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The decencies of grief; it rests behind,
That, as our bodies were, our souls be join'd;
To thy whate’er abode, my shade convey,
And, as an elder ghoft, direct the way.
She said; and bade the vial to be brought,
Where she before had brew'd the deadly draught :
First pouring out the med’cinable bane,
The heart, her tears had rins’d, she bath'd again ;
Then down her throat the death securely throws,
And quaffs a long oblivion of her woes.
This done, she mounts the genial bed, and there (Her body first compos’d with honest care) Attends the welcome rest; her hands yet
Close to her heart the monumental gold;
Nor farther word she spoke, but clos’d her fights,
And quiet sought the covert of the night.'
The dainfels, who the while in silence mourn'd,
Not knowing, nor fufpecting death suborn’d,
Yet, as their duty was, to Tancred sent;
Who, conscious of th’occasion, fear'd th'evento
Alarm’d, and with presaging heart, he came,
And drew the curtains, and expos'd the dame
To loathsome light: then with a late relief
Made vain efforts, to mitigate her grief.
She, what she could, excluding day, her eyes
Kept firmly feal'd, and sternly thus replies :
Tancred, restrain thy tears, unsought by me,,
And fcrrow unavailing now to thee :
Did ever man before affli&t his mind,
To see th' effect of what hiin self design'd ?
Yet, if thou hast remaining in thy heart
Some sense of love, fome unextinguish'd part
Of former kindness, largely once profess’d,
Let ine by that adjure thy harden'd breast,
Not to deny thy daughter's last request :
The secret love which I so long enjoy'd,
And still conceald to gratify thy pride,
Thou hast disjoin'd; but, with my dying breath,
Seek not, I beg thee, to disjoin our death ;
Where'er his corpse by thy command is laid,
Thither let mine in public be convey'd ;
Expos’d in open view, and side by side,
Acknowledg’d as a bridegroom and a bride.
The prince's anguish hinder'd his reply:
And she, who felt her fate approaching nigh,
Seiz’d the cold heart, and, heaving to her breast,
Here, precious pledge, she said, securely rest!
These accents were her last; the creeping death
Benumb’d her senses first, then stopp'd her breath.
Thus she for disobedience justly dy'd :
The fire was justly punish'd for his pride :
The youth, least guilty, suffer'd for th' offence,
Of duty violated to his prince;
Who, late repenting of his cruel deed,
One common fepulchre for both decreed;
Intomb’d the wretched pair in royal state,
And on their monument inscrib'd their fate.
F 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 honour 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 fairelt, but of haughty mind, And fiercer than became so soft a kind, Proud of her birth (for equal she had none); The rest the scorn'd; but hated him alone, His gifts, his constant courtship, nothing gaind; 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 favour in his lady's eyes : Relentless as a rock, the lofty maid, Turu'd all to poison, that he did or faid : Nor prayers, nor tears, nor offer'dt vows, could move; The work went backward; and the more he strove T'advance his fuit, the farther from her love. VOL. III.
Weary'd at length, and wanting remedy,
He doubted oft, and oft refolu'd to die.
But pride ftood ready to prevent the blow,
For who would die to gratify a foe?
mind disdain'd so mean a fate;
That pass’d, his next endeavour was to hate.
But vainer that relief than all the rest,
The less he hop'd, with more desire possess’d;
Love stood the fiege, 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 fainilh'd
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 pity'd 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 expence, 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 neighbouring grove
Supply'd with birds, the choiristers of love :
Music unbought, that minister'd delight
To morning walks, and lullid his cares by night:
There he discharg'd his friends ; but not th'
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 penfive mind,
And fought the deepest folitude 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.