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Strength to the wings of faith.
He beholds A glimmering light, whose near approach unfolds The leaves of darkness. While his wonder grows Big with amazement, the dim taper shows False Manto enter'd, who, prepared to be A bawd unto her lustful mistress, came, Not with persuasive rhetoric to inflame A heart congeald with death’s approach.
Her ruin on her treacherous eye-beams, till Her heart infected grew ; their orbs did fill, As the most pleasing object, with the sight Of him whose sword open’d a way for the flight Of her loved brother's soul. At the first view Passion had struck her dumb, but when it grew Into desire, she speedily did send To have his name—which known, hate did defend Her heart; besieged with love, she sighs, and straight Commands him to a dungeon : but love's bait Cannot be so cast up, though to efface His image from her soul she strives. The place For execution she commands to be Gainst the next day prepared ; but rest and she Grow enemies about it: if she steal A slumber from her thoughts, that doth reveal Her passions in a dream, sometimes she thought She saw her brother's pale grim ghost, that brought His grisly wounds to show her, smear'd in blood, Standing before her sight; and by that flood Those red streams wept, imploring vengeance, then, Enraged, she cries, “0, let him die!” But when Her sleep-imprison'd fancy, wandering in The shades of darken'd reason, did begin To draw Argalia's image on her soul, Love's sovereign power did suddenly controul The strength of those abortive embryos, sprung From smother'd anger. The glad birds had sung A lullaby to night, the lark was fled, On dropping wings, up from his dewy bed, To fan them in the rising sunbeams, ere Whose early reign Janusa, that could bear No longer lock'd within her breast so great An army of rebellious passions, beat From reason's conquer'd fortress, did unfold Her thoughts to Manto, a stout wench; whose bold Wit, join'd with zeal to serve her, had endeard Her to her best affections. Having clear'd All doubts with hopeful promises, her maid, By whose close wiles this plot must be convey'd, To secret action of her council makes Two eunuch pandars, by whose help she takes Argalia from his keeper's charge, as to Suffer more torments than the rest should do, And lodged him in that castle to affright And soften his great soul with fear. The light, Which lent its beams into the dismal place Io which he lay, without presents the face Of horror smeard in blood ; a scaffold built To be the stage of murder, blush'd with guilt Of Christian blood, by several torments let From th' imprisoning veins. This object set To startle his resolves if good, and make His future joys more welcome, could not shake The heaven-built pillars of his soul, that stood Steady, though in the slippery paths of blood. The gloomy night now sat enthroned in dead And silent shadows, midnight curtains spread The earth in black for what the falling day Had blush'd in fire, whilst the brave pris’ner lay, Circled in darkness, yet in those shades spends The hours with angels, whose assistance lends
Most blest of men !
much, but that he dares to recreate
Unruffled here by the rash wearer, rests Fair Persian mantles, rich Sclavonian vests.
Though on this swift variety of fate
thing new And strange approaching after such a storm, This gentle calm assures him.
His limbs from wounds but late recoverd, now
Veil'd o'er their beauty.
Damn'd infidels to sin, that ne'er had known
The way to virtue : not this cobweb veil
To a soul pale with guilt, can cover o'er
Rent from these gilded pleasures, send me to
Reign in eternal silence ; let these rich Such real forms he saw as would strike dumb
And costly robes, the gaudy trappings which The Alcoran's tales of Paradise, the fair
Thou mean'st to clothe my sin in, be exchanged And sparkling gems i' the gilded roof impair Forsordid rags. When thy fierce spleen bath ranged Their taper's fire, yet both themselves confess Through all invented torments, choose the worst Weak to those flames Janusa's eyes possess To punish my denial ; less accurst With such a joy as bodies that do long
I so shall perish, than if by consent
Was sad ; with silent grief the room she leaves.
BOOK III. CANTO IV. Placed in a seat near her bright throne, to stir His settled thoughts she thus begins : “ From her Our noble captive, to fair virtue's throne Your sword hath so much injured as to shed In safety past, though through lust's burning zone, Blood so near kin to mine, that it was fed
Finds in his dungeon's lazy damps a rest By the same milky fountains, and within
Moresweet, though with the heavyweights oppress'd One womb warm'd into life, is such a sin
Of iron bondage, than if they had been I could not pardon, did not love coinmit
Love's amorous wreaths. A rape upon my inerey: all the wit
But she breathes curses in Of man in vain inventions had been lost,
Her soul's pale agony. Ere thou redeem'd ; which now, although it cost
And now she steeps The price of all my honours, I will do :
Her down in tears-a flood of sorrow weeps, Be but so full of gratitude as to
Of power (if penitent) to expiate Repay my care with love. Why dost thou thus
Youth’s vigorous sins ; but all her mourning sate Sit dumb to my discourse ? it lies in us
Beneath a darker veil than that which shades To raise or ruin thee, and make my way
Repentant grief. Thorough their bloods that our embraces stay."
So far the fair Janusa in this sad To charm those sullen spirits that within
Region of grief had gone, till sorrow had The dark cells of his conscience might have been That fever turn’d, upon whose flaming wings Yet by religion hid—that gift divine,
At first love only sate, to one which brings The soul's composure, music, did refine
Deatli's symptoms near the heart. The lazy air, whose polish'd harmony,
The rose had lost Whilst dancing in redoubled echoes, by
His ensigns in her cheeks, and though it cost A wanton song was answer'd, whose each part Pains near to death, the lily had alone Invites the hearing to betray the heart.
Set his pale banners up ; no brightness shone Having with all these choice flowers strew'd the way Within her eye's dim orbs, whose fading light That leads to lust, to shun the slow decay
Being quench'd in death, had set in endless night, Of his approach, her sickly passions baste
Had not the wise endeavours of her maid, To die in action. “ Come," she cries, “ we waste The careful Manto, grief's pale scouts betray'd, The precious minutes. Now thou know'st for what By sly deceit. Thou’rt sent for hither.”
Although she cures not, yet gives present ease, Brave Argalia sits,
By laying opiates to the harsh disease. With virtue cool’d.
A letter, which did for uncivil blame And must my freedom then His first denial, in the stranger's name At such a rate be purchased ? rather, when Disguised, she gives her; which, with eyes that did My life expires in torments, let my name
O'erflow with joy read o'er, had soon forbid Forgotten die, than live in black-mouth'd fame, Grief's sullen progress, whose next stage had been A servant to thy lust. Go, tempt thy own O'er life's short road, the grave—death's quiet inn,
From whose dark terror, by this gleam of light, Incense, in smoky curls, climbs to the fair
Than in the first creation did appear,
Their vigour to that ball of earth, the heart.
The nice eye here epitomized might see
Rich Persia's wealth, and old Rome's luxury.
Deceived Argalia, thinking he had been
Call’d thither to behold a penitent.
With such a high
Heroic scorn as aged saints that die,
Heaven's fav’rites, leave the trivial world — he
slights Prevent a deluge, which might else undo
That gilded pomp ; no splendent beam invites
His serious eye to meet their objects in
An amorous glance, reserved as he had been
Before his grave confessor: he beholds
Great love's mysterious riddles, and commands
Too weak to batter that firm confidence
Their torment's thunder could not shake. From
Made swift with rage, the ruffled curtain flies
His angry touch—he enters—fix'd his eyes,
Whilst he stood red with flaming anger, she
Looks pale with fear-passion's disparity
Like comets, when attracting storms of blood
Shook with portentous sad, the whilst hers sate The captive Argalia is again brought before Janusa, who
Like the dull earth, when trembling at the fate is unconscious that the Bassa had read the letter.
Of those ensuing evils-heavy fix'd
No various fever e'er created in
From her soft throne deposed.
The dismal silence.
Spirits condemn’d, some fiends, instruct me to
Thy spotted soul to flames. Yet I will give Our souls to sail together. From thy eyes
My love is offering. With that word, a stroke
Pierces his breast, whose speedy pains invoke
Death's opiates to appease them: he sinks down
Life in the deluge of her wounds, once more
Them so long open, till the icy sleep
The wounds that murther'd both : his hand that
Fast as my stream of blood. Christian, farewell!
Do not extenuate my crimes, but let
Them in their own black characters be set,
Th’ unpractised lover, which posterity,
From vice's throne be scared to virtue's shrine.
She cries, is our last interview-a kiss
of the other, whilst the parting spirit flies.
(Born, 1618. Died, 1658.) This gallant, unfortunate man, who was much a regiment for the service of the French king, distinguished for the beauty of his person, was was colonel of it, and was wounded at Dunkirk. the son of Sir William Lovelace, of Woolwich, On this occasion his mistress, Lucasta, a Miss in Kent. After taking a master's degree at Lucy Sacheverel, married another, hearing that Cambridge, he was for some time an officer in he had died of his wounds. At the end of two the army ; but returned to his native country years he returned to England, and was again after the pacification of Berwick, and took pos- imprisoned till after the death of Charles I. He session of his paternal estate, worth about 5001. was then at liberty ; but, according to Wood, per annum. About the same time he was deputed was left in the most destitute circumstances, his by the county of Kent to deliver their petition to
estate being gone. He, who had been the favourthe House of Commons, for restoring the king to ite of courts, is represented as having lodged in his rights , and settling the government
. This the most obscure recesses of poverty*, and died petition gave such offence that he was committed in great misery in a lodging near Shoe-lane. to the Gate-house prison, and only released on finding bail to an enormous amount not to pass
* The compiler of the Biographia Dramatica remarks
that Wood must have exaggerated Lovelace's poverty, beyond the lines of communication. During his
for his daughter and sole heir married the son of Lord confinement to London his fortune was wasted in
Chief Justice Coke, and brought to her husband the support of the royal cause. In 1646 he formed estates of her father at King's-down in Kent.
TO ALTHEA, FROM PRISON.
A LOOSE SARABAND.
Au me, the little tyrant thief,
As once my heart was playing, He snatch'd it up, and flew away,
Laughing at all my praying.
Proud of his purchase, he surveys,
And curiously sounds it ; And though he sees it full of wounds,
Cruel still on he wounds it.
And now this heart is all his sport,
Which as a ball he boundeth, From hand to hand, from breast to lip,
And all its rest confoundeth.
When Love, with unconfined wings,
Hovers within my gates,
To whisper at my grates ;
And fetter'd to her eye,-
Know no such liberty.
With no allaying Thames,
Our hearts with loyal flames ;
When healths and draughts go free,Fishes, that tipple in the deep,
Know no such liberty.
With shriller throat shall sing
And glories of my King * ;
He is, how great should be,-
Know no such liberty.
Nor iron bars a cage ;
That for an hermitage.
And in my soul am free,
Enjoy such liberty.
She wash'd the wound with a fresh tear,
Which my Lucasta dropped ; And in the sleeve silk of her hair
'Twas hard bound up and wrapped.
She probed it with her constancy,
And found no rancour nigh it ; Only the anger of her eye
Had wrought some proud flesh nigh it.
AMARANTHA, sweet and fair,
But shake your head and scatter day. (* Charles I., in whose cause Lovelace was then in
Then press'd she bard in every vein,
Which from her kisses thrilled, And with the balm heal'd all its pain
That from her hand distilled.
But yet this heart avoids me still,
Will not by me be owned ; But, fled to its physician's breast,
There proudly sits enthroned.