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Loud as the burst of cannon rends the skies,
The dire report through every region flies,
In every ear inceffant rumours rung,

And gathering fcandals grew on every tongue.
From the black trumpet's rusty concave broke
Sulphureous flames, and clouds of rolling smoke:
The poisonous vapour blots the purple skies,
And withers all before it as it flies.



A troop came next, who crowns and armour wore,
And proud defiance in their looks they bore:
For thee (they cry’d) amidst alarms and strife,
We fail'd in tempefts down the stream of life;

For thee whole nations fill'd with flames and blood, .*
And fwam to empire through the purple flood.
Thofe ills we dar'd, thy infpiration own;
What virtue feem'd, was done for thee alone.
Ambitious fools! (the Queen reply'd, and frown'd)
Be all your acts in dark oblivion drown'd;
There fleep forgot, with mighty tyrants gone,
Your ftatues moulder'd, and your names unknown!
A fudden cloud straight fnatch'd them from my fight,
And each majestic phantom funk in night.


Took out his trump of brass,

That fouler than the devil was :

And gan his trump for to blowe,
As all the world fhould overthrowe.
Throughout every regione

Went this foul trumpet's foune,
Swift as a pellet out of a gunne,
When fire is in the powder runne.
And fuch a smoke gan out wende,
Out of the foul trumpet's ende-&c.


355 Then

Then came the fmalleft tribe I yet had feen;

Plain was their drefs, and modeft was their mien.
Great idol of mankind! we neither claim

The praise of merit, nor aspire to fame!

But, fafe in deferts from th' applause of men,
Would die unheard-of, as we liv'd unfeen.


'Tis all we beg thee, to conceal from fight

Thofe acts of goodness, which themselves requite.
O let us ftill the fecret joy partake,

To follow virtue ev'n for virtue's fake.




Ver. 356. Then came the smalleft, &c.]
I faw anone the fifth route,

That to this lady gan loute,

And downe on knees anone to fall,
And to her they befoughten all,
To hiden their good works eke.
And faid, they yeve not a leke
For no fame ne fuch renowne;
For they for contemplacyoune,
And Goddes love had it wrought,
Ne of fame would they ought.
What, quoth fhe, and be ye wood?
And ween ye for to do good,
And for to have it of no fame?
Have ye defpite to have my name?
Nay ye fhall lien everichone :
Blow thy trump, and that anone
(Quoth fhe) thou Eolus, I hote,
And ring thefe folks works by rote,
That all the world may of it heare;
And he gan blow their loos fo cleare,
In his golden clarioune,

Through the world went the foune,
All fo kindly, and eke fo foft,
That ther fame was blown aloft.

And live there men, who flight immortal fame?
Who then with incenfe fhall adore our name?
But, mortals! know, 'tis ftill our greatest pride,

To blaze thofe virtues which the good would hide.
Rife! Mufes, rife! add all your tuneful breath;
These must not sleep in darkness and in death.
She faid in air the trembling mufic floats,
And on the winds triumphant fwell the notes;
So foft, though high, fo loud, and yet fo clear,
Ev'n listening Angels lean from heaven to hear:
To fartheft fhores th' Ambrofial fpirit flies,
Sweet to the world, and grateful to the skies.




Next these a youthful train their vows exprefs'd, With feathers crown'd, with gay embroidery drefs'd: Hither, they cry'd, direct your eyes, and fee The men of pleafure, drefs, and gailantry; Ours is the place at banquets, balls, and plays, Sprightly our nights, polite are all our days; Courts we frequent, where 'tis our pleafing care pay due vifits, and addrefs the fair:


In fact, 'tis true, no nymph we could persuade,
But still in fancy vanquish'd every maid;
of unknown Dutcheffes lewd tales we tell,
Yet, would the world believe us, all were well.
The joy let others have, and we the name,
And what we want in pleasure, grant in fame.

The Queen affents, the trumpet rends the skies,

And at each blaft a Lady's honour dies.



Pleas'd with the frange fuccefs, vast numbers prest Around the fhrine, and made the fame requeft :



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What you (the cry'd), unlearn'd in arts to please,
Slaves to yourselves, and ev'n fatigued with ease,
Who lofe a length of undeferving days,

Would you ufurp the lover's dear-bought praise?
To juft contempt, ye vain pretenders, fall,
The people's fable, and the scorn of all.

Straight the black clarion fends a horrid found,
Loud laughs burst out, and bitter fcoffs fly round,
Whispers are heard, with taunts reviling loud,
And fcornful hiffes run through all the croud.
Laft, those who boast of mighty mischiefs done,
Enslave their country, or ufurp a throne;

Or who their glory's dire foundation lay'd
On fovereigns ruin'd, or on friends betray'd;



Calm, thinking villains, whom no faith could fix, 410 Of crooked counfels and dark politics;

Of these a gloomy tribe surround the throne,
And beg to make th' immortal treasons known.
The trumpet roars, long flaky flames expire,
With sparks, that feem'd to set the world on fire.
At the dread found, pale mortals stood aghaft,
And ftartled nature trembled with the blaft.


This having heard and feen, fome power unknown Straight chang'd the fcene, and fnatch'd me from the

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Ver. 406. Laft, those who boast of mighty, &c.]
Tho came another companye,

That had y-done the treachery, &c.

Ver. 418. This having heard and feen, &c.] The Scene here changes from the Temple of Fame, to that

Before my view appear'd a structure fair,


Its fite uncertain, if in earth or air;

With rapid motion turn'd the manfion round;
With ceafelefs noife the ringing walls refound;
Not lefs in number were the fpacious doors,
Than leaves on trees, or fands upon the fhores;
Which still unfolded ftand, by night, by day,
Pervious to winds, and open every way.
As flames by nature to the skies afcend,
As weighty bodies to the centre tend,




of Rumour, which is almost entirely Chaucer's. The

particulars follow.

Tho faw I ftonde in a valey,

Under the caftle fast by
A houfe, that Domus Dedali
That Labyrinthus cleped is,
Nas made fo wonderly, I wis,
Ne half fo queintly y-wrought;
And evermo as fwift as thought,
This queint house about went,
That never more it ftill ftent-
And eke this house hath of entrees,
As many as leaves are on trees
In Summer, when they ben grene;
And in the roof yet men may fene
A thoufand hoels and well mo
To letten the foune out-go;
And by day in every tide,
Ben all the doors open wide,
And by night each one unfhet;
No porter is there one to let,
No manner tydings in to pace:
Ne never reft is in that place.

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