St. LEONARD'S HILL.

A Poem.

Written by R. F. Gent.

Licensed, May the 14th. 1666. Roger L'Estrange.

LONDON, Printed for Iohn Simms, at the Cross-keyes in Cornhil, near the Royal Exchange. 1666.

St. Leonard's Hill.

WHat if Apollo and the Muses now,
Should with an angry nod, and frowning brow?
Chide me, for boldly thus daring to write
Before they gave me leave, or did invite
To taste of Hellicons inspiring streams,
Although perhaps not half so clear as Thames:
Or cause I put not on considering Cap,
And upon their Parnassus took a nap:
Faith let Apollo and his Wenches know it,
I ne're ambitious was to be a Poet;
Yet without their good leave, I'le Verses make,
And from a Nobler Hill my Rise I'le take,
Viewing these Aiery Land-skips as I flye,
More bounded in my Fancy than mine Eye:
VVell may I then great Hill, thy praise rehearse,
Since you alone give life unto my Verse;
Come hither all ye Mortals, that would be
Blest with a taste of Heavens felicity;
Come, I'le conduct you to that mount above,
Where you will finde that shall deserve your love.
[Page 2]
Clewerth Green.
And as we go, let's view this Rural Green,
Here true content with Poverty are seen;
Here little Lambs after their Mothers bleat,
Until their mouths are stopped with the Teat;
Young Colts are here, with droves of Heyfers bred,
Making this Green, their Pasture and their Bed;
Here with her Gulls the reverend Brood-Goose walks
And old Sir Gander to the young ones talks;
Here a small Farm, there doth a Cottage stand,
To which the Owner joyns a little Land,
Where he doth plant young Trees, and if they grow
To bear good Fruit, the Gods cannot bestow
On him or His, a greater blessing thinks,
And chearfully a good health to his Neighbour drinks,
Living more happy under his thatch't Roof,
Than they, whose splendid Buildings stand a loof;
For in this poor and solitary Cell,
Sound health and harmless peace together dwell;
VVhich blessings are most commonly deny'd
To Great Mens houses, fill'd with lust and pride.
Here with the Lamb they close their slumbring eyes,
And early with the Lark again they rise
Unto their Rural labours; thus they live
Content, though poor, with what the Fates do give;
And when at last Death doth his summons send,
Not sickness, but old age does make them bend.
[Page 3]Now whilst I'me speaking, look the Old man peeps,
Let's enter in and see what house he keeps.
Going then in, he soon doth us espy,
And pulling off his Hat,
Old Pain
a loud doth cry,
My Masters all, ye are welcome, pray draw near,
Sit down and drink, for I have Ale and Beer,
And sweet Metheglin that's both blithe and bonny,
Made of the Best and purest Virgin-Hony;
Or would you Syder drink, or good old Perry?
Your nose 'twill tickle, and your heart make merry:
Old Mother grief sate by the Smoaky Hearth,
Holding a brown Toast to the burning Turff;
Then sighing o're a pot of Ale, anon
Her Sorrow for to break, she thus began;
O Gentlemen! my daies are almost done,
My Sun's neer set, and I my race have run.
Cheer up thy heart Old woman, do not cry,
Should innocency be afraid to dye?
Alas I weep, because Death comes not yet,
He to my misery would a period set:
Mourn all ye Lovers, when so e're she dies,
Of Custards, Cheese-cakes, and hot Pudding pies;
For to your sorrow, you will quickly finde,
Her fellow she can never leave behinde.
Now of each Liquor having had a taste,
He leads us to his little Plot at last;
[Page 4]And shew'd us how each tender Plant did grow
In rank and file, and he their names doth know;
Old goodman Pain his Nursery.
First stands a file of Pippins, next to those,
Deep ranks of Codlins, and John Apples grows;
Here are Paremains, with Gilliflowers good store,
Which I have quite forgot, with many more;
And here are Pears, the best that e're were eat,
The Catherin red, and jucy Burgomat,
And the well-colour'd Marget, with the green
Sweet Cheesil, here in plenty may be seen:
But good Old Doctor, prethee tell me now,
What lovely Pear is that on yonder Bow,
For 'tis a Fruit I have not seen before?
That's all I have Sir, but I hope for more;
'Twill make your mouth to water when 'tis nam'd;
To tell us then, I hope you're not asham'd?
No truly Master I'le be plain and Bold,
'Tis call'd my Ladies Buttock, I am told:
Now Husband you are wanton, pray Wife why?
Here's my young Master knows as well as I,
And better too, that 'tis it's proper Name,
A pleasant fruit, and now in greatest fame.
But here's the Windsor Pear, which I dare say,
Deserves from all to bear the Bell away:
All sorts of Plums are here, and Quinces fair,
And Apricocks that most beloved are;
[Page 5]Here's Flemish Cherries, here are Spanish Vines,
With Peaches sweet, and Roman Nectarines;
Here's the Bonchretien, and the Bingfill too,
With other Fruits not to be reckoned now.
Then what reward, pray tell me, can there be
Too great, for this Mans active industry?
Who with his Labour and his old blunt Spade,
In Barren ground such Nurseries hath made.
Having this plain and pleasant Green o're past,
The great Hills top now we have reach't at last;
St. Leo­nard's Hill.
Nor are we far from Old St. Leonard's Cave,
Whose pious life the Name of this place gave;
And now look down upon the world below,
Then see how faint and little all things show;
Look a far off,
London.
where that great City stands,
Who by it's riches all the world commands;
And whose great Ships, bring Spices from the East
To enrich our Land, and Ingots from the West;
Whose Noble Buildings stand in every street,
Where swarms and shoales of people daily meet,
Thronging so thick together as they go,
That they do one another overthrow;
And all in haste so full of Business move,
To little purpose though it often prove;
Some strive to gain, others consume as fast,
What the Old Sire gain'd, his young heir turns to waste,
[Page 6]A lively Emblem of this populous Crowd,
How often have I seen? my Self to shrowd
From scorching Beams, when I have Musing stood,
Under a spreading Beech in shady Wood;
For I have seen great heaps of Emmets there,
Who in such numerous Crowds so stirring were,
And all so busie, that a man would say,
Their Work was by the Great, not by the Day;
Some loaded this way, others that way went,
Some were for Straw, and some for Timber sent;
Here in a broad High way, which they had made,
For fear that Robbers should their Wealth invade,
They seem'd with Guards of Carravans to go,
And boldly Marching, did not fear the Foe:
But with my foot, how many have I kill'd,
And in a moment, all that they did build
Have quite thrown down, and taken all their spoil,
Which they had purchased with so much toyle:
And with such care and industry did gain,
Their Commonwealth in Winter to maintain?
Poor Souls forgive me, I do now repent,
Your Actions I confess were Innocent;
I wish that I could say, our Lives were so,
And that our Actions did less Guilty show:
Then looking up to Heaven from the Ground,
Thus would I say, he might us all confound
[Page 7]In less than moments time, who sits above,
Were not his Mighty power control'd by Love;
But if provok'd by Sinners, he doth show
That power, although in Anger he is slow,
He makes whole Nations then submit to Fate,
Leaving their greatest Cities desolate,
Either by Famine, Sword, or Pestilence,
The dreadful Instruments of his Vengeance;
And if it were not for his Goodness sake,
He would in peeces that proud City shake;
For there are all Varieties of Sin,
Some raign without the Walls, and some within;
And though that true Religion preach them down,
Yet she could never drive them out of Town:
There Vice and Virtue, in extreams are set,
There Atheism and true Piety are met.
There cries and horrid noise your Temples tear,
And there soft Musick sweetly Charms your Ear:
All this great Heap, then let your Eyes run over,
Nothing but Smoak and Dust you will discover,
Which the wind drives away, I know not whither.
O come Democritus, let's laugh together:
Only old Pauls sometimes his Bald-Pate shows,
Hoping those deep wounds, and those deadly blows,
Which our New Sanctity to his Old sides gave,
Will all be cur'd, and he preserv'd from Grave;
[Page 8]And stand a glorious Monument again,
Of Charles the Great, and's Second happy Reign,
And to succeeding Ages, shall declare
VVhat Rebels did pull down, King Charles did rear.
Now this Way turn, and see through yonder glade,
VVhat Reformation our late Saints have made
The great Park.
In that Great Park, whose Trees are all cut down,
By the same Powers that trampl'd on the Crown:
And which did then o'rethrow our Church & State,
These innocent Trees endur'd the same hard fate.
There stood that Old and stately Royal Oak,
VVho for five hundred years, endur'd the stroak
Of Times sharp teeth, but Zeal more sharp did say,
To my dear Sons it now must fall a Prey.
Down with it Root and Branch, a Zealot cries,
As that Malignant falls, the Saints shall rise;
Down with them all, and those on t'other side,
Th'are in our way, and do Heavens prospect hide:
Could you no other way to Heaven finde,
Deceitful Hypocrites, and Leaders blinde,
But through forbidden Paths, and unjust waies,
VVhich were not known in our fore-fathers daies?
Surely quoth Zeal, we have the wicked vext,
By opening a dark place to clear the Text:
The Text is clear indeed, and ye have found,
VVhose Fate is to be Hang'd, shall not be Drown'd.
[Page 9]But would you now those Royal Mansions see,
Built only for the Seat of Majesty,
VVhere Art and Nature, like two Rivals strove,
Which of them both should shew their greatest love.
View that high Castle,
Windsor Castle.
and the Church behold,
VVhich doth St. George for her great Patron hold;
How like an Empress she alone Commands
The Lower Vallies, and the adjoyning Lands;
View well her battlements and her towers agen,
To satisfie my doubt, pray tell me then
VVhat a strong breath the Rump had? that could blow
Down to the ground, that Church and Castle too;
And with one Vote they both had tumbled down,
Following the Fate of Scepter and of Crown;
To the great shame of our unhappy Age,
Had not good Providence stopt their damned rage.
Now may your stately Towers securely stand,
Nor dread the fury of a Rebels hand.
Now may your Sacred and Harmonious Quire,
Te Deum sing, and so with praise admire
How Providence preserv'd you from those Men,
Of wicked theeves, who made Gods house a Den.
But on the day that Martyr'd Charles did Dye,
Let all in Sorrow kneel or prostrate lye;
Then let no Organ play, or Musick rise,
But from a Contrite Heart, and VVeeping Eyes:
[Page 10]And passing over his cold Vault, let all
Tread softly, and a Tear or two let fall;
But Heavens forbid, that e're you should again,
Become a Prison to your Soveraign;
Though once it was your glory, not your shame,
VVhen two great Kings of famous Name,
King John of France, & David King of Scotland
Were made your Prisoners in a narrow Room,
And from the Conquerour did attend their doom;
Then English Valour to it's heighth was come,
Victory they had abroad, and peace at home;
And then their naked swords, they did not show
Against their Soveraign, but the common Foe.
Then was that Noble Azure Garter found,
So much by Ours, and Forraign Kings Renown'd,
Who with Ambition strove to be instal'd,
And Knights of that Heroick Order call'd:
And without boasting, I may boldly say,
Since the first institution to this day,
More famous Men the world hath never seen,
Than they, who in succeeding times have been
Companions of that Sacred Order made,
Whose Names shall live, though their cold Ashes fade▪
Whether 'twere Honour, or the power of Love
Edward the 3d.
That did thy royal Heart, Great Edward, move,
This Noble Order for to Institute,
Let Learned Men, and Graver Heads dispute:
[Page 11]I for my part, do easily suppose,
That both thy Genius did alike dispose;
And if'twere Honour that devis'd the Plot,
I do beleeve 'twas Love that ty'd the Knot;
But whatsoe're it 'twas, this we do know,
Nothing but Great, could from thy Greatness flow;
And by thy Prowess, France I me sure did finde,
Great was thy Sword, but greater was thy Minde;
Which to their terrour such vast wonders did,
As can no more than the Sun's Beams be hid;
Nor shall the Deeds of thy brave Off-spring dye,
Edward the black Prince.
VVhil'st time doth last, or name of Victory;
He surely fell, who with thee did contend,
Black to thy Foe, but lovely to thy Friend:
Had'st thou the Age of thy Old Father seen,
King of all Nations, doubtless thou hadst been;
But Fate did think, which all things does controle,
This world too little was for thy great Soul;
Nor do we wonder that thou shouldst be so,
Because the Stock from whence you came, we know
Bellona was thy Mother, Mars thy Sire,
VVho can derive himself from Parents higher?
The next great thing that to your Eye appears,
Eaton Colledge founded by Hen­ry the sixth.
Is the best Nursery, to tender years,
Of Piety and Learning, which our Land can show,
Blest is that Holy King who made it so;
[Page 12]Nor did his Royal Goodness, only there
In Acts of Grace and Piety appear.
Kings Colledge & Chap­pel.
For he at Cambridge also did erect
Another Monument, whose Architect
The Name doth show, if not to his great praise,
The Stones would say, a King this Roof did raise:
Thither her hopeful Youth doth AEton send,
To advance in Learning, and their knowledge mend
And raised by degrees, themselves translate
Fit Instruments, for the Church, or for the State:
So we from Nurseries, do young Plants remove
To better Soyle, when they are grown above
Their Fellows heads, and proudly do aspire
To raise themselves, yet many stories higher.
And though the Brittish Prophesies of Old,
That Harry born at Windsor have fore-told
Should lose, what Monmouth Harry did obtain,
And with such personal Valour bravely gain:
Yet he hath left, though frowning was his Fate,
And wicked Rebels shew'd their cursed hate,
More acts of Piety, and of Bounty too,
Than all succeeding Kings did ever do.
Now let your Eye turn round and look about,
To view those towns and places more remote:
Here stands a Church, and there a Noble Seat,
VVhich to a nearer Eye seems very great;
[Page 13]Yet than a House to us it seems more small,
Sr. Ro­bert Gay­ers house at Stoke.
Which Children make with Cards to play withall;
But if you were within it, you should see
That, which to knowing Eyes would grateful be;
And what from other Objects would invite,
The sole and whole imployment of your sight.
So that I'me confident you would be glad,
To have as many Eyes as Argus had.
For the best Paintings, there you might behold,
Some done by Modern Masters, some by Old;
But I do think that hardly 'twill be said,
Whether they were by Art or Nature made:
And if to View rare Sculptures you desire,
There you may fam'd Bernino's Art admire:
There you may see those Heads which did Command
The world, on Pedestals in cold Marble stand:
There you may tell proud Nero to his face,
That he a Monster was, and Romes disgrace;
And pull him by the Nose too, he can't bite,
Nor living, could like a true Roman fight.
There wanton Otho you may play withall,
And fat Vitellius beastly Drunkard call.
There's great Augustus too, with his fair Wife,
Done all exactly well unto the life.
Yet you may speak to them, and never fear,
For I'le assure you this, they cannot hear.
[Page 14]There also good Old Seneca you may see,
The Monument of Nero's cruelty;
And many other things most rarely wrought,
VVhich the brave Owner in his travels bought;
Sparing no cost to purchase what was good,
Such from the Bad, he easily understood;
And only did Collect those things of worth,
VVhich the best towns of Italy then brought forth;
Not like to those who only do intend,
In viewing that fair Land, their wealth to spend
On vice and folly, not in vertuous deeds,
For in that garden there are many weeds,
VVhich they for flowers gather, but despise
That which a vertuous Minde would highly prize;
And after all their travels, only know
VVhere the best coloured Whores and Mellons grow.
Therizer Thames.
And now look nearer on those silver Streams,
How they run playing with bright Phoebus Beams,
And in Meanders cunningly do glide,
To meet the Over-flowing swelling Tide:
See how the Loaded Vessels swiftly Sail,
With a strong Current, and a Western Gale;
Whil'st the broad shoulderd Bargemen sit & laugh,
And unto AEolus in full Measures Quaff:
Well Friends, when you return against the Stream,
You'l sing another Note, and change your Theam;
[Page 15]I fear your Mirth will prove but then Gee, Hoe,
When your great worships must like Horses towe;
Hear now what I shall tell you, one thing mend,
What so you get, do not like Asses spend.
You that in Angling do your selves delight,
Either in the time of Day, or silent Night,
And with a Stoick's Patience can sit still,
To watch the motion of your floating Quill:
There you may finde all forts of River Fish,
As good as tongue ere try'd, or heart could wish;
There is the Sprat-like Bleek, the Gudgeon, Dace,
And speckled Trout, that will to none give place;
There is the dainty Perch, belov'd of all,
Which some the Partridge of the River call;
There's the red Salmon too, both good and great,
And Carps, fit only for great Kings to eat;
There's Roches, Chubbs, and Barbels, in great store;
Large Eeles, and Flownders too, with many more,
Which to the Hook by several Baits are brought,
And by the cunning Angler slily caught.
So have I seen a young and prodigal Heir,
Catch't in the toyle of Old-craft Usurer;
And as the Angler, first with worms does feed
The silly Fish, before he makes them bleed,
And they expecting more, at last are took
By a fair Bait, that hides the fatal Hook:
[Page 16]So Old-craft, doth by tempting Baits allure
Young Hopeless, and in fine, to make him sure,
His wanton Appetite with Gold he fills,
Then on the suddain strikes him by the Gills,
And fast in Bonds he keeps him at Command,
Until he worms him out of all his Land.
But though this River now does kindely move
Like noble Souls, not by constraint, but Love;
Yet when the Floods do rise, it knows no bounds,
But is a trespasser on all mens grounds;
And like a raging Sea, o're runs the Plains,
Spoyling the springing Corn, and Plowmans pains:
So when above their bounds, the People rise,
Laws both of God and Men they soon despise;
And like an Inundation overflow
Their Princes Power, nor will Allegiance owe,
Until within their Banks they are confin'd,
And re-assume a Loyal Subjects minde.
But from these lower Vallies turn your Eye,
And let us to the walks of pleasure flye;
Where Innocence and Beauty, both unite
To court the Soul with ravishing delight.
The Walks & Glades on St. Leo­nard's Hill.
Here be the Arcadian Plains, here be the Groves,
Where Swains and Shepherds, use to meet their Loves:
Here are the walks where Amarillis fair
Her Flocks does feed, and those Dorinda's are
[Page 17]His Flocks; on this side doth Mertillo keep,
Those on the left hand are bold Silvio's Sheep;
The next to these are those delightful Lawns,
Now free from Satyres, and secure from Fawns.
Here are the Stags, and Heards of Fallow Deer,
Which for the Royal Game preserved are.
Not far from hence a mighty Deer did keep
His shady walks, and whil'st his Foes did sleep,
In silence of the Night securely fed:
Prince of a numerous Heard, and Soveraign Head;
Proud of himself, all others did disdain;
Yet e're the Sun once more should set again,
That his proud Head should fall,
The Hunting of the Stag.
it was decreed,
And by a fatal Knife his throat must Bleed:
Therefore so soon as the all-seeing Sun,
His Course in t'other Haemisphere had run,
And did begin the Mountain tops to gild,
The Huntsmen they were risen, and had fill'd
With loud Alarms, from their deep sounding Horns,
The Hills and Vallies, with the neighbouring borns;
Unwelcome News unto the Lodging Heard,
But most of all the great Ones were afear'd;
For they by sad experience often try,
Greatness, which should protect them, makes them dye,
And dying, fall with mournfull weeping Eyes,
To cruel men, a bleeding Sacrifice.
[Page 18]Whil'st that the smaller Ones, and Rascal Deer,
Need not the Woodmans Knife, or Arrows fear.
All now being ready for the Royal Game,
His Majesty with many Nobles came
Well mounted like to Perseus, all did ride
When he his winged Courser did bestride:
And scarce their Horses feet the ground did feel,
As if that they had wings to every Heel;
And champing on the Snaffle, would not stay
With patience, or their Riders well Obey;
But e're the Chase be done, perhaps they'l finde
One that will cool their mettle, try their winde;
Here is he Lodg'd, a stout Old Wood-man cry'd,
Who midst the thickest Brakes, the Deer had spy'd;
The Stag was rouz'd, and bounding nimbly leaps,
As over waves, a well built Pinnace skips;
The Dogs and Men in a full cry pursue,
Forcing the Deer to bid the woods adieu;
Now having left his walks, and pleasant woods,
Sometimes he seeks the plains, and then the floods,
And leads the Hunters such a Forrest Dance,
As made their Coursers quite forget to prance.
There might you see the Brown, and bonny Bay,
In their own white and reeking Form[?], turn Grey;
And Dapple Grey, with his own blood be-smear'd,
More like a Brown, or Bonny Bay appear'd;
[Page 19]Here lies a dying Horse, and there hand by
Doth, with a broken Arm, his Rider lye:
Long was the Chase, and the Old Stag would fain
Have come into his Native woods again;
But now, alas, his strength and spirits fail,
Nor could the best breath'd Dog scarce wag his tail,
Panting for breath and life, the Stag then stood
Against a tree, and did his ground make good,
Keeping the Dogs at bay, at last he cry'd,
To Fate I bow my head, and weeping dy'd.
But whil'st his Breath did last, he made a VVill,
Which his Executors said they would fulfil.
Imprimis, write, I freely do dispose
My Sides, and both my Haunches unto those,
Who know best how to season them in Past,
And can good Venson, from Ram-Mutton taste:
My Head and Horns, I give to Men o'the Gown,
The Major and Aldermen of Windsor town;
That they by Charter may, or Proclamation,
Make them the Ensigns of their Corporation:
My Ears I give to those, in Heart so pure,
That by no means Church Musick can endure;
And I desire, what cannot now be writ,
Let my Executors give as they think fit;
And my Executors, I would have to be,
Those honest keepers in Green Livery:
[Page 20]Lastly, because I see my end draws nigh,
Let mee at Caesars feet fall down and dye.
Besides this Royal Game the woods afford,
VVith other Quarries they are alwaies stor'd.
And which the Romans call'd delicious fare,
In every Bush we have the Light-foot Hare;
VVhich when we Venson want, we do pursue,
VVith little Spot, and great Melampo too.
Among those Oaks, whose arms so wide are spread,
Crarborn Lodge.
The Lodge of great Basilius shews his Head;
VVhere better Guests are now, than use to be
When Clubs were trump, and freedome slavery.
Here are fair Nymphs, with Shepherds too, and some
Sir George Carte­rets Fa­mily.
That from the Royal Court, are hither come;
Leaving the town, for pleasures of the field,
Such as the Court or City cannot yeild.
Nymphs and Swains then come away,
Make this all a Holiday;
Nimbly Dance, and merrily Sing,
'Till the Woods and Vallies ring;
Bring your Fruits, and bring your Posies,
Bring your Chaplets made of Roses;
There Celebrate your Rural Feasts,
In honour of these New-come Guests;
And let all these Nymphs and Swains
Cry, welcome to the Arcadian Plains.
[Page 21]But heark, I think 'tis young Ergasto calls,
Away, away, to the Grove of Nightingales;
Through yonder Glade let's follow him, for there
A Consort of all singing Birds you'l hear;
And passing by, we heard in every bush,
Conning their Notes, the Black-bird and the Thrush.
When to this Grove of Musick we were come,
Under a shady Beech we lay along;
Then from the Forrest, and from several parts
Birds flocked hither, with right willing hearts:
And first the Lark,
The har­mony of Birds.
taking a speedy wing,
To his great Maker did an Anthem sing;
Next after him, the Black-Bird and the Stare,
Two better Counter-tenners never were;
But the shrill trebble sung the little VVren,
And little Robin answered him agen;
To such a pitch the Bulfinch rais'd his Note,
That bigger than his brest, did seem his throat
And though grown hoarse with scolding, yet the Crow
How deep his base could reach, resolv'd to show;
Fain would the Owle have try'd her ut'most skill,
But Philomel desir'd her to be still;
For since that Cold, which in her feet she had,
Although her skill be Good, her Voice is Bad:
And therefore Madge up to an Oake doth climb,
And nodding with her head, kept Sembrief time;
[Page 22]VVhil'st the great Bee to their Harmonious lays,
A soft sweet stop, upon his Organ playes.
VVhen they had made an end, and all was hush,
Then Philomel vouchsafes to ascend the Bush;
And such a sweet and Heavenly tune began,
As made us all amaz'd, in silence stand;
Then straight another, with a clearer strain
Answer'd her killing Notes, when she again,
VVith Notes more various than at first, replies,
And to her Rival, Victory denies:
VVhen they had sung their Vespers, we could hear
More from an inner Grove, that tuning were
Their little Pipes, who presently did joyn,
And made a Consort, more than half Divine;
And such I think, as never any Men;
But from their pretty throats, shall hear agen.
Blest be these Groves, blest be these walks of shade,
May never more Sequestring Axe invade,
Your well extended arms, or spreading root,
Or cruel Satyre here again set foot;
But may you Grow, and still more Verdant look,
Or if to Old Age, you at last must stoop;
O may these younger Plants grow up, and be
Delightful shades to our Posterity;
Until both Names and Things, must all expire
In one Great Flame, and Funeral Fire.
FINIS.

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