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Of these a gloomy tribe surround the throne,
And beg to make th’immortal treasons known. .
The trumpet roars, long flaky flames expire, 415
With sparks, that seem'd to set the world on fire.
At the dread sound, pale mortals stood aghast

, And startled nature trembled with the blast.

This having heard and seen, some pow'r unknown Strait chang'd the scene, and snatch'd me from the


IMITATIONS. VER. 418. This having heard and seen, etc.] The Scene here changes from the temple of Fame to that of Rumour, which is almost entirely Chaucer's. The particulars follow.

Tho sawl 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 sene,
A thousand hoels and well mo
To letten the soune 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. P.



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 upon the shores; 425 Which still unfolded stand, by night, by day, : Pervious to winds, and open ev'ry way. As flames by nature to the skies ascend, As weighty bodies to the centre tend, As to the sea returning rivers roll,

430 And the touch'd needle trembles to the poles 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 filence, 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 stir’d, Spreads in a second circle, then a third ; Wide, and more wide, the floating rings advance, 440 Fill all the wat’ry plain, and to the margin dance:

IMITATION S. VER. 428. As flames by nature to the, etc.] This thought is transferred hither out of the third book of Fame, where it takes up no less than one hundred and twenty verses, beginning thus,

Geffray, thou wotteft well this, etc.

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Thus ev'ry voice and found, when first they break,
On neighb’ring air a soft impression make;
Another ambient circle then they move ;
That, in its turn, impels the next above ;

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

There various news I heard of love and strife,
Of peace and war, health, sickness, death and life,
Of loss and gain, of famine and of store, 450
Of storms at sea, and travels on the shore,
Of prodigies, and portents seen in air,
Of fires and plagues, and stars with blazing hair,
Of turns of Fortune, changes in the state,
The falls of fav'rites, projects of the great, 455
Of old mismanagements, taxations new:
All neither wholly false, ñor wholly true.

VER. 448. There various news I heard, etc.)

Of werres, of peace, of marriages,
Of reft, of labour, of voyages,
Of abode, of dethe, and of life,
Of love and hate, accord and strife,
Of lofs, of lore, and of winnings,
Of hele, of sickness, and lessings,
Of divers transmutations
Of estates and eke of regions,
Of trust, of drede, of jealousy,
Of wit, of winning, and of folly,
Of good, or bad government,
Of fire, and of divers accident. P.

Above, below, without, within, around, Confus’d, unnumber'd multitudes are found, Who pass, repass, advance, and glide away; 460 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, num'rous bands With home-born lies, or tales from foreign lands; Each talk'd aloud, or in some secret place, 466 And wild impatience star'd in ev'ry face. The flying rumours gather'd as they rolld, Scarce any


sooner heard than told;

VER. 458. Above, below, without, within, etc.

But such a grete Congregation
Of folke as I saw roame about,
Some within, and some without,
Was never seen, ne shall be eft

every wight that I saw there
Rowned everich in others ear
A new tyding privily,
Or else he told it openly
Right thus, and said, Knowst not thou
That is betide to night now?
No, quoth he, tell me what ?
And then he told him this and that, etc.

Thus north and south
Went every tiding fro mouth to mouth,
And that encreasing evermo,
As fire is wont to quicken and go
From a sparkle sprong amiss,
Till all the citee brent up is. P.

And all who told it added something new, 470
And all who heard it, made enlargements too,
In ev'ry ear it spread, on ev'ry tongue it grew.
Thus flying east and west, and north and south,
News travel'd with increase from mouth to mouth.
So from a spark, that kindled first by chance, 475
With gath’ring force the quick’ning flames advance;
Till to the clouds their curling heads aspire,
And tow'rs and temples sink in floods of fire.

When thus ripe lyes are to perfection sprung,
Full grown and fit to grace a mortal tongue, 480
Thro’ thousand vents, impatient, forth they flow,
And rush in millions on the world below.
Fame fits aloft, and points them out their course,
Their date determines, and prescribes their force :
Some to remain, and some to perish foon; 485
Or wane and wax alternate like the moon.
Around, a thousand winged wonders fly,
Born by the trumpet's blast, and scatter'd thro' the

sky. There, at one passage, oft you might survey A lye and truth contending for the way; 490

IMITATIONS. Ver. 489. There, at one passage, etc.]

And sometime I saw there at once, Vol. II.


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