« EelmineJätka »
Of these a gloomy tribe furround the throne,
And beg to make th’immortal treasons known..
The trumpet roars, long flaky flames expire, 415
With sparks, that seem'd to set the world on fire.
At the dread found, pale mortals ftood aghast,
And ftartled nature trembled with the blast.
This having heard and feen, fome pow'r unknown Strait chang'd the fcene, and fnatch'd me from the throne.
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 caftle faft by
A house, that Domus Dedali
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 house hath of entrees
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
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..
Before my view appear'd a structure fair,
Its fite uncertain, if in earth or air;
With rapid motion turn'd the mansion round;
With ceaseless noise the ringing walls refound
Not lefs in number were the spacious doors,
Than leaves on trees, or fands upon the shores; 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,
As to the fea returning rivers roll,
And the touch'd needle trembles to the pole s
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 expanse of crystal lakes
The finking stone at firft a circle makes
The trembling furface by the motion stir'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:
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 lefs than one hundred and twenty verfes, beginning thus, Geffray, thou wotteft well this, etc. P.
Thus ev'ry voice and found, when first they break,
On neighb'ring air a foft impreflion make;
Another ambient circle then they move;
That, in its turn, impels the next above;
Thro' undulating air the founds are sent,
And spread o'er all the fluid element.
There various news I heard of love and ftrife, Of peace and war, health, sickness, death and life, Of lofs and gain, of famine and of store,
Of storms at sea, and travels on the shore,
Of prodigies, and portents feen in air,
Of fires and plagues, and ftars with blazing hair,
Of turns of Fortune, changes in the state,
The falls of fav'rites, projects of the great,
Of old mismanagements, taxations new:
All neither wholly false, ñor wholly true.
VER. 448. There various news I heard, etc.]
Of werres, of peace, of marriages,
Of reft, of labour, of voyages,
Of abode, of dethe, and of life,
Of love and hate, accord and ftrife,
Of lofs, of lore, and of winnings,
Of hele, of ficknefs, and leffings,
Of divers tranfmutations
Of eftates and eke of regions,
Of truft, of drede, of jealousy,
Of wit, of winning, and of folly,
Of good, or bad government,
Of fire, and of divers accident. P.
Above, below, without, within, around,
Confus'd, unnumber'd multitudes are found,
Who pafs, repass, advance, and glide away; 460
Hofts rais'd by fear, and phantoms of a day :
Aftrologers, that future fates foreshew,
Projectors, quacks, and lawyers not a few;
And priests, and party-zealots, num'rous bands
With home-born lies, or tales from foreign lands;
Each talk'd aloud, or in some secret place,
And wild impatience star'd in ev'ry face.
The flying rumours gather'd as they roll'd,
tale was sooner heard than told;
VER. 458. Above, below, without, within, etc.]
But fuch a grete Congregation
Of folke as I faw roame about,
Some within, and fome without,
Was never feen, ne fhall be eft-
And every wight that I faw there
Rowned everich in others ear
A new tyding privily,
Or elfe he told it openly.
Right thus, and faid, Knowft not thou
That is betide to night now?
No, quoth he, tell me what?
And then he told him this and that, etc.
Thus north and south
Went every tiding fro mouth to mouth,
And that encreasing evermo,
As fire is wont to quicken and go
From a sparkle fprong amifs,
Till all the citee brent up is. P.
And all who told it added something new, 47
And all who heard it, made enlargements too,
In ev'ry ear it spread, on ev'ry tongue it grew.
Thus flying east and west, and north and south,
News travel'd with increase from mouth to mouth.
So from a fpark, that kindled first by chance, 475
With gath'ring force the quick'ning flames advance;
Till to the clouds their curling heads afpire,
And tow'rs and temples fink in floods of fire.
When thus ripe lyes are to perfection fprung, Full grown and fit to grace a mortal tongue, 480 Thro' thousand vents, impatient, forth they flow, And rush in millions on the world below.
Fame fits aloft, and points them out their course,
Their date determines, and prescribes their force:
Some to remain, and fome to perifh foon; 485
Or wane and wax alternate like the moon.
Around, a thousand winged wonders fly,
Born by the trumpet's blaft, and scatter'd thro' the
There, at one paffage, oft you might survey A lye and truth contending for the way;
VER. 489. There, at one passage, etc.]
And fometime I faw there at once,