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Each moment dear, when, list'ning to my voice, Of stern republics, vigilantly bent
Against successful greatness; yet serene,
Prepar'd for ev'ry possible reverse Of Styx together; in your happy groves
In his own fortune, he the present thought, Think of Melissa. Welcom'd were ye both Of Persians chang'd from foes to friends, enjoy'd. By her on Earth; her tongue shall never cease, When, lo! Sicinus landed. Swift his lord Her lyre be never wanting to resound
In words like these the faithful man approach'd. Thee, pride of Asia, him, the first of Greeks,
“ From Aristides hail! Asopus flows, In blended eulogy of grateful song.'
Still undisturb'd by war, between the hosts
Inflexibly their augurs have forbid.
The camp, which Ceres shall the best supply, Nine lunar cycles in assiduous zeal
Will gain the palm."--" Mardonius then must To guard her fane, her vassals to befriend;
fight How they ador'd his presence; how he woni To our advantage both of time and place," Her from the temple to Sandauce's cure
Themistocles replies, and sudden calls At Amarantha's suit; within his tent
The diff'rent leaders round him. Thus he spake: How clemency and justice still abode
“ Eubeans, Delphians, Locrians, you, the chiefs To awe barbarians; how, departing sad,
Of Potidæa and Olynthus, hear. His last farewell at Eta's shrine he gave
The ritual honours to a hero due,
At leisure now three days to solemn games
She pauses. Now her mental pow'rs sublime, While he sits trembling o'er the hostile flood, Collected all, this invocation frame.
Of Grecian warriors on the Malian sands
Brace on the cestus, and impel the car
To celebrate Leonidas in sight
Of Eta, witness to his glorious fate.
I first detach, that gen'ral Greece may share My gratitude to thee.” Serene she clos'd, In our superfluous plenty. Want shall waste Embrac'd her brother, and retir'd to rest.
Mardonian numbers, while profusion flows From @ta's heights fresh rose the morning breeze. Round Aristides. To protect, my friends, A well-apparell'd galley lay unmoord
Th'important freight, three thousand warlike spears In readiness to sail. Sandaucè drops
Must be embark'd. You, leaders, now decide, A parting tear on kind Melissa's breast,
Who shall with me Thermopylæ maintain, By whom dismiss'd, Statirus on the corse
Who join the Grecian camp." First Medon rose; Of great Masistius waits. The Grecian chiefs “ From thy successful banner to depart Lead Artamanes to the friendly deck,
Believe my feet reluctant. From his cross In olive wreaths, pacific sign, attir'd,
When I deliver'd Lacedæmon's king, Whence he the fervour of his bosom pours: My life, a boon his friendship once bestow'd,
“O may this gale with gentleness of breath I then devoted in the face of Heav'n Replace me joyous in my seat of birth,
To vindicate bis manes. What my joy, As I sincere on Horomazes call
If I survive; if perish, what my praise To send the dove of peace, whose placid wing To imitate his virtue? Greece demands The oriental and Hesperian world
In his behalf a sacrifice like this May feel, composing enmity and thirst
from me, who, dying, only shall discharge Of mutual havoc ! that my grateful roof
The debt I owe him; where so well discharge, May then admit Themistocles, and all
As at Asopus in the gen’ral shock Those noble Grecians, who sustain'd my head, Of Greece and Asia? But the hundred spears, Their captive thrice. But, ah! what founts of blood which have so long accompany'd my steps Will fate still open to o'erflow the earth!
Through all their wand'rings, are the only force Yet may your homes inviolate remain,
My wants require. The rest of Locrian arms Imparting long the fulness of those joys,
Shall with Leonteus thy control obey." Which by your bounty shall soon possess !» Pois'd on his shield, and cas'd in Carian steel,
He ceas'd. The struggle of Sandauce's heart Whence issued lustre like Phæbean rays, Suppress'd her voice. And now the naval pipe Thus Haliartus : “ Me, in peasant-weeds, Collects the rowers. At the signal shrill
Leonidas respected. Though my heart They cleave with equal strokes the Malian floods. Then by unshaken gratitude was bound, Meantime a vessel, underneath the lee
My humble state could only feel, not act. Of Locris coasting, plies the rapid oar
A soldier now, my efforts I must join In sight. She veers, and, lodging in her sails With godlike Medon's, to avenge the wrongs The wind transverse, across the haven skims; Of Sparta's king. But first the soldier's skill, Till on Sperchean sands she rests her keel.
My recent acquisition, let my arm Theinistocles was musing on the turns
For ever lose, if once my heart forget Of human fortune, and the jealous eye
The gen'rous chief, whose service try'd my arm,
Who made Acanthè mine. My present zeal
MBANTIME Briareus to the plains of Thebes
Precipitates his course. Arriv'd, he greets Than to be nearer that excelling child,
Mardonius. Rumour had already told, Would I forsake this memorable spot,
What, now confirm’d, o'erwhelms the troubled chief, Where died the first of Spartans, and a chief Confounded like the first anointed king Like thee triumphant celebrates that death." O’er Israel's tribes, when Philistean din Then Cleon proffer'd his Eretrian band,
Of armies pierc'd his borders, and despair Eight hundred breathing vengeance on a foe, Seduc'd his languid spirit to consult Who laid their tow'rs in ashes. Lainpon next The sorceress of Endor. “ Call,” he said, Presents his Styrians. Brave Nearchus joins “ Eleau Hegesistratus-Be swift." Twelve hundred yonths of Chalcis. Tideus last The summon'd augur comes. To him the son Of Potidæa twice three bundred shields.
Of Gobryas: “ Foe to Sparta, heed my words; “ Enough, your number is complete,” the son Themistocles possesses on our backs Of Neocles reminds them. “ Swift embark ; Th’Etxan passes. Pamine, like a beast, The gale invites. Sicinus is your guide.”
Noos'd and subservient to that fraudful man, He said, and, moving tow'rds the beach, observes Who sháns the promis'd contest in the field, The embarkation. Each progressive keel
He can turn loose against us. In our front
Fam'd are the oracles of Greece- Alas!
To thee, who hatest all the Spartan breed,
I trust my secret purpose. Be my guide But harsh and turbid through its channel foams. To some near temple, or mysterious cave,
“What sea, what coast, what region have I pass'd Wher.ce voices supernatural unfold Without erecting trophies?” cries the chief, The destinies of men." The augur here: In exultation to Sicinus staid.
“ The nearest, but most awful, is a cave “ Have I not spar'd the vanquish'd to resound Oracular, Lebadia's ancient boast, My clemency? Ev'n Persians are my frieuds. Where Jupiter Trophonius.is ador'd, These are my warriors. Prosp'rous be your sails, Not far beyond Copææ's neighb'ring lake, Ye Greeks, enroll'd by me, by me inur'd
Which thou must pass. With costly presents freight, To arms and conquest. Under Fortune's wing Such as magnificence like thine requires, Speed, and assist my ancient rival's arm
Thy loaded bark; command my service all." To crush th' invader. Distant I uphold
Mardonius issues orders to provide The Grecian armies; distant I will snatch The bark and presents. Summoning his chiefs, My share of laurels on the plains of Thebes. To them he spake: “ My absence from the camp Then come, soft Peace, of indolence the nurse, Important functions claim; three days of rule Not to the son of Neocles. On gold
To Mindarus I cede. Till my return Let rigour look contemptuous; I, return'd Let not a squadron pass th' Asopian stream.” To desert Athens, I, enrich'd with spoils
This said, with Hegesistratus he mounts Of potentates, and kings, will raise her head A rapid car. Twelve giants of his guard, From dust. Superb her structures shall proclaim Detach'd before, await him on the banks No less a marvel, than the matchless bird
Of clear Copææ. Silver Phæbe spreads
A light, reposing on the quiet lake,
In luminous vibration. Lo! an isle
Swells on the surface. Marble structures there Bright from her ashes, mistress sole of Greece. New gloss of beauty borrow from the Moon From long Piræan walls her winged pow'r
To deck the shore. Now silence gently yields Shall awe the Orient and Hesperian worlds. To measur'd strokes of oars. The orange groves, Me shall th’ Olympic festival admit
In rich profusion round the fertile verge, Its spectacle most splendid”......" Ah! suppress Impart to fanning breezes fresh perfumes Immod'rate thoughts," Sicinus interrupts,
Exhaustless, visiting the sense with sweets, “ Thou citizen of Athens! Who aspires,
Which soften ev'n Briareus; but the son Resides not there secure. Forbear to sting Of Gobryas, heavy with devouring care, Her ever-wakeful jealousy, nor tempt
Uncharm'd, unheeding sits. At length began The woes of exile. For excess of worth
Th' Elean augur, in a learned flow Was Aristides banish'd. Be not driv'n
Of ancient lore, to Asia's pensive chief To early trial of thy Persian friends.
Historically thus: “ Ilustrious lord, O! thou transcendent, thou stupendous man, Whose nod controls such multitudes in arms From thy Timothea moderation learn,
From lands remote and near, the story learn Which, like the stealing touch of gentle time Of sage Trophonius, whose prophetic cell O'er canvass, pencil'd by excelling art,
Thou wouldst descend. An architect divine,
This gracious answer from the god he drew :
The prime reward a mortal can obtain,
Bright vases, tripods, images, and crowns, Trophonius, shall be thine.' Apollo thrice The presents borne by those gigantic hands, His circle ran; behold Trophonius dead.
With fascinating lustre fix'd the priest With prophecy bis spirit was endu'a,
To gaze unsated on the copious store. But where abiding in concealment long
“ Pass through, but unaccompany'd,” he said, The destinies envelop'd. Lo! a dearth
“ Illustrious Persian. Be th' accepted gifts Afflicts Bæotia. Messengers address
Deposited within these holy gates.”
O'er the smooth green his mantle brown of shade.
In all th’ attractive elegance of art,
Of wond'ring strangers to ascend. The prince,
“Observe yon dome. Thou first must enter there To him the name of Jupiter is giv'n.
Alone, there fervent in devotion bow He to the fatal Sisters hath access;
Before two statues; one of Genius good, Sees Clotho's awful distaff; sees the thread Of Fortune fair the other." At the word Of human life by Lachesis thence drawn;
Mardonius enters. Chance directs his eye Sees Atropos divide, with direful shears,
To that expressive form of Genius good, The slender line. But rueful is the mode
Whose gracious lineaments, sedately sweet, Of consultation, though from peril free,
Recall Masistius to the gloomy chief. Within his dreary cell. In thy behalf
O Melancholy! who can give thee praise? Thou mayst a faithful substitute appoint.”
Not sure the gentle; them thy weight o'erwhelms. “ By Horomazes, no !” exclaims the chief. But thou art wholesome to intemp'rate minds, " It is the cause of empire, from his post
In vain by wisdom caution'd. In the pool
Of black adversity let them be steep'd,
So now Mardonius, by thy pow'r enthrall’d,
If Heav'n, relenting, will to me assign
Than of Masistius. Oh! thou spirit bless'd, The death of Sparta's king. Their changing course (For sure thy virtue dwells with endless peace) Of navigation now suspends their words.
Canst thou, her seat relinquishing awhile, Against the influx of Cephissus, down
Unseen, or visible, protect thy friend
In this momentous crisis of his fate;
Melt like a maiden, of her love bereav'd
By unrelenting Death. My demon kind, Access afforded to the steps of none
Do thou descend, and Fortune will pursue But suppliants. Hegesistratus accosts
Spontaneous and auspicious on ber wheel One in pontific vesture station’d there :
A track unchang'd." Here turping, he adores “ Priest of Boeotia's oracle most fam'd,
Her flatt’ring figure, and forsakes the dome.
A sluggish, creeping water, under vaults
Nam'd and presented by his former guide,
Through night-resembling shadows, which obscure The holy man survey'd the giant guard.
The sleepy stream, unmoving to the sight, Soon admiration follow'd at thy form,
Or moving mute. A fountain they approach, Mardonius. Low in stature, if compar'd
One of Hercyna's sources.
From the pores
Of spongy rock an artificial vase
A brimming chalice to Mardouius bears,
Then to Mardonius : “ Thee, Bæotia's friend, Whom in these words he solemnly accosts : Magnificently pious to her gods,
“ This fount is nam'd òf Lethè. Who consults Thee I pronounce a votary approv'd Our subterranean deity, must quaff
By this Baotian deity. Now seek Oblivion here of all preceding thoughts,
In confidence the cavern. But the rites Sensations, and affections.”_"Reach the draught; Demand, that first an image thou approach, If such oblivious sweets this cup contains,
Which none, but those in purity of garb, I gladly grasp it,” cries the chief, and drinks. None, but accepted suppliants of the god,
Ascending thence, a mazy walk they tread, Can lawfully behold.” Above the bath
A rock was hollow'd to an ample space;
“ The main Hercynian fount, whose face reflects Fast down a deep declivity of bed
Yon Dædalëan workmanship, the form Hercyna, winding in a channel new,
Trophonius bears. Adore that rev'rend beard, Apparent often to the glancing eye
The twisted serpents round that awful staff, Through apertures, which pierce the loaden boughs Those looks, which pierce the mysteries of fate." Of golden fruit Hesperian, and th' attire
Next through a winding cavity and vast Of myrtles green, o'ershadowing the banks. He guides the prince along a mossy vault, In alabaster's variegated hues,
Rough with protuberant and tortuous roots To bonnd the pleasing avenue, a fane
ancient woods, which, clothing all above, Its symmetry discover'd on a plat,
In depth shoot downward equal to their height; Thick-set with roses, which a circling skreen Suspended lamps, with livid glimpse and faint, Of that fair ash, where cluster'd berries glow, Direct their darkling passage. Now they reach From ruffling gusts defended. Thither speeds The further mouth unclosing in a dale Mardonius, there deliver'd to a third
Abrupt; there shadow, never-feeting, rests. Religious minister supreme. Two youths, Rude-featur'd crags, o'erhanging, thence expel In snow-like vesture, and of lib'ral mien,
The blaze of noon. Beneath a frowning cliff Sons of Lebadian citizens, attend,
A native arch, of altitude which tempts Entitld Mercuries. The seer address'd
The soaring eagle to construct his nest, The Persian warrior: “ In this mansion pure Expands before an excavation deep, Mnemosyne is worshipp'd; so in Greece
Unbowelling the hill. On either side The pow'r of memory is styl’d. Advance,
This gate of nature, hoary sons of time, Invoke her aid propitious to retain
Enlarg'd by ages to protentous growth,
Impenetrable yews augment the gloom.
In circular dimension ; this upholds
The weight of polish'd obelisks, by zones Prognosticate success, and thou imprint
Of brass connected, ornamental fence.
A wicket opens to th' advancing prince;
By whom instructed, to the awful chasm
Below, profound but narrow, where the god This said, with lighter steps he quits the fane. His inspiration breathes, th' intrepid son The Mercuries conduct him to a bath,
Of Gobryas firm descends. His nether limbs
Up to the loins he plunges. Downward drawn,
At once the body is from sight conceal'd.
Entranc'd he lies in subterranean gloom,
His bold adventure, with her wonted fumes
Awakes him; rather in a dream suggests
That he is waking. On a naked bank For sacrifice. A sable ram is slain.
He seems to stand; before him sleeps a pool, Fresh from ablution, lo! Mardonius comes Edg'd round by desert mountains, in their height In linen vesture, fine and white, as down
Obscuring Heav'n. Without impulsive oars, Of Paphian doves. A sash of tincture bright, Without a sail, spontaneous flies a bark Which rivalla Flora's brilliancy of dye,
Above the stagnant surface, which, untouch'd, Engirds his loins ; majestical his brows
Maintains its silence. On the margin rests
The skiff, presenting to the hero's view
His weight inclining on an ebon staff,
'If, seed of Gobryas, thou wouldst know thy fate, Of coral after his diurnal toil,
Embark with me; Trophonius I am call’d." Repairs his splendours, and his rosy track
Th' undaunted chief obeys. In flight more swift Of morn resumes. With partial eyes the priest Than eagles, swiftest of the feather'd kind, Explores the victim's entrails, and reports
Th' unmoving water's central spot they gain. Each sign auspicious with a willing tongue; At once its bosom opens; down they sink
In depth to equal that immane descent
Much more, when pow'r, when empire and renown, Of Hercules to Pluto, yet perform,
Hang on a crisis. If a serpent's guile As in a moment their portentous way.
Behind the pillows of such foes might lurk; Around, above, the liquid mass retires,
If darting thence, his unsuspected sting
Might pierce their bosoms; if the ambient air
To viewless poison, and their cups infect
Hast thou not hardy and devoted slaves ?
“ Dar’st thou suggest such baseness to the son Here dwell the fatal Sisters; at their toil
Of Gobryas?” furious he exalts his voice;
Time but to wonder at his sudden fate
This act of eastern equity expels
“ Smile on my justice. From th' assassin's point The cavern's mouth. The watchful priest conducts I guard your heroes. By yourselves I swear, The agitated satrap, mute and sad,
My preservation or success, assur'd
By such unmanly turpitude, I spurn.”
The midnight hour was past, a season dear
Of watchful eunuchs in apartments gay Magnificence and pleasure, I must bid
He seeks the female quarter of his tent,
Which, like a palace of extent superb,
By snowy fingers touch'd, sweet-warbled song
Impregnated with rich Panchæan scents,
Salute him ent'ring. Gentle hands unclasp
Lave and perfume his much-enduring limbs.
A couch is strewn with roses; he reclines In sadness, still magnanimously firm
In thinly-woven Taffeta.
So long Ne'er to survive his dignity, but face
In pond'rous armour cas'd, he scarcely feels Predicted ruin, and, in battle slain,
The light and loose attire. Around him smile
Lo! in transcending ornament of dress
“Nam'd from Bethulia, where I drew my breath, Nefarious counsellor, in fell device
I, by a father's indigence betray'd, Surpassing fellest tyrants. Now hath Night Became thy slave; yet noble my descent Upcall'd her clouds, black signal for the winds From Judith ever-fam’d, whose beauty sav'd To burst their dungeons; cataracts of rain Her native place. Indignant I withstood Mix with blue fires; th' ethereal concave groans; Thy passion, Gentle still a master's right Stern looks Mardonius on the daring Greek, Thou didst forbear, and my reluctant charms Who, in his wiles confiding, thus began:
Leave unprofan'd by force. Repuls'd, thy love “ Supreme o'er nations numberless in arms, Grew cold. Too late contemplating thy worth, Sole hope of Asia, thy return I greet
I felt a growing fame, but ne'er again
Disconsolate, neglected, I have walk'd;
Have seen my gay companions to thy arms Of Neocles, who keeps the Etæan pass,
Preferr'd, professing passion far unlikė Lo! Aristides in the camp of Greece,
To mine, Mardonius. Now despair saggests
To give thee proof of undissembled truth,
In this bright raiment, with collected pow'rs