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What worse to wretched virtue could befal, \It happen'd once, that, slumb'ring as he lay,
The fright awaken'd Arcite with a start;
Against his bosom bounc'd his heaving heart; The man lies murder id; while the thiefand snake, But soon he said, with scarce-recover'd breath, One gains the thickets, and one thrids the brake. And thither will I go to meet my death, This let divines decide ; but well I know, Sure to be slain; but death is my desire, Just or injust, I have my share of woe ; Since in Emilia's sight I shall expire. Through Saturn scated in a luckless place, By chance he spicd a mirror while he spoke, And Juno's wrath, that persecutes iny race; And gazing there, beheld his alter'd look ; Or Mars and Venus, in a quartil, move Wond'ring he saw his features and his hue My pangs of jealousy for Arcite's love.
Somuchwerechang'd, thatscarcehimself heknew. Let Palamon oppress'd in bondage mourn, JA sudden thought then started in his mind, While to his exild rival we return.
Since I in Arcite cannot Arcite find, By this, the sun, declining from his height, The world may search in vain with all their eyes, The day had shorten'd, to prolong the night: ,|But never penetrate through this disguise. The lengthen'd night gave length of misery Thanks to the change vșhich grief and sickness Both to the captive lover and the free;
In low estate I may securely live, (gire, For Palamon in endless prison mourns,
And see, unknown, my mistress day by day. And Arcite forfeits life if he returns :
He said ; and cloath'd himself in coarse array, The banish'd never bopes his love to see, A lab'ring hind in show; and forth he weni, Nor hopes the captive lord his liberty.
And to th' Athenian tow'rs his journey bent; 'Tis hard to say who suffers greater pains : One 'squire attended in the same disguise, One sees his love, but cannot break his chains ; Made conscious of his master's enterprise. One free, and all his motions uncontrol'd, Arriv'd at Athens, soon he came to court, Beholds whate'er he would, but what he would|Unknown, unquestion'd, in that thick resort: behold.
Profi'ring for hire his service at the gate, Judge as you please, for I will haste to tell | To drudge, draw water, and to run or wait. What fortune to the banish'd knight befel. So far befel him, that for little gain When Arcite was to Thebes return'd again, He serv'd at first Emilia's chainberlain; The loss of her he lov'd renewid his pain ; And, watchful all advantages to spy, What could be worse, than never more to see Was still at hand, and in his master's cye; His life, his soul, his charming Emily?
And as his bones were big, his sinews strong, He ray'd with all the madness of despair, Refus'd no toil that could 10 slaves belong! He roar'd, he beat his breast, he tore his hair. But from deep wells with engines water drew, Dry sorrow in his siupid eyes appears;
And us'd his noble hands the world to hew. For, wanting nourishment, he wanted tears : He pass'd a year at least attending thus His eye-balls in their hollow sockets sink ; JOn Einily, and call d Philostratus. Bereft of sleep, he loaths his meat and drink. But never was there man of his degree He withers at his heart, and looks as wan So much esteeni'd, so well belor'd as he. As the pale spectre of a murcler'd man: So gentle of condition was he knowil, That pale turns vellow, an'l bis face receives That thro' the court his courtesy was blown: The faded hue of sapless boxen leares:
All think him worthy of a greater place, In solitary groves he makes his moan,
And recommend him to the royal grace; Walks early out, and ever is alone :
That, exercis'll within a higher sphere, Nor mix'd'in mirth, in youthful pleasures shares, His virtues more conspicuous might appear. But sighs when songs and instruments he hears. Thus by the gen'ral voice was Arcite prais'd, His spirits are so low, his voice is drown'd, 2 And by great 'Theseus to highi favor rais'd: He bears as from afar, or in a swoon,
Among his menial servants first enrollil, Like the deaf murmurs of a distant sound: J And largely entertain'd with sums of gold: Uncomb'il his locks, and squalid hiattire, Besides what secretly from Thebes was sent, l'nlike the trim of love and gay desire : Of his own income, and his annual rent : But full of inuseful mopings, which presage Thiswellemploy'd, he purchas'd friends and fame, The loss of reason, and conclude in rage. But cautiously conceal'd from whence it came. This when he had endur'd a year and more, |Thus for three years he liv'd with large increase, Now wholly chang'd froin what he was before, In armıs of honor, and esteem in peace;
То To Theseus' person he was ever near;
As thou shalt guide my wand'ring feet to find And Theseus, for his virtutes, held him dear. The fragrant greens I seek, my brows to bind.
His vows address'd, within the grove he) BOOK II.
stray'd, While Arcite lives in bliss, the story turns Till fate, or fortune, near the place courey'd Where hopeless Palaron in prison mourus. His steps where secret Palamon was laid.' For six long years immur'd, the captive knight Full little thought of him the gentle knight, 2. Haddragg'd hischains, and scarcelyseen the light: Whofiving death had there conceald his flight.l Lost liberty and love at once he bore :
| In brakes and brambles hid, and shuanings His prison paind him much, his passion more : mortal sight; Nor clares he hope his fetters to remove, | And less he knew him for his hared foe, Nor ever wishes to be free from love.
But feard him as a man he did not know. But when the sixth revolving year was run, But as it has been said of antient years, And may within the Twins receiv'd the sun, That fields are full of eves, and woorls have ears; Were it by chance, or forceful desriny, For this the wise are ever on tlieir guard; Which forms in causes first whate'er shall be, For unforeseen, they say, is unprepard. Assisted by a friend, one moonless night, Uncautious Arcite ihought himself alone, This Palainon from prison took his fight : | And less than all suspected Palamon, A pleasant beverage he prepard before
Who list'ning heard him, while he scarch'd the Of wine and honey mix d with added store Aud loudly sung his roundelay of love ; [grove; Of opium ; to his keeper this he brought, | But on the sudden stopp'd, and silent stood, Who swallow d unaware the sleepy draught, As lovers often inrise, and change their mood; And snor'd secure till morn, his senses bound Now high as heaven, and then as low as hell ; In slumber, and in long oblivion drown'd. Now up, now down, as buckets in a well; Short was the night, and careful Palainon For Venus, like her day, will change her cheer, Sought the next covert ere the rising sun. And seldom shall we see a Friday clear. A thick-spread forest near the city lay,
Thus, Arcite, having sung, with alter'd hue To this with lengthen'd strides he iook' his way Sunk on the ground, and from his bosom drew (For far he could not fly, and fear'd the day). J A desp'rate sigh, accusing Heaven and Fate, Safe from pursuit, he nieant to shun the light, And angry Juno's unrelenting hate. Till the brown shadows of the friendly nightOurs'd be the day when first I did appear! To Thebes might favor his intended Aight. Let it be blotted from the calendar, [year, When to his country come, his next design Lestit pollute the month, and poison all the Was all the Theban race in arnis to join, Still will the jealous Qacen pursue our race? And war on Theseus, till he lost his life, Cadmus is dead, the 'Theban city was: Or won the beauteous Emily to wise.
Yet ceases not her hate ; for all who coine Thus while his thoughts the ling'ring day beguile; From ('admus are juvolv'd in Cadmus' duom. To gentle Arcite let us turn our style ;
I suffer for my blood : unjust decree! . Who little dream'd how nigh he was to care, That punishes another's criine on me. Till treach'rous fortune caught him in the snare. In mean estate I serve my mortal foe, The norning-lark, the messenger of day, The man who caus'd my country's overthrow. Saluted in her song the morning grey;
This is not all; for Juno, to my shame, And soon the sun arose with beains so bright, Ilas forc'd me to forsake my former name; Thatallthe horizon laugh'd to see thejoyous sight; | Arcite I was, Philostratus I am. He with his trepid rays the rose renews, That side of heaven is all my enemy; And licks the drooping leaves, and dries the dews; Mars ruind Thebes, his mother ruin'd me. When Arcite left his bed resolved to pay Of all the royal race remains but one Observance to the month of merry May: Besides myself, th' unhappy Palaihon, Forth on his fiery steed betimes he rode, Whom Theseus holds in bonds, and will not free; That scarcely prints the turf on which he trod; Without a crinie except his kin to me. At ease he seemi'd, and, prancing o'er the plains, Yet these, and all the rest I could endure; Turn’d only to the grove his horse's reins, But love's a malady without a cure; The grore I nam'd before ; and, lighted there, Fierce Love has pierc'd me with his fiery dart; A woodbine garland sought to crown his hair; He fires within, and hisses at my heart. Then turn'd his face against the rising day, Your eyes, fair Emily, my fate pursue; And rais'd his voice to welcome in the May. I suffer for the rest, I die for you.
For thee, sweet month, the groves green liveries of such a Goddess no time leaves record, If not the first, the fairest of the year : swear ; Who burn'd the temple where she was adord : For thie the Graces lead the dancing hours, and let it burn, I never will complain ; And Nature's ready pencil paints the flow'rs: Pleas'd with my suff'rings, if you knew my pain. When thy short reign is past, the feverish sun! At this a sickly qualnı his heart assaild, Thesultry tropic fears, and moves more slowly on: His cars ring inward, and his senses failid. So may thy tender blossoms fear no blight, No word miss'd Palamon of all he spoke, Nor goats with venom'd teeth thy tendrils bite, But soon to deadly pale he chang'u his look:
He tremlleri every limb, and felt a smart, And thinks, here comes my mortal enemy,
Then both, no moment lost, at once a lvance Under a borrow'd name; as false to me, Against each other, arm'd with sword and lance: So false thou art to him who set thec free: They lash, they foin, they pass, they strive to bore But rest assur'd that either thou shalt die, Their corslets, and the thinnest parts explore. Or else renounce thy claim in Emily:
Thus two long hours in equal arms they stood, For though unarm'd I ain, and (freed by chance) | And wounded, wound; till both were bath'd in Am here without my sword or pointed lance, And not a foot of ground had either got, [blood; Hope pot, base man, unquestion'd hence to go ;| As if the world depended on the spoti For I am Palamon, thy mortal foe.
Fell Arcite like an angry tiger far’d, Arcite, who heard his tale, and knew the man, d And like a lion Palamon appear'd : His sword unsheath'd and fiercely thus began : Or as two boars wliom love to battle draws, Now by the Gods who govern heaven above, - With rising bristles, and with frothy jaws, Wert thou not weak with hunger, niad with Their adverse breasts with tusks oblique they love,
· wound, That word bad been thy last, or in this grove With grunts and groans the forest rings around. This hand should force thee to renounce thy love, So fought the knights, and fighting must abide, The sure which I gave thee, I defy :
Tillfatean uinpire sends their diff'rence to decide: Fool, not to know that love endures no tie; The pow'r that ministers to God's decrees, And Jove but laughs at lovers' perjury.
And executes on earth what Heaven foresees, Know, I will serve the fair in thy despite; Cali'd providence, or chance, or fatal sway, But since thou art my kinsman aud a knight, Comes with resistless force, and finds or makes her Here, have my faith, to-morrow in this grove Nor kintys, nor nations, nor united pow'r, [way. Our arms shall plead the titles of our love: One moment can retard th' appointed hour, And Hearen so help my right, as I alone And some one day some wond'rous chance ape Will come, and keep the cause and quarrel both unknown,
Which happen'd not in centuries of years : With arms of proof both for myself and thee; For sure whate'er we mortals bate, or love, Choose thou tlie best, and leave the worst to me. Or hope, or fear, depends on pow’rs above : And, that a better case thou may'st abide, They move our appetites to good or ill, Bedding and clothes I will this night provide, | And by foresight necessitate ihe will. And needíul sustenance, that thou may'st be | In Theseus this appears, whose youthful joy A conquest better won, and worthy me. Was beasts of chase in forests to destroy His promise Palamon aceepts; but pray'd | This gentie knight, inspir'd by jolly May, To keep it better than the first he inade. Forsook his easy couch at early day, Thus fair they parted till the morrow's diawa; And to the wood and wilds pursued his way. For each had laid his plighted faith to pawn. Beside him rode Hippolita the queen, Oh Love! thou sternly does thy pow'r maintain, u And Emily attir'd in lively greeii, And will not bear a'rival in thy reign; With hors, and hounds, and all the tuneful cry, .. Tyrants and thou all fellowship disdain. To hunt a roral bart within the covert einh: This was in Arcile prov'd, and Palamon; And as he follow'd Mars before, so now Both in despair, yet each would love alone. He serves the goddess of the silver bow. Arcite return'd, and, as in honor tied,
The way i hat Thesens took was to the wood His foe with bedding and with food supplied ; Where the two knights in cruel battle stood: Then, ere the day, iwo suits of arınor sought, The lawn on which they fought, th' appointed Which borne before himn on hisstced he brought place Both were of shining steel, and wrought so pure, in which the umcoupl dhounds began thechace. As might the strokes of two such arms endure. Thither forth-right be rose to rouse the prey, Now at the time, and in tb' appointed place, That shaded by the tern in larbour lay; The challenger and challengd, face to face, And, thence dislodgd, was wont to leave the Approach ; each other from afar they knew,
wood And from afar their hatred chang'd their hue. For open fields, and cross the crystal flood, Su stands the Thracian herdsman with his spcar | Approach'd, and looking underneath the sun, Full in the gap, and hopes the hunied bear; He saw proud Arcite, aui fierce Palamon And hears him rustling in the wood, and sees in mortal battle doubling blow on blow, His course at distance by the bending trees; Like lightning flan'dancirfalchions to and fro,
And shot a dreadfulgleam ;so strong they struck, 1 By Mars, the patron of my arms, yon die.
came As knightly rites require, nor judge to iry! For pride of empire, nor desire of fame. Then Palamon, with scarce recover d breathi, Kingsfight for kingdoms, madinen for applause: Thus hasty spoke : We both deserve the death, But love for love alonc; that crowns the lover's And Lith would die; for look the world around, cause. A pair so wretched is not to be found : This thought, which ever bribes the beauteous Our life's a load; encumber'd with the charge, Such pity wrought in ev'ry lady's mind, kinil, We long to set thi' imprisoned soul at large. They left their sieeds, and, prostrate on the place, Now as thou art a sov'reign judge, decree 2 From the fiercekingimplor'd the offenders' grace. The rightful doon of death to him and me ; ! He paus'd awhile, stood silent in his mood Let neither find thy grace, fos grace is crueliv.) (For yet his rage wos boiling in his blood); Ale first, ol kill me first, and cure my woe; | But soon his tender mind th' iinpression felt, Then sheath the sword of justice on my foe: (Is softest metals are not slow to melt, Or kill him first; for when his name is heard, And pity soonest runs in softest minds): He foremost will receive bis due reward. Then reasons with himself; and first he finds Arcite of Thebes is he, thy mortal foe, His passion cast a mist before his sense, On whom thy grace did liberty bestow; And either inade or magnitied th' offence. But first contracted, that if ever fonnd
Offence? of what? to whom? who judgd the By day or night upon th' Athenian ground,
cause? His head should pay the forfeit; see return'd | The pris’ner freed himself by nature's laws : The perjur'd knight, his oath and honor scorn'd. Born free, he songht his righi: the man he freed For this.is he who, with a borrow'd name | Was perjur'l; but his love excus'd the derd: And profer'd service to thy palace came, Thus pond'ring, he look'd under with his eres, Now call’d Philostratus ; retain'd by thee, 2 And saw the women's tears, and heard their A traitor trusted, and in high degree,
crics, Aspiring to the bed of beauteous Emilv. Which mov'll compassion more: he shook his My part remains; froin Thebes my birth I own, / And, softly sighing, to himself he said : [head, And call myself ih' unhappy Palamon.
Curse on th' unpardoning prince, whoin lears Think me not like that man ; since no disgrace Can force me to renounce the honor of my To no remorse, who rules by lions' law; race. .
And deaf to prayers, by no submission bow'd, Know me from what I am: I broke my chain, Rends all alike, the penitent and proud! Nor promis'd I thy pris’ner to remain : At this with look serene, he rais'd his head : The love of liberty with life is yiven ;
Reason: resun'd her place, and passion fled: And life itself th' inferior gist of Heaven. Then thus aloud he spoke: The pow'r of love, Thus without crime I fled; but farther know, In earths, and seas, and air, and heaven above, I with this Arcite am thy mortal foe:
Rules, unre: isted, with an awful fod; Then give ine death, since I thy life pursue; By daily miracles declar'd a God : For safeguard of thyself, death is iny due. Ile blinds the wise, gives eye-sight to the blind; More would'st thou know? I love bright Emily, And moulds and stanips avew the lover's inind. And for her sake and in her sight will die: Behold that Arcite, and this Palamon, But kill my rival too ; for he no less
| Freed from my fetters, and in safety gone Deserves; and I thy righteous doom will bless, What hinder'd either in their native soil Assur'd that what I lose he never shall possess.) At ease to reap the harvest of their toil; To this replied the stern Athenian prince, But Love, their lord, did otherwise ordain, And sourly smild-In owning your offence, | And brought them in their own despite again, You judge yourself; and I but keep record To suffer death deservd; for well they know In place of law, while you pronounce the word. 'Tis in my pow'r, and I their deadly foe; Take your desert, the death you have decreed ; The proverb holds, that to be wise and love, I seal your doom, and ratify the deed :
Is hardly granted to the Gods above.
See how the madmen bleed : behold the gains The whole assembled troop was pleas'd as well;
[ceive; Yet, as in duty bound, they serve him on; Departing from the place, his last commands rea And, ask the fools, they think it wisely done; On Emily with equal ardor look, Nor ease, nor wealth, nor life itself regard, and from her eves their inspiration took: For 'tis their maxim love is love's reward. Frointherceto Thebes'old walls pursue their way, This is not all; the fair for whom they strove Each to provide his champions for the day, Nor knew before, nor could suspect, iheir love;l It might be deemn'd, on our historian's part, Nor thought when she beheld the fight from far, Or too much negligence, or want of art; Her beauty was the occasion of the war. If he forgot the vast magnificente But sure a gen'ral doom on man is past, JOf royal Theseus, and his large expence. And all are fools and lovers first or last He first inclosind for lists a level ground, This both by others and myself I know, The whole circumference a mile atound; : For I have serv'd their sov'reign long ago;
The form was circular, and all without On have been caught within the winding train A trench was sunk, to inoat the place about. Of female snares, and felt the lover's pain, (Within an amphitheatre appear'd, . And learn'd how far the God can human hearts Rais'd in degrees, to sixty paces rear'd :'" constrain.
That when a man was plac'd in one degree, To this remembrance, and the pray’rs of those Height was allow'd for him above to see Who for th' offending warriors interpose,
Eastward was built a gate of marble ivhite; I give their forfeit lives; on this accord, The like adorn'd the western opposite. To do me bondage as their sov'reign lorid; I A nobler object than this fabric was And as my vassals, to their utinost might, Rome never saw, nor of so vast a space : Assist my person and assert my right.
For, rich with spoils of many a conquer'd land, This freelysworn, the knights their grace obtain'd, All arts and artists Theseus could command : Then thus the king lus secret thoughts explain'd: Who sold for hire, or wrought for better fame, If wealth, or honor, or a royal race,
The master-painters and the carrers camë.
A temple, sacred to the queen of love ;
The dome of Mars was on the gate oppos'd, As therefore both are equal in degree,
| And on the north a turret was inclos'd, The lot of both be left to destiny.
Within the wall of alabaster white, Now hear the award, and happy mar it prove And crimson coral for the queen of nighi, To her, and hiin who best deserves her love! Who takes in sylvan sports her chaste delight. Depart froin hence in peace, and free as air Within these oratories might you see Search the wide world, and where you please Rich carvings, portraitures, and imagery : · repair ;
Where ev'ry huge figure to the life express'd But on the day when this returning sun The godhead's pow'r to whom it was address d. To the same point through ev'ry sign has run, In Venus' temple, on the sides were seen Then eachof you his hundredknights shall bring, The broken slumbers of enainour'd men, In royal lists, to fight before the king;
Pray'rs that e'en spoke, and pity seem'd to call, Shall with his friends to victory advance, Complaints, and hot desires, the lover's hell, And grace his arms so far in equal fight And scalding tears that wore a channel where From out the bars to force his opposite,
they fell: Or kill, or make him recreant on the plain, And all around were nuptial bonds, the ties) The prize of valor and of love shall gain; Of love's assurance, and a train of lies, The vanquish'd party shall their claim release, That, made in lust, conclude in perjuries. ) And the long jars conclude in lasting peace. Beauty, and vouth, and wealth, and luxury, The charge be mine t'adorn the chosen ground, And sprightly hope, and short-enduring joy ; The theatre of war, for champions so renown'd, And sorceries to raise th' infernal pow'rs, And take the patron's place of either knight, 21 And sigils fram'd in planetary houts : With eyes impartial to behold the fight: Esperice, and after-thought, and idle care, And heaven of mesojudge aslshalljudgearight!) And doubts of motley huè, and dark despair ; If both are satisfied with this accord,
Suspicious, and fantastical surmise, ; ; Swear by the laws of knighthood on my sword. And jealousy suffus'd with jaundice in her eyes, Who now but Palamon exults with joy ? Discoloring all she view'd, in tawny drest; Aud ravishd Arcite scems to touch the sky; Down-look’d, and with a cuckow on her fist.