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Of love's soft queen ; but such as far excelld
Whate’er the lily blending with the rose
Paints on the cheek of beauty, foon to fade ;
Such as expressd a mind which wisdom,
And sweetness temper’d. virtue's purelt light
Illumining the countenance divine :
Yet could not foothe remorseless fate, nor teach
Malignant fortune to revere the good;
Which oft with anguish rends the fpotless heart,
And oft associates wisdom with despair.
In courteous phrase began the chief humane :
Exalted fair, who thus adorn's the night,
Forbcar 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 spakc, and gently to the lofty tent
Of Sparta's king the lovely stranger guides.
At Agis' summons, with a mantle broad
His mighty limbs Leonidas infolds,
And quits his couch. In wonder he: surveys
Th’illustrious 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 difpellid.
Benevolent and hospitable thus ;
Thy form alone, thus amiable and great, Thy mind delineates, and from all commands Supreme regard. 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 passage broke :
If to be most unhappy, and to know
That hope is irrecoverably fled ;
If to be great and wretched, may deserve
Commisseration 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, thar I lov'd the best of human race,
By nature's hand with ev'ry virtue form’d,
Heroic, wife, adorn'd with ev'ry art,
Of shame unconscious does
This day in Grecian arms conspicuous clad
He fought, he fell. A pafsion long concealid
For me, alas! within
brother's arms His dying breath religning, he disclos'd.
Oh I will stay my sorrows! will forbid My eyes to stream before thee, and my ficart, Thus full of anguish, will from lighs restrain!
For why should thy bumanity be griev'd
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 she fought.
Fix'd on the weeping queen with sledfall eyes.
Laconia's chief these tender thoughts recallid :
Such are thy forrows, O for ever dear!
Who now at Lacedæmon doit deplore
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 firft 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 clasp'd thy heart !
But love grew mightielt; and her beauteous limbs
On the cold breafl 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 lav’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
unfolds Her tender bofom, and repeats
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,
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 more : invincible despair
Suppress'd her utl’rance. As a marble form
Fix'd on the folemn 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 sorrow. On the dreary wounda
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 fheathing in her heart th' abhorred feel,
On her slain lover filent finks in death.
On Liberty, and in Praise of Mr. Howard
I could I worship aught beneath the skies,
That earth hath seen or fancy could devise,
Thinc altar, sacred Liberty, should stand,
Built by no mercenary vulgar hand,
With fragrant turf, and flow’rs as wild and fair,
As ever dress d a bank, or sccnted summer air,
Duly as ever on the mountain's height
The peep of morning lhed a dawning light:
Again, when evening in her fober velt
Drew the grey curtain of the fading Weft;
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 :