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LXXI. Here languid Beauty kept her pale-faced court: Bevies of dainty dames, of high degree, From every quarter hither made resort; Where, from gross mortal care and business free, They lay, pour’d out in ease and luxury. Or should they a vain show of work assume, Alas! and well-a-day! what can it be? To knot, to twist, or range the vernal bloom; But far is cast the distaff, spinning-wheel, and loom.

LXXII. Their only labour was to kill the time; And labour dire it is, and weary woe. They sit, they loll, turn o'er some idle rhyme; Then, rising sudden, to the glass they go, Or saunter forth, with tottering step and slow: This soon too rude an exercise they find; Straight on the couch their limbs again they throw,

Where hours on hours they sighing lie reclin'd, And court the vapoury god soft-breathing in the wind.

LXXIII. Now must I mark the villany we found, But ah! too late, as shall eftsoons be shown. A place here was, deep, dreary, under ground; Where still our inmates, when unpleasing grown, Diseas'd, and loathsome, privily were thrown. Far from the light of heaven, they languish'd there, Unpity'd uttering many a bitter groan;

For of these wretches taken was no care: Fierce fiends, and hags of hell, their only nurses were.

Alas! the change! from scenes of joy and rest,
To this dark den, where sickness toss'd alway.
Here Lethargy, with deadly sleep opprest,
Stretch'd on his back, a mighty lubbard, lay,
Heaving his sides, and snored night and day;
To stir him from his traunce it was not eath,
And his half-open'd eyne he shut straightway:

He led, I wot, the softest way to death,
And taught withouten pain and strife to yield the breath.

Of limbs enormous, but withal unsound,
Soft-swoln and pale, here lay the Hydropsy:
Unwieldly man; with belly monstrous round,
For ever fed with watery supply;
For still he drank, and yet he still was dry.
And moping here did Hypochondria sit,
Mother of spleen, in robes of various dye,

Who vexed was full oft with ugly fit;
And some her frantic deem'd, and some her deem'd a


A lady proud she was, of ancient blood,
Yet oft her fear her pride made crouchen low:
She felt, or fancied in her fluttering mood,
All the diseases which the spittles know,
And sought all physic which the shops bestow,
And still new leeches and new drugs would try,
Her humour ever wavering to and fro;

For sometimes she would laugh, and sometimes cry, Then sudden waxed wroth, and all she knew not why.

LXXVII. Fast by her side a listless maiden pined, With aching head, and squeamish heart-burnings; Pale, bloated, cold, she seem'd to hate mankind, Yet loved in secret all forbidden things. And here the Tertian shakes his chilling wings; The sleepless Gout here counts the crowing cocks, A wolf now knaws him, now a serpent stings;

Whilst Apoplexy cramm'd Intemperance knocks Down to the ground at once, as butcher felleth ox.


The knight of arts and industry,

And his achievements fair;
That, by his castle's overthrow,

Secur'd, and crowned were.


ESCAPED the castle of the sire of sin,
Ah! where shall I so sweet a dwelling find?
For all around, without, and all within,
Nothing save what delightful was and kind,
Of goodness savouring and a tender mind,
E’er rose to view. But now another strain,
Of doleful note, alas! remains behind:

I now must sing of pleasure turn’d to pain,
And of the false enchanter Indolence complain.

II. Is there no patron to protect the Muse, And fence for her Parnassus' barren soil? To every labour its reward accrues, , And they are sure of bread who swink and moil; But a fell tribe th’ Aönian hive despoil, As ruthless wasps oft rob the painful bee: Thus while the laws not guard that noblest toil,

Ne for the Muses other meed decree, They praised are alone, and starve right merrily.

I care not, Fortune, what you me deny:
You cannot rob me of free Nature's grace;
You cannot shut the windows of the sky,
Through which Aurora shows her brightening face;
You cannot bar my constant feet to trace
The woods of lawn, by living stream, at eve:
Let health my nerves and finer fibres brace,

And I their toys to the great children leave:
Of fancy, reason, virtue, nought can me bereave.

Come then, my Muse! and raise a bolder song;
Come, lig no more upon the bed of sloth,
Dragging the lazy languid line along,
Fond to begin, but still to finish loth,
Thy half-writ scrolls all eaten by the moth:
Arise, and sing that generous imp of fame,
Who with the sons of softness nobly wroth,

To sweep away this human lumber came,
Or in a chosen few to rouse the slumbering flame.


In fairy-land there lived a knight of old,
Of feature stern, Selvaggio well yclep'd,
A rough unpolish'd man, robust and bold,
But wondrous poor: he neither sow'd nor reap'd,
Ne stores in summer for cold winter heap'd;
In hunting all his days away he wore;
Now scorch'd by June, now in November steep’d,

Now pinch’d by biting January sore,
He still in woods pursu'd the libbard and the boar.

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