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On that side honour and her friends asszil'd;
On this the stronger tires of love prevail'd.
At length resolv'd to end the task design’d),
And free Rosero in the tower confin’d;
Or, is her enterprise successless pror'd,
Remain a prisoner with the youth she lor'd.
The damsel first excus'd a short delay,
Then sent the messenger well-pleas'd away.
Now, turning round, her former path she took;
Iler Pinabel pursu’u with alter'd look;
Conscious her lincage to that house she ow’d,
For which he ever nourish'al hate arow'd;
And anxious fears perplex'd his troubled mind,
Lest she should know him of Vaganza's kind.
An ancient feud between these louses reignd,
And both the strise and hatred still maintain'd;
Full oft oppos’d in stern debate they stood),
And dy'd the ground beneath with mutual blood.
For this the caitiff bent his thoughts to frame
Some treason to deceive th’unwary dame.
Such various passions had disturb'd his breast,
With enmity, with doubts and fears possest,
Unheering where he pass’d, he lost his way,
And through a gloomy forest chanc'd to stray ;
Where in the midst a steepy mount appear’d,
That in a craggy rock its summit rcard.
Mcanwhile the dame of Clarmont's noble kind,
With heedful steps pursu'd the knight behind.
When Pinabel beheld the dusky shade,
Ile ponder'd in his thoughts to leave the maid;
And thus began---While yet we view the light,
'T'were best to seek a shelter from the night:
Beyond that hill, unless my mem'ry fail,
There stands a stately castle in the vale :
Ilere patient wait, while from yon height I try
T explore the prospect with a surer eye.
So saying, to the hill he bent his course,
And up the steepy summit spurr’d his horse;
Thence, looking round, he sought some path to take,
By which he might the damsel's track forsake:
When sudden here a monstrous cave he found,
FIewn out with labour in the stony ground: 495
Full thirty cubits deep it seem'd in show:
A fair and lofty gate appear'd below,
Which, by its ample structure, seem'd design'd
For entrance to some larger place behind,
And through the shade a glimmering brightness gave, 500
As of a torch that burnt within the cave.
While here in deep suspense the traitor stood,
The cautious virgin, who his steps pursu’d,
Fcarsul to lose the track, still kept in view
Iler faithless guide, and near the cavern drew.
His first design thus foil'd, a sudden thought
Of treacherous purpose in his bosom wrought:
Ile makes the damsel from her steed alight,
And pointing out the cavern to her sight,
Tells her within its confines he had seen,
510 A dame of beauteous face and graceful mien; Whose courtly looks and costly garments show'd Iler birth deriv'd from no ignoble blood: But from her eyes she pour'd a tender shower, And seem'd her lost condition to deplore.
515 And when he thought t' attain a nearer view, And learn the cause from which her grief she drew,
One from the inner grot with fury came,
And seizing carry'd off the weeping dame.
The dauntless Bradamant, whose generous mind, 520
Unconscious of the wile the wretch design’d,
With ardor glow'd to give the fair one aid,
Revolves how best she may the cave invade.
When on a lofty elm she cast her eyes,
And midst the boughs a mighty branch espies : 525
This with her sword she hews, and lops the leaves,
That done, the cavern's mouth the pole receives.
She prays her treacherous guide aloft to stand,
grasp the end, tenacious, in his hand. Now first within the cave her feet descend,
530 While as she sinks, her arms her weight suspend : When Pinabello, scoffing, ask'd the maid To leap below---then loos’d his grasp, and said: 0! would that all thy race with thee were join’d, That thus I might at once destroy the kind. 535
But happier fortune than the traitor meant,
All gracious Heaven, to save the guiltless, sent:
The pole first lighted on the ground below,
And instant shiver'd with the forceful blow;
Ver. 523. Revolves how best she may the cave invade.] One of the most favourite achievements of the knights of old was to search into caverns, where they met with many woudertal adventures. Thus Don Quixote descends into the care of Montesinos, and, ai his return, relates many extravagant incidents, which his listompered imagination had furnished him with in the true spirit of romanice.
Don Quixote, Partii. C. uit,
Yet thus the fury of the shock sustain'd,
That Bradamant preserv'd from death remain'd.
The sudden fall awhile surpris’d the maid, As in th' ensuing book is full display'd.