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A surface hideous, delug'd o'er with blooil, Before we march. Remember, from the rites Beyond my view illimitably stretch'd,
Let ev'ry sound be absent; not the fife, One vast expanse of horrour. There supine, Not ev’n the music-breathing flute be heard. Of huge dimension, cov’ring half the plain, Meantime, ye leaders, ev'ry band instruct A giant corse lay mangled, red with wounds, To move in silence.” Mindful of their charge, Delv'd in th' enormous flesh, which, bubbling, fed The chiefs depart. Leonidas provides Ten thousand thousand grisly beaks and jaws, His various armour. Agis close attends, Insatiably derouring. Mute I gaz'd;
His best assistant. First a breastplate arms When from behind I heard a second sound
The spacious chest. O'er this the hero spreads Like surges, tumbling o'er a craggy shore. The mailed cuirass, from his shoulders hung. Again I turn'd. An ocean there appear'd
A shining belt infolds his mighty loins.
Th' inimitable artist had emboss'd
Two goddesses contended. Pleasure here
Won by soft wiles th' attracted eye; and there In ornaments imperial. Oft he bent
The form of Virtue dignify'd the scene. On me his clouded eyeballs. Oft my name In her inajestic sweetness was display'd He sounded forth in execrations loud;
The mind sublime and happy. From her lips Then rent his splendid garments; then his head Seem'd eloquence to flow. In look serene, In rage divested of its graceful hairs.
But fix'd intensely on the son of Jove, Impatient now he ey'd a slender skiff, (proach'd. She wav'd her hand, where, winding to the skies, Which, mounted high on boistrous waves, ap- Her paths ascended. On the summit stood, With indignation, with reluctant grief
Supported by a trophy near to Heav'n, Once more his sight reverting, he embark'd Fame, and protended her eternal trump. Amid the perils of the frowning deep.
The youth, attentive to her wisdom, own'd • O thou, by glorious actions rank'd in Heav'n,' The prevalence of Virtue; while his eye, I here exclaim'd, instruct me. What produc'd Fill'd by that spirit which redeem'd the world This desolation?' Hercules reply'd.
From tyramy and monsters, darted flames; • Let thy astonish'd eye again survey
Not undesery'd by Pleasure, where she lay
A fount ineanderd. All relax'd her limbs;
She seem'd collecting ev'ry pow'r to charm: The pregnant bosoms of the fields in gold : Excess of sweet allurement she diffus'd Where spacious towns, whose circuits proud con In vain. Still Virtue sway'd Alcides' mind. tain'd
Hence all his labours. Wrought with vary'd art, The dazzling works of wealth, along the banks The shield's external surface they enrich'd. Of copious rivers show'd their stately tow'rs,
This portraiture of glory on bis arm The strength and splendour of the peopled land. Leonidas displays, and, tow'ring, strides Then in a moment clouds obscur'd my view; From his pavilion. Ready are the bands. At once all vanish'd from my waking eyes." The chiefs assume their station. Torches blaze
“ Thrice I salute the omen," loud began Through ev'ry file. All now in silent pace The sage Megistias. “ In this mystic dream To join in solemn sacrifice proceed. I see my country's victories. The land,
First Polydorus bears the hallow'd knife,
Diomedon sustains a weighty mace.
In polish'd armour. White, as winter's fleece,
The consecrated ox. And, lo! behind, Is Xerxes, foil'd and fugitive." So spake
Leonidas advances. Never he The rev'rend augur. Ev'ry bosom felt
In such transcendent majesty was seen, Enthusiastic rapture, joy beyond
And his own virtue never so enjoy'd. All sense, and all conception, but of those, Successive move Dieneces the brave; Who die to save their country. Here again In hoarý state Demophilus; the bloom Th' exulting band Leonidas address'd.
Of Dithyrambus, glowing in the hope “ Since happiness from virtue is deriv'd, Of future praise; the gen'rous Agis next, Who for bis country dies, that moment proves Serene and graceful; last the Theban chiefs, Most happy, as most virtuous. Such our lot. Repining, ignominious: then slow march Bat go, Megistias. Instantly prepare
The troops all mute, nor shake their brazen arms. The sacred fuel, and the victim due;
Not from Thermopylæ remote the hills That to the Muses (so by Sparta's law
Of Eta, yielding to a fruitful dale, We are enjoin'd) our off'rings may be paid, Within their side, half-circling, had enclos'd
A fair expanse in verdure smooth. The bounds Imbrue his hoofs in blood, the shatter'd cars
By nations slain. You, countrymen and friends,
Impatient valour flash from ev'ry eye. Broad was the surface, high in piles of wood, O temper well that ardour, and your lips All interspers'd with laurel. Purer deem'd Close on the rising transport. Mark, how Sleep Than river, lake, or fountain, in a vase
Hath folded millions in his black embrace. Old Ocean's briny element was plac'd
No sound is wafted from th' unnumber'd foe. Before the altar; and of wine unmix'd
The winds themselves are silent. All conspires Capacious goblets stood. Megistias now
To this great sacrifice, where thousands soon His helm uinloosen'd. With his snowy head, Shall only wake to die. Their crowded train Uncover'd, round the solemn pile he trod.
This night perhaps to Pluto's dreary shades He shook a branch of laurel, scatt'ring wide Evin Xerxes's ghost may lead, unless reserv'd The sacred moisture of the main. His hand From this destruction to lament a doom Next on the altar, on the victim strew'd
Of more disgrace, when Greece confounds that pow's The mingled salt and barley. O'er the horns Which we will shake. But look, the setting Moon Th’inverted chalice, foaming from the grape, Shuts on our darksome paths her waning horns. Discharg'd a rich libation. Then approach'd Let each his head distinguish by a wreath Diomedon. Megistias gave the sign.
Of well earn d laurel. Then the victim share,
The Acarnanian seer distributes swift
Then is the victim portion'd. In the bowl “ Harmonious daughters of Olympian Jove, Then flows the vine's empurpled stream. Aloof Who, on the top of Helicon ador'd,
The Theban train, in wan dejection mute, And high Parnassus, with delighted ears
Brood o'er their shame, or cast affrighted looks Bend to the warble of Castalia's stream,
On that determin'd courage, which, unmor'd Or Aganippe's murmur, if from thence
At Fate's approach, with cheerful lips could taste We must invoke your presence; or along
The sparkling goblet, could in joy partake
Of Anaxander had forgot its wiles,
Regardful ever of the king's command,
“ Leonidas permits you to retire. Approve her dying Grecians; let her voice While on the rites of sacrifice employ'd, In exultation tell the Earth and Heav'ns,
None heed your motions. Separate and fly These are her sons. Then strike your tuneful shells. In silent pace.” This heard, th’inglorious troop, Record us guardians of our parent's age,
Their files dissolving, from the reșt withdraw. Our matron's virtue, and our children's bloom, Unseen they moulder from the bost like snow, The glorious bulwarks of our country's laws, Freed from the rigour of constraining frost; Who shall enpoble the historian's page,
Soon as the Sun exerts his orient beam,
The transitory landscape melts in rills
Insensibly are lost. The solemn feast
Had reassumi'd his arms. Before his step
The crowd roll backward. In their gladden'd sight Which may in silence guide our daring feet, His crest, illumin’d by aplifted brands, Control our fury, por by tumult wild
Its purple splendour shakes. The tow'ring oak
His majesty of verdure. . As with joy
Which from afar directs their foamy course
Along the pathless ocean; so the Greeks Their horse, their chariots. Let the spurning steed | In transport gaze, as down their op'ning ranks
The king proceeds: from whose superior frame
Slow pass the Grecians. Through innum'rous tents, The form of great Apollo; when the god,
Where all is mute and tranquil, they pursue Won by the pray'rs of man's afflicted race,
Their march sedate. Beneath the leaden hand In arms forsook his lucid throne to pierce
Of Sleep lie millions motionless and deaf, The monster Python in the Delphian vale.
Nor dream of Fate's approach. Their wary foes, Close by the hero Polydorus waits
By Polydorus guided, still proceed.
They pierce unseen; when, lo! th' imperial tent In wanton fight essays his vig'rous wing,
Yet distant rose before them. Spreading round Ere long with her to penetrate the clouds,
Th' august pavilion, was an ample space To dart impetuous on the fleecy trajn,
For thousands in arrangement. Here a band And dye his beak in gore ; by Sparta's king Of chosen Persians, watchful o'er the king, The injur'd Polydorus thus prepares
Held their nocturnal station. As the hearts His arm for death. He feasts his angry soul Of anxious nations, whom th' unsparing sword On promis'd vengeance. His impatient thoughts Or famine threaten, tremble at the sight Ev'n now transport him furious to the seat Of fear-engender'ù phantoms in the sky, Of his long sorrows, not with fetter'd hands, Aerial hosts amid the clouds array'd, But now once more a Spartan with his spear, Portending woe and death; the Persian guard His shield restor'd, to lead his country's bands, In equal consternation now descry'd And with them devastation. Nor the rest
The glimpse of hostile armoar. All disband, Neglect to form. Thick-rang'd, the helmets blend As if auxilar to his favour'd Greeks Their various plumes, as intermingling oaks Pan held their banner, scatt'ring from its folus Combine their foliage in Dodona's grove;
Fear and confusion, which to Xerxes couch, Or as the cedars on the Syrian hills
Swift-winged, fly; thence shake the gen’ral camp, Their shady texture spread. Once more the king, Whose numbers issue naked, pale, unarın'd, O'er all the phalanx his consid'rate view
Wild in amazement, blinded by dismay, Extending, through the ruddy gleam descries To ev'ry foe obnoxious. In the breasts One face of gladness; but the godlike van
Of thousands, gord at once, the Grecian steel He most contemplates: Agis, Alpheus there, Reeks in destruction. Deluges of blood Megistias, Maron with Platæa's chief,
Float o'er the field, and foam around the heaps Dieneces, Demophilus are seen
Of wretches, slain unconscious of the hand
The lord of Asia, who in thought beholds
Thy hope of glory! whither are they flown
And Desolation at his side, attend. So louring clouds along th' ethereal void
The vast pavilion's empty space, where lamps In slow expansion from the gloomy north
Of gold shed light and odours, now admits
The glitt'ring ensigns of imperial state.
Through boundless kingdoms, underneath their feet
In mingled rage and scorn the warriors crush,
A sacrifice to freedom. They return
When double darkness suddenly descends.
The clouds, condensing, intercept the stars. Leonidas and the Grecians penetrate through the Black o'er the furrow'd main the raging east
Persian camp to the very pavilion of Xerxes, In whirlwinds sweeps the surge. The coasts resound. who avoids destruction by flight. The barbarians The cavern'd rocks, the crashing forests roar. are slaughtered in great multitudes, and their Swift through the camp the hurricane impelis camp is set on fire. Leonidas conducts his men Its rude career; when Asia's numbers, veil'd in good order back to Thermopylæ, engages the Amid the shelt'ring horrours of the storm, Persians, who were descended from the bills, Evade the victor's lance. The Grecians halt; and after numberless proofs of superior strength While to their gen'rals pregnant mind occurs and valour, sinks down covered with wounds, A new attempt and vast. Perpetual fire and expires the last of all the Grecian com Beside the tent of Xerxes, from the hour manders.
He lodg'd bis standards on the Malian plains,
Had shone. Among his Magi to adore
Of unremitted conquest. Yet what pow'r Great Horomazes was the monarch wont
Among these sons of Liberty reviv'd [recall's Before the sacred light. Huge piles of wood Their drooping warmth, new-strung their nerves, Lay nigh, prepard to feed the constant flame. Their weary'd swords to deeds of brighter fame? On living embers these are cast. So wills
What, but th' inspiring hope of glorious death Leonidas. The phalanx then divides.
To crowu their labours, and th' auspicious look Four troops are form'd, by Dithyrambus led, Of their heroic chief, which, still unchang'd, By Alpheus, by Diomedon. The last
Still in superior majesty declar'd, Himself conducts. The word is giv'n. They seize No toil had yet relax'd his matchless strength, The burning fael. Sparkling in the wind,
Nor worn the vigour of his odlike soul. Destructive fire is brandish’d. Ail, enjoin'd
Back to the pass in gentle march he learls To reassemble at the regal tent,
Th’embattled warriors. They behind the shrubs, By various paths the hostile camp invade. Where Medon sent such numbers to the shades, Now devastation, unconfin’d, involves
In ambush lie. The tempest is o'erblown. The Malian fields. Among barbarian tents Soft breezes only from the Malian wave From diff'rent stations fly consuming flames. O’er each grim face, besmear'd with smoke and gore, The Greeks afford no respite ; and the storm Their cool refreshment breathe. The healing gale, Exasperates the blaze. To ev'ry part
A crystal rill near (Eta's verdant feet, The conflagration like a sea expands,
Dispel the languor from their harass'd nerves, One waving surface of unbounded fire.
Fresh brac'd by strength returning. O'er their heads In ruddy volumes mount the curling flames Lo! in full blaze of maiesty appears To Heav'n's dark vault, and paint 'the midnight Melissa, bearing in her hand divine clouds.
Th’ eternal guardian of illustrious deeds, So, when the north emits his purpled lights, The sweet Phcebean lyre. Her graceful train The undulated radiance, streaming wide,
Of white-rob’d virgins, seated on a range As with a burning canopy invests
Half down the cliff, o'ershadowing the Greeks, Th' ethereal concave. ta now disclos'd
All with concordant strings, and accents clear, His forehead, glitt'ring in eternal frost;
A torrent pour of melody, and swell While down his rocks the foamy torrents shone. A high, triumphal, solemn dirge of praise, Far o'er the main the pointed rays were thrown; Anticipating fame. Of endless joys Night snatch'd her mantle from the Ocean's breast; In bless'd Elysium was the song. “Go, meet The billows glimmer'd from the distant shores. Lycurgus, Solon, and Zaleucus sage, But, lo! a pillar huge of smoke ascends,
Let them salute the children of their laws. Which overshades the field. There horrour, there Meet Homer, Orpheus, and th’ Ascræan bard, Leonidas presides. Command he gave
Who with a spirit, by ambrosial food To Polydorus, who, exulting, show'd
Refin'd, and more exalted, shall contend Where Asia's horse and warlike cars possess'd Your splendid fate to warble through the bow'rs A crowded station. At the hero's nod
Of amaranth and myrtle ever young, Devouring Vulcan riots on the stores
Like your renown. Your ashes we will cull.
In yonder fane deposited, your urns
Whatever off'rings, genius, science, art
Can dedicate to virtue, shall be yours,
You on th' enliven’d canvass, marble, brass,
In ev'ry tongue, through ev'ry age and clime,
[flames, of praise with men, of happiness with gods." Dash through the blood of thousands, mix'd with The Grecian valour on religion's flame Which rage augmented by the whirlwind's blast. To ecstasy is wafted. Death is nigh.
Meantime the scepter'd lord of half the globe As by the Graces fashion’d, he appears From tent to tent precipitates his flight.
A beauteous form. His adamantine gate Dispers'd are all his satraps. Pride herself Is half unfolded. All in transport catch Shuns his dejected brow. Despair alone
A glimpse of immortality. Elate
In rapturous delusion they believe,
The goddesses are present on the hills
With celebrating lyres. In thought serene In rosy sandals, and with dewy locks.
Leonidas the kind deception bless'd, The winds subside before her; darkness flies; Nor undeceiv'd his saldiers. After all A stream of light proclaims the cheerful day, Th’incessant labours of the horrid night, [pares Which sees at Xerxes' tent the conqu’ring bands, Through blood, throngh fames continu’d, he preAll reunited. What could Fortune more
In order'd battle to confront the pow'rs To aid the valiant, what to gorge revenge? Of Hyperanthes from the upper straits. Lo! Desolation o'er the adverse host
Not long the Greeks in expectation wait Hath empty'd all her terrours. Ev'n the hand Impatient. Sudden with tumultuous shouts Of languid Slaughter dropt the crimson steel; Like Nile's rude current, where in deafʼning roar Nor Nature longer can sustain the toil
Prone from the steep of Elephantis falls
A sea of waters, Hyperanthes pours
Then with his dire associates through the deep His chosen numbers on the Grecian camp
For spoil and slaughter guides the savage prow. Down froin the hills precipitant. No foes
Him dogs will rend ashore. From Medus far,
Of rich domains. On these Mithrines grey,
The growing carnage Hyperanthes views
Indignant, fierce in vengeful ardour strides Of ferry'd heroes down the Malian steep,
Against the victor. Each his lance protends, Tremendous depth, the mix'd battalions swept But Asia's numbers interpose their shields, Of Thebes and Persia. There no waters flow'd. Solicitous to guard a prince rever'd: Abrupt and naked all was rock beneath.
Or thither Fortune whelm'd the tide of war, Leonidas, incens’d, with grappling strength His term protracting for augmented fame. Dash'd Anaxander on a pointed crag ;
So two proud vessels, lab'ring on the foam, Compos'd, then gave new orders. At the word Present for battle their destructive beaks; His phalanx, wheeling, penetrates the pass. When ridgy seas, by hurricanes uptorn, Astonish'd Persia stops in full career.
In mountaneous commotion dash between, Ex'n Hyperanthes shrinks in wonder back. And either deck, in black’ning tempests veild, Confusion drives fresh numbers from the shore. Waft from its distant foe. More fiercely burn'd The Malian onze o'erwhelms them. Sparta's king Thy spirit, mighty Spartan. Such dismay Still presses forward, till an open breadth Relax'd thy foes, that each barbarian heart Of fifty paces yields his front extent
Resign'd all hopes of victory. The steeds To proffer battle. Hyperanthes soon
Of day were climbing their meridian height. Recalls his warriors, dissipates their fears. Continu'd shouts of onset from the pass Swift on the great Leonidas a cloud [close. Resounded o'er the plain. Artuchus heard. Of darts is show'rd. Th' encount’ring armies When first the spreading tumult had alarm'd
Who first, sublimest hero, felt thy arm? His distant quarter, starting from repose, What rivers heard along their echoing banks He down the valley of Spercheos rush'd Thy name, in curses sounded from the lips
To aid his regal master. Asia's camp Of noble mothers, wailing for their sons ?
He found the seat of terrour and despair. What towns with empty monuments were fill'd As in some fruitful clime, which late hath known For those, whom thy unconquerable sword
The rage of winds and floods, although the storin This day to vultures cast? First Bessus died, Be heard no longer, and the deluge fled, A hanghty satrap, whose tyrannic sway
Still o'er the wasted region Nature mourns Despoil'd Hyrcania of her golden sheaves, In melancholy silence; through the grove And laid her forests waste. For bim the bees With prostrate glories lie the stately oak, Among the branches interwove their sweets; Th’ uprooted helm and beach; the plain is spread For him the fig was ripen'd, and the vine
With fragments, swept from villages o'erthrown, In rich profusion o'er the goblet foam'd.
Around the pastures flocks and herds are cast Then Dinis bled. On Hermus' side he reign'd; In dreary piles of death: so Persia's host He long assiduous, unavailing woo'd
In terrour mute one boundless scene displays The martial queen of Caria. She disdain'd Of devastation. Half-devour'd by fire, A lover's soft complaint. Her rigid ear
Her tall pavilions, and her martial cars, Was fram'd to watch the tempest while it rag'd, Deform the wide encampment. Here in gore Her eye accustom'd on the rolling deck
Her princes welter, nameless thousands there, To brave the turgid billow. Near the shore Not victims all to Greeks. In gasping heaps She now is present in her pinnace light.
Barbarians, mangled by barbarians, showd The spectacle of glory crouds her breast
The wild confusion of that direful night; With diffrent passions. Valiant, she applauds When, wanting siguals, and a leader's care, The Grecian valour ; faithful, she laments They rush'd'on mutual slaughter. Xerxes' tent ller sad presage of Persia; prompts her son On its exalted summit, when the dawn To emulation of the Greeks in arms,
First streak'd the orient sky, was wout to bear And of herself in loyalty. By Pate
The golden form of Mithra, clos'd between Is she reserv'd to signalize that day
Two lucid crystals. This the gen'ral host Of future shame, when Xerxes must behold Observ'd, their awful signal to arrange The blood of nations overflow his decks,
In arms complete, and numberless to watch And to their bottom tinge the briny floods
Their monarch's rising. This conspicuous blaze Of Salamis; whence she with Asia Aies,
Artuchus places in th' accustom'd seat. She only not inglorious. Low reclines
As, after winds have ruffed by a storm Her lover now, on Hermus to repeat
The plumes of darkness, when her welcome face Her name no more, nor tell the vocal groves The Morning lifts serene, each wary swain His fruitless sorrows. Next Maduces fell,
Collects his Rock dispers'd; the neighing steed, A Paphlagonian. Born amid the sound
The herds forsake their shelter: all return Of chasing surges, and the roar of winds,
To well-known pastures, and frequented streams : He o'er th' inhospitable Euxin foam
So now this cheering signal on the tent Was wont from high Carambis' rock to ken Revives each leader. From inglorious flight ill-fated keels, which cut the Pontic stream, Their scatter'd bands they call, their wonted ground