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Fabricius from their walls repellid the foe,
"Then thus in peace," quoth she, “ concludes the Whose noble hands had exercis'd the plow.
Which, having fairly gain'd, I will resign,
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.
With joy he turn'd, and seiz'd her ivory arm;
A storm of kisses pour'd as thick as hail.
And their first love continued to the last :
And so may all our lives-like theirs be led ;
Heaven send the maids young husbands fresh .n 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,
Who will not well be govern d by their wives.
THE CHARACTER OF A GOOD PARSON
A Parisu priest was of the pilgrim-train ;
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
To sixty more but that he liv'd too fast;
But such a face as promis'd him sincere.
Nothing reserv'd or sullen was to see ; In all I can, contribute to your ease,
But gweet 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 armid; 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 anght 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, heard ;
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 dweli. 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 seal
To threats the stubborn sinner oft is hard, God saw his image lively was express'd ,
The tempter saw him too with envious eye ; He melts, and throws his cumbrous cloak away. And, as on Job, demanded leave to try. Lightning and thunder (Heaven's artillery) He took the time when Richard was depos’d, As harbingers before th' Almighty fly:
And high and low with bappy Harry clos’d. Those but proclaim his style, and disappear;
This prince, though great in arms, the priest with. The stiller sound succeeds, and God is there.
stood : The tithes, his parish freely paid, he took ; Near though he was, yet not the next of blood. But never sued, or curs'd with bell and book. Had Richard, unconstrain'd, resign'd the throne, With patience bearing wrong ; but offering none : A king can give no more than is his own: Since every man is free to lose his own.
The title stood entail'd, had Richard had a son. The country churls, according to their kind,
Conquest, an odious name, was laid aside, (Who grudge their dues, and love to be behind,) Where all submitted, none the battle tried. The less he sought his offerings, pinch'd the more. The senseless plea of right by Providence And prais'd a priest contented to be poor.
Was, by a flattering priest, invented since ; Yet of his little he had some to spare,
And lasts no longer than the present sway; To feed the famish'd, and to clothe the bare : But justifies the next who comes in play. For mortified he was to that degree,
The people's right remains; let those who dare A poorer than himself he would not see.
Dispute their power, when they the judges are. True priests, he said, and preachers of the word, He join'd not in their choice, because he knew Were only stewards of their sovereign lord ; Worse might, and often did, from change ensue. Nothing was theirs; but all the public store : Much to himself he thought; but little spoke; Intrusted riches, to relieve the poor.
And, undepriv'd, his benefice forsook. Who, should they steal, for want of his relief, Now, through the land, his cure of souls he stretch'd He judg'd himself accomplice with the thief. And like a primitive apostle preach'd.
Wide was his parish ; not contracted close Still cheerful ; ever constant to his call; In streets, but here and there a straggling house; By many follow'd ; lov’d by most, admir'd by all. Yet still he was at hand, without request,
With what he begg’d, his brethren he reliev'd ; To serve the sick; to succor the distress'd :
And gave the charities himself receiv'd : l'empting, on foot, alone, without affright, Gave, while he taught; and edified the more, The dangers of a dark tempestuous night. Because he show'd, by proof, 'twas easy to be poor.
All this, the good old man perform'd alone, He went not with the crowd to see a shrine;
In deference to his virtues, I forbear
This brilliant is so spotless, and so bright,
The proud he tam'd, the penitent he cheer'd. Nor to rebuke the rich offender fear'd.
THEODORE AND HONORIA His preaching much, but more his practice wrought, (A living sermon of the truths he taught,) Of all the cities in Romanian lands, For this by rules severe his life he squar'd : The chief, and most renown'd, Ravenna stands, That all might see the doctrine which they heard. Adorn'd in ancient times with arms and arts, For priests, he said, are patterns for the rest And rich inhabitants, with generous hearts. (The gold of Heaven, who bear the God impress'd :) But Theodore the brave, above the rest, But when the precious coin is kept unclean, With gifts of Fortune and of Nature blessid, The sovereign's image is no longer seen.
The foremost place for wealth and honor held, If they be foul on whom the people trust, And all in feats of chivalry excell’d. Well may the baser brass contract a rust.
This noble youth to madness lov'd a dame The prelate, for his holy life he priz'd; of high degree, Honoria was her name; The worldly pomp of prelacy despis’d.
Fair as the fairest, but of haughty mind,
And fiercer than became so soft a kind.
The rest she scorn'd, but bated him alone; These marks of church and churchmen he design'a, His gifts, his constant courtship, nothing gain'd; And living taught, and dying left behind.
For she, the more he lov'd, the more disdain'd.
At tilts and tournaments obtain'd the prize ;
Relentless as a rock, the lofty maid
Wearied at length, and wanting remedy, Reflecting, Moser-like, his Maker's face. He doubted ofi, and oft resolv'd to die.
But Pride stood ready to prevent the blow, Unus'd to fear, he summon'd all his soul,
And stood collected in himself, and whole ;
And from afar he heard a screaming sound, But vainer that relief than all the rest,
As of a dame distress'd, who cried for aid, The less he hop'd, with more desire possess'd ; And fillid with loud laments the secret shade. Love stood the siege, and would not yield his breast. A thicket close beside the grove there stood, Change was the next, but change deceiv'd his care; With briers and brambles chok’d, and dwarfish He sought a fairer, but found none so fair.
wood ; He would have worn her out by slow degrees, From thence the noise, which now, approaching near As men by fasting starve th' untam'd disease : With more distinguish'd notes invades his ear; But present love requir’d a present ease.
He rais'd his head, and saw a beauteous maid, Looking he feeds alone his famish'd eyes,
With hair dishevella, issuing through the shade ; Feeds lingering Death, but looking not he dies. Stripp'd of her clothes, and ev'n those parts reveal'd Yet still he chose the longest way to Fate,
Which modest Nature keeps from sight conceal'd. Wasting at once his life and his estate.
Her face, her hands, her naked limbs were torn, His friends beheld, and pitied him in vain, With passing through the brakes, and prickly thorn For what advice can ease a lover's pain!
Two mastiífs gaunt and grim her flight pursu'd, Absence, the best expedient they could find, And oft their fasten'd fangs in blood embru'd ; Might save the fortune, if not cure the mind : Oft they came up, and pinch'd her tender side, This means they long propos'a, but little gain'd “ Mercy, 0 mercy, Heaven!" she ran, and cried. Yet, after much pursuit, at length obtain'd.
When Heaven was nam'd, they loos’d their hold Hard you may think it was to give consent,
again, But struggling with his own desires he went, Then sprang she forth, they follow'd her amain. With large expense, and with a pompous train, Not far behind, a knight of swarthy face, Provided as to visit France and Spain,
High on a coal-black steed pursu'd the chase : Or for some distant voyage o'er the main.
With flashing flames his ardent eyes were fillid, But Love had clipp'd his wings, and cut him short, And in his hand a naked sword he held : Confin'd within the purlieus of the couri.
He cheer'd the dogs to follow her who fed,
As Theodore was born of noble kind,
A sapling pine he wrench'd from out the ground,
Thus furnish'd for offence, he crossd the way To morning walks, and lull’d his cares by night: Betwixt the graceless villain and his prey. There he discharg'd his friends : but not th' expense The knight came thundering on, but, from afar, Of frequent treats, and proud magnificence. Thus in imperious tone forbade the war: He liv'd as kings retire, though more at large Cease, Theodore, to proffer vain relief, From public business, yet with equal charge; Nor stop the vengeance of so just a grief; With house and heart still open to receive :
But give me leave to seize my destin'd prey, As well content as Love would give him leave : And let Eternal Justice take the way: He would have liv'd more free; but many a guest, I but revenge my fate, disdain’d, betray'd, Who could forsake the friend, pursued the feast. And suffering death for this ungrateful maid." It hapt one morning, as his fancy led,
He said, at once dismounting from the steed; Before his usual hour he left his bed ;
For now the hell-hounds with superior speed To walk within a lonely lawn, that stood
Had reach'd the dame, and, fastening on her side, On every side surrounded by a wood :
The ground with issuing streams of purple dyed. Alone he walk'd, to please his pensive mind, Stood Theodore surpris'd in deadly fright, And sought the deepest solitude to find ;
With chattering teeth, and bristling bair upright; "Twas in a grove of spreading pines he stray’d; Yet arm'd with inborn worth, “ Whate'er," said he, The winds within the quivering branches play'd, “Thou art, who know'st me better than I thee; And dancing trees a mournful music made. Or prove thy rightful cause, or be defied;" The place itself was suiting to his care,
The spectre, fiercely staring, thus replied: Uncouth and savage, as the cruel fair.
“Know, Theodore, thy ancestry I claim, He wander'd on, unknowing where he went, And Guido Cavalcanti was my name. Lost in the wood, and all on love intent:
One common sire our fathers did beget, The Day already half his race had run,
My name and story some remember yet:
Thee, then a boy, within my arms I laid,
Whilst listening to the murmuring leaves he stood, Not less ador’d in life, nor serv'd by me,
Long time I dragg'd my days in fruitless care; And his ears tinkled, and his color fled.
Then, lothing life, and plung'd in deep despair Nature was in alarm ; some danger nigh
To finish my unhappy life, I fell Seem'd threaten'd. though unseen to mortal eye. On this sharp sword, and now am damn'd in Hell.
“ Short was her joy; for soon th' insulting maid They came, and, usual salutations paid,
Though late yet is at last become my care :
Reduc'd to bounds, by timely providence:
Her friends, and mine; the cause I shall display, I daily doom'd to follow, she to fly;
On Friday next; for that's th'appointed day.” No more a lover, but a mortal foe,
Well pleas'd were all his friends, the task was light I seek her life (for love is none below :)
The father, mother, daughter, they invite ; As often as my dogs with better speed
Hardly the dame was drawn to this repast; Arrest her fight, is she to death decreed :
But yet resolv'd, because it was the last.
And, with the rest, th' inexorable dame :
The place ordain'd was in that haunted grove,
With flowers below, and tissue over-head: This, vers'd in death, th' infernal knight relates, The rest in rank, Honoria, chief in place, And then for proof fulfillid the common fates; Was artfully contriv'd to set her face Her heart and bowels through her back he drew, To front the thicket, and behold the chase. And fed the hounds that help'd him to pursue : The feast was serv'd, the time so well forecast, Stern look'd the fiend, as frustrate of his will, That just when the dessert and fruits were plac'd, Not half suffic'd, and greedy yet to kill.
The fiend's alarm began ; the hollow sound And now the soul, expiring through the wound, Sung in the leaves, the forest shook around, Had left the body breathless on the ground, Air blacken'd, rolld the thunder, groand the ground. When thus the grisly spectre spoke again :
Nor long before the loud laments arise, * Behold the fruit of ill-rewarded pain :
or one distress'd, and mastiffs' mingled cries; As many months as I sustain'd her hate,
And first the dame came rushing through the wood, So many years is she condemned by Fate
And next the famish'd hounds that sought their foorl, To daily death; and every several place,
And grip'd her flanks, and oft essay'd their jaws in Conscious of her disdain and my disgrace,
blood. Must witness her just punishment; and be Last came the felon, on his sable steed, [speed. A scene of triumph and revenge to me!
Arm'd with his naked sword, and urg'd his dogs to As in this grove I took my last farewell,
She ran, and cried, her flight directly bent As on this very spot of earth I fell,
(A guest unbidden) to the fatal tent,
(ment. As Friday saw medie, so she my prey
'The scene of death, and place ordain'd for punish Becomes ev'n here, on this revolving day." Loud was the noise, aghast was every guest,
Thus while he spoke the virgin from the ground The women shriek’d, the men forsook the feast; Upstarted fresh, already clos'd the wound, The hounds at nearer distance hoarsely bay'd ; And, unconcern'd for all she felt before,
The hunter close pursu'd the visionary maid, Precipitates her flight along the shore :
She rent the Heaven with loud laments, imploring aid The hell-hounds, as ungorg'd with flesh and blood, The gallants, to protect the lady's right, Pursue their prey, and seek their wonted food : Their falchions brandish'd at the grisly sprite; The fiend remounts his courser, mends his pace; High on his stirrups he provok'd the fight, And all the vision vanish'd from the place. Then on the crowd he cast a furious look,
Long stood the noble youth, oppress'd with awe And wither'd all their strength before he spoke : And stupid at the wondrous things he saw, |“ Back on your lives! let be,” said he, “my prey, Surpassing common faith, transgressing Nature's law. And let my vengeance take the destin'd way: He would have been asleep, and wish'd 10 wake, Vain are your arms, and vainer your defence, But dreams, be knew, no long impression make, Against th'eternal doom of Providence : Though strong at first; if vision, to what end, Mine is th’ ungrateful maid by Heaven design'd: But such as must his future state portend ?
Mercy she would not give, nor mercy shall she find." His love the damsel, and himself the fiend.
At this the former tale again he told But yet, reflecting that it could not be
With thundering tone, and dreadful to behold: From Heaven, which cannot impious acts decree, Sunk were their hearts with horror of the crime, Resolu'd within himself to shun the snare, Nor needed to be warn’d a second time, Which Hell for his destruction did prepare ; But bore each other back : some knew the face, And, as his better genius should direct,
And all had heard the much-lamented case From an ill cause to draw a good effect.
Of him who fell for love, and this the fatal place Inspir'd from Heaven he homeward took his way, And now th'infernal minister advanc'd, Nor pall'd his new design with long delay : Seiz'd the due victim. and with fury lanc'd But of his train a trusty servant sent,
Her back, and, piercing through her inmost heart. To call bis friends together at his tent.
Drew backward as before th' offending part;
Che reeking entrails next he tore away,
Darkling and desperate, with a staggering pace, And to his meagre mastiffs made a prey.
of death afraid, and conscious of disgrace ;
Fear, Pride, Remorse, at once her heart assaild,
And two ghosts join their packs to hunt her o'er the
So, spread upon a lake, with upward eye, To make reflection on th' unhappy man,
But most the proud Honoria fear'd th' event, Of all the dames, except herself, desir'd :
Why not of her ? preferr'd above the rest
By him with knightly deeds and open love profess'd ?
That, once disdaining, she might be disdain'd.
Here hope began to dawn; resolv'd to try,
Death was behind, but hard it was to die.
One maid she had, belov'd above the rest;
Secure of her, the secret she confess'd;
And now the cheerful light her fears dispellid,
She with no winding turns the truth conceald,
Fate seem'd a fair occasion to present;
But she with such a zeal the cause embrac'd,
Were overborne by fury of the tide ;
By her example warn'd, the rest beware:
More easy, less imperious, were the fair;
For one fair female, lost him half the kind.
Now forc'd to wake, because afraid to sleep, Those rolling fires discover but the sky,
Not light us here; so Reason's glimmering ray
for his prey.