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Infcriptions here of various Names I view'd,
The greater part by hoftile time fubdued;
Yet wide was spread their fame in ages past,
And Poets once had promis'd they should last.
Some fresh engrav'd appear'd of Wits renown'd;
I look'd again, nor could their trace be found.
Critics I faw, that other names deface,

And fix their own, with labour, in their place :
Their own,
like others, foon their place refign'd,
Or disappear'd, and left the firft behind.
Nor was the work impair'd by storms alone,
But felt th' approaches of too warm a iun;
For Fame, impatient of extremes, decays
Not more by Envy, than excess of Praise,




Ver. 31. Infcriptions here, &c.]

Tho' faw I all the hill y-grave
With famous folkes names fele,
That had been in much wele
And her fames wide y-blow;
But well unneth might I know,
Any letters for to rede

Their names by, for out of drede
They weren almoft off-thawen fo,
That of the letters one or two
Were molte away of every name,
So unfamous was woxe her fame. ;
But men faid, what may ever last ?
Ver. 41. Nor was the work impair'd, &c.]
Tho' gan I in myne harte caft,

That they were molte away for heate,
And not away with stormes beate.


Yet part no injuries of heaven could feel,
Like crystal faithful to the graving steel :
The rock's high fummit, in the temple's shade,
Nor heat could melt, nor beating storm invade.
Their names infcrib'd unnumber'd ages paft
From time's first birth, with time itself shall laft;
These ever new, nor fubject to decays,
Spread, and grow brighter with the length of days.
So Zembla's rocks (the beauteous work of froft)
Rife white in air, and glitter o'er the coaft;
Pale funs, unfelt, at diftance roll away,
And on th' impaffive ice the lightnings play;
Eternal fnows the growing mafs fupply,

Till the bright mountains prop th' incumbent fky;
As Atlas fix'd, each hoary pile appears,
The gather'd winter of a thousand years,


Ver. 45. Yet part no injuries, &c.]
For on that other fide I fey
Of that hill which northward ley,
How it was written full of names
Of folke, that had afore great fames,
Of old time, and yet they were
As fresh as men had written hem there
That felf day, or that houre
That I on hem gan to poure:
But well I wiste what it made;
It was conferved with the shade
(All the writing that I fye)
Of the castle that ftoode on high,
And flood eke in fo cold a place,
That heat might it not deface.






On this foundation Fame's high temple stands;
Stupendous pile! not rear'd by mortal hands.
Whate'er proud Rome or artful Greece beheld,
Or elder Babylon, its frame excell'd.
Four faces had the dome, and every face
Of various ftructure, but of equal grace!
Four brazen gates, on columns lifted high,
Salute the different quarters of the sky.
Here fabled Chiefs in darker ages born,

Or Worthies old, whom arms or arts adorn,

Who cities rais'd, or tam'd a monstrous race;
The walls in venerable order grace:
Heroes in animated marble frown,
And Legiflators feem to think in stone.

Weftward, a fumptuous frontispiece appear'd,
On Doric pillars of white marble rear'd,
Crown'd with an architrave of antique mold,
And sculpture rifing on the roughen'd gold.
In fhaggy spoils here Thefeus was beheld,
And Perfeus dreadful with Minerva's fhield:
There great Alcides, ftooping with his toil,
Refts on his club, and holds th' Hefperian spoil:
Here Orpheus fings; trees moving to the found





Start from their roots, and form a fhade around:

Amphion there the loud creating lyre


Strikes, and behold a fudden Thebes aspire!

Cythæron's echoes answer to his call,

And half the mountain rolls into a wall:

There might you fee the lengthening fpires afcend,
The domes fwell up, the widening arches bend,



The growing towers like exhalations rise,
And the huge columns heave into the skies.

The Eastern front was glorious to behold,
With diamond flaming, and Barbaric gold.

There Ninus fhone, who spread th' Affyrian fame, 95
And the great founder of the Persian name :

There in long robes the royal Magi stand,
Grave Zoroafter waves the circling wand:
The fage Chaldæans rob'd in white appear'd,
And Brachmans, deep in defert woods rever'd.
These stopp'd the moon, and call'd th' unbody'd shades
To midnight banquets in the glimmering glades;
Made vifionary fabrics round them rise,


And airy spectres skim before their eyes;

Of Talifmans and Sigils knew the power,
And careful watch'd the Planetary hour.
Superior, and alone, Confucius stood,
Who taught that useful science, to be good.
But on the South, a long majeftic race
Of Egypt's Priefts the gilded niches grace,
Who meafur'd earth, defcrib'd the starry fpheres,
And trac'd the long records of lunar years.
High on his car Sefoftris ftruck my view,
Whom fçepter'd flaves in golden harness drew :
His hands a bow and pointed javelin hold;
His giant limbs are arm'd in scales of gold.
Between the statues Obelisks were plac'd,
And the learn'd walls with Hieroglyphics grac'd.
Of Gothic structure was the Northern fide,
O'erwrought with ornaments of barbarous pride.




120 There

There huge Coloffes rofe, with trophies crown'd,
And Runic characters were grav'd around.
There fate Zamolxis with erected eyes,

And Odin here in mimic trances dies.

There on rude iron columns, smear'd with blood, 120
The horrid forms of Scythian heroes stood.

Druids and Bards (their once loud harps unftrung)
And youths that died to be by Poets fung.
Thefe and a thousand more of doubtful fame,
To whom old fables gave a lafting name,
In ranks adorn'd the Temple's outward face;
The wall in luftre and effect like glass,
Which, o'er each object cafting various dyes,
Enlarges fome, and others multiplies:
Nor void of emblem was the myftic wall,
For thus romantic Fame increases all.

The Temple shakes, the founding gates unfold,
Wide vaults appear, and roofs of fretted gold:
Rais'd on a thousand pillars wreath'd around
With laurel-foliage, and with eagles crown'd:
Of bright tranfparent beryl were the walls,
The freezes gold, and gold the capitals:
As heaven with stars, the roof with jewels glows,
And ever-living lamps depend in rows.

Full in the paffage of each spacious gate,

The fage Hiftorians in white garments wait;







Ver. 132. The wall in luftre, &c.]

It fhone lighter than a glass,

And made well more than it was,
As kind of thing Fame is.

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