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Ant. Walker Inv. Del.et Sculp
Millions of suppliant Crouds the Shrine attend, And all degrees before the Goddess bend; • The Poor, the Rich, the Valiant, and the Sage, And boasting Youth, and narrative Old-age.
Call forth the greens,and wake the rifing flow'rs; When op'ning buds falute the welcome day, And earth relenting feels the genial ray; As balmy sleep had charm'd my cares to reft, 5 And love itself was banish'd from my breast, (What time the morn mysterious vifions brings, While purer flumbers spread their golden wings)
VER. I. In that foft feafon, etc.] This Poem is introduced in the manner of the Provencial Poets, whose works were for the moft part Visions, or pieces of imagination, and conftantly defcriptive. From thefe, Petrarch and Chaucer frequently borrow the idea of their poems. See the Trionfi of the former, and the Dream, Flower and the Leaf, etc. of the latter. The Author of this therefore chose the fame fort of Exordium.
A train of phantoms in wild order rose,
And join'd, this intellectual fcene compofe.
I stood, methought, betwixt earth,feas,and skies; The whole creation open to my eyes:
In air felf-balanc'd hung the globe below,
Where mountains rife and circling oceans flow;
Here naked rocks, and empty waftes were feen, 15
There tow'ry cities, and the forests green:
Here failing fhips delight the wand'ring eyes;
There trees, and intermingled temples rife;
Now a clear fun the fhining fcene difplays,
The tranfient landscape now in clouds decays, 20
O'er the wide Profpect as I gaz'd around,
Sudden I heard a wild promifcuous found,
Like broken thunders that at diftance roar,
Or billows murm'ring on the hollow fhore:
Then gazing up, a glorious pile beheld, 25
Whose tow'ring fummit ambient clouds conceal'd.
VER. II etc.] Thefe verfes are hinted from the following of Chaucer, Book ii.
Tho' beheld I fields and plains,
Now hills, and now mountains,
Now valeis, and now foreftes,
And now unneth great beftes,
Now rivers, row citces,
Now towns, now great trees,
Now hippes fayling in the fees. P.
High on a rock of Ice the structure lay,
Steep its afcent, and flipp'ry was the way;
The wond'rous rock like Parian marble fhone,
And feem'd to distant fight, of folid ftone.
Inferiptions here of various Names I view'd,
The greater part by hoftile time fubdu'd;
Yet wide was spread their fame in ages past,
And Poets once had promis'd they should laft.
VER. 27. High on a rock of Ice, etc.] Chaucer's third book
It stood upon fo high a rock;
Higher ftandeth none in Spayne-
What manner stone this rock was,
For it was like a lymed glass,
But that it shone full more clere;
But of what congel'd' matere'
It was, I nifte redily;
But at the laft efpied I,
And found that it was every dele,
A rock of ife, and not of stele.
VER. 31. Infcriptions here, etc.]
Tho faw I all the hill y-grave
With famous folkes names fele,
That had been in much wele ́
And her fames wide y-blow;
But well unneth might I know,
Any letters for to rede
Ther names by, for out of drede
They weren almoft off-thawen fo,
That of the letters one or two
Were molte away of every name,
So unfamous was woxe her fame;
But men faid, what may ever laft. P.
Some fresh engrav'd appear'd of Wits renown'd;
I look'd again, nor could their trace be found. 36
Critics I faw, that other names deface,
And fix their own, with labour, in their place:
Their own, like others, foon their place refign'd,
Or difappear'd, and left the firft behind.
Nor was the work impair'd by ftorms alone,
But felt th' approaches of too warm a fun;
For Fame, impatient of extremes, decays
Not more by envy than excess of Praife.
part no injuries of heav'n could feel,
Like crystal faithful to the graving steel:
VER. 41. Nor was the work impair'd, etc.]
Tho gan I in myne harte caft,
That they were molte away
And not away with ftormes beate.
VER.45. Yet part no injuries, etc.]
For on that other fide I fey
Of that hill which northward ley,
How it was written full of names
Of folke, that had afore great fames,
Of old time, and yet they were
As fresh as men had written hem there
The felf day, or that houre
That I on hem gan to poure:
But well I wifte what it made;
It was conferved with the fhade
(All the writing that I fye)
Of the caftle that stoode on high,
And stood eke in fo cold a place,
That heate might it not deface. P.