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VIOLENTA FROM BOCCACE
1 BEGIN my Muse, the wondrous Tale reherse,
2 The various Turns of Virtue in Distress.
3 How Fate controuls the Council of the Wise,
4 How often hid in Beauties fair Disguise,
5 Foul Deceit and treacherous Falshood Lies.
6 How Virtue breaks the dark'ning Clouds away,
7 And from Misfortunes Night arises gay,
8 Gives double Lustre to the glorious Day.[Page 2]
9 Here may the Old a mighty Pattern find,
10 And view the Trial of the noblest Mind;
11 Soft Love to please the chearful happy Young,
12 With strange Adventures fills th' Historick Song.
13 'Twas in those warlike Days, when growing France
14 Would with extending Power her Realms advance:
15 The Sturdy Germans, late the Roman Pride,
16 Still struggl'd hard, still push'd and gor'd her Side;
17 Vast Troops they rais'd, the King and Prince their Head,
18 Fill'd with their Youth, and by their Heroes led;
19 This done, there follows and important Care,
20 Whom they shall trust, their great Vicegerent here.
21 The Dauphin to his Father recommends
22 One of his dearest, most deserving Friends,
23 The Count of Angiers, then in high Renown,
24 Fittest to guard and fill the empty Throne.[Page 3]
25 The Choice with universal Joy's approv'd,
26 Never was Man like Noble Angiers lov'd.
27 Against his Will the Mourner's drawn to Court,
28 Who had forsook the World and all Resort;
29 To the dark Groves and silent Caves was fled
30 To weep in vain, his dear Maria dead;
31 For Tyrant Death had snatch'd a Faithful Wife,
32 And with her all the Joys of hapless Angiers Life;
33 The World to him had now no pleasing Charms,
34 Nor wak'd he with the once lov'd Sound of Arms:
35 Thus liv'd the Count to eating Grief a Prey,
36 'Till by his Master's Voice he's forc'd away,
37 He heard, and knew he must the King obey.
38 He comes, and soon the mighty Charge receives,
39 And for his Trust his Faith and Honour gives;
40 And now the Dauphin ready to depart,
41 Presses his faithful Angiers to his Heart:[Page 4]
42 Oh! thou my Dear and long try'd Friend he said!
43 And on his Bosom kindly lean'd his Head,
44 To thee my Father leaves his Kingdom's Care,
45 No Subject boasts of Pow'r a larger Share:
46 The Trust is weighty, and the Trouble great,
47 To Rule this potent Land and Pop'lar State;
48 Yet my best Friend there is more Business yet.
49 I must ingage thy most peculiar Care,
50 To guard and please that bright Illustrious Fair,
51 My charming Wife, whose far fam'd Beauty may,
52 While I to distant Camps am call'd away,
53 By some ill Fate, my Peace at Home betray.
54 Watch that Cleora undisturb'd may rest,
55 In serving her thou gain'st thy Master's Breast:
56 This said, he clasp'd him fast, nor staid Replies,
57 But cry'd, I read thy Answer in thy Eyes.
58 Quick to his warlike Troops he took his Way,
59 Whose youthful Heat cou'd brook no longer stay.[Page 5]
60 Angiers is left the sole Commander now,
61 To him the officious Courtiers crowd and bow;
62 He look'd as born to the Honours of his Place,
63 His Noble Soul enrich'd with every Grace,
64 Shone with Majestick Sweetness in his Face.
65 Just ripen'd full from Youths delightful Bloom,
66 Enough to promise happy Years to come;
67 With most judicious Policy he Reigns,
68 Supports the Good, the Bad his Pow'r restrains;
69 Remembring well his Master's last Command,
70 He Signs all Orders with Cleora's Hand.
71 Cleora bright as the approaching Day,
72 When Fair Aurora does her Beams display
73 And gilds the Mountains with her blooming Ray.
74 In her ten Thousand Graces Revelling meet,
75 The blowing Rose not half so lovely sweet:[Page 6]
76 She look'd as if her Eyes commanded Fate,
77 Form'd equal to her Great Imperial State,
78 Yet on her Soul a yielding Softness sate;
79 And Noble Angiers was her chiefest Care,
80 On him she smil'd with a familiar Air;
81 Try'd every way that might his Griefs redress,
82 Oblige the Count (and make that Passion less)
83 With all Delights that Prudence could afford,
84 Or Pallace yield in th' Absence of its Lord.
85 Sometimes with Rural Sports they'd chase the Hind,
86 Whose nimble Feet seem to outstrip the Wind;
87 Then Dancing, Balls, and Masquerades and Plays,
88 With these they wast the Nights and chearful Days;
89 With these Delights Cleora kindly strove
90 To drive from Angiers Breast all former Love;
91 Abroad they prosper, Couriers daily bring
92 News of Success both by the Prince and King.[Page 7]
93 Now in the height of Bliss, just Angiers stood
94 Supreamly Great, and more supreamly Good:
95 Yet short the Joys which humane Souls allure,
96 Nor can we make our Happiness secure;
97 Vain Man as well on Sand may Structures lay,
98 As hope to fix his Fate in mould'ring Clay;
99 A Thousand Accidents frail Life attend,
100 And Mortals only know that Life must end;
101 Our Paths seem hid in the dark Book of Fate,
102 The Doom once past, Precaution comes too late;
103 So luckless Angiers, Thoughtful Bold and Wise,
104 Esteem'd his Court another Paradice;
105 Yet to his Cost, the Noble Heroe found
106 Ten Thousand Snakes beneath th' enamell'd Ground:
107 Had he foreseen his Fate, tho' but in Dreams,
108 He must have dy'd at Terrour of the Scenes,[Page 8]
109 Which thus began; Cleora Orders sends
110 To th' Count her Councellor, and best of Friends,
111 To her Appartment he must straight repair,
112 For Business of Importance waits him there.
113 With hast, and Loyal Zeal, the Victim came,
114 Dress'd like Loves Goddess was the princely Dame,
115 Her Eyes had equal Brightness, equal Flame;
116 Her Mantle Azure, fill'd with Stars of Gold,
117 And shining Jems adorn'd each curious Fold;
118 Careless thrown, scarce cover'd half her Breast;
119 But to the wond'ring Eye expos'd the rest:
120 Choice Garlands crown'd her lovely flowing Hair,
121 Yet seem to lose their Lustre planted there,
122 The Rose not half so fresh, the Lilly half so fair.
123 Supinely on a glorious Couch she lay
124 As she wou'd Rival the bright Lamp of Day;[Page 9]
125 Her Head she lean'd upon her snowy Hand,
126 Whilst Angiers kneels to hear her dread Command;
127 The bright attending Nymphs that round her wait,
128 Retire, not pry into Affairs of State:
129 When thus the charming Princess Silence broke,
130 And with a Smile to faithful Angiers spoke,
131 Arise my Noble Lord, and seat you there,
132 For I have much to say, and you must hear;
133 You once did feel great Love's Tyranick Reign,
134 And sure must kindly Sigh when I complain;
135 The Dauphin writes, the Wars will take much Time,
136 And me neglected leaves in Beauties Prime,
137 Hard Fate! a Sacrifice to publick Voice,
138 I never knew the Priveledge of Choice;[Page 10]
139 When in my Father's Court, the wond'ring Croud
140 Still gaz'd, and Poets sung my Praises loud;
141 They haild my Youth, and wish'd me all Delights,
142 But I'm condemn'd to care, and widdow'd Nights:
143 The sad Reverse of all their Blessings prove,
144 And must conclude the Dauphin does not love.
145 The flattering World, and each reflecting Glass,
146 Owns matchless Glory's in this injur'd Face;
147 Forgive me if I break our Sexes Laws,
148 When wrong'd, we may assert our Right, our Cause.
149 Speak Angiers, were I circled in thy Arms,
150 Wou'dst thou for Camps forsake Loves softer Charms?
151 Up to her Cheeks a conscious Blush straight flies,
152 And thousand Cupids revell'd in her Eyes.
153 Angiers arose, with Reverence profound
154 Began, nor rais'd his fix'd Eyes from the Ground:[Page 11]
155 Most Divine Princess, you may rest assur'd,
156 You are the Treasure of your absent Lord;
157 By Glory torn from Loves delightful Chains,
158 Yet in his Heart alone Cleora Reigns:
159 Oh! had you heard the tender Charge he gave
160 Of you (his Lifes Reward) to me his Slave,
161 You never cou'd his Constancy suspect,
162 But call that Violence which now you term Neglect.
163 Scarce cou'd the Fair her soft Confusion hide,
164 And half compos'd, she blushing thus reply'd,
165 To Angiers then did he Cleora leave?
166 For that one Act I all his Faults forgive.
167 To Angiers freely I my self resign,
168 Too sure I'm his, Heaven make the Heroe mine:
169 What racking Fires are these that fill my Breast,
170 My Soul distract, and rob my Eyes of Rest![Page 12]
171 Oh! turn not from me, since too much I've said,
172 And the soft Secret of my Soul betray'd:
173 If I'm refus'd, Death is the Punishment.
174 But Love and Pleasure wait on kind Consent.
175 Down at her Feet the trembling Angiers fell,
176 His Terrour and Surprize no Tongue can tell
177 His Faulters, not knows which way to begin,
178 The Princess he reveres, abhors the Sin:
179 'Tis a hard Task Superiors to reprove,
180 And mighty Vertue to resist such Love;
181 Amaz'd, he spoke in th' mildest Phrase he cou'd,
182 Instructs the Charming Princess to be good.
183 Then cry'd, What Frenzy's this that dares controul
184 The Noble Greatness of Cleora's Soul?
185 You're born Supream, your Lots are pair'd above:
186 Bounded by Fate from an inferiour Love.[Page 13]
187 The Dauphin, first of Men, already's yours,
188 By Right Divine his lawful Claim secures:
189 I own ye beautious as the blooming May,
190 Fair as the First, e'er Nature knew decay;
191 Still in your Looks you wear all conquering Charms,
192 But these are destin'd for my Masters Arms;
193 I'd give my Body to consuming Flame,
194 Leave any other Blot upon my Name,
195 E'er wrong, in you, that Royal Masters Fame.
196 She rose with Fury, and would hear no more;
197 Disdain now work'd her boyling Spirits o'er,
198 Those Eyes shot Fire, that languish'd Love before.
199 She starts, then paus'd, and with a scornful Smile,
200 Foretold the Mischiefs and intended Guile.
201 The Count who knew no Ill, suspected none;
202 Blush'd for her Shame, and wish'd himself alone.
203 When straight she threw her Mantle on the Ground,
204 Her Garland tore, her curling Hair unbound;
205 Then seizing Angiers, with a Scream of Woe,
206 Cry'd Murder, Villain, Traytor, let me go.
207 The Voice of Terrour thro' the Pallace flies,
208 Follow'd still with loud incessant Cries;
209 Help all, oh help, or lost Cleora dies.
210 All hast, and swift as Thought th' Apartment's fill'd,
211 Where on the Flore the Princess they beheld;
212 The injur'd Earl confus'd and pale they View,
213 This Turn rob'd him of Speech and Reason too.
214 When false Cleora rear'd her weeping Face,
215 And Beauty gave to Sorrow double Grace,
216 Look on the base perfidious Man she said,
217 By whom the Dauphin and you're all betray'd;[Page 15]
218 Trusting his Faith, I charg'd him to declare
219 Th' Affairs of State, and Business of the War,
220 The Conference strict Secrecy requir'd,
221 My waiting Servants by Command retir'd;
222 But e'er he half the Dauphins Will declar'd,
223 Seiz'd on my Hand, around like Madness star'd,
224 And cry'd, the Regent Princess now is mine,
225 She shall her Honour or her Life resign:
226 For I am wild with Loves ungovern'd Rage,
227 Possession only can my Flame asswage.
228 With the Surprize I scarce cou'd raise my Breath
229 To call your Aid which has secur'd from Death.
230 Who cou'd suppose the Raising of the Dead
231 Might see th' Amazement that each Face o'erspread;
232 None but the Wicked this sad Tale does please,
233 Nor dare his Enemies his Person seize.
234 Alone, disgrac'd he to his Palace goes,
235 And there reflects on his malicious Foes,[Page 16]
236 Thinks on the Weight of his pretended Crimes,
237 Resolves to fly his coming Fate betimes:
238 For if he shou'd declare his Innocence,
239 And on the Princess cast the Black Offence,
240 The Laurels which the Prince abroad did gain,
241 Wou'd wither all at the unhappy Stain;
242 Resolv'd alone the rigorous Fate to bear,
243 And own the Guilt rather than lay't on her.
244 His speedy Flight is straight condemn'd by Fame,
245 And all ill Tongues are busie with his Name;
246 He takes two tender Pledges Wedlock gave,
247 The only Treasure he had Power to save:
248 With him Ernesto flies, faithful and just,
249 Who long had serv'd, and ne'er betray'd his Trust:
250 Thus the Great Man, whom that same rising Morn
251 Saw dress'd in Honours that such Trust adorn,[Page 17]
252 With crowded Levee, and a waiting Train,
253 All the gay Pomps that can Observance Gain;
254 Now stript, forsaken, bare, disgrac'd and lost,
255 Wanders to find some hospitable Coast;
256 And as he travel'd towards the distant Sea,
257 A dreadful Light directs his doubtful Way;
258 He views his Castle blazing in one Flame;
259 The fierce Revenge of that invet'rate Dame;
260 Unmov'd, he saw the Structure tumble down;
261 And cry'd, thou can'st not bury my Renown:
262 In time perhaps my Truth may come to Light,
263 My Fame out-shine those Tow'rs that Blaze so bright,
264 And the mistaken World, tho' late, may see
265 A conspicuous Virtue in unhappy Me.
266 Now in a Cell they snatch a short Repose;
267 Soon as the Sun the wakeful Angiers rose,[Page 18]
268 His Courage yet unshock'd by adverse Fate,
269 His Noble Suff'ring show'd him truly Great.
270 But oh! when he beheld his little Pair,
271 The Mothers Darlings, and the Fathers Care,
272 In vain upon their Nurse and Servants call,
273 The Floods so long restrain'd, in Torrents fall;
274 At their sad Wants he cou'd no more forbear,
275 Indulg'd his Grief with many a pitying Fear;
276 The tender Charge, who thus awak'd his Care,
277 A little Son, and lovely Daughter were,
278 Both Beautious seem'd, as form'd by Hands Divine,
279 The Parents Graces in the Infants shine;
280 Lewis the Son, a charming sprightly Boy,
281 The first dear Fruit of Angiers Nuptial Joy;
282 His other Hope, his Darling Daughter's Name
283 Was Violante, sacred still to Fame:[Page 19]
284 The helpless Infants, the wrong'd Angiers view'd,
285 Their woes, the dear Maria's lost renew'd.
286 Dash'd by Dispair, and grov'ling on the Earth,
287 Curs'd the Malignant Star that rul'd his Birth,
288 Like some sad Wretch, long strugling for the Shore,
289 He sinks and gives his hopeless Labour o'er,
290 'Till old Ernesto urg'd him to remove,
291 By that fond Care and that pater'nal Love.
292 If you neglect your Princess Wroth to fly,
293 Then next prepare to see your Children dye;
294 Revenge will touch you in the tend'rest Part,
295 Her Rage will wound, thro' theirs, your Manly Heart:
296 He found 'twas vain to make a useless Moan,
297 The Father and the unhappy Babes must on.
298 At length they Calice reach'd, and there they found[Page 20]
299 A Passage Ship for neighbouring England bound;
300 He gets an humble Weed, amd poor Disguise,
301 Besmears his Face, and vails his Noble Eyes
302 To shun the swift Pursuit of eager Enemies.
303 Imbark'd, he turns towards his native Land,
304 Tho' injur'd much, he sighs to leave the Strand;
305 And softly murmurs o'er his riged Fate,
306 Undone by Love, far worse than Mortal Hate;
307 Yet still he bids the list'ning Winds forbear,
308 Nor waft the Story to the Dauphin's Ear;
309 For his sweet Peace he barters all his own,
310 Neglects the Fame which did his Actions crown;
311 Wives Errours on the Husbands Head remain,
312 To keep the Dauphin clear he bears himself the Stain.
313 Cleora! canst thou have a peaceful Thought,
314 Whose lawless Fires this mighty Ruine brought?[Page 21]
315 Poor Angiers still pursu'd by his ill Fate,
316 As if the Winds joyn'd with Cleora's Hate;
317 Adverse they toss the Vessel on the Seas,
318 Like his tempestuous Mind, no Calm, no Ease;
319 These Toils to old Ernesto were unknown,
320 A gentle Servitude his Years did crown;
321 Unable now, in his declining Age,
322 To act a longer Part on this rough Stage,
323 Pale Death, the last Retreat, and sure Relief,
324 Came to his Aid, and ends his Life and Grief:
325 The gashly Tyrant he seems joy'd to meet,
326 And sinks beneath his troubled Masters Feet:
327 There was no need of this; griev'd Angiers said,
328 Will Heaven still pursue the Wretch it made?
329 Why was this added to my Misery,
330 That thou my poor Ernesto too must die?
331 Now of a Sudden all the Seas grow Calm,
332 As if his Grief had hush'd the raging Storm;[Page 22]
333 At length the fair white chalky Cliffs they spy,
334 A joyful Sight to every Sailor's Eye;
335 Only the Earl who knows not where to go,
336 Alone expects variety of Woe:
337 The Travellers wou'd fain his Sorrows chear,
338 Inquire his Name, what Course he meant to stear?
339 He answers with a Sigh, I cannot stray:
340 The Wretched never fear to lose their Way.
341 In the same Ship, a venerable Man
342 Well mark'd the Count, and then with Tears began,
343 Whoe'er thou art, says he, within thy Face,
344 Is writ unspotted Truth, and matchless Grace,
345 And thy young Cherubs seem of heav'nly Race.
346 Then haste thee Stranger to our Nations Pride,
347 To that great Mart where gaudy Courts abide;
348 There, if my Foresight fail not, thou shalt find
349 Some Noble Brittain to these Infants kind;[Page 23]
350 He view'd him well, then press'd him more to know,
351 Good Man he cry'd, thou hast a Scream of Woe,
352 Inquire no more, but where I bid thee, go.
353 His Words Emphatick, struck an awe Divine,
354 Both Priest and Prophet in his Vizage shine;
355 Angiers, unknown, to London takes his Way,
356 Resolv'd the Holy Father's Voice t' obey;
357 Wheree'er he goes there's no avoiding Fate,
358 He to his Sufferings finds no early Date:
359 The publick News his shameful Story tells,
360 Explores his Crimes, the Dauphin Wrath reveals:
361 His Castle's raz'd, his Lands Confiscate were,
362 Too poor Amends, for that offended Fair;
363 A vast Reward, whoe'er shall Angiers bring
364 Alive, or Dead, to the Revengeful King:
365 His Race to endless Exile they condemn,
366 And Death to those who shou'd these Laws contemn.[Page 24]
367 I'd sing, my Muse, his Woes in such a Strain,
368 That no sad reader might from Tears retrain:
369 Sure all the generous World must weep to see
370 Exalted Virtue in such Misery.
371 Who can express his Fears and anxious Care!
372 Enough to raise Distraction and Dispair!
373 When he looks back upon his prosprous Days,
374 The pleasant Paths, and the delightful Ways
375 His Youth had trod, it racks his thoughtful Brain,
376 His Lot of Grief he scarcely can sustain,
377 But Piety forbids that he should Heav'n arraign.
378 He knows the only Way to vanquish there,
379 Is Patience, Faith unmov'd, and servent Pray'r;
380 So to the Temple flies, that Ancient Pile,
381 Which long had grac'd the City and the Isle,
382 St. Paul's, for stately Pillars so renown'd,
383 With all the Beauties of the Artist croun'd;[Page 25]
384 There he repairs, and takes his Children too,
385 In hopes their Innocence may Mercy woo;
386 Stretch'd on the Pavement, wretched Angiers lay,
387 And kneeling Infants, early taught to pray.
388 Devotion done, a lovely Brittish Dame,
389 With her Attendants from the Temple came,
390 The Lord High Marshal's Wife, of brightest Fame.
391 She stop'd, and not disdain'd, to turn her Eye
392 Towards him who bore such Marks of Misery:
393 She said, my Friend, from whence, and what art thou?
394 Why hangs that Cloud of Sorrow on thy Brow?
395 This little Pair, with Beams of Beauty shine,
396 I cannot think thee poor, if these are thine;
397 Yet speak, declare, what is thy Cause of Grief?
398 Perhaps, by me, kind Heav'n designs Relief.
399 Oh! wondrous Condescention, Angiers cry'd,
400 The truly Great are always free from Pride.[Page 26]
401 Madam, I Native am of neighbouring Gaul,
402 My Parents honest, tho' my Portion small;
403 'Twas my hard Fate Superiors to offend,
404 Whose Wrath no Moderation knew, nor end,
405 And I was plac'd, too humble to contend:
406 I from my peaceful Dwelling, straight was hurl'd,
407 And bid to wander o'er an unknown World:
408 Nor wou'd they stop their cruel Vengeance here,
409 But sorc'd these Babes, my Punishment to share,
410 Too weak, alass, such mighty Ills to bear.
411 She heard, and Pity fill'd her Mind,
412 The too long cruel Pow'rs, now made her kind,
413 With soft Compassion, and a gracious Look,
414 To listening Angiers thus the Lady spoke,
415 If thou wilt give thy Daughter to my Care,
416 Her Breeding and her Fortune shall be Fair:
417 In Virtues Rules we will instruct her Youth,
418 With Love of Modesty and Sacred Truth:[Page 27]
419 Speak hen, if to my Words thou dost agree,
420 Inform her Name, and leave the Child with me.
421 First, up to Heaven his watry Eyes he rear'd,
422 And thank'd the Pow'rs who thus his Pray'rs, had heard.
423 Then to her.
424 Oh! thou bright Pattern of thy charming Sex,
425 Bless'd be thy Days, may no disquiets vex
426 Thy peaceful Mind, nor lengthen'd Years perplex;
427 But all thy Joys uninterrupted be,
428 Thy Life one Scene of bless'd Prosperity.
429 Florella is the Name o'th' wretched Child,
430 O may she Virtuous prove, her Temper mild;
431 With a kind Eye may you her Actions view,
432 For you are Parents now, and Mistress too:
433 With that he turn'd, and blotted out a Tear,
434 The Infants parting Look he cou'd not bear.[Page 28]
435 The courteous Dame to him a Present gave,
436 And the poor Babe to an attending Slave.
437 In ancient Times, thus did they merit Praise,
438 By Noble Acts, their Name and Country raise:
439 Few wanton Dames, no broken Nuptial Bed,
440 The Wretched they reliev'd, the Poor they sed:
441 In Deeds, like this, dwelt their Renown of Old,
442 No Pride, no Falshood, no curs'd Love of Gold,
443 But Glory reign'd in every Brittains Soul;
444 No lurking Vice their Greatness durst controul.
445 Angiers return'd still sad, his Heart still griev'd,
446 To him the Child is lost, tho' thus reliev'd;
447 And as he measur'd out his pencive Way,
448 He met the Bard with whom he cross'd the Sea;
449 He hail'd him thus, lift up thy Eyes from Earth,
450 No sulien Star o'er-rul'd thy Childrens Birth.[Page 29]
451 Thy Daughter now has reach'd the happy Shore,
452 Destructive Fate has lost its pois'nous Pow'r,
453 Her Innocence the Planets hurt no more.
454 Thy Son, good Fortune shall attend his Bloom,
455 And a long Train of Blessings press to come;
456 Only thou many tedious Years must wait,
457 E'er thou shalt conquer thy malignant Fate;
458 On me be all their hateful Influence shed,
459 Showr all their Wrath on this poor destin'd Head,
460 The Sufferer cry'd, I'll bear it in their Stead;
461 And if the rowling Torrent they withstand,
462 I'll kneel and bless the persecuting Hand:
463 Instruct me, Sir, how I this Youth may save
464 From threat'ning Ills, which oft pursue the Brave,
465 For I shall soon press to the peaceful Grave;
466 There undisturb'd may find that sweet Repose,
467 So long deny'd by my too cruel Foes.[Page 30]
468 Instruct your Son in his uncertain Way,
469 For Truth Divine shines forth in all you say.
470 Then thus the Bard:
471 Amidst the Western Mountains, where of old,
472 Such warlike Deeds of Brittains Chiefs are told;
473 Where Merlin did his mighty Art expose,
474 From whence his Wonders and his Fame arose,
475 The Lord high President keeps there his Court,
476 And fondly seeks the Strangers kind Resort;
477 The Youths are there bred up to Feats of Arms:
478 Thy lovely Son has all those manly Charms,
479 That will attract his Eyes, his Fancy move,
480 And fix him to his Soul, with Bonds of Love.
481 Farewel, for I shall ne'er behold thee more;
482 My Tempest beaten Age, comes near the Shore;[Page 31]
483 Where wearied out, I lay me down to rest,
484 When Thought and Care, no more shall load my Breast,
485 Nor vainer Objects my freed Soul molest;
486 But upward mount, thro' yon bright Realms, and see
487 All the great Maze of vast Eternity:
488 The wond'rous Contemplation Silence brought,
489 And he seem'd lost in Energy of Thought:
490 Then lift his Eyes, and blest the believing Pair,
491 But tho' intreated, would no more declare.
492 He deem'd the Council Sacred, and from thence
493 Doth his long weary Pilgrimage commence:
494 Oft Scraggy Rocks, and lofty Mounts they meet,
495 Where rising Ground resists their willing Feet;
496 Then reach'd those Brittains so renown'd of old,
497 Of whom such famous Actions have been told;[Page 32]
498 There, as the Prophet said, the lovely Boy,
499 (The Last, the dearest Hope of Angiers joy)
500 At the first sight the President approv'd,
501 Made him his Care, and soon he grew belov'd;
502 Soon Angiers saw his happy Son design'd
503 The Darling of that Court, and humane Kind.
504 This was an Age when the Renown'd and Great,
505 Made Wealth but serve them to assist the State:
506 When bountious Nature had the Ground-Work laid,
507 Their forming Hand the worthy Heroe made;
508 Like his own Children, Angiers Son was train'd,
509 And from his Patron's Bounty, Arms and Arts he gain'd.
510 In this was Brittains Glory, and her Boast,
511 From Discipline like this, they rais'd a Host;
512 Then no industrious Youth neglected lay,
513 But Merit to Preferment led the Way:[Page 33]
514 Lewis dispos'd as might advance his Worth;
515 Was call'd Perotto to conceal his Birth.
516 The Dauphiness became the Queen of France,
517 Her Pride and Rage do with her Pow'r advance:
518 New Proclamations all around she sends,
519 Disgraces those who had been Angiers Friends:
520 He fears a stricter Search will now be made;
521 Nor stays he, least his Children be betray'd,
522 But hasts to find a more secure Retreat
523 From Womans Rage, that's lasting as 'tis great:
524 Distress'd, he quits Fair Albions court'ous Shore,
525 But leaves behind, his All, his valu'd Store;
526 For whom he often does the Heavens implore.
527 He, with Regret, now leaves the lucky Strand,
528 Looks back, and Sighs, as on his native Land;
529 Extreamest Griefs, his suffering Soul o'erflow;
530 And every Breath declares incessent Woe;
531 Then he reflects on his malicious Foe.[Page 32]〈1 page duplicate〉[Page 33]〈1 page duplicate〉[Page 34]
532 Inhumane Queen, ah! Whether must I fly?
533 Is there no way to scape thée, but to die?
534 Yes, I wou'd die! throw off these servil Chains,
535 Did not our Priests pronounce eternal Pains
536 To those who wearied out with Life's Disease,
537 Shall dare to cure themselves e'er Nature please.
538 Fond Fatal Princess, couldst thou see me now,
539 Nor Love, nor Rage, wou'd discompose thy Brow.
540 Thus Lean and Pail (secure from being known)
541 I should move Pity for a Wretch undone:
542 And now my Royal Friend the Dauphin Reigns,
543 His Subjects in their Native Right maintains;
544 And Valour, Justice, Mercy, grace the Throne,
545 No injur'd Wretch makes his impatient Moan,
546 But all the Gallick World, the Face of joy puts on.
547 'Tis only I that am debard of Bliss,
548 Nor can find Rest without destroying His:[Page 35]
549 Then let me ne'er accuse th' Imperial Dame,
550 But suffer still the Punishment and Shame.
551 He who had once a Nation at Command,
552 Now seeks a Master in Hibernia's Land.
553 It was his Fate, a haughty Lord to find,
554 Fierce and severe, nor cou'd he bend his Mind;
555 And he who in his mild and gentle Sway,
556 His Servants made, thro' Love, not Fear, o bey,
557 No Slaves to pride, in plenty and in ease,
558 They liv'd content, for 'twas no Task to please;
559 Yet their Good Master's diligent in vain,
560 Faultless is chid, nor dares he to complain;
561 Not Hebrew Job at length to Ills inur'd
562 So much, or half so patiently indur'd.
563 But now my weary'd Muse, his Woes sorsake,
564 Begin another Scene, and turn the Prospect back;
565 O'er pass the rowling Years of flying Time,
566 And shew Florella in her Beauties Prime,[Page 36]
567 Divinely Fair, as the First Eden Maid.
568 E'er she for Knowledge, Innocence betray'd:
569 When in her Eyes sate smiling every Grace,
570 And the immortal Bloom was on her Face,
571 And bright unfully'd Glories, new Creation grace.
572 Only one Son preserv'd the Marshal's Line,
573 Whose Form was lovely, and his Soul Divine:
574 His Tour thro' France, and Italy had been,
575 And Europes World the Travelling Youth had seen;
576 Return'd, improv'd, by skilful Masters taught,
577 With all their Language, and their Learning fraught;
578 Pleasing his Mean, so Gay, but truly Brave,
579 Nor yet to Vice, or Passion made a Slave:
580 The Courts Delight, for whom each Lady strove,
581 And put on all her Charms, to make him Love.[Page 37]
582 Lord Mandevil was now the only Theam,
583 Their daily Pleasure, and their nightly Dream;
584 Florella at a Rural Mantion staid,
585 Left to the Conduct of the lovely Maid;
586 Content with what her Fortune did afford,
587 The Virgin thought not of her New come Lord:
588 The joyful Parents show'd their Darling round,
589 And every Pleasure his Return had crown'd;
590 Then leave the Town, their Country Seat to view,
591 And with Variety their Joys renew:
592 Soon as arriv'd, Florella Duty paid;
593 But Heav'n! How gaz'd the Youth, when he beheld the Maid!
594 In all the Realms that he had travell'd o'er,
595 He thought he ne'er had Beauty seen before;
596 He sigh'd, and look'd, and fasten'd there his Eyes,
597 And scarcely cou'd he hide the vast Surprize.[Page 38]
598 She saw him fix'd, the doubtful Virgin fear'd
599 She had done some Fault, so, blushing, disappear'd.
600 As if the Sun had straight his Beams withdrawn,
601 And left no gladsome Ray, no twilight Dawn,
602 So seem'd to him the Place, dark and forlorn,
603 When Fair Florella from his Sight was gone;
604 Absent, her lovely Form remain'd behind,
605 Fix'd was her Image on his tender Mind:
606 He soon inquir'd who the Virgin was,
607 And smiling said, she had a charming Face.
608 Th' indulgent Mother, whose delightful Aim
609 Was to please him, from whom her Pleasures came,
610 With graceful Air, the whole Adventure tells,
611 And to his list'ning Ears, each Circumstance reveals.[Page 39]
612 He Blush'd, and Sigh'd at what she did relate,
613 And cry'd, 'tis sure some Mistery of Fate!
614 Her looks, do Awe, and Admiration strike!
615 Such Charms from Want? not Courts can show the like.
616 Sure Heaven mistook, and with a hasty Hand,
617 Form'd her a Slave, when it design'd Command;
618 The Talk was chang'd, but still his thinking Soul,
619 Was with the glorious bright Idea full:
620 He strugled hard, nor yeilded to the Snare,
621 But often cry'd, she is not sure so Fair;
622 Besides her Birth is mean, not worth my Care.
623 Urg'd by Desire, a second Sight he sought,
624 As if he wou'd correct his former Thought;
625 Thus treacherous Love draws the Unwary on,
626 The more they gaze, the more they are undone.[Page 40]
627 The pointed Rays had fill'd his Youthful Breast,
628 Th' amourous Fire, his daring Soul possest,
629 And quickly grew too great to be supprest.
630 The Brave, the soonest are to Love inclin'd,
631 And Love delights to sooth a generous Mind.
632 In vain the Youth with fated Passion strove,
633 For ev'ry Breast must yield to pow'rful Love.
634 The Sons of Art no Recipee have found;
635 In all their Store, to heal this pleasing Wound:
636 Had there in Herbs or Plants a Balm been known,
637 The God of Physick sure had cur'd his own;
638 He pines and sickens now with Loves excess,
639 His Sighs and Languishings his Pains confess;
640 His wonted Sports grew tastless to his Soul,
641 Triumphant Pashon all his Joys controul:
642 He hates the Court, shuns ev'ry charming Fair,
643 They cannot please, unless Florella's there.[Page 41]
644 To some dark Grot, or Melancholly Grove,
645 The Youth retires, and breathes his hapless Love;
646 There vents his killing Griefs, and there complains,
647 And only tells the silent Trees his Pains.
648 A little Distance from the Palace stood,
649 A stately Shade of venerable Wood,
650 Which full a Hundred Years the Seasons bore,
651 And Rev'rend Trunks with Moss, were cover'd o'er;
652 Whose dusky Shade defi'd the Rays of Light,
653 And spite of Noon-day-beams, seem Sacred still to Night:
654 In this Retreat, the Love-sick Heroe chose,
655 To nurse his Flame, and to indulge his Woes;
656 Florella too, to solitude inclin'd,
657 But her Amusement's of another kind:
658 Various Theams delight her easie Breast,
659 And no prevailing Thought disturbs her Rest;[Page 42]
660 Pensive she walks to take the Evening Air,
661 At her Approach, the Greens fresh Verdure wear;
662 For her Companion, flowing Horace chose,
663 And could her self harmonious Airs compose;
664 Officious Love, her wand'ring Steps betray'd,
665 And brought th' dispairing Youth, the lovely Maid;
666 Stretch'd on the Earth, beneath a Maple Shade,
667 As rooted there, poor Mandevil was laid;
668 His absent Soul was waiting on his Fair,
669 But Sense and Life return'd, as she drew near;
670 Straight with Convulsive Transports he was seiz'd
671 At the Surprize, alarm'd, disturb'd, and pleas'd.
672 The modest Maid, blushing, her Lord espy'd,
673 Obeysance made, and turn'd her Steps aside:
674 But when he saw the Virgin haste away,
675 Confus'd, he rose, and thus bespake her, Stay[Page 43]
676 Dear Nymph! you seem the Goddess of this Grove;
677 Or, what is more, th' Immortal Queen of Love!
678 Let that soft Form, a tender Heart contain,
679 With Pity, hear a dying Youth complain,
680 For mine are real Woes, and real Pain:
681 These Woods are Witness to my constant Flame,
682 Each Tree thy Cypher bears, tho' not thy Name;
683 Least jealous Eyes the mighty Secret find,
684 And to my Charmer, grow from thence unkind;
685 But when alone, my Tongue nought else will sound,
686 I reach the vaulted Skies, and pierce the hallow Ground:
687 To Eccho's Care, I send Florella's Name,
688 And kindly she reverberates the same.
689 Oh! do not look with such relentless Eyes,
690 If you're unmov'd, your faithful Lover dies.[Page 44]
691 All Night, on Beds of Down, I restless rave,
692 On this cold Earth, I measure out my Grave;
693 'Tis you alone can help, 'tis you alone can save.
694 The Maid, whose Soul was suited to her Birth,
695 With noble Scorn, rais'd her fair Eyes from Earth;
696 Then with a Voice majestick and severe
697 Thus spoke, and gave the Love-sick Youth Dispair:
698 Because I to your Mother's bountious Hand,
699 For Food and Raiment do indebted stand,
700 You think, perhaps, you may the Slave command.
701 But tho', my Lord, my Niggard Star's deny'd
702 Me Wealth and Titles, they have giv'n me Pride:
703 If from my Wants, your wanton Hopes you frame,
704 Know I prize Honour, and a virt'ous Name.[Page 45]
705 My Heart's unconquer'd, and my Soul unstain'd,
706 A Fortitude by Heav'n it self maintain'd;
707 Nor Force, nor Flattery, can my Mind subdue,
708 Behold me then, great and resolv'd like you.
709 Surpriz'd at this! the wretched Lover cry'd,
710 If you're displeas'd, I wish ere this I'd dy'd:
711 In my unhappy Speech, what have I said
712 T' offend my dear belov'd bewitching Maid!
713 Beneath thy Feet let me for ever lye,
714 Or by your just Commands, condemn'd to die
715 If 'gainst your Honour I had least Design;
716 My Thoughts, tho' they are kind, are chast as thine;
717 When of my Love I make an Offering,
718 With Flames less pure then pious Vestals bring,
719 When in their Temple they sincerely pray,
720 And bright Devotion, at their Altars pay,[Page 46]
721 May all my Days and Nights be dash'd with woe,
722 Nor e'er the Blessing of Possession know:
723 May no Self-joys my longing Wishes Crown,
724 But Curse me still with a remorsless Frown;
725 Ne'er think I would destroy the Worship'd shrine,
726 Or wrong that Honour which I Court for mine:
727 'Tis Hymens Torch is my auspicious Guide,
728 Directs my Love to seek you for my Bride:
729 Blest with that Hope, I bear the Pains of Life,
730 (I ask you, not a Mistress, but a Wife)
731 Else on the Instant wou'd I quit this Breath,
732 And seek my Peace in the cold Arms of Death:
733 Oh! twou'd o'erwhelm my Soul with Black Dispair,
734 If after all my Service, all my Care,
735 I did not hope to gain my charming Fair.
736 Florella, cease to think my Love a Crime,
737 And let my Faith be try'd, by that sure test of Time:[Page 47]
738 Injoyn me any thing that may convince
739 Of my Flames Durance, and its Innosence,
740 (The greatest Tortures I would undergo)
741 If you'll except it, and believe it so.
742 She listen'd now more Calm, and more Sedate,
743 Yet seem'd resolv'd, as the Decrees of Fate:
744 Then thus reply'd, Such Virtue sure has Charms,
745 But I am plac'd Inferiour to your Arms;
746 Such Honours might the most Ambitious move,
747 Who wou'd not prize the Treasure of your Love?
748 But I'm unworthy your exalted State,
749 And must except a more convenient Fate.
750 Let not ignoble Fires your Youth mislead,
751 With equal Fortune grace your Nuptial Bed;
752 A Father will direct you in your Choice,
753 There's no true Joys without the Parent's Voice;
754 Therefore no longer feed this fond Desire,
755 But here, in silence, let your Flames expire:[Page 48]
756 And that from Guilt Florella may remain,
757 That no ungrateful Act her Duty stain,
758 Thus in the Face of Heav'n firmly swear,
759 Your ill plac'd Passion I no more will hear,
760 Except your Father's free Consent you gain;
761 And Reason tells you, that Attempt is vain;
762 For he is cold, in his declining Years,
763 A dow'rless Wife's, the greatest Ill he fears:
764 Old Men are always fond of darling Gold,
765 Still strive to grasp the Earth they cannot hold.
766 Amongst the Great, some wealthy Fair adore,
767 Consult with Duty, urge this Suit no more;
768 Then with redoubled haste she flies away,
769 He call'd in vain, she wou'd no Answer stay.
770 What Pen can paint the Sinner in Dispair,
771 When Heav'n, regardless, will not hear his Pray'r!
772 Terrors like those, the hopeless Youth opprest,
773 And fill'd the tortur'd Mansion of his Breast:[Page 49]
774 Now he submits to Health-destroying Grief,
775 Bends down beneath he load, nor seeks Relief;
776 A deadly Pale his youthful Cheeks o'er spread,
777 Continual Sighs have chas'd from thence the Red,
778 His langui'd Eyes the chearful Light refuse,
779 And in pale Fires their former lustre lose.
780 Scarce will this wanton Age my Tale Believe;
781 A Constant Youth their Vice wou'd ne'er forgive.
782 Now Love is grown the Universal Sport,
783 The Men design to leave, e'er they begin to Court;
784 Fickle their Nature's, roving their Desire,
785 In Various Heats, there is no real Fire.
786 Of old, to one the Passion was Confin'd,
787 They'd wait an Age to make the Fair one Kind;
788 Changing's the Mode; a Lover is a Fool,
789 And to be very Faithful's, to be very Dull.[Page 50]
790 But to return to our kind faithful Youth,
791 And all the Wonders of his Love and Truth;
792 The Mother does with careful Eyes Survey
793 His Griefs, and finds a sencible Decay;
794 She trys with all delights, his Soul to Chear,
795 And when he Sighs, crys out, What ails my Dear?
796 In vain her fondness, the inquiry Frames,
797 Guesses in vain, a Thousand things she Names;
798 Fruitless her Aid, he still the wrack indures,
799 Beneath the Moon but one Elixer cures;
800 That deny'd, all other helps are vain,
801 He only with his Life, can end his Pain;
802 A languid Sickness makes his Youth a Prey,
803 And Canker like, eats the fine form a way:
804 Apollo's Sons are brib'd to use their Art,
805 To save this Darling of the Mother's Heart:[Page 51]
806 Their Cordial Juilps they apply in vain;
807 They cannot Cool the Heat, nor swage the Pain.
808 Who can the Sighs, the piercing Woe express,
809 The Fears which his sad Parents Souls Distress?
810 His Noble Father cry's, his hopes are gone;
811 His Name is lost, his Heir, his only Son;
812 But his great Courage helps his Grief to Bear:
813 The Lady seems distracted with her Care.
814 Sorrow no sleep, no balmy peace allows,
815 And Heav'n she wearies with Incessant Vows;
816 No Chearful Guest the wonted Mirth Maintains,
817 But through the House a solemn Sadness Reigns.
818 Florella too, who did these Woes Create,
819 In Secret Mourns the Youths unhappy Fate;
820 Blames the Cross Star that had to Love inclin'd,
821 And made her cause the ills she ne'er design'd.
822 Now at a stand are all the learned Tribe,
823 They find it vain to Visit or Prescribe;[Page 52]
824 The active Spirits weary of their Course,
825 And drooping Life appears detain'd by Force:
826 His Servants all are drown'd in black Dispair,
827 He only lost in Thought, seems void of Fear;
828 Reserv'd and cold to his officious Friends,
829 He chides their Care, their Diligence offends.
830 When in her turn the Fair Florella came,
831 The lovely source of this consuming Flame,
832 He rear'd his dying Eyes, and faintly said,
833 Come near, thou too too lovely Charming Maid;
834 Now see how pale and languishing I lye,
835 And still remember 'tis for you I dye.
836 Death, cold as your disdain, comes o'er my Bloom,
837 And ah! sweet Nimph, in Ages yet to come,
838 As none in Beauty e'er can rival Thee,
839 So none in Constancy shall equal me.
840 Oh cruel Fair! hereafter prove so Just,
841 When I am lost, forgotten in the Dust,[Page 53]
842 To all the list'ning Swains my Story tell,
843 Proclaim how much I Lov'd, how early Fell:
844 No other way, I'd Court a lasting Fame,
845 But as Loves Victim Eternize my Name.
846 Yes Goddess, the bright tract I have in View,
847 Is that the World may say I dy'd for you.
848 At this the Tears fell from her Conquering Eyes,
849 And Sighs uncall'd from her fair Bosom Rise;
850 The fainting Youth beheld the blushing Maid,
851 And to his trembling Lips her hand convey'd.
852 Enough, my first, my everlasting Dear,
853 I dye content, since I am worth a Tear.
854 He said no more, The approaching Friends might spair
855 Their useless aid, for all the help was there.
856 Amongst Apollo's Sons that crouded there
857 One to his Skill added peculiar Care,
858 Resolves, if Art will do't, to save th' important Heir.[Page 54]
859 Upon his Life he saw their hopes Depend,
860 Nor unconcern'd, heard ev'ry Mourning Friend;
861 Tho' some unmov'd, can see the Parents Cry,
862 Lamenting Wife, or Friend stand sighing by,
863 And gravely Answer, Man was Born to dye,
864 When they, perhaps, have hasten'd Natures Date,
865 And lay their own Mistake, on guiltless Fate:
866 But this, with utmost care, consulted Health,
867 Like Generous Garth aim'd not alone at wealth;
868 The Mean, the Great, his equal influence find,
869 As sent by Heav'n, to heal and bless Mankind.
870 In him the Graces with the Arts combin'd,
871 Like Poetry and Wealth, but seldom Joyn'd,
872 Yet here they Triumph all, while he with Ease,
873 Can Charm, Relieve, and Conquer a Disease;
874 A Stranger to the New Phantastick way,
875 Which dresses first, and bids the Dying stay,[Page 55]
876 He weigh'd each C rcumstance e'er gave his Vote,
877 Took not the common way, and kill'd by Rote;
878 And by his nice Observances, could find
879 The Body strugling with a tortur'd Mind.
880 Healthful, reluctant to th' imperial Sway,
881 Contending still, unwilling to obey:
882 No Hective Feaver lodg'd within his Blood,
883 The sullen Soul deny'd the Body Food,
884 And Sighs and Sorrow robb'd his Eyes of Rest,
885 He sooths the Griefs which his sad mind opprest.
886 Seeing him thus resolvd, the ill t' Indure,
887 And that he neither strove, nor wish'd a Cure,
888 The only care must be to search the Wound,
889 There's no Receit has pow'r, till that be found:
890 He waits and watches the slow passing Sand,
891 Tho' bid retire, he minds not the Command;
892 But still observes and grasps his feeble Hand.[Page 56]
893 The Pulse was low as at th' Ebb of Life,
894 And weaken'd Nature scarce maintain'd the strife.
895 When fair Florella to the Chamber came,
896 Sent by his Mother, that dispairing Dame,
897 Straight the small Ministers fetch nimble Strokes,
898 And fresh Vermillion dy'd his Languid Looks;
899 New strength, new Vigour now his Eyes inspir'd,
900 And glowing Cheeks, with conscious Blushes fir'd,
901 Relaps'd again, soon as the Nymph Retir'd.
902 The Wise Physitian, this with Judgment weigh'd,
903 He found the Youth was dying for the Maid.
904 He smiling rose, and hasten'd to depart,
905 And murmur'd to himself, How Vain's our Art?
906 We have no Medicine, for a Love-sick Heart.[Page 57]
907 He left the Room, th inquiring Mother flys
908 To ask what hopes, examines first his Eyes,
909 Longing the truth to know, yet truth she sears,
910 Her trembling Voice is choak'd with rising Tears.
911 Says he, I long have view'd your deep Concern,
912 And studi'd much your Sons Disease, to learn
913 What led his Youth tow'rds an untimely Grave,
914 And why my Drugs now lose their pow'r to save;
915 In vain my utmost Art and Care I use,
916 My Medicines all their healing power Lose,
917 And the sick Youth does all releif refuse.
918 At this amaz'd! at length I truly Guest
919 Some Pain hid in the Closet of his Breast:
920 There like destructive Fire, in secret Mines,
921 Consum'd his strength, and baffl'd our Designs.
922 The impatient Mother, interrupted now,
923 Surpriz'd, she cry'd, Can there be ought below,[Page 58]
924 My Darling Son eager as Life Requires
925 And wait not I too Crown his fond Desires?
926 'Tis Love, he then reply'd, has rack'd him long,
927 Love, that delightful Torture of the Young,
928 The Worlds great Lord, subduer of the strong;
929 The subtle Fire has pierc'd his aking Heart,
930 And drinks his Vital Blood with ceasless Smart:
931 His Life's a Prey to the All powerful Flame,
932 Unless he's cur'd, from whence the Torment came.
933 And is there then, she haughtily reply'd,
934 A Dame too great, to be Lord Mand'vils Bride?
935 Why pines my Son upon the Wrack of Love,
936 When to be his, each charming Nymph has strove?
937 Name but the Fair, who bears such conquering Eyes,
938 Be sure my Lord High Marshal gains the Prize,[Page 59]
939 How great soe'er her, Noble Parents be;
940 My Son can boast Descent with any she.
941 The Blood that fills his Veins, from either Source,
942 Has a glorious Spring, and untaunted Course;
943 Titles and flowing Wealth, his Name adorn,
944 What cruel Nymph can pay him back with Scorn!
945 Then the good Man, whose Speeches only tend
946 To calm her Wrath, and to preserve his Friend,
947 Went on;
948 If thus he'ad place'd his Love, why shou'd he mourn?
949 Or fear your kind Consent, or her Return?
950 But if forgot the Honours of his Race,
951 He doats upon a beauteous Form and Face,
952 Of Birth unknown, tho' most divinely Fair,
953 Whose utmost Glory is to be your Care:[Page 60]
954 His Reason by his conqu'ring Love betray'd,
955 And the sad Choice, is Death, or that bright Maid;
956 I need not now pronounce her well known Name,
957 There is but one can kindle such a Flame.
958 The Mother said, What Ills must I indure,
959 E'er my Stern Lord will yield to such a Cure?
960 For this Misfortune he will me upbrai'd,
961 Because I succor'd first the tender Maid.
962 Vertue and Grace Florella does possess,
963 My cruel Lord builds there no Happiness:
964 Howe'er my utmost Tears, and Prayers I'll try;
965 'Tis better far, to see him hers, than dye.
966 This spoke, she hast's to find her Mourning Lord,
967 In th' softest Phrase her Language cou'd afford;
968 With moving Tears th' unhappy Tale relates,
969 Oft blames her Son, but more the cruel Fates,[Page 61]
970 That thus ordain'd to rob their Souls of Rest,
971 To lose the Youth, by whom their Age was blest
972 Or give Consent, she sigh'd, that Ill's the least.
973 Her soothing Softness cou'd not stop his Rage,
974 Nor gentle Showers, his Mad Fury swage:
975 From his fierce Eyes the fiery Tempest came,
976 Tumultuous Passion set him in a Flame,
977 Let him then dye, he cry'd, e'er thus disgrace his Name.
978 Oh! barb'rous Sound! Oh! most unnatural Breath
979 She said! To doom an only Son to Death!
980 When first, my Lord, to me your Vows you paid,
981 How oft you wish'd me born some humble Maid,
982 That you might greatly prove your generous Fire,
983 And griev'd, your Fortunes cou'd not raise me higher:[Page 62]
984 Had I been so, you the same Risque had run;
985 Then, oh! Forgive your too too Amourous Son!
986 Yet all her pleading Agonies were vain,
987 Her unperswasive Griefs cou'd only gain
988 That she might sooth her Son, in his destructive Pain;
989 That she with Hopes might lull his Cares a Sleep,
990 Make Promises, which he ne'er meant to keep.
991 With this dear Cordial, to the Youth she flies,
992 Sits down, and views him with the kindest Eyes:
993 He Sigh'd, and Begg'd she would his Faults forgive,
994 And cry'd, don't ask your wretched Child to live;
995 Nor torture thus, my Soul, to see you Grieve:
996 Your Blessing on your hapless Son bestow;
997 Excuse the Debt I to your Goodness owe:[Page 63]
998 'Tis a vast Summ, which I can never pay,
999 Yet I will rather dye than disobey.
1000 Weeping, the Lady spoke:
1001 Oh! thankless Child! oh! most ungrateful Boy!
1002 Too well thou know'st, thou art alone my Joy;
1003 Thy Death will my Remains of Life destroy:
1004 Therefore no more of thy false Duty boast,
1005 When you indulge the Ill by which my Peace is lost:
1006 Since after Days, and Nights, of wracking Pain,
1007 Scarcely to be endur'd, or thought again,
1008 Since the First happy Hour the gladsome Morn,
1009 When the wish'd News went round, a Son was Born;
1010 I have indulg'd thee ev'ry anxious Year,
1011 No Mother e'er such Tenderness did bear,
1012 Why dost thou then distract me with Dispair?[Page 64]
1013 Upon my Love and Pain thou ne'er look'st back
1014 Nor the successive Cares which I did take;
1015 So forward still the eager Streams are born,
1016 And to the Nursing Fountain rarely turn.
1017 He only groan'd, here let my Life have end,
1018 Too long I've liv'd such Goodness to offend.
1019 She cou'd not bear the Grief she saw him feel,
1020 Fear'd to increase the Pangs she meant to heal:
1021 Then mildly, with a softer Air began,
1022 And kindly cheer'd her poor dejected Son:
1023 Thy Fathers Hopes, and mine, are built in thee,
1024 His Pride thou art, and every Wish to me;
1025 Yet cautious Youth, in this you are to blame,
1026 You do not prize aright a Mothers Name;
1027 But hide from me, your very best of Friends,
1028 The secret Woe, on which your Life depends,
1029 Whilst your Physitian, the true Cause displays,
1030 And saith, 'tis inward Grief, your Youth decays.[Page 65]
1031 Officious Fool! the pensive Son reply'd!
1032 His nauseous Draughts he longer shou'd have try'd!
1033 Not the dear Secret of my Soul impart!
1034 And thereby show the Weakness of his Art!
1035 Oh! Mandevill, his Mother mildly said,
1036 Confess the Truth, I will no more upbraid,
1037 For now his Care thy wishes have betray'd!
1038 Thy healthful Bloom, let Grief no more devour,
1039 But seek my Aid, and trust Mothers Power.
1040 What silent still! Will nought your Spirits chear?
1041 Go quickly one, and call Florella here:
1042 Look up, my Son, and now believe me kind,
1043 I've brought the Balm for thy distemper'd Mind:
1044 Your Life in Ballance, we this Choice prefer,
1045 Your only Task's to live and conquer her.
1046 Too much transported at this Change of Fate,
1047 He cry'd, Your proffer'd Kindness is too late.[Page 66]
1048 The mighty Tides of Joy come on too fast,
1049 And weaken'd Life is gone too far to last;
1050 A dreadful Sound adds Terrour to their Fears,
1051 And fills the Room with piercing Shrieks and Tears;
1052 The Mother from the Pillow snatch'd her Son,
1053 And cry'd, Help all, or I am lost, undone.
1054 Then on her Breast the Darling Youth she laid,
1055 And bid Florella bring her useful Aid:
1056 He strait reviv'd at Touches of the Maid.
1057 Then Conscious what transporting Joy had done,
1058 He blush'd at what Extravagance he'd shewn,
1059 And she, as if the Fault had been her own.
1060 This was his Crisis, this the lucky Hour,
1061 And Death, and Sickness, quit malignant Pow'r.
1062 Now wing'd with Joy, the happy Minutes flew;
1063 He still beheld the Fair, and still the Sigh was New;[Page 67]
1064 Soft Tales of Love he whisper'd in her Ear,
1065 Not so reserv'd, butshe seem'd pleas'd to hear;
1066 And when he begg'd she wou'd his Fears remove,
1067 And bless him with that charming Sound, I love;
1068 Her Tongue was silent, but her Eyes proclaim,
1069 She lov'd the Youth, and caught the infectious Flame:
1070 His Health return'd, and every blooming Grace
1071 Revives and sparkles in its wonted Place,
1072 With Transports in his Mein, and Raptures in his Face.
1073 A new Respect was to Florella paid,
1074 All hail'd with Joy, the beauteous happy Maid:
1075 Thro'out the Land was spread her wond'rous Fame,
1076 Each Sonnet rais'd new Trophies to her Name;
1077 With such a Grace as scarce can be believ'd,
1078 These flowing Honours the Fair Nymph receiv'd:[Page 68]
1079 The Courtly Youth now envy'd Mand'vill more
1080 For this rich Prize, than what his Titles bore.
1081 Paint now the Pleasures of the happy Pair,
1082 Whose Joys were Innocent, and most Sincere;
1083 From Garden Grots, to purling Streams they rove,
1084 Endless their Talk, and all that Talk was Love.
1085 New Raptures still, from Conversation grow,
1086 Ten Thousand Joys, which only Lovers know:
1087 Such sancy'd Bliss, her charming Presence brings,
1088 The blest transported Youth, looks down on Kings;
1089 Implores, that Hymen make his Joys secure,
1090 And tye that Knot, which does for Life indure.
1091 Those were the Sun shine Days, when Cupid play'd,
1092 And every Laughing Hour was joyful made;
1093 They dream'd not of the Black approaching Shade:[Page 69]
1094 (Mankind, when he injoys the Smiles of Fate,
1095 But vainly thinks to fix a prosperous State:
1096 And when ill Fortune does his Life attend,
1097 As vainly fears his Woes will never end:
1098 Alas! 'tis foolish! All our Life's a Dream,
1099 And every Season has its changing Scene!)
1100 Fearless, Supine, and bless'd with sweet Repose,
1101 The Lovers were, when unthought Storms arose.
1102 The Father to his Closet takes his Son,
1103 And with an Air severe, his Speech begun:
1104 I'd know when you will quit this Sluggish Pace,
1105 When banish'd Honour reassumes its Place,
1106 And you maintain the Glory of your Race.
1107 Is not thy Fancy sated, foolish Boy?
1108 Love is a Sweet, design'd to please and cloy,
1109 Nor meant the nobler Faculty's t' employ.
1110 License I gave to the ignoble Fire,
1111 That thou might'st Glut thy insatiate Desire;[Page 70]
1112 And feed like some Ill-manner'd eager Guest,
1113 'Till thou grew Sick, and loath'd the Luscious Feast.
1114 Nay, turn not Pale; thou canst not change my Mind,
1115 Nor think I ever otherwise design'd.
1116 The impatient Son, then eagerly reply'd,
1117 Under Love's Vail, could you such Baseness hide?
1118 Compell'd by Duty, I have heard too long,
1119 The Sacred Bus'ness of my Love you wrong.
1120 Florella's Vertue is above your Thought;
1121 Nor wou'd the Jem with all your Wealth be bought:
1122 For the Fair Maid, good Angels be her Guard,
1123 May her just Worth still meet a just Reward:
1124 Kind Providence! preserve her Youth from Harm!
1125 Oh! may shee ever live, and live to Charm![Page 71]
1126 His Father was inrag'd at this Reply,
1127 And with a Stern tremendous Voice, did cry,
1128 Audacious Boy! And durst thou to my Face,
1129 Bless One born for thy Shame, and my Disgrace!
1130 Go to the Grave, and hide thy Abject Flame:
1131 Could'st hope I'd give to her a Daughters Name;
1132 Or vainly think I would thy Choice applaud,
1133 Tho' I did yield to a fond Mothers Fraud;
1134 I'd rather see thee and thy Sorc'ress dye,
1135 Than to the Marriage but in Thought comply:
1136 He calmly answer'd;
1137 Enough, my Lord, your furious Rage give o'er;
1138 Take your Sons Word, you'll hear of this no more:
1139 With Looks compos'd, he left the hateful Room;
1140 Nor cou'd his Father guess the Fate to come.[Page 72]
1141 No Image of Delight now fills his Mind;
1142 He ne'er can hope to make his Father kind.
1143 Deep strugling Griefs his doubtful Thoughts opprest,
1144 All Day no Dawn of Peace, all Night no Rest;
1145 Tortur'd with Pains, too great to be exprest,
1146 Disturb'd he walks, revolving in his Breast,
1147 What Course he shou'd his wretched Footsteps, stear,
1148 That most might shew his Love and his Dispair.
1149 Florella fear'd him weary of his Flame;
1150 Nor gay, nor pleas'd, he to her Toilet came;
1151 No tuneful Airs her gentle Slumbers break;
1152 No Songs Salute her, e'er she's well awake,
1153 And sweet Melodious Notes, compos'd for her dear Sake:
1154 Nor one soft Billet Deaux so kind does prove,
1155 To whisper the Dear Tale of Truth and Love:[Page 73]
1156 If she approach, he hangs his pensive Head,
1157 His Looks strait change, from Pale, to glowing Red.
1158 He Sighs, as if around Destruction fell,
1159 And his full Eyes, a fatal Story tell.
1160 These boding Symptoms fright the Charming Fair,
1161 Who finds, when Love does faithful Breasts insnare,
1162 They're wrack'd with Jealous Fears, and every tender Care.
1163 Retir'd alone, she softly does complain,
1164 And wishes for her former Peace in vain;
1165 Reflects upon her Hours of downy Rest,
1166 Before inchanting Love, that cruel Guest,
1167 Usurp'd, with Tyrant Pow'r, her milder Breast.
1168 Oh! happy Days, she said, from Passion free!
1169 When all was Peace, and calm Felicity:[Page 74]
1170 If eager Joy, I neither wish'd nor knew,
1171 I liv'd without the Pain and Pleasure too.
1172 Oh happy State of Cold Indifference!
1173 Bless'd in that seeming Want of nicer Sense,
1174 Whom nothing pleases, nothing gives Offence.
1175 No fierce Pursuit, their thoughtless Minds employ,
1176 They feel no Sorrow, as they taste no Joy.
1177 In Bounds the Stagnate Waters sullen lye,
1178 No Tempest raises them like Mountains high;
1179 Whilst Curling Waves, form'd by the rapid Stream,
1180 Can never rest, nor ever be Serene.
1181 Oh friendless Maid! If he Unkind shou'd prove,
1182 Or so Untrue, but to dissemble Love,
1183 And I, the publick Talk, the publick Jest,
1184 Become of ev'ry Meeting, ev'ry Feast:
1185 But hold! There's something tells me I am Born,
1186 Above their Laughter, and above their Scorn;
1187 Yes, Mand'vill,[Page 75]
1188 If thou disdain'st thy humble Victory,
1189 Know I can Triumph too, and bravely dye:
1190 Thus her dispairing Fears, her Hopes o'ercame,
1191 Thus she accus'd her Lord, and curs'd the fatal Flame.
1192 Whilst Love alone possest Young Mand'vills Mind,
1193 To give the greatest Proof he now design'd,
1194 And quit the waiting Grandeur of his Birth,
1195 And with his Love, forsake the Glories of the Earth;
1196 For since Florella is deny'd his Wife,
1197 He'll wed himself to a Monastick Life;
1198 And tho' within his own dear Native Land,
1199 Many Fair Abbyes do inviting stand,
1200 Gardens and Groves, delightful to the Eye,
1201 As if they meant to sooth Austerity;[Page 76]
1202 (The best of all the Realm the Priest's still chose,
1203 They look'd as if design'd for soft Repose;
1204 But we are to believe they watch and pray,
1205 And Tears and Pennance wear their Hours away)
1206 These he avoids, least Pow'r his Will restrain,
1207 And force him from their Convent, Home again.
1208 In France he means to find some lovely Cell,
1209 And there in solemn Silence, ever dwell:
1210 Now all things for his Voyage he provides,
1211 But from his dearest Friends, the Secret hides:
1212 The Marshal, dayly, Tables did ordain,
1213 The weary travelling Pilgrims to maintain,
1214 Who always found a welcome; there refresht
1215 With Hospitable Food, the Gracious Donor blest:
1216 Like one of these, his Son design'd to dress,
1217 And 'scape unknown, amidst the thronging Press.
1218 Thus his Designs the wandering Scene had laid,
1219 And thus the hapless Youth himself betray'd;[Page 77]
1220 Not to his Love, he wou'd his Thoughts reveal,
1221 Yet cou'd not part without a last Farewel;
1222 Tho' 'twas a pang that Life cou'd hardly Bear,
1223 For her to Health and Life he did Prefer,
1224 Nothing beneath the Sun he held so Dear.
1225 He to the Beautious Nymph's Apartment went,
1226 Pains in his Heart, and Looks of Discontent;
1227 He found her Reading to divert her Mind,
1228 'Twas Ariadne's pray'rs breath'd to the Wind,
1229 When faithless Theseus left the Fair Behind;
1230 He took the Book, and when he saw the Place,
1231 A burning Blush flew to his lovely Face.
1232 She forc'd a Smile, and cry'd, what find you there,
1233 That in your Cheeks such Signs of guilt appear?
1234 Said he, Had Theseus been Compell'd to go,
1235 To purchase Fame, and fight a distant Foe,
1236 And left the Nymph in some blest happy Place,
1237 Wou'd that, and sigh'd, not alter much the Case?[Page 78]
1238 If left, the Maid reply'd,
1239 Tho' in a Palace where she bore Command,
1240 'Twou'd soon grow hateful as the barren Sand;
1241 Since there is no amends for perjur'd Love,
1242 No pleasures will the bitter Pain Remove.
1243 Heav'n it self, takes cognisance of broken Vows,
1244 And its strict Justice there, no Mercy shows,
1245 Whither, oh whither, do thy Speeches lead?
1246 With dying Eyes, the tortur'd Mand'vil said,
1247 Dost thou unjustly think thou art betray'd.
1248 Me, my Florella! Me, dost thou accuse!
1249 Or tax with perjur'd Love, or broken Vows!
1250 Do not my suff'rings dwell upon thy Mind?
1251 Oh thou too killing Fair! And too unkind!
1252 Know that in all the tales of Love thou'st found,
1253 No Heart with greater truth was ever crown'd,[Page 79]
1254 My Thoughts have still been fix'd, my Eyes ne'er straid,
1255 Since first Loves mighty Laws my Soul obey'd,
1256 And if my adverse Stars, such woe Ordains,
1257 That I am still Condemn'd to endless Pains.
1258 If I am doom'd to lose what I hold dear,
1259 A Punishment which Nature cannot Bear.
1260 Add not my Fair, to the too Cruel weight,
1261 But think it is the hard necessity of Fate.
1262 Ah little, little of my Pangs you know!
1263 Nor kindly guess the wracks I under go;
1264 The rending Grief, that tears my lab'ring Heart,
1265 When I with you, and all my Joys must Part;
1266 Such woes as these fond nursing Mothers Feel;
1267 To see their Infants on the Soldiers steel,
1268 Such piercing Pain, when we behold from far,
1269 The Vessel sink, where all our Treasures are;[Page 80]
1270 Yet these sad Woes, compar'd to mine, are small,
1271 A parting Lovers grief, exceeds them all.
1272 Must we then part? she said: Oh most unkind!
1273 And for what wretched place am I design'd?
1274 Friendless, forsaken, must I wander now,
1275 Or to some new imperious Mistress Bow.
1276 Ye unauspicious Stars, that rul'd my Birth,
1277 Why was I form'd? Why did I crow'd the Earth,
1278 When no Provision for my Life was made,
1279 And not one place my own, to rest my Head.
1280 Let not such Thoughts, affright thy tender Mind,
1281 Here thou shalt stay; my Mother will be kind.
1282 That Parent for the Other does attone;
1283 She mild as Doves, he hard as petred Stone:
1284 My Charmer, she thy Life will easie make,
1285 And love Florella, for her Mand'vils sake.[Page 81]
1286 She answer'd,
1287 Why such disjointed Thoughts do you express?
1288 You'll leave me, yet talk of Happiness:
1289 Ruin thee! surely, my Ruin is design'd by Fate;
1290 And must Love more destructive prove than Hate?
1291 Why my Calm Virgin Hours did you molest?
1292 Flatter me with possession of your Breast?
1293 Make me exchange my Peace, for this unrest?
1294 If still, he cry'd, I do not love thee More,
1295 Than greedy Misers, Gold, or Monarchs Pow'r;
1296 Than sick Men Ease, the happy Lifes Increase;
1297 Towns Beseig'd, Relief; or pious Matrons Peace;
1298 If thou art not my Joy, my Life my Health,
1299 Priz'd like my Soul, my only valu'd Wealth,
1300 Then send just Heaven, upon my perjur'd Head
1301 Ten Thousand Plagues, and strike me with 'em Dead.[Page 82]
1302 But, oh! my Fair! my Hope! my only Wish!
1303 A Father stands 'twixt me, and happiness;
1304 Deceiv'd in his dissembl'd false Consent,
1305 Whose specious words disguis'd a foul intent:
1306 In Rage, he bid me quench my faithful flame,
1307 In Terms so vile, my Soul abhors to Name.
1308 I oft have heard your cruel fatal Vow,
1309 Your Virtue no stol'n Marriage will allow;
1310 Therefore we must for ever, everpart;
1311 Why do I live? Why dost thou hold my Heart?
1312 Why does not Fate, quick, sure Destruction bring,
1313 Burst tortur'd Natures tyes, and break each trembling String?
1314 Why, when Life's tedious March was almost o'er,
1315 Was I brought back, to suffer on the Shore?
1316 My cruel Father, worse than Death destroys,
1317 Death is a Good, when Life's bereft of Joys.[Page 83]
1318 Cease my lov'd Lord, the fair Florella cry'd,
1319 Wou'd I had ne'er been born, or born, that Moment dy'd.
1320 All things to your kind Family I owe,
1321 And in return, Curses alone bestow:
1322 I'll go where you shall ne'er behold me more,
1323 And with my Absence, former Peace restore.
1324 Peace without thee! the doting Youth reply'd,
1325 No Griefs will all my Days and Nights devide:
1326 Dispair and Sorrows, all my restless Hours betide.
1327 Since from what my Soul desires I'm debarr'd,
1328 Forgive my earnest Suit, nor think it hard:
1329 I beg you ne'er will yield to a new Lovers Charms,
1330 For I shou'd dye, to see you in another's Arms;
1331 And (as my first, last Dear) with lovely you,
1332 I bid the World, and all your Sex adieu:[Page 84]
1333 So let me hope that Snowy Virgin Breast,
1334 Will never entertain another guest;
1335 If I have first your Heart to Love inclin'd,
1336 Oh! still preserve me in your Chaster Mind;
1337 Will ye be so kind? Can these Tears perswade
1338 The fairest Nymph that ever Nature made?
1339 Can she, for the poor hapless Mand'vill's sake,
1340 Resolve a lasting Leave of all Mankind to take?
1341 It looks like sullen Pride, I must confess,
1342 That I should others barr of Happiness,
1343 But oh! impute it to my Love's excess.
1344 Grant this my charming Dear, my Hearts desire,
1345 The only Suit that I shall e'er require.
1346 Like Sorrows Image then, he silent stood,
1347 And strove in vain to hide the falling Flood:
1348 Pale, at her Feet, the dying Hero fell,
1349 And let those Signs of Grief, his inward Sorrows tell,[Page 85]
1350 Distress'd, she rais'd him with her lovely Hand,
1351 And cry'd, What wou'd my Lord his Slave command?
1352 Oh! poor Return, for all his wond'rous Love,
1353 That to no other Youth I kind should prove;
1354 Without Injunction, I'd have made that Vow,
1355 Immortal Passion, is your Merits due,
1356 No Maid can Love again, after once loving you;
1357 No thou dear Idol of my conquer'd Soul!
1358 Thy Empire in my Breast, no Pow'r shall e'er controul;
1359 Each tender Wish I'll dedicate to thee,
1360 For wheresoe'er confin'd, still Thought is free,
1361 And mine shall ever Faithful, ever Constant be.
1362 Oh! For my sake, each desperate Purpose shun,
1363 If thou art lost, Florella is undone:
1364 With Patience, let us our Misfortunes wait,
1365 And hope, from Innocence, a better Fate.[Page 86]
1366 He with glad Pleasure listened to the Fair,
1367 His Heart rejoyc'd to hear her Love and Care;
1368 Yet still resolves his Purpose to pursue,
1369 And meant this Visit for a last Adieu.
1370 He cou'd not take his longing Eyes away,
1371 But rooted stands, and adds another Moment's stay;
1372 Another, and another, to the mighty Summ,
1373 Grudges the past, and fears the rest to come:
1374 At length he clasp'd her in his faithful Arms,
1375 And said, Thou Mistress of Eternal Charms,
1376 Remember Mand'vill, thou soft lovely Maid,
1377 And let no Scandal on my Name be laid;
1378 My Love was pure, from thought of Int'rest free,
1379 Virtue I sought, found the rich Jem in thee,
1380 More worth than boundless Heaps of hoarded Gold,
1381 Or gawdy Titles, which are bought and sold:[Page 87]
1382 A mighty Stock of Beauty Nature gave,
1383 Beauty that wou'd all humane Kind enslave;
1384 Judge then my Fair, the Wrack, such worth to leave!
1385 He said no more, but forc'd himself away
1386 With Sighs, that did his Truth and Pangs betray.
1387 The Nymph distracted, knew not what to guess,
1388 But found ill Fate on ev'ry side did press;
1389 Whilst secret Means for his Escape he made,
1390 And trusting none, cou'd be by none betray'd:
1391 His Pilgrim Weed, to all, unknown he bought,
1392 And to his Chamber undiscover'd brought;
1393 And sends his Page on Errands several ways,
1394 That must detain tke Youth the space of many Days;
1395 Then leaves the Key of his own private Chest,
1396 And saith, when he returns, therein his Will's exprest:
1397 So fitted for the Purpose, when alone,
1398 His Robe throws off, and the poor Weed puts on;[Page 88]
1399 With a false Beard, and Hair, he hides his Face,
1400 And 'mongst the Travelling Pilgrims takes his Place;
1401 With them he passes thro' the House unknown,
1402 Leaves the gay pompous Roof, design'd his own,
1403 To search some dismal melancholly Cell,
1404 Some Caves where Sorrows self wou'd chuse to dwell.
1405 Oh! mighty Love! Behold, look down and see
1406 This glorious Victim, sure, is worthy Thee;
1407 And if o'er Mortals thou wou'dst still maintain
1408 Dispotick Sway, and undisputed Reign,
1409 This Story, in thy Annals, still preserve,
1410 From him let constant Lovers learn to serve:
1411 His Birth-right left, the Honours of his Name,
1412 A wond'rous Tale, fit for the Book of Fame;
1413 Let sighing Virgins, endless Praise rehearse,
1414 Crown him ye Poets with immortal Verse.[Page 89]
1415 Ye Shepherds, and ye Nymphs, new Songs ordain,
1416 He was, indeed, the Glory of the Plain.
1417 When a forsaken Fair laments her Friend,
1418 If her Complaints to Exclamations tend,
1419 Name but this faithful Youth, and all her Wrath shall end.
1420 Mand'vill, thy Constancy, thy Worth alone,
1421 Shall for the Falshood of thy Sex attone;
1422 When amorous Youths shall meet in Plains or Groves,
1423 And there repeat the Story of their Loves,
1424 Thy lasting Truth, in all their Songs shall shine,
1425 Thy eager Love, and Constancy Divine,
1426 And each shall wish his Fame may equal Thine!
1427 Mean time Florella's busie in her Mind,
1428 Some quick Expedient she resolves to find,
1429 Her Mand'vill of his dang'rous Love to cure,
1430 Tho' She, her hapless Self, the Pain indure;[Page 90]
1431 Concludes to hide her in a living Tomb,
1432 Forsake the World, Religious straight become.
1433 Sympathy gave to each the same Design,
1434 Both meant to raise their Love to that Divine,
1435 And aim'd to show what mighty Flames cou'd do,
1436 For each had vow'd to bid the World adieu;
1437 Yet still they hid the secret working Thought,
1438 'Till the form'd Purpose to effect was brought:
1439 Mand'vill succeeds in what he fears to own,
1440 And with the Holy Pilgrims flies unknown.
1441 Now in her Turn, Nights Gloomy Shades invest
1442 The Ruddy Glories of the shining West,
1443 And weaken'd Nature seeks Recruit by Rest:
1444 When round the Palace the Inquiries pass,
1445 Who saw their Absent Lord, and where he was?
1446 Near his Appartment they express'd their Care
1447 With dutious Love, expect to find him there:[Page 91]
1448 He wants no Service from officious Hands,
1449 They wait in vain for his desir'd Commands:
1450 When Darkness came, they cou'd no more forbear,
1451 To the fierce Marshal told their Cause of Fear.
1452 With furious Rage, he to his Lodging Flies,
1453 No Locks nor Bars, th' impetuous Way denies,
1454 But all's expos'd to his inquiring Eyes:
1455 Sad trembling Fears the Mother's Steps retar'd,
1456 Complains, the cruel Pow'rs have no Regard
1457 To Worth, but hinders Mortals of their wish'd Reward.
1458 When enter'd, soon their busy Search does find
1459 Him gone; his scatter'd Garments left behind;
1460 A thousand Fears they in their Fancy frame,
1461 And many Dangers, which they dare not Name;
1462 In this Distress, each medling Fool grows wise,
1463 The helpless still are readiest to advise,[Page 92]
1464 With flying Speed, Florella's sent for there;
1465 Pale look'd the Virgin, almost dead with Fear:
1466 To their Demands, she could no Answer give,
1467 But that he seem'd to take an everlasting Leave.
1468 His Lady cry'd, this did my Soul presage,
1469 See now th' Effects of your too cruel Rage,
1470 We're Childless left in our declining Age:
1471 Your boundless Wrath destroy'd a faithful Pair,
1472 And heaps on me the Terrours of Dispair.
1473 Cou'd this fair weeping Maid create Offence?
1474 Has she not Charms enough, in Truth and Innocence,
1475 To match with so much Vertue, no Disgrace?
1476 They to your Joy might have brought forth a Race,
1477 T' uphold the Honours of your Name and Place:
1478 But now your hoarded Wealth, your Seats and Lands,
1479 Will fall to some ungrateful Stranger's hands;[Page 93]
1480 And I shall curse my Prudence, and my Care,
1481 Compell'd, with the Effects, to bless some forreign Heir.
1482 Stung with Reproach, and Loss, the Marshal swore,
1483 If he'd return, to oppose his Love no more;
1484 That his fix'd Flame shou'd be with Joys repaid,
1485 And he wou'd yield his Son to that All-charming Maid.
1486 If with strict Search, that Son can e'er be found,
1487 For which the Servants are dispatch'd around;
1488 He binds his Promise, with a Solemn Vow,
1489 That the wish'd Marriage freely he'll allow:
1490 Nor by Reproach, his Passion disapprove,
1491 But crown his Constancy with lasting Love.
1492 Thus does Affection bend the stubborn'st Mind,
1493 Pierc'd with the smart, turns Pious, and grows kind;[Page 94]
1494 Each Road they take, and pry with eager Eyes,
1495 But miss their Lord, unknowing his Diguise:
1496 They only find the Page, and force him home,
1497 Examine oft where his lov'd Master's gone?
1498 The affrighted Boy, the Truth of all reveals,
1499 His Lord's Commands, and secret Letter tells:
1500 His Cabinet is in a Moment brought,
1501 And there, with ease, they find what they had sought.
To FLORELLA, this Inscribed. The LETTER.
1502 'E'er this (my Dear) will reach thy lovely Hand,
1503 ' I shall have ever left my Native Land;
1504 'Cast out from thee, no matter where I roam,
1505 ' The Tryal's o'er, Iv'e suffer'd All at Home.[Page 95]
1506 'To rough unpolish'd Cells, I now retire,
1507 'And leave behind fond Hope, and fierce Desire;
1508 ' Yet Love will there maintain a languid Flame,
1509 'Like Lamps in Tombs, tho' useless, burn the same.
1510 ' Did my Florella now her Pilgrim view,
1511 'She'd own the Wonders mighty Love can do;
1512 ' Wou'd say, I in this Parting suffer'd more
1513 'Than ever wretched Mortal did before.
1514 ' Did she my Trembling, and my Tortures see,
1515 'I'm sure she'd pity and remember me,
1516 The Virgin faints, as she the Letter read,
1517 Like Dewy Roses, hangs her drooping Head:
1518 Their Search agen renew'd, they take their Way,
1519 To all the Ports that lay along the Sea;
1520 And that their Message may his Flight prevent,
1521 Bless'd News they bring, to give his Mind content,
1522 His Father's Letters, full of kind Consent.[Page 96]
1523 His better Fate o'er-rul'd that working Sea,
1524 And for a Wind, the waiting Pilgrims lay:
1525 Now the general Cry was, All aboard,
1526 Just as the Men arriv'd, and found their Lord.
1527 Rejoyc'd, amaz'd, and fill'd with glad Surprize,
1528 Delight and Wonder strugl'd in their Eyes;
1529 His were cast down, asham'd of his Disguise.
1530 Great Minds are constant to their Purpose still,
1531 And take from Fate a Disappointment Ill;
1532 Resolv'd he held a Pon'yard to his Breast,
1533 And said, my Friends, I am not now in Jest;
1534 My Father's Will, I own I shou'd obey,
1535 But Love, o'er Duty, has imperial Sway:
1536 You force my certain Death, if you come on,
1537 I own my self a most Ungrateful Son:
1538 But quitting that belov'd illustrious Maid,
1539 With double Punishment my Faults are paid.[Page 97]
1540 Affrighted, they the head-strong Passion wait,
1541 And scarce cou'd cool this most intemp'rate heat:
1542 At length, they humbly did their Letters give,
1543 Begg'd he wou'd hear, and be at Peace and live;
1544 He reads his Parents with a double Joy,
1545 His rising Fears, his Raptures did destroy;
1546 'Till Fair Florella's Hand, and Signet came,
1547 She fix'd his Hopes, 'twas Sacred, with her Name.
1548 And thus her Letter spoke her kind Concern:
1549 'Return my Dearest, Faithful, Lord, return;
1550 ' Give me not endless Cause, your Loss to mourn.
1551 'Can you pretend you Love, and yet prepare,
1552 ' For your Florella, worse than Death, Dispair?
1553 'Oh most unkind! Cou'd you for ever go,
1554 ' And let not me your fatal Purpose know?
1555 'If with a Flame sincere your Heart does burn,
1556 ' I Charge you, by that Sacred Flame, return.
1557 So, Royal Mandates, the last Hour arrive,
1558 When pitying Queens bid Malefactures live;
1559 With such vast Joy the Innocent and Brave,
1560 Receives the only Cordial that had Pow'r to save;
1561 Forgets the Penance that his Soul design'd,
1562 And with his Garb, resumes a chearful Mind;
1563 By her Command, his Speed out-flies the Wind.
1564 A general Joy thro' all the House is spread,
1565 Welcome! as if our Voice could raise some Darling, Dead:
1566 His Father, speedy Marr'age does Command,
1567 And joyns in his, the Fair Florella's Hand;
1568 Yet there's a fix'd Regret he's forc'd to hide,
1569 So much the Marr'age mortifies his Pride:
1570 Not so, the Mother; that kind Brittish Dame,
1571 She likes the Maid, and well approves the Flame:[Page 99]
1572 What's their Concern to the glad Lovers Bliss!
1573 All Day they Gaze, and Talk, and Vow, and Kiss,
1574 'Till that dear joyful, long desir'd Morn,
1575 That Day, which Mand'vill thinks, will Years adorn,
1576 Is come; when charming Bridal Virgins wait,
1577 And jolly Youths throng to the Palace Gate;
1578 Then bright Florella, lovely as the Rose,
1579 Ten Thousand Glory's in her Eyes disclose;
1580 By curious Art, deck'd in the Brittish Pride,
1581 To wond'ring Crowds, appear'd the fairest Bride
1582 That e'er fam'd Alhion grac'd in all her Store,
1583 So bright a Nymph was never seen before.
1584 Then the Bridegroom, gay as the Eastern Sun,
1585 Yet seem'd in haste, and wish'd his Race were run;
1586 Challeng'd his shining Rival of the Day,
1587 And bid him hasten tow'rds the ebbing Sea;[Page 100]
1588 Paid all his Vows to Sacred Solemn Night,
1589 His Pray'rs, the sober footed Matron do invite,
1590 And calls her dark'ning Gloom, his Hearts delight.
1591 At length the happy joyful Day is past,
1592 And the dear welcome Shades are come at last.
1593 New Sports the longing Bridegroom's joy's retard,
1594 Farce and Dance, which have but small regard;
1595 He hasts to the last Scene, the gawdy Bed,
1596 With Indian odours, Native Roses spread,
1597 Each busie Hand's employ'd to undress the Fair,
1598 No need of Sweets, when young Florella's there.
1599 How many Fears the blushing Virgin awe!
1600 She knew not what she said, nor whom she saw,
1601 Bless'd Mand'vill comes, my Muse, the Curtain draw:
1602 Leave now, in perfect Bliss, the happy Pair,
1603 And let Perotto next become thy Care.[Page 101]
1604 In all that Court, he was the Youth alone,
1605 Whose Acts immortal Fame, and endless Glory crown;
1606 In Sports, or in great Exercise of War,
1607 Then all the rest he still exceeded far:
1608 His Mother's Beauty, and his Father's Grace,
1609 Was stamp'd upon the lovely Hero's Face;
1610 Kind Fortune did his glorious Youth befriend,
1611 And all he undertakes, Success does still attend.
1612 Judgment, and piercing Wit, which all approve,
1613 And various Charms, to gain an Universal Love.
1614 The President, who did his Title Grace,
1615 Had bounteous Nature, blest with numerous Race,
1616 All things in Court, wear an auspiceous Face;
1617 And that Experience may his Arms advance,
1618 He's sent a Volentier to serve in France:
1619 Such strange Adventures does Blind Fortune bring,
1620 Unknown, he treads his Native Shore, defends his King;[Page 102]
1621 But whilst expos'd, he courts an early Name,
1622 And with Expence of Blood, secures that darling, Fame.
1623 At Home
1624 A Pestelential Sickness rages round,
1625 Destructive Mists ascend, thick Vapours from the Ground,
1626 Th' unwholsome Blasts does Man and Beasts confound.
1627 Perotto heard their State, and evil Case,
1628 And quickly flies to the infected Place:
1629 Rumour but half the Desolation spake,
1630 'Twas such a Scene, as noblest Hearts might break:
1631 That Palace which he gawdy left, and gay,
1632 Now Midnight Silence reign'd at Noon of Day;
1633 A Cause that did incessent Grief afford,
1634 Death had destroy'd his Patron, and his Lord,
1635 And all his Sons, with whom he had been bred;
1636 Even all the Heroick Youths were Dead.[Page 103]
1637 Cammilla, the only Daughter still surviv'd,
1638 And in the midst of this Destruction liv'd;
1639 So tender Plants do sometimes brave the Storm,
1640 When Oaks, and Tow'rs, are from their Basis torn:
1641 She liv'd, indeed, but shut from humane Eyes,
1642 For 'bove her Life, she did her Father prize:
1643 That being near her dead, and dying Race,
1644 She was confin'd in the infected Place:
1645 And she, whose Form did all the World delight,
1646 Is shun'd like Death, or some destructive Spright:
1647 'Till to the Place, the bold Perotto came,
1648 He Lov'd, and Danger but increas'd his Flame.
1649 Thro' all the Avenues, eagerly he flies,
1650 Still complicated Horrour meets his Eyes,
1651 And noysome Steams, from the unburied Dead arise.
1652 Here lifted hands, in vain, for help do call,
1653 The Servant at his Master's Feet does fall.[Page 104]
1654 In one promiscuous Heap, lay Old and Young,
1655 The Rich, the Fair, the Healthful and the Strong;
1656 Then angry Heav'n sends the Destroyer forth,
1657 Who can express the Terrours of his Wrath!
1658 The Plague, with rapid Force, devouring Rage,
1659 Seems as 'twou'd clear this crowded busie Stage
1660 Of all that thinking Stock of humane Kind,
1661 Infects the Body, sinks the forming Mind;
1662 Dispair, and Black Idea's fill the Soul,
1663 Such Thoughts as all Religion wou'd controul:
1664 All ties are broke, the Fathers flies the Sons,
1665 The Mother from her bosom'd Infant runs;
1666 Dire Hate, in each infected Breast presides,
1667 And new made Bridegrooms shun their charming Brides:
1668 Death's grown so common, none will shed a Tear,
1669 Nature and Love are both o'ercome by Fear;
1670 Only Perotto, he his Fair will save,
1671 Or else, in worse than Charnels, find a Grave.
1672 Amid'st these Ruins, bright Cammilla fate,
1673 Expecting still, her tender Parents Fate.
1674 Perotto comes, implores that she wou'd leave
1675 That wretched Place, and fly with him, and live.
1676 At first, she'd not believe her weeping Eyes,
1677 And view'd Perotto with a strange Surprize!
1678 Art thou come, she said, to this House of Death?
1679 Approach not, least I infect thee with my Breath,
1680 Shun this contagious and destructive Air,
1681 I am a Prey to Sickness, Sorrow, and Dispair:
1682 With untaught Sighs, the Lover made Reply,
1683 Consent with me, your faithful Slave, to fly,
1684 Or give me leave to stay with you and dye.
1685 Dread of these Horrours, soon the Point does gain,
1686 And with those few that did alive remain,
1687 They quit the Castle for the open Plain.[Page 106]
1688 Perotto skill'd in Bus'ness of the Wars,
1689 A Tent for Fair Cammilla strait prepares;
1690 And tho' their little Troops infected round,
1691 He from their Sight, nor Touch, no Danger found;
1692 Whether Love, with his All powerful Dart,
1693 And burning Flames, secur'd his Manly Heart,
1694 Fill'd all, and for Contagion left no Room;
1695 Or whether Fate's Decree deferr'd his Doom;
1696 With chearful Health, the faithful Youth was blest
1697 With Strength, and ardent Pow'r, to serve the rest.
1698 Bleak Winter, now, with nipping Frost draws near,
1699 Courted, desir'd, and hollow Winds that clear
1700 The hot, unwholsome, and polluted Air:
1701 Thinly the peopl'd Towns appear agen,
1702 The ruin'd Clime begins to look Serene;
1703 The untill'd Land's, again the Labourers Care,
1704 And Temples now, resound with Praise and Pray'r.[Page 107]
1705 Nobles, to long deserted Houses come,
1706 And straight invite the Brave Perotto home:
1707 For having learn'd his Honour, Love, and Truth,
1708 They Court Cammilla to espouse the Youth;
1709 And that he may not want deserving Grace,
1710 Adorn his Merit, with her Father's Place.
1711 Cammilla, Pious, Just, and truly Good,
1712 His Worth, and her Obligements, understood;
1713 Besides the medling World might Tax her Fame,
1714 And fix some Blot on her unsulli'd Name:
1715 When she with him, fled to preserve her Life,
1716 'Twou'd Stain her Honour, not to be his Wife.
1717 'Tis done, in Solemn Pomp, the Knot is ty'd,
1718 The Great Cammilla is unknown Perotto's Bride.
1719 Oh! Angiers,
1720 Thus Providence makes up what thou did'st lose,
1721 No better Fortune, if thy self had chose:[Page 108]
1722 That guiding Fate, which does our Steps direct,
1723 We fall not by it, but our own neglect;
1724 We tread forbidden Paths, without a Guide,
1725 'Tis not Heav'ns Fault, but our own selfish Pride.
1726 Thus Man is Curs'd, with what we call Free will,
1727 In Errour lives, and wondrous prone to Ill.
1728 Why were we made? Why, from our unsought Birth,
1729 Are the immortal Seeds condemn'd to Earth?
1730 Why do we Think, and Judge, above the Bruits,
1731 Yet gain no farther Knowledge by Disputes!
1732 Why endless Bliss, and Torments do we frame?
1733 Yet cannot give the Joys, nor Punishment, a Name.
1734 Happy, alone, that thoughtless Mortal lives,
1735 Who feeds on Faith, and, as the Church, believes;
1736 Who never wrong commits, and whose calm Breast,
1737 No deep Inquiry makes, to break his Rest,
1738 This Man, my Muse pronounces truly blest.[Page 109]
1739 Ye undistiuguish'd Notions, hence begon,
1740 Let's to our Story, let our Tale go on:
1741 Thus Angiers Race, are in due Honours plac'd,
1742 With plenteous Wealth, and shining Glory grac'd.
1743 Now my Muse, the Fathers woes depaint,
1744 The various Hardships of that suff'ring Saint,
1745 Who twenty Years remain'd in servile State,
1746 With Patience bore the rude Insults of Fate;
1747 Humble in Sorrow, in Affliction Wise,
1748 Conform'd his Actions to that base Disguise:
1749 As on the lowly Flowr, he Sleeping lay,
1750 Heav'n, to his working Thought, this Vision did display:
1751 His Room seem'd fill'd with dazling Light Divine,
1752 Immortal Rays, with glorious Splendour shine;
1753 Scarce cou'd his humane Eyes, the Brightness bear,
1754 The darting Beams shine forth so radient clear:[Page 110]
1755 When in a Garment of unspotted White,
1756 Too heav'nly Fair for earthly Mortal Sight:
1757 Close by his side, the Reverend Hermit stood,
1758 Who twice had taught him, for his Childrens Good;
1759 And with a Voice, whose Sweetness charm'd his Ear,
1760 Thus spake, bid him his Words observe and hear:
1761 From the Eternal Realms of endless Light,
1762 Where there's no Shaddow of approaching Night;
1763 Where all with beatifick Joys are crown'd,
1764 Where Sin and Sorrow's never to be found,
1765 But Bliss and Praises take their tuneful Round,
1766 From thence, by Gracious Providence, I'm sent
1767 To chear thee in thy Race of Punishment;
1768 To tell thee thy Reproach draws near an end,
1769 And pitying Heav'n will thy last Years befriend:
1770 Angiers, again, to Courteous Albion hast,
1771 Good Fortune's welcome, if it comes at last:[Page 111]
1772 Thy Daughter's there, match'd equal to her Blood,
1773 Thy Son magnificently Great, and truly Good.
1774 Then thou again shalt view thy Native Land,
1775 Again be rais'd i'th' State, and fix'd in high Command.
1776 From Calumny and Guilt, discover'd free,
1777 And after all, my Son, shall Share those Joys with me,
1778 Look up, anticipate what shall hereafter be.
1779 He saw Ten Thousand Angels on the Wing,
1780 Straight heard the loud Immortal Praises sing;
1781 Beheld the Golden Lyres, felt melting Strains,
1782 That struck his Soul, and trembled thro' his Veins;
1783 The Extasie, for Nature grew too strong,
1784 Nor cou'd he bear the mighty Vision long;
1785 But as he strugl'd hard, and wou'd have spoke,
1786 The weaker Bands of flattering Sleep, were broke;
1787 He wak'd, and found it almost perfect Day,
1788 'Twas Darkness, when compar'd to the bright Ray,[Page 112]
1789 Which late, his Soul and wandring Eyes had seen;
1790 The glorious Transports of this heav'nly Dream:
1791 To doubt the Truth, he deems a mortal Sin,
1792 Parts with his cruel Lord, his Voyage does begin;
1793 Safely he cross'd the boist'rous watry Main,
1794 And now beholds the Brittish Clifts again:
1795 In Pilgrims Weed, the Noble Earl was drest,
1796 Begs all his humble Food; and where at Night to rest,
1797 To th' Marshal's House, directs his weary Feet;
1798 The first glad Object his sad Eyes did meet,
1799 Was Violante, led by her court'ous Lord,
1800 With all the Pomp such Greatness does afford;
1801 The gawdy Scene of Joy he scarce cou'd bear,
1802 To see his Child so wond'rous Great and Fair:
1803 Yet still no sign of Gladness he betrays,
1804 But humbly with his fellow Pilgrims stays,[Page 113]
1805 'Till summon'd by th' appointed Servants Call,
1806 They press, and fill the hospitable Hall.
1807 Angiers Distress, his Servitude and Woe,
1808 Had turn'd his curling Locks, as white as Snow;
1809 His Meagre Face, with many a Wrincle plough'd,
1810 And Sun burn'd Skin, no former Beauty show'd.
1811 The Pilgrims fed, and Dinner tane away,
1812 Two lovely Infants were brought forth to play;
1813 Kind Heav'n had bless'd young Mand'vill's Marriage Joys,
1814 With two bright beauteous charming Boys.
1815 The Children straight to th' Pilgrim Angiers run,
1816 As if they knew the Root from whence they sprung;
1817 He kiss'd them; Joy, that Stranger to his Breast,
1818 At their lov'd Sight, became once more his Guest:
1819 They walk with him, and hang about his Knees,
1820 While he finds ways, their childish Hearts to please;[Page 114]
1821 And when the Time is come for their Return,
1822 When they their little Studies