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“ Wilt thou, in Lacedæmon once supreme, | The satraps leave their cars. On foot they form Encounter twenty Persians ? Yet these Greeks A splendid orb around their lord. By chance In greater disproportion must engage
The Spartans then compos'd th' external guard. Our host to morrow." Demaratus then.
They, in a martial exercise employ'd, “ By single combat were the trial vain
Heed not the monarch, or his gaudy train; To show the pow'r of well-united force,
But poise the spear, protended, as in fight; Which oft by military skill surmounts
Or lift their adverse shields in single strife; The weight of numbers. Prince, the diff?rence learn Or, trooping, forward rush, retreat and wheel Retween thy warriors and the sons of Greece. In ranks unbroken, and with equal feet : The flow'r, the safeguard of thy num'rous camp While others calm beneath their polish'd helms Are mercenaries. These are canton'd round Draw down their hair, whose length of sable curls Thy provinces. No fertile field demands
O'erspread their necks with terrour. Xerxes here Their painfal hand to break the fallow glebe. The exile questions." What do these intend, Them to the noon-day toil no harvest calls. Who with assiduous hands adjust their hair?” Nor on the mountain falls the stubborn oak
To whom the Spartan. “O imperial lord, By their laborious axe. Their watchful eyes Such is their custom, to adorn their heads, Observe not how the flocks and heifers feed. When full determin'd to encounter death. To them of wealth, of all possessions void,
Bring down thy nations in resplendent steel ; The name of country with an empty sound Arm, if thou canst, the gen'ral race of man, Flies o'er the ear, nor warms their joyless hearts, All, who possess the regions unexplor'd Who share no country. Needy, yet in scorn Beyond the Ganges, all, whose wand'ring steps Rejecting labour, wretched by their wants, Above the Caspian range the Scythian wild Yet profligate through indolence, with limbs With those, who drink the secret fonnt of Nile : Enervated and soft, with minds corrupt,
Yet to Laconian bosoms shall dismay From misery, debauchery, and sloth,
Remain a stranger.” Fervour from his lips Are these to battle drawn against a foe,
Thus breaks alond; when, gushing from his eyes, Train'd in gymnastic exercise and arms,
Resistless grief o'erflows his cheeks. Aside Inur'd to hardship, and the child of toil,
His head he turns. He weeps in copious streams. Wont through the freezing show'r, the wintry storm The keen remembrance of his former state, O'er his own glebe the tardy ox to goad,
His dignity, his greatness, and the sight Or in the Sun's impetuous heat to glow
Of those brave ranks, which thus unshaken stood, Beneath the burden of his yellow sheaves ;
And spread amazement through the world in arms, Whence on himself, on her, whose faithful arms Excite these sorrows. His impassion'd looks Infold him joyful, on a growing race,
Review the godlike warriors, who beneath Which glad his dwelling, plenty he bestows His standard once victorious fought, who call'd With independence. When to battle callid, Him once their king, their leader; then again, For them his dearest comfort, and his care, O'ercharg'd with anguish, he bedews with tears And for the harvest promis'd to his toil,
His rev'rend beard, in agony bemoans
By sordid moss, and ivy's creeping leaf,
Some princely palace, or stupendous fane, Have never turn'd, ner bound the golden sheaf. Maguificent in ruin nods; where Time They are devoted to severer tasks
From under shelving architrares hath mow'd For war alone, their sole delight and care.
The column down, and cleft the pond'rous dome. From infancy to manhood they are train'd
Not unobserv'd by Hyperanthes, mouri'd To winter watches, to inclement skies,
Th' unhappy Spartan. Kindly in his own To plunge through torrents, brave the tusky boar, He press'd the exile's hand, and thus humane. To arms and wounds; a discipline of pain
“0 Demaratus, in this grief I see, So fierce, so constant, that to them a camp How just thy praises of Laconia's state. With all its hardships is a seat of rest,
Though cherish'd here with universal love, And war itself remission from their toil."
Thou still deplor'st thy absence from her face, " Thy words are folly," with redoubled scorn Howe'er averse to thine. But swift relief Returns the monarch.“ Doth not freedom dwell From indignation borrow. Call to mind Among the Spartans ? Therefore will they shun Thy injuries. Th' auspicious fortune bless, Superior foes. The unrestrain'd and free
Which led thee far from calumny and fraud, Will fly from danger; while my vassals, born To peace, to honour in the Persian court.” To absolute controlment from their king,
As Deinaratus with a grateful mind Koow, if th' allotted station they desert,
His answer was preparing, Persia's king The scourge awaits them, and my heavy wrath." Stern interrupted. “ Soon as morning shines,
To this the exile. “O conceive not, prince, Do you, Tigranes and Phraortes, head That Spartans want an object, where to fix The Medes and Cissians. Bring these Greciana Their eyes in rev'rence, in obedient dread.
bound.” To them more awful, than the name of king , This said, the monarch to his camp returns. To Asia's trembling millions, is the law;
Th’attendant princes teascend their cars, Wbose sacred voice enjoins them to confront Save Hyperanthes, by the Carian queen Unnumber'd foes, to vanquish, or to die.”
Detain'd, who thus began. " Impartial, brave. Here Demaratus pauses. Xerxes halts. Nors’d in a court, yet virtuous, let my heart Its long defile Thermopylæ presents.
To thee its feelings undisguis'd reveal.
Thou hear'st thy royal brother. He demands Perhaps our boasted army is prepard
This said, a curious search in ev'ry part
By travellers unbeaten. Swift her guards
Address'd their spears to part the pliant boughs. Is not within the shadow of my hopes
Held back, they yield a passage to the queen, At this dire pass. What evil genius sways? And princely boy. Delicious to their sight Tigranes, false Argestes, and the rest
Soft dales, meand'riny, show their flow'ry laps In name a council, ceaseless bave opposid
Among rude piles of Nature. In their sides My dictates, oft repeated in despite
Of rock are mansions hewn; nor loaden trees Of purpled flatt'rers, to embark a force,
Of cluster'd fruit are wanting : but no sound, Which, pouring on Laconia, might confine
Except of brooks in murmur, and the song
Of winged warblers, meets the list'ning ear.
Beside her threshold no industrious wife,
Are desolate. Once happy in their homes, • What can I answer? My atflicted soul
Th' inhabitants forsake them. Pleasing scene Must seek its refuge in a feeble hope,
Of Nature's bounty, soon will savage Mars Thou mayst be partial to thy Doric race,
Deform the lovely ringlets of thy shrubs, Mayst magnify our danger. Let me hope, And coarsely pluck thy violated fruits Whate'er the danger, if extreme, believe
Uoripe; will deafen with his clangour fell That Hyperanthes for his prince can bleed, Thy tuneful choirs. I mourn thy destin'd spoil, Not with less zcal than Spartans for their laws." Yet come thy first despoiler. Captains, plant, They separate. To Xerxes he repairs.
Ere morning breaks, my secret standard here. The queen, surrounded by the Carian guard, Come, boy, away. Thy safety will I trust Stays and retraces with sagacious ken
To Demaratus; while thy mother tries The destin'd field of war, the vary'd space, With these her martial followers, what sparks, Its depth, its confines both of hill and sea.
Left by our Doric fathers, yet inflame Meantime a scene more splendid hath allur'd Their sons and daughters in a stern debate Her son's attention. His transported sight With other Dorians, who have never breath'd With ecstasy, like worship, long pursues
The soft'ning gales of Asia, never bow'd The pomp of Xerxes in retreat, the throne,
In forc'd allegiance to barbarian thrones. Which show'd their idol to the nations round, Thou heed my order. Those ingenuous looks The bounding steeds, caparison'd in gold,
Of discontent suppress. For thee this fight
Look on the king with gratitude. His sire By Sparta's lance. Let Artemisia die,
Her son.” She ceas d. The lioness, who reigns The obligation. To immortal pow'rs
Queen of the forest, terrible in strength, The adoration of thy soul confine;
And prone to fury, thus, by Nature taught, And look undazzled on the pomp of man,
Melts o'er her young in blandishment and love. Most weak when bighest. Then the jealous gods Now slowly tow'rds the Persian camp her steps Watch to supplant him. They his paths, bis courts, in silence she dirocted; when a voice, His chambers fill with Natt'ry's pois'nons swarms, Sent from a rock, accessible which seem'd Whose honey'd bane, by kingly pride devour'd, To none but feather'd passengers of air, Consumes the health of kingdoms." Here the boy By this reproof detaind her. By an attention, which surpass'd his years, Art thou, to Greece by Doric blood ally'd? Unlocks her inmost bosom. “ Thrice accurs'd Com'st thou to lay her fruitful meadows waste, Be those,” th’indignant heroine pursues,
Thou homager of tyrants?” Upward gaz'd “ Those, who have tempted their imperial lord Th' astonish'd princess. Lo! a female shape, To that prepost'rous arrogance, which cast Tall and majestic, from th' impendent ridge Chains in the deep to manacle the waves,
Look'd awful down. A holy fillet bound Chastis'd with stripes in Heav'n's offended sight Her graceful bair, loose flowing. Seldom wept The Hellespont, and fondly now demands
Great Artemisia. Now a springing tear The Spartans bound. .O child, my soul's delight, Between her eyelids gleam'd. “ Too true," she Train'd by my care to equitable sway,
sigh’d, And imitation of the gods by deeds
“A homager of tyrants ! Voice austere, To merit their protection, heed my voice.
And presence half-divine !” Again the voice. They, who alone can tame, or swell the floods, “ Artemisia, hide thy Doric sword. Compose the winds, or guide their strong career, Let no barbarian tyrant through thy might, O'erwhelming human greatness, will confound Thy counsels, valiant as thou art and wise, Such vanity in mortals. On our feet
Consume the holy fanes, deface the tombs, Their indignation hath already fall’n.
Subvert the laws of Greece, ber sons enthrall"
“ Caria's queen
The queen made no reply. Her breast-plate | Where not five warriors in a rank can tread. The treinulous attire of cov'ring mail (heav'd. We thence descended to the Phocian camp, Confess'd her struggle. She at length exclaim'd. Beset with scatter'd oaks, which rose and spread
"Olympian thund'rer, from thy neighb'ring hill In height and shade; on whose sustaining boughs Of sacred oaths remind me!" Then aside
Were hung in snowy folds a thousand tents, She turns to shun that majesty of form,
Containing each a Phocian heavy-mail'd In solemn sounds upbraidiog. Torn her thoughts with two light-weapon'd medials. Northward ends She feels. A painful conflict she endures
The vale, contracted to that narrow strait, With recollection of her Doric race;
Which first we saw with Mycon."-" Prudent care Till gratitude, reviving, arms her breast.
Like yours alleviates mine,” well-pleas'd the king Her royal benefactor she recalls,
Reply'd. “ Now, Agis, from Arcadia's bands Back to his sight precipitates her steps.
Select a thousand spears. To them unite
The num'rous foe. Demophilus salute.
Approv'd in martial service him I name
The chief supreme.”, Obedient to his will
Th' appointed warriors, issuing from the tents,
The winds assemble. From his dusky throne
His dreadful mandates Æolus proclaims Leonidas, rising by break of day, hears the intelli. To swell the main, or Heav'n with clouds deform,
gence, which Agis and Melibæus bring from the Or bend the forest from the mountain's brow. upper pass, then commands a body of Arcadians Laconia's leader from the rampart's height with the Platæans and Thespians, to be drawn to battle thus the list’ning host inflames. out for battle, under the conduct of Demophilus, “ This day, O Grecians, countrymen and friends, in that part of Thermopylæ, which lies close to Your wives, your offspring, your paternal seats, the Phocian wall, from whence he harangues Your parents, country, liberty, and laws, them. The enemy approaches. Diomedon kills Demand your swords. You gen'rous, active, brave, Tigranes in single combat. Both armies join Vers’d in the various discipline of Mars, battle. Dithyrambus kills Phraortes. The Are now to grapple with ignoble foes, Persians, entirely defeated, are pursued by De-In war unskilful, Nature's basest dross, mophilus to the extremity of the pass. The And thence a monarch's mercenary slaves. Arcadians, inconsiderately advancing beyond it, Relax'd their limbs, their spirits are deprav'd fall into an ambush, which Artemisia had laid By eastern sloth and pleasures. Hire their cause, to cover the retreat of the Persians. She kills Their only fruit of victory is spoil. Clonius, but is herself repulsed by Demophilus. They know not freedom, nor its lib'ral cares. Diomedon and Dithyrambus give chase to her Such the flow'r of Asia's host. The rest, broken forces over the plains in the sight of Who fill her boasted numbers, are a crowd, Persia's camp, whence she receives no assist- Forc'd from their homes; a populace in peace
She rallies a small body, and, facing the By jealous tyranny disarın'd, in war enemy, disables Dithyrambus by a blow ou his Their tyrant's victims. Taught in passive grief helmet. This puts the Grecians into some con- To bear the rapine, cruelty, and spurns fusion, and gives her an opportunity of preserv- | Of Xerxes' mercenary band, they pine ing the remainder of her Carians by a timely in servitude to slaves. With terrour sounds retreat. She gains the camp, accuses Argestes | The trumpet's clangour in their trembling ears. of treachery, but, pacified by Demaratus, is ac- Unwonted loads, the buckler and the lance companied by him with a thousand horse to Their hands sustain, encumber'd, and present collect the dead bodies of her soldiers for se- The mockery of war-But ev'ry eye pulchre.
Shoots forth impatient flames. Your gallant breasts
Go then, ye sons of Liberty ; go, sweep
These bondmen from the field. Resistless rend With Melibans, Agis, now return’d,
"l'he glitt'ring standard from their servile grasp. Address d the king. Along the mountain's side Hurl to the ground their ignominious heads, We berrt our journey. On our way a voice The warrior's helm profaning. Think, the shades Loud from a crag on Melibæus callid
Of your forefathers lift their sacred brows He look'd and answer'd. “Mycon, ancient friend! Here to enjoy the glory of their sons.” Far hast thou driv'n thy bearded train to day; He spake. Loud päaus issue from the Greeks. But fortunate thy presence. None like thee, In fierce reply barbarian shouts ascend Jahab tant of Eta from thy birth,
From hostile nations, thronging down the pass. Can furnish that intelligence, which Greece Such is the roar of Etna, when bis mouth Wants for her safety.' Mycon show'd a track.' Displodes combustion from his sulph'rous depths We mounted high. The sumınit, where we stopp'd, To blast the smiles of Nature. Danntles:stood Gave to the sight a prospect wide o'er bills, la deep array before the Phocian wall D'er dales and forests, rocks, and dashing floods The phalanx, wedg'd with implicated shields, In cataracts. The object of our search
And spears protended, like the graceful range Beaeath us !ay, the secret pass to Greece,
Of arduouis elms, whose interwoven bougla
Before some rural palace wide expand
Declining valour in the van. His lance
Then in the rear he brandishes. The crowd
Their numbers headlong on the Grecian steel.
Down rush the foes. Exulting in their van, Tremendous frown'd the fierce Platæan chief Their haughty leader shakes his threat'ning lance, Full in the battle's front. His ample shield Provoking battle. Instant from his rank
Like a strong bulwark prominent he rais'd Diomedon bursts furious. On he strides,
Before the line. There thunder'd all the storm Confronts Tigranes, whom he thus defies.
Of darts and arrows. His undaunted train “ Now art thou met, barbarian. Wouldst thou In emulating ardour charg'd the fue. prove
Where'er they turn'd the formidable spears, Thy actions equal to thy vaunts, command Which drench'd the glebe of Marathon in blood, Thy troops to halt, while thou and I engage." Barbarian dead lay heap'd. Diomedon
Tigranes, turning to the Persians, spake. Led on the slaughter. From his nodding crest “My friends and soldiers, check your martial haste, The sable plumes shook terrour. Asia's host While my strong lance that Grecian's pride con- Shrunk back, as blasted by the piercing beams founds."
Of that unconquerable sword, which fell
Encompass'd round by carnage, and besmear'd
Behold, these slaves without resistance bleed.
Advance, my hoary friend. Propitious fame
To pluck fresh laurels for thy honour'd brow."
As, when endu'd with Promethean heat, The blade, descending on Tigranes' arm,
The molten clay respir'd; a sudden warmth That instant struggling to redeem his lance, Glows in the venerable Thespian's veins; The nervous hand dissevers. Pale affright In ev'ry sinew new-born vigour swells. Unmans the Persian; while his active foe
His falchion, thund'ring on Cherasmes' helm,
He proud in hope her swarming numbers led.
His martial brothers. They attend his fate,
Lamenting loud his childless years, sball curse
Ambition's fury, and the lust of war, In sanguine circles, and parsu'd its track
Then, pining, bow in anguish to the grave. Of horrour through the air. Not more amaz'd, Next by the fierce. Platæan's fatal sword A barb'rous nation, whom the cheerful dawn Expir'd Damates, once the host and friend Of science ne'er illumin'd, view on high
Of fallin Tigranes. By his side to fight A meteor, waving its portentous fires;
He left his native bands. Of Syrian birth Where oft, as Superstition vainly dreams,
In Daphné he resided near the grove, Some demon sits amid the baneful blaze,
Whose hospitable laurels in their shade Dispersing plague and desolation round.
Conceal'd the virgin fugitive averse Awhile the stern Diomedon remain'd
To young Apollo. Hither she retir'd
Here fables feigu,
To verdant leaves in this retreat, the grove
Pann'd by the breath of Zephyrs, and with rills
“ Heav'n! can one ieader's fate appal this host, The happy rival of Thessalia’s vale, Which counts a train of princes for its chiefs ? Now bid for ever froin Damates' eyes. Behold Phraortes. From Niphates' ridge
Demophilus, wise leader, soon improves i draw my subject files. My hardy toil
Advantage. All the vet'rans of his troop, Through pathless woods and deserts hath explor'd In age his equals, to condense the files, The tiger's cavern. This unconquer'd hand To rivet close their bucklers he commands. Hath froni the lion rent his shaggy hide.
As some broad vessel, heary in her strength, So through this field of slaughter will I chase But well-compacted, when a fav’ring gale Yon vaunting Greek." His ardent words revive Invites the skilful master to expand
The sails at large, her slow but steady course Of proudest cedars. Through the yielding crowd
Triumphant side by side. Thus o'er the field,
To reach the glories of Olympia's goal. Of new-shom harvest. On the gen'ral rout Th' intrepid heroes on the plain advance, Phraortes look'd intrepid still. He sprang They press the Carian rear. Not long the queen D'er hills of carnage to confront the foe.
Endures that shame. Her people's dying groans His own inglorious friends he thus reproach'd. Transpierce her bosom. On their bleeding limbs
“Fly then, ye cowards, and desert your chief. She looks maternal, feels maternal pangs. Yet single here my target shall oppose
A troop she rallies. Goddess-like she turns, The shock of thousands." Raging, he impels Not less than Pallas with her Gorgon shield. His deathful point through Aristander's breast. Whole ranks she covers like th' imperial bird Him Dithyrambus lov’d. A sacred bard, Extending o'er a nest of callow young Rever'd for justice, for his verse renown'd, Her pinion broad, and pointing fierce her beak, He sung the deeds of heroes, those who fell, Her claws outstretch'd. The Thespian's ardent hand, Or those who conquer'd in their country's cause, From common lives refraining, hastes to snatch Th' enraptur'd sout inspiring with the love More splendid laurels from that nobler bead. Of glory, earn'd by virtue. His high strain His pond'rous falchion, swift descending, bears The Muses favourd from their neighb'ring bow'rs, Her buckler down, thence glancing, cuts the thong, And bless'd with heav'nly melody bis lyre. Which holds her headpiece fast. That golden fence No more from Thespia shall his feet ascend Drops down. Thick tresses, uncoofin'd, disclose. The shady steep of Helicon; no more
A female warrior; one, whose summer pride The stream divine of Aganippe's fount
Of fleeting beauty had begun to fade, Bedew his lip harmonious: nor his bands,
Yet by th' heroic character supply'd, Which, dying, grasp the unforsaken lance, Which grew more awful, as the touch of time And prostrate buckler, cver more accord
Remov'd the soft'ning graces. Back be steps, His lofty numbers to the sounding shell.
Unmann'd by wonder. With indignaut eyes, Lo! Dithyrambus weeps. Amid the rage
Fire-darting, she advances. Both her hands Of war and conquest swiftly-gushing tears
Full on his crest discharge the furious blade. Find one sad moment's interval to fall
The forceful blow compels him to recede
Of blood more distant speeds Platæa's chief.
And saves her Carian remnant. While his friend
“ If thou art slain, I curse this glorious day. Where Tigris swift between the parted hills Be all thy trophies, be my own accurs’d.” Of tall Niphates drew his foamy tide,
The youth, recover'd, answers in a smile. Impregnating the meads. Phraortes sinks, “I am unhurt. The weighty blow proclaim'd Not instantly expiring. Still his eyes
The queen of Caria, or Bellona's arm. Flash indignation, while the Persiaps Ay.
Our longer stay Demophilus may blame. Beyond the Malian entrance of the straits Let us prevent his call.” This said, their steps Th' Arcadians rush; when, unperceiv'd till felt, They turn, both striding through empurpled beaps Spring from concealment in a thicket deep Of arms, and mangled slain, themselves with gore New swarms of warriors, clustring on the flank Distain'd like two grim tigers, who have forc'd Of these unwary Grecians. Tow'rds the bay A nightly mansion, on the desert rais'd They shrink. They totter on the fearful edge, By some lone-wand'ring traveller, then, dy'd Which overhangs a precipice. Surpris’d,
In human crimson, through the forest deep The strength of Clonius fails. His giant bulk Back to their covert's dreary gloom retire. Beneath the chieftain of th' assailing band
Stern Artemisia, sweeping o'er the field,
She casts around. Abrocomes remote
Who from battalions numberless had spard
With her distress. Her anger now augments. Contagious terrour: thence no succour flows. Rerenge frowns gloomy on her darken'd brow. Demophilus stands firm; the Carian band He cautious moves to Xerxes, where he sat At length recoil before him. Keen pursuit High on his car. She follows. Lost ber helm, He leaves to other, like th' almighty Sire,
Resigu'd to sportive winds her closter'd locks, Who sits unshaken on his throne, while floods, Wild, but majestic like the waving boughs His instruments of wrath, o'erwhelm the Earth, Of some proud elm, the glory of the grove, And whirlwinds level on her hills the growth And fuli io foliage. Her emblazon'd sbieid