« PreviousContinue »
Cried one and all, the suppliant should have right, Make gentlemen, and that your high degree
And to the grandame hag adjudg’d the knight. Is much disparag'd to be match'd with me;
In vain he sigh'd, and oft with tears desir'd, Know this, my lord, nobility of blood
Some reasonable suit might be requir’d.
Is but a glittering and fallacious good : But still the crone was constant to her note : The nobleman is he whose noble mind The more he spoke, the more she stretch'd her throat. Is fill'd with inborn worth, unborrow'd from his kind. In vain he proffer'd all his goods, to save
The King of Heaven was in a manger laid ; His body destin’d to that living grave.
And took his earth but from an humble maid ; The liquorish hag rejects the pelf with scorn; Then what can birth, or mortal men, bestow ? And nothing but the man would serve her turn. Since floods no higher than their fountains flow. “ Not all the wealth of eastern kings,” said she, We, who for name and empty honor strive, " Have power to part my plighted love and me : Our true nobility from him derive. And, old and ugly as I am, and poor,
Your ancestors, who puff your mind with pride, Yet never will I break the faith I swore ;
And vast estates to mighty titles tied, For mine thou art by promise, during life,
Did not your honor, but their own, advance;
And I thy loving and obedient wife."
For virtue comes not by inheritance.
“ My love! nay rather my damnation thou," If you tralineate from your father's mind,
Said he: “ nor am I bound to keep my vow; What are you else but of a bastard-kind ?
The fiend thy sire bath sent thee from below, Do, as your great progenitors have done,
Else how couldst thou my secret sorrows know? And by their virtues prove yourself their son.
Avaunt, old witch, for I renounce thy bed :
No father can infuse or wit or grace;
The queen may take the forfeit of my head, A mother comes across, and mars the race.
Ere any of my race so foul a crone shall wed.” A grandsire or a grandame taints the blood;
Both heard, the judge pronounc'd against the And seldom three descents continue good.
Were virtue by descent, a noble name
So was he married in his own despite :
Could never villanize his father's fame : And all day after hid him as an owl,
But, as the first, the last of all the line Not able to sustain a sight so foul.
Would like the Sun even in descending shine ; Perhaps the reader thinks I do him wrong, Take fire, and bear it to the darkest house, 'To pass the marriage feast and nuptial song: Betwixt king Arthur's court and Caucasus; Mirth there was none, the man was à-la-mort, If you depart, the flame shall still remain, And little courage had to make his court.
And the bright blaze enlighten all the plain :
To bed they went, the bridegroom and the bride : Nor, till the fuel perish, can decay,
Was never such an ill-pair'd couple tied : By Nature form'd on things combustible to prey.
Restless he toss'd, and tumbled to and fro,
Such is not man, who, mixing better seed
And rollid and wriggled further off for woe. With worse, begets a base degenerate breed :
The good old wife lay smiling by his side, The bad corrupts the good, and leaves behind
And caught him in her quivering arms, and oried, No trace of all the great begetter's mind.
" When you my ravish'd predecessor saw,
The father sinks within his son, we see,
You were not then become this man of straw; And often rises in the third degree;
Had you been such, you might have ’scap'd the law. If better luck a better mother give,
Is this the custom of king Arthur's court?
Chance gave us being, and by chance we live.
Are all round-table knights of such a sort? Such as our atoms were, even such are we,
Remember I am she who sav'd your life, Or call it chance, or strong necessity :
Your loving, lawful, and complying wife:
Thus loaded with dead weight, the will is free. Not thus you swore in your unhappy hour, And thus it needs must be : for seed conjoin'd Nor I for this return employ'd my power.
Lets into Nature's work th' imperfect kind; In time of need, I was your faithful friend; But fire, th' enlivener of the general frame, Nor did I since, nor ever will offend.
Is one, its operation still the same. Believe me, my lov'd lord, tis much unkind; Its principle is in itself: while ours What Fury has possess'd your alter'd mind ? Works, as confederates war, with mingled powers; Thus on my wedding-night without pretence- Or man or woman, whichsoever fails : Come turn this way, or tell me my offence. And, oft, the vigor of the worse prevails. If not your wife, let reason's rule persuade; Ether with sulphur blended alters hue, Name but my fault, amends shall soon be made.” And casts a dusky gleam of Sodom blue. “ Amends! nay that 's impossible,” said he ; Thus, in a brute, their ancient honor ends, “What change of age or ugliness can be ?
And the fair mermaid in a fish descends : Or, could Medea's magic mend thy face,
The line gone; no longer duke or earl;
Thou art descended from so mean a race,
But, by himself degraded, turns a churl.
That never knight was match'd with such disgrace. Nobility of blood is but renown
What wonder, madam, if I move my side, of thy great fathers by their virtue known,
When, if I turn, I turn to such a bride ?"
And a long trail of light, to thee descending down “ And is this all that troubles you so sore ?" If in thy smoke it ends, their glories shine ; " And what the devil couldst thou wish me more ?" But infamy and villanage are thine. “Ah, Benedicite," replied the crone :
Then what I said before is plainly show'd,
" Then cause of just complaining have you none. The true nobility proceeds from God:
The remedy to this were soon applied,
Nor lest us by inheritance, but given
Would you be like the bridegroom to the bride: By bounty of our stars, and grace of Heaven.
But, for you say a long-descended race,
Thus from a captive Servius Tullius rose,
And wealth, and dignity, and power, and place, Whom for his virtues the first Romans chose :
Fabricius from their walls repell’d the foe,
“Then thus in peace," quoth she, "concludes the Whose noble hands had exercis'd the plow.
strife, From hence, my lord and love, I thus conclude, Since I am turn'd the husband, you the wife : That though my homely ancestors were rude, The matrimonial victory is mine, Mean as I am, yet I may have the grace
Which, having fairly gain'd, I will resign ; To make you father of a generous race:
Forgive if I have said or done amiss, And noble then am I, when I begin,
And seal the bargain with a friendly kiss : In Virtue cloth’d, to cast the rags of Sin.
I promis'd you but one content to share, If poverty be my upbraided crime,
But now I will become both good and fair. And you believe in Heaven, there was a time No nuptial quarrel shall disturb your ease; When He, the great controller of our fate, The business of my life shall be to please : Deign'd to be man, and liv'd in low estate : And for my beauty, that, as time shall try; Which he, who had the world at his dispose, But draw the curtain first, and cast your eye.” If poverty were vice, would never choose. He look'd, and saw a creature heavenly fair, Philosophers have said, and poets sing,
In bloom of youth, and of a charming air. That a glad poverty 's an honest thing.
With joy he turn'd, and seiz'd her ivory arm ; Content is wealth, the riches of the mind; And like Pygmalion found the statue warm. And happy he who can that treasure find. Small arguments there needed to prevail, But the base miser starves amidst his store,
A storm of kisses pour'd as thick as hail. Broods on his gold, and, griping still at more, Thus long in mutual bliss they lay embracd, Sits sadly pining, and believes he's poor.
And their first love continued to the last : The ragged beggar, though he want relief, One sun-shine was their life, no cloud between; Has not to lose, and sings before the thief. Nor ever was a kinder couple seen. Want is a bitter and a hateful good,
And so may all our lives like theirs be led ; Because its virtues are not understood :
Heaven send the maids young husbands fresh in Yet many things, impossible to thought, Have been by need to full perfection brought : May widows wed as often as they can, The daring of the soul proceeds from thence, And ever for the better change their man; Sharpness of wit, and active diligence ;
And some devouring plague pursue their lives, Prudence at once, and fortitude, it gives,
Who will not well be govern'd by their wives. And, if in patience taken, mends our lives; For ev'n that indigence, that brings me low, Makes me myself, and Him above, to know. A good which none would challenge, few would
choose, A fair possession, which mankind refuse. If we from wealth to poverty descend,
THE CHARACTER OF A GOOD PARSON. Want gives to know the flatterer from the friend. If I am old and ugly, well for you,
A PARISH priest was of the pilgrim-train; No lewd adulterer will my love pursue ;
An awful, reverend, and religious man. Nor jealousy, the bane of married life,
His eyes diffus'd a venerable grace, Shall haunt you for a wither'd homely wife ; And charity itself was in his face. For age and ugliness, as all agree,
Rich was his soul, though his attire was poor, Are the best guards of female chastity.
As God had cloth'd his own ambassador, " Yet since I see your mind is worldly bent, For such, on Earth, his bless'd Redeemer bore. I'll do my best to further your content.
Of sixty years he seem'd ; and well might last And therefore of two gifts in my dispose,
To sixty more, but that he liv'd too fast;
Think ere you speak, I grant you leave to choose ; Refind himself to soul, to curb the sense ;
Would you I should be still deform’d and old, And made almost a sin of abstinence.
Nauseous to touch, and lothesome to behold; Yet, had his aspect nothing of severe,
On this condition to remain for life
But such a face as promis'd him sincere.
A careful, tender, and obedient wife,
Nothing reserv'd or sullen was to see ; In all I can, contribute to your ease,
But sweet regards, and pleasing sanctity : And not in deed, or word, or thought, displease? Mild was his accent, and his action free. Or would you rather have me young and fair, With eloquence innate his tongue was arm’d; And take the chance that happens to your share ? Though harsh the precept, yet the people charm'd, Temptations are in beauty, and in youth,
For, letting down the golden chain from high, And how can you depend upon my truth? He drew his audience upward to the sky : Now weigh the danger with the doubtful bliss, And oft with holy hymns he charm'd their ears, And thank yourself if aught should fall amiss." (A music more melodious than the spheres,) Sore sigh'd the knight, who this long sermon For David left him, when he went to rest,
His lyre ; and after him he sung the best. At length, considering all, his heart he cheer'd ; He bore his great commission in his look : And thus replied: " My lady and my wife, But sweetly temper'd awe; and soften'd all he spoke. To your wise conduct I resign my life:
He preach'd the joys of Heaven, and pains of Hell, Choose you for me, for well you understand And warn’d the sinner with becoming zeal ; The future good and ill, on either hand :
But on eternal mercy lov'd to dwell. But if an humble husband may request,
He taught the gospel rather than the law; Provide, and order all things for the best ;
And forc'd himself to drive; but lov'd to draw. Yours be the care to profit, and to please : For Fear but freezes minds: but Love, like heat, And let your subject servant take his ease.” Exhales the soul sublime, to seek her native seat.
To threats the stubborn sinner oft is hard,
Wrapt in his crimes, against the storm prepar'd;
But when the milder beams of Mercy play,
He melts, and throws his cumbrous cloak away.
Lightning and thunder (Heaven's artillery)
As harbingers before th' Almighty fly:
Those but proclaim his style, and disappear;
The stiller sound succeeds, and God is there.
The tithes, his parish freely paid, he took;
But never sued, or curs'd with bell and book.
With patience bearing wrong; but offering none :
Since every man is free to lose his own.
The country churls, according to their kind,
(Who grudge their dues, and love to be behind,)
The less he sought his offerings, pinch'd the more,
And prais'd a priest contented to be poor.
Yet of his little he had some to spare,
To feed the famish'd, and to clothe the bare:
For mortified he was to that degree,
A poorer than himself he would not see.
True priests, he said, and preachers of the word,
Were only stewards of their sovereign lord;
Nothing was theirs; but all the public store :
Intrusted riches, to relieve the poor.
Who, should they steal, for want of his relief,
He judg'd himself accomplice with the thief.
Wide was his parish; not contracted close
In streets, but here and there a straggling house;
Yet still he was at hand, without request,
To serve the sick; to succor the distress'd:
Tempting, on foot, alone, without affright,
The dangers of a dark tempestuous night.
All this, the good old man perform'd alone,
Nor spar'd his pains; for curate he had none.
Nor durst he trust another with his care;
Nor rode himself to Paul's, the public fair,
To chaffer for preferment with his gold,
Where bishoprics and sinecures are sold.
But duly watch'd his flock, by night and day;
And from the prowling wolf redeem'd the prey:
And hungry sent the wily fox away.
The proud he tam'd, the penitent he cheer'd :
Nor to rebuke the rich offender fear'd.
His preaching much, but more his practice wrought,
(A living sermon of the truths he taught,)
For this by rules severe his life he squar'd:
That all might see the doctrine which they heard.
For priests, he said, are patterns for the rest
(The gold of Heaven, who bear the God impress'd:)
But when the precious coin is kept unclean,
The sovereign's image is no longer seen.
If they be foul on whom the people trust,
Well may the baser brass contract a rust.
The prelate, for his holy life he priz'd;
The worldly pomp of prelacy despis'd.
His Savior came not with a gaudy show;
Nor was his kingdom of the world below.
Patience in want, and poverty of mind,
These marks of church and churchmen he design'd,
And living taught, and dying left behind.
The crown he wore was of the pointed thorn:
In purple he was crucified, not born.
They who contend for place and high degree,
Are not his sons, but those of Zebedee.
God saw his image lively was express'd;
And his own work, as in creation, bless'd.
The tempter saw him too with envious eye;
And, as on Job, demanded leave to try.
He took the time when Richard was depos'd,
And high and low with happy Harry clos'd.
This prince, though great in arms, the priest with-
Near though he was, yet not the next of blood.
Had Richard, unconstrain'd, resign'd the throne,
A king can give no more than is his own:
The title stood entail'd, had Richard had a son.
Conquest, an odious name, was laid aside,
Where all submitted, none the battle tried.
The senseless plea of right by Providence
Was, by a flattering priest, invented since;
And lasts no longer than the present sway;
But justifies the next who comes in play.
The people's right remains; let those who dare
Dispute their power, when they the judges are.
He join'd not in their choice, because he knew
Worse might, and often did, from change ensue.
Much to himself he thought; but little spoke;
And, undepriv'd, his benefice forsook.
Now, through the land, his cure of souls he stretch'd
And like a primitive apostle preach'd.
Still cheerful; ever constant to his call;
By many follow'd; lov'd by most, admir'd by all.
With what he begg'd, his brethren he reliev'd;
And gave the charities himself receiv'd:
Gave, while he taught; and edified the more,
Because he show'd, by proof, 'twas easy to be poor.
He went not with the crowd to see a shrine;
But fed us, by the way, with food divine.
In deference to his virtues, I forbear
Not but he knew the signs of earthly power
Might well become Saint Peter's successor;
The holy father holds a double reign,
The prince may keep his pomp, the fisher must be
Such was the saint; who shone with every grace,
Reflecting, Moses-like, his Maker's face.
To show you what the rest in orders were:
This brilliant is so spotless, and so bright,
He needs no foil, but shines by his own proper light.
OF all the cities in Romanian lands,
The chief, and most renown'd, Ravenna stands,
Adorn'd in ancient times with arms and arts,
And rich inhabitants, with generous hearts.
But Theodore the brave, above the rest,
With gifts of Fortune and of Nature bless'd,
The foremost place for wealth and honor held,
And all in feats of chivalry excell'd.
This noble youth to madness lov'd a dame
Of high degree, Honoria was her name;
Fair as the fairest, but of haughty mind,
And fiercer than became so soft a kind.
Proud of her birth (for equal she had none ;)
The rest she scorn'd, but hated him alone;
His gifts, his constant courtship, nothing gain'd;
For she, the more he lov'd, the more disdain'd.
He liv'd with all the pomp he could devise,
At tilts and tournaments obtain'd the prize;
But found no favor in his lady's eyes:
Relentless as a rock, the lofty maid
Turn'd all to poison, that he did or said:
Nor prayers, nor tears, nor offer'd vows, could move;
The work went backward; and the more he strove
T" advance his suit, the farther from her love.
Wearied at length, and wanting remedy,
IIe doubted oft, and oft resolv'd to die.
But Pride stood ready to prevent the blow,
For who would die to gratify a foe?
His generous mind disdain'd so mean a fate;
That pass'd, his next endeavor was to hate.
But vainer that relief than all the rest,
The less he hop'd, with more desire possess'd;
Love stood the siege, and would not yield his breast.
Change was the next, but change deceiv'd his care;
He sought a fairer, but found none so fair.
He would have worn her out by slow degrees,
As men by fasting starve th' untam'd disease:
But present love requir'd a present ease.
Looking he feeds alone his famish'd eyes,
Feeds lingering Death, but looking not he dies.
Yet still he chose the longest way to Fate,
Wasting at once his life and his estate.
His friends beheld, and pitied him in vain,
For what advice can ease a lover's pain!
Absence, the best expedient they could find,
Might save the fortune, if not cure the mind:
This means they long propos'd, but little gain'd
Yet, after much pursuit, at length obtain'd.
Hard you may think it was to give consent,
But struggling with his own desires he went,
With large expense, and with a pompous train,
Provided as to visit France and Spain,
Or for some distant voyage o'er the main.
But Love had clipp'd his wings, and cut him short,
Confin'd within the purlieus of the court.
Three miles he went, nor farther could retreat;
His travels ended at his country-seat:
To Chassis' pleasing plains he took his way,
There pitch'd his tents, and there resolv'd to stay.
The spring was in the prime; the neighboring
Supplied with birds, the choristers of Love:
Music unbought, that minister'd delight
To morning walks, and lull'd his cares by night:
There he discharg'd his friends: but not th' expense
Of frequent treats, and proud magnificence.
He liv'd as kings retire, though more at large
From public business, yet with equal charge;
With house and heart still open to receive:
As well content as Love would give him leave:
He would have liv'd more free; but many a guest,
Who could forsake the friend, pursued the feast.
It hapt one morning, as his fancy led, Before his usual hour he left his bed; To walk within a lonely lawn, that stood On every side surrounded by a wood: Alone he walk'd, to please his pensive mind, And sought the deepest solitude to find; "Twas in a grove of spreading pines he stray'd; The winds within the quivering branches play'd, And dancing trees a mournful music made. The place itself was suiting to his care, Uncouth and savage, as the cruel fair. He wander'd on, unknowing where he went, Lost in the wood, and all on love intent: The Day already half his race had run, And summon'd him to due repast at noon, But Love could feel no hunger but his own.
Whilst listening to the murmuring leaves he stood, More than a mile immers'd within the wood, At once the wind was laid; the whispering sound Was dumb; a rising earthquake rock'd the ground; With deeper brown the grove was overspread; A sudden horror seiz'd his giddy head, And his ears tinkled, and his color fled. Nature was in alarm; some danger nigh Seem'd threaten'd, though unseen to mortal eye.
Unus'd to fear, he summon'd all his soul,
And stood collected in himself, and whole;
Not long for soon a whirlwind rose around,
And from afar he heard a screaming sound,
As of a dame distress'd, who cried for aid,
And fill'd with loud laments the secret shade.
A thicket close beside the grove there stood, With briers and brambles chok'd, and dwarfish wood;
From thence the noise, which now, approaching near
With more distinguish'd notes invades his ear;
He rais'd his head, and saw a beauteous maid,
With hair dishevell'd, issuing through the shade;
Stripp'd of her clothes, and ev'n those parts reveal'd
Which modest Nature keeps from sight conceal'd.
Her face, her hands, her naked limbs were torn,
With passing through the brakes, and prickly thorn
Two mastiffs gaunt and grim her flight pursu'd,
And oft their fasten'd fangs in blood embru'd;
Oft they came up, and pinch'd her tender side,
"Mercy, O mercy, Heaven!" she ran, and cried.
When Heaven was nam'd, they loos'd their hold
Then sprang she forth, they follow'd her amain.
Not far behind, a knight of swarthy face,
High on a coal-black steed pursu'd the chase:
With flashing flames his ardent eyes were fill'd,
And in his hand a naked sword he held:
He cheer'd the dogs to follow her who fled,
And vow'd revenge on her devoted head.
As Theodore was born of noble kind,
The brutal action rous'd his manly mind;
Mov'd with unworthy usage of the maid,
He, though unarm'd, resolv'd to give her aid,
A sapling pine he wrench'd from out the ground,
The readiest weapon that his fury found.
Thus furnish'd for offence, he cross'd the way
Betwixt the graceless villain and his prey.
The spectre, fiercely staring, thus replied:
Know, Theodore, thy ancestry I claim,
And Guido Cavalcanti was my name.
One common sire our fathers did beget,
My name and story some remember yet:
Thee, then a boy, within my arms I laid,
When for my sins I lov'd this haughty maid;
Not less ador'd in life, nor serv'd by me,
Than proud Honoria now is loved by thee.
What did I not her stubborn heart to gain?
But all my vows were answer'd with disdain :
She scorn'd my sorrows, and despis'd my pain.
Long time I dragg'd my days in fruitless care;
Then, lothing life, and plung'd in deep despair,
To finish my unhappy life, I fell
On this sharp sword, and now am damn'd in Hell.
"Short was her joy; for soon th' insulting maid By Heaven's decree in this cold grave was laid. And as in unrepented sin she died,
They came, and, usual salutations paid,
With words premeditated thus he said:
Doom'd to the same bad place is punish'd for her
Because she deem'd I well deserv'd to die,
And made a merit of her cruelty.
What you have often counsell'd, to remove
My vain pursuit of unregarded love;
By thrift my sinking fortune to repair,
Though late yet is at last become my care:
Reduc'd to bounds, by timely providence:
This only I require; invite for me
Honoria, with her father's family,
There, then, we met; both tried, and both were cast, My heart shall be my own; my vast expense
And this irrevocable sentence pass'd;
That she, whom I so long pursu’d in vain,
Should suffer from my hands a lingering pain:
Renew'd to life that she might daily die,
I daily doom'd to follow, she to fly;
No more a lover, but a mortal foe,
I seek her life (for love is none below ;)
As often as my dogs with better speed
Arrest her flight, is she to death decreed:
Then with this fatal sword, on which I died,
I pierce her open back, or tender side,
And tear that harden'd heart from out her breast,
Which, with her entrails, makes my hungry hounds a
Nor lies she long, but, as her Fates ordain,
Springs up to life, and fresh to second pain,
Is sav'd to-day, to-morrow to be slain."
This, vers'd in death, th' infernal knight relates,
And then for proof fulfill'd the common fates;
Her heart and bowels through her back he drew,
And fed the hounds that help'd him to pursue :
Stern look'd the fiend, as frustrate of his will,
Not half suffic'd, and greedy yet to kill.
And now the soul, expiring through the wound,
Had left the body breathless on the ground,
When thus the grisly spectre spoke again:
"Behold the fruit of ill-rewarded pain:
As many months as I sustain'd her hate,
So many years is she condemned by Fate
To daily death; and every several place,
Conscious of her disdain and my disgrace,
Must witness her just punishment; and be
A scene of triumph and revenge to me!
As in this grove I took my last farewell,
As on this very spot of earth I fell,
As Friday saw me die, so she my prey
Becomes ev'n here, on this revolving day."
Thus while he spoke the virgin from the ground
Upstarted fresh, already clos'd the wound,
And, unconcern'd for all she felt before,
Precipitates her flight along the shore:
The hell-hounds, as ungorg'd with flesh and blood,
Pursue their prey, and seek their wonted food:
The fiend remounts his courser, mends his pace;
And all the vision vanish'd from the place.
Long stood the noble youth, oppress'd with awe
And stupid at the wondrous things he saw,
Surpassing common faith, transgressing Nature's law.
He would have been asleep, and wish'd to wake,
But dreams, he knew, no long impression make,
Though strong at first; if vision, to what end,
But such as must his future state portend?
His love the damsel, and himself the fiend.
But yet, reflecting that it could not be
From Heaven, which cannot impious acts decree,
Resolv'd within himself to shun the snare,
Which Hell for his destruction did prepare;
And, as his better genius should direct,
From an ill cause to draw a good effect.
Inspir'd from Heaven he homeward took his way,
Nor pall'd his new design with long delay:
But of his train a trusty servant sent,
To call his friends together at his tent.
Her friends, and mine; the cause I shall display,
On Friday next; for that's th' appointed day."
Well pleas'd were all his friends, the task was light,
The father, mother, daughter, they invite;
Hardly the dame was drawn to this repast;
But yet resolv'd, because it was the last.
The day was come, the guests invited came,
And, with the rest, th' inexorable dame:
A feast prepar'd with riotous expense,
Much cost, more care, and most magnificence.
The place ordain'd was in that haunted grove,
Where the revenging ghost pursu'd his love:
The tables in a proud pavilion spread,
With flowers below, and tissue over-head:
The rest in rank, Honoria, chief in place,
Was artfully contriv'd to set her face
To front the thicket, and behold the chase.
The feast was serv'd, the time so well forecast,
That just when the dessert and fruits were plac'd,
The fiend's alarm began; the hollow sound
Sung in the leaves, the forest shook around,
Air blacken'd, roll'd the thunder, groan'd the ground.
Nor long before the loud laments arise,
Of one distress'd, and mastiffs' mingled cries;
And first the dame came rushing through the wood,
And next the famish'd hounds that sought their food,
And grip'd her flanks, and oft essay'd their jaws in
Last came the felon, on his sable steed, [speed.
Arm'd with his naked sword, and urg'd his dogs to
She ran, and cried, her flight directly bent
(A guest unbidden) to the fatal tent,
The scene of death, and place ordain'd for punish
Loud was the noise, aghast was every guest,
The women shriek'd, the men forsook the feast;
The hounds at nearer distance hoarsely bay'd;
The hunter close pursu'd the visionary maid,
She rent the Heaven with loud laments, imploring aid
The gallants, to protect the lady's right, Their falchions brandish'd at the grisly sprite; High on his stirrups he provok'd the fight, Then on the crowd he cast a furious look,
And wither'd all their strength before he spoke :
Back on your lives! let be," said he, " my prey,
And let my vengeance take the destin'd way:
Vain are your arms, and vainer your defence,
Against th' eternal doom of Providence :
Mine is th' ungrateful maid by Heaven design'd:
Mercy she would not give, nor mercy shall she find.”
At this the former tale again he told
With thundering tone, and dreadful to behold:
Sunk were their hearts with horror of the crime,
Nor needed to be warn'd a second time,
But bore each other back: some knew the face,
And all had heard the much-lamented case
Of him who fell for love, and this the fatal place
And now th' infernal minister advanc'd,
Seiz'd the due victim, and with fury lane'd
Her back, and, piercing through her inmost heart,
Drew backward as before th' offending part;