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The dire report through every region flies, 335
smoke:? The poisonous vapour blots the purple skies, And withers all before it as it flies.
341 A troop came next, who crowns and armour
wore, And proud defiance in their looks they bore: “For thee (they cried), amidst alarms and
strife, We sailed in tempests down the stream of life;
345 For thee whole nations filled with flames and
blood, And swam to empire through the purple
flood. Those ills we dared, thy inspiration own, What virtue seemed, was done for thee alone.” “ Ambitious fools! (the Queen replied, and
frowned,) Be all your acts in dark oblivion drowned ; There sleep forgot, with mighty tyrants gone,
1 - Therewithal there came anone
Another huge companye
Your statues mouldered, and your names un
known !” A sudden cloud straight snatched them from
my sight, And each majestic phantom sunk in night. 355
Then came the smallest tribe I yet had seen ;? Plain was their dress, and modest was their
mien. “ Great idol of mankind! we neither claim The praise of merit, nor aspire to fame! But safe in deserts from the applause of men, Would die unheard of, as we lived unseen; 361 'Tis all we beg thee, to conceal from sight Those acts of goodness, which themselves re
quite. O let us still the secret joy partake, To follow virtue ev’n for virtue's sake.” 365.
1 “I saw anone the fifth route,
That to this lady gan loute,
“What (quoth she), and be ye wood ?
“And live there men, who slight immortal
fame? Who then with incense shall adore our name? But, mortals! know, 'tis still our greatest pride To blaze those virtues, which the good would hide.
369 Rise! Muses, rise! add all your tuneful breath, These must not sleep in darkness and in death." She said: in air the trembling music floats, And on the winds triumphant swell the notes; So soft, though high, so loud, and yet so clear, Ev'n listening angels leaned from heaven to hear :
375 To farthest shores the ambrosial spirit flies, Sweet to the world, and grateful to the skies. Next these a youthful train their vows ex
pressed, With feathers crowned, with gay embroidery
dressed : “Hither, (they cried,) direct your eyes, and see The men of pleasure, dress, and gallantry; 381 Ours is the place at banquets, balls, and plays, Sprightly our nights, polite are all our days; Courts we frequent, where 'tis our pleasing
To pay due visits, and address the fair: 385
1 The reader might compare these twenty-eight lines following, which contain the same matter, with eighty-four of Chaucer, beginning thus :
“ Tho came the sixthe companye,
And gan faste to Fame cry, being too prolix to be here inserted.-P.
The joy let others have, and we the name, 390 And what we want in pleasure grant in fame.” The Queen assents, the trumpet rends the
skies, And at each blast a lady's honour dies. Pleased with the strange success, vast numbers
pressed Around the shrine, and made the same re
395 “What! you, (she cried) unlearned in arts to
please, Slaves to yourselves, and ev'n fatigued with
ease, Who lose a length of undeserving days, Would you usurp the lover's dear-bought
praise ? To just contempt, ye vain pretenders, fall, 400 The people's fable, and the scorn of all." Straight the black clarion sends a horrid sound, Loud laughs burst out, and bitter scoffs fly
round, Whispers are heard, with taunts reviling loud, And scornful hisses run through all the crowd. Last, those who boast of mighty mischiefs done,
406 Enslave their country, or usurp a throne; Or who their glory's dire foundation laid On sovereigns ruined, or on friends betrayed; Calm, thinking villains, whom no faith could
fix, Of crooked counsels and dark politics; Of these a gloomy tribe surround the throne, And beg to make the immortal treasons known. The trumpet roars, long flaky flames expire,
1 “ Tho came another companye,
That had ydone the treachery,” &c.-P.
With sparks, that seemed to set the world on fire.
- 415 At the dread sound, pale mortals stood aghast, And startled Nature trembled with the blast. This having heard and seen, some power un
known' Straight changed the scene, and snatched me
from the throne. Before my view appeared a structure fair, 420 Its site uncertain, if in earth or air; With rapid motion turned the mansion round; With ceaseless noise the ringing walls resound; Not less in number were the spacious doors, Than leaves on trees, or sands upon the shores ; Which still unfolded stand, by night, by day, 426 Pervious to winds, and open every way.
1 The scene here changes from the Temple of Fame to that of Rumour, which is almost entirely Chaucer's. The particulars follow :
“ Tho saw I stonde in a valey,