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It chanc't the noble master of the dome
At length 'tis morn, and at the dawn of day, Along the wide canals the Zephyrs play:
60 Fresh o’er the gay parterres the breezes creep, And shake the neighb'ring wood to banish sleep. Up rise the guests, obedient to the call : An early banquet deck'd the fplendid hall; Rich luscious wine a golden goblet gracit, Which the kind mafter forc'd the guests to taste. Then, pleas'd and thankful, from the porch they go; And, but the landlord, none had cause of woe ; His cup was vanish'd; for in secret guise The younger guest purloin'd the glittering prize.
As one who 'spys a serpent in his way, Gliftning and baking in the summer ray, Disorder'd stops to shun the danger near, Then walks with faintness on, and looks with fear; So, seem'd the fire ; when far upon the road, 75 The shining spoil his wiley partner show'd.
He stopp'd with filence, walk'd with trembling heart, And much he wish'd, but durft not ask to part: Murm’ring he lifts his eyes, and thinks it hard, That generous actions meet a base reward. 80
While thus they pass, the sun his glory shrouds, The changing skies hang out their fable clouds; A found in air prefag'd approaching rain, And beasts to covert scud across the plain. Warn’d by the signs, the wand’ring pair retreat, To seek for shelter at a neighb'ring feat. 86 'Twas built with turrets, on a rising ground, And strong, and large, and unimprov'd around; Its owner's temper, tim'rous and severe, Unkind and griping, caus'd a desert there. Qo
As near the Miser's heavy doors they drew, Fierce rising gusts with sudden fury blew ; The nimble lightning mix'd with show’rs began, And o'er their heads loud-rolling thunder ran. Here long they knock, but knock or call in vain, Driv'n by the wind, and battered by the rain. At length some pity warm’d the master's breast, ('Twas then his threshold first receiv'd a guest); Slow creaking turns the door with jealous care, And half he welcomes in the shivering pair ; 100 One frugal faggot lights the naked walls, And nature's fervor thro’ their limbs recals : Bread of the coursest fort, with
eager wine, (Each hardly granted) serv'd them both to dine ; And when the tempest first appear'd to cease, 105 A ready warning bid them part in peace.
With still remark the pond'ring Hermit view'd, In one so rich, a life so
and rude; And why should such (within himself he cry'd,) Lock the loft wealth a thousand want beside ? 110 But what new marks of wonder soon took place, In ev'ry settling feature of his face, When from his vest the young companion bore That cup,
generous landlord own'd before, And paid profusely with the precious bowl 115 The ftinted kindness of this churlish foul
But now the clouds in airy tumult fly; The sun emerging opes an azure sky; A fresher green the smelling leaves display, And, glitt'ring as they tremble, cheer the day : The weather courts them from the poor retreat, And the glad master bolts the wary gate. While hence they walk, the Pilgrim's bosom
wrought With all the travel of uncertain thought; His partner's acts without their cause appear, 125 'Twas there a vice, and seem'd a madness here: Detesting that, and pitying this, he goes, Lost and confounded with the various shows.
Now night's dim shades again involve the sky, Again the wand'rers want a place to lye, Again they search, and find a lodging nigh.
The foil improv'd around, the manfion neat,
Without a vain, without a yielding heart, 140
At length the world, renew'd by calm repose, Was strong for toil; the dappled morn arose ; Before the pilgrims part, the younger crept, 150 Near the clos'd cradle where an infant slept, And writh'd his neck: the landlord's little pride, O ftrange return! grew black, and gasp'd, and dy'd. Horrour of horrours ! what! his only fon! How look'd our Hermit when the fact was done? Not hell, tho' hell's black jaws in sunder part, And breathe blue fire, cou'd more assault his heart,
Confus'd, and struck with silence at the deed, He fies, but trembling fails to fly with speed,
His steps the youth pursues ; the country lay 160
Though loud at first the pilgrim's passion grew, Sudden he gaz'd, and wist not what to do; Surprize in secret chains his words suspends, And in a calm his settling temper ends. 185 But filence here the beauteous Angel broke (The voice of music ravish'd as he spoke).