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Then came the smallest tribe I yet had seen;
Plain was their dress, and modeft was their mien.
Great idol of mankind! we neither claim
The praise of merit, nor aspire to fame !
But, safe in deserts from th' applause of men,
Would die unheard-of, as we liv'd unseen.
"Tis all beg thee, to conceal from fight
Those acts of goodness, which themselves requite.
O let us still the secret joy partake,
To follow virtue ev’n for virtue's fake.


365 And

Ver. 356. Then came the smallest, &c.]

I saw 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 said, they yeve not a leke
For no fame ne such renowne;
For they for contemplacyoune,
And Goddes love had it wrought,
Ne of fame would they ought.
What, quoth she, and be ye

wood ?
And ween ye for to do good,
And for to have it of no fame?
Have ye despite to have my name ?
Nay ye shall lien everichone :
Blow thy trump, and that anone
(Quoth she) thou Eolus, I hote,
And ring these folks works by rote,
That all the world may of it heare;
And he gan blow their loos so cleare,
In his golden clarioune,
Through the world went the foune,
All so kindly, and eke so soft,
That ther fame was blown aloft.

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And live there men, who Night immortal fame?
Who then with incense shall adore our name?
But, mortals! know, 'tis still our greatest pride,
To blaze those virtues which the good would hide.
Rise! Muses, rise! add all your tuneful breath;
These must not sleep in darkness and in death.
She said: in air the trembling music floats,
And on the winds triumphant swell the notes ;
So soft, though high, so loud, and yet so clear,
Ev’n listening Angels lean from heaven to hear : 375
To farthest shores th’ Ambrosial spirit flies,
Sweet to the world, and grateful to the skies.

Next these a youthful train their vows express’d,
With feathers crown'd, with gay embroidery dress’d:
Hither, they cry'd, direct your eyes, and see

The men of pleasure, dress, and gallantry;
Ours is the place at banquets, balls, and plays,
Sprightly our nights, polite are all our days;
Courts we frequent, where 'tis our pleasing care
To pay due visits, and address the fair :

In fact, 'tis true, no nymph we could persuade,
But still in fancy vanquish'd every maid;
Of unknown Dutchesses 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 afsents, the trumpet rends the skies,
And at each blast a Lady's honour dies.

Pleas'd with the strange success, vast numbers prest
Around the fhrine, and made the same request : 395



What you (she cry'd), unlearn'd in arts to please,
Slaves to yourselves, and ev'n fatigued with ease,
Who lose a length of undeserving days,
Would you usurp the lover’s dear-bought praise ?
To just contempt, ye vain pretenders, fall,

The people's fable, and the scorn of all.
Straight the black clarion sends a horrid sound,
Loud laughs burst out, and bitter scoffs fly round,
Whispers are heard, with taunts reviling loud,
And scornful hisses run through all the croud. 405

Last, those who boast of mighty mischiefs done, Enslave their country, or usurp a throne; Or who their glory's dire foundation lay'd On sovereigns ruin'd, or on friends betray'd; Calm, thinking villains, whom no faith could fix, 410 Of crooked counsels 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 seem'd to set the world on fire. 415 At the dread sound, pale mortals stood aghaft, And startled nature trembled with the blast.

This having heard and seen, some power unknown Straight chang’d the scene, and snatch'd me from the throne.



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

That had y-done the treachery, &c.
Ver. 418. This having heard and seen, &c.] The
Scene here changes from the Temple of Fame, to that



my view appear'd a structure fair,
Its site unceitain, if in earth or air ;
With rapid motion turn’d the mansion round;
With ceaseless noise the ringing walls resound;
Not less in number were the spacious doors,
Than leaves on trees, or sands upon

the shores ;
Which still unfolded stand, by night, by day,
Pervious to winds, and open every way.
As fames by nature to the skies ascend,
As weighty bodies to the centre tend,



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

Tho saw I stonde in a valey,
Under the castle fast by
A house, that Domus Dedali
That Labyrinthus cleped is,
Nas made so wonderly, I wis,
Ne half so queintly y-wrought;
And evermo as swift as thought,
This queint house about went,
That never more it still stent
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

A thousand 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 unshet;
No porter is there one to let,
No manner tydings in to pace :
Ne never rest is in that place.


As to the sea returning rivers roll,

430 And the touch'd needle trembles to the pole ; Hither as to their proper place, arise, All various sounds from earth, and feas, and skies, Or spoke aloud, or whisper'd in the ear; Nor ever silence, rest, or peace, is here.

435 As on the smooth expanse of crystal lakes The sinking stone at first a circle makes ; The trembling surface, by the motion stirr’d, Spreads in a second circle, then a third; Wide, and more wide, the floating rings advance, 440 Fill all the watery plain, and to the margin dance : Thus every voice and sound, when first they break, On neighbouring air a soft impression make; Another ambient circle then they move; That, in its turn, impels the next above ;

445 Through undulating air the sounds are fent, And spread o'er all the fluid element.

There various news I heard of love and strife, Of peace and war, health, fickness, death, and life,


Ver. 448. There various news I heard, &c.]

Of werres, of peace, of marriages,
Of rest, of labour, of voyages,
Of abode, of dethe, and of life,
Of love and hate, accord and strife,
Of loss, of lore, and of winnings,
Of hele, of sickness, and lessings,
Of divers transmutations,
Of estates and eke of regions,
Of trust, of dred, of jealousy,
Of wit, of winning, and of folly,

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