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A power fo puiffant by his fingle might
Did he prefume to hope: himself alone
From lawless force to free, in bloody fight
He stood; content to bow to Custom's throne,
So reafon mote not blush his fovran rule to own.


So well he warded, and fo fiercely prefs'd
His foe, that weary vex'd he of the fray;
Yet nould he algates lower his haughty creft;
But masking in contempt his fore difmay,
Difdainfully releas'd the trembling prey,
As one unworthy of his princely care;
Then proudly cafting on the warlike


A fmile of fcorn and pity, through the air

Gan blow his fhrilling horn; the blast was heard afar.


Eftfoons aftonish'd at th' alarming found,, The fignal of diftrefs and hoftile wrong, Confus'dly trooping from all quarters round Came pouring o'er the plain a numerous throng Of every fex and order, old and young; The vaffals of great Custom's wide domain, Who, to his lore inur'd by ufage long, His every fummons heard with pleasure fain, And felt his every wound with fympathetic pain. LII. They,

*Nould he algates, would not by any means. Fay, fairy.


They, when their bleeding king they did behold,
And faw an armed Knight him standing near,
Attended by that Palmer fage and bold;

Whofe venturous fearch of devious truth while-ere
Spread through the realms of learning horrors drear,
Y-feized were at first with terrors great;

And in their boding hearts began to fear,

Diffention factious, controversial hate,

And innovations ftrange in Custom's peaceful state.

But when they faw the Knight his fauchion fheathe,
And climbing to his fteed march thence away,
With all his hoftile train, they 'gan to breathe
With freer fpirit, and with afpect gay

Soon chac'd the gathering clouds of black affray.
Alfe their great monarch, cheared with the view
Of myriads, who confess his fovran sway,
His ruffled pride began to płume anew;

And on his bugle clear a strain of triumph blew.

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There-at the multitude, that food around,
Sent up at once a universal roar

Of boisterous joy: the fudden-burfting found,
Like the explosion of a warlike store

Of nitrous grain, th' afflicted * welkin tore.

Then turning towards the Knight, with scoffings lewd,

A Heart-piercing infults, and revilings fore,

Loud bursts of laughter vain, and hiffes rude,

As through the throng he pafs'd, his parting fteps purfued,

* Welkin, fky.

LV. Alk


Alfe from that forked hill the boafted feat
Of ftudious Peace and mild Philofophy,
Indignant murmurs mote be heard to threat,
Muftering their rage, eke baleful Infamy,
Rouz'd from her den of bafe obfcurity

By those fame Maidens Nine, began to found
Her brazen trump of blackening obloquy :
While Satire, with dark clouds encompast round,
Sharp, fecret arrows fhot, and aim'd his back to wound.

But the brave Fairy Knight, no whit difmay'd,
Held on his peaceful journey o'er the plain;
With curious eye obferving, as he stray'd
Through the wide provinces of Cuftom's reign,
What mote afresh admonish him remain
Faft by his virtuous purpofe; all around
So many objects mov'd his juft difdain;

Him feem'd that nothing ferious, nothing found,
In city, village, bower, or caftle, mote be found.

In village, city, castle, bower, and hall,
Each fex, each age, each order and degree,
To vice and idle sport abandon'd all,
Kept one perpetual general jubilee.
Ne fuffer'd ought difturb their merry glee;
Ne fenfe of private lofs, ne public woes,
Reftraint of law, religion's drad decree,
Inteftine defolation, foreign foes,

Nor heaven's tempeftuous threats, nor earth's convulfive





But chiefly they whom Heaven's difpofing hand
Had feated high on Fortune's upper stage ;
And plac'd within their call the facred band
That waits on Nurture and Inftruction sage,
If happy their wife * hefts mote them engage
To climb through knowledge to more noble praise ;
And as they mount, enlighten every age

With the bright influence of fair Virtue's rays; Which from the awful heights of Grandeur brighter ¡blaze.


They, O perverfe and base ingratitude!
Defpifing the great ends of Providence,
For which above their mates they were endued
With wealth, authority, and eminence,
To the low fervices of brutal fenfe

Abus'd the means of pleasures more refin'd,
Of knowledge, virtue, and beneficence;
And, fettering on her throne th' immortal mind,
The guidance of her realm to paffions wild refign'd.


Hence thoughtless, fhameless, reckless, fpiritlefs, Nought worthy of their kind did they essay;

But or benumb'd with palfied Idleness

In meerly living loiter'd life away.

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Or, by false taste of pleafure led aftray,
For-ever wandering in the fenfual bowers
Of feverish Debauch, and luftful Play,
Spent on ignoble toils their active


And with untimely blasts difeas'd their vernal hours. LXI.

Ev'n they to whom kind Nature did accord A frame more delicate, and purer mind, Though the foul brothel and the wine-ftain'd board Of beastly Comus loathing they declin'd, Yet their foft hearts to idle joys refign'd; Like painted infects, through the fummer-air With random flight aye ranging unconfin'd And tafting every flower and bloffom fair, Withouten any choice, withouten any care.


For choice them needed none, who only fought
With vain amusements to beguile the day;
And wherefore fhould they take or care or thought,
Whom Nature prompts, and Fortune calls to play?
"Lords of the earth, be happy as ye may !”
So learn'd, fo taught the leaders of mankind;
Th' unreafoning vulgar willingly obey,

And, leaving toil and poverty behind,

Ran forth by different ways the blissful boon to find.. LXIII.

Nor tedious was the fearch; for every where,

As nigh great Custom's royal towers the Knight Pafs'd throughs th' adjoining hamlets, mote he hear The merry voice of feftival Delight

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