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How dare I then forsake my well-set bounds,
Whose new-cut pipe as yet but harshly sounds;
That Mantuan swain, who chang'd his slepder reed,
Their 'steps not following elose, but far admiring ;
Seemeth my backward tale would fain invite ; iii
Our daily guests and natives, yet unknown;
Our servants born, but now commanders grown ;
This happy Island first inhabited
Those claim'd their birth from that eternal Light
Held th' Işle, and rul'd it in their Father's right; And in their faces shone their parent's image bright.
In which at first it found a happy place,
Back to their father fled this heav'nly race,
And left the Isle forlorn and desolate ;
That now with fear, and wishes all too late, Sought in that blackest wave to hide his blacker fate.
Climb to th' empyreal court, where these states reign,
Their beams divine, and beauties do excel
Wbat here on Earth, in air, or Heav'n do dwell : Such never eye yet saw, such never tongue can tell.
Rush'd in a false, foul, fiend-like company,
The goodly temples which those heroes plac'd,
By this foul rout were utterly defac'd,
Deep in the earth she frames her pretty cell,
Infects her pleasant cave, the cleanly beast
So hates her inmate and rank smelling guest,
In Heav'n's high court to justice had complain'd,
And what foul people in their dwellings reign'd;
How th’Earth much wax'd in ill, much wan'd in good;
So full-ripe vice; how blasted virtue's bud : Begging such vicious weeds might sink in vengeful flood:
' XIII. Forth stepp'd the just * Dicæa, full of rage;
(The first born daughter of th’ Almighty King) Ah, sacred maid ! thy kindled ire asswage; Who dare abide thy dreadful thundering?
Soon as her voice, but “ Father' only, spake,
The faultless Heav'ns, like leaves in autumn, shake; And all that glorious throng with horrid palsies quake!
Her breath awak'd her Father's sleeping ire ?
Hark! how the pow'rful words strike through the ear;
The frighten'd sense shoots up the staring hair, And shakes the trembling soul with fright and shudd'ring
So have I seen the earth, strong winds detaining i
In prison close; they scorning to be under
Meanwhile the wounded earth, that forc'd their stay,
With terrour reels, the hills run far away; . And frighted world, fears Hell, breaks out upon the day.
* According to heathen mythology, the daughter of Jupiter, the maiden 3 oddess of justice and judgment.
f See the poem called Christ's Victory, &c. part I. stanza 18.
Soft hearted Mercy sweetly interposing,
The striking thunderer recalls his blows;
Puts out the Sun; anon the rattling hail
And fair his flaming beauties now unsteeps ;
The ploughman from his bushes gladly peeps;
Equal unto thy never equall'd sire;
The brightest day grows pale as leaden night,
Which calm’d thy Father and our desp’rate fears;
Then tlou dear *swain, thy heav'nly load unfraught;
For she herself hath thee her speeches taught, So near her Heav'n they bę, so far from buman thought.
* The author of Christ's Victory, &c.
· XX. But let my lighter skiff return again . ' ' uf.. .
Unto that little Ísle which late it left, Nor dare to enter in that boundless main, Or tell the nation from this Island reft ;
But sing that civil strife and home dissension
"Twixt two strong factions with like fierce contention, Where never peace is heard, nor ever peace is mention...
(Where first they dwelt in midst of death and night)
But that fair band which Mercy sent anew,
The ashes of that first heroic crew,*,
Yet their renowned sires were much more glorious ;
(In loss and conquest angry) fresh they fight :
Nor can the other cease or day or night,
With resolute and fearless expectation,
Till now at length Spain's fiery Dons 'gin shrink :
Down with their ships, hope, life, and courage sink : Courage, life, hope, and ships, the gaping surges drink.
* See the viith stanza of this canto.