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Of these a gloomy tribe surround the throne,
, 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,
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.
Thus ev'ry voice and found, when first they break,
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 werres, of peace, of marriages,
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;
But such a grete Congregation
every wight that I saw there
Thus north and south
And all who told it added something new, 470
When thus ripe lyes are to perfection sprung,
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.