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Arise, he said, to conquering Athens go,
There fate appoints an end to all thy woe.
The fright awaken’d Arcite with a start,
Against his bofom bounc'd his heaving heart;
But soon he said, with scarce-recover'd breath,
And thither will I go, to meet my death,
Sure to be Nain ; but death is my desire,
Since in Emilia's fight I shall expire.
By chance he spy'd a mirror while he spoke,
And gazing there beheld his alter'd look ;
Wondering, he saw his features and his hue
So much were chang'd, that scarce himself he knew.
A sudden thought then starting in his mind,
Since I in Arcite cannot Arcite find,
The world may search in vain with all their eyes,
But never penetrate through this disguise.
Thanks to the change which grief and sickness give,
In low estate Î may securely live,
And see unknown my mistress day by day.
He said; and cloth'd himself in coarse array:
A labouring hind in shew; then forth he went,
And to th’ Athenian towers his journey bent :
One squire attended in the same disguise,
Made conscious of his master's enterprise.
Arriv'd at Athens soon he came to court,
Unknown, unquestion’d, in that thick resort:
Proffering for hire his service at the gate,
To drudge, traw water, and to run or wait.

So fair befel him, that for little gain
He serv'd at first Emilia's chamberlain ;

And,

And, watchful all advantages' to spy,
Was still at hand, and in his master's eye ;
And as his bones were big, and finews strong,
Refus'd no toil that could to saves belong ;
But from deep wells with engines water drew, -
And us'd his noble hands the wood to hew,
He pass’d a year at least attending thus
On Emily, and call'd Philostratus.
But never was there man of his degree
So much esteem'd, so well belov'd as he.
So gentle of condition was he known,
That through the court his courtesy was blown :
All think him worthy of a greater place,
And recommend him to the royal grace :
That, exercis'd within a higher sphere,
His virtues more conspicuous might appear.
Thus by the general voice was Arcite prais’d,
And by great Theseus to high favour rais'd :
Among his menial servants first enrollid,
And largely entertain'd with sums of gold :
Besides what secretly from Thebes was sent,
Of his own income, and his annual rent:
This well employd, he purchas'd friends and fame
But cautiously conceald from whence it came.
Thus for tåree years he liv'd with large increase,
In arms of honour, and esteem in peace;
To Theseus' person he was ever near ;
And Theseus for his virtues held him dear.-

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PALA

P A L AMON AND

AR CITE:

OR, THE KNIGHT'S TALE.

BOOK II.

WH

HILE Arcite lives in bliss, the story turns

Where hopeless Palamon in prison mourns.
For fix long years immur'd, the captive knight
Had dragg’d his chains, and scarcely seen the light:
Loft liberty, and love, at once he bore :
His prison pain’d him much, his paffion more :
Nor dares he hope his fetters to remove,
Nor ever wishes to be free from love.

But when the sixth revolving year was run,
And May within the Twins receiv'd the sun,
Were it by chance, or forceful destiny,
Which forms in causes first whate'er shall be,
Affisted by a friend, one moonless night,
This Palamon from prison took his flight:
A pleasant beverage he prepar'd before
Of wine and honey mix'd with added store
Of opium ; to his keeper this he brought,
Who swallow'd unaware the sleepy draught,
And snor'd secure till morn, his senses bound
In sumber, and in long oblivion drown'd.
Short was the night, and careful Palamon
Sought the next covert ere the rising sun.
A thick spread forest near the city lay,
To this with lengthen’d strides he took his

way (For far he could not fly, and fear'd the day).

Safe

}

Safe from pursuit, he meant to shun the light,
Till the brown shadows of the friendly night
To Thebes might favour his intended flight.
When to his country come, his next design
Was all the Theban race in arms to join,
And war on Theseus, till he lost his life,
Or won the beauteous Emily to wife.
Thus while his thoughts the lingering day beguile,
To gentle Arcite let us turn our stile;
Who little dreamt how nigh he was to care,
Till treacherous fortune caught him in the snare.
The morning-lark, the messenger of day,
Saluted in her song the morning gray ;
And soon the sun arose with beams so bright,
That all th' horizon laugh'd to see the joyous sight ;
He with his tepid rays the rose renews,
And licks the drooping leaves, and dries the dews ;
When Arcite left his bed, resolv’d to pay
Obfervance to the month of merry May :
Forth on

his fiery steed betimes he rode,
That scarcely prints the turf on which he trod :
At ease he seem'd, and, prancing o'er the plains,
Turnd only to the grove his horfe’s reins,
The grove I nam'd before ; and, lighted there,
A woodbine garland fought to crown his hair;
Then turn’d his face against the rising day,
And rais'd his voice to welcome in the May.

For thee, sweet month, the groves green liveries wear, If not the first, the fairest of the year :

For

}

For thee the Graces lead the dancing hours,
And Nature's ready pencil paints the flowers :
When thy short reign is past, the feverith fun
The sultry tropic fears, and moves more slowly on.
So

may thy tender bloffoms fear no blight,
Nor goats with venom'd teeth thy tendrils bite,
As thou shalt guide my wandering feet to find
The fragrant greens I seek, my brows to bind.

His vows address’d, within the grove he stray'd,
Till fate, or fortune, near the place convey'd
His steps where secret Palamon was laid.
Full little thought of him the gentle knight,
Who flying death had there conceal'd his flight,
In brakes and brambles hid, and funning mortal

fight : And less he knew himn for his hated foe, But fear'd him as a man he did not know. But as it has been said of ancient years, That fields are full of eyes, and woods have ears; For this the wife are ever on their guard, For, unforeseen, they say, is unprepar'd. Uncautious Arcite thought himself alone, And less than all suspected Palaron, Who listening heard him, while he search'd the grove, And loudly sung his roundelay of love : But on the sudden stopp’d, and silent stood, As lovers often muse, and change their mood; Now high as heaven, and then as low as hell ; Now up, now down, as buckets in a well :

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