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Among his Menial Servants first enroll'd,
And largely entertain'd with Sums of Gold:
Besides what secretly from Thebes was sent
Of his own Income, and his Annual Rent.
This well employ'd, he purchas'd Friends and
But cautiously conceald from whence it came.
Thus for three Years he liv'd with large Increase,
In Arms of Honour, and Esteem in Peace;
To Theseus Person he was ever near,
And Theseus for his Virtues held him dear,
The End of the First Book.
For six long Years immur'd, the captive Knight
Had dragg’d hisChains,and scarcely seen the Light:
Loft Liberty, and Love at once he bore;
His Prison pain’d him much, his Passion more:
Nor dares he hope his Fetters to remove,
Nor ever wishes to be free from Love.
But when the sixth revolving Year was run,
And May within the Twins receiv'd the Sun,
Were it by Chance, or forceful Destiny,
Which forms in Causes first whate'er shall be,
Assisted by a Friend one Moonless Night,
This Palamon from Prison took his Flight:
A pleasant Beverage he prepar'd before
Of Wine and Honey mix’d, with added Store
Of Opium; to his Keeper this he brought,
Who swallow'd unaware the fleepy Draught,
And snor'd secure till Morn, his Senses bound
In Slumber, and in long Oblivion drown'd.
Short was the Night, and careful Palamon
Sought the next Covert ere the Rising Sun.
A thick spread Forest near the City lay,
To this with lengthen'd'Strides he took his way,
(For far he cou'd not fly, and fear'd the Day:).
Safe from Pursuit, he meant to fun the Light,
Till the brown Shadows of the friendly Night
To Thebes might favour his intended Flight.
When to his Country come, his next Design
Was all the Theban Race in Arms to join,
And war on Theseus, till he lost his Life,
Or won the Beauteous Emily to Wife.
Thus while his Thoughts the lingring Day beguile,
To gentle Arcite let us turn our Style;
Who little dreamt how nigh he was to Care,
Till treach'rous Fortune caught him in the Snare.
The Morning-Lark, the Messenger of Day,
Saluted in her Song the Morning gray;
And soon the Sun arose with Beams so bright,
That all th’Horizon laugh'd to see the joyousSight
He with his tepid Rays the Rose renews,
And licks the drooping Leaves and dries the Dews;
When Arcite left his Bed, resolv'd to pay
Observance to the Month of merry May:
Fortb on his fiery Steed betimes he rode,
That scarcely prints the Turf on which he trod:
At ease he seem'd, and pransing o'er the Plains,
Turn'd only to the Grove his Horses Reins,
The Grove I nam'd before; and lighted there,
A Woodbind Garland fought to crown his Hair;
Then turn'd his Face against the rising Day,
And rais'd his Voice to welcome in the May.
For thee, sweet Month, the Groves green Liv'ries
[wear : If not the first, the fairest of the Year: For thee the Graces lead the dancing Hours, And Nature's ready Pencil paints the Flow'rs: When thy short Reign is past, the Fev'rish Sun The sultry Tropick fears, and moves more slowlyon. So may thy tender Blossoms fear no Blite, Nor Goats with venom'd Teeth thy Tendrils bite, As thou shalt guide my wandring Feet to find The fragrant Greens I seek, my Brows to bind. His Vows address'd, within the Grove he
stray'd, Till Fate, or Fortune, near the Place convey'd His Steps where secret Palamon was laid. Full little thought of him the gentle Knight, Who flying Death had there conceald his Flight, In Brakes and Brambles hid, and thunning Mor
tal Sight. And less he knew him for his hated Foe, But fear'd him as a Man he did not know. But as it has been said of ancient Years, That Fields are full of Eyes, and Woods have Ears;