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CANTO XI. . .

THE early morn lets out the peeping day,

And strew'd his path with splendid marigolds: The Moon grows wan, and stars fly all away, Whom Lucifer locks up in wonted folds

Till light is quench’d, and Heav'n in seas hath ffung

The headlong day :-to th' hill the shepherd's throng, And Thirsil now began to end his task and song. . : II. .

. “ Who now, alas ! shall teach my humble vein,

That never yet durst peep from covert glade;
But softly learnt for fear to sigh and plain, . .
And vert his griefs to silent myrtle's shade?

Who now shall teach to change my oaten quill

For trumpets ’larms, or humble verses fill With graceful majesty, and lofty rising skill?

' III. Ah, thou dread Spirit! shed thy holy fire,

Thy holy flame into my frozen heart; Teach thou my creeping measures to aspire, And swell in bigger notes and higher art:

Teach my low Muse thy fierce alarms to ring,

And raise my soft strain to high thundering :
Tune thou my lofty song; thy battles must I sing.

IV.
Such as thou wert within the sacred breast

Of that thrice famous poet, shepherd, king;
And taught'st his heart to frame his cantos, best

Of all that e'er thy glorious work did sing:

Or as those holy fishers once amongs

Thou flamedst bright with sparkling parted tongues ; And brought'st down Hear'n to Earth in those all conqu’ring songs.

V.
These mighty Heroes, fill'd with justest rage

To be in narrow walls so closely pent,
Glitt'ring in arms and goodly equipage,
Stood at the castle's gate, now ready bent

To sally out, and meet the enemy :

A hot disdain sparkled in every eye, Breathing out hateful war and deadly enmity.

VI. Thither repairs the careful Intellect,

With his fair spouse Voletta, heav'nly fair : With both,' their daughter; whose divine aspect, Though ņow sad damps of sorrow much impair,

Yet through those clouds did shine so glorious bright,

That every eye did homage to the sight,
Yielding their captive hearts to that commanding light.

VII.
But who may hope to paint such majesty,

Or shadow well such beauty, such a face :
Such beauteous face, unseen to mortal eye?
Whose pow'rful looks, and more than mortal grace

Love's self hath lov’d, leaving his heav'nly throne, . With amoroas sighs and many a lovely moan, (Whom all the world would woo) woo'd her his only one,

VIII,
Far be that boldness from thy humble swain,

Fairest Eclecta, to describe thy beauty,
And with unable skill thy glory stain,

Which, ever he admires with humble duty >

But who to view such blaze of beauty longs,

Go he to Sinai, th' holy groves amongs ;
Where that wise shepherd chants her in his song of songs.

IX.
The Island's King with sober countenance

Aggrates the Knights, who thus his right defended;
And with grave speech and comely amenance*,
Himself, his state, his spouse, to them commended :

His lovely child, that by him pensive stands,

He last delivers to their valiant hands; And her to thank the Knights, her champions, he commands.

The God-like Maid awhile all silent stood,

And down to th' earth let fall her humble eyes ; While modest thoughts shot up the flaming blood, Which fir'd her scarlet cheek with rosy dyes ;

But soon to quench the heat, that lordly reigns,

From her fair eye a show'r of crystal rains, Which with its silver streams, o'er-runs the beauteous plains.

. XI. '
As when the Sun in midst of summer's heat.

Draws up thin vapours with his potent ray, .
Forcing dull waters from their native seat;
At length dim clouds shadow the burning day:

Till coldest air, soon melted into show'rs,.

Upon the Earth' his welcome anger pours,
And Heav'n's clear forehead now wipes off her former lowrs.

XII. .
At length, a little lifting up her eyes,

A renting sigh way for her sorrow brake,
Which from her heart'gan in her face to rise ;
And first in th’eye, then in the lip, thus spake ;

* i. e. Behaviour.

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Ab, gentle Knights, how may a simple Maid,
With justest grief, and wrong so ill appay'd,
Give due reward for such your pains and friendly aid ?

XIII.
But if my Princely Spouse do not delay

His timely presence in my greatest need,
He will for me your friendly love repay,
And well requite this your so gentle deed :

Then let no fear your mighty hearts assail :

His word's himself; himself he cannot fạil. Long may he stay, yet sure he comes, and must prevail.'

. XIV. By this the long-shut gate was open laid;

Soon out they rush in order well arrang'd:. . And fast'ning in their eyes that heav'nly Maid, How oft for fear her fairest colour chang'd!

Her looks, her worth, her goodly grace, and state,

Comparing with her present wretched fate,
Pity whets just revenge, and love's fire kindles hate.

XV.
Long at the gate the thoughtful Intellect

Stay'd with his fearful queen and daughter fair ;
But when the Knights were past their dim aspect,
They follow them with vows and many a prayor :

At last they climb up to the castle's height;

From which they view'd the deeds of ev'ry Knight And mark'd the doubtful end of this intestine fight.

XVI.
As when a youth bound for the Belgick war,

Takes leave of friends upon the Kentish shore;
Now are they parted, and he sail'd so far

They see not now, and now are seen no more i

uy

Yet far off viewing the white trembling sails,

The tender mother soon plucks off her vails,
And shaking them aloft, unto her son she hails.

XVII.
Mean time these champions march in fit array,

Till both the armies now were come in sight :
Awhile each other boldly viewing stay,
With short delays whetting fierce rage and spite.' '

Sound now, ye trumpets, sound alarums loud;

Hark, how their clamours whet their anger proud! See, yonder are they met in midst of dusty cloud !

XVIII.
So oft the South with civil enmity

Musters his wat’ry forces 'gainst the West;
The rolling clouds come tumbling up the sky
In dark folds wrapping up their angry guest :

At length the flame breaks from th' impris'ning cold

With horrid noise tearing the limber mould: While down in liquid tears the broken vapours rollid.

XIX.
First did that warlike Maid herself advance ;

And riding from amidst her company,
About her helmet wav'd her mighty lance,
Daring to fight the proudest enemy:

Porneius* soon his ready spear addrest,

And close advancing on his hasty beast,
Bent his sharp-headed lance against her dainty breast.

XX.
In vain the broken staff sought entrance there,

Where Love himself oft entrance sought in vain :
But much unlike the martial Virgin's spear,
Which low dismounts her foe on dusty plain,

* Seę canto vis. stanza 19.

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