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HE hint of the following piece was taken from
THE Chaucer's Houfe of Fame. The defign is in a
manner entirely altered, the defcriptions and most of the particular thoughts my own: yet I could not fuffer it to be printed without this acknowledgment. The reader who would compare this with Chaucer, may begin with his third book of Fame, there being nothing in the two first books that answers to their title: wherever any hint is taken from him, the paffage, itself is fet down in the marginal notes.
N that foft feafon when defcending fhow'rs Call forth the greens, and wake the rifing flow'rs; When opening buds falute the welcome day, And earth relenting feels the genial ray; As balmy fleep had charin'd my cares to reft, And love itself was banish'd from my breaft, (What time the morn myfterious vifions brings, While purer flumbers spread their golden wings) A train of phantoms in wild order rofe, And, join'd, this intellectual scene compose.
I *ftood, methought, betwixt earth, feas and skies; The whole creation open to my eyes: In air self-balanc'd hung the globe below, Where mountains rife, and circling oceans flow; Here naked rocks, and empty wastes were seen, There tow'ry cities, and the forefts green:
Thefe verfes are hinted from the following of Chaucer, Book 2.
Tho beheld I fields and plains,
Now hills, and now mountains,
Now valeis, and now forestes,
And now unneth great beftes,
Now rivers, now citees,
Now towns, now great trees,
Now hippes fayling in the fee,
Here failing fhips delight the wand'ring eyes :
There trees, and intermingl'd temples rife;
Now a clear fun the fhining scene displays,
The tranfient landscape now in clouds decays.
O'er the wide profpect as I gaz'd around,
Sudden I heard a wild promifcuous found,
Like broken thunders that at diftance roar,
Or billows murm'ring on the hollow fhore:
Then gazing up, a glorious pile beheld,
Whose tow'ring fummit ambient clouds conceal'd.
High on a rock of ice the structure lay,
Steep its afcent, and flipp'ry was the way;
The wond'rous rock like Parian marble fhone,
And feem'd, to distant fight, of solid stone.
Infcriptions here of various names I view'd, t
The greater part by hoftile time fubdu'd ;
Yet wide was spread their fame in ages paft,
And poets once had promis'd they fhould laft. Some fresh engrav'd appear'd of wits renown'd; look'd again, nor could their trace be found.
Critics I faw, that other names deface,
And fix their own, with labour, in their place:
Their own, like others, foon their place refign'd,
Or disappear'd, and left the firft behind.
Nor was the work impair'd by ftorms alone,
But felt th' approaches of too warm a fun
For fame, impatient of extremes, decays
Not more by envy than excefs of praise.
Yet part no injuries † of heav'n could feel,
Like cryftal faithful to the graving steel:
The rock's high fummit, in the temple's fhade,
Nor heat could melt, nor beating ftorm invade.
There names infcrib'd' unnumber'd ages paft
From time's first birth, with time itself fhall laft;
These ever new, nor fubject to decays,
Spread, and grow brighter with the length of days.
So Zembla's rocks (the beauteous work of froft)
Rife white in air, and glitter o'er the coaft;
Pale funs, unfelt, at diftance roll away,
Add on th' impaffive ice the lightnings play;
Eternal fnows the growing mafs fupply,
'Till the bright mountains prop th'incumbent sky:
As Atlas fix'd, each hoary pile appears,
The gather'd winter of a thousand years.