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When then the Fates that breath they gave shall

claim, And the short marble but preserve a name, A little verse my all that shall remain ; Thy passing courser's slackened speed restrain ; (Thou envied honour of thy poet's days, Of all our youth the ambition and the praise !) Then to my quiet urn awhile draw near, And say, while o'er that place you drop the tear, Love and the fair were of his youth the pride ; He lived, while she was kind ; and when she frown'd, TASSO, GERUS. LIB. CANT. XIV. ST. 32.

he died.

“Preser commiato, e sì 'l desio gli sprona,” &c.

DISMISS'D at length, they break through all delay

To tempt the dangers of the doubtful way; And first to Ascalon their steps they bend, Whose walls along the neighbouring sea extend, Nor yet in prospect rose the distant shore; Scarce the hoarse waves from far were heard to roar, When thwart the road a river roll d its flood Tempestuous, and all further course withstood ; The torrent stream his ancient bounds disdains, Swoll'n with new force, and late-descending rains. Irresolute they stand ; when, lo ! appears The wondrous Sage : vigorous he seem'd in years, Awful his mien, low as his feet there flows A vestment unadorn'd, though white as new-fall’n

snows;

Against the stream the waves secure he trod,
His head a chaplet bore, his hand a rod.

As on the Rhine, when Boreas' fury reigns,
And winter binds the floods in icy chains,
Swift shoots the village-maid in rustic play,
Smooth, without step, adown the shining way,
Fearless in long excursion loves to glide,
And sports and wantons o'er the frozen tide.

So moved the seer, but on no harden'd plain ;
The river boil'd beneath, and rush'd toward the

main.
Where fix'd in wonder stood the warlike pair,
His course he turn'd, and thus relieved their care :

Vast, oh my friends, and difficult the toil
To seek your hero in a distant soil !
No common helps, no common guide ye need,
Art it requires, and more than winged speed.
What length of sea remains, what various lands,
Oceans unknown, inhospitable sands !
For adverse fate the captive chief has hurl'd
Beyond the confines of our narrow world :
Great things and full of wonder in your ears
I shall unfold ; but first dismiss your fears ;
Nor doubt with me to tread the downward road
That to the grotto leads, my dark abode.”

Scarce had he said, before the warriors' eyes

When mountain-high the waves disparted rise ;
The flood on either hand its billows rears,
And in the midst a spacious arch appears.
Their hands he seized, and down the steep he led
Beneath the obedient river's inmost bed ;
The watery glimmerings of a fainter day
Discover'd half, and half conceal'd their way ;
As when athwart the dusky woods by night
The uncertain crescent gleams a sickly light.
Through subterraneous passages they went,
Earth's inmost cells, and caves of deep descent ;
Of many a flood they view'd the secret source,
The birth of rivers rising to their course,
Whate'er with copious train its channel fills,
Floats into lakes, and bubbles into rills ;
The Po was there to see, Danubius' bed,
Euphrates' fount, and Nile's mysterious head.
Further they pass, where ripening minerals flow
And embryon metals undigested glow,
Sulphureous veins and living silver shine,
Which soon the parent sun's warm powers refine,
In one rich mass unite the precious store,
The parts combine and harden into ore :
Here gems break through the night with glittering

beam,
And paint the margin of the costly stream,

All stones of lustre shoot their vivid ray,
And mix'd attemper'd in a various day;
Here the soft emerald smiles of verdant hue,
And rubies flame, with sapphire's heavenly blue,
The diamond there attracts the wondrous sight,
Proud of its thousand dyes and luxury of light.

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