Page images

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 !
Compose thy wonder, and let only joy
Dwell in thy soul. My coming's to destroy,
Not nurse thy trembling fears : be but so wise
To follow thy swift fate, and thou mayst rise
Above the reach of danger. In thy arms
Circle that power whose radiant brightness charms
Fierce Ammurat's anger, when his crescents shine
In a full orb of forces; what was thine
Ere made a prisoner, though the doubtful state
Of her best Christian monarch, will abate
Its splendour, when that daughter of the night,
Thy feeble star, shines in a heaven of light.
If life or liberty, then, bear a shape
Worthy thy courting, swear not to escape
By the attempts of strength, and I will free
The iron bonds of thy captivity.
A solemn oath, by that great power he served,
Took, and believed : his hopes no longer starved
In expectation. From that swarthy seat
Of sad despair, his narrow jail, replete
With lazy damps, she leads him to a room
In whose delights joy's summer seem'd to bloom,
There left him to the brisk society
Of costly baths and Corsic wines, whose high
And sprightly tempers from cool sherbets found
A calm ally; here his harsh thoughts unwound
Themselves in pleasure, as not fearing fate

much, but that he dares to recreate
His spirit, by unwieldy action tired,
With all that lust into no crime had fired.
By mutes, those silent ministers of sin,
His sullied garments were removed, and in
Their place such various habits laid, as pride
Would clothe her favourites with.

Unruffled here by the rash wearer, rests Fair Persian mantles, rich Sclavonian vests.

Though on this swift variety of fate
He looks with wonder, yet his brave soul sate
Too safe within her guards of reason, to
Be shook with passion : that there's some-

thing new And strange approaching after such a storm, This gentle calm assures him.

His limbs from wounds but late recoverd, now
Refresh'd with liquid odours, did allow
Their suppled nerves no softer rest, but in
Such robes as wore their ornament within,

Veil'd o'er their beauty.

Damn'd infidels to sin, that ne'er had known

The way to virtue : not this cobweb veil
His guilty conduct now had brought him near Of beauty, which thou wear'st but as a jail
Janusa's room, the glaring lights appear

To a soul pale with guilt, can cover o'er
Thorough the window's crystal walls, the strong Thy mind's deformity.
Perfumes of balmy incense mix'd among
The wandering atoms of the air did fly.

Rent from these gilded pleasures, send me to
The open doors allow A dungeon dark as hell, where shadows do
A free access into the room, where come,

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
For souls, shall meet them in the doomsday throng, I taught thy guilty thoughts how to augment
She that ruled princes, though not passions, sate Their sin in action, and, by giving ease
Waiting her lover, on a throne whose state To thy blood's fever, took its loath'd disease.
Epitomized the empire's wealth ; her robe,

Her look,
With costly pride, had robb’d the chequer'd globe Cast like a felon's-
Of its most fair and orient jewels, to

Was sad ; with silent grief the room she leaves.
Enhance its value ; captive princes who [seen.
Had lost their crowns, might there those gems have

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
Like trembling children by a lamp's weak light, Roof, whilst choice music rarifies the air ;
Freed from night's dreadful shadows, she embraced Each element in more perfection here,
Sleep, nature's darkness-

Than in the first creation did appear,
and upon the wings Yet lived in barmony : the wing'd fire lent
Of airy hope, that wanton bird which sings Perfumes to the air, that to moist cordials pent
As soon as fledged, advanced her to survey In crystal vials, strength ; and those impart
The dawning beauties of a long'd-for day.

Their vigour to that ball of earth, the heart.

The nice eye here epitomized might see
But ere this pyramid of pleasure to

Rich Persia's wealth, and old Rome's luxury.
Its height arrives—with's presence to undo
The golden structure--dreadful Ammurat, But now, like Nature's new-made favourite,
From his floating mansion lately landed at Who, until all created for delight
The city's port, impatient love had brought Was framed, did ne'er see Paradise, comes in
In an untimely visit.

Deceived Argalia, thinking he had been

Call’d thither to behold a penitent.
He enters, and she faints ! in which pale trance
His pity finds her, but to no such chance

With such a high
Imputes the cause : rather conceives it joy,

Heroic scorn as aged saints that die,
Whose rushing torrent made her heart employ

Heaven's fav’rites, leave the trivial world — he
Its nimble servants, all her spirits, to

slights Prevent a deluge, which might else undo

That gilded pomp ; no splendent beam invites
Love's new made commonwealth. But whilst his

His serious eye to meet their objects in
Hastens to help, her fortune did declare (care

An amorous glance, reserved as he had been
Her sorrow's dark enigma ; from her bed

Before his grave confessor: he beholds
The letter dropt--which, when life's army fled, Beauty's bright magic, while its art unfolds
Their frontier garrisons neglected, had

Great love's mysterious riddles, and commands
Been left within't-this seen, declares a sad Captive Janusa to infringe the bands
Truth to th' amazed Bassa, though 'twere mix'd Of matrimonal modesty. When all
With subtle falsehood. While he stands, betwixt Temptation fails, she leaves her throne to fall,
High rage and grief distracted, doubtful yet The scorn of greatness, at his feet : but prayer,
In what new dress to wear revenge, the fit Like flattery, expires in useless air,
Forsakes Janusa ; who, not knowing she

Too weak to batter that firm confidence
Detected stood of lust's conspiracy

Their torment's thunder could not shake. From
'Gainst honour's royal charter, from a low Despair, love's tyrant, had enforced her to [hence
Voice strains a welcome, which did seem to flow More wild attempts, had not her Ammurat, who,
From fickle discontent, such as the weak (break. Unseen, beheld all this, prevented, by
Lungs breathe their thoughts in whilst their fibres His sight, the death of bleeding modesty.
To counterfeited slumbers leaving her,

Made swift with rage, the ruffled curtain flies
He's gone with silent anger to confer ;

His angry touch—he enters—fix'd his eyes,
With such a farewell as kind husbands leave From whence some drops of rage distil, on her
Their pregnant wives, preparing to receive Whose heart had lent her face its character.
A mother's first of blessings, he forsakes

Whilst he stood red with flaming anger, she
The room, and into strict inquiry takes

Looks pale with fear-passion's disparity
The wretched Manto, who, ere she could call Dwelt in their troubled breasts; his wild eyes stood
Excuse to aid, surprised, discovers all.

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
Ammurat, in the mean time, is concealed to watch the Within their orbs. Passions thus strangely mix'd,

No various fever e'er created in
PLACED, by false Manto, in a closet, which, The phrenzied brain, when sleep's sweet calmı had
Silent and sad, had only to enrich

From her soft throne deposed.

Its roof with light, some few neglected beams
Sent from Janusa's room, which serve as streams So having paused, his dreadful voice thus broke
To watch intelligence; here he beheld,

The dismal silence.
Whilst she who with his absence had expell’d Thou curse of my nativity, that more
All thoughtful cares, was with her joy swell'd high, Affects me than eternal wrath can do-
As captives are when call’d to liberty.

Spirits condemn’d, some fiends, instruct me to
Perfumed and costly, her fair bed was more Heighten revenge to thy desert ; but so
Adorn'd than shrines which costly kings adore; I should do more than mortals may, and throw


Thy spotted soul to flames. Yet I will give Our souls to sail together. From thy eyes
Its passport hence ; for think not to outlive Remove death's load, and see what sacrifice
This hour, this fatal hour, ordain'd to see

My love is offering. With that word, a stroke
More than an age before of tragedy.

Pierces his breast, whose speedy pains invoke

Death's opiates to appease them: he sinks down
Fearing tears should win By's dying wife, who, ere the cold flood drown
The victory of anger, Ammurat draws

Life in the deluge of her wounds, once more
His scymitar, which had in blood writ laws Betrays her eyes to the light; and though they wore
For conquer'd provinces, and with a swift The weight of death upon their lids, did keep
And cruel rage, ere penitence could lift

Them so long open, till the icy sleep
Her burthen'd soul in a repentant thought Began to seize on him, and then she cries-
Tow'rds heaven, sheathes the cold steel in her soft O see, just heaven ! see, see my Ammurat dies,
And snowy breast : with a loud groan she falls To wander with me in the unknown shade
Upon the bloody floor, half breathless, calls Of immortality—But I have made
For his untimely pity ; but perceiving

The wounds that murther'd both : his hand that
The fleeting spirits, with her blood, were leaving Mine, did but gently let me blood to save [gave
Her heart unguarded, she implores that breath An everlasting fever. Pardon me,
Which yet remain’d, not to bewail her death, My dear, my dying lord. Eternity
But beg his life that caused it—on her knees, Shall see my soul white-wash'd in tears; but oh!
Struggling to rise. But now calm'd Ammurat I now feel time's dear want-they will not flow

Fast as my stream of blood. Christian, farewell!
Her from disturbing death, in his last great work, Whene'er thou dost our tragic story tell,
And thus declares some virtue in a Turk.

Do not extenuate my crimes, but let

Them in their own black characters be set,
I have, brave Christian, by perusing thee Near Ammurat's bright virtues, that, read by
In this great art of honour, learnt to be,

Th’ unpractised lover, which posterity,
Too late, thy follower : this ring (with that Whilst wanton winds play with our dust, shall raise
Gives him his signet) shall, when question d at On beauties ; that the good may justice praise
The castle guards, thy safety be. And now By his example, and the bad by mine
I see her blood's low water doth allow

From vice's throne be scared to virtue's shrine.
Me only time to launch my soul's black bark

Into death's rubric sea-for to the dark

She cries, is our last interview-a kiss
And silent region, though we here were by Then joins their bloodless lips--each close the eyes
Passion divorced, fortune shall not deny

of the other, whilst the parting spirit flies.

[ocr errors]


(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.




[ocr errors]

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.

[ocr errors]

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,
And my divine Althea brings

To whisper at my grates ;
When I lie tangled in her hair,

And fetter'd to her eye,-
The birds, that wanton in the air,

Know no such liberty.
When flowing cups run swiftly round

With no allaying Thames,
Our careless heads with roses bound,

Our hearts with loyal flames ;
When thirsty grief in wine we steep,

When healths and draughts go free,Fishes, that tipple in the deep,

Know no such liberty.
When, like committed linnets, I

With shriller throat shall sing
The sweetness, mercy, majesty,

And glories of my King * ;
When I shall voice aloud how good

He is, how great should be,-
Enlarged winds, that curl the flood,

Know no such liberty.
Stone walls do not a prison make,

Nor iron bars a cage ;
Minds innocent and quiet take

That for an hermitage.
If I have freedom in my love,

And in my soul am free,
Angels alone, that soar above,

Enjoy such liberty.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]


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,
Forbear to braid that shining hair ;
As my curious hand or eye,
Hovering round thee, let it fly :
Let it fly as unconfined
As its ravisher the wind,
Who has left his darling east
To wanton o'er this spicy nest.
Every tress must be confess'd
But neatly tangled at the best,
Like a clew of golden thread
Most excellently ravelled :
Do not then wind up that light
In ribands, and o'ercloud the night ;
Like the sun in his early ray,

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.

prison )


« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »