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CANTO THE FOURTH.
Now Gondibert advanc'd, but with delay;
Here where his soul does as in Heav'n remain. Him, creature like, the king did boldly use
With publick love; to have it understood That kings. like God, may choose whom they will choose ;
[good. And what they make, judge with their own eies
The king to Gondibert is grown so kinde,
That he prevents the bounteous Rhodalind This grace the duke at bashful distance takes; In giving of her love; and Gondibert
And Rhodalind so much concern'd is grown, Laiments his breast holds but a single heart; That his surprisal she her troubles makes;
Which Birtha grieves her beauty did subdue, Blushing, as if his blushes were her own.
Since he undoes the world in being true. Now the bright train with Astragon ascend;
Whilst Hermegild, with Gartha, moves behinde; Whom much this gracious visit did offend; FULL grows the presence now, as when all know But thus he practis'd to appease her minde. Some stranger prince must be receiv'd with state;
When courts shew those, who come to see the show; "Judge not you strangely in this visit showe; As well in courts think wise disembling new;
And all gay subjects like domesticks waite. Nor think the kindness strange, though to your
Nor Ulfinore nor Goltho absent were ; foe,
(true. Whose hopes expect what list'ning Birtha (hid Till all in courts where they are kinde are In the adjoyning closet) fears to heare;
And beggs kinde Heav'n in pitty would forbid. “Why should your closer mourning more be worn
Poor priests invented blacks for lesser cost; The king (who never time nor pow'r misspent Kings for their syres in regal purple mourn; (lost. In subjects' bashfulness, whiling great deeds
Which shows what they have got, not what they like coward councels, who too late consent) " Though rough the way to empire be, and steep,
Thus to his secret will aloud proceeds. You look that I should level it so plain, “ If to thy fame,” (brave youth) “ I could add As babes might walk it barefoot in their sleep;
wings, But pow'r is the reward of patient pain !
Or make her trumpet louder by my voice, “ This high bill pow'r, whose bowels are of gold, I would (as an example drawn for kings)
Shews neer tu greedy and unpractis'd sight; Proclaim the cause, why thou art now my choice. But many grow in travail to it old,
" But this were to suspect the world asleep, And have mistook the distance by the height.
Or all our Lombards with their envy blinde, “ If those old trayajlers may thither be
Or that the Hunns so much for bondage weep, Your trusted guides, they will your haste reform; As their drown'd eies cannot thy trophies finde. And give you fears of voyages by sea; Which are not often made without a storm.
“ When this is heard, none dare of what I give
Presume their equal merit might have sbard; “ Yet short our course shall prove, our passage
And to say more, might make thy foes believe, faire,
Thy dang'rous worth is grown above reward. If in the steerage you will quiet stand, And not make storms of erry breath of aire;
" Reward even of a crown, and such a crown, But think the helm safe in the pilot's hand. As by Heav'n's model ancient victors worr; “ You like some fatal king (who all men hears
When they, as by their coyn, by laws were ki!own;
For laws but made more currant victors' pow'r. Yet trusts intirely none) your trust niistake, As too much weight for one: one pillar bears “ A crown soon taught, by whom pow'r first was Weight that would make a thousand shoulders
When victors (of dopinion cautious made Your brother's storm I to a calm have turn'd; By hearing of that old revolt in Hear'a) Who lets this guilded sacrifice proceed
Kept pow's too high for subjects to invade. To Hymen's astar, by the king adorn'd,
“ A crown, which ends by armies their debate, As priests give yictims gerlonds ere they bleed.
Who question height of pow'r; who by the law “ Hubert to triumph would not move so faste; (Till plain obedience they make intricate)
Yet you (though but a kind spectator) mean Would not the people, but their rulers aw. To give his triumph laws, and make more haste To see it pass, than he does to be seen.
“ To pow'r adoption makes thy title gond;
Preferring worth, as birth give princes place; “ With patience lay thiş tempest of your heart !
And vertue's claim exceeds the right of blood, For you, ere long, this angel's form shall turn
As soul's extraction does the bodie's race. To fatal man's; and for that shape of art,
Some may, as I for yours of nature, mourn." “ Yet for thy blood's long walk through princes' Thus by her love-sick statesman she was taught;
veins, And smild, with joy of wearing manly shape;
Thou maist with any Lombard measure time; Then smil'd, that such a smile his heart had caught; | Though he his hidden house in llium feigns ; Whose nets camps break not through, nor And not step short, when Hubert's self would senates scape:
" And Hubert is of highest victors' breed;
“ Far in ambition's feaver am I gone! Whose worth I shall for distant empire choose ; Like raging flame aspiring is my love; If he will learn, that you by fate procede,
Like flame destructive too, and like the Sun And what he nerer had, he cannot lose.
Does round the world tow'rds change of objects “ His valour shall the Gothick conquest keep;
move. And would to Heav'n that all your mighty “ Nor is this now through vertuous shame mindes
confess'd; As soon were pleas'd, as infants are with sle
But Rhodalind does force my conjur'd feare, And you had musick common as the windes. As men whom evil spirits have possess'd, “ That all the year your seasons were like spring;
Tell all when saintly votaries appeare, All joy'd as birds, and all as lovers kinde; “When she will grace the bridal dignitie, That ev'ry famous fighter were a king,
It will be soon to all young monarchs known; And each like you could have a Rhodalind.
Who then by posting through the world will trie “Por she is yours, as your adoption free ;
Who first can at her feet present his crown. And in that gift my remnant life I give;
“ Then will Verona seem the inn of kings; But 'tis to you, brave youth! who now are she;
And Rhodalind shall at her palace gate And she that Heav'n where secondly I live.
Smile, when great love these royal sutors brings; " And richer than that crown (which shall be Who for that smile would as for empire waite. thine,
[fame) When life's long progress I ain gone with
Amongst this ruling race she choyce may take Take all her love; which scarce forbears to shine
For warmth of valour, coolness of the minde, And own thee, through her virgin-curtain,
Eics that in empire's drowsie calms can wake, shame."
In storms look out, in darkness dangers find.
“A Through publish'd love, with so inuch bashful Whose greatness is not what his map contains ; ness,
But thinks that his, where he at full commands; As young kings shew, when by surprise o’re-heard Not where his coyn does pass, but pow'r reMoaning to fax'rite eares a deep distress.
mains. For love is a distress, and would be hid
" Who knows that pow'r can never be too high Like monarchs' griefs, by which they bashful When by the good possest; for 'tis in them And in that shame beholders they forbid; (grow; The swelling Nyle; from which though people fly, Since those blush most, who must their blushes They prosper most by rising of the stream. show.
"Thus (princess) you should choose; and you will And Gondibert with dying eies did griere
finde; At her vail'd love (a wound he cannot heal)
Even he, since men are wolves, must civilize As great mindes mourn, who cannot then relieve
(A's light does tame some beasts of savage kinde) The vertuous, when through shame they want
Himself yet more, by dwelling in your ejes.” conceal.
Such was the duke's reply; which did produce And now cold Birtha's rosy looks decay;
Thoughts of a divcrse shape through sev'ral Who in fear's frost had like her beauty dy'd, His jealous rivals mourn at his excuse ; [earas: But that attendant hope perswades her stay
But Astragon it cures of all his feares. A while, to hear her duke; who thus reply'd.
Birtha his praise of Rhodalind bewayles; “ Virtorions king! Abroad your subjects are
And now her hope a weak physitian seems, Like legates safe; at home like altars free!
For hope, the coinmon comforter, prevailes Even by your fame they conquer as by warre;
Like common med'cines, slowly in extreams. And by your laws safe from each other be. “ A king you are o're subjects, so as wise
The king (secure in offer'd empire) takes And noble husbands seem o're loyal wives:
This forc'd excuse, as troubled bashfulness, Who claim not, yet confess their liberties,
And a disguise whịch sodain passion makes,
To hide more joy than prudence should express . And brag to strangers of their happy lives. “ To focs a winter storm; whilst your friends bor, And Rhodalind (who never lov'd before, Like summer trees, beneath your bounty's load;
Nor could suspect his love was gir'n away) To me (next bim whom your great self, with low
Thought not the treasure of his breast so poore, And cheerful duty serves) a giving God.
But that it might his debts of bonour pay. "Since this is you, and Rhodalind (the light
To basten the rewards of his desert, By which her sex fed vertue finde) is yours;
The king does to Verona him command; Your diamond, which tests of jealous sight, And kinduess so impos'd, not all his art
The stroke, and fire, and oisel's juice endures; Can now instruct his duty to withstand. " Since she so precious is, I shall appear
Yet whilst the king does now his time dispose All counterfeit, of art's disguises made;
In seeing wonders, in this palace shown, And never dare approach her Instre near;
He would a parting kindness pay to those Who scarce can hold my value in the shade. Who of their wounds are yet not perfect grown. " Forgive me that I am not what I seem,
And by this fair pretence, whilst on the king But falsły have dissembled an excess
Lord Astragon through all the house attends, Of all such vertues as you most esteem;
Young Orgo does the duke to Birtha bring; But now grow good but as I ills confess.
Who thus her sorrows to his bosome sende.
“Why should my storm your life's calm voyage vex? “ If I forget the depth from whence I rise, Destroying wholly vertue's race in one;
Far from your bosome banish'd be my heart; So by the first of my unlucky sex,
Or claim a right by beauty to your eyes; All in a single ruine were undone.
Or proudly think, my chastity desert. Make heav'nly Rhodlalind your bride! Whilst I " But thus ascending from your humble maid
Your once lov'd maid, excuse you, since I know To be your plighted bride, and then your wife That vertuous men forsake so willingly
Will be a debt that shall be hourly paid, Long cherish'd life, because to Heav'n they go. Till time my duty cancel with my life. “Let me her servant be! A dignity,
“ And fruitfully if Heav'n ere make me bring Which if your pity in my fall procures;
Your image to the world, you then my pride I still shall value the advancement high,
No more shall blame, than you can tas the Spring Not as the crown is hers, but she is yours.” For boasting of those flowres she cannot hide, E're this higli sorrow up to dying grew,
“Orgo, I so receive as I am taught The duke the casket op'ned, and from thence By duty to esteem what ere you love; (Foru'd like a beart) a cheerfull emrauld drew; And hope the joy be in this jewel brought, Cheerful, as if the lively stone had sence.
Will luckyer than his former triumphs prove. The thirti'th carract it had doubled twice; “ For though but twice he has approach'd my sight, Not tak’n from the Attick silver mine,
He twice made baste to drown me in my tears :
Did on the necks of Parthian ladies shine: And as for sin beg pardon for my fears."
Then they with kisses seal'd their sacred plight;
Not sick at fire, nor languishing with time. Yet must these pleasures feel, though innocent, Then thus be spake! “ This ( Birtha) from my male The sickness of extreames, and cannot last; Progenitors, was to the loyal she
For pow'r (love's shun'd impediment) bas sent On whose kinde heart they did in love prevail, To tell the duke, his monarch is in hast:
The nuptial pledge, and this I give to thee! And calls him to that triumph which he fears “ Seven centuries have pass'd, since it from bride So as a saint forgiven (whose breast does all
To bride did first succeed; and though tis known Heav'n's joys contain) wisely lov'd pomp forbears;
And that the emrauld is the bridal stone; He often takes his leave, with love's delay;
And will when worn by the neglected wife, By now appearing forward to pbay,
A means to serve him less in Rhodalind. By faintness, and a pale decay of life;
She weeping to her closet-window hies; "Though emraulds serve as spies to jealous brides,
Where she with tears does Rhodalind survey; Yet each compar'd to this does councel keep;
As dying men, who grieve that they have eyes, Like a false stone, the husband's falsehood hides, When they through curtains spy the rising day.
Or scems born blinde, or feigos a dying sleep, The king has now his curious sight suffis'd « With this take Orgo, as a better spy;
With all lost arts, in their revival view'd; Who may in all your kin ler feares be sent
Which when restor’d, our pride thinks new devis'd: To watch at court, if I deserve to die
Fashions of mindes, call'd new when but reBy making this to fade, and you lament.”
new'd! Had now an artfull pencil Birtha drawn
The busie court prepares to move, on whom (With grief all dark, then straight with joy all
Their sad offended eyes the country caste; He must have fancy'd first, in early dawn, (light) | Who never see enough where monarchs come; A sudden break of beauty out of night.
And nothing so uncivil seems as haste. Or first he must have mark'd what paleness, fear,
As men move slow, who know they lose their way, Like nipping frost, did to her visage bring;
Even so the duke tow'rds Rhodalind does more; Then think he sees, in a cold backward year,
Yet he does dutious fears, and wonder pay, A rosy morn begin a sudden spring:
Which are the first, and dangerous signes of
love. Her joys (too vaste to be contain'd in speech)
Thus she a little spake! "Why stoop you down, / All his addresses much by Goltho were My plighted lord, to lowly Birtha's reach,
And Ulfinore obsery'd; who distant stand; Since Rhodalind would lift you to a crown?
Not daring to approach his presence neer ; " Or why do I, when I this plight imbrace,
But shun his eyes to scape from his command : Boldly aspire to take what you have given?
Least to Verona he should both require; But that your vertue has with angels place,
For by remaining here, both hope to light And 'tis a vertue to aspire to Heav'n.
Their Hymen's torches at his parting fire ;
And not despaire to kindle them to night. “ And as tow'rds Heav'n all travail on their knees;
So I tow'rds you, though love aspire, will move: The king his golden chariot now ascends; And were you crown'd, what could you better please
Which neer fair Rhodalind the duke containes; Than aw'd obedience led by bolder love? Though to excuse that grace he lowly bends;
But honour so refus'd, more honour gaines.
And now their chariots (ready to take wing) " And you, my plighted lord, forgive me too,
Are even by weakest breath, a whisper stay'd; If, since your worth and my defects I find, And but such whisper as a page does bring I fear what you in justice ought to do;
To Laura's woman from a houshold maid. And praise your judgment when I doubt you kind.” But this low voice did raise in Laura's eare Now sudden fear o'er all her beauty wrought
An eçcho, which from all redoubled soon; The pale appearance of a killing frost ; Proclaiming such a country beauty here,
And carefull Orgo, when she started, thought As makes them look, like ev'ning to her noon. She had her pledge, the precious emrauld, lost. And Laura (of her own high beauty proud, But that kinde heart, as constant as her own, Yet not to others cruel) softly prays,
She did not miss ; 'twas from a sudden sence, She may appear! but Gartha, bold, and loud, Least in her lover's heart some change was grown,
With eyes impatient as for conquest, stays. And it grew pale with that intelligence. Though Astragon now owns her, and excus'd Soon from her bosome she this emrauld took:
Her presence, as a maid but rudely taught, “If now” (said she)“ my lord my heart deceaves, Infirm in health, and not to greatness us'd; This stone will by dead paleness make me look
Yet Gartha still calls out, to have her brought! Pale as the snowy skin of lilly leaves.” But Rhodalind (in whose relenting breast
But such a cheerful green the gemm did fling Compassion's self might sit at school, and learn) Where she oppos’d the rayes, as if she had Knew bashful maids with publick view distrest; Been dy'de in the complexion of the spring,
And in their glass, themselves with fear discern; Or were by nimphs of Brittain valleys clac. She stopt this challenge which court-beauty made Soon she with earnest passion kist the stone;
'To country shape; not knowing Nature's hand Which ne'er till then had suffer'd an eclipse; Ilad Birtha dress'd, nor that her self obay'd But then the rayes retir'd, as if it shone
In vain, whom conqu’ring Birtha did command. In vain, so neer the rubies of her lips, The duke (whom vertuous kindness soon subdues) | Yet thence remov’d, with publick glory shines !
Though him his bonds from Birtha highly please, She Orgo blest, who had this relique brought; Yet seems to think, that lucky he, who sues And kept it like those reliques lock'd in shrines,
To wear this royal mayd's, will walk at ease. By which the latest miracles were wrought. Of these a brief survey sad Birtha takes;
For soon respect was up to rev'rence grown; And Orgo's help directs her eye to all;
Which fear to superstition would sublime, Shows her for whoin grave Tybalt nightly wakes; But that her father took fear's ladder down; Then at whose feet wise Hermegild does fall. Lose steps, by which distress to Heav'n would
climbe. And when calm Orna with the count she saw,
Hope (who though weak, a willing painter is, He knew, when fear shapes heav'oly pow'r so just, And busily does ev'ry pattern draw)
And terrible, (parts of that shape drawn true) By that example could not work amiss.
It vailes Heav'n's beauty, love; which when we For soon she shap'd her lord and her so kinde,
trust, So all of love; till fancy wrought no more
Our courage honours him to whom we suc! When she perceiv'd him sit with Rhodalind;
But froward-painter-like the copy tore. And now they move; and she thus robid, believes (Since with such haste they bear her wealth away)
And know the noble vallue of their prey.
Injurious greatness ! did you hither come
The deep designés of Birtha in distress; " Where can we safe our harmless blessings keep,
Her emrauld's vertue shews her love's success,
Wise Astragon with reason cures despair; Since glorious courts our solitude jorade?
And the aMicted chides for partial prav'r. Bells which ring out, when th' unconcern'd would sleep;
With grief the secret rivals take their leave; False lights to scare poor birds in country
And but dark hope for hidden love receive. " Or if our joys their own discov'ry make, Envy (whose tongue first kills whom she de
To shew the morn her passage to the east, vours)
Now Birtha's dawn, the lover's day, appears! Calls it our pride; envy, the poys'nous snake, So soon love beats revellies in her breast; Whose breath blasts maids, as innocent as And like the dewy morn she rose in tears: flowres !
So much she did her jealous dreams dislike. “ Forgive me, beautious greatness, if I grow
Her maids straight kindle by her light their eyes; Distemper'd with my fears, and rudely "long Which when to hers compar'd, poets would strike To be secure; or praise your beauty so
Such sparks to light their lamps, ere day does As to believe, that it may do me wrong;
CANTO THE FIFTH.
But O vain jealousie! why dost thou haste These rayes she to a miracle prefers;
To find those evils which too soon are brought? And lustre that such beauty so defier, Love's frantick valour! which so rashly faste Had poets seen (love's partial jewellers, [eyes)
Seeks dangers, as if none would come unsought. Who count nought precious but their mistress' As often fajrest morns soon cover'd be,
They would with grief a miracle confess!
Whilst to her love, her lord is still subdu'd. Or like some thinking Sybill that would finde The altar she with imagry array'd;
The sence of mystick words by angels given! Where needles boldly, as a pencil wrought, And this fair politick bred in her minde
The story of that humble Syrian maid, (Restless as seas) a deep designe on Heav'n. Who pitchers bore, yet kings to Juda brought. To pray'r's plain temple she does baste unscen; And there she of that precious linnen spreads, Which though not grac'd with curious cost for Which in the consecrated month is spin show,
By Lombard brides; for whom in empty beds Was nicely kept; and now must be as clean
Their bridegrooms sigh till the succeeding moon. As tears make those who thence forgiven goe.
'Tis in that moon bleach'd by her fuller light; For her own hands (by which best painters drew And wash'd in sudds of amber, till it grow
The hands of innocence) will make it shine ; Clean as this spredder's hands : and those were Pennance which newly from her terrours grew;
white And was (alas !) part of her deep designe.
As rising lillies, or as falling snow. And when this holy huswifry was past,
The voluntary qu re of birds she fecels, Her vows she sends to Heav'n, which thither fly Which oft had here the virgin-comfort fill3; Intire; not broken by unthinking hast ;
She diets them aith aromatick seeds; tillid. Like sinners' sparks that in ascending dy.
And quench'd their thirst with rainbow-dew disThence she departs; but at this temple gate Lord Astragon, whose tender care did waite
A needy crowd (call'd by her suinmons there) Her progress, since her morn so cloudy broke, With such assurance for her bounty waite,
Arrests her passage at this temple gate,
“ Why art thou now, who hast so joyful liv'd (For she no mony knew) merlals of gold,
E're love thou knew'st, becoine with love so sad? Which curious gath'rers did in travail save,
If thou hast lost fair vertue, then be griev'd; And at high worth were to her mother sold. Else show, thou know'st her worth by being glad. Figures of fighting chiefs, born to o'rcome
“ Thy love's bigh soaring cannot be a crime; Those who without their leave would all destroy; Nor can we if a spinster loves a king, Chiefs, who had brought renown to Athens, Rome, Say that her love ambitiously does elimbe:
To Carthage, Tyre, and to lamented Troy. Love seeks no bonour, but does bonour briig. Such was her wealth, her mother's legacy;
“ Mounts others' value, and her own lets fall! And well she knew it was of special price ;
Kings' honour is but little, till made mnch But she has begg'd what Heav'n must not deny ; By subjects' tongues! Elixer-love turns al) So would not make a cominon sacrifice.
To pow'rful gold, where it does only touch. To the black temple she her sorrow bears;
“ Thou lov'st a prince above thine own degree: Where she outbeg'd the tardy berging thief; Degree is monarch's art; love, Nature's law; Made weeping Magilaline but poor in tears, In love's free state all pow'rs so levell’d be, Yet silent as their pictures was her grief.
That there, affection governs more than aw. Mer purpos'd penance she did here fulfil: “ But thou dost lore where Rhodalind docs love; Those pictures dress'd, and the spent lamp re And thence thy griefs of jealousie begin ; liev'd
A cause which does thy sorrow vainly move; With fragrant oyles, dropp'd from her silver still; Since 'tis thy noble fate, and not thy sin. And now for those that there sat mouruing,
" This rain and voluntary loade of grief griev'd.
(For fate sent love, thy wil Joe's sorrow bear) Those penitents, who knew her innocence,
Thou to the temple carry'st for relief; Wonder what parent's sin she did bemoan; And so to Heav'n art guided by thy fear. And venture (though they goe unpardon'd thence)
“ Wilde fear! which has a common-wealth deris'd More sighs for her redress than for their own.
In Hear'n's old realm, and saints in senates Now jealousie no more benights her face,
fram'd ; Her courage beautious grows, and grief decayes; Such as by which, were beasts well civiliz'd, And with such joy as shipwrack'd men imbrace They would suspect their tamer min, uotam'd. The shore, she hastens to the house of praise.
“ Wilde fear! which has tbe Indian worship And there the gemm she from her bosome took,
made; (With which till now she trembled to advise) Where each unletter'd priest the godhrad draws So far from pale, that Gondibcrt would look In such a form, as makes himself afraid;
Pale if he saw, how it out-shin'd her eyes. Disguising Mercy's shape in teetli and claws.