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Fabricius from their walls repell’d the foe,
“ Then thus in peace,” quoth she, “concludes the Whose noble hands had exercis'd the plow.
strife, From henee, my lord and love, I thus conclude, Since I am turn'd the husband, you the wife : That though my homely ancestors were rude, The matrimonial victory is mine, Mean as I am, yet I may have the grace
Which, having fairly gain'd, I will resign; To make you father of a generous race :
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. That a glad poverty's an honest thing.
With joy he turn'd, and seiz'd her ivory arm ; Content is wealth, the riches of the mind;
And like Pygmalion found the statue warm. And happy he who can that treasure find. Small arguments there needed to prevail, But the base miser starves amidst his store, A storm of kisses pour'd as thick as hail. Broods on his gold, and, griping still at more, Thus long in mutual bliss they lay embrac'd, Sits sadly pining, and believes he's poor.
And their first love continued to the last : The ragged beggar, though he want relief, One sun-shine was their iife, no cloud between ; Has not to lose, and sings before the thief. Nor ever was a kinder couple seen. Want is a bitter and a hateful good,
And so may all our lives like theirs be led ; Because its virtues are not understood :
Heaven send the maids young husbands fresh in Yet many things, impossible to thought,
And some devouring plague pursue their lives, Prudence at once, and fortitude, it gives,
Who will not well be govern d by their wives. And, if in patience taken, mends our lives; For ev’n that indigence, that brings me low, Makes me myself, and Him above, to know. A good which none would challenge, few would
choose, A fair possession, which mankind refuse. If we from wealth to poverty descend,
THE CHARACTER OF A GOOD PARSON. Want gives to know the flatterer from the friend. If I am old and ugly, well for you,
A PARISH priest was of the pilgrim-train ; No lewd adulterer will my love pursue ;
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 And therefore of two gifts in my dispose, To sixty more, but that he liv'd too fast; Think ere you speak, I grant you leave to choose ; Refind himself to soul, to curb the sense ; Would you I should be still deform'd and old, And made almost a sin of abstinence. Nauseous to touch, and lothesome to behold; Yet, had his aspect nothing of severe, On this condition to remain for life
But such a face as promis'd him sincere. A careful, tender, and obedient wife,
Nothing reservd or sullen was 10 see; In all I can, contribute to your ease,
But sweet 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 arm’d; 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 aught 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 10 dwell. 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 seat.
To threats the stubborn sinner oft is hard,
God saw his image lively was express'd ; Wrapt in his crimes, against the storm prepar'd ; And his own work, as in creation, bless'd. But when the milder beams of Mercy play,
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 happy Harry clos'd. Those but proclaim his style, and disappear;
This prince, though great in arms, the priest withThe 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,
Was, by a flattering priest, invented since ;
And lasts no longer than the present sway ;
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 receivid : Tempting, 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,
He needs no foil, but shines by his own proper light. But duly watch'd his flock, by night and day ; And from the prowling wolf redeem'd the prey : And hungry sent the wily fox away.
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 ard arts,
And rich inhabitants, with generous hearts.
The foremost place for wealth and honor held,
This noble youth to madness lov’d a dame
Of high degree, Honoria was her name;
Fair as the fairest, but of haughty mind, His Savior came not with a gaudy show;
And fiercer than became so soft a kind. Nor was his kingdom of the world below.
Proud of her birth (for equal she had none ;) Patience in want, and poverty of mind,
The rest she scorn'd, but hated him alone; These marks of church and churchmen he design’d, 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. The crown he wore was of the pointed thorn : He liv’d with all the pomp he could devise, In purple he was crucified, not born.
At tilts and tournaments obtain’d the prize; They who contend for place and high degree,
But found no favor in his lady's eyes :
Relentless as a rock, the lofty maid
Turn'd all to poison, that he did or said:
Wearied at length, and wanting remedy, Reflecting, Moses-like, his Maker's face.
He doubted oft, 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 ;
As of a dame distress'd, who cried for aid, The less he hop'd, with more desire possess'd; And fill'd 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' uniam'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 dishevell d, 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 mastiffs 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'd, but little gain'a “ 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 court.
He cheer'd the dogs to follow her who fled,
As Theodore was born of noble kind,
A sapling pine he wrench'd from out the ground,
Thus furnish'd for offence, he cross'd 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 hair 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 knowist 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 flight, is she to death decreed :
But yet resolv'd, because it was the last. Then with this fatal sword, on which I died, The day was come, the guests invited came, I pierce her open back, or tender side,
And, with the rest, th' inexorable dame: And tear that harden'd heart from out her breast, A feast prepar'd with riotous expense, Which, with her entrails, makes my hungry hounds a Much cost, more care, and most magnificence. feast.
The place ordain'd was in that haunted grove, Nor lies she long, but, as her Fates ordain, Where the revenging ghost pursu'd his love : Springs up to life, and fresh to second pain, The tables in a proud pavilion spread, Is sav'd to-day, to-morrow to be slain.”
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 fulfill'd 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, roll'd the thunder, groan'd the ground. When thus the grisly spectre spoke again:
Nor long before the loud laments arise, “ Behold the fruit of ill-rewarded pain :
Of 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 food, 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 me die, 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 fighi, 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, he 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, Resolv'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 his friends together at his tent.
Drew backward as before th' offendii.g part;
The 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 ; The pale assistants on each other star'd,
Fear, Pride, Remorse, at once her heart assail'd, With gaping mouths for issuing words prepar'd; Pride put Remorse to flight, but Fear prevail’d. The still-born sounds upon the palate hung, Friday, the fatal day, when next it came, And died imperfect on the faltering tongue. Her soul forethought the fiend would change his game, The fright was general; but the female band And her pursue, or Theodore be slain, (plain. (A helpless train) in more confusion stand : And two ghosts join their packs to hunt her o'er the With horror shuddering, on a heap they run, This dreadful image so possess'd her mind, Sick at the sight of hateful justice done ; [own. That, desperate any succor else to find, Forconscience rung th’alarm, and made the case their She ceas'd all farther hope ; and now began
So, spread upon a lake, with upward eye, To make reflection on th' unhappy man, A plump of fowl behold their foe on high; Rich, brave, and young, who past expression lov’d, They close their trembling troop; and all attend Proof to disdain, and not to be remov'd: On whom the sowsing eagle will descend.
Of all the men respected and admir'd, But most the proud Honoria fear'd th' event, Of all the dames, except herself, desir'd: And thought to her alone the vision sent.
Why not of her ? preferr'd above the rest Her guilt presents to her distracted mind
By him with knightly deeds and open love profess'd ? Hoaven's justice, Theodore's revengeful kind, So had another been, where he his vows address'd. And the same fate to the same sin assign'd. This quell'd her pride, yet other doubts remain'd, Already sees herself the monster's prey,
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; But fear, the last of ills, remain'd behind,
Secure of her, the secret she confess'd ; And horror heavy sat on every mind.
And now the cheerful light her fears dispeļl'd, Nor Theodore encourag'd more the feast, She with no winding turns the truth concealid, But sternly look'd, as hatching in his breast But put the woman off, and stood reveald: Some deep designs; which when Honoria view'd, With faults confess'd commission'd her to go, The fresh impulse her former fright renew'd ; If pity yet had place, and reconcile her foe. She thought herself the trembling dame who fled, The welcome message made, was soon receivid; And him the grisly ghost that spurr'd th' infernal 'Twas to be wish'd, and hop'd, but scarce believ'd ; steed :
Fate seem'd a fair occasion to present; The more dismay'd, for when the guests withdrew, He knew the sex, and fear'd she might repent, Their courteous host, saluting all the crew, Should he delay the moment of consent. Regardless pass'd her o'er, nor grac'd with kind adieu; There yet remain'd to gain her friends (a care That sting infix'd within her haughty mind, The modesty of maidens well might spare ;) The downfall of her empire she divin'd;
But she with such a zeal the cause embrac'd, And her proud heart with secret sorrow pin'd. (As women, where they will, are all in haste) Home as they went, the sad discourse renew'd The father, mother, and the kin beside, Of the relentless dame to death pursu'd,
Were overborne by fury of the tide ; And of the sight obscene so lately view'd. With full consent of all, she chang'd her state; None durst arraign the righteous doom she bore, Resistless in her love, as in her hate. Ev'n they who pitied most, yet blam'd her more : By her example warn'd, the rest beware: The parallel they needed not to name,
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, Her blood all sever'd, with a furious leap Not light us here; so Reason's glimmering ray She sprang from bed, distracted in her mind, Was lent, not to assure our doubtful way, And fear'd, at every step, a twitching sprite behind. But guide us upward to a better day.