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To this the dame replied : “Fair daughter, know, Our England's ornament, the crown's defence, That what you saw was all a fairy show:
In battle brave, protectors of their prince: And all those airy shapes you now behold, [mould, Unchang’d by fortune, to their sovereign true, Were human bodies once, and cloth'd with earthly For which their manly legs are bound with blue. Our souls, not yet prepard for upper light, These, of the garter callid, of faith unstain'd, Till doomsday wander in the shades of night; In fighting fields the laurel have obiain'd, This only holiday of all the year,
And well repaid the honors which they gain'd. We privileg'd in sun-shine may appear:
The laurel wreaths were first by Cæsar worn, With songs and dance we celebrate the day, And still they Cæsar's successors adorn: And with due honors usher in the May.
One leaf of this is immortality, At other times we reign by night alone,
And more of worth than all the world can buy." And posting through the skies pursue the Moon: One doubt remains," said I, “the dames in goen. But when the morn arises, none are found; What were their qualities, and who their queen ?" For cruel Demogorgon walks the round,
Flora commands," said she, " those nymphs and And if he finds a fairy lag in light,
knights, He drives the wretch before, and lashes into night. Who liv'd in slothful ease and loose delights;
“ All courteous are by kind; and ever proud Who never acts of honor durst pursue, With friendly offices to help the good.
The men inglorious knights, the ladies all untrue : In every land we have a larger space
Who, nurs'd in idleness, and train'd in courts, Than what is known to you of mortal race : Pass'd all their precious hours in plays and sports, Where we with green adorn our fairy bowers, Till Death behind came stalking on, unseen, And ev'n this grove, unseen before, is ours.
And wither'd (like the storm) the freshness of their Know farther: every lady cloth'd in white,
green. And, crown'd with oak and laurel every knight, These, and their mates, enjoy their present hour, Are servants to the Leaf, by liveries known And therefore pay their homage to the Flower. Of innocence; and I myself am one.
But knights in knightly deeds should persevere, Saw you not her so graceful to behold
And still continue what at first they were; In white attire, and crown'd with radiant gold ? Continue, and proceed in horor's fair career. The sovereign lady of our land is she,
No room for cowardice, or dull delay; Diana call'd, the queen of chastity :
From good to better they should urge their way. And, for the spotless name of maid she bears, For this with golden spurs the chiefs are grac'd, That agnus-castus in her hand appears ;
With pointed rowels arm'd to mend their haste; And all her train, with leafy chaplets crown'd, For this with lasting leaves their brows are bound; Were for unblam'd virginity renown'd;
For laurel is the sign of labor crown'd, [ground: But those the chief and highest in command, Which bears the bitter blast, nor shaken falls to Who bear those holy branches in their hand : From winter winds it suffers no decay, The knights adorn'd with laurel crowns are they, For ever fresh and fair, and every month is May. Whom death nor danger never could dismay, Ev'n when the vital sap retreats below, Victorious names, who made the world obey : Ev'n when the hoary head is hid in snow; Who, while they liv'd, in deeds of arms excell'd, The life is in the leaf, and still between And after death for deities were held.
The fits of falling snow appears the streaky green. But those, who wear the woodbine on their brow, Not so the flower, which lasts for little space, Were knights of love, who never broke their vow; A short-liv'd good, and an uncertain grace; Firm to their plighted faith, and ever free
This way and that the feeble stem is driven, From fears, and fickle chance, and jealousy. Weak to sustain the storms and injuries of Heaven The lords and ladies, who the woodbine bear, Propp'd by the spring, it lifts aloft the head, As true as Tristram and Isotta were."
But of a sickly beauty, soon to shed : “ But what are those," said I,“ th' unconquer'd nine, In summer living, and in winter dead. Who crown'd with laurel-wreaths in golden armor For things of tender kind, for pleasure made, shine ?
Shoot up with swift increase, and sudden are de And who the knights in green, and what the train
cayd.” Of ladies dress'd with daisies on the plain?
With humble words, the wisest I could frame, Why both the bands in worship disagree,
And proffer'd service, I repaid the dame; And some adorn the flower, and some the tree?" That, of her grace, she gave her maid to know
• Jast is your suit, fair daughter," said the dame : The secret meaning of this moral show. “ Those laurel'd chiefs were men of mighty fame; And she, to prove what profit I had made Nine worthies were they call’d, of different rites, Of mystic truth, in fables first convey'd, Three Jews, three Pagans, and three Christian Demanded, till the next returning May, knights.
Whether the Leaf or Flower I would obey ? These, as you see, ride foremost in the field, I chose the leaf; she smild with sober cheer, As they the foremost rank of honor held,
And wish'd me fair adventure for the year, And all in deeds of chivalry excell’d:
And gave me charms and sigils, for defence Their temples wreath'd with leaves, that still renew; Against ill tongues that scandal innocence: For deathless laurel is the victor's due :
But 1,” said she, “ my fellows must pursue, Who bear the bows were knights in Arthur's reign, Already past the plain, and out of view." Twelve they, and twelve the peers of Charlemain ; We parted thus; I homeward sped my way, For bows the strength of brawny arms imply, Bewilderd in the wood till dawn of day: Emblems of valor and of victory.
And met the merry crew who danc'd about the May Behold an order yet of newer date
Then, late refresh'd with sleep, I rose to write Doubling their number, equal in their state; The visionary vigils of the night:
Blush, as thou may'st, my Little Book, with shame, He look'd like Nature's error, as the mind
The ruling rod, the father's forming care,
Now scom'd of all, and grown the public shame,
The people from Galesus chang'd his name,
And Cymon callid, which signifies a brute;
So well his name did with his nature suit.
His father, when he found his labor lost,
And care employ'd that answer'd not the cost,
And loath'd to see what Nature made him love;
Thus to the wilds the sturdy Cymon went, (ment. With riotous excess, a priestly race.
A squire among the swains, and pleas'd with banishSuppose him free, and that I forge th' offence, His corn and cattle were his only care, He show'd the way, perverting tirst my sense : And his supreme delight a country fair. In malice witty, and with venom fraught,
It happen'd on a summer's holiday, lle makes me speak the things I never thought. That to the greenwood shade he took his way ; Compute the gains of his ungovern'd zeal; For Cymon shunn'd the church, and us'd not much Ill suits his cloth the praise of railing well. The world will think, that what we loosely write, His quarter-staff, which he could ne'er forsake, Though now arraign’d, he read with some delight; Hung half before, and half behind his back. Because he seems to chew the cud again,
He trudg'd along, unknowing what he sought, When his broad comment makes the text too plain ; And whistled as he went for want of thought. And teaches more in one explaining page,
By Chance conducted, or by thirst constrain'd, Than all the double-meanings of the stage. The deep recesses of the grove he gain'd;
What needs he paraphrase on what we mean? Where, in a plain desended by the wood,
By which an alabaster fountain stood :
Like Dian and her nymphs, when, tir*d with sport, Nor love is always of a vicious kind,
To rest by cool Eurotas they resort : But oft to virtuous acts inflames the mind,
The dame herself the goddess well express'd,
Not more distinguish'd by her purple vest,
Where two beginning paps were scarcely spied,
To meet the fanning wind the bosom rose; Ormond, the first, and all the fair may find, The fanning wind, and purling streams, continue In this one legend, to their fame design'd, When Beauty fires the blood, how Love exalts the The fool of Nature stood with stupid eyes, mind.
And gaping mouth that testified surprise,
Fix'd on her face, nor could remove his sight, In that sweet isle where Venus keeps her court, New as he was to love, and novice to delight: And every Grace, and all the Loves, resort; Long mute he stood, and leaning on his staff, Where either sex is form'd of softer earth,
His wonder witness'd with an idiot laugh ; And takes the bent of pleasure from their birth; Then would have spoke, but by his glimmering sense There liv'd a Cyprian lord, above the rest
First found his want of words, and fear'd offence : Wise, wealthy, with a numerous issue bless'd. Doubted for what he was he should be known, But as no gift of Fortune is sincere,
By his clown accent, and his country tone. Was only wanting in a worthy heir;
Through the rude chaos thus the running light His eldest-born, a goodly youth to view,
Shot the first ray that pierc'd the native night; Excell'd the rest in shape, and outward show, Then day and darkness in the mass were mix’d, Fair, tall, his limbs with due proportion join'd, Till gather'd in a globe the beams were fix’d: But of a heavy, dull, degenerate mind.
Last shone the Sun, who, radiant in his sphere, His soul belied the features of his face:
Illumin’d Heaven and Earth, and rollid around the Beauty was there, but beauty in disgrace.
year. A clownish mien, a voice with rustic sound, So reason in this brutal soul began, And stupid eyes that ever lov'd the ground.
Love made him first suspect he was a man;
Love made him doubt his broad barbarian sound; This to prevent, she wak'd her sleepy crew,
Then Cymon first his rustic voice essay'd,
What not his father's care, nor tutor's art, To see her safe ; his hand she long denied, Could plant with pains in his unpolish'd heart, But took at length, asham'd of such a guide. The best instructor, Love, at once inspir'd,
So Cymon led her home, and leaving there, As barren grounds to fruitfulness are fird:
No more would to his country clowns repair, Love taught him shame; and Shame, with Love at But sought his father's house, with better mind, strife,
Refusing in the farm to be confind. Soon taught the sweet civilities of life;
The father wonder'd at the son's return, His gross material soul at once could find
And knew not whether to rejoice or mourn; Somewhat in her excelling all her kind :
But doubtfully receiv’d, expecting still Exciting a desire till then unknown,
To learn the secret causes of his alter'd will. Somewhat unfound, or found in her alone. Nor was he long delay'd: the first request This made the first impression on his mind, He made, was like his brothers to be dressid, Above, but just above, the brutal kind.
And, as his birth requir'd, above the rest. For beasts can like, but not distinguish too,
With ease his suit was granted by his sire, Nor their own liking by reflection know;
Distinguishing his heir by rich attire: Nor why they like or this or t' other face,
His body thus adorn'd, he next design'd Or judge of this or that peculiar grace ;
With liberal arts to cultivate his mind : But love in gross, and stupidly admire :
He sought a tutor of his own accord, As flies, allur'd by light, approach the fire.
And studied lessons he before abhorrd. Thus our man-beast, advancing by degrees,
Thus the man-child advanc'd, and learn'd so fast, First likes the whole, then separates what he sees; That in short time his equals he surpass'd : On several parts a several praise bestows,
His brutal manners from his breast exil'd, The ruby lips, the well-proportion'd nose,
His mien he fashion'd and his tongue he fil'd ; The snowy skin, and raven-glossy hair,
In every exercise of all admir'd,
Inspir'd by Love, whose business is to please ; From thence his eyes descending view'd the rest, He rode, he fenc'd, he mov'd with graceful ease, Her plump round arms, white hands, and heaving More fam'd for sense, for courtly carriage more, breast.
Than for his brutal folly known before.
But that the fire which chok'd in ashes lay, Thus in a trice a judge of beauty grown, A load too heavy for his soul to move, (Lore (A judge erected from a country clown)
Was upward blown below, and brush'd away by He long'd to see her eyes, in slumber hid,
Love made an active progress through his mind, And wish'd his own could pierce within the lid : The dusky parts he clear'd, the gross refin'd, He would have wak'd her, but restrain'd his thought, The drowsy wak’d; and as he went impressid And Love, new-born, the first good-manners taught. The Maker's image on the human breast. And awful Fear his ardent wish withstood, Thus was the man amended by desire, Nor durst disturb the goddess of the wood; And though he lov'd perhaps with wo much fire, For such she scem'd by her celestial face,
His father all his faults with reason scann'd, Excelling all the rest of human race.
And lik'd an error of the better hand; And things divine, by common sense he knew, Excus'd th' excess of passion in his mind, Must be devoutly seen, at distant view :
By flames too fierce, perhaps too much refin'd: So checking his desire, with trembling heart So Cymon, since his sire indulg'd his will, Gazing he stood, nor would nor could depart; Impetuous loved, and would be Cymon still; Fix'd as a pilgrim wilderd in his way,
Galesus he disown'd, and chose to bear Who dares not stir by night, for fear to stray, The name of fool confirm’d and bishop'd by the fais But stands with awful eyes to watch the dawn of To Cipseus by his friends his suit he moved,
Cipseus the father of the fair he lov'd :
But he was pre-engag'd by former ties,
The slavering cudden, propp'd upon his staff, Her sire and she to Rhodian Pasimond,
Nor could retract; and thus, as Fate decreed, To speak, but wisely kept the fool within.
Though better lov'd, he spoke too late to speed. Then she: “What makes you, Cymon, here alone ?" The doom was past, the ship, already sent, (For Cymon's name was round the country known, Did all his tardy diligence prevent: Because descended of a noble race,
Sigh'd to herself the fair unhappy maid, And for a soul ill sorted with his face.)
While stormy Cymon thus in secret said : But still the sot stood silent with surprise, - The time is come for Iphigene to find With fix'd regard on her new-open'd eyes, The miracle she wrought upon my mind : And in his breast receiv'd th' envenom'd dart, Her charms have made me man, her ravish'd love A tickling pain that pleas'd amid the smart. In rank shall place me with the bless'd above. But, conscious of her form, with quick distrust For mine by love, by force she shall be mine, She saw his sparkling eyes, and fear'd his brutal lust : Or death, if force should fail, shall finish my design."
Resolv'd he said ; and rigg'd with speedy care But all at once; at once the winds arise,
In vain the trembling sailors ply their hands :
And from the first they labor in despair. Nor long expected, for the following tide
The giddy ship betwixt the winds and tides, Sent out the hostile ship and beauteous bride. Forc'd back, and forwards, in a circle rides, To Rhodes the rival bark directly steerd,
Stunn'd with the different blows; then shoots amain, When Cymon sudden at her back appear'd, Till, counterbuff'd, she stops, and sleeps again. And stopp'd her flight: then, standing on his prow, Not more aghast the proud archangel fell, In haughty terms he thus defied the foe :
Plung'd from the height of Heaven to deepest Hell, Or strike your sails at summons, or prepare
Than stood the lover of his love possess'd, To prove the last extremities of war.”
Now curs'd the more, the more he had been bless'd; Thus warn’d, the Rhodians for the fight provide ; More anxious for her danger than his own, Already were the vessels side by side,
Death he defies; but would be lost alone. These obstinate to save, and those to seize the bride. Sad Iphigene to womanish complaints But Cymon soon his crooked grapples cast,
Adds pious prayers, and wearies all the saints; Which with tenacious hold his foes embrac'd, Ev'n if she could, her love she would repent, And, arm'd with sword and shield, amid the press he But, since she cannot, dreads the punishment : pass'd.
Her forfeit faith, and Pasimond betray'd, Fierce was the fight, but, hastening to his prey, Are ever present, and her crime upbraid. By force the furious lover freed his way:
She blames herself, nor blames her lover less, Himself alone dispers'd the Rhodian crew, Augments her anger, as her fears increase : The weak disdain'd, the valiant overthrew; From her own back the burthen would remove, Cheap conquest for his following friends remain'd, And lays the load on his ungovern'd love, He reap'd the field, and they but only glean'd. Which, interposing, durst, in Heaven's despite, His victory confess'd, the foes retreat,
Invade, and violate another's right: And cast the weapons at the victor's feet.
The powers incens'd awhile deferr'd his pain, Whom thus he cheer'd: “O Rhodian youth, I fought And made him master of his vows in vain : For love alone, nor other booty sought:
But soon they punish'd his presumptuous pride ; Your lives are safe; your vessel I resign; That for his daring enterprise she died; Yours be your own, restoring what is mine; Who rather not resisted, than complied. In Iphigene I claim my rightful due,
Then impotent of mind, with alter'd sense, Robb'd by my rival, and detain'd by you :
She hugg'd th' offender, and forgave th' offence, Your Pasimond a lawless bargain drove,
Sex to the last : meantime with sails declin'd The parent could not sell the daughter's love; The wandering vessel drove before the wind : Or, if he could, my Love disdains the laws, Toss'd and retoss'd, aloft, and then below, And like a king by conquest gains his cause : Nor port they seek, nor certain course they know, Where arms takes place, all other pleas are vain, But every moment wait the coming blow. Love taught me force, and force shall love maintain, Thus blindly driven, by breaking day they view'd You, what by strength you could not keep, release, The land before them, and their fears renew'd ; And at an easy ransom buy your peace.”
The land was welcome, but the tempest bore Fear on the conquerid side soon sign'd th'accord, The threaten'd ship against a rocky shore. And Iphigene to Cymon was restor’d:
A winding bay was near; to this they bent, While to his arms the blushing bride he took, And just escap'd ; their force already spent : To seeming sadness she compos'd her look; Secure from storms, and panting from the sea, As if by force subjected to his will,
The land unknown at leisure they survey ; Though pleas'd, dissembling, and a woman still. And saw (but soon their sickly sight withdrew) And, for she wept, he wip'd her falling tears, The rising towers of Rhodes at distant view; And pray'd her to dismiss her empty fears ; And curs'd the hostile shore of Pasimond, * For yours I am,” he said, “and have deserv'd Sav'd from the seas, and shipwreck'd on the ground Your love much better whom so long I serv'd, The frighted sailors tried their strength in vain Than he to whom your formal father tied
To turn the stern, and tempt the stormy main; Your vows, and sold a slave, not sent a bride." But the stiff wind withstood the laboring oar, Thus while he spoke, he seiz'd the willing prey, And fore'd them forward on the fatal shore ! As Paris bore the Spartan spouse away.
The crooked keel now bites the Rhodian strand, Faintly she scream'd, and ev'n her eyes confess'd And the ship moor’d constrains the crew to land : She rather would be thought, than was distress'd. Yet still they might be safe, because unknown, Who now exults but Cymon in his mind ?
But, as ill-fortune seldom comes alone,
Already shelter'd on their native shore ; (cheer;
The country rings around with loud alarms, Forsake by fits, and fill the flagging sails;
And raw in fields the rude militia swarms; Hoarse murmurs of the main from far were heard, Mouths without hands; maintain'd at vast expense And night came on, not by degrees prepard, In peace a charge, in war a weak defence
Stout once a month they march, a blustering band, But here I stop, not daring to proceed,
Yet blush to flatter an unrighteous deed :
To find the means that might secure th' event. Then hasien to be drunk, the business of the day. Nor long he labor’d, for his lucky thought
The cowards would have fled, but that they knew In captive Cymon found the friend he sought; Themselves so many, and their foes so few: Th' example pleas'd: the cause and crime the same; But, crowding on, the last the first impel;
An injur'd lover, and a ravish'd dame. Till overborne with weight the Cyprians fell. How much he durst he knew by what he dard, Cymon enslav'd, who first the war begun,
The less he had to lose, the less he card And Iphigene once more is lost and won.
To manage lothesome life, when love was the reward. Deep in a dungeon was the captive cast,
This ponder'd well, and fix'd on his inient, Depriv'd of day, and held in setters fast ;
In depth of night he for the prisoner sent; His life was only spar'd at their request,
In secret sent, the public view to shun, Whom taken he so nobly had releas'd :
Then with a sober smile he thus begun.
The powers above, who bounteously bestow
To such as are not worthy to receive.
| Their due reward, but first they must be tried : What worse to Cymon could his fortune deal, These fruitful seeds within your mind they sow'd ; Rollid to the lowest spoke of all her wheel? "Twas yours t’ improve the talent they bestow'd : It rested to dismiss the downward weight, They gave you to be born of noble kind, Or raise him upward to his former height; They gave you love to lighten up your mind, The latter pleas'd; and Love (concern'd the most) And purge the grosser parls; they gave you care Prepar'd th'amends, for what by love he lost. To please, and courage to deserve the fair. The sire of Pasimond had left a son,
“Thus far they tried you, and by proof they found Though younger, yet for courage early known, The grain intrusted in a grateful ground: Ormisda call'd, to whom, by promise tied,
But still the great experiment remain'd,
That you might learn the gift was theirs alone, Renown'd for birth, with fortune amply bless'd. And when restor'd, to them the blessing own. Lysimachus, who rul'd the Rhodian state,
Restor'd it soon will be; the means prepard, Was then by choice their annual magistrate : The difficulty smooth’d, the danger shar'd : He lov'd Cassandra too with equal fire,
Be but yourself, the care to me resign, But Fortune had not favor'd his desire;
Then Iphigene is yours, Cassandra mine. Cross'd by her friends, by her not disapprov'd,
Your rival Pasimond pursues your life, Nor yet preferr’d, or like Ormisda lov'd :
Impatient to revenge his ravish’d wife, So stood th' affair: some little hope remain'd, But yet not his; to-morrow is behind, That, should his rival chance to lose, he gain'd. And Love our fortunes in one hand has join'd:
Meantime young Pasimond his marriage press’d, Two brothers are our foes, Ormisda mine, Ordaind the nuptial day, prepar'd the feast; As much declar'd as Pasimond is thine: And frugally resolv'd (the charge to shun,
To-morrow must their common vows be tied : Which would be double should he wed alone) With Love to friend, and Fortune for our guide, To join his brother's bridal with his own.
Let both resolve to die, or each redeem a bride. Lysimachus, oppress'd with morial grief,
" Right I have none, nor hast thou much to plead; Receiv'd the news, and studied quick relief: "Tis force, when done, must justify the deed : The fatal day approach'd; if force were usd, Our task perform'd, we next prepare for flight: The magistrate his public trust abus'd;
And let the losers talk in vain of right: To justice liable, as law required;
We with the fair will sail before the wind, For, when his office ceas'd, his power expir'd : If they are griev'd, I leave the laws behind. While power remain'd, the means were in his hand Speak thy resolves: if now thy courage droop, By force to seize, and then forsake the land : Despair in prison, and abandon hope : Betwixt extremes he knew not how to move, But if thou dar’st in arms thy love regain, A slave to fame, but more a slave to love : (For liberty without thy love were vain,) Restraining others, yet himself not free,
Then second my design to seize the prey, (way." Made impotent by power, debas'd by dignity. Or lead to second rape, for well thou know'st the Both sides he weigh'd; but, after much debate, Said Cymon overjoy'd, “Do thou propose The man prevail'd above the magistrate.
The means to fight, and only show the foes : Love never fails to master what he finds, For from the first, when love had fir'd my mind, But works a different way in different minds, Resolv'd I left the care of life behind." The fool enlightens, and the wise he blinds.
To this the bold Lysimachus replied, This youth, proposing to possess and 'scape,
* Let Heaven be neuter, and the sword decide : Began in murder, to conclude in rape : [bless The spousals are prepar'd, already play Unprais’d by me, though Heaven sometimes may The minstrels, and provoke the tardy day: An impious act with undeserv'd success :
By this the brides are wak’d, their grooms are dress'd; The great it seems are privileg'd alone
All Rhodes is summond to the nuptial feast, To punish all injustice but their own.
All but myself, the sole unbidden guest.