"Conscience enrag'd a fiercer Ravager, / Than ravening Vultures, Did his Bowels tear. / Around his Veins envenom'd Adders clung, / And to the Heart the tortur'd Monarch stung. / Vengeance Divine upon his Soul was pour'd, / And unextinguish'd Flames his Life devour'd."
— Blackmore, Sir Richard (1654-1729)
And Breathless lay extended in a Swoon.
The Sorceress to whom the King appear'd
Greatly disturb'd and mov'd by what he heard,
Scream'd out, and fetch'd reviving Essences,
Rich Spirits, Od'rous Balsams, and with these
She rub'd his Nostrils, Temples, and his Neck,
Till he awaken'd, and began to speak.
Then Maneton the Monarch did constrain,
With Wine and Meat his Spirits to sustain.
That done the troubled King th'Enchantress left,
Of all his Hopes, and all support bereft.
He to his Palace came when dawning Day
Began to spring, and streak the Eastern way.
Wild was his Aspect, sad as Death his Air,
And on his Brows state Horrour, and Despair.
Distracted Gestures, and deep Sighs confest,
The inward pangs and torment of his Breast.
Conscience enrag'd a fiercer Ravager,
Than ravening Vultures, Did his Bowels tear.
Around his Veins envenom'd Adders clung,
And to the Heart the tortur'd Monarch stung.
Vengeance Divine upon his Soul was pour'd,
And unextinguish'd Flames his Life devour'd.
Now on the Bed his restless Limbs he threw,
Now started up, and round th'Apartment flew.
Oft in a threatning Posture did he stand,
And on his mighty Fauchion lay'd his hand.
Sometimes he Curs'd, Blasphem'd, and Rav'd aloud,
Then on a suddain, Mute and Stupid stood.
At last he gave in these expressions vent
To the sad Thoughts, that did his Soul torment.
(Bk XII, pp. 322-3, ll. 193-224)
First published in 1695 in ten books as Prince Arthur. Reprinted 1696, 1714.
See Richard Blackmore. King Arthur, An Heroick Poem. In Twelve Books. By Richard Blackmore. To which is Annexed, An Index, Explaining the Names of Countrys, Citys, and Rivers, &c. (London: Printed for Awnsham, John Churchil, and Jacob Tonson, 1697). <Link to ESTC>