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Behold a ghastly band,

Each a torch in his hand!

Those are Grecian ghosts, that in battle were slain,

And unburied remain
Inglorious on the plain:
Give the vengeance due
To the valiant crew!

Behold how they toss their torches on high,
How they point to the Persian abodes,
And glitt'ring temples of their hostile gods!"
The princes applaud with a furious joy,

And the king seized a flambeau with zeal to destroy;
Thais led the way,

To light him to his prey,

And, like another Helen, fired another Troy.

CHORUS

And the king seized a flambeau with zeal to destroy;
Thais led the way,

To light him to his prey,

And, like another Helen, fired another Troy.

VII

Thus, long ago,

Ere heaving bellows learned to blew,
While organs yet were mute,

Timotheus, to his breathing flute

And sounding lyre,

Could swell the soul to rage or kindle soft desire.

At last divine Cecilia came,
Inventress of the vocal frame:

The sweet enthusiast, from her sacred store,
Enlarged the former narrow bounds,

And added length to solemn sounds,
With Nature's mother-wit and arts unknown before.

Let old Timotheus yield the prize,
Or both divide the crown:

He raised a mortal to the skies,
She drew an angel down.

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1697.

GRAND CHORUS

At last divine Cecilia came,
Inventress of the vocal frame:

The sweet enthusiast, from her sacred store,
Enlarged the former narrow bounds,

And added length to solemn sounds,

With Nature's mother-wit and arts unknown before.
Let old Timotheus yield the prize,
Or both divide the crown:
He raised a mortal to the skies,
She drew an angel down.

1697.

FROM

PALAMON AND ARCITE

Arcite returned, and, as in honour tied,
His foe with bedding and with food supplied;
Then, ere the day, two suits of armour sought,
Which borne before him on his steed he brought;
Both were of shining steel, and wrought so pure
As might the strokes of two such arms endure.
Now, at the time and in th' appointed place,
The challenger and challenged, face to face,
Approach; each other from afar they knew,
And from afar their hatred changed their hue.
So stands the Thracian herdsman with his spear,
Full in the gap, and hopes the hunted bear,
And hears him rustling in the wood, and sees
His course at distance by the bending trees,
And thinks, "Here comes my mortal enemy,
And either he must fall in fight or I";

This while he thinks, he lifts aloft his dart;
A gen'rous chillness seizes ev'ry part-

The veins pour back the blood, and fortify the heart.
Thus pale they meet; their eyes with fury burn;
None greets, for none the greeting will return,
But in dumb surliness each armed with care
His foe professed, as brother of the war.
Then both, no moment lost, at once advance
Against each other, armed with sword and lance;

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They lash, they foin, they pass, they strive to bore
Their corslets, and the thinnest parts explore.
Thus two long hours in equal arms they stood,
And, wounded, wound, till both were bathed in blood;
And not a foot of ground had either got,
As if the world depended on the spot.

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Fell Arcite, like an angry tiger fared,
And like a lion Palamon appeared:

Or as two boars, whom love to battle draws,
With rising bristles and with frothy jaws,
Their adverse breasts with tusks oblique they wound;
With grunts and groans the forest rings around.
So fought the knights, and, fighting, must abide
Till fate an umpire sends their diff'rence to decide.
The pow'r that ministers to God's decrees,
And executes on earth what Heav'n foresees,
Called Providence, or Chance, or Fatal Sway,
Comes with resistless force, and finds or makes her way;
Nor kings, nor nations, nor united pow'r
One moment can retard th' appointed hour;
And some one day some wondrous chance appears,
Which happened not in centuries of years:
For sure, whate'er we mortals hate or love,
Or hope or fear, depends on pow'rs above;
They move our appetites to good or ill,
And by foresight necessitate the will.
In Theseus this appears, whose youthful joy
Was beasts of chase in forests to destroy:
This gentle knight, inspired by jolly May,
Forsook his easy couch at early day,

And to the wood and wilds pursued his way.
Beside him rode Hippolyta the queen,
And Emily attired in lively green,
With horns and hounds and all the tuneful cry,
To hunt a royal hart within the covert nigh;
And as he followed Mars before, so now
He serves the goddess of the silver bow.
The way that Theseus took was to the wood
Where the two knights in cruel battle stood;
The laund on which they fought, th' appointed place
In which th' uncoupled hounds began the chase.

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Thither forth-right he rode to rouse the prey,
That shaded by the fern in harbour lay,
And, thence dislodged, was wont to leave the wood
For open fields, and cross the crystal flood.
Approached, and looking underneath the sun,
He saw proud Arcite and fierce Palamon,
In mortal battle doubling blow on blow:
Like lightning flamed their falchions to and fro,
And shot a dreadful gleam; so strong they strook
There seemed less force required to fell an oak.
He gazed with wonder on their equal might,
Looked eager on, but knew not either knight:
Resolved to learn, he spurred his fiery steed
With goring rowels to provoke his speed;
The minute ended that began the race,

So soon he was betwixt 'em on the place,
And, with his sword unsheathed, on pain of life
Commands both combatants to cease their strife.

1698-99.

FROM

1700.

TRANSLATIONS FROM HOMER

Now when twelve days complete had run their race,

The gods bethought them of the cares belonging to their

place.

Jove at their head ascending from the sea,
A shoal of puny pow'rs attend his way.
Then Thetis, not unmindful of her son,
Emerging from the deep, to beg her boon,
Pursued their track, and, wakened from his rest,
Before the sovereign stood, a morning guest.
Him in the circle, but apart, she found;
The rest at awful distance stood around.
She bowed; and ere she durst her suit begin,
One hand embraced his knees, one propped his chin.
Then thus: "If I, celestial sire, in aught
Have served thy will or gratified thy thought,
One glimpse of glory to my issue give,

Graced for the little time he has to live.
Dishonoured by the king of men he stands;

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His rightful prize is ravished from his hands.
But thou, O father, in my son's defence
Assume thy pow'r, assert thy providence!
Let Troy prevail, till Greece th' affront has paid
With doubled honours, and redeemed his aid.

1698-99.

HUNTING SONG

DIANA

With horns and hounds I waken the day,
And hie to the woodland-walks away;

1700.

I tuck up my robe, and am buskined soon,
And tie to my forehead a wexing moon.
I course the fleet stag, and unkennel the fox,
And chase the wild goats o'er the summits of rocks;
With shouting and hooting we pierce through the sky,
And Echo turns hunter and doubles the cry.

CHORUS

With shouting and hooting we pierce through the sky,
And Echo turns hunter and doubles the cry.

1700.

1700.

ANNE, COUNTESS OF WINCHILSEA

THE TREE

Fair tree, for thy delightful shade
'Tis just that some return be made;
Sure some return is due from me
To thy cool shadows and to thee.
When thou to birds dost shelter give
Thou music dost from them receive;
If travellers beneath thee stay
Till storms have worn themselves away,
That time in praising thee they spend,
And thy protecting power commend;
The shepherd here, from scorching freed,
Tunes to thy dancing leaves his reed,

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