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Torquato Tasso
Jerusalem Delivered
page 139

"Unless thyself, thyself heaven's joys envy,
And thy vain sorrow thee of bliss deprive,
Live, know I love thee, that I nill deny,
As angels, men: as saints may wights on live:"
This said, of zeal and love forth of her eye
An hundred glorious beams bright shining drive,
Amid which rays herself she closed from sigh,
And with new joy, new comfort left her knight.

Thus comforted he waked, and men discreet
In surgery to cure his wounds were sought,
Meanwhile of his dear love the relics sweet,
As best he could, to grave with pomp he brought:
Her tomb was not of varied Spartan greet,
Nor yet by cunning hand of Scopas wrought,
But built of polished stone, and thereon laid
The lively shape and portrait of the maid.

With sacred burning lamps in order long
And mournful pomp the corpse was brought to ground
Her arms upon a leafless pine were hung,
The hearse, with cypress; arms, with laurel crowned:
Next day the prince, whose love and courage strong
Drew forth his limbs, weak, feeble, and unsound,
To visit went, with care and reverence meet,
The buried ashes of his mistress sweet:

Before her new-made tomb at last arrived,
The woful prison of his living sprite,
Pale, cold, sad, comfortless, of sense deprived,
Upon the marble gray he fixed his sight,
Two streams of tears were from his eyes derived:
Thus with a sad "Alas!" began the knight,
"0 marble dear on my dear mistress placed!
My flames within, without my tears thou hast.

"Not of dead bones art thou the mournful grave,
But of quick love the fortress and the hold,
Still in my heart thy wonted brands I have
More bitter far, alas! but not more cold;
Receive these sighs, these kisses sweet receive,
In liquid drops of melting tears enrolled,
And give them to that body pure and chaste,
Which in thy bosom cold entombed thou hast.

"For if her happy soul her eye doth bend
On that sweet body which it lately dressed,
My love, thy pity cannot her offend,
Anger and wrath is not in angels blessed,
She pardon will the trespass of her friend,
That hope relieves me with these griefs oppressed,
This hand she knows hath only sinned, not I,
Who living loved her, and for love now die:

"And loving will I die, oh happy day
Whene'er it chanceth! but oh far more blessed
If as about thy polished sides I stray,
My bones within thy hollow grave might rest,
Together should in heaven our spirits stay,
Together should our bodies lie in chest;
So happy death should join what life doth sever,
0 Death, 0 Life! sweet both, both blessed ever."

Meanwhile the news in that besieged town
Of this mishap was whispered here and there,
Forthwith it spread, and for too true was known,
Her woful loss was talked everywhere,
Mingled with cries and plaints to heaven upthrown,
As if the city's self new taken were
With conquering foes, or as if flame and fire,
Nor house, nor church, nor street had left entire.

But all men's eyes were on Arsetes bent,
His sighs were deep, his looks full of despair,
Out of his woful eyes no tear there went,

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