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Where every figure to the life express'd
Or woods with kuots and knares d form’d and old; The godhead's power to whom it was address’d. Headless the most, and hidevus tu bebold: lo Venus' temple on the sides were seen
A rattling tempest through the branches went, The broken slumbers of enamour'd men,
That stripp'd them bare, and one sole way they Prayers, that even spoke, and pity seem'd to call,
bent. And issuing sighs, that smok'd along the wall, Heaven froze above, serere, the clouds congeal, Conplaints, and hot desires, the lover's Hell, And through the crystal vault appeard the standAnd scalding tears, that wore a channel where ing hail. they fell:
Such was the face without; a mountain stood And all around were nuptial bonds, the ties, Threatening from high, and overlook'd the wood: Of love's assurance, and a train of lies,
Bencath the lowering brow, and on a bent, That, made in lust, conclude in perjuries.
The temple stood of Mars armipotent: Beauty, and Youth, and Wealth, and Luxury, The frame of burnish'd steel, that cast a glare And spritely Hope, and short-enduring Joy; From far, and seem'd to thaw the freezing air. And sorceries to raise th’infernal powers, A strait long entry to the temple led, And sigils, fram'd in planetary hours:
Blind with high walls, and Horrour over head : Expense, and Afterthought, and idle Care, Thence issued such a blast, and hollow roar, And Doubts of motley hue, and dark Despair; As threaten'd from the hinge to heave the door; Suspicions, and fantastical Surmise,
In through that door, a northern light there shone; And Jealousy suffus'd, with jaundice in her eyes, 'Twas all it bad, for windows there were none; Discolouring all she view'd, in tawny dress'd, The gate was adamant, eternal frame! Down-look'd, and with a cuckoo on her fist. Which, bew'd by Mars himself, from Indian quarOppos'd to her, on t other side advance
The labour of a god; and all along
(ries cau'', The costly feast, the carol, and the dance,
Tough iron plates were clenchi'd to make it strong. Minstrels, and music, poetry, and play,
A tun about was every pillar there; And balls by nights, and tournaments by day. A polish'd mirror shone not half so clear. All these were painted on the wall, and more: There saw I how the secret felon wrought, With acts and monuments of times before: And Treason labouring in the traitor's thought: And others added by prophetic doom,
And midwife Time thu ripend plot to murder And lovers yet unborn, and loves to come :
Soft siniling, and deinurely looking down,
But hid the dagger underneath the gown : There, by the fount, Narcissus pin'd alone: Th' assassinating wife, the household fiend, There Samson was; with wiser Solomon,
And, far the blackest there, the traitor-friend. And all the mighty dames by love undone. On t'other side there stood Destruction bare, Medea's charms were there, Circean feasts, Unpunished Rapine, and a waste of war. With bowls that turn'd enamour'd youth to beasts. Contest, with sharpen'd knives, in cloisters drawn, Here might be seen, that beauty, wealth, and wit, And all with blood bespread the holy lawn. And prowess, to the power of love submit: Loud menaces were heard, and foul Disgrace, The spreading snare for all mankind is laid; And bawiing Iníamy, in language base: And lovers all betray, and are betray'd.
Till sense was lost in sound, and Silence ficd The goddess' self some noble hand had wrought; Smiling she seem'd, and full of plcasing thought : The slayer of himself yet saw I there, From ocean as she first began to rise,
The gore congeal'd was clotted in his hair: And smooth'd the ruilled seas and cleard the skies, | With eyes half clos'd, and gaping mouth he lay,
She trod the brine, all bare below the breast, And grim, as when he breath'd his sudden soul ! And the green waves but ill conceal'd the rest;
away. A late she held; and on her head was seen In midst of all the dome, Misfortune sate, A wreath of roses red, and myrtles green;
Aod gloomy Discontent, and fell Debate, Her turtles faun'd the buxom air above;
And Madness laughing in his ireful mood; And, by his mother, stood an infant Love, And arız'd Complaint on Theft; anderies of Blood. With wings unfledg'd; his eyes were banded o'er; | There was the murder'd corpse, in covert laid, His hands a bow, his back a quiver bore,
And violent Death in thousand shapes display di Supply'd with arrows bright and keen, a deadly The city to the soldiers rage resign'd; strre.
Successless wars, and Poverty behind; But in the dome of mighty Mars the red
Ships burnt in fight, or forc'd on rocky shores, With different figures all the sides were spread ; And the rash bunter strangled by the boars: This temple, less in form, with equal grace,
The new-born babe by nurses overlaid; Was imitative of the first in Thrace:
And the cook caught within the raging fire he For that cold region was the lov'd abode,
And intercepts ber lord betwixt the walls: Add shan the bitter blast, and wheel about the The whole division, that to Mars pertains, sky,
All trades of death, that deal in steel for gains, A crke of scurf lies baking on the ground,
Were there : the butcher, armourer, and smith, And prickly stubs, instead of trees, are found; W'ho forges sharpen'l aulchions, or the scythe.
The scarlet Conquest on a tower was plac'd,
PALAMON AND ARCITE:
OR THB KNIGHT'S TALE.
cide Their fates were painted ere the men were born, Th’important enterprize, and give the bride ; All copied from the Heavens, and ruling force For now, the rivals round the world bad sought, of the red star, in his revolving course.
And each his rival, well appointed, brought. The form of Mars high on a chariot stood, The nations, far and near, contend in choice, All sheath'd in arms, and gruffly look'd the god: And send the flower of war by public voice; Two geumantic figures were display'd
That after, or before, were never known Above his head, a warrior and a maid;
Such chiefs, as each an army seem'd alone: One when direct, and one when retrograde, Beside the champions, all of high degree, Tird with deformities of death, I haste
Who knighthood lov'd, and deeds of chivalry, To the third temple of Diana chaste.
Throng'd to the lists, and envy'd to behold A sylvan scene with various greens was drawn, The names of others, not their own, enrolld. Shades on the sides, and on the midst a lawn: Nor seems it strange; for every noble knight The silver Cynthia, with her nymphs around, Who loves the fair, and is endu'd with might, Pursued the flying deer, the woods with horns In such a quarrel would be proud to fight. resound:
There breathes not scarce a man on British Calisto there stood manifest of shame,
ground And, turn'd a bear, the northern star became : (An işle for love and arms of old renown'd) Her son was next, and, by peculiar grace, But would have sold his life to purchase fame, In the cold circle held the second place:
To Pajamon or Arcite sent his name: The stag Acteon in the stream had spy'd
And had the land selected of the best, The naked huntress, and, for seeing, dy'd: Half had come hence, and let the world provide His hounds, unknowing of his change, pursue
the rest. The chase, and their mistaken master slew. A hundred knights with Palamon there came, Peneian Daphne too was there to see,
Approv'd in fight, and men of mighty name; Apollo's love before, and now his tree:
Their arms were several, as their nations were, Th’ adjoining fane th' assembled Greeks ex But furnish'd all alike with sword and spear. press'd,
Some wore coat armour, imitating scale; And hunting of the Caledonian beast.
And next their skins were stubborn shirts of mail, Oenides' valour, and his envy'd prize;
Some wore a breastplate and a light juppon, The fatal power of Atalanta's eyes;
Their horses cloth'd with rich caparison : Diana's vengeance on the victor shown,
Some for defence would leathern bucklers use, The murdress mother, and consuming son; Of folded hides ; and others shields of pruce. The Volscian queen extended on the plain; One hung a pole-axe at his saddle-bow, The treason punish'd, and the traitor slain. And one a heavy mace to shun the foe. The rest were various huntings, well design'd, One for his legs and knees provided well, And savage beasts destroy'd, of every kind. With jambeux arm’d, and double plates of The graceful goddess was array'd in green; This on bis helmet wore a lady's glove, (steet. About her feet were little beagles seen,
And that a sleeve embroider'd by his love. That watch'd with upward eyes the motions of With Palamon, above the rest in place, their queen.
Lycurgus came, the surly king of Thrace; Her legs were buskin'd, and the left before ; Black was his beard, and manly was his face; In act to shoot, a silver bow she bore,
The balls of his broad eyes rolld in his head, And at her back a painted quiver wore.
And glar'd betwixt a yellow and a red: She trod a wexing moon, that soon would wane, He look'd a lion with a gloomy stare, And drinking borrow'd light, be fill’d again; And o'er his eyebrows hung his matted hair : With downcast eyes, as secming to survey Big-bon'd, and large of limbs, with sinews strong, The dark dominions, her alternate sway.
Broad-shoulderd, and his arms were round and Before her stood a woman in her throes,
long. And call'd Lucina's aid, her burden to disclose. Four milkwhite bulls (the Thracian use of old) All these the painter drew with such command, Were yok'd to draw his car of burnish'd gold. That Nature snatch'd the pencil from his hand, Upright he stood, and bore aloft his shield, Asham'd and angry that his art could feigu Conspicuous from afar, and overlook'd the field. And mend the tortures of a mother's pain. His surcoat was a bear-skin on his back; Theseus beheld the fanes of every god,
His hair hung long behind, and glossy raren And thought his mighty cost was well bestow'd. His ample forehead bore a coronet, (black. So princes now their poets should regard; With sparkling diamonds and with rubies set : But few can write, and fewer can reward. Ten brace, and more, of greyhounds, snowy The theatre thus rais'd, the lists enclos'd,
[his chair, And all with vast magnificence dispos'd,
And tall as stags, ran loose, and cours'd around We leave the monarch pleas'd, and haste to bring A match for pards in fight, in grapling for the The knights to combat; and their arms to sing.
With golden muzzles all their mouths were Promis'd the Sun, ere day began to spring; bound,
The tuneful lark already stretch'd her wing, And collars of the same their necks surround. And, nickering on her nest, made short essays to Thus through the fields Lycurgus took his way;
sing: His hundred knights attend in pomp and proud When wakeful Palamon, preventing day, array.
Took, to the royal lists, his early way, To znatch this monarch, with strong Arcite came To Venus at her fane, in her own house, to pray. Emetrius, king of Inde, a mighty name,
There, falling on his knees before her shrine, On a bay courser, goodly to behold,
He thus implord with prayers her power divine. The trappings of his horse adorn'd with barbarous “ Creator Venus, genial power of love, gold.
The bliss of men below, and gods above! Not Mars bestrode a steed with greater grace;
Beneath the sliding Sun thou runn'st thy race, His surcoat o'er his arms was cloth of Thrace, Dost fairest shine, and best become thy place. Adornd with pearls, all orient, round, and great; For thee the winds their eastern blasts forbear, His saddle was of gold, with emeralds set. Thy month reveals the spring, and opens all the His shoulders large, a mantle did attire,
year. With rubies thick, and sparkling as the fire: Thee, Goddess, thee the storms of winter fly, His amber-colour'd locks in ringlets run,
Earth smiles with flowers renewing, laughs the With graceful negligence, and shone against the sky,
And birds to lays of love their tuneful notes His nose was aquiline, his eyes were blue,
For thee the lion loaths the taste of blood, Ruddy his lips, and fresh and fair his hue : And roaring hunts his female through the wood: Some sprinkled freckles on his face were seen, For thee the bulls rebellow through the groves, Whose dusk set off the whiteness of the skin : And tempt the stream, and snuff their absent His awful presence did the crowel surprize,
loves, Nor durst the rash spectator meet his eyes, 'Tis thine, whate'er is pleasant, good, or fair: Eyes that confess'd him born for kingly sway,
All nature is thy province, life thy care: So fierce, they flash'd intolerable day.
Thou mad'st the world, and dost the world reHis age in Nature's youthful prime appear'd,
If e'er Adonis touch'd thy tender heart,
To vent my sorrow, would be some relief; Upon his fist he bore, for his delight, !
Light sufferings give us leisure to complain; An eagle well reclaiin'd, and lily white.
We groan, but cannot speak, in greater pain. His hundred knights attend him to the war, O goddess, tell thyself what I would say, All arm’d for battle; save their heads were bare. Thou know'st it, and I feel too much to pray. Words and devices blaz'd on every shield, So grant my suit, as I enforce my might, And pleasing was the terrour of the field.
In love to be thy champion, and thy knight; For kings, and dukes, and barons you might see, A servant to thy sex, a slave to thee, Like sparkling stars, though different in degree, A foe protest to barren chastity. All for th’increase of arms, and love of chivalry. Nor ask I fame or honour of the field, Before the king tame leopards led the way,
Nor choose I more to vanquish than to yield; And troops of lions innocently play:
In my divine Emilia make me blest,
Possession, more than conquest, is my care.
in your fifth orb, and rule the realm of love. The town was all a jubilee of feasts;
The Fates but only spin the coarser clue, So Theseus will'd, in honour of his guests;
The finest of the wool is left for you. Himself with open arms the king embrac'il, Spare me but one small portion of the twine, Then all the rest in their degrees were grac'd. And let the sisters cut below your line: No harbinger was needful for a night,
The rest among the rubbish may they sweep, For every house was proud to lodge a knight. Or add it to the yarn of some old miser's heap. I pass the royal treat, nor must relate
But, if you this ambitious prayer deny, The gifts bestow'd, nor how the champions sate: (A wish, I grant, beyond mortality) Who first, or last, or how the knights adoiress'do Then let me sink beneath proud Arcite's arms, Their vows, or who was fairest at the feast;' And, I once dead, let him possess her charms." Whose voice, whose graceful dance, did most sur Thus ended he; then, with observance due, prise;
The sacred incense on her altar threw : Soft amorous sighs, and silent love of eyes. The curling smoke mounts heavy from the fires; The rivals call iny Muse another way,
At length it catches fame, and in a blaze exTo sing their vigils for th' ensuing day.
pires; 'Twas ebbing darkness, past the noon of night, At once the gracious goddess gave the sign, And Phospher, on the confines of the light, Her statue shook, and trembled all the shrine:
Pleas'd Palamon the tardy omen took:
Frequent the forests, thy chaste will obey, For, since the flames pursu'd the trailing smoke, And only make the beasts of chase my prey !" He knew his boon was grantal; but the day The flames ascend on either altar clear, To distance driven, and joy adjourn'd with long While thus the blameless maid address'd her delay,
prayer. Now Morn with rosy light had streak'd the sky, When lo! the burning fire that shone so bright, Up rose the Sun, and up rose Emily;
Flew off, all sudden, with extinguish'd light,
Which turn'd self-kindled, and renew'd the Who bore the vests that holy rites require,
blaze; Incense, and odorous gums, and cover d fire. The other victor-flame a moment stood, The plentevus horns with pleasant mead they | Then fell, and lifeless left th' extinguish'd wood; crown,
For ever lost, th'irrevocable light Nor wanted aught besides in honour of the Moon. Forsook the blackening coals, and sunk to night : Now while the temple smok'd with hallow'd At either end it whistled as it few, [dew, steam,
And as the brands were green, so dropp'd the They wash the virgin in a living stream;
Infected as it fell with sweat of sanguine hue. The secret ceremonies I conceal,
The maid from that ill omen turn'd her eyes, Uncouth, perhaps unlawful, to reveal:
And with loud shrieks and clamours rent the But such they were as pagan use requird,
skies, Perform'd by women when the men retird, Nor knew what signify'd the boding sign, Whose eyes profane their chaste mysterious rites But found the powers displeas'd, and feard the Might turn to scandal, or obscene delights.
wrath divine. Well-meaners think no harm; but for the rest, Then shook the sacred shrine, and sudden light Things sacred they pervert, and silence is the Sprung through the vaulted roof, and made the best,
temple bright. Her shining hair, uncomb'd, was loosely spread, The power, behold! the power in glory shone, A crown of mastless oak adorn'd her head:
By her bent bow and her keen arrows known; When to the shrine approach'd, the spotless maid The rest, a huntress issuing from the wood, Had kindling fires on either altar laid,
Reclining ou her cornel spear she stood. (The rites were such as were observ'd of old, Then gracious thus began: “ Dismiss thy fear, By Statius in his Theban story told)
And Heaven's unchang'd decrees attentive hear: Then kneeling with her hands across her breast, More powerful gods have torn thee from my side, Thus lowly she preferr’dl her chaste request. Unwilling to resign, and doom'd a bride:
“ O goddess, haunter of the woodland green, The two contending knights are weigh'd above; To whom both Heaven and Earth and scas are One Mars protects, and one the queen of love : seen;
But which the man, is in the Thunderer's Queen of the nether skies, where half the year
breast; Thy silver beams descend, and light the gloomy This he pronounc'd, 'tis he who loves the best. sphere;
The fire, that once extinct reviv'd again, Goddess of maids, and conscious of our hearts, Foreshows the love allotted to remain : So keep me from the vengeance of thy darts, Farewel!” she said, and vanish'd from the place; Which Niobe's devoted issue felt,
The shcaf of arrows shook, and rattled in the case, When hissing through the skies the featherd Aghast at this, the royal virgin stood draths were dea.lt,
Disclaim'd, and now no more a sister of the wood: As I desire to live a virgin life,
But to the parting godless thus she pray'd; Nor know the name of mother or of wife.
Propitious still be present to my aid, Thy votress from my tender years I am,
Nor quite abandon your onee favour'd maid." And love, like thee, the woods and sylvan game. Then sighing she return’d; but smil'd betwixt, Like death, thou know'st, I loath the nuptial With hopes and fears, and joys with sorrow's mixt. state,
The next returning planctary hour And man, the tyrant of our sex, I hate,
Of Mars, who shar'dl the heptarchy of power, A lowly servant, but a lofty mate:
His steps bold Arcite to the temple bent, Where love is duty on the femalt side,
T'adore with pagan rites the power armnipotent: On their's more sensual gust, and sought with Then prostrate, low before his altar lay, swly pride.
And rais'd his manly voice, and thus began Now by thy triple shape, as thou art seen la Hearen, Earth, Hell, and every where a queen, “ Strong god of arms, whose iron sceptre sways Grant this iny first desire: let discord ccase, The freezing north, and Hyperborean seas, And make betwixt the rivals lasting peace: And Scythian colds, and Thracia's winter coast, Quench their hot fire, or far from me remove Where stand thy steeds, and thou art honou'd The flame, and turn it on some other love :
most: Or, if my frou ning stars have so decreed, There most, but every-where thy power is kuowa, That one must be rejected, one succeed,
The fortune of the fight is all thy own : Make bim my lord, within whose faithful breast Terrour is thine, and wild amazement, flung Is fix'd my image, and who loves me best.
From out thy chariot, withers ev'u the strong: But, oh! ev'n that avert! I choose it not, And disarray and shameful rout ensue, But take it as the least unhappy lot.
And force is added to the fainting crew. A maid I am, and of thy virgin train;
Acknowledg'd as thou art, accept my prayer, Oh, let me still that spotless name retain!
If aught I have achiev'd deserve thy care:
If to my utmost power with sword and shield For this, with soul devout, he thank'd the god, 1 dar'd the death, unknowing how to yield, And, of success secure, return'd to his abode. And, falling in my rank, still kept the field :
These vows thus granted, rais'd a strife above, Then let my arms prevail, by thee sustain'd, Betwixt the god of war, and queen of love, That Emily by conquest may be gain'd.
She granting first, had right of time to plead; Have pity on my pains; nor those unknown But he had grant d too, nor would recede. To Mars, which, when a lover, were his own. Jove was for Venus; but he feard his wife, Venus, the public care of all above,
And seem'd unwilling to decide the strife; Thy stubborn heart has softened into love : Till Saturn from his leaden throne arose, Now by her blandishments and powerful charms, And found a way the difference to compose : When yielded she lay curling in thy arms, Though sparing of his grace, to mischief bent, Ev'n by thy shame, if shane it may be call'd, He seldom does a good with good intent. When Vulcan bad thee in his net enthralld; Wayward, but wise; by long experience taught O envy'd ignominy, sweet disgrace,
To please both parties, for ill ends, he sought: When every God that saw thee wish'd thy place! For this advantage age from youth has won, By those dear pleasures, aid my arms in fight, As not to be outridden, though outrun. And make me conquer in my patron's right: By Fortune he was now to Venus trin'd, For I am young, a novice in the trade,
And with stern Mars in Capricorn was join'd: The fool of love, unpractis'd to persuade:
Of him disposing in his own abode, (god : And want the soothing arts that catch the fair, He sooth'd the goddess, while he gulld the But, caught myself, lie struggling in the snare: * Cease, daughter, to complain, and stint the And she I love, or laughs at all my pain,
strife; Or knows her worth too well; and pays me Thy Palamon shall have his promis'd wife: with disdain.
And Mars, the lord of conquest, in the fight For sure I am, unless I win in arms,
With palm and laurel shall adorn his knight. To stand excluded from Emilia's charms: Wide is my course, nor turu I to my place Nor can my strength avail, unless by thee Till length of time, and move with tardy pace. Endued by force, I gain the victory; [heart, Man feels me, when I press th' etherial plains, Then for the fire which warm'd thy gen'rous My hand is heavy, and the wound remains. Pity thy subject's pains, and equal smart. Mine is the shipwreck, in a watery sign; So be the morrow's sweat and labour mine, And in an earthy, the dark dungeon mine. The palm and honour of the conquest thine: Cold shivering agues, melancholy care, Then shall the war, and stern debate, and strife And bitter blasting winds, and poison'd air, Immortal, be the business of my life;
Are mine, and wilful death, resulting from deAnd in thy fane, the dusty spoils among,
spair. High on the burnish'd roof, my banner shall The throtling quinsey 'tis my star appoints, be hung,
And rheumatisms ascend to rack the joints : Rank'd with my champion's bucklers, and below, When churls rebel against their native prince, With arms revers'd, th' achievements of my foe: I arm their hands, and furnish the pretence; And while these limbs the vital spirit feeds, And, housing in the lion's hateful sign, While day to night, and night to day succeeds, Bought senates and deserting troops are mine. Thy smoking altar shall be fat with food
Mine is the privy poisoning; I command Of incense, and the grateful steam of blood; Unkindly seasons, and ungrateful land. Burnt-offerings morn and evening shall be thine; By me kings' palaces are push'd to grour), And fires eternal in thy temple shine.
And miners crush'd beneath their mines are The bush of yellow beard, this length of hair,
found. Which from my birth inviolate l bear,
'Twas 1 slew Samson, when the pillard hall Guiltless of steel, and from the razor free, Fell down, and crush'd the many with the fall. Shall fall a plenteous crop, reserv'd for thee. My looking is the fire of pestilence, So may my arms with victory be blest,
That sweeps at once the people and the prince. 1 ask no more; let Fate dispose the rest.” Now weep no more, but trust thy grandsire's art. The champion ceas'd; there follow'd in the Mars shall be pleas'd, and thou perform thy part. close
'Tis ill, though different your complexions are, A hollow groan: a murmuring wind arose; The family of Heaven for men should war.” The rings of iron, that on the doors were hung, Th' expedient pleas'd, where neither lost his Sent out a jarring sound, and harshly rung :
right; The bolted gates flew open at the blast,
Mars had the day, and Venus had the night. The storm rush'd in, and Arcite stood aghast : The management they left to Chronos' care; The flames were blown aside, yet shone they Now turn we to th’ effect, and sing the war. bright,
In Athens all was pleasure mirth, and play, Fann'd by the wind, and gave a ruffled light. All proper to the spring, and sprightly May, Then from the ground a scent bec an to rise, Which every soul inspir'd with such delight, Sweet-smelling as accepted sacrifice:
'Twas jesting all the day, and love at night. This omen pleas'd, and as the flames aspire Heaven smild, and gladded was the heart of man; With odorous incense Arcite heaps the fire : And Venus bad the world as when it first began. Nor wanted hymns to Mars, or heathen charms : At length in sleep their bodies they compose, At length the nodding statue clash'd his arms, And dreamt the future fisht, and early rose. And with a sullen sound and feeble cry,
Now scarce the dawning day began to spring, Half sank, and half pronounced, the word of As at a signal given, the streets with clamours victory.