Page images
PDF
EPUB

XXXII.
He was to wcet an old and wrinkled mage,
Deep read in all the arts of policy,
And from experience grown so crafty sage,
That none his secret counsels mote defcry,
Ne search the mines of his deep subtlety.
Thereto fair peace he lov’d and cherished;
And traffic did promote and industry,

Whereby the vulgar were in quiet feil,
And the proud lords in ease and plenty wallowed,

XXXIII.
Thence all the gorgeous fplendor of the court,
* Sith the fole business of the rich and great,
Was to that hope-built temple to resort,
And round their earthly god in glory wait,
Who, with their pride to swell his royal state,
Did pour large fums of gold on every one,
Brought him by harpies fell, him to aggrate,

And torn from peasants viie, beneath the throne Who lay deep sunk in earth, and inwardly did groan,

XXXIV.
Behold, fays Archimage, the envy'd height
Of human grandeur to the gods ally d !
Behold

yon
sun of
power,

whose glorious light, (j'er this rejoicing land out-beaming wide, Calls up those princely flowers on every side ; Which like the painted daughters of the plain Ne toil, ne spin, ne itain their filken pride

With care, or forrow, fith withouten pain, Them in eternal joy those heavenly beams maintain. * Since,

XXXV. Them.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

XXXV. Them morn and evening joy eternal greets, And for them thousands and ten thousands * moil, Gathering from land and ocean honied isweets For them, who in sòft indolence the while And slumbering peace enjoy the luscious spoil; And as they view around the careful' bees + Forespent with labour and incessant toil, With the sweet contrast learn themselves to please, And heighten by compare the luxury of ease.

XXXVI. Ungenerous man, quoth then the fairy knight, That can rejoice to see another's woe! And thou, unworthy of that glory bright, Wherewith the gods have deck’d.thy princely brow, That doth on 'lloth and gluttony bestow The hard-earn'd fruits of industry and pain, And to the dogs the labourer's morsel throw,

Unmindful of the hand that sow'd the grain,
The poor earth-trodden root of all thy greatness vain.

XXXVII.
Oh foul abuse of sacred majesty,
That boasteth her fair self from heaven y-sprong!
Where are the marks of thy divinity?
Truth, mercy, justice steady, bold and strong,
To aid the meek, and curb oppressive wrong?
Where is the care and love of public good,
That to the people's father doth belong?

Where the vice-gerent of that bounteous God,
Who bids difpenfe to all, what he for all bestow'd?

XXXVIII. DwelWork hard, it Quite spent.

XXXVIII. Dwell'st thou not rather, like the prince of hell, In Pandemonium full of ugly fiends? Diffimulation, discord, malice fell, Reckless ambition, that right onward * wends, Though his wild march o'erthrow both fame and

friends, And virtue and his country; crooked guile, Obliquely creeping to his treacherous ends,

And flattery, curs'd asiassın, who the while He holds the murderous knife, can fawn, and kiss, and smile.

XXXIX.
Then 'gan he strait unvail the mirrour bright,
The which fair + Una gave him heretofore,
Ere he as yet, with | Paynim foe to fight,
For foreign land had left his native More.
This in his careful breast he always bore,
And on it oft would cast his wary eye ;
For it by magic framed was of yort,

So that no falfood mote it well abye,
But it was plainly seen, or fearfully did fly.

XL.
This on that gay assembly did he turn,
And saw confounded quite the gaudy scene;
Saw the close fire that inwardly did burn,
And waste the throbbing heart with secret || teen;
T

Saw * Goes.

+ Una in Spenser represents Truth, fee B. 1. Fairy Queen.

Heathen, the usual enemy of knight-errants in Spenser. | Pain, anguish,

Saw base dependence in the haughty mien
Of lords and princes; saw the magic chain
That each did wear, but deem'd he wore unseen,

The whiles with count'naunce glad he hid his pain, And homage did require from each poor lowly fwain.

XLI. And though to that old mage they louted down, Yet did they dearly wish for his decay: Als trembled he, and aye upon the throne of his great lord his tottering steps did stay, And oft behind him skulk'd for great dismay; Als shook the throne, when so the villain crew, That underneath oppress’d and groveling lay,

Impatieņt of the grievous burthen grew, And loudly for redress and liberty did sue.

XLII. There mote he likewise fee a ribbald train Of dancers, broiderers, Naves of luxury, Who cast o'er all those lords and ladies vain A veil of femblaunce fair, and richest dye, That none their inward baseness mote descry. But nought was hidden from that mirrour bright. Which when false Archimago 'gan espy,

He feared for himself, and warn’d the knight
From so detested place to maken speedy flight.

XLIII.
Co on he passed, till he comen hath
To a finail river, that full flow did glide,
As it uneath mote find its watry path
For stones and rubbish, that did choak its tide,

So

+

So lay the mouldering piles on every side,
Seein'd there a goodly city once had been,
Albeit now fallen were her royal pride,

Yet mote her auncient greatness still be see:),
Still from her ruins prov'd the world's iinperial queen.

XLIV.
For the rich spoil of all the continents,
The boast of art and nature there was brought,
Corinthian brass, Ægyptian monuments,
With hieroglyphic sculptures all inwrought,
And Parian marbles, by Greek artists taught
To counterfeit the forms of heroes old,
And set before the eye of sober thought

Lycurgus, Homer, and Alcides bold.
All these and many more that may not here be told.

XLV.
There in the middest of a ruin’d pile,
That seem'd a thcatre of circuit vast,
Where thousands might be seated, he erewhile
Discover'd hath an uncouth trophy plac'd;
Seem'd a huge heap of stone together cast
In nice disorder and wild symmetry,
Urns, broken freezes, statues half defac'd,

And pedestals with antique imagery
Emboss'd, and pillars huge of cofily porphyry.

XLVI.
Aloft on this strange basis was * ypight
With girłonds gay adorn’d a golden chair,
In which aye smiling with self-bred delight,
In Careless pride reclin’d a lady fair,

And * Placed.

*

T2

« PreviousContinue »