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“ Heirs of eternity !yborn to rise « Through endless states of being, still more near “ To bliss approaching, and perfection clear, u Can you renounce a fortune lo sublime, u Such glorious hopes, your backward steps to steer,

« And roll, with-viiest brutes, through mud and sime? “ No! no !-Your heaven-touch'd bearts disdaio-the " fordid crime !"

LXII. r. Enough! enough!" they cry'd_strait, from the

croud, The better fort on wings of transport fly. As when amid the lifeless summits proud Of Alpine cliffs, where to the gelid.lky Snows pil'd on snows-in wintry torpor ly, The rays divine of verpal Phoebus play ; Th' awaken'd heaps, in streamlets from on high,

Rouz'd into achion, lively leap away, Glad-warbling through the vales, in their new Being gay.

LXIII. Not less the life, the vivid joy serene, That lighted up these new-created men, Than that which wings th' exulting spirit clean, When, just deliver'd from this fleshly den, It soaring seeks its native skies agen. How light its effence! bow unclogg'd its powers, Beyond the blazon of my mortal pen

Even fo.we glad forsook these finful bowers,
Even fuch enraptur'd life, such energy was ours.

LXIV.
But far the greater part, with rage enflam'd,
Dire-mutter'd curses, and blasphem'd bigb Jove.

Y

«« Ye fons of hate! (they bitterly exclaim'a),
.6 What brought you to this seat of peace and love?
" While with kind nature, here amid the grove,
o We pass'd the harmless sabbath of our time,
" What to disturb it could, felt men, emove

~ Your barbarous hearts? Is happiness a crime?
“ Then do the fiends of hell rule in yon heaven sublime.

LXV.
.6. Yeimpious wretches, (quoth the knight in wrath),
“ Your happiness behold !”—Then-strait a wand'
He wav'd, an anti-magic power that hath,
Truth from illusive filthood to.command.
Sudden, the landscape links on every hand;
The pure quick streams are marshy puddles found:
On baleful heaths the groves all blacken'd stand ;

And, o'er the weedy foul abhorred ground,
Snakes, adders, toads, each loathsome creature crawls
around.

LXVI.
And here and there, on trees by lightoing scath'a,
Unhappy wights who loathed life yhung :
Or, in fresh gore and recent murder bath'd,
They weltering lay; or else, infuriate flung
Into the gloomy flood, while ravens fung
The funeral dirge, they down the torrent rowl'd:
These, by distemper'd blood to madness stung,
Had doom'd themselves; whence oft, when night

controul'd
The world, returning hither their fad fpirits howl'd.

LXVII.
Mean-time a moving {cene was open laid ;
That lazar-house, I whilom in
Depeinted have, its horrors deep-display'd,
And gave unnumber'd wretches to the day,

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Who toffing there in qualid misery lay.
Soon as of facred light th' unwonted simile
Pour'd on these living catacombs its ray,

Through the drear caverns (tretching many a mile, The fick up-rais'd their heads, and dropp'd their woes a while.

LXVII. .“ O heaven! (they cry'd), and do we once more fee

« Yon blessed fun, and this green-earth fo fair? "" Are we from noisome damps of pest-house free! ." And drink our fouls the sweet ethereal air? “O thou! or Knight, or God! who holdest there “ That fiend, ob keep him in eternal chains ! * But what for us, the children of despair, “ Brought to the brink of bell, what hope remains ! Repentance does itself but

aggravate our pains."

LXIX. The gentle Knight, who faw.their rueful case, "Let fall adown his Glver beard some tears. “ Certes (quoth he) it is not even in grace - T’undo the past, and eke your broken years: << Nathless, to nobler worlds repentance rears, «i With humble hope, her eye; to her is given “ A power the truly contrite heart that chears ;

“ She quells the brand by which the rocks are riven; * She more than merely softens, she rejoices HEAVEN.

LXX. “ Then patient bear the sufferings you have earn'd, « And by these sufferings purify the mind; « Let wisdom be by paft misconduct learn'd; « Or pious die, with penitence relignd; « And to a life more happy and refin'd, « Doubt'not, you shall, new creatures, yet arife. “ Till then, you may expe& in me to find

« One

* One who will wipe your forrow from your eyes, ***6 One who will soothe your pangs, and wing you to the skies.”

LXXI. They filent heard, and pour'd their thanks in tears. “ For you (resum'd the Knight with sterner tone) -Whose hard dry hearts th' obdurate deinon fears, " That villain's gifts will cost you many a groan'; “ In dolorous manfion long you must bemoan " His fatal charms, and weep your

stains

away i • Fill, soft and pure as infant-goodness grown,

" You feel a perfect change : then, who can say, 66 What grace may yet shine forth in heaven's eternal

day?"

LXXII. !
This said, his powerful wand he wav'd anew ;
Instant, a glorious angel-train defcends,
The Charities, to wit, of rofy hue ;

Sweet love their looks a gentle: radiance lends,
: And with seraphic flame compassion blends.

At once, delighted, to their charge they fly :
When, lo! a goodly hospital ascends ;

În which they bade each lenient aid be nigh,
That could the sick-bed smoothe of that sadcompany.

LXXIII.
It was a worthy edifying fight,
And gives to human kind peculiar grace,
To see kind hands attending day and night,
With tender ministry, from place to place.
Some

prop the head'; fome, from the pallid face Wipe off the faint cold dews weak nature sheds ; Some reach the healing draught : the whilft, to chase

The fear Tupreme, around their soften'd beds,
Some holy man by prayer all opening heaven dispreds.
VOL.I.

LXXIV. Attended

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LXXIV. Attended by a glad acclaiming train, Of those he rescu'd had from gaping hell, Then turn'd the Knight; and, to his ball again Soft-pacing, fought of Peace the mosly cell : Yet down his cheeks the gems of pity fell, To see the helpless wretches that remain's, There left through delves and defarts dire to yell;

Amaz’d, their looks with pale dismay were stain'd, And spreading wide their hands they meek repentance

feign'd.

LXXV. But, ah! their scorned day of grace was past: For (horrible to tell !) a desart wild Before them stretch'd, bare, comfortless, and vast; Witb gibbets, bones, and carcafes defil'd. There nor trim field, por lively culture smil'd; Nor waving shade was feen, nor fountain fair ; But fands abrupt on fands lay loosely pild, Through which they foundering toild with painful

care, Whilst Phoebus (mote them fore, and fir'd the cloudless air.

LXXVI. Then, varying to a joyless land of bogs, The sadden'd country a grey waste appear'd; Where nought but putrid ftreams and noisome fogs For ever hung on drizzly Auster's beard ; Or else the ground by piercing Caurus sear'd, Was jagg'd with frost, or heap'd with glazed snow: Through these extremesa ceaseless round they steerd,

By cruel fiends still hurry'd to and fro, Gaunt Beggary, and Scorn, with many hell-hounds

LXXVI. The

moe,

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