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XXIV.
When as the knight had fram’d, in Britain-land
A matchless form of glorious government,
In which the fovereign laws alone command,
Laws stablish'd by the public free consent,
Whose majesty is to the sceptre lent;
When this great plan, with each dependent art,
Was settled firm, and to his heart's content,

Then fought he from the toilsome scene to part,
And let life's vacant eve breathe quiet through the heart,

XXV. For this he chose a farm in Deva's vale, Where his long allies peep'd upon the main. In this calm feat he drew the healthful gale, Here mix'd the chief, the patriot, and the swain. The happy monarch of his fylvan train, Here, fided by the guardians of the fold, He walk'd his rounds, and chear'd his blest domain :

His days, the days of unstain's nature, rolld, Replete with peace and joy, like patriarch's of old.

XXVI. Witness, ye lowing herds, who gave him milk; Witness, ye locks, whose woolly vestments far. Exceed soft India's cotton, or her filk; Witness, with autumn charg'd, the nodding car, That homeward came beneath sweet evening's star, Or of September moons the radiance mild. 0, hide thy head, abominable war!

Of crimes and ruffian idleness the child ! From heaven this life ysprung, from hell thy glories yild !

XXVII. Nor

XXVII.
Nor from his deep retirement banish'd was
Th' amusing care of rural industry.
Still, as with grateful change the feasons pafs,
New scenes arise, new landskips strike the eye,
And all th’ enliven'd country beautify:
Gay plains extend where marshes flept before;
O’er recent meads th' exulting streamlets fly;

Dark frowning heaths grow bright with Ceres' store, And woods imbrown the steep, or wave along the fhore.

XXVIII.
As nearer to his farm you made approach,
He polish'd nature with a finer hand :
Yet on her beauties durst not Art incroach;
'Tis Art's alone these beauties to expand.
In graceful dance immingled, o'er the land,
Pan, Paleas, Flora, and Pomona play'd :
Here too brisk gales the rude wild common fand

An happy place; where free, and unafraid,
Amid the flowering brakes each coyer creature stray d.

XXIX.
But in prime vigour what can last for ay?
That soul-enfeebling wizard Indolence,
I whilom sung, wrought in his works decay :
Spread far and wide was his curs'd influence ;
Of public virtue much he dulld the sense,
Ev'n much of private ; ate our spirit out,
And fed our rank luxurious vices : whence

The land was overlaid with many a lout; Not, as old Fame reports, wise, generous, bold, and stout.

XXX. A

.XXX.
А

rage of pleasuré madden'd every breast, Down to the lowest lees the ferment ran : To his licentious with each must be blest, With joy be fever'd; snatch it as he can. Thus Vice the standard rear'd; her arrier-ban Corruption callid, and loud she gave the word, [man, “ Mind, mind yourselves ! why should the vulgar

“ The lacquey be more virtuous than his lord ? " Enjoy this span of life! 'tis all the gods afford.”

XXXI. The tidings reach'd to where in quiet hall, The good old knight enjoy'd well-earn'd repose. “ Come, come, Sir Knight! thy children on thee call: “Come, save us yet, ere ruin round us close! “ The demon Indolence thy toils o’erthrows." On this the noble colour stain'd his cheeks, Indignant, glowing through the whitening snows

Of venerable eld; his eye full-speaks His ardent soul, and from his couch at once he breaks,

XXXII.
I will, (he cry'd) fo help me, God! destroy
That villain, Archimage.--His page then strait
He to him call’d, a fiery-footed boy,
Benempt Dispatch. “ My fteed be at the gate ;
My Bard attend; quick, bring the net of fate."
This net was twisted by the filters three;
Which when once cast o'er harden'd wretch, too late

Repentance comes : replevy cannot be
From the strong iron grasp of vengeful destiny.

XXXIII. He

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XXXIII.
He came, the bard, a little druid-wight,
Of wither'd aspect; but his eye was keen,
With sweetness mix'd. In ruffet brown bedight,
As is his *fifter of the copses green,
He crept along, unpromising of mien.
Gross he who judges fo. His foul was fair,
Bright as the children of yon azure sheen.

True comelinefs, which nothing can impair,
Dwells in the mind: all elfe is vanity and glare.

XXXIV.
Come, (quoth the knight) a voice has reach'd mine
The demon Indolence threats overthrow [ear :
To all that to mankind is good and dear :
Come, Philomelus; let us instant

go,
O’erturn his bowers, and lay his castle low,
Those men, those wretched men ! who will be flaves,
Muft drink a bitter wrathful cup of woe :

But some there be, thy song, as from their graves,
Shall raise. Thrice happy he ! who without rigour faves.

XXXV.
Issuing forth, the knight bestrode his steed,
Of ardent bay, and on whose front a star
Shone blazing bright :. sprung from the generous
That whirl of active day the rapid car,

[breed
He pranc'd along, disdaining gate or bar.
Meantime, the bard on milk-white palfrey rode;
An honest fober beast, that did not mar

His meditations, but full softly trode;
And much they moraliz’d as thus y fere they yode.

XXXVI. They
* The nightingale.

XXXVI. They talk'd of virtúe, and of human bliss. What else fo fit for man to settle well? And still their long rescarches met in this, This truth of truths, which nothing can refel : 66 From virtue's fount the purest joys out-well, “ Sweet rills of thought that chear the conscious soul; “ While vice pours forth the troubled ftreams of hell,

« The which, howe'er disguis'd, at last with dole Will, through the tortur'd breast, their fiery torrent XXXVII.

[roll.” At length it dawn'd, that fatal valley gay, O’er which high wood-crown'd hills their fummits On the cool height awhile our palmers ftay, [rear. And spite ev'n of themselves their fenfes chear ; Then to the vizard's wonne their steps they steer. Like a green ifle, it broad beneath them spred, With gardens round, and wandering currents clear,

And tufted groves to shade the meadow bed, Sweet airs and song; and without hurry all seem'd glad.

XXXVIII. “ As God shall judge me, knight, we must forgift (The half-enraptur'd Philomelus cry'd) “ The frail good man deluded here to live, “ And in these groves his musing fancy hide. “ Ah! nought is pure. It cannot be deny'd, 66 That virtue still some tincture has of vice, “ And vice of virtue. What should then beride

“ But that our charity be not too nice ? “ Come, let us those we can to real bliss entice.

XXXIX. " AJ,

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