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dawn, and wanders into a garden of pleasance and
Ourspreid the levis of Nature's tapestries;
Of repercussit air the echo cryis,
And on the laurers silver droppis lyis. “Quhile that I roumed in that paradyce, Replenished and full of all delice,6
Out of the sea Eous lift his heid,7
Of Tytan, quhilk at morrow semis reid;
The new colour that all the nicht lay deid
Recomfort was, throw Phæbus gudlyheid.
Thame to preserve fra reumesll pungitive,
Be golden bemis vivificative,
Quhair amené heit is maist restorative;
And beis wrocht material for their hive. season. ? twigs and grass. 8 shrill. ^resounded through.
roamed. delight. 7 head. bushes.
10 which. 11 rime or frost. 2 small brushwood.
8 I mean.
“. Richt hailsum' was the sessoun’ of the yeir,
Maist nutritive till all things vegetant;
And bad aspect-contrair till every plant,
By bonkess grene with glancis variant.” It will be instantly perceived by the reader, that the language in these verses is more obscure and latinized, and the rhythm less melodious, than in the earlier poetry of Dunbar; yet, if we attend to the rules given by Mr. Tyrwhitt for the proper reading of Chaucer, and make allowance for a little learned affectation in the idiom, the description will be found both harmonious and poetical. To cast it into a modern dress is not so easy, however, as in the case of Dunbar. Let us at
“ In broider'd beds unnumber'd flowers were seen,
Of Nature's couch the living tapestry;
The little birds pour'd forth such harmony,
As fill'd my very heart with joy and glee;
And fill'd my heart with every rich delight,
Is given to draw the golden chariot bright 1 wholesome. season.
3 dared not.
4 streams. green banks.
Of Titan-which by night looks dark and dead,
New life assume in glittering vests bedight.
Lest icy rimes their tender twigs should sear,
Emerging joyous from the darkness drear,
The sweet laborious bees melodious music made.
Bathed with a kindly heat all growing things,
Dar'd in that place unfurl his icy wings,
Making a pleasant chime, and glancing in the sun.” Encircled with these varied delights, the poet desires anxiously to pour forth a strain worthy of the occasion, to
“Nature queen, and eke to lusty May;" when, for what reason he fails to inform us, his faculties become weak, and he is seized with a trembling which incapacitates him“ With spreit arraisit, and every wit away,
Quaking for fear both pulse and vein and nervis." Upon this he very sensibly determines to go home, but is suddenly arrested on his road by an extraordinary incident, which he thus describes :
" Out of the air cam ane impressioun,
Throu quhais licht in extacie or soun
Amid the virgultis, all intill a fary,'
Breith, motion, nor heiring naturall;
Corruptes the wit, aud garris4 the blude availl,
Until the hart thocht it na danger aill.
The dreidful terrour swa did me assaill.
Quhilk8 had tofoir bene paill and voide of blude:
Amidst a forest by a hideous Aude,
With grysly fische; and schortly till conclude,
My visioun in rural termis rude." The language here is so antique and remote from English, that a translation must be attempted : “ Forth from the skies a sudden light did glance,
That threw me into ecstasy or swoon;
And feeble as a woman sunk I down:
Sans motion, breath, or hearing, tranced I stood-
Confounds the brain, and chases back the blood
Unto the sinking heart in ruby flood:
a faëry-an enchanted trance.
no wonder. 4 makes. although. work not right. 7 heat. 8 which. 9 swoon.
“ 'Twere hard to tell how long the fit did last;
And a wild wondrous vision met mine ee :1
In whose dead waters grisly fishes be: 'Twas hideous all-yet here I shall essay, To tell mine aventure, though rude may be the lay." Finding himself in this doleful region—(I follow Dr. Irving's analysis of the Palace of Honour)-he begins to complain of the iniquity of Fortune; but his attention is soon attracted by the arrival of a magnificent cavalcade “of ladies fair and guidlie men,” who pass before him in bright and glorious procession. Having gone by, two caitiffs approach, one mounted on an ass, the other on a hideous horse, who are discovered to be the arch-traitors Sinon and Achitophel. From Sinon the poet learns that the brilliant assembly whom he has just beheld is the court of Minerva, who are journeying through this wild solitude to the palace of Honor. He not unnaturally asks how such villains were permitted to attend upon the goddess, and receives for answer, that they appear there on the same principle that we sometimes find thunder and tornadoes intruding themselves into the lovely and placid month of May. The merry horns of hunters are now heard in the wood, and a lovely goddess is seen surrounded by buskined nymphs, mounted upon an elephant, cheering on her hounds after an unhappy stag, who proves to be Actæon, pursued by Diana and his own dogs. Melodious music succeeds to this stirring scene,