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A power fo puiffant by his fingle might
So well he warded, and fo fiercely prefs'd
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,
Whofe venturous fearch of devious truth while-ere
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,
Soon chac'd the gathering clouds of black affray.
And on his bugle clear a strain of triumph blew.
There-at the multitude, that food around,
Of boisterous joy: the fudden-burfting found,
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.
Alfe from that forked hill the boafted feat
By those fame Maidens Nine, began to found
But the brave Fairy Knight, no whit difmay'd,
Him feem'd that nothing ferious, nothing found,
In village, city, castle, bower, and hall,
Nor heaven's tempeftuous threats, nor earth's convulfive
But chiefly they whom Heaven's difpofing hand
With the bright influence of fair Virtue's rays; Which from the awful heights of Grandeur brighter ¡blaze.
They, O perverfe and base ingratitude!
Abus'd the means of pleasures more refin'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.
Or, by false taste of pleafure led aftray,
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
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