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Which all with quenched lamps, but smoking yet
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 .
Her brazen shield two sable dogs adorn,
Should muster up, and place in battle ’ray,
The setting Sun (man's state describing well)
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
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.
With sweet salutes awakes the drowsy light;
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:
Young Thomálin, whose notes and silver string
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 :
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?
Which by thy pow'r beats back these hellish sprites,
That though so few in number, never cease [crease, To keep this sieged town, 'gainst numbers numberless ?
The first commanders in this holy train
Leaders to all the rest, an ancient pair; . . .
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.
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."
$* Heb. iv. 12.
Her Mighty Spouse in fight, and fierce alarms
And on her shield a heav'nly globe (displaying
The constellations, lower bodies swaying,
A heav'nly offspring of a heav'nly bed :
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.
Is Knowledge, drawn from peace, and Muse's spring,
But now to bloody field is fully bent :
Yet still he seem'd to study as he went :
Garnish’d with golden suns and radiant flow'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,
Close to him went still-musing Contemplation,
That made good use of ills by meditation ;
Of Knowledge oft the ways and means inquiring,
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.
All other higher than himself esteemid;
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.
As hell, he hates advancement won with bribes;
Him (as his Lord) contents a lowly room,
Whose first house was the blessed virgin's womb,
So precious gold in deepest centre dwells ;