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Great idol of mankind! we neither claim
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,
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 ?
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,
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.]
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.
Before my view appear'd a structure fair,
Tho faw I ftonde in a valey,
In fummer, when they ben grene;
And in the roof yet men may fene,
A thousand hoels and well mo
As flames by nature to the skies afcend,
And the touch'd needle trembles to the pole;
All various founds from earth, and feas, and skies,
VER. 448. There various news I heard, etc.]
Of werres, of peace, of marriages,
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.