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What worse to wretched virtue could befal, It happen'd once, that, slumb’ring as he lay,
If fate, or giddy fortune, govern'd all ? He dream'd (his dream began at break of day)
Nay, worse than other beasts is our estate : That Hermes o'er his head in air appear'd,
Them to pursue their pleasures you create ; And with soft words his drooping spirits cheer'd:
We, bound by harder laws, mult curb our will, His hat, adorn'd with wings, disclos'd the God,
And your commands, not our desires fulfil; And in bis hand he bore the sleep-compelling rod:
Then when the creature is unjustly lain, Such as he seem'd, when, at his fire's command,
Yet after death at least he fecls no pain: On Argus' head he laid the snaky wand.

in life furcharg'd with woe before, Arile, he said, to conqu’ring Athens go; Not freed when dead, is doom'd to suffer more. There fate appoints an end to all thy woe. A serpent shoots his sting at unaware;

The fright awaken'd drcite with a start; An ambuih'd chief forclays a traveller:

Against his botom bounc'd his heaving heart; The man lies murder d; while the thief and snake, But foon he faid, with scarce-recover'd breach, One gains the thickets, and one thrids the brake. And thither will I go to meet my death, This let divines decide ; but well I know, Sure to be fain; but death is my desire, Just or unjust

, I have my Ihare of woe; Since in Emilia's fight I shall expire. Through Saturn seated in a luckleis place, By chance he spied a mirror while he spoke, And Juno's wrath, that persecutes my race; And gazing there, beheld his alter'd look; Or Mars and Venus, in a quartil, move Wond'ring he saw his features and his hue My pangs of jealousy for Arcite's love. So much were chang’d, that scarce himself he knew,

Let Palamon opprets’d in bondage mourn, A sudden thought then starting in his mind, While to his exil'd rival we return.

Since I in Arcite cannot Arcite find, By this, the sun, declining from his height, The world may search in vain with all their eyes, The day had shorten'd, to prolong the night: But never penetrate through this disguise. The lengthen'd night gave length of misery Thanks to the change which grief and fickness Both to the captive lover and the free;

In low estate I may securely live, give, For Palamon in endless prifon mourns, And see, unknown, my mistress day by day. And Arcite forfeits life if he returns :

He said, and cloth'd himself in coarse array, The banith'd never hopes his love to see, A lab'ring hind in thew; then forth he went, Nor hopes the captive lord his liberty.

And to th’ Athenian tow’rs his journey bent : 'Tis hard to say who suffers greater pains : One 'squire attended in the same disguise, One fees his love, but cannot break his chains; Made conscious of his mafter's enterprise. One free, and all his motions uncontroul'd, Arriv'd at Athens, foon he came to court, Bchulds whate'er he would, but what he would unknown, unquestion d, in that thick resort: behold.

Proff'ring for hire his service at the gate, Judge as you please, for I will haste to tell To drudge, draw water, and to run or wait. What fortune to the banith'd knight befel. So far befel him, that for little gain When Arcite was to Thebes return d arain, He serv'd at first Emilia's chamberlain ; The loss of her he lov'd renew'd his pain; And, watchful all advantages to fpy, What could be worse, than never more to see Was still at hand, and in bis master's eve ; His life, his soul, his charming Emily! And as his bones were big, and finews strong, He rav’d with all the madnets of despair, Refus'd no toil that could to llaves belong; He roar'd, he beat his breast, he tore his hair. But from deep wells with engines water drew, Dry forrow in his stupid eyes appears;

And us'd his noble hands the wood to how. For, wanting nourishment, he wanted tears : He pass'd a year at least attending thus His eve-balls in their hollow fockets sink; On Einily, and call'd Philostratus, Bereft of Neep, he loaths his meat and drink. But never was there man of his degree He withers at his heart, and looks as wan So much esteem'd, so well-belov'd as he. As the pale spectre of a murder'd man: So gentle of condition was he known, That pale turns yellow, and his face receives That thro' the court his courtesy was blown: The faded hue of lapless boxen leaves :

All think him worthy of a greater place, In folitary groves he makes his moan,

And recommend him to the royal grace; Walks early out, and ever is alone :

That, exercis d within a higher sphere, Nor, mix'd in mirth, in youthful pleasures shares, His virtucs more conipicuous might appear. But fighs when fongs and instruments ho hears. Thus by the gen’ral voice was Arcite prais d, His fpuits are so low, his voice is drown'd, and by great Thereus to high favour rais'd : Hc hoars as from afar, or in a swool),

Among his menial servants first enrollid, Like the deaf murmurs of a distant found: And largely entertain'd with sums of gold : Uncomb'd his locks, and squalid his attire, Besides what secretly from Thebes was lent, Unlike the trim of love and gay desire: Of his own income, and his annual rent: But full of muffül mopings, which presage This well employ'd, he purchas'd friends and fame, The lofs of reaton, and conclude in rage. But cautioutly conceal d from whence it came. This when he had endur'd a year and more, Thus for three years he livid with large increase, Now wholly chang'd from what he was before, In arnis of honour, and esteem in peace;



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To Theseus' person he was ever near; As thou shalt guide my wand'ring feet to find
And Theseus, for his virtues, held him dear. The fragrant greens I seek, my brows to bind.

His vows address’d, within the grove he во ок II.

WHILE Arcite lives in bliss, the story turns Till fate, or fortune, near the place convey'd
Where hopeless Palamon in prison mourns. His steps where secret Palamon was laid.
For fix long years immur’d, the captive knight Full little thought of him the gentle knight,
Had dragg'd his chains, and scarcely seen the light: Who flying death had there conceal d his fight,
Loft liberty and love at once he bore ;

In brakes and brambles hid, and thunning mor-
His prison pain d him much, his pallion more :

tal sight;
Nor dares he hope his fetters to remove,

And less he knew him for his hated foe,
Nor ever wishes to be free from love,

But fear'd him as a man he did not know.
But when the fixth revolving year was run,

But as it has been taid of ancient years,
And May within the Twins receiv'd the sun, That fields are full of eyes, and woods have ears;
Were it hy chance, or forceful destiny,

For this the wise are ever on their guard ;
Which forms in causes first whate'er shall be, For unforeseen, they say, is unprepar'd.
Afifted by a friend, one moonless night, Uncautious Arcite thought himself alone,
This Palainon from prison took his fight: And less than all suspected Palamon,
A pleasant bev'rage he prepar'd before Who lift'ning heard him, while he search'd the
Of wine and honey, mix'd with added store And loudly sung his roundelay of love; [grove,
Of opium; to his keeper this he brought, But on the sudden stopp'd, and silent stood,
Who rivallow'd unaware the sleepy draught, As lovers often mule, and change their mood;
And inor'd secure tiil morn, his sentes bound Now high as heaven, and then as low as hell;
In slumber, and in long oblivion drown'd. Now up, now down, as buckets in a well;
Short was the night, and careful Palainon For Venus, like her day, will change her cheer,
Sought the next covert ere the rising fun. And seldom ihall we see a Friday clear.
A thick-spread forest near the city lay,

Thus Arcite, having fung, with alter'd hue
To this with lengthen'd strides he took his way Sunk on the ground, and from his bofom drew
(For far he could not Ay, and fear’d the day). A dosp'rate figh, accusing Hcaven and Fate,
Safe from purluit, he meant to shun the light, And angry Juno's unrelenting hate.
Till the brown lhadows of the friendly night Curs'd be the day when first I did appear!
To Thebes might favour his intended flight. Ler it be blotted from the calendar,
When to his country come, his next design Left it pollute the month, and poison all the
Was all the Theban race in arms to join, Still will the jealous Queen pursue our race?
And war on Theseus, till be lost his life, Cadmus is dead, the Theban city was :
Or won the beauteous Emily to wife.

Yet ceases not her hate ; for all who come
Thus while his thoughts the ling’ring day beguile, From Cadmus are involv'd in Cadmus' doom.
To gentle Arcite let us turn our style ;

I suffer for my blood : unjust decree !
Who little dream'd how nigh he was to care, That punilhus another's crime on me.
Till treach’rous fortune caught him in the soare. In mcan estate / terve my mortal foe,
The morning-lark, the messenger of day, The man who caus'd my country's overthrow.
Saluted in her song the morning grev; This is not all; for Juno, to my Thame,
And on the lun arose with beams fo bright, Has forc'd me to forsake my former name ;
That all the horizon laugh'd to tee the joyous fight; Arcire I was, Philostratus I am.
He with his tepid rays the rose renews, That side of heaven is all my enemy;
And licks the drooping leaves, and dries the dews; Mars ruin'd Thebes, his mother ruin'd me.
When Arcite left his bed, refolv'd to pay Of all the royal race remains but one
Observance to the month of merry May: Besides myfeíf, th' unhappy Palamon,
Forth on his fiery feed betimes he rode, Whom Thcieus holds in bonds, and will not free;
That fcarcely prints the turf on which he trod: Without a crime, except his kin to me.
At ease he seem'd, and, prancing o'er the plains, Yet these, and all the icit. I could endure;
Turn'd only to the grove his horse's reins, But Love's a malady without a cure;
The grove I nam’d before ; and, lighted there, Fierce Love has pierc'd me with his fiery dart;

A woodbine garland fought to croyn his hair; He fires within, and hilles at my heart.
Then turn'd his face against the rising day, Your eyes, fair Emily, my fate pursue ;
And rais'd his voice to welcome in the May. I futfer for the rest, I die for you.

For thee, sweet month, the groves green liveries Of such a Goddess no time leaves record,
If not the first, the fairest of the year: [ wear; Who burn'd the temple where she was adord :
For thee the Graces lead the dancing hours, And let it burn, I never will complain;
And Nature's ready pencil paints the fow'rs : Pleas'd with my fufl'rings, if you knew my pain.
When thy short reign is past, the feverish fun At this a fickly qualm his heart affailid,
The sultry tropic fears, and moves more slowly on. His eais ring inward, and his fenses fail'd.
So may thy tender blossoms fear no blight, No word mits'd Palamon of all he fpoke,
Nor goats with venom'd teeth thy tendrils bite, But foon to deadly pale he chang'd his look ::







He trembled every limb, and felt a smart, And thinks, here comes my mortal enemy,
As if cold steel had glided through his heart ; And either he muft fall in fight, or 1:
No longer staid; but, starting from his place, This while he thinks, he lifts aloft his dart;
Discover'd stood, and thew'd his hostile face. A gen'rous chillness seizes ev'ry part; [heart.
False traitor Arcite, traitor to thy blood, The veins pour back the blood, and fortify the
Bound by thy sacred oath to feek my good, Thus pale they meet, their eyes with fury burn;
Now art thou found foresworn for Emily, None greets, for none the greeting will return;
And dar'lt attempt her love for whom I die. But in dumb surliness each arm'd with care
So hast thou cheated Theseus with a wile, His foe profest, as brother of the war:
Against thy vow, returning to beguile

Then both, no moment loft, at once advance
Under a borrow'd name; as false to me, Against each other, arm'd with sword and lance:
So false thou art to him who set thee free: They lath, they foin, they pass, they ftrive to bore
But rest assur'd that either thou shalt die, Their corflets, and the thinnest parts explore.
Or else renounce thy claim in Emily:

Thus two long hours in equal arms they food, For though unarm'd I am, and (freed by chance)And wounded, wound; till both were bath'd ia Am here without my sword or pointed lance, And not a foot of ground had either got, [blood; Hope not, base man, unquestion d hence to go; As if the world depended on the spot. For I am Palamon, thy mortal foe.

Fell Arcite like an angry tiger far'd, Arcite, who heard his tale, and knew the man, And like a lion Palamon appear'd : His sword unsheath'd, and fiercely thus began: Or as two boars whom love to battle draws, Now by the Gods who govern heaven above, With riling bristles, and with frothy jaws, Wert thou not weak with hunger, mad with Their adverse breasts with tusks oblique they love,

wound, That word had been thy last, or in this grove With grunts and groans the forest rings around. This hand should force thee to renounce thy love. So fought the knights, and fighting must abide, The surety which I gave thee, I defy: Till fate an umpire sends their

diff'rence to decide. Fool, not to know that love endures no tie, The pow'r that ministers to God's decrees, And Jove but laughs at lovers' perjury. And executes on earth what Heaven foresees, Know, I will serve the fair in thy despite ; Call’d providence, or chance, or fatal sivay, But since thou art my kinsian and a knight, Comes with reliftless force, and finds or makes her Here, have my faith, to-morrow in this grove Nor kings, nor nations, nor united pow'r, (way. Our arms shall plead the titles of our love : One moment can retard th' appointed hour. And Heaven so help my right, as I alone And some one day some wondrous chance ap. Will come, and keep the cause and quarrel both pears, unknown,

Which happen'd not in centuries of years : With arms of proof both for myself and thee; For sure whate'er we mortals hate, or love, Choose thou the best, and leave the worst to me. Or hope, or fear, depends on pow'rs above : And, that a better eafe thou niayft abide, They move our appetites to good or ill, Bedding and clothes I will this night provide, And by foresight neceffitate the will. And needful sustenance, that thou mayst be In Theseus this appears, whose youthful joy A conquest better won, and worthy me. Was beasts of chace in forests to destroy; His promise Palamon accepts; but pray'd This gentle knight, inspir'd by joliy May, To keep it better than the first he made. Forsook his easy couch at early day, Thus fair they parted till the morrow's dawn; And to the wood and wilds pursued his way. For each had laid his plighted faith to pawn.

Beside himn rode Hippolita che queen, Oh Love! thou sternly dost thy pow'r maintain, And Emily attir'd in lively green, And wilt not bear a rival in thy reign; With horns, and hounds, and all the tuneful cry, Tyrants and thou all fellowship disdain. To hunt a royal hart within the covert nigh: This was in Arcite prov'd, and Palamon; And as he follow'd Mars before, so now Both in despair, yet each would love alone. He serves the goddess of the filver bow. Arcite return'd, and, as in honour ried,

The way that Theseus took was to the wood His foe with bedding and with food supplied ; Where the two knights in cruel battle food : Then, ere the day, two suits of armour sought, The lawn on which they fought, th' appointed Which borne before him on his steed he brought:

place Both were of shining steel, and wrought so pure, In which the uncoupled hounds began the chace. As might the strokes of two such arms endure. Thither forth-right he rode to rouse the prey, Now at the time, and in th' appointed place, That shaded by the fern in harbour lay; The challenger and challeng'd, face to face, And, thence dislodg’d, was wont to leave the Approach ; each other from afar they knew,

wood And from afar their hatred chang'd their hue. For open fields, and cross the crystal flood. So ftands the Thracian herdsman with his fpcar Approach'd, and looking underneath the sun, Full in the gap, and hopes the hunted bear; He law proud Arcite and fierce Palamon And hears him ruftling in the wood, and sees In mortal battle doubling blow on blow, His course at distance by the bending trees; Like lightning flam'd their faulchions to and fro,



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And shot a dreadful gleam ; so strong they struck, By Mars, the patron of my arms, you die.
There seem'd less force requir'd to fell an oak : He said; dumb forrow seiz'd the standers-by.
He gaz'd with wonder on their equal might, The

queen above the rett, by nature good
Look'd cager on, but knew not either knight : (The pattern form’d of perfect womanhood),
Resolv'd to learn, he spurr'd his fiery steed For tender pity wept : when she began,
With goring rowels to provoke his speed. Thro' the bright quire th' infectious virtue ran.
The minute ended that began the race,

All dropp'd their tears, ev'n the contended
So foon he was betwixt them on the place ;

And with his fword unfheath’d, on pain of life, And thus among themselves they softly said:
Commands both combatants to ccase their strife : What eyes can suffer this unworthy light!
Then with imperious tone pursues his threat - Two youths of royal blood, renown'd in fight,
What are you? why in arms together met ? The mastership of heaven in face and mind,
How dares your pride presume against my laws, And lovers far beyond their faithless kind :
As in a lifted field, to fight your caule ? See their wide streaming wounds; they neither
Unask'd the royal grant; no marshal by,
As knightly rites require, nor judge to try? For pride of empire, nor desire of fame.
Then Palamon, with fcarce recover'd breach, Kings fight for kingdoms, madmen for applause:
Thus hasty spoke: We both deserve the death, But love for love alone ; that crowns the lover's
And both would die ; for look the world around, cause.
A pair so wretched is not to be found : This thought, which ever bribes the beauteous
Our life 's a load; encumber'd with the charge, Such picy wrought in ev'ry lady's mind, [kind,
We long to set th' imprison'd foul at large. They left their steeds, and, prostrate on the place,
Now as thou art a fou'reign judge, decree From the fierce king implor'd the offender's grace.
The rightful doom of death to him and me; He paus'd awhile, stood silent in his mood
Let neither find thy grace, for grace is cruelty. (For yet his rage was boiling in his blood);
Me first, oh kill me first, and cure my woe ; But soon his tender mind th' impression felt
Then sheath the sword of justice on my foe : (As softest metals are not Now to melt,
Or kill him first; for when his name is heard, And pity foonest runs in softest minds):
He foremost will receive his due reward." Then reasons with himself; and first he finds
Arcite of Thebes is he, thy mortal foe, His passion cast a mist before his fense,
On whom thy grace did liberty bestow; And either made or magnified th' offence.
But first contracted, that if ever found

Offence? of what? to whom? who judg'd the
By day or night upon th’ Athenian ground,

His head should pay the forfeit; fee return'd The pris'ner freed himself by nature's laws:
The perjur'd knight, his oath and honour scorn'd. Born free, he fought his right: the man he freed
For this is he who, with a borrow'd name Was perjur'd; but his love excus’d the deed:
And proffer'd service, to thy palace came, Thus pond'ring, he look'd under with his eyes,
Now call's Puiloftratus; retain d by thee, And law the women's tears, and heard their
A traitor trusted, and in high degree,

Aspiring to the bed of beauteous Emily. Which mov'd compassion more: he shook his
My part remains; from Thebes my birth I own, And, softly fishing, to himself he said: [head,
And call myself th' unhappy Palamon.

Curse on th' unpardoning prince, whoin tears
Think me not like that man ; since no difgrace

can draw
Can force me to renounce the honour of my To no remorse, who rules by lions' law;

And deaf to prayers, by no submission bow'd,
Know me for what I am : I broke my chain, Rends all alike, the penitent and proud
Nor promis’d I thy pris'ner to remain : At this with look serene, he rais'd his head :
The love of liberty with life is given;

Reason resum'd her place, and paffion fled :
And life itself th' inferior gift of Heaven. Then thus aloud he spoke: The pow'r of love,
Thus without crime I Aed; but farther know, In earths, and feas, and air, and heaven above,
I with this Arcite am thy mortal foe :

Rules, unrefifted, with an awful nod;
Then give me death, since I thy life pursue ; By daily miracles declar'd a God:
For safeguard of thyself, death is my

due. He blinds the wile, gives eye-sight to the blind;
More wouldst thou know? I love bright Emily, And moulds and stamps anew the lover's mind.
And for her fake and in her fight will die: Behold that Arcite, and this Palamon,
But kill my rival too; for he no lefs

Freed from my fetters, and in safety gone,
Deserves; and I thy righteous doom will bless, What hinder'd either in their native soil
Assur'd that what I lole he never shall poffess. At ease to reap the harvest of their toil;
To this replied the stern Athenian prince, But Love, their lord, did otherwise ordain,
And fourly smil'd-In owning your offence, And brought them in their own despite again,

You judge yourself; and I but keep record To suffer death deserv'd; for well they know
In place of law, while you pronounce the word. 'Tis in my pow'r, and I their deadly foc;
Take your desert, the death you have decreed; The proverb holds, that to be wise and love,
I leal your doom, and ratify the deed : Is hardly granted to the Gods above.





See how the madmen bleed: behold the gains The whole assembled troop was pleas'd as well;
With which their master, Love,rewards their pains; Extol th' award, and on their knees they fell
For seven long years, on duty ev'ry day, To bless the gracious king. The knights with
Lo their obedience, and their monarch's pay:


[ceive; Yet, as in duty bound, they serve him on; Departing from the place, his last commands reAnd, ask the fools, they think it wisely done ; On Emily with equal ardour look, Nor eafe, nor wealth, nor life itself regard, And from her eyes their inspiration took: For 'ris their maxiin, Love is love's reward., From thence to Thebes’old walls pursue their way, This is not all; the fair for whom they strove Each to provide his champions for the day. Nur knew before, nor could iufpect, their love; It might be deein'd, on our historian's part, Nor thought, when the beheld the fight. from fur, Or too much negligence, or want of art, Her beauty was th’occasion of the war. If he forgot the väit magnificence But sure a gen’ral doom on man is part, Of royal Theseus, and his large expence. And all are fools and lovers first or last:

He first inclos'd for lifts a level ground, This both by others and myself I know, The whole circumference a mile around; For I have serv'd their sov'reign long ago; The form was circular; and all without Oft have been caught

A trench was funk, to moat the place about. of female frares, and felt the lover's pain," 2 Within an amphitheatre appeara, And learn'd how far the God can human hearts S hat

, when a man was plac'd in one degree,

Rais'd to constrain. To this remembrance, and the pray'rs of those Height was allow'd for him above to see. Who for th' offending warriors interpose, Eastward was built a gate of marble white ; I give their forfeit lives ; on this accord, The like adorn'd the western opposite. To do me homage as their sov'reign lord; A nobler objeet than this fabric was And as my vassals, to their utmost might, Rome never saw, nor of lo vast a space : Allift my person, and affert my right.

For, rich with spoils of many a conquer'd land, This freely sworn, the knights their grace obtain'd, All arts and artists Theseus could command: Then thus the king his secret thoughts explain’d: Who fold for hire, or wrought for better farme, If wealth, or honour, or a royal race,

The master-painters and the carvers came.
Or each, or all, may win a lady's grace, So rose within the compass of the year
Then either of you knights may well deserve An age's work, a glorious theatre.
A princess born ; and such is the


serve: Then o'er its eastern gate was rais'd above For Emily is fitter to the crown,

A temple, facred to the queen of love; And but too well to both her beauty known: an altar stood below : on either hand (wand. But should you combat till you both were dead, A priest with roles crown'd, who held a myrtle Two lovers cannot share a single bed:

The doine of Mars was on the gate oppos’d, As therefore both are equal in degrce,

And on the north a turret was inclusid, The lot of both be left to destiny.

Within the wall of alabaster whice, Now hear th' aivard, and happy may it prore And crimson coral for the queen of night, To her, and him who best deferves her love! U'ho takes in fylvan sports her chatte delight. Depart from hence in peace, and free as air Within these oratories might you fce Search the wide world, and where you please Rich carvings, portraitures, and imagery: repair;

Where ev'ry figure to the life exprels'd But on the day when chis returning fun The godhead's pow'r to whom it was address'd. To the same point through ev'ry sign has run, In Venus' temple, on the sides were seen Then each of yon his hundred knights shall bring, The broken flumbers of enamour'd men, In royal lifts, to fight before the king;

Pray’rs that c'en tp.ske, and pity feem'd to call, And then the knight whom fate or happy chance ; And inuing tighis that linok'd along the wall. Shall with his friends to victory advance, Complaints, and hot di fires, the lover's hell, And grace his arms so far in equal tight And icaiding tears that wore a channel where they From out the bars to force his oppofire,

full: Or kill, or make him recreant on the plain, And all around were nuptial bonds, the ties The prize of valour and of love shall gain; Of love's assurance, and a train of lies, The vanquilh'd party shall their claim release, That, made in lust, conclude in perjuries. And the long jars conclude iv lasting peace. Beauty, and youth, and wealth, and luxury, The charge be mine t' adorn the chosen ground, And spritely hope, and short-enduring joy; The theatre of war, for champions fo renown'd; And forceries to raise th' infernal pow'rs, And take the patron's place of either knight, And figils fram'd in planetary hours : With eyes impartial to behold the fight : Expence, and after-thought, and idle care, Andheavenof me fojudge as I thalljudge aright! And doubts of motley hue, and dark despair; If both are satisfied with this accord,

Suspicions, and fantastical furmile, Swear by the laws of knighthood on my sword. And jealousy tuttus'd with jaundice in her eyes, Who now but Palamon exults with joy? Discolouring all the vicw'd, in tawny drest; And ravith'd Arcite seems to touch the sky: Down-look'd, and with a cuckow on her fift.



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