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Of love's soft queen ; but such as far excellid
Whate'er the lily blending with the rose
Paints on the cheek of beauty, foon to fade ;
Such as express'd a mind which wisdom,
And sweetness temper’d. virtue's purelt light
Illumining the countenance divine :
Yet could not foolhe remorseless fate, nor teach
Malignant fortune to revere the good;
Which oft with anguish rends the spotless heart,
And oft associates wisdom with despair.
In courteous phrase began the chief humane :
Exalted fair, who thus adorn's the night,
Forbear to blame the vigilance of war,
And to the laws of rigid Mars impute,
That I thus long unwilling have delay'd
Before the great Leonidas to place
This your apparent dignity and worth.
He spake, and gently to the lofiy tent
Of Sparta's king the lovely Itranger guides.
At Agis' summons, with a mantle broad
His mighty limbs Leonidas infolds,
And quits his couch. In wonder he: surveys
Th'illuftrious virgin, whom his presence aw'd :
Her eye submissive to the ground. inclin'd.
With veneration of the god-like man,
But soon his voice her anxious dread difpellido
Benevolent and hospitable thus ;
Thy form alone, thus amiable and great, Thy mind delineates, and from all commands Supreme regarda Relate, thou noble dame, By what relentless destiny compellid, Thy tender feet the paths of darkness tread ; Rehearse th' afflictions whence thy virtue mourns.
On her wan cheek a sudden blush arose,
Like day's first dawn upon the twilight pale,
And, wrapt in grief, these words a pallage broke :
If to be most unhappy, and to know
That hope is irrecoverably fled ;
If to be great and wretched, may deserve
Commiferation from the good, behold,
Thou glorious leader of unconquer'd bands,
Behold, descended from Darius' loins,
Th’ afflicted Ariana, and my pray'r
Accept with pity, nor my tears disdain !
First, that I lov'd the best of human race,
By nature's hand with ev'ry virtue form’d,
Heroic, wise, adorn'd with ev'ry art,
Of shame unconscious does
This day in Grecian arms conspicuous clad
He fought, he fell. A paflion long concealid
For me, alas! within
brother's arms His dying breath resigning, he disclos'd.
---Oh I will stay my ivrrows! will forbid Niy eyes to stream before thee, and Thus full of anguish, will from fighs restrain!
For why should thy humanity be griev'd
With my distress, and learn from me to mourn
The lot of nature, doom'd to care and pain!
Hear then, O king, and grant my fole request,
To seek his body in the heaps of slain.
Thus to the Sparian sued the regal maid,
Resembling Ceres in majestic woe,
When supplicant at Jove's resplendent throne,
From dreary Pluto, and th' infernal gloom,
Her lov’d and loft Proserpina fhe sought.
Fix'd on the weeping queen with fledfall eyes.
Laconia's chief these tender thoughts recallid :
Such are thy forrows, O for ever dear!
Who now at Lacedæmon doit de plore
My everlasting absence! then inclin'd
His head, and figh’d, nor yet forgot to charge
His friend, the gentle Agis, thro' the straits
The Persian princess to attend and aid.
With careful steps they seek her lover's corse.
The Greeks remember'd, where by fate repressid
His arm first ceas’d to mow their legions down ;
And from beneath a mass of Persian flain
Soon drew the hero, by his armour known,
To Agis' high pavilion they resort.
Now, Ariana, what transcending pangs
Thy soul involv'd! what horror clafp'd thy heart !
But love grew mightieft; and her beauteous limbs
On the cold breast of Teribazus threw
The grief distracted maid. The cloited gore
Deform'd her snowy bosom. O'er his wounds
Loose flow'd her hair, and bubbling from her cycs
Impetuous sorrow lay'd the purple clay,
When forth in groans her lamentations broke !
O torn for ever from my weeping eyes !
Thou, who despairing to obtain her heart,
Who then most lov’d thee, didit untimely yield
Thy life to fate's inevitable dart
For her, who now in agony.
Her tender bofom, and repeats her vows
To thy deaf ear, who fondly to her own
Now clasps thy breast insensible and cold.
Alas! do those unmoving ghafly orbs
Perceive my gushing anguish? Does that heart,
Which death's inanimating hand hath chillid,
Share in my suff'rings, and return my fighs ?
- bitter unsurmountable distress!
Lo! on thy breast is Ariana bow'd,
Hangs o'er thy face, unites her cheek to thines
Not now to liften with enchanted ears
To thy persuasive eloquence, no more
Charm’d with the wisdom of thy copious mind.!
She could no moře : invincible despair
Suppress’d her uti’rance. As a marble form,
Fix'd on the solemn fepulchre, unmov’d,
O'er foine dead hero, whom his country lov’d,
Bends down the head with imitated wos :
So paus’d the princess o'er the breathless clay,
Intranc'd in forrow. On the dreary wound.
Where Dithry rambus' sword was deepest plung'd,
Mute for a space and motionless she gaz’d ;
Then with a look unchang'd, nor trembling hand,
Drew forth a poniard, which her garment veilid,
And sheathing in her heart th' abhorred steel,
On her slain lover filent finks in deatk.
On Liberty, and in Praise of Mr. Howard
H could I worship aught beneath the skies,
That earth hath seen or fancy could devise,
Thine altar, sacred Liberty, should ftand,
Built by no mercenary vulgar hand,
With fragrant turf, and flow'rs as wild and fair,
As ever dress’d a bank, or scented summer air.
Duly as ever on the mountain's height
The peep of morning lhed a dawning light :
Again, when evening in her fober vest
Drew the grey curtain of ihe fading West;
My soul should yield thee willing thanks and praise
For the chief blessings of my fairelt days ;
But that were facrilege---praise is not thine,
But his who gave thee, and preserves thee mine :