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What kings decree, the soldier must obey.
Wag'd against foes; and when the wars are o'er,
Fit only to maintain despotic power;
Dangerous to freedom, and desir'd alone.
By kings, who seek an arbitrary throne;
Such were these guards; as ready to have slain
The prince himself, allur'd with greater gain;
So was the charge perform'd with better will,
By men inur'd to blood, and exercis'd in ill.

Now, though the sullen sire had eas'd his mind,
The pomp of his revenge was yet behind,
A pomp prepar'd to grace the present he design'd.
A goblet rich with gems, and rough with gold,
Of depth and breadth the precious pledge to hold,
With cruel care he chose: the hollow part
Inclos'd, the lid conceal'd the lover's heart:
Then of his trusted mischiefs one he sent,
And bade him with these words the gift present:
Thy father sends thee this to cheer thy breast,
And glad thy sight with what thou lov'st the best;
As thou hast pleas'd his eyes, and joy'd his mind,
With what he lov'd the most of human kind.

Ere this the royal dame, who well had weigh'd The consequence of what her sire had said, Fix'd on her fate, against the expected hour, Procur'd the means to have it in her power; For this, she had distill'd with early care The juice of simples friendly to despair, A magazine of death; and thus prepar'd, Secure to die, the fatal message heard: Then smil'd severe; nor with a troubled look, Or trembling hand, the funeral present took : Ev'n kept her countenance, when the lid remov'd Disclos'd the heart, unfortunately lov'd; She needed not be told, within whose breast It lodg'd; the message had explain'd the rest. Or not amaz'd, or hiding her surprise, She sternly on the bearer fix'd her eyes: Then thus: Tell Tancred, on his daughter's part, The gold, though precious, equals not the heart: But he did well to give his best; and I, Who wish'd a worthier urn, forgive his poverty. At this she curb'd a groan, that else had come, And, pausing, view'd the present in the tomb; Then, to the heart ador'd devoutly glew'd Her lips, and, raising it, her speech renew'd: Ev'n from my day of birth, to this, the bound Of my unhappy being, I have found My father's care and tenderness express'd; But this last act of love excels the rest: For this so dear a present, bear him back The best return that I can live to make.

The messenger despatch'd, again she view'd The lov'd remains, and sighing thus pursu'd: Source of my life, and lord of my desires, In whom I liv'd, with whom my soul expires, Poor heart, no more the spring of vital heat, Curs'd be the hands that tore thee from thy seat! The course is finish'd which thy fates decreed, And thou from thy corporeal prison freed :! Soon hast thou reach'd the goal with mended pace, A world of woes despatch'd in little space; Forc'd by thy worth, thy foe, in death become Thy friend, has lodg'd thee in a costly tomb. There yet remain'd thy funeral exequies; The weeping tribute of thy widow's eyes,

And those, indulgent Heaven has found the way
That I, before my death, have leave to pay.
My father ev'n in cruelty is kind,

Or Heaven has turn'd the malice of his mind
To better uses than his hate design'd;
And made th' insult, which in his gift appears,
The means to mourn thee with my pious tears;
Which I will pay thee down, before I go,
And save myself the pains to weep below,
If souls can weep; though once I meant to meet
My fate with face unmov'd, and eyes unwet,
Yet since I have thee here in narrow room,
My tears shall set thee first afloat within thy tomb:
Then (as I know thy spirit hovers nigh)
Under thy friendly conduct will I fly
To regions unexplor'd, secure to share
Thy state; nor hell shall punishment appear;
And heaven is double heaven, if thou art there.
She said her brimful eyes, that ready stood,
And only wanted will to weep a flood,
Releas'd their watery store, and pour'd amain,
Like clouds low hung, a sober shower of rain:
Mute solemn sorrow, free from female noise,
Such as the majesty of grief destroys;


For, bending o'er the cup, the tears she shed
Seem'd by the posture to discharge her head,
O'erfill'd before; and oft (her mouth apply'd
To the cold heart) she kiss'd at once, and cry'd.
Her maids, who stood amaz'd, 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 inquir'd th' occasion of her grief
(Unanswer'd but by sighs), and offer'd vain relief.
At length, her stock of tears already shed,
She wip'd her eyes, she rais'd her drooping head,
And thus pursu'd: O 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, my shade convey,
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 rins'd, she bath'd again;
Then down her throat the death securely throws,
And quaffs a long oblivion of her woes.

This done, she mounts the genial bed, and there (Her body first compos'd with honest care) Attends the welcome rest; her hands yet hold Close to her heart the monumental gold;

Nor farther word she spoke, but clos'd 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 th' occasion, fear'd th' event.
Alarm'd, and with presaging heart, he came,
And drew the curtains, and expos'd the dame
To loathsome light: then, with a late relief,
Made vain efforts 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 unvailing now to thee:

Did ever man before afflict his mind,
To see th' 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 ;
Expos'd in open view, and side by side,
Acknowledg'd as a bridegroom and a bride.
The prince's anguish hinder'd his reply:
And she who felt her fate approaching nigh,
Seiz'd 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 dy'd:
The sire was justly punish'd for his pride:
The youth, least guilty, suffer'd for th' 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 inscrib'd 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 hearts.
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 lov'd 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 lov'd, the more disdain'd.
He liv'd with all the pomp he could devise,
At tilts and tournaments obtain'd 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
T' advance his suit, the farther from her love.
Weary'd at length, and wanting remedy,
He doubted oft, and oft resolv'd 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 hop'd, with more desire possess'd;

Love stood the siege, and would not yield his breast.
Change was the next, but change deceiv'd 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 th' untam'd disease:
But present love requir'd 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 pity'd 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 propos'd, 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,
Confin'd within the purlieus of the court,
Three miles he went, no further could retreat;
His travels ended at his country seat:
To Chassis' pleasing plains he took his way,
There pitch'd his tents, and there resolv'd to stay.


The spring was in the prime; the neighbouring Supply'd with birds, the choristers of love: Music unbought, that minister'd delight To morning walks, and lull'd his cares by night: There he discharg'd his friends; but not th' expense Of frequent treats, and proud magnificence. He liv'd 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 liv'd more free; but many a guest, Who could forsake the friend, pursued the feast. It hapt 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 summon'd 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 immers'd 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 seiz'd his giddy head, And his ears tingled, and his colour fled. Nature was in alarm; some danger nigh Seem'd threaten'd, though unseen to mortal eye. Unus'd 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 cry'd for aid,
And fill'd with loud laments the secret shade.
A thicket close beside the grove there stood,
With briars and brambles chok'd, and dwarfish wood;
From thence the noise, which now approaching near
With more distinguish'd notes invades his ear;
He rais'd his head, and saw a beauteous maid,
With hair dishevel'd, issuing through the shade;
Stripp'd of her clothes, and ev'n those parts reveal'd,
Which modest nature keeps from sight conceal'd.
Her face, her hands, her naked limbs were torn,
With passing through the brakes, and prickly thorn;
Two mastiffs gaunt and grim her flight pursu'd,
And oft their fasten'd fangs in blood imbru'd:
Oft they came up, and pinch'd her tender side,
Mercy, O mercy, Heaven! she ran, and cry'd;
When Heaven was nam'd, they loos'd their hold

Then sprang she forth, they follow'd her amain.
Not far behind, a knight of swarthy face
High on a coal-black steed pursu'd the chase;
With flashing flames his ardent eyes were fill'd,
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 rous'd his manly mind;
Mov'd with unworthy usage of the maid,
He, though unarm'd, resolv'd 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 afar,
Thus in imperious tone forbad the war:
Cease, Theodore, to proffer vain relief,
Nor stop the vengeance of so just a grief;
But give me leave to seize my destin'd prey,
And let eternal justice take the way:
I but revenge my fate, disdain'd, betray'd,
And suffering death for this ungrateful maid.

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 purple dy'd,
Stood Theodore surpris'd in deadly fright,
With chattering teeth, and bristling hair upright;
Yet arm'd with inborn worth, whate'er, said he,
Thou art, who know'st me better than I thee;
Or prove thy rightful cause, or be defy'd.
The spectre, fiercely staring, thus reply'd:
Know, Theodore, thy ancestry I claim,
And Guido Cavalcanti was my name.
One common sire our fathers did beget,
My name and story some remember yet:
Thee, then a boy, within my arms I laid,
When for my sins I lov'd this haughty maid;
Not less ador'd in life, nor serv'd by me,
Than proud Honoria now is lov'd by thee.
What did I not her stubborn heart to gain?
But all my vows were answer'd with disdain :
She scorn'd my sorrows, and despis'd my pain.
Long time I dragg'd my days in fruitless care;
Then, loathing life, and plung'd in deep despair,

|To finish my unhappy life, I fell

On this sharp sword, and now am damn'd in hell.
Short was her joy; for soon th' insulting maid
By Heaven's decree in this cold grave was laid.
And as in unrepented sin she dy'd,

Doom'd to the same bad place is punish'd for her pride:
Because she deem'd I well deserv'd to die,
And made a merit of her cruelty.

There, then, we met; both try'd, and both were cast,
And this irrevocable sentence pass'd;
That she, whom I so long pursu'd in vain,
Should suffer from my hands a lingering pain:
Renew'd to life that she might daily die;
I daily doom'd to follow, she to fly;
No more a lover, but a mortal foe,
I seek her life (for love is none below):
As often as my dogs with better speed
Arrest her flight, is she to death decreed:
Then with this fatal sword, on which I dy'd,
I pierce her open back or tender side,

And tear that harden'd heart from out her breast, Which, with her entrails, makes my hungry hounds a feast.

Nor lies she long, but, as her fates ordain,
Springs up to life, and fresh to second pain,
Is sav'd to-day, to-morrow to be slain.

This, vers'd in death, th' infernal knight relates,
And then for proof fulfill'd the common fates;
Her heart and bowels through her back he drew,
And fed the hounds that help'd him to pursue;
Stern look'd the fiend, as frustrate of his will,
Not half suffic'd, and greedy yet to kill.
And now the soul, expiring through the wound,
Had left the body breathless on the ground,
When thus the grisly spectre spoke again :
Behold the fruit of ill-rewarded pain:
As many months as I sustain'd her hate,
So many years is she condemn'd by fate
To daily death; and every several place,
Conscious of her disdain and my disgrace,
Must witness her just punishment; and be
A scene of triumph and revenge to me!
As in this grove I took my last farewell,
As on this very spot of earth I fell,
As Friday saw me die, so she my prey
Becomes ev'n here, on this revolving day.
Thus while he spoke, the virgin from the ground
Upstarted fresh, already clos'd the wound,
And, unconcern'd for all she felt before,
Precipitates her flight along the shore:

The hell-hounds, as ungorg'd with flesh and blood,
Pursue their prey, and seek their wonted food:
The fiend remounts his courser, mends his pace;
And all the vision vanish'd from the place.

Long stood the noble youth oppress'd with awe,
And stupid at the wondrous things he saw,
Surpassing common faith, transgressing nature's law.
He would have been asleep, and wish'd to wake,
But dreams, he knew, no long impression make,
Though strong at first; if vision, to what end,
But such as must his future state portend,
His love the damsel, and himself the fiend!
But yet, reflecting that it could not be
From Heaven, which cannot impious acts decree,
Resolv'd within himself to shun the snare,
Which hell for his destruction did prepare;

With thundering tone, and dreadful to behold. Sunk were their hearts with horror of the crime,

And, as his better genius should direct, From an ill cause to draw a good effect.

Inspir'd from Heaven, he homeward took his way, Nor needed to be warn'd a second time,

Nor pall'd his new design with long delay:
But of his train a trusty servant sent
To call his friends together at his tent.
They came, and, usual salutations paid,
With words premeditated thus he said:
What you have often counsell'd, to remove
My vain pursuit of unregarded love;
By thrift my sinking fortune to repair;
Though late, yet is at last become my care:
My heart shall be my own; my vast expense
Reduc'd to bounds by timely providence ;
This only I require; invite for me
Honoria, with her father's family,

Her friends, and mine, the cause I shall display,
On Friday next; for that's th' appointed day.
Well pleas'd were all his friends, the task was light,
The father, mother, daughter, they invite;
Hardly the dame was drawn to this repast;
But yet resolv'd, because it was the last.
The day was come, the guests invited came,
And, with the rest, th' inexorable dame:
A feast prepar'd with riotous expense,
Much cost, more care, and most magnificence.
The place ordain'd was in that haunted grove,
Where the revenging ghost pursu'd his love:
The tables in a proud pavilion spread,
With flowers below, and tissue overhead:
The rest in rank, Honoria, chief in place,
Was artfully contriv'd to set her face

To front the thicket, and behold the chase.
The feast was serv'd, the time so well forecast,
That just when the dessert and fruits were plac'd,
The fiend's alarm began; the hollow sound
Sung in the leaves, the forest shook around,
Air blacken'd, roll'd the thunder, groan'd the ground.
Nor long before the loud laments arise
Of one distress'd, and mastiffs' mingled cries;
And first the dame came rushing through the wood,
And next the famish'd hounds that sought their


And gripp'd her flanks, and oft essay'd their jaws in
Last came the felon, on his sable steed, [blood.
Arm'd with his naked sword, and urg'd his dogs to
She ran, and cry'd, her flight directly bent
(A guest unbidden) to the fatal tent,
The scene of death, and place ordain'd for punishment.
Loud was the noise, aghast was every guest,
The women shriek'd, the men forsook the feast:
The hounds at nearer distance hoarsely bay'd;
The hunter close pursu'd the visionary maid;
She rent the heavens with loud laments, imploring
The gallants, to protect the lady's right,
Their faulchions brandish'd at the grisly sprite;
High on his stirrups he provok'd the fight.
Then on the crowd he cast a furious look,
And wither'd all their strength before he spoke :
Back on your lives; let be, said he, my prey,
And let my vengeance take the destin'd way:
Vain are your arms, and vainer your defence,
Against th' eternal doom of Providence:
Mine is the ungrateful maid by Heaven design'd:
Mercy she would not give, nor mercy shall she find.
At this the former tale again he told


But bore each other back: some knew the face,
And all had heard the much lamented case
Of him who fell for love, and this the fatal place.
And now th' infernal minister advanc'd,
Seiz'd the due victim, and with fury launch'd
Her back, and, piercing through her inmost heart,
Drew backward as before the offending part.
The reeking entrails next he tore away,
And to his meagre mastiffs made a prey.
The pale assistants on each other star'd,
With gaping mouths for issuing words prepar'd;
The still-born sounds upon the palate hung,
And dy'd imperfect on the faltering tongue.
The fright was general; but the female band
(A helpless train) in more confusion stand:
With horror shuddering, on a heap they run,
Sick at the sight of hateful justice done;
For conscience rung th' alarm, and made the case
their own.

So, spread upon a lake, with upward eye

A plump of fowl behold their foe on high;
They close their trembling troop; and all attend
On whom the sowsing eagle will descend.

But most the proud Honoria fear'd the event,
And thought to her alone the vision sent.
Her guilt presents to her distracted mind
Heaven's justice, Theodore's revengeful kind,
And the same fate to the same sin assign'd;
Already sees herself the monster's prey,
And feels her heart and entrails torn away.
'Twas a mute scene of sorrow, mix'd with fear;
Still on the table lay th' unfinished cheer:
The knight and hungry mastiffs stood around,
The mangled dame lay breathless on the ground;
When on a sudden, re-inspir'd with breath,
Again she rose, again to suffer death;
Nor stay'd the hell-hounds, nor the hunter stay'd,
But follow'd, as before, the flying maid:
Th' avenger took from earth the avenging sword,
And mounting light as air his sable-steed he spurr'd.
The clouds dispell'd, the sky resum'd her light,
And nature stood recover'd of her fright;
But fear, the last of ills, remain'd behind,
And horror heavy sat on every mind.
Nor Theodore encourag'd more the feast,
But sternly look'd, as hatching in his breast
Some deep designs; which when Honoria view'd,
The fresh impulse her former fright renew'd;
She thought herself the trembling dame who fled,
And him the grisly ghost that spurr'd th' infernal

The more dismay'd, for when the guests withdrew, Their courteous host, saluting all the crew, Regardless pass'd her o'er; nor grac'd with kind


That sting infix'd within her haughty mind,
The downfall of her empire she divin'd;
And her proud heart with secret sorrow pin'd.
Home as they went, the sad discourse renew'd
Of the relentless dame to death pursu'd,
And of the fight obscene so lately view'd.
None durst arraign the righteous doom she bore;
Ev'n they who pity'd most, yet blam'd her more:

The parallel they needed not to name,
But in the dead they damn'd the living dame.
At every little noise she look'd behind,
For still the knight was present to her mind;
And anxious oft she started on the way, [his prey.
And thought the horseman ghost came thundering for
Return'd, she took her bed with little rest,
But in short slumbers dreamt the funeral feast:
Awak'd, she turn'd her side, and slept again;
The same black vapours mounted in her brain,
And the same dreams return'd with double pain.
Now forc'd to wake, because afraid to sleep,
Her blood all fever'd, with a furious leap
She sprang from bed, distracted in her mind,
And fear'd, at every step, a twitching sprite behind.
Darkling and desperate, with a staggering pace,
Of death afraid, and conscious of disgrace;
Fear, pride, remorse, at once her heart assail'd,
Pride put remorse to flight, but fear prevail'd.
Friday, the fatal day, when next it came,
Her soul forethought the fiend would change his game,
And her pursue; or Theodore be slain, [plain.
And two ghosts join their packs to hunt her o'er the
This dreadful image so possess'd her mind,
That desperate any succour else to find,
She ceas'd all farther hope; and now began
To make reflection on th' unhappy man;
Rich, brave, and young, who past expression lov'd,
Proof to disdain, and not to be remov'd:
Of all the men respected and admir'd:
Of all the dames, except herself, desir'd:
Why not of her, preferr'd above the rest

By him with knightly deeds, and open love profess'd?
So had another been, where he his vows address'd.
This quell'd her pride, yet other doubts remain'd,
That, once disdaining, she might be disdain'd:
The fear was just, but greater fear prevail'd,
Fear of her life by hellish hounds assail'd:
He took a lowering leave: but who can tell
What outward hate might inward love conceal?
Her sex's arts she knew; and why not, then,
Might deep dissembling have a place in men?
Here hope began to dawn; resolv'd to try,
She fix'd on this her utmost remedy:
Death was behind, but hard it was to die.
"Twas time enough at last on death to call,
The precipice in sight: a shrub was all,
That kindly stood betwixt to break the fatal fall.
One maid she had, belov'd above the rest;
Secure of her, the secret she confess'd;
And now the cheerful light her fears dispell'd,
She with no winding turns the truth conceal'd,
But put the woman off, and stood reveal'd:
With faults confess'd commission'd her to go,
If pity yet had place, and reconcile her foe;
The welcome message made, was soon receiv'd;
'Twas to be wish'd, and hop'd, but scarce believ'd;
Fate seem'd a fair occasion to present;
He knew the sex, and fear'd she might repent,
Should he delay the moment of consent.
There yet remain'd to gain her friends (a care
The modesty of maidens well might spare);
But she with such a zeal the cause embrac'd
(As women, where they will, are all in haste);
The father, mother, and the kin beside,
Were overborne by fury of the tide ;

With full consent of all she chang'd her state;
Resistless in her love, as in her hate.
By her example warn'd, the rest beware;
More easy, less imperious, were the fair:
And that one hunting, which the devil design'd
For one fair female, lost him half the kind.




OLD as I am, for ladies' love unfit,
The power of beauty I remember yet,
Which once inflamed my soul, and still inspires my
If love be folly, the severe divine

Has felt that folly, though he censures mine;
Pollutes the pleasures of a chaste embrace,
Acts what I write, and propagates in grace,
With riotous excess, a priestly race.
Suppose him free, and that I forge th' offence,
He show'd the way, perverting first my sense:
In malice witty, and with venom fraught,
He makes me speak the things I never thought.
Compute the gains of his ungovern'd zeal ;
Ill suits his cloth the praise of railing well.
The world will think that what we loosely write,
Though now arraign'd, he read with some delight;
Because he seems to chew the cud again,
When his broad comment makes the text too plain;
And teaches more in one explaining page,
Than all the double-meanings of the stage.
What needs he paraphrase on what we mean?
We were at worst but wanton; he's obscene.
I not my fellows nor myself excuse;
But love's the subject of the comic Muse;
Nor can we write without it, nor would you
A tale of only dry instruction view;
Nor love is always of a vicious kind,
But oft to virtuous acts inflames the mind,
Awakes the sleepy vigour of the soul,
And brushing o'er adds motion to the pool.
Love, studious how to please, improves our parts
With polish'd manners, and adorns with arts:
Love first invented verse, and form'd the rhyme,
The motion measur'd, harmonized the chime;
To liberal acts enlarg'd the narrow soul'd,
Soften'd the fierce, and made the coward bold:
The world, when waste, he peopled with increase,
And warring nations reconcil'd in peace.
Ormond, the first, and all the fair may find,
In this one legend, to their fame design'd,
When beauty fires the blood, how love exalts the mind.

In that sweet isle where Venus keeps her court, And every grace, and all the loves, resort; Where either sex is form'd of softer earth, And takes the bent of pleasure from her birth; There liv'd a Cyprian lord, above the rest Wise, wealthy, with a numerous issue bless'd; But as no gift of fortune is sincere, Was only wanting in a worthy heir. His eldest born, a goodly youth to view, Excell'd the rest in shape, and outward show; Fair, tall, his limbs with due proportion join'd; But of a heavy, dull, degenerate mind. His soul bely'd the features of his face;

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