Angelica's quaint hand,
and weds, and bears her to Catay.
Marphisa, with the chosen band,
suffering, makes Laiazzi's bay.
savage, bondsman in the land,
impious women rule with civil sway,
Marphisa strives in single fight,
her and hers at full of night.
By whom he
is beloved can no one know,
Who on the
top of Fortune's wheel is seated;
by true and faithless friends, with show
faith, in glad estate is greeted.
felicity be changed to woe,
flattering multitude is turned and fleeted!
While he who
loves his master from his heart,
death performs his faithful part.
heart seen as is the outward cheer,
He who at
court is held in sovereign grace,
And he that
to his lord is little dear,
reversed, would fill each other's place;
man the greater would appear,
And he, now
first, be hindmost in the race.
Medoro's faithful story said,
who loved his lord, alive or dead.
path, amid the forest gray,
himself, pursued the youth forlorn;
But all his
schemes were marred by the delay
sore weight upon his shoulders born.
he knew not, and mistook the way,
himself again in sheltering thorn.
distant was his mate, that through
greenwood shade with lighter shoulders flew.
So far was
Cloridan advanced before,
the boy no longer in the wind;
But when he
marked the absence of Medore,
as if his heart was left behind.
"Ah! how was I so negligent," (the Moor
"so far beside myself, and blind,
Medoro, should without thee fare,
when I deserted thee or where?"
in the wood he disappears,
into the maze with hurried pace;
thither, whence he lately issued, steers,
desperate, of death returns in trace.
the tread of steeds this while he hears,
and the tread of foemen, as in chase:
Medoro by his voice is known,
on foot, 'mid many horse, alone.
horsemen who the youth surround,
leads, and bids his followers seize
stripling: like a top, the boy turns round
him as he can: among the trees,
elm, beech, ash, he takes his ground,
the cherished load his shoulders frees.
length, the burden he bestowed
grass, and stalked about his load.
As in her
rocky cavern the she-bear,
close warfare Alpine hunters wage,
hangs about her shaggy care,
in mingled sound of love and rage,
her claws, and blood her tushes bare,
natural hate and wrath the beast engage;
softens her, and bids from strife retire,
And for her
offspring watch, amid her ire.
who to aid him knows not how,
Medoro willingly would die,
would not for death this being forego,
foes than one should lifeless lie,
his sharpest arrow to his bow
directs it with so true an eye,
feathered weapon bores a Scotchman's brain,
the warrior dead upon the plain.
all the others of the band
thither, whence was shot the murderous reed;
launched another from his stand,
That a new
foe might by the weapon bleed,
he made of this and that demand,
questioned who had done the deed)
reached -- transfixed the wretch's throat,
And cut his
question short in middle note.
captain of those horse, no more
Can at the
piteous sight his wrath refrain;
heat, he springs upon Medore,
"Thou of this shalt bear the pain."
One hand he
in his locks of golden ore
drags him to himself amain;
But, as his
eyes that beauteous face survey,
on the boy, and does not slay.
To him the
stripling turns, with suppliant cry,
"By thy God, sir knight," exclaims, "I pray,
Be not so
passing cruel, nor deny
That I in
earth my honoured king may lay:
grace I supplicate, nor I
the love of life, believe me, say.
So much, no
longer, space of life I crave.
suffice to give my lord a grave.
if you needs must feed the beast and bird,
Creon, let their worst be done
limbs; so that by me interred
In earth be
those of good Almontes' son."
his suit, with grace, preferred,
-- to move a mountain, and so won
mood, to kindness turned,
and pity he all over burned.
a churlish horseman of the band,
deference for his lord confest,
uplifting, wounded overhand
suppliant in his dainty breast.
who the cruel action scanned,
stirred, the rather that, opprest
with the blow the churl had sped,
as he was wholly dead.
Zerbino, with such wrath was stung,
unavenged shalt thou remain," he cries;
of evil will in fury sprung
author of the foul emprize.
But he his
vantage marks, and, from among
warriors, in a moment slips and flies.
who beholds the deed, at sight
Medoro's fall, springs forth to fight;
away his bow, and, 'mid the band
whirls his falchion, in desire
death, than hoping that his hand
a vengeance equal to his ire.
many blades, he views the sand
his blood, and ready to expire,
he the sword no more can guide,
himself drop by his Medoro's side.
pursue their chief, who pricks before,
deep wood, inspired by high disdain,
When he has
left the one and the other Moor,
that scarce alive, upon the plain.
There for a
mighty space lay young Medore,
his life-blood from so large a vein,
have perished, but that thither made
as it chanced, who lent him aid.
arrived a damsel at the place,
(though mean and rustic was her wear)
presence and of beauteous face,
manners, sagely debonair:
Her have I
left unsung so long a space,
will hardly recognise the fair.
in her (if known not) scan,
daughter of Catay's great khan.
when she had won again
Brunello had from her conveyed,
So waxed in
stubborn pride and haught disdain,
to scorn this ample world, and strayed
held as cheap each living swain,
amid the best, by Fame arrayed:
she to remember a galant
Orlando or king Sacripant;
every other deed repented,
Rinaldo she had loved of yore;
And that to
look so low she had consented,
(As by such
choice dishonoured) grieved her sore.
hearing this, such arrogance resented,
the damsel's pride endure no more.
Medoro lay he took his stand,
her, with bow and shaft in hand.
Angelica the stripling spies,
to death in that disastrous fray,
Who for his
king, that there unsheltered lies,
More sad than
for his own misfortune lay,
new pity in her bosom rise,
its entry in unwonted way.
her haughty heart, once hard and curst,
when he his piteous tale rehearsed.
back to memory her art,
For she in
Ind had learned chirurgery,
appears such studies in that part
praise and fame are held to be,
And, as an
heir-loom, sires to sons impart,
aid of books, the mystery)
herself to work with simples' juice,
Till she in
him should healthier life produce;
recollects a herb had caught her sight
hither, on a pleasant plain,
(whether dittany or pancy hight)
I know not;
fraught with virtue to restrain
blood forth-welling, and of might
each perilous and piercing pain,
it near, and having pulled the weed,
seek Medoro on the mead.
she upon a swain did light,
Who was on
horseback passing through the wood.
from the lowing herd, the rustic wight
missing for two days, pursued.
with her conducted, where the might
faint youth was ebbing with his blood:
the ground about so deeply dyed,
nigh wasted with the gushing tide.
alights upon the ground,
And he her
rustic comrade, at her hest.
hastened 'twixt two stones the herb to pound,
it, and the healing juice exprest:
did she foment the stripling's wound,
to the hips, his waist and breast;
such virtue was the salve endued)
his life-blood, and his strength renewed;
him infused such force again,
could mount the horse the swain conveyed;
Medoro would not leave the plain
Till he in
earth had seen his master laid.
the monarch, buried Cloridane,
followed whither pleased the maid,
Who was to
stay with him, by pity led,
courteous shepherd's humble shed.
the damsel quit the lowly pile
esteemed the youth) till he was sound;
first she felt, when him erewhile
outstretched and bleeding on the ground.
his mien and manners next, a file
She felt corrode
her heart with secret wound;
corrode her heart, and with desire,
and by little warmed, took fire.
shepherd dwelt, between two mountains hoar,
cabin, in the greenwood shade,
and children; and, short time before,
brent-new shed had builded in the glade.
Here of his
griesly wound the youthful Moor
healed by the Catayan maid;
But who in
briefer space, a sorer smart
Medoro's, suffered at her heart.
A wound far
wider and which deeper lies,
Now in her
heart she feels, from viewless bow;
the boy's fair hair and beauteous eyes
winged archer dealt: a sudden glow
and still the flames increasing rise;
she heeds her own than other's woe:
not herself, and only to content
of her cruel ill is bent.
Her ill but
festered and increased the more
stripling's wounds were seen to heal and close:
grew lusty, while she suffered sore,
new fever parched, now burnt, now froze:
From day to
day in beauty waxed Medore:
miserably wasted; like the snow's
flake, which melts away
sunny place, to scorching ray.
She, if of
vain desire will not die,
herself, nor yet delay the aid.
And she in
truth, her will to satisfy,
'twas no time to wait till she was prayed.
And next of
shame renouncing every tye,
as bold as eyes, petition made,
And begged him,
haply an unwitting foe,
the suffering of that cruel blow.
Orlando, O king of Circassy,
your valour has availed to you!
your honour boots, what goodly fee
ye both, for service true!
me but a single courtesy,
she ever graced ye, -- old or new, --
poor recompense, desert, or guerdon,
born so long so sore a burden!
thou yet again to life return,
would this appear, O Agricane!
In that she
whilom thee was wont to spurn,
repulse and insolent disdain.
O Ferrau, O
ye thousand more, forlorn,
wrought a thousand feats in vain
ungrateful fair, what pain 'twould be
within his arms the damsel see!
as yet untouched, the virgin rose,
permits the young Medore.
Was none so
blest as in that garden's close
Yet to have
set his venturous foot before.
veil -- to gild -- the matter o'er.
was bridesman there the tie to bless,
brideswoman stood the shepherdess.
In the low
shed, with all solemnities,
made their wedding as they might;
above a month, in tranquil guise,
lovers rested in delight.
the youth the lady has no eyes,
his looks can satisfy her sight.
Nor yet of
hanging on his neck can tire,
Of feel she
can content her fond desire.
boy is with her night and day,
untent herself, or keep the shed.
eve they to some meadow stray,
Now to this
bank, and to that other led:
cavern harboured, at mid-day,
that to which Aeneas fled
when the tempest raged above,
faithful witness to their secret love.
pleasures, where, with tree o'ergrown,
or bubbling fountain's wave did spin,
On bark or
rock, if yielding were the stone,
The knife was
straight at work or ready pin.
without, in thousand places lone,
And in as
many places graved, within,
ANGELICA were traced,
cyphers quaintly interlaced.
believed they had prolonged their stay
enow, the damsel made design
In India to
revisit her Catay,
its crown Medoro's head entwine.
upon her wrist an armlet, gay
gems, in witness and in sign
Of love to
her by Count Orlando borne,
the damsel for long time had worn.
Ziliantes, hid beneath the wave,
bestowed; and from captivity
(restored to Monodantes grave,
sire, through Roland's chivalry)
in return the bracelet gave:
lover, deigned the gorgeous fee
with the intention to convey
to his queen, of whom I say.
which to the paladin she bears,
But that it
costly is and wrought with care,
Angelica so much endears,
more esteemed was matter rare:
was suffered, in THE ISLE OF TEARS,
I know not
by what privilege, to wear,
naked, to the whale exposed for food
inhospitable race and rude.
possessing wherewithal to pay
them in their cabin, from the day
was lodged, with such fidelity,
from her arm the bracelet gay,
them keep it for her memory.
hence the lovers climb the side
which fertile France from Spain divide.
Valencia or Barcelona's town
thought a little to remain,
goodly ship should make her boun
for the Levant: as so the twain
beneath Gerona, -- coming down
mountains -- they behold the subject main;
on their left the beach below,
track to Barcelona go.
they there arrive, a crazed wight
extended on the outer shore;
Who is bedaubed
like swine, in filthy plight,
with mud, face, reins, and bosom o'er'
upon them, as a dog in spite
assails the stranger at the door;
about to do the lovers scorn,
But to the
bold Marphisa I return --
Astolpho, Gryphon, Aquilant.
and of the others will I tell:
before their eyes, the vext Levant
and ill resist the boisterous swell.
more passing proud and arrogant,
rage and threat the tempest fell.
three days the angry gale has blown,
of abatement yet has shown.
lifted by the waxing tempest start
flooring, and, if yet there be
standing left in any other part,
away and cast into the sea.
pricking out their course upon the chart,
One by a
lantern does his ministry,
sea-chest propt; another wight
in the well by torch's light.
beneath the poop, beneath the prow
stands to watch the ebbing sand;
half-glass run out) returns to know
the ship has made, and towards what land.
to speak their different thoughts, below,
make resort, with chart in hand;
the mariners, assembled all,
Are met in
council, at the master's call.
"Abreast of Limisso are we
shoals" -- and by his reckoning, nigh
of Tripoli and bark must be,
shipwrecked, for the most part, vessels lie.
"We are lost on Sataly,
makes many patrons weep and sigh."
to their judgment, all suggest
treasons, each with equal dread opprest.
spitefully the wind on the third day
the sea more yeasty billows rears:
fore-mast by the first is borne away,
by the last, with him who steers.
steel that man will bide the assay,
marble breast -- who has not now his fears.
erst so confident 'mid harms,
but that day she felt alarms.
pilgrimage is vowed to Sinai,
and Gallicia, and to Rome,
other place of sanctity,
If such is
named, and to the holy tomb.
above the sea and near the sky,
The bark is
tost, with shattered plank and boom;
the crew had cut, in her distress,
mizenmast, to make her labour less.
and chest and all their heavy lumber
overboard, from poop, and prow, and side;
birth and cabin disencumber
merchandize, to feed the greedy tide.
water others of the number
by whom the spouting pumps were plied.
This in the
hold bestirs himself, where'er
opened by the beating sea appear.
this trouble, in this woe, remained
four days; and helpless was their plight,
And a full
victory the sea had gained,
If yet a
little had endured its spite:
with hope of clearer sky sustained
appearance of St. Elmo's light,
(every spar was gone) descending glowed
boat, which in the prow was stowed.
flaming, they the beauteous light surveyed,
aboard kneeled down in humble guise,
And Heaven for
peace and for smooth water prayed,
trembling voices and with watery eyes.
waxed the storm, which had dismayed,
enduring in such cruel wise.
or cross-wind no longer reigns;
of the sea the south remains.
This on the
sea remained so passing strong,
its sable mouth so fiercely blew,
with it so swift a stream and strong
Of the vext
waters, that it hurried through
tumbling waves the shattered bark along,
gentle falcon ever flew;
the patron feared, to the world's brink
transport his bark, or wreck or sink.
the master finds a remedy,
them cast out spars, and veer away
which holds this float, and as they flee,
two-thirds, their furious course delay.
counsel boots, and more the augury
whose lights upon the gunwale play.
the vessel, haply else undone;
her through the sea securely run.
driven on Syria, in Laiazzo's bay
city rise; so nigh at hand,
can from the vessel's deck survey
castles, which the port within command.
the patron's visage with dismay,
perceives what is the neighbouring land,
not to the port for shelter hie,
Nor yet can
keep the open sea, nor fly.
fly, nor yet can keep the sea;
and yards are gone, and by the stroke
Of the huge
billows beating frequently,
plank, and beam and timber broke:
death to make the port would be,
Or to be
doomed to a perpetual yoke.
For each is
made a slave, or sentenced dead,
evil Chance or Error led.
dangerous 'twas to doubt; lest hostile band
sally from the puissant town in sight,
barks, and upon theirs lay hand,
case for sea, and worse for fight.
the patron knows not what command
To give, of
him inquires the English knight
What kept his
mind suspended in that sort,
And why at
first he had not made the port.
relates the patron how a crew
murderous women tenanted that shore,
their ancient law, enslave or slew
whom Fortune to this kingdom bore;
And that he
only could such for eschew
That in the
lists ten champions overbore,
this achieved, the following night
should with ten damsels take delight.
And if he
brings to end the former feat,
afterwards the next unfinished leaves,
him, and as slaves his following treat,
to delve their land or keep their beeves.
-- If for
the first and second labour meet --
for all his band achieves,
himself; who there must stay and wed
by him selected for his bed.
a custom of the neighbouring strand
laugh Astolpho cannot hear;
and Marphisa, near at hand,
Aquilant, and he, his brother dear,
them the patron who from land
aloof, explains the cause of fear,
"I liefer in the sea would choke,
of servitude endure the yoke."
by the patron's rede abide,
And all the
passengers affrighted sore;
Save that Marphisa
took the other side
who deemed that safer was the shore
which raging round them, far and wide,
hundred thousand swords dismayed them more.
this, or other place alarms,
they have but power to wield their arms.
warriors are impatient all to land:
is of these the English peer;
soon his horn will clear the strand,
scared foe its pealing sound shall hear.
To put into
the neighbouring port this band
and are at strife with those who fear.
who are the strongest, in such sort
patron, that he makes the port.
when their bark was first espied
within the cruel city's view,
observed a galley, well supplied
practised mariners and numerous crew
uncertain counsels did divide)
their wretched ship, the billows through:
prow to their short stern and low
and into port the vessel tow.
thitherward were worked with warp and oar,
with assistance of the sail;
lay starboard course or larboard more,
were left them by the cruel gale.
rugged rhind the champions wore,
faithful falchion with the mail,
unceasing hope of comfort fed
mariners opprest with dread.
half-moon, projected from the beach,
four miles about, the city's port;
paces deep; and crowning each
Horn of the
circling haven, was a fort;
side, secure from storm or breach,
from the south, a safe resort)
In guise of
theatre the town extended
and a hill behind ascended.
there the harboured ship was seen
had spread already through the land)
thitherward, with martial garb and mien,
thousand women trooped, with bow in hand;
remove all hope of flight, between
and the other, drew a band;
And with strong
chains and barks the port enclosed;
for that use, they kept disposed.
A dame, as
the Cumean sybil gray,
ancient mother of renown,
the patron out, and bade him say,
their lives were willing to lay down;
content beneath the yoke to stay,
to the custom of the town,
-- One of
two evils they must choose, -- be slain,
captives, one and all, must there remain.
true, if one so bold and of such might
amid your crew," (the matron said),
he ten men of ours engage in fight,
And can in
cruel battle lay them dead,
with ten women, in one night,
play the husband's part in bed,
remain our sovereign, and shall sway
and you may homeward wend your way.
at your choice to stay shall also be,
part or all, but with this pact,
That he who
here would stay and would be free,
ten dames the husband's part enact.
But if your
chosen warrior fall or flee,
By his ten
enemies at once attacked,
Or for the
second function have not breath,
you we doom, and him to death."
At what she
deemed the cavaliers would start,
found them bold; for to compete
they should engage, and play their part
champions hoped alike in either feat.
renowned Marphisa's valiant heart,
the second dance unmeet;
where nature had her aid denied,
should with the falchion be supplied.
is commanded their reply
common council to unfold;
at pleasure may their prowess try,
in lists and bed allow them bold.
lashings from the vessels they untie,
heaves the warp, and bids lay hold,
the bridge; o'er which, in warlike weed,
expectant cavaliers their coursers lead.
through the middle of the city go,
And see the
damsels, as they forward fare,
the streets, succinct, in haughty show,
And arm, in
guise of warriors, in the square.
Nor to gird
sword, nor fasten spur below,
allowed, nor any arm to wear;
as I said, the ten; to follow
usage which those women hallow.
of the manly sex they seat,
To ply the
distaff, broider, card and sow,
gown descending to the feet,
renders them effeminate and slow;
chained, another labour to complete,
to keep their cattle, or to plough.
Few are the
males; and scarce the warriors ken,
thousand dames, a hundred men.
determining by lot to try
their common cause on listed ground,
the ten, with whom they were to vie,
And in the
other field ten others wound,
pass the bold Marphisa by,
she unfitting would be found;
be, in the second joust at eve,
the victory to achieve.
But with the
others she, the martial maid,
her risque; and 'tis her destiny.
will lay down this life," the damsel said,
than you lay down your liberty.
this" -- with that she pointed to the blade
had girt -- "is your security,
I will all
tangles in such manner loose,
Alexander did the Gordian noose.
will not henceforth stranger shall complain,
So long as
the world lasts, of this repair."
So said the
maid, nor could the friendly train
her what had fallen to her share.
either every thing to lose, or gain
liberty, -- to her they leave the care.
stubborn plate and mail all over steeled,
cruel fight, she takes the field.
High up the
spacious city is place,
which serve as seats in rising rows;
nought else is used, except the chase,
wrestling match, or such-like shows.
of solid bronze the rabble flows
tide; and to Marphisa bold,
may enter, afterwards is told.
pieballed horse Marphisa entered, -- spread
circles dappling all about his hair, --
Of a bold
countenance and little head,
beauteous points, and haughty gait and air.
Out of a thousand
coursers which he fed,
Him, as the
best, and biggest, and most rare,
Norandino chose, and, decked with brave
trappings, to Marphisa gave.
south gate, from the mid-day, the plain
entered, nor expected long,
heard approaching trumpet-strain
through the lists in shrilling notes and strong;
looking next towards the northern wain,
Saw her ten
opposites appear: among
their leader, pricked a cavalier,
all the rest in goodly cheer.
On a large
courser came the leading foe,
excepting the near foot behind
forehead, darker than was ever crow:
and forehead with some white were signed.
horseman did his horse's colours show
In his own
dress; and hence might be divined,
He, as the
mournful hue o'erpowered the clear,
inclined to smile, than mournful tear.
their spears in rest nine warriors laid,
When the trump
sounded, in the hostile train,
But he in
black no sign of jousting made,
As if he
held such vantage in disdain:
deemed the law were disobeyed,
his courtesy should suffer stain.
retires apart, and sits to view
nine one single lance can do.
and balanced pace, the damsel's horse
encounter her with swiftness bore;
a lance so massive in the course,
have been an overweight for four.
disembarking, as of greatest force,
had chosen out of many more.
fierce semblance when in motion, quail
hearts, a thousand looks grow pale.
of the first she opens so,
surprise, if naked were the breast:
the cuirass and the mail below;
But first a
buckler, solid and well prest,
behind the shoulders of the foe
the steel, so well was it addrest.
her lance she left him on the plain,
And at the
others drove with flowing rein;
And so she
shocked the second of the crew,
the third so terrible a blow,
and life, with broken spine, the two
at once. So fell the overthrow,
such weight she charged the warriors through!
was the battle of the foe! --
I have seen
bombard open in such mode
squadrons, as that band Marphisa strowed.
spears were broken on the dame,
Who was as
little moved as solid wall,
revellers play the chace's merry game,
moved by stroke of heavy ball.
So hard the
temper of her corslet's mail,
aye harmless on the breast-plate fall,
was heated in the fires of hell,
Avernus' water slaked by spell.
At the end
of the career, she checked her steed,
about, and for a little stayed;
against the others drove at speed,
and to the handle dyed her blade.
of arms, and there of head, they bleed;
in such manner cleft the maid,
breast, and head, and arms together fell,
legs remaining in the sell.
just measure him she cleaves, I say,
two haunches and the ribs confine:
And leaves him
a half figure, in such way
As what we
before images divine,
oftener made of wax, survey;
supplicants from far and near enshrine,
for mercy shown, and to bestow
quittance for accepted vow.
next made after one that flew,
overtook the wretch, and cleft (before
He the mid
square had won) his collar through,
no surgeon ever pieced it more.
other, all in fine she slew,
every one she smote so sore,
She was secure,
that never more would foe
from earth, to work her woe.
cavalier this while had stood aside,
Who had the
ten conducted to the place,
so many against one to ride,
to him advantage four and base;
Who, now he
by a single hand espied
his whole array displaced,
forth against the martial maid, to show
courtesy, not fear, had made him slow.
with his right hand, made appear
That he would
speak ere their career was run,
thinking that beneath such manly cheer
virgin was concealed, begun:
thou needs must be, sir cavalier,
wearied with such mighty slaughter done;
And if I
were disposed to weary thee
thou art, it were discourtesy.
thee, to rest until to-morrow's light,
renew the battle, I concede.
'twere to-day to prove my might
whom weak and overwrought I read."
"Arms are not new to me, nor listed fight;
fatigue so short a toil succeed,"
Marphisa, "and I, at my post,
prove this upon thee, to thy cost.
thank thee for thy offer of delay,
not what thy courtesy agrees;
remains so large a space of day
shame to spend it all in ease."
"Oh! were I (he replied) so sure to
with everything which best would please,
As thine I
shall appay in this! -- but see,
thou thinkest, daylight fail not thee."
So said he,
and obedient to his hest
say rather heavy booms, they bear.
Marphisa bids consigns the best,
other takes himself: the martial pair
with their lances in the rest,
till other blast the joust declare.
Lo! earth and air and sea the noise rebound,
prick forth, at the first trumpet's sound!
was opened and no eyelid fell,
was drawn, amid the observant crew:
intent was every one to spell
be conqueror of the warlike two.
the black champion from his sell,
o'erthrow he shall not rise anew,
lance; and the black champion, bent
Marphisa, spurs with like intent.
lances, made of willow thin and dry,
stout and stubborn oak, appeared;
splintered even to the rest, they fly:
such force the encountering steeds careered,
as with a scythe-blade equally
The hams of
either courser had been sheared.
fall; but voiding quick the seat,
riders start upon their feet.
her life, with certain wound,
cavaliers on earth had laid;
had herself been borne to ground;
now the saddle, as was said.
Not only at
the accident astound,
beside herself, remained the maid.
the sable cavalier withal,
be unhorsed, appeared his fall.
scarcely touch the ground before they gain
and now the fierce assault renew,
and thrust; which now with shield the twain
ward off, and now by leaps eschew.
foes strike home, or smite in vain,
and echo parted aether through.
those shields, those helms, those breast-plates show
underneath the sounding blow.
falls the savage damsel's blade,
not lightly of her warlike foe.
measure one the other paid;
And both receive
as much as they bestow.
would see two daring spirits weighed,
To seek two
fiercer need no further go.
Nor to seek
more dexterity or might;
could not be in mortal wight.
who have sate long time, to view
champions with such horrid strokes offend,
Nor sign of
trouble in the warriors true
yet of weariness, commend
just praises, as the worthiest two
where'er the sea's wide arms extend.
these of mere toil and labour long
save they be strongest of the strong.
with herself, Marphisa said,
he moved not before was well for me!
to have been numbered with the dead,
If he at
first had joined his company.
it is, I hardly can make head
deadly blows." This colloquy
herself maintained, and while she spoke,
to ply her sword with circling stroke.
'Twas well for me," the other cried again,
to repose I did not leave the knight.
I now from
him defend myself with pain,
o'erwearied with the former fight:
What had he
been, renewed in might and main,
If he had
rested till to-morrow's light?
fortunate was I, as man could be,
That he refused
my proffered courtesy!"
they strove, nor did it yet appear
the vantage of the doubtful fray:
without light, could either foe see clear
avoid the furious blows; when day
again the courteous cavalier
illustrious opposite 'gan say;
shall we do, since ill-timed shades descend,
with equal fortune thus contend?"
at least, that till to-morrow's morn
better thou prolonged thy life: no right
Have I thy
doom, sir warrior, to adjourn
limits of one little night.
Nor will I
that by me the blame be born
no longer shalt enjoy the light.
to the sex's charge, by whom
is governed, lay thy cruel doom."
lament thee and thy company,
by whom all hidden things are spied.
thy comrades may repose with me,
there is no safe abode beside:
leagued against you in conspiracy
Are all those
husbands by thy hand have died.
valiant warrior of the men
the tourney, consort was of ten.
scathe they have to-day received from thee,
ninety women wreak with vengeful spite;
thou take my hospitality,
them to be assailed this night."
take thy proffer in security,"
Marphisa), "that the faith so plight,
goodness of thy heart, will prove no less,
thy corporal strength and hardiness.
as having to kill me, thou grieve,
mayst grieve, for reasons opposite;
thou cause to laugh, as I conceive,
hitherto has found me worst in fight.
thou wouldst defer the fray, or leave,
prosecute by this or other light,
prompt thy wishes to fulfil;
whenever it shall be thy will!"
consent the combatants divided,
dawn broke from Ganges' stream anew;
remained the question undecided,
Which was the
better champion of the two,
To both the
brothers and the rest who sided
part, the liberal lord did sue
courteous prayer, that till the coming day
be pleased beneath his roof to stay.
unsuspecting with the prayer complied,
And by the
cheerful blaze of torches white
dome ascended, with their guide,
into many bowers and bright.
combatants remain as stupified,
up their vizors, at the sight
One of the
other; for (by what appears)
hardly numbers eighteen years.
marvels with herself the gentle dame,
That one so
young so well should do and dare.
marvels he (his wonderment the same)
When he her
sex agnizes by her hair.
one another of their name,
reply the youthful pair.
But how was
hight the youthful cavalier,
the ensuing strain to hear.