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Before her, fancy's gilded clouds decay,
In vain they gaze, turn giddy, rave, and die.
Ibid. The sable throne behold.] The sable thrones of Night and Chaos, hero represented as advancing to extin guish the light of the sciences, in the first place blot out the colours of fancy, and damp the fire of wit, before they pro teed to their work.
Ver. 641. Truth to her old cavern fled,] Alluding to the saying of Democritus, that 'Truth lay at the bottom of a deep well, from whence he had drawn her;' though Butler savs, He first put her in, before he drew her out."
Ver. 649. Religion, blushing, veils her sacred fires,] Blushing as well at the memory of the past overflow of Duiness, when the barbarous learning of so many ages was wholly employed in corrupting the simplicity, and defiling the purity of religion, as at the view of these her false sup ports in the present; of which it would be endless to recount the particulars. However, amidst the extinction of all other lights, she is said only to withdraw hers: as hers alone in As own nature is unextinguishable and eternal.
Ver. 650. And unawares morality expires.] It appears from hence that our poet was of very different sentiments from the author of the Characteristics, who has written a formal treatise on virtue, to prove it not only real, but dura
Nor public flame, nor private dares to shine;
ble without the support of religion. The word Unawares alludes to the confidence of those men who suppose that morality would flourish best without it, and consequently to the surprise such would be in (if any such there are) who, indeed, love virtue, and yet do all they can to root out the religion of their country.
END OF VOLUME 13.