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Cas. Have you not love enough to bear with me,
Bru. Yes, Cassius; and henceforth,
Description of the Castle of Indolence, and its inhabitants.— THOMSON.*
YE gods of quiet, and of sleep profound!
Whose soft dominion o'er this castle sways, And all the widely-silent places round,
Forgive me, if my trembling pen displays
I, who have spent my nights and nightly days
The doors, that knew no shrill alarming bell,
Net cursed knocker plied by villain's hand, Self-opened into halls, where, who can tell
What elegance and grandeur wide expand,
And every where huge covered tables stood,
With wines high flavoured and rich viands crowned; Whatever sprightly juice or tasteful food
On the green bosom of this Earth are found, And all old Ocean genders in his round: Some hand unseen these silently displayed, Even undemanded by a sign or sound; You need but wish, and, instantly obeyed, Fair ranged the dishes rose, and thick the glasses played.
* This poem being writ in the manner of Spenser, the obsolete words, and a simplicity of diction in some of the lines, which borders on the ludicrous, were necessary to make the imitation more perfect. Author. + Ne, nor.
Here Freedom reigned without the least alloy;
The rooms with costly tapestry were hung,
Or of Arcadian or Sicilian vale:
Each sound, too, here, to languishment inclined,
At distance rising oft, by small degrees,
A certain musick, never known before,
Here lulled the pensive melancholy mind; Full easily obtained. Behoves no more,
But sidelong, to the gently waving wind, To lay the well-tuned instrument reclined, From which, with airy-flying fingers light,
Beyond each mortal touch the most refined,
Ah me! what hand can touch the string so fine?
Such sweet, such sad, such solemn airs divine,
Hight, named, called; and sometimes it is used for is called.
Now rising love they fann'd; now pleasing dole They breathed, in tender musings, through the heart; And now a graver sacred strain they stole, As when seraphick hands a hymn impart ; Wild-warbling Nature all, above the reach of Art!
And hither Morpheus sent his kindest dreams,
With fleecy clouds, the pure ethereal space;
Here languid Beauty kept her pale-faced court:
Where, from gross mortal care and business free,
Their only labour was to kill the time;
They sit, they loll, turn o'er some idle rhyme,
Or saunter forth, with tottering step and slow: This soon too rude an exercise they find;
Strait on the couch their limbs again they throw, Where hours on hours they sighing lie reclined, And court the vapoury god soft-breathing in the wind.
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, Diseased, and loathsome, privily were thrown. Far from the light of heaven, they languished there Unpitied, uttering many a bitter groan; For of these wretches taken was no care: Fierce fiends, and hags of hell, their only nurses were. * Eftsoons, imusdiately, often, afterwards.
Alas! the change! from scenes of joy and rest,
Stretched on his back, a mighty lubbard, lay,
And his half-opened eyne he shut straightway; He led, I wot, the softest way to death, And taught withoutent pain and strife to yield the breath.
Of limbs enormous, but withal unsound,
Soft-swoln and pale, here lay the Hydropsy: Unwieldy 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 frantick deemed, and some her deemed a wit.
A lady proud she was, of ancient blood,
Yet oft her fear her pride made crouchent low; She felt, or fancied, in her fluttering mood,
All the diseases which the spitals know,
And sought all physick which the shops bestow, And still new leaches 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,
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 gnaws him, now a serpent stings; Whilst Apoplexy crammed Intemperance knocks Down to the ground at once, as butcher felleth ox.
*Eath, easy. + En is often placed at the end of a word by Spenser, to lengthen it a syllable.
Address of the Bard, in the train of Industry, to the inhabitants of the Castle of Indolence.-IBID.
THE bard obeyed; and taking from his side,
Light o'er the chords his raptured hand he flung, And played a prelude to his rising song;
The whilst, like midnight mute, ten thousands round him
Thus, ardent, burst his strain-"Ye hapless race!
And gives us wide o'er earth unquestioned sway,
Almighty power, and all-directing day,
Draw from its fountain life! 'Tis thence, alone,
To seraphs, burning round the Almighty's throne,
Nor needeth proof: to prove it were, I wis,*
"Is not the field, with lively culture green,
A sight more joyous than the dead morass? Do not the skies, with active ether clean,
And fanned by sprightly Zephyrs, far surpass
Does not the mountain-stream, as clear as glass,