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Their only labour was to kill the time;
And labour dire it is, and weary woe.
They fit, they loll, turn o'er some idie rhyme;
Then, rising sudden, to the glass they go,
Or saunter forth, with tottering step and flow:
This foon too rude an exercise they find;
Strait on the couch their limbs again they throw,
Where hours on hours they sighing lie reclin’d,
And court the vapoury god soft-breathing in the wind.
LXXIII. Now must I mark the villainy we found, But, ah! too late, as shall eftfoons be shewn. A place here was, deep, dreary, under ground; Where still our inmates, when unpleasing grown, Diseas'd, and loathsome, privily were thrown, Far from the light of heaven, they languifh'd there, Unpity'd uttering many a bitter groan;
For of these wretches taken was no care :
Fierce fiends, and hags of hell, their only nurses were,
Alas! the change! from scenes of joy and rest,
To this dark den, where sickness toss'd alway.
Here Lethargy, with deadly sleep oppreft,
Stretch'd on his back, a mighty lubbard, lay,
Heaving his sides, and snored night and day;
To ftir him from his traunce it was not eath,
And his half-open'd eyne he shut straitway:
He led, I wot, the foftest way to death,
And taught withouten pain and strife to yield the breath.
Of limbs enormous, but withal unfound,
Soft-fwoln and pale, here lay the Hydropfy:
Unwieldy man ; with belly monstrous round,
For ever fed with watery supply ;
For ftill he drank, and yet he still was dry,
And moping here did Hypochondria fit,
Mother of fpleen, in robes of various dye,
Who vexed was full oft with ugly fit;
And some her frantic deem'd, and fome her deem'da
A lady proud she was, of ancient blood,
Yet oft her fear her pride made crouchen low :
She felt, or fancy'd in her futtering mood,
All the diseases which the spittles know,
And fought all physick which the shops below,
And ftill new leaches and new drugs would try,
Her humour ever wavering to and fro ;
For sometimes the would laugh, and fometimes cry, Then fudden waxed wroth, and all she knew not why.
LXXVII. Fast by her side a listless maiden pin’d, With aching head, and squeamish heart-burnings; Pale, bloated, cold, she seem'd tu hate mankind, Yet lov'd in fecret all forbidden things. And here the Tertian fhakes his chilling wings; The sleepless Gout here counts the crowing cocks, A wolf now gnaws him, now a serpent stings;
Whilft Apoplexy cramm'd Intemperance knocks Down to the ground at once, as butcher felleth ox.
The knight of arts and industry,
And his atchievements fair;
That by his castle's overthrow,
Secur'd, and crowned were.
castle of the fire of fin;
Ah! where shall I so sweet a dwelling find!
For all around, without, and all within,
Nothing save what delightful was and kind,
Of goodness favouring and a tender mind,
E’er rose to view. But now another ftrain,
Of doleful note, alas ! remains behind :
I now must sing of pleasure turn’d to pain,
And of the false enchanter Indolence complain.
Is there no patron to protect the Muse,
And fence for her Parnassus' barren foil?
labour its reward accrues,
And they are sure of bread who swink and moil;
But a fell tribe th’ Aonian hive despoil,
As ruthless wasps oft rob the painful bee :
Thus while the laws not guard that noblest toil,
Ne for the other Muses meed decree,
They praised are alone, and starve right merrily.
I care not, Fortune, what you me deny:
You cannot rob me of free Nature's grace;
You cannot shut the windows of the sky,
Through which Aurora shews her brightening face;
You cannot bar my constant feet to trace
The woods and lawns, by living stream, at eve:
Let health my nerves and finer fibres brace,
And I their toys to the great children leave :
Of fancy, reason, virtue, nought can me bereave.
Come then, my Muse, and raise a bolder song;
Come, lig no more upon the bed of Noth,
Dragging the lazy languid line along,
Fond to begin, but still to finish loth,
Thy half-writ scrolls all eaten by the moth :
Arise, and fing that generous imp of fame,
Who with the sons of softness nobly wroth,
To sweep away this human lumber came, Or in a chosen few toʻróuze the slumbering flame.
V. In Fairy-Land there liv'd a knight of old, Of feature stern, Selvaggio well yclep'd, A rough unpolish'd man, robust and bold, But wondrous poor: hé neither sow'd nor reap'd, Ne stores in summer for cold winter heap'd ; In hunting all his days away he wore; Now scorch'd by June, now in November steep'd,
Now pinch'd by biting January fore, He still in woods pursued the libbard and the boar.
As he one mornimg, long before the dawn,
Prick'd through the forest to dislodge his prey,
Deep in the winding bosom of a lawn,
With wogd wild-fring'd, he mark'd a taper's ray,
That from the beating rain, and wintery fray,
Did to a lonely cot his steps decoy;
There, up to earn the needments of the day,
He found dame Poverty, nor fair nor coy:
Her he compress’d, and fill'd her with a lusty boy.
Amid the green-wood shade this boy was bred,
And grew at last a knight of muchel fame,
Of active mind and vigorous lustyhed,
The Knight of Arts and Induftry by name.
Earth was his bed, the boughs his roof did frame;
He knew no beverage but the flowing stream ;
His tasteful well-earn’d food the sylvan game,
Or the brown fruit with which the woodlands teem: The same to him glad summer, or the winter breme.
VIII. So pass’d his youthly morning, void of care, Wild as the colts that through the commons run: For him no tender parents troubled were, He of the forest seem'd to be the fon, And certes had been utterly undone ; But that Minerva pity of him took, With all the gods that love the rural wonne,
That teach to tame the foil and rule the crook ; Ne did the sacred Nine disdain a gentle look.