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HE hint of the following piece was taken from
manner entirely altered, the descriptions and most of the particular thoughts my own: yet I could not suffer it to be printed without this acknowledgment. The reader who would compare this with Chaucer, may begin with his third book of Fame, there being nothing in the two first books that answers to their title: wherever any hint
: is taken from him, the passage, itself is set down in the marginal notes.
N that foft season when descending show'rs
Call forth the greens, and wake the rising flow'rs; When opening buds falute the welcome day, And earth relenting feels the genial ray ; As balmy sleep had charm’d my cares to reft, And love itself was banish?d from my breast, (What time the morn mysterious visions brings, While purer flumbers spread their golden wings) ) A train of phantoms in wild order rose, And, join'd, this intellectual scene compose.
IQ I * stood, methought, betwixt earth, feas and skies ; The whole creation open to my eyes : In air self-balanc'd hung the globe below, Where mountains rise, and circling oceans flow; Here naked rocks, and empty wastes were seen, 15 There tow'ry cities, and the forests green:
• Thefe verses are hinted from the following of Chaucer, Book 20
Tho beheld I fields and plains,
Now hills, and now mountains,
Now valeis, and now forestes,
And now unneth great beltes,
Now rivers, now citees,
Now towns, now great trees,
Now Tippes fayling in the fee,
Here failing ships delight the wand'ring eyes :
There trees, and interminglid temples rise ;
Now a clcar sun the shining scene displays,
The transient landscape now in clouds decays.
O'er the wide prospect as I gaz'd around,
Sudden I heard a wild promiscuous found,
Like broken thunders that at distance roar,
Or billows murm’ring on the hollow shore :
Then gazing up, a glorious pile beheld,
Whose tow'ring summit ambient clouds conceald.
High on a rock of ice the structure lay,
Steep its afcent, and flipp'ry was the way;
The wond'rous rock like Parian marble shone,
And seem'd, to distant fight, of solid stone.
Inscriptions here of various names I view'd, +
The greater part by hoftile time subdu'd;
Yet wide was spread their fame in ages past,
And poets once had promis'd they should laft.
Sone fresh engray'd appear'd of wits renown'd;
look'd again, nor could their trace be found.
Chaucer's third book of Fame.
It stood upon so high a rock,
Higher standeth none in Spagne
What manner stone this rock was, -
For it was like a lymed glass,
Bne that it shone full marc clere ;
But of what congeled matere
It was, I niste redily;
But at the last efpied I,
And found that it was every delt;
A rock of ise, and not of stele. + Inferiptions here, &c.
Tho saw 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,
Ang letters for to rede
Ther names by, for out of drede
They weren almost off-ihawen fe,
That of the letters one or two
Were molte away of every name,
So unfamous was woxe her fame;
But men fald, what may ever lalt.
Critics I saw, that other names deface,
And fix their own, with labour, in their place:
Their own, like others, foon their place resign'd,
Or disappear'd, and left the first behind.
Nor was the work impair'd* by storms alone,
But felt th' approaches of too warm a sun;
For fame, impatient of extremes, decays
Not more by envy than excess of praise.
Yet part no injuries t of heay'n could feel,
Like cryftal faithful to the graving steel :
The rock's high summit, in the temple's shade,
Nor heat could melt, nor beating storm invade.
There names inscrib'd' unnumber'd ages past
From time's first birth, with time itself shall last;
These ever new, nor subject to decays,
Spread, and grow brighter with the length of days.
So Zembla's rocks (the beauteous work of frost)
Rise white in air, and glitter o'er the coast;
Pale funs, unfelt, at distance roll away,
Add on th' impaffive ice the lightnings play;
Eternal snows the growing mass supply,
'Till the bright mountains prop th’incumbent sky :
As Atlas fix'd, each hoary pile appears,
The gather'd winter of a thousand years.
* Nor was the work impair'd, &c.
gan I in mynd barte caft,
That they were molte away for heate,
And not away with stormes bcate. # Yet part no injuries, &c.
For on that other side I fey
Of that hill which northward ley,
How it was written full of names
Of folke, that had afore great famės,
Of old time, and yet they were
As fresh, as men had written hem thera
The folf day, or that houre
That I on hem gan to poure :
But well I wiste what it made ;
It was conserved with the shade
(All the writing that I fye)
of the castle that stoode on high ;
And stood eke in so cold a place,
That heate might it not dcface.