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IV

Soothed with the sound, the king grew vain,

Fought all his battles o'er again,
And thrice he routed all his foes and thrice he slew the

slain.
The master saw the madness rise,
His glowing cheeks, his ardent eyes ;

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And while he heaven and earth defied,
Changed his hand and checked his pride.

He chose a mournful Muse,

Soft pity to infuse:
He sung Darius great and good,

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By too severe a fate
Fallen, fallen, fallen fallen,
Fallen from his high estate,

And welt'ring in his blood;
Deserted at his utmost need

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By those his former bounty fed,
On the bare earth exposed he lies,

With not a friend to close his eyes. With downcast looks the joyless victor sate, Revolving in his altered soul

85 The various turns of chance below; And now and then a sigh he stole,

And tears began to flow.

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Honour but an empty bubble,

Never ending, still beginning,
Fighting still, and still destroying.

If the world be worth thy winning,
Think, O think it worth enjoying:

Lovely Thais sits beside thee;

Take the good the gods provide thee.”
The many rend the skies with loud applause;
So Love was crowned, but Music won the cause.
The prince, unable to conceal his pain,

Gazed on the fair

Who caused his care,
And sighed and looked, sighed and looked,

Sighed and looked, and sighed again :
At length, with love and wine at once oppressed,
The vanquished victor sunk upon her breast.

IIO

115

CHORUS
The prince, unable to conceal his pain,

Gazed on the fair

Who caused his care,
And sighed and looked, sighed and looked,

Sighed and looked, and sighed again:
At length, with love and wine at once oppressed,
The vanquished victor sunk upon her breast.

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VI

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Now strike the golden lyre again,
A louder yet, and yet a louder strain:

Break his bands of sleep asunder,
And rouse him, like a rattling peal of thunder!

Hark, hark! the horrid sound

Has raised up his head;

As awaked from the dead,
And amazed, he stares around.
"Revenge! revenge !" Timotheus cries.

“See the Furies arise!

See the snakes that they rear,
How they hiss in their hair,
And the sparkles that flash from their eyes !

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Behold a ghastly band,

Each a torch in his hand!
Those are Grecian ghosts, that in battle were slain,

And unburied remain
Inglorious on the plain :

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Give the vengeance due

To the valiant crew !
Behold how they toss their torches on high,

How they point to the Persian abodes,
And glitt'ring temples of their hostile gods !" 145
The princes applaud with a furious joy,
And the king seized a flambeau with zeal to destroy;

Thais led the way,

To light him to his prey,
And, like another Helen, fired another Troy.

150

CHORUS

And the king seized a flambeau with zeal to destroy;

Thais led the way,

To light him to his prey,
And, like another Helen, fired another Troy.

VII

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160

Thus, long ago,
Ere heaving bellows learned to blew,

While organs yet were mute,
Timotheus, to his breathing Aute

And sounding lyre,
Could swell the soul to rage or kindle soft desire.

At last divine Cecilia came,

Inventress of the vocal frame:
The sweet enthusiast, from her sacred store,

Enlarged the former narrow bounds,

And added length to solemn sounds,
With Nature's mother-wit and arts unknown before.

Let old Timotheus yield the prize,

Or both divide the crown:
He raised a mortal to the skies,

She drew an angel down.

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170

GRAND CHORUS

175

At last divine Cecilia came,

Inventress of the vocal frame:
The sweet enthusiast, from her sacred store,

Enlarged the former narrow bounds,

And added length to solemn sounds,
With Nature's mother-wit and arts unknown before.

Let old Timotheus yield the prize,

Or both divide the crown:
He raised a mortal to the skies,

She drew an angel down. 1697.

1697.

180

FROM

PALAMON AND ARCITE

5

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Arcite returned, and, as in honour tied,
His foe with bedding and with food supplied;
Then, ere the day, two suits of armour sought,
Which borne before him on his steed he brought;
Both were of shining steel, and wrought so pure
As might the strokes of two such arms endure.
Now, at the time and in th' appointed place,
The challenger and challenged, face to face,
Approach; each other from afar they knew,
And from afar their hatred changed their hue.
So stands the Thracian herdsman with his spear,
Full in the gap, and hopes the hunted bear,
And hears him rustling in the wood, and sees
His course at distance by the bending trees,
And thinks, "Here comes my mortal enemy,
And either he must fall in fight or I”;
This while he thinks, he lifts aloft his dart;
A gen'rous chillness seizes ev'ry part-
The veins pour back the blood, and fortify the heart.
Thus pale they meet; their eyes with fury burn;
None greets, for none the greeting will return,
But in dumb surliness each armed with care
His foe professed, as brother of the war.
Then both, no moment lost, at once advance
Against each other, armed with sword and lance;

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They lash, they foin, they pass, they strive to bore
Their corslets, and the thinnest parts explore.
Thus two long hours in equal arms they stood,
And, wounded, wound, till both were bathed in blood;
And not a foot of ground had either got,

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As if the world depended on the spot.
Fell Arcite, like an angry tiger fared,
And like a lion Palamon appeared:
Or as two boars, whom love to battle draws,
With rising bristles and with frothy jaws,

35 Their adverse breasts with tusks oblique they wound; With grunts and groans the forest rings around. So fought the knights, and, fighting, must abide Till fate an umpire sends their diff'rence to decide. The pow'r that ministers to God's decrees,

40 And executes on earth what Heav'n foresees, Called Providence, or Chance, or Fatal Sway, Comes with resistless force, and finds or makes her way; Nor kings, nor nations, nor united pow'r One moment can retard th' appointed hour;

45 And some one day some wondrous chance appears, Which happened not in centuries of years: For sure, whate'er we mortals hate or love, Or hope or fear, depends on pow'rs above; They move our appetites to good or ill,

50 And by foresight necessitate the will. In Theseus this appears, whose youthful joy Was beasts of chase in forests to destroy: This gentle knight, inspired by jolly May, Forsook his easy couch at early day,

55 And to the wood and wilds pursued his way. Beside him rode Hippolyta the queen, And Emily attired in lively green, With horns and hounds and all the tuneful cry, To hunt a royal hart within the covert nigh;

60 And as he followed Mars before, so now He serves the goddess of the silver bow. The way that Theseus took was to the wood Where the two knights in cruel battle stood; The laund on which they fought, th' appointed place 65 In which th' uncoupled hounds began the chase.

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