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At once the crowd arose; confus'd and high He wills, not death should terminate their strife;
With shortved sword to stab in closer war; The neighing of the generous horse was heard, But in fair combat fight with manly strength, For battle by the busy groom prepar'd,
Nor push with biting point, but strike at length. Rustling of harness, rattling of the shield,
The tourney is allow'd but one career, Clattering of armour, furbish'd for the field. Of the tough ash, with the sharp-griuded spear, Crowds to the castle mounted up the street, But knights unhors'd may rise from off the plain, Battering the pavement with their coursers' feet: And fight on foot their honour to regain; The greedy sight might there devour the gold Nor, if at mischief taken, on the ground Of glittering arms, too dazzling to behold: Be slain, but prisoners to the pillar bound, And polish'd steel that cast the view aside, At either barrier plac'd; nor (captives made) And crested morions, with their plumy pride. Be freed, or arm'd anew the fight invade. Knights, with a long retinue of their squires, The chief of either side, bereft of life, In gaudy liveries march, and quaint attires. Or yielded to his foe, concludes the strife. (young One lac'd the helm, another held the lance,
Thus Dooms the lord: now valiant knights and A third the shining buckler did advance.
Fight each his fill with swords and maces long." The courser paw'd the ground with restless feet, The Herald ends: the vaulted firmament And snorting foam'd, and champ'd the golden bit. With loud acclaims and vast applause is rent: The smiths and armourers on palfreys ride, “ Heaven guard a prince so gracious and so good, Files in their hands, and hammers at their side, So just, and yet so provident of blood }”. And nails for loosen'd spears, and thongs for This was the general cry. The trumpets sound, shields provide.
And warlike symphony is heard around. (way, The yeomen guard the streets, in seemly bands; The inarching troops through Athens take their And clowns come crowding on, with cudgels in The great earl-marshal orders their array. their hands.
The fair from high the passing pomp behold; The trumpets, next the gate, in order plac'd, A rain of flowers is from the windows rollid. Attend the sigu to sound the martial blast; The casements are with golden tissue spread, The palace-yard is fillid with floating tides, And horses hoofs, for earth, on silken tapestry And the last comers bear the former to the sides.
tread; The throng is in the midst: the common crew The king goes midmost, and the rivals ride Shut out, the hall admits the better few;
In equal rank, and close his either side.
With Emily, the cause and the reward of strife.
And, wheeling east and west, before their many But most their looks on the black monarch bend, ride. His rising muscles and his brawn commend; Th’ Athenian monarch mounts his throne on bigb, His double-biting axe and beaming spear,
And after him the queen and Emily : Each asking a gigantic force to rear.
Next these the kindred of the crown are grac'd All spoke as partial favour mov'd the mind : With nearer seats, and lords by ladies plac'd: And, safe themselves, at others' cost divin'd. Scarce were they seated, when, with clamours loud,
Wak'd by the cries, th’ Athenian chief arose, In rush'd at once a rude promiscuous crowd ; The knightly forms of combat to dispose; (sate | The guards and then each other overbear, And passing through th' obsequious guards, he And in a moment throng the spacious theatre: Conspicuous ou a throne, sublime in state; Now chang'd the jarring noise to whispers low, There, fur the two contending knights he sent: As winds forsaking seas more softly blow; Aim'd cap-a-pee, with reverence low they bent ; When at the western gate, on which the car He smild on both, and with superior look
Is plac'd aloft, that bears the god of war, Alike their offer'd adoration took.
Proud Arcite entering arm'd before his train, The people press on every side, to see
Stops at the barrier, and divides the plain. Their awful prince, and hear his high decree. Red was his banner, and display'd abroad Then signing to their heralds with his hand, The bloody colours of his patron god. They gave his orders from their lofty stand.
At that self moment enters Palamon Silence is thrice enjoin'd; then thus aloud The gate of Venus, and the rising-sun; The king at arms bespeaks the knights and Wav'd by the wanton winds, bis banner flies, listening crowd.
All maiden white, and shares the people's eyes “ Our sovereign lord has ponder'd in his mind From east to west, look all the world around, The means to spare the blood of gentle kind; Two troops so match'd were never to be found : And of his grace, and inborn clemency,
Such bodies built for strength, of equal age, He modifies his first severe decree,
In stature siz'd; so proud an equipage: The keener edge of battle to rebate,
The nicest eye could no distinction make, The troops for honour fighting, not for hate. Where lay th’advantage, or what side to take.
Thus rangd, the herald for the last proclaims At length, as Fate foredoom'd, and all things A silence, while they answer'd to their names : By course of time to their appointed end; (tend For so the king decreed, to shun the care,
So when the Sun to west was far decliud, The fraud of musters false, the common bane And both afresh in niortal battle join'd, of war.
The strong Einetrius came in Arcite's aid, The tale was just, and then the gates were clos'd; And Palamon with odds was overlaid : And chief to chief, and troop to troop oppos'd. Por, turning short, he struck with all his might The heralds last retird, and loudly cry'd,
Pull on the helmet of th'unwary knight. The fortune of the field be fairly try'd.
Deep was the wound; he staggerd with the blow, At this, the challenger with fierce defy
And turn'd him to his unexpected foe; His trumpet sounds; the challeng'd makes re Whom with such force he struck, be felld him ply:
down, With clangor rings the field, resounds the And cleft the circle of his golden crown. Their vizors closed, their lances in the rest, But Arcite's men, who now prevail'd in fight, Or at the helmet pointed, or the crest;
Twice ten at once surround the single knight : They vanish from the barrier, speed the race, O'erpowerd, at length, they force him to the And spurring see decrease the middle space.
ground, A cloud of smoke envelops either host,
Unyielded as he was, and to the pillar bound; Aud all at once the combatants are lost:
And king Lycurgus, while he fought in vain Darkling they join adverse, and shock unseen, His friend to free, was tumbled on the plain. Coursers with coursers justling, men with men: Who now laments but Palamon, compellid As labouring in eclipse, a while they stay,
No more to try the fortune of the field ! Till the next blast of wind restores the day. And, worse than death, to view with hateful eyes They look anew: the beauteous form of fight His rival's conquest, and renounce the prize! Is chang'd, and war appears a grizly sight.
The royal judge, on his tribunal plac'd, Two troops in fair array one moment show'd,
Who had beheld the fight from tirst to last, The next, a field with fallen bodies strow'd : Bad cease the war; pronouncing from on high, Not half the number in their seats are found; Arcite of Thebes had won the beauteous Emily. But men and steeds lie groveling on the ground. The sound of trumpets to the voice reply'd, The points of spears are stuck within the shield, And round the royal lists the heralds cry'd, The steeds without their riders scour the field. “ Arcite of Thebes has won the beauteous bride." The knights unhors'd, on foot renew the fight; The people rend the skies with vast applause; The glittering faulchions cast a gleaming light: All own the chief, when Fortune owns the cause. Hauberks and helms are hew'd with many a
Arcite is own'd ev'n by the gods above, wound.
[ground. And conquering Mars insults the queen of love. Out spins the streaming blood, and dies the So laugh'd he, when the rightful Titan fail'd, The mighty maces with such naste descend, And Jove's usurping arms in Heaven prevailid: They break the bunes, and make the solid ar Laugh'd all the powers who favour tyranny ; mour bend.
And all the standing army of the sky. This thrusts amid the throng with furious force; But Venus with dejected eyes appears, Down goes, at once, the horseman and the horse: And, weepino, on the lists distill'd ber tears ; That courser stumbles on the failen steed,
Her will refus'd, which grieves a woman most, And, floundering, throws the rider o'er his bead. And, in her champion foild, the cause of Love One rolls along, a foot-ball to his foes;
is lost. One with a broken truncheon deals his blows. Till Saturn said, “ Fair daughter, now be still, This halting, this disabled with his wound, The blustering fool has satisfy'd his will; In triumph led, is to the pillar bound,
His boon is given; his knight has gain'd the day, Where by the king's award he must abide : But lost the prize, th' arrears are yet to pav. There goes a captive led on t' other side.
Thy hour is come, and inine the care shall be By fits they cease; and, leaning on the lance, Po please thy knight, and set thy promise free.” Take breath a while, and to new fight advance. Now while the heralds run the lists around,
Full oft the rivals met, and neither spar'd And Arcite, Arcite, Heaven and Earth resound; His utmost force, and each forgot to ward.
A miracle (nor less it could be call’d) The head of this was to the saddle bent,
Their joy with unexpected sorrow pallid.
The victor knight had laid his helm aside,
Where Theseus sate on his imperial throne;
Purious he drove, and upward cast his eye, Like adamant and steel they meet again.
Where next the queen was plac'd his Emily; So when a tiger sucks the bullock's blood, Then passing to the saddle-bow he bent: A famish'd lion, issuing from the wood,
A sweet regard the gracious virgin lent Roars lordly fierce, and challenges the food. (For women, to the brave an easy prey, Each claims possession, neither will obey, Still follow Fortune where she leads the way): But both their paws are fastend on the prey ; Just then, from earth sprung out a flashing fire, They bite, they tear; and while in vain they strive, By Plutu sent, at Saturn's bad desire : The swains come arm'd between, and buth to dis- The startling steed was seiz'd with sudden fright, tance drive
And, bounding, o'er the pummel cast the knight:
Forward he flew, and, pitching on his head, The midmost region batter'd and destroy'd,
Must leave his youth, and yield his beauteous And from his cumbrous arms his limbs unbound; Gain'd hardly, against right, and unenjoy'd. Then lanc'd a vein, and watch'd returning | When 'twas declar'd all hope of life was past, breath;
Conscience (that of all physic works the last) It came, but clogg'd with symptoms of his death. Caus'd him to send for Emily in haste. The saddle-bow the noble parts had prest, With her, at his desire, came Palamon; All bruis'd and mortify'd his manly breast. Then on his pillow rais’d, he thus begun. Him still entranc'd, and in a litter laid,
“No language can express the smallest part 'They bore from field, and to his bed convey'd. Of what I feel, and suffer in my heart, At length he wak'd, and, with a feeble cry, For you, whom best I love and value most; The word he first pronounc'd was Emily.
But to your service I bequeath my ghost; Mean time the king, though inwardly he which, from this mortal body when unty'd, mourn'd,
Unseen, unheard, shall hover at your side ; In pomp triumphant to the town return'd. Nor fright you waking, nor your sleep offend, Attended by the chiefs who fought the field But wait officious, and your steps attend : (Now friendly mix'd, and in one troop compelld). How I have lov'd, excuse my faultering tongue, Compos'd his looks to counterfeited cheer, My spirits feeble, and my pains are strong: And bade them not for Arcite's life to fear. This I may say, I only grieve to die But that which gladded all the warrior-train, Because I lose my charming Emily: Though most were sorely wounded, none were To die, when Heaven had put you in my power, slain.
Fate could not choose a more malicious hour! The surgeons soon despoil'd them of their arms, What greater curse could envious Fortune give, And some with salves they cure, and some Than just to die, when I began to live ! with charms;
Vain men, how vanishing a bliss we crave, Foment the bruises, and the pains assuage, Now warm in love, now withering in the grave! And heal their inward hurts with sovereign Never, O never more to see the Sun! draughts of sage:
Still dark, in a damp vault, and still alone! The king in person visits all around,
This fate is common; but I lose my breath Comforts the sick, congratulates the sound; Near bliss, and yet not bless'd before my death. Honours the princely chiefs, rewards the rest, Farewel; but take me dying in your arms, And holds for thrice three days a royal feast. 'Tis all I can enjoy of all your charms: None was disgrac'd; for falling is no shame; This hand I cannot but in death resign; And cowardice alone is loss of fame.
Ah! could I live! but while I live 'tis mine. The venturous knight is from the saddle thrown I feel my end approach, and, thus embrac'd, But'tis the fault of Fortune, not his own:
Am pleas'd to die; bat hear me speak my last. If crowds and palms the conquering side adorn, Ah ! my sweet foe, for you, and you alone, The victor under better stars was born:
I broke my faith with injur'd Palamon. The brave man seeks pot popular applause, But Love the sense of right and wrong confounds, Nor, overpower'd with arms, deserts his cause; Strong Love and proud Ambition have no bounds. Unsham'd, though foil'd, he does the best he can; And much I doubt, should Heaven my life prolung, Force is of brutes, but honour is of man.
I should return to justify my wrong: Thus Theseus smild on all with equal grace; For, while my former flames remain within, And each was set according to his place.
Repentance is but want of power to sin. With ease were reconcil'd the differing parts, With mortal hatred I pursu'd his life, For envy never dwells in noble hearts.
Nor he, nor you, were guilty of the strife: At length they took their leave, the time expir'd, Nor 1, but as I lov'd; yet all combin'd, Well pleas'd, and to their sereral homes retirdi Your beauty, and my impotence of mind,
Mean while the health of Arcite still impairs; And his concurrent flame, that blew my fire; From bad proceeds to worse, and mocks the For still our kindred souls had one desire. leeches' cares;
He had a moment's right in point of time; Swoln is his breast; his inward pains increase, Had I seen first, then his had been the crime. All means are us'd, and all without success. Fate made it mine, and justify'd his right; The clotted blood lies heavy on his heart, Nor holds this Earth a more deserving knizht, Corrupts, and there remains in spite of art : For virtue, valour, and for noble blood, Nor breathing veins, nor cupping, will prevail ; Truth, honour, all that is compriz'd in good; All outward remedies and inward fail :
So help me Heaven, in all the world is none The mold of Nature's fabric is destroy'd,
So worthy to be lor'd as Palamon. Her vessels discompos'd, her virtue void :
He loves you too, with such an holy fire, The bellows of his lungs begin to swell,
As will not, cannot, but with life expire: All out of frame is every secret cell,
Our vow'd affections both have often try'd, Nor can the good receive, nor bad expel.
Nor any love but yours could ours divide. Those breathing organs, thus within opprest, Then, by my love's inviolable band, With venom soon distend the sinews of his breast. By my long suffering, and my short command, Nought profits him to save abandon'd life, It e'et you plight your vows when I am gone, Nor vomit's upward aid, nor downward laxative. Have pity on the faithful Palamon.”
This was his last; for Death came on amain, There other flames might waste his earthly part, And exercis'd below his iron reign;
And burn his limbs, where love had burn'd his Then upward to the seat of life he goes:
heart. Sense fled before bim, what he touch'd he froze: This once resolv'd, the peasants were enjoin'd Yet could he not his closing eyes withdraw,
Sere-wood, and firs, and dodderd oaks to find. Though less and less of Emily he saw ;
With sounding axes to the grove they go, So, speechless, for a little space he lay ;
Fell, split, and lay the fuel on a row, Then grasp'd the hand he held, and sigh'd his Vulcanian food: a bier is next prepar'd,
On which the lifeless body should be rear'd, Bat whither went his soul, let such relate Cover'd with cloth of gold, on which was laid Who search the secrets of the future state : The corpse of Arcite, in like robes array'd. Divines can say but what themselves believe; White gloves were on his hands, and on his head Strong proofs they have, but not demonstrative: A wreath of laurel, mix'd with myrtle spread. For, were all plain, then all sides must agree, A sword keen-edg'd within his right he held, And faith itself be lost in certainty.
The warlike emblem of the conquer'd field : To live uprightly then is sure the best,
Bare was his manly visage on the bier: To save ourselves, and not to damn the rest. Menac'd his countenance; ev'n in death severe. The soul of Arcite went where heathens go, Then to the palace-ball they bore che knight, Who better live than we, though less they know. To lie in solemn state, a public sight. In Palamon a manly grief appears;
Groans, cries, and howlings, fill the crowd d Silent he wept, asham'd to show his tears :
And unaffected sorrow sat on every face. [place, Emilia sbriek'd but once, and then, oppress'd
Sad Palamon above the rest appears, With sorrow, sunk upon her lover's breast : In sable garments, dew'd with gushing tears : Till Theseus in his arms convey'd with care,
His auburn locks on either shoulder flow'd, Far from so sad a sight, the swooning fair. Which to the funeral of his friend he vow'd : 'Twere loss of time her sorrow to relate;
But Emily, as chief, was next his side, III bears the sex a youthful lover's fate,
A virgin-widow, and a mourning bride. When just approaching to the nuptial state: And, that the princely obsequies might be But, like a low-bung cloud, it rains so fast, Perform'd according to his high degree, That all at once it falls, and cannot last.
The steed, that bore him living to the fight, The face of things is chang'd, and Athens now, Was trapp'd with polish'd steel, all shining That laugh'd so late, becomes the scene of woe:
bright, Matrous and maids, both sexes, every state,
And cover'd with th' achievements of the knight. With tears lament the knight's untimely fate. The riders rode abreast, and one his shield, Nor greater grief in falling Troy was seen His lance of corncl-wood another held; For Hector's death ; but Hector was not then. The third his bow, and, glorious to behold, Old men with dust deform'd their hoary bair, The costly quiver, all of burnish'd gold. The women beat their breasts, their cheeks they The noblest of the Grecians next appear, tare.
[Crk And, weeping, on their shoulders bore the bier ; Why would'st thou go," with one consent they With sober pace they march'd, and often staid, “When thou had'st gold enough, and Emily?” And through the master-street the corpse con
Theseus himself, who should have cheer'd the vey'd.
nd ev'n the pavements were with mourning hid, Who various changes of the world had known, The right side of the pall old Egeus kept, And strange vicissitudes of human fate,
And on the left the royal Theseus wept; Still altering, never in a steady state;
Each bore a golden bowl, of work divine, Good after ill, and after pain delight;
With honey fill'd, and milk, and mix'd with Alternate like the scenes of day and night :
ruddy wine. Since every man who lives is born to die, Then Palamon, the kinsman of the slain, And none can boast sincere felicity,
And after him appeard the illustrious train. With equal mind what happens let us bear, To grace the pomp, came Emily the bright Nor joy nor grieve too much for things beyond with cover'd fire, the funeral pile to light.
With high devotion was the service made, Like pilgrims to th’appointed place we tend; And all the rites of pagan-honour paid : The world's an inn, and death the journey's end. So lofty was the pile, a Parthian bow, Ex'n kings but play; and when their part is with vigour drawn, must send the shaft below. done,
The bottom was full twenty fathom broad,
To feed the flames: the trees were unctuous fir, Which were in honour of the dead design'd. And mountain ash, the mother of the spear; And, after long debate, at last he found
The mourner yew and builder oak were there : (As Love itself had mark'd the spot of ground) The beech, the swimming alder, and the That grove for ever green, that conscious land,
plane, Where he with Palamon fought hand to hand : Hard hox, and linden of a softer grain, That where he fed his amorous desires
And laurels, which the gods for conquering With soft complaints, and felt bis hottest fires,
How they were rank'd, shall rest untold by me, Fire, food, and earth, and air, by this were bound,
The chain still holds; for, though the forms decay,
Eternal matter never wears away :
Nor can they last beyond the time assign'd
The straw, as first I said, was laid below: Shorten their hours they may; for will is free;
He perfect, stable; but imperfect we,
Corrupts; and forms, the mortal part, expire :
That individuals die, his will ordains,
[shields; Supreme in state, and in three more decays;
So rivers, rapid once, now naked lie,
At length, for hatching ripe, he breaks the shell,
He creeps, he walks, and, issuing into man,
Grudges their life, from whence his own began :
And others whelm'd beneath the stormy main.
Then 'tis our best, since thus ordain'd to die,
'Tis best to die, our honour at the height.
“The Cause and Spring of Motion, from above, Then should we wish our happy life to close,