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Emilia shriek'd but once; and then, oppress'd
With sorrow, sunk upon her lover's breast :
Till Theseus in his arms convey'd, with care,
Far from so sad a sight, the swooning fair.
"Twere loss of time her sorrow to relate ;
Ill bears the sex a youthful lover's fate,
When just approaching to the nuptial state:
But, like a low-hung cloud, it rains so fast,
That all at once it falls, and cannot last.
The face of things is changed, and Athens now,
That laugh'd so late, becomes the scene of woe :
Matrons and maids, both sexes, every state,
With tears lament the knight's untimely fate.
Nor* greater grief in falling Troy was seen
For Hector's death, but Hector was not then.
Old men with dust deform’d their hoary hair ;
The women beat their breasts, their cheeks they tear.
“Why would'st thou go, (with one consent they cry,)
When thou hadst gold enough, and Emily!” |

Theseus himself, who should have cheer'd the grief
Of others, wanted now the same relief :
Old Egeus only could revive his son,
Who various changes of the world had known,
And strange vicissitudes of human fate,
Still altering, never in a steady state:
Good after ill, and, after pain, delight,
Alternate, like the scenes of day and night.
Since every man, who lives, is born to die,
And none can boast sincere felicity,
With equal mind, what happens, let us bear,
Nor joy, nor grieve too much, for things beyond

our care,

* Folio Edit. Not.

+ This sort of expostulation is common to many barbarous nations, and is said to be retained by the native Irish.

Like pilgrims, to the appointed place we tend; The world's an inn, and death the journey's end. Even kings but play; and, when their part is done, Some other, worse or better, mount the throne. With words like these the crowd was satisfied, And so they would have been had Theseus died.

But he, their king, was labouring in his mind, A fitting place for funeral pomps to find, Which were in honour of the dead design’d. And, after long debate, at last he found (As love itself had mark'd the spot of ground) That grove, for ever green, that conscious lawnd,* Where he with Palamon fought hand to hand ; That, where he fed his amorous desires With soft complaints, and felt his hottest fires, There other flames might waste his earthly part, And burn his limbs, where love had burn'd his heart.

This once resolved, the peasants were enjoin'd, Sere-wood, and firs, and dodder'd oaks to find. With sounding axes to the grove they go, Fell, split, and lay the fuel on a row; Vulcanian food : 'a bier is next prepared, On which the lifeless body should be rear'd, Cover'd with cloth of gold ; on which was laid The corpse of Arcite, in like robes array'd. White gloves were on his hands, and on his head A wreath of laurel, mix'd with myrtle, spread. A sword, keen-edged, within his right he held, The warlike emblem of the conquer'd field. Bare was his manly visage on the bier ; Menaced his countenance, even in death severe.

* The French launde, means a wild, uncultivated meadow, or glade. The word lawn, which we have formed from it, has a more limited signification.


Then to the palace-hall they bore the knight,
To lie in solemn state, a public sight:
Groans, cries, and howlings, fill the crowded place,
And unaffected sorrow sat on every face.
Sad Palamon above the rest appears,
In sable garments, dew'd with gushing tears ;
His auburn locks on either shoulder flow'd,
Which to the funeral of his friend he vow'd:
But Emily, as chief, was next his side,
A virgin-widow, and a mourning bride.
And, that the princely obsequies might be
Perform'd according to his high degree,
The steed, that bore him living to the fight,
Was trapp'd with polish'd steel, all shining bright,
And cover'd with the achievements of the knight.
The riders rode abreast; and one his shield,
His lance of cornel-wood another held;
The third his bow; and, glorious to behold,
The costly quiver, all of burnish'd gold.
The noblest of the Grecians next appear,
And, weeping, on their shoulders bore the bier;
With sober pace they march'd, and often staid,
And through the master-street the corpse convey'd.
The houses to their tops with black were spread,
And even the pavements were with mourning hid.
The right side of the pall old Egeus kept,
And on the left the royal Theseus wept ;
Each bore a golden bowl, of work divine,
With honey filld, and milk, and mix'd with ruddy

Then Palamon, the kinsman of the slain ;
And after him appear'd the illustrious train.
To grace the pomp, came Emily the bright,
With cover'd fire, the funeral pile to light.
With high devotion was the service made,
And all the rites of pagan honour paid :
So lofty was the pile, a Parthian bow,
With vigour drawn, must send the shaft below.

The bottom was full twenty fathom broad,
With crackling straw beneath in due proportion

The fabric seem'd a wood of rising green,
With sulphur and bitumen cast between,
To feed the flames; the trees were unctuous fir,
And mountain-ash, the mother of the spear;
The mourner-yew, and builder-oak, were there;
The beech, the swimming alder, and the plane,
Hard box, and linden of a softer grain,
And laurels, which the gods for conquering chiefs

ordain. How they were rank'd shall rest untold by me, With nameless nymphs that lived in every tree; Nor how the dryads, and the woodland train, Disherited, ran howling o'er the plain ; Nor how the birds to foreign seats repair’d, Or beasts that bolted out, and saw the forest bared; Nor how the ground, now clear’d, with ghastly fright, Beheld the sudden sun, a stranger to the light.

The straw, as first I said, was laid below; Of chips, and sere-wood, was the second row; The third of greens, and timber newly felld; The fourth high stage the fragrant odours held, And pearls, and precious stones, and rich array; In midst of which, embalm’d, the body lay. The service sung, the maid, with mourning eyes, The stubble fired; the smouldering flames arise : This office done, she sunk upon the ground; But what she spoke, recover'd from her swoon, I want the wit in moving words to dress; But, by themselves, the tender sex may guess. While the devouring fire was burning fast, Rich jewels in the flame the wealthy cast ; And some their shields, and some their lances threw, And

gave the* warrior's ghost a warrior's due.

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Full bowls of wine, of honey,'milk and blood,
Were pour'd upon the pile of burning wood;
And hissing flames receive, and, hungry, lick the

Then thrice the mounted squadrons ride around
The fire, and Arcite's name they thrice resound.
Hail and farewell ! they shouted thrice amain,
Thrice facing to the left, and thrice they turn'd again:
Still, as they turn'd, they beat their clattering shields;
Thewomen mix theircries, and clamourfills the fields.
The warlike wakes continued all the night,
And funeral-games were play'd at new-returning

light: Who, naked, wrestled best, besmear'd with oil, Or who, with gauntlets, gave or took the foil, I will not tell you, nor would you attend; But briefly haste to my long story's end. I pass the rest. The year was fully mourn’d, And Palamon long since to Thebes return'd. When, by the Grecians' general consent, At Athens Theseus held his parliament; Among the laws that pass’d, it was decreed, Thatconquer'd Thebes from bondageshould befreed; Reserving homage to the Athenian throne, To which the sovereign summond Palamon. Unknowing of the cause, he took his way, Mournful in mind, and still in black array: The monarch mounts the throne, and, placed on

high, Commands into the court the beauteous Emily, So call’d, she came; the senate rose, and paid Becoming reverence to the royal maid: And first soft whispers through the assembly went; With silent wonder then they watch'd the event : All hush'd, the king arose with awful grace, Deep thought was in his breast, and counsel in his

face :

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