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The ladies dress'd in rich cymar were seen The laurel champions with their swords invade
And seeds of latent fire from Aints provoke :
They warm'd their frozen feet, and dried their wet of flowers a garland blended white and red. Refresh'd with heat, the ladies sought around Attir'd in mantles all the knights were seen, For virtuous herbs, which gather'd from the ground That gratified the view with cheerful green: They squeez'd the juice, and cooling ointment made, Their chaplets of their ladies' colors were, (hair: Which on their sun-burnt cheeks and their chapt skins Composid of white and red, to shade their shining
they laid : Before the merry troop the minstrels play'd ; Then sought green salads, which they bade them eat, All in their masters' liveries were array'd, A sovereign remedy for inward heat. And clad in green, and on their temples wore The lady of the leaf ordain'd a feast, The chaplets white and red their ladies bore. And made the lady of the flower her guest : Their instruments were various in their kind, When lo, a bower ascended on the plain, Some for the bow, and some for breathing wind : With sudden seats ordain'd, and large for either train. The sawtry, pipe, and hautboy's noisy band, [hand. This bower was near my pleasant arbor plac'd, And the soft lute trembling beneath the touching That I could hear and see whatever passid: A tuft of daisies on a flowery lay
The ladies sat with each a knight between, They saw, and thitherward they bent their way; Distinguish'd by their colors, white and green; To this both knights and dames their homage made, The vanquish'd party with the victors join'd, And due obeisance to the daisy paid.
Nor wanted sweet discourse, the banquet of the mind. And then the band of flutes began to play, Meantime the minstrels play'd on either side, To which a lady sung a virelay:
Vain of their art, and for the mastery vied : And still at every close she would repeat
The sweet contention lasted for an hour,
The Sun was set; and Vesper, to supply
But soon their pleasure pass’d: at noon of day, Fled from her laurel shade, and wing'd her flight
As if all day, preluding to the fight,
The banquet ended, and the battle done,
The Moon to follow, and avoid the day.
This when I saw, inquisitive to know
As to some being of superior kind,
She said ; and I, who much desir'd to know Nor shall be wanting aught within my power Of whence she was, yet fearful how to break For your relief in my refreshing bower."
My mind, adventur'd humbly thus to speak : That other answer'd with a lowly look,
· Madam, might I presume and not offend, And soon the gracious invitation took :
So may the stars and shining Moon attend For ill at ease both she and all her train
Your nightly sports, as you vouchsafe to tell The scorching Sun had horne, and beating rain. What nymphs they were who mortal forms excel, Like courtesy was us'd by all in white, (knight. And what the knights who fought in listed fields so Each dame à dame receiv'd, and every knight a
To this the dame replied : “Fair daughter, know, Our England's ornament, the crown's defence, That what you saw was all a fairy show:
In battle brave, protectors of their prince: And all those airy shapes you now behold, (mould, Unchang'd by fortune, to their sovereign true, Were human bodies once, and cloth'd with earthly For which their manly legs are bound with blue. Our souls, not yet prepar'd for upper light, These, of the garter callid, of faith unstain'd, Till doomsday wander in the shades of night; In fighting fields the laurel have obtain'd, This only holiday of all the year,
And well repaid the honors which they gain'd. We privileg'd in sun-shine may appear:
The laurel wreaths were first by Cæsar worn, With songs and dance we celebrate the day, And still they Cæsar's successors adom: And with due honors usher in the May.
One leaf of this is immortality, At other times we reign by night alone,
And more of worth than all the world can buy." And posting through the skies pursue the Moon : One doubt remains," said I, “ the dames in green, But when the morn arises, none are found; What were their qualities, and who their queen ?" For cruel Demogorgon walks the round,
“ Flora commands," said she, " those nymphs and And if he finds a fairy lag in light,
knights, He drives the wretch before, and lashes into night. Who liv'd in slothful ease and loose delights;
“ All courteous are by kind ; and ever proud Who never acts of honor durst pursue, With friendly oflices to help the good.
The men inglorious knights, the ladies all untrue : In every land we have a larger space
Who, nurs'd in idleness, and train'd in courts, Than what is known to you of mortal race : Pass:d all their precious hours in plays and sports, Where we with green adorn our fairy bowers, Till Death behind came stalking on, unseen, And ev’n this grove, unseen before, is ours.
And wither'd (like the storm) the freshness of their Know farther: every lady cloth'd in white,
green. And, crown'd with oak and laurel every knight, These, and their mates, enjoy their present hour, Are servants to the Leaf, by liveries known And therefore pay their homage to the Flower. Of innocence; and I myself am one.
But knights in knightly deeds should persevere, Saw you not her so graceful to behold
And still continue what at first they were ; In white attire, and crown'd with radiant gold? Continue, and proceed in horor's fair career. The sovereign lady of our land is she,
No room for cowardice, or dull delay; Diana call’d, the queen of chastity:
From good to better they should urge their way. And, for the spotless name of maid she bears, For this with golden spurs the chiefs are gracd, That agnus-castus in her hand appears;
With pointed rowels arm'd to mend their baste; And all her train, with leafy chaplets crown'd, For this with lasting leaves their brows are bound; Were for unblam'd virginity renown'd;
For laurel is the sign of labor crownd, (ground : But those the chief and highest in command, Which bears the bitter blast, nor shaken falls to Who bear those holy branches in their hand : From winter winds it suffers no decay, The knights adorn’d with laurel crowns are they, For ever fresh and fair, and every month is May. Whom death nor danger never could dismay, Ev'n when the vital sap retreats below, Victorious names, who made the world obey : Ev’n when the hoary head is hid in snow; Who, while they liv'd, in deeds of arms excell'd, The life is in the leaf, and still between And after death for deities were held.
The fits of falling snow appears the streaky green. But those, who wear the woodbine on their brow, Not so the flower, which lasts for little space, Were knights of love, who never broke their vow; A short-liv'd good, and an uncertain grace ; Firm to their plighted faith, and ever free
This way and that the feeble stem is driven, From fears, and fickle chance, and jealousy. Weak to sustain the storms and injuries of Heaven. The lords and ladies, who the woodbine bear, Propp'd by the spring, it lifts aloft the head, As true as Tristram and Isotta were."
But of a sickly beauty, soon to shed : " But what are those,” said I,“ th’unconquer'd nine, In summer living, and in winter dead. Who crown'd with laurel-wreaths in golden armor For things of tender kind, for pleasure made, shine ?
Shoot up with swift increase, and sudden are deAnd who the knights in green, and what the train
cayd.” Of ladies dress'd with daisies on the plain?
With humble words, the wisest I could frame, Why both the bands in worship disagree,
And proffer'd service, I repaid the dame; And some adorn the flower, and some the tree ?" That, of her grace, she gave her maid to know
“ Just is your suit, fair daughter,” said the dame : The secret meaning of this moral show. “ Those laureld chiefs were men of mighty fame; And she, to prove what profit I had made Nine worthies were thoy callid, of ditferent rites, Of mystic truth, in fables first convey'd, Three Jews, three Pagans, and three Christian Demanded, till the next returning May, knights.
Whether the Leaf or Flower I would obey ! These, as you see, ride foremost in the field, I chose the leaf; she smild with sober cheer, As they the foremost rank of honor held,
And wish'd me fair adventure for the year, And all in deeds of chivalry excell'd:
And gave me charms and sigils, for defence Their temples wreath'd with leaves, that still renew; Against ill tongues that scandal innocence : For deathless laurel is the victor's due :
“ But I," said she, “ my fellows must pursue, Who bear the bows were knights in Arthur's reign, Already past the plain, and out of view." Twelve they, and twelve the peers of Charlemain; We parted thus; I homeward sped my way, For bows the strength of brawny arms imply, Bewilder'd in the wood till dawn of day: Emblems of valor and of victory.
And met the merry crew who danc'd about the May Behold an order yet of newer date
Then, late refresh'd with sleep, I rose to write Doubling their number, equal in their state; The visionary vigils of the night :
Blush, as thou may’st, my Little Book, with shame, He look'd like Nature's error, as the mind
The ruling rod, the father's forming care,
Now scorn'd of all, and grown the public shame,
The people from Galesus chang'd his name,
And Cymon call’d, which signifies a brute ;
So well his name did with his nature suit.
His father, when he found his labor lost,
And care employ'd that answer'd not the cost,
And loath'd to see what Nature made him love;
Thus to the wilds the sturdy Cymon went, (ment. With riotous excess, a priestly race.
A squire among the swains, and pleas'd with banishSuppose him free, and that I forge th' offence, His corn and cattle were his only care, He show'd the way, perverting first my sense : And his supreme delight a country fair. In malice willy, and with venom fraught,
It happen'd on a summer's holiday, He makes me speak the things I never thought. That to the greenwood shade he took his way; Compute the gains of his ungovernd zeal; For Cymon shunnid the church, and us'd not much Ill suits his cloth the praise of railing well.
to pray. The world will think, that what we loosely write, His quarter-staff, which he could ne'er forsake, Though now arraign’d, he read with some delight; Hung half before, and half behind his back. Because he seems to chew the cud again,
He trudg'd along, unknowing what he sought, When his broad comment makes the text too plain ; And whistled as he went for want of thought. And teaches more in one explaining page,
By Chance conducted, or by thirst constrain'd, Than all the double-meanings of the stage.
The deep recesses of the grove he gain d;
By which an alabaster fountain stood :
Like Dian and her nymphs, when, tir'd with sport, Nor love is always of a vicious kind,
To rest by cool Eurotas they resort : But oft to virtuous acts inflames the mind,
The dame herself the goddess well express'd, Awakes the sleepy vigor of the soul,
Not more distinguish'd by her purple vest,
And ev'n in slumber a superior grace:
Where two beginning paps were scarcely spied,
To meet the fanning wind the bosom rose; Ormond, the first, and all the fair may find, The fanning wind, and purling streams, continue In this one legend, to their fame design'd,
her repose. When Beauty fires the blood, how Love exalts the The fool of Nature stood with stupid eyes, mind.
And gaping mouth that testified surprise,
Fix'd on her face, nor could remove his sight, Is that sweet isle where Venus keeps her court,
New as he was to love, and novice to delight: And every Grace, and all the Loves, resort; Long mute he stood, and leaning on his staff, Where either sex is form'd of softer earth,
His wonder witness'd with an idiot laugh ; And takes the bent of pleasure from their birth; Then would have spoke, but by his glimmering sense There liv'd a Cyprian lord, above the rest
First found his want of words, and fear'd offence : Wise, wealthy, with a numerous issue bless'd. Doubted for what he was he should be known, But as no gift of Fortune is sincere,
By his clown accent, and his country tone. Was only wanting in a worthy heir;
Through the rude chaos thus the running light His eldest-born, a goodly youth to view,
Shot the first ray that pierc'd the native night; Excell'd the rest in shape, and outward show, Then day and darkness in the mass were mix'd, Fair, tall, bis limbs with due proportion join'd, Till gather'd in a globe the beams were fix'd: But of a heavy, dull, degenerate mind.
Last shone the Sun, who, radiant in his sphere, His soul belied the features of his face:
Illumin'd Heaven and Earth, and roll'd around the Beauty was there, but beauty in disgrace.
year. A clownish mien, a voice with rustic sound, So reason in this brutal soul began, And stupid eyes that ever lov'd the ground.
Love made him first suspect he was a man;
Love made him doubt his broad barbarian sound; This to prevent, she wak'd her sleepy crew,
Then Cymon first his rustic voice essay'd,
What not his father's care, nor tutor's art, To see her safe ; his hand she long denied, Could plant with pains in his unpolish'd heart, But took at length, asham'd of such a guide. The best instructor, Love, at once inspir'd, So Cymon led her home, and leaving there, As barren grounds to fruitfulness are fir'd :
No more would to his country clowns repair, Love taught him shame; and Shame, with Love at But sought his father's house, with better mind, strife,
Refusing in the farm to be confin'd. Soon taught the sweet civilities of life ;.
The father wonder'd at the son's return, His gross material soul at once could find
And knew not whether to rejoice or mourn; Somewhat in her excelling all her kind:
But doubtfully receiv'd, expecting still Exciting a desire till then unknown,
To learn the secret causes of his alter'd will. Somewhat unfound, or found in her alone.
Nor was he long delay'd: the first request This made the first impression on his mind,
He made, was like his brothers to be dress d, Above, but just above, the brutal kind.
And, as his birth requir'd, above the rest. For beasts can like, but not distinguish too,
With ease his suit was granted by his sire, Nor their own liking by reflection know;
Distinguishing his heir by rich attire : Nor why they like or this or t' other face,
His body thus adorn'd, he next design'd Or judge of this or that peculiar grace ;
With liberal arts to cultivate his mind : But love in gross, and stupidly admire :
He sought a tutor of his own accord, As flies, allur'd by light, approach the fire.
And studied lessons he before abhorr'd. Thus our man-beast, advancing by degrees,
Thus the man-child advanc'd, and learn'd so fasi, First likes the whole, then separates what he sees; That in short time his equals he surpass d : On several parts a several praise bestows,
His brutal manners from his breast exild, The ruby lips, the well-proportion'd nose,
His mien he fashion'd and his tongue he filld; The snowy skin, and raven-glossy hair,
In every exercise of all admir'd, The dimpled cheek, and forehead rising fair, He seem'd, nor only seem'd, but was inspir'd: And, ev'n in sleep itself, a smiling air.
Inspir'd by Love, whose business is to please ; From thence his eyes descending view'd the rest, He rode, he fenc'd, he mov'd with graceful ease, Her plump round arms, white hands, and heaving More fam’d for sense, for courtly carriage more, breast.
Than for his brutal folly known before. Long on the last he dwelt, though every part
What then of alter'd Cymon shall we say, A pointed arrow sped to pierce his heart.
But that the fire which chok'd in ashes lay, Thus in a trice a judge of beauty grown, A load too heavy for his soul to move, (Lore (A judge erected from a country clown)
Was upward blown below, and brush'd away by He long'd to see her eyes, in slumber hid,
Love made an active progress through his mind, And wish'd his own could pierce within the lid : The dusky parts he clear'd, the gross refind, He would have wak'd her, but restrain'd his thought, The drowsy wak’d; and as he went impress'd And Love, new-born, the first good-manners taught. The Maker's image on the human breast. And awful Fear his ardent wish withstood, Thus was the man amended by desire, Nor durst disturb the goddess of the wood; And though he lov'd perhaps with 100 much fire, For such she seem'd by her celestial face,
His father all his faults with reason scann'd, Excelling all the rest of human race.
And likʼd an error of the better hand ; And things divine, by common sense he knew, Excus'd th' excess of passion in his mind, Must be devoutly seen, at distant view :
By flames too fierce, perhaps too much refin'd: So checking his desire, with trembling heart So Cymon, since his sire indulg'd his will, Gazing he stood, nor would nor could depart; Impetuous lov’d, and would be Cymon still; Fix'd as a pilgrim wilder'd in his way,
Galesus he disown'd, and chose to bear Who dares not stir by night, for fear to stray, The name of fool confirm'd and bishop'd by the fair But stands with awful eyes to watch the dawn of To Cipseus by his friends his suit he mov'd, day.
Cipseus the father of the fair he lov'd :
But he was pre-engag’d by former ties,
The slavering cudden, propp'd upon his staff, Her sire and she to Rhodian Pasimond,
Nor could retract; and thus, as Fate decreed, To speak, but wisely kept the fool within. Though better lov'd, he spoke too late to speed. Then she: “What makes you, Cymon, here alone?" The doom was past, the ship, already sent, (For Cymon's name was round the country known, Did all his tardy diligence prevent : Because descended of a noble race,
Sigh'd to herself the fair unhappy maid, And for a soul ill sorted with his face.)
While stormy Cymon thus in secret said: But still the sot stood silent with surprise, The time is come for Iphigene to find With fix'd regard on her new-open'd eyes,
The miracle she wronght upon my mind : And in his breast receiv'd th' envenom'd dart, Her charms have made me man, her ravish'd love A tickling pain that pleas'd amid the smart. In rank shall place me with the bless'd above. But, conscious of her form, with quick distrust For mine by love, by force she shall be mine, She saw his sparkling eyes, and feard his brutal lust: Or death, if force should fail, shall finish my design'
Resolv'd he said ; and rigg'd with speedy care But all at once ; at once the winds arise,
In vain the trembling sailors ply their hands :
And from the first they labor in despair. Nor long expected, for the following tide
The giddy ship betwixt the winds and tides, Sent out the hostile ship and beauteous bride. Fore'd back, and forwards, in a circle rides, To Rhodes the rival bark directly steerd,
Stunn'd with the different blows; then shoots amain, When Cymon sudden at ber back appear’d, Till, counterbuff'd, she stops, and sleeps again. And stopp'd her flight: then, standing on his prow, Not more aghast the proud archangel fell, In haughty terms he thus defied the foe :
Plung'd from the height of Heaven to deepest Hell, " Or strike your sails at summons, or prepare
Than stood the lover of his love possess'd, To prove the last extremities of war.”
Now curs'd the more, the more he had been blessid ; Thus warn'd, the Rhodians for the fight provide ; More anxious for her danger than his own, Already were the vessels side by side,
Death he defies; but would be lost alone. These obstinate to save, and those to seize the bride. Sad Iphigene to womanish complaints But Cymon soon his crooked grapples cast, Adds pious prayers, and wearies all the saints; Which with tenacious hold his foes embrac'd, Ey'n if she could, her love she would repent, And, arm'd with sword and shield, amid the press he But, since she cannot, dreads the punishment : pass'd.
Her forfeit faith, and Pasimond betray’d, Fierce was the fight, but, hastening to his prey, Are ever present, and her crime upbraid. By force the furious lover freed his way:
She blames herself, nor blames her lover less, Himself alone dispers’d the Rhodian crew,
Augments her anger, as her fears increase : The weak disdain'd, the valiant overthrew;
From her own back the burthen would remove,
Invade, and violate another's right:
But soon they punish'd his presumptuous pride ;
Then impotent of mind, with alterd sense, Robb'd by my rival, and detain'd by you :
She hugg’d th' offender, and forgave th' offence, Your Pasimond a lawless bargain drove,
Sex to the last : meantime with sails declin'd
The land was welcome, but the tempest bore
A winding bay was near; to this they bent, While to his arms the blushing bride he took, And just escap'd ; their force already spent : To seeming sadness she compos'd her look ; Secure from storms, and panting from the sea, As if by force subjected to his will,
The land unknown at leisure they survey ; Though pleas'd, dissembling, and a woman still. And saw (but soon their sickly sight withdrew) And, for she wept, he wip'd her falling tears, The rising towers of Rhodes at distant view; And pray'd her to dismiss her empty fears ; And curs d the hostile shore of Pasimond,
For yours I am,” he said, “and have deservid Sav'd from the seas, and shipwreck'd on the ground Your love much better whom so long I serv'd, The frighted sailors tried their strength in vain Than he to whom your formal father tied
To turn the stern, and tempt the stormy main ; Your vows, and sold a slave, not sent a bride." But the stiff wind withstood the laboring oar, Thus while he spoke, he seiz'd the willing prey, And forc'd them forward on the fatal shore ! As Paris bore the Spartan spouse away.
The crooked keel now bites the Rhodian strand, Faintly she scream'd, and ev'n her eyes confess'd And the ship moor’d constrains the crew to land : She rather would be thought, than was distress'd. Yet still they might be safe, because unknown, Who now exults but Cymon in his mind ?
But, as ill-fortune seldom comes alone,
Already shelter'd on their native shore ; [cheer; Secure of Fate, while Cymon plows the sea, Known each, they know; but each with change of And steers to Candy with his conquer'd prey,
The vanquish'd side exults; the victors fear; Scarce the third glass of measur'd hours was run,
Not them, but theirs, made prisoners ere they fight, When, like a fiery meteor, sunk the Sun;
Despairing conquest, and depriv'd of flight. The promise of a storm ; the shifting gales
The country rings around with loud alarms, Forsake by fits, and fill the flagging sails ;
And raw in fields the rude militia swarms; Hoarse murmurs of the main from far were heard, Mouths without hands ; maintain d at vast expense And night came on, not by degrees prepard, In peace a charge, in war a weak defence :