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Great idol of mankind! we neither claim
The praise of merit, nor aspire to fame!
But fafe in deferts from th'applause of men,
Would die unheard of, as we liv'd unseen.
'Tis all we beg thee, to conceal from fight
Those acts of goodness, which themselves requite.
O let us ftill the fecret joy partake,

To follow virtue e'en for virtue's fake.



And live there men, who flight immortal fame ? Who then with incense shall adore our name? But, mortals! know, 'tis ftill our greatest pride To blaze thofe virtues, which the good would hide. Rife! Muses, rife! add all your tuneful breath, 370 These must not sleep in darkness and in death. She faid in air the trembling mufic floats, And on the winds triumphant fwell the notes; So foft, tho' high, fo loud, and yet fo clear, Ev'n lift'ning Angels lean from heav'n to hear: 375 To furtheft fhores th'Ambrofial spirit flies,

Sweet to the world, and grateful to the skies.


(Quoth fhe) thou Eolus, I hote,

And ring these folkes workes by rote,
That all the world may of it heare!
And he can blow their loos fo cleare,
In his golden clarioune,
Through the world went the foune,
All fo kindly, and eke so soft,
That their fame was blown aloft.

Next these a youthful train their vows exprefs'd, With feathers crown'd, with gay embroid❜ry drefs'd: Hither, they cry'd, direct your eyes, and fee 380 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 Το pay due vifits, and addrefs the fair: In fact, 'tis true, no nymph we could perfuade, But still in fancy vanquish'd ev'ry maid; Of unknown Ducheffes lewd 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.

Pleas'd with the ftrange fuccefs, vaft numbers prest Around the shrine, and made the fame requeft: 395 What you (the cry'd) unlearn'd in arts to please, Slaves to yourselves, and ev'n fatigu'd with ease,



VER. 378. Next these a youthful train, etc.] The Reader night compare these twenty-eight lines following, which contain he fame matter, with eighty-four of Chaucer, beginning thus: Tho came the fixth companye, And gan faft to Fame cry, etc.

being too prolix to be here inferted. P.

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


Laft, those who boast of mighty mischiefs done, Enslave their country, or ufurp a throne; Or who their glory's dire foundation lay'd On fov'reigns ruin'd, or on friends betray'd; Calm, thinking villains, whom no faith could fix, Of crocked counsels 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 sparks, that seem'd to fet the world on fire..
At the dread found, pale mortals ftood aghaft,
And ftartled nature trembled with the blaft.


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



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 seen, etc.] The Scene here changes from the temple of Fame to that of Rumour, which is almost entirely Chaucer's. The particulars follow.

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Before my view appear'd a structure fair,
Its fite uncertain, if in earth or air;
With rapid motion turn'd the manfion round;
With ceaseless noife the ringing walls refound;
Not lefs in number were the fpacious doors,
Than leaves on trees, or fands upon the fhores; 425
Which ftill unfolded ftand, by night, by day,
Pervious to winds, and open ev'ry way.


Tho faw I ftonde in a valey,
Under the caftle faft by
A houfe, that Domus Dedali
That Labyrinthus cleped is,
Nas made fo wonderly, I wis,
Ne half fo queintly y-wrought;
And evermo as swift as thought,
This queint house about went,
That never more it ftill ftent
And eke this houfe hath of entrees
s many as leaves are on trees,

In fummer, when they ben grene;

And in the roof yet men may fene,

A thousand hoels and well mo

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As flames by nature to the skies afcend,
As weighty bodies to the centre tend,
As to the fea returning rivers roll,

And the touch'd needle trembles to the pole;
Hither, as to their proper place, arise

All various founds from earth, and feas, and skies,
Or spoke aloud, or whisper'd in the ear;
Nor ever filence, reft, or peace is here.
As on the smooth expanfe of crystal lakes
The finking ftone at firft a circle makes;
The trembling furface by the motion stirr'd,
Spreads in a fecond circle, then a third;
Wide, and more wide, the floating rings advance,440
Fill all the wat'ry plain, and to the margin dance:
Thus ev'ry voice and found, when firft they break,
On neighb'ring air a foft impreffion make;
Another ambient circle then they move;
That, in its turn, impels the next above;
Thro' undulating air the founds are fent,
And spread o'er all the fluid element.



VER. 448. There various news I heard, etc.]

Of werres, of peace, of marriages,
Of reft, of labour, of voyages,


There various news I heard of love and ftrife, Of peace and war, health, fickness, death and life,


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 verfes, beginning thus, Geffray, thou wott eft well this, etc. P.

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