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He said, and past with sad presaging heart
To seek his spouse, his soul's far dearer part; At home he sought her, but he sought in vain ; She, with one maid of all her menial train, Had thence retir'd; and with her second joy, The
young Astyanax, the hope of Troy,
Pensive she stood on Ilion's towery height,
Bebeld the war, and sicken'd at the sight;
There her sad eyes in vain her lord explore,
Or weep the wounds her bleeding country bore,
But he who found not whom his soul desir'd,
Whose virtue charm'd him as her beauty fir'd,
Stood in the gates, and ask'd what way she bent
Her parting step? If to the fane she went,
Where late the mourning matrons made resort ;
Or sought her sisters in the Trojan court ?
Not to the court (reply'd the attendant train,)
Nor, mix'd with matrons, to Minerva's fane ;
To Ilion's steepy tower she bent her way,
To mark the fortunes of the doubtful day.
Troy fled, she heard, before the Grecian sword ;
She heard, and trembled for her absent lord ;
Distracted with surprise, she seem'd to fly,
Fear on her cheek, and sorrow in her eye.
The nurse attended with her infant boy,
The young Astyanax, the hope of Troy.
Hector, this heard, return'd without delay:
Swift through the town he trod his former way,
Through streets of palaces, and walks of state;
And met the mourner at the Scæan gate.
With haste to meet him sprung the joyful fair,
His blameless wife, Aetion's wealthy heir,
(Cicilian Thebè great Aetion sway'd,
And Hippoplacus' wide extended shade ;)
The nurse stood near, in whose embraces prest
His only hope hung smiling at her breast,
Whom each soft charm and early grace adorn,
Fair as the new-born star that gilds the morn.
To this lov'd infant Hector gave the name
Scamandrius, from Scamander's honour'd stream;
Astyanax the Trojans call'd the boy,
From his great father, the defence of Troy.
Silent the warrior smil'd, and, pleas'd, resign'd
To tender passions all his mighty mind.
His beauteous princess cast a mournful look,
Hung on his hand, and then dejected spoke ;
Her bosom labour'd with a boding sigh,
And the big tear stood trembling in her eye.
Too daring prince ! ah, whither dost thou run ?
Ah, too forgetful of thy wife and son !
And think'st thou not how wretched we shall be,
A widow I, an helpless orphan he!
For sure such courage length of life denies,
And thou must fall, thy virtue's sacrifice.
Greece in her single heroes strove in vain;
Now hosts oppose thee, and thou must be slain!
O, grant me, God! ere 'ector meets his doom,
All I can ask of Heav'n, an early tomb !
So shall my days in one sad tenour run, And end with sorrows as they first begun. No parent now remains my griefs to share, No father's aid, no mother's tender care. The fierce Achilles wrapt our walls in fire, Laid Thebe waste, and slew my warlike sire ! His sate compassion in the victor bred ; Stern as he was, he yet rever'd the dead, His radiant arms presery'd from hostile spoil, And laid him decent on the funeral pile; Then rais'd a mountain where his bones were burn'd; The mountain nymphs the rural tomb adorn'd, Jove's silvan daughters bade their elms bestow A barren shade, and in his honour grow.
By the same arm my seven brave brothers fell; In one sad day beheld the gates of hell : While the fat herds and snowy flocks they fed, Amid their fields the hapless heroes bled ! My mother lied to bear the victor's bands, The queen of Hippoplacia's silvan lands: Redeem'd too late, she scarce beheld again Her pleasing empire and her native plain, When, ah ! opprest by life-consuming woe, She fell a victim to Diana's bow.
Yet while my Hector still survives; I see My father, mother, brethren, all, in thee; Alas! my parents, brothers, kindred, all Once more will perish, if my Hector fall. Thy wife, thy infant, in thy danger share : O prove a husband's and a father's care ! That quarter most the skilful Greeks annoy, Where yon' wild fig-trees join the wall of Troy : Thou, from this tower defend the' important post; There Agamemnon points his dreadful host, That pass Tydides, Ajax, strive to gain, And there the vengeful Spartan fires his train. Thrice our bold foes the fierce attack have given : Or led by hopes, or dictated from Heaven, Let others in the field their arms employ, But stay my Hector here, and guard his Troy!
The chief reply'd : That post shall be my care,
Nor that alone, but all the works of war.
How would the sons of Troy, in arms renown'd,
And Troy's proud dames, whose garments sweep the
Attaint the lustre of my former name,
Should Hector basely quit the field of fame?
My early youth was bred to martial pains,
My soul impels me to the embattled plains :
Let me be foremost to defend the throne,
And guard my father's glories and my own.
Yet come it will, the day decreed by fates ; (How my heart trembles while my tongue relates !)
The day when thou, imperial Troy! must bend,
And see the warrior fall, thy glories end.
And yet no dire presage só wounds my mind,
My mother's death, the ruin of my kind,
Not Priam's hoary hairs defild with gore,
Not all my brothers gasping on the shore ;
As thine, Andromache ! thy griefs I dread;
I see thee trembling, weeping, captive led!
In Argive looms our battles to design,
And woes, of which so large a part was thine !
To bear the victor's hard commands, or bring
The weight of waters from Hyperia's spring.
There, while you groan beneath the load of life,
They cry, Behold the mighty Hector's wife !
Some haughty Greek, who lives thy tears to see,
Embitters all thy woes, by namiog me.
The thoughts of glory past, and present shame,
A thousand griefs shall waken at the pame!
May I lie cold before that dreadful day,
Press'd with a load of monumental clay !
Thy Hector, wrapt in everlasting sleep,
Shall neither hear thee sigh, nor see thee veep !
ODE ON ST. CECILIA'S DAY.
[Written in the Year 1708.]
AND OTHER PIECES FOR MUSIC.
ESCEND, ye Nine! descend and sing ;
The breathing instruments inspire,
Wake into voice each silent string,
And sweep the sounding lyre !
In a sadly-pleasing strain
Let the warbling lute complain ;
Let the loud trumpet sound,
Till the roofs all around
The shrill echoes rebound;
While in more lengthen'd notes and slow
The deep, majestic, solemn organs blow.
Hark! the numbers soft and clear
Gently steal upon the ear;
Now louder, and yet louder rise,
And fill with spreading sounds the skies:
Exulting in triumph now swell the bold notes,
In broken air, trembling, the wild music floats;
Till by degrees, remote and small,
The strains decay,
And melt away
In a dying, dying fall.
By music minds an equal temper know,
Nor swell too high, nor sink too low.
If in the breast tumultuous joys arise,
Music her soft assuasive voice applies ;
Or when the soul is press'd with cares,
Exalts her in enlivening airs.
Warriors she fires with animated sounds;
Pours balm into the bleeding lover's wounds :
Melancholy lifts her head,
Morpheus rouses from his bed,
Sloth unfolds her arms and wakes,
Listening Envy drops her snakes ;
Intestine war no more our passions wage,
And giddy factions hear away their rage.
But when our country's cause provokes to arms,
How martial music every bosom warms !
So when the first bold vessel dar'd the seas,
High on the stern the Thracian rais'd his strain,
While Argo saw her kindred trees
Descend from Pelion to the main :
Transported demigods stood round,
And men grew heroes at the sound,
Inflam'd with glory's charms :