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LVI.
In's arms, his mind the workman fit express'd,

Which all with quenched lamps, but smoking yet
And foully stinking, were full quaintly dress'd
To blind, not light the eyes, to choke, not heat : .

Upon his shield a heap of fenny mire,

In flags and turfs (with suns yet never drier) Did smoth’ring lie, not burn: his word, “Smoke without LVII.

[fire. Last Impudence, whose never-changing face

Knew but one colour ; with some brass-brow'd lie, And laughing loud she drowns her just disgrace: About her all the fiends in armies fly :

Her feather'd beaver sidelong cock’d, in guise

Of roaring boys ; set look, with fixed eyes .
Out-looks all shame-fac'd forms, all modesty defies,

LVIII.
And as her thoughts, so arms all black as Hell,

Her brazen shield two sable dogs adorn,
Who each at other stare, and sparl, and swell :
Beneath the word was set, - All change I scorn.'
But if I all this rout in foul array

Should muster up, and place in battle ’ray,
Too long yourselves and flocks my tedious song would stay,

LIX.
The aged day grows dim, and homeward calls :

The setting Sun (man's state describing well)
Falls when he rises, rises when he falls;
So we by falling rose, by rising fell.

The gloomy cloud of night 'gins softly creep, ..

And all our world with sable tincture steep : Home now ye shepherd-swains ; home now my loved

sheep.”

CANTO IX:

1.

While Mora the Earth Sudd drove

THE bridegroom Sun, who late the earth espous’d,

Leaves his star-chamber; early in the east He shook his sparkling locks, head lively rous'd,

While Morn his couch with blushing roses drest; . His shines the Earth soon latcht to gild her flow'rs :

Phosphor his gold-fleec'd drove folds in their bow'rs, Which all the night had graz’d about th’ Olympic tow'rs.

II.
The cheerful lark, mounting from early bed,

With sweet salutes awakes the drowsy light;
The Earth she left, and up to Heav'n is fled ;
There chants her Maker's praises out of sight.

Earth seems a mole-hill, men but ants to be; · Teaching the proud, that soar to high degree, The further up they climb, the less they seem and see:

III.
The shepherds met, and Thomalin began;

Young Thomálin, whose notes and silver string
Silence the rising lark, and falling swan :
6 Come Thirsil, end thy lay, and cheerly sing ;

Hear'st how the larks give welcome to the day,

Temp’ring their sweetest notes unto thy lay; Up then, thou loved swain ; why dost thou longer stay?"

IV. “ Well sett'st thou, friend, the lark before mine eyes,

Much easier to hear than imitate :
Her wings lift up her notes to lofty skies ;

But me a leaden sleep, and earthly state,

Down to the centre tie with captive string ::

Well might I follow here her note and wing; Singing she lofty mounts : ah! mounting should I siug?

V.
Oh, thou dread King of that heroic band !

Which by thy pow'r beats back these hellish sprites,
Rescuing this state from death and base command
Tell me dread King! what are those warlike knights ?
What force ? what arms? where lies their strength's in-

That though so few in number, never cease [crease, To keep this sieged town, 'gainst numbers numberless ?

VI.

The first commanders in this holy train

Leaders to all the rest, an ancient pair; . . .
Long since sure link'd in wedlock's sweetest chain ;
His name Spirito, she Urania fair :

Fair had she been, and full of heav'nly grace,

And he in youth a mighty warrior was, Both now more fair and strong, which prov'd their heav'nly race.

VII.
His arms, with flaming tongues all sparkled bright,

Bright flaming tougues, in diver's sections parted; His piercing sword, edg'd with their fiery light, 'Twixt bones and marrow, soul and spirit disparted*,

Upon his shield was drawn a glorious Dove,

'Gainst whom the proudest eagle dares not move; Glittring in beams : his word, · Conqu’ring by peace and love."

VIII.
But she Amazon-like, in azure arms,
Silver'd with stars, and gilt with sunny rays :-

$* Heb. iv. 12.

Her Mighty Spouse in fight, and fierce alarms
Attends, and equals in these bloody frays;

And on her shield a heav'nly globe (displaying

The constellations, lower bodies swaying,
Sway'd by the higher) she bore: her word, "I ruleobeying.'.

IX.
About them swarm'd their fruitful progeny ;

A heav'nly offspring of a heav'nly bed :
Well mought you in their looks his stoutness see,
With her sweet graces lovely tempered.

Fit youths they seem'd to play in Princes hall,

(But, ah! long since they thence were banish’d* all) Or shine in glittring arms, when need fierce war doth call.

X.
The first in order (nor in worth the last)

Is Knowledge, drawn from peace, and Muse's spring,
Where shaded in fair Sinai's groves, his taste
He feasts with words, and works of heav'nly king; .

But now to bloody field is fully bent :

Yet still he seem'd to study as he went :
His arins cut all in books; strong shield slight papers lent.

XI.
His glittring armour shin'd like burning day,

Garnish’d with golden suns and radiant flow'rs;
Which turn their bending heads to Phæbus' ray,
And when he falls, shut up their leafy bow'rs :

Upon his shield the silver Moon did bend

Her horned bow, and round her arrows spend : His word in silver wrote, I borrow what I lend.'

. XII. All that he saw, all that he heard, were books, In which he read and learn’d his Maker's will:

* Canto iv, stanza 8.

Most on his word, yet much on Heav'n he looks,
And thence admires with praise the workman's skill.

Close to him went still-musing Contemplation,

That made good use of ills by meditation ;
So to him ill itself was good, by strange mutation :

XIII.
And Care*, who dever from his sides would part,

Of Knowledge oft the ways and means inquiring,
To practise what he learn'd from holy art;
And oft with tears, and oft with sighs desiring

Aid from that Sov'reign Guide, whose ways so steep,

Though fain he would, yet weak, he could not keep : But when he could not go, yet forward would he creep.

XIV.
Next Tapinust, whose sweet, tho' lowly grace,

All other higher than himself esteemid;
He in himself priz'd things as mean and base,
Which yet in others great and glorious seem’d: .

All ill due debt, good undeserv'd he thought;

His heart a low-roof'd house, but sweetly wrought, Where God himself would direll, though he it dearly bought.

XV.
Honour he shuns, yet is the way unto him;

As hell, he hates advancement won with bribes;
But public place and charge, are forc'd to woo him ;
He good to grace, ill to desert ascribes :

Him (as his Lord) contents a lowly room,

Whose first house was the blessed virgin's womb,
The next a cratch, the third a cross, the fourth a tomb.

XVI.
So choicest drugs in meanest shrubs are found;

So precious gold in deepest centre dwells ;
* 2 Cor.vii, 11. What carefulness, &c. Humility,

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