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