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With golden muzzles all their mouths were Promis'd the Sun, ere day began to spring; bound,
The tuneful lark already stretch'd her wing, And collars of the same their necks surround. And, flickering on her nest, made short essays to Thus through the fields Lycurgas took his way;
sing : His bundred knights attend in pomp and proud When wakeful Palamon, preventing day, array.
Took, to the royal lists, his early way, To watch this monarch, with strong Arcite came To Venus at her fane, in her own house, to pray. Emetrius, king of Inde, a mighty name,
There, falling on his knees before her shrine, On a bay courser, goodly to behold,
He thus implord with prayers her power divine. The trappings of his horse adorn'd with barbarous “ Creator Venus, genial power of love, gold.
The bliss of men below, and gods above ! Not Mars bestrode a steed with greater grace; Beneath the sliding Sun thou runn'st thy race, His surcoat o'er his arms was cloth of Thrace, Dost'fairest shine, and best become thy place. Adorn'd with pearls, all orient, round, and great ; For thee the winds their eastern blasts forbear, His saddle was of gold, with emeralds set. Thy month reveals the spring, and opens all the His shoulders large, a mantle did attire,
year. With rubies thick, and sparkling as the fire: Thee, Goddess, thee the storms of winter Ay, His amber-colour'd locks in ringlets run,
Earth smiles with flowers renewing, laughs the With graceful negligence, and shone against the sky,
And birds to lays of love their tuneful notes His nose was aquiline, his eyes were blue,
For thee the lion loaths the taste of blood, Ruddy his lips, and fresh and fair his hue : And roaring hunts his female through the wood: Some sprinkled freckles on his face were seen, For thee the bulls rebellow through the groves, Whose dusk set off the whiteness of the skin : And tempt the stream, and snuff their absent His awful presence did the crowd surprize,
loves. Nor durst the rash spectator meet his eyes, 'Tis thine, whate'er is pleasant, good, or fair: Eyes that confess'd him born for kingly sway, All nature is thy province, life thy care : So fierce, they flash'd intolerable day.
Thou mad'st the world, and dost the world reHis age in Nature's youthful prime appeard,
If e'er Adonis touch'd thy tender heart,
To vent my sorrow, would be some relief; Upon his fist he bore, for his delight,
Light sufferings give us leisure to complain; An eagle well reclaim'd, and lily white.
We groan, but cannot speak, in greater pain. His hundred knights attend him to the war, O goddess, tell thyself what I would say, All arm'd for battle; save their heads were bare. Thou know'st it, and I feel too much to pray. Words and devices blaz'd on every shield, So grant my suit, as I enforce my might, And pleasing was the terrour of the field. In love to be thy champion, and thy knight; Por kings, and dukes, and barons you might see, A servant to thy sex, a slave to thee, Like sparkling stars, though different in degree, A foe profest to barren chastity. All for th' increase of arms, and love of chivalry. Nor ask I fame or honour of the field, Before the king tame leopards led the way, Nor choose I more to vanquish than to yield: And troops of lions innocently play.
In my divine Emilia make me blest, So Bacchus through the conquer'd Indies rode, Let Fate, or partial Chance, dispose the rest : And beasts in gambols frisk'd before the honest Find thou the manner, and the means prepare ;
In this array the war of either side [god. Possession, more than conquest, is my care. Through Athens pass'd with military pride. Mars is the warrior's god; in him it lies, At prime, they enter'd on the Sunday morn; On whom he favours to confer the prize; Rich tapestry spread the streets, and flowers the With smiling aspect you serenely move posts adorn.
In your fifth orb, and rule the realm of love. The town was all a jubilee of feasts;
The Pates but only spin the coarser clue, So Theseus willd, in honour of his guests; The finest of the wool is left for you. Himself with open arms the king embrac'd, Spare me but one sınall portion of the twine, Then all the rest in their degrees were grac'd. And let the sisters cut below your line: No harbinger was needful for a night,
The rest among the rubbish may they sweep, For every house was proud to lodge a knight. Or add it to the yarn of some old miser's heap. I pass the royal treat, nor must relate
But, if you this ambitious prayer deny, The gifts bestow'd, nor how the champions sate: (A wish, 1 grant, beyond mortality) Who first, or last, or how the knights address'a Then let me sink beneath proud Arcite's arms, Their vows, or who was fairest at the feast; And, 1 once dead, let'him possess her charms." Whose voice, whose graceful dance, did most sur- Thus ended he; then, with observance due, prise;
The sacred incense on her altar threw : Soft amorous sighs, and silent love of eyes. The curling smoke mounts heavy from the fires ; The rivals call my Muse another way,
At length it catches flame, and in a blaze exTo sing their vigils for th’ ensuing day.
pires; Tras ebbing darkness, past the noon of night, At once the gracious goddess gave the sign, And Phospher, on the confines of the light, Her statue shook, and trembled all the shrine :
Pleas'd Palamon the tardy omen took :
Frequent the forests, thy chaste will obey, For, since the flames pursu'd'the trailing smoke, And only make the beasts of chase my prey !! He knew his boon was granted ; but the day The flames ascend on either altar clear, To distance driven, and joy adjourn'd with long While thus the blameless maid address'd her delay.
prayer. Now Morn with rosy light had streak'd the sky, When lo! the burning fire that shone so bright, Up rose the Sun, and up rose Emily;
Flew off, all sudden, with extinguish'd light,
Which turn'd self-kindled, and renew'd the Who bore the vests that holy rites require,
blaze; Incense, and odorous gums, and cover'd fire. The other victor-fiame a moment stood, The plentevus horns with pleasant mead they Then fell, and lifeless left th’extinguish'd wood; crown,
For ever lost, th'irrevocable light Nor wanted aught besides in honour of the Moon. Forsook the blackening coals, and sunk to night: Now while the temple smok'd with hallow'd At either end it whistled as it few, [dew, steam,
And as the brands were green, so dropp'd the They wash the virgin in a living stream;
Infected as it fell with sweat of sanguine hue. The secret ceremonies I conceal,
The maid from that ill omen turn'd her eyes, Uncouth, perhaps unlawful, to reveal :
And with loud shrieks and clamours rent the But such they were as pagan use requir'd,
skies, Perform'd by women when the men retird, Nor knew wbat signify'd the boding sign, Whose cyes profane their chaste mysterious rites But found the powers displeas'd, and fear'd the Might turn to scandal, or obscene delights.
wrath divine. Well-meaners think no harın; but for the rest, Then shook the sacred shrine, and sudden light Things sacred they pervert, and silence is the Sprung through the vaulted roof, and made the best.
temple bright. Her shining hair, uncomb'd, was loosely spread, The power, behold! the power in glory shone, A crown of mastless oak adorn'd her head: By her bent bow and her keen arrows kuown; When to the shrine approach'd, the spotless maid | The rest, a huntress issuing from the wood, Had kindling fires on either altar laid,
Reclining on her cornel spcar she stood. (The rites were such as were observ'd of old, Then gracious thus began: “ Dismiss thy fear, By Statius in his Theban story told)
And Heaven's unchang'd decrees attentive hear: Then kneeling with her hands across ber breast, More powerful gods have torn thee from my side, Thus lowly she preferr'd her chaste request. Unwilling to resign, and doom'd a bride :
“O goddess, haunter of the woodland green, The two contending knights are weigh'd above; To whom both Heaven and Earth and seas are One Mars protects, and one the queen of love : seen;
But which the man, is in the Thunderer's Queen of the nether skies, where half the year
breast; Thy silver beams descend, and light the gloomy This he pronounc'd, 'tis he who loves thee best, sphere;
The fire, that once extinct reviv'd again, Goddess of maids, and conscious of our hearts, Foreshows the love allotted to remain : So keep ine from the vengeance of thy darts, Farewel!” she said, and vanish'd from the place; Which Niobe's devoted issue felt,
The sheaf of arrows shook, and rattled in the case, When hissing through the skies the featherd Aghast at this, the royal virgin stood deaths were dealt,
Disclaimn'd, and now no more a sister of the wood: As I desire to live a virgin life,
But to the parting goddess thus she pray'd ; Nor know the name of inother or of wife.
Propitious still be present to my aid, Thy votress from my tender years I am,
Nor quite abandon your once favour'd maid." And love, like thee, the woods and sylvan game. Then sighing she r« turn'd; but smild betwixt, Like death, thou know'st, I loath the nuptial With hopes and fears, and joys with sorrows niixt. state,
The next returning planetary hour And man, the tyrant of our sex, I hate,
Of Mars, who shar'd the heptarchy of power, A lowly servant, but a lofty mate :
His steps bold Arcite to the temple bent, Where love is duty on the female side,
T'adore with pagan rites the power armipotent: On their's 'mere sensual gust, and sought with Then prostrate, low before his altar lay, surly pride.
And rais'd bis manly voice, and thus began Now by thy triple shape, as thou art seen
to pray : In Heaven, Earth, Hell, and every where a queen,
“ Strong god of arms, whose iron sceptre sways Grant this my first desire : let discord cease, The freezing north, and Hyperborean stas, And make betwixt the rivals lasting peace: And Scythian colds, and Thracia's winter coast, Quench their hot fire, or far from me remove Where stand thy steeds, and thou art honour'd The fiame, and turn it on some other love:
most: Or, if my frowning stars have so decreed, There most, but every-where thy power is known, That one must be rejected, one succeed,
The fortune of the fight is all thay own: Make him my lord, within whose faithful breast Terrour is thine, and wild amazeinent, flung Is tix'd my image, and who loves me best.
Froin out thy chariot, withers ev'u the strong: But, oh! evin that avert! I choose it not, And disarray and shamefu rout ensue, But take it as the least unhappy lot.
And force is added, the fainting crew, A maid I am, and of thy virgin train;
Acknowledg'd as thou art, accept my prayer, Oh, let me still that spotless name retain ! If aught I have achiev'd deserve thy care:
If to my utmost power with sword and shield For this, with soul devout, he thank'd the god, I dar'd the death, unknowing how to yield, And, of success secure, return'd to his abode. And, falling in my rank, still kept the field :
These vows thus granted, rais'd a strife above, Then let my arms prevail, by thee sustain'd, Betwixt the god of war, and queen of love, That Emily by conquest may be gain'd.
She granting first, had right of time to plead; Have pity on my pains; nor those unknown But he had granted too, nor would recede. To Mars, which, when a lover, were his own. Jove was for Venus; but he fear'd his wife, Venus, the public care of all above,
And seem'd unwilling to decide the strife; Thy stubborn heart has softened into love : Till Saturn from his leaden throne arose, Now by her blandishments and powerfal charms, And found a way the difference to compose : When yielded she lay curling in thy arms, Though sparing of his grace, to mischiet bent, Ev'n by thy shame, if sbame it may be callid, He seldom does a good with good intent. When Vulcan had thee in his net enthralld; Wayward, but wise; by long experience taught O envy'd ignominy, sweet disgrace,
To please both parties, for ill ends, he sought : Wben every God that saw thee wish'd thy place! For this advantage age from youth has won, By those dear pleasures, aid my arms in fight, As not to be outridden, though outrun. And make me conquer in my patron's right: By Fortune he was now to Venus trin'd, For I am young, a novice in the trade,
And with stern Mars in Capricorn was join'd: The fool of love, unpractis'd to persuade :
Of him disposing in his own abode, (god : And want the soothing arts that catch the fair, He sooth'd the goddess, while he gulld the But, caught myself, lie struggling in the snare: Cease, daughter, to complain, and stint the And she I love, or laughs at all my pain,
strife; Or knows her worth too well; and pays me Thy Palamon shall have his promis'd wife: with disdain.
And Mars, the lord of conquest, in the fight For sure I am, unless I win in arms,
With palm and laurel shall adorn his knight. To stand excluded from Emilia's charms : Wide is my course, nor turu I to my place Nor can my strength avail, unless by thee Till length of time, and move with tardy pace. Endued by force, I gain the victory; [heart, Man feels me, when I press th’etherial plains, Then for the fire which warm'd thy gen'rous My hand is heavy, and the wound remains. Pity thy subject's pains, and equal smart. Mine is the shipwreck, in a watery sign ; So be the morrow's sweat and labour mine, And in an earthy, the dark dungeon mine. The palm and honour of the conquest thine: Cold shivering agues, melancholy care, Then shall the war, and stern debate, and strife And bitter blasting winds, and poison'd air, Immortal, be the business of my life;
Are mine, and wilful death, resulting from deAnd in thy fane, the dusty spoils among,
spair. High on the burnish'd roof, my banner shall The throtling quinsey 'tis my star appoints, be hung,
And rheumatisms ascend to rack the joints : Rank'd with my champion's bucklers, and below, When churls rebel against their native prince, With arms revers’d, th' achievements of my foe: 1 arm their hands, and furnish the pretence; And wbile these limbs the vital spirit feeds, And, housing in the lion's hateful sign, While day to night, and night to day succeeds, Bought senates and deserting troops are mine. Thy smoking altar shall be fat with food
Mine is the privy poisoning ; 1 command of incense, and the grateful steam of blood; Unkindly seasons, and ungrateful land. Burnt-offerings morn and evening shall be thine; By me kings' palaces are push'd to ground, And fires eternal in thy temple shine.
And miners crush'd beneath their mines are The bush of yellow beard, this length of hair,
found. Which from my birth inviolate 1 bear,
'Twas 1 slew Samson, when the pillar'd hall Guiltless of steel, and from the razor free,
Fell down, and crush'd the many with the fall. Shall fall a plenteous crop, reserv'd for thee. My looking is the fire of pestilence, So may my arms with victory be blest,
That sweeps at once the people and the prince. I ask no more; let Fate dispose the rest.” Now weep no more, but trust thy grandsire's art. The champion ceas'd; there followed in the Mars shall be pleas'd, and thou perform thy part. close
'Tis ill, though different your complexions are, A bollow groan: a murmuring wind arose; The family of Heaven for men should war.” The rings of iron, that on the doors were hung, Th’ expedient pleas'd, where neither lost his ' Sent out a jarring sound, and harshly rung:
right; The bolted gates few open at the blast,
Mars had the day, and Venus had the night. The storm rush'd in, and Arcite stood aghast : The management they left lo Chronos' care ; The flames were blown aside, yet shone they Now turn we to th' effect, and sing the war. bright,
In Athens all was pleasure, mirth, and play, Faon'd by the wind, and gave a ruffled light. All proper to the spring, and sprightiy May, Then from the ground a scent began to rise, Which every soul inspir'd with such delight, Sweet-selling as accepted sacrifice:
'Twas jesting all the day, and love at night. This open pleas'd, and as the flames aspire Heaven smil'd, and gladded was the heart of man; With odorous incense Arcite heaps the fire : And Venus had the world as when it first began. Nor wanted hymns to Mars, or heathen charms : At length in sleep their bodies they compose, At length the nodding statue clash'd his arms, And dreamt the future figbt, and early rose. And with a sullen sound and feeble cry, Now scarce the dawning day began to spring, Half sunk, and half pronounced, the word of As at a signal given, the streets with clamours victory.
ring : VOL. 11.
At once the crowd arose; confus'd and high He wills, not death should terminate their strife;
With shortued sword to stab in closer war;
Nor push with biting point, but strike at length. Rustling of harness, rattling of the shield,
The tourney is allow'd but one career, Clattering of armour, furbish'd for the field. Of the tough ash, with the sharp-grinded spear, Crowds to the castle mounted up the street, But knights unhors'd may rise from off the plain, Battering the pavement with their coursers' feet: And fight on foot their honour to regain; The greedy sight might there devour the gold Nor, if at mischief taken, on the ground Of glittering arms, too dazzling to behold: Be slain, but prisoners to the pillar bound, And polish'd steel that cast the view aside, At either barrier plac'd; nor (captives made) And crested morions, with their plumy pride. Be freed, or arm'd anew the fight invade. Knights, with a long retinue of their squires, The chief of either side, bereft of life, In gaudy liveries march, and quaint attires. Or yielded to his foe, concludes the strife. (young One lac'd the helm, another held the lance, Thus dooms the lord: now valiant knights and A third the shining buckler did advance.
Fight each his fill with swords and maces long." The courser paw'd the ground with restless feet, The herald ends: the vaulted firmament And snorting foam'd, and champ'd the golden bit. With loud acclaims and vast applause is rent: The smiths and armourers on palfreys ride, “ Heaven guard a prince so gracious and so good, Files in their hands, and hammers at their side, So just, and yet so provident of blood |” And nails for loosen'd spears, and thongs for This was the general cry. The trumpets sound, shields provide.
And warlike symphony is heard around. (war, The yeomen guard the streets, in seemly bands; The marching troops through Athens take their And clowns come crowding on, with cudgels in The great earl-marshal orders their array. their hands.
The fair from high the passing pomp behold;
In equal rank, and close his either side.
With Emily, the cause and the reward of strife.
And, wheeling east and west, before their many But most their looks on the black monarch bend,
ride. His rising muscles and his brawn commend; 'Th' Athenian monarch mounts his throne on high, His double-biting axe and beaming spear,
And after him the queen and Emily : Each asking a gigantic force to rear.
Next these the kindred of the crown are grac'd
Wak'd by the cries, th’ Athenian chiet arose, In rusl’d at once a rude promiscuous crowd;
Is plac'd aloft, that bears the god of war,
Proud Arcite entering arm'd before his train, The people press on every side, to see
Stops at the barrier, and divides the plain.
At that self moment enters Palamon
All maiden white, and shares the people's eyes. “ Our sovereign lord has ponderd in his mind From east to west, look all the world around, The means to spare the blood of gentle kind; Two troops so match'd were never to be found : And of his grace, and inborn clemency,
Such bodies built for strength, of equal age, He modifies his first severe decree,
In stature siz'd; so proud an equipage:
The nicest eye could no distinction make,
Thus rang'd, the herald for the last proclaims At length, as Fate foredoom'd, and all things A silence, while they answerd to their names : By course of time to their appointed end; (tend For so the king decreed, to shun the care,
So when the Sun to west was far declin'd, The fraud of musters false, the common bane And both afresh in niortal battle join'd, of war.
The strong Emetrius came in Arcite's aid, The tale was just, and then the gates were clos'd; And Palamon with odds was overlaid : And chief to chief, and troop to troop oppos'd. For, turning short, he struck with all his might The heralds last retird, and loudly cry'd,
Full on the helmet of th' unwary knight. The fortune of the field be fairly try'd.
Deep was the wound; he stagger'd with the blow, At this, the challenger with fierce defy
And turn'd him to his unexpected foe; His trumpet sounds; the challeng'd makes re- Whom with such force he struck, he felld him ply:
(vaulted sky. down, With clangor rings the field, resounds the And cleft the circle of his golden crown. Their rizors closed, their lances in the rest, But Arcite's men, who now prevail'd in fight, Or at the helmet pointed, or the crest;
Twice ten at once surround the single knight : They vanish from the barrier, speed the race, O'erpower'd, at length, they force him to the And spurring see decrease the middle space,
ground, A cloud of smoke envelops either host,
Unyielded as he was, and to the pillar bound; Aud all at once the combatants are lost:
And king Lycurgus, while he fought in vain Darkling they join adverse, and shock unseen, His friend to free, was tumbled on the plain, Coursers with coursers justling, men with men:
Who now laments but Palamon, compellid A: labouring in eclipse, a while they stay, No more to try the fortune of the field! Till the next blast of wind restores the day. And, worse than death, to view with hateful eyes They lovk ancw: the beauteous form of fight His rival's conquest, and renounce the prize! Is chang'd, and war appears a grizly sight.
The royal judge, on his tribunal plac'd, Txo troops in tair array one moment show'd, Who had beheld the fight from first to last, The next, a field with fallen bodies strow'd : Bad cease the war; pronouncing from on high, Nut half the number in their seats are found; Arcite of Thebes had won the beauteous Emily. But men and steeds lie groveling on the ground. The sound of trumpets to the voice reply'd, The points of spears are stuck within the shield, And round the royal lists the heralds cry'd, The steeds without their riders scour the field. Arcite of Thebes has won the beauteous bride." The knights unhors'd, on foot renew the fight; The people rend the skies with vast applause ; The glittering faulchions cast a gleaming light: All own the chief, when Fortune owns the cause. Hauberks and helms are hew'd with many a Arcite is own’d ev'n by the gods above, wound.
[ground. And conquering Mars insults the queen of love. Dut spins the streaming blood, and dies the So laugh'd he, when the rightful Titan fail'd, The mighty maces with such haste descend, And Jove's usurping arms in Heaven prevaild: They break the bones, and make the solid ar- Laugh'd all the powers who favour tyranny; mour bend.
And all the standing army of the sky. This thrusts amid the throng with furious force; But Venus with dejected eyes appears, Down goes, at once, the horseman and the horse: And, weeping, on the lists distill'd her tears; That courser stumbles on the fallen steed,
Her will refus'd, which grieves a woman most, Aad, foundering, throws the rider o'er his head. And, in her champion foil'd, the cause of Love One rolls along, a foot-ball to his foes;
is lost. One with a broken truncheon deals his blows. Till Saturn said, “Fair daughter, now be still, Tushalting, this disabled with his wound, The blustering fool has satisfy'd his will; In triumph led, is to the pillar bound,
His boon is given; his knight has gain'd the day, Where by the king's award he must abide : But lost the prize, th' arrears are yet to pay. There goes a captive led on t' other side.
Thy hour is come, and mine the care shall be By fits they cease; and, leaning on the lance, To please thy knight, and set thy promise free." Take breath a while, and to new fight advance. Now while the heralds run the lists around,
Full oft the rivals met, and neither spar'd And Arcite, Arcite, Heaven and Earth resound; His utmost force, and each forgot to ward.
A miracle (nor less it could be call'd) The head of this was to the saddle bent,
Their joy with unexpected sorrow pall’d.
The victor knight had laid his helm aside,
Where Theseus sate on his imperial throne;
Furious he drove, and upward cast his eye, Like adamant and steel they meet again.
Where next the queen was plac'd his Einily; So when a tiger sucks the bullock's blood, Then passing to the saddle-bow he bent : A famish'd lion, issuing from the wood,
A sweet regard the gracious virgin lent Roars lordly fierce, and challenges the food. (For women, to the brave an easy prey, Each claims possession, neither will obey, Still follow Fortune where she leads the way): But both their paws are fasten'd on the prey ; Just then, from earth sprung out a flashing fire, They bite, they tear; and while in vain they strive, By Pluto sent, at Saturn's bad desire : The gwains come arm'd between, and both to dis. The startling steed was seiz'd with sudden fright, tance drive.
Aud, hounding, o'er the pummel cast the knight: