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Ilis sepulchre is here, whose womb contains
The deathless spirit, and decay'd remains :
To this he hy her blandishments was led,
And what receiv'd alive, detains him dead.

It is said that Merlin intended to build a wall of brass round Varidunum; and so say: Diayton, Polyolbio!), song IV.

Ilow Merlin hy his skill and mazie's wondrous migit
From Ireland hither brought the stonendige in a night;
And for Caermarden's wake would tain have brought to pass
About it to have bult a wall of solid brass);
And set his fiend; to work upon the mighty frame;
Some to the antil; some that still cuore’al the flame;
But whilst it was in hand, by loving of an elf
(For all his wondrous skill) was cozen'l by himself.
For walking with his tay, her io the rock he brought
In which he oft before his necromancies wrougl.t,
And going in thereat his magics to have shown,
She stopt the caveru's mouth with an mehanted stone:
Whose cunning strongly crost, amaz'l whilst he did stand,
She captive him convey'd into the fairy land.
Then how the lab’ring pirits to rock by fetters bound,
With bellow's runnbling groans, and hammers thund'ring sound,
A fearful horrid din still in the earth do keep,
Their master to awake, şuppos’d by thein to sleep;
As at their work how still the grieved spirits repine,
Tormented in the fire, and tired in the mine.

Spenser again,

........A little while,
Before that Merlin dy'l, he did intend
A brazen wall in compass to compile
About Caermarthen, and did it commend
Unto his sprights to bring to perfect end;
During which time the lady of the lake,
Whom long be lor'd, for him in haste did send,
Who therefore fore' his workmen to forsake,
Them bound till lus return, their labour not to slahe.

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His living soul must with his corse repose,
Till the last trump the fatal angel blows:
Then shall the just award his deeds requite,
With sin polluted, or with virtue white.

This lady of the lake appears to have been a fairy or nymph, with whom Merlin was enamoured: the story of her deceiving him is thus related in the romance called Morte Arthur, or the life and death of prince Arthur, printed by Caxton in 1485.

“ The lady of the lake and Merlin departed; and by the way, as they went, Merlin shewed to her many wonders, and came into Cornwaile: And alwaies laid about the lady for to have her favour; and she was ever passing weary of him, and fain would have been delivered of him; for she was afraid of him, because he was a divells sonne, and she could not put him away by no means. And so, upon a time it hapned that Merlin shewed to her a roche (rock) whereas a great wonder, and wroughi by inchantment, which went under a stone, so by her craft and working she made Merlin to go under that stone, to let him wit of the marvailes there. But she wronght so there for liim, that he never came out, for all the craft that he could doe.

B. i. C. lx.

But in the life of Merlin, this adventure is related with circumstances nearer the account given by our author.

“ Merlin's mother having cecretly conceived by a demon, was, after her delivery, condemned to be put to death, for breach of chastity; but her son, an infant, defended, and set his mother at liberty. Merlin, being grown up, went to the court of Uther Pendragon, where he established the famous round table, wrought many wonderful works, and uttered a number of prophesies ; here he feil in love with the lady of the lake, whom he used to call the white serpent; before his death he erected a tomb, in the forest of Nortes, capable to hold him and his mistress; and having shewed it her, he taught her a charm that would close the stone, so that it could never be opened. The lary, who secretly hated him, began one day to caress him exceedingly, and at last made him go into the tomb, in order to try vihether it was large enough: Merlin, being entered, she closed the stone upon him, where he died : his spirit being likewise confined by the force of the spell, continued from time to time to speak, and to give answers to such questions as were put to him."

His voice survives, and oft is heard to come
In tuneful music from the marble tomb.
To all that question, is his wisdom shown;
He tells the past, and makes the future known:

30

We shall quote one more passage of Spenser, where he gives a noble description of the care, which was the scene of Merlin's incantations. Britomait, and her nurse old Glauce, go to consult this magician :

To Maridunum, that is now by change,
Of name Cayr Marilin call’d, they took their way;
There the wise Merlin whilom went, they say,
To make his wonne, low underneath the ground,
In a deep delve, far from the view of day,

That of no living wight be mote be found,
When so he counsell’d with his pright, encompass'd round.

And if thou ever happen that same way
To travel, go to see that dreadful place:
It is an ideous, hollow care, they say,
Luder a rock that lies a little pace
From the suit Barry, turnbling down apace,
Emongst the woody lulls of Iynevowre;
But dare thou not, I charge, in any case,

Tv enter into that same baletul bower,
For fear the cruel tiends should thee unwares derom.

But standing high aloft, low lay thine ear,
And there such ghastly noise of iron chains,
And brazen cauldrons thou shalt rumblin's hear,
Which thousand -prights with long enduring pains
Da loss, that it will stan thy feeble brainn;
Auf oftentimes great groans, and grievous stounds,
When too huge toil airl labour them constrains:

And oitentimes loud strokes, and ringing sounds
From under that deep rock most horribly rebounds.

B, iii, C.iii.

This description is not entirely the fiction of the poet, as there are sufficient vouchers to produce for the truth of the story. “ In a rock of the island of Barry, in Glamorganshire, there is a narrow chik or cleft, to which, if you put your ear, you shall perceive all Buch sort of noises, as you may fancy smiths at work under ground;

I many days have in this cave remain'd,
To which I travell’d from a distant land;
For he, whose sage predictions never lyd,

85 This hour for thy arrival prophesy'd.

She said, and Amon's daughter, while she spoke,
With silence heard, amazement in her look;
When casting on the ground her bashful eyes,
She to the dame with modest grace replies:

90 Alas! what praise has my unworthy name, That prophets my arrival should proclaim?

Then rapt with joy at such a blest event, Silent she follow'd where the matron went, Slow leading to the tomb, in which detain'd

95 The ghost of Merlin with his bones remain'd. Hard was the polish'd marble, smooth and bright, And like a ruddy flame dispell’d the night, Tho here the sun refus’d his cheering light. Whether some marble, by its nature, shows

100 A beam, that like a torch in darkness glows: Or else by verse, and fumigating powers, Or signs imprest in planetary hours,

strokes of hammers, blowing of bellows, grinding of tools, &c.” See Cambien's Britannia. Drayton, in the above lines, alludes to this story of the lady of the lake, and to this marvellous cave.

Ariosto, with the liberty of a romance-writer, places Merlin's grot in I'rance, and removes the scene of several of his actions to that place.”

See Upton and Warton's Observations on Sponser,

Not far from Caermarthen, is a hill called Merlin's h:}), near the brow of which is a rock, known by the name of Merlin's chair, in which it is said, that famous prophet used to sit, when he uttered his prophesies.

(As best may seem) this wonder was compos'd: The lustre many a pleasing sight disclos’d;

105 Pictures and statues, that with various grace, In order rang'd, adorn’d the sacred place.

Scarce o'er the threshold pass’d the warrior-dame, And to the cavern's deep recesses came, When from the breathless clay with pleasing strain, 110 T' accost the fair the spirit thus began.

May fortune all thy just endeavours aid, O ever chaste, and ever honour'il maid! From whose glad womb must spring the fruitful race That Italy, and all the world shall grace!

115 That ancient blood, which once in Ilium shin'd, By the two noblest streams in thee conjoin’d, The joy, the flower of every race shall yield, Between the Danube and the Nile reveal’d, The Tagus and the Ind, or all that lies

120 Between Calisto and th’ Antartic skies. Hence chiefs shall rise, and many a valiant knight, Who with their counsel, and their arms in fight, Shall on their Italy devolve their fame, And spread in war the glory of her name.

125 Then righteous monarchs shall the sceptre hold, Who, as the sage Augustus rul'd of old,

Ver. 116. That ancient blood,---] Rogero and Bradamant, both descended from Astyanax: Rogero, son to Rogero of Risa, and Bradamant, niece to Charlemain. See note on B, ii. Ver. 216.

Ver. 119.--- The Danube and the Nile---] The Danube, a river in Germany; the Nile, a river in Egypt; the Tagns, a river in Portugal; the Ind, or Indus, a river in India, whence the country. receives its name : By the Antartic skies, is meant the south pole; and by Calisto, the north, being a constellation in that part of the heavens.

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