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XXI.
Amid this verdant grove with folemn state,
On golden thrones of antique form reclin’d,
In mimick majetty Nine Virgins fate,
In features various, as unlike in mind :
Alse boasted they themselves of heav'nly kind,
And to the sweet Parnafian Nymphs allied ;
Thence round their brows the Delphick bay they twin'd,

And matching with high names their apish pride,
O'er every learned school aye claim'd they to preside.

XXII.
In antique garbs, for modern they disdain'd,
By Greek and Roman artists whilom made,
Of various woofs, and variously distain'd
With tints of ev'ry hue, were they array'd;
And here and there ambitiously display'd
A purple shred of some rich robe, prepared
Erft by the Muses or th' Aonian Maid,

To deck great Tullius or the Mantuan Bard;
Which o’er each motley vest with uncoath splendor glared,

XXIII.
And well their outward vesture did express
The bent and habit of their inward mind,
Affecting Wisdom's antiquated dress,
And usages by Time cast far behind.

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Whilom, formerly.

Thence,

Thence, to the charms of younger Science blind,
The customs, laws, the learning, arts and phrase
Of their own countries they with scorn declin'd;

Ne sacred Truth herself would they embrace,
Unwarranted, unknown in their fore-fathers' days.

XXIV.
Thus ever backward casting their survey ;
To Rome's old ruins and the

groves

forlorn Of elder Athens, which in prospect lay Stretch'd out beneath the mountain, would they turn Their bufy search, and o'er the rubbish mourn. Then gathering up with superstitious care, Each little scrap, however foul or torn,

In grave harangues they boldly would declare, This Ennius, Varro; This the Stag yrite did wear.

XXV. Yet, under names of venerable sound, Wide o'er the world they stretch'd their aweful rod; Through all the provinces of Learning own'd For teachers of whate'er is wife and good. Alse from each region to their i drad abode Came youth unnumber'd, crowding all to taste The Areams of Science ; which united flow'd

Adown the mount, from nine rich sources caft ; And to the vale below in one rude torrent pass'd.

| Drad, dreadful.

B 3

XXVI, O'er

XXVI.
O'er every source, protectress of the stream,
One of those Virgin Sifters did preside;
Who, dignifying with her noble name
Her proper flood, aye pour'd into the tide
The heady vapours of scholaftick pride
Despotical and abject, bold and blind,
Fierce in debate, and forward to decide ;

Vain love of praise, with adulation join'd,
And disingenuous scorn, and impotence of mind.

XXVII.
Extending from the hill on every side,
In circuit vaft a verdant valley spread;
Across whose uniform flat bosom glide
Ten thousand streams, in winding mazes led,
By various sluices from one common head;
A turbid mass of waters, vast, profound,
Hight of Philology the lake; and fed

By that rude torrent, which with roaring found
Came tumbling from the hill, and flow'd the level round.

XXVIII.
And every where this spacious valley o'er,
Fast by each stream was seen a numerous throng
Of beardless itriplings to the birch-crown'd shore,
By nurses, guardians, fathers dragg'd along:

1

Whe

Who helpless, meek, and innocent of wrong,
Were torn reluctant from the tender side
Of their fond mothers, and by k faitours strong,

By pow'r made infolent, and hard by pride,
Were driv'n with furious rage, and lash'd into the tide,

XXIX.
On the rade bank with trembling feet they stood,
And casting round their oft-reverted eyes,
If haply they mote 'scape the hated flood,
Fill'd all the plain with lamentable.cries ;
But far away th' unheeding father flies,
Constrain'd his strong compunctions to repress;
While close behind, affuming the disguise

Of nurturing care, and smiling tenderness,
With secret scourges arm'd those griefly faitours press.

XXX.
As on the steepy margin of a brook,
When the young fun with flowery Maia rides,
With innocent dismay a bleating flock
Crowd back, affrighted at the rolling tides :
The shepherd-fwain at first exhorting chides
Their ? seely fear; at length impatient grown,
With his rude crook he wounds their tender fides;

And all regardless of their piteous moan,
Into the dashing wave compels them furious down.

* Faitour, doer, from faire to do, and fait deed, commonly used by Spenser in a bad sense. Seely, fimple.

B4

XXXI. Thus

XXXI.
Thus urg'd by maft'ring Fear and dol'rous ? Teen
Into the current plung'd that infant crowd.
Right piteous was the spectacle, I ween,
Of tender striplings staind with tears and blood,
Perforce conflicting with the bitter flood;
And labouring to attain the distant Thore,
Where holding forth the gown of manbood food

The firen Liberty, and ever-more
Sollicited their hearts with her inchanting lore.

XXXII.
Irksome and long the passage was, perplex'd
With rugged rocks on which the raving tide
By sudden bursts of angry tempests vex'd
Oft dash'd the youth, whose strength mote ill abide
With head up-lifted o'er the waves to ride.
Whence many wearied ere they had o'er-past
The middle stream (for they in vain have tried)

Again return'd m aftounded and aghaft;
Ne one regardful look would ever backward caft.

XXXIII.
Some, of a rugged, more enduring frame,
Their toilsome course with patient pain pursu'd ;
And tho' with many a bruise and n muchel blame,
Eft hanging on the rocks, and eft embru'd

! Teen, pain,grief. m Afounded, astonish'd. n Muchel, much.

Deep

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