Constantia: or, The Man of Law's Tale, Modernized from Chaucer - Part 30

They went. But when the long-dissever'd pair,
Her A LLA here, and his C ONSTANTIA there —
By doubts, loves, fears, and rushing joys dismay'd,
Unmoved, each face with mutual gaze survey'd —
Such was the scene, the impassion'd gesture such,
As phrase can't reach, nor liveliest pencil touch!
Three times the Fair One sought the shades of death,
Three time revived by A LLA 's balmy breath;
And thrice his guiltless plea he would essay,
And thrice she turn'd, C ONSTANTIA turn'd away.
" Now, by this hand, " Britannia's Hero cried,
" This hand, by whom a cruel parent died,
" Long since for thee, for thee thou dear one, bled,
" A victim sacred to that injured head —
" Of all thy wrongs thy A LLA is as clear,
" As here my son, thy other A LLA here!
" Ah! could you know the anguish, the distress —
" But who can know what words can ne'er express? —
" What racks, what deaths, thy torturing absence cost;
" What restless toil this suffering bosom tost —
" 'Twas such a ruin, such a breach of care,
" As this and only this could e'er repair! "

So saying, swift resistless to his breast,
The yielding Fair repeated transport prest.
But when all doubt and cold suspicion clear'd,
Her Lord still faithful as beloved appear'd;
By her so oft, so cruelly accused,
Still kind and true, and as her self abused;
She in his bosom, all with joy o'erpower'd,
Of sobs and tears the copious tempest shower'd —
All eyes around the melting measure kept,
And pleasure through contagious transport wept:
For Heaven, alone, can emulate the sweet
Of one hour's bliss, when two such lovers meet.

Still had C ONSTANTIA , lock'd within her breast,
The Royal Secret of her Birth supprest,
When Rome's Imperial Monarch wide invites
To social cheer and festival delights:
For now triumphant from the Syrian coast,
Tho' long detain'd, return'd his vengeful host;
And to reward their toils and drown their cares,
The monarch on a solemn day prepares.
With festal robes adorn'd each warrior came;
In glittering vesture many a Roman dame:
And there, amid the peers, a peerless guest,
There A LLA came in regal splendors drest,
All India beaming at the Hero's side;
O'er beaming India shone his brighter Bride;
While the young joy of each applauding tongue,
M AURITIUS on his smiling parents hung,
As tho' a stripling Cherub should attend,
Where two of prime Angelick Rank descend.
Struck at the pleasing prospect all admire,
But mute with wonder stood the Imperial Sire;
For haply, since our primal parents fell,
Ne'er met a pair that could this pair excel.
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