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His age in Nature's youthful prime appeard, Alas! I have not words to tell my grief;
And just began to bloom his yellow beard. To vent my sorrow, would be some relief;
Whene'er he spoke, his voice was heard around, Light sufferings give us leisure to complain ;
Loud as a trumpet, with a silver sound :

We groan, but cannot speak, in greater pain.
A laurel wreath'd his temples, fresh and green; O goddess, tell thyself what I would say,
And myrile sprigs, the marks of love, were mix'd Thou know'st it, and I feel too much to pray.

So grant my suit, as I enforce my might,
Upon his fist he bore, for his delight,

In love to be thy champion, and thy knight;
An eagle well reclaim'd, and lily white,

A servant to thy sex, a slave to thee,
His hundred knights attend him to the war, A foe profest to barren chastity.
All arm'd for battle ; save their heads were bare. Nor ask I fame nor honor of the field,
Words and devices blaz'd on every shield, Nor choose I more to vanquish than to yield :
And pleasing was the terror of the field.

In my divine Emilia make me blest,
For kings, and dukes, and barons you might see, Let Fate, or partial Chance, dispose the rest;
Like sparkling stars, though different in degree, Find thou the manner, and the means prepare;
All for th' increase of arms, and love of chivalry. Possession, more than conquest, is my care.
Before the king tame leopards led the way, Mars is the warrior's god; in him it lies,
And troops of lions innocently play.

On whom he favors to confer the prize ;
So Bacchus through the conquer'd Indies rode, With smiling aspect you serenely move
And beasts in gambols frisk'd before the honest god. In your fifth orb, and rule the realm of love.
In this array the war of either side

The Fates but only spin the coarser clue,
Through Athens pass'd with military pride. The finest of the wool is left for you.
At prime, they enter'd on the Sunday morn; Spare me but one small portion of the twine,
Rich tapestry spread the streets, and flowers the And let the sisters cut below your line :

The rest among the rubbish may they sweep, The town was all a jubilee of feasts ;

Or add it to the yarn of some old miser's heap. So Theseus willid, in honor of his guests; But, if you this ambitious prayer deny, Himself with open arms the king embrac’d, (A wish, I grant, beyond mortality) Then all the rest in their degrees were grac'd. Then let me sink beneath proud Arcite's arms, No harbinger was needful for a night,

And, I once dead, let him possess her charms." For every house was proud to lodge a knight. Thus ended he; then, with observance due, I pass the royal treat, nor must relate

The sacred incense on her altar threw : The gifts bestow'd, nor how the champions sate; The curling smoke mounts heavy from the fires ; Who first, or last, or how the knights address'd At length it catches flame, and in a blaze expires ; Their vows, or who was fairest at the feast; At once the gracious goddess gave the sign, Whose voice, whose graceful dance, did most sur. Her statue shook, and trembled all the shrine : prise ;

Pleas'd Palamon the tardy omen took: Soft amorous sighs, and silent love of eyes. For, since the flames pursu'd the trailing smoke, The rivals call my Muse another way,

He knew his boon was granted ; but the day To sing their vigils for th' ensuing day.

To distance driven, and joy adjourn'd with long 'Twas ebbing darkness, past the noon of night,

delay. And Phospher, on the confines of the light,

Now Morn with rosy light had streak'd the sky, Prornis'd the Sun, ere day began to spring ; Up rose the Sun, and up rose Emily ; The tuneful lark already stretch'd her wing, (sing : Address'd her early steps to Cynthia's fane, And, flickering on her nest, made short essays to In state attended by her maiden train, When wakeful Palamon, preventing day,

Who bore the vests that holy rites require, Took, to the royal lists, his early way,

Incense, and odorous gums, and cover'd fire. To Venus at her fane, in her own house, to pray. The plenteous horns with pleasant mead they crown, There, falling on his knees before her shrine, Nor wanted aught besides in honor of the Moon. He thus implord with prayers her power divine. Now while the temple smok'd with hallow'd steam, “Creator Venus, genial power of love,

They wash the virgin in a living stream: The bliss of men below, and gods above ! The secret ceremonies I conceal, Beneath the sliding Sun thou runn'st thy race, Uncouth, perhaps unlawful, to reveal: Dost fairest shine, and best become thy place. But such they were as pagan use requir'd, For thee the winds their eastern blasts forbear, Perform'd by women when the men retir'd, Thy month reveals the spring, and opens all the year. Whose eyes profane their chaste mysterious rites Thee, Goddess, thee the storms of winter fly, Might turn to scandal, or obscene delights. Earth smiles with flowers renewing, laughs the sky, Well-meaners think no harm; but for the rest, And birds to lays of love their tuneful notes apply. Things sacred they pervert, and silence is the best. For thee the lion lothes the taste of blood, Her shining hair, uncomb’d, was loosely spread, And roaring hunts his female through the wood : A crown of mastless oak adorn'd her head : For thee the bulls rebeilow through the groves, When to the shrine approach'd, the spotless maid And tempt the stream, and snuff their absent loves. Had kindling fires on either altar laid, 'Tis thine, whale'er is pleasant, good, or fair: (The rites were such as were observ'd of old, All nature is thy province, life thy care ;

By Statius in his Theban story told,) Thou mad'st the world, and dost the world repair. Then kneeling with her hands across her breast, Thou gladder of the mount of Cytheron,

Thus lowly she preferr'd her chaste request. Increase of Jove, companion of the Sun;

“O goddess, haunter of the woodland green, If e'er Adonis touch'd thy tender heart,

To whom both Heaven and Earth and seas are seen; Have pity, goddess, for thou know'st the smart. Queen of the nether skies, where half the year

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Thy silver beams descend, and light the gloomy sphere;
Goddess of maids, and conscious of our hearts,
So keep me from the vengeance of thy darts,
Which Niobe's devoted issue felt, [were dealt,
When hissing through the skies the feather'd deaths
As I desire to live a virgin life,

Nor know the name of mother or of wife.

Thy votress from my tender years I am,
And love, like thee, the woods and sylvan game.
Like death, thou know'st, I lothe the nuptial state,
And man, the tyrant of our sex, I hate,

A lowly servant, but a lofty mate: Where love is duty on the female side,


On theirs mere sensual gust, and sought with surly
Now by thy triple shape, as thou art seen
In Heaven, Earth, Hell, and everywhere a queen,
Grant this my first desire: let discord cease,
And make betwixt the rivals lasting peace:
Quench their hot fire, or far from me remove
The flame, and turn it on some other love:
Or, if my frowning stars have so decreed,
That one must be rejected, one succeed,
Make him my lord, within whose faithful breast
Is fix'd my image, and who loves me best.
But oh! ev'n that avert! I choose it not,
But take it as the least unhappy lot.

A maid I am, and of thy virgin train;
Oh, let me still that spotless name retain!
Frequent the forests, thy chaste will obey,
And only make the beasts of chase my prey!"
The flames ascend on either altar clear,
While thus the blameless maid address'd her prayer.
When lo! the burning fire that shone so bright,
Flew all sudden, with extinguish'd light,
And left one altar dark, a little space,

Which turn'd self-kindled, and renew'd the blaze;
The other victor-flame a moment stood,
Then fell, and lifeless left th' extinguish'd wood;
For ever lost, th' irrevocable light

Forsook the blackening coals, and sunk to night:
At either end it whistled as it flew,
And as the brands were green, so dropp'd the dew,
Infected as it fell with sweat of sanguine hue.

The maid from that ill omen turn'd her eyes,
And with loud shrieks and clamors rent the skies,
Nor knew what signified the boding sign, [divine.
But found the powers displeas'd, and fear'd the wrath
Then shook the sacred shrine, and sudden light
Sprung through the vaulted roof, and made the
temple bright.

The power, behold! the power in glory shone, By her bent bow and her keen arrows known; The rest, a huntress issuing from the wood, Reclining on her cornel spear she stood. Then gracious thus began: "Dismiss thy fear, And Heaven's unchang'd deerees attentive hear: More powerful gods have torn thee from my side, Unwilling to resign, and doom'd a bride: The two contending knights are weigh'd above; One Mars protects, and one the queen of love: But which the man, is in the Thunderer's breast; This he pronounc'd, 'tis he who loves thee best. The fire, that once extinct reviv'd again, Foreshows the love allotted to remain: Farewell!" she said, and vanish'd from the place; The sheaf of arrows shook, and rattled in the case. Aghast at this, the royal virgin stood Disclaim'd, and now no more a sister of the wood: But to the parting goddess thus she pray'd; • Propitious still be present to my aid, Nor quite abandon your once favor'd maid."

Then sighing she return'd: but smil'd betwixt,
With hopes and fears, and joys with sorrows mixt.
The next returning planetary hour
Of Mars, who shar'd the heptarchy of power,
His steps bold Arcite to the temple bent,
T'adore with pagan rites the power omnipotent:
Then prostrate, low before his altar lay,
And rais'd his manly voice, and thus began to pray.
"Strong god of arms, whose iron sceptre sways
The freezing north, and Hyperborean seas,

And Scythian colds, and Thracia's winter coast,
Where stand thy steeds, and thou art honor'd most:
There most, but everywhere thy power is known,
The fortune of the fight is all thy own:
Terror is thine, and wild amazement, flung
From out thy chariot, withers ev'n the strong:
And disarray and shameful rout ensue,
And force is added to the fainting crew.
Acknowledg'd as thou art, accept my prayer,
If aught I have achiev'd deserve thy care:
If to my utmost power with sword and shield
I dar'd the death, unknowing how to yield,
And, falling in my rank, still kept the field:
Then let my arms prevail, by thee sustain'd,
That Emily by conquest may be gain'd.
Have pity on my pains; nor those unknown
To Mars, which, when a lover, were his own.
Venus, the public care of all above,
Thy stubborn heart has soften'd into love:
Now by her blandishments and powerful charms,
When yielded she lay curling in thy arms,
Ev'n by thy shame, if shame it may be call'd,
When Vulcan had thee in his net enthrall'd:
O envied ignominy, sweet disgrace,

When every god that saw thee wish'd thy place!
By those dear pleasures, aid my arms in fight,
And make me conquer in my patron's right:
For I am young, a novice in the trade,
The fool of love, unpractis'd to persuade :
And want the soothing arts that catch the fair,
But, caught myself, lie struggling in the snare:
And she I love, or laughs at all my pain,

Or knows her worth too well; and pays me with dis

For sure I am, unless I win in arms,
To stand excluded from Emilia's charms:
Nor can my strength avail, unless by thee
Endued by force I gain the victory;

Then for the fire which warm'd thy gen'rous heart,
Pity thy subject's pains, and equal smart.
So be the morrow's sweat and labor mine,
The palm and honor of the conquest thine:
Then shall the war, and stern debate, and strife
Immortal, be the business of my life;
And in thy fane, the dusty spoils among,
High on the burnish'd roof, my banner shall be

Rank'd with my champion's bucklers, and below,
With arms revers'd, th' achievements of my foe:
And while these limbs the vital spirit feeds,
While day to night, and night to day succeeds,
Thy smoking altar shall be fat with food
Of incense, and the grateful steam of blood;
Burnt-offerings morn and evening shall be thine:
And fires eternal in thy temple shine.
The bush of yellow beard, this length of hair,
Which from my birth inviolate I bear,
Guiltless of steel, and from the razor free,
Shall fall a plenteous crop, reserv'd for thee.
So may my arms with victory be blest,

I ask no more; let Fate dispose the rest."


The champion ceas'd ; there follow'd in the close In Athens, all was pleasure, mirth, and play, A hollow groan: a murmuring wind arose ; All proper to the spring, and sprightly May, The rings of iron, that on the doors were hung Which every soul inspir'd with such delight, Sent out a jarring sound, and harshly rung ; "Twas jesting all the day, and love at night. The bolted gates flew open at the blast,

Heaven smild, and gladded was the heart of man; The storm rush'd in, and Arcite stood aghast : And Venus had the world as when it first began. The flames were blown aside, yet shone they bright, At length in sleep their bodies they compose, Fann'd by the wind, and gave a ruffled light. And dreamt the future fight, and early rose. Then from the ground a scent began to rise,

Now scarce the dawning day began to spring, Sweet-smelling as accepted sacrifice :

As at a signal given, the streets with clamors ring : This omen pleas'd, and as the flames aspire

At once the crowd arose ; confus'd and high With odorous incense Arcite heaps the fire : Ev'n from the Heaven was heard a shouting cry, Nor wanted hymns to Mars, or heathen charms : For Mars was early up, and rous'd the sky, At length the nodding statue clash'd his arms, The gods came downward to behold the wars, And with a sullen sound and feeble cry,

Sharpening their sights, and leaning from their stars Half sunk, and half pronounc'd, the word of victory. The neighing of the generous horse was heard, For this, with soul devout, he thank'd the god, For battle by the busy groom prepard, And, of success secure, return'd to his abode. Rustling of harness, rattling of the shield,

These vows thus granted, raised a strife above, Clattering of armor, furbish'd for the field. Betwixt the god of war, and queen of love. Crowds to the castle mounted up the street, She granting first, had right of time to plead : Battering the pavement with their coursers' feet: But he had granted too, nor would recede. The greedy sight might there devour the gold Jove was for Venus; but he fear'd his wife, Of glittering arms, too dazzling to behold: And seem'd unwilling to decide the strife : And polish'd steel that cast the view aside, Till Saturn from his leaden throne arose,

And crested morions, with their plumy pride. And found a way the difference to compose: Knights, with a long retinue of their squires, Though sparing of his grace, to mischief bent, In gaudy liveries march, and quaint attires. He seldom does a good with good intent.

One lac'd the helm, another held the lance, Wayward, but wise; by long experience taught A third the shining buckler did advance. To please both parties, for ill ends, he sought; The courser paw'd the ground with restless feet, For this advantage age from youth has won, And snorting foam'd, and champ'd the golden bit. As not to be outridden, though outrun.

The smiths and armorers on palfreys ride, By fortune he was now to Venus trin'd,

Files in their hands, and hammers at their side, And with stern Mars in Capricorn was join'd: And nails for loosen'd spears, and thongs for shields Of him disposing in his own abode,

provide. He sooth'd the goddess while he gull’d the god : The yeomen guard the streets, in seemly bands,

Cease, daughter, to complain, and stint the strife ; And clowns come crowding on, with cudgels in Thy Palamon shall have his promis'd wife:

their hands. And Mars, the lord of conquest, in the fight

The trumpets, next the gate, in order plac'd, With palm and laurel shall adorn his knight. Attend the sign to sound the martial blast; Wide is my course, nor turn I to my place The palace-yard is filled with floating tides, Till length of time, and move with tardy pace. And the last comers bear the former to the sides. Man feels me, when I press th' ethereal plains, The throng is in the midst; the common crew My hand is heavy, and the wound remains. Shut out, the hall admits the better few; Mine is the shipwreck, in a watery sign;

In knots they stand, or in a rank they walk, And in an earthy, the dark dungeon mine. Serious in aspect, earnest in their talk; Cold shivering agues, melancholy care,

Factious, and favoring this or t' other side, And bitter blasting winds, and poison'd air,

As their strong fancy or weak reason guide: Are mine, and wilful death, resulting from despair. Their wagers back their wishes ; numbers hold The throttling quinsy 'tis my star appoints, With the fair freckled king, and beard of gold : And rheumatisms ascend to rack the joints : So vigorous are his eyes, such rays they cast, When churls rebel against their native prince, So prominent his eagle's beak is plac'd. I arm their hands, and furnish the pretence; But most their looks on the black monarch bend, And, housing in the lion's hateful sign,

His rising muscles and his brawn commend; Bought senates and deserting troops are mine. His double-biting ax and beaming spear, Mine is the privy poisoning ; I command

Each asking a gigantic force to rear. Unkindly seasons, and ungrateful land.

All spoke as partial favor mov'd the mind : By me kings' palaces are push'd to ground,

And, safe themselves, at others' cost divin'd. And miners crush'd beneath their mines are found. Wak'd by the cries, th’ Athenian chief arose, 'Twas I slew Samson, when the pillar'd hall The knightly forms of combat to dispose ; Fell down, and crush'd the many with the fall. And passing through th'obsequious guards, he sate My looking is the fire of pestilence,

Conspicuous on a throne, sublime in state; That sweeps at once the people and the prince. There, for the two contending knights he sent: Now weep no more, but trust thy grandsire's art. Arm'd cap-a-piè, with reverence low they bent ; Mars shall be pleas'd, and thou perform thy part. He smild on both, and with superior look 'Tis ill, though different your complexions are, Alike their offer'd adoration took. The family of Heaven for men should war." The people press on every side, to see Th’ expedient pleas'd, where neither lost his right; Their awful prince, and hear his high decree. Mars had the day, and Venus had the night. Then signing to their heralds with his hand, The management they left to Chronos' care; They gave his orders from their lofty stand. www turn we to th' effect, and sing the war. Silence is thrice enjoin'd; then thus aloud

The king at arms bespeaks the knights and listening From east to west, look all the world around,

"Our sovereign lord has ponder'd in his mind
The means to spare the blood of gentle kind;
And of his grace and inborn clemency,
He modifies his first severe decree,

Two troops so match'd were never to be found;
Such bodies built for strength, of equal age,
In stature siz'd; so proud an equipage:
The nicest eye could no distinction make,
Where lay th' advantage, or what side to take.

Thus rang'd, the herald for the last proclaims
A silence, while they answer'd to their names:
For so the king decreed, to shun the care,
The fraud of musters false, the common bane of war
The tale was just, and then the gates were clos'd;
And chief to chief, and troop to troop oppos'd.
The heralds last retired, and loudly cried,
The fortune of the field be fairly tried.


The keener edge of battle to rebate,
The troops for honor fighting, not for hate.
He wills, not death should terminate their strife;
And wounds, if wounds ensue, be short of life:
But issues, ere the fight, his dread command,
That slings afar, and poniards hand to hand,
Be banish'd from the field; that none shall dare
With shorten'd sword to stab in closer war;
But in fair combat fight with manly strength,
Nor push with biting point, but strike at length.
The tourney is allow'd but one career,
Of the tough ash, with the sharp grinded spear,
But knights unhors'd may rise from off the plain,
And fight on foot their honor to regain;
Nor, if at mischief taken, on the ground
Be slain, but prisoners to the pillar bound,
At either barrier plac'd; nor (captives made)
Be freed, or arm'd anew the fight invade.
The chief of either side, bereft of life,
Or yielded to his foe, concludes the strife.
Thus dooms the lord: now valiant knights and young
Fight each his fill with swords and maces long."
The herald ends: the vaulted firmament
With loud acclaims and vast applause is rent:
"Heaven guard a prince so gracious and so good,
So just, and yet so provident of blood!"

Their vizors closed, their lances in the rest,
Or at the helmet pointed, or the crest;
They vanish from the barrier, speed the race,
And spurring see decrease the middle space.
A cloud of smoke envelops either host,
And all at once the combatants are lost:
Darkling they join adverse, and shock unseen,
Coursers with coursers justling, men with men:
As laboring in eclipse, awhile they stay,
Till the next blast of wind restores the day.
They look anew the beauteous form of fight
Is chang'd, and war appears a grisly sight.
Two troops in fair array one moment show'd,
The next, a field with fallen bodies strow'd:
Not half the number in their seats are found,
But men and steeds lie groveling in the ground.

This was the general cry. The trumpets sound,
And warlike symphony is heard around.

The marching troops through Athens take their way, The points of spears are stuck within the shield,
The great earl-marshal orders their array.
The fair from high the passing pomp behold;
A rain of flowers is from the windows roll'd.
The casements are with golden tissue spread,
And horses' hoofs, for earth, on silken tapestry tread;
The king goes midmost, and the rivals ride
In equal rank, and close his either side.
Next after these, there rode the royal wife,
With Emily, the cause and the reward of strife.
The following cavalcade, by three and three,
Proceed by titles marshall'd in degree.

The steeds without their riders scour the field.
The knights unhors'd, on foot renew the fight;
The glittering falchions cast a gleaming light:
Hauberks and helms are hew'd with many a wound
Out spins the streaming blood, and dyes the ground.
The mighty maces with such haste descend,
They break the bones, and make the solid armor bend.
This thrusts amid the throng with furious force;
Down goes, at once, the horseman and the horse:
That courser stumbles on the fallen steed,
And, floundering, throws the rider o'er his head.

Thus through the southern gate they take their way, One rolls along, a foot-ball to his foes;
And at the list arriv'd ere prime of day.

One with a broken truncheon deals his blows.
This halting, this disabled with his wound,
In triumph led, is to the pillar bound,
Where by the king's award he must abide:
There goes a captive led on t' other side.
By fits they cease; and, leaning on the lance,
Take breath awhile, and to new fight advance.

Full oft the rivals met, and neither spar'd
His utmost force, and each forgot to ward.
The head of this was to the saddle bent,
The other backward to the crupper sent:
Both were by turns unhors'd; the jealous blows
Fall thick and heavy, when on foot they close.
So deep their falchions bite, that every stroke
Pierc'd to the quick; and equal wounds they gave
and took.

There, parting from the king, the chiefs divide,
And, wheeling east and west, before their many ride.
Th' Athenian monarch mounts his throne on high,
And after him the queen and Emily:

Next these the kindred of the crown are grac'd
With nearer seats, and lords by ladies plac'd:
Scarce were they seated, when, with clamors loud,
In rushed at once a rude promiscuous crowd;
The guards and then each other overbear,
And in a moment throng the spacious theatre.
Now chang'd the jarring noise to whispers low,
As winds forsaking seas more softly blow;
When at the western gate, on which the car
Is plac'd aloft, that bears the god of war,
Proud Arcite entering arm'd before his train,
Stops at the barrier, and divides the plain.
Red was his banner, and display'd abroad,
The bloody colors of his patron god.

At that self moment enters Palamon
The gate of Venus, and the rising-sun;
Wav'd by the wanton winds, his banner flies,
All maiden white, and shares the people's oyes.

At this, the challenger with fierce defy
His trumpet sounds; the challeng'd makes reply:
With clangor rings the field, resounds the vaulted

Borne far asunder by the tides of men,
Like adamant and steel they meet again.

So when a tiger sucks the bullock's blood,
A famish'd lion, issuing from the wood,
Roars lordly fierce, and challenges the food.
Each claims possession, neither will obey,
But both their paws are fasten'd on the prey;

They bite, they tear; and while in vain they strive, Forward he flew, and, pitching on his head,
The swains come arm'd between, and both to dis- He quiver'd with his feet, and lay for dead.
tance drive.
Black was his count'nance in a little space,
At length, as Fate foredoom'd, and all things tend | For all the blood was gather'd in his face.
By course of time to their appointed end;
So when the Sun to west was far declin'd,
And both afresh in mortal battle join'd,

Help was at hand: they rear'd him from the ground,
And from his cumbrous arms his limbs unbound;
Then lanc'd a vein, and watch'd returning breath;
It came, but clogg'd with symptoms of his death.
The saddle-bow, the noble parts had prest,
All bruis'd and mortified his manly breast.
Him still entranc'd, and in a litter laid,

The strong Emetrius came in Arcite's aid,
And Palamon with odds was overlaid :
For, turning short, he struck with all his might
Full on the helmet of th' unwary knight.
Deep was the wound; he stagger'd with the blow, They bore from field, and to his bed convey'd.
And turn'd him to his unexpected foe;
At length he wak'd, and, with a feeble cry,

Whom with such force he struck, he fell'd him down, The word he first pronounc'd was Emily.
And cleft the circle of his golden crown.
But Arcite's men, who now prevail'd in fight,
Twice ten at once surround the single knight:
O'erpower'd, at length, they force him to the ground,
Unyielded as he was, and to the pillar bound;
And king Lycurgus, while he fought in vain
His friend to free, was tumbled on the plain.

Who now laments but Palamon, compell'd
No more to try the fortune of the field!
And, worse than death, to view with hateful eyes
His rival's conquest, and renounce the prize!

The royal judge, on his tribunal plac'd,
Who had beheld the fight from first to last,
Bad cease the war; pronouncing from on high,
Arcite of Thebes had won the beauteous Emily
The sound of trumpets to the voice replied,
And round the royal lists the heralds cried,
'Arcite of Thebes has won the beauteous bride."
The people rend the skies with vast applause;
All own the chief, when Fortune owns the cause.
Arcite is own'd ev'n by the gods above,
And conquering Mars insults the queen of love.
So laugh'd he, when the rightful Titan fail'd,
And Jove's usurping arms in Heaven prevail'd:
Laugh'd all the powers who favor tyranny;
And all the standing army of the sky.

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Meantime the king, though inwardly he mourn'd,
In pomp triumphant to the town return'd,
Attended by the chiefs who fought the field
(Now friendly mix'd, and in one troop compell'd);
Compos'd his looks to counterfeited cheer,
And bade them not for Arcite's life to fear.
But that which gladded all the warrior-train,
Though most was sorely wounded, none were slain.
The surgeons soon despoil'd them of their arms,
And some with salves they cure, and some with

Foment the bruises, and the pains assuage, [of age.
And heal their inward hurts with sovereign draughts
The king in person visits all around,
Comforts the sick, congratulates the sound;
Honors the princely chiefs, rewards the rest,
And holds for thrice three days a royal feast.
None was disgrac'd; for falling is no shame;
And cowardice alone is loss of fame.

But Venus with dejected eyes appears,

And, weeping, on the lists distill'd her tears;
Her will refus'd, which grieves a woman most,

The venturous knight is from the saddle thrown,
But 'tis the fault of Fortune, not his own:
If crowds and palms the conquering side adorn,
The victor under better stars was born:
The brave man seeks not popular applause,
Nor, overpower'd with arms, deserts his cause;
Unsham'd, though foil'd, he does the best he can.
Force is of brutes, but honor is of man.
Thus Theseus smil'd on all with equal grace;
And each was set according to his place.

And, in her champion foil'd, the cause of Love is With ease were reconcil'd the differing parts,


For envy never dwells in noble hearts.

Till Saturn said, “Fair daughter, now be still,
The blustering fool has satisfied his will;
His boon is given; his knight has gain'd the day,
But lost the prize, th' arrears are yet to pay.
Thy hour is come, and mine the care shall be
To please thy knight, and set thy promise free."
Now while the heralds run the lists around,
And Arcite, Arcite, Heaven and Earth resound;
A miracle (nor less it could be call'd)
Their joy with unexpected sorrow pall'd.
The victor knight had laid his helm aside,
Part for his ease, the greater part for pride:
Bare-headed, popularly low he bow'd,
And paid the salutations of the crowd.
Then, spurring at full speed, ran endlong on
Where Theseus sate on his imperial throne;
Furious he drove, and upward cast his eye,
Where next the queen was placed his Emily;
Then passing to the saddle-bow he bent:
A sweet regard the gracious virgin lent
(For women, to the brave an easy prey,
Still follow Fortune where she leads the way):
Just then, from earth sprung out a flashing fire,
By Pluto sent, at Saturn's bad desire:
The startling steed was seiz'd with sudden fright,
And bounding, o'er the pummel cast the knight:

At length they took their leave, the time expir'd,
Well pleas'd, and to their several homes retir'd.

Meanwhile the health of Arcite still impairs ;
From bad proceeds to worse, and mocks the leeches'


Swoln is his breast; his inward pains increase,
All means are us'd, and all without success.
The clotted blood lies heavy on his heart,
Corrupts, and there remains in spite of art:
Nor breathing veins, nor cupping, will prevail;
All outward remedies and inward fail:
The mould of Nature's fabric is destroy'd,
Her vessels discompos'd, her virtue void:
The bellows of his lungs begin to swell,
All out of frame is every secret cell,
Nor can the good receive, nor bad expel.
Those breathing organs, thus within opprest,
With venom soon distend the sinews of his breast.
Nought profits him to save abandon'd life,
Nor vomit's upward aid, nor downward laxative.
The midmost region batter'd and destroy'd,
When Nature cannot work, th' effect of Art is void
For physic can but mend our crazy state,
Patch an old building, not a new create.
Arcite is doom'd to die in all his pride,

Must leave his youth, and yield his beauteous bride,

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