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Wide o'er this ample court's blank area, From whomsoe'er the villain takes in hand,
With all the lodges that thereto pertain'd Their joints unknit, their sinews melt apace,
No living creature could be seen to stray, As lithe * they grow as any willow wand,
While solitude and perfect silence reign'd, And of their varnish'd force remains no trace:
So that to think you dreamt you almost was con. So when a maiden fair, of modest grace,
strain'd. In all her buxom blooming May of charms,
XXX. Is seized in some losel's + hot embrace,
As when a shepherd of the Hebride isles * She waxeth very weakly as she warms,
Plac'd far amid the melancholy main, Then, sighing, yields her up to love's delicious harms. (Whether it be lone fancy him beguiles, XXIV.
Or that aërial beings sometimes deign
To stand embodied to our senses plain)
The whilst in ocean Phæbus dips his wain,
A vast assembly moving to and fro, And in sweet torpor he was plunged deep,
Then all at once in air dissolves the wondrous show,
And all the widely-silent places round,
Forgive me, if my trembling pen displays
What never yet was sung in mortal lays. The lad leap'd lightly at his master's call;
But how shall I attempt such arduous string, He was, to weet, † a little roguish page.
I who have spent my nights and nightly days Save sleep and play who minded nought at all,
In this soul-deadening place, loose loitering? Like most the untaught striplings of his age.
Ah! how shall I for this uprear my moulted wing? This boy kept each hand to disengage Garters and buckles, task for him unfit,
XXXII. But ill-becoming his grave personage,
Come on, my Muse! nor stoop to low despair, And which his portly paunch would not permit,
Thou imp of Jove! touch'd by celestial fire,
Thou yet shalt sing of war and actions fair,
Which the bold sons of Britain will inspire;
Of ancient bards thou yet shalt sweep the lyre;
Thou yet shalt tread in tragic pall the stage,
Paint loves enchanting woes, the hero's ire,
The sage's calm, the patriot's noble rage,
Dashing corruption down through every worthless age. O fair undress! best dress! it checks no vein,
No cursed knocker ply'd by villain's hand,
Self-open'd into halls, where who can tell
What elegance and grandeur wide expand,
The pride of Turkey and of Persia land? That in the middle of the court up-threw
"Soft quilts on quilts, on carpets carpets spread,
And coaches stretch'd around in seemly band,
And endless pillows rise, to prop the head,
So that each spacious room was one full-swelling bed. It was a fountain of Nepenthe rare,
And every where huge cover'd tables stood,
With wines high-flavour'd, and rich viands crown'd; Fair gladsome waking thoughts, and joyous dreams
Whatever sprightly juice or tasteful food
On the green bosom of this earth are found,
And all old Ocean genders in his round :
Some hand unseen these silently display'd, Withouten trump, was proclamation made :
Even undemanded, by a sigh or sound; "Ye sons of Indolence! do what you will,
You need but wish, and, instantly obey'd, And wander where you list, through hall or glade Fair rangʻd the dishes rose, and thick the glasses play'd. Be no man's pleasure for another staid !
Here freedom reign'd without the least alloy ;
Nor gossip's tale, nor ancient maidens gall,
Nor saintly spleen, durst murmur at our joy,
And with enveņom'd tongue our pleasures pall.
For why? there was but one great rule for all ;
And eat, drink, study, sleep, as it may fall, Not one eftsoonsø in view was to be found,
Or melt the time in love, or wake the lyre, every man stroll’d off his own glad way;
And carol what, unbid, the Muses might inspire.
1 Loose idle fellow.
* Those islands on the western coast of Scotland, called the Hebrides.
And verse, love, music, still the garland wore: The rooms with costly tapestry were hung,
When sleep was coy, the bard, in waiting there, Where was inwoven many a gentle tale,
Cheer'd the lone midnight with the Muse's lore, * Such as of old the rural poets sung,
Composing music bade his dreams be fair, Or of Arcadian or Sicilian vale;
And music lent new gladness to the morning air. Reclining lovers, in the lonely dale,
Near the pavilions where we slept still ran
Soft-tinkling streams, and dashing waters fell, While flocks, woods, streams, around, repose and
And sobbing breezės sigh’d, and oft began
(So work'd the wizard) wintry storms to swell,
As heaven and earth they would together mell:
At doors and windows, threat'ning seem'd to call Those pleas'd the most where, by a cunning hand,
The demons of the tempest, growling fell, Dispainted * was the patriarchal age,
Yet the least entrance found they none at all, What time Dan Abraham left the Chaldee land,
Whence sweeter grew our sleep, secure in massy hall
Raising a world of gayer tinct and grace,
And shed a roseate smile on Nature's face. Sometimes the pencil, in cool airy halls,
Not Titan's pencil e'er could so array,
So fleece with clouds the pure ethereal space;
Ne could it e'er such melting forms display,
As loose on flowery beds all languishingly lay. Now down the steep the flashing torrent flies;
XLV. The trembling sun now plays o'er ocean blue,
No, fair illusions ! artful phantoms, no! And now rude mountains frown amid the skies:
My Muse will not attempt your fairy-land: Whate'er Lorrain light touch'd with softening hue,
She has no colours that like you can glow,
To catch your vivid scenes too gross her hand.
But sure it is, was ne'er a subtler band
Who thus in dreams, voluptuous, soft, and bland, Aërial music in the warbling wind,
Pour'd all th’ Arabian heaven upon our nights, At distance rising oft, by small degrees,
And bless'd them oft besides with more refin'd de. Nearer and nearer came, till o'er the trees
lights. It hung, and breath'd such soul-dissolving airs
They were in sooth a most enchanting train,
Even feigning virtue; skilful to unite
With evil good, and strew with pleasure pain :
But for those fiends whom blood and broils delight A certain music, never known before,
Who hurl the wretch, as if to hell outright. Here lulld the pensive melancholy mind;
Down, down black gulfs, where sullen waters sleep, Full easily obtain'd. Behoves no more,
Or hold him clambering all the fearful night But side-long, to the gently-waving wind,
On beetling cliffs, or pent in ruins deep, To lay the well-tun'd instrument reclin'd,
They, till due time shall serve, were bid far hence to From which, with airy-flying fingers light,
keep. Beyond each mortal touch the most refin'd,
Ye guardian spirits! to whom man is dear,
Angels of fancy, and of love! be near,
And o'er the blank of sleep diffuse a bloom:
Evoke the sacred shades of Greece and Rome,
But chief awhile, O! lend us from the tomb
Those long-lost friends for whom in love we smart,'
Rise to new light, and beam afresh the days
Of innocence, simplicity, and truth,
To cares estrang'd, and manhood's thorny ways, Of caliphs-old who on the Tigris' shore,
What transport, to retrace our boyish plays, In mighty Bagdat, populous and great,
Our easy bliss, when each thing joy supply'd, Held their bright conrt, where was of ladies store,
The woods, the mountains, and the warbling maze * Painted.
Of the wild brooks! But, fondly wand'ring wide, This is not an imagination of the Author, there being in My Muse! resume the task that yet doth thee abide. fact such an instrument, call Æolus's harp, 'which, when placed against a little rushing or current of air, produces the * The Arabian caliphs had poets among the officers of their effect here described.
court, whose office it was to do what is here mentioned.
With honourable ruffians in their hire, One great amusement of our household was,
Cause war to wage, and blood around to pour: In a huge crystal magic globe to spy
Of this sad work when each begins to tire, Still as you turn'd it, all things that do pass,
They sit them down just where they were before, Upon this ant-hill earth! where constantly
Till for new scenes of woe peace shall their force re.
An useless were, and eke an endless task;
To gipsies brown in summer glades who bask;
Yea, many a man, perdie, I could unmask,
Whose desk and table make a solemn show, Here you a muck-worm of the town might see, With tape-ty'd trash, and suits of fools that ask At his dull desk, amid his ledgers stallid,
For place or pension laid in decent row; Ate up with carking care and penury,
But these I passen by, with nameless numbers moe. Most like to carcass parch'd on gallows-tree.
LVII. “A penny saved is a penny got;" Firm to this scoundrel maxim keepeth he,
Of all the gentle tenants of the place, Ne of its rigour will he bate a jot,
There was a man of special grave remark; Till it has quench'd his fire and banish'd his pot.
A certain tender gloom o'erspread his face,
Pensive, not sad; in thought involv'd, not dark ; LI.
As soot* this man could sing as morning lark, Straight from the filth of this low grab, behold! And teach the noblest morals of the heart; Comes flattering forth a gaudy spendthrift heir,
But these his talents were yburied + stark ; All glossy gay, enamell’d all with gold,
Of the fine stores he nothing could impart, The silly tenant of the summer air,
Which or boon Nature gave, or nature painting Art. In folly lost, of nothing takes he care;
To noontide shades, incontinent he ran,
Where purls the brooks with sleep-inviting sound; Sees this, which more damnation doth upon him
Or when Dan Sol to slope his wheels began,
Amid the broom he bask'd him on the ground, pile.
Where the wild thyme and camomoil are found : LII.
There would he linger, till the latest ray This globe portray'd the race of learned men
Of light sate trembling on the welkin's bound, Still at their books, and turning o'er the page
Then homewards through the twilight shadows stray,
For oft the heavenly fire, that lay conceal'd
Beneath the sleeping embers, mounted fast,
Oft as he travers'd the cerulean field,
And markt the clouds that drove before the wind,
T'en thousand glorious systems would he build, Then would a splendid city rise to view,
Ten thousand great ideas fill'd his mind; With carts, and cars, and coaches, roaring all :
But with the clouds they fled, and left no trace behind. Wide pour'd abroad behold the giddy crew, See how they dash along from wall to wall;
LX. At every door, hark how they thundering call!
With him was sometimes join'd, in silent walk, Good Lord! what can this giddy rout excite?
(Profoundly silent, for they never spoke) Why, on each other with fell tooth to fall,
One shyer still, who quite detested talk: A neighbour's fortune, fame, or peace to blight,
Oft stung by spleen, at once away he broke, And make new tiresome parties for the coming night. To groves of pine and broad o'ershadowing oak; LIV.
There inly thrill'd, he wander'd all alone, The puzzling sons of Party next appear'd,
And on himself his pensive fury wroke. In dark cabals and nightly juntos met,
Ne never utter'd word, save when first shone And now they whisper'd close, now shrugging reard
The glittering star of eve." Thank heaven! the day
Here lurk'd a wretch who had not crept abroad
For forty years, ne face of mortal seen; In
In chamber brooding like a loathly toad, comes another set, and kicketh them down stairs.
And supe his linen was not very clean.
Through secret loop-holes, that had practis'd been But what most shew'd the vanity of life,
Near to bis bed, his dinner vile he took ; Was to behold the nations all on fire,
Unkempti and rough, of squalid face and mien, In cruel broils engag’d, and deadly strife,
Our Castle's shame! whence from his filthy nook,
We drove the villain out for fitter lair to look. Most Christian kings, inflam'd by black desire,
* The morning star.
The world forsaking with a calm disdain, One day there chaunc'd into these halls to rove Here laugh!d he careless in his easy seat: A joyous youth, who took you at first sight;
Here quaff'd, encircled with the joyous train, Him the wild wave of pleasure hither drove,
Oft moralizing sage ; his ditty sweet Before the sprightly tempest tossing light :
He loathed much to write, ne cared to repeat. Certes, he was a most engaging wight,
Full oft by holy feet our ground was trod,
Of clerks good plenty here you mote* espy;
A little, round, fat, oily man of God,
Was one I chiefly mark'd among the fry:
He had a roguish twinkle in his eye,
And shone all glittering with ungodly dew, What most elates then sinks the soul as low,
If a tight damsel chaunc'd to trippen by ;
And straight would recollect his piety anew.
Nor be forgot a tribe, who minded naught Who, whilst he staid, kept in a gay uproar
(Old inmates of the place) but state-affairs ; Our madden'd Castle all, th' abode of sleep no more. They look'd, perdie, as if they deeply thought, LXIV.
And on their brow sat every nation's cares.
The world by them is parcelld out in shares, As when in prime of June a burnish'd ily,
When in the Hall of Smoke they congress hold, Sprung from the meads, o'er which he sweeps along,
And the sage berry sun-burnt Mocha bears Cheer'd by the breathing bloom and vital sky,
Has clear'd their inward eye; then, smoke-enroll’d, Tunes up amid these airy halls his song,
Their oracles break forth mysterious, as of old.
Here languid Beauty kept her pale-fac'd court:
Bevies of dainty dames, of high degree,
From every quarter hither made resort,
Where, from gross mortal care and business free, Another guest there was, of sense refin'd,
They lay, pour'd out in ease and luxury :
To knot, to twist, to range the vernal bloom,
And labour dire it is, and weary woe:
They sit, they loll, turn o'er some idle rhyme,
Then, rising sudden, to the glass they go, “ Come, dwell with us, true son of Virtue! come;
Or saunter forth, with tottering step and slow: But if, alas ! we cannot thee persuade
This soon too rude an exercise they find; To lie content beneath our peaceful dome,
Straight on the couch their limbs again they throw, Ne ever more to quit our quiet glade ;
Where hours on hours they sighing lie reclin'd, Yet when at last thy toils, but ill apaid, *
And court the vapoury god soft-breathing in the wind. Shall dead thy fire, and damp its heavenly spark, Thou wilt be glad to seek the rural shade,
LXXIII. There to indulge the Muse, and Nature mark :
Now must I mark the villainy we found;
But, ah ! too late, as shall eftsoons be shown.
A place here was, deep, dreary, under-ground,
Where still our inmates, when unpleasing grown, But call'd by fame, in soul ypricked deep,
Diseas'd and loathsome, privily were thrown. A noble pride restor'd him to the stage,
Far from the light of heaven, they languish'd there, And rous'd him like a giant from his sleep.
Unpity'd, uttering many a bitter groan, Even from his slumbers we advantage reap :
For of these wretches taken was no care; With double force th' enliven'd scene he wakes,
Fierce fiends and hags of hell their only nurses were. Yet quits not Nature's bounds. He knows to keep
LXXIV. Each due decorum. Now the heart he shakes, And now with well-urg'd sense th’ enlighten'd judg. Alas! the change! from scenes of joy and rest, ment takes.
To this dark den, where Sickness toss'd alway.
Here Lethargy, with deadly sleep oppress'd,
Stretch'd on his back, a mighty lubbard, lay,
Heaving his sides, and snoring night and day; Who, || void of envy, guile, and lust of gain,
To stir him from his trance, it was not eath, On virtue still, and Nature's pleasing themes,
And his half-open'd eyne he shut straightway; Pour'd forth his unpremeditated strain :
He led, I wot, the softest way to death,
And taught withouten pain and strife to yield the * Paid.
+ Ere-while, formerly. Mr. Quin, S Wounded.
breath. # This character of Mr. Thomson was written by Lord Lyttelton.
And sought all physic which the shops bestow,
The Knight of Arts and Industry,
Thy half-wit scrolls all eaten by the moth :
VI. As he one morning, long before the dawn, Prick'd through the forest to dislodge his prey, Deep in the winding bosom of a lawn, With wood wild-fring'd, he mark'd a taper's ray, That from the beating rain and wintry fray Did to a lonely cot his steps decoy; There up to earn the needments of the day, He found Dame Poverty, nor fair nor coy; Her he compress'd, and fill'd her with a lusty boy.
VII. Amid the green-wood shade this boy was bred, And grew at last a knight of mucklet fame, Of active mind and vigorous lusty bed, The Knight of Arts and Industry by name. Earth was his bed, the boughs his roof did frame He knew no beverage but the flowing stream; His tasteful well-earn'd food the sylvan game, Or the brown fruit with which the woodlands teem :' The same to him glad summer or the winter breme: