ePub 版

XXXIX. “ Ay, ficker, (quoth the knight) all Aesh is frail, “ To pleasant fin and joyous dalliance bent; “ But let not brutish vice of this avail, “ And think to scape deserved punishment. “ Justice were cruel weakly to relent; “ From Mercy's self she got her sacred glaive; 6 Grace be to those who can, and will, repent;

“ But penance long, and dreary, to the slave, “ Who must in floods of fire his gross foul fpirit lave."

.XL. Thus, holding high discourse, they came to where The cursed carle was at his wonted trade; Still tempting heedless men into his snare, In witching wise, as I before have said. But when he saw, in goodly geer array'd, The grave majestic knight approaching nigh, And by his fide the bard so fage and staid, . .

His countenance fell; yet oft his anxious eye Mark'd them, like wily fox who roosted cock doth spy.

XLI. Nathless, with-feign'd respect, he bade give back The rabble-rout, and welcom’d them full kind; Struck with the noble twain, they were not flack. His orders to obey, and fall behind,... Then he resum'd his song; and unconfin'd, : * Pour'd all his music, ran through all his strings: With magic dust their eyne he tries to blind,

And virtue's tender airs o'er weakness Aings. d . What pity base his song who fo divinely sings ! ..

XLII. Elate


Elate in thought, he counted them his own,
They listen’d so intent with fix'd delight :
But they instead, as if transmew'd to stone,
Marvel'd he could with such sweet art unite
The lights and shades of manners, wrong and right.
Meantime, the silly crowd the charm devour,
Wide pressing to the gate. Swift, on the knight'

He darted fierce, to drag him to his bower,
Who backening shunnd his touch, for well he knew its

As in throng'd amphitheatre, of old,
The wary Retiarius trap'd his foe:
Ev'n so the knight, returning on him bold,
At once involv'd him in the net of woe, .
Whereof I mention made not long ago.
Inrag'd at first, he scorn'd so weak a jail,
And leapt, and flew, and flounced to and fro;

But when he found that nothing could avail,
He set him felly down and gnaw'd his bitter nail.

Alarm'd, th’ inferior demons of the place
Rais'd rueful shrieks and hideous yells around;
Black stormy clouds deform’d the welkin's face, :
And from beneath was heard a wailing sound,
As of infernal sprights in cavern bound;'
A folemn sadness every creature strook, [ground:
And lightnings flash'd, and horror rock'd the
Huge crowds on crowds out-pour’d, with blemish'd

As if on time's last verge this frame of things had shook.

[ocr errors]

XLV. Soon as the short-liv'd tempef was yspent, Steam'd from the jaws of vext Avernus' hole, And hush'd the hubbub of the rabblement, Sir Industry the first calm moment stole. There muft, (he cry'd) amidft so vast a fhoal, « Be fome who are not tainted at the heart, “ Not poison'd quite by this fame villain's bowl :

« Come then, my bard, thy heavenly fire impart; “ Touch soul with foul, till forth the latent spirit start.”

XLVI. The bard obey'd; and taking from his fide, Where it in seemly fort depending hung, His British harp, its speaking strings he try'd, The which with skilful touch he defifly trung, Till tinkling in clear fymphony they rung. Then, as he felt the Muses come along, Light o'er the chords his raptur'd hand he flung, And play'd a prelude to his rising song: The whilft, like midnight mute, ten thousands round

XLVII. [him throngi Thus, ardent, burst his strain.

Ye helpless race, « Dire-labouring here to smother reason's ray, “ That lights our Maker's image in our face, “ And gives us wide o’er earth unquestion’d fway : • What is th' ador'd Supreme Perfection, fay? “ What, but eternal never-resting soul, « Almighty power, and all-directing day;

« By whom each atom stirs, the planets roll; 6 Who fills, surrounds, informs, and agitates the whole.

XLVIII. 6. Come, to the beaming God your hearts unfold! “ Draw from its fountain life ! 'Tis thence, alone, “ We can excel. Up from unfeeling mold, “ To seraphs burning round th’ Almighty's throne, • Life rising still on life, in higher tone,

Perfection forms, and with perfection bliss. « In universal nature this clear thewn,

“ Nor needeth proof: to prove it were, I wis, . • To prove the beauteous world excels the brute abyss

XLIX.. “ Is not the field, with lively culture green, “ A fight more joyous than the dead morafs ? “ Do not the skies, with active ether clean, “ And fann'd by sprightly zephyrs, far furpass “ The foul November fogs, and Numberous mass, “ With which fad nature veils her drooping face: " Does not the mountain-ftream, as clear as glass,

“ Gay-dancing on, the putrid pool disgrace ? “ The same in all holds true, but chief in human race.

L. “ It was not by vile loitering in ease, " That Greece obtain’d the brighter palm of art, " That soft yet ardent Athens learn'd to please, “ To keen the wit, aud to sublime the heart, “ In all supreme complete in every part ! " It was not thence majestic Rome arose, " And o'er the nations fhook her conquering dart :

“ For sluggard's brow the laurel never grows ; . « Renown is not the child of indolent repose. • Vol. I.


LI. “ Had LI.

“ Had unambitious mortals minded nought,
“ But in loose joy their time to wear away;
“ Had they alone the lap of dalliance fought,
« Pleas'd on her pillow their dull heads to lay,
“ Rude Nature's state bad been our state to-day;
“ No cities e'er their towery fronts had rais’d,
“ No arts had made us opulent and gay;

6. With brother-brutes the human race had graz'd; « None e'er had foard to fame, none honour'd been,


[none prais d. « Great Homer's song had never fir'd the breast “ To thirst of glory, and heroic deeds ; " Sweet Maro's Muse, funk in inglorious rest, “ Had filene slept amid the Mincian reeds : “ The wits of modern time had told their beads, < And monkish legends been their only strains; 4 Our Milton's Eden had lain wrapt in weeds, “ Our Shakespeare strollid and laugh'd with Warwick

“ swains, “ Ne had my master Spenser charm’d his Mulla's plains.

LIII. “ Dumb too had been the fage Historic Muse, “ And perish'd all the fons of ancient fame; “ Those starry lights of virtue, that diffuse « Through the dark depth of time their vivid Alame, “ Had all been lost with such as have no name. " Who then had scorn'd his ease for others' good? « Who then had toil'd rapacious men to tame ?

• Who in the public breach devoted stood, * And for his country's cause been prodigal of blood?

« 上一頁繼續 »