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A train of phantoms in wild order rose,
And join'd, this intellectual scene compofe. 10
I stood, methought, betwixt earth, seas, and
The whole creation open to my eyes:
In air felf-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: 16
Here failing ships delight the wand'ring eyes;
There trees, and intermingled temples rife :
Now a clear fun the fhining scene displays,
The tranfient landscape now in clouds decays. 20.
O'er the wide Profpect as I gaz'd around,
Sudden I heard a wild promifcuous found,
Like broken thunders that at distance roar,
Or billows murm'ring on the hollow shore:
Then gazing up, a glorious pile beheld,
Whofe tow'ring fummit ambient clouds conceal'd.
VER. 11. etc.] These verses are hinted from the following of Chaucer, Book ii.
Tho' beheld I fields and plains,
Now hills, and now mountains.
Now valeis, and now foreftes,
And now unneth great bestes,
Now rivers, now citees,
Now towns, now great trees,
Now hippes fayling in the fees. P.
High on a rock of Ice the ftructure lay,
Steep its afcent, and flipp'ry was the way;
The wond'rous rock like Parian marble fhone,
And seem'd, to distant sight, of solid stone. 30
Infcriptions here of various names I view'd,
The greater part by hoftile time fubdu'd;
Yet wide was spread their fame in ages past,
And Poets once had promis'd they should last.
VER. 27. High on a rock of Ice, etc.] Chaucer's third book of Fame.
It stood upon fo high a rock,
Higher ftandeth none in Spayne-
What manner ftone this rock was,
For it was like a lymed glafs,
But that it fhone full more clere;
But of what congeled matere
It was, I nifte redily;
But at the last efpied I,
And found that it was every dele,
A rock of ife and not of ftele.
Some fresh engrav'd appear'd of Wits renown'd;
I look'd again, nor could their trace be found. 36
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 first behind.
Nor was the work impair'd by storms alone,
But felt th' approaches of too warm a sun ;
For Fame, impatient of extremes, decays
Not more by Envy than excess of Praise.
Yet part no injuries of heav'n could feel,
Like crystal faithful to the graving steel:
VER. 41. Nor was the work impair'd, etc.]
Tho gan I in myne harte caft,
That they were molte away for heate,
And not away with ftormes beate.
VER. 45. Yet part no injuries, etc.]
For on that other fide I fey
Of that hill which northward ley,
How it was written full of names
Of folke, that had afore great fames,
Of old time, and yet they were
As fresh as men had written hem there.
The felf day, or that houre
That I on hem gan to poure:
But well I wifte what it made ;
It was conferved with the fhade
(All the writing that I fye)
Of the caftle that ftoode on high,
And flood eke in fo cold a place,
That heate might it not deface. P.
The rock's high summit, in the temple's fhade,
Nor heat could melt, nor beating storm invade.
Their names infcrib'd unnumber'd ages past
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 coast;
Pale funs, unfelt, at distance roll away,
And 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.
On this foundation Fame's high temple stands;
Stupendous pile! not rear'd by mortal hands.
Whate'er proud Rome or artful Greece beheld,
Or elder Babylon, its frame excell'd.
Four faces had the dome, and ev'ry face
Of various structure, but of equal grace:
VER. 65. Four faces had the dome, etc.] The Temple is de fcribed to be fquare, the four fronts with open gates facing the different quarters of the world, as an intimation that all nations of the earth may alike be received into it. The weftern front is of Grecian architecture: the Doric order was
Four brazen gates, on columns lifted high,
Salute the diff'rent quarters of the sky.
Here fabled Chiefs in darker ages born,
Or Worthies old, whom arms or arts adorn, 70
Who cities rais'd, or tam'd a monftrous race;
The walls in venerable order grace.
Heroes in animated marble frown,
And Legiflators seem to think in stone..
Weftward, a sumptuous frontispiece appear'd,
On Doric pillars of white marble rear'd,
Crown'd with an architrave of antique mold,
And sculpture rising on the roughen'd gold.
In fhaggy spoils here Thefeus was beheld,
And Perfeus dreadful with Minerva's fhield: 80
There great Alcides stooping with his toil,
Rests on his club, and holds th' Hefperian spoil.
Here Orpheus fings; trees moving to the found
Start from their roots, and form a shade around :
Amphion there the loud creating lyre 85
Strikes, and beholds a fudden Thebes afpire!
peculiarly facred to Heroes and Worthies: Thofe whofe statues are after mentioned, were the first names of old Greece in arms and arts. P.
VER. 81. There great Alcides, etc.] This figure of Hercules is drawn with an eye to the position of the famous ftatue of Farnefe. P.