Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

Of gems and gold; urbanity forbids

Six hundred brazen beaks of tow'r-like ships, To interrupt the silence of her grief;

Unwieldy bulks; the gently-swelling soil Sicinus, waiting nigh, he thus enjoins :

Of Salamis, rich island, bounds the view. “ Thou, born a Persian, from a gbastly stage Along her silver-sanded verge array'd, Of massacre and terrour these transport

The men at arms exalt their naval spears
To thy own lord, Themistocles; the spoils Of length terrific. All the tender sex,
Are his, not mine. Conld words of comfort heal Rank'd by Timothea, from a green ascent
Calamity thus suddea and severe,

Look down in beauteous order on their sires,
I would instruct thy tongue; but mute respect Their busbands, lovers, brothers, sons, prepar'd
Is all thy pow'r can give, or she receive.

To mount the rolling deck. The younger dames
Apprise the gen’ral that Psyttalia's coast

In bridal robes are clad; the matrons sage I will maintain with Medon, from the wrecks In solemn raiment, worn on sacred days; To save our friends, our enemies destroy."

But white in vesture like their maiden breasts, He then withdraws; Athenians he commands Where Zephyr plays, uplifting with his breath Autarctus' body to remove from sight;

The loosely-waving folds, a chosen line When her pavilion now Sandauce leaves,

Of Attic graces in the front is plac'd;
Preceded by Sicinus. On the ground

Proin each fair head the tresses fall, entwin'd
She bends her aspect, not a tear she drops With newly-gather'd flowrets; chaplets gay
To ease her swelling heart; by eunuchs led, The snowy hand sustains; the native curls,
Her infants follow; while a troop of slaves, O’ershading half, augment their pow'rful charms;
With folded arms across their heaving breasts, While Venus, temper'd by Minerva, fills
The sad procession close. To Medon here Their eyes with ardour, pointing ev'ry glance
Spake Artamanes: “O humane! permit

To animate, not soften. From on high
Me to attend this princess, and console

Her large controlling orbs Timothea rolls, At least, companion of her woes, bewail

Surpassing all in stature, not unlike
A royal woman from Darius sprung."

In majesty of shape the wife of Jove,
Him not a moment now his friend detains; Presiding o'er the empyreal fair.
At this affecting season he defers

Below, her consort in resplendent arms
Inquiry more of Melibus, known

Stands near an altar; there the viction bleeds, Safe in Nicæa; Persia's youth departs;

The entrails burn; the fervent priest invokes
The mournful train for Salamis embark.

The Eleutherian pow'rs. Sicinus comes,
Sandauce follows; and in sumptuous vests,
Like infant Castor and his brother fair,
Two boys; a girl like Helen, ere she threw

Delicious poison from her fatal eyes,
BOOK VI.

But tripp'd in blameless childhood o'er the meads
Bercut pow'r, whose presence wakens on the face Of sweet Amyclæ, her maternal seat:
Of Nature all her beauties, gilds. the floods, Nor less with beauty was Sandauce grac'd
The crags and forests, vine-clad hills and fields, Than Helen's mother, Leda, who enthrall’d
Where Ceres, Pan, and Bacchus in thy beams Th’ Olympian god. A starting look the priest
Rejoice ; 0 Sun! thou o'er Athenian tow'rs, Cast on the children; eager by the hand
The citadel and fanes in ruin huge,

Themistocles he grasp'd, and thus aloud:
Dost rising now illuminate a scene

Accept this omen! At th' auspicious sight
More new, more wondrous, to thy piercing eye, Of these young captives, from the off'ring burst
Than ever time disclos'd. Phaleron's wave Unwonted light; Fate's volume is unroll’d,
Presents three thousand barks in pendants rich; Where victory is written in their blood.
Spectators, clust'ring like Hymettian bees, To Bacchus, styld Devourer, on this isle,
Hang ou the burden'd shrouds, the bending yards, Amid surrounding gloom, a temple hoar
The reeling masts; the whole Cecropian strand, By time remains; to Bacchus I devote
Far as Eleusis, seat of mystic rites,

These splendid victims; while his altar smokes,
Is throng'd with millions, male and female race With added force thy prow shall pierce the foe,
Of Asia and of Libya, rank’d on foot,

And conquest sit triumphant on thy mast.” On horses, camels, cars. Ægaleos tall,

So spake religious lips; the people heard, Half down his long declivity where spreads Believing heard:-“ To Bacchus, Bacchus give A mossy level, on a throne of gold

The splendid victims !” hoarse acclaim resounds. Displays the king environ'd by his court

Myronides, Xanthippus, Cimon good, In oriental pomp; the hiil behind,

Brave Æschylus, each leader is unmann'd
By warriors coverd, like some trophy huge, By horrour, save the cool, sagacious son,
Ascends in varied arms and banners clad;

Of Neocles. The prophet he accosts :
Below the charch's feet th’immortal guard, “ Wise, Euphrantides, are thy holy words!
Line under line, erect their gaudy spears;

To that propitious god these children bear;
Th' arrangement, shelving downward to the beach, Due time apply from each barbarian stain
Is edg'd by chosen horse. With blazing steel To purify their limbs; attentive watch
Of Attic arms encircled, from the deep

The signal rais'd for onset; then employ
Psyttalia lifts her surface to the sight,

Thy pious knife to win the grace of Heav'n."
Like Ariadne's heav'n-bespangling crown,

The chiefs amaz'd, the priest applauding look d.
A wreath of stars; beyond, in dread array, A young, a beauteous mother at this doom
The Grecian feet, four hundred gallies, fill Of her dear babes is present. Not her locks
The Salaminian straits; barbarian prows

She tore, nor beat in agony her breast,
In two divisions pojut to either mouth

Nor shriek'd in frenzy, frozen, mute, she stands,

Like Niobe just changing into stone,

Myronides, Xanthippus, Cimon bold, Ere yet sad moisture had a passage found

Aminias, Æschylus, he thus exhorts : To flow, the emblem of maternal grief:

“My brave associates, publish o’er the fleet, At length the rigour of her tender limbs

That I have won the Asian Greeks, whom force Dissolving, Artamanes bears away

Not choice against us ranges, to retain [blood.” Her fainting burden, while th' inhuman seer Their weapons sheath'd, unting'd with kindred To slaughter leads her infants. Ev'ry eye

Not less magnanimous, and more inflam’d, On them is turn'd. Themistocles, unmark'd Mardonius too ascends the stately deck By others, beck’ning draws Sicinus nigh,

Of Ariabignes; there each leader, callid In secret thus commission'd: “ Choose a band To hear the royal mandate, he address'd : From my entrusted menials; swift o'ertake;

“Behold your king, enclos'd by watchful scribes, Like an assistant join this holy man;

Unfolding volumes like the rolls of Pate! Not dead, but living, shall these infant heads The brave, the fearful, character'd will stand Avail the Grecians. When the direful grove, By name, by lineage there; his searching eye Impenetrably dark’ning, black with night,

Will note your actions, to dispense rewards That antiquated seat of horrid rites,

Of wealth and rank, or punishment and shame You reach, bid Euphrantides, in my name, Irrevocably doom. But see a spoil This impious, fruitless homicide forbear;

Beyond the power of Xerxes to bestow, If he refuse, his savage zeal restrain

By your own prowess singly to be won, By force.”- This said, his disencumber'd thoughts Those beauteous women; embleins they of Greece, For instant fight prepare ; with matchless art Show what a country you are come to share. To rouse the tend'rest passions of the soul Can victory be donbtful in this cause? In aid of duty, from the altar's height,

Who can be slow when riches, honours, fame, His voice persuasive, audible, and smooth, His sov'reign's smile, and beauty, are the prize? To battle thus his countrymen inflames:

Now lift the signal for immediate fight.” “ Ye pious sons of Athens, on that slope

He spake applauded; in his rapid skiff Behold your mothers ! husbands, fathers, see Was wafted back to Xerxes, who enthron'd Your wives and race! before such objects dear, High on Ægaleos anxious sat to view Such precious lives defending, you must wield A scene which Nature never yet display'd, The pond'rous naval spear; ye gallant youths, Nor fancy feign'd. The theatre was Greece, Look on those lovely maids, your destin'd brides, Mankind spectators; equal to that stage Who of their pride have disarray'd the meads Themistocles, great actor! by the pow'r To bind your temples with triumphal wreaths ; Of fiction present in his teeming soul, Can you do less than conquer in their sight, Blends confidence with courage, on the Greeks Os, conquer'd, perish? Women ne'er deserv'd Imposing firm belief in heav'nly aid. So much from men; yet what their present claim? “ I see, I see divine Eleusis shoot That by your prowess their maternal seat

A spiry flame auspicious tow'rds the fleet. They may revisit; that Cecropia's gates

I see the bless'd Æcidæ; the ghosts
May yield them entrance to their own abodes, Of Telamon and Peleus, Ajax there,
There meritorious to reside in peace.

There bright Achilles buoyant on the gale,
Who cheerful, who magnanimous, those homes Stretch from Ægina their propitious hands.
To hostile flames, their tender limbs resign'd I see a woman! It is Pallas ! Hark!
To all the hardships of this crowded spot,

She calls! How long, insensate men, your prows For preservation of the Attic name,

Will you keep back, and victory suspend?” Laws, rites, and manners. Do your women ask He gives the signal. With impetuous heat Too much, along their native streets to move Of zeal and valour, urging sails and oars, With grateful chaplets for Minerva's shrine, Th’ Athenians dash the waters, which disturbid, To view th' august Acropolis again,

Combine their murmur with unnumber'd shouts; And in procession celebrate your deeds ?

The gallies rush along like gliding clouds, Ye men of Athens ! shall those blooming buds That utter hollow thunder as they sweep Of innocence and beauty, who disclose

A distant ridge of hills. The crowded lines Their snowy charms by chastity reserv'd

Of Xerxes' navy, in the straits confus'd, For your embraces, shall those spotless maids Through their own weight and multitude ill steerid, Abide compulsion to barbarian beds?

Are pierc'd by diff'rent squadrons, which their chiefs, Their Attic arts and talents be debas'd

Each with his tribe, to dreadful onset led. In Persian bondage ? Shall Cephissian banks, Th' unerring skill of Pallas seem'd to form, Callirhoë's fountain, and Ilissus pure,

Then guide their just arrangement. None surpass'd Shall sweet Hymettus never hear again

The effort bold of Æschylus; two ships Their graceful step rebounding from the turf, Of large construction, boast of naval Tyre, With you companions in the choral dance,

His well-directed beak, o'erlaid with brass, Enamour'd youths, who court their nuptial hands?" Transpierces; Attic Neptune whelms his floods A gen’ral pæan intercepts his voice;

O'er either found'ring bulk. Three more, by flight On ringing shields the spears in cadence beat; Wreck'd on Psyttalia, yield their victim crews While notes more soft, but, issued from such lips, To Aristides; vigilant and dire Far more inspiring, to the martial song

Against the ravager of Greece he stood,
Unnumber'd daughters of Cecropia join.

Like that Hesperian dragon, wakeful guard
Such interraption pleas'd the artful chief, To Atlantéan fruit. Th’intrepid son
Who said no more. Descend ng, swift he caught Of Neocles, disdaining nieaper spoil
The favourable moment; he embark'd,

Than Asia's king-born admiral, with sails
All ardeat follow'd; on his deck conven'd, Outspread to fresh'ning breezes, swiftly steerd

A new,

By Ariabignes, crashing as he pass'd

The eastern straits, where loose Pamphylians spread The triple tire of oars; then grappling, pour'd A timid canvass, Hellespontine Greeks, His fierce assailants on the splendid poop.

lonians, Dorians, and Æolians rear'd To this attack the gallant prince oppos'd

Unwilling standards. A Phænician crew, His royal person ; three Athenians bleed

Cast on the strand, approach th' imperial throne, Beneath him; but Themistocles he meets. Accusing these of treachery. By chance Seed of Darius, abignes falls

A bold Ionian, active in the fight, In Xerxes' view, by that uurivall’d chief

To Xerxes true, that moment in his ken Whose arm, whose conduct, Destiny that day Bears down an Attic ship.-- Aloud the king: Obey'd, while Fortune steady on her wheel

“ Scribes, write the name of that Ionic chief, Look'd smiling down. The regal flag descends, His town, his lineage. Guards, surround theseslaves, The democratic standard is uprear'd,

Who, fugitive themselves, traduce the brave; Where that proud name of Eleutheria shines Cut off their heads:" the order is perform'd. In characters of silver. Xerxes feels

A favour'd lord, expressing in his look A thrilling horrour, such as piered the soul A sign of pity, to partake their doom Of pale Belshazzar, last on Ninus' throne,

The tyrant wild commands. Argestes' heart When in the pleasures of his festive board

Admits a secret joy at Persia's foil ; He saw the hand portentous on the wall

He trusts that, blind by fear, th' uncertain prince Of Babylon's high palace write his doom,

To him his wonted favour would restore, With great Assyria's downfall. Caria's queen Would crush Mardonius, author of the war, Not long continues in a distant post,

Beneath his royal vengeance; or that chief, Where blood-stain'd billows on her active oars By adverse fate oppress'd, his sway resign. Dash thick-adhering foam ; tremendous sight But as the winds or thunders never shook To Adimantus, who before her flies

Deep-rooted Ætna, nor the pregnant clouds With his dismay'd Corinthians! She suspends Discharg'd a flood extinguishing his fires, Pursuit ; her sov'reign's banner to redeem

Which inexbausted boil the surging mass Advances ; furious in her passage sends

Of fumy sulphur; so this grim event Two ships to perish in the green abyss

Shook not Mardonius, in whose bosom glow'd With all their numbers; this her sov’reign sees, His courage still unquench'd, despising Chance Exclaiming loud, “My women fight like men, With all her band of evils. In himself The men like women.” Fruitless yet her skill, Collected, on calamity he founds Her courage vain ; Themistocles was there;

heroic structure in his mind, Cilicians, Cyprians shunn'd his tow'ring flag A plan of glory forms to conquer Greece On Ariabignes' mast. The efforts joint

By his own prowess, or by death atone Of gallant Træezen and Ægina broke

For his unprosp'rous counsels. Xerxes now, Th' Egyptian line, whose chief-commanding deck Amid the wrecks and slaughter in his sight, Presents a warrior to Cleander's eye,

Distracted vents his disappointed pride: A warrior bright in gold, for valour more

“ Have I not sever'd from the side of Thrace Conspicuous still than radiancy of arms.

Mount Athos ? bridg'd the Hellespunt? Go, fill Cleander him assails; now front to front,

Yon sea; construct a causeway broad and firm; Each on his grappled gunnel firm maintains As o'er a plain my army shall advance A fight still dubious, when their pointed beaks To overwhelm th’ Athenians in their isle." Auxiliar Æschylus and Cimon strike

He rises ; back to Athens he repairs. Deep in the hostile ship, whose found'ring weight, Sequester’d, languid, him Mardonius finds, Swift from her grapples loosen'd by the shock, Deliv'ring bold this soldierly address: Th'affrighted master on Psyttalia drives

“ Be not discourag'd, sovoreign of the world ! A prey to Medon. Then th' Egyptians fly, Not oars, not sails and timber, can decide Phenicians, fam'd on oriental waves,

Thy enterprise sublime. In shifting strife, Resign the day. Mironides in chase,

By winds and billows governd, may contend Xanth ppus, Cimon, bold Aminias gor'd

The sons of traffic; on the solid plain
The shatter'd planks; the undefended decks The gen'rous steed and soldier; they alone
Ran purple. Boist'rous hurricanes, which sweep Thy glory must establish, where no swell
In blasts unknown to European climes

Of tickle floods, nor breath of casual gales,
The western world remote, had Nature call'd Assist the skilful coward, and control,
Their furies hither, so with wrecks and dead By Nature's wanton but resistless might,
Had strewn the foods, disfigur'd thus the strands. The brave man's arm. Unaided by her hand,

Behold Cleander from achievements high Not one of these light mariners will face Bears down with all Træzene's conqu’ring line Thy regal presence at the isthmian fence On Artemisia: yet she stops awhile,

To that small part of yet unconquer'd Greece In pious care to save the floating corse

The land of Pelops. Seek the Spartans there ; Of Ariabignes; this perform'r, retreats;

There let the slain Leonidas revive With her last effort whelming, as she steer'd, With all his warriors whom thy pow'r destroyd; One Grecian more beneath devouring waves, A second time their gen'rous blood shall dye Retreats illustrious. So in trails of light

The sword of Asia. Sons of those who tore To Night's embrace departs the golden Sun, Th' Assyrian, Lydian sceptres from their kings, Still in remembrance shining; none believe The Medes and Persians, whose triumphant arins His rays impair’d, none doubt his rise again From distant shores of Hellespont have tam’d In wonted splendour to emblaze the sky.

Such martial nations, have thy trophies rais'd Laconian Eurybiades engag'd

In Ithens, bold aggressor; they shall plant Secure of conquest; his division held

Before thy sigist, ou fam'd Eurota's shore,

Th' imperial standard, and repair the shame Of glory. Thus the tawny king of beasts,
Of that uncertain flutt'ring naval flag,

Who o'er Numidian wastes hath lost a day
The sport of winds.” The monarch's look betray'd In fruitless chase, of wonted food depriv'd,
That to expose his person was the least

Growls in his den; but meditates a range, Of his resolves. Mardonius pierc'd his thoughts, Enlarg'd and ceaseless, through unbounded woods, And thus in manly policy pursued :

To glut his empty maw. Her charge perform’d, “ If Susa, long forlorn, at length may claim Before him sudden Artemisia stands. The royal presence; if the gracious thought As Cynthia steps unveil'd from sable clouds Of his return inspire my sov'reign's breast

On some benighted traveiler, who beats Throughout his empire to rekindle joy ;

A path untried, but persevering firm Let no dishonour on thy Persians fall,

With undiminish'd vigour, well deserves Thy Medes ; not they accomplices in flight Her succ'ring ligh“,—the queen in cheering smiles With vile Egyptians, with Cilicians base,

Accosts the hero: I have seen the king, Painphylians, Cyprians. Let not Greece deride Have heard thy counsel, have approv'd, confirm'd. A baied effort in a gallant race

Thy spirit, son of Gobryas, I applaud. Who ander Cyrus triumph'd, whom to fame Thou, not discourag'd by our foul defeat, Darius led, and thou with recent wreaths,

From this unwieldy multitude the brave O conqueror of Athens ! hast adorn'd.

Wouldst separate, and boldly at their head Since they are blameless, though thy will decree Thy life adventure. Xerxes may assume Thy own return, and wisely would secure

A doubtful aspect. Counsel given by thee, Superduous millions in their native homes, By me approv'd, Argestes may oppose Before chill Winter in his barren arms

With all his malice. Only thou suppress Constrain the genial Earth; yet leave behind The fiery sparks which animate thy blood ; But thirty myriads of selected bands

In patience wait; thy dictates will prevail, To my command, I pledge my head that Greece Our common vengeance too that traitor feel, Shall soon be Persia's vassal." Xerxes, pleas’d, Whom I saw lurking near the king's retreat. Concealing yet that pleasure, artful thus:

Farewell.” -- She leaves him happy in her voice Deliberation to thy counsel due

Of approbation, happier in her eye,
Shall be devoted;" call the Carian queen.

Which spoke for his prosperity a wish;
She then was landed; through Cecropia's streets That eye, enlightening her majestic face
A solemn hier she follow'd, where the corse With added lustre, from his grateful sense
Of Ariabignes lay. Mardonius met,

Of her transcendent talents thus applied
And thus address'd her : “ Meritorious dame, To his behoof. His manly bosom feels,
Of all the myriads whom retreat hath sav’d, Beyond a veneration of her worth,
Hail! crown'd with honour! Xerxes through my Beyond a friendship to her friendship duo,
voice

Desire of her society in war,
Requires thy counsel to decide on mine.

Perhaps in peace. Participated thoughts
I add no more ; thy wisdom, candour, faith With her, voited connsels, he esteems
I trust: without a murmur will submit

A gain to both. Ilis high-aspiring soul
To thy decision, but to thine alone.

Enjoys the thought, nor entertains a shade
My care shall tend that clay, among the dead Of jealousy or envy at her faine.
Perhaps the only glorious.”—She departs.

He ruminates: observing her advice, He seeks the Magi, greeted in these words: “ I shall succeed.” Then starting —“Earth and “ Receive this body, all which now remains

Heaven ! Of Ariabignes; let no dirge deplore

Where is Masistius! Oh, ungen'rous heart! Him as unhappy ; Horomazes smiles

Which on the scent of its ambitious chase On such a death; your lamentations vent

Forgot that best of counsellors and guides, On human nature, humbled and debas'd

Friend of my infant, youthful, manly age! By cowards, traitors, who surviv'd this day, If he be lost!-Oh, ominous the thought ! Ne'er to outlive their shame. Ye vet'ran bands Masistius lost!--My fortune, hopes, and joys, Of Medes and Persians, who surround in tears My virtues are no more!"—He rushes wild These honour'd relics; warriors who subdued Abroad ; comunands a gen’ral search; himself The banks of Nile, where Hyperanthes fought, Down to the port precipitates his course. And late with me through Macedon and Thrace The son of Gobryas and the Carian queen Swept like a whirlwind; change your grief to Were thus removed. Argestes in that hour rage,

Obtain'd access to Xerxes. Cold with fear, To confidence that, unresisted still,

By fortune tam'd, tormented still by pride, You on the plain recov'ring what by sea

Th' uncertain king to him their counsel told ; Is lost, avenging this illustrious dead,

When thus Argestes, feigning wonder, spake: From this enthrallid metropolis of Greece

“ Dost thou appoint Mardonius king in Greece? Shall carry devastation, sword, and fames O liberal prince! what servant in thy train To Lacedæmon, now your only foe."

Would not confront all danger to possess The native Medes and Persians at his words An empire, which the Hellespont alone Are fir'd, in strength, in courage, not unlike Will bound? Already Macedonia's lord, Their brave commander, who in scorn beheld Young Alexander, all the Thracian chiefs, Th' inferior berds of nations. Now the Sun Like humble vassals, to Mardonius bend. Glows on the ocean. To his tent retires

Why should the king himself not conquer Greece, Mardonius; sternly in his wounded soul

Now more than half reduc'd ? Complete the work The late disgrace of Xerxes he revolves,

Appointed; choke the Salaminian foods; Yet soothes his anguish by enliv’ning hope O'erwhelin th’ Athenians in their isle, and reizu

Thyself supreme." The monarch starts, and wild To night be wedded." This the gen'ral voice
In look, commands Argestes to pursue

Confirms a law. His winning words dispers’d
Th’ impracticable toil with all the host ;

Th' obedient fair; each warrior in the deep
Then, stretch'd along, in yain solicits rest.

Immers'd his limbs, while Phæbe's argent wheels
Their track pursuing through unclouded skies,
Diffuse around serenity and light.

To his Timothea's mansion soon repair'd
· BOOK VII.

Themistocles; Sicinus there he found, MEANTIME while Venus from her Colian dome, Who earnest thus address'd him: “ Thrice I hail Which o'er Phaleron cast a boly shade,

My lord victorious; from thy servant's lips Bebeld the shatter'd fleet of Xerxes driv'n

Now hear a tale to melt the stoniest hearts To refuge there precarious; from pursuit

Of all but Euphrantides, yet with joy Recall’d, the Greeks, observant of their laws, Reward compassion.—To the sable grove, Applied their pious labour to collect

Where yew and cypress veil'd the hoary walls Their floating dead, and send with honours due Of homicidal Bacchus, swift I led Such glorious manes to the blest abodes.

My choice companions; to the seer I told With artful assiduity remain'd

Thy pleasure; he indignant heard, and forc'd Themistocles presiding, so to court

The victims forward to the fane abhorr'd. Religion's favour. From the solemn toil,

I follow'd careful, still in patient hope Accomplish'd now, to Salaminian strands

That he, though slow, would uncompellid submit He veers; the slain are landed; then his deck To thy commanding will; we enter'd all; Himself forsakes. As Neptune, when the winds, Sandauce there at length her silence broke, His ministers of anger to o'erwhelm

Whom from her infants none so fell to part. The pride of daring mortals, have fulfillid

“O house of great Darius! where will end His stern behests, and shook the vast profound, Thy woes? How many of thy sons are fall’n ! At length composing his afflicted reign,

Sad Ariana, sacrifice to love ! Serene from sated vengeance seeks the arms Thou sleep'st; thy wretched sister lives to see Of Amphitrite, watching his return

Her children butcher'd'.-On the pavement damp With soft impatience in her placid grot

She threw her limbs, she clasp'd her lovely babes; Amidst encircling Nereids; so the chief

They shudd'ring view Sandauce in distress; To his Timothea in triumphant pace

Too young to know their danger, they bewail Advances. She that day had never left

Their mother, not themselves. The captive youth, The beach; surrounded by Athenian fair,

Still sedulous and tender, from the spot,
She rushes forward to his wish'd embrace.

Where as in shackles of despair she lay,
He stops ; defil'd by slaughter, robs his heart Essay'd in vain to raise her. Now the seer,
Of such delights, and elegantly thus:

Who in my look deterinination saw, “O all-surpassing woman, do not dye

Approach'd the loathsome idol, foul by age, That lovely bosom in barbarian gore;

In fell presumption utt'ring thus his wrath: The blood of Ariabignes, not my own,

«• These victims, Bacchus, did my voice devote Focrusts thy husband's cuirass.” She replies: To thy neglected altar; of thy spoil

“ Since not thy own, but hostile crimson stains Themistocles defrauds thee; on his head Thy manly chest, Timothea will partake

Let fall thy vengeance, not on inine, stern god !' The honourable dye. O man divine !

“ This beard, the willing captives I remov'd Thus for the public with a public kiss

From that grim seat of terrour to these walls Thee I salute, thee saviour of all Greece,

Of hospitality.” Sicinus clos'd, Thee scourge of Asia ; thus will ev'ry wife

When Aristides enter'd. “ Hail,” he said, Her husband; sisters, daughters thus enfold “Well hast thon done, Themistocles! behold Their brothers, sires; their tender hands like mine, Me come attendant on illustrious dead, Like mine their panting breasts, in transport bear Whom on Psyttalia cast I bring to share These glorious marks of victory. Behold

The public funeral honours."-" I salute Those damsels pure, whose maidenly reserve Thee too," the son of Neocles returns ; Forbids such rapture; they in smiles, in tears “ Our noble strife to serve the public best Of gratitude and gladness, on the heads

We both have well commenc'd. Prepare thee now Of gallant youths triumphal garlands place.” To give thy counsel on my new device Laodice is nigh ; she quits th' embrace

For better service still. Our climate holds Of her Aminias, and accosts the chief:

All Asia now, ber princes, wealth, and arms; “ Think'st thou, O son of Neocles, the dames I can detain her, till consuming time Of Athens shrink to see barbarian blood,

By famine, sword, and pestilence, exhaust Who would have spilt their own, had Fortune Herstrength, and cover Greece with Persian graves." frown'd;

Too high thy ardour mounts," replies the sage; Had you, our slaughter'd husbands, left your wives Forbear to think of strength’ning such a pow'r No other choice than servitude or death?"

By desperation. To the feeble brute
“ Fair dame, united to the bravest chief,” Necessity gives courage. Such a host
In smiles he answers, Fortune more benign Of men and steeds innum'rous on onr fields,
Preserv'd those husbands for the happiest lot, By nature's stimulating wants compellid
Society with you. In holy brine

To fight for life, might blast our budding hopes.
Of Neptune's flood permit them now to lave, Ah! rather some new stratagem devise
That love in bridal decency may greet

To send the Persians back; let famine, want, Athenian wives. Ye men of Athens, vote

Let pestilence pursue their tedious flight, That ev'ry youth and ev'ry maid betroth'd Depriv'd of succour from their vanquish'd fleet,

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »