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Deep in the muddy stream, with hearts fubdu'd
And quail'd by labour, gain'd the shore at last,
But in life's pra&ick • lear unskill'd and rude,
Forth to that forked bill they filent pac'd;
Where hid in studious shades their fruitless hours they waste.
XXXIV. Others of rich and noble lineage bred, Though with the crowd to pass the flood constrain'd, Yet o'er the crags with fond indulgence led By bireling guides and in all depths sustain'd, Skimm'd lightly o'er the tide, undipt, unstain'd, Save with the sprinkling of the wat'ry spray: And aye their proud prerogative maintain'd,
Of ignorance and ease and wanton play,
Soft harbingers of vice, and præmature decay.
A few, alas, how few! by heav'n's high will
With fubtile spirits endow'd and finews ftrong,
P Albe forę 9 mated by the tempefts Thrill,
That bellow'd fierce and rife the rocks among,
By their own native vigour borne along
Cut briskly through the waves; and forces new,
Gathering from toil, and ardor from the throng
Of rival youths, outstript the labouring crew,
And to the true' Parnasse, and heav'n-thron'd glory flew.
Dire was the tumult, and from every
Discordant echoes struck the deafen'd ear,
Heart-thrilling cries, with fobs and • fingults fore
Short-interrupted, the imploring tear,
And furious stripes, and angry threats severe,
Confus’dly mingled with the jarring found
Of all the various speeches that while-ere
On Shinar's wide-Spread champain did astound
High Babel's builders vain, and their proud works confound.
Much was the KNIGHT empaffion'd at the scene,
But more his blooming son, whose tender breaft
Empierced deep with fympathizing teen
On his pale cheek the signs of dread imprefs’d,
And fill'd his eyes with tears, which sore distress’d
Up to his fire he rais'd in mournful wise ;
Who with sweet smiles paternal foon redress'd
His troublous thoughts, and clear'd each fad surmise ;
Then turns his ready steed, and on his journey hies.
But far he had not march'd ere he was stay'd
By a rude voice, that like th' united found
Of shouting myriads, through the valley bray'd,
And shook the groves, the floods, and solid ground:
The diftant hills rebellow'd all around.
“ Arrest, Sir Knight, it cried, thy fond career,
“ Nor with presumptuous disobedience wound
« That aweful majesty, which all revere ! " In my commands, Sir Knight, the voice of nations hear!
Quick turn'd the KNIGHT, and saw upon the plain
Advancing tow'rds him with impetuous gate,
And visage all inflamed with fierce disdain,
A monstrous Giant, on whose brow elate
Shone the bright ensign of imperial ftate;
Albeit lawful kingdom he had none ;
But laws and kingdoms wont he oft create,
And oft times over both erect his throne,
While fenates, priests and kings his u sov'ran sceptre own.
CUSTOM he hight; and aye in every land
Usurp'd dominion with despotick sway
O'er all he holds; and to his high command
Constrains even stubborn Nature to obey ;
Whom difpoffefling oft, he doth affay
To govern in her right: and with a pace
So soft and gentle doth he win his way,
That she unwares is caught in his embrace,
And tho’deflowr'dand thrallèd nought feels her fouldisgrace.
u Sou'ran, for sovereign.
For nurt'ring, even from their tend'rest age;
The docile sons of men withouten pain,
By disciplines and rules to every stage
Of life accommodate, he doth them train
Insensibly to wear and hug his chain.
Alle his beheits or gentle or severe,
Or good or noxious, rational or vain,
He craftily persuades them to revere,
As inftitutions fage, and venerable lear.
Protector therefore of that forked bill,
And mighty patron of those Sifiers Nine,
Who there enthrond, with many a copious rill
Feed the full streams, that through the valley shine,
He deemed was; and aye with rites divine,
* Like those, which Sparta's hardy race of yore
Were wont perform at fell Diana's fhrine,
He doth constrain his vassals to adore
Perforce their sacred names, and learn their sacred lore.
And to the Fairy Knight now drawing near,
With voice terrifick and imperious mien,
(All was he wont less dreadful to appear,
When known and practised than at distance feen)
* I be Lacedemonians in order to make their children bardy and endure pain with conftancy and courage, were ac. customed to cause them to be scourged very feverely. And I
And kingly stretching forth his sceptre fheen,
Him he commandeth, upon threat'ned pain
Of his displeasure high and vengeance keen,
From his rebellious purpose to refrain,
And all due honours pay to Learning's rev'rend train.
So saying and forestalling all reply,
His peremptory hand without delay,
As one who little cared to justify
His princely will, long us’d to boundless sway,
Upon the Fairy Youth with great dismay
In every quaking limb convuls'd, he lay'd :
And proudly stalking o'er the verdant y lay,
Him to those scientifick streams convey'd,
With many his young compeers therein to be 2 embay'd.
The Knight his tender fon's distressful a four
Percejving, swift to his affiftance flew :
Ne vainly stay'd to deprecate that pow'r,
Which from fubmiflion aye more haughty grew.
For that proud Giant's force he wisely knew,
Not to be meanly dreaded, nor defyd
With rash presumption; and with courage true,
Rather than step from Virtue's paths aside, Oft had he fingly scorn'd his all-dismaying pride. myself (says Plutarch, in his life of Lycurgus) have seexe several of them endure whipping to death, at the foot of the altar of Diana surnamed Orthia.
y Lay, mead. z Embay'd, bathed, dipt. Stcur, trouble, misfortune, &c.