1 ERE Saturn's sons were yet disgrac'd,
2 And heathen gods were all the taste,
3 Full oft (we read) 'twas Jove's high will
4 To take the air on Ida's hill.
5 It chanc'd, as once with serious ken
6 He view'd from thence the ways of men,
7 He saw (and pity touch'd his breast)
8 The world by three foul fiends possest.
9 Pale Discord there, and Folly vain,
10 With haggard Vice, upheld their reign.
11 Then forth he sent his summons high,
12 And call'd a senate of the sky.
13 Round as the winged orders prest,
14 Jove thus his sacred mind exprest:
15 "Say, which of all this shining train
16 " Will Virtue's conflict hard sustain?
17 "For see! she drooping takes her flight,
18 " While not a God supports her right. "
19 He paus'd — when from amidst the sky,
20 Wit, Innocence, and Harmony,[Page 136]
21 With one united zeal arose,
22 The triple tyrants to oppose.
23 That instant from the realms of day,
24 With generous speed, they took their way;
25 To Britain's isle direct their car,
26 And enter'd with the evening star.
27 Beside the road a mansion stood,
28 Defended by a circling wood.
29 Hither, disguis'd, their steps they bend,
30 In hopes, perchance, to find a friend.
31 Nor vain their hope; for records say,
32 Worth ne'er from thence was turn'd away.
33 They urge the traveller's common chance,
34 And every piteous plea advance:
35 The artful tale that Wit had feign'd,
36 Admittance easy soon obtain'd.
37 The dame who own'd, adorn'd the place;
38 Three blooming daughters added grace.
39 The first, with gentlest manners blest
40 And temper sweet, each heart possest;
41 Who view'd her, catch'd the tender flame;
42 And soft Amasia was her name.
43 In sprightly sense and polish'd air,
44 What maid with Mira might compare?
45 While Lucia's eyes, and Lucia's lyre,
46 Did unresisted love inspire.
47 Imagine now the table clear,
48 And mirth in every face appear:[Page 137]
49 The song, the tale, the jest went round,
50 The riddle dark, the trick profound,
51 Thus each admiring and admir'd,
52 The hosts and guests at length retir'd;
53 When Wit thus spake her sister-train:
54 "Faith, friends, our errand is but vain —
55 " Quick let us measure back the sky;
56 "These nymphs alone may well supply
57 " Wit, Innocence, and Harmony. "
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): A TALE.
Author: William Melmoth
Themes: mythology; virtue; vice
Genres: narrative verse
References: DMI 32504
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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.