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What worse to wretched virtue could befal, It happen'd once, that, slumb’ring as he lay,
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;
To Theseus' person he was ever near; As thou shalt guide my wand'ring feet to find
His vows address’d, within the grove he во ок II.
In brakes and brambles hid, and thunning mor-
And less he knew him for his hated foe,
But fear'd him as a man he did not know.
But as it has been taid of ancient years,
For this the wise are ever on their guard ;
Thus Arcite, having fung, with alter'd hue
Yet ceases not her hate ; for all who come
I suffer for my blood : unjust decree !
A woodbine garland fought to croyn his hair; He fires within, and hilles at my heart.
For thee, sweet month, the groves green liveries Of such a Goddess no time leaves record,
He trembled every limb, and felt a smart, And thinks, here comes my mortal enemy,
Then both, no moment loft, at once advance
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,
And shot a dreadful gleam ; so strong they struck, By Mars, the patron of my arms, you die.
queen above the rett, by nature good
All dropp'd their tears, ev'n the contended
Offence? of what? to whom? who judg'd the
Curse on th' unpardoning prince, whoin tears
And deaf to prayers, by no submission bow'd,
Reason resum'd her place, and paffion fled :
Rules, unrefifted, with an awful nod;
due. He blinds the wile, gives eye-sight to the blind;
Freed from my fetters, and in safety gone,
You judge yourself; and I but keep record To suffer death deserv'd; for well they know
See how the madmen bleed: behold the gains The whole assembled troop was pleas'd as well;
[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.
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.