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Infpir'd from heav'n he homeward took his, Drpden.

way,
Nor pallid his new design with long delay:
But of his train a trusty servant sent
Ta call his friends together at his tent.
They came, and usual falutations paid;
With words premeditated thus he said:
What

you

have often counsell’d, to remove
My vain pursuit of unregarded love;
By thrift my sinking fortune to repair,
To late, yet is at last become my care:
My heart shall be my own; my vast expence
Reduc'd to bounds, by timely providence;
This only I require: invite for me
Honoria, with her father's family,
Her friends and mine. The cause I shall display
On Friday next; for that's th' appointed day:
Well pleas'd were all his friends; the task was

light;
The father, mother, daughter, they invite;
Hardly the dame was drawn to this repast;
But yet refolv'd, because it was the last.

The day was come; the guests invited came,
And, with the rest, th' inexorable dame:
A feast prepar'd with riotous expence,
Much cost, much care, and much magnificence.
The place ordain'd was in the haunted grove,
Where the revenging ghost purfu'd his love:
The tables in a proud pavilion spread,
With flow'rs below, and tissue overhead :
The rest in rank, Honoria chief in place,
Was artfully contriv'd, to fet her face
To front the thicket, and behold the chace.j
The feast was serv'd, the time lo well forecast,
That just when the desert and fruits were plac'd,
The fiend's alarm began; the hollow found
Sung in the leaves, the forest shook around,
Air blacken'd, rolld the thunder, groan'd the

ground.

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Dryden.

2 Nor long before the loud laments arise,

Of one distress'd, and mastiffs mingled cries;
And first the dame came rushing thro' the wood,
And next the famish'd hounds that sought their

food,

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And grip'd their flanks, and oft essay'd their jaws

in blood.
Last came the felon on his fable steed,
Arm'd with his naked fiord, and urg'd his dogs to

fpeed.
She ran, and cry'd, her fight directly bent
(A guest unbidden,) to the fatal tent,
The fcenę of death, and place ordain'd for pu-

nishment.
Loud was the noise, aghast was ev'ry guest,
The women shriek’d, the men forsook the feaft,
The hounds at nearer distance hoari ly bay'd,
The hunter close pursu'd the visionary maid;
She rent the hear'n with loud laments, imploring

aid.

}

The galants to protect the lady's right,
Their fauchions brandish'd at the grisly fpright;
High on his stirrups he provok'd the fight.
Then on the crowd he cast a furious look,
And wither'd all their strength before he spoke:
Back on your lives, let be, said he, my prey,
And let my vengeance take the destin'd way.
Vain are your arms, and vainer your

defence
Against th’ eternal doom of Providence:
Mine is th' ungrateful maid by heav'n design'd:
Mercy she would not give, nor mercy shall flię

find.
At this the former tale again he told
With thund'ring tone, and dreadful to behold:
Sunk were their hearts with horror of the crime,
Nor needed to be warn’d a second time,
But bore each other back: fome knew the face,
Andi all had heard the much lamented case
Of him, who fell for love, and this the fatal

place.

And

}

c Dryden.

And now th' infernal minister advanc'd,
Seiz'd the due vi&tim, and with fury lanch'd
Her back, and piercing thro' the inmoft heart,
Drew backward, as before, th? offending part,
The reeking entrails next he tore away,
And to his meagre mastiffs made a prey.
The pale assistants on each other star'd,
With gaping mouths for issuing words prepar'd;
The still-born sounds upon the palate hung,
And dy'd imperfect on the fault'ring tongue.
The fright was general; but the female band
(A helpless train!) in more confusion stand:
With horror shudd'ring, on a heap they run,
Sick at the fight of hateful justice done;
For conscience rung th? alarm, and made the case

their own.

So spread upon a lake with upward eye,
A plump of fowl behold their foe on high;
They close their trembling troop; and all attend
On whom the fowsing eagle will descend.

But most the proud Honoria fear'd th'evento
And thought to her alone the vision sent.
Her guilt presents to her distracted mind
Heav'n's justice, Theodore's revengeful kind,
And the same fate to the same fin aflign'd;
Already fees herself the monster's prey,
And feels her heart and entrails torn away.
'Twas a mute scene of sorrow, mix'd with fear;
Still on the table lay th’ unfinish'd cheer;
The knight and hungry mastiffs stood around,
The mangled dame lay breathless on the ground;
When on a sudden, re-inspir'd with breath,
Again she rose, again to suffer death.
Nor staid the hell-hounds, nor the hunter staid,
But follow'd, as before, the flying maid.
Th' avenger took from earth th' avenging sword,
And mounting light as air his fable steed he

spurr'd:

The

Dryden. The clouds difpelld, the sky refum'd her light,

And Nature stood recover'd from her fright.
But fear, the last of ills, remain'd behind,
And horror heavy fat on ev'ry mind..
Nor Theodore encourag'd more the feast,
But sternly look'd, as hatching in his breast
Some deep designs; which when Honoria view'd,
The fresh impulse her former fright renew'd:
She thought herself the trembling dame who fled,
And him the grifly ghost that spurr'd th' infernal

teed:
The more dismay'd; for when the guests with-

drew,
Their courteous hoft faluting all the crew,
Regardless pafs'd her o'er, nor grac'd with kind

adieu.
That sting infix'd within her haughty mind,
The downfall of her empire she divin’d,
And her proud heart with secret sorrow pin’d.
Home as they went, the fad discourse renew'd,
Of the relentless dame to death pursu'd,
And of the fight obscene so lately view'd.
None durft arraign the righteous doom she bore;
Ev'n they who pity'd most, yet blam'd her more:
The parallel they needed not to name,
But in the dead they damn'd the living dame.

At ev'ry little noise she look'd behind;
For still the knight is present to her mind:
And anxious oft fhe started on the way,
And thought the horseman-ghoft came thund'ring

for his prey.

Return'd she took her bed with little rest,
But in short slumbers dreamt the fun'ral feaft:
Awak’d, she turn'd her side, and slept again;
The same black vapours mounted in her brain,
And the same dreams return'd with double pain.

Now forced to wake, because afraid to sleep,
Her blood all fever'd, with a furious leap
She sprung from bed, distracted in her mind,

Dryden.

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And fear'd, at ev'ry step, a twitching fpright be.

hind.
Darkling and desperate, with a stagg’ring pace,
Of death afraid, and conscious of disgrace;
Fear, pride, remorse, at once her heart affaild,
Pride put remorse to fight, but fear prevail'd.
Friday, the fatal day, when next it came,
Her foul forethought, the fiend would change his

game,
And her pursue, or Theodore be flain,
And two ghosts join their pack to hunt her o'er the

plain.
This dreadful image fo poffefs'd her mind,
That, desperate any fuccour else to find,
She ceas'd all farther hope, and now began
To make reflexion on th’ unhappy man.
Rich, brave, and young, who past expression

lov'd
Proof to disdain, and not to be remov'd:
Of all the men respected and admir'd
Of all the dames, except herself, defir'd:
Why not of her preferr'd above the rest
By him, with knightly deeds, and open love pro

fess'd
So had another been, where he his vows address’d.)
This quelld her pride; yet other doubts re-

main'd,
That, once disdaining, she might be disdain'd.
The fear was just; but greater fear prevail'd:
Fear of her life by hellish hounds assaild:
He took a low'ring leave; but who can tell,
What outward hate might inward love conceal?
Her sex's arts she knew, and why not, then
Might deep dissembling have a place in men?
Here hope began to dawn; resolv'd to try,
She fix'd on this her utmost remedy;
Death was behind; but hard it was to die.
'Twas time enough at last on death to call,
The precipice in fight; a shrub was all,
That kindly stood betwixt to break the fatal fall.

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