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Farewel ! she faid, and vanish'd from the place ;
The theaf of arrows shook, and rattled in the case.
Aghaft at this, the royal virgin food,
Disclaim'd, and now no more a fifter of the wood :
But to the parting Goddess thus she pray'd;
Propitious still be present to my aid,
Nor quite abandon your once favour'd maid.
Then fighing she return'd; but smil'd betwixt,
With hopes and fears, and joys with forrows 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 armipotent :
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 feeds, and thou art honour'd most:
There most; but every-where 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 'enfue,
And force is added to the fainting crew.
Acknowledg’d as thou art, accept my prayer,
If aught I have atchiev'd deserve thy care :
my utmost power
with sword and field 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 fustain'd,
That Emily by conquest may be gain'd.
Have pity on my pains; nor thofe 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 the lay curling in thy arms,
Ev'n by thy lame, if shame it may be callid,
When Vulcan had thee in his net inthrallid;
O envy'd igrominy, sweet disgrace,
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 foothing 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 disdain.
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 warın'd thy generous heart,
Pity thy subject's pains, and equal smart.
So be the morrow's sweat and labour mine,
The palm and honour of the conquest thine :
Then shall the war, and stern debate, and itrife
Immortal, be the bufipefs of my life,
And in thy fane, the dusty spoils among,
High on the burnish'd roof, my banner shall be hung :
Rank'd with my champion's bucklers, and below,
With arms revers’d, th' atchieveinents of my foe :
And while these limbs the vital fpirit feeds,
While day to night, and night to day succeeds,
Thy smoking altar shall be fat with food
Of incense, and the grateful fteam 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 clofe
A hollow groan : a murmuring wind arofe ;
The rings of iron, that on the doors were hung,
Sent out a jarring sound, and harshly rung:
The bolted gates flew open at the blaft,
The storm rush'd in, and Arcite stood aghast :
The flames were blown alide, yet fhone they bright,
Fann’d by the wind, and gave a ruffled light.
Then from the ground a scent began to rise,
Sweet-fielling as accepted facrifice :
This omen pleas'd, and as the flames aspire
With odorous incense Arcite heaps the fire :
Nor wanted hymns to Mars, or heathen charms :
At length the nodding statue clash'd his arms,
And with a fullen found and feeble
Half sunk, and half pronounc'd, the word of victory.,
For this, with foul devout, he thank'd the God,
And, of success secure, return'd to his abode.
These vows thus granted, rais’d a strife above,
Betwixt the God of War, and Queen of Love.
She granting first, had right of time to plead ;
But he had granted too, nor would recede.
Jove was for Venus; but he fear'd his wife,
And seem'd unwilling to decide the strife;
Till Saturn from his leaden throne arose,
And found a way the difference to compose :
Though sparing of his grace, to mischief bent,
He seldom does a good with good intent.
Wayward, but wife; by long experience taught
To please both parties, for ill ends, he fought :
For this advantage age from youth has won,
As not to be outridden, though outrun.
By fortune he was now to Venus trin'd,
And with stern Mars in Capricorn was join'd:
Of him disposing in his own abode,
He sooth'd the Goddess, while he gull’d the God :
Cease, daughter, to complain, and stint the trife;
Thy Palamon shall have his promis d wife :
And Mars, the lord of conquest, in the fight
With palm and laurel shall adorn his knight.
Wide is my course, nor turn I to my place,
Till length of time, and move with tardy pace.
Man feels me, when I press thetherial plains,
My hand is heavy, and the wound remains,
Mine is the shipwreck, in a watery fign;
And in an earthy, the dark dungeon mine.
Cold shivering agues, melancholy care,
And bitter blasting winds, and poison'd air,
Are mine, and wilful death, resulting from despair.
The throtling quinsey ’tis my star appoints,
And rheumatisms ascend to rack the joints :
When churls rebel against their native prince,
I arm their hands, and furnith the pretence ;
And, housing in the lion's hateful fign,
Bought senates and deserting troops are mine.
Mine is the privy poisoning; I command
Unkindly seasons, and ungrateful land.
By me king's palaces are push'd to ground,
And miners crush'd beneath their mines are found.
'Twas I flew Samson, when the pillar'd hall
Fell down, and crush'd the many with the fall.
My looking is the fire of peftilence,
That sweeps at once the people and the prince.
Now weep no more, but trust thy grandsire's art,
Mars shall be pleas'd, and thou perform thy part.
'Tis ill, though different your complexions are,
The family of Heaven for men should war.
Th’expedient pleas’d, where neither lost his right;
Mars had the day, and Venus had the night.
The management they left to Chronos' care ;
Now turn we to th' effect, and sing the war.
In Athens all was pleasure, mirth, and play,
All proper to the spring, and sprightly May: