« EdellinenJatka »
Sach various dowry wreaths th' assembly weare, III could he leave Art's shop of Nature's store,
As shew'd them wisely proud of Nature's pride; Where she the hidden soul would make more Which so adorn'd them, that the coursest here
known; Did seem a prosp'rous bridegroom, or a bride. Though common faith seeks souls, which is no more All show'd as fresh, and faire, and innocent,
Than long opinion to religion grown. As virgins to their lovers' first survey: [spent, A while then let this sage historian stay Joy'd as the spring, when March bis sighs has With Astragon, till he new wounds reveales,
And April's sweet rash teares are dry'd by May. And such (though now the old are worn away) And this confed'rate joy so swell’d each breast, As balm, nor juice of pyrol, never heales.
That joy would turn to pain without a vent; Therefore their voices Heav'n's renown exprest;
To Astragon, Hear'n for succession gare
One onely pledge, and Birtha was lier name ; Though tongues ne'r reach, what mindes so no
Whose mother slept where flow'rs grew on her grave, bly meant.
And she succeeded her in face and fame.
Her beauty princes durst not hope to use,
Unless, like poets, for their morning theam; Whose manly voice challeng'd the giant base.
And her minde's beauty they would rather choose, To these the swift soft instruments reply;
Which did the light in beautie's lanthorn seem. Whisp'ring for help to thos• whom winds inspire; She ne'r saw courts, yet courts could have undone Whose lowder notes, to neighb'ring forrests flie, With untaught looks, and an unpractis'd heart; And summon Nature's voluntary quire.
Her nets, the most prepar'd could never shun, These Astragon, by secret skill had taught,
For Nature spread them in the scoru of Art. To help, as if in artfull consort bred;
She never had in busie cities bin; [fears ; Who sung, as if by chance on him they thought, Ne'r warni'd with hopes, nor ere allay'd with
Whose care their careless merry fathers fed. Not seeing panishment, could guess no sin ;
But here her father's precepts gave her skill, And high Heav'n's praise in music of the heart,
Which with incessant business fill'd the houres; He inward sings, to pay a victor's vow.
In spring, she gather'd blossonis for the still; Praise is devotion, fit for mighty mivdes,
la autumn, berries; and in suminer, flowers. The diff’ring world's agreeing sacrifice;
And as kinde Nature, with calm diligence, Where Heaven divided faiths united findes:
Her own free vertue silently imploys, But pray's, in various discord, upward fies.
Whilst she, unheard, does rip’ning growth dispence, For pray'r the ocean is, where diversly
So were her vertues busie without noise. Men steer thicir course, each to a sev'ral coast; Whilst her great mistris, Nature, thus she tends, Where all our int'rests so discordant be,
The busie houshold waites no less on her; That half beg windes by which the rest are lost. By secret law, each to ber beauty bends, By penitence, when we our selves forsake,
Though all her lowly minde to that prefer. "i'is bnt in wise design on pitious Hearen ; Gracions and free, she breaks upon them all In praise we nobly give what God may take,
With morning looks; and they, when she does And are without a beggar's blush forgiven.
Devoutly at her dawn in homage fall, [rise, Its atnost force, like powder's, is unknown; And droop like flowers, when evening shuts her And tho' weak kings excess of praise may fear,
eyes. Yet when 'tis here, like powder dang`rous grown, Heaven's vault receives what would the palace The sooty chymist, (who his sight does waste,
Attending lesser fires) she passing by,
And let, like common dew, th' elixer fly.
And here the grey philosophers resort,
Who all to her, like crafty courtiers, bow; Hoping for secrets now in Nature's court,
Which only she (her fav’rite maid) can know.
These, as the lords of science, she respects, The duke's wish'd health in doubtfull wounds
And with familiar beams their age sbe chears ; assur'd,
Yet all those civil forines seem but neglects Who gets new wounds before the old are curd :
To what she showes, when Astragon apears. Mature in Birtha Art's weak help derides, Which strives to mend what it at best but hides ;
For as she once from him her being took, Showes Nature's coarser works, so hidd, more course,
She hourly takes her law; reads with swift sight As sin conceal'd, and unconfess'd, growes worse.
His will, even at the op'ning of his look,
And shows, by haste, obedience her delight. Lit none our Lombard author rudely blame, She makes (when she at distance to him bowes)
Who from the story has thus long digrest; His int'rest in her mother's beauty known, * But, for bis righteous paines, may his fair fame For that's th' original whence her copy growes, For ever travail, whilst his ashes rest.
And near originalls, copys are not shown
CANTO THE SEVENTH.
And he, with dear regard, her gifts does wear Beneath a mirtle covert she does spend,
Of flowers, which she in mistick order ties; In maid's weak wisbes, her whole stock of And with the sacrifice of many a teare
(mend. Salutes her loyal mother in her eyes.
Fond maids ! who love with minde's fine stuff would The just historians Birtha thus express,
Which Nature purposely of bodys wrought. And tell how, by her syre's example taught, She fashions him she lov'd of angels kinde; She serv'd the wounded duke in life's distress, Such as in holy story were imploy'd And his sed spirits back by cordials brought. To the first fathers, from th’ Eternal Minde,
And in short vision onely are injoy'd. Black melancholy mists, that fed despair
'Thro' wounds' long rage, with sprinkled vervin As eagles then, when nearest Heaven they flie, Strew'd leaves of willow to refresh the air, [cleerd; Of wild impossibles soon weary grow;
And with rich fumes his sullen sences cbeer'd. Feeling their bodies finde no rest so high, He that had serv'd great Love with rev'rend heart,
And therefore pearch on earthly things below: In these old wounds, worse wounds from him So now she yields; him she an angel deem'd endures;
Shall be a man, the name which virgins fear; For Love makes Birtha shift with Death bis dart, Yet the most harmless to a inaid he seem'd, And she kills faster than her father cures.
That ever yet that fatal name did bear. Her heedless innocence as little knew [took; Soon her opinion of his hurtless heart,
The words she gave, as those from Love she Affection turns to faith ; and then love's fire And Love lifts high cach secret shaft he drew, To Heav'n, though bashfully, she does impart,
Which at their stars he first in triumph shook ! And to her mother in the hearinly quire. Love he had lik’d, yet never lodg'd before ; “ If I do love," (said she) “ that love (O Hear'n!) But findes bim now a bold unquiet guest,
Your own disciple, Nature, bred in me! Who climbes to windowes, when we shut the dore; Why should I hide the passion you have given, And enter'd, never lets the master rest.
Or blush to show effects which you decree? So strange disorder, now he pines for health,
you, my alter'd mother, (grown above Makes him conceal this reveller with shame; Great Nature, which you read and revrenc'd Sbe not the robber knows, yet feeles the stealth,
here) And never but in songs had heard his name. Cbide not such kindness, as you once call'd love,
When you as mortal as my father were." Yet then it was, when she diil smile at hearts
Which country lovers wear in bleeding seals, This said, her soul into lier breast retires ! Ask'd where his pretty godhead found such darts, With love's sain diligence of heart she dreams As make those wounds that onely Hymen heals. Her self into possession of desires,
And trusts unanchor'd hope in fleeting streams. And this, her ancient maid, with sharp complaints,
Hcard, and rebuk'd ; shook her experienc'd head; Already thinks the duke, her own spous'd lord, With teares besought her not to jest at saints, Cur'd, and again from bloody battel brought, Nor mock those martyrs Love had captive led. Where all false lovers perish'd by his sword;
The true to her for his protection sought. Nor think the pious ports e're would waste
So inany teares in ink, to make maids mourn, She thinks, how her imagin'd spouse and she, If injur'd lovers had in ages paste
So innch from Ileav'n, may by her vertues gain; The lucky mirtle, more than willow, worn. That they by Time shall pe'r o'retaken be,
No more than Time himself is overta'ne. This grave rebuke officious mcinory
Presents to Birtha's thought, who now believ'd Or should he touch them as he by does pass, Such sighing songs, as tell why lovers dy,
Heav'n's favour may repay their summers gone, And prais'd their faith, wlio wept, when poets And he so mix their sand in a slow glass, griev'd.
That they shall live, and not as two, but one. She, full of inward questions, walks alope, She thinks of Eden-life; and no rough winde To take her heart aside in secret shade;
Io their pacifique sea shall wrinkles make; But knocking at her breast, it seem'd, or gone, That still her lowliness shall keep him kinde, Or by confed'racie was useless made;
Her eares keep him asleep, her voice awake. Or else some stranger did usurp its room ;
She thinks, if ever anger in him sway, One so remote, and new in ev'ry thought,
- (The youthful warrior's most excus'd disease) As his behaviour shows him not at home,
Such chance her teares shall calm, as showres allay Nor the guide sober that him thither brought, The accidental rage of windes and seas. Yet with his farraign heart she does begin
She thinks, that babes proceed from mingling eyes, To treat of love, ber most unstudy'd theame; Or Heav'n from neighbourhood increase allows, And like young conscienc'd casuists, thinks that sin, As palm, ang the mamora fructefes;
Which will by talk and practise lawfull seeme. Or they are got by closse exchanging vows. With open eares, and ever-waking eyes,
But come they (as she hears) from mother's pain, And flying feet, love's fire she from the sight (Which by th’ unlucky first-maid's longing, Of all her, maids does carry, as from spys; ight. A lasting curse) yet that she will sustain, (proves
Jealous, that what burns her, might give them So they be like this heav'nly man she lores.
Thus to ber self in day-dreams Birtha talkes : And she, in love unpractis:d and unread, The duke, (whose wounds of war are healthful (But for some hints her mistress, Nature, taught) grown)
(walks, Had it till now, like grief, with silence fed ; To cure Love's wounds, seeks Birtha where she For love and grief are nourish'd best with Whose wand'ring soul seeks him to cure her own.
thought. Yet wben her solitude he did invade,
But this closs diet Love endares not long, Shame (which in maids is unexperienc'd fear) He must in sighs, or speech, take ayre abroad; Taught her to wish night's help to make more shade, And thus, with his interpreter, her tongue, That love (which maids think guilt) might not He ventures forth, though like a stranger aw'd. appear.
She said, those vertues now she highly needs, And she had fled him now, but that he came
Which he so artfully in her does praise, So like an avid and conquer'd enemy,
To check (since vanity on praises feeds) That he did seem offenceless as her shame,
That pride which his authentick words may raise. As if he but advanc'd for leave to fly.
That if her pray’rs, or care, did aught restore First with a longing sea-man's look he gaz'd, Of absent health, in his hemoan'd distress, Who would ken land, when scas would him She beg'd he would approve her duty more, devour;
And so commend her feeble vertue less.
That she the payment he of love would make
Less understood, than yet the debt she knew; Then all the knowledge which her father had But coynes unknown, suspitiously we take,
He dreams in her, thro' purer organs wrought ; And debts, till manifest, are never due.
With bashfull looks she sought him to retire,
Least the sharp ayre should his new health And to that soal thus spake, with trembling voice :
invade; “ The world will be, (o thou, the whole world's and as she spake, she saw her rev'rend syre. maid !)
Approach, to seek her in her usual shade.
The duke did first at distant duty stand, " And I a needless part of it, unless
But soon imbrac'd his knees, whilst he more low You think me for the whole a delegate,
Does bend to him, and then reach'd Birtha's To treat for what they want of your excess,
hand, Vertue to serve the universal state.
Her face o'ercast with thought, does soon betray “ Nature, (our first example, and our queen, Th’assembled spirits, which his eyes detect
Whose court this is, and you her minion maid) By her pale look, as by the milkie way
Or as a pris'ner, that in prison pines, “ And the records so worn of her first law,
Still at the utmost window grieving lies; That niet, with art's hard shifts, read what is Even so her soule, imprison'd, sadly shines, Because your beauty many never saw, [good; At if it watch'd for freedome at her eyes! The text by which your minde is understood.
This guides him to her pulse, th' alarum bell, “ And I with the apostate world should grow, Which waits the insurrections of desire,
From sov'raigne Nature, a revolted slave, And rings so fast, as if the cittadell, But that my lucky wounds broagit me to know, Her pewly conquer'd breast, were all on fire! How with their cure my sicker minde to save.
Then on the duke he casts a short sarvay, “ A miode still dwelling idly in mine eyes,
Whose veines bis temples with deep purple grace; Where it from outward pomp could ne'r abstain; Then Love's despaire gives them a pale allay, But, even in beauty, cost of courts did prise, And shifts the whole complexion of his face. And Nature, unassisted, thougbt too plain.
Nature's wise spy does onward with them walk, “ Yet by your beauty now reform’d, I finde And findes, each in the midst of thinking starts; All other only currant by false light;
Breath'd short and swiftly in disorder'd talk, Or but vain visions of a fear'rish minde,
To cool, beneath Love's torrid zone, their hearts. Too slight to stand the test of waking sight. " And for my healthfull minde (diseas'd before)
When all these symptomes he observ'd, he knowes My love I pay; a gift you may disdain,
From alga, which is rooted deep in seas, Since love to you men give not, but restore,
To the high cedar that on mountaines grows, As rivers to the sea pay back the rain.
No sov'raign hearb is found for their disease. “ Yet eastern kings, who all by birth possess,
He would not Nature's eldest law resist, Take çifts, as gifts, from vassals of the crown;
As if wise Nature's law could be impure; So think in love, your property not less,
But Birtha with indulgent looks dismist, By my kind giving what was first your own.”
And means to counsel, what he cannot cure. Lifted with love, thus he with lover's grace, With mourning Gondibert he walks apart,
And love's wild wonder, spake ; and he was rais'd To watch his passion's force, who seems to bear, So much with rev'rence of this learned place, By silent grief, two tyrants o're his heart,
That still he feard to injure all he prais'd. Great Love, and his inferior tyrant, Fear,
But Astragon such kind inquiries made,
CAXTO TAR EIGHTH. And, midst Love's fears, gives courage to his
tongue. Then thus he spake with Love's hum!!ity : “ Have pity, father! and since first so kinde,
Birtha her first unpractis'd love bewailes, You would not let this worthless borly die,
Whilst Gondibert on Astragon prevailes, Vouchsafe more nobly to preserve my minde:
By shewing high ambition is of ase,
And glory in the good needs no excuse. “ A minde so lately lacky, as it here
Goliho a grief to l'lfinore reveales,
Whilst he a greater of his own conceales.
Birtha her griefs to ber apartment brought, " A minde long sick of monarchs' vain disease, Where all her maids to Heav'n were us'd to raise Not to be fill'd, because with glory fed ;
Their voices, whilst their busie fingers wrought So busie it condemn'd even war of ease,
To deck the altar of the house of Praise. And for their useless rest despis'd the dead.
But now she findes their musick turn'd to care, “ But since it here has vertue quiet found,
Their looks allay'd, like beauty overworn; It thinks (tho' storms were wish'al by it before) Silent and sad as with'ring fav’rites are, All sick, at least at sea, that scape undrop'n'd, Who for their sick indulgent monarch mourt.
Whom glory serves as winde, to leave the shore. "Thula, (the eldest of this silenc'd quire) “ All vertue is to yours but fashion now,
When Birtha at this change astonish'd was, Religion, art : internals are all gon,
With hasty whisper begg'd her to retire, Or outward turn'd, to satisfie with show,
And on her knees thus tells their sorrow's cause : Not God, but his inferiour eye, the Sun.
“ Forgive me such experience as, too soon, “ And yet, though vertue be as fashion sought, Shew'd me unlucky Love, by which I guess
And now religion rules by art's prais'd skill; How maids are by their innocence undon, Fashion is vertue's mimmick, falsely taught; And trace those sorrows that them first oppress And art, but Nature's ape, wbich plays her ill.
“ Forgive such passion as to speech perswades, “ To this blest house, (great Nature's court) all And to my tongue my observation brought; courts
And then forgive my tongue, which to your maids Compar'd, are but dark closets for retreat
Too rashly carry'd what experience taught. Of private mindes, battels but children's sports ;
“ For since I saw this wounded stranger here, And onely simple good, is solid great.
Your inward musick still untan'd has been; “ Let not the minde, thus freed from errour's night, You who could need no hope, have learnt to fear,
(Since you repriev'd my body from the grave) And practis'd grief, e're you did know to sin, Perish for being now in love with light,
“ This being Love, to Agatha I told, But let your vertue, vertue's lover save.
Did on her tongue, as on still death, rely; “ Birtha I love ; and who loves wisely so,
But winged Love she was too young to hold, Steps far tow'rds all which vertue can attain ; And, wanton-like, let it to others fly. But if we perish, when tow'rds Heav'n we go, “ Lore, who in whisper scap'd, did publick grow, Then I have learnt that vertue is in vain."
Which makes them now their time in silence And now his heart (extracted through his eyes
waste; In Love's elixer, tears) does soon subdue
Makes their neglected needles more so slow, Old Astragon, whose pity, though made wise
And thro' their eies their hearts dissolve so faste. With Love's false essences, likes these as true. " For oft, dire tales of Love has bll'd their heads; The duke he to a secret bowre does lead,
And while they doubt you in that tyrant's pow'r, Where he his youth's first story may attend;
The spring (they think) may visit woods and mrads, To guess, ere he will let his love proceed,
But scarce shall bear a bird, or see a flow'r.” By such a dawning, how his day will end.
.“ Ah! how" (said Birtha) “shall I dare confesse For vertue, though a rarely planted flowre,
My griefs to thee, Love's rash, impatient spy? Was in the seed by this wise florist known;
Thou (Thula) who didst run to tell thy guesse, Who could furetel, even in her springing houre,
With secrets known, wilt to confession flie. What colours she shall wear when fully blown.
“ But if I love this prince, and have in Heav'n
Made any friends by rowes, you need not fear He will make good the feature Heav'n has gir'n,
And be as harmless as his looks appear.
And all to whom their bosoms trust, devour,
“ Howe're, Hear'n knows, (the witness of the Though, since I gave the Hunns their last defeat, minde)
I have the lombards' ensignes onward led, My heart bears men no malice, nor esteems Ambition kindled not this victor's heat, Young princes of the common cruel kinde,
But 'tis a warmth my father's prudence bred. Nor love so foul as it in story seems.
“ Who cast on more than wolvish man his eic, “ Yet if this prince brought love, what e're it be,
Man's necessary hunger judg'd, and saw I must suspect, though I accuse it not ;
That caus’d not his devouring maledy; For since he came, my mede'nal haswiffrie,
But, like a wanton whelp, he loves to gnaw. Confections, and my stills, are all forgot. “ Map still is sick for pow'r, yet that disease “ Blossoms in windes, berries in frosts, may fall!
Nature (whose law is temp'rance) ncr inspires; And flowers sink down in rain! for I no more
But 'tis a tumour, which fond man does please, Shall maids to woods for early gath'rings call,
A luxury, fruition only tires.
The lost of pow'r provokes to cruel warre ;
For wisest senates it intoxicates,
And makes them vain, as single persons are. To hide her self, whilst she her lover seeks,
“ Men into nations it did first divide,
Wbilst place, scarce distant, gives them diff'rent And to that lover let our song return :
Rivers, whose breadth inbabitants may stride, Whose tale so well was to her father told,
Part them as much as continents and isles. As the philosopher did seem to mourn That youth had reach'd such worth, and he so old.
“ On equal, smooth, and undistinguish'd ground,
The lust of pow'r does liberty impair, Yet Birtha was so precious in his eies,
And limits, by a border and a bound, And her dead mother still so neer his mind, What was before as passable as air : That farther yet he thus his prudence tries, “ Whilst change of languages oft breeds a warre, Ere such a pledg he to his trust resign'd.
(A change which fashion does as oft obtrude, " Whoe're” (said be) “ in thy first story looks, As women's dresse) and oft complexions are,
Shall praise thy wise conversing with the dead; And diff'rent names, no less a cause of feud. For with the dead he lives, wbo is with books,
“Since men so causelesly themselves devour, And in the camp, (Death's moving palace) bred.
(And hast ning still their else too basty fates, “.Wise youth, in books and batails, early findes
Act but continu'd massacres for pow'r) What thoughtless lazy men perceive too late ;
My father ment to chastise kings and states. Books show the utmost conquests of our ininds, “ To overcome the world, till but one crown Batails, the best of our lor'd bodys' fate.
And universal neighbourhood he saw; “ Yet this great breeding, joyn'd with kings' high
Till all were rich by that allyance grown, blood,
And want no more should be the cause of lar. (Whose blood ambition's feaver over-heats)
“ Onc family the world was first design'd; May spoile digestion, which would else be good,
And tho' some fighting kings so sever'd are, As stomachs are deprav'd with highest meats. That they must meet by help of seas and winde, " For thongh books serve as dict of the minde,
Yet when they fight 'tis but a civil warre. If knowledge, early got, self value breeds, “ Nor could religion's heat, if one ruld all, By false digestion it is turn'd to winde,
To bloody war the unconcern'd allure; And what should nourish, on the cater feeds. And hasten us from Earth, ere age does call, “ Though war's great shape best educates the sight,
Who are (alas !) of Heav'n so little sure. And makes small soft'ning objects less our care; “ Religion ner, till clivers monarchys, Yet war, when urg'd for glory, inore than right, Taught that almighty Heav'n needs armys' aid;
Shews victors but authentick murd'rers are. But with contentious kings she now complies, “And I may fear that your last victories
Who seem, for their own cause, of God's afraid. Were glory's toyles, and you will ill abide “ 'To joyn all sever'd pow'rs (which is to end (Since with new trophies still you fed your eies) The cause of war) my father onward fought;
Those little objects which in shades we hide. By war the Lounbard scepter to extend " Could you, in Fortune's smiles, foretel her
Till peace were forc'd, where it was slowly sought, frowns,
“ He lost in this attempt his last dear blood; Qur old foes slain, you would not hunt for new ; And I (whom no remoteness can deterr, But victors, after wreaths, pretend to crowns, If what seems difficult be great and good)
And such think Rhodalind their valour's due.” Thought his example could not make me err, To this the noble Gondibert replies :
“No place I merit in the book of Fame! [6'd; " Think not ambition can my duty sway ;
Whose leaves are by the Greeks and Romans I look on Rhodalind with subject's eics,
Yet I presume to boast, she knows my naine, Whoin he that conquers must in right obay.
And she has heard to whom the Hunos did yield. " And though I humanly have heretofore “ But let not what so needlfully was done, All beauty lik’d, I never lov'd till now;
Tho' still pursu'd, make you ambition feare; Nor think a crown can raise his valne more,
For could I force all monarchys to one, To whojn already 'Flear'n does love allow.
That universal crown I would not wearę.