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With large Expence, and with a pompous Train,
It happ'd one Morning, as his Fancy led, Before his usual Hour, he left his Bed; To walk within a lonely Lawn, that stood On ev'ry side, surrounded by the Wood: Alone he walk’d, to please his pensive Mind, And sought the deepest Solitude to find : 'Twasin a Grove of spreading Pines he stray'd ; The Winds within the quiv'ring Branches plaid, And Dancing-Trees a mournful Musick made. The Place it self was suiting to his Care, Uncouth, and Savage, as the cruel Fair. He wander'd on, unknowing where he went, Lost in the Wood, and all on Love intent: The Day already half his Race had run, And summon'd him to due Repast at Noon, But Love could feel no Hunger but his own.
While listning to the murm’ring Leaves he stood, More than a Mile immers’d within the Wood, At once the Wind was laid ; the whisp'ring Sound Was dumb;a rising Earthquake rock'd theGround: With deeper Brown the Grove was overspread: A sudden Horror seiz’d his giddy Head, And his Ears tinckled, and his Colour fled.
Nature was in alarm; some Danger nigh
A Thicket close beside the Grove there stood, With Briers and Brambles choak’d, and dwarfish Wood:
[near, From thence the Noise: Which now approaching With more distinguish'd Notes invades his Ear: He rais'd his Head, and saw a beauteous Maid, With Hair dishevell’d, issuing through the Shade; Stripp'd of herCloaths,and e'en thoseParts reveald, Which modest Nature keeps from Sight conceald. Her Face, her Hands, her naked Limbs were torn, With passing thro’the Brakes, and prickly Thorn: Two Mastiffs gaunt and grim her Flight pursu'd, , And oft their fasten’d Fangs in Blood embru’d: Oft they came up and pinch'd her tender Side, Mercy, O Mercy, Heav'n, she ran, and cry'd;
When Heav'n was nam’d they loos’d their Hold
again, Then sprung fhe forth, they follow'd her amain.
Not far behind, a Knight of swarthy Face, High on a Cole-black Steed pursu'd the Chace; With flashing Flames his ardent Eyes were fillid, And in his Hands a naked Sword he held: He chear'd the Dogs to follow her who fled, And vow'd Revenge on her devoted Head.
As Theodore was born of noble Kind, The brutal Adion rowz’d his manly Mind: Mov'd with unworthy Usage of the Maid, He, though unarm’d, refolv'd to give her Aid. A Saplin Pine he wrench'd from out the Ground, The readiest Weapon that his Fury found. Thus furnish'd for Offence, he cross'd the way Betwixt the graceless Villain, and his Prey.
The Knight came thund'ring on, but from afar, Thus in imperious Tone forbad the War: Cease, Theodore, to proffer vain Relief, Nor stop the Vengeance of so just a Grief; But give me leave to seize my destin'd Prey, And let eternal Justice take the way:
I but revenge my Fate; disdain'd, betray'd,
He say'd ; at once dismounting from the Steed;
Know, Theodore, thy Ancestry I claim,