To farthest shores th' ambrosial spirit flies, Tho came the third companye,
Sweet to the world, and grateful to the skies. And gan up to the dees to hye,
Next these a youthful train their vows express'd, And down an knees they fell anone,
With feathers crown'd, with gay embroidery And saiden : “We been everichonė
dress'd: Folke that han full truely
“ Hither,” they cry'd, “ direct your eyes, and see Deserved fame right-fully,
The men of pleasure, dress, and gallantry;
Ver. 356. Then came the smallest, &c.] And yet ye shall have better loos,
I saw apone the fifth route, Right in despite of all your foos,
That to this lady gau loute, Than worthy is, and that anone.
And downe on knees anone to fall, Let now," quoth she, “thy trump gone." And to her they besoughten all, And certes all the breath that went
To hiden their good works ekc. Out of his trump's mouth smel'd
And said, they yeve pot a leke As men a pat of baume held
For no tame ne such renowne; Among a basket full of roses.
For they for contemplacyoune, Ver. 328, 338. Behold another croud, &c.-- And Goddes love had it wrought, From the black trumpet's rusty, &c.]
Ne of fame would they ought. Therewithal there care aponé
“What,” quoth she, and be ye wood Another huge companye
And ween ye for to do good, Of good folke
And for to have it of no fame? What did this Folus, but he
Have ye despite to have my name? Took out his trump of brass,
Nay ye shall lien everichone : That fouler than the Devil was:
Blow thy trump, and that anone" And gan his trump for to blowe,
(Quoth she) “ thou Eolus, I hote, As all the world should overthrowe,
And ring these folks works by wrote, Throughout every regione
That all the world may of it heare :** Went this foul trumpet's soune
And he gan blow their loos so cleare, Swift as a pellet out of a gunne,
In his golden clarioune, When fire is in the powder runne.
Through the world went the sonne, And such a smoke gan out wende,
All so kindly, and eke so soft, Out of the foul trumpet's endem&c.
That ther fame was blown aloft.
Ours is the place at banquets, balls, and plays; Before my view appear'd a structure fair,
With ceaseless noise the ringing walls resound; In fact, 'tis true, no nymph we could persuado, Not less in number were the spacious doors, But still in fancy vanquish'd every maid;
Than leaves on trees, or sands upon the shores ; Of unknown dutchesses lewd tales we tell,
Which still unfolded stanil, by night, by day, Yet, would the world believe us, all were well, Pervious to winds, and open every way. The joy let others have, and we the name, As flames by nature to the skies ascend, And what we want in pleasure, grant in fame." As weighty bodies to the centre tend,
The queen assents, the trumpet rends the skies, As to the sea returning rivers roll, And at each blast a lady's ho:our dies.
And the touch'd needle trembles to the pole; Pleas'd with the same success, vast numbers prest Hither as to their proper place, arise Around the shrine, and made the same request :
All various sounds froin earth, and seas, and skies “What you,” (she cry'd;"unlearu'din arts to please, Or spoke aloud, or whisper'd in the car; Slaves to yourselves, and ev'n fatigued with ease, Vor ever silence, rest, or peace, is here. Who lose a length of undeserving days,
Is on the sinooth expanse of crystal lakes Would you usurp the lover's dear-bought praise? The sinking stone at first a circle makes; To just contempt, ye vain pretenders, fall, The trembling surface, by the motion stirr'd, The people's fable, and the scorn of all.”
Spreads in a second circle, then a third ; Straight the black clarion sencis a horrid sound, Wide, and more wide, the floating rings advance, Loud laughs burst out, and bitter scoft's fly round, Fill all the watery plain, and to the margin dance; Whispers are heard, with taunts reviling loud, Thus every voice and sound, when first they break, And scornful hisses run through all the croud. On neighbouring air a soft impression make; Last those who boast of mighty mischief's done,
Another ambient circle then they move; Enslave their country, or usurp a throne; [406 That, in its turn, impels the next above; Or who their glory's dire foundation lay'd
Through undulating air the sounds are sent, On sovereigns ruin'd, or on friends betray'd; And spread o'er all the fluid element. Calm, thinking villains, whom no faith could fix, There various news I heard of love and strife, 448 Of crooked counsels and dark politics;
Of peace and war, health, sickness, death, and Of these a gloomy tribe surround the throne, Of loss and gain, of fainine and of store, [life, And beg to make th' immortal treasons known, Of storms at sea, and travels on the shore, The trumpet roars, long flaky flames expire, Of prodigies, and portents seen in air, With sparks that seem'd to set the world on fire. Of fires and plagues, and stars with blazing hair, At the dread sound, pale mortals stood aghast, Of turns of fortune, changes in the state, And startled Nature trembled with the blast. The falls of favourites, projects of the great, This having heard and seen, some power un- Ofold mismanageinents, taxations new: known
418 | All neither wholly false, nor wholly true. Straight chang'd the scene, and snatch'd me from Above, below, without, within, around, the throne,
Confus'd, unnumber'd multitudes are found,
Of werres, of peace, of marriages,
Of rest, of labour, of voyag's,
Of bele, of sickness, and lessings,
Of divers transmutations, Under the castle fast by
Of estates and eke of regions, A house, that Domus Dedali
Of trust, of dred, of jealousy, That Labyrinthus cleped is,
Of wit, of winning, and of folly, Nas made so wonly I wis,
Of good, or bad government, Ne half so queintly y-wrought ;
Of fire, and divers accident. And evermo as swift as thought,
Ver. 458. Above, below, without, within , &c.] This queint house about went,
But such a grete congregation That never more it still stent
Of folke as I saw roame about, And eke this house hath of entrees,
Some within, and some without, As many as leaves are on trees
Was never seen, ne shall be eft In summer, when they ben grene;
And every wight that I saw there And in the roof yet men may sene
Rowned everich in others ear A thousand hoels and well mo
A new tyding privily, To letten the soune out-go;
Or else he told it openly And by day in every tide,
Right thus, and said, “ Knowst not thou Ben all the doors open wide,
That is betide to-night now? And by night each one unshet;
No," quoth he,“ tell me what?” No porter is there one to let,
And then he told him this and that, &c. No manner tydings in to pace:
Thus north and south Se never rest is in that place,
Went every tyding fro mouth to mouth,
Who pass, repass, advance, and glide away; Nor Fame I slight, nor for her lavours call;
But if the purchase costs so dear a price
But the fall'n ruins of another's fame; The flying rumours gather'd as they rollid, Then, teach me, heaven! to scorn the guilty bays, Scarce any tale was sooner heard than told; Drive from my breast that wretched lust of praises And all who told it added something new,
Unbleinish'd let me live, or die unknown; And all who heard it made enlargements too, Oh, grant an honest fame, or grant me none !" In every ear it spread, on every tongue it grew. Thus flying east and west, and north and south, News travellid with increase from mouth to mouth. So from a spark, that kindled first by chance,
JANUARY AND MAY:
OR, THE MERCHANT'S TALE.
There liv'd in Lombardy, as authors write,
In days of old, a wise and worthy knight; Through thousand vents, impatient, forth they flow, of gentle manners, as of generous race, And rush in millions on the world below,
Blest with much sense, more riches, and some grace; Fame sits aloft, and points them out their course,
Yet, led astray, by Venus' soft delights, Their date determines, and prescribes their force :
He scarce could rule some idle appetites : Some to remain, and some to perish soon;
For long ago, let priests say what they could, Or wane and wax alternate like the Moon.
Weak sinful laymen were but flesh and blood. Around a thousand winged wonders fly,
But in due time, when sixty years were o'er, Borne by the trumpet's blast, and scatter'd through He vow'd to lead this vicious life no more:
Whether the sky.
pure holiness inspir'd his mind, There, at one passage, oft you might survey 489 Or dutage turn'd bis brain, is hard to find; Alie and truth contending for the way;
But his high courage prick'd him forth to wed, And long 'twas doubtful though so closcly pent,
And try the pleasures of a lawful bed. Which first should issue through the narrow vent:
This was his nightly dream, his daily care,
And to the heavenly powers his constant prayer, At last agreed, together out they fly, Inseparable now the truth and lie;
Once ere he dy'd, to taste the blissful life The strict companions are for ever join'd,
Of a kind husband and a loving wife. And this or that unmix'd, no mortal e'er shall find.
These thoughts he fortify'd with reasons still, While thus I stood, intent to see and hear,
(For none want reasons to confirm their will.) One came, methought, and whisper'd in my ear:
Grave authors say, and witty poets sing, “ What could thus high thy rash ambition raise?
That honest wedlock is a glorious thing : Art thou, fond youth, a candidate for praise?"
But depth of judgment most in him appears, • "Tis'true," said I, “not void of hopes I came, then let liim chuse a damsel young and fair,
Who wisely weds in his maturer years.
To bless his age, and bring a worthy heir ;
'To sooth his cares, and, free from noise and strife, How vain that second life in others breath,
Conduct him gently to the verge of life. Th' estate which wits inherit after death!
Let sinful batchelors their woes deplore, Fase, health, and life, for this they must resign,
Full well they merit all they feel, and more : (Unsure the tenure, but how vast the fine!)
l'naw'd by precepts human or divine, The great man's curse, without the gains, endure, Like birds and beasts proiniscuously they join : Be envy'd, wretched, and be Natter'd, poor;
Nor know to make the present blessing last, All luckless wits their enemies profest,
To hope the future, or esteem the past :
But vainly boast the joys they never tryd,
Secure at once himself and Heaven to please ; And that encreasing evermo,
And pass his inofiensive hours away, As fire is wont to quick n and go
In bliss all night, and innocence all day :
Though fortune change, his constant spouse remaine, Froin a sparkle sprong amniss, Till all the citée brent up is.
Augments his joys, or mitigates his pains.
But what so pure which envious tongues will spare? Ver. 489. There, at one passage, &c.]
Sonne wiekowits have libeild all the fair. And sometime I saw there at once,
With match.css im pude ce they style a wife A lesing and a sad sooth saw
The dear-bought curse, and lawful plague of life ; That goanen at adeenture draw
A bosom-serpent, a domestic evil, Out of a window forth to pace
A night invasion, and a inid-Jay devil. And no man, be he ever so wrothe,
Let not the wise these slanderous worris regard, Sball have one of these two, but botbe, &c. But curse the bones of every living bard.
All other goods by Fortune's hand are given, To raise up seed to bless the powers above,
And not for pleasure only, or for love.
Think not I doat ; 'tis time to take a wife, Like empty shadows, pass, and glide away ; When vigorous blood forbids a chaster life: One solid comfort, our eternal wife,
Those that are blest with store of grace divine, Abundantly supplies us all our life:
May live like saints, by Heaven's consent and This blessing lasts (if those who try say true)
mine. As long as heart can wish--and longer too.
“ And since I speak of wedlock, let me say, Our grandsire Adam, ere of Eve possess'd, -(As, thank my stars, in modest truth I may) Alone, and ev'n in Paradise unbless'd,
My liinbs are active, still I'm sound at heart, With mournful looks the blissful scenes survey'd, And a new vigour springs in every part. And wander'd in the solitary shade :
Think not my virtue lost, though time has shed The Maker saw, took pity, and testow'd
These reverend honours on my hoary head; Woman, the last, the best reserv'd of God. Thus trees are crown'd with blossoms white as snow, A wife! ah, gentle deities, can he
The vital sap then rising from below: That has a wife, e'er feel adversity ?
Old as I am, my lusty limbs appear Would men but follow what the sex advise, Like winter greens, that Aourish all the year. All things would prosper, all the world grow wise. Now, sirs, you know to what I stand inclin'd, 'Twas by Rebecca's aid that Jacob won
Let every friend with freedom speak his mind.” His father's blessing from an elder son :
He said ; the rest in ditferent parts divide ; Abusive Nabal ow'd his forfeit life
The knotty point was urg'd on either side: To the wise conduct of a prudent wife :
Marriage, the theme on which they all doclaim'd, Heroic Judith, as old Hebrews show,
Some prais'd with wit, and some with reason blam'd; Preserv'd the Jews, and slew th’ Assyrian foe: Till, what with proofs, objections, and replies, At Hester's suit, the persecuting sworel
Fach wondrous positive, and wondrous wise, Was sheath'd, and Israel liv'd to bless the Lord. There fell between his brothers a debate,
These weighty motives, January the sage Placebo this was callid, and Justin that. Maturely ponderd in his riper age;
First to the knight Placebo thus beguns And, charm'd with virtuous joys and sober life, (Mild were his looks, and pleasing was his tone): Would try that christian comfort, call'd a wife. " Such prudence, sir, in all your words appears, His friends were summon’d on a point so nice, As plainly proves, experience dwells with years ! To pass their judgment, and to give advice ; Yet you pursue sage Solomon's advice, But tix'd before, and well resolv'd was he; To work by counsel when affairs are nice : (As men that ask advice are wont to be.)
But with the wise man's leave, I must protest “My friends,” he cry'd, (arıd cast a mournful look So may my soul arrive at ease and rest Around the room, and sigh'd before he spoke) As still I hold your own advice the best. “ Beneath the weight of threescore years I bend, Sir, I have liv'd a courtier all my days, And worn with cares, and hastening to my end; And study'd men, their manners, and their ways; How I have liv'd, alas! you know too well, And have observ'd this useful maxim still, In worldly follies, which I blush to tell ;
To let my betters always have their will. But gracious Heaven has ope'd my eyes at last, Nay, if my lord affirm that black was white, With due regret I view iny vices past,
My word was this, “Your honour's in the right." And, as the precept of the church decrees, Th' assuming wit, who deems himself so wise, Will take a wife, and live in holy ease.
As his mistaken patron to advise, But, since by counsel all things should be done, Let him not dare to vent his dangerous thought, And many heads are wiser still than one;
A noble fool was never in a fault. Chus. you for me, who best shall be content This, sir, affects not you, whose cvery word When my desire's approv'd by your conserxt. Is weigh'd with judgment, and befits a lord : “ One caution yet is needful to be told,
Your will is mine; and is (I will maintain) To guide your choice; this wife must not be old : Pleasing to God, and should be so to man ! There goes a saying, and 'twas shrewdly said, At least, your courage all the world must praise, Old fish at table, but young flesh in bed.
Who dare to wed in your declining days. My soul abhors the tasteless, dry embrace Indulge the vigour of your mounting blood, Of a stale virgin with a winter face:
And let grey fools be indolently good, In that cold season Love but treats his guest Who, past all pleasure, damn the joys of sense, With bean-straw, and tough forage at the best. With reverend dulness, and grave impotence.” No crafty widows shall approach my bed;
Justin, who silent sat, and heard the inan, Those are too wise for batehelors to wed;
Thus, with a philosophic frown, began. As subtle clerks by many schools are made,
“ A heathen author of the first degree, Twice-marry'd dames are mistresses o' th' trade : (Who, thongh not faith, had sense as well as we) But young and tender virgins, ruld with case, Bids us be certain our concerns to trust We form like wax, and mould them as we please. To those of generous principles, and just.
“ Conceive me, sirs, nor take my sense amiss; The venture's greater, I'll presume to say, 'Tis what concernis my soul's eternal bliss : To give your person, than your goods away: Since if I found no pleasure in my spouse,
And therefore, sir, as you regard your rest, As tiesh is frail, and who (God help me) knows ? First learn your lady's qualities at least: Then should I live in lewd adultery,
Whether she's chaste or rampant, proud or civil, And sink downright to Satan when I die.
Meek as a saint, or haughty as the devil; Orvere I curs'd with an unfruitful bed,
Whether an easy, fond, fasiliar fool, Tb righteous end were lost for which I wed; Or such a wit as no man e'er can rule.