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To drain my plenty. From the vaulted caves Refusing, ev'n augmented from his owu.
An act of fancy, not habitual grace,
Of cruelty and pride. He now prepard With garments new to greet Melissa's nymphs. To march from Sardis, when with humble tears To her a triple change of vestments bear
The good old man besought him. Let the king With twenty lambs, and twenty speckled kids. Propitious hear a parent. In thy train Be it your care, my peasants, some to aid
I have five sous, Ah! leave my eldest born, Him your director, others to select
Thy future vassal, to sustain my age ! Five hundred oxen, thrice a thousand sheep,
“ The tyrant fell reply'd. “Presumptuous man, Of lusty swains a thousand. Let the Morn, Who art my slave, in this tremendous war, When first she blushes, see my will perform'd.” Is not my person hazarded, my race,
They heard. Their lord's injunctions to fulfil My consort? Former merit saves from death Was their ambition. He, unresting, mounts Four of thy offspring. Him, so dearly priz'd, A ready car. The coursers had enrollid
Thy folly hath destroy'd.' His body straight His name in isthmian and Nemean games.
Was hewn asunder. By the public way By moonlight, floating on the splendid reins, On either side a bleeding half was cast, He o'er the busy vale intent is borne
And millions pass'd between. O Spartan king, From place to place, o'erlooks, directs, forgets Taught to revere the sanctity of laws, That he is old. Meantime the sbades of night, The acts of Xerxes with thy own compare, Retiring, wake Dieneces.
His fane with thine. The curses of mankind The word. His pupil seconds, Ev'ry baud Give him renown. He marches to destroy, Is arm'd. Day opens. Sparta's king appears.
But thou to save. Behold the trees are bent, Oileus greets him. In his radiant car
Each eminence is loaded thick with crowds, The senior stays reluctant; but his guest
From cots, from ev'ry hamlet pour'd abroad, So wills in Spartan reverence to age,
To bless thy steps, to celebrate thy praise." Then spake the Locrian. " To assist thy camp
Ofttimes the king his decent brow inclin'd, A chosen band of peasants I detach,
Mute and obsequious to an elder's voice, I trust thy valour. Doubt not thou my care ;
Which through th' instructed ear, unceasing, flow'd Nor doubt that swain." Oïleus, speaking, look'd In eloquence and knowledge. Scarce an hour On Melibceus. “ Skilful he commands
Was fed. The narrow dale was left behind. These hinds. Him wise, him faithful I have prov'd A causeway broad disclos'd an ancient pile More, than Eumæus to Laertes' son.
Of military fame. A trophy large, 'To him th' tæan woods, their devious tracks Compact with crested morions, targets rude, Are known, each rill and fountain, Near the pass With spears and corselets, dimm'd by eating age, Two thousand Locrians wilt thou find encamp'd,
Stood near a lake pellucid, smooth, profound, My eldest bom their leader, Medon nam'd, Of circular expanse; whose bosom show'd Well exercis'd in arms. My daughter dwells A green-slop'd island, figur'd o'er with flow'rs, On Eta. Sage Melissa she is callid,
And from its centre lifting bigh to view Enlighten'd priestess of the tuneful Nine.
A marble chapel, on the massy strength She haply may accost thee. Thon wilt lend Of Doric columns rais’d. A full-wrought frieze An ear. Not fruitless are Melissa's words.
Display'd the sculptor's art. In solemn pomp Now, servants, bring the sacred wine.” Obey'd, Of obelisks, and busts, and story'd urns, He, from his seat uprising, thus proceeds.
Sepulchral mansions of illustrious dead - Lo! from this chalice a libation pure
Were scatter'd round, o'ercast with shadows black To Mars, to Greeian liberty and laws,
Of yew and cypress. In a serious note
Oileus, pointing, opens new discourse.
Oïlean Ajax singly was depriv'd
Of fun'ral honours there. With impious lust He stopp'd. Affection, struggling in his heart, He stain's Minerva's temple. From the gulf Burst forth again. “ Illustrious guest, afford Of briny waters by their god preserv‘d, Auother hour. That slender space of time
That god he brav'd. He lies beneath a rock, Yield to my sole possession. While the troops, By Neptune's trident in his wrath o'erturn'd. Already glitt'ring down the devy vale,
Shut from Elysium for a hundred years,
The hero's ghost bewail'd his oozy tomb.
I owe my bliss, my early fame to Pan.
Once on the margin of that silent pool Then in the fulness of his soul pursues.
In their nocturnal camp Barbarians lay, “ Thy veneration for Laconia's laws
Awaiting morn to violate the dead, That I may strengthen, may to rapture warm,
My youth was fird. I summon'd from their cots Hear me display the melancholy fruits
A rustic host. We sacrific'd to Pan, Of lawless will. When o'er the Lydian plains
Assail'd th' unguarded ruffians in his name. Th'innumerable tents of Xerxes spread,
He with his terrours smote their yielding hearts, His vassal, Pythius, who in affuent means
Not one surviv'd the fury of our swains. Surpasses me, as that Barbarian prince
Rich was the pillage. Hence that trophy rose; Thou dost in virtue, entertain'd the host,
Of costly blocks constructed, hence that fane, And proffer'd all his treasures. These the king Inscrib'd to Pan th' armipotent. O king,
Be to an old man's vanity benign.
When calling slumber to a virtuous eye, This frowning emblem of terrific war
Watch o'er my venerable friend. Thy balm Proclaims the ardour and exploits of youth. He wants, exhausted by his love to me. This to Barbarian strangers, ent’ring Greece, Sweet sleep, thou soft'nest that intruding pang, Shows what I was. The marble fount, thou saw'st,” Which gen'rous breasts, so parting, must admit." Of living water, whose transparent flow
He said, embark'd, relanded. To his side Reliev'd thy march in yester sultry Sun,
Inviting Medon, he rejoin'd the host.
Leonidas arrives at Thermopylæ about noon on the Unknown to Sparta's leader, who address'd His rev'rend host. “ Thou pausest. Let me ask,
fourth day after his departure from the isthmus.
He is received by Demophilus, the commander Whom do I see, resembling in his form A demigod ?” In transport then the sage.
of Thespia, and by Anaxander the Theban, “ It is my son, discover'd by his shield,
treacherously recominending Epialtes, a Malian, Thy brave auxiliar, Medon. He sustains
who seeks by a pompous description of the Per
sian power to intimidate the Grecian leaders, as My ancient honours in his native state, Which kindly chose my offspring to replace
they are viewing the enemy's camp from the top
of mount Eta. He is answered by Dieneces and Their long-sequester'd chief. Heart-winning guest !
Diomedon. Xerxes sends Tygranes and Phraortes My life, a tide of joy, which never knew
to the Grecian camp, who are dismissed by A painful ebb, beyond its wonted mark Flows in thy converse. Could a wish prevail,
Leonidas, and conducted back hy Dithyrambus My long and happy course should finish here."
and Diomedon; which last, incensed at the arThe chariot rested. Medon now approach'd,
rogance of Tygranes, treats him with contempt
and menaces. Saluting thus Leonidas. “ O king
This occasions a challenge to Of warlike Sparta, Xerxes' host in sight.
single combat between Diomedon and Tygranes, Begin to spread their multitude, and fill
Dithyrambus and Phraortes. Epialtes, after a The spacious Malian plain.” The king replies.
conference with Anaxander, declares bis intention “ Accept, illustrious messenger, my thanks.
of returning to Xerxes. Leonidas dispatches With such a brave assistant, as the son
Agis with Melibæus, a faithful slave of Oileus,
and high in the estimation of his lord, to view a Of great Oïleus, more assurd I go To face those numbers.” With his godlike friend
body of Phocians, who had been posted at a disThe father, now dismounting from his car,
tance from Thermopylæ for the defence of Embraces Medon. In a sliding bark
another pass in mount ta.
With Medon still conferring. “Hast thou heard," Contemplates each battalion, as they wind
He said, “among th' innumerable foes Along the pool; wbose limpid face reflects What chiefs are most distinguish'd ?”“ Might we Their weapons, glist'ning in the early sun.
trust Them he to Pan armipotent commends,
To fame," reply'd the Locrian, “ Xerxes boasts His favour thus invoking. “ God, whose pow'r His ablest, bravest counsellor and chief By rumour vain, or Echo's empty voice
Ja Artemisia, Caria's matchless queen..
To old Darius benefits had bound
But in maternal love. Her widow'd hand
With equity and firmness for her son
She still retains the spirit, which from Greece
Save one, whom Sparta hath herself supply'd,
Not less than Demaratus, once ber king, Amid thy pious commerce with the god,
An exile now." Leonidas rejoins. Was silently remov’d. The good old chief
“ Sun of Oileus, like thy father wise, On carpets, rais’d by tender, menial hands, Like him partake my contidence. Thy words Calm in the secret sanctuary is laid."
Recall an era, sad'ning all my thoughts. His hastning step Leonidas restrains,
That injar'd Spartan sbar'd the regal sway Thus, fervent prays. “O Maia's son, best pleas'd, | With one--alas ! my brother, eldest bom,
Unbless'd by Nature, favour'd by no god,
The slender hairs, all-silver'd' o'er by time, Cleomenes. Insanity of mind,
Flow'd venerable down. He thus began. Malignant passions, impious acts deform'd
“ Joy now shall crown the period of my days; A life, concluded by his own fell hand.
And whether nigh my father's urn I sleep ; Against his colleague envious he suborn'd
Or, slain by Persia's sword, embrace the earth, Leutychides. Him perjury and fraud
Our common parent; be it, as the gods Plac'd on the seat, by Demaratus held
Shall best determine. For the present hour Unstain'd in lustre.” Here Osleus' son.
I bless their bounty, which hath giv'n my age “ My future service only can repay
To see the brave Leonidas, and bid Thy confidential friendship. Let us close
That hero welcome on this glorious shore The gloomy theme.” Thermopylæ is nigh. To fix the basis of the Grecian weal.” Each face in transport glows. Now ta reard Here too the crafty Anaxander spake. His tow'ring forehead. With impatient steps
« Of all the Thebans we, rejoicing, hail On rush'd the phalanx, sounding pæans high; The king of Sparta. We obey'd his call. As if the present deity of fame
O may oblivion o'er the shame of Thebes Had from the summit shown her dazzling form, A dark’ning veil extend ! or those alone With wreaths unfading on her temples bound, By fame be curs'd, whose impious counsels tum Her adamantine trumpet in her hand
Their countrymen from virtue! Thebes was sunk, To celebrate their valour. From the van
Her glory bury'd in dishonest sloth. Leonidas advances like the Sun,
To wake her languor gen'rous Alpheus came,
That Anaxander from his native gates
My chosen friends, behind their walls remain. Which thus finds utt'rance from his eager lips. Enough of words. Time presses. Mount, ye chiefs,
“ All hail! Thermopylæ, and you, the pow'rs, This loftiest part of Eta. This oerlooks Presiding here. All bail! ye sylvan gods, The straits, and far beyond theirnorthern mouth Ye fountain nymphs, who send your lucid rills Extends our sight across the Malian plain. lo broken murmurs down the rugged steep. Behold a native, Epialtes callid, (marchid.” Receive us, O benignant, and support
Who with the foe from Thracia's bounds hath The cause of Greece. Conceal the secret paths, Disguis'd in seeming worth, he ended here. Which o'er these crags, and through their forests The cainp not long had Epialtes reach'd, Untrod by human feet, and trac'd alone [wind, By race a Malian. Eloquent his tongue, By your inmortal footsteps. O defend
His heart was false and abject. He was skill'd Your own recesses, nor let impious war
To grace perfidious counsels, and to clothe Profane the solemn silence of your groves.
Jo swelling phrase the baseness of his soul, Then on your hills your praises shall you hear Foul nurse of treasons. To the tents of Greece, From those, whose deeds shall tell th' approving Hiniself a Greek, a faithless spy he came. That not to undeservers did ye grant (world, Soon to the friends of Xerxes he repair'd, Your high protection. You, my valiant friends, The Theban chiefs, and nightly councils held, Now rouse the gen'rous spirit, which inflames How to betray the Spartans, or deject Your hearts; exert the vigour of your arms: By consternation. Up the arduous slope That in the bosoms of the brave and free
With him each leader to the summit climbs. Your memorable actions may survive;
Thence a tremendous prospect they command, May sound delightful in the ear of time,
Where endless plains, by white pavilions hid,
No rock, no promontory stops the sight
As in some torrid region, where the head Resplendent eye of Night, in fullest orb
Surveys th' interminate expanse, and throws
Her rays abroad to deck in snowy light luvade the parching ground; a sudden blaze The dancing billows. Such was Xerxes' camp; Sweeps o'er the crackling champaign: through his A pow'r unrivall’d by the mightiest king, Not with less swiftness to the furthest ranks [host Or fiercest conqu’ror, whose blood-thirsty pride, The words of great Leonidas diffus'd
Dissolving all the sacred ties, which bind A more than mortal fervour. Ev'ry heart The happiness of nations, hath upcall'd Distends with thoughts of glory, such as raise The sleeping fury, Discord, from her den. The patriot's virtue, and the soldier's fire;
Not from the hundred brazen gates of Thebes, When danger most tremendous in his form The tow'rs of Memphis, and those pregnant fields, Seems in their sight most lovely. On their minds Enrich'd by kindly Nile, such armies swarm'd Imagination pictures all the scenes
Around Sesostris; who with trophies fill'd Of war, the purple field, the heaps of death, The vanquish'd east, who o'er the rapid foam The glitt'ring trophy, pil'd with Persian arms. Of distant Tanais, o'er the surface broad
But lo! the Grecian leaders, who before Of Ganges sent his formidable name. Were station'd near Thermopylæ, salute
Nor yet in Asia's far extended bounds Laconia's king. The Thespian chief, ally'd E’er met such numbers, not when Ninus led To Dithyrambus, first the silence breaks,
Th’ Assyrian race to copquest. Not the gates An ancient warrior. From behind his casque, Of Babylon along Euphrates pour'd Whose crested weight his aged temples bore, Such myriads arm'd; when emptying all her streets,
The rage of Jire Semiramis they bore
For thy insatiate hunger will provide
Variety of carnage.” He concludes;
Yet of the chiefs, contemplating this scene, Is fix'd disdainful, and their strength defies.
Meantime an eastern berald down the pass Th’immeasurable camp with fearless eyes
Was seen, slow-moving tow'rds the Phocian wall. They traverse: while in meditation near
From Asia's inonarch delegated, came The treach'rous Malian waits, collecting all Tigranes and Phraortes. From the hill His pomp of words to paint the hostile pow'r ; Leonidas conducts th' impatient chiefs. Nor yet with falsehood arms his fraudful tongue By them environd, in his tent he sits; To feign a tale of terrour. Truth berself
Where thus Tigranes their attention calls.
“ Ambassadors from Persia's king we stand
Invincible, exalted on a throne
To ev'ry clime, and ev'ry heart impress'd
With awe, and low submission. Yet I swear And not in grief suppress the horrid tale,
By yon refulgent orb, which flames above,
Th’Egyptian food, the Hellespontic surge
And heav'nly Xerxes, merciful and kind,
Deign to preserve. Resign your arms. Disperse
With earth and water greet your destin'd lord."
As through th' extensive grove, whose leafy His neck against th' incumbent weight. In vain
boughs, The violence of Eurus and the North,
Entwining, crown some eminence with shade, With rage combin'd, against th' unyielding pile The tempests rush sonorous, and between Dash'd half the Hellespont. The eastern world The crashing branches roar; by fierce disdain, Sev'n days and nights uninterrupted pass
By indignation thus the Grecians rous'd,
Iu loudest clainour close the Persian's speech :
“ O Persian, when to Xerxes thou return'st, Who dwells beyond Thermopylæ, attend,
Say, thou hast told the wonders of his pow'r. Assist a foreign tyrant. Sire of gods,
Then say, thou saw'st a slender band of Greece, Who in a moment by thy will supreme
Which dares his boasted millions to the field.”
Them o'er the limits of the Grecian lines
And sullen silence; but their looks denote
The forehead of Diomedon. His teeth Resistance else were vain against a host,
Gnash with impatience of delay'd revenge. Which overspreads Thessalia. Far beyond Disdain, which sprung from conscious merit, fush'd That Malian chainpaign, stretching wide below, The cheek of Dithyrambus. On the face Beyond the utmost measure of the sight
Of either Persian arrogance, incens'd From this aspiring cliff, the hostile camp
By disappointment, lour'd. The utmost strait Contains yet migbtier numbers; who have drain'd They now attain'd, which open'd on the tents The beds of copious rivers with theit thirst, Of Asia, there discov'ring wide to view Who with their arrows hide the midday Sun.” Her deep, immense arrangement. Then the beart
“ Then we shall give them battle in the shade,” | Of vain Tigranes, swelling at the sight, Dieneces reply'd. Not calınly thus
Thus overflows in loud and haughty phrase.
“ O Arimanius, origin of ill,
Tu irresistible perd tion dooms
The Grecian race, ve vainly should oppose. Voracious Death. All Asia is thy prey.
Be thy dire will accomplish'd. Let them fall, Contagion, fainine, and the Grec an sword | Their native soll be faitee'd with their blood.”
Enrag'd, the stern Diomedon replies.
To verify thy worth. Myself have watch'd, “ Thou base dependant on a lawless king,
Have found thee skilful, active, and discreet. Toou purple slave, thuit boaster, dost thou know, Thou know'st the region round. With Agisso, That I beheld the Marathonian field?
The upper straits, the Phocian camp explore.”
A purple robe, or diadem! The king
Spare not thy servant. Exercise my zeal.
He leads the way, while Agis, following, spake. Of scepter'd Xerxes, Horomazes, hear!
“ O swain, distinguish'd by a lib'ral mind, To thee his first victorious fruits of war
Who were thy parents? Where thy place of birth? Thy worshipper devotes, the gory spoils,
What chance depriv'd thee of a father's house? Which from this Grecian by the rising dawn Oileus sure thy liberty would grant, Jo sight of either bost my strength shall rend.” Or Sparta's king solicit for that grace; At length Phraortes, interposing, spake.
When in a station equal to thy worth “ I too would find among the Grecian chiefs Thou mavst be rank’d.” The prudent hind began. One, who in battle dares abide my lance."
“ In diff'rent stations diff'rent virtues dwell, The gallant yonth of Thespia swift reply'd. All reaping diff'rent benefits. The great “ Thou look'st on me, o Persian. Worthier far In dignity and honours meet reward Thou might have singled from the ranks of Greece, For acts of bounty, and heroic toils. Not one more willing to essay thy force.
A servant's merit is obedience, truth, Yes, I will prove before the eye of Mars,
Fidelity; his recompense content. How far the prowess of her ineanest chief
Be not offended at iny words, O) chief. Beyond thy vaunts deserves the palm of fame." They, who are free, with envy may behold
This said, the Persians to their king repair, This bondman of Oileus. To his trust, Back to their camp the Grecians. There they find His love exalted, I by Nature's pow'r Each soldier, poising his extended spear,
From his pure model could not fail to mould His weighty buckler bracing on his arın
What thou entitlest lib'ral. Whence I came, In warlike preparation. Through the files
Or who my parents, is to me unknown. Each leader, moving vigilant, by praise,
Io childhood seiz'd by robbers, I was sold. By exhortation aids their native warmth.
They took their price. Tbey hush'd th' atrocious Alone the Theban Anaxander pin'd,
deed. Who thus apart his Malian friend bespake. Dear to Oileus and his race I throve;
“ What has thy lofty eloquence avail'd, And whether noble, or ignoble born, Alas! in vain attempting to confound
I am contented, studious of their love
To their condition, happy in my lord,
Himself of men most happy." Agis bland Promiscuous baroc round, and Thebans share Rejoins. “ () born with talents to become The doom of Spartans. Through the guarded pass A lut more noble, which, by thee refus'd, Who will adventure Asia's camp to reach
Thou dost the more deserve! Laconia's king In our behalf? That Xerxes may be warn'd Discerns thy' merit through its modest veila To spare his friends amid the gen’ral wreck ; Consummate prudence in thy words I hear. When his high-swoln resentment, like a flood Long may contentment, justly priz'd, be thine. Increas'd by stormy show'rs, shall cover Greece But should the state deinand thee, I foresee With desolation." Epialtes here.
Thou wouldst like others in the field excel, “ Whence, Anaxander, this unjust despair? Wouldst share in glory.” Blithe return'd the Is there a path on Eta's hills unknown
swain. To Epialtes? Over trackless rocks,
“ Not ev'ry service is confin'd to arms. Through mazy woods my secret steps can pass. Thou shalt behold me in my present state Farewell. I go. Thy merit shall be told Not useless. If the charge, Oilens gave, To Persia's king. Thou only watch the hour; I can accomplish, meriting his praise, When wanted most, thy ready succour Jend. And thy esteem, my glory will be full.” Meantime a wary, comprehensive care
Both pleas'd in converse thus pursue their way, To ev'ry part Leonidas extends;
Where ta lifts her summits huge to Heav'n As in the human frame through ev'ry vein, In rocks abrupt, pyramidal, or tower'd And artery minute, the ruling heart
Like castles. Sudden from a tufted crag, Its vital powers disperses. In his tent
Where goats are browsing, Melibæus hears The prudent chief of Locris he consults;
A call of welcome. There his course he stays, He summons Melibeus by the voice Of Agis. In humility not mean, By no upseemly ignorance depressid, Th' ingenuous swain, by all th' illustrious house Of Ajax honour'd, bows before the king, Who gracious spake. “ The confidence bestow'd, The praise by sage Oileus might suffice