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Unpleas'd and pensive hence he takes his Way, At his own Peril; for his Life must
pay. Who now but Arcite mourns his bitter Fate, Finds his dear Purchase, and repents too late? What have I gain'd, he said, in Prison pent, If I but change my Bonds for Banishment! And banish'd from her Sight, I suffer more In Freedom, than I felt in Bonds before; Forc'd from her Prefence, and condemn’d to live : Unwelcome Freedom, and unthank'd Reprieve: Heav'n is not but where Emily abides, And where she's absent, all is Hell besides. Next to my Day of Birth, was that accurst Which bound my Friendship to Perithous first: i Had I not known that Prince, I still had been In Bondage, and had ftill Emilia seen: For tho'l never can her Grace deserve, 'Tis Recompence enough to see and serve. O Palamon, my Kinsman and my Friend, How much more happy Fates thy Love attend! Thine is th’ Adventure; thine the Vi&ory: 0 Well kas thy Fortune turn'd the Dice for thee:)
Thou on that Angel's Face may'st feed thy Eyes,
In Prison, no; but blissful Paradise !
Thou daily seest that Sun of Beauty shine,
And lov'st at least in Love's extreamest Line.
I mourn in Absence, Love's Eternal Night:
And who can tell but since thou haft her Sight,
And art a comely, young and valiant Knight,
Fortune (a various Pow'r) may cease to frown,
And by some Ways unknown thy Wishes crówn?
But I, the most forlorn of Human Kind,
Nor Help can hope, nor Remedy can find;
But doom'd to drag my loathsom Life in Care,
For my Reward, must end it in Despair.
Fire, Water, Air, and Earth, and Force of Fates
That governs all, and Heav'n that all creates,
Nor Art, nor Nature's Hand can ease my Grief,
Nothing but Death, the Wretch's last Relief:
Then farewell Youth, and all the Joys that dwell
With Youth and Life, and Life it self farewell.
But why, alas! do Mortal Men in vain
Of Fortune, Fate, or Providence complain?
God gives us what he knows our Wants require,
And better Things than those which we desire:
Some pray for Riches; Riches they obtain ;
But watch'd by Robbers,for their Wealth are slain:
Some pray from Prison to be freed; and come.
When guilty of their Vows, to fall at home;
Murder'd by those they trusted with their Life,
A favour'd Servant, or a Bosom Wife.
Such dear-bought Blessings happen ev'ry Day,
Because we know not for what Things to pray.
Like drunken Sots about the Streets we roam;
Well knows the Sot he has a certain Home;
Yet knows not how to find th' uncertain Place,
And blunders on, and staggers ev'ry Pace.
Thus all seek Happinefs; but few can find,
For far the greater Part of Men are blind.
This is my Case, who thought our utmost Good
Was in one Word of Freedom understood:
The fatal Blessing came: From Prison free,
I starve abroad, and lose the Sight of Emily,
Thus Arcite ; but if Arcite thus deplore
His Suffrings, Palamon yet suffers more,
For when he knew his Rival freed and
gone, Heswells with Wrath; he makes outrageous Moan:
He frets,he fumes, he starés,he stamps the Ground;
The hollow Tow'r with Clamours rings around:
With briny Tears he bath'd his fetter'd Feet,
And dropp'd all o’er with Agony of Sweat.
Alas! he cry'd! I Wretch in Prison pine,
Too happy Rival, while the Fruit is thine:
Thou liv'it at large, thou draw'st thy Native Air,
Pleas’d with thy Freedom, proud of my Despair:
Thou may'st, since thou haft Youth and Courage
A sweet Behaviour, and a solid Mind, (join'd,
Assemble ours, and all the Theban Race,
To vindicate on Athens thy Disgrace.' '.
And after (by some Treaty made) poffefs
Fair Emily, the Pledge of lafting Peace.
So thine shall be the beauteous Prize, while I
Must languish in Despair, in Prifon die.
Thus all th’ Advantage of the Strife is thine,
Thy Portion double Joys, and doubleSorrows mine.
The Rage of Jealousie then fir'd his Soul,
And his Face kindled like a burning Coal:
Now cold Despair, succeeding in her stead,
To livid Palenefs turns the glowing Red.
His Blood scarce Liquid, creeps within his Veins,
Like Water which the freezing Wind constrains.
Then thus he said ; Eternal Deities,
Who rule the World with absolute Decrees,
And write whatever Time Mall bring to pass
With Pens of Adamant, on Plates of Brasș;
What is the Race of Human Kind your Care,
Beyond what all his Fellow-Creatures are ?
He with the rest is liable to Pain,
And like the Sheep, his Brother-Beaft, is slaio.
Cold, Hunger, Prisons, lls without a Cure,
All thefe he must, and guiltless oft, endure:
Or does your Justice, Pow'r, or Prescience fail,
When the Good fuffer, and the Bad prevail?
What worse to wretched Virtue could befall,
If Fate or giddy Fortune govern'd all?
Nay, worse than other Beasts is our Estate ::
Them, to pursue their Pleafures you create;
We, bound by harder Laws, muft curb our Will,
And your Commands, not our Defires, fulfil:
Then when the Creature is unjustly lain,
Yet after Death at least he feels no Pain: