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Which beat the echoing pavement of the rock ? For me, alas! within my brother's arms
His dying breath resigning, he disclos’d.
My eyes to stream before thee, and my breast, The Spartan answers. “ Through the midnight O’erwhelm'd by anguish, will from sighs restrain! shade
For why should thy humanity be griev'd What porpuse draws your wand'ring steps abroad?" At my distress, why learn from me to mourn To whom the stranger. “ We are friends to The lot of mortals, doom'd to pain and woe. Greece.
Hear then, O king, and grant my sole request, Through thy assistance we implore access
To seek his body in the heaps of slain." To Lacedæmon's king." The cautious Greek Thus to the hero su'd the royal maid, Still hesitates; when musically sweet
Resembling Ceres in majestic woe,
When supplicating Jove from Stygian gloom,
These tender thoughts Leonidas recall'a.
He turn'd and sigh'd. Recov'ring, he address'd Not with an aspect rivalling the pow'r
His brother. “ Most beneficent of men, Of fatal Helen, or th' insnaring charms
Attend, assist this princess. Night retires Of love's soft queen, but such as far surpass'd Before the purple-winged morn.” A band Whate'er the lily, blending with the rose,
Is call'd. The well-remember'd spot they find, Spreads on the cheek of beauty soon to fade; Where Teribazus from his dying hand Such as express'd a mind by wisdom rul’d, Dropt in their sight his formidable sword. By sweetness temper'd; virtue's purest light Soon from beneath a pile of Asian dead Illamining the countenance divine:
They draw the hero, by his armour known. Yet could not soften rig'rous Fato nor charm Then, Ariana, what transcending pangs Malignant Portune to revere the good ;
Were thine! what horrours ! In thy tender breast Which oft with anguish reads a spotless heart, Love still was mightiest. On the bosom cold And oft associates wisdom with despair.
Of Teribazus, grief-distracted maid, In courteous phrase began the chief humane. Thy beauteous limbs were thrown. Thy snowy hue
“ Exalted fair, whose form adorns the night, The clotted gore disfigur'd. On his wounds Forbear to blame the vigilance of war.
Loose flow'd thy hair, and, bubbling from thy eyes, My slow compliance, to the rigid laws
Impetuous sorrow lav'd th' empurpled clay. of Mars impute. In me no longer pause
When forth in groans these lamentations broke. Shall from the presence of our king withbold “ O torn for ever from these weeping eyes! This thy apparent dignity and worth.”
Thou, who despairing to obtain a heart Here ending, he conducts her. At the call Which then most lov'd thee, didst untimely yield Of his lov'd brother from his couch arose
Thy life to Fate's inevitable dart
For her, who now in agony reveals
Unites thy cheek insensible and cold.
Perceive my gushing sorrow! Can that heart “ Thy looks, fair stranger, amiable and great, At my complaint dissolve the ice of death A mind delineate, which from all commands To share my suff'rings ! Never, never more Sapreme regard. Relate, thou noble dame, Shall Ariana bend a list’ning ear By what relentless destiny compellid,
To thy enchanting eloquence, nor feast Thy tender feet the paths of darkness tread; Her mind on wisdom from thy copious tongue! Rehearse th'afflictions, whence thy virtue mourns. Oh! bitter, insurmountable distress!" On her wan cheek a sudden blush arose
She could no more. Invincible despair Like day, first dawning ou the twilight pale; Suppress'd all utt'rance. As a marble form, When, wrapt in grief, these words a passage found. Fix'd on the solemn sepulchre, inclines “ If to be most unhappy, and to know,
The silent head in imitated woe That hope is irrecoverably fled;
O'er some dead hero, whom his country lov'd; If to be great and wretched may deserve
Entranc'd by anguish, o'er the breathless clay Commiseration from the brave: behold,
So hung the princess. On the gory breach, Thou glorious leader of unconquer'd bands, Whence life had issu'd by the fatal blow, Behold, descended froin Darius' loins,
Mute for a space and motionless she gaz'd; Th' afflicted Ariana ; and my pray'r
When thus in accents firm. “ Imperial pomp, Accept with pity, nor my tears disdain.
Foe to my quiet, take my last farewell. First, that I lov'u the best of human race,
There is a state, where only virtue holds Heroic, wise, adorn'd by ev'ry art,
The rank supreme. My Teribazus there Of share unconscious doth my heart reveal. From his high order must descend to mine." This day, in Grecian arms conspicuous clad,
Tben with no trembling hand, no change of look, He fought, he fell. A passion, long conceal'd, She drew a poniard, which her garment veilid;
And instant sheathing in her heart the blade, A lib'ral spirit. Try'd, but not subdu'd,
Do thou appear. Whatever be our lot 'The unexpected stroke prevents the care
Is Heav'n's appointment. Patience best becomes Of Agis, pierc'd by horrour and distress
The citizen and soldier. Let the sight Like one, who, standing on a stormy beach, Of friends and brethren dissipate thy gloom." Beholds a found'ring vessel, by the deep
Of men the gentlest, Agis too advanc'd, At once engulf’d; his pity feels and mourns, Who with increas'd humanity began. Depriv'd of pow'r to save: so Agis view'd
“ Now in thy native liberty secure, The prostrate pair. He dropp'd a tear and thus. Smile on thy pass’d affiction, and relate,
“ Oh! much lamented! Heavy on your heads What chance restores thy merit to the arms Hath evil fall’n, which o'er your pale remains Of friends and kindred.” Polydorus then. Commands this sorrow from a stranger's eye.
“ I was a Spartan. When my tender prime Illustrious ruins! May the grave impart
On manhood border'd, from Laconia's shores, That peace, which life deny'd! And now receive Snatch'd by Phænician pirates, I was sold This pious office from a hand unknown.”
A slave, by Hyperanthes bought and giv'n
“ Thou, who attendant on this hapless fair, Nor less his own ill-fated virtue mourn'd,
“ Art thon a Spartan," interrupts the slave? With rankling malice; where alone sincere “ Dost thou command me to return, and pine The dissolute seek no disguise; where those, In climes unbless'd by liberty, or laws ?
Possessing all a monarch can bestow, Grant me to see Leonidas. Alone
Are far less happy than tâe meanest heir Let him decide, if wretched, as I seem,
To freedom, far more groveling than the slave I may not claim protection from this camp." Who serves their cruel pride. Yet here the Sun
“ Whoe'er thou art,” rejoins the chief, amaz'd, Ten times his yearly circle hath renew'd, But not offended, “thy ignoble garb
Since Polydorus hath in bondage groan'd. Conceal'd a spirit, which I now revere.
My bloom is pass'd, or, pining in despair, Thy countenance demands a better lot
Untimely wither'd. I at last return Than I, a stranger to thy hidden worth,
A messenger of fate, who tidings bear Unconscious offer'd. Freedom dwells in Greece, Of desolation.” Here he paus'd in grief Humanity and justice. Thou shalt see
Redoubled; when Leonidas. « Proceed. Leonidas their guardian." To the king
Should from thy lips inevitable death He leads bim straight, presents him in these words. To all be threatened, thou art heard by none,
“ In mind superior to the base attire, [comes, Whose dauntless hearts can entertain a thought, Which marks his limbs with shame, a stranger But how to fall the noblest.” Thus the king. Who thy protection claims." The slave subjoins. The rest in speechless expectation wait.
“ I stand thy suppliant now. Thou soon shalt Such was the solemn silence, which o'erspread If I deserve thy favour. 1 request [learn The shrine of Ammon, or Dodona's shades, To meet th' assembled chieftains of this host. When anxious mortals from the mouth of Jore Oh! I am fraught with tidings, which import Their doom explor'd. Nor Polydorus long The weal of ev'ry Grecian.” Agis swift, .
Suspends the counsel, but resumes his tale. Appointed by Leonidas, convenes
“ As I this night accompany'd the steps
“ O Alpheus! Maron! Hither turn your sight, Now, as a statue, rivetted by doubt,
He by the Moon, which glimmer'd on our heads, Each fondly strives to rush; but he withstands: Descry'd us. Straight advancing, whither bent While down his cheek a flood of anguish pours Our midnight course, be ask'd. I knew the voice From his dejected eyes, in torture bent
Of Demaratus. To my breast I clasp'd On that vile garb, dishonouring his forin.
The venerable exile, and reply'd. At length these accents, intermix'd with groans, Laconia's camp we seek. Demand no more. A passage found, wbile mute attention gaz'd. Farewell.' He wept. • Be Heav'n thy guide,' he
“ You first should know, if this unhappy slave * Thrice happy Polydorus. Thou again [said, Yet merits your embraces.” Then approach'd Mayst visit Sparta, to these eyes deny’d. Leonidas. Before him all recede,
Soon as arriv'd at those triumpbant tents, Ev'n Alpheus' self, and yields his brother's hand, Say to the Spartans from their exil d king, Which in his own the regal hero press'd.
Although their blind credulity depriv'd Still Polydorus on his gloomy front
The wretched Demaratus of his home; Repugnance stern to consolation bore;
From ev'ry joy secluded, from his wife, When thus the king with majesty benign.
His offspring torn, his countrymen and friends, “ Lo! ev'ry heart is open to thy worth.
Him from his virtue they could ne'er divide. Injurious fortune, and enfeebling time,
Say, that ev'n here, where all are kings or slaves, By servitude and grief severely try
Amid the riot of flagitious courts
Not quite extinct his Spartan spirit glows, “ Long lost, and late recover'd, we must part
And calls thee back to freedom. Brother dear, Who, as a spy, the Grecian tents had sought. I should have sighs to give thee--but farewell. He to the monarch magnify'd his art,
My country chides me, loit'ring in thy arms," Which by delusive eloquence had wrought
This said, he darts along, nor looks behind, The Greeks to such despair, that ev'ry band When Polydorus answers. “ Alpheus, no. To Persia's sor'reign standard would have bow'd, I have the marks of bondage to erase. Had not the spirit of a single chief,
My blood must wash the shameful stain away." By fear unconquer'd, and on death resolvd,
" We have a father," Maron interpos'd. Restor'd their valour: therefore would the king “ Thy unexpected presence will revive Trust to his guidance a selected force,
His heavy age, now childless and forlorn." They soon should pierce th' unguarded bounds of To him the brother with a gloomy frown. Greece
“ III should I comfort others. View these eyes. Through a neglected aperture above,
Paint is their light; and vanish'd was my bloom Where no Leonidas should bar their way:
Before its bour of ripeness. In my breast Meantime by him the treach'rous Thebans sent Grief will retain a mansion, nor by time Assurance of their aid. Th' assenting prince Be dispossess'd. Unceasing shall my soul At once decreed two myriads to advance
Brood o'er the black remembrance of my youth, With Hyperanthes. Ev'ry lord besides,
In slavery exhausted. Life to me
His head declines. His brother pleads iu vain. From all the nations with a rival zeal
Now in his view Dieneces appear'd. To enter Greece the foremost.' In a sigh
With Sparta's band. Immoveable his eyes He clos'd-like me.” Tremendous from his seat On them be fix'd, revolving these dark thoughts. Uprose Diomedon. His eyes were flames.
“ I too like them from Lacedæmon spring, When swift on trembling Anaxander broke Like them instructed once to poise the spear, These ireful accents from bis livid lips.
To lift the pond'rous shield. III-destin'd wretch! * Yet ere we fall, O traitor, shall this arm Thy arm is grown enervate, and would sink To Hell's avenging furies sink thy head."
Beneath a buckler's weight. Malignant Fates ! All aow is tumult. Ev'ry bosom swells
Who have compellid my freeborn hand to change With wrath untam'd and vengeance. Half un- The warrior's arms for ignominious bonds ; sheath'd,
Would you compensate for my chains, my shame, Th'impetuous falchion of Platæa flames.
My ten years anguish, and the fell despair But, as the Colchian sorceress, renown'd
Which on my youth have prey'd; relenting once, In legends old, or Circé, when they fram'd Grant I may bear my buckler to the field, A potent spell, to smoothness charm'd the main, And, known a Spartan, seek the shades below.” And lullid Æolian rage by mystic song ;
" Why, to be known a Spartan, must thou seek Till not a billow hear'd against the shore,
The shades below?” impatient Maron spake. Nor ev'n the wanton-winged Zephyr breath'd “Live, and be known a Spartan by thy deeds. The lightest whisper through the magic air: Live, and enjoy thy dignity of birth. So, when thy voice, Leonidas, is heard,
Live, and perform the duties which become Confusion listens; ire in silent awe
A citizen of Sparta. Still thy brow Subsides. “ Withnolà this rashness,"cries the king. Frowns gloomy, still unyielding. He, who leads ** To proof of guilt let punishment succeed. Our band, all fathers of a noble race, Not yet barbarian shouts our camp alarm. Will ne'er permit thy barren day to close We still have time for yengeance, time to know, Without an offspring to uphold the state." If menac'd ruin we may yet repell,
“ He will,” replies the brother in a glow, Or how most glorious perish.”. Next arose Prevailing o'er the paleness of his cheek, Dioneces, and thus th' experienc'd man.
“ He will permit me to complete by death “ Ere they surmount our fences, Xerxes' troops The measure of my duty; will permit Must learn to conquer, and the Greeks to fly., Me to achieve a service, which no hand The spears of Phocis guard that secret pass. But mine can render, to adorn his fall To them let instant messengers depart,
With double lustre, strike the barb'rous foe And note the hostile progress.”
Alpheus here. With endless terrour, and avenge the shame " Leonidas, bebold, my willing feet
Of an enslav'd Laconian.” Closing here Shall to the Phocians bear thy high commands; His words mysterious, quick he turn'd away Shall climb the hill to watch th' approaching foe.” To find the tent of Agis. There his hand
" Thou active son of valour," quick returns In grateful sorrow minister'd her aid; The chief of Lacedæmou, “in my thoughts While the humane, the hospitable care Por ever present, when the public weal
Of Agis, gently by her lover's corse Requires the swift, the vigilant, and bold.
On one sad bier the pallid beauties laid Go, climb, surmount the rock's aerial height. Of Ariana. He from bondage freed Observe the hostile march. A Spartan band, Four eastern captives, whom his gen'rous arm Dioneces, provide. Thyself conduct
That day had spar'd in battle ; then began 'Their speedy succour to our Phocian friends." This solemn charge. “ You, Persians, whom my The council rises. For his course prepar'd,
sword While day, declining, prompts his eager feet, Acquir'd in war, unransom'd shall depart. “ O Polydorus,” Alpheus thus in haste,
To you I render freedom, which you sought VOL XVIL
To wrest from me. One recompense I ask,
arrive at Thermopylæ the next morning; upon And one alone. Transport to Asia's camp
which Leonidas offers to send away all the troops This bleeding princess. Bid the Persian king except his three hundred Spartans; but DiomeWeep o'er this flow'r, untimely cut in bloom. don, Demophilus, Dithyrambus, and Megistias Then say, th’all-judging pow'rs have thus ordain'd. refuse to depart; then to relieve the perplexity Thou, whose ambition o'er the groaning Earth of Medon on this occasion, he transfers to him Leads desolation; o'er the nations spreads
the supreme command, dismisses Argestes, orders Calamity and tears; thou first shalt mourn,
the companions of his own fate to be ready in And through thy house destruction first shall range.” arms by sunset, and retires to his pavilion. Dismiss'd, they gain the rampart, where on
Among the troops dispersing, by their words, He met the captives, with a moisten'd eye, Their looks undaunted, warm the coldest heart Full bent on Teribazus, sigh'd and spake. Against new dangers threat’ning. To his tent
“ O that, assuming with those Grecian arms The Locrian captains Medon swift convenes, A Grecian spirit, thou in scorn hadst look'd Exhorting thus. “O long-approv'd my friends, On princes! Worth like thing, from slavish courts You, who have seen my father in the field Withdrawn, had 'ne'er been wasted to support Triumphant, bold assistants of my arm A king's injustice. Then a gentler lot
In labours not inglorious, who this day Had bless'd thy life, or, dying, thou hadst known Have rais'd fresh trophies, be prepar'd. If help How sweet is death for liberty. A Greek
Be further wanted in the Phocian camp, Affords these friendly wishes, though his head You will the next be suinmon'd. Locris lies Had lost the honours gather'd from thy fall, To ravage first expos'd. Your ancient fane, When fortune favour'd, or propitious Jove
Your goddesses, your priestess half-ador'd, Smil'd on the better cause. Il-fated pair, The daughter of Oileus, from your swords Whom in compassion's purest dew I lave,
Protection claim against an impious foe."
How to approach with inauspicious steps,
He ceas'd in tears. The captives leave the wall, Of Medon stopp’d, and thus. “Thy presence, lord, And slowly down 'Thermopylæ proxeed.
The priestess calls. To Lacedæmon's king
He quits the chief, whose rapid feet ascend,
Soon ent'ring where the pedestal displays
Thy form, Calliope sublime. The lyre,
Whose accents immortality confer,
Thy fingers seem to wake. On either side,
Before each virgin dimly burns a lamp,
harangues them; repairs at midnight to his The dead obscurity of night. Apart sister Melissa in the temple, and receives from The priestess thoughtful sits. Thus Medon breaks her the first intelligence, that the Persians were the solemn silence. “ Anxious for thy state, in actual possession of the upper straits, which Without a summons to thy pure abode had been abandoned by the Phocians. Melibæus I was approaching. Deities, who know brings her tidings of her father's death. She The present, pass'd, and future, let my lips, strictly enjoins her brother to preserve his life by Unblam'd, have utt'rance. Thou, my sister, hear. a timely retreat, and recommends the enforce- Thy breast let wisdom strengthen.
Impious foes ment of her advice to the prudence and zeal of Through Eta now are passing." She replies. Melibæus. In the morning the bodies of Teri “ Are passing, brother! They, alas ! are passid, bazus and Ariana are brought into the presence Are in possession of the upper strait. of Xerxes, soon after a report had reached the Hear in thy turn. A dire narration hear. camp, that great part of his navy was ship- A favour'd goat, conductor of my herd, wrecked. The Persian monarch, quite dispirit- Stray'd to a dale, whose outlet is the post ed, is persuaded by Argestes to send an ambas- To Phocians left, and penetrates to Greece. sador to the Spartan king. Argestes himself is Him Mycon following, by a hostile band, deputed, who, after revealing his embassy in Light-arm'd forerunners of a num'rous hust, secret to Leonidas, is by him led before the Was seiz'd. By fear of menac'd torments forc'd, whole army, and there receives his answer. He show'd a passage up that mountain's side, Alpheus returns, and declares, that the enemy Whose length of wood o'ershades the Phocian land. was master of the passages in the hills, and would | To dry and sapless trunks in diff'rent parts
Fire, by the Persians artfully apply'd,
O'erclouded, paleness on his healthful cheek, Soon grew to flames. This done, the troop returu'd, A dull, unwonted heaviness of pace Detaining Mycon. Now the mountain blaz'd. Portend disastrous tidings. Medon spake. The Phocians, ill-commanded, left their post,
“ Turn, holy sister. By the gods belov'd, Alarm’d, confus'd. More distant ground they chose. May they sustain thee in this mournful hour. In blind delusion forming there, they spread
Our father, good Oîleus, is no more." Their ineffectual hanners to repell
“ Rehearse thy tidings, swain.” He takes the word. Imagin'd peril from those fraudful lights,
“ Thou wast not present, when his mind, outBy stratagem prepar'd. A real foe
stretch'd Meantime secur'd the undefended pass.
By zeal for Greece, transported by his joy This Mycon saw. Escaping thence to me,
To entertain Leonidas, refus'd He by my orders hastens to inform
Due rest. Old age his ardour had forgot, Leonidas." She paus'd. Like one who sees
To his last waking moment with his guest The forked lightning into shivers rive
In rapturous talk redundant. He at last, A kootted oak, or erumble tow'rs to dust,
Compos'd and smiling in th' embrace of sleep, Aghast was Medon; then, recov'ring, spake. To Pan's protection at the island fane * Thou boasted glory of th' Oilean house,
Was left. He wak'd no more. The fatal news, If e'er thy brother bow'd in rev'rence due
To you discover'd, from the chiefs I hide."
Melissa heard, inclin'd her forehead low
Broke from her heart, these accents from her lips. A troop select of Locrians shall transport
“ The full of days and honours through the gate Thy sacred person where thy will ordains.” Of painless slumber is retir'd, His tomb “ Think not of me," returns the dame. • To Shall stand among his fathers in the shade Greece
Of his own trophies. Placid were his days, Direct thy zeal. My peasants are conven'd,
Which flow'd through blessings. As a river pure, That by their labour, when the fatal hour
Whose sides are flow'ry, and whose meadows fair, Requires, with massy fragments I may bar Meets in his course a subterranean void ; That care to human entrance. Best belov'd There dips his silver head, again to rise, Of brothers, now a serious ear incline.
And, rising, glide through flow'rs and meadows new Awhile in Greece to Fortune's wanton gale
So shall Osleus in those happier fields, His golden banner shall the Persian king,
Where never tempests roar, nor humid clouds Deluded, wave. Leonidas, by death
In mists dissolve, nor white-descending flakes Preserving Sparta, will his spirit leave
Of winter violate th' eternal green; To blast the glitt'ring pageant. Medon, live Where never gloom of trouble shades the mind, To share that glory. Thee to perish here
Nor gust of passion heaves the quiet breast, No law, no oracle enjoins. To die,
Nor dews of grief are sprinkled. Thou art gong Uncallid, is blameful. Let thy pious hand
Host of divine Leonidas on Earth, Secure Oileus from barbarian force.
Art gone before him to prepare the feast, To Sparta, mindful of her noble host,
Immortalizing virtue.” Silent here, Entrust his rer'rend head.” Th' assembled hinds, Around her head she wraps her hallow'd pall. Youths, maidens, wives with nurselings at their Her prudent virgins interpose a hymu, breasts,
Not in a plaintive, but majestic flow, Around her now in consternation stood,
To which their fingers, sweeping o'er the chords,
* You never,
Then with a voice, a countenance compos'd.
"Go, Medon, pillar of th' Oilean house, Despairing never of the public weal,
New cares, new duties claim thy precious life. For better days in solitude shall wait,
Perform the pious obsequies. Let tears, Shall cheer your sadness. My prophetic'soul Let groans be absent from the sacred dust, Sees through time's cloud the liberty of Greece Which Heav'n in life so favour'd, more in death. More stable, more effulgent. In his blood A term of righteous days, an envy'd urn Leonidas cements th' unshaken base
Like his, for Medon is Melissa's pray'r. Of that strong tow'r, which Athens shall exalt Thou, Melibæus, cordial, high in rank To cast a shadow o'er the eastern world.”
Among the prudent, warn and watch thy lord, This utter'd, tow'rd the temple's inmost seat My benediction sball reward thy zeal." Of sanctity her solemn step she bends,
Sooth'd by the blessings of such perfect lips, Devout, enraptur'd. In their dark’ning lamps They both depart. And now the climbing Sun The pallid fames are fainting. Dim through mists To Xerxes' tent discover'd from afar The morning peeps. An awful silence reigns. The Persian captives with their mournful load. While Medon pensive from the fane descends, Before them Rumour through her sable trump But isstant reappears. Behind him close
Breathes lamentation. Horrour lends his voice Treads Melibans, through the cavern's mouth To spread the tidings of disastrous fate Ascending pale in aspect, not unlike
Along Spercheos. As a vapour black, What legends tell of spectres, by the force
Which, from the distant, horizontal verge Of necromantic sorcery constrain'd; (join'd, Ascending, nearer still and nearer bends Through Earth's dark bowels, wbich the spell dis- To higher lands its progress, there condensed They from Death's mansion in reluctant sloth Throws darkness o'er the valleys, while the face Ruse to divulge the secrets of their graves,
Of Nature saddens round; so step by step, Ot mysteries of Fate. His cheerful brow, In motion slow th'advancing bier diffusd