Constantia: or, The Man of Law's Tale, Modernized from Chaucer - Part 2

Hail Virtue ! Chaste Eternal Beauty, hail!
Still on the foe, O Goddess, still prevail!
The world, e're framed, lay open to thy view;
You form'd the whole, and shall again renew!
E're I thy arduous pleasing toils decline,
Be Want, ah, still be each disaster mine;
Till even Oppression be itself subdued,
Nor yet a wish for wealth or power intrude!

Nor be the Poor alone thy favourite care;
Fly, fly to courts, and let the Mighty share!
The silken lethargy at once awake;
Debauch from his intemperate opiate shake;
Thence every vice, and every folly drive,
That sting or glitter round the gorgeous hive.
Before thy touch let Insolence retire,
And Vanity, an empty breath, expire;
Hypocrisy cast off the fair disguise,
And starting in his native gloom arise.

Now, Goddess, entering, view the dome of state!
Do thou inform, and give me to relate;
Let demons obvious to my eye appear,
(Which known, could sure find no admittance here.)
Amid the buzzing, busy, idle croud,
The mix'd assembly of the mean and proud,
See, Treason smiles, a suitor to his king;
See, Promise flutters on a Cypress wing;
Her pinion like autumnal foliage falls,
And on the pavement Disappointment crawls.
A friendly aspect Enmity assumes;
Beneath applause, deep lurking Envy glooms;
The tempting mammon Subornation shows;
And in the patriot's zeal Dissention glows.

Oppression there with gently winning grace,
And Ignorance with solemn thinking face,
And Pride with mortified and Christian guise,
And Infidelity with saintly eyes,
Four rival-candidates, their monarch sue;
Two for the Bench, and for the Mitre two.

Lo there Ambition, from his height elate!
And Pleasure lolling on a couch of state!
On these the pageantry of pomp attends;
To these the idolizing tumult bends;
The poor, the rich, the peasant, and the peer,
And all religions, join in worship here.
Ambition, reaching from his airy stand,
Grasps at a globe that shuns his desperate hand:
Around the glittering sphere, confusedly gay,
Crowns, truncheons, gems, and trophied radiance lay;
But changing with alternate light and shade,
The lures appear, and vanish, shine, and fade;
Vain as the cloudy meteor of the morn,
Which fancy forms, and transient rays adorn.
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