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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;
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 :
Of that thrice famous poet, shepherd, king;
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.
To be in narrow walls so closely pent,
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,
Or shadow well such beauty, such a face :
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,
Fairest Eclecta, to describe thy beauty,
Which, ever he admires with humble duty >
But who to view such blaze of beauty longs,
Go he to Sinai, th' holy groves amongs ;
Aggrates the Knights, who thus his right defended;
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. '
Draws up thin vapours with his potent ray, .
Till coldest air, soon melted into show'rs,.
Upon the Earth' his welcome anger pours,
A renting sigh way for her sorrow brake,
* i. e. Behaviour.
Ab, gentle Knights, how may a simple Maid,
His timely presence in my greatest need,
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,
Stay'd with his fearful queen and daughter fair ;
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.
Takes leave of friends upon the Kentish shore;
They see not now, and now are seen no more i
Yet far off viewing the white trembling sails,
The tender mother soon plucks off her vails,
Till both the armies now were come in sight :
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 !
Musters his wat’ry forces 'gainst the West;
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.
And riding from amidst her company,
Porneius* soon his ready spear addrest,
And close advancing on his hasty beast,
Where Love himself oft entrance sought in vain :
* Seę canto vis. stanza 19.