« ПредишнаНапред »
They squeezed the juice, and cooling ointment made, Which on their sun-burnt cheeks, and their chapt
skins, they laid ; Then sought green sallads, which they bade them eat, A sovereign remedy for inward heat.
The Lady of the Leaf ordained a feast, And made the Lady of the Flower her guest: When lo, a bower ascended on the plain, With sudden seats adorned, and large for either train. This bower was near my pleasant arbour placed, That I could hear and see whatever passed : The ladies sat with each a knight between, Distinguished by their colours, white and green; The vanquished party with the victors joined, Nor wanted sweet discourse, the banquet of the mind. Meantime the minstrels played on either side, Vain of their art, and for the mastery vied: The sweet contention lasted for an hour, And reached my secret arbour from the bower.
The sun was set; and Vesper, to supply His absent beams, had lighted up the sky: When Philomel, officiqus all the day To sing the service of the ensuing May, Fled from her laurel shade, and winged her flight Directly to the queen arrayed in white; And hopping sat familiar on her hand, A new musician, and increased the band.
The goldfinch, who, to shun the scalding heat, Had changed the medlar for a safer seat, And hid in bushes 'scaped the bitter shower, Now perched upon the Lady of the Flower; And either songster holding out their throats, And folding up their wings, renewed their notes; As if all day, preluding to the fight, They only had rehearsed, to sing by night. The banquet ended, and the battle done, They danced by star-light and the friendly moon : Vo L. XI.
And when they were to part, the laureat queen
This when I saw, inquisitive to know
At other times we reign by night alone,
All courteous are by kind; and ever proud
But what are those, said I, the unconquered nine, Who, crowned with laurel-wreaths, in golden armour
shine ? And who the knights in green, and what the train Of ladies dressed with daisies on the plain ? . Why both the bands in worship disagree, And some adore the flower, and some the tree?
Just is your suit, fair daughter, said the dame : Those laurelled chiefs were men of mighty fame; Nine worthies were they called of different rites, Three Jews, three Pagans, and three Christian
knights. * These, as you see, ride foremost in the field, As they the foremost rank of honour held, And all in deeds of chivalry excelled : Their temples wreathed with leaves, that still renew, For deathless laurel is the victor s due. Who bear the bows were knights in Arthur's reign, Twelve they, and twelve the peers of Charlemain; For bows the strength of brawny arms imply, Emblems of valour, and of victory. +
* The common list of the nine worthies comprehends-Hector, Pompey, and Alexander, Pagans; Joshua, David, and Judas Machabeus, Jews; and Arthur, Charlemagne, and Godfrey of Boulogne, Christians : But it is sometimes varied.
+ This is a mistake of Dryden, who was misled by the spelling of the old English. Chaucer talks of boughs, not of bows ; and says simply,
And tho that barin bowes in their hand,
Of the precious lawrier'so notable. This refers to the description of the knights at their entrance, which Dryden has rightly rendered :
Some in their hands, besides the lance and shield,
Of palm, of laurel, or of cerrial oak.
Behold an order yet of newer date,
One doubt remains, said I; the dames in green,
green. These, and their mates, enjoy the present hour, And therefore pay their homage to the flower. But knights in knightly deeds should persevere,) And still continue what at first they were; Continue, and proceed in honour's fair career. No room for cowardice, or dull delay; From good to better they should urge their way.
use it, made no part of a knight's proper weapons. But it is curious how Dryden, having fallen into an error, finds out a reason for his false reading, by alleging, that the bows were borne as an emblem of strength of arm, valour, and victory. [Since this note was written, I observe, that the ingenious Dr Aikın has anticipa ced my observation.]