Matthew Prior

(1664 - 1721 / Dorset / England)

A Passage In The Moriae Encomium Of Erasmus. Imitated


In awful pomp and melancholy state,
See settled Reason on the judgement-seat;
Around her crowd Distrust, and Doubt, and Fear,
And thoughtful Foresight, and tormenting Care;
Far from the throne the trembling Pleasures stand,
Chain'd up or exiled by her stern command.
Wretched her subjects, gloomy sits the queen,
Till happy chance reverts the cruel scene;
And apish Folly, with her wild resort
Of wit and jest, disturbs the solemn court.

See the fantastic Minstrelsy advance
To breathe the song and animate the dance.
Bless'd the usurper! happy the surprise!
Her mimic postures catch our eager eyes;
Her jingling bells affect our captive ear,
And in the sights we see and sounds we hear,
Against our judgement she our sense employs,
The laws of troubled reason she drestroys,
And in their place rejoices to indite
Wild schemes of mirth and plans of loose delight.

Submitted: Monday, April 19, 2010

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