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But on the Day when this returning Sun
To the same Point through ev'ry Sign has run,
Then each of you his Hundred Knights shall bring,
In Royal Lists, to fight before the King;
And then, the Knight whom Fate or happy Chance
Shall with his Friends to Vi&ory advance,
And grace his Arms so far in equal Fight,
From out the Bars to force his Opposite,
Or kill, or make him Recreant on the Plain,
The Prize of Valour and of Love shall gain;
The vanquish'd Party shall their Claim release,
And the long Jars conclude in lasting Peace.
The Charge be mine t'adorn the chosen Ground,
The Theatre of War, for Champions so renown'd;
And take the Patrons Place of either Knight,
With Eyes impartial to behold the Fight;
And Heav'n of me sojudge, as I shall judge aright.
If both are fatisfy'd with this Accord,
Swear by the Laws of Knighthood on my Sword.
Who' now but Palamon exults with Joy?
And ravish'd Arcite seems to touch the Sky:
The whole affembled Troop was pleas'd as well, Extold th’Award, and on their Knees they fell To'bless the gracious King. The Knights with
Leave Departing from the Place, his last CommandsreOn Emily with equal Ardour look,
[ceive; And from her 'Eyes their 'Inspiration took. From thence to Thebes’old Walls pursue their Way, Each to provide his Champions for the Day.
It might be deem’d on our Historian's Part,
Ortoo much Negligence, or want of Art,
If he forgot the vast Magnificence
Of Royal Theseus, and his large Expence.
He first enclos'd for Lists a level Ground,
The whole Circumference'a Mile around:
The Forin was Circular; and all without
A Trench was funk, to Moar the Place about.
Within; an Amphitheatre appear'd,
Rais'd in Degrees; to fixty Paces rear's:
That' when a Man was plac'd in one Degree,
Height was allow'd for him above to see.
Eastward was built a Gate of Marble white ; The like adornd the Western opposite.
A nobler Object than this Fabrick was,
Rome never saw; nor of so vast a Space.
For, rich with Spoils of many a conquer'd Land,
All Arts and Artists Theseus could command;
Who sold for Hire, or wrought for better Fame:
The Master-Painters, and the Carvers came.
So rose within the Compass of the Year
An Age's Work, a glorious Theatre.
Then o'er its Eastern Gate was rais'd above
A Temple, sacred to the Queen of Love;
An Altar ftood below: On either Hand
[Wand. A Priest with Roses Crown'd, who held a Myrtle
The Dome of Mars was on the Gate oppos’d, And on the North a Turret was enclos’d, Within the Wall, of Alabaster white, And crimson Coral, for the Queen of Night, Who takes in Sylvan Sports her chaste Delight.
Within these Oratories might you see Rich Carvings, Pourtraitures, and Imagery: Where ev'ry Figure to the Life express’d The Godhead's Pow'r to whom it was address'd. In Venus' Temple, on the Sides were seen The broken Slumbers of inamour'd Men:
Pray’rs that ev'n spoke, and Pity seem'd to call, And issuing Sighs that smoak'd along the Wall. Complaints, and hot Desires, the Lover's Hell, And scalding Tears, that wore a Channel where
they fell: And all around were Nuptial Bonds, the Ties Of Loves Assurance, and a Train of Lies, That, made in Lust, conclude in Perjuries. Beauty, and Youth, and Wealth, and Luxury, And spritely Hope, and short-enduring Joy; And Sorceries to raise th’Infernal Pow'rs, And Sigils fram'd in Planetary Hours: Expence, and After-thought, and idle Care, And Doubts of motley Hue, and dark Despair: Suspicions, and fantastical Surmise, And Jealousie suffus’d, with Jaundice in her Eyes; Discolouring all she view'd, in Tawney dress'd; Down-look'd, and with a Cuckow on her Fift. Oppos'd to her, on t'other Side, advance The costly Feast, the Carol, and the Dance, Minstrels, and Musick, Poetry, and Play, And Balls by Night, and Turnaments by Day.
All these were painted on the Wall, and more ;
With Acts, and Monuments of Times before :-
And others added by Prophetick Doom,
And Lovers yet unborn, and Loves to come:
For there, th' Idalian Mount, and Citheron,
The Court of Venus, was in Colours drawn:
Before the Palace-gate, in careless Dress,
And loose Array, fat Portress Idleness:.;
There, by the Fount, Narcisus pin'd alone;
There Sampson was; with wiser Solomon,
And all the mighty Names by Love undone ;
Medea's Charms were there, Circean Feasts,
With Bowls that turn’dinamour'd Youth to Beasts.
Here might be seen, that Beauty,Wealth and Wit,
And Prowess, to the Pow'r of Love submit:
The spreading Snare for all Mankind is laid;
And Lovers all betray, and are betray'd.
The Goddess felf, some noble Hand had wrought;
Smiling she seem’d, and full of pleasing Thought;
From Ocean as she first began to rise,
And smooth'd the ruffledSeas,and clear'd theSkies;
She trode the Brine all bare below the Breast,
And the green Waves but ill conceal’d the rest;