An Arthurian Miscellany at sacred-texts.com
PRINCE ARTHUR. AN HEROICK POEM IN TEN BOOKS
SIR RICHARD BLACKMORE
Now in the East of Saffron Morn arose,
And call'd the Lab'rer from his soft repose.
Thro' all the Region flew Loquacious Fame;
And the glad tydings spread, where'er she came.
Prince Arthur 's Landed, is the general Cry,
Straight to their Arms the chearful Briton s fly.
The great Restorer all prepare to meet,
And warlike Noise resounds in every Street.
His eager Friends impatient of delay,
Had long expected this Auspicious Day.
They knew he was Embark'd to bring them Aid,
And for his quick, and safe Arrival pray'd.
Oft on the Rocks and highest Hills they stood,
And all around the Subject Ocean view'd
With longing Eyes, hoping the sight to gain
Of Arthur 's Conquering Navy on the Main.
And when no Fleet, no Arthur they descry'd,
They chid the Winds, and interposing Tyde.
With less impatience staid th' Ithacian Dame,
Till to her Arms her wish'd Ulysses came.
The Sestian Maid not with such Passion stood,
To spy her Lover cutting thro' the Flood.
The Zealous Men while adverse Boreas reign'd,
And from the Coasts Prince Arthur 's Fleet detain'd,
When mild Aurora with her rosy Light,
Began to streak the dusky Face of Night,
Oft from their Beds, up to the Windows flew,
And thence the Fanes and flying Clouds would view,
To see if yet more favourable Gales
Rose from the South, to swell Prince Arthur 's Sails.
Anxious they look around, but when they find
Their hopes retarded by an adverse Wind,
Their Sorrow in repeated Sighs exprest,
They to their Beds return, but not to Rest.
Thus they expected Arthur 's powerful Aid,
And such their Sorrow was, their Hopes delay'd.
But now, at last the Prince's Fleet arriv'd,
Raises their Courage, and their Hopes reviv'd.
The joyful Throngs Prince Arthur 's Praise proclaim,
This every Tongue employs, ev'n Children aim,
That scarce have learn'd to speak, to lisp his Name.
Some praise his Stature, and his God-like Face,
His awful Presence, and Majestick Grace,
His Courage some, and Conduct in the Field,
And think great Cæsar 's Fame to his, must yield.
His Clemency and Pity some admire,
And all the Virtues, that his Mind inspire.
The Actions of his Childhood some repeat,
In which they still discover'd something Great.
And now, what they expected he appears,
The Hero promis'd in his tender years.
Others relate the ancient Prophecies,
Wherein was told a Monarch should arise
Of mighty Power, and Universal Fame,
That should to Heav'n advance the British Name.
Things weigh'd, and well compar'd, they all consent
Arthur 's the Conq'rour, that the Prophets meant.
Some tell their Friends, their Courage to support,
What mighty Guards surround the Prince's Court.
What Succours hir'd were from Germania brought,
Succours, as oft Victorious, as they fought.
Fierce Alpine Allobrogs with slaughter fed,
In Snows and everlasting Winter bred.
Men of stupendous Bulk, pamper'd and cloy'd
With Blood of Nations, which their Arms destroy'd.
Arm'd with broad, flaming Swords, and mighty Spears;
Their Caps were Wolves, their Coats rough Skins of Bears.
Who stretcht on Beds did n'er their Limbs repose,
But from the naked ground still vig'rous rose.
Of Aspect terrible, their squallid Face
Thick, matted Beards with bristly Terrour grace.
None e'er escap'd, that did their Arms provoke,
They Mow whole Squadrons with a single stroke.
This monstrous Kind of Men did Fame invent,
And Arthur 's Troops so dreadful represent,
To raise the Briton s Hearts before deprest,
And strike a Terrour thro' the Saxon 's Breast.
With Joy transported all for Arms declare,
And all the Accoutrements of War prepare.
The Shepherds on the Hills forsake their Flocks,
And leave their brouzing Goats upon the Rocks.
Instead of Crooks, that did their Flocks command,
Long warlike Spears they brandish in their Hand.
The British Youth their Courage rais'd, rejoyce
To see the Banners fly, and hear the Trumpet's Voice.
The Farmers leave the Hopes their Field afford,
To reap fresh Laurels with their Conquering Sword.
The noise of War does from the Hills rebound,
And midst the Miners Eccho's under ground.
Who straight alarm'd, at nobler Labour Sweat,
And into Swords their glowing Metal beat.
Their Forges, Anvils and wide Bellows breath,
Are all employ'd in various kinds of Death.
Some shape the Halbert, and broad Fauchion's Blade,
And Darts by some, and Arrows Heads are made.
Some forming Battle-Axes heave the Sledge,
Some into Shields strike out a flaming Wedge.
To fashion Helmets some the Hammer ply,
Some labour, Pieces for the Leg and Thigh.
With Lances arm'd, some their hot Coursers rein,
And to the War Curvet along the Plain.
Some with their clenching Gauntlets grasp the Shield,
Shake their long Spears, and rush into the Field.
Across their Shoulders some their Quivers hung,
Their Arrows trim'd, and Bows for Death new strung.
As when black Clouds dark'ning the Summer Sky,
Loaded with Crystal Tempests slowly fly,
Th' Artillery discharg'd with mighty Sound
Th' exploded Hailstones, leap upon the ground,
Thunder amidst the Woods, and from the Hills rebound.
So with the Briton s all the Region swarms,
So thick their Troops, so loud the noise of Arms.
The groaning Earth complains, and trembling feels
The trampling Hoofs, and Chariots fervid Wheels.
In order now, Celestial Muse, declare
What Troops, and who those ancient Briton s were,
Who for their Country's Liberty combin'd,
And their Brigades with Arthur 's Forces joyn'd.
From Time's dark Prisons set the Hero's free,
And may their glorious Names Immortal be.
First warlike Cadwall the Dimetians Head,
His Forces from the neighbouring Region led.
Their Troops advance from the bleak Northern Shore,
On which the Hybernian Sea's loud Billows roar.
And where Octopitarum thro' the Waves
Wedging his Way, the opposing Ocean braves.
Fair Maridunum pours her Squadrons forth,
Where the fam'd Sorc'rer Merlin had his Birth.
They came who dwelt round high Plinlimmon 's Sides,
Where Stuccia flows, and swift Turobius glides.
King Meridoe the Oordovican leads
Down from the British Alps, whose snowy Heads
Imaus like, stand towring in the Air,
And midst the Stars eternal Winter bear.
And from the Soil lav'd by Conovius Flood,
And Menai 's Banks, where then Segontium stood.
Great Numbers swarm'd from Mona 's noble Isle,
Deform'd for Aspect, but of fertile Soil.
Where once in shady Groves erected stood,
The Druids Altars stain'd with humane Blood.
The Troops their March from Mediolanum take,
From Helen 's Way, and the Tegeian Lake.
Thro' which fair Deva 's Streams so swiftly pass,
They uncorrupted shun th' impure Embrace.
Here the sublime Mervinian Mountains rise,
And with sharp-pointed Tops transfix the Skies.
Next Morogan the bold, Silures brought,
None for their Country's Freedom better fought.
They bravely Valens and his Troops withstood,
And dy'd Sabrina 's Streams with Roman Blood.
With like Success Veranius they defeat,
And forc'd his vanquish'd Eagles to retreat.
This cause, as much their Courage did provoke,
To free their Country from the Saxon Yoke.
They take in hast their Swords and Bucklers down,
And march to meet the Prince from every Town.
From all the Cities on the verdant side
Of Nidus , and on Loghor 's Crystal Tyde.
They march from Bovium , and the neighboring Shore,
Thick, as the Waves, that there insulting roar.
Down from the Hilly Lands the Briton s came,
Which now th' Inhabitants Brechinia name.
Where the black Mount stands lofty in the Air,
And forky Peak , since call'd great Arthur 's Chair.
They march from Bulleum , Haga , and the Lake,
Where when broad Sheets of Ice dissolving crack,
The ratling Noise rebounds from Neighb'ring Hills,
And with loud Thunder all the Region fills.
From Ariconium, and the flowry Space,
Which wanton Vaga 's winding Arms embrace.
Where Lugus his transparent Bosom spreads,
And where Liddenus murmurs thro' the Meads.
Where thick Hesperian Woods with Apples crown'd,
Of golden Hue, enrich the Fields around.
Which the most generous British Wine produce,
Ausonia scarce affords a nobler Juice.
They leave the Fields fam'd for the purest Corn,
And the rich Plains that Wooly Flocks adorn,
Which bless the Farmer with a nobler Fleece,
Than what Apulia boasts, or fertile Greece .
They leave the golden Vale, and happy Ground
Which Dorus laves, and lofty Woods surround,
The warlike Youth from Venta came and those
That Muno 's Flood and Isca 's Streams inclose.
With those that round the Oazy Moor are bred,
And near the Golden Rocks refulgent Head.
Out from her Gates her Youth fair Isca pours.
Crown'd with gilt Spires, rich Domes, and lofty Towers.
Where Golden Roofs, and checker'd Floors abound,
Deep Vaults, and spacious Chambers under ground.
A stately Theater the Town o'erlooks,
And noble Works convey the neighb'ring Brooks,
By Conquering Romans built, that far from home
They might enjoy the Sports and Pomp of Rome .
Such was the ample City's ancient Fame,
Now worn by time it scarce preserves its Name.
Those from Gobanium march, a Town that stood
On Isca 's and Gevini 's confluent Flood.
In cheerful Troops the stout Cornavians came,
From the rich Soil we now Salopia name.
From either side of fair Sabrina 's Tyde,
Whose silver Streams the fruitful Land divide.
From Usocona , end the Towns that lay
On the fam'd Roman Military way.
From Uriconium , yet a Noble Town,
And old Rutunium , then of good Renown.
Galbut their Leader at their Head appears
A lovely Youth, and Wise above his Years:
Descended from a Noble ancient Race
Of Heros, who the British Annals grace.
He by Forefathers Beams Illustrious shone,
Great by their Deeds, but greater by his own.
Zeal for his Country, and the British Cause,
The generous Youth to glorious Danger draws.
For this he crost the Ocean, to implore
Prince Arthur 's Arms, their Freedom to restore.
The Prince embrac'd him, as his Fav'rite Friend,
And did his Zeal and Vigilance commend.
He staid the dear Companion of his Toil,
Both on the Seas, and on th' Armorick Soil.
And when the Saxon , and the British Fleet,
(A dreadful day) did on the Ocean meet,
By Arthur 's side upon the Deck, he stood
Distain'd with scatter'd Brains, and reeking Blood.
The Youth at danger unconcern'd appear'd,
And nothing but his Country's Suff'rings fear'd.
He leap'd out first on the Dimetian Strand,
And welcom'd Arthur to his Native Land.
Where taking leave, he to his Country came,
To Head his Men, and win yet greater Fame.
Devana sends brave Troops, a noble Town,
For lofty Works, and splendid Structures known.
Where once the Roman Conquerours did reside,
And envy'd not Italia 's Wealth and Pride.
The bold Inhabitants on Deva 's Bank,
And they who Danus , and Merseia drank;
With those that had their Seats, along the Soil
Which Briny Riches gives with easie Toil;
Draw out and Muster on the Neighb'ring Plain,
Resolv'd the British Honour to regain.
Bothan their Captain was a Warlike Knight,
A brave Asserter of his Country's Right.
A noble, but ungovernable Fire,
(Such is the Hero's) did his Breast inspire.
His honest Rage, his Friends could scarely Rule,
Hot for the Camp, but not for Counsel Cool.
Fit to assist to pull a Tyrant down,
But not to please the Prince that mounts the Throne.
Impatient of Oppression, still he stood
His Country's Mounds, against th' invading Flood.
Impetuous, as a Tempest in its Course,
He not to Conduct trusted, but to Force.
Unskill'd in Court Intreagues, on which the wise
And crafty Statesmen, as his strength, relies;
He still expected that a loud Applause,
Should follow Brav'ry, and a Righteous Cause,
His Country prais'd him; no Britannik Lord,
Was as his People's Patron more ador'd.
And Now in Arms they throng about their Head,
None to the Prince such numerous Forces led.
The Corintanians , that the Soil possest,
By fair Darventio 's fruitful Waters blest,
And Repandunum , where clear Trenta's Tide
Do's into Dovo 's silver Bosome glide.
Those near high Peak , in heavenly Waters drown'd,
And in the Dale, which craggy Rocks surround;
Their Zeal and Courage rais'd by loud Alarms,
Forsook their Seats, and Fields, and flew to Arms.
These valiant Men that Fame and Freedom sought,
To join the Prince's Arms Canvallo brought.
Noble Canvallo , who did with him bring
The Majesty, and Presence of a King.
Of lofty Stature, and a graceful Air,
By's own Sex fear'd, and favour'd by the Fair.
Th' Inglorious Pleasures of the wanton Court,
That drain'd his Wealth, did not the Patriot hurt,
Fit for the Camp, or Business of the State,
But soft Enjoyments Love to both abate.
Alarm'd with Publick Danger, he arose
Like a rous'd Lyon, from his long Repose.
Arm'd, and equip'd with gaeat Magnificence,
He mounts his fiery Turk, bought at a vast Expence.
His princely Train, and splendid Equipage,
Wher'ere he past the Eyes of all engag'd.
The Atrebatians From the happy Land,
Which then sublime Gallena did command.
Where winding Thamisis does bless the Soil,
The Wealth and Glory of the British Isle.
In War-like Bands advance to Arthur 's Aid,
And rich Bertudor , as their Head obey'd,
Who still against the Pagan Interest strove,
Rich in Possessions, and his People's Love.
His happy Tenants, and the Farmers round,
His Hospitable House still open found.
Each Week ten Oxen from the Stall he drew,
A hundred Sheep, and forty Swine he slew;
Fat Venison, Fowl, and Fish, an endless Store,
To feed his Guests, his Servants, and the Poor.
He to the Woods, and Forrests was inclin'd,
To hunt the Fox, and chase the flying Hind.
Pleas'd with his Friends, and with his rural Sport,
He wisely shun'd, the Dangers of the Court.
But for the Christian Cause, and publick Peace,
He quits the Forrests, and his Wealth and Ease.
His Helmet brac'd, and on his Arm his Shield,
He march'd before his Troops into the Field.
And that my Verse may to his Name be just,
Of all the Lords Bertudor was the first,
That to the Camp, his valiant Forces brought,
Tho' not inur'd to War, and tho' remote.
The Durotriges from the western Coast,
Where the Britannick Ocean's Waves are tost.
Their Troops assembled, for the Prince declare,
And march from all the Towns, to meet the War.
From Dornavaria , and the Seats that stand
On Froma 's Stream, and wealthy Blackmoor Land:
From Vendogladia , and the Tow'rs that rose
On the fat Glebe, where pleasant Stourus flows.
Sakil their Leader, and Illustrious Peer,
Was to his Prince, and to his Country dear.
He, their Mæcenas cheers the British Bards ,
Learns them to Sing, and then their Songs rewards.
So Heav'n to makes Men good, does Grace bestow,
And then rewards them for their being so.
Him as their Head the Athenian Sons adore,
The Muses Fav'rite, but the People's more.
To form great Men, his Palace was the School,
His Life good Breeding's, and good Nature's Rule.
To him the needy Men of Wit resort,
And find a Friend in an unletter'd Court.
The Poets Nation, did Obsequious wait
For the kind Dole, divided at his Gate.
Laurus amisdst the meagre Crowd appear'd,
An old, revolted, unbelieving Bard,
Who throng'd, and shov'd, and prest, and would be heard.
Distinguish'd by his louder craving Tone,
So well to all the Muses Patrons known,
He did the Voice of modest Poets drown.
Sakil 's high Roof, the Muses Palace rung
With endless Cries, and endless Songs he sung.
To bless good Sakil Laurus would be first,
But Sakil 's Prince, and Sakil 's God he curst.
Sakil without distinction threw his Bread,
Despis'd the Flatt'rer, but the Poet fed.
His Sword the Muses great Defender draws,
T'assert Britannia 's, and Religion's Cause.
Orson their Head, the bold Brigantes brings,
Subject of late, to the North - Saxon Kings.
Now for their Liberty they boldly speak,
And thro' the Foe, to joyn Prince Arthur , break.
Osron 's Example all the Region fir'd,
With noble Heats, and Martial Thoughts inspir'd.
None in the Field did greater Courage show,
Whether he charg'd, or else sustain'd the Foe.
Yet none more fit in Council to preside,
And in a Storm, the lab'ring State to guide.
A mighty Genius of uncommon Mould,
As Cæsar Eloquent, as Cæsar Bold.
He could th' unstable People's Tumults stop,
And a declining Kingdom underprop.
Matur'd by Age, and business of the State,
The hoary Oracle in Council sate.
Where he the British Nestor ws esteem'd,
And all his Language, Inspiration seem'd.
This finish'd Statesman, did the Prince perswade
To pass the Seas, the Saxon to invade.
And at his Landing quick Assistance brought,
And for his Country none more bravely fought.
The farthest Western Soil, which with their Wave
The British , and Hibernian Oceans lave.
From Isca 's Noble Stream, far as the Shore
Where round Bolerium 's Head the Billows roar,
By the Danmonian Briton s was possest,
And with King Cador 's, temperate Empire blest,
This war-like People, at their King's Command,
Now take up Arms, and muster thro' the Land.
The good King Cador worn with War and Age,
No longer does the Foe in Arms engage.
Macor his Son supply'd the Father's Place,
Whose Virtues equal'd his Illustrious Race.
To serve Prince Arthur , and his righteous Cause,
His Sword the brave Danmonian Hero draws.
A beauteous Youth, whose Breast a strong desire
Of Fame, and Martial Glory did inspire.
Eager of War, he the Danmonians led,
And shone in splendid Armour at their Head.
His coming, Joy to all the Briton s gives,
And in his Arms, the Prince his Friend receives.
To whom to be endear'd, he always strove,
By all expressions of Respect and Love.
The Valiant Youth he did with Honours grace,
To his high Merit due, and noble Race.
Macor , mean time, Prince Arthur did adore,
None serv'd his Cause, or sought his Favour more.
Tracar , and Ormes in the Camp arrive,
Whose Presence to the rest, fresh Courage give.
Their Wisdom was by Fame aloud proclaim'd,
The Briton s none with greater Honour nam'd.
Both fit about a Monarch to abide,
To aid his Counsels, and the State to guide.
None more admir'd for clear, unerring Sense,
For Piercing Sight, and charming Eloquence.
Great Spirits both, but of a different Mould,
Ormes impetuous, Tarbulent, and Bold;
But Tracar was compos'd, sedate, and cool,
His Passions subject to a stricter Rule.
Ormes was haughty, inaccessible,
And knew his Riches, and his Sense too well.
Tracar was courteous, easie of Access,
Of great Humanity, and mild Address.
Ormes was therefore honour'd not desir'd,
Tracar belov'd, and equally admir'd.
Ormes would still advance unbounded Power,
Tracar his Country's Liberty secure.
Tracar had letters, Ormes Native Fire:
Both had by Birth, what Labour can't acquire.
Arthur to neither Rival Wit inclines,
But us'd them both, to serve his wise Designs.
Such Love the Briton s to the Prince exprest,
Who when he found his Numbers thus encreast,
Advanc'd his Ensigns, and to Isca came,
Where the Silures dwelt, theh chief for Fame.
Hither fresh Squadrons to the Prince resort,
Which from that time is call'd great Arthur 's Court.
Five times the Sun had his Diurnal Race
Compleated, when from this delightful place
The pious Prince his Ensigns mov'd, and came
To Glevum , seated on Sabrina 's Stream.
Decamping hence, his arm'd Battalions gain
Prince Arthur at their Head, the fertile Plain
By easie Marches, where Gallena stood,
Which Thamisis laves with its noble Flood.
Thus stood the Briton s, after his Defeat,
Octa with Grief did to his Coasts Retreat.
As when by chance a Royal Eagle spies,
From some high Mountains Top, amidst the Skies;
A flight of Swans, obscuring all the Air,
Swift as the Lightning, which he's said to bear,
Upon the Prey his Airy Flight he takes,
And with sharp Pounces vast Destruction makes.
Some fall struck dead, some wounded slowly fly,
While Snowy Clouds of Feathers fill the Sky.
Those that the fierce Invader's Strokes survive,
With all the speed, Fear to their Wings can give;
To their belov'd Cayster 's Banks return,
And in their reedy Seats, their Wounds and Losses mourn.
So far'd the Saxons , and their shatter'd Fleet,
Octa forthwith Commands his Lords to meet
In Council, where they in long order sate
T'advise, what best might save their threaten'd State.
Cissa first spoke, an able Counsellour
Let us assemble all our present power,
And straight advance the Briton s to Attack,
Who to our Arms can small Resistance make.
Sore with their Wounds, and weary with their Toil,
They tempt the Saxons to an easie Spoil.
Boldly fall on, before their Troops are eas'd,
With Food and Rest, and with Recruits increas'd.
Your Wisdom thus, and Courage will appear,
Who tho defeated, have not learn'd to fear.
The Foe surpriz'd must to your Mercy yield,
Or to their Ships Retreating, quit the Field.
He ceas'd, then Osred , who had always won
By his wise Counsel great Applause, begun:
Our late Defeat has too much Terrour strook,
Thro' all our Troops, too much our Empire shook,
And too much flesh'd the Foe, to let me joyn
In this Advice, my Counsels more incline
To draw into the Field our utmost Power
From all the Saxon States, and to secure
Our Empire, let us labour to perswade
The Pict , and Scotish King, to give us Aid.
The Cause and Interest is the same of all,
They and their Gods, if we are crush'd, must fall.
Our Arms united in a numerous Host,
We may before of certain Conquest boast.
The trembling Foe unable to withstand
Such mighty Armies, will forsake the Land.
But if supported with vain hopes they stay,
They fall into our hands an easie Prey.
Pascentius next, a wise Nestorian head,
Whose Looks, and Words profound Attention bred:
Thus spoke-'tis true our Troops while thus dismay'd,
And of Prince Arthur 's Fame, and Arms afraid,
From present Action justly may disswade.
Seeking the Foe we too great Danger run,
Embolden'd by his Victory lately won.
And thus far Osred 's Thoughts and mine you see
Conspire, as in the rest they disagree.
If with our utmost Force we meet our Foes,
To too much hazard we our State expose.
Th' uncertain Game of War they little know,
That Stake an Empire on a single Throw.
While we delay to gather all our Force,
And to the Picts and Scots , shall have recourse;
Prince Arthur will advance, and mightier grow,
Like rolling Balls, that gather up the Snow,
Or Rivers taking Streams in, as they flow.
The Briton s led by ancient Prophecies,
Expect that near this time, a Prince shall rise
Heroick, Wise, a mighty Conqueror,
That all their lost Dominions shall restore,
And o'er the World, extend their Naval Power.
Something like this, our Augurs seem to fear,
From Prodigies, and Signs that oft appear.
Those hopes they all of Arthur now express,
Drawn by his Fame abroad, and late Success.
While this Belief, tho' false, the Briton warms,
He grows less fearful of the Saxon Arms.
He'll be more bold in Fight, while thus inspir'd,
And with such Zeal, and Expectation fir'd.
Intoxicated thus Men Wonders do,
And by bold Deeds, make their vain Fancies true.
He therefore serves King Octa , that creates,
An Understanding first, between the States.
An Embassy may to the Prince be sent,
To treat how Blood and ruin to prevent,
They may propose the Kingdom to divide,
And offer Octa 's Daughter for his Bride,
Fair, Ethelina , whose perverted Mind,
To Christian Worship is too much inclin'd.
He ceas'd, and his Advice did chiefly please,
And of the Council most declar'd for Peace.
The Lords dispers'd, King Octa unresolv'd,
Long in his Mind his troubled Thoughts revolv'd.
With strong contending Tydes of Passion prest,
Now War he looks on, now on Peace, as best.
Long he appear'd on Osred 's Counsel bent,
And to the Neighb'ring Saxon Princes sent,
That all, the strong Necessity might know
Of joyning Arms, against the Common Foe.
At the same time an Embassy he sends,
To make the Pict , and Scotish King his Friends.
That of their powerful Aid he might not fail,
If Arthur , and his Briton s should prevail.
But when he heard, that Arthur had as far
As Glevum 's Walls, advanc'd the threatning War,
Observing that the Saxons were dismaid,
And not yet strengthen'd by his Neighbours Aid,
He now declar'd, it was his setled Sense,
A Treaty with the Briton to Commence.
Then Orators he sent without delay,
Who to the Briton s Camp direct their way.
Titullan , Selred , and wise Theocles
For this Negotiation chiefly please.
Heldured of the Embassy was one,
Osrick and Thedred noble Ormar 's Son.
Arriving at the Prince's Camp, they found
The British Youth in Crowds disperst around.
For then with various Sports, and manly Play,
The Briton s solemniz'd, th' auspicious Day,
Of Arthur 's Birth, o'er all the Fields they spred,
To different Games, by different Passions led.
Here Chariots raising Clouds of Dust appear,
And run with smoaking Wheels their swift Career.
Here the robust Danmonian Nation swarms,
Hurling their massy Balls with vig'rous Arms.
Here the Dobunians to advance their Fame,
Toil at their Country's old laborious Game.
Long Ashen Staves across their Shoulders lie,
Then sway'd with both their Hands, strike thro the Sky.
A mounting Orb of Thongs, or well sow'd Hide,
While at due distance rang'd, on th' other Side
The Foe inclining stands, to wait its Fall,
And with like Force, strike Back the bounding Ball.
Incircled Wrestlers here their Manhood try,
And with loud Shouts, that rend the lab'ring Sky,
The standing Ring proclaims the Victory.
Some to a Cudgel prize their Fellows dare,
Who strait spring out to meet the wooden War.
They brandish in the Air their threat'ning Staves,
Their Hands, a woven Guard of Osier saves,
In which they fix their Hazel Weapon's End,
Thus arm'd, the nimble Combatants contend
For Conquest, giving and receiving Blows,
And down their Heads a crimson River flows.
Here flowry Garlands their proud Temples crown,
Whose airy Feet the Race had newly won.
Such were the Briton s Sports, as thro' the Throng
The Saxon Orators pass'd slow slow along.
Who strait were to th' August Pavilion led,
Where Arthur sate, his Lords around him spread.
To whom Edburga thus,
The Saxon King, whose ardent wishes are
To save Britannia , from Destructive War.
Who rather seeks t'enjoy the Fruits of Peace,
Then by his Arms his Empire to encrease.
Makes such Advances for these glorious Ends,
As may the Briton s make his lasting Friends.
The Saxons , and the Briton s shall command
Their equal Shares, of the divided Land.
Such Barrier shall be fixt, as shall secure
The Briton s, jealous of the Saxon Power.
To give Britannia Peace, we condescend
To yield up what our Arms can well defend.
Such steps King Octa makes for Peace, beside
That both may yet with closer Bonds be ty'd,
Bright Ethelina , Octa 's chief Delight,
Shall be the Link, the Nations to unite.
This so much envy'd Favorite of Fame,
Whom all with Love, and Admiration name.
Octa consents shall be your beauteous Bride,
To you already, in her Faith Ally'd.
These Measures all Contentions may adjust,
Friendship confirm, and fix a mutual Trust.
But if rejected, Octa does declare
He's guiltless of the dire effects of War.
Upon the Christians Head, will rest the Guilt
Of all the Blood, that by the Sword is spilt.
The Prince reply'd,
Affairs of that Importance to the State,
Require our thoughtful Care and calm Debate.
The two Proposals by King Octa made,
For lasting Friendship, shall be duly weigh'd.
Twice had the Sun broke from the Purple East,
Twice was he seen dilated in the West.
When Arthur seated on his Chair of State,
Thus spake, the Saxons with Attention wait.
An honourable Peace my Thoughts prefer,
To all the Triumphs of a Bloody War.
I, and my Briton s, those just Terms approve,
King Octa makes t' establish Peace and Love,
To spare each Nation's Blood, and save the Isle
From Desolation, and destructive Spoil.
Indulgent Heav'n is to both Nations kind,
That has your King to peaceful Thoughts inclin'd.
Ten Lords of Saxon , ten of British Blood,
May meet at Spina near Cunetio 's Flood.
T'adjust the Limits of each Nation's Power,
And Barriers fix, that may their Peace secure.
You for an Interview, the place will name,
Where I may see the beauteous Saxon Dame.
He ceas'd, and all the Audience pour'd around,
To this assented with a murmuring Sound.
A sudden Joy did in their Eyes appear,
While smiling Peace, triumph'd o'er vanquish'd War.
Mean time the Infernal Monarch wings his Flight,
To the White Hills , whence his Angelick Sight
Might all the Fields, and subject plains survey,
Where in their Camp, the hateful Briton s lay.
While with malicious Eyes around he view'd,
The Christian Army fill'd with Joy, he stood
With Rage dilated, and with Envy blown,
Like glowing Ætna , on Plinlimon thrown.
Flashes of Fire from his red Eyeballs flow'd,
Like Lightning breaking from a lowring Cloud.
So when a Toad, squat on a Border spies,
The Gardner passing by, his bloodshot Eyes
With Spite, and Rage inflam'd, dart Fire around
The verdant Walks, and on the flowry Ground,
The bloated Vermin loathsome Poison spits,
And swoln and bursting with his Malice sits.
So the faln Angel sate, and thus begun,
Am I, and all th' infernal Powers outdone?
And must this Briton still pursue his Course,
And thus elude my Arts, and all my Force?
What Christian Towns, and States have I destroy'd,
Forc'd by my Power, or by my Arts decoy'd?
How few remaining Christian Regions are,
Where no deep Marks of my Revenge appear?
What glorious Ruin did my Romans spread
O'er Asia 's Christian; I the Lombards led,
And furious Huns , to rich Ausonia 's Soil;
And fill'd the Land with Blood, and Christian Spoil,
My Maximin 's, and Nero 's, mighty Names,
What Desolation, by devouring Flames,
What Slaughter by the Sword, these Heros made,
With what Success did they the Saints invade?
And if the Fame be true that spreads in Hell,
In Gaul a Prince shall arise, that shall excel
All these, and more in Blood and Spoil delight,
And all Hell's Furies to his Aid invite.
Let that great Prince arise, and may his Birth,
Be honour'd with Convulsions of the Earth,
Eclipses, Comets, Meteors, Lightnings, Storms,
Murders, and Monsters of tremendous Forms.
Nor are there Triumphs of my Power alone,
Much weaker Spirits, have great Conquests won.
Spirits of Lower Order, small renown,
In Hell of little Figure, scarcely known.
Inferiour, subaltern Divinities,
Could often their just Fury to appease,
To wreck their Rage, and honest Malice cloy,
Whole Armies of this hateful Sect destroy:
First tempt th' ungrateful Murmurers to Rebel,
And then with Plagues and Darts invisible,
With Fire, and Earthquakes lay all wast, disseize
Their God, and ruin all his Votaries.
And shall this Briton my Force defy,
And introduce his banish'd Deity?
High States of Hell, ye mighty Gods below,
In your August Assemblies who will Bow,
Who Acclamations make when I appear,
Who dread my Power, my Greatness who revere?
If still this Briton shall resist my Power,
And all my Arts eluded, rest secure?
But if by irresistable Deceree
Pronounc'd by Fate, and unchang'd Destiny;
Arthur at last must mount the British Throne,
Beat down our Altars, and erect his own.
At least new hardships shall obstruct his Way,
And my Revenge his Triumphs shall delay.
That said he Flew, his Snakie Wings display'd,
Down to his Palace midst th' Infernal Shade.
From all their gloomy Regions to his Court,
At his Command, th' Infernal Lords resort.
To whom their Monarch from his glowing Throne
Thus with a haughty, troubled Look begun.
Thus far in vain all our Attempts are made,
To crush the Briton s that our State invade.
At Sea, they Triumph o'er King Octa 's Fleet,
At Land, Success above their Hopes, they meet.
Octa defeated, dreads Prince Arthur 's Arms,
And sues for Peace, by Ethelina 's Charms.
If this should once prevail, Britannia 's lost,
We, and our Priests, must fly this impious Coast.
Help'd by th' Almighty Enemy of Hell,
They yet our Arms escape, our Power repel.
Then Monarch's War with vast advantage wage,
When Heav'n its Power does on their part Engage.
This sure Expedient's left us to annoy
The Briton s, and their tow'ring Hopes destroy.
Let us provoke them to some dire Offence,
Which may against their Armies, Heav'n incense.
Then the Seraphick Guards, that round them ly,
Or else patroling thro' the Region fly,
Scowring the Hills and Vales, with flaming Arms,
The Christians to protect from our Alarms;
These will displeas'd, withdraw their powerful Aid,
And we with Safety may their Camp invade.
What subtile Spirit of seducing Art,
And skill in tempting, will perform this part?
Then filthy Asmodai who Men inspires
With wanton Passions, and unclean Desires,
Whose leud Adorers stand before his Shrine,
Transform'd to lustful Goats, and loathsome Swine,
Thus spake: This grateful Province I embrace,
I from their Minds will virtuous Passions chase.
My stronger Force shall all chast Thoughts expel,
And Heav'n's weak Flames, shall yield to those of Hell.
To solemn Groves, and lonesome Hermits Cells,
Where boasted Chastity in Triumph dwells,
To Cloyster'd Monks Admission I command,
And can a Camp my powerful Charms withstand?
On me such chosen Spirits shall attend,
Whose Skill and Power will most promote my End.
The Gods of Riot , Luxury and Wine ,
In this Attempt shall all their Forces joyn.
Doubt not great Prince, when we their Camp Assail,
Nature is on our side, we shall prevail.
Th' Infernal Diet with his Language mov'd,
With loud Applause the wise Design approv'd.
Straight Asmodai attended with a Train
Of soft Luxurious Spirits, to the Plain
Directs his Flight, where the glad Briton s lay;
With lab'ring Wings he mounts the steepy Way,
And quickly reach'd the tender Verge of Day.
In Companies distinct the Briton s fate,
Pleas'd with their wish'd Success, and prosp'rous Fate.
When to the Camp the Crew Infernal came,
Grasping in either hand Tartarean Flame.
About from Tent to Tent the Demons flew,
And midst the Troops their flaming Torches threw.
The wanton Fires about their Bosoms play,
And to their Hearts lascivious warmth convey.
The soft Contagion glides along their Veins,
And in their Breasts the pleasing Poison reigns.
Straight all in Riot and Debauches joyn,
Dissolve in Mirth, and sit inflam'd with Wine.
The Captains Snore on Scarlet spread beneath,
And with their lab'ring Breasts contend for Breath.
Tables o'erturn'd and broken Swords betwixt,
And Dishes faln, with Armour intermixt,
Helmets and Harness, and bruis'd Goblets by,
A mad Confusion, make of War, and Luxury:
Acted with lustful Fires, from Town to Town
Commanders and their Men promiscuous run.
With Outrages and ravish'd Virgins Spoils,
The vicious Army all the Land defiles.
Whoredoms in Pagan Cities they commit,
And at their Sacrifices feasting sit.
Heated with leud Religion, Lust, and Wine
They in the Worship of their Idols join.
Then to tht Camp the hot Adulterers lead
Their Pagan Women and avow the Deed.
Th' Angelick Guards th' enormous vices saw,
And in Displeasure from their Camp withdraw.
All Hell with Shouts of Triumph did resound,
That Such Success had all their Wishes crown'd.
The Prince of Hell strait summons from beneath
The chief supporter of the Throne of Death,
Vengeful Megæra , she without Delay
From Hell's Abyss ascends, and in her Way
Gathers raw Damps and Steams from noisome Graves,
And putrid Reeks, from Subterranean Caves;
Where spotted Plagues first draw their poisonous Breath,
The Nurseries of Pain, and Magazines of Death.
These Seeds of Torment, and devouring Heats,
From whose Contagion vanquish'd Life retreats,
Megæra in compacted Hides dark Wombs,
For this infernal Purpose made, entombs.
In their distinct Repositories laid,
Sad choice of Death, she various Plagues convey'd.
Arm'd for Destruction thus the Fury Came,
And brought from Asmodai 's, a different Flame.
Then Wolves were heard in neighb'ring Hills to howl,
Th' illboding Raven and the screaching Owl
Sung o'er the Camp by Night, the Sun by Day,
Distain'd with Blood, shone with a dismal Ray.
The cruel Fury strait her Flight did take
To find her Prince, to whom th' Apostate spake.
Go, glut thy Rage, and let the Briton s know,
Hell's Monarch is not yet a vanquish'd Foe.
Pass thro their Camp with thy accustom'd Hast,
And on them all thy deadly Treasures wast.
Strait did the vengeful Minister prepare,
T' infect the Camp, and poison all the Air.
Her Bottles turgid with imprison'd Death
She open'd, and releas'd the fatal Breath.
In livid Wheels the dire Contagion flies,
And putrid Exhalations taint the Skies.
The Region's choak'd with Pestilential Steams,
Malignant Reeks, raw Damps, and soultry Gleams.
Now with their Breath the hot Infection slides
Into their Breasts, and thro' their Vitals glides.
Their Lab'ring Hearts spout out the flowing Blood,
And fry the Limbs with an Ætnean Flood.
The raging Pest'lence chases thro' the Veins
Retreating Life, and drest in purple Reigns.
While other Plagues run colder to the Heart,
And thro' their Breast strike like a poison'd Dart.
Rack'd with tormenting Pain some gasping lie,
Some only breath th' envenom'd Air, and die.
Their Hearts with chill, congealing Blood opprest,
Throb a few moments in their panting Breast,
Then yield, and from their Vital Labour rest.
In vain for Help, in vain for Drugs they cry,
Friends and Physitians come, but with them dy.
Thro' all the Camp the fierce Destruction's spread,
Deforming every Tent with Heaps of Dead.
Mean time the pious Arthur prostrate laid,
Thus in a Flood of Tears dissolving pray'd:
Great King of Heav'n, thy Arm thou makest bare,
T' invade the Briton s with resistless War.
Thy glitt'ring Sword brandish'd with dreadful Sway,
Does thro our Camp with wide Destruction Slay.
Why did thy Aids the Shipwreckt Briton s save,
From Rocks and Tempests, and th' insulting Wave,
If we must only see our Native Isle,
And with our Dead th' encumber'd Land defile?
Th' insulting Heathen will Blaspheme thy Name,
And in their Songs advance their Idols Fame.
To their vain Gods loud Praises they'll return,
And Hecatombs upon their Altars burn.
Spare yet thy Briton s, let some Reliques live,
That may due Honours to thy Temples give.
Let the Destroyer cease at thy Command,
And Death at thy Rebuke arrested, stand.
And may the Crimes that Heav'n provoke, be known,
That our deep Sorrows may its Wrath atone.
The pious Prince's humble Cries succeed,
And glorious Raphael with Angelick speed
Descends, his Sword of Flame drawn in his Hand,
To chase the fierce Destroyer from the Land.
A Crystal Vial full of Od'rous Fumes,
Ambrosial Balm, and rich Etherial Gums;
His other hand pour'd out upon the Air,
To cure the Damps, and noxious Vapours there.
Megæra flies the bright Archangel's Sword,
The Plague was staid, and Health and Life restor'd.
Then to the room swift Raphael Wings his way,
Where Arthur still devoutly prostrate lay.
To whom the Seraph thus:
Heav'n by the Briton s daring Crimes incens'd,
Almighty Wrath severely has dispenc'd!
Your unprotected Camp it did expose,
To the dire Rage of your Infernal Foes.
Who by Divine Permission soon o'erspread
Your guilty Camp, with putrid Heaps of Dead.
Th' Angelick Guards return'd to Heaven, complain'd
That your flagitious Troops you n'er restrain'd.
Your Captains boldly Whoredoms, Riots, Rapes
Commit, and yet each Criminal escapes.
Thus you avow the Ills, by others done,
And their unpunish'd Guilt, becomes your own.
Had your Vindictive Arm been first employ'd,
Heav'n's had not thus your guilty Troops destroy'd.
But now th' Eternal yielding to your Prayer,
Has sent me from his Throne, with speedy Care
To stay the Plague, and make the Fiend retreat,
That spreads the Poison, to her Stygian Seat.
Heav'n's now appeas'd, may ne'er the Briton s dare
By their Revolting, to renew the War.
The Seraph disappear'd, and Arthur rais'd
Upon his Feet, th' Eternal Goodness prais'd.
The Prince of Hell that on the Moutain staid,
And with Infernal Joy around survey'd
The Camp, where Death did in sad Triumph reign,
With wide Destruction, covering all the Plain.
Thus to himself: At last I have prevail'd
Against this Sect, tho other Arts have fail'd.
Their Troops half ruin'd with the Plague, afford
An easie Conquest, for King Octa 's Sword;
Ill break the Peace, although advanc'd so far,
And finish their Destruction by new War.
Arthur , prepare against the Saxon Arms,
'Tis time enough for Ethelina 's Charms.
Heros delay'd, and disappointed, prize
The Crown, that got too cheaply, they despise.
Pleasures the farther off, the greater seem,
And Toil and Danger, best preserve Esteem.
That service I will do, by taking care
To give fresh Fuel to th' expiring War.
That said, he leaves the Crystal Plains of Light,
And to th' Infernal Regions takes his Flight.
There stands a Rock, dash'd with the breaking Wave
Of troubled Styx , where was a gloomy Cave
Flowing with Gore, the fierce Bellona dwells,
And bound with Adamantine Fetters, Yells.
Around stand Heaps of mossy Sculls, and Bones,
Whence issue loud Laments, and dreadful Groans.
Torn Limbs, and mangled Bodies are her Food,
Her Drink whole Bowls of Wormwood, Gall, and Blood.
Long curling Snakes her Head with Horrour crown,
And on her squallid Back hang lolling down.
This gripes a bloody Dart, the other Hand
Grasps of Infernal Fire, a flaming Brand.
Treason, and Usurpation near ally'd,
Haughty Ambition, and elated Pride,
And Cruelty, with bloody Garlands crown'd,
Rapine, and Desolation stand around.
With these Injustice, Violence, Rage remain,
And ghastly Famine, with her meagre Train.
This Savage Rout to Gallia now resort,
Drawn by the Fame of proud Versallia 's Court.
There these Attendants on their Master wait,
And with their odious Forms, compose his horrid State.
To this wild Den now did th' Apostate fly,
Resolving all Bellona 's Aid to try.
At his Approach the Monsters cease their Din,
And bow at distance with a dreadful Grin.
The Stygian Prince, the Fury soon unchains,
Strait double Rage boils in her swelling Veins.
Then thus he spoke, to Octa 's Palace fly,
Attended with perfidious Treachery,
And various Discord, let thy Arts perswade
That Prince, the ruin'd Briton s to invade.
Go raise new Tumults, and dissolve the Peace,
For this high Task Bellona I release.
Charg'd with these dire Commands, she flies away,
To the Superiour Regions, blest with Day.
Near Peak 's aspiring Mount, and spacious Wood,
And the green Banks of Dovus Crystal Flood.
A wide-mouth'd Den, th' admiring Traveller sees
With Thorny Shrubs o'er-spread, and shady Trees;
That downward goes unfathomably deep,
Beneath the subterranean Vaults, that keep
Imprison'd Damps, and Winds tumultuous Store,
And the low Caves, where falling Waters roar.
It passes thro' the Bowels of the Earth,
And the rich Beds, where Metals have their Birth,
Till it reveals the gloomy Mouth of Hell,
Bellona freed from her infernal Cell,
Thro' this dire Gulph ascends with hasty Flight,
And soon emerges in the Fields of Light.
The Air grew dark, the Rocks, and Mountains struck
With Horrour, at the Fury 's Presence shook.
The Sphears disorder'd roll, the starting Sun
Springs from the Heav'nly Course he us'd to run.
The Moon all drown'd in Blood, and blazing Stars,
Portended Tumults, and destructive Wars.
Straight to King Octa 's Court the Fury comes,
And Acha Octa 's Mother's Shape assumes.
Then thus she spoke.
From blest Elysian Gardens I descend
To teach thee how to gain a glorious End
Of all thy Labours, and thy warlike Toil,
And fix thy Empire o'er the British Isle.
Heav'n has decreed that here thy Race shall reign,
And therefore has the hateful Briton s slain
With a destructive Plague, and poison'd Darts
Shot from above, into their impious Hearts.
Not half their Troops survive, make hast my Son
Their Ruine to compleat, by Heav'n begun.
Run then to Triumph, hast to certain Spoil,
And chase the cursed Nation from the Isle.
You see how much your League the Gods offend,
Let not their Enemy, be Octa 's Friend.
They must not be to us by Blood ally'd,
Nor Ethelina be a Briton 's Bride.
That said, a spotted Viper from her Head
She to his Bosom secretly convey'd.
The poisonous Vermin, with infernal Art
Glides thro' his Breast, and twines about his Heart.
The secret Poison wanders thro' his Veins,
And warlike Fury o'er his Spirits reigns.
Hence straight-way to the Picts and Scottish Court,
The Fury, and her hellish Train resort.
Where they to bloody Wars sound loud Alarms
And make the barb'rous Nations fly to Arms.
Mean time, the Saxon Monarch raving flew
About the Court, and soon together drew
The chiefest Lords, and thus himself exprest,
It was resolv'd to give the Briton s Rest;
The Land between the Nations to divide,
And that the Princess should be Arthur 's Bride.
But Heav'n against his Treaty does declare,
And singly with the Briton s wages War.
In vain we offer what they can't enjoy,
We spare the Men, Heav'n labours to destroy.
Avenging Gods from their high Regions came,
Arm'd with bright Swords of keen, Etherial Flame,
And fatal Darts of pointed Lightnings made,
And with sure Death the British Camp invade.
Their trembling Reliques fall our certain Prey,
Heav'n sounds th' Alarm, and we must Heav'n obey.
Tho we by Sea their Power could not withstand,
Our Gods more potent are, then theirs by Land.
Th' unfinish'd Conquest we may soon compleat
Or from this Isle oblige them to retreat.
This fair occasion let our Arms improve
To fix our Power, and all our Fears remove.
He ceas'd, and all his Captains War desir'd,
And sprang into the Field with Martial Heat inspir'd.
Straight Orders are dispacht for all to Arm,
And thro' the Cities sounds the loud Alarm.
The tremb'ling Husbandman his Toil forbears,
Fells his tall Ash, and shapes long Staves for Spears.
Some sighing o'er their Anvils forge the Blades
Of Swords, instead of Hooks, and rural Spades.
Huge Gauntlets some, some hollow Helmets beat,
And some o'er brazen Backs, and Breastplates sweat.
Some shape their Darts, and some their Javelins Points,
Or fit their pollish'd Armour's Manly Joints.
Shap'ning their Arrows Heads, some stand inclin'd,
Some on revolving Stones their Axes grind.
Some serve on foot, some take the Horseman's Launce,
And to the Field their foaming Coursers praunce.
In hast, some from their high roof'd Halls hung round,
With all the horrid Pride of War, and crown'd
With dusty Trophies, take their massy Shield,
And flaming Sword, and fly into the Field.
Some clasp their Helmets on, some snatch their Spear,
And polish'd Buckler, and in Arms appear.
Ensigns display'd, and Trumpets voice delight
The Saxon Youth, and martial Minds excite.
The lighted Beacons from the Hills declare,
As blazing Comets do, approaching War,
The flaming Signals giv'n, the Regions round
With Hors'men, Arms, and warlike noise resound.
In some great Town a Fire breaks out by Night,
And fills with crackling Flames, and dismal Light,
With Sparks, and Pitchy Smoak th' astonish'd Sky,
Th' affrighted Guards, that first the Flame espy,
Straight give th' Alarm, and spread the dreadful Cry.
Th' amaz'd Inhabitants the Signal take.
And run in Crowds half cloath'd, and half awake,
To stop the spreading Ruin, and to tame
With spouting Engines the destructive Flame.
So when the frightful Cry of War begun,
Into the Fields in Troops the Saxons run.
Now Muse relate, and in their Order name
The People, that from different Regions came.
What fam'd Commanders did their Squadrons head,
And what great Lords their valiant Subjects led,
First the stout Cantian Saxon, from the Land,
That bravely once did Cæsar 's Arms withstand,
Where Joyful Nature, sits in Plenty crown'd,
Hesperian Woods, and Sylvan Scenes surround,
Her shady Throne, that with rich Fruit abound.
Of these some on the flowry Banks reside,
Of fair Medvaga , that with wanton Pride,
Forms silver Mazes with her crooked Tide.
The Durobrovian Youth of war-like Fame,
And bold Vagniacans , together came,
With those about the fruitful Region bred,
Where Durovernum , reers her stately Head.
They march from Thanotos , and from her Towers,
Her valiant Youth sublime Rutupia pours.
Rutupia , whose rich Gems, and Pearly Store
Inticed Victorious Cæsar , to her Shore.
Their chief Commanders were great Amades ,
Valiant Theodorick, Osred , and with these
Hengist , a splendid Youth, the Blood, and Name
Of the first Saxon , of Illustrous Fame,
That from the Belgick Shore, to Albion came.
From the fat Glebe they come, and flowry Land
Which the stout Trinobantes , did Command.
Augusta sends her warlike Youth, a Town
Of ancient Fame, to Forraign Merchants known,
Ev'n then for Naval Power of great Renown.
But since her stately Head is rais'd so high,
Her glorious Towers surmount the wondring Sky.
Her Royal Fleets the watry World controll,
Where the vast Ocean can his Billows roll,
Far as the Indies , and from Pole to Pole.
Her Power by trembling, Neighbour States is fear'd,
By distant Empires, and new Worlds rever'd.
Her bellowing Oaks, with louded Thunder roar,
Then what annoy'd them, on their Hills before,
Shaking the Gallick , and the Belgian Shore.
Britannia 's Head she reigns in Wealth and Ease,
Mart of the World, and Emp'ress of the Seas.
Edgar and Cissa, both Illustrious Names,
From the delightful Banks of famous Thames,
Into the Field, Augusta 's Squadrons bring,
None fought more bravely for the Saxon King.
They from the Forests come, whose Sports invite
Augusta 's youth, that in the Woods delight.
From the sweet Gardens of the fruitful East,
With smiling Flowers, and od'rous Saffron blest.
From Camelodunum pop'lous once, and proud
Of its fam'd Colony of Roman Blood.
From round Canonium , arm'd with Swords and Shields,
The warlike People March, and from the Fields
Where Idumanum verdant Wealth bestows,
Whose wanton Tide in wreathing Volumes flows,
Still forming Reedy Islands, as it goes.
Brave Sebert led them, valiant Oga 's Son,
Whose Arms had great Renown in Battel won.
The chearful Youth from Verolamium came,
A Town of ancient, and illustrious Fame.
Where fortify'd with Trenches, Lakes and Wood,
The valiant Casibellan , once withstood
The Roman Arms, oblig'd at last to yield,
Where Cæsar fights, who can maintain the Field?
Since cherish'd by th' indulgent Conquerour,
The City was advanc'd in Wealth and Power.
Its Towers, gilt Fanes, and Palaces did rise,
Darting Terrestrial Glories thro' the Skies.
Now where the City stood, the Ploughman toils,
And as he works, turns up old Roman Spoils,
Medals and Coins, enrich th' admiring Clown,
Pavements and Urns, by ancient Figures known.
From the rich Seats they came, from whence their Sword
The Coritanian chas'd, the rightful Lord.
From all the Towns, around the spacious Wood
Near which sublime Tripontium 's Castles stood.
From Bannavenna well-arm'd Squadrons came,
And Durobrevis , on Aufona's Stream.
Their chief Commanders were brave Alopas ,
And valiant Egbert , both of Horsa 's Race.
They came, who dwelt along the Southern Coast,
On which the German Ocean's Waves are tost.
The Soil the brave Icenian Briton s blest
With Peace, and envy'd Plenty, once possest.
Venta they left, where Garienus Tide,
Does to the Bosom of Bardunus glide,
An ancient, wealthy Town that did abound,
With warlike Youth, and rul'd the Soil around.
High Branodunum does her Squadrons send,
Where Roman Arms, did once the Coast defend.
They leave the Towns along fair Theta 's Flood,
And happy Soil, where Gariononum stood.
Those from the Banks of winding Stourus came,
And the rich Town, that bore Faustinus name.
They come from Oza 's Banks, and from the Land
Which lofty Combritonium did Command.
This numerous Saxon Youth, that then obey'd
King Ella 's Laws, adavnce to Octa 's Aid.
Ella their Valiant Prince, was at their Head,
And to the Field, his warlike People led.
From Camboritum , and the Neighb'ring Hills,
The chearful Youth drawn out, the Region fills:
From Camboritum , then a warlike Town,
Since for the Muses Seat, much better known.
Her learned Sons have gain'd Immortal Fame,
And high as Heav'n, have rais'd Britannia 's Name.
Redwal , whose Lands a vast Revenue yield,
Led them, compleatly arm'd into the Field.
They leave the reedy Lakes, and marshy Soil,
Once happy by the British Farmers Toil.
Now the vext Land a Forreign Master knows,
Which o'er the Country, like a Deluge flows,
That from the Sea, the Banks born down, is roll'd,
And o'er their Fields advances uncontroll'd.
The Valiant Youth from all the Region goes,
Which Trent and Lindis , confluent Streams, enclose.
High Margadunum , all her Squadrons lends,
And stately Lindum , which her Power extends
O'er the wide Province, her Battalions sends.
Mighty Ebissa , from the Fenny Land
Into the Field, did lead this warlike Band.
Orla , and Imerick , a Valiant Lord,
Fam'd for his Strength, and vast unweildy Sword,
Drew all their Squadrons, and Battalions forth,
From all their Towns, that lay the farthest North.
King Cerdic from the West his Army brought,
Who for the Saxon Empire bravely fought.
He all the Saxon Heros far excell'd,
Whose conquering Arms, were never yet repell'd.
A great Commander, Brave and Fortunate,
That founded first the Western Saxon State.
Those seated on Halenus verdant Banks
Draw out, and Muster their Victorious Ranks.
They March from Tresantona 's Crystal Flood,
From Venta ' s Downs, and Regnum 's spacious Wood.
From rich Clusentum , and fair Vecta 's Isle,
From Briga and Segontium 's fertile Soil.
On Sorbiodunum 's Plains arm'd Youth appears,
With nodding Plumes, and moving Groves of Spears.
The famous Captain, who had chief Command,
That with his Prince came to invade the Land,
Was Lothar , born on Belgick Mosa 's Flood,
Whose noble Veins were fill'd with Royal Blood:
Him did fair Emme Cerdic 's Sister bear,
And dying, left him to her Brother's Care.
With all this Strength King Octa takes the Field,
Nor doubts, but Arthur to his Arms must yield.
The Briton s now a solemn Fast proclaim
To mourn their Guilt, and take th' attendant Shame.
To own the dreadful Plague, their Crimes desert,
And by their Grief, like Judgments to avert.
That Heav'n appeas'd, from its relenting Hand
May drop its Bolt, and spare the threaten'd Land.
Sorrow untaught on every Face appear'd,
And only Sighs and sad Laments were heard.
They weep aloud, and mourn their impious Fall,
And with united Prayers for Mercy call.
The prostrate Penitents for Pardon Cry,
And from Heav'n's Justice, to its Pity fly.
To Grief, and flowing Tears, no Bounds are giv'n,
Th' Artillery alone, that Conquers Heav'n.
Righteous Resolves fill every humble Mind,
And all in Vows of blest Obedience joyn'd.
The mournful Camp's a Scene of pious Woe
Where thro' their Eyes, their Hearts dissolving flow.
Their loud and fervent Supplications, rise
Above the Clouds, and penetrate the Skies.
Contending thus with Heav'n they weep, and pray,
And strive to turn th' impending Storm away,
That charg'd with Vengeance o'er their Camp appear'd,
More Plagues they had deserv'd, and therefore fear'd.
Prince Arthur , that in Piety was chief,
And now chief mourner, thus exprest his Grief,
Th' attentive Briton s hear, and hope Relief.
Of Wrath Divine, what Vials have been pour'd,
And empty'd on our Heads, that have devour'd
The guilty Briton s, and our Camp consum'd;
Where pil'd in Heaps, the Dead, the Dead entomb'd!
Th' Eternal's Sword around did widely wast,
And carried Death, and Ruin where it past.
It reek'd in Blood, and shone with Slaughter dy'd
Red, as the Crimson Sins, that for its Vengeance cry'd.
This day we deprecate the Curse, and all
With wounded Souls, for Heav'n's Compassion call.
To still the Storms of Wrath that on us beat,
And cause the fiery Torrent to retreat.
The God we Worship Jealous is, and Pure,
His Wrath advances slow, but reaches sure.
His threat'ning Arm does long extended stay,
But then descends with the more fearful Sway.
Who then can his consuming Fire withstand,
Who bear the strokes of his Revenging Hand?
There's hope your Prayers have found Success above,
And Heav'n aton'd, will this fierce Plague remove.
May ne'er our impious Crimes, his Arm provoke
To end our Ruin, by a second stroke.
He ceas'd. His Men their sacred Vows renew,
And for Devotion to their Tents withdrew.
Where while Celestial Warmth their Breasts extend,
The Day in Prayers, and Hymns of Praise they end.
Heav'n the Returning Penitents embrac'd,
And far away th' Infernal Legions chas'd.
Their Guardian Angels once more take their Post.
Drawn out in bright Array, around their Host.
Twice had the Sun with dawning Glories blest
The World, and call'd the Lab'rer from his rest,
As oft the Night her Sable Vesture, set
With pearly Dew, ascends her Throne of Jet.
When certain Tydings Arthur 's Camp alarm'd,
That Octa 's Men against the Briton s arm'd,
Believing that the Briton s thus distrest,
By Saxon Arms, might be with Ease opprest.
With Octa Leagues, and Overtures of Peace,
When War shall offer more advantage, cease.
The Tydings soon thro' all the Army ran,
Whence in their Minds tormenting Fears began.
They thought their weaken'd Troops, could not oppose
The fierce Attack, of their insulting Foes.
The trouble spreads, all, their sad State bewail,
That those the Plague had spar'd, the Sword shold now assail.
The pious Prince with heavy Grief opprest,
To Heav'n thus vents the trouble of his Breast.
Thou that from dark Egyptian Prisons freed,
As Shepherds do their Flocks, did'st Israel lead.
Who from between the Cherubs, did'st display
Thy Heav'nly Glories, to direct their Way.
Whose mighty Arm extended, did secure
Their trembling Host, pursu'd by Pharoah 's Power.
Shine forth, and with thy Beams dispel this Night,
Whose horrid Shades, my lab'ring Soul affright.
Stir up thy Strength, thy Foes, and ours invade,
And bring thy shining Myriads to our Aid.
Thou God of Light, reveal thy glorious Face,
Thy Rays will from the Sky, this Tempest chase.
Thee, all the unnumber'd Hosts of Heav'n obey,
Drawn in embattl'd Lines, and bright Array
Along th' Etherial Plains, and here below
Monarchs to thee, precarious Empires owe.
Prest by our Enemies, to thee we fly,
How long wilt thou neglect thy People's Cry?
Bath'd in our Tears, and pleas'd with Grief, we moan
Our solitary State, for God is gone.
Our Foes around, despise our Mournful State,
And on those Loads that press us, heap more Weight.
Our Enemies enrag'd, no Mounds between,
On us, like rising Waves, come roaring in.
Against the Reliques thy fierce Wrath has spar'd,
The Foe's Inexorable Sword's prepar'd.
On me with Scorn th' insulting Scoffers look,
As one, whom Heav'n displeas'd has now forsook.
The Pagans make my Woes their sprotful Theam.
Reproach thy Vot'ries, and thy Name blaspheme.
Stir up thy Power, thy glitt'ring Arms assume,
Bowing the Heav'ns, to our Deliverance come.
As from th' aspiring Mountains, rais'd around
Jerusalem , while it stood, Protection found.
So let a Guard, from thy bright Host detach'd,
T'encamp about our Army be dispatch'd.
Thou God of Truth arise, let th' Heathen see,
Thy Wrath pursues perfidious Treachery.
While thus Prince Arthur Heav'ns Protection sought,
The God-like Raphael , this kind Message brought.
Thy Prayer prevails, O Prince, be not dismay'd,
Th' Almighty 's Arm is strecht out of your Aid.
Highly your Crimes Heav'n's Majesty displeas'd,
But your Repentance hath his Wrath appeas'd.
His People's Faults do but his Rod employ,
But his fierce Vengeance shall his Foes destroy.
Let not the Saxon 's Numbers be their Pride,
You're stronger far, for God is on your Side
Abundantly your Loss is thus Supply'd.
Arise, and let the Briton s Courage take,
Their Arms shall drive th' advancing Saxon back.
The Prince with Raphael 's heav'nly Message cheer'd,
Octa 's unequal force, no longer fear'd.
His chearful Looks the drooping Briton s saw,
And thence reviving Warmth, and Courage draw.
His God-like Language calms their troubled Minds,
And with its Charms reluctant Passions binds.
He to their frozen Veins new Life procures,
Dispels their Doubts, and fainting Hopes assures.
The Briton s that before did scarecely dare
T'expect it, now resolve to meet the War.
They now no more the Fears of Danger own,
While Heav'n assists, and Arthur leads them on.
Mean time illboding Prodigies affright
King Octa , and disswade his Men from Fight,
The Birds of Heav'n the gazing Augurs scare,
Crossing with inauspicious Flights the Air!
The Fowl as sacred kept, projected Meat,
Coldly regard, and sullenly retreat.
From hollow Oaks, obscene Night Ravens sung,
And clustring Bees upon their Ensigns hung.
Bullocks with Garlands crown'd reluctant come,
Break from the Altar, and run lowing home.
Near silver Thamisis sweet Banks, there stood
Awful for solemn Shade, a lofty Wood.
Where they ador'd their God Irmansul nam'd,
A war-like Idol, thro' Germania fam'd.
His Right Hand did a flowry Garland bear,
His Left held up a Balance in the Air.
His Breast a grisly Bear's fierce Figure bore,
And in his Shield a Lyon seem'd to roar.
Fresh gather'd Flowers dispers'd in Heaps around,
Gay Superstition, paint their sacred Ground.
Hither the Saxons , and their Priests repair,
T'atone their God, with Victims and with Prayer.
His Aid against the Briton s to invoke,
While the tall Oaks with Clouds of Incense smoak.
The Priests the Wood to burn the Victim lay,
And a crown'd Bullock at the Altar slay.
Their reeking Hands, ransack in vain the Breast,
To find the Heart of the prodigious Beast.
The Priests grow pale, and from their Altar start,
Finding a Victim slain without a Heart.
But that which most the gazing Saxons scare,
Are Armies seen engaging in the Air.
The highest ground of all th' heavenly Way,
The Sun had gain'd, darting a downright Ray.
When two black Clouds appear'd, one from the East
Threat'ning arose, the other from the West.
They stretcht their lowring Fronts across the Sky,
And frowning, seem'd each other to defy.
Between a Glade of free and open Air,
Did, as betwixt two spacious Woods, appear.
Then issuing from the Womb of either Cloud,
Two Armies met, and drawn in Battel stood.
The sick'ning Sun shone with a gloomy Ray,
Scar'd with the bloody Business of the Day.
Between them straight began a furious Fight,
And glitt'ring Arms supply'd the want of Light.
Eager of Glory from Heroick Deeds,
The Airy Knights spur on their foaming Steeds.
They rush to Battel with a full Career,
And tilting break their Lances in the Air.
Swords clashing Swords, and Shields rencountring Shields,
Fill with the Din of War th' Etherial Fields.
Vaulting the Air, thick Showers of Arrows fly,
And warlike Labour troubles all the Sky.
A Bloody Field was fought, and Heaps of Slain
Seem'd to o'erspread the wide Etherial Plain.
Chariots o'erturn'd, and scatter'd Harness by,
Steeds, and dismounted Riders, mingled ly.
From gaping Wounds, a Crimson Sea of Blood,
Along the Heav'nly Pavement reeking flow'd.
At last the Squadrons, in the Eastern Sky
Fell in Disorder, and began to fly.
The Conquerours hung upon their Backs, and chas'd
Their Troops, with mighty Rout thro' all the Wast
Into the Clouds and Heav'nly Wilds they fled,
And left upon the Bloody Field their Dead.
Next off the Theater the Victors go,
And into shapeless Air dissolving flow.
The lab'ring Scene, and Actors disappear'd,
And of the War the Airy Stage was clear'd.
Octa that view'd th' important Prodigy,
Trembled to see the Eastern Army fly.
He wisely hid his Fears within his Breast,
And to his Captains thus himself exprest.
Let not vain Prodigies the Saxons scare,
Form'd by the wanton Demons of the Air.
Wrapt in dark Clouds, the Will of Heav'n's conceal'd,
To Mortals only by th' Event reveal'd.
Think not fantastick Portents can declare
The Fate of Kingdoms, and Results of War.
These only weak, and vulgar Minds affright,
Like Phantoms, borrowing Horrour from the Night.
Which, as capricious Nature's Play, the wise
From timerous Superstition free, despise.
The valiant on their Arms make Fortune wait,
And carve out to themselves propitious Fate.
Neglect these Dreams, the Gods are ever kind
To the best Troops, and to th' undaunted Mind.
Great Cæsar thus contemn'd his Augurs Tales,
Fights, and o'er Foes, and Portents too, prevails.
Thus Octa strove their Passion to appease,
And give them what himself enjoy'd not, Ease.
At a small Village now unknown by Name,
There dwelt a Sorcerer of wondrous Fame.
The Pagan Briton Merlin , that of late
For his dire Art, driv'n from the British State;
Did with the Pagan Saxons safely dwell,
And kept his Correspondence up with Hell.
With potent Juices, and infernal Charms,
The black Magician, Plagues, and Mortal Harms,
And various Kinds of Mischiefs did inflict
On those, whom Heav'n was pleas'd he should afflict.
He in the silent Night while Mortals sleep,
By Hedg-rows, Lakes, or o'er the Hills would creep.
To gather baleful Herbs, with which he drew
Familiar Fiends, that round, like Ravens, flew.
Mounting his Magick Wand, he thro' the Air
To rich Nocturnal Feasts would oft repair,
Spread on green Hills, or near some shady Wood,
Or Grassy Banks of some sweet River's Flood;
Where when th' infernal Company are met,
Rich Meats, and Wines on stately Tables set
They seem to taste, and by the Moon's pale Light,
Spend in Fantastick Luxury, the Night.
But from th' imaginary Banquet come,
At the grey Dawning, lank and meagre, home.
King Octa 's Servants at their Lord's Command,
With their unrighteous Wages in their Hand,
To Merlin come, and soon prevaild to bring
The fam'd Magician, to their anxious King.
Whom Octa thus bespoke,
The Miracles, your sacred Art has shown,
Make you thro' all the wondring Island known.
Let your prodigious Power my Army Guard,
Honour and Riches shall be your Reward.
The Foe we'll now engage, but let him first
Be here by you, and your Enchantments curst.
Curse then this impious Enemy your Breath
Will blast their Strength, and fatal prove as Death.
Your Curse and that of Fate, is deem'd the same.
And whom you bless the World does blest proclaim.
Assault their Camp with all your magick Powers,
You'll curse your mortal Foes, as well, as ours.
Revenge your Wrongs, and by your potent Charms,
Draw off the Guardian Gods, that help their Arms.
Come with me then, I will a Mountain shew,
From whose high Top you may their Army view.
There we'll atone the Gods with Prayer and thence
You shall your Curses on the Foe dispense.
Then Octa to a Mount the Sorc'rer led,
Whence thro' the Vale he saw the Briton s spred.
Seven Altars they erect, and in the Flames,
Seven Bullocks sacrifice, and seven Rams.
Here Octa and his Lords, their Gods ador'd,
And kneeling round the Flames, their Aid implor'd.
At last, the Night advancing to her Noon,
Merlin conducted by the silver Moon,
From Octa , to a neighb'ring Hill withdraws,
T'observe infernal Rites, and magick Laws.
He seeks out noxious Plants, whose powerful Juice,
Magicians for their strong Enchantments use.
Green Henbane, Wormwood, Hemlock, Savine Tops,
In whose prest Juice he dipt his magick Sops;
With Plants that to the Moon their Vertue owe,
And Toadstools, that from Storms of Thunder grow.
Which mixt with humane Fat, red Hair, and Blood,
He offers up cast on the Burning Wood.
Then with his potent Wand, he walks around,
And with dire Circles, marks th' enchanted ground.
Then did he with a mutt'ring Voice rehearse
Wondrous, mysterious Words, and potent Verse.
Th' infernal Charms all Nature did affright,
The waning Moon straight sickned at the Sight.
The Hill with Horror trembled, and around
With howling Wolves the neighb'ring Woods resound.
Then Storms of Rain ensue, swift Lightnings fly,
And dreadful Thunderclaps torment the Sky.
Spectres, and Ghosts break from their hollow Tomb,
And glaring round the Necromancer come.
All Hell was mov'd, the Powers drawn from their Seats
Arise, while Merlin his dire words repeats.
Whom with his Charms he labours to engage
Against the Briton s, and excites their Rage.
His powerful Arts incline them to employ
United force, their Army to destroy.
But Hell and all its Friends, vain Rage express,
And Curse in vain, when Heav'en designs to Bless.
Merlin his impious Ceremonies done,
Returns to Octa with the rising Sun.
Before the Saxon Lords he stood, prepar'd
To Curse their Foes, and merit his Reward.
When the Magician's Breast an unknown Fire
Laps'd from above did suddenly inspire.
A warmth Divine his Spirits did invade,
And once a Sorcerer, a Prophet made.
The Heav'nly Fury Merlin did constrain
To Bless, whom he to Curse design'd in vain.
How Beautiful the Briton 's Tents appear?
What goodly Heads his Tabernacles Rear?
As the rich Vales they spread their verdant Pride,
Or flowry Gardens by the River's side.
As shady Aloes in th' Arabian Woods,
Or lofty Cedars planted by the Floods.
Indulgent Heav'n upon the Briton pours
Prolifick Dews, and sweet refreshing Showers.
His Seed shall flourish midst surrounding Streams,
Blest with mild Air, and pure reviving Beams.
His Prince's Glory, shall his People's Love,
And Neighbour Monarchs Fear, and Envy, move.
He, like a fearless Unicorn shall stand,
Sure of his strength, and all the Fields command.
Those hostile Nations who oppose his Power,
He with resistless Fury shall devour.
He'll break their crashing Bones, his Bow he'll bend,
And thro' their Flesh, his piercing Arrows send.
He couches like a Lyon on the Sand,
Like a vast Lyon in a Desart Land.
Stretching his fearful Limbs at Ease he lies,
What Creature dares provoke him to arise?
Bless him, and be of happy Men the first,
Curse him, and thou thy self shalt be accurst.
He ceas'd. King Octa tho incens'd, supprest
His Trouble and Displeasure in his Breast,
And to the Sorcerer, thus himself addrest.
By solemn Execrations, to devote
The Briton s to Destruction, you were sought.
But, you this impious Nation chuse to Bless,
And all your Words presage their Arms success.
Withdraw a second time, perhaps you'll find
The Gods, by your Enchantments more inclin'd.
Perhaps some Errour might at first displease,
A second Essay will the Powers appease.
The Sorcerer a second time retreats,
And all his potent Charms with Care repeats.
He added ev'ry poisonous Juice, and Spell
He knew had force to shake the Realms of Hell.
Merlin his impious Rites perform'd, returns,
And acted by Satanick Fury burns.
All Hell within shook the Magician's Breast,
But by a Power Divine straight dispossest;
Th'affrighted Demons fled, and in their stead
A pure Celestial Spirit did succeed.
Transports Divine, his lab'ring Soul engage,
And thus he spake, mov'd with Prophetick Rage.
In vain with Divination, we assail
The Christian Arms, where all Enchantments fail.
Our Curses by the powerful Breath of Heav'n,
Back on our Heads, with fatal Force are driv'n.
Those God has blest, no Guards nor Bulwarks need,
Nor can their Arms, whom he has curst, succeed,
Unchangeably he's on his Purpose bent,
Nor do's he, like unstable Man, repent.
The Christian Army will prevail, that said,
Observing Octa 's Fury rise, he fled.
The King incens'd, cry'd, curst Magician fly,
Spite of thy Charms, and thee, shall Victory,
And Triumph, on the Saxon Arms attend,
Against such Troops what Signs can ill portend?
Thy impious Tongue Propitious Heav'n belies;
And for the Briton s forges Prophecies.
Thy self of British Blood, the British Cause
Stronger than Wrongs, or ev'n Religion draws.
So oft poor Slaves, who to a neighb'ring State
Fly for Protection from a Tyrants Hate,
If he does War against those Neighbours wage,
And with his Arms, upon their Frontiers rage.
Joy at th' Oppressor's Conquests and Success,
Against their own Protector's, they express.
Octa at this Defeat with Fury burn'd,
And to his Army with his Lords return'd.
Amidst his Troops he rode, and thus he spoke,
His Voice high rais'd their Courage to provoke.
Saxons , you now to certain Conquest go,
To glean the Reliques of a ruin'd Foe.
The Gods do loudly for your cause declare,
And call you, but to finish their own War.
Think on the Deeds by your great Nation done
The Towns they took, their glorious Battles won,
And the Rich Countries by their Arms o'er run,
From this fair Island shall the Briton s chase,
From these sweet Fields, great Odin 's warlike Race?
From these sweet Fields, for which our Leaders fought,
Which with the noblest Saxon Blood were bought.
Shall we with ignominious Flight retreat,
O'er the rough Main, to seek some milder Seat?
Or shall we back to our cold Region go,
To hide in Caves, and dwell Hills of Snow?
Can my victorious Friends the Briton s dread,
Who from your conquering Arms so oft have fled,
A vanquish'd Nation, by an Exile led?
Appear like Saxons , add this Conquest more,
To all th' immortal Laurels won before.
Thus you'll the Grounds of lasting Empire lay,
And still the Briton shall your Laws obey.
Vain with Success at Sea, they draw their Swords,
And for Dominion strive with us, their Lords.
Let now your Arms chastise their wanton Pride,
And then in unmolested Peace abide.
He said, and brandish'd his threatning Launce,
And springing forward, bids his Men advance.
Now from the Hills th' embattel'd Saxon Swarms,
And covers all the Plain with hostile Arms.
As when the great Commanders, Orders give
To quit the straight Dominions of their Hive,
The Bees pour out a numerous Colony;
From their sweet Cells, the busie Youth on high
Wheel in the Air, and darken all the Sky.
While brazen Pans charm and compose their Heat,
In some tall neighb'ring Tree they fix their Seat.
Thither th' unnumber'd Vulgar straight resort,
And clustring Crowds, surround their Monarch's Court.
So thick the Saxons on the Field appear,
Following their Leader with an endless Rear.
The gloomy Throngs look terrible from far,
Disclosing slow, the horrid Face, of War.
The thick Battalions move in dreadful Form,
As lowring Clouds advance before a Storm.
So when the Sea grown black, the hazy Sky,
And rising Winds, foretel a Tempest nigh.
Th' experienc'd Mariners with hasty care
Furl their spread Sails, and for a Storm prepare.
Straight in the black Horizon , to the Skies
The dusky Billows threat'ning Heads arise.
Th' unnumber'd Troops upon each others throng,
And with a gloomy Aspect march along.
Advancing, they their boundless Front extend
O'er all the Main, and fearful Wreck portend.
The Saxon Host thus in its March appears,
And where it came, thick Groves of bristling Spears,
Broad Iron Backs, and Breast-plates, brazen Shields,
Mail-Coats, and burnish'd Helms o'erspread the Fields.
Chariots of War in Clouds of Dust advance,
And tossing up their Foam, the thundring Coursers Prance.
Their Army's Wings stretcht out, they to the Foes
A long extended Ridge of War oppose.
The British Squadrons tho outnumber'd far,
Run boldly on the horrid Edge of War.
To make their Front, the thin Battalions ran,
But stretcht not equal to the Saxon Van .
Both Armies thus, rang'd in Battalia stood,
And Death prepar'd her thirsty Jaws for Blood.
From the Celestial Host, a glorious Band
Of Seraphs was detach'd by high Command.
Hither the shining Warriours did repair,
And drawn in long Array, stood in the Air.
Their Blades divinely temper'd flam'd on high,
And blazing Shields inlighten all the Sky;
Impenetrable Shields, drawn from the Towers
Of Heav'n's high Ars'nal, fill'd with warlike Stores.
Th' Angelick Cuirassiers, in Armour shone
Of Adamant , from Rocks Empyreal hewn.
High milk white Plumes, like Snowy Clouds arise,
From their bright Crests, and Nod against the Skies.
Rich Helmets, of Immortal beaten Gold
Adorn their Heads, Brass of Etherial mould
Refin'd above, their joynted Gauntlets made;
Brass, that the Teeth of Time can ne'er invade.
Broad silver Belts richly embroider'd o'er,
Rare Seraphs work, their shining Shoulders bore
And round them Sky-dy'd Purple Scarfs they wore.
Michael a Prince in Heav'n of first renown,
Who, like a Sun, high in his Chariot shone;
This bright Detachment did in Chief Command,
Charg'd to maintain strict Guard, and to withstand
Th' Attempts, that might by Hellish Fiends be made,
Sent by their Prince the Christian to invade.
While Lucifer on the white Mountain's Head,
His black, Infernal Crew about him spread;
With Malice, Rage, and Pride extended sate
High on his dusky Throne, resolv'd to wait,
And see, if this important Day's Event,
Would answer with success, his curst intent.
In glitt'ring Arms the dazling Prince appears,
Before his Troops, the Saxon sees, and fears.
His Helm of polish'd Steel brac'd round his Head,
Did o'er the Field, a glorious Terrour spread.
Bright Stones, and high rais'd Needle Work adorn
The shining Belt across his Shoulders worn.
His fatal Sword, the Bane of Gothick Pride,
With fearful Grace hung by his warlike Side.
Odar the Neustrian of this famous Blade
Inur'd to Victory, a Present made
To Arthur , when from Albion first he came,
To Odar 's Camp, to win Heroick Fame.
Lodar did with this Gift King Odar grace,
A valiant Hero of the Neustrian Race.
His radiant Shield, of Brass its outmost Fold,
Th' inmost temper'd Steel, the midst of Gold,
Was the rare Work of Lycon's skilful Toil,
From which unpeirc'd, the sharpest Darts recoil.
Bright, like a Sun, it did fierce Glory dart,
Where might be seen pourtray'd with wondrous Art,
Strong Towns besieg'd, and famous Battels won,
And great Exploits by ancient Heros done;
Who to defend their Country, bravely fought,
By Men inspir'd, in sacred Volumes wrote.
Here th' Israelites , kind Heav'n's peculiar Care,
Their famous Gen'ral Joshua leads to War.
The Rocky Desart past with wondrous Toil,
With Marches worn, and heavy with the Spoil
From vanquish'd Baashan and King Sihon won,
Where their illustrious Triumphs first begun,
Advance their Ensigns, Canaan to invade,
Ripe by their full grown Sins for Conquest made.
To Jordan 's Streams they come, straight to his Head
His Waves roll'd back, obsequious Jordan fled.
The naked Channel shews his sandy Face,
And gives the Fav'rite Nation leave to pass.
Th' astonish'd Canaanites , like Jordan , fly,
And weep to see their Guardian River dry.
Here valiant Gideon , with his Troop by Night,
March'd out t'attack the haughty Midianite .
The Foe, like Locusts, numberless was pour'd
Around the Vale, and all its Fruits devour'd.
But dreading Gideon 's Arms, the Spoilers fly,
And by his Sword, and by their own, they die.
King Zeba , and Zalmunna , with a throng
Of Captive Princes, draw their Chains along.
Here in the plain, stretcht like some spacious Wood,
In long Array, the throng'd Philistines stood.
Goliah issuing from their opening Files,
Of Bulk stupendous, hideous with the Spoils
Of yellow Lyons slain, and shaggy Bears,
Towring before their shouting Host, appears.
With haughty Air, the wondrous Figure strode,
His Sword his Trust, and his right Hand his God.
Beneath his Weight the Vally seem'd to shake,
But his pale Foes did more than seem to quake
Gnashing his Teeth the grinning Monster stood,
Himself an Army, and his Spear a Wood.
Sufficient Stores whole Mines could scarcely yield,
For his wide Cuirass, and prodigious Shield.
Where Figures pourtray'd of fierce Monsters shone,
But none so fierce, and monstrous as his own.
High in the Clouds his brazen Helm did show
Like some vast Temple's gilded Cupilo .
His mighty Legs, that brazen Boots embrac'd,
Tall Pillars seem'd, with Corinth Mettal cas'd.
Thus arm'd he stood, and by his Mein did seem
To curse aloud, to threaten and blaspheme.
His beck'ning Hand held proudly up, invites
To combate, all the trembling Hebrew Knights.
Tho vast of Bulk he bigger swells with Pride,
He curst their Army, and their Gods defy'd.
Here, God-like David , in the flowry Bloom
Of Youth, and Beauty, brings the Monster's Doom.
To kindle Love, or Pity fitter far,
Then the rough Passions, that attend on War.
And likelier by his Youth's engaging Charms,
To wound the Anakite , then with his Arms.
Yet bravely he embrac'd th' unequal War,
And scorn'd his Rage that curst him from afar.
The fatal Stone by the young Hero slung,
Cut thro' the Air, and sure of Triumph sung.
It pierc'd the Cyclops Head, his Carcass fell
Swift to the Ground, his Soul, as swift to Hell.
Faln on his Face, he bites the trembling Ground.
And Brains, and Gore break thro' the gaping Wound.
Wallowing he lay a vast extended Load,
Like a great Island, in a Sea of Blood.
His ghastly Eye-balls strive with parting Light,
And swim, and roll into eternal Night.
Here Saul receiv'd the charming conquering Boy,
The Captains blush'd for Shame, and wept for Joy.
His Brothers griev'd to see the glorious Day,
Prompted with Pride, and Envy shrunk away.
Here Judah 's Daughter flowry Garlands bring,
They crown young David , and presage him King.
In Songs and Dances they his Deeds proclaim,
And Saul 's is lessen'd, to advance his Fame.
Here mighty Sampson , hot with Martial Rage,
A numerous Army does alone engage.
His Sword high wav'd, reeking in Sweat and Blood,
O'er slaughter'd Heaps, th' invading Conqueror strode.
His fatal Arms, his Foes no longer bear,
But their whole Host flies from his single Spear.
Confus'dly o'er the Field lay spread about,
Wide Ruin, Spoils, and ignominious Rout.
Here valiant David 's Troops victorious come,
From their Assyrian Expedition home.
Vast were the Spoils, which from the glorious Day
Won on Damascus 's Plains, they bore away.
King Hadadezer 's Arms in Triumph born,
And Purple Robes by their soft Princes worn,
And sparkling Gems, that did their Ears adorn.
Rich Collars, Chains, and blazing Shields of Gold,
Vast Silver Bowls, that richer Metal hold.
High gilded Dishes, graven or emboss'd,
Treasure immense, that Syria had engross'd.
Purple Pavilions once in lofty Rows,
And Crimson Beds, where Monarchs did repose.
Unnumber'd Camels, laden and opprest,
With all th' Luxury of the wanton East,
Beneath the Booty groan'd along the Road,
Themselves a Prey, as was their precious Load.
Here ran gilt Chariots drawn by generous Steeds,
Such as the noble Soil of Asia breeds.
Here Royal Captives, and chain'd Lords appear,
And vulgar Slaves, prest with an endless Reer.
Here the great Constantine of British Race,
O'er Tyber 's Bridge, does fierce Maxentius chase.
With Roman blood the swelling Rivers dy'd,
And Helms, and Shields swim down the Crimson Tyde.
Spears, broken Armour, Men, and Coursers slain,
The Streams encumber, and the Flood detain.
Great Constantine in glitt'ring Armour shines,
And pressing on, breaks thro' the Roman Lines.
Maxentius Hopes are blasted in the Bloom,
He flies, and opens wide the Gates of Rome ,
To the Victorious Christian, and his God,
Where for a while, he made his blest abode.
Thus in resplendent Arms Prince Arthur shines,
Darting bright Terrour thro' the Saxon Lines.
All at his fearful Presence were amaz'd,
And on the glorious Foe with Wonder gaz'd.
Confusion seiz'd them, and a chilling Damp
Went to their Hearts, thro' all the trembling Camp.
And now the vaulted Sky rings with the Noise
Of Souldiers Shoutings, and shrill Trumpets Voice.
The British Prince waving his flaming Blade,
The Saxons 's strong Battalions did invade.
First Baldred fell a bold and daring Knight,
That rushing forward did his Fate invite.
The Javelin thro' his Shield of treble Hide,
And Coat of Mail, pierc'd deep into his Side.
Eska the second Triumph did afford,
His Head stroock off by Arthur 's conquering Sword.
Next groveling on the Ground great Ina lies,
And the brave Orla of stupendous Size.
Whose Clubs like that Alcides us'd to weild,
Laid whole Brigades, on Heaps upon the Field.
Neither their Arms, nor Stature, nor Descent,
From mighty Osca could their Fate prevent.
As Pharo boasted loud, and threatn'd Death,
The Javelin pierc'd his Throat, and stop'd his Breath.
Kinullar next the conquering Prince withstood,
A valiant Captain, and of noble Blood.
Resisted by his Shield the Saxon 's Spear
Flew off, and pass'd obliquely thro' the Air.
Here on the Prince Cissa exclaiming loud,
Rush'd in, and press'd him with a numerous Crowd.
Thick showers of Javelins with a mighty Sound,
Like Storms of Hail, from his bright Shield rebound.
The Prince enrag'd caught up his Spear in hast,
Which he at Cissa with such Fury cast
It pierc'd his famous Buckler's seventh Fold,
And his rich Coat dawb'd thick with pond'rous Gold.
Then deep between the Paps the Weapon went,
And its last Force in his warm Bosom spent.
Flat on his Face the Bleeding Saxon lies,
And rat'ling in his Throat stretcht out, and dies.
Mollo rush'd in and with his hand did wrest
The bloody Weapon from his Brother's Breast,
And boldly to attack the Prince advanc'd,
But from his shield th' unprosperous Weapon glanc'd.
The Prince's Spear thro' Mollo 's Sheild of Brass
Thro' His Habergion, and his Breast did pass,
Mollo of Sense bereav'd fell to the Ground,
And spew'd black Blood, both from his Mouth and Wound,
Striving th' invading Hero to repel,
Alcinor , Peda , and Darontes fell,
Three Men of wondrous Strength and warlike Fame,
Who from the farthest Snows of Scythia came;
Descended all from Otha 's noble Line,
Whose glorious Deeds in Saxon Records shine.
He was victorious Odin 's constant Friend,
And all his Toils, and Conquests did attend,
Then Cerdic with his Troops the Prince withstands,
Sustain'd by Sebert , and th' East Saxon Bands.
Now these, now those, the British Prince attack,
And press on every side, to force him back.
As when two adverse Hurricanes arise,
Must'ring their stormy Forces in the Skies.
Of equal Fury, and of equal Force,
Against each other bend their rapid Course.
The Clouds their Lines extend in black Array,
And Front to Front a fearful War display.
Exploded Flames against each other fly,
And fiery Arches Vault th' inlighten'd Sky.
Conflicting Billows, against Billows dash,
Thunder 'gainst Thunder roars, Lightnings 'gainst Lightnings flash.
Nor Flames, nor Winds, nor Waves, nor Clouds will yield,
But equal strength maintains a doubtful Field.
Briton s and Saxons thus in Battel stove,
And neither from their Ground the Foe remove.
Then Valiant Cadwal threat'ning from afar
High in his Chariot, plung'd into the War.
His strong, extended Arm his Javelin flung;
Cutting the Air, the hissing Weapon sung.
Falling on Kingills Shield it pierc'd the Hide
Of treble Fold, and enter'd deep his Side.
Fainting and stagg'ring Kingill backwards reel'd
Then fell with sounding Arms upon the Field.
Gasping he lay, and from his ghastly Wound,
His Crimson Life ebb'd out upon the Ground.
And next his fatal Shaft at Bertac flew
With mighty Force, and pierc'd his Breastplate thro'.
The secret Springs of Life the pointed Dart.
Broke open, and transfixt his generous Heart.
His Wound from gaping Channels inward bled,
And on his Shoulder hung his lolling Head.
He fell, and shivering gasp'd his latest Breath,
And fainting sunk into the Arms of Death:
A noble Youth worthy of milder Fate,
But Death's blind Stroaks distinguish not the great.
At last the Saxon Troops in Throngs surround,
The valiant King, Thus far with Conquest crown'd.
Thick Showers of Darts from every Side invade,
And in his Shield a bristling Harvest staid.
Th' undaunted Hero long thier Force sustain'd,
And held at Bay; th' unequal War maintain'd:
Like a chas'd Boar that in a sheltring Wood,
The clam'rous Dogs surround King Cadwall stood.
A noble Rage did in his Breast arise,
And Streaks of Fire break from his burning Eyes.
So when by Night th' Islandian Ocean roars,
And rolls its angry Waters to the Shores.
Flashes of Light, and fiery Lustre glance
From raging Waves, that in bright Troops advance.
With his refulgent Sword the Warriour flew,
Upon the Crowd, and cut his Passage thro'.
Soga and Kenrick from the Hilly Land
Where Sorbiodunum 's lofty Castles stand;
Two constant Friends, whom Fate could not divide,
Together by the Briton s Weapon dy'd.
Then Redburg Alfry and Theodrick fell,
Striving in vain the Victor to repell.
Great Numbers more he slew, whose vulgar Name
To those, in after Ages never came.
As a high Rock, which the vast Ocean laves,
Expos'd to stormy Winds, and raging Waves,
On its fixt Base unshaken does defy
Th' united Fury of the Seas, and Sky.
So 'midst surrounding Foes, brave Cadwall stood,
About him flow'd a Sea of Hostile Blood.
He slew Rovennar , with his mighty Sword,
And Saradan a great west Saxon Lord.
Valiant Elmunor , to his Country dear,
And Osith dy'd, by his projected Spear.
Octa enrag'd to see the numerous Spoils
Round Cadwall spread, sprung thro' the thronging Files.
Rushing with Fury on, and threatning high
He thus aloud, did to the Briton cry.
Cadwall on me let all your Force be spent,
Hither be all your pointed Javelins sent.
Here see a Foe that will your Pride abate,
Or in the glorious Combate meet his Fate:
At this his massy Spear with Vigour sent,
Thro' valiant Cadwalls shining Buckler went.
Thro' all the Plates of Brass, and all the Plies
Of thick Bull's Hyde, th' impetuous Weapon flies.
Which bruis'd his Thigh, and springing from his Veins
A crimson Stream his polish'd Armour Stains.
Cadwall incens'd his Spear at Octa flung,
Which in his temper'd Shield arrested hung.
A second hissing Weapon Octa cast,
Which th' interposing Buckler never past.
But glancing on the Steel, away it flew
And with an oblique Stroke, Idwallo slew.
Then Cadwall chas'd, exerting all his Force,
His second sends, with unresisted Course.
Thro' Octa 's brazen Shield it Passage found,
Inflicting on his Side, a painful Wound.
Their missive Weapons spent with equal Chance,
To closer Fight the Combatants advance.
Equal in Strength, alike in Combate brave,
Their Swords on high, like circling Flames they wave.
Both traversing the Ground for Fight prepare,
And with Heroic Ardor meet the War.
And Octa first dischar'd a noble Stroke
On Cadwalls Crest, which thro' his Helmet broke:
Cadwall amaz'd, recoyl'd, and backwards reel'd,
And scarce his Spear his tott'ring Limbs upheld.
A loud Applause rang thro' the shouting Host;
The Briton s rag'd, and thought thier Hero lost;
But he recov'ring from th' amazing Blow,
Collects his Strength to meet the insulting Foe.
His brandish'd Blade fell with prodigious Sway,
And thro' the yielding Cuirasse, forc'd its Way.
The gaping Wound pour'd out a Vital Tyde,
And Crimson Streams his burnish'd Armour dy'd.
Octa his wounded Body wreaths in Pain,
And viewing on his Limbs the Bloody Stain,
With angry Eyes calls back his Life again.
And then assaults the Foe with doubled Rage,
Who meets his Arms, as eager to engage.
Fresh Strokes, fresh Wounds, they give on either side,
While Vict'ry does for neither Sword decide.
Weak with their Wounds, and with bruis'd Armour pain'd,
An equal, noble Combate they maintain'd.
Feeble and Breathless still they kept the Field,
Unable more their blunted Arms to wield.
And now the Throng rush'd in, the Combat done
By neither Hero lost, by neither won.
And rending with their Shouts the tortur'd Air,
Back to their Files, the Combatants they bear.
So when two valiant Cocks in Albion bred,
That from th' insulting Conquerour never fled
A Match in Strength, in Courage, and in Age,
And with keen Weapons arm'd alike Engage;
Each other they assault with furious Beaks,
And their trim'd Plumes distain with bloody Streaks.
Each nimble Warriour from the Pavement bounds,
And wing'd with Death, their Heels deal ghastly Wounds.
By turns they take, by turns fierce Strokes they give,
And with like Hopes and Fears, for Conquest strive.
Both obstinate maintain the Bloody Field,
Both can in Combat dye, but neither yield,
Till with their bleeding Wounds grown weak and faint,
And choak'd with flowing Gore they gasp, and pant.
Disabled on the Crimson Floor they ly,
Both Honour win, but neither Victory.
Then Morogan , his Javelin in his Hand,
Charg'd the fierce Troops where Ella did Command.
Wigmunda , first his deadly Weapon felt,
Who on the flowry Banks of Oza dwelt,
Faln on the ground, the Saxon groan'd aloud,
And dying, lay deform'd with Dust and Blood.
Next Ethelbright he slew, the Javelin past,
Thro' the brave Leader's Hand, where sticking fast
He from the Battel fled, and thro' the throng
Complaining loud, trail'd the huge Spear along.
To fight the Briton , Thedred did advance
And in his Buckler broke his pondrous Lance.
High in the Air the scatter'd pieces flew,
When Morogan , his ample Fauchion drew;
He mist the mighty stroke aim'd at his Crest,
But cleft his Shoulder down into his Chest:
Thro' the prodigious Wound, a Sea of Blood
Spouts from his Veins, and down his Armour flow'd,
Weltring in Gore, upon the Ground he stretcht,
And his last Breath in thick Convulsions fetcht.
Next he his Spear at great Merthellan throws,
Thro' Breast, and Back, the deadly Weapon goes.
Then warlike Ella , with excessive Rage
All fir'd, advanc'd the Briton to engage.
As two chaf'd Lyons on a Lybian Plain,
Contending which shall o'er the Desart reign,
With raging Eyes, and fierce erected Hair,
Scowr o'er the Sands, to meet the horrid War;
So furious Ella , and great Morogan ,
Eager of Conquest, to the Combat ran.
The Saxon first his massy Javelin flung,
With the vast Stroke, the Briton 's Target rung,
The Temper'd Steel the Weapon did repel,
Which flew aside, and at a Distance fell.
The Briton next, did his bright Javelin throw,
Ella his Head inclin'd, eludes the Blow.
Ella with all his Might his second cast,
Which mist, but stroke the Plume off, as it past
The Briton stop'd, and lifted from the Field
A pond'rous Stone, which both his Hands did weild,
So vast, that two in our degenerate Days,
Tho Men of Strength, the like can scarcely raise;
With all his Strength he throws the craggy Stone,
Which thro' King Ella 's Leg-piece, crush'd the Bone.
The wounded Warriour fell upon the Plain,
Adda advanc'd, the Conquerour to Sustain;
While Gomel with his Men did Ella bear
From the hot Place of Action, to the Rear,
Where Charioteer, and Steeds, and Chariot stay,
Waiting his coming from the Bloody Day.
Mean time great Morogan , had Adda slain,
The Spear had thro' his Forehead pierc'd his Brain.
Biting the Ground, th' expiring Saxon lies,
And Death's unwelcome shade o'erspreads his Eyes.
And with like Courage, and with like Success,
The brave Prince Conan did the Saxons press,
Which Osred led, great Numbers he destroy'd,
Whose putrid Blood, the slipp'ry Field annoy'd.
Sefred , Carantes , Molinoc he slew,
And Ethelfrid , in Arms surpass'd by few.
Oswy , and Bassa , all of warlike Fame,
And many more, of unrecorded Name.
Thus Valiant Conan , triumph'd in the Field,
And all he met, did to his Courage yield.
Until a sculking, unknown hand, at last
Did unperceiv'd, a pointed Javelin cast:
Deep in his Arm, th' inglorious Weapon goes,
His Wound the Blood upon his Armour shows,
He drew the Steel out, from his bleeding Veins,
And from the Field, retir'd in tort'ring Pains.
Mean time, out-number'd in another part,
Macoe 's Danmonian Troops began to start.
Macor to stop their ignominious Flight,
And give them Spirit to renew the Fight;
Now sharp Reproaches us'd, and bitter Threats,
And now with Prayers he earnestly intreats.
Enrag'd, ashamed, and fearing open Rout,
Exclaiming loud, he wildly flew about.
He stays them with his Hands, and Voice, and Eyes,
And to confirm their sinking Courage, cries,
Whither will my Danmonians madly run,
And leave behind a Vict'ry almost won?
What pannick Fear does my brave Friends invade?
Till now, you never knew to be afraid.
Think on the Brav'ry you have always shown,
And Laurels you and your great Fathers won.
By their great Deeds, and yours, by Cador 's Name,
By all my Hopes and yours which are the same.
By the Danmonian Fame, I all conjure
Trust not to Flight, your Arms must you secure.
Who will maintain their Ground, if you recoil?
Thus do you mean to guard your Native Soil?
To what new Seats will you from Albion fly?
Or will you in the Rocks and Mountains ly?
Briton s return from your inglorous Flight,
Rally your Forces, and renew the Fight.
To Safety, and to Fame the way I'll show,
See, here it lies, across the thickest Foe.
He said, and straight amidst the Troops he flew,
Osher the first he met, the first he slew.
He pierc'd his Belly thro' the yielding Shield,
And out his Bowels gush'd upon the Field.
To aid his Friend, constant Eballan flies,
But wounded by the Briton , with him dies.
Then while Adulphas , Bertham 's Offspring stands,
Poising a pondrous Stone in both his Hands,
The mighty Fragment of a craggy Rock,
And aim'd at Macor 's Head, a deadly Stroke.
Thro' his pierc'd Side the Javelin made its Way,
And buried, in his bleeding Liver lay.
Then you brave Youths, Egbert , and Alopas ,
Both noble Branches of great Horsa 's Race,
Their Age the same, the same their youthful Charms,
Fell in the British Fields by Macor 's Arms.
This 'twixt the Ribs receiv'd the fatal Dart,
Where transverse Bounds the Breast and Belly part.
Lopt from the Shoulder with a fearful Wound,
T'other's Right Arm lay quivering on the Ground.
Now the Danmonians who began to run,
Seeing the Wonders by their Leader done,
With Shame and generous Indignation burn,
And to the War with doubled Rage return.
Then Macor let his Spear at Redwall fly
In his bright Chariot, passing swiftly by.
It pass'd his Shield, and went into his Reins,
A Purple Flood, springs from his wounded Veins,
And mixt with Dust, the fervid Wheels detains.
Projected headlong on the Ground he lay,
Fetch'd a deep Groan, and gasp'd his Life away.
With like Success his Men no more afraid,
Of Saxon Arms, their thickest Files invade.
So when dissolv'd by Summer Rays, the Snow
Do's down the Sides of Alpine Mountains flow,
Below the several Rills, and Currents joyn,
And different Streams in one great Flood combine.
Then do's the Deluge rear its foaming Head,
O'er-flow the Banks, and o'er the Meadows spread.
No lofty Mounds arrest th' insulting Tide,
But o'er the flowry Vale, the Waves triumphant ride.
So the Danmonian scatter'd Troops unite,
And with associate Arms, revive the Fight.
Here to restrain Macor 's victorious Course,
Bartha , oppos'd a fresh collected Force.
From his strong Arm his singing Javelin flew,
And passing thro' his Neck Guitardan flew.
He hurl'd his Ball of Iron at the Head
Of stout Gomallador , and struck him dead.
His Helm in Pieces flew, his Bones were crash'd.
And from his Scull his Blood and Brains were dash'd.
Macor incens'd, advances to the Fight,
And pray'd to Heav'n, to guide his Weapon right.
Nor did he pray in vain, th' unerring Dart
Transfixt his Breast, and sunk into his Heart.
Strong Bartha fell, the Blood his Armour stains,
And shivering Death crept cold along his Veins.
But to revenge so great a Captain's Fall,
Lothar aloud does on his Saxons call.
First Lodoic he flew, who stood the Shock,
Of War before unshaken as a Rock.
Strong Mandubrace , of whom the Briton s tell
Such mighty Deeds, by the brave Saxon fell.
Beauteous Codunan the Silurians Pride,
And warlike Hanomer together dy'd.
Their Leaders brave alike, alike enrag'd,
The Briton s, and the Saxon close engag'd
An obstinate, and bloody Fight maintain,
And Heaps of Dead, ly thick upon the Plain.
Dark Clouds of Dust thro' th' airy Region fly,
And warlike Noise bounds from the vaulted Sky.
Helms mix with Helms, and Arms with Arms unite
Their bright Reflexion, to oppress the Sight.
Now Man at Man, Squadrons at Squadrons rush,
And Files at Files with Spears protended push.
Swords clash with Swords, Bucklers on Bucklers bray,
And thro' the Field a horrid Din convey.
Slaughter and Death in dreadful Pomp appear,
And Brains, and Gore, the slippery Field besmear:
So when two adverse Tides their Waves advance,
With equal Fury, and with equal Chance;
The foaming Forces, doubtful Fight maintain,
Where both by Turns loose, what by Turns they gain.
On this Side now retreats the vanquish'd Tide,
And on its back th' insulting Billows ride.
Rallying its roaring Troops with swift Career,
It soon returns, and reassumes the War.
The Conquerour before is forc'd to yield,
And rolling back its Waves deserts the Field.
Alternate Conquest, and alternate Flight,
Between the Foes prolong a doubtful Fight.
So thick the Troops, so fast and close were prest,
The wedg'd Battalions standing Breast to Breast,
They scarce have space their Hands or Arms to move,
But like contending Waves each other shove.
Here Macor urges, presses, and invades,
Here Lothar stops him with his strong Brigades.
Equal in Arms, in Beauty, and in Age,
But not allow'd each other to engage.
On both the valiant Youths a different Fate,
From a far greater Foe does shortly wait.
King Cerdick then advanc'd exclaiming loud
And with his rapid Chariot cuts the Crowd.
And to the Troops that stopt his way, he cry'd
Open to right and left, your Ranks divide,
Macor and I this Contest will decide.
Nor did the Saxon Troops his Will oppose,
But open, and an ample Space disclose.
Then leaping to the Ground his pondrous Oak,
Pointed with polish'd Steel, he threatning shook.
At such a Sight th' amaz'd Danmonians start,
And their chill Blood congeal'd about their Heart.
Macor undaunted, traverses the Ground,
And at the Saxon aims a fatal Wound.
Then thro' the Air his Spear projected flew,
And from its Sheath his flaming Sword he drew.
The Buckler's Brims the glancing Weapons raz'd
And flying off, on the right Shoulder graz'd.
Then Cerdick 's Javelin pois'd, and aim'd with Care,
Flew from his Arm, and hissing cut the Air.
Who cry'd out as it went, go swiftly fly,
And the hard Metal of his Armour try.
While Cerdick thus insults th' impetuous Oak,
Thro' Buckler, Coat of Mail and Cuirass broke,
And pierc'd his Breast where the deep Springs abide,
Whence Life leaps out upon its circ'ling Tide.
The Vital Streams thro' his bruis'd Armour spout,
While he in vain wrests the warm Weapon out.
After the parting Dart, together crowd
From the wide Wound, his Soul, and Life, and Blood.
He fell, his Arms upon his Armour rung,
And Death in cold Embraces round him clung.
Thus fell the brave Danmonian who had slain,
Such Numbers pil'd on Heaps upon the Plain.
His Friends with Sighs, and Tears upon a Sheild,
Bear his Pale Corps off from the bloody Field.
Cerdic his Weapon warm with Macor 's Blood,
Advanc'd with Fury not to be withstood.
With his drawn Sword he does the Foe invade,
And midst their Ranks prodigious Havock made.
The Briton s all enrage'd at Macor 's Fall,
With Showers of Darts the raging Saxon gaul.
On every Side the Monarch they assail,
With thick Brigades, but cannot yet prevail.
As when a mighty Stag, that long had stood,
The unmolested Monarch of the Wood,
Safe in its Coverts, and protecting Shade,
Against the Foe, that would his Peace invade:
If at an ancient Oak, he stands at last
At Bay, by furious Dogs too closely chas'd;
Fearless he looks and to his clam'rous Foes,
Does his thick Grove of Native Arms oppose.
The Dogs with distant Cries infest his Ears,
And from afar the Huntsmen cast their Spears.
None daring to approach the generous Beast,
Project aloof their Darts against his Breast,
Thus Cerdick stood, nor dar'd the boldest Knight,
Advance to undertake a closer Fight.
They cast their Darts at distance, and from far
Shower on his brazen Shield a ratling War.
With their loud Cries the ambient Air they rend,
And raging, all their missive Weapons, spend.
Mean time around, King Cerdick 's Jav'lins flew,
And Arthur s Men, with vast Destruction slew.
Cadwan he kill'd, whose Arms great Fame had won,
And Vortiger great Ganumara 's Son.
Then Vogan fell and Ottocar who trace
Their high Descent from Hoel 's ancient Race.
Great Numbers dy'd where the chaf'd Saxon flew,
And with his Sword cut his wide Passage thro'
So when a generous Bull for Clowns Delight,
Stands with his Line restrain'd prepar'd for Fight.
Hearing the Youths loud Clamours, and the Rage,
Of barking Mastives eager to engage.
He snuffs the Air, and paws the trembling Ground,
Views all the Ring, and proudly walks it round.
Defiance lowring on his brinded Brows,
Around disdainful Looks, the grisly Warriour throws.
His haughty Head inclin'd with easie Scorn,
Th' invading Foe high in the Air is born,
Tost from the Combatant's victorious Horn.
Rais'd to the Clouds, the sprawling Mastives fly,
And add new Monsters to th' affrighted Sky.
The clam'rous Youth, to aid each other call,
On their broad Backs to break their Fav'rites fall.
Some stretcht out on the Field lie dead and some
Dragging their Entrails on, run howling Home.
But if at last on all Sides he's engag'd,
By fresh and fiercer Foes, strait all enrag'd
He flies about, some with his Horns He gores,
Some strikes, and mov'd with Indignation roars.
With Disproportion'd Numbers prest at length,
He breaks his Chain collecting all his Strength.
Then Dogs and Masters scar'd promiscuous fly,
And fal'n in Heaps, the pale Spectators ly.
He walks in Triumph, nods his conquering Head,
And proudly views the Spoils about him spread.
Hyalca fell, a Lord of Neustrian Birth,
Struggling with Death, he bites the hostile Earth.
Rivollan dies, the brave Armorican ,
Who swifter than a driving Tempest ran.
Mador , not daring Cerdick to engage
Fled from his Post to scape the Conquerors Rage.
Cerdick pursu'd him close, exclaiming loud,
And to o'ertake him, breaks th' opposing Crowd.
As when a Lyon on the Mountains spies,
A well grown Stag, his furious Bristles rise,
And yawning horribly, with Hunger prest,
Away he flies to tear the trembling Beast.
He leaps upon him with his dreadful Paws,
And buries in his Sides his fearful Jaws.
So raging Cerdick flew faln Mador dies,
And everlasting Night shuts up his Eyes.
Ludvalla , from the high Silurian Hills
Eldubert flew, Poel Edella kills,
Chelrick Adarc , Tudor pierc'd Alwy thro',
Oswoll Pricarden , Oven Kensey flew.
Bladoc kills Athelmar in single Fight
Of goodly Stature, and a Valiant Knight.
Edwin gave Vortimer his faral Wound,
Who from his Steed, fell headlong to the Ground,
Lovellines Blood the great Barnulfa spills
Kentwin Rodollan , Pricel Uffa kills.
Now equal Ruin rag'd on either Side,
And Vict'ry mutual Favours did divide,
Flowing, and Ebbing with an equal Tide.
With like Success, by turns the doubtful Field
The Victors and the vanquish'd, win and yield.
Such was the bloody Labour of the Day,
And in such even Scales their Fortune lay.
Now certain Fame had reach'd Prince Arthur 's Ear,
That his lov'd Macor dy'd by Cerdick 's Spear.
No Tydings more his Fury could provoke,
Or strike into his Breast a deeper Stroke.
His Looks reveal'd his Wound, and Grief, and Rage,
His conquering Arms in deep Revenge engage.
With his refulgent Sword he hew'd his way,
Like grass mown down the slaughter'd Saxons lay.
His Stroaks are all as sure, as those of Fate,
And Death and Vict'ry on his Progress wait.
His Arms the Field with vast Destruction clear.
Wide Lanes made by his Sword and spacious Voids appear.
Thro' their thick Ranks the raging Tempest flies,
And fearful Ruin all around him lies.
In vain his fatal Javelin never flew,
Ebissa , Edgar , Ethelburg he flew.
And Ethelwoll who fled the Conquerors Sight,
But the swift Dart o'ertook him in his Flight.
His deadly Spear at Kenfred was design'd,
Who stooping down the hissing Death declin'd.
Then at the Conq'rour's Feet he prostrate falls,
And in sad Accents for Compassion calls.
Spare, God-like Briton , and let Kenfred live,
Me to my Father and my Children give.
Treasures immense of Silver and of Gold,
My Iron Chests, and buried Coffers hold.
These Riches from the Sun, so long conceal'd
Shall to discharge my Ransome be reveal'd.
Mine's but a single Life, if that be spar'd,
It cant the Progress of your Arms retard,
On this does not depend your Empire's Fate,
Nor can my Life or Death affect your State,
He said to whom the British Prince reply'd,
The Silver and the Gold your Cellars hide,
You to your Sons and Daughters must bequeath,
Expect your self, the present Stroke of Death.
That said, he took his Helmet by the Crest,
And drawing back his Head, into his Breast
Up to the Hilts, he plung'd his fatal Sword,
And from the Wound a crimson River pour'd.
Colmar hard by Odin 's and Frea 's Priest,
Distinguish'd by his Dress, from all the rest,
And by the Garland round his Temples known,
In glitt'ring Arms, and splendid Garments shone.
Up flew his Heels while from the Field he fled,
Nazaleod set his Foot, upon his Head,
And stroke into the Ground quite thro' his Breast
His pointed Spear, and his rich Spoils possest.
Then Arthur with his Spear, pierc'd Rufa thro',
Then Osmor , Seward Ethellar he flew
Osa Beorno , Kendred , Ediswall ,
Penda , Kenelmar , Osbert , Ethelbal .
Pale Oswald fled, the Conq'rour to prevent,
But thro' his Back the swifter Javelin went.
His flaming Sword, did ne'er in vain descend
But sure Destruction did its Sway attend.
The reeking Conquerour in Triumph reign'd,
Glutted with Slaughter, and with Blood distain'd.
Th'unnumber'd Dead, that round the Briton lay
More than their living Troops, obstruct his way.
To reach their Men, that from his Fury fled,
He climbs their slaughter'd Piles, and scales the Dead.
Sometimes the Saxons with new Fury burn,
And rallying Squadrons to the War return:
They pour around the Prince their numerous Swarms,
And strive to crush him with unequal Arms.
As when Tempestuous Storms o'erspread the Skies,
In whose dark Bowels in born Thunder lies.
The watry Vapours numberless conspire
To smother, and oppress th' imprison'd Fire.
Which thus collected gathers greater Force,
Breaks out in Flames, and with impetuous Course
From the Cloud's gaping Womb in Light'ning flies,
Flashing in ruddy Streaks, along the Skies.
So Arthur 's flaming Sword cuts thro' the Cloud,
Around him spread, and rends th' opposing Crowd.
With daz'ling Arms, he flies upon the Foe,
Flashes amidst the throngs, and terribly Thunders thro'.
Authum and Alfrid , with fresh Troops sustain,
Their stagg'ring Squadrons, and the War maintain,
To these Prince Arthur wing'd with Fury flew
And first stout Alfrid with his Spear he flew.
Thro the left Groin, the Weapon made its Way,
And stretcht along the Ground, the bleeding Saxon lay.
At Authum 's Crest he dealt a furious Stroke,
The Saxon totter'd at th' amazing Shock,
And fell upon his Knee, and while he pray'd
And for his Life would many Things have said,
His sever'd Head off, from his Shoulders flies,
And bounded on the Field, his Body lies
At a great Distance, quivering on the Ground,
And Streams of Blood spring from his ghastly Wound.
As when the Summers Soultry Heats, draw forth,
Th'exhaling Moisture from the thirsty Earth,
When scorching Rays the gaping Plains have fry'd,
And from their Banks contracted Streams subside.
If then a Fire invades a spaeious Wood,
Where Ancient Oaks have long securely stood;
The conquering Flames advance with lawless Power,
And with contagious Heat the Trees devour.
The spreading Burning lays the Forrest waste,
And sooty Spoils lie smoaking where it past.
So Arthur with resistless Rage around,
Destroys and loads with slaughter'd Heaps the Ground.
Next did the Prince at bold Edburga aim,
Who from the fertile Banks of Abum came
Prince Unna 's Son to vast Possessions born,
Broad Flowers of Gold his shining Coat adorn,
The piercing Steel deep in his Bosom sunk,
And Life's pure Stream at the warm Fountain drunk,
His Arms did next valiant Titullan meet,
Who fell and quiver'd at the Conquerour's Feet.
Osrick and beauteous Hengist next appear,
The first his Fauchion slew, the last his Spear.
Next stout Eldanor did his Fate provoke,
And off his Head flew, at a single Stroke.
And next he threw at Labert , as he fled
The Weapon struck him, as he turn'd his Head.
In Gore and Brains the glitt'ring Javelin reeks,
And from his Veins a Purple Torrent breaks.
Mean time King Cerdic did around destroy,
And with thick Deaths his massy Fauchion cloy.
Him from afar the British Hero spies,
And wing'd with Fury to assault him flies,
Cerdic mean time undaunted did appear,
And forward step't, shaking his dreadful Spear.
Like one of Anak 's mighty Sons he stalk'd,
Or some tall Oak, that after Orpheus walk'd.
Fixt like a vast Colossus by his Weight,
He stood, expecting his approaching Fate.
Lowring, like rising Tempests from a far,
He rages, and invites th' advancing War.
Now the Britannic Hero did appear,
Within the Reach of his prodigious Spear.
King Cerdic curst, and by his God s defy'd
The Briton , and aloud to Odin cry'd;
The glitt'ring Arms, by this gay Robber worn,
Great Odin soon thy Temple shall adorn.
Assist great Founder of our State the Dart
I cast, and guide it to his impious Heart.
Then from his vig'rous Arm his massy Spear
Projected sung, and hiss'd along the Air.
Off from the temper'd Shield the Weapon flew,
Wounded Glendoran , and Alantor flew.
Then his long Spear the pious Briton cast,
Th' impetuous Steel thro' all the Thickness past
Of Brazen Plates, rowl'd Linnen, tough Bulls Hide,
And entring deep, did in his Groin abide.
The fainting Saxon fell upon his Knees,
Pain'd with his ghastly Wound, and trembling sees
The Conquering Prince advancing to asswage,
By striking off his Head, his veng'ful Rage.
Here the brave Lothar that had Wonders done,
And by his Arms Immortal Praises won,
For thro' the Host, the loud Applauses rung
Of mighty Deeds atchiev'd by one so young.
Transported with his pious Care, to bring
Assistance to his Uncle, and his King;
Spur'd his hot Courser on, and forwards prest
Off'ring to Arthur 's Arms, his valiant Breast.
He bravely undertook th' unequal Foe,
To ward from Cerdic 's Head, the fatal Blow.
Then his long Spear he threw, with Manly Force,
But Arthur 's Buckler stop'd th' impetuous Course.
Th' applauding Saxons gave a Shout to see
The Noble Youth's excessive Bravery.
But to his Prince's Aid in vain he flies,
Who by his former Wound expiring lies,
And everlasting Sleep shuts up his Eyes.
But then the British Hero's Javelin fled
At Lothar , but it pierc'd his Courser's Head.
Rais'd in the Air upright, the gen'rous Beast,
Gather'd his shiv'ring Feet up to his Breast,
Then springing strook them out, and stagg'ring round
Fell head-long with his Rider to the Ground.
A mighty Groan the dying Courser fetcht,
And on the Ground a breathless Carcass stretcht.
And here Immortal Elda shall my Verse
Thy unexampled Deed of Love reherse.
Love which will universal Wonder raise,
And scarcely find Belief in future Days.
For whilst the British Hero step'd with Speed,
To take off, with his Fauchion, Lothar 's Head,
Who with his Steed opprest, and wounded lies,
Fair Elda rush'd between, and thus she cries,
Before your fatal Sword takes Lothar 's Head,
Victorious Prince, hear his unhappy Wife.
Faln on her Knees she did her Helm unlace,
And shew'd the charming Beauties of her Face.
The blooming Looks of Spring, and lovely Red
Of opening Roses on her Cheeks were spread.
Her Eyes, that sparkled like the Stars above,
Appear'd both th' Armory, and Throne of Love.
Where thousands of alluring Graces wait,
And mingling Charms form Love's triumphal State.
Bright Ethelina her, and all excell'd,
She the next Place in Beauty's Empire held.
Nor did her Looks, less Admiration move,
While wild Confusion, Sorrow, Fear and Love,
With Beauteous Conflict, for the Vict'ry strove.
A Shower of Tears flow'd down her lovely Face,
Which from her Grief, receiv'd yet sweeter Grace.
At the great Conq'rour's feet she threw her Charms,
And lifting up to Heav'n, her snowy Arms
Aloud she spoke, a wretched Woman's Prayer
Great Briton here, and my dear Lothar spare.
Since first his Bride within his Arms I lay,
Scarce two full Golden Months are stoln away,
Which in Love's Calendar scarce make a Day.
With Prayers, and Tears, and tender Words I strove,
And all th' ingaging Arts of mournful Love;
To keep him from the Dangers of the Field,
And when th' obdurate Man refus'd to yield,
About him my despairing Arms I flung,
And on his Neck, o'erwhelm'd with Grief I hung.
I then conjur'd him, to avoid with Care
Your fatal Arms, so much renown'd in War.
Away he goes, and as he said, adieu,
He touch'd my Life, and my stretcht Heart-strings drew.
For still I fear'd that the heroic Fire
And thirst of Fame, that did his Soul inspire,
Would make him think no Dangers were too great,
Till rushing on your Arms, he urg'd his Fate.
My conscious Fears, this sad Event presag'd
If e'er with you, in Combat he engag'd.
Therefore in Arms I did my Limbs disguise,
And undertook this dangerous Enterprize,
That if he rashly sought, so great a Foe,
I might between him, and your fatal Blow,
My Bosom interpose, and in my Heart
To save his dearer Life, receive the Dart.
Or if Occasion were, to intercede,
As now I do, and for his Safety plead.
I pray by all that is to Mortals dear,
By all the Gods that you, and we revere.
Let this sad Object your Compassion move,
Regard his Valour, and regard my Love.
Oh! Let his hapless Fate your Soul incline,
Pity his blooming Youth, or pity mine.
Oh, melt beneath divine Compassion's Charms,
Let not your Breast be harder then your Arms.
Save his dear Life, he of his Noble Line
The only Branch remains, as I, of mine.
Christian s profess Compassion, Mercy, Love,
Sure such Distress should those kind Passions move.
Sheath in my Breast the Sword, and take my Breath,
But Oh, preserve this wondrous Youth from Death.
My self will to my Veins the Sword apply,
And to prolong his Life will gladly dy.
Hear pious Prince, his aged Father hear
Who thus entreats, or would if he were here.
Oh, spare the spring of all my Hopes and Fears,
The only Prop of my declining Years.
Your fatal Sword deep in my Bowels sheath
And for the Son's accepts the Father's Death.
If great Possessions, or if Gold would buy,
His far more precious Life, he shall not dy,
His Father will a mighty Ransome give,
And mine as much, say but the Youth shall live.
Let us your Prisoners be in Chains confin'd,
The Chains of Love will make those softer bind.
There his dear presence I may still enjoy,
And for his Ease my thoughtful Cares employ.
Free from the Noise of War, and anxious Fears,
I'll kiss his Wounds, and wash them with my Tears.
I'll watch his midnight Slumbers, and by Day,
My Love shall Solace to his Grief convey.
Let him be banish'd from the British Isle,
I'll go, and share the lovely Wand'rer's Toil.
I'll follow thro' the swarthy burning, Zone,
No Flames can scorch me, fiercer than my own.
Our tender Words the savage kind will move,
They'll stand, and gaze, and wonder at our Love.
Th' inhospitable Desart will appear,
A flowry Paradise, when he is there.
O'er Snows with him and Hills of Ice I'll stray,
I know not how, but Love will find the way.
If his sharp Keel shall cut the Foaming Tide,
In the same Bark I'll on the Billows ride.
No stormy Winds my stable Soul shall move,
Or shake the strong Foundations of my Love.
But hurried with distracting Fears away,
And wild with Grief I know not where to stay,
And in a Maze of Thought I lose my Way.
Oh! let your generous Pity calm the strife
In my tost Soul, and save his precious Life.
Thus you'll not only Triumph o'er your Foe,
But o'er your self, and your own Vict'ry too.
Thus Elda pray'd, nor did she pray in vain,
Her tender Accents did Admission gain
To the relenting, generous Prince's Breast,
Who thus the beauteous Supplicant addrest.
This unexampled Effort of your Love,
Does equal Wonder and Compassion move.
True Christian Captains are both brave and good,
Vict'ry pursue, but not with Thirst of Blood.
Revenge and Cruelty we disavow,
And only just and generous Arms allow.
Go, to your Tears your Lothar 's Life I give,
Pleas'd with each others Love together live.
Then Cerdick slain on whom they trusted most,
A shivering Fear ran thro' the Saxon Host.
The Briton s now believ'd the Battle won,
And sure of Conquest on their Squadrons run.
Prince Arthur at their Head breaks thro' their Files
And covers all the Plain with Hostile Spoils.
The Saxon Troops dismay'd, began to yeild
And to the raging Conquerour leave the Field.
Mean time the Prince of Hell who anxious stood,
And from his Hill the bloody Labour view'd.
Seeing the Saxon Troops at last give way,
Resolves the Briton s Progress to delay.
That thro' the Angelick Guards he might escape,
His Form he chang'd to a fair Seraph's Shape.
A mild Celestial Youth, he did apear,
Drest in pure Robes of white Empyreal Air.
What once he was, the Fiend seem'd charming bright,
Conceal'd in Beauty, and disguis'd in Light.
Assuming meek and Heav'nly Looks he strove,
To imitate the loveliest Face above.
Then taking from the Mountain's Top his Flight,
Did straightway at th' Angelick Camp alight.
And thus transform'd thro' the bright Camp he went,
As an Express from Heav'n to Michael sent.
Along he march'd, and slily looking round,
While unobserv'd, a fair Occasion found
Of passing thro' their Lines, without Delay,
Swift as a Ray of Light, he shot away.
He mingles with the fighting Armies, where
He moulds to various Shapes, the thickn'd Air.
In Sebert 's warlike Form he did appear,
With Arthur 's gasping Head upon his Spear.
Which newly sever'd from his Body seems,
So fresh the Wound, so red the bloody Streams.
Briton s he cry'd, learn hence your wretched State,
See your Destruction in your Leader's Fate.
The towring Hopes, you vainly once conceiv'd
Are sunk, nor can your Ruin be retriev'd.
Whose Arms can guard your State now Arthur 's dead?
His Life, and with it, all your Strength is fled.
Fly Briton s hence, and to your Hills repair,
Fly to your Woods, and in your Caves despair.
Protected in your Fastnesses remain,
Stay not t'encrease the Number of the Slain.
Cold to their Hearts this Sight and Language went,
And thro their Veins a shivering Horrour sent.
Confusion and Despair their Souls opprest,
And their sad Looks their inward Wound confest.
Urg'd with their Fear, their Troops began to fly,
And leave behind th' unfinish'd Victory.
Prince Arthur 's Breast with Indignation burn'd,
Who from the fierce Pursuit, reluctant turn'd,
To stop his Army's Flight, stay, Briton s, stay,
He cry'd, and blemish not this glorious Day.
Whence this Distraction, whence th' ungrounded Fear
And wild Despair, that in your Looks appear.
The Battel's won, the Saxons quit the Field,
And to your Arms a perfect Conquest yield.
Let not the vanquish'd Foe escape Pursuit,
The Vict'ry's yours, stay but to reap the Fruit.
While thus he spoke, the Briton s stood amaz'd,
And on their Prince with Joy and Wonder gaz'd.
Their Grief dispell'd, their dying Hopes revive,
And joyful Shouts proclaim the Prince alive.
Mean time the Sun declines, and dusky Night
Covers the Saxons , and protects their Flight.
Now did the beauteous Morn begin to rise,
Streaking with Rosy Light the smiling Skies.
Prince Arthur rose, and solemn Thanks addrest
To Heav'n, that had his Arms with Conquest blest.
Then rode amidst his Troops, and one by one,
Their Bravery prais'd, and Conduct lately shown.
Dispensing great Rewards thro' all the Host,
To those whose Courage was distinguish'd most.
The Briton s in their turn express their Zeal,
And to the Prince the highest Love reveal.
The Heav'n's around with Acclamations rung,
And loud Applauses of the shouting Throng.
Then to the sacred Temples they repair,
In joyful Crowds to offer Praise and Prayer.
In low Prostration, they the Soveraign Lord
Of Hosts Exalt, and future Aid implor'd.
Soon as their Hymns of Heav'nly Praise were sung,
High in the Temples they their Trophies hung.
Bruis'd Armour, broken Shields, and Standards torn
From the fierce Foe, the gilded Roofs adorn.
This Honour to th' Almighty Saviour done,
Prince Arthur to his Briton s thus begun.
Thus far Success and Triumph on us wait,
And to our Arms, presage a prosperous Fate.
Propitious Heav'n is to your Part inclin'd,
And still more glorious Vict'ries Crowd behind.
The vanquish'd Foe can't long maintain the Field,
But must your ravish'd Lands and Cities yield.
Chase anxious Thoughts far from your Valiant Breast,
And on your Cause, and Heav'n's Protection rest.
A perfect Conquest shall your Labours Crown,
And your Victorious Arms, regain your own.
Fear not the Relicks of a Conquer'd Foe,
Their tott'ring State, falls with another Blow.
Now let no Funeral Honours be deny'd,
To these brave Men, that for their Country dy'd.
Let us with Sighs and Tears lament their Fate,
Who fell, while striving to support our State.
Ages to come shall their great Virtue praise,
Viewing the Tombs that on their Graves you raise.
And first the Prince to the Pavilion went,
Whither brave Macor 's breathless Corps was sent.
He lay extended on a Purple Bed,
With high rais'd Pillows, plac'd beneath his Head.
His Servants standing round their Grief exprest,
With old Pendarvan sad above the rest.
Cador to him as to his faithful Friend,
For wise Instructions, did his Son commend,
His Counsels form'd his Youth, and did prepare
His Mind for all concerns of Peace, and War.
Now in his Face the deepest Grief appears,
He beats his Breast, and baths it with his Tears.
He wrings his Hands, and in his mournful Rage,
Tears off the hoary Honours of his Age.
Immoderate Grief in lamentable Sounds,
As Arthur enter'd, thro' the Room rebounds.
The pious Prince with heavy Sorrow prest,
Burst out in Tears, and thus his Grief exprest.
Inexorable Death, at every Heart
Without distinction, shoots her fatal Dart.
Could Beauty, Courage, Virtue, Youthful Age
Move her Compassion, or divert her Rage;
Brave Youth, thou had'st escap'd, and liv'd to see
Our Triumphs, for a Vict'ry due to thee:
But all thy Charms by stronger Fate o'ercome,
Could not reverse th' Irrevocable Doom.
Oh! thy sad Sire, what swelling Grief will roll
Its stormy Tyde o'er his afflicted Soul?
Can he the News of Macor 's Death survive,
Or me, with whom he trusted him, forgive?
T'allay the smart may the Danmonians tell,
How bravely Macor fought, how Great he fell.
And how my own with Cador 's Grief contends,
He mourns the best of Sons, and I the best of Friends.
Our Hopes are gone, may the Danmonians Cry,
And what Britannia can thy Loss supply?
Then to Embalm the Prince he gave Command,
That he might send him to his Native Land.
Straight with hot Streams, they wash his Body o'er,
And purge his Skin from Dust and putrid Gore.
Then in Arabian Spices, fragrant Gums,
Rare Aromatick Oyls, and rich Perfumes,
They lay his Snowy Body, which they fold
In Bands of Linnen, round him often roll'd.
Then from his Troops a Thousand Youths he chose,
That might a solemn Equipage compose.
That might accompany the Funeral State,
To the unhappy Father's Palace Gate.
Small Comfort for so great a loss, yet due
To the sad Sire, and all the Prince could shew.
Forthwith the Briton s weave with bending Sprigs
Of Willow Trees, and tender Oaken twigs,
An easie Bier, and with soft Rushes spread,
Sweet Flowers, and fragrant Herbs, the lofty Bed.
The Roof on high fresh spreading Branches shade,
And here sublime the hapless Youth was laid.
Such on the Ground the fading Rose we see,
By some rude Blast, torn from the Parent Tree.
The Daffodil so leans his languid Head,
Newly mown down, upon his grassy Bed.
Tho from the Earth no more supplies they gain,
Their splendid Form in part, and lovely Hue remain.
Then a rich Garment, glorious to behold,
Pond'rous with Orient Pearl, and stiff with Gold;
A noble Present from King Odar 's Hand,
Receiv'd when Arthur left the Neustrian Land.
Upon the Bier his Royal Bounty threw,
The last Respect, that a sad Friend could shew.
A noble Portion of the wealthy Prey,
And Spoils gain'd from the Foe, on Cars they lay.
With Arms, and Standards, which himself had won,
The Trophies of the Wonders he had done.
Now the magnificent, and pompous Woe,
Does from the Camp, in sad Procession go.
The lab'ring Axle mourns along the Road,
And groans beneath th' uncomfortable Load.
The Horses slowly March, and mournful look,
As they their share of publick Sorrow took.
Pendarvan follows stooping with his years,
But more with Grief, and delug'd in his Tears.
Then Macor 's Chariot rolls, distain'd with Blood,
On which sublime amidst the War he rode.
His War - horse Rapa , with black Trappings spread,
And he too seem'd to weep, is after led.
His Arms and polish'd Armour others bear,
His Golden Spurs, his Helmet, Shield, and Spear,
Then in long Order the Danmonians mourn'd,
Their Spears turn'd backwards and their Bucklers turn'd.
Then Arthur stood, and with sad Accent spoke,
Thus far I mourn the Fate I can't revoke.
Back I am call'd where Arms and bloody Strife,
With more sad Objects, must renew my Grief.
Farewel brave Youth, farewel, till we above,
Meet in the peaceful Realms, of Light, and Love.
He said no more, but turn'd, and took his way,
Back to the Camp, which lofty Works survey.
Mean time ten Orators from Octa sent,
Arriv'd, and waited at the Prince's Tent.
Their Embassy a Truce was to obtain,
To clear the Field, and to inter the slain.
They urg'd that all Hostilities should cease,
Against the Dead, who ought to rest in Peace.
That all Heroick Conquerors ever gave,
To those, from whom they took their Lives, a Grave.
The Saxons Prayer seem'd just, and ten days Truce,
Prince Arthur granted for this pious Use.
To Cador 's Court the heavy Tydings came,
Born swiftly thither on the Wings of Fame.
Loud Lamentation thro' the Palace went,
And bitter Cries, give their strong Passion vent.
Officious Fame the dismal News relates,
And universal Sorrow propagates.
Pale Faces, crossing Arms, dejected Eyes,
O'erflowing Tears, and deep, despairing Sighs,
Compose a finish'd Scene of Blackest Woe,
The Tragick place does all sad Figures show.
The Men like pallid Gohsts pass silent by,
Women outrageous in their Sorrow cry
Macor is dead, our Hopes too with him dy.
Thro' all the Streets prodigious Numbers flow,
And pour'd out from the Gates, promiscuous go
To meet their Hero's Herse, with flaming Brands,
And Pitchy Torches lighted in their Hands.
Which in long Order shone along the way,
Disclos'd the Fields, and call'd back banish'd Day.
Soon as they spied the lofty Herse from far,
Attended with the Pomp of mournful War;
A lamentable Cry the Valley fills,
Eccho repeats it louder in the Hills.
Wild with their Grief, distracted with Despair,
They strike their throbing Breasts, tear off their Hair,
And with their piercing Screams disturb the Air.
Both Troops unite Rivals in Love and Grief,
And the sad Conquest seek with equal Strife.
As Cador 's Love no bounds his Sorrow knew,
Who from their Arms and Prayers distracted flew.
Close in his Arms he did the Corps embrace,
Kiss'd his cold Lips, and bath'd with Tears his Face.
A Scene so tender, such a moving Sight,
Melts all their Hearts, and does fresh Grief invite,
Touch'd with Compassion to th' afflicted King,
From their exhausted Eyes fresh Torrents spring.
When the fierce Tempest had its Fury broke,
With a deep Sigh th' unhappy Monarch spoke.
Oh, my dear Son! how mild had been my Doom,
Hadst thou escap'd, I suffer'd in thy Room.
This Sight kills worse than Death, Oh that the Dart
Had miss'd thy Breast, and pierc'd thy Father's Heart!
Oh, that to see this fatal Hour I live!
And thee, and all that's dear in Life survive!
Oh, how I wish Life's tedious Journey done,
The empty Name remains, the thing is gone!
But sure I shall not long thy Absence mourn,
I'll hast to thee, thou'lt not to me return.
My hoary Head with Sorrow to the Grave,
Makes hast, the best Repose my Troubles crave.
Thrice happy Wife remov'd from us below,
You have no share in this sad Scene of Woe.
My ill presaging Fears are now fulfill'd,
I started in my Sleep, and cry'd my Son is kill'd.
I knew too well warm Blood and youthful Age,
Eager with Fame, and fier'd with Martial Rage,
His Arms in greatest Danger would engage.
I pray'd, and oft conjur'd him to beware,
Not rashly to provoke unequal War.
He promis'd me while on his Neck I wept,
But oh, how ill has he his Promise kept?
I can't reproach the pious Arthur 's Name,
Nor on his Friendship sworn reflect the Blame.
If by divine, unchangeable Decree,
Untimely Fate, Macor , attended thee;
T'is best that thou art fal'n with such Applause,
Asserting Albion 's and the Christian Cause,
But why do my Complaints thus endless grow,
And why thus tedious my loquacious Woe?
Why from new Laurels should I thus detain
These valiant Troops, to hear my Sighs in vain?
Go, Briton s, to your Prince, at your Return,
Tell him I live, but only live to mourn.
I groan beneath the heaviest Load of Grief,
And spend, in Tears my sad Remains of Life.
May Heav'n his Arms with greater Triumph bless,
Great as his Vertues, let him meet Success.
Mean time must we this last kind Office pay,
And Macor 's Body to the Dome convey;
Where his illustrious Fathers lie interr'd
Who reign'd by Subjects lov'd, by Neighbours fear'd.
Soon as the Sun had with his early Ray
Depos'd the Shades, and re-enthron'd the Day.
The pious Briton s their slain Freinds inter,
And on their Graves new Honours do confer.
Some with their Spades, and with sharp Axes wound
The groaning Earth, and casting up the Ground,
They form deep Vaults, and subterranean Caves,
Then fill up with their Dead, the gaping Graves.
Some cast up hilly heaps, and Mounts of Sand,
That for their Tombs, and Monuments might stand.
And to th' admiring Briton s might declare,
In future Ages what their Fathers were.
Some Stones erect of a prodigious Size,
That bear the Hero's Glory to the Skies.
Mean time the Saxons bear away their Dead,
Whose putrid Heaps, the bloody Field o'erspread.
Innumerable Piles they raise on high,
Which kindled fill with Smoak and Flames the Sky.
With uncouth Cries, around the Fires they mourn,
Where vulgar Dead, in Heaps promiscuous Burn.
The Lords, and Officers of high Command,
They send attended with a warlike Band
Each to his City, there to be interr'd,
Where greater Funeral Pomp might be conferr'd,
But fair Augusta chiefly flow'd with Tears,
Where Grief in all her mournful Looks appears.
Distracted with ungovernable Woe,
Into the Streets in Crowds the Matrons flow.
Confusion in their Looks, and wild Despair,
They wring their Hands, and tear their flowing Hair
Parents on Children, Wives on Husbands call,
Sons mourn their Fathers, Maids their Lovers fall.
For their dear Brothers, Sisters, Tears are spent,
Servants their Masters, Friends their Friends lament.
All mingle Tears, their Cries together flow,
And form a hideous Harmony of Woe.
Pale Consternation sate on every Face,
They fear'd the Prince would soon invest the Place.
They oft reproach'd their Monarch's Breach of Word,
That had expos'd them to the Conquerour's Sword.
They wish'd that this destructive War might cease,
And Ethelina be the Bond of Peace.
Octa 's Affairs in this ill State appear,
Such was their publick Grief, and such their Fear.
Mean time the Briton joyful Sports ordain'd,
For the great Vict'ry by their Arms obtain'd.
For Horsemanship the Briton s always fam'd,
To run a Course his generous Gifts inflam'd.
Desire both of the Prize, and loud Applause,
The British Youth to mount their Coursers draws.
A neighbouring Hill ascending high, but slow,
Survey'd the Valleys, with his lofty Brow.
Upon the flowry Top a spacious Down,
Extended lay, which shady Woods did crown.
The grassy Plains, and rising Groves appear,
Like a rich furnish'd, native Theater.
Where Sylvan Scenes, their verdant Pomp display,
And charming Prospects to the Eye convey.
Soon as the Sun, had with his Rosy Light,
From the cold Air, dispell'd the dewy Night.
The British Hero with a numerous Train,
Directs his Steps, to this delightful Plain.
Where high amidst his Friends he takes his Place,
Who swarm'd around to view the noble Race.
Briton s, Armoricans , and Neustrians stood
Mingled below, the foremost of the Crowd
Stood Eddelin in all his Youthful Pride,
His Purple Boots were of Iberian Hide,
Which fast with Golden Buttons held, and grac'd
With Silver Spurs, his comely Legs embrac'd.
A flaming Ruban of Sydonian Dy,
In a close Knot, his curling Locks did ty,
Which playing on his Shoulders flew behind,
Danc'd in the Air, and sported with the Wind.
Close to his well shap'd Wast, he wore his Coat,
Of Silk and Silver, by his Mother wrought.
A Cap of Crimson did his Head equip,
And as he walk'd, he slash'd his breaded Whip.
His swarthy Groom his generous Courser leads,
That scarcely marks the Ground, so light he treads.
Swift as a Dove pursu'd, or Mountain Hind,
His nimbler Feet could overtake the Wind,
Leave flying Darts, and swifter storms behind.
Illustrious Blood, he Boasts with equal Pride,
Transmitted to his Veins on either side.
The Mother Mare was of Eborac Race,
The Sire Augusta 's Merchants, brought from Thrace .
His inward Fire thro' his wide Nostrils flies,
And noble Ardor sparkles in his Eyes.
His well turn'd Limbs did Admiration move,
Where Strength, and Beauty for the Conquest strove.
His Matchless Speed the Prize did ever gain,
From all the Rival Coursers of the Plain.
Next Blanadoc upon the Plain advanc'd
And led behind, his fiery Courser pranc'd.
Lightly equip'd, and ready for the Race,
He marches to the Base with Manly Grace.
The gazing Crowd admire his comely Steed,
Nobly descended from the famous Breed,
That on the Mauritanian Mountains feed.
And fam'd for his Swiftness in the Dusty Course,
Of wondrous Beauty, and of wondrous Force.
And next to him the gay Lanvallo came
Eager to win the Prize, and raise his Name.
His dapled Courser to the Base advanc'd,
And neighing wantonly along the Champain danc'd.
His high Descent he did from Draco trace,
The swiftest Courser of th' Iberian Race.
A Race so famous for their speedy Feet,
Eurus himself, was not esteem'd more fleet.
So swift they run, that vulgar Fame declares,
The Western Winds, impregnated the Mares.
Next the fierce Tudor comes into the Field,
That did to none for Art or Courage yield.
A Velvet Bonnet on his Head, and drest,
For Lightness, in a thin embroider'd Vest.
Thirsty of Honour to the Base he flies,
And with his greedy Wishes grasps the Prize.
His well-train'd Courser was admir'd for Speed,
Sprung from Calabrian , mixt with British Breed.
Light'ning flew from his Eyes, and Clouds of Smoak,
Dark'ning the Air, from his large Nostrils broke.
None of the Rival Steeds arriv'd before,
More Wonder rais'd, or promis'd Conquest more.
Next Trebor came upon a noble Horse,
And oft victorious in the rapid Course.
He gently strok'd his Mane, and bid him shew
On this great Day, the Feet he us'd to do.
With many more, whose long forgotten Name,
Was ne'er enroll'd in the Records of Fame.
While round the Base the wanton Coursers play,
Th' ambitious Riders in just Scales they weigh.
And those that by their Rules were found too light,
Quilt Lead into their Belts, to give them weight.
All things adjusted, and the Laws agree'd,
Each eager Rival mounts his generous Steed.
To whom th' indulgent Prince himself addrest,
And to inflame their Zeal these Words exprest.
Let no brave Youth despair of his Reward,
Due Gifts, and Honours are for all prepar'd.
Whoe'er are Rivals of the rapid Race,
Two costly Spears shall win, their plated Base
Glitters in Silver Sockets, finely wrought
By rare Engravers, from Germania brought.
Their Points are gilt, illustrious to behold,
Whence a deep Fring depends of Silk and Gold.
Besides a Back-sword whose well temper'd Blade,
Is of the fam'd Iberian Metal made.
The happy Youth that smear'd with Sweat, and Dust,
Shall reach the Goal, midst loud Applauses first,
This Golden Goblet his Reward shall boast,
By Damon wrought, with Figures high embost.
The second Conq'ror shall in Triumph wear,
In a rich Belt, this Persian Scimiter.
The Haft's a costly Stone, which Nature stains
With various Figures, and with bloody Veins.
The chiefest Workmen of the curious East
Have in the inlaid Blade, their Art exprest.
The third shall win a noble polish'd Shield,
Three Coursers rarely pourtray'd on the Field.
The Signal giv'n by the shrill Trumpet's Sound,
The Coursers start, and scowr along the Ground.
So Boreas starting from his Northern Goal,
Sweeps o'er the Mountains to the adverse Pole.
His furious Wings the flying Clouds remove,
From the Blue Plains, and spacious Wilds above.
Insulting o'er the Seas he loudly roars,
And shoves the tumbling Billows to the Shores.
While for the Palm the straining Steeds contend,
Beneath their Hoofs the Grass does scarcely bend.
So long and smooth their Strokes, so swift they pass,
That the Spectators of the noble Race,
Can scarce distinguish by their doubtful Eye,
If on the Ground they run, or in the Air they fly.
So when the Earth smiles with a Summers Ray,
And wanton swallows o'er the Valleys play.
In Sport each other they so swiftly chase,
Sweeping with easie Wings, the Meadow's Face,
They seem'd upon the Ground to fly a Race.
O'er Hills and Dales, the speedy Coursers fly,
And with thick Clouds of Dust obscure the Sky.
With clashing Whips, the furious Riders tear
Their Coursers sides, and wound th' afflicted Air.
Never Epirean , or Arabian Steed,
Flew o'er the Olympic Plains, with greater speed.
On their thick Manes the stooping Riders ly,
Press forwards, and would fain their steeds outfly.
By Turns they are behind, by Turns before,
Their Flanks and Sides, all bath'd in Sweat, and Gore.
Such speed the Steeds, such Zeal the Riders shew,
To reach bright Fame, that swift before them flew.
Upon the last with spurning Heels the first
Cast Storms of Sand, and smothering Clouds of Dust.
The hindmost strain their Nerves, and snore, and blow,
And their white Foam upon the Foremost throw.
Eager of Fame, and of the promis'd Prize,
The Riders seize the Mark with greedy Eyes.
Now Hopes dilate, now Fears contract their Breast,
Alternately with Joy, and Grief possest.
Thus far with equal Fate the Riders pass
Uncertain who should conquer in the Race.
But now the Goal appearing does excite
New warmth, and calls out all their youthful Might.
They lash their Courser's Flanks with Crimson dy'd,
And stick their goring Spurs into their side.
Their Native Courage, and the Riders stroke,
T' exert their Force, the generous Kind provoke.
Each springs out to the Goal with loosen'd Reins,
Works all his Nerves, and staring Eye-balls strains.
In this fierce Strife, Tudor 's the best for wind,
Shot forth, and left the panting Steeds behind.
Eddelin the other Rivals overpast,
Trebor came next, Lanvallo was the last.
Draco , his Steed, had once unrival'd Fame,
When in the Pride, and Pomp of Youth he came;
Curvetting o'er the Plain, to win the Course,
All yielded to his Swiftness, and his Force.
Siff Limbs now shew his Age, with drudging Pace
He sweats behind, and labours thro' the Race.
Now Tudor whips, and spurs his Courser on,
And near the Goal believ'd the Goblet won.
When running o'er a naked, chauky Place,
Slipp'ry with nightly Dew, and bare of Grass,
Up flew the Courser's Heels, and to the Ground
He, and the Rider, fell with mighty Sound.
The sudden Danger could not be declin'd
By Eddelin , that follow'd close behind.
For stumbling on young Tudor 's hapless Horse,
His Floundring fell, and lost the hopeful Course.
The mean time Trebor spur'd, and forwards spurng.
While all the Field with Acclamations rung.
First to the Goal his reeking Courser came,
Next Blanadoc , Lanvallo third in Fame.
The Victors by the Goal triumphant stood,
Surrounded by the thick applauding Crowd.
When Tudor rushing in, cries out of wrong,
And challenging the Prize, broke thro' the Throng.
The Judges over-rul'd the Youth's Demand,
Urging the first establish'd Rules should stand.
The Prince confirm'd their Sentence, and declar'd
Who first arriv'd, should have the first Reward.
But on the two, that by ill Fortune crost,
The Vict'ry almost in Possession, lost,
Rich Marks of Royal Bounty he conferr'd,
And with his Smiles, their drooping Spirits cheer'd.
A famous Quiver wrought by Didon 's Hand,
With Thracian Arrows stor'd, at his Commad
Was first on Tudor , as a Gift confer'd;
And cross his Shoulders hung the bright Reward.
Eddelin that never hop'd so mild a Doom,
Receives a silver Helm, and milk white Plume.
This Kindness to th' unfortunate exprest,
He gives the promis'd Prizes to the rest.
Arthur rose up, and all their Footsteps bend
Back to their Camp, which lofty Works defend.
And now the Briton s all their Hands employ,
To fetch Materials in, for Fires of Joy.
All to the Mountains, and the Woods repair,
And with their Labour fill the ecchoing Air.
They raise their Axes, and with toilsome Strokes,
Fell the tall Elms, and lop the spreading Oaks.
They bear the nodding Trees to every Town,
And from the Mountains, draw the Forrests down.
In every City with the shady Spoils,
The joyful Youth erected lofty Piles.
Nearer the Skies they raise th' aspiring Wood,
Than when before, upon the Hills it stood.
Soon as the Sun his Beamy Light withdrew,
And the brown Air grew moist with Ev'ning Dew:
The shouting Briton s, set the Piles on fire,
And tow'ring Flames to Heav'n's high Roof aspire.
Up the steep Air the ruddy Columns play,
And to the Stars their Rival Light convey.
Around the burning Piles the Crowds rejoyce,
And mingle Shouts, with the shrill Trumpet's Voice.
Heav'n's starry Arch with Acclamations ring,
While the glad Throng, Arthur 's loud Praises sings.
Let Arthur live, the Towns and Fields resound,
Let Arthur live, the ecchoing Hills rebound
The Evening thus in Mirth and Triumph past,
The Briton s to their Rest retir'd at last.
Mean time four Lords arriv'd from Tollo , crave
Audience of Octa , which the Saxon gave.
To hear their Embassy, in regal State
High on his Throne, the Saxon Monarch fate.
Duncan the cheif broke Silence thus, we bring
This Message from the great Albanian King;
He is advanc'd, to give that powerful Aid,
Which by his Orator's King Octa pray'd.
A valiant Host obeying his Command,
Whose conquering Swords, no force could yet withstand,
Who laid the Caledonian Forrest wast.
And from their Forts the fierce Meatian chas'd;
Halts on a Plain, three Leagues remov'd from hence,
Ready t' engage their Arms in your Defence.
But then our Leader prays, that when you come,
The Briton s all subdu'd, in Triumph home,
Fair Ethelina may be then his own,
The bright Reward that shall his Labours crown.
If to these happy Nuptialls you incline,
He'll straight with yours, his valiant Forces joyn.
Let not the Saxons doubt great Tollo 's Arms,
Will free your Kingdom from the Foes Alarms.
He said, forthwith Octa in counsel sate,
A Matter so important to debate.
When Osred thus began,
Great Exigencies of our State perswade,
That we comply with this Proposal made;
We are compell'd by hard Affairs, to court
Th' Albanian Arms, our Kingdom to support.
You know too well, how much the Saxons Host,
Is weaken'd by the Numbers we have lost,
When matchless Arthur did our Troops invade,
What Havock his victorious Progress made.
What wide Destruction in our Army rag'd,
Where'er his fatal Weapons were engag'd.
Our frighted Troops, when he advances, fly
Swift as the Clouds, the Winds chace thro' the Sky.
But valiant Tollo , rivals Arthur 's Fame,
Equal their Courage, and their Strength the same.
Against the Briton He'll the Field maintain,
And on his Buckler his vast Strokes sustain.
No stronger Champion travers'd yet the Field,
To him or none the British Prince must yield.
Kind Heav'n has sent a Man so great, and Brave,
From Arthur 's Arms, our threatn'd State to save.
I would not then his just Desire withstand,
But let him know, you grant him his Demand.
This Grant to such a Prince we must allow,
Was always fit, but necessary now.
He ceas'd, and next Pascentius silence broke,
And wisely thus th' attentive Peers bespoke.
I once advis'd that to preserve the State,
We should strict Friendship with Prince Arthur make.
That we Britannia should between us share,
And with the Princess Nuptials end the War.
The Terms propos'd the British Hero please,
And all things seem'd to promise lasting Peace.
But when we were inform'd the British Host
Had half their Force, by raging Sickness lost.
Thinking we might with Ease, the Foe defeat,
We from the Terms our selves propos'd, retreat.
I wish that Rupture May not Heav'n provoke,
To bring our Necks beneath the British Yoke.
With all our Force the Briton s we assail,
But Arthur 's unresisted Arms prevail.
How great a Loss the Saxons undergo
Our bleeding Wounds and endless Funerals show.
What Hero can be found to guard our State,
Against Prince Arthur 's Arms, and prosp'rous Fate.
True, Tollo 's Deeds give him a warlike Name,
But much inferiour to the Briton 's Fame.
If we confiding in th' Albanian 's Sword,
Fresh Triumphs to the Briton should afford:
Who after, shall controuling Bounds oppose,
To the victorious Progress of our Foes?
Who then against the Torrent can contend,
And from th' o'erflowing Flood, our Towns defend.
We shall in vain our former Conquests boast,
The Saxon sinks, and all Britannia 's lost.
All things well weigh'd, Prince Arthur looks to me
As one supported by divine Decree,
To Empire rais'd by unchang'd Destiny.
If so in vain all our Attempts are made,
In vain we build our Hopes on Tollo 's Aid.
We shall oppose inevitable Fate,
And in our Ruin learn our Fault, too late.
I would Prince Arthur 's Temper found, and strive
Once more, the former Treaty to revive.
This way we may controul the Conqueror's Arms,
And Arthur bind by Ethelina 's Charms.
This way perhaps you'll stem the rapid Tyde,
And gain a Conquest to your Arms deny'd.
Pascentius ceas'd, Crida with Choler burn'd,
And with an Air disturb'd these Words return'd:
We all well know Pascentius Tongue, was made
Smooth, soft, and fluent fitted to perswade.
For courtly Arts, and fine Intreagues of State,
No Saxon Genius can Pascentius mate.
All to his Eloquence at home must yield,
As he to all, for Courage in the Field.
Men of the Cabinet take no Delight,
In bloody War, they are too wise to fight.
The Briton 's Strength, and Arthur 's Arms I find,
Strike fiercely on a Prudent timerous Mind.
A brave Heroick Spirit can't despair,
That minds the Turns and doubtful chance of War.
Joyn'd by the Pict and Albanian Horse,
We're much superior to the British Force,
Tollo and Mordred , both for Arms are fam'd,
Whose Deeds with greater Wonder are proclaim'd?
We too have Heros left that dare engage
The Briton 's Arm, and can sustain his Rage.
My self will meet him in the Field, and stand
Unmov'd against the Fury of his Hand.
Shall we at last a Conquer'd Nation fear,
And long inur'd to Victory despair.
Let not our vile Submission stain our Name,
And lessen thro' the World the Saxon Fame.
No, let the King, with Tollo 's Prayer comply,
Our Forces joyn'd must make the Briton s fly.
He ceas'd, the Councel murmur'd their Applause,
And pleas'd with this Advice King Octa rose.
He straight dispatch'd th' Albanian Orators,
By whom the valiant Tollo he assures,
That he the Briton s by his Aid subdu'd,
Shall Ethelina wed for whom he sued.
Withall he added that Affairs requir'd,
Their Troops should join, before the Truce expir'd.
His Oratours return'd, to Tollo bring,
The pleasing Answer, of the Saxon King.
Tollo transported with excessive Joy,
Believes no Rival could his Hopes destroy.
As if the Battel were already won,
He thinks the Beauteous Princess is his own.
Glitt'ring in Arms, like a refulgent Star,
He leads his Scotish Nation to the War.
A Nation fierce and haughty by Success,
Which Albion 's Northern Soil did then posess.
For a rude, cruel People, bred to Spoil,
To Blood, and Rapine, from th' Hibernian Isle,
Did in this Age, infest th' Albanian Coast,
And landed there at last their barb'rous Host.
Scots they were call'd, from their wild Island's Name,
For Scotia , and Hibernia were the same.
Here their new Seats the prosperous Pyrates, fix,
And their course Blood, with the old Briton s mix.
These their Albanian Seats, new Scotia stile,
Leaving Hibernia , to their native isle
The Calidonian Briton s dispossest
And by a hard tirannick Yoke opprest;
Did these Hibernian , Scotish Lords obey,
And felt the Curses of a forraign Sway.
This Nation then obey'd King Tollo 's Laws,
And now in Arms asserts the Saxon Cause.
The mighty Donald , of the Northern Isles ,
Of Visage fierce, and dreadful with the Spoils
Of grisly Bears, and of the foaming Boar,
Which hideous Pride he o'er his Shoulders wore,
Marches his vig'rous Troops into the Field,
Whose thundring Swords, themselves could only weild.
By their rough Captains led, they left the land,
Where once the old Meatians did command.
And where the Walls from Sea to Sea extend,
By Romans built, their Province to defend.
Stupendous Bulwarks, whose unnumber'd Towers,
Repel'd th' Incursions of the Northern Powers.
But when proud Rome was weak and feeble grown,
Th' insulting Foe broke the high Fences down.
Now Ruins show where the chief Fabrick stood,
Between wide Tinna 's and Itunna 's Flood.
The Youth from all the Towns that did obey
In ancient times, the mild Nomantian Sway.
Such as possest th' Elgovian Seats, and those
Who till'd the Land, where silver Devia flows.
Who on the wild and bleaky Shore reside,
Insulted by the rough Hibernian Tide.
To aid the Saxon from their Country came,
By Dongal led, a Lord of Martial Fame.
Those where Verdera rears her lofty Towers,
And Glotta 's Tide into the Ocean pours.
And where th' Orestian Princes heretofore,
And Attacottian Lords the Scepter bore.
Those where the Otadenian Cities stood,
Between Alanus , and fair Vedra 's Flood.
They march from Castralata and the Shore,
Where wide Boderia 's noisy Billows roar.
Then those from Vindolana and the Land
Where Ælians Bridge and high Cilurnum stand.
Mackbeth a great Commander of the North,
And rocky Highlands, draws his Nation forth.
Loose Mantles o'er their brawny Shoulders flung,
With careless Pride beneath their midleg hung.
Cerulean Bonnets on their Heads they wore,
And for their Arms, broad Swords and Targets bore
The Youth pour'd out from fair Victoria 's Gates,
From Orrea and the old Gadenian Seats.
And from the spacious Caledonian Wood,
And where Cebinus rolls his rapid Flood.
These Troops were by the fierce Congellar led,
Of Malcol 's Royal Stock the famous Head.
Who first from wild Jerne wafted o'er,
His barb'rous Engines to th' Albanian Shore.
Those from the Vicomagians Cities came,
From high Banatia , and from ancient Tame .
And they who dwelt on either verdant Bank
Of Longo 's Stream, and those that Itys drank.
With those that stretcht along the western Coast,
To whom the old Creonian Towns were lost,
Where high Epidium midst th' Hibernian Waves,
Protrudes his Head, and all their Monsters braves.
Those from the Towns along the flowry Side
Of Northern Tinna , and fair Tava 's Tide.
Where once the happy Venicontes dwelt,
Before the forraign Conquerours Yoke was felt.
There was a northern Nation fierce and bold,
On whose dy'd Bodies, fearful to behold,
Wild Beasts inscrib'd, and ravenous Birds were born,
Which their vast Limbs did dreadfully adorn.
So fierce they seem'd, as ready to devour,
The naked Limbs, that the wild Monsters bore.
Their Hieroglyphick Armies, stain'd and smear'd
With various Colours, and strange Forms appear'd
In Pageant Armour, and in painted State,
Like Troops of Heralds, who on Triumphs wait.
This Nation Picts were call'd, who wafted o'er
From Scandinavia , and the bleaky Shore
Of Southern Scythia , did these Seas infest,
And with their Fleets, the British Coast molest.
Their Pyracy's by Sea, and Thefts by Land,
Th' exhausted Briton s did in vain withstand.
No more of Rome 's declining Power afraid,
They did the weak, defenceless Isle invade.
Th' affrighted Briton from the Shore retreats,
And leaves the Conquerour his abandon'd Seats.
Their King at Pleasure, this fierce Nation made,
And Mordred now th' imperial Scepter sway'd.
He to King Tollo by his Queen ally'd,
And now by closer Bonds of Interest ty'd.
Commands his Men, to take their Shield and Launce,
And with the Scotish Army to advance.
They march'd, who then possest the Hilly Land,
Which th' ancient Carnonatian did command.
From Ricine , and the frozen Hebudes ,
Lav'd by the loud Deucaledonian Seas.
From all the Towns whence their victorious Sword,
Forc'd the Carenian Prince, the rightful Lord.
Where the wild Hiperborean Ocean raves,
And on the Rocks breaks his tempestuous Waves.
They came who then the Mertian Cities fill'd,
And held the Lands that once the Logian till'd.
They left the Soil where swift Tuesis flows,
Where Grampius stands in everlasting Snows,
Which like the fam'd Riphean Hills appears,
And with his Head divides the neighb'ring Spheres.
From all the Land where Loxa 's Current flows,
Which Vara 's, and Tuesis streams inclose.
Where once the bold Decantians did reside,
And from their Hills the Power of Rome defy'd.
These with the Saxon Troops their Arms unite
Who so well reinforc'd prepare for Fight;
While wounded in his Tent King Octa staid,
King Tollo , as their Leader, all obey'd.
Aurora 's Beams now on the Mountains smil'd,
And adverse Clouds with Purple Edgings gild,
Boyling with Martial Rage King Tollo stands,
And his high Chariot, and his Steeds demands.
Steeds, whiter than the purest Alpine Snows,
And fleeter than the Gales that Boreas blows.
He triumph'd when his noble Breed appear'd,
Their Harness thick with Gold and Silver smear'd.
When he their thundring Neighings heard, and saw
Their wanton Hoofs the trembling Valley paw.
The Grooms and Charioteers about him stand,
Reining the snorting Coursers in their Hand.
Stroking their Backs, they their hot Spirits sooth'd,
And their high Manes with Combs, and Spunges smooth'd.
Tollo mean time, puts on his mighty Arms,
And all the Field resounds with loud Alarms.
Each Army does for Bloody Toil prepare,
And draw their Troops out, to renew the War.
The thund'ring Coursers shake the trampled Ground,
And warlike Clamours from the Hills rebound.
Across the Plain the rapid Chariots fly,
And with thick Clouds of Dust annoy the Sky.
An Iron Harvest on the Field appears,
Of Launces, burnish'd Shields, and bristling Spears.
Throng'd Heads in long embattl'd Ranks dispos'd,
The lowring Front of horrid War disclos'd.
First furious Tollo springs out from the Lines,
And on the Plain in radiant Armour shines:
His polish'd Helm opprest and dazled Sight,
And shone on high, like a huge Globe of Light.
The Golden Shield his mighty Arm did bear,
Hung like a blazing Meteor, in the Air.
His Coat of Mail was on his Shoulders cast,
And Golden Pieces his vast Thighs encas'd.
The Pieces round his Legs, Gold Buttons ty'd,
And his broad sword hung dreadful by his side.
Which when drawn out, like a destructive Flame
Of Light'ning, from the ample Scabbard came.
In such illustrious Arms King Tollo shone,
And thought no Strength superior to his own.
Then shaking in his Hand his massy Spear,
He cry'd aloud, that all his Threats might hear.
This Spear ne'er yet deceiv'd its Master's Hand,
Nor could the bravest Knight it's Force withstand.
Witness Albodian , and great Locrine slain
In single Combates, on th' Albanian Plain.
Witness ye Caledonian Princes, you,
Whom with vast spoil on Tava 's's Banks I slew.
Now, by this faithful spear shall Arthur dy,
If his just Fears perswade him not to fly.
T' Augusta 's Gates I'll bring his sever'd Head,
And in his spoils, fair Ethelina wed.
Thus Tollo boasts, thus did his Fury rise,
And streaks of Fire flash'd from his raging Eyes.
So when a tawny Lyon, from the side
Of some high Lybian Mountain, has descry'd.
A spotted Leopard, or a foaming Boar,
To rouse his Courage he begins to roar,
He shakes his hideous Sides, his Bristles rise
And fiercely round he rowls his fiery Eyes.
Again he roars, his Paws the Mountains tear,
A fearful Preface to th' ensuing War.
High in his Chariot Tollo then advanc'd,
And from his Arms amazing Lustre glanc'd.
A Martial Ardour sparkled in his Eyes,
And hot with Choler he the Foe defies.
So when the Spring's warm Breath, and chearing Ray
Calls from his Cave th' awaken'd Snake , that lay
Folded to Rest, while Winter Snows conceal'd
The Mountains Heads, and Frosts the Lakes congeal'd.
The sloughy Spoils from his sleek Back depos'd,
And the gay Pride of his new Skin disclos'd,
He views himself with Youthful Beauties crown'd,
Elated casts his haughty Eyes around,
And rolls his speckled spires along the Ground.
Fresh Colours dy his Sides, and thro' his Veins
Turgid with Life, reviving Vigour reigns.
The sprightly Beast, unfolds upon the Plain
The glossy Honours of his Summer Train.
His Crest erected high, and forky Tongue
Shot out, he hisses, bounds, and leaps along.
Such Life and Vigour valiant Tollo shows,
Marching with eager Haste to meet his Foes.
And now the British Host advanc'd in sight,
With chearful Looks, and eager of the Fight.
Prince Arthur in refulgent Arms appear'd,
High in the midst, the Saxons saw, and fear'd.
As when a Merchant richly laden spies,
A lowring storm far in th' Horizon rise,
A deadly Fear o'er all his Vitals reigns,
And his chill Blood hangs curdled in his Veins.
He furls his Sails, and fits his ship to bear
The dreadful Hurricane ascending thro' the Air.
Now both th' embattled Hosts advancing near,
King Tollo shakes his long, outrageous Spear.
And crying out, and threatning from afar,
In his swift Chariot flew amidst the War.
His rapid Wheels cut thro' the thickest Files
With fearful Ruine, and prodigious Spoils.
Hapless Vodinar first his Arm did feel,
And in his Breast receiv'd the pointed steel.
Next Byron on the Sand expiring lies,
Orpes flies to his Aid, and with him dies.
Kentwin , Morosten , Caradoc he flew,
And with his Javelin pierc'd stout Mervin thro'.
Then you brave Youths, Risan , and Tudor fell
Who did in strength, and martial skill excel.
His fatal spear transfixt bold Arnon 's sides,
And from his Neck, his Sword the Head divides.
As Udas fled, the hissing Dart he sent
Enter'd his Back, and thro' his Navel went,
He fell, and on the Dust, sad to behold,
His Bowels issuing from his Belly roll'd.
Runo 's right Knee his Javelin did invade,
And in the Bone the glitt'ring Weapon staid.
Strong Runo fell, and as he wildly star'd,
And many moving Words, in hast prepar'd
To beg his Life, th' insulting Conquerour flew,
And with his Spear pierc'd his pale Body thro'.
Groaning he lay, and fetcht long double Sighs
While in thick Mists Death swims upon his Eyes.
Next Leoline , King Cadwall 's Son he kill'd,
A beauteous Youth, and not in War unskill'd.
His Head the Fauchion to the Shoulders cleft,
And on the Dust his groveling Body left.
Ouenar flet within a sudden Dread,
And turning round his Chariot, would have fled.
When his long Spear the fierce Albanian threw,
Which crasht the Bones, and thro' the Temples flew.
Headlong Ouenar fell, and on the Ground
Lay welt'ring in his Blood, pour'd from his Wound.
His fatal Weapons vast Destruction made,
And where he pass'd, the slain in Heaps were laid.
So when a Flood from th' Hyperborean Hills,
Rolls thund'ring down, and all the Valley fills,
Where the high Snows dissolv'd by Summer Beams,
In one vast Deluge joyn their various Streams:
The roaring Tide with its impetuous Course,
O'erflows the Banks, and with resistless Force
Sweeps Houses, Harvest, Herds, and Flocks away,
Nor can the loftiest Mounds its Progress stay.
With equal Rage, with such impetuous Hast,
Great Tollo thro' the thick Battalions past.
The rapid Wheels of his swift Chariot burn,
And in their Course the throng'd Brigades o'erturn.
O'er scatter'd Arms, bright Helms, broad Shields of Brass,
And broken Spears, his raging Axles pass.
O'er Heaps of Dead the furious Warrior flies,
And fills with Dust, and ratling Noise, the Skies.
The squallid Field, a Crimson Torrent choaks,
And mingled Dust, and Blood oppress his Chariot's spoakes.
The trembling Ground th' outrageous Coursers tear,
And snoring, brow their Foam into the Air
Their fervid Nostrils breath out Clouds of Smoke,
And Flames of Fire from their hot Eyeballs broke.
With furious Hoofs o'er slaughter'd Heaps they fly,
And dash up Bloody Rain amidst the Sky.
Reeking in sweat, and smear'd with Dust and Gore
They spurn the Sand, and thro' the Battel roar.
Then Valiant Malgo with a fresh Brigade,
Advanc'd the mighty Warriour to invade.
While from another Part his Warlike Band,
Bothan led up, and made a noble Stand.
Now Showers of Darts, and feather'd Arrows fly
At Tollo 's Breast, that darken'd all the Sky.
When Valiant Marodan approaching near,
With all his Strength, casts his impetuous Spear.
It pass'd the Buckler's Plates, and folded Hide,
And thro' his Armour slightly raz'd his Side.
Tollo incens'd, collecting all his Might,
Broke thro' their Ranks, and put the Foe to Flight.
Now dire Destruction reigns amidsts their Files,
And all the Field was spread with warlike Spoils.
So when Battavian Harpooniers assail,
With their sharp Launces, some prodigious Whale ,
That like a floating Mountain, lies at Ease,
Vastly extended on the Frozen Seas.
When the Leviathan begins to feel,
Within his wounded side, the bearded steel;
And looking round, sees all the ambient Flood,
Deeply distain'd with its old Monarch's Blood.
Straight all enrag'd, he throws himself about,
And thro' the Air does Crimson Rivers spout.
Swift, as a storm, he does the Foe assail,
With his expanded Fins, and hideous Tail.
Some Barks are crush'd, as with a falling Rock,
And some o'erturn'd, sink with the dreadful Shock.
The rest ply all their Oars, and frighted row,
Thro' Fields of Ice, to shun th' unequal Foe.
Canvallo then brought up a stronger Force,
Whom Galbut joyn'd to stop th' Albanian 's Course.
The fainting Briton s these fresh Troops protect,
And with their Arms great Tollo 's Triumphs checkt.
And now their thick Brigades were close engag'd,
And thro' the bloody Field Destruction rag'd.
Now Man to Man stood close, and Spear to Spear,
Helms mixt with Helms, and Shields with Shields appear.
Arrows aloft in feather'd Tempests fly,
Darts hiss at Darts, encountring in the Sky.
A dreadful Noise distracting all the Air,
Came from the hoarce Cerberean Throat of War.
While Arms on Arms, Bucklers on Bucklers ring,
Swords clash with Swords, and flying Javelins sing.
Some threaten loud, while some for Quarter cry,
And some insult, while some in Torment dy.
As when a Torrent down some Mountain's Side,
To the low Valleys rolls its rapid Tide,
Where mighty Stones and rocky Fragments, high
Within the rude, unfashion'd Channels ly.
O'er abrupt Tracks its Course the Deluge bends,
And roaring down with mighty Falls, descends.
Prodigious Noise th' Aerial Region fills,
The Shepherds hear, and tremble on their Hills.
When high Vesuvius stow'd with wealthy Stores,
Preluding to some dire Irruption, roars;
While horrible Convulsions shake its Womb,
And lab'ring Sides, which hidden War entomb.
Th' imprison'd Thunder bellows under Ground,
And the loud Noise fill all the Heav'ns around.
August Parthenope 's gilt Turrets shake,
And fair Campania 's wealthy Farmers quake.
Such was the loud distracting Noise of War,
Such horrid Clamours tore th' afflicted Air,
While the fierce Foes against each other rag'd,
And for Britannia 's Empire were engag'd.
The neighing Steeds, and wounded Warriours cries,
And rising Clouds of Dust confound the Skies.
Mordred mean time the mighty Pictan King,
Does to the Charge, his threatning Squadrons bring.
Sticking his Golden Rowels in the Sides
Of his huge Steed, amidst the Ranks he rides.
The British Horse unshaken as a Rock,
Bravely sustain'd th' Invader's thundring Shock.
King Meridoc who did the Horse command
Confirm'd his Men, to make so brave a stand.
Yet many valiant Briton s Mordred slew,
First with his Spear he pierc'd brave Jasper thro.
The Valiant Giffith by unhappy Chance,
Came in his Way, and felt his fatal Launce.
Beneath his Ear, the Weapon pierc'd his Head,
He fell, and in a Moment stretcht out dead.
His furious Arm noble Lodanar felt
On whose high Crest so fierce a stroke he dealt,
The Briton stun'd with the prodigious Blow,
Drops the loos'd Reins, and lets his Weapons go.
The frighted Courser thro the Battel Flies,
Lodanor in the Dust dismounted lies.
The Horses Hoofs in pieces crush his Head,
And deep into the Mire his Bowels tread.
Then with great Fury he at Adel flew,
And grip'd him with his furious Hand, and drew
The Briton from his Seat, his fiery Steed
Scours o'er the Field, from his lost Rider freed.
Wrigling and spurning in his Arms the Prey
'Midst loud Applauses Mordred bears away.
So when an Eagle from some Mountain's Top,
To truss a timerous Leveret makes a stoop,
And in his crooked Pounces takes him up.
Struggling he mounts, and squeaks amidst the Skies
And faster than he ran before, he flies.
To fight the Pict straight Guinan did advance
But in his Shield broke his projected Launce.
Then at the Briton Mordred 's Javelin flew
It mist the Rider, but the Courser slew.
Extended on the Ground the groaning Beast,
Th' unhappy Rider with his Weight opprest.
Mordred dismounts, and with his glitt'ring Dart
Loudly insulting, stabs him to the Heart.
Guinan a Friend to Meridoc was dear
Who at his Death enrag'd caught up his Spear,
And shaking it from far, with mighty Rage,
Spurs thro' their Ranks King Mordred to engage.
The Pictan Monarch who elated stood,
Like some tall Oak, that overlooks the Wood,
Or some high Tower, which with its lofty Head
Surveys the Towns beneath, around it spread,
Lifts his Gigantick Spear, and cry'd aloud,
To Meridoc advancing thro' the Crowd,
Briton come on, and but a Moment stand,
A glorious Fate expect from Mordred 's Hand.
Let not thy Fears perswade thee hence to flie,
Heav'ns give thee Courage to come up, and die.
King Meridoc his Spear in Answer sent,
Which in the Shield's third Ply, its Fury spent.
Then Mordred threw, aloft the Weapon hist,
Ludar it slew, but Meridoc it mist.
Brave Ludar was a Lord of Neustrian Blood,
Who long in vain the fair Marinda woo'd.
To bless him with her Smiles, and heal his Wound,
But from the scornful Maid no Pity found:
Lost in Despair, he left his native Soil,
His Torments to beguile with Martial Toil.
Now wounded by an erring Spear, he lies
Cry'd out Marinda , cruel Fate! and dies.
Then did the Briton 's second Weapon fly
Which thro' his Armour, pierc'd King Mordred 's Thigh.
Which from the Flesh he strove to draw in vain,
Then flew about wreckt with Tormenting Pain.
Wildly he star'd, and turn'd his Courser's Head,
Aloud he roar'd, and from the Combat fled.
So when a Sword-Fish, urg'd with generous Rage,
Does a vast Whale, in Northern Seas engage.
The Finny Warriors, with a furious Course
To Battel rush, and meet with wondrous Force.
A Noble Fight ensues, and dreadful Strokes
Afflict the Main, and shake the neighb'ring Rocks.
As they advance, they drive high Seas before,
The Monsters bellow, and the Billows roar.
The boiling Sea, with greater Fury raves,
Then when incumbent Storms press on its Waves.
The Surges raging with intestine War,
With high, curl'd Heads, look terrible from far.
The Foam of breaking Waves, in pointed Sleet
Like driven Snow does on the Ocean beat.
At every Shock the dashing Waters fly,
And clouds of Liquid dust obscure the Sky.
At last the Whale his shining Belly goar'd,
By his fierce Enemy's invading Sword;
Wild with his Rage and Pain whole Seas does spout,
And like a floating Island, rolls about.
The wounded Monster does the Seas out roar,
And tumbles thro' the Billows to the Shore,
Leaving behind broad Tracks of Purple Gore.
Thus strove the Pictan and the British Horse,
While pious Arthur with resistless Force;
In radiant Arms, bright as th' autumnal Star,
Flies thro' the Foe, himself a fearful War.
With his victorious Sword, which wav'd on high,
Made flaming Bows, and Arches in the Sky.
The Body of their Battel he invades,
And thro' a Sea of Blood victorious wades.
Where'er the Conqu'ror did his progress bend,
Ruin and wide Destruction did attend.
Prodigious Numbers by his Weapons fall,
And on their Gods in vain the Saxons call.
He made his way, like an impetuous Flood,
Or furious Burning, raging thro' the Wood
Where'er he pass'd the Dead lay thick behind,
As sapless Leaves, spread by a boistrous Wind.
Ussina first a valiant Lord did feel
In his left Side, the Briton 's piercing steel.
Next Godred fell from valiant Ingulf sprung,
And as he fell, his Arms upon him rung.
Next fell the famous Ethelbert betwixt,
The Head and Shoulders with a Dart transfixt.
Nothing his Courage, or illustrious Blood,
That to his Veins from mighty Odin 's flow'd;
Nothing his well prov'd Armour when assail'd
By Arthur 's hand, the noble Youth avail'd.
Struggling he lay, and wallow'd on the Ground
In the warm Streams that rush'd out from his Wound.
A gloomy Night o'er whelms his dying Eyes,
And his disdainful Soul, from his pale Bosom flies
Then Imerick he slew a valiant Chief,
And Lodocan that rush'd to his Relief:
One with his Fauchion, th' other with his Spear,
That cleft the Head, this pierc'd from Ear to Ear.
Next from his Arm a singing Javelin sent,
Thro' the left Groin of mighty Crida went.
The wounded Chief retires in tort'ring Pain,
And Tracks of Blood his halting Leg distain.
Then Sigebert a noble Youth he slew,
The fatal Weapon pierc'd his Temples thro'.
His furious Dart did next at Ebald fly,
Which thro' his Shield pierc'd deep into his Thigh:
Inflam'd with Rage, and roaring out with Pain,
He strove to pull the Weapon out in vain.
His Javelin next transfixt Congellars 's Reins,
And out his Life gush'd from his open'd Veins.
Then Edbert fell
Thro' the Bright Helmet which his Head encas'd,
Thro' Bones, and Brains the furious Javelin pass'd;
And his left Eye from out its Circle struck,
On the sharp Point, a ghastly Prospect stuck.
Then Ethelrick a stout west Saxon Lord,
And Ida fell, by his victorious Sword.
The first his Head down to his Shoulders cleft,
Fell to the Ground, of Breath and sense bereft.
The heavy Blade falling with oblique Sway,
Half thro' the other's Neck, did make its way.
The Head half sever'd on his Shoulders hung,
And from the Wound a bloody Torrent sprung.
Rolling in Gore upon the Field he lay,
Wildly he star'd, and groan'd his life away,
As when a mighty Tempest from the East,
The Sea assail'd, and on the Billows prest
By Heav'n's Command, that Jacob 's Fav'rite Race,
Might Pharaoh 's Arms escape, and safely pass.
Th' astonish'd Ocean did its Force obey,
Open'd his watry Files, and clear'd the pathless way.
The Waves retreated, and erected stood,
As fear and wonder had benum'd the Flood.
Then Front to Front they kept their Line unmov'd,
And those that crowd behind, they backwards shov'd.
Like a long Ridge of Crystal Hills they rose,
And the low Wonders of the deep disclose.
So valiant Arthur prest upon the Foe,
And so their Troops retir'd, and let the Conqueror thro.
Now he advanc'd to Tollo 's foremost Band,
Where mighty Fingal and Dolavian stand;
Both which he slew, next valiant Duncan falls,
While he in vain for Help on Tollo calls.
And now on every side the Saxon Host
Began to fly, and yield the Battel lost.
Only King Tollo with enormous Rage
Breaks thro' the Troops, Prince Arthur to engage.
Mean time the Prince of Hell stood full of Care,
And fear'd th' Event of this unequal War.
To save the Saxon Squadrons which remain,
Whereof such Numbers lay already slain,
And to prevent Tollo 's impending Fate,
Whose Arms the British Hero's could not mate.
The conquering Britons fierce pursuit to stay,
And once more Arthur 's Triumphs to Delay,
By Heav'n's Permission, causes to arise
A dreadful Tempest in the troubled Skies.
The blustring Powers, and Demons of the Air,
Straight at his Summons to their Prince repair.
To whom thus Lucifer :
Aerial Powers, who my Commands obey,
And in these Regions own my soveraign Sway;
Know, I intend to end this bloody Strife,
To part the Hosts, and guard King Tollo 's Life.
Go hasten then, each to his known Employ,
And let your loudest Storms the Heav'ns annoy.
Swift, as your own projected Lightnings fly,
And in a Moment trouble all the Sky.
The dusky Fiends obedient fly away,
Some fetch up misty Stores to choak the Day.
Some Pitchy Clouds of Stygian Fleeces made,
And in their Bowels Trains of Brimstone laid.
Some ram in Seeds of unripe Thunder some,
With mighty Hailstones charge their hollow Womb.
Some fetch strong Winds, which on their Wings may bear
The heavy Tempest lab'ring thro' the Air.
O'erspreading mists th' extinguish'd sunbeams drown
Dark Clouds o'er all the Black Horrizon frown,
And hang their deep Hydropick Bellies down.
Hoarse Thunder rolls, and Murm'ring try's its Voice,
Preluding to the Tempest's dreadful Noise.
Infernal Torches now the Fiends apply,
And light the fiery Seeds that hidden lie.
The Heav'n's wide Frame outrageous Thunder shocks,
Loud, as the mighty Crack of falling Rocks.
The Cloudy Machines burst amidst the Skies,
And from their yawning Wounds exploded Lightning flies.
Confusion fills the Air, Fire, Rain, and Hail
Now mingle Tempests, now by Turns prevail.
No more the Briton s, and the Saxons strove,
For that below, yields to the War above.
The conquering Briton s, to the Camp return,
Their Loss in theirs, the vanquish'd Saxons mourn.
So when a summer Cloud the Sky o'erspreads,
The Bees that wander o'er the flowry Meads,
Or to the Tops of lofty Mountains climb,
To fetch the yellow spoils of od'rous Thyme,
Forsake their Toil, and lab'ring thro' the Air,
To their known Hives, with hasty Flight repair.
All to their Cells returning from abroad,
Depose their luscious Dew, and strutting Thighs unload.
Perplext, and sad, the Saxon Troops appear,
And horribly they curst Prince Arthur 's spear.
They saw no Saxon could his Arm withstand,
And doubt Deliverance from King Tollo 's Hand.
When half of this uneasie Night was spent,
To all the great Commanders Octa sent,
To bring them quickly to his royal Tent.
And first the Summons they to Tollo bear,
Who to equip himself did straight prepare.
A Wolf grin'd horribly upon his Head,
And o'er his brawny Back a Leopard's Hide was spread.
He girds his mighty Fauchion to his side,
Which hung across his Thigh, with fearful Pride.
Frowning, and on the great Affair Intent,
He straight to Octa 's high Pavilion went.
Next Mordred halting with his Wound, and lame,
And by his massy spear supported, came.
A Beaver's Skin upon his Head he wore,
And a fierce Tyger 's his wide shoulders bore.
A silver Belt, illustrious to behold,
Held his broad sword, adorn'd with studs of Gold.
Then Ella rose with newly laid down to Rest,
And button'd on his rich embroider'd Vest.
O'er which a pompous scarlet Cloak he threw,
Fasten'd with Golden Clasps, and lin'd with costly Blue.
Then putting on his mighty sword, in Hast
Tho lame, he to the Counsel sternly past.
Then valiant Amades , and Chuline went
With wise Pascentius to their Monarch's Tent
Follow'd by Osred , Sebert , and the rest
Of their chief Lords, who great Concern exprest:
And now th' august Assembly fill'd apace,
Where all the Leaders took their proper Place.
Then their Attention Octa did demand,
And leaning on his Scepter with his Hand,
He thus began, Princes, you see the Field
To the victorious Briton s still we yield.
By Sea, and Land we've felt their fatal Arms,
And all our Realm trembles at their Alarms.
Our Heaps of Dead the Field with Horrour crown,
And Seas of Saxon Blood the Valley drown.
All Albion 's Isle resounds with dying Groans,
White with her Rocks, but whiter with our Bones.
Prince Arthur 's Sword the Field with Ruin spreads,
Like Storms, which from the Trees dishonour'd Heads
Their shady Leaves, and spreading Branches tear,
Cover the Ground, and leave the Forrest bare.
On us th' offended Gods severely frown,
But on the British Arms look smiling down.
While we oppose the rapid Tide of Fate,
We think to stop what we precipitate,
And learn our Errour, at too dear a Rate.
He said, the Saxon Chiefs, who found their Host
Feeble, and sunk by frequent Battels lost:
Thinking their Arms unable to oppose,
The rapid Course of their victorious Foes:
Upon Pascentius straightway cast their Eyes,
As one above the rest accounted wise,
And who the King to Peace did still advise.
Pascentius then began.
Octa , the Counsel which at first I gave
From Arthur 's Arms our threaten'd State to save;
What since has happen'd, shows was just and right:
For who can meet the British Prince in Fight?
Our sinking State, and hard Affairs demand
A Remedy of Force, and near at Hand.
He that in such a Storm, would safely steer,
Must have a Head that's steady, cool, and clear.
'The lab'ring Ship on all sides feels dire shocks,
Charybdis shun'd, she's dash'd on Scylla 's Rocks.
Tis hard to give a Monarch Counsel where
On either Hand such frightful shelves appear.
Statesmen, in such a Case as this debate
How best to save themselves, and not the state.
But if my Judgment still I must declare,
I would at any Price compose the War.
And till a more effectual can be found,
This as a safe Expedient I propound.
Sore with their Wounds, and sunk with ill success,
The Saxons strong Desires for Peace express.
This to obtain, we must to Arthur sue,
And the first Treaty, which we broke, renew.
The Princess Ethelina 's Heav'nly Charms,
Are only stronger, than the Briton 's Arms.
She must be offer'd, as the Prince's Bride,
This once prevail'd, and must again be try'd.
But then you break the Promise, that you made
To Tollo , who'll complain he is betray'd.
Since hence to Peace, our chief Obstructions spring,
I move that Arthur , and th' Albanian King,
May by their single Arms the strife decide,
And let the Princess be the Conqueror's Bride.
If o'er the Briton s we th' Advantage gain,
And Arthur by th' Albanian King is slain.
The Briton s shall repass Sabrina 's Tide,
And in their Rocks, and Hilly Lands abide.
But all the Cities, Castles, and the Land,
That lie on this side, Octa shall command.
But if King Tollo slain by Arthur 's Sword,
New Triumphs to the Briton shall afford;
We'll meet no more their Armies in the Field,
But all our Towns, and conquer'd Places yield.
Those who shall ask it, shall be wafted o'er,
To our old seats along the German shore:
The Cantian Kingdom still we will retain,
And in its Limits circumscrib'd remain.
This, as the best Expedient, I propose,
He said, the Saxons murmur'd their Applause.
Then Tollo answer'd with a haughty Air,
Pleas'd with my Fate, I undertake the War.
My Sword and Arthur 's shall the Strife decide,
And let the Princess be the Victor's Bride.
This conquering Arm the Saxon Realm shall guard,
Repell the Foe, and win the bright Reward.
For if the Foe does not my Sword decline,
The War is ended, with his Fall or mine.
Th' Assembly rose, and back the Captains went,
Praising King Tollo much, but fear'd th' Event.
At the first opening of the tender Day,
Six Orators King Octa sent away.
To Arthur 's Camp, who introduc'd declare,
The Measures taken to compose the War.
The Challenge Arthur heard with great Delight,
And readily accepts the single Fight.
Straight to the sacred Temples all repair,
Heav'n to solicite with united Prayer,
That Arthur in the Combate might succeed,
And vanquish'd Tollo , by his Weapon bleed.
With warmer Zeal, and with more earnest Cries,
The Briton s never importun'd the Skies.
A deep Concern at Heart they all exprest,
And mighty Passions struggled in their Breast.
For if the Prince fell in the Combat, all
Well knew their unsupported State must fall.
Soon as the Sun had streak'd the Skies with Light,
Prince Arthur rose; and Arm'd himself for fight.
Peices with silver Studs his Legs encas'd,
And Plates of Gold his warlike Thighs embrac'd.
And on his Head he lac'd his burnish'd Helm,
Whence flashing Brightness did the Sight o'erwhelm.
Like some Celestial Orb his blazing Shield,
Darted amazing Lustre thro' the Field.
And then he girded to his Martial Side,
His faithful Sword, so oft in Battel try'd.
Thus arm'd the Hero mounts his thundring Steed,
Nor Thrace , nor Greece can boast a nobler Breed.
With his strong Arm he grip'd his trembling Spear,
His very Friends, tho pleas'd, yet seem'd to fear.
And as he spurr'd his Courser, and advanc'd,
Unsufferable Splendour from his Armour glanc'd.
As glorious Michael , when the Foe alarms
The blissful Realms, clad in Celestial Arms,
Bright as the Sun, leads forth th' Angelick Host,
To chase th' Invaders from the Heav'nly Coast,
In such illustrious Arms the Prince was seen,
His warlike Grace was such, and such his Godlike Mien.
Mean time King Octa from his Camp proceeds,
High in his Chariot, drawn by milk white Steeds.
And by his Side, Tollo , appear'd in sight,
Compleatly arm'd, and coveting the Fight.
His Coat of Mail was o'er his Shoulders flung,
And by his side his dreadful Fauchion hung.
Like a high Beacon lighted in the Air,
His Buckler flam'd, denouncing horrid War.
In his right Hand he shakes his pondrous Launce,
And on his Steed did to the Lists advance.
The Marshals of the Field had markt out Ground
Fit for the Fight, and fixt high Pales around.
Which with arm'd Troops, on either side were lin'd,
Their Spears stuck in the Ground, their Shields reclin'd.
On either Side the Armies stood in sight,
Drawn up, as they two were design'd for Fight.
Attended with his Heralds on the Place,
Prince Arthur first appear'd with Martial Grace.
When Octa and his Priests advancing near,
Raising his Voice that those around might hear.
His Hand devoutly on his Breast, his Eyes
Fixt in a solemn Manner on the Skies;
To ratifie the Treaty, thus he swore,
Th' Eternal Mind whom Christians do adore,
The God of Truth I here to witness call,
That if this Day by Tollo 's Arms I fall,
We will no more Hostilities repeat,
But o'er Sabrina's Waters will retreat.
We will no more the Saxon State molest,
But in our Hills and snowy Mountains rest.
But if we find this an auspicious Day,
And by Heaven's Aid, my Arms shall Tollo slay;
Then if the vanquish'd Saxons shall restore
The Towns and Lands, which we possest before,
They in the Cantian Kingdom shall reside,
And unmolested in those Bounds abide.
Then did King Octa by an Altar stand,
Rais'd with Green Turf, and on it laid his Hand.
And thus his Idols he invok'd.
Irmansul God of Arms, and mighty Jove ,
Tuisco , Odin , all ye Powers above,
And you green Gods, and blew-ey'd Goddesses,
Who rule the spacious Empire of the Seas.
And you tremendous Powers, who all resort,
At Pluto 's Summons, to th' Infernal Court:
Ye rural Gods, who rule the Hills and Woods,
Ye watry Powers, who dive beneath the Floods.
By gloomy Styx I swear, bear witness all,
That if King Tollo does in Combate fall,
The Treaty now agreed to, shall be kept,
The Cantian Kingdom only we except,
All other Lands, our once victorious Sword,
Won from the British Kings, shall be restor'd.
He who shall Conquerour in the Field remain,
Shall for his Bride fair Ethelina gain.
He said, and to confirm the Oath he swore,
He drew his Sword, that by his Side he wore:
And with its Point did his full Veins divide,
And let out from his Arm, the Crimson Tide.
A golden Bowl receiv'd the vital Flood,
Which Octa took, and drank the flowing Blood.
Arthur and Tollo now themselves prepare,
By a brave Combate to decide the War.
The Martials, Heralds, and the Fecial Priests
The Ceremonies finish'd, clear the Lists.
Then the loud Trumpet's Clangour did invite,
The mighty Warriours to begin the Fight.
Both in their Hands grasping their pointed Launce,
Spur their hot Steeds, and to the War advance.
And now the Combatants approach'd so near,
Their Voices rais'd, they might each other hear.
Then Tollo cry'd aloud
Till now distress'd without a Friend or Home,
In forraign Lands, you did an Exile roam,
Here stop your Course, your Soul mean time shall go,
A wandring Exile to the Shades below.
I'll take off with this Sword your gasping Head,
And in your Spoils, fair Ethelina wed.
Were you brave Hector , or his braver Foe,
Or Godlike Hercules , I'd stand your Blow.
Did you advance, with Thunder in your Hand,
Against your Bolts I would undaunted stand.
But such a mighty Foe I need not fear,
You bear not such a Shield, nor such a Spear.
Oh! that bright Ethelina now stood by,
To see her Lover, and my Rival dy.
Thus boastful Tollo did his Choler vent,
And thus in Air his empty Threats were spent.
The pious Prince enrag'd, without Reply,
Shakes his long Spear, and hastes to Victory.
As when a roaming Lyon from a far,
Sees a strong Bull stand threat'ning furious War,
Who flourishes his Horns, looks sowrly round,
And hoarcely bellowing, traverses the Ground.
For want of Foes, he does the Wood provoke,
Runs his curl'd Head against the next tall Oak,
Wishing a nobler Object of his Stroke.
The Lyon fir'd, regards him with Disdain,
And to insult him scowrs along the Plain.
So Arthur boyling with Heroic Rage,
Springs with a full Carrier, King Tollo to engage.
Collected in himself th' Albanian stood,
Like some tall, shady Pine, it self a Wood,
Or a vast Cyclops wading thro' the Flood.
Then Tollo first, Arthur advancing near,
With all his Force casts his long Ashen Spear.
Which Arthur on his temper'd Buckler took,
While with the vast concern the Briton s shook.
Thro' the first Plate of Brass the Weapon went,
But in the next its dying Force was spent.
Then from his valiant Arm the Briton threw,
His Javelin, singing thro' the Air it flew.
The yielding Buckler did its Force obey,
And thro' the Plates, and Hide it made its Way.
Thro' the thin Joynts of Steel the Spear did fly,
And wounded, as it past, his mighty Thigh.
The Blood sprung thro' his Armour, from the Wound,
And trickling down the Plate, distain'd the Ground.
Then did King Tollo 's second Weapon fly,
Which broke within the Buckler's second Ply.
The British Prince another Weapon threw,
Which, Tollo stooping, o'er his Shoulders flew.
And falling went so deep upon the Ground,
No Arm, of Force to draw it out, was found.
These Weapons spent, to end the noble Fight,
The furious Warriours from their Steeds alight.
And as they nimbly leapt upon the Ground,
The most undaunted Chiefs that stood around,
So fearful was the Chinck their Armour made,
Started, as Men surpriz'd, and look'd afraid.
Then furious Strokes on either Side they deal,
The ecchoing Air rings with the dreadful Peal.
Pale with the vast Concern both Armies look,
And for their Champion's Life with Terrour shook.
So when two vig'rous Stags, each of his Herd
The haughty Lord, thro' all the Forrest fear'd,
Resolv'd to try which must in Combate yield,
In all their Might advance across the Field;
They nod their lofty Heads, and from a far
Flourish their Horns, preluding to the War.
The Combatants their threatning Head incline,
And with their clashing Horns in Battel joyn,
They rush to combate with amazing Strokes,
And their high Antlets meet with dreadful Shocks.
The mighty Sound runs ratling o'er the Hills,
And Eccho with the fight the Valley fills.
Retiring oft, the Warriours cease to push,
But then with fiercer Rage to Battel rush.
The trembling Herds at Distance gaze, and stay
To know the Conquerour, whom they must obey.
No less concern'd Saxons , and Britons stand
To see the Victor, who must both command.
Now Tollo backwards shrinks, and panting stood
Faint with his Labour, and his Loss of Blood.
The British Prince enrag'd to see the Fight
So far prolong'd, collecting all his Might,
With double Fury on th' Albanian prest,
And his bright Sword high rais'd, upon his Crest
It stun'd the Foe, and took his Sense away.
He dropt his Arms, and giddy reel'd about,
The joyful Britons raise a mighty Shout.
Arthur on fire, lets not th' Advantage go,
But stepping forward with a back hand blow
Drawn with prodigious Strength, from side to side
Did his wide Throat, and spouting Veins divide.
A crimson River gushing from the Wound,
Ran down his burnish'd Armour to the Ground.
Reeling and tott'ring for a While he stood,
And from his Stomack vomits clotted Blood.
Then down he fell, the Field beneath, and all
the Saxon Army tremble at his Fall:
Groveling in Death, and smear'd with Gore he lay,
And his dim Eyes scarcely admit the Day.
Rolling in Dust his wounded Body bled,
Away his Soul with Indignation fled.
Convuls'd and quivering for a while he fetcht
A dreadful Groan, and breathless out he stretcht.
As when a Whirlwind with outrageous Force
O'erturns a lofty Oak, that stops its Course,
Its Roots torn up, the Tree's caught from the Ground,
And with the furious Eddy carried round:
Then falling from the Sky, his stately Head,
And shady Limbs, the groaning Hill o'erspread.
So by Prince Arthur 's Arms, King Tollo slain,
Fell down, and lay extended on the Plain.
Next: King Arthur: Part I, by Richard Blackmore