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Licentious satire, song, and play ;?
The world defrauded of the high design,2
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:
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,

1 [MS.-“ Licentious song, lampoon, and play.”]
2 [MS.-" The world defrauded of the bold design,

And quench'd the heroic / fire, and marr'd the

Profaned the heavenly s lofty line.” Again, “ Profaned his God-given strength, and marr'd his lofty

line."] 3 {In the MS. the rest of the passage stands as follows:“ Around him wait with all their I charms,

Pure Love which / Virtue only warms;

""scarce his passion tells;
Mystery, half seen and half conceal'd;
And Honour, with unspotted shield;
Attention, with fix'd eye; and Fear,
That loves the tale she shrinks to hear;

Shield, lance, and brand, and pluine, and

scarf, 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 veild and half reveald; 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 1 oaks—beneath whose shade Their theme the merry minstrels made, Of Ascapart, and Bevis bold,

And gentle Courtesy; and Faith,

And valour that despises death.”] 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, foild 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 Metrical Romances, vol. ii. 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 sentineled by the effigies of that doughty knight-errant and his gigantic associate.

1 William Rufus.

2 [Partenopex de Blois, a poem, by W. S. Rose, Esq., was published in 1808.—ED.]




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