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Then to the palace-hall they bore the knight,
To lie in solemn state, a public sight:
Groans, cries, and howlings, fill the crowded place,
And unaffected sorrow sat on every face.
Sad Palamon above the rest appears,
In sable garments, dewed with gushing tears;
His auburn locks on either shoulder flowed,
Which to the funeral of his friend he vowed :
But Emily, as chief, was next his side,
A virgin-widow, and a mourning bride.
And, that the princely obsequies might be
Performed according to his high degree,
The steed, that bore him living to the fight,
Was trapped with polished steel, all shining bright,
And covered with the achievements of the knight.)
The riders rode abreast; and one his shield,
His lance of cornel-wood another held;
The third his bow; and, glorious to behold,
The costly quiver, all of burnished gold.
The noblest of the Grecians next appear,
And, weeping, on their shoulders bore the bier ;
With sober pace they marched, and often staid,
And through the master-street the corpse conveyed.
The houses to their tops with black were spread,
And even the pavements were with mourning hid.
The right side of the pall old Egeus kept,
And on the left the royal Theseus wept;
Each bore a golden bowl, of work divine,
With honey filled, and milk, and mixed with ruddy
Then Palamon, the kinsman of the slain;
And after him appeared the illustrious train.
To grace the pomp, came Emily the bright,
With covered fire, the funeral pile to light.
With high devotion was the service made,
And all the rites of pagan honour paid:
So lofty was the pile, a Parthian bow,
With vigour drawn, must send the shaft below.
The bottom was full twenty fathom broad,
With crackling straw beneath in due proportion
The fabric seemed a wood of rising green,
With sulphur and bitumen cast between,
To feed the flames; the trees were unctuous fir,
And mountain-ash, the mother of the spear;
The mourner-yew, and builder-nak, were there;
The beech, the swimming alder, and the plane,
Hard box, and linden of a softer grain,
And laurels, which the gods for conquering chiefs
ordain. How they were ranked shall rest untold by me, With nameless nymphs that lived in every tree; Nor how the dryads, and the woodland train, Disherited, ran howling o'er the plain; Nor how the birds to foreign seats repaired, Or beasts that bolted out, and saw the forest bared; Nor how the ground, now cleared, with ghastly fright, Beheld the sudden sun, a stranger to the light.
The straw, as first I said, was laid below; Of chips, and sere-wood, was the second row; The third of greens, and timber newly felled ; The fourth high stage the fragrant odours held, And pearls, and precious stones, and rich array; In midst of which, embalmed, the body lay. The service sung, the maid, with mourning eyes, The stubble fired; the smouldering flames arise: . This office done, she sunk upon the ground; But what she spoke, recovered from her swoon, I want the wit in moving words to dress; But, by themselves, the tender sex may guess, While the devouring fire was burning fast, Rich jewels in the flame the wealthy cast; And some their shields, and sonje their lances threw, And gave thet warrior's ghost a warrior's due.
Full bowls of wine, of honey, milk, and blood,
Were poured upon the pile of burning wood;
And hissing' flames receive; and, hungry, lick the
Then thrice the mounted squadrons ride around
The fire, and Arcite's name they thrice resound.
Hail and farewell! they shouted thrice amain,
Thrice facing to the left, and thrice they turned again:
Still, as they turned, they beat their clattering shields;
The women mix their cries, and clamour fills the fields.
The warlike wakes continued all the night,
And funeral-games were played at new-returning
Who, naked, wrestled best, besmeared with oil,
Or who, with gauntlets, gave or took the foil,
I will not tell you, nor would you attend;
But briefly haste to my long story's end.
I pass the rest. The year was fully mourned,
And Palamon long since to Thebes returned.
When, by the Grecians' general consent,
At Athens Theseus held his parliament;
Among the laws that passed, it was decreed,
That conquered Thebes from bondage should be freed;
Reserving homage to the Athenian throne,
To which the sovereign summoned Palamon.
Unknowing of the cause, he took his way,
Mournful in mind, and still in black array
The monarch mounts the throne, and, placed on
high, Commands into the court the beauteous Emily. So called, she came; the senate rose, and paid Becoming reverence to the royal maid. And first soft whispers through the assembly went; With silent wonder then they watched the event: All hushed, the king arose with awful grace, Deep thought was in his breast, and counsel in his
face i VOL. XI,
At length he sighed, and, having first prepared
The attentive audience, thus his will declared :-
The Cause and Spring of motion, from above,
Hung down on earth, the golden chain of Love;
Great was the effect, and high was his intent,
When peace among the jarring seeds he sent:
Fire, flood, and earth, and air, by this were bound,
And love, the common link, the new creation
crowned. The chain still holds; for, though the forms decay, Eternal matter never wears away: The same first mover certain bounds has placed, How long those perishable forms shall last; Nor can they last beyond the time assigned By that all-seeing, and all-making Mind: Shorten their hours they may; for will is free; But never pass the appointed destiny. So men oppressed, when weary of their breath, Throw off the burden, and suborn their death. Then, since those forms begin, and have their end, On some unaltered cause they sure depend : Parts of the whole are we; but God the whole; Who gives us life, and animating soul. For nature cannot from a part derive That being, which the whole can only give: He, perfect, stable; but imperfect we, Subject to change, and different in degree; Plants, beasts, and man; and, as our organs are, We, more or less, of his perfection share. But, by a long descent, the ethereal fire Corrupts; and forms, the mortal part, expire. As he withdraws his virtue, so they pass, And the same matter makes another mass. This law the Omniscient Power was pleased to give, That every kind should by succession live; That individuals die, his will ordains; The propagated species still remains.
The monarch oak, the patriarch of the trees,
Shoots rising up, and spreads by slow degrees;
Three centuries he grows, and three he stays,
Supreme in state, and in three more decays:
So wears the paving pebble in the street,
And towns and towers their fatal periods meet:
So rivers, rapid once, now naked lie,
Forsaken of their springs, and leave their channels
So man, at first a drop, dilates with heat,
Then formed, the little heart begins to beat;
Secret he feeds, unknowing in the cell;
At length, for hatching ripe, he breaks the shell,
And struggles into breath, and cries for aid;
Then, helpless, in his mother's lap is laid.
He creeps, he walks, and, issuing into man,
Grudges their life, from whence his own began;
Retchless of laws, affects to rule alone,
Anxious to reign, and restless on the throne;
First vegetive, then feels, and reasons last;
Rich of three souls, and lives all three to waste.
Some thus, but thousands more in flower of age;
For few arrive to run the latter stage.
Sunk in the first, in battle some are slain,
And others whelmed beneath the stormy main,
What makes all this, but Jupiter the king,
At whose cominand we perish, and we spring?
Then 'tis our best, since thus ordained to die,
To make a virtue of necessity;
Take what he gives, since to rebel is vain;
The bad grows better, which we well sustain;
And could we chuse the time, and chuse aright,
'Tis best to die, our honour at the height.
When we have done our ancestors no shame,
But served our friends, and well secured our fame;
Then should we wish our happy life to close,
And leave no more for fortune to dispose.