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Her maids, who stood amazed, nor knew the cause
Of her complaining, nor whose heart it was ;
Yet all due measures of her mourning kept,
Did office at the dirge, and by infection wept;
And oft inquired the occasion of her grief,
(Unanswer'd but by sighs) and offer'd vain relief.
At length, her stock of tears already shed,
She wiped her eyes, she raised her drooping head,
And thus pursued : Oh ever faithful heart!
I have perform'd the ceremonial part,
The decencies of grief; it rests behind,
That, as our bodies were, our souls be join'd;
To thy whate'er abode


And as an elder ghost, direct the way.
She said ; and bade the vial to be brought,
Where she before had brew'd the deadly draught :
First pouring out the med'cinable bane,
The heart, her tears had rinsed, she bathed again ;
Then down her throat the death securely throws,
And quaffs a long oblivion

her woes. This done, she mounts the genial bed, and there (Her body first composed with honest care) Attends the welcome rest; her hands yet hold Close to her heart the monumental gold; Nor farther word she spoke, but closed her sight, And, quiet, sought the covert of the night.

The damsels, who the while in silence mourn'd,
Not knowing, nor suspecting death suborn'd,
Yet, as their duty was, to Tancred sent,
Who, conscious of the occasion, fear'd the event.
Alarm’d, and with presaging heart, he came,
And drew the curtains, and exposed the dame
To loathsome light: then with a late relief
Made efforts vain to mitigate her grief.
She, what she could, excluding day, her eyes
Kept firmly seal’d, and sternly thus replies :

Tancred! restrain thy tears, unsought by me,
And sorrow unavailing now to thee :
Did ever man before afflict his mind
To see the effect of what himself design'd ?
Yet, if thou hast remaining in thy heart
Some sense of love, some unextinguish'd part
Of former kindness, largely once profess'd,

Let me by that adjure thy harden'd breast,
Not to deny thy daughter's last request :
The secret love which I so long enjoy'd,
And still conceal'd to gratify thy pride,
Thou hast disjoin'd; but, with my dying breath,
Seek not, I beg thee, to disjoin our death;
Where'er his corpse by thy command is laid,
Thither let mine in public be convey'd ;
Exposed in open view, and side by side,
Acknowledged as a bridegroom and a bride.

The prince's anguish hinder'd his reply:
And she, who felt her fate approaching nigh,
Seized the cold heart, and heaving to her breast,
Here, precious pledge, she said, securely rest !
These accents were her last; the creeping death
Benumb'd her senses first, then stopp'd her breath.

Thus she for disobedience justly died :
The sire was justly punish'd for his pride :
The youth, least guilty, suffer'd for the offence
Of duty violated to his prince ;
Who, late repenting of his cruel deed,
One common sepulchre for both decreed ;
Intomb'd the wretched pair in royal state,
And on their monument inscribed their fate.

Of all the cities in Romanian lands,
The chief, and most renown'd, Ravenna stands :
Adorn'd in ancient times with arms and arts,
And rich inhabitants, with generous

But Theodore the brave, above the rest,
With gifts of fortune and of nature bless'd,
The foremost place for wealth and honour held,
And all in feats of chivalry excell'd.

This noble youth to madness loved a dame,
Of high degree, Honoria was her name:
Fair as the fairest, but of haughty mind,
And fiercer than became so soft a kind ;
Proud of her birth, (for equal she had none,)
The rest she scorn'd; but hated him alone.
His gifts, his constant courtship, nothing gain'd;
For she, the more he loved, the more disdain’d.

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He lived with all the pomp he could devise,
At tilts and tournameñts obtained the prize;
But found no favour in his lady's eyes :
Relentless as a rock, the lofty maid
Turn'd all to poison that he did or said :
Nor prayers, nor tears, nor offer'd vows, could move;
The work went backward ; and, the more he strove
To advance his suit, the farther from her love.

Wearied at length, and wanting remedy,
He doubted oft, and oft resolved to die.
But pride stood ready to prevent the blow;
For who would die to gratify a foe ?
His generous mind disdain'd so mean a fate ;
That pass’d, his next endeavour was to hate.
But vainer that relief than all the rest,
The less he hoped, with more desire possess'd;
Love stood the siege, and would not yield his breast.
Change was the next, but change deceived his care ;
He sought a fairer, but found none so fair.
He would have worn her out by slow degrees,
As men by fasting starve the untamed disease :
But present love required a present ease.
Looking he feeds alone his famish'd eyes,
Feeds lingering death, but looking not he dies.
Yet still he chose the longest way to fate,
Wasting at once his life and his estate.

His friends beheld, and pitied him in vain ;
For what advice can ease a lover's pain ?
Absence, the best expedient they could find,
Might save the fortune, if not cure the mind :
This means they long proposed, but little gain’d;
Yet after much pursuit, at length obtain'd.

Hard you may think it was to give consent,
But struggling with his own desires he went,
With large expense, and with a pompous train,
Provided as to visit France and Spain,
Or for some distant voyage o’er the main.
But love had clipp'd his wings, and cut him short,
Confined within the purlieus of the court.
Three miles he went, nor farther could retreat ;
His travels ended at his country-seat:
To Chassis' pleasing plains he took his way,
There pitch'd his tents, and there resolved to stay.

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The spring was in the prime: the neighbouring grove
Supplied with birds, the choristers of love,
Music unbought, that minister'd delight
To morning walks, and lulld his cares by night;
There he discharged his friends; but not the expense
Of frequent treats, and proud magnificence.
He lived as kings retire, though more at large
From public business, yet with equal charge ;
With house and heart still open to receive;
As well content as love would give him leave:
He would have lived more free; but many a guest,
Who could forsake the friend, pursued the feast.

It happ'd one morning, as his fancy led,
Before his usual hour he left his bed,
To walk within a lonely lawn, that stood
On every side surrounded by a wood:
Alone he walk'd, to please his pensive mind,
And sought the deepest solitude to find;
'Twas in a grove of spreading pines he stray'd;
The winds within the quivering branches play'd,
And dancing trees a mournful music made.
The place itself was suiting to his care,
Uncouth and savage, as the cruel fair.
He wander'd on, unknowing where he went,
Lost in the wood, and all on love intent:
The day already half his race had run,
And summond him to due repast at noon;
But love could feel no hunger but his own.

Whilst listening to the murmuring leaves he stood,
More than a mile immersed within the wood,
At once the wind was laid ; the whispering sound
Was dumb; a rising earthquake rock'd the ground;
With deeper brown the grove was overspread ;
A sudden horror seized his giddy head,
And his ears tinkled, and his colour fled.
Nature was in alarm; some danger nigh
Seem'd threatend, though unseen to mortal eye.
Unused to fear, he summon'd all his soul,
And stood collected in himself, and whole;
Not long ; for soon a whirlwind rose around,
And from afar he heard a screaming sound,
As of a dame distress’d, who cried for aid,
And fill'd with loud laments the secret shade.

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A thicket close beside the grove there stood,
With briers and brambles choked, and dwarfish wood;
From thence the noise, which now approaching near,
With more distinguish'd notes invades his ear:
He raised his head, and saw a beauteous maid,
With hair dishevell’d, issuing through the shade ;
Stripp'd of her clothes, and e'en those parts reveal'd,
Which modest nature keeps from sight conceald.
Her face, her hands, her naked limbs were torn,
With passing through the brakes and prickly thorn ;
Two mastiffs gaunt and grim her flight pursued,
And oft their fastend fangs in blood imbrued ;
Oft they came up, and pinch'd her tender side,
Mercy, O mercy, Heaven! she ran and cried ;
When Heaven was named, they loosed their hold again,
Then sprung she forth, they follow'd her amain.

Not far behind, a knight of swarthy face,
High on a coal-black steed pursued the chase ;
With flashing flames his ardent eyes were fillid,
And in his hand a naked sword he held :
He cheer'd the dogs to follow her who fled,
And vow'd revenge on her devoted head.

As Theodore was born of noble kind,
The brutal action roused his manly mind;
Moved with unworthy usage of the maid,
He, though unarm’d, resolved to give her aid.
A sapling pine he wrench'd from out the ground,
The readiest weapon that his fury found.
Thus furnish'd for offence, he cross'd the way
Betwixt the graceless villain and his prey.

The knight came thundering on, but, from atar,
Thus, in imperious tone, forbade the war :
Cease, Theodore, to proffer vain relief,
Nor stop the vengeance of so just a grief;
But give me leave to seize my destined prej,
And let eternal justice take the way:
I but revenge my fate; disdain'd, betray'd,
And suffering death for this ungrateful mal

He said, at once dismounting from the steed;
For now the hell-hounds, with superior speed,
Had reach'd the dame, and fastening on her side,
The ground with issuing streams of purplo dyed.
Stood Theodore surprised in deadly fright,
With chattering teeth, and bristling hair upright;

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