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Ludo fatigatumque somno,

Fronde nova puerum palumbes
Texêre; mirum quod foret omnibus-
Ut tuto ab atris corpore viperis

Dormirem et ursis; ut premerer sacro

Lauroque collataque myrto,

Non sine Diis animosus infans.'
Which may be thus englished:

'While yet a child, I chanc'd to stray,
And in a desert sleeping lay;
The savage race withdrew, nor dar'd
To touch the Muses future bard;
But Cytherea's gentle dove

Myrtles and Bays around me spread,
And crown'd your infant Poet's head,
Sacred to Music and to Love.' P.
Ver. 259.

Scarce seem'd her stature, etc.]
'Methought that she was so lite,
That the length of a cubite

Was longer than she seemed be;
But thus soone in a while she,
Her selfe tho wonderly straight,
That with her feet she the earth reight,
And with head she touchyd heaven-' P.
Ver. 270. Beneath, in order rang'd, etc.]

'I heard about her throne y-sung
That all the palays walls rung,
So sung the mighty Muse, she
That cleped is Calliope,

And her seven sisters eke-' P.
Ver. 276. Around these wonders, etc.]
'I heard a noise approchen blive,

That far'd as bees done in a hive,
Against her time of out flying;
Right such a manere murmuring,
For all the world it seemed me.
Tho gan I look about and see
That there came entring into th' hall,
A right great company withal;
And that of sundry regions,
Of all kind of conditions,-etc.' P.
Ver. 294.
Some she disgrac'd, etc.]
'And some of them she granted sone,
And some she warned well and fair,
And some she granted the contrair-
Right as her sister dame Fortune
Is wont to serve in commune.' P.
Ver. 318.
the good and just, etc.]
'Tho came the third companye,
And gan up to the dees to hye,
And down on knees they fell anone,
And saiden: We ben everichone
Folke that han full truely
Deserved Fame right-fully,
And prayen you it might be knowe
Right as it is, and forth blowe.

I grant, quoth she, for now me list That your good works shall be wist. And yet ye shall have better loos, Right in despite of all your foos, Than worthy is, and that anone. Let now (quoth she) thy trump goneAnd certes all the breath that went Out of his trump's mouth smel'd As men a pot of baume held Among a basket full of roses-' P. Ver. 328, 338. ...behold another croud, etc.From the black trumpet's rusty, etc.] 'Therewithal there came anone Another huge companye,

Of good folke

What did this Eolus, but he
Tooke out his trump of brass,

That fouler than the devil was:
And gan this trump for to blowe,
As all the world should overthrowe.
Throughout every regione
Went this foul trumpet's soune,
Swift as a pellet out of a gunne,
When fire is in the powder runne.
And such a smoke gan out wende,

Out of the foul trumpet's ende-etc.' P.
Ver. 356. Then came the smallest, etc.]
'I saw anone the fifth route,
That to this lady gan loute,
And downe on knees anone to fall,
And to her they besoughten all,
To hiden their good works eke?
And said, they yeve not a leke
For no fame ne such renowne;
For they for contemplacyoune,
And Goddes love had it wrought,
Ne of fame would they ought.
What, quoth she, and be ye wood?
And ween ye for to do good,
And for to have it of no fame?
Have ye despite to have my name?
Nay ye shall lien everichone:
Blowe thy trump, and that anone
(Quoth she) thou Eolus, I hote,
And ring these folkes workes by rote,
That all the world may of it heare;
And he gan blow their loos so cleare,
In his golden clarioune,

Through the World went the soune,
All so kindly, and eke so soft,

That their fame was blown aloft.' P.

Ver. 378. Next these a youthful train, etc. The Reader might compare these twenty-eight lines following, which contain the same matter, with eighty-four of Chaucer, beginning thus:

'Tho came the sixth companye,

And gan faste to Fame cry, etc.' being too prolix to be here inserted. P.

Ver. 406. Last, those who boast of mighty,

etc.]

'Tho came another companye,

That had y-done the treachery, etc.' P. 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 saw I 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.

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 wottest well this, etc.' P. There various news I heard, etc.]

Ver. 448.

'Of werres, of peace, of marriages,
Of rest, of labour, of voyages,
Of abode, of dethe, and of life,
Of love and hate, accord and strife,
Of loss, of lore, and of winnings,
Of hele, of sickness, and lessings,
Of divers transmutations
Of estates and eke of regions,
Of truste, of drede, of jealousy,
Of wit, of winning, and of folly,
Of good, or bad government,

Of fire, and of divers accident.' P.
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-
And 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 tyding 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.
Ver. 489. There, at one passage, etc.]
'And sometime I saw there at once,
A lesing and a sad sooth saw
That gonnen at adventure draw
Out of a window forth to pace-
And no man, be he ever so wrothe,
Shall have one of these two, but bothe, etc.'

P.

JANUARY AND MAY:

OR,

THE MERCHANT'S TALE.

FROM CHAUCER.

THIS Translation was done at sixteen or seventeen years of Age. P. [It appeared, with the Pastorals, in Tonson's Miscellany in 1709. Tyrwhitt doubts whether the source of the story, although its scene is laid in Italy, is Italian; and traces the adventure of the Pear-tree to Adolphus' Latin Fables (1315). The machinery of the Fairies, he thinks, was probably added by Chaucer himself. It is not impossible that it may have suggested that of the Sylphs in the Rape of the Lock.]

HERE liv'd in Lombardy, as authors write,

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In days of old, a wise and worthy knight;

Of gentle manners, as of gen'rous 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 cou'd,
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 heav'nly pow'rs his constant pray'r,
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 judgment most in him appears,

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Who wisely weds in his maturer years.

Then let him choose a damsel young and fair,

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To bless his age, and bring a worthy heir;

To sooth his cares, and, free from noise and strife,

Conduct him gently to the verge of life.

Let sinful batchelors their woes deplore,

Full well they merit all they feel, and more:
Unaw'd by precepts, human or divine,

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Like birds and beasts, promiscuously they join:

Nor know to make the present blessing last,
To hope the future, or esteem the past:
But vainly boast the joys they never try'd,
And find divulg'd the secrets they would hide.
The marry'd man may bear his yoke with ease,
Secure at once himself and heav'n to please;
And pass his inoffensive hours away,
In bliss all night, and innocence all day:

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Tho' fortune change, his constant spouse remains,
Augments his joys, or mitigates his pains.

But what so pure, which envious tongues will spare?

Some wicked wits have libell'd all the fair.

With matchless impudence they style a wife

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The dear-bought curse, and lawful plague of life;
A bosom-serpent, a domestic evil,

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Would men but follow what the sex advise,

All things would prosper, all the world grow wise.

'Twas by Rebecca's aid that Jacob won

His father's blessing from an elder son:

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Abusive Nabal ow'd his forfeit life

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At Hester's suit, the persecuting sword

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Was sheath'd, and Israel liv'd to bless the Lord.
These weighty motives, January the sage
Maturely ponder'd in his riper age;

And charm'd with virtuous joys, and sober life,
Would try that christian comfort, call'd a wife.
His friends were summon'd on a point so nice,
To pass their Judgment, and to give advice;
But fix'd before, and well resolv'd was he;
(As men that ask advice are wont to be).

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"My friends," be ay'd and cast a mournful look
Around the room, and sigh'd before he spoke:)
"Beneath the weight of threescore years I bend,
And, worn with cares, am hast ning to my end;
How I have liv'd, alas! you know too well,
In worldly follies, which I blush to teil;
But gracious heav'n has oped my eyes at last,
With due regret I view my vices past,
And, as the precept of the Church decrees,
Will take a wife, and live in holy ease.

But since by counsel all things should be done,
And many heads are wiser still than one;
Choose you for me, who best shall be content
When my desire's approv'd by your consent.

"One caution yet is needful to be told,

To guide your choice; this wife must not be old:
There goes a saying, and 'twas shrewdly said,
Old fish at table, but young flesh in bed.
My soul abhors the tasteless, dry embrace
Of a stale virgin with a winter face:

In that cold season Love but treats his guest
With bean-straw, and tough forage at the best.
No crafty widows shall approach my bed;
Those are too wise for bachelors to wed;
As subtle clerks by many schools are made,
Twice-marry'd dames are mistresses o' th' trade:
But young and tender virgins, rul'd with ease,
We form like wax, and mould them as we please.
"Conceive me, Sirs, nor take my sense amiss;

'Tis what concerns my soul's eternal bliss;
Since if I found no pleasure in my spouse,

As flesh is frail, and who (God help me) knows?
Then should I live in lewd adultery,
And sink downright to Satan when I die.
Or were I curs'd with an unfruitful bed,

The righteous end were lost, for which I wed;

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May live like saints, by heav'n's consent, and mine. "And since I speak of wedlock, let me say,

(As, thank my stars, in modest truth I may) My limbs are active, still I'm sound at heart, And a new vigour springs in ev'ry part.

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Think not my virtue lost, tho' time has shed

These rev'rend honours on my hoary head;

Thus trees are crown'd with blossoms white as snow,

The vital sap then rising from below:

Old as I am, my lusty limbs appear

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Like winter greens, that flourish all the year.

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