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Forward he flew, and, pitching on his head, The midmost region batter'd and destroy'd,
Must leave his youth, and yield his beauteous
Conscience (that of all physic works the last) It came, but clogg'd with symptoms of his death. Caus'd him to send for Emily in haste. The saddle-bow the noble parts had prest, With her, at his desire, came Palamon; All bruis'd and mortify'd his manly breast. Then on his pillow rais'd, he thus begun. Him still entranc'd, and in a litter laid,
“No language can express the smallest part They bore from field, and to his bed convey'd. Of what I feel, and suffer in my heart, At length he wak’d, and, with a feeble cry, For you, whom best I love and value most; The word he first pronounc'd was Emily.
But to your service I bequeath my ghost; Mean time the king, though inwardly he Which, from this mortal body when unty'd, mournd,
Unseen, unheard, shall hover at your side; In pomp triumphant to the town return'd. Nor fright you waking, nor your sleep offend, Attended by the chiefs who fought the field But wait officious, and your steps attend : (Now friendly mix'd, and in one troop compell’d). How I have lov'd, excuse my faultering tongue, Compos'd his looks to counterfeited cheer, My spirits feeble, and my pains are strong : And bade them not for Arcite's life to fear. This I may say, I only grieve to die But that which gladded all the warrior-train, Because I lose my charming Emily: Though most were sorely wounded, none were To die, when Heaven had put you in my power, slain.
Fate could not choose a more malicious hour! The surgeons soon despoil'd them of their arms, What greater curse could envious Fortune give, And some with salves they cure, and some Than just to die, when I began to live! with charms;
Vain men, how vanishing a bliss we crave, Foment the bruises, and the pains assuage, Now warm in love, now withering in the grave! And heal their inward hurts with sovereign Never, O never more to see the Sun ! draughts of sage.
Still dark, in a damp vault, and still alone! The king in person visits all around,
This fate is common; but I lose my breath Comforts the sick, congratulates the sound; Near bliss, and yet not bless'd before my death. Honours the princely chiefs, rewards the rest, Farewel; but take me dying in your arms, And holds for thrice three days a royal feast. 'Tis all I can enjoy of all your charms: None was disgracd; for falling is no shame; This hand I cannot but in death resign; And cowardice alone is loss of fame.
Ah ! could I live! but while I live 'tis mine, The venturous knight is from the saddle thrown; I feel my end approach, and, thus embrac'd, But'tis the fault of Fortune, not his own:
Am pleas'd to die; but hear me speak my last. If crowds and palms the conquering side adorn, Ah ! my sweet foe, for you, and you alone, The victor under better stars was born:
I broke my faith with injur'd Palamon. The brave man seeks not popular applause, But Love the sense of right and wrong confounds, Nor, overpower'd with arms, deserts his cause; Strong Love and proud Ambition have no bouuds. Unsham'd, though foild, he does the best he can; And much I doubt, should Heaven my life prolong, Force is of brutes, but honour is of man.
I should return to justify my wrong: Thus Theseus smild on all with equal grace; For, while my former flames remain within, And each was set according to his place.
Repentance is but want of power to sin. With ease were reconcil'd the differing parts, With mortal hatred I pursu'd his life, For envy never dwells in noble hearts.
Nor he, nor you, were guilty of the strife: At length they took their leave, the time expird, Nor I, but as I lov'd; yet ail combin'd, Well pleas'd, and to their several homes retird. Your beauty, and my impotence of mind,
Mean while the health of Arcite still impairs; And his concurrent flame, that blew my fire; From bad proceeds to worse, and mocks the For still our kindred souls had one desire. leeches cares;
He had a moment's right in point of time; Swoln is his breast; his inward pains increase, Had I seen first, then his had been the crime. All means are us'd, and all without success, Fate made it mine, and justify'd his right; The clotted blood lies heavy on his heart,
Nor holds this Earth a more deserving knight, Corrupts, and there remains in spite of art : For virtue, valour, and for noble blood, Nor breathing veins, nor cupping, will prevail ; Truth, honour, all that is compriz'd in good; All outward remedies and inward fail :
So help me Heaven, in all the world is none
So worthy to be lov'd as Palamon.
As will not, cannot, but with life expire:
Our vow'd affections both have often try'd, Nor can the good receive, por bad expel. Nor any love but yours could ours divide. Those breathing organs, thus within opprest, "Then, by my love's inviolable band, With venom soon distend the sinews of his breast. By my long suffering, and my short command, Nought profits him to save abandon'd life, If e'er you plight your vows when I am gone, Nor vomit's upward aid, nor downward laxative. Have pity on the faithful Palamon.”
This was his last; for Death came on amain, There other flames might waste his earthly part, And exercis'd below his iron reign ;
And burn his limbs, where love had burn'd his Then upward to the seat of life he goes :
heart. Sense fled before him, what he touch'd he froze: This once resolv'd, the peasants were enjoin'd Yet could he not his closing eyes withdraw, Sere-wood, and firs, and dodder'd oaks to find. Thou <h less and less of Emily he saw ;
With sounding axes to the grove they go, So, speechless, for a little space he lay ;
Fell, split, and lay the fuel on a row, Then grasp'd the hand he beld, and sigh'd his Vulcanian food: a bier is next prepard, soul away.
On which the lifeless body should be rear'd, But whither went his soul, let such relate Cover'd with cloth of gold, on which was laid Who search the secrets of the future state: The corpse of Arcite, in like robes array'd. Divines can say but what themselves believe; White gloves were on his hands, and on his head Strong proofs they have, but not demonstrative: A wreath of laurel, mix'd with nyrtle spread. For, were all plain, then all sides must agree, A sword keen-edg'd within his right he held, And faith itself be lost in certainty.
The warlike emblein of the conquer'd field : To live uprightly then is sure the best,
Bare was his manly visage on the bier : To save ourselves, and not to damn the rest. Menac'd bis couutenance; ev'n in death severe. The soul of Arcite went where heathens go, Then to the palace-hall they bore the knight, Who better live than we, though less they know. To lie in solemn state, a public sight. In Palamon a manly grief appears;
Groans, cries, and howlings, all the crowded Silent he wept, asham'd to show his tears : And unaffected sorrow sat on every face. (place, Emilia shriek'd but once, and then, oppress'd
Sad Palaion above the rest appears, With sorrow, sunk upon her lover's breast : In sable garments, dew'd with gushing tears : Till Theseus in his arms convey'd with care, His auburn locks on cither shoulder flow'd, Far from so sad a sight, the swooning fair.
Which to the funeral of his friend he vow'd : 'Tvere loss of time her sorrow to relate;
But Emily, as chief, was next his side, Ill bears the sex a youthful lover's fate,
A virgin-widow, and a mourning bride. When just approaching to the nuptial state: And, that the princely obsequies might be But, like a low-hung cloud, it rains so fast, Perform'd according to his high degree, That all at once it falls, and cannot last.
The steed, that bore him living to the fight, The face of things is chang'd, and Athens now, Was trapp'd with polish'd steel, all shining That laugh'd so late, becomes the scene of woe:
bright, Matrons and maids, both sexes, every state, And cover'd with th' achievements of the knight, With trars lament the knight's untimely fate. The riders rode abreast, and one his sh Nor greater grief in falling Troy was seen His lance of cornel-wood another held; For Hector's death ; but Hector was not then. The third his bow, and, glorious to behold, Old men with dust deform'd their hoary hair, The costly quiver, all of burnish'd gold. The women beat their breasts, their cheeks they The noblest of the Grecians next appear, tare.
[cry, | And, weeping, on their shoulders bore the bier ; "Why would'st thou go," with one consent they with sober pace they march’d, and often staid, "When thou had'st gold enough, and Emily?” And through the master-street the corpse con
Theseus himself, who should have cheer'd the vey'd.
And ev'n the pavements were with mourning hid.
And on the left the royal Theseus wept; Still altering, never in a steady state;
Each bore a golden bowl, of work divine, Good after ill, and after pain delight;
With honey fill'd, and milk, and mix'd with Alternate like the scenes of day and night :
ruddy wine. " Since every man who lives is born to die, Then Palamon, the kinsman of the slain, And pone can boast sincere felicity,
And after him appcard the illustrious train. With equal mind what happens let us bear, To grace the pomp, came Emily the bright Nor joy nor grieve too much for things beyond with cover'd fire, the funeral pile to light. our care.
With high devotion was the service made, Like pilgrims to th' appointed place we tend; And all the rites of pagan-honour paid : The world's an inn, and death the journey's end. So lofty was the pile, a Parthian bow, Evn kings but play; and when their part is With vigour drawn, must send the shaft below. done,
The bottom was full twenty fathom broad, Some other, worse or better, mount the throne.” With crackling straw beneath in due proporWith words like these the crowd was satisfy'd,
To feed the flames: the trees were unctuous fir, Which were in honour of the dead design'd. And mountain ash, the mother of the spear; And, after long debate, at last he found
The mourner yew and builder oak were there: (As Lore itself had mark'd the spot of ground) The beech, the swimming alder, and the That grove for ever green, that conscious land,
plane, Where he with Palamon fought hand to hand : Hard box, and linden of a softer grain, That where he fed his amorous desires
And laurels, which the gods for conquering With soft complaints, and felt his hottest fires,
How they were rank'd, shall rest untold by me, Fire, food, and earth, and air, by this were bound, With nameless nymphs that lived in every tree; And love, the common link, the new creation Nor how the Dryads, or the wood!and train,
crown'd. Disherited, ran howling o'er the plaiu :
The chain still holds; for, though the forms decay, Nor how the birds to foreign seats repaird,
Eternal matter never wears away : Or beasts, that bolted out, and saw the forest bar'd: The same first Mover certain bounds has plac'd, Nor how the ground, now clear'd, with ghastly How long those perishable forms shall last : fright
Nor can they last beyond the time assign'd Beheld the sudden Sun, a stranger to the light. By that all-seeing and all-making Mind:
The straw, as first I said, was laid below: Shorten their hours they may; for will is free; Of chips and sere-wood was the second row; But never pass th' appointed destiny. The third of greens, and timber newly felld; So men oppress'd, when weary of their breath, The fourth high stage the fragrant odours held, Throw off the burthen, and suborn their death. And pearls, and precious stones, and rich array, Then, since those forms begin, and have their end, In midst of which, embalm'd, the body lay.
On some unalter'd cause they sure depend : The service sung, the maid with mourning eyes Parts of the whole are we; but God the whole; The stubble fird; the smouldering flames arise: Who gives us life and animating soul : This office done, she sunk upon the ground; Por Nature cannot from a part derive But what she spoke, recover'd from her swoon, That being, which the whole can only give: I want the wit in moving words to dress;
He perfect, stable; but imperfect we, But by themselves the tender sex may guess. Subject to change, and different in degree; While the devouring fire was burning fast, Plants, beasts, and man; and, as our organs are, Rich jewels in the flame the wealthy cast; We more or less of his perfection share. And some their shields, and some their lances But by a long descent, th' etherial fire threw,
Corrupts; and forms, the mortal part, expire : And gave their warrior's ghost, a warrior's due. As he withdraws his virtue, so they pass, Full bowls of wine, of honey, milk, and blood, And the same matter makes another mass : Were pour'd upon the pile of burning wood, This law th’Omniscient Power was pleas'd to give, And hissing fames receive, and hungry lick the That every kind should by succession live: food.
That individuals die, his will ordains, Then thrice the mounted squadrons ride around The propagated species still remains. The fire, and Arcite's name they thrice resound; The monarch oak, the patriarch of the trees, Hail, and farewel, they shouted thrice amain, Shoots rising up, and spreads by slow degrees; Thrice facing to the left, and thrice they turn'd Three centuries he grows, and three he stays, again :
[shields; Supreme in state, and in three more decays; Still as they turn'd, they beat their clattering So wears the paving pebble in the street, The women mix their cries; and Clamour fills And towns and towers their fatal periods meet: the fields.
So rivers, rapid once, now naked lie, The warlike wakes continued all the night, (light. Forsaken of their springs; and leave their channels And funeral games were play'd at new returning dry. Who, naked, wrestled best, besmear'd with oil, So man, at first a drop, dilates with heat, Or who with gauntlets gave or took the foil, Then, form'd, the little heart begins to beat ; I will not tell you, nor would you attend; Secret he feeds, unknowing in the cell; But briefly haste to my long story's end.
At length, for hatching ripe, he breaks the shell, I pass the rest; the year was fully mournd, And struggles into breath, and cries for aid; And Palamon long since to Thebes return'd: Then, helpless, in his mother's lap is laid. When, by the Grecians' general consent,
He creeps, he walks, and, issuing into man, At Athens Theseus held his parliament:
Grudges their life, from whence his own began: Among the laws that pass'd, it was decreed, Reckless of laws, affects to rule alone, That conquer'd Thebes from bondage should be Anxious to reign, and restless on the throne : Reserving homage to th’Athenian throne, [fre d; First vegetive, then feels, and reasons last; To which the sovereign summond Palamon. Rich of three souls, and lives all three to waste. Unknowing of the cause, he look his way,
Some thus; but thousands more in flower of age: Mournful in mind, and still in black array. for few arrive to run the latter stage, The monarch mounts the throne, and, plac'd Sunk in the first, in battle some are slain, on high,
And others whelm'd beneath the stormy main. Commands into the court the beauteous Emily: What inakes all this, but Jupiter the king, So call’d, she came; the senate rose, and paid At whose command we perish, and we spring ? Becoming reverence to the royal maid.
Then 'tje our best, since thus ordain'd to die, And first soft whispers through th'assembly went: To make a virtue of necessity. With silent wonder then they watch'd th'event: 'Take what he gives, since to rebel is vain ; All hush'd, the king arose with awful grace, The baú grows better, which we well sustain; Deep thought was in his breast, and counsel in And could we choose the time, and choose aright, his face.
'Tis best to die, our honour at the height. At length he sighd; and, having first prepar'd When we have done our ancestors no shame, Th' attentive audience, thus his will declard. But serv'd our friends, and well s curd our farne;
“The Cause and Spring of Motion, from above, Then should we wish our happy life to close, Hung down on Earth the golden chain of love: And leave no more for Fortune to dispose: Great was th' effect, and high was his intent, So should we make our death a glad relief When peace among the jarring seeds he sent, From future shame, from sickness, and from grief: Enjoying while we live the present hour,
Deep in her cell her cottage lonely stood, And dying in our excellence and flower.
Well thatch'd, and under covert of a wood. Then round our death-bed every friend should run, This dowager, on whom my tale I found, And joyous of our conquest early won:
Since last she laid her husband in the ground, While the malicious world with envious tears! A simple sober life, in patience, led, Should grud.e our happy end, and wish it theirs. And had but just enough to buy her bread : Since then our Areite is with honour dead, But huswifing the little Heaven had lent, Why should we mourn, that he so soon is frecd, She duly paid a groat for quarter rent; Or call untimely what the gods decreed? And pinch'd her belly, with her daughters two, With grief as just, a friend may be deplor'd, To bring the year about with much ado. From a foul prison to free air restor’d.
The cattle in her homestead were three sows, Ouzht he to thank his kinsmen or his wife, An ewe calld Mallie, and three brinded cows. Could tears recall him into wretch'd life?
Her parlour-window stuck with herbs around, Their sorrow hurts themselves; on him is lost; Of savoury smell; and rushes strew'd the ground. And, worse than both, offends his happy ghost. A maple-dresser in her hall she had, What then remains, but, after past annoy, On which full many a slender meal she made; To take the good vicissitude of joy?
For no delicious morsel pass'd her throat; To thank the gracious gods for what they give, According to her cloth she cut her coat: Possess our souls, and, while we live, to live? No poignant sauce she knew, nor costly treat, Ordain we then two sorrows to combine,
Her hunger gave a relish to her meat : And in one point th' extremes of grief to join; A sparing diet did her health assure; That thence resulting joy may be renew'd, Or, sick, a pepper posset was her cure. A jarring notes in harmony conclude.
Before the day was done, her work she sped, Then I propose that Palamon shall be
And never went by candle-light to bed : In marriaze join'd with beauteous Emily ;
With exercise she sweat ill hunours out, For which already I have gain'd th’assent Her dancing was not hinder'd by the gout. Of my free people in full parliament.
Her poverty was glad; her heart content; Long love to her has borne the faithful knight, Nor knew she what the spleen or vapours meant. And yell deserv'd, had Fortune done him right: Of wine she never tasted through the year, Tis time to inend her fault; since Emily
But white and black was all her homely chear : By Arcite's death from former vows is free: Brown bread, and milk, (but first she skimın'd her If you, fair sister, ratify th'accord,
And rashers of sing'd bacon on the coals. [bowls) And take him for your husband and your lord, On holy days an egg, or two at most; Tis no dishonour to confer your grace
But her ambition never reach'd to roast. On one descended from a royal race:
A yard she had with pales enclos'd about, And were he less, yet years of service past Some high, some low, and a dry ditch without. From grateful souls exact reward at last:
Within this homestead, liv'd, without a peer, Pity is Heaven's and your's; nor can she find For crowing loud, the noble Chanticleer; A throne so soft as in a woman's mind.”
So hight her cock, whose singing did surpass He said; she blush'd; and, as o'eraw'd by might, The merry notes of organs at the mass, Seem'd to give Theseus what she gave the knight. More certain was the crowing of th cock Then turning to the Theban thus he said;
To number hours, than is an abbey-clock;
For when degrees fifteen ascended right,
His bill was raven-black, and shone like jet; Eros, and Anteros, on either side, [bride ; Blue were his legs, and orient were his feet: One fir'd the bridegroom, and one warm'd the White were his wails, like silver to behold, And long-attending Hymen, from above,
His body glittering like the burnish'd gold.
Six misses had, besides his lawful wife;
Scandal, that spares no king, though ne'er so good, No jealousy, but mutual truth believ'd,
Says, they were all of his own flesh and blood, Serure repose, and kindness undeceiv'd.
His sisters both by sire and mother's side ; Tous Heaven, beyond the compass of his thought, And sure their likeness show'd them near ally'd. Sent him the blessing he so dearly bought.
But make the worst, the monarch did no more,
When incest is for interest of a nation,
Which by their common ugliness are known.
But passing this, as from our tale apart,
Dame Partlet was the sovereign of his heart; OR THE TALE OF THE NUN'S PRIEST. Ardent in love, outrageous in his play,
He feather'd her a hundred times a day: THERE lir'd, as authors tell, in days of yore, And she, that was not only passing fair, A widow, somewhat old, and very poor :
But was withal discreet, and debonair,
Resolv'd the passive doctrine to fulfil,
From rising fumes of indigested food, Though loth; and let him work his wicked will: And noxious humours that infect the blood : At board and bed was affable and lind,
And sure, my lord, if I can read aright, According as their marriage vow did bind, These foolish fancies you have had to-night And as the church's precept had enjoin'd : Are certain symptoms (in the canting style) Ev'n since she was a se'nnight old, they say, Of boiling choler, and abounding bile; Was chaste and humble to her dying day, This yellow gall, that in your stomach floats, Nor chick nor hen was known to disobey. Engenders all these visionary thoughts.
By this her husband's heart she did obtain; When choler overflows, then dreams are bred What cannot beauty, join'd with virtue, gain! Of flames, and all the family of red; She was his only joy, and he her pride,
Red dragons, and red beasts, in sleep we view, She, when he walk'd, went pecking by his side ; For humours are distinguish'd by their hue. If, spurning up the ground, he sprung a corn, From hence we dream of wars and warlike things, The tribute ju his bill to her was borne,
And wasps and hornets with their double wings. But, oh! what joy it was to hear him sing
Choler adust congeals our blood with fear, In summer, when the day began to spring, Then black bulls toss us, and black devils tear. Stretching his neck, and warbling in bis throat, In sanguine airy dreams aloft we bound, “Solus cum sola,” then was all his note.
With rheums oppress'd we sink, in rivers drown'd. For in the days of yore, the birds of parts [arts. “ More I could say, but thus conclude my theme, Were bred to speak, and sing, and learn the liberal The dominating humour makes the dream.
It happ'd, that, perching on the parlour-beam Cato was in his time accounted wise,
And purge the peccant humours that abound. Heard all bis piteous moan, and how he cry'd I should be loth to lay you on a bier; For help from gods and men: and sore aghast And though there lives no 'pothecary near, She peck'd and pull'd, and waken'd him at last. I dare for once prescribe for your disease, “Dear heart,” said she, “ for love of Heaven, And save long bills, and a damn'd doctor's fees. declare
“ Two sovereign herbs which I by practice Your pain, and make me partner of your care.
know, You groan, sir, ever since the morning-light, And both at hand (for in our yard they grow); As something had disturb'd your noble spright.” On peril of my soul shall rid you wholly
“And madam, well I might,” said Chanticleer, Of yellow choler, and of melancholy: “ Never was shrovetide cock in such a fear, You must both purge and vomit; but obey, Ev'n still I run all over in a sweat,
And for the love of Heaven make no delay. My princely senses not recover'd yet.
Since hot and dry in your complexion join, for such a dream I had of dire portent,
Beware the Sun when in a vernal sign;
For when he mounts exalted in the Ram,
Replete with choler, I dare lay a groat,
A day or two before your laxative, Tipp'd was his tail, and both his pricking ears Take just three worms, nor under nor above, Were black, and much unlike his other hairs: Because the gods unequal numbers love. The rest, in shape a beagle's whelp throughout, These digestives prepare you for your purge ; With broader forehead, and a sharper snout : Of fumetery, centaury, and spurge, Deep in his front were sunk his glowing eyes, And of ground-ivy add a leaf or two, That yet methinks ) see him with surprise. All which within our yard or garden grow. Reach out your hand, I drop with clammy sweat, Eat these, and be, my lord, of better cheer; And lay it to my heart, and feel it beat.”
Your father's son was never born to fear." “Now fy for shame," quoth she, “by Heaven “Madam," quoth he,“grammercy for yourcare, above,
But Cato, whom you quoted, you may spare : Thou hast for ever lost thy lady's love;
'Tis true, a wise and worthy inan he seems, No woman can endure a recreant knight,
And (as you say) gave no belief to dreams :
And, by th' immortal powers, as wise as he,
Maintain, with sounder sense, that dreams foreWise, hardy, secret, liberal of his purse:
bode; A fool is nauseous, but a coward worse :
For Homer plainly says they come from God. No bragging coxcomb, yet no ba med knight. Nor Cato said it: but some modern fool How dar'st thou talk of love, and dar’st not fight? Impos'd in Cato's name on boys at school. How dar'st thou tell thy dame thou art affear'd ? “ Believe me, madam, morning dreams foreshow Hast thou no manly heart, and hast a beard ? Th' event of things, and future weal or woe:
“ If aught from fearful dreams may be divin'd, Somne truths are not by reason to be try'd, They signify a cock of dunghill kind.
But we have sure experience for our guide. All dreams, as in old Galen I have read,
An ancient author, equal with the best, Are from repletion and complexion bred; Relates this tale of dreams among the rest.