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in 1603. Drayton acted as an esquire to his patron, Sir Walter Aston, in the ceremony of his installation as a Knight of the Bath. The poet expected some patronage from the new sovereign, but was disappointed. He published the first part of his most elaborate work, the Polyolbion, in 1612, and the second in 1622, the whole forming a poetical description of England, in thirty songs, or books.

Michael Drayton.

The Polyolbion is a work entirely unlike any other in English poetry, both in its subject and the manner in which it is written. It is full of topographical and antiquarian details, with innumerable allusions to remarkable events and persons, as connected with various localities; yet such is the poetical genius of the author, so happily does he idealise almost everything he touches on, and so lively is the flow of his verse, that we do not readily tire in perusing this vast mass of information. He seems to have followed the manner of Spenser in his unceasing personifications of natural objects, such as hills, rivers, and woods. The information contained in this work is in general so accurate, that it is quoted as an authority by Hearne and Wood.

In 1627, Drayton published a volume containing The Battle of Agincourt, The Court of Faerie, and other poems. Three years later appeared another volume, entitled The Muses' Elysium, from which it appears that he had found a final shelter in the family of the Earl of Dorset. On his death in 1631, he was buried in Westminster Abbey, where a monument, containing an inscription in letters of gold, was raised to his memory by the wife of that nobleman, the justly celebrated Lady Anne Clifford, subsequently Countess of Pembroke and Montgomery.

Drayton, throughout the whole of his writings, voluminous as they are, shows the fancy and feeling of the true poet. According to Mr Headley-He possessed a very considerable fertility of mind, which enabled him to distinguish himself in almost every species of poetry, from a trifling sonnet to a long topographical poem. If he anywhere sinks below himself, it is in his attempts at satire. In a most pedantic era, he was unaffected, and seldom exhibits his learning at the expense of his judgment.'

[Morning in Warwickshire-Description of a
Stag-Hunt.]

When Phoebus lifts his head out of the winter's wave,

No sooner doth the earth her flowery bosom brave,
At such time as the year brings on the pleasant
spring,

But hunts-up to the morn the feath. 'red sylvans sing:
And in the lower grove, as on the rising knole,
Upon the highest spray of every mounting pole,
Those quiristers are perch't, with many a speckled
breast,

Then from her burnisht gate the goodly glitt'ring

east

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Gilds every lofty top, which late the humorous night Bespangled had with pearl, to please the morning's sight;

On which the mirthful quires, with their clear open throats,

Unto the joyful morn so strain their warbling notes, That hills and vallies ring, and even the echoing air Seems all composed of sounds, about them everywhere. The throstle, with shrill sharps; as purposely he song T' awake the listless sun; or chiding, that so long He was in coming forth, that should the thickets thrill;

The ouzel near at hand, that hath a golden bill,
As nature him had markt of purpose, t' let us see
That from all other birds his tunes should different be:
For, with their vocal sounds, they sing to pleasant

May;

Upon his dulcet pipe the merle1 doth only play.
When in the lower brake, the nightingale hard by
In such lamenting strains the joyful hours doth ply,
As though the other birds she to her tunes would
draw.

And, but that nature (by her all-constraining law)
Fach bird to her own kind this season doth invite,
They else, alone to hear that charmer of the night,
(The more to use their ears,) their voices sure would

spare,

That moduleth her tunes so admirably rare,
As man to set in parts at first had learn'd of her.
And by that warbling bird, the wood-lark place we
To Philomel the next, the linnet we prefer ;

then,

The red-sparrow, the nope, the red-breast, and the wren. The yellow-pate; which though she hurt the blooming

tree,

Yet scarce hath any bird a finer pipe than she. And of these chaunting fowls, the goldfinch not behind,

The tydy for her notes as delicate as they,
That hath so many sorts descending from her kind.
The laughing hecco, then the counterfeiting jay.
The softer with the shrill (some hid among the leaves,
Some in the taller trees, some in the lower greaves)
Thus sing away the morn, until the mounting sun,
Through thick exhaled fogs his golden head hath run,
And through the twisted tops of our close covert

creeps

To kiss the gentle shade, this while that sweetly

sleeps. And near to these our thicks, the wild and frightful. herds, Not hearing other noise but this of chattering birds, Feed fairly on the lawns; both sorts of seasoned deer: Here walk the stately red, the freckled fallow there: The bucks and lusty stags amongst the rascals strew'd, As sometime gallant spirits amongst the multitude.

Of all the beasts which we for our venerial2 name, The hart among the rest, the hunter's noblest game:

Of all birds, only the blackbird whistleth. Of hunting, or chase.

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As though up by the roots the bushes he would rive. And through the cumb'rous thicks, as fearfully he makes,

He with his branched head the tender saplings shakes, That sprinkling their moist pearl do seem for him to weep; When after goes the cry, with yellings loud and deep, That all the forest rings, and every neighbouring place: And there is not a hound but falleth to the chase. Rechating with his horn, which then the hunter cheers,

Whilst still the lusty stag his high-palm'd head upbears,

His body showing state, with unbent knees upright, Expressing from all beasts, his courage in his flight. But when th' approaching foes still following he perceives,

That he his speed must trust, his usual walk he leaves: And o'er the champain flies; which when the assembly find,

Each follows, as his horse were footed with the wind. But being then imbost, the noble stately deer When he hath gotten ground (the kennel cast arrear) Doth beat the brooks and ponds for sweet refreshing soil; That serving not, then proves if he his scent can foil, And makes amongst the herds, and flocks of shagwool'd sheep, Them frighting from the guard of those who had their keep. But when as all his shifts his safety still denies, Put quite out of his walk, the ways and fallows tries; Whom when the ploughman meets, his teem he letteth stand, T'assail him with his goad: so with his hook in hand, The shepherd him pursues, and to his dog doth hallow: When, with tempestuous speed, the hounds and huntsmen follow;

The track of the foot.

One of the measures in winding the horn.

Until the noble deer, through toil bereav'd of strength,
His long and sinewy legs then failing him at length,
The villages attempts, enraged, not giving way
To anything he meets now at his sad decay.
The cruel ravenous hounds and bloody hunters near,
This noblest beast of chase, that vainly doth but fear,
Some bank or quick-set finds; to which his haunch
opposed,

He turns upon his foes, that soon have him inclosed. The churlish-throated hounds then holding him at bay,

And as their cruel fangs on his harsh skin they lay, With_his_sharp-pointed head he dealeth deadly

wounds.

The hunter, coming in to help his wearied hounds, He desperately assails; until opprest by force, He who the mourner is to his own dying corse, Upon the ruthless earth his precious tears lets fall! To forests that belongs. *

[Part of the Twenty-eighth Song of the Polyolbion.]

But, Muse, return at last, attend the princely Trent, Who straining on in state, the north's imperious flood, The third of England call'd, with many a dainty wood, Being crown'd to Burton comes, to Needwood where

she shows

Herself in all her pomp ; and as from thence she flows, She takes into her train rich Dove, and Darwin clear, Darwin, whose font and fall are both in Derbyshire; And of those thirty floods, that wait the Trent upon, Doth stand without compare, the very paragon.

Thus wand'ring at her will, as uncontroll'd she

ranges,

Her often varying form, as variously and changes; First Erwash, and then Lyne, sweet Sherwood sends

her in ;

Then looking wide, as one that newly wak'd had been, Saluted from the north, with Nottingham's proud height,

So strongly is surpris'd, and taken with the sight,
That she from running wild, but hardly can refrain,
To view in how great state, as she along doth strain,
That brave exalted seat beholdeth her in pride,
As how the large-spread meads upon the other side,
All flourishing in flowers, and rich embroideries
dress'd,

In which she sees herself above her neighbours bless'd. As wrap'd with the delights, that her this prospect brings,

In her peculiar praise, lo thus the river sings:
What should I care at all, from what my name I
take,
That thirty doth import, that thirty rivers make;
My greatness what it is, or thirty abbeys great,
That on my fruitful banks, times formerly did seat;
Or thirty kinds of fish that in my streams do live,
To me this name of Trent, did from that number give!
What reck I let great Thames, since by his fortune he
Is sovereign of us all that here in Britain be;
From Isis and old Tame his pedigree derive;
And for the second place, proud Severn that doth
strive,

Fetch her descent from Wales, from that proud mountain sprung,

Plinillimon, whose praise is frequent them among, As of that princely maid, whose name she boasts to bear,

Bright Sabrin, whom she holds as her undoubted heir, Let these imperious floods draw down their long de

scent

From these so famous stocks, and only say of Trent,

1 The hart weepeth at his dying; his tears are held to be precious in medicine.

That Moreland's barren earth me first to light did bring, Which though she be but brown, my clear complexion'd spring Gain'd with the nymphs such grace, that when I first did rise,

The Naiads on my brim danc'd wanton hydagies, And on her spacious breast (with heaths that doth abound)

Encircled my fair fount with many a lusty round:
And of the British floods, though but the third I be,
Yet Thames and Severn both in this come short of me,
For that I am the mere of England, that divides
The north part from the south, on my so either sides,
That reckoning how these tracts in compass be extent,
Men bound them on the north, or on the south of
Trent;

Their banks are barren sands, if but compar'd with
mine,
Through my perspicuous breast, the pearly pebbles
shine:

I throw my crystal arms along the flow'ry valleys, Which lying sleek and smooth as any garden alleys, Do give me leave to play, whilst they do court my

stream,

And crown my winding banks with many an anadem ;
My silver-scaled sculls about my streams do sweep,
Now in the shallow fords, now in the falling deep:
So that of every kind, the new spawn'd numerous fry
Seem in me as the sands that on my shore do lie.
The barbel, than which fish a braver doth not swim,
Nor greater for the ford within my spacious brim,
Nor (newly taken) more the curious taste doth please;
The grayling, whose great spawn is big as any pease;
The perch with pricking fins, against the pike pre-
par'd,

As nature had thereon bestow'd this stronger guard,
His daintiness to keep (each curious palate's proof)
From his vile ravenous foe: next him I name the
ruff,

His very near ally, and both for scale and fin,
In taste, and for his bait (indeed) his next of kin,
The pretty slender dare, of many call'd the dace,
Within my liquid glass, when Phoebus looks his face,
Oft swiftly as he swims, his silver belly shows,
But with such nimble flight, that ere ye can disclose
His shape, out of your sight like lightning he is shot ;
The trout by nature mark'd with many a crimson spot,
As though she curious were in him above the rest,
And of fresh-water fish, did note him for the best;
The roach whose common kind to every flood doth fall;
The chub (whose neater name which some a chevin
call)

Food to the tyrant pike (most being in his power), Who for their numerous store he most doth them devour;

The lusty salmon then, from Neptune's wat'ry realm, When as his season serves, stemming my tideful stream,

Then being in his kind, in me his pleasure takes,
(For whom the fisher then all other game forsakes)
Which bending of himself to th' fashion of a ring,
Above the forced wears, himself doth nimbly fling,
And often when the net hath drag'd him safe to land,
Is seen by natural force to 'scape his murderer's hand;
Whose grain doth rise in flakes, with fatness inter-
larded,

Of many a liquorish lip, that highly is regarded.
And Humber, to whose waste I pay my wat'ry store,
Me of her sturgeons sends, that I thereby the more
Should have my beauties grac'd with something from
him sent;

Not Ancum's silver'd eel excelleth that of Trent ; Though the sweet smelling smelt be more in Thames

than me,

The lamprey, and his lesse, in Severn general be;

The flounder smooth and flat, in other rivers caught,
Perhaps in greater store, yet better are not thought:
The dainty gudgeon, loche, the minnow, and the
bleak,

Since they but little are, I little need to speak
Of them, nor doth it fit me much of those to reck,
Which everywhere are found in every little beck ;
Nor of the crayfish here, which creeps amongst my
stones,

From all the rest alone, whose shell is all his bones :
For carp, the tench, and bream, my other store

among,

To lakes and standing pools that chiefly do belong, Here scouring in my fords, feed in my waters clear, Are muddy fish in ponds to that which they are

here.'

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For she was let to know, that Soare had in her song So chanted Charnwood's worth, the rivers that along, Amongst the neighbouring nymphs there was no other lays,

But those which scem'd to sound of Charnwood, and
her praise:
Which Sherwood took to heart, and very much dis-
dain'd,

(As one that had both long, and worthily maintain'd
The title of the great'st and bravest of her kind)
To fall so far below one wretchedly confined
Within a furlong's space, to her large skirts com-

pared: Wherefore she, as a nymph that neither fear'd nor

cared

For ought to her might chance, by others love or hate,

With resolution arm'd against the power of fate,
All self-praise set apart, determineth to sing
That lusty Robin Hood, who long time like a king
Within her compass lived, and when he list to range
For some rich booty set, or else his air to change,
To Sherwood still retired, his only standing court,
Whose praise the Forest thus doth pleasantly report:
'The merry pranks he play'd, would ask an age to tell,
And the adventures strange that Robin Hood befel,
When Mansfield many a time for Robin hath been
laid,

How he hath cousen'd them, that him would have betray'd;

How often he hath come to Nottingham disguised,
And cunningly escaped, being set to be surprised.
In this our spacious isle, I think there is not one,
But he hath heard some talk of him and Little John;
And to the end of time, the tales shall ne'er be done,
Of Scarlock, George-a-Green, and Much the miller's son,
Of Tuck the merry friar, which many a sermon made
In praise of Robin Hood, his outlaws, and their trade.
An hundred valiant men had this brave Robin Hood,
Still ready at his call, that bowman were right good,
All clad in Lincoln green, with caps of red and blue,
His fellow's winded horn, not one of them but knew,

When setting to their lips their little beugles shrill The warbling echoes waked from every dale and hill: Their bauldricks set with studs, athwart their shoulders cast,

To which under their arms their sheafs were buckled fast,

A short sword at their belt, a buckler scarce a span,
Who struck below the knee, not counted then a man:
All made of Spanish yew, their bows were wond'rous
strong;

They not an arrow drew, but was a cloth yard long.
Of archery they had the very perfect craft,
With broad-arrow, or but, or prick, or roving shaft,
At marks full forty score, they used to prick, and rove,
Yet higher than the breast, for compass never strove;
Yet at the farthest mark a foot could hardly win:
At long-buts, short, and hoyles, each one could cleave
the pin:

Their arrows finely pair'd, for timber, and for feather, With birch and brazil pieced, to fly in any weather; And shot they with the round, the square, or forked pile,

The loose gave such a twang, as might be heard a mile. And of these archers brave, there was not any one, But he could kill a deer his swiftest speed upon, Which they did boil and roast, in many a mighty wood,

Sharp hunger the fine sauce to their more kingly food. Then taking them to rest, his merry men and he Slept many a summer's night under the greenwood

tree.

From wealthy abbots' chests, and churls' abundant store,

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[David and Goliah.]

And now before young David could come in,
The host of Israel somewhat doth begin
To rouse itself; some climb the nearest tree,
And some the tops of tents, whence they might see
How this unarmed youth himself would bear
Against the all-armed giant (which they fear):
Some get up to the fronts of easy hills;
That by their motion a vast murmur fills
The neighbouring valleys, that the enemy thoug.t
Something would by the Israelites be wrought
They had not heard of, and they longed to see
What strange and warlike stratagem, 't should be.
When soon they saw a goodly youth descend,
Himself alone, none after to attend,
That at his need with arms might him supply,
As merely careless of his enemy:

His head uncovered, and his locks of hair
As he came on being played with by the air,
Tossed to and fro, did with such pleasure move,
As they had been provocatives for love:
His sleeves stript up above his elbows were,
And in his hand a stiff short staff did bear,
Which by the leather to it, and the string,
They easily might discern to be a sling.

Suiting to these he wore a shepherd's scrip,
Which from his side hung down upon his hip.
Those for a champion that did him disdain,
Cast with themselves what such a thing should mean ;
Some seeing him so wonderously fair
(As in their eyes he stood beyond compare),
Their verdict gave that they had sent him sure
As a choice bait their champion to allure;
Others again, of judgment more precise,
Said they had sent him for a sacrifice.
And though he seemed thus to be very young,
Yet was he well proportioned and strong,
And with a comely and undaunted grace,
Holding a steady and most even pace,
This way nor that way, never stood to gaze;
But like a man that death could not amaze,
Came close up to Goliah, and so near
As he might easily reach him with his spear.

Which when Goliah saw, Why, boy,' quoth he,
'Thou desperate youth, thou tak'st me sure to be
Some dog, I think, and under thy command,
That thus art come to beat me with a wand:

The kites and ravens are not far away,
Nor beasts of ravine, that shall make a prey
Of a poor corpse, which they from me shall have,
And their foul bowels shall be all thy grave.'
'Uncircumcised slave,' quoth David then,

That for thy shape, the monster art of men;
Thou thus in brass comest arm'd into the field,
And thy huge spear of brass, of brass thy shield:
I in the name of Israel's God alone,
That more than mighty, that eternal One,
Am come to meet thee, who bids not to fear,
Nor once respect the arms that thou dost bear,
Slave, mark the earth whereon thou now dost stand,
I'll make thy length to measure so much land,
As thou liest grov'ling, and within this hour
The birds and beasts thy carcase shall devour.'

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In meantime David looking in his face,
Between his temples, saw how large a space
He was to hit, steps back a yard or two:
The giant wond'ring what the youth would do:
Whose nimble hand out of his scrip doth bring
A pebble-stone and puts it in his sling;
At which the giant openly doth jeer,
And as in scorn, stands leaning on his spear,
Which gives young David much content to see,
And to himself thus secretly saith he :
'Stand but one minute still, stand but so fast,
And have at all Philistia at a cast.'
Then with such sleight the shot away be sent,
That from his sling as 't had been lightning went;
And him so full upon the forehead smit,
Which gave a crack, when his thick scalp it hit,
As't had been thrown against some rock or post,
That the shrill clap was heard through either host.
Staggering awhile upon his spear he leant,
Till on a sudden he began to faint;

When down he came, like an old o'ergrown oak,
His huge root hewn up by the labourers' stroke,
That with his very weight he shook the ground;
His brazen armour gave a jarring sound
Like a crack'd bell, or vessel chanced to fall
From some high place, which did like death appal
The proud Philistines (hopeless that remain),
To see their champion, great Goliah, slain :
When such a shout the host of Israel gave,
As cleft the clouds; and like to men that rave
(O'ercome with comfort) cry, 'The boy, the boy!
O the brave David, Israel's only joy!
God's chosen champion! O most wondrous thing!
The great Goliah slain with a poor sling!'
Themselves encompass, nor can they contain;
Now are they silent, then they shout again.
Of which no notice David seems to take,
But towards the body of the dead doth make,

With a fair comely gait; nor doth he run,
As though he gloried in what he had done;
But treading on the uncircumcised dead,
With his foot strikes the helmet from his head;
Which with the sword ta'en from the giant's side,
He from the body quickly doth divide.

Now the Philistines, at this fearful sight, Leaving their arms, betake themselves to flight, Quitting their tents, nor dare a minute stay; Time wants to carry any thing away, Being strongly routed with a general fear; Yet in pursuit Saul's army strikes the rear To Ekron walls, and slew them as they fled, That Sharam's plains lay cover'd with the dead : And having put the Philistines to foil, Back to the tents retire and take the spoil Of what they left; and ransacking, they cry, 'A David, David, and the victory!'

When straightway Saul his general, Abner, sent For valiant David, that incontinent

He should repair to court; at whose command
He comes along, and beareth in his hand
The giant's head, by the long hair of his crown,
Which by his active knee hung dangling down.
And through the army as he comes along,
To gaze upon him the glad soldiers throng:
Some do instyle him Israel's only light,
And other some the valiant Bethlemite.
With congees all salute him as he past,
And upon him their gracious glances cast:
He was thought base of him that did not boast,
Nothing but David, David, through the host.
The virgins to their timbrels frame their lays
Of him; till Saul grew jealous of his praise.

EDWARD FAIRFAX.

The celebrated translation of Tasso's Jerusalem, by EDWARD FAIRFAX, was made in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and dedicated to that princess, who was proud of patronising learning, but not very lavish in its support. The poetical beauty and freedom of Fairfax's version has been the theme of almost universal praise. Dryden ranked him with Spenser as a master of our language, and Waller said he derived from him the harmony of his numbers. Collins has finely alluded to his poetical and imaginative genius

Prevailing poet, whose undoubting mind Believed the magic wonders which he sung! The date of Fairfax's birth is unknown. He was the natural son of Sir Thomas Fairfax of Denton, in Yorkshire, and spent his life at Fuystone, in the forest of Knaresborough, in the enjoyment of many blessings which rarely befall the poetical race-competence, ease, rural scenes, and an ample command of the means of study. He wrote a work on Demonology, which is still in manuscript, and in the preface to it he states, that in religion he was neither a fantastic Puritan, nor a superstitious Papist.' He also wrote a series of eclogues, one of which was published in 1741, in Cooper's Muses' Library, but it is puerile and absurd. Fairfax was living in 1631, but the time of his death has not been recorded.

[Description of Armida and her Enchanted Girdle.] And with that word she smiled, and ne'ertheless Her love-toys still she used, and pleasures bold : Her hair (that done) she twisted up intress, And looser locks in silken laces roll'd; Her curls, garland-wise, she did up dress, Wherein, like rich enamel laid on gold, The twisted flow'rets smil'd, and her white breast The lilies there that spring with roses drest.

The jolly peacock spreads not half so fair
The eyed feathers of his pompous train;
Nor golden Iris so bends in the air
Her twenty-coloured bow, through clouds of rain:
Yet all her ornaments, strange, rich, and rare,
Her girdle did in price and beauty stain ;
Not that, with scorn, which Tuscan Guilla lost,
Nor Venus' cestus could match this for cost.
Of mild denays, of tender scorns, of sweet
Repulses, war, peace, hope, despair, joy, fear;
Of smiles, jests, mirth, woe, grief, and sad regret,
Sighs, sorrows, tears, embracements, kisses dear,
That, mixed first, by weight and measures meet;
Then, at an easy fire, attempered were ;
This wondrous girdle did Armida frame,
And, when she would be loved, wore the same.

[Rinaldo at Mount Olivet and the Enchanted Wood.] It was the time, when 'gainst the breaking day, Rebellious night yet strove, and still repined, For in the east appear'd the morning grey, And yet some lamps in Jove's high palace shined, When to Mount Olivet he took his way, And saw, as round about his eyes he twined, Night's shadows hence, from thence the morning's shine, This bright, that dark; that earthly, this divine. Thus to himself he thought: how many bright And 'splendent lamps shine in heaven's temple high! Day hath his golden sun, her moon the night, Her fix'd and wand'ring stars the azure sky; So framed all by their Creator's might, That still they live and shine, and ne'er will die, Till in a moment, with the last day's brand They burn, and with them burn sea, air, and land. Thus as he mused, to the top he went, And there kneel'd down with reverence and fear; His eyes upon heaven's eastern face he bent; His thoughts above all heavens uplifted were— The sins and errors which I now repent, Of my unbridled youth, O Father dear, Remember not, but let thy mercy fall And purge my faults and my offences all. Thus prayed he; with purple wings up-flew, In golden weed, the morning's lusty queen, Begilding with the radiant beams she threw, His helm, the harness, and the mountain green : Upon his breast and forehead gently blew The air, that balm and nardus breath'd unseen ; And o'er his head, let down from clearest skies, A cloud of pure and precious dew there flies. The heavenly dew was on his garments spread, And sprinkled so that all that paleness fled, To which compar'd, his clothes pale ashes seem, And thence of purest white bright rays outstream: So cheered are the flowers, late withered, With the sweet comfort of the morning beam; And so return'd to youth, a serpent old Adorns herself in new and native gold.

The lovely whiteness of his changed weed
The prince perceived well and long admired;
Toward the forest march'd he on with speed,
Resolv'd, as such adventures great required:
Thither he came, whence, shrinking back for dread
Of that strange desert's sight, the first retired;
But not to him fearful or loathsome made
That forest was, but sweet with pleasant shade.
Forward he pass'd, and in the grove before,
He heard a sound, that strange, sweet, pleasing was;
There roll'd a crystal brook with gentle roar,
There sigh'd the winds, as through the leaves they pass;
There sang the swan, and singing died, alas!
There lute, harp, cittern, human voice he heard,
And all these sounds one sound right well declared.

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