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Our author, lulled by the music of the birds, and the murmuring of the water, falls asleep on the flowers, which he calls Flora's mantill. In a vision, he sees a ship approach, whose fails are like the blossom upon the spray, and whose masts are of gold bright as the star of day". She glides swiftly through a christal bay; and lands in the blooming meadows, among the green rushes and reeds, an hundred ladies clad in rich but loose attire. They are cloathed in
They are cloathed in green kirtless their golden tresses, tied only with glittering threads, flow to the ground; and their snowy bosoms are unveiled.
Als fresche as flours that in the May upspreids
In this brilliant assembly, the poet sees NATURE, danie Venus quene, the fresche Aurora, May, lady Flora sebene, Juno, Latona, Proserpine, Diana goddess of the chase and woodis grene, lady Clio, Minerva, Fortune, and Lucina. These michty quenes are crowned with diadems, glittering like the morning-star. They enter a garden. May, the queen of mirthful months, is supported between her sisters April and
• In our old poetry and the romances, we frequently read of ships fuperbly decorated. This was taken from real life. Fro. iffart, speaking of the French fleet in 1387, prepared for the invasion of England under the reign of Richard the second, says, that the ships were painted with the arms of the commanders and gilt, with banners, pennons, and standards, of filk: and that the mafts were painted from top to bottom, glittering with gold. The ihip of lord Guy of Tremoyll was so fumptuously garnished, that the painting and colours cost 2000 French franks, more than 222 pounds
June: as she walks up and down the garden, the birds begin to sing, and Nature gives her a gorgeous robe adorned with every colour under heaven.
Thair fawe I NATURE present till 'her a gown
The vegetable tribes then do their obeisance to NATURE, in these polished and elegant verses.
And every blome on branche, and eik on bank,
Immediately another court, or groupe, appears.
Here Cupid the king presides :
a bow in hand ay bent,
These are attended with other pagan divinities, Janus, Pria
. pus, Eolus, Bacchus the glader of the table, and Pluto. They are all arrayed in green; and singing amorous ditties to the
"To her.. * Broad. W ST. x. * ST. xi.
harp and lute, invite the ladies to dance. The poet quits his ambush under the trees, and pressing forward to gain a more perfect view of this tempting spectacle, is espied by Venus. She bids her keen archers arrest the intruder. Her attendants, a groupe of fair ladies, instantly drop their green mantles, and each discovers a huge bow. They form themselves in battle-array, and advance against the poet.
And first of all, with bow in hand ay bent,
divers awfull instrument":
Beauty is assisted by tender Youth with her virgins ying, GREEN INNOCENCE, MODESTY, and OBEDIENCE: but their resistance was but feeble against the golden target of REASON. WOMANHOOD then leads on PATIENCE, DISCRETION, STEDFASTNESS, BENIGNE LOOK, MYLDE Cheir, and HONEST. BUSINESS..
Bot Ressoun bare the Terge with sic constance,
The attack is renewed by DIGNITY; Renown, Riches, NoBILITY, and HONOUR.
These, after displaying their high banner, and shooting a cloud of arrows, are soon obliged to: retreat. Venus, perceiving the rout, orders DissEMBLANCE to make an attempt to pierce the Golden Shield. DissemBLANCE, or DissIMULATION, chuses for her archers, PreSENCE, Fair CALLING, and CHERISHING. These bring back Beauty to the charge. A new and obstinate conflict enfues.
& St. xvii.
· Formidable weapons...
* ST. xix.
Thik was the schott of grindin arrowis kene,
At length PRESENCE, by whom the poet understands that irresistible incentive accruing to the passion of love by fociety, by being often admitted to the company of the beloved object, throws a magical powder into the eyes of REASON; who is suddenly deprived of all his powers, and reels like a drunken man. Immediately the poet receives a deadly wound, and is taken prisoner by BEAUTY ; who now assumes a more engaging air, as the clear eye of Reason is growing dim by intoxication. DISSIMULATION then tries all her arts on the poet: Fair CALLING smiles upon him : CHERISHING fooths him with soft speeches: New ACQUAINTANCE embraces him awhile, but foon takes her leave, and is never seen afterwards. At last Danger delivers him to the custody of Grief.
By this time, “ God Eolus his bugle blew.” The leaves are torn with the blast: in a moment the pageant disappears, and nothing remains but the forest, the birds, the banks, and the brook". In the twinkling of an eye they return to the ship; and unfurling the fails, and stemming the sea with a rapid course, celebrate their triumph with a discharge of ordinance. This was now a new topic for poetical description. The smoke rises to the firmament, and the roar is re-echoed by the rocks, with a sound as if the rain-bow had been broken.
* ST. xxiii.
n ST. xxvi.
And as I did 'awak of this swowningo,
Our author then breaks out into a laboured encomium on Chaucer, Gower, and Lydgate. This I chuse to recite at large, as it shews the peculiar distinction antiently paid to those fathers of verse; and the high ideas which now prevailed, even in Scotland, of the improvements introduced by their writings into the British poetry, language, and literature'.
O reverend CHAUSER, rose of rhetouris all,
O moral Gower, and LYDGATE laureat,
Dream. P Vale. 9 ST. xxviii.
Ever rose, or sprung, in Britain, whoro reads right.
Other inftances occur in the elder Scotch poets. See fupr. p. 125.
i One flower.
* Thou beareft of poets.
w This subject would have appeared to some advantage, had not, &c.