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And less he knew him for bis hated foe,
But rest assur'd, that either thou shalt die, But fear'd him as a man he did not know.
Or else renounce thy claim Emily : But as it has been said of ancient years,
For, though unarm'd I am, and (free'd by chance) That fields are full of eyes, and woods have ears; Am here without my sword, or pointed launce : For this the wise are ever on their guard,
Hope not, base man, unquestion’d hence to go, For, unforeseen, they say, is unprepar'd.
For I am Palamon, thy mortal foe.” Uncautious Arcite thought himself alone,
Arcite, who heard his tale, and knew the man, And less than all suspected Palamon,
His sword uosheath'd, and fiercely thus began : Who, listening, heard him, while he search'd the “Now by the gods who govern Heaven above, grove,
Wert thou not weak with hunger, inad with love, And loudly sung his roundelay of love :
That word bad been thy last, or in this grove But on the sudden stopp'd, and silent stood, This hand should force thee to renounce thy love. As lovers often muse, and change their mood; The surety which I gave thee, I dety: Now high as Heaven, and then as low as Hell; Fool, not to know, that love endures no tie, Now up, now down, as buckets in a well :
Aud Jove but laughs at lovers perjury. For Venus, like her day, will change her cheer, know I will serve the fair in thy despight; And seldom shall we see a Friday clear.
But since thou art iny kinsman, and a knight, Thus Arcite, having sung, with alterd hue Here, have my faith, to morrow in this grove Sunk on the ground, and from his bosom drew Our arins shall plead the titles of our love: A desperate sigh, accusing Heaven and Fate, And Heaven so help my right, as I alone And angry Juno's unrelenting hate.
Will come, and keep the cause and quarrel both • Curs'd be the day when first I did appear;
unknown; Let it be blotted from the calendar,
With arms of proof both for myself and thee; Lest it pollute the month, and poison all the Choose thou the best, and leave the worst to me. year.
And, that a better ease thou may'st abide, Still will the jealous queen pursue our race? Bedding and cloaths I will this night provide, Cadmus is dead, the Theban city was :
And needful sustenance, that thou mayst be
To keep it better than the first he made.
Thus fair they parted till the morrow's dawn, In mean estate 1 serve my mortal foe,
For each had laid bis plighted faith to pawn. The man who caus'd my country's overthrow. O Love! thou sternly dost thy power mainThis is not all; for Juno, to my shame,
tain, Has forc'd me to forsake my former naine; And wilt not bear a rival in thy reign, Arcite I was, Philostratus I am.
Tyrants and thou all fellowship disdain. That side of Heaven is all my enemy :
This was in Arcite prov'd, and Palamon; Mars ruin'd Thebes : his mother ruin'd me. Both in despair, yet each would love alone. Of all the royal race remains but one
Arcite return’d, and, as in honour ty’d, Besides myself, the unhappy Palamon,
His foe with bedding and with food supply'd ; Whom Theseus holds in bonds, and will not Then, ere the day, two suits of armour sought, free;
Which borne before hiin on his steed he brought : Without a crime, except his kin to me.
Both were of sbining steel, and wrought so pure, Yet these, and all the rest, I could endure; As might the strokes of two such arms endure. But love's a malady without a cure;
Now, at the time, and in th' appointed place, Fierce Love has pierc'd me with his fiery dart, The challenger and challeng’d, face to face, He fires within, and hisses at my heart.
Approach; each other from afar they knew, Your eyes, fair Emily, my fate pursue ;
And from afar their hatred chang'd their hue. I suffer for the rest, I die for you.
So stands the Thracian herdsman with his spear, Of such a goddess no time leaves record,
Full in the gap, and hopes the hunted bear, Who burn'd the temple where sbe was ador'd : And hears him rustling in the wood, and sees And let it burn, I never will complain,
His course at distance by the bending trees, Pleas'd with my sufferings, if you knew my And thinks, here comes my mortal enemy, pain,"
And either be must fall in fight, or I:
The veins pour back the blood, and fortify the But soon to deadly pale he chang'd his look:
heart. He trembled every limb, and felt a smart,
meet; their eyes with fury burn; As if cold steel had glided through his heart; None greets; for none the greeting will return : No longer staid, but, starting from his place, But in dumb surliness, each arm'd with care Discover'd stood, and show'd his hostile face: His foe profest, as brother of the war: “ False traitor Arcite, traitor to thy blood, Then both, no mument lost, at once advance Bound by thy sacred oath to seek my good, Against each other, arm'd with sword and lance: Now art thou found foresworn, for Emily ; They lash, they foin, they pass, they strive to And darst attempt ber love, for whom I die.
bore So hast thou cheated Theseus with a wile,
Their corslets, and the thinnest parts explore. Against thy vow, returning to beguile
Thus two long hours in equal arms they stood, Under a borrow'd name: as false to me,
And wounded, wound ; till both were bath'd in So false thou art to bim who set thee free:
And not a foot of ground had either got,
Now, as thou art a sovereign judge, decree As if the world depended on the spot.
The rightful doon of death to him and me, Fell Arcite like an angry tiger far'd,
Let neither find thy grace, for grace is cruelty. And like a lion Palamon appear'd:
Me tirst, О kill me first; and cure my woe; Or as two boars who love to battle draws, Then sheath the sword of Justice on my foe: With rising bristles, and with frothy jaws,
Or kill him first; for when his name is heard, Their adverse breasts with tusks oblique they He foremost will receive his due reward. wound,
Arcite of Thebes is he; thy mortal foe: With grunts and groans the forest rings around: On whom thy grace did liberty bestow; So fought the knights, and fighting must abide, But first contracted, that if ever found Till Fate an umpire sends their difference to decide. By day or night upon th’ Athenian ground, 'The power that ministers to God's decrees, His head should pay the forfeit; see returu’d And executes on Earth what Heaven foresees, The perjur'd knight, his oath and honour scorn'd. Caud Providence, or Chance, or Fatal Sway, For this is he, who, with a borrowd name Comes with resistless force, and finds or makes her And proffer'd service, to thy palace came, Nor kings, nor nations, nor united power, (way. Now call'd Philostratus: retain'd by thee, One moment can retard tb' appointed hour. A traitor trusted, and in high degree, And some one day, some wondrous chance ap- Aspiring to the bed of beauteous Emily. pears,
My part remains; from Thebes my birth I own, Which happen'd not in centuries of years : And call myself th' unhappy Palamon. For sure, whate'er we mortals hate, or love, Think me not like that man; since no disgrace Or hope, or fear, depends on powers above; Can force me to renounce the honour of my race. They move our appetites to good or ill,
Know me for what I am: I broke my chain, And by foresight necessitate the will.
Nor promis'd I thy prisoner to remain: In Theseus this appears; whose youthful joy The love of liberty with life is given, Was beasts of chase in forests to destroy.
And life itself th' inferior gift of Heaven. This gentle knight, inspir'd by jolly May, Thus without crime I fled; but farther know, Forsook his easy couch at early day,
I with this Arcite am thy mortal foe: And to the wood and wilds pursued his way. Then give me death, since I thy life pursue ; Beside him rode Hippolita the queen,
For safeguard of thyself, death is my due. And Emily attir'd in lively green,
More wouldst thou know? I love bright Emily, With horns, and hounds, and all the tuneful cry, And for her sake and in her sight will die : To hunt a royal hart within the covert nigh: But kill my rival too; for he no less And as he follow'd Mars before, so now
Deserves; and I thy righteous doom will bless, He serves the goddess of the silver bow.
Assurd that what I lose, he never shall possess." The way that Theseus took was to the wood To this reply'd the stern Athenian prince, Where the two knights in cruel battle stood : And sourly smild: “In owning your offence, The lawn on which they fought, th' appointed | You judge yourself; and I but keep record place
In place of law, while you pronounce the word. In wbich th’ancoupled hounds began the chase. Take your desert, the death you have decreed; Thither forth-right be rose to rouse the prey, I seal your doom, and ratify the deed: That, shaded by the fern, in harbour lay; By Mars, the patron of my arms, you die.” And, thence dislodgd, was wont to leave the wood, He said ; dumb Sorrow seiz'd the standers-by. For open fields, and cross the crystal flood. The queen above the rest, by nature good, Approach'd, and looking underneath the Sun, (The pattern form’d of perfect womanhood) He saw proud Arcite, and fierce Palamon,
For tender pity wept: when she began, In mortal battle doubling blow on blow,
Through the bright quire th' infectious virtue ran. Like lightning flam'd their faulchions to and fro, All dropt their tears, ev'n the contended maid, And shot a dreadful gleam; so strong they strook, And thus among themselves they softly said: There seem'd less force requir'd to fell an oak: “ What eyes can suffer this unworthy sight! He gaz'd with wonder on their equal might, Two youths of royal blood, renown'd in fight, Look'd eager on, but knew not either knight: The mastership of Heaven in face and mind, Pesolv'd to learn, he spurr'd his fiery steed And lovers, far beyond their faithless kind: With goring rowels to provoke his speed.
See their wide streaming wounds; they neither Tbe minute ended thrat began the race,
For pride of empire, nor desire of fame: [came So soon he was betwixt them on the place; Kings for kingdoms, madmen for applause; And with his sword unsheath’d, on pain of life But love for love alone; that crowns the lover's Commands both combatants to cease their strife: Then with imperious tone pursues his threat : This thought, which ever bribes the beauteous “What are you? why in arms together met ? Such pity wrought in every lady's mind, (kind, How dares your pride presume against my laws, They left their steeds, and prostrate on the place, As in a listed field to fight your cause?
From the fierce king, implor'd th’offenders grace. l'oa-kd the royal grant; po marshal by,
He paus'd a while, stood silent in his mood A kn gbtly rites require; nor judge to try ?” (For yet his rage was boiling in his blood); Then Palamon, with scarce recover'd breath, But soon his tender mind th'impression felt, Thus basty spoke: “ We both deserve the death, | (As softest metals are not slow to melt And both would die ; for look the world around, And pity soonest runs in softest minds): A pair so wretched is not to be found:
Then reasons with bimself; and first he finds Our life's a load; encumber'd with the charge, His passion cast a mist before his sense, We long to set th' imprison'd soul at large. And either made, or magnify'd th' offence.
• Offence! of what? to whom? who judg’d the Now hear th’award, and happy may it prove cause?
To her, and him who best deserves her love! Tbe prisoner freed himself by Nature's laws: Depart from hence in peace, and free as air, Born free, he sought his right : the man he freed Search the wide world, and where you please Was perjur'd, but his love excus'd the deed.” But on the day when this returning Sun (repair; Thus pondering, he look'd under with his eyes, To the same point through every sign has run, And saw the women's tears, and heard their cries, Then each of you his hundred knights shall bring, Which mov'd compassion more; he shook his head, In royal lists, to fight before the king; And softly sighing to himself he said:
And then the knight, whom Fate or happy Chance “ Curse on th’unpardoning prince, whom tears Shall with his friends to victory advance, can draw
And grace his arms so far in equal fight, To no remorse; who rules by lions' law;
From out the bars to force his opposite, And deaf to prayers, by no submission bow'd, Or kill, or make him recreant on the plain, Rends all alike; the penitent, and proud.". The prize of valour and of love shall gain; At this, with look serene, he rais'd his head; The vanquish'd party shall their claim release, Reason resum'd her place, and Passion fled: And the long jars conclude in lasting peace. Then thus aloud he spoke: “ The power of Love, The charge be mine t'adorn the chosen ground, In Earth, and seas, and air, and Heaven above, The theatre of war, for champions so renown'd; Rules, unresisted, with an awful nod;
And take the patron's place of either knight, By daily miracles declar'd a god :
With eyes impartial to behold the fight; He blinds the wise, gives eye-sight to the blind; And Heaven of me so judge, as I shall judge And moulds and stamps anew the lover's mind.
aright. Behold that Arcite, and this Palamon,
If both are satisfied with this accord, Freed from my fetters, and in safety goue,
Swear by the laws of knighthood on my sword." What hinder'd either in their native soil
Who now but Palamon exults with joy? At ease to reap the harvest of their toil;
And ravish'd Arcite seems to touch the sky: But Love, their lord, did otherwise ordain,
The whole assembled troop was pleas'd as well, And brought them in their own despite again, Extol th' award, and on their knees they fell To suffer death deserv'd; for well they know, To bless the gracious king. The knights, with 'Tis in my power, and I their deadly foe;
leave The proverb holds, that to be wise and love, Departing from the place, his last commands Is hardly granted to the gods above.
On Emily with equal ardour look, (receive; See how the madmen bleed : behold the gains And from her eyes their inspiration took : With which their master, Love, rewards their | From thence to Thebes old walls pursue their For seven long years, on duty every day, (pains;
way, Lo their obedience, and their monarch's pay : Each to provide his champions for the day. Yet, as in duty bound, they serve him on;
It might be deem'd, on our historian's part,
If he forgot the vast magnificence
A trench was sank, to moat the place about. But sure a general doom on man is past,
Within, an amphitheatre appeard, And all are fools and lovers, first or last:
Rais'd in degrees, to sixty paces rear'd; This both by others and myself I know,
That when a man was plac'd in one degree, For I have serv'd their sovereign long ago; Height was allow'd for him above to see. Oft have been caught within the winding train Eastward was built a gate of marble white; Of female snares, and felt the lover's pain,
The like adorn'd the western opposite. And learn'd how far the god can human hearts A nobler object than this fabric was, constrain.
Rome never saw : nor of so vast a space : To this remembrance, and the prayers of those For, rich with spoils of many a conquer'd land, Who for th' offending warriors interpose,
All arts and artists Theseus could command : I give their forfeit lives; on this accord,
Who sold for hire, or wrought for better fame, To do me homage as their sovereign lord;
The master-painters, and the carvers, came. And as my vassals, to their utmost might,
So rose within the compass of the year Assist my person, and assert my right.”
An age's work, a glorious theatre. This freely sworn, the knights their grace obtain'd. Then o'er its eastern gate was rais'd, above, Then thus the king his secret thoughts explain'd : A temple, sacred to the queen of love; “ It wcalth, or honour, or a royal race,
An altar stood below : on either hand Or each, or all, may win a lady's grace,
A priest with roses crown'd, who held a myrtle Then either of you knights may well deserve
wand. A princess born; and such is she you serve: The dome of Mars was on the gate oppos'd, For Emily is sister to the crown,
And on the north a turret was enclos'd,
Who takes in sylvan sports her chaste delight. As therefore both are equal in degree,
Within these oratories might you see The lot of both be left to Destiny.
Rich carvings, portraitures, and imagery :
Where every figure to the life express'd
Or woods with knots and knares deform'd and old; The godhead's power to whom it was address'd. Headless the most, and hideous to behold: In Venus' temple on the sides were seen
A rattling tempest through the branches went, The broken slumbers of enamour'd men,
That stripp'd them bare, and one sole way they Prayers, that even spoke, and pity seem'd to call, bent. And issuing sighs, that smok'd along the wall, Heaven froze above, severe, the clouds congeal, Complaints, and hot desires, the lovers Hell, And through the crystal vault appeard the standAnd scalding tears, that wore a channel where ing hail. they fell:
Such was the face without; a mountain stood And all around were nuptial bonds, the ties, Threatening from high, and overlook'd the wood: Of love's assurance, and a train of lies,
Beneath the lowering brow, and on a bent, That, made in lust, conclude in perjuries.
The temple stood of Mars armnipotent: Beauty, and Youth, and Wealth, and Luxury, The frame of burnish'd steel, that cast a glare And spritely Hupe, and short-enduring Joy ; From far, and seem'd to thaw the freezing air. And sorceries to raise th'infernal powers, A strait long entry to the temple led, And sigils, fram'd in planetary hours:
Blind with high walls, and Horrour over head : Expense, and Afterthought, and idle Care, Thence issued such a blast, and hollow roar, And Doubts of motley hue, and dark Despair; As threaten'd from the hinge to heave the door; Suspicions, and fantastical Surmise,
In through that door, a northern light there shone; And Jealousy suffus'd, with jaundice in her eyes, 'Twas all it had, for windows there were none; Discolouring all she view'd, in tawny dress’d, The gate was adamant, eternal frame ! Down-look'd, and with a cuckoo on her fist. Which, hew'd by Mars himself, from Indian quarOppos'd to her, on t' other side advance
The labour of a god; and all along [ries came, The costly feast, the carol, and the dance,
Tough iron plates were clench'd to make it strong. Minstrels, and music, poetry, and play,
A tun about was every pillar there; And balls by nights, and tournaments by day. A polish'd mirror shone not half so clear. All these were painted on the wall, and more: There saw I how the secret felon wrought, With acts and monuments of times before: And Treason labouring in the traitor's thought: And others added by prophetic doom,
And midwife Time the ripen'd plot to murder And lovers yet unborn, and loves to come :
Soft smiling, and demurely oking down,
But hid the dagger underneath the gown: There, by the fount, Narcissus pin'd alone : Th' assassinating wife, the household fiend, There Samson was; with wiser Solomon,
And, far the blackest there, the traitor-friend. And all the mighty Dames by love undone. On t' other side there stood Destruction bare, Medea's charms were there, Circean feasts, Unpunished Rapine, and a waste of war. With bowis that turn'd enamour'd youth to beasts. Contest, with sharpen'd knives, in cloisters drawn, H-re might be seen, that beauty, wealth, and wit, And all with blood bespread the boly lawn. And prowess, to the power of love submit: Loud menaces were heard, and foul Disgrace, The spreading snare for all mankind is laid; And bawling Infamy, in language base: And lovers all betray, and are betray'd.
Till sense was lost in sound, and Silence fed The goddess' self some noble hand had wrought; Smiling she seem'd, and full of pleasing thought : The slayer of himself yet saw I there, From ocean as she first began to rise,
The gore congeal'd was clotted in his hair:
And Madness laughing in his ireful mood;
And violent Death in thousand shapes display'd; Sapply'd with arrows bright and keen, a deadly The city to the soldiers rage resign'd; store.
Successless wars, and Poverty behind ; But in the dome of mighty Mars the red
Ships burnt in fight, or forc'd on rocky shores, With different figures all the sides were spread; And the rash bunter strangled by the boars : This temple, less in form, with equal grace, The new-born babe by nurses overlaid; Was imitative of the first in Thrace:
And the cook caught within the raging fire he For that cold region was the lov'd abode,
And intercepts her lord betwixt the walls : Áod shun the bitter blast, and wheel about the The whole division, that to Mars pertains, sky.
All trades of death, that deal in steel for gains, A cake of scurf lies baking on the ground, Were there : the butcher, armourer, and smith, And prickly stubs, instead of trees, are found; Who forges sharpen’d tau!chions, or the scythe.
The scarlet Conquest on a tower was plac'd,
PALAMON AND ARCITE:
OR THE KNIGHT'S TALE.
cide Their fates were painted ere the men were born, Th' important enterprize, and give the bride; All copied from the Heavens, and ruling force For now, the rivals round the world had sougbt, Of the red star, in his revolving course.
And each bis rival, well appointed, brought. The form of Mars high on a chariot stood, The nations, far and near, contend in choice, All sheath'd in arms, and gruflly look'd the god: And send the flower of war by public voice; Two geomantic figures were display'd
That after, or before, were never known Above his head, a warrior and a maid;
Such chiefs, as each an army seem'd alone: One when direct, and one when retrograde. Beside the champions, all of high degree,
Tird with deformities of death, 1 haste Who knighthood lov'd, and deeds of chivalry, To the third temple of Diana chaste.
Throng'd to the lists, and envy'd to behold A sylvan scene with various greens was drawn, The names of others, not their own, enrolld. Shades on the sides, and on the midst a lawn: Nor seems it strange; for every noble knight The silver Cynthia, with her nymphs around, Who loves the fair, and is endu'd with might, Pursued the flying deer, the woods with horns In such a quarrel would be proud to fight. resound:
There breathes not scarce a man on British Calisto there stood manifest of shame,
ground And, turn'd a bear, the northern star became : (An isle for love and arms of old renown'd) Her son was next, and, by peculiar grace, But would have sold bis life to purchase fame, In the cold circle beld the second place:
To Palamon or Arcite sent his name: The stag Acteon in the stream had spy'd
And had the land selected of the best, The naked huntress, and, for seeing, dy'd : Half had come hence, and let the world provide His hounds, unknowing of his change, pursue
the rest. The chase, and their mistaken master slew. A hundred knights with Palamon there came, Peneian Daphne too was there to see,
Approv'd in fight, and men of mighty name; Apollo's love before, and now his tree:
Their arms were several, as their nations were, Th'adjoining fane th' assembled Greeks ex- But furnish'd all alike with sword and spear. press'd,
Some wore coat armour, imitating scale; And hunting of the Caledonian beast.
And next their skins were stubborn shirts of mail. Oenides' valour, and his envy'd prize;
Some wore a breastplate and a light juppon, The fatal power of Atalanta's eyes ;
Their horses cloth'd with rich caparison : Diana's vengeance on the victor shown,
Some for defence would leathern bucklers use, The murdress mother, and consuming son; Of folded hides; and others shields of pruee. The Volscian queen extended on the plain; One hung a pole-axe at his saddle-bow, The treason punish'd, and the traitor slain. And one a heavy mace to shun the foe. The rest were various huntings, well design'd, One for his legs and knees provided well, And savage beasts destroy'd, of every kind. With jambeux arm'd, and double plates of The graceful goddess was array'd in greed; This on his helmet wore a lady's glove, (steel. About her feet were little beagles seen,
And that a sleeve embroider'd by his love. That watch'd with upward eyes the motions of With Palamon, above the rest in place, their queen.
Lycurgus came, the surly king of Thrace; Her legs were buskind, and the left before ; Black was his beard, and manly was his face ; In act to shoot, a silver bow she bore,
The balls of his broad eyes roll'd in his head, And at her back a painted quiver wore.
And glar'd betwixt a yellow and a red: She trod a wexing moon, that soon would wane, He look'd a lion with a gloomy stare, And drinking borrow'd light, be fill'd again; And o'er his eyebrows hung his matted hair: With downcast eyes, as seeming to survey Big-bon'd, and large of limbs, with sinews strong, The dark dominions, her alternate sway.
Broad-shoulder d, and his arms were round and Before her stood a woman in her throes,
long. And call'd Lucina's aid, her burden to disclose. Four milkwhite bulls (the Thracian use of old) All these the painter drew with such command, Were yok'd to draw his car of burnish'd gold. That Nature spatch'd the pencil from his hand, Upright he stood, and bore aloft his shield, Asham'd and angry that his art could feign Conspicuous from afar, and overlook'd the field. And mend the tortures of a mother's pain. His surcoat was a bear-skin on his back; Theseus beheld the fanes of every god,
His hair hung long behind, and glossy raven And thought his mighty cost was well bestow'd. His ample forehead bore a coronet, [black. So princes now their poets should regard; With sparkling diamonds and with rubies set : But few can write, and fewer can reward.
Ten brace, and more, of greyhounds, snowy The theatre thus rais'd, the lists enclos'd,
his chair, And all with vast magnificence dispos'd,
And tall as stags, ran loose, and cours d around We leave the monarch pleas'd, and baste to bring A match for pards in flight, in grapling for the The knights to combat ; and their arms to sing.