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As Theodore was born of noble kind, The brutal action rous'd his manly mind; Mov'd with unworthy usage of the maid, He, though unarm'd, resolv'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 thundering on, but, from afar, Thus in imperious tone forbade 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, And suffering death for this ungrateful maid."

He said, at once dismounting from the steed;
For now the hell-hounds with superior speed
Had reach'd the dame, and, fastening on her side,
The ground with issuing streams of purple dy'd,
Stood Theodore surpris'd in deadly fright,

With chattering teeth, and bristling hair upright;
Yet arm'd with inborn worth, "Whate'er," said he,
"Thou art, who know'st me better than I thee;
Or prove thy rightful cause, or be defy'd ;"
The spectre, fiercely staring, thus reply'd:

"Know, Theodore, thy ancestry I claim,
And Guido Cavalcanti was my name.
One common sire our fathers did beget,
My name and story some remember yet:
Thee, then a boy, within my arms I laid,
When for my sins I lov'd this haughty maid;

Not less ador'd in life, nor serv'd by me,
Than proud Honoria now is loved by thee.
What did I not her stubborn heart to gain?
But all my vows were answer'd with disdain :
She scorn'd my sorrows, and despis'd my pain.
Long time I dragg'd my days in fruitless care;
Then, loathing life, and plung'd in deep despair,
To finish my unhappy life, I fell

On this sharp sword, and now am damn'd in Hell.

"Short was her joy; for soon th' insulting maid By Heaven's decree in this cold grave was laid. And as in unrepented sin she dy'd,

Doom'd to the same bad place is punish'd for her


Because she deemed I well deserv'd to die,

And made a merit of her cruelty.


There, then, we met; both try'd, and both were And this irrevocable sentence pass'd;

That she, whom I so long pursu'd in vain,

Should suffer from my hands a lingering pain:
Renew'd to life that she might daily die,
I daily doom'd to follow, she to fly ;
No more a lover, but a mortal foe,
I seek her life (for love is none below);
As often as my dogs with better speed
Arrest her flight, is she to death decreed :
Then with this fatal sword, on which I dy'd,
I pierce her open back, or tender side,

And tear that harden'd heart from out her breast, Which, with her entrails, makes my hungry hounds a feast

Nor lies she long, but, as her Fates ordain,
Springs up to life, and fresh to second pain,
Is sav'd to-day, to-morrow to be slain."

This, vers'd in death, th' infernal knight relates,
And then for proof fulfill'd the common fates;
Her heart and bowels through her back he drew,
And fed the hounds that help'd him to pursue,
Stern look'd the fiend, as frustrate of his will,
Not half suffic'd, and greedy yet to kill.
And now the soul, expiring through the wound,
Had left the body breathless on the ground,
When thus the grisly spectre spoke again :
"Behold the fruit of ill-rewarded pain:
As many months as I sustain'd her hate,
So many years is she condemned by Fate
To daily death; and every several place,
Conscious of her disdain and my disgrace,
Must witness her just punishment; and be
A scene of triumph and revenge to me!
As in this grove I took my last farewell,
As on this very spot of earth I fell,

As Friday saw me die, so she my prey
Becomes ev'n here, on this revolving day."

Thus while he spoke the virgin from the ground Upstarted fresh, already clos'd the wound,

And, unconcern'd for all she felt before,
Precipitates her flight along the shore:

The hell-hounds, as ungorg'd with flesh and blood,
Pursue their prey, and seek their wonted food:
The fiend remounts his courser, mends his pace;
And all the vision vanish'd from the place.

Long stood the noble youth oppress'd with awe And stupid at the wondrous things he saw, [law. Surpassing common faith, transgressing Nature's He would have been asleep, and wish'd to wake, But dreams, he knew, no long impression make, Though strong at first; if vision, to what end, But such as must his future state portend? His love the damsel, and himself the fiend, But yet, reflecting that it could not be From Heaven, which cannot impious acts decree, Resolv'd within himself to shun the snare, Which Hell for his destruction did prepare ; And, as his better genius should direct, From an ill cause to draw a good effect.

Inspir'd from Heaven he homeward took his way, Nor pall'd his new design with long delay: But of his train a trusty servant sent, To call his friends together at his tent. They came, and, usual salutations 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, Though late yet is at last become my care: My heart shall be my own; my vast expense 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 resolv'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 expense,
Much cost, more care, and most magnificence.
The place ordain'd was in that haunted grove,
Where the revenging ghost pursu'd his love:
The tables in a proud pavilion spread,
With flowers below, and tissue overhead :
The rest in rank, Honoria, chief in place,
Was artfully contriv'd to set her face
To front the thicket, and behold the chase.
The feast was serv'd, the time so well forecast,
That just when the desert and fruits were plac'd,
The fiend's alarm began; the hollow sound
Sung in the leaves, the forest shook around.
Air blacken'd, roll'd the thunder, groan'd the

Nor long before the loud laments arise,

Of one distress'd, and mastiffs' mingled cries;
And first the dame came rushing through the wood,
And next the famish'd hounds that sought their food,
And grip'd her flanks, and oft essay'd their jaws in


Last came the felon, on his sable steed, [speed. Arm'd with his naked sword, and urg'd his dogs to She ran, and cry'd, her flight directly bent

(A guest unbidden) to the fatal tent, [ment. The scene of death, and place ordain'd for punishLoud was the noise, aghast was every guest,

The women shriek'd, the men forsook the feast;

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