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So over violent, or over civil,
That every man with him was God or devil.
In squandering wealth was his peculiar art;
Nothing went unrewarded but desert.
Beggar'd by fools, whom still he found too late ;
He had his jest, and they had his estate.
He laugh'd himself from court, then sought relief
By forming parties, but could ne'er be chief;
For, spite of him, the weight of business fell
On Absalom, and wise Achitophel :
Thus, wicked but in will, of means bereft,
He left no faction, but of that was lest.



A HUNDRED knights with Palamon there came,
Approved in fight, and men of mighty name;
Their arms were several, as their nations were,
But furnish'd all alike with sword and spear.
Some wore coat armour, imitating scale;
And next their skins were stubborn shirts of mail.
Some wore a breastplate and a light juppon,
Their horses clothed with rich caparison :
Some for defence would leathern bucklers use
Of folded hides; and others shields of spruce.
One hung a pole-axe at his saddle-bow,
And one a heavy mace to shun the foe;
One for his legs and knees provided well,
With jambeux arm'd, and double plates of steel :
This on his helmet wore a lady's glove,
And that a sleeve embroider'd by his love.
With Palamon above the rest in place,
Lycurgus came, the surly King of Thrace;
Black was his beard, and manly was his face;
The balls of his broad eyes roli'd in his head,
And glared betwixt a yellow and a red;


He look'd a lion with a gloomy stare,
And o'er his eyebrows hung his matted hair :
Big-boned, and large of limbs, with sinews strong,
Broad-shoulder'd, and his arms were round and long.
Four milk-white bulls (the Thracian use of old)
Were yoked to draw his car of burnish'd gold.
Upright he stood, and bore aloft his shield,
Conspicuous from afar, and overlook'd the field.
His surcoat was a bearskin on his back;
His hair hung long behind, and glossy raven black.
His ample forehead bore a coronet
With sparkling diamonds and with rubies set:
Ten brace and more of greyhounds, snowy fair,
And tall as stags, ran loose, and coursed around his

A match for pards in flight, in grappling for the bear:
With golden muzzles all their mouths were bound,
And collars of the same their necks surround.
Thus through the fields Lycurgus took his way;
His hundred knights attend in pomp and proud array.
To match this monarch, with strong Arcite came
Emetrius king of Inde, a mighty name,
On a bay courser, goodly to behold
The trappings of his horse adorn’d with barbarous

gold. Not Mars bestrode a steed with greater grace; His surcoat o'er his arms was cloth of Thráce, Adorn'd with pearls, all orient, round, and great; His saddle was of gold, with emerald set. His shoulders large a mantle did attire, With rubies thick, and sparkling as the fire : His amber-colour'd locks in ringlets run, With graceful negligence, and shone against the sun : His nose was aquiline, his eyes were blue, Ruddy his lips, and fresh and fair his hue; Some sprinkled freckles on his face were seen, Whose dusk set off the whiteness of the skin: His awful presence did the crowd surprise, Nor durst the rash spectator meet his eyes

Eyes that confess'd him born for kingly sway,
So fierce, they flash'd intolerable day.
His age in Nature's youthful prime appear'd,
And just began to bloom his yellow beard.
Whene'er he spoke, his voice was heard around,
Loud as a trumpet, with a silver sound.
A laurel wreathed his temples, fresh and green;
And myrtle sprigs, the marks of love, were mix'd
Upon his fist he bore, for his delight, [between.
An eagle well reclaim'd, and lily white.

His hundred knights attend him to the war,
All arm'd for battle ; save their heads were bare.
Words and devices blazed on every shield,
And pleasing was the terror of the field.
For kings, and dukes, and barons you might see,
Like sparling stars, though different in degree,
All for th' increase of arms and love of chivalry.
Before the king tame leopards led the way,
And troops of lions innocently play.
So Bacchus through the conquer'd Indies rode,
And beasts in gambols frisk'd before the honest god


In that sweet isle where Venus keeps her court,
And every grace and all the loves resort;
Where either sex is form'd of softer earth,
And takes the bent of pleasure from her birth,
There lived a Cyprian lord, above the rest
Wise, wealthy, with a numerous issue bless'd.

But, as no gift of fortune is sincere,
Was only wanting in a worthy heir ;
His eldest born, a goodly youth to view,
Excell'd the rest in shape and outward shew,
Fair, tall, his limbs with due proportion join'd,
But of a heavy, dull, degenerate mind.

His soul belied the features of his face;
Beauty was there, but beauty in disgrace.
A clownish mien, a voice with rustic sound,
And stupid eyes that ever loved the ground.
He look'd like Nature's error, as the mind
And body were not of a piece design'd,
But made for two, and by mistake in one were join'd.

The ruling rod, the father's forming care,
Were exercised in vain on wit's despair;
The more inform’d, the less he understood,
And deeper sunk by floundering in the mud.
Now scorn'd of all, and grown the public shame,
The people from Galesus changed his name,
And Cymon call’d, which signifies a brute;
So well his name did with his nature suit.

His father, when he found his labour lost, And care employ'd that answer'd not the cost, Chose an ungrateful object to remove, And loathed to see what nature made him love; So to his country farm the fool confined; Rude work well suited with a rustic mind. Thus to the wilds the sturdy Cymon went, A squire among the swains, and pleased with banishHis corn and cattle were his only care, (ment. And his supreme delight, a country fair.

It happen'd on a summer's holyday,
That to the green-wood shade he took his way;
For Cymon shunnid the church, and used not much

to pray.
His quarter-staff, which he could ne'er forsake,
Hung half before and half behir his back.
He trudged along, unknowing what he sought,
And whistled as he went for want of thought.

By chance conducted, or by thirst constrain'd,
The deep recesses of the grove he gaind;
Where, in a plain defended by the wood,
Crept through the matted grass a crystal flood,
By which an alabaster fountain stood;


And on the margin of the fount was laid
(Attended by her slaves) a sleeping maid.
Like Dian and her nymphs, when tired with sport,
To rest by cool Eurotas they resort:
The dame herself the goddess well express'd,
Not more distinguish'd by her purple vest
Than by the charming features of her face,
And ev’n in slumber a superior grace:
Her comely limbs composed with decent care,
Her body shaded with a slight cymar;
The fanning wind upon her bosom blows,
To meet the fanning wind the bosom rose;
The fanning wind and purling streams continue her

The fool of nature stood with stupid eyes,
And gaping mouth, that testified surprise,
Fix'd on her face, nor could remove his sight,
New as he was to love, and novice to delight:
Long mute he stood, and leaning on his staff,
His wonder witness'd with an idiot laugh ;
Then would have spoke, but by his glimmering sense
First found his want of words, and fear'd offence :
Doubted for what he was he should be known,
By his clown accent and his country tone.
Through the rude chaos thus the running light
Shot the first ray that pierced the native night;
Then day and darkness in the mass were mix'd,
Till, gathered in a globe, the beams were fix'd.
Last shone the sun, who, radiant in his sphere,
Illumined heaven and earth, and rollid around the
So reason in his brutal soul began,

[year. Love made him first suspect he was a man; Love made him doubt his broad barbarian sound; By love his want of words and wit he found; That sense of want prepared the future way To knowledge, and disclosed the promise of a day

Q 2

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