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But that a ribald King and Court
Bade him toil on, to make them sport ;
Demanded for their niggard pay,
Fit for their souls, a looser lay,
Licentious satire, song, and play;
The world defrauded of the high design,
Profaned the God-given strength, and marr'd

the lofty line.

Warm’d by such names, well may we then,
Though dwindled sons of little men,
Essay to break a feeble lance
In the fair fields of old romance ;
Or seek the moated castle's cell,
Where long through talisman and spell,
While tyrants ruled, and damsels wept,

Thy Genius, Chivalry, hath slept : in subduing Spain, and restoring it to the lawful prince, though a great tyrant, Don Pedro the Cruel; which, for the compass of time, including only the expedition of one year, for the greatness of the action, and its answerable event, for the magnanimity of the English hero, opposed to the ingratitude of the person whom he restored, and for the many beautiful episodes which I had interwoven with the principal design, together with the characters of the chiefest English persons (wherein after Virgil and Spenser, I would have taken occasion to represent my living friends and patrons of the noblest families, and also shadowed the events of future ages in the succession of our imperial line,) - with these helps, and those of the machines which I have mentioned, I might perhaps have done as well as some of my predecessors, or at least chalked out a way for others to amend my errors in a like design; but being encouraged only with fair words by King Charles II., my little salary ill paid, and no prospect of a future subsistence, I was then discouraged in the beginning of my attempt; and now age has overtaken me, and want, a more insufferable evil, through the change of the times, has wholly disabled

There sound the harpings of the North,
Till he awake and sally forth,
On venturous quest to prick again,
In all his arms, with all his train,
Shield, lance, and brand, and plume, and scart,
Fay, giant, dragon, squire, and dwarf,
And wizard with his wand of might,
And errant maid on palfrey white.
Around the Genius weave their spells,
Pure Love, who scarce his passion tells;
Mystery, half veil'd and half reveal'd ;
And Honour, with his spotless shield;
Attention, with fix'd eye; and Fear,
That loves the tale she shrinks to hear ;
And gentle Courtesy; and Faith,
Unchanged by sufferings, time, or death ;
And Valour, lion-mettled lord,
Leaning upon his own good sword.
Well has thy fair achievement shown,
A worthy meed may thus be won ;
Ytene's? oaks—beneath whose shade
Their theme the merry minstrels made,
Of Ascapart, and Bevis bold,

1 The new Forest in Hampshire, anciently so called.

2 The “History of Bevis of Hampton" is abridged by my friend Mr. George Ellis, with that liveliness which extracts amusement even out of the most rude and unpromising of our old tales of chivalry. Ascapart, a most important personage in the romance, is thus described in an extract :

" This geaunt was mighty and strong,
And full thirty foot was long.
He was bristled like a sow;
A foot he had between each brow;

And that Red King,' who, while of old,
Through Boldrewood the chase he led,
By his loved huntsman's arrow bled-
Ytene's oaks have heard again
Renew'd such legendary strain ;
For thou hast sung, how he of Gaul,
That Amadis so famed in hall,
For Oriana, foil'd in fight
The Necromancer's felon might;
And well in modern verse hast wove
Partenopex's mystic love ;?
Hear, then, attentive to my lay,
A knightly tale of Albion's elder day.

His lips were great, and hung aside ;
His eyen were hollow, his mouth was wide;
Lothly he was to look on than,
And liker a devil than a man.
His staff was a young oak,
Hard and heavy was his stroke."

Specimens of Vetrical Romances, vol. in., p. 136. I am happy to say that the memory of Sir Bevis is still fragrant in his town of Southampton; the gate of which is sentincled by the effigies of that doughty knight-errant and his gigantic associate.

i William Rufus. ? Partenoper de Blois, a poem, by W. S, Rose, Esq., was published in 1808.

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