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But less can learn by knowing they are dead,
To Paphos flie! and leave me sullen here !
This lamp shall light me to records which give To future youth so just a cause of feare,
That it will valour seem to dare to live!
CANTO THE FOURTH.
presence now, as when all know Some stranger prince must be receiv'd with state ; When courts shew those, who come to see the show ;
And all gay subjects like domesticks waite. Nor Ulfinore nor Goltho absent were ;
Whose hopes expect what list'ning Birtha (hid In the adjoyning closet) fears to heare ;
And beggs kind Heav'n in pitty would forbid.
The king (who never time nor pow'r misspent
In subjects' bashfulness, whiling great deeds Like coward councels, who too late consent)
Thus to his secret will aloud proceeds. “If to thy fame,” (brave youth) “I could add
wings, Or make her trumpet louder by my voice, I would (as an example drawn for kings)
Proclaim the cause, why thou art now my choice. “But this were to suspect the world asleep,
Or all our Lombards with their envy blinde, Or that the Hunns so much for bondage weep,
As their drown'd eies cannot thy trophies finde. “When this is heard, none dare of what I give
Presume their equal merit might have shar'd; And to say more, might make thy foes believe,
Thy dang'rous worth is grown above reward. “Reward even of a crown, and such a crown,
As by Heav'n's model ancient victors wore; When they, as by their coyn, by laws were known;
For laws but made more currant victors' pow'r. “A crown soon taught, by whom pow'r first was
given; When victors (of dominion cautious made By hearing of that old revolt in Heav'n)
Kept pow'r too high for subjects to invade. “A crown, which ends by armies their debate,
Who question height of pow'r; who by the law (Till plain obedience they make intricate)
Would not the people, but their rulers aw.
“To pow'r adoption makes thy title good ;
Preferring worth, as birth give princes place ; And vertue's claim exceeds the right of blood,
As soul's extraction does the bodie's race. “ Yet for thy blood's long walk through princes'
veins, Thou maist with any Lombard measure time; Though he his hidden house in Ilium feigns; And not step short, when Hubert's self would
climbe. “ And Hubert is of highest victors' breed ;
Whose worth I shall for distant empire choose ; If he will learn, that you by fate procede,
And what he never had, he cannot lose. “ His valour shall the Gothic conquest keep; And would to Heav'n that all your mighty
mindes As soon were pleas’d, as infants are with sleep,
And you had musick common as the windes. “ That all the year your seasons were like spring ;
All joy'd as birds, and all as lovers kinde, That ev'ry famous fighter were a king,
And each like you could have a Rhodalind. “For she is yours, as your adoption free;
And in that gift my remnant life I give ;
And she that Heav’n where secondly I live. “ And richer than that crown (which shall be
thine, When life's long progress I am gone with fame) Take all her love; which scarce forbears to shine
And own thee, through her virgin-curtain,
shame.” Thus spake the king; and Rhodalind appear’d Through publish'd love, with so much bashful
Moaning to fav’rite eares a deep distress.
And Gondibert with dying eies did grieve
At her vail'd love (a wound he cannot heal)
And now cold Birtha's rosy looks decay;
Who in fear's frost had like her beauty dy'd, But that attendant hope perswades her stay
A while, to hear her duke; who thus reply'd. “ Victorious king! Abroad your subjects are
Like legates safe; at home like altars free! Even by your fame they conquer as by warre :
And by your laws safe from each other be. “ A king you are o’re subjects, so as wise
And noble husbands seem o're loyal wives : Who claim not, yet confess their liberties,
And brag to strangers of their happy lives.
“ To foes a winter storm; whilst your friends bow,
Like summer trees, beneath your bounty's load; To me (next him whom your great self, with low
And cheerful duty serves) a giving God. “ Since this is you, and Rhodalind (the light
By which her sex fed vertue finde) is yours ; Your diamond, which tests of jealous sight,
The stroke, and fire, and oisel's juice endures; “Since she so precious is, I shall appear
All counterfeit, of art's disguises made ; And never dare approach her lustre near;
Who scarce can hold my value in the shade. “ Forgive me that I am not what I seem,
But falsly have dissembled an excess Of all such vertues as you most esteem;
But now grow good but as I ills confess. “ Far in ambition's feaver am I gone!
Like raging flame aspiring is my love ; Like flame destructive too, and like the Sun Does round the world tow’rds change of objects
move. “Nor is this now through vertuous shame con
fess'd; But Rhodalind does force my conjurd feare, As men whom evil spirits have possess’d,
Tell all when saintly votaries appeare, “When she will grace the bridal dignitie,
It will be soon to all young monarchs known; Who then by posting through the world will trie
Who first can at her feet present his crown.