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Here, rain is bottled up; there, hail is cast
In candy'd heaps ; here, banks of snow do rise;

There, furnaces of lightning burn, and those

Longbearded stars which light us to our woes.
Hence tow'r'd I to a dainty world : the air
Was sweet and calm, and in my memory
Wak'd my serener mother's looks : this fair
Canaan now fled from my discerning eye ;

The earth was shrunk so small, methought I read,

By that due prospect, what it was indeed.
But then, arriving at an orb whose flames
Like an unbounded ocean flow'd about,
Fool as I was, I quak’d; till its kind beams
Gave me a harmless kiss. I little thought

Fire could have been so mild; but, surely, here

It rageth, 'cause we keep it from its sphere. There, reverend sire, it flam'd, but with as sweet An ardency as in your noble heart That heavenly zeal doth burn, whose fostering heat Makes you Heaven's living holocaust: no part

Of my dream's tender wing felt any harm;

Our journey, not the fire, did keep us warm. But here my guide, his wings' soft oars to spare, On the moon's lower horn clap'd hold, and whirl'd Me up into a region as far In splendid worth surmounting this low world

As in its place: for liquid crystal here

Was the tralucid matter of each sphere.
The moon was kind, and, as we scoured by,
Shew'd us the deed, whereby the great Creator
Instated her in that large monarchy
She holdeth over all the oceans' water :

To which a schedule was annex'd, which o'er

All other humid bodies gives her power.
Now, complimental Mercury was come
To the quaint margin of his courtly sphere,
And bid us eloquent welcome to his home:
Scarce could we pass, so great a crowd was there

Of points and lines; and nimble wit beside
Upon the backs of thousand shapes did ride.

Next Venus' face, heaven's joy and sweetest pride,
(Which brought again my mother to my mind,)
Into her region lur'd my ravish'd guide:
This strew'd with youth, and smiles, and love we find

And those all chaste : 'tis this foul world below
Adulterates what from thence doth spotless flow.

Then rapt to Phoebus' orb, all pav'd with gold,
The rich reflection of his own aspect :
Most gladly there I would have staid and told
How many crowns and thrones his dwelling deck's,

What life, what verdure, what heroic might,

What pearly spirits, what sons of active light.
But I was hurried into Mars his sphere,
Where Envy (O how curs'd was its grim face !)
And Jealousy, and Fear, and Wrath, and War
Quarreld, although in heaven, about their place.

Yea, engines there to vomit fire I saw,
Whose flame and thunder earth at length must know,

Nay, in a corner, 'twas my hap to spy
Something which look'd but frowardly on me:
And sure my watchful guide read in mine eye,
My musing troubled sense ; for straightway he,
Lest I should should start and wake upon the fright,
Speeded from thence his seasonable flight.

Welcome was Jupiter's dominion, where
Illustrious Mildness round about did flow;
Religion had built her temple there,
And sacred honours on its walks did

grow :
No mitre ever priest's grave head shall crown,
Which in those mystic gardens was not sown.

At length, we found old Saturn in his bed;
And much I wonder'd how an he so dull
Could climb thus high: his house was lumpish lead,
Of dark and solitary corners full ;

Where Discontent, and Sickness dwellers be,
Damn’d Melancholy, and dead Lethargy.

Hasting from hence into a boundless field,
Innumerable stars we marshalld found
In fair array: this earth did never yield
Such choice of flowr'y pride, when she had crown'd

The plains of Shechem, where the gaudy Spring
Smiles in the beauties of each verdant thing."

The next is from the opening of the second canto.

“ No foolish tinder ever strove to catch
In its soft amorous arms the treacherous spark,
And with such zealous rashness joy'd to hatch
Its own destruction, as fond man doth mark

And treasure up those fair-fac'd counsels, which,
With fatal charms, his heedless heart bewitch.

No wretched adder ever solder'd up
His wilful ear with trustier cement, than,
With retchless obstinacy, he doth stop
His memory's unhappy portals, when

Wholesome advice with sweetness woos it, and
Long knocking for admission doth stand.

Or if strong importunity (whereby
The tenderest drops are taught to pierce the flint,)
His sullen siffness constantly doth ply,
Perhaps he yieldeth to the dainty dint

Of such unwearied gentleness, which yet

Her conquest more by stealth than force doth get.
But though, at length, a wicket ope he sets,
His slighted guest in some out-room he lays :
But when vain Fancy, or Seduction, beats
Summons upon his gates, he straight displays
Their

way, and lets them quite thrust out of the door
The former stranger, scarcely in before.

“ For as the honey of heav'n's lovely hives,
The summer clouds, snugging in laps of flowers,
That correspondent dwelling quickly leaves
To churlish drops of less-deserving showers,

Or rankling mildew, which such venom sheds
As soon deflowereth all those virgin beds:

So far’d it now with Psyche's careless breast.” We quote a part of the description of Paradise in Canto VI. It is in the author's most fantastic style.

“Within, rose hills of spice and frankincense,

Which smild upon the flow'ry vales below,

Where living crystal found a sweet pretence
With musical impatience to flow,

And delicately chide the gems beneath
Because no smoother they had pav'd its path.

The nymphs which sported on this current's side
Were milky Thoughts, tralucid, pure Desires,
Soft turtles' Kisses, Looks of virgin brides,
Sweet Coolness which nor needs nor feareth fires,

Snowy Embraces, cheerly-sober Eyes,
Gentleness, Mildness, Ingenuities.

The early gales knock'd gently at the door
Of every flower to bid the odours wake;
Which catching in their softest arms, they bore
From bed to bed, and so return’d them back

To their own lodgings doubled by the blisses
They sipp'd from their delicious brethren's kisses,

Upon the wings of those inamouring breaths
Refreshment, vigour, nimbleness attended ;
Which, wheresoe'r they flew, cheer'd up their paths,
And with fresh airs of life all things befriended :

For heav'n's sweet spirit deign'd his breath to join
And make the powers of these blasts divine.

The goodly trees bent arms their nobler load
Of fruit which blest oppression overbore:
That orchard where the dragon warder stood,
For all its golden boughs, to this was poor,

To this, in which the greater serpent lay,

Though not to guard the trees, but to betray.
Of fortitude there rose a stately row;
Here, of Munificence a thickset

grove; There, of wise Industry a quickset grew; Here, flourished a dainty copse of Love;

There, sprang up pleasant twigs of ready Wit;
Here, larger trees of Gravity were set.

Here, Temperance; and widespread Justice there,
Under whose sheltering shadow Piety
Devotion, Mildness, Friendship planted were;
Next stood Renown with head exalted high;

Then twin'd together Plenty, Fatness, Peace.
O blessed place, where grew such things as these!
In the same canto, the Cave of Sleep is described.
“A lazy moat the grot encompassed

With waters which were never known to stir;
Upon whose bank secure Oblivion's bed
Was made of sluggish moss and caked fur:

The Remora's and Crampfish groping lay
About the bottom of the mud and clay.

Up from the water crept an heavy cloud
Of dusky vapours, on whose shoulders rid
Fat Drowsiness, who rubb’d her eyes and bow'd
Down to her bosom her unwieldy head.

Bats, owls, and other purblind birds of night

Stole through the swarthy shades their doubtful flight. Mandrakes within the moat, and poppy grew, Which nodded to their neighbour plump of trees : Those were the willow, cypress, box, and yew; Close at whose feet lay Quietness and Ease;

And nestling by their side, an half-dead crowd

Of dormice and of bears, all snorting loud.
Through these pass'd Pity to a door of jet,
Whose wary ringle round was cloth'd in wool:
The porter, Silence, with his finger at
His mouth, when by her looks he guess'd her full

Of more than common business with his queen,

Softly stole ope the lock, and let her in.
There found she, on a bed of ebony,
Sleep laid at length; her pillow, badgers’ hair;
Thick Night, full Peace, and soft Security
Her
rug,

her counterpané, and blankets were.
Close by her couch's side dropp'd pipes of lead;

A swarm of bees were humming at the head.
But greater was the swarm of Dreams which walk’d,
In shapeless shapes, about the thronged room;
Who, though they laugh’d and sung, and cried, and talk'd ;
No noise was heard in that confusion : some

Wanted an head, a cheek, an eye, a nose;
Some arms, some legs, some feet, and some their toes.

Some wanton seem'd, some chaste, some spruce, some coarse, Some tame, some terrible, some black, some white,

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