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Hither as to their proper place, arise
All various sounds from earth, and seas, and kies,
Or spoke aloud, or whisper'd in the ear;
Nor ever silence, 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 stirr'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:
Thus ev'ry voice and found, when first they break,
On neighb'ring air a soft impreffion make;
Another ambient circle then they move;
That, in its turn, impels the next above;

445 Thro' undulating air the sounds are fent, 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

IMITATION 3.-
VER. 448. There various news I beard, etc.]

Of werres, of peace, of marriages,
Of rest, of labour, of voyages,
Of abode, of dethe, and of life,
Of love and haté, accord and strife,
Of lofs, of lore, and of winnings,
Of hele, of fickness, and lessings,
Of divers transmutations
Of estates and eke of regions,
Of truft, of drede, of jealousy,
Of wit, of winning, and of folly,
Of good, or bad government,
Of fire, and of divers accidents

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460

Of old mismanagements, taxations new :
All neither wholly false, nor wholly true.

Above, below, without, within, around,
Confus'd, unnumber'd multitudes are found,
Who pass, repass, advance, and glide away ;
Hofts 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 ; 465
Each talk'd aloud, or in some secret place,
And wild impatience ftar'd in ev'ry face.
The flying rumours gather'd as they roll’d,
Scarce any tale was sooner heard than told ;
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,

IMITATIONS.
V3R, 458. Above, below, witbout, wirbin, 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 fouth
Went every tiding fro mouth to mouth,
And that encreasing evermo,
As fire is wont to quicken and go
From a sparkle (prong amiss,
Till all the citee brent up is.

480

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So from a spark, that kindled firft 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 fink in foods of fire.

When thus ripe lies are to perfection fprung,
Full grown, and fit to grace a mortal tongue,
Thro' thousand vents, impatient, forth they flow,
And ruh 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 blaft, and scatter'd thro' the sky.
- There, at one passage, oft you might farvey
A lie and truth contending for the way
And long 'twas doubtful, both fo closely pent,
Which first should issue thro’ the narrow vent:
At last agreed, together out they fly,
Inseparable now, the truth and lye;
The strict companions are for ever join'd,

495 And this or that unmix'd, no mortal e'er shall find,

While thus I stood, intent to fee and hear,
One came, methought, and whisper'd in my ear:

NOTE S.
VER. 497. While tbus I Aood, etc.) The hint is taken from a
paffage in another part of the third book, but here more naturally
made the conclusion, with the addition of a Moral to the whole.
In Chaucer he only answers " he came to see the place;" and the
book ends abruptly, with his being surprized at the light of a Mas
of great Aurbority, and awakin g in a fright.

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

And sometime I saw there at once,
A lesing and a fad footh faw
That gonnen at adventure draw
Out of a window forth to pade
And no man, be he ever so wrothe,
Shall have one of these two, but toshe, etce

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510

What could thus high thy rash ambition raise ?
Art thou, fond youth, a candidate for praise ?

500 'Tis true, said I, not void of hopes I came, For who fo fond as youthful bards of Fame. ? : But few, alas ! the casual blessing boast,', So hard to gain, so easy to be loft. How vain that second life in others breath,

595 Th'estate which wits inherit after death! Ease, health, and life, for this they must refign, (Unsure the tenure, but how vast the fine!) The great man's curse, without the gains, endure, Be envy'd, wretched, and be flatter'd, poor ; All luckless wits their enemies profeft, And all successful, jealous friends at best. Nor Fame I Night, nor for her favours call ; ; She comes unlook d for, if she comes at all. But if the purchase costs fo dear a price

515 As soothing Folly, or exalting Vice : Oh! if the Muse must flatter lawless sway, . And follow still where fortune leads the way ; Or if no bafis bear my rising name, But the fall'n ruins of another's fame;

520 Then, teach me, heav'n! to scorn the guilty bays, Drive from my breast that wretched luft of praise, Unblemith'd let me live, or die unknown; Oh grant an honest fame, or grant me none!

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