Page images

And here and there ambitiously display'd Were torn reluctant from the tender side
A purple shred of some rich robe, prepar'd Of their fond mothers, and by faitours † strong,
Erst by the Muses or th' Aonian Maid, By pow'r made insolent and hard by pride, [tide.
To deck great Tullius or the Mantuan bard, Were driv’n with furious rage, and lash'd into the
Which o'er each niotley vest with uncouth On the rude bank with trembling feet they stood,
splendor glar d.

And casting round their oft reverted eyes,
And well their outward vesture did express If haply thoy mote 'scape the hated food,
The bent and habit of their inward mind, Fill'd all the plain with lamentable eries :
Affecting Wisdom's antiquated dress, But far away th' unheeding father fies,
And usages by tine cast far behind : Constrain'd his strong compunctions to repress ;
Thence to the charms of younger Science blind, While close behind, assunting the disguise
The customs, laws, the learning, arts, and phrase, Ofnurt'ring Care and smiling Tenderness, (press.
Of their own countries they with scorn declin'd; With secret scourges arm'd those grisly faitours
Ne sacred Truth herself would they enıbrace As on the steepy margin of a brook,
Unwarranted, unknown in their forefathers days. When the young Sun with Howry Maja rides,
Thus ever backward casting their survey With innocent dismay a bleating Block
To Romne's old ruins, and the groves forlorn Crowd back affrighted at the rolling tides,
Of elder Athens, which in prospect lay [torn The shepherd-swain at first exhorting chides
Stretch'd out against the mountain, would they Their scely I fear; at length, impatient grown,
Their busy search, and o'er the rubbish mourn, With his rude crook hc wounsls their tender sides,
Then gath'ring up with superstitious care And, all regardless of their piteousmoan, (down.
Each little scrap, however foul or torn, Into the dashing wave compuls them furious
In grave harangues they boldly would declare, Thus urg'd by mast'ring fear and dolorous teen g
This Ennius, Varro, this the Stagirite, did wear. Into the current plung'd that infant crowd:
Yet ander names of venerable sound, [rod, Right piteous was the spectacle I ween,
While o'er the world they stretch'd their awful of tender striplings ştain'd with tears and blood,
Thro' all the provinces of Learning own'd Perforce conflicting with the bitter flood,
For teachers of whate'er is wise and good ; And lab'ring to attain the distant shore,
Als from each region to their drad * abode Where holding forth the gown of manhood siood
Came youth unnumber'd, crowding all to taste The Siren Liberty, and evermore
The streams of Science, which united flow'd Solicited their hearts with her enchanting lore.
Adown the mount from nine rich sources cast, Irksome and long the passage was, perplex d
And to the vale below in one rude torrent past. With rogged rocks, on which the raving tide
O'er er'ry source,

, protectress of the stream, By sudden bursts of angry tempests vex d One of those Virgin Sisters did preside, Oft dash'd the youth, whosesirength moteillabide Who dignifying with her noble name

With head uplifted o'er the waves to ride ; Her proper food, aye pour'd into the tide, Whence many wearicd ere they had o'erpast The heady vapors of scholastic pride,

The middle stream (for they in vain have tried) Despotical and abject, bold and blind,

Again return'd astounded || and aghast, Fierce in debate, and forward to decide, Ne one regardful look would ever backward cast. Vain love of praise with adulation join'd, And disingenuous scorn and impotence of mind. Their toilsome course with patient pain pursu'd,

Some, of a rugged more enduring frame, Extending from the hill on ev'ry side, Andtho' with many abruiseand muchelblane, In circuit vast a verdant valley spread, Eft hanging on the rocks, and eft embroid Across whose uniformu flat bosoin glide Deep in the muddy stream, with hearts subdu'd, 'Ten ihousand streams, in winding mazes led And quail'd by labor, gaind the shore at last; By various sluices from one common head ; But in life's practis'd lear** unskill'd and rude, A turbid mass of waters, vast, profound ! Forth to that forked hill they silent pac'd, Hight of Philology the lake, and fed

Where hid in studious shades their fruitless By that rede torrent which with roaring sound hours they waste. Came tumbling from the hill, and flow'd the Others of rich and noble lineage bred, level round.

Tho' with the crowd to pass the

food constrain d, And ev'ry where this spacious valley o’er. Yet o'er the crays with fond indulgence led Fast by each strean was seen a numerous throng By hireling guides, and in all depths sustain'd. Of beardless striplings, to the birch-crown'd shore Skimın'd lightly o'er the tide, undipt, unstain't, By irurses, guardians, fathers, dragg'd along, Save with the sprinkling of the wat'ry spray, Who, helpless, meek, and innocent of wrong, land aye their proud prerogative maintain'd

• Drad, dreadful.
† Faitour, doer, from faire, to do, and fait

, deed ; commonly used by Spenser in a bad sense. Seely, simple, Ś Teen, pain, grief. | Astounded, astonished.

Muchel, much. ** Lear, learning.


Of ignorance, and ease, and wanton play, Constrains ev'n stubborn Nature to obey,
Soft harbingers of vice and premature decay. Whom dispossessing oft he doth essay
With subtle spirits endow'd and sinews strong, That she unwares is caught in his embrace ;
A few, alas! how few! by Heaven's high will To govern in her right; and with a pace

So soft and gentle doch he win his way,
Albe* sore mared † by the tempests

shrill That bellow'd fierce and rise the rocks among,

And tho' deflour'd and thralld nought feels lier By their own native vigor borne along,

foul disgrace. Cut briskly thro’the waves, and forces new For nurt'ring even from their tenderest age Gath'ring from toil, and ardor from the throng The docile sons of inen withouten pain, Of rival youths, outstript the lab'ring crew, By disciplines and rules to every stage And to the true Parnasse 1 and heaven-throng'd of life accommodate, he doth them train glory fiew.

Insensibly to wear and hug his chain ; Dire was the 'tumult! and from ev'ry shore

Als his behests or gentle or severe, Discordant echoes struck the deafen'd ear,

Or good or noxinus, rational or vajn, Heart-thrillingeries, with sobs and singults's sore He craftily persuades them to revere Short interrupted, the imploring tear,

As institutions sage and venerable lear. And furious stripes and angry threats severe, Protector therefore of that forked hill, Confus'dly mingled with the jarring sound And mighty patron of those Sisters Nine, Of all the various speeches that whilere || Who there enthron'd with many a copious rill, On Shimars's widespread champaign did astound Feed the full streams that thro' the valley shine, High Babel's builders vain, and their proud He deemed was, and aye with rises divine, works confound.

Like those which Sparta's ** hardy race of yore Much tras the knight empassion'd at the scene; He dotli constrain his vassals tis adore

Were wont perform at fell Diana's shrine, But more his blooming son, whose tender breast Empierced deep with sympathizing teen

Perforce their sacred nanies, and learn their saOn his pale check the sign of drad impress’d,

cred lore. And filled with tears bis eyes, with sore dis- And to the Fairy knight now drawing near Upto his sire he rais'd in mournful wise, (tress'd, With voice terrfic and imperious mien Who with sweet smiles paternal soon redress'd (All was he wont less dreadful to appear [seen) His troublous thoughts, and clear'd each sad When known and practis'd! than at distance surmise :

And kingly stretching forth his sceptre sheen, Then turns his ready steed, andonhisjourneyhies. Him he commandeth upon threaten'd pain But far he had not march'd ere he was stay'd

Of his displeasure high and vengeance keen, By a rude voice, that like th' united sound From his rebellious purpose to refrain, [train. Of shouting myriads thro' the valley bray'd

And all due honors pay 10 Learning's rev'rend And shook the groves, the floods, and solid So saying, and forestalling all reply,

The distant hills rebellow'dłall around. [ground; His peremptory hand without delay, “Arrest, sir Knight,"it cried, “thy fond career, As one who little card to justify “ Nor with presumptuous disobedience wound His princely will, long us'd to boundless sway, “That awful majesty which all revere ! Upon the Fairy youth with great dismay “In my commands, sir Knight, the voice of In ev'ry quaking limb convuls'd he lay'd, « nations hear."

And proudly stalking o'er the verdant lay tt Quick turn'd the knight, and saw upon the plain Him to those scientific streams convey'rl, Advancing towards him, with impetuous gait, With many his young compeers, therein to be And visage all inflam'd with fiercé disdain,

embay'd it A monstrous giant, on whose brow elate

The knight his tender son's distressful stout $$ Shone the bright ensign of imperial state ; Perceiving, swift to his assistance flew, Albeit lawful kingrlom he had none

Ne vainly stay'd to deprecate that pow'r But laws and kiugrons wont he oft create, Which from submission aye more haughty grew: And oft times over both crect his throne,

For that proud giant's force he wisely knew While senates, prieşts, and kings, his sovran T Not to be meanly dreaded, nor defied sceptre own.

With rash presumption; and with courage true, Custom he bight, and aye in er'ry land Rather than stop from virtue's path aside, Usurp'd dominion with despolic swag Oft had he singly scoru'd his all-dismaying O'er all he holds, and to bis high command


• Albe, although.
+ Mated, amazed, scared.

Parnasse, Parnassus.
$ Singults, sighs.
li Whilere, formerly.

Sovran for sovereign. The Lacedemonians, in order to make their children hardy and endure pain with constancy and courage, were accustomed to cause them to be scourged very severely. “And I myself," says Plutarch, in his Life of Lycurgus," have seen several of them endure whipping to death at the foot of the altar of Diana, surnamed Othia." #1 Lay, mead. # Embay'd, bathed, dipt. Šo Stour, trouble, mistortune, &c.


[ocr errors]

And now, disdaining parle, his courser hot They, when their bleeding king they did behold He fiercely prick'd, and couch'd his vengeful And saw an armed knighi him standing near, spear,

Attended by that palmer sage and bold, Wherewith the giant he so rurlely smot, \Vhose vent'rous scarch of devious truth whilere That him perforce constrain'd to wend * arrear ; Spread thro' the realıns of learning horrors drear, Who much abash'd at such rebuke severe, Y seised were at first with lerrors great, Yet his accustom'd pride recov'ring soon, And in their boding hearts began to fear Forthwith his massg sceptre 'gan uprear,

Dissension factious, controversial hate, For other warlike weapon he had none, And innovations strange, in Custou's peaceful Ne other him behov'd io quell his boldest fanct. state. With that enormous mace the Fairy knight But when they saw the knight bis falchion sheath, So sore he bett that all his armor bray'dŞ, And climbing to his steed marchi thence away To pieces well niyh riv'n with the might With all his hostile train, they 'gan to breathe Of so tempestuous strokes ; but he was stay'd, With freer spirit, and with aspect sy And ever with delib'rate valor weigh a Soon chas'd ihe gath'ring clouds of black asray: The sudden changes of the doubtful fray, Als their great monarch, cheered with the view From cautious prudence oft deriving aid, Of myriads who confess his sovran sway, When furce unequal did him harc assay; Ilis ruller pride began to plume anew So lightly from the stced he leap'd upon the day. And on his bugle clear a strain of triumph blew. Then swiftly drawing forth his trenchant # blarle, Thereat the multitude that stevd around High o'er his head he held his feucelul shiele, Sent up at once a universal roar And svarily forecasting to evade

Of boistrous joy: the sudden-bursting sound, The giant's furious aru about him wheeld, Like the explosion of a warlike store With restless steps aye traversing the field, Of nitrous grain, th' afflicted welkin $tore: And ever as his foe's internp'rato prije

Then turning tow'rds the knight with scoffing Thro' rage defenceless niote advantage yield, lleart-piercing insults and revilings sore, (lewd, With his sharp sword so oft he did bin gride, Lou bursts of laughter rain, and hisses rude That his gold sandal'd feet in crimson foods As thiro' the throng hc pass'd his parting steps were dy'd.

pursued. His baser parts he maim'd with many a wound; Als from that torked hill, the boasted seat But far above his utmost reaclı were pight Qi studious Peace and mild Philosophy; The sorts of life; ne never to confound Indignant marnurs niote be heard to threat, With utter ruin, and abolish quite

Must'ring their rage ; eke baleful Infanız, A pow'r so puissant, by his single might Ruus'd from her ilen of base obscurity Did he presume to hope : himself alone By those fam’d Maidens Nine, began to sound From lawless force to free in bloody fight Her brazen trump of black’ning obloquv, He stood, content to bow to custoui's ihrone, While Satire,with dark clondsenconipass 'd round So reason mote not blush his sovran rule to own. Sharp secret arrows shot, and aim'd his back to So well he warded and so fiercely prest

wound. His foe, that weary wax'd he of ihe fray. But the brave Fairy knight no whit dismay'd, Yet nould he algates ++ lower his haughty crest, Held on his peaceful journey o'er the plain, But masking in contempt his sore dismay, With curious eye observing, as he stray'd Disdainfully releas'd the trembling prey Thro' the wide provinces of Custom's reign, As one unworthy of his princely care : What mote afresh admonish him reinain Then proudly casting on the warlike Fay 11 Fast by his virtuous purpose ; all around A smile of scorn and pity, thro' the air So many objects mov'd his just disdain, 'Gan blow his shrilling horn; the blast was heard Him seein'd that nothing scrious, nothing sound, afar.

In city, village, bow'r, or castle, note be found. Eftsoons astonish'd at th' alarming sound, In village, city, castle, bow'r, and hall, The signal of distress and hostile wrong, Each sex, cach age, each order and degree, Confus'dly trooping from all quarters round, To vice and idle sport abandon'd all, Came pouring o'er the plain a nunerous throng Kept one perpetual geu'ral jubilce, Of ev'ry sex and order, old and young, Ne suffer'd anght disunrl

) their merry glee ; The vassals of great Custom's wide domain, Ne sense of private loss, ne public woes, Who to his lore inur'd by usige long

Restraint of law, religion's drad decree, His ev'ry summons heard with pleasure fain, Intestine desolation, foreign fues, (vulsive threes. And felt his ev'ry wound with sympathetic pain. Norlicaven's tempestuous threats, nor earth'scon. • Wend arrear, move backwards. + Fone, foes. į Bet, bcat. # Trenchant, cutting.

Gride, cut, hack.

Pight, plac'd ft Nould he algates, would not by any means. #1 Fay, Fairy SS Welkin, sky,


[ocr errors]


$ Bray'd, resounded.


But chiefly they whom Heaven's disposing hand To Pleasure's num'rous temples, that beside Had seateil high on lortune's upper stage,

The glist’ning streams, or tufied groves among, And plac'd within their call the sacred band To ev'ry idle foot stood open wide, That waits on Nurture and Instruction sage, And ev'ry gay desire with various joys supplied. If haply their wise hests * mote theun engage For there each heart with diversecharms to more To climb thro' knowledge to more noble praise, The sly enchantress summon'd all her train ; And, as they mount, enlighten ev'ry age Alluring Venus, queen of vagrant love,

the bright influence of fair virtue's rays, The boon companion Bacchus loud and vain, Which from the awful heights of grandeur And tricking Kermes, god of fraudful gain. brighter blaze :

Who when blind Fortune throws directs the die, They, O perverse and base ingratitude ! And Phæbus, tuning his soft Lydian strain Despising the great ends of Providence, To wanton motions and the lover's sigh, (ry. For which above their mates they were endued And thought-beguiling show and masking revelWith wealth., anthority, and enuinence, Unmeet associates these for nuble youth To the low services of brutal sense

Who to true honor meaneth to aspire, Abus'd the means of pleasures more refin'd, And for the works of viriue, faith and truth, O, knowledge, virtue, and beneficence; Woull keep his manly faculties entire ; A nd, fett'ring on her throne th' immortal Mind, The which'avizing well the cautious fire The guidanceofherrealmto passions wild resign'd. From that soft Siren land of pleasaunce vain Hence, thoughtless, shameless, reckless,spiritless, With timely hastc was minded to retire, Nought worthy of their kind did they essay, Or ere the sweet contagion inote attaio (stain. But, or benunbid with palsied idleness, Fiis son's unpractis'd heart, yet free from vicious In merely living loiter'd life away,

So turning from that beaten road aside, Or by false taste of pleasure led astray, Thru' many a devious path at length he pac'd, For ever wand'ring in the sensual bow'rs As that experienc'd palmer did him guide Of feverish Debauch and lustful Play, Till to a mountain hoare they came at last, Spent on ignoble toils their active pow'rs, Whose high-rais'd brows, with sylran honors And with untimely blasts diseas'd their vernal Majestically frown'd upon their plain, (grac'd, hours.

And over all an awful horror, cast; Een they to whom kind Nature did accord Seein'l as those villas gay it did disdain, (train, A franke more delicate and purer

mind, Which spangled all the vale like Flora's painted Tho' the soul brothel and the wine-stain'd board The hill ascended straight, erewhile they came Of beastly Comus loathing they declin'd, To å tall grove, whose thick embow'ring shade, Yet their soft hearts to idle joys resign'd'; Impervious to tbe sun's meridian flame, Like painted insects thro' the summer air E'en at mid-noon a dubious twilight made, With random flight aye ranging unconfin'd, Like to that sober light which, disarray'd And tasting ev'ry flow'r and blossom fair Of all its gorgeous robe, with blunted beams Withouten any choice, withouten any care. Thro' u indoivs dim with holy acts pourtray'd For choice them needed none who only sought . Along some cloister'd abbey faintly gleams, With vain amusements to beguile the day ; Abstracting the rapt thought from vain earthAndwherefore should they takeor careorthought musing themes. Whom Nature pronipts and Fortune calls to play? Beneath this high o'erarching canopy “ Lords of the earth, be happy as ye may !"

Of clust'ring oaks, a sylran colonnade, So learn'd, so taughi, the leaders of mankind

Aye list'ning to the native melody Th' unreasoning vulgar willingly obey, Of birds sweet echoing thro' the lonely shade, And, leaving toil and poverty behind, [find. Ran forth by diff'rent ways ihe blissful boon to which in a spacious circle op'ning round,

On to the centre of the grove they stray'd; Nor tedious was the search ; for ev'ry where, within its shelt'ring arms securely laid, As trigh great Custon's royal tow'rs the knight Disclosd to sudden view a vale profound, Pass'd thro' thi' adjoining hainlets, mote he hear With Nature's artless smiles and tranquil beauThe merry voice of festival delight

ties crown'd. Saluting the return of morning bright

There on the basis of an antient pile,
With matin revels by the mid-dlay hours
Scarce ended, and again with dewy night

Whose cross-surmounted spire o'erlook'd the

A venerable matron they erewhile (wood, In corer'd theatres or leafy bow'rs, (pow'rs. Discover'd have beside a murm'ring food, Offring her ev'ning vows to Pleasure's joyous Reclining in right sal and pensive inood: And ever on the way mote he espy

Retir’d within her own abstracted breast, Men, women, children, a promiscuous throng She seem'd o'er various woes by turns to brood, Of rich, poor, wise, and siinple, low and high, The which herchan;irgcheer by turns express'd, By land, by water, passing aye along Now glowing with disdain, with yrief now overFühmurmurs, anticks, music, dance and song, kest f • Hests, behests, precepts, ConstaRds.

Overkeat, fer overcas..


Her thus iinmers'd in anxious thoughts profound 1" Contempt of order, manners profligate, [state. When as the knight perceiv'd, he nearer drew, " The symptoms of a foul, diseas'd and bloated To weet what bitter bale did her astound, "Ev'p Wit and Genius, with their learned train And whence th' occasion of her anguish grew; “ Of Arts and Muses, tho' from hea'n above For that right noble matron well he knew, " Descended, when their talents they profane And many perils huge and labors sore “To varnish folly, kindle wanton love, Had for her sake endur'd, her vassal true, “ And aid eccentric sceptic pride to rore Train'd in her love, and practis'd evermore “ Beyond celestial truth's attractive sphere, Her honor to respect, and reverence her lore. « This moral system's central sun, aye prote “O dearest Drad!” he cried, “fair Island Queen! “ To their fond votaries a curse severe, “ Mother of heroes! Empress of the main ! “And only make maukind more obstinately err. “What means that stormy brow of troublous" And stand my sons herein from censure clear " teen,

(train" Have they consider'd well and understood “Sith* heaven-born Peace, with all her smiling “ The use and import of those blessings dear “Of Sciences and Arts, adorns thy reign “ Which the great Lord of Nature hath bestow'd • With wealth and knowledge, splendor and " As well to prove as to reward the good ? “ renown?

[plain! “ Whence are these torrents then, these billowy “Each port how throng'd! how fruiiful ev'ry “Of vice, in which as in his proper flood (seas “ How Blithe the country! and how gay the “ The fell Leviathan licentious plays, “ town!

“ And upon shipwreck'd Faith and sinking “While Liberty secures and heightens ev'ry “Virtue preys ? « boon

To you, ye noble, opulent, and great! Awaken u from her trance of pensive wo .: With friendly voice I call an honest zeal ; By thesefair flata'ring words, she rais d her head; Upon your vital influence wait And bending on the knight her frowning brow, " The health and sickness of the common weal: " Moek'st thou jny sorrows, Fairy Son!” she said; “ The maladies you cause yourselves must head, “Or is thy judgement by thy heart misled “ In vain to the unthinking harden'd crowd

* To deem that certain which thyhokes suggest: "Will truth and reason make their just appeal, - To deem them full of life and lustihead † " In vain will sacred wisdom cry aloud, [blood. “ Whose cheeks in Hebe 's vivid tints are dress'd, Andjusticedrench in vain hervengeful swordin * And with joy's careless inien and dimpled “With you must reformation first take place: “smiles impress'd!

“ You are the head, the intellectual mind “Thy unsuspecting heart how nobly good “Of this vast body politic, whose base “I know, how sanguine in thy country's cause, "And vulgar limbs to drudgery consign’d, “ And mark'd thy virtue singly how it stood " All the rich stores of science hare resign'd “Th’assaults of unighty custom, which o'erawes To you, that, by the craftsman's various wil

, • The faintand tim'rous mind, and oft withdraws “ The sea-woru marinePánd sweating hind, " From Reason's lore th' ambitious and the vain," In peace and affluence maintain'd, the while “By the sweet lure of popular applause, “ You for yourselves and them may dress the

Against their better knowledge to maintain “mental soil. " The lawless throne of Vice or Folly's childish " Bethink you then, my children! of the trust

In you repos'd; ne let your heaven-born mind “How vast his influence, how wide his sway, " Consume in pleasure or unactive rust, “Thyself erewhile by, proof didst understand, "“ But nobly rouse you to the task assign'd, “ And saw'st, as thro' his realms thou took'st" The godlike task, to teach and mend mankind!

“ Learn, that ye may instruct : to virtue lead “How vice and folly had o'erspread the land : “ Yourselves the way; the herd will crowd be“ And canst thou then, O Fairy Son ! demand “ hind, “ The reason of my wo? or hope to ease “And gather precepts from each worthy deed: Thethrobbingsofmy heart with speeches bland," Example is a lesson that all men can read. “ And words more apt my sorrows to increase, “ But if (to all or most I do not speak) " The once-dear naines of wealth, and "liberty," In vain and sensual habits now grown old “ and peace ?

“The strong Circæan charm you cannot break, Peace, wealth, and liberty that noblest boon, “Nor reassume at will your native mould I " Are blessings only to the wise and good; “Yet envy not the state you could not hold, “ To weak and vicious minds their worth un- " And take compassion on the rising age; known,

“ In them redeem your errors manifold, " And thence abus'd, but serve to furnish food " And by due discipline and nurture sage * For riot and debauch, and fire the blood “ In virtue's lore betimes your docile sons engage. “With high-spic'd laxury, whencestrife,debate, “ You chiefly who like me in secret mourn “ Ambition, envy, Faction's vip'rous brood, “ The prevalence of custom lewd and vain, Sith, since. + Lustihead, strong health, vigor. - Mould, shape, form.

" And


“ reign

" thy way;

« EelmineJätka »