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What worse to wretched virtue could befal, It happen'd once, that, slumb'ring as he lay,
Let Palamon oppress'd in bondage mourn, A sudden thought then started in his mind,
Since I in Arcite canpot 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 neyer penetrate through this disguise. The lengthen'd night gave length of misery Thanks to the change which 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 hopes his love to see, A lab’ring hind in show; and forthi he went, 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; Macle conscious of his master's enterprise. One free, and all bis 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.
Proff'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 bapish'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 chamberlain; The loss of her he lov'd renew'd 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 eye ; His life, his soul, his charming Einily? And as ļais 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 ; On Einily, and call’d Philostratus. Bereft of sleep, he loaths his ineat and drink. But never was there man of his degree He withers at his heart, and looks as wan So much esteenid, so well belor'd as he. As the pale spectre of a murler'd man: So gentle of condition was he known, That pale turns yellow, and bis face receives That thro' the court his courtesy was blown: The faded hue of sapless boxen leaves : 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'd 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, And by great 'Theseus to high favor rais'd: He bears as from afar, or in a swoon,
Among his menial servants first enrollid, Like the deaf murmurs of a distant sound : And largely entertain'd with sums of gold : Uncombid his locks, and squalid hi attire, 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 museful mopings, which presage Thiswell employ'd, he purchas'd friends and fame, The loss of reason, and conclude in rage. But cautiously concealid 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 whelly chang'd froin what he was before, In arms of honor, and esteem in peace ;
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.
His vows address'd, within the grove he
In brakes and brambles hid, and shunning
And less he knew him for his hated foe,
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, Anel may within the Twins receiv'd the sun, That fields are full of eves, and woorls have ears; Were it by chance, or forceful destiny, For this the wise are ever on their 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 scarchd the Of wine and honey mix'd with added store And loudly sung his soundelay 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 innse, 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 feard the day). 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 night Curs'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 couniry come, his next design Lest it pollute the month, and poison all the Was all the Theban race in arnis to join, Suill will the jealous oeen 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 cnine Thus while his thoughts the ling'ring day beguile; From ('admus are involv'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 puuishes another's crime 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 inorning grey; This is not all; for Juno, to my shame, Aud soon the sun arose with beains so bright, Ilas forc'd me to forsake my former name; Thatallthe horizon laugh'd to scethejoyous 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 resolvid to pay Of all the royal race remains but one Observance to the month of merry May: Besides myself, th' unhappy Palamon, 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 crine except his kin to me. At ease he seeni'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 hefore ; and, lighted there, Fierce Love has pierc'd me with his fiery dart; A woudbine 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 : (wear; Who burn'd the temple where she was ador'd: For thre the Graces lead the dancing hours, And let it burn, I never will con plain ; 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 qualm his heart assaild, Thesultry tropic fears, and moves more slowly on: His ears ring inward, and his senses fail'd. So may thy tender blossoins 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 his look ;
He trembler every limb, and felt a smart, And thinks, here comes my mortal enemy,
Then both, no moment lust, at once a lvance
Fell Arcite like an angry tiger far’d, Arcile, who heard his tale, and knew the man, 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 wiih hunger, niad with Their alverse breasts with tusks oblique they love,
wound, That word had 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 umpire sends their diff'rence to decide. Fool, not io 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; Call’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 kinys, 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 apWill come, and keep the cause and quarrel both pears, 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 the 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 ihis 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 rawn; For each had laid his plighted faith to pawn.
Beside him rode Hippolita the queen, Ol Love! thou sternly does thy pow'r maintain,
And Emily attir'di in lively green, 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 rora! hart within the coverth: Puis 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 that Thesens took was to the wood His foe with bedding and with food supplied; Where the two knights in cruel battic stood: Then, ere the day, iwo suits of arınor sought, The lawn on which they fought, th' appointed Which borne before himn on hisștced he brought: Both were of shining steel, and wrought so pure, In which the uncoupl dhounds began thechace. As might the strokes of iwo such arms endure. Thither forth-right he role to rouse the prey, Now at the time, and in th' appointed place, That shailed by the tern in liarbour lay; The challenger and challengd, face to face, And, thence disloilg'il, was wont to leave the Approach ; each other from afar they knew, And from afar their hatred chang'd their hue. For open fields, and cross the crystal food, Su stands the Thracian herdsman with his spcar Approach'd, and looking underneath the sun, Full in the gup, and hopes the hunted bear; He saw proud Arcite, aui fierce Palamon And hears him rustling in the wood, and sees In mortal batile doubling blow on blow, His course at distance by the bending trees;
Like lightning fian'ducirfalchions to and fro,
And shot a dreadful gleam ;so strong they struck, | By Mars, the patron of my arms, yon die.
Thus hasty spoke: We both deserve the death, But love for love alone; that crowns the lover's
This thought, which erer bribes the beauteous Our life's a load ; encumber'd with the charge, Such pity wrought in ev'ry lacly's mind, (kinil
, We long 10 set thi' imprisoned soul at large. They leti their sieeds, and, prostrate on the place, Now as thou art a sov'reign judge, decrec 2
From the fierceking implor'd the offenders'grace. The rightful door of death to him and me ; He paus'd awhile, stood silent in his mood
(For yet his rage was boiling in his blood); Ale first, oh kill nie first, and cure my wne ; But soon his tender mind th' impression felt, Then sheath the sword of justice on my foe: (As softest metals are not slow to melt, Or kill him first ; for when his name is heard, And pity soonest runs in Sofiest minds): He foremost will receive his 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 magnified th' offence. But first contracted, that if ever fonnd Offence? of what? to włrom? 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 sought his righi: the man he freed For this is he who, with a borrow'd name las 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 calld Philostratus ; Tetain’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 Emily. Which mov'd 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 th' unhappy Palamon.
Curse on th' unpardoning prince, whoin lears Think me not like that man ; since no disgrace can draw, Can force me to renounce the honor of my To no remorse, who rules by lions' law;
And deaf to prayers, by no submission bow'd, Know me froin 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 given ; Reason resun'd her place, and passion fled: And life itself th' inferior gift 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, unresisted, with an awful nod; Then give ine death, since I thy life pursue ; By daily miracles declar'd a God : For safe guard 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 stamps anew the lover's mind. 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 deserv'd; 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 reá 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 eyes their inspiration took: For 'ris their maxim love is love's reward. FronthencetoThebes'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, their love ; It might be deemd, 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,
Of royal Theseus, and his large expence. And all are fools and lovers first or last • He first inclosit 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 Oft 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 farthe God can human hearts Rais'd in degrees, to sixty paces rear'd: constrain.
That when a man was placed 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 tvhite;
The master-painters and the carvers came.
A temple, sacred to the queen of love ;
The dome of Mars was on the gate oppos'd, As therefore both are equal in degrec, 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 may 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 expressid 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 each of you his hundred knights shall bring, The broken slumbers of enainour'd men, In royal lists, to fight before the king; Pray'rs that c'en spoke, and pily seem'd to call, And then the knight whom fate or happy chance and issuing sighs that smok'd along the wall. 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 youth, and wealth, and luxury, The charge be mine t'adorn the chosen grounai
, 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, 7 And sigils fram'd in pianetary houts :
Esperice, and after-thought, and idle care, And heaven of mesojudge aslshalljudgearight! And doubts of motley bue, 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 ravish'd Arcite scems to touch the sky; Down-look’d, and with ́à cuckow on her fist.