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“What you,' she cried, unlearn'd in arts to please,
Last those who boast of mighty mischiefs done,
This having heard and seen, some power unknown Straight chang'd the scene, and snatch'd me from,
the throne. Before my view appear'd a structure fair, Its site uncertain, 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 upou the shores; Which still unfolded stand, by night, by day, Pervious to winds, and open every way. As flames by nature to the skies ascend, As weighty bodies to the centre tend, As to the sea returning rivers roll, And the touch'd needle trembles to the pole; Hither, as to their proper place, arise All various sounds from earth, and seas, and skies;
Or spoke aloud, or whisper'd in the ear;
There various news I heard of love and strife,
Above, below, without, within, around, Confus'd, unnumber'd multitudes are found, Who pass, repass,
advance, and glide away; Hosts rais'd by fear, and phantoms of a day: Astrologers, that future fates foreshew, Projectors, quacks, and lawyers not a few; And priests, and party zealots, numerous bands, With home-born lies, or tales from foreign lands; Each talk'd aloud, or in some secret place, And wild impatience star'd in every face. The flying rumours gather'd as they roll'd, Scarce any tale was sooner heard than told; And all who told it added something new, And all who heard it made enlargements too, la every ear it spread, on every tongue it grew.
Thus flying east and west, and north and south,
When thus ripe lies are to perfection sprung,
the sky. There, at one passage, oft you might survey A lie and truth contending for the way ; And long 'twas doubtful, though so closely pent, Which first should issue through the narrow vent. At last agreed, together out they fly, Inseparable now the truth and lie; The strict companions are for ever join'd, And this or that unmix’d, no mortal e'er shall find.
While thus I stood, intent to see and hear, One came, methought, and whisperd in my ear: • What could thus high thy rash ambition raise? Art thou, fond youth, a candidate for praise ?'
"'Tis true,' said I,' not void of hopes I came, For who so fond as youthful bards of Fame? But few, alas ! the casual blessing boast, So hard to gain, so easy to be lost. How vain that second life in others' breath, Th' estate which wits inherit after death! Ease, health, and life, for this they must resign, (Unsure the tenure, but how vast the fine!) The great man's curse, without the gains, endure, Be envy'd, wretched, and be flatter'd, poor;
All luckless wits their enemies profest,
THERE livd in Lombardy, as author's write,
In days of old, a wise and worthy knight; Of gentle manners, as of generous race, Blest with much sense, more riches, and some grace; Yet, led astray, by Venus' soft delights, He scarce could rule some idle appetites : For long ago, let priests say what they could, Weak sinful laymen were but flesh and blood,
But in due time, when sixty years were o'er, He vow'd to lead this vicious life no more : Whether pure holiness inspir'd his mind, Or dotage turn'd his brain, is hard to find; But his high courage prick'd him forth to wed, And try the pleasures of a lawful bed. This was his nightly dream, his daily care, And to the heavenly powers his constant prayer, Once ere he died, to taste the blissful life Of a kind husband and a loving wife.
These thoughts he fortify'd with reasons still, (For none want reasons to confirm their will). Grave authors say, and witty poets sing, That honest wedlock is a glorious thing : But depth of judgement most in him appears, Who wisely weds in his maturer years. Then let him choose a damsel young and fair, To bless his age, and bring a worthy heir; To sooth his cares, and, free from noise and strife, Conduct him geutly to the verge of life,