Графични страници
PDF файл


Much was the knight empaffion'd at the scene,
But more his blooming fon, whose tender breast
Empierced deep with fympathizing teen

On his pale cheek the signs of drad impress'd,
And fill'd his eyes with tears, which sore distress'd
Up to his fire he rais'd in mournful wife;

Who with sweet finiles paternal foon redress'd

His troublous thoughts, and clear'd each fad furmise; Then turns his ready fteed, 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 fhouting myriads, through the valley bray'd,
And shook the groves, the floods, and solid ground:
The diftant hills rebellow'd all around.
"Arreft, Sir Knight, it cried, thy fond career,

Nor with prefumptuous disobedience wound "That aweful majesty which all revere!

"In my commands, Sir Knight, the voice of nations "hear!"


Quick turn'd the Knight, and faw upon the plain
Advancing tow'rds him with impetuous gait,
And vifage all inflam'd with fierce difdain,
A monstrous Giant, on whose brow elate


Shone the bright enfign of imperial state;
Albeit lawful kingdom he had none;
But laws and kingdoms wont he oft create,
And oft'times over both erect his throne,

While fenates, priefts and kings his fovran fceptre



Custom he height; and aye in every land
Ufurp'd dominion with defpotie fway

O'er all he holds; and to his high command
Conftrains even ftubborn Nature to obey;
Whom difpoffeffing oft, he doth affay
To govern in her right: and with a pace
So foft and gentle doth he win his way,
That the unwares is caught in his embrace,

And though deflower'd and thrall'd nought feels her foul:



For nurturing, even from their tenderest age,.

The docile fons of men withouten pain,
By difciplines and rules to every ftage
Of life accommodate, he doth them train
Infenfibly to wear and hug his chain.
Alfe his behefts or gentle or fevere,
Or good or noxious, rational or vain,
He craftily perfuades them to revere,
As inftitutions fage, and venerable lear.

Sovran, for fovereign.



Protector therefore of that forked hill,

And mighty patron of thofe Sifters Nine,

Who, there enthron'd, with many a copious rill
Feed the full ftreams, that through the valley fhine,
He deemed was; and aye with rites divine,
*Like thofe, which Sparta's hardy race of yore
Were wont perform at fell Diana's fhrine,

He doth conftrain his vaffals to adore

Perforce their facred names, and learn their facred lore.

And to the fairy Knight now drawing near,
With voice terrific and imperious mien.

(All was he wont lefs dreadful to appear,
When known and practis'd then at distance seen)
And kingly stretching forth his fceptre fheen,
Him he commandeth, upon threaten'd pain
Of his difpleasure high and vengeance keen,
From his rebellious purpose to refrain,

And all due honours pay to Learning's reverend train.

So faying, and foreftalling all reply,

His peremptory hand without delay,
As one who little car'd to justify

His princely will, long us'd to boundless sway,

* The Lacedemonians, in order to make their children hardy, and endure pain with conftancy and courage, were accustomed to cause them to be fcourged very feverely. And I myself (fays Plutarch, in his life of Lycurgus) have feen feveral of them endure whipping to death, at the foot of the altar of Diana, furnamed Orthia.

Upon the Fairy Youth with great dismay
In every quaking limb convuls'd, he lay'd:
And proudly ftalking o'er the verdant lay,
Him to thofe fcientific ftreams convey'd,

With many his young compeers therein to be † embay'd.


The Knight his tender son's distressful ‡ ftour
Perceiving, fwift to his affiftance flew:

Ne vainly stay'd to deprecate that power,
Which from fubmiffion aye more haughty grew.
For that proud giant's force he wifely knew,
Not to be meanly dreaded, nor defy'd

With rafh prefumption; and with courage true,
Rather than step from Virtue's paths afide,
Oft had he fingly fcorn'd his all-difmaying pride.


And now, difdaining parle, his courfer hot
He fiercely prick'd, and couch'd his vengeful spear;
Where-with the giant he fo rudely smot,

That him perforce conftrain'd to || wend arrear.
Who, much abafh'd at fuch rebuke fevere,
Yet his accuftom'd pride recovering foon,
Forth with his maffy fceptre 'gan up-rear;
For other warlike weapon he had none,
Ne other him behov'd to quell his boldeft § fone.

Lay, mead.


+ Embay'd, bathed, dipt. Fone, foes

* Stour, trouble, misfortune, &c.
Wend arrear, move backwards.

[ocr errors]


With that enormous mace the Fairy Knight
So fore he * bet, that all his armour † bray'd,
To pieces well-nigh riven with the might
Of so tempestuous strokes; but he was stay'd,
And ever with deliberate valour weigh'd

The fudden changes of the doubtful fray;

From cautious prudence oft deriving aid,
When force unequal did him hard assay :
So lightly from his steed he leapt upon the lay.


Then swiftly drawing forth his ‡ trenchant blade,
High o'er his head he held his fenceful shield;

And warily forecasting to evade

The giant's furious arm about him wheel'd,
With restless steps aye traversing the field.
And ever as his foe's intemperate pride,

Through rage defenceless, mote advantage yield, With his fharp fword so oft he did him || gride, That his gold-fandal'd feet in crimson floods were dy'd.


His bafer parts he maim'd with many a wound;
But far above his utmost reach were § pight
The forts of life: ne never to confound

With utter ruin, and abolish quite

+ Bray'd, refounded.

*Bet, beat.
Trenchant, cutting.
Pight, placed.

A power

Gride, cut, hack.

« ПредишнаНапред »