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To check my onward going that ofttimes,
With purpose to retrace my steps, I turn'd. 419. Silent and calm the river flow'd along;
And at the verge arriv'd
Of that fair garden, o'er å rocky bed,
Towards the mountain base,
Still full and silent, held its even way.
But farther as they went, its deepening sound
Louder and louder in the distance rose,
As if it forc'd its stream,
Struggling with crags, along a narrow pass :
And lo, where, raving o'er a hollow course,
The ever-flowing tide
Forms in a thousand whirlpools, then adown
The perforated rock
Plunge the whole waters ; so precipitous,
So fathomless a fall,
That their earth-shaking roar came deaden'd up
Like subterranean thunders.
M. What sounds are these ?
0. Hast thou forgot we are so near the city ?
It is the murmuring night-sound of her streets,
Which the soft breeze wafts to thine ear, thus softly
Mix'd with the chafings of the distant waves.
M. And let me listen too. I love the sound !
Like the last whispers of a dying enemy
It comes to my pleas'd ear.
Spent art thou, proud imperial queen of nations,
And thy last accents are upon the wind.
Thou hast but one more voice to utter - one,
Loud, frantic, terrible, and then art thou
Among the nations heard no more. List, list;
I like it well : the lion hears afar
Th’approaching prey, and shakes his bristling mane,
And lashes with his tail his tawny sides ;
And so hear I this city's nightly sound.
421. I. Upbraid not thus, 0 king, our feeble ses
Though not in dignity to match with yours.
The weapons woman wields are not ignoble :
And trust me, Thoas, in thy happiness
I have a deeper insight than thyself.
Thou thinkest, ignorant alike of both,
A closer union would augment our bliss ;
Inspir'd with confidence and honest zeal,
Thou strongly urgest me to yield consent:
And here I thank the Gods, who give me strength
To shun a doom unratified by them.
T. 'Tis not a God, 'tis thine own heart which
I. 'Tis through the heart alone they speak to us.
T. Have I not too an equal right to hear them ?
I. The raging tempest drowns the still small voice.
T. This voice no doubt the priestess hears alone.
I. Before all others should the prince attend it.
422. Art thou a man? And sham’st thou not to beg,
To practice such a servile kind of life?
Why, were thy education ne'er so mean,
Having thy limbs, a thousand fairer courses
Offer themselves to thy election.
Either the wars might still supply thy wants,
Or service of some virtuous gentleman,
Or honest labour; nay, what can I name
But would become thee better than to beg ?
But men of thy condition feed on sloth,
As does the beetle on the dung she breeds in,
Not caring how the metal of your minds
Is eaten with the rust of idleness.
Now, afore me, whate'er he be that should
Relieve a person of thy quality,
While thou insist'st in this loose desperate course,
I would esteem the sin, not thine, but his.
423. F. O Master Anselm, grown a lover? Fie!
What might she be on whom your hopes rely?
A. What fools they are that seem most wise in love!
How wise they are that are but fools in love!
Before I was a lover I had reason
To judge of matters, censure of all sorts ;
Nay, I had wit to call a lover fool,
And look into his folly with bright eyes :
But now intruding love dwells in my brain,
And franticly bath shoulder'd reason thence.
I am not old, and yet, alas ! I dote ;
I have not lost my sight, and yet am blind;
No bondman, yet have lost my liberty ;
No natural fool, and yet I want my wit.
What am I then? Let me define myself: .
A dotard young, a blind man that can see,
A witty fool, a bondman that is free. 424. 0. I hear Ulysses speak. P. Nay, mock me not.
Each must select the hero after whom
To climb the steep and difficult ascent
Of high Olympus, and to me it seems
That stratagem and art disgrace not him
Who consecrates himself to noble deeds.
0. I most esteem the brave and upright man.
P. And therefore have I not desir'd thy counsel.
One step is ta’en already : from our guards
I have extorted this intelligence :
A strange and god-like woman now restrains
The execution of that bloody law.
Incense and prayer, and an unsullied heart,
These are the gifts she offers to the Gods.
Her fame is widely spread, and it is thought
That from the race of Amazon she springs,
And hither fled some great calamity.
425. Si. Well, all is worthy of us, were it more,
Who with our riots, pride, and civil hate
Have so provok'd the justice of the Gods ;
We that within these fourscore years were born
Free, equal lords of the triumphed world,
And knew no masters but affections :
To which betrayed first our liberties,
We since became the slaves to one man's lusts,
And now to many: every minist'ring spy
That will accuse and swear is lord of you,
Of me, of all our fortunes and our lives.
Our looks are call'd to question, and our words,
How innocent soever, are made crimes :
We shall not shortly dare to tell our dreams,
Or think, but 'twill be treason. Sa. Tyrants' arts
Are to give fatterers grace, accusers power,
That those may seem to kill whom they devour.
426. What tranquil road, unvex'd by strife,
Can mortals choose through human life?
Attend the courts, attend the bar,
There discord reigns, and endless jar:
At home the weary wretches find
Severe disquietude of mind :
To till the fields gives toil and pain;
Eternal terrors sweep the main :
If rich, we fear to lose our store;
Need and distress await the poor:
Sad cares the bands of Hymen give;
Friendless, forlorn, th' unmarried live:
Are children born, we anxious groan;
Childless, our lack of heirs we moan:
Wild giddy schemes our youth engage;
Weakness and wants depress old age.
Would fate then with my wish comply,
I'd never live, or quickly die.
427. As they heard her lamentation, in their troubled
Wept the father, wept the mother, 'gan the
daughter too to weep; Then the little son beheld them, and their doleful
moan he heard, And, with both his eyes wide open, lisp'd he thus
his broken word : “Weep not, father, weep not, mother, oh, my sister,
weep not so !” First to one, and then to th' other, smiling went he
to and fro. Then a blade of spear-grass lifting, thus in bolder
glee he said : “ With this spear-grass will I kill him, this man
eating giant, dead.” Though o'erpower'd by bitterest sorrow, as they
heard their prattling boy, Stole into the parents' bosoms mute and inexpres
What angel shall Bless this unworthy husband ? He cannot thrive, Unless her prayers, whom heaven delights to hear, And loves to grant, reprieve him from the wrath Of greatest justice. — Write, write, Rinaldo, To this unworthy husband of his wife : Let every word weigh heavy of her worth, That he does weigh too light: my greatest grief, Though little he do feel it, set down sharply. Despatch the most convenient messenger :When, haply, he shall hear that she is gone, He will return; and hope I may, that she, Hearing so much, will speed her foot again, Led hither by pure love : which of them both Is dearest to me, I have no skill in sense To make distinction :- Provide this messenger :My heart is heavy, and mine age is weak; Grief would have tears, and sorrow bids me speak.