John Dryden (1631 – 1700)
Theodore and Honoria (from Fables Ancient and Modern)
Of all the Cities in Romanian Lands,
The chief, and most renown’d Ravenna stands:
Adorn’d in ancient Times with Arms and Arts,
And rich Inhabitants, with generous Hearts.
But Theodore the Brave, above the rest,
With Gifts of Fortune, and of Nature bless’d,
The foremost Place, for Wealth and Honour held,
And all in Feats of Chivalry excell’d.
This noble Youth to Madness lov’d a Dame,
Of high Degree, Honoria was her Name:
Fair as the Fairest, but of haughty Mind,
And fiercer than became so soft a kind;
Proud of her Birth; (for equal she had none;)
The rest she scorn’d; but hated him alone.
Hard, you may think it was, to give consent,
But, struggling with his own Desires, he went:
With large Expence, and with a pompous Train,
Provided, as to visit France or Spain,
Or for some distant Voyage o’er the Main.
But Love had clipp’d his Wings, and cut him short,
Confin’d within the purlieus of his Court:
Three Miles he went, nor farther could retreat;
His Travels ended at his Country?Seat:
To Chassis pleasing Plains he took his way,
There pitch’d his Tents, and there resolv’d to stay.
The Spring was in the Prime; the neighb’ring Grov
Supply’d with Birds, the Choristers of Love:
Musick unbought, that minister’d Delight
To Morning?walks, and lull’d his Cares by Night:
There he discharg’d his Friends; but not th’ Expence
Of frequent Treats, and proud Magnificence (…)