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For thee (they cry'd) amidst alarms and ftrife,

We fail'd in tempests down the stream of life; 345
For thee whole nations fill'd with flames and blood,
And swam to empire thro' the purple flood,
Thofe ills we dar'd, thy inspiration own,
What virtue feem'd, was done for thee alone.
Ambitious fools! (the Queen reply'd, and frown'd)
Be all your acts in dark oblivion'drown'd;
There fleep forgot, with mighty tyrants gone,
Your statues moulder'd, and your names unknown!
A fudden cloud straight snatch'd them from my fight,
And each majestic phantom funk in night.

Then came the smallest tribe I yet had seen;
Plain was their drefs, and modeft was their mien.

IMITATION S.

VER. 356. Then came the smallest etc.]

I faw anone the fifth route,

That to this lady gan loute,
And downe on knees anone to fall,
And to her they befoughten all,
To hiden their good works eke.
And faid, they yeve not a leke
For no fame ne fuch renowne;
For they for contemplacy oune,
And Goddes love had it wrought,
Ne of fame would they ought.

What, quoth fhe, and be ye wood?

And ween ye for to do good,
And for to have it of no fame !
Have ye defpite to have my name?
Nay ye fhall lien everichone:
Blowe thy trump, and that anone
(Quoth fhe) thou Eolus, I hote,
And ring thefe folkes workes by rote,

355.

Great idol of mankind! we neither claim
The praise of merit, nor aspire to fame!

But fafe in deferts from th'applause of men,

360

Would die unheard of, as we liv'd unseen,

'Tis all we beg thee, to conceal from fight Thofe acts of goodness, which themselves requite. O let us ftill the fecret joy partake,

To follow virtue ev'n for virtue's fake.

365

And live there men, who flight immortal fame ? Who then with incenfe fhall adore our name? But, mortals! know, 'tis ftill our greatest pride To blaze thofe virtues, which the good would hide. Rife! Mufes, rife! add all your tuneful breath, 370 These must nor fleep in darkness and in death. She faid in air the trembling mufic floats, And on the winds triumphant (well the notes; So foft, tho' high, fo loud, and yet fo clear, Ev'n lift'ning Angels lean'd from heav'n to hear: 375 To farthest shores th'Ambrofial spirit flies, Sweet to the world, and grateful to the skies.

Next these a youthful train their vows exprefs'd, gay embroid❜ry drefs'd ;

With feathers crown'd, with

IMITATIONS.

That all the world may of it heare;

And he gan blow their loofs so cleare,
In his golden clarioune,

Through the World went the foune,

All fo kindly, and eke fo foft,

That their fame was blown aloft. P.

VER. 378. Next these a youthful train etc.] The Reader

Hither, they cry'd, direct your eyes, and fee
The men of pleasure, drefs, and gallantry;
Ours is the place at banquets, balls, and plays,
Sprightly our nights, polite are all our days;
Courts we frequent, where 'tis our pleasing care
To pay due vifits, and addrefs the fair:
In fact, 'tis true, no nymph we could perfuade,
But ftill in fancy vanquish'd ev'ry maid ;··
Of unknown Ducheffes leud tales we tell,
Yet, would the world believe us, all were well.
The joy let others have, and we the name
And what we want in pleasure, grant in fame:
The Queen affents, the trumpet rends the skies,
And at each blaft a Lady's honour dies.

380

385

390

Pleas'd with the ftrange fuccefs, vaft numbers prest Around the fhrine, and made the fame request: What you (the cry'd) unlearn'd in arts to please, Slaves to yourselves, and ev❜n fatigu❜d with ease, Who lofe a length of undeferving days, Would you ufurp the lover's dear-bought praise ? To juft contempt, ye vain pretenders, fall, The people's fable, and the scorn of all.

IMITATIONS.

400

might compare thefe twenty-eight lines following, which contain the fame matter, with eighty-four of Chaucer, beginning thus:

Tho came the fixth companye,

And gan fafte to Fame cry, etc. being too prolix to be here inferted. P.

Straight the black clarion sends a horrid found,
Loud laughs burft out, and bitter scoffs fly round,
Whispers are heard, with taunts reviling loud,
And fcornful hiffes run thro' all the croud.

405

Laft, those who boast of mighty mischiefs done,
Enflave their country, or usurp a throne;
Or who their glory's dire foundation lay'd
On Sov'reigns ruin'd, or on friends betray'd;'
Calm, thinking villains, whom no faith could fix,410
Of crooked counfels and dark politics;

Of these a gloomy tribe furround the throne,
And beg to make th'immortal treasons known.
The trumpet roars, long flaky flames expire,
With fparks, that feem'd to fet the world on fire.415
At the dread found, pale mortals stood aghast,
And startled nature trembled with the blast.

This having heard and feen, fome pow'r unknown Strait chang'd the scene, and fnatch'd me from the

throne.

IMITATIONS.

VER. 406. Laft, those who boast of mighty etc.]
Tho came another companye,

That had y-done the treachery, etc. P.

VER.418. This having heard and feen, etc.] The Scene here changes from the temple of Fame to that of Rumour, which is almost entirely Chaucer's. The particulars follow.

Tho faw I ftonde in a valey,

Under the castle fast by
A house, that Domus Dedali

Before my view appear'd a ftructure fair,
Its fite uncertain, if in earth or air;

With rapid motion turn'd the mansion round;
With ceaseless noife the ringing walls refound;

Not less in number were the fpacious doors,

420

Than leaves on trees, or fands upon the fhores; 425
Which ftill unfolded stand, by night, by day,

Pervious to winds, and open ev'ry way.
As flames by nature to the skies afcend,

As weighty bodies to the centre tend,

IMITATIONS.

That Labyrinthus cleped is,
Nas made fo wonderly, I wis,
Ne half fo queintly y-wrought;
And evermo as fwift as thought,
This queint house about went,
That never more it ftill ftent-
And eke this houfe hath of entrees
As many as leaves are on trees,
İn fummer, when they ben grene
And in the roof yet men may fene
A thousand hoels and well mo,
To letten the foune out go
And by day in every tide
Ben all the doors open wide,
And by night each one unfhet;
No porter is there one to let,
No manner tydings in to pace:

Ne never reft is in that place. P.

VER. 428. As flames by nature to the etc.] This thought is transferred hither out of the third book of Fame, where it takes up no less than one hundred and twenty verses, beginning thus,

Geffray, thou wotteft well this, etc. P.

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