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Sudden, a burst of thunder shook the flood :
First he relates, how sinking to the chin,
310 Vy'd for his love in jetty bow'rs below; As Hylas fair was ravish'd long ago. Then
sung, how shown him by the nut-brown maids A branch of Styx here rises from the shades, That tinctur'd as it runs with Lethe's streams, 315 And wafting vapours from the land of dreams, (As under seas Alpheus' secret sluice Bears Pisa's off'ring to his Arethuse) Pours into Thames: each city bowl is full Of the mixt wave, and all who drink
grow How to the banks where bards departed dose, They led him soft ; how all the bards arose ; Taylor, sweet swan of Thames, majestic bows, And Shadwell nods the poppy on his brows; While Milbourn there, deputed by the rest, 325 Gave him the cassock, surcingle, and vest ; And “ Take (he said) these robes which once were
mine, Dulness is sacred in a sound divine."
He ceas'd, and show'd the robe; the crowd confess The rev'rend Flamen in his lengthen’d dress. 330 Slow moves the Goddess from the sable flood, (Her priest preceding) thro' the gates of Lud. Her critics there she summons, and proclaims, A gentler exercise to close the games.
Here you! in whose grave heads, as equal scales, I weigh what author's heaviness prevails ;
mugs Till all tun'd equal, send a gen'ral hum. Then mount the clerks, and in one lazy tone, 355 Thro' the long, heavy, painful page drawl on ;
Soft creeping, words on words, the sense compose,
370 Then down are roll’d the books; stretch'd o'er 'em
lies Each gentle clerk, and mutt'ring seals his eyes. At what a Dutchman plumps into the lakes, One circle first, and then a second makes, What Dulness dropt among her sons imprest 375 Like motion, from one circle to the rest; So from the mid-most the nutation spreads Round, and more round, o'er all the sea of heads. At last Centlivre felt her voice to fail, Motteux himself unfinish'd left his tale,
380 Boyer the state, and Law the stage gave o'er, Nor Kelsey talk’d, nor Naso whisper’d more ; Norton, from Daniel and Ostræa sprung, Bless'd with his father's front, and mother's tongue,
Hung silent down his never-blushing head ; 385
Thus the soft gifts of sleep conclude the day,
390 Who prouder march'd, with magistrates in state, To some fam'd round-house, ever open gate : How Laurus lay inspir'd beside a sink, And to mere mortals seem'd a priest in drink : While others, timely, to the neighb'ring Fleet 395 (Haunt of the muses) made their safe retreat.
END OF THE SECOND BOOK.