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And that so little it would hold but one,
So were they forced to part; one staid behind,
His fellow, who the narrow bed had kept, Was weary, and without a rocker slept: Supine he snored ; but in the dead of night, He dreamt his friend appeard before his sight, Who,
with a ghastly look and doleful cry,
Rouzed from his rest, he waken'd in a start,
; The murderers come, now help, or I am slain :'Twas but a vision still, and visions are but vain.
He dreamt the third ; but now his friend appear'd Pale, naked, pierced with wounds, with blood be
Then shew'd his grisly wounds; and last he drew A piteous sigh, and took a long adieu.
The frighted friend arose by break of day, And found the stall where late his fellow lay. Then of his impious host inquiring more, Was answer'd that his guest was gone before : Muttering he went, said he, by morning light, And much complain'd of his ill rest by night. This raised suspicion in the pilgrim's mind ; Because all hosts are of an evil kind, And oft to share the spoil with robbers join'd. His dream confirm’d his thought; with troubled
look Straight to the western gate his way he took ; There, as his dream foretold, a cart he found, That carried compost forth to dung the ground. This when the pilgrim saw, he stretch'd his throat, And cried out murder with a yelling note. My murder'd fellow in this cart lies dead; Vengeance and justice on the villain's head ! You, magistrates, who sacred laws dispense, On you I call to punish this offence.
The word thus given, within a little space, The mob came roaring out, and throng'd the place. All in a trice they cast the cart to the ground, And in the dung the murder'd body found; Though breathless, warm, and reeking from the
wound. Good heaven, whose darling attribute we find Is boundless grace, and mercy to mankind, Abhors the cruel ; and the deeds of night By wondrous ways reveals in open light: Murder may pass unpunish'd for a time, But tardy justice will o’ertake the crime. And oft a speedier pain the guilty feels, The hue and cry of heaven pursues him at the heels,
Fresh from the fact, as in the present case.
Here may you see that visions are to dread;
One evening it befel, that looking out, The wind they long had wish'd was come about; Well pleased, they went to rest; and if the gale Till morn continued, both resolved to sail. But as together in a bed they lay, The younger had a dream at break of day, A man, he thought, stood frowning at his side, Who warn'd him for his safety to provide, Nor put to sea, but safe on shore abide. I come, thy genius, to command thy stay; Trust not the winds, for fatal is the day, And death unhoped* attends the wat'ry way.
and unhoped, anciently meant only expected and unexpected. Puttenham, in his “ Art of English Poesie,” 1589, mentions the Tanner of Tamworth, who, in his broad dialect, said to King Edward, upon discovering his rank, and remembering the familiarities he had used with him while in disguise, “ I hope I shall be hanged to-morrow,” for “I
fear me I shall be hang. ed.” The use of the verb hope, was therefore limited to its present sense, even in Queen Elizabeth's time. But Dryden, in translating an old poet, used some latitude in employing ancient language.
The vision said, and vanish'd from his sight. The dreamer waken’d in a mortal fright; Then pulld his drowsy neighbour, and declared, What in his slumber he had seen and heard. His friendsmiled scornful, and with proud contempt, Rejects as idle what his fellow dreamt. Stay? who will stay; for me no fears restrain, Who follow Mercury, the god of gain ; Let each man do as to his fancy seems, I wait not, I, till you have better dreams. Dreams are but interludes, which fancy makes ; When monarch reason sleeps, this mimic wakes ; Compounds a medley of disjointed things, A mob of coblers, and a court of kings :* Light fumes are merry, grosser fumes are sad; Both are the reasonable soul run mad; And many monstrous forms in sleep we see, That neither were, nor are, nor e'er can be. Sometimes, forgotten things long cast behind Rush forward in the brain, and come to mind. The nurse's legends are for truths received, And the man dreams but what the boy believed. Sometimes we but rehearse a former play, The night restores our actions done by day, As hounds in sleep will open for their prey. In short, the farce of dreams is of a piece, Chimeras all; and more absurd, or less. You, who believe in tales, abide alone; Whate'er I get this voyage
may be room to suspect, that the line should run,
A court of coblers, and a mob of kings ;
as better expressing the confusion of ideas incident to dreaming.
Thus while he spoke, he heard the shouting crew That call'd aboard, and took his last adieu. The vessel went before a merry gale, And for quick passage put on every
By this example you are taught again,
Kenelm, the son of Kenulph, Mercia's king,*
* Kenelm, son of Kenulph, king of Mercia, was murdered at the age of seven years by his sister Quendreda, and accounted a martyr.