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LYCIDAS.

-Would that treacherous boy Have forc'd thy virtue to his brutal joy? What rouz’d his pallion to this hold advance! Did e'er thy eyes confefs one willing glance ? I know, the faithless youth his trust betray’d; And well the dagger hath my wrongs repaid.

DIONE. (Raising herself on ber arm. Breaks not Evander's voice along the glade ? Ha ! is it he who t:olds the reeking blade ! There needed not or poison, sword, or dart; Thy faithless vows, alas ! had broke my heart. [ Afude.

PARTHENIA.

O tremble, fhepherd, for thy raih cffence,
The sword is dy'd with murder'd innocence !
His gentle soul no brutal pallion feiz’d,
Nor at my bosom was the dagger rais’d;
Self-murder was his aim ; the youth I found
Whelin'd in despair, and stay'd the falling wound.

DIONE.

Into what mischiefs is the lover led,
Who calls down vengeance on his perjur'd head !
O may he ne'er bewail this desperate deed,
And may, unknown, unwept, Dione bleed ! [ Afide.

LYCIDAS.

What horrors on the guilty mind attend !
His conscience had reveng’d an injur'd friend,
Hadit thou not held the stroke. In death he fought
To lose the heart-consuming pain of thought.

Did not the fmooth-tongu'd boy perfidious prove,
Plead his own passion, and betray my love ?

DIONS.

O let him ne'er this bleeding victim know;
Left his rash transport, to revenge

ihe blow, Should in his dearer heart the dagger stain ! That wound would pierce my soul with double pain.

[ Afde. PARTHENÍ. How did his faithful lips (now pale and cold) With moving eloquence thy griefs unfold !

LYCIDAS.

Was hc thus faithful ? thus, to friendship true?
Then I'm a wretch. All

peace of mind, adieu !
If ebbing life yet beat within thy vein,
Alexis, fpeak; unclose those lids again.

| Fiings bimself on the grcund near Dione. See at thy feet the barbarous villain kneel! 'Tis Lycielas who grasps the bloody iteel, Thv once-lov'd friend. Yet, ere I cease to live, Canft thou a wretched penitent forgive?

DIONE.

When low beneath the sable mould I rest,
May a sincerer friendship share thy breast!
Why are those heaving groans ? (ah! cease to weep!).
May my lost name in dark oblivion sleep;
Let this sad tale no speaking stone declare,
From future eyes to draw a pitying tear.

Lec

Let o'er my grave the leveling plough-fhare pass,
Mark not the spot; forget that e'er I was.
Then mayst thou with Parthenia's love be blest,
And not one thought on me thy joys molest!
My swimming eyes are over-power'd with light,
And darkening shadows fleet before my fight :
May'st thou be happy! ah! my soul is free. [Dics.

LYCIDAS.
O cruel shepherdess, for love of thee [Te Parthenia.
This fatal deed was done.

SCENE THE LAST.

LYCIDAS, PARTHENIA, LAURA.

LAURA.

Alexis slain!

LYCIDAS.
Yes. 'Twas I did it. See this crimson ftain!
My hands with blood of innocence are dy'd.
O may the moon her silver beauty hide
In rolling clouds ! my soul abhors the light;
Shade, fhade the murderer in eternal night!

LAURA

No rival shepherd is before thee laid ;
There bled the chastest, the fincerest maid
That ever figh'd for love. On her pale face,
Cannot thy weeping eyes the feature trace

Of thy, once dear Dione ? With wap care
Sunk are those eyes, and livid with despair !

LYCIDAS.
Dione!

LAURA
There

pure conftancy lies dead i

LYCIDAS. May heaven shower vengeance on this perjur'd head 1 As the dry branch that withers on the ground, So, blasted be the hand that

gave

the wound ! Off; hold me not. This heart deserves the stroke; 'Tis black with treachery. Yes: the vows are broke

[Stabs bimself. Which I so often swore. Vain world, adieu ! Though I was false in life, in death I'm true.

[Diesi

LAURA.

To-morrow shall the funeral rites be paid,
And these Love-victims in one grave be laid.

PARTHENIA.
There shall the yew her fable branches spread,
And mournful cypress rear her fringed head.

LAURA.

From thence shall thyme and myrtle send perfume,,
And laurel ever-green o'ershade the tomb.

PARTHENIA.

Come, Laura, let us leave this horrid wood,
"Where streams the purple grass with lovers' blood;
VOL. II.
U

Come

Come to my bower. And, as we sorrowing go,
Let
poor

Dione's story feed my woe
With heart-relieving tears.

LAURA. [Pointing to Dione.

-Unhappy maid !
Hadft thou a parent's just command obey'd,

hadît liv'd. But who shall Love advise?
Love scorns command, and breaks all other ties. .
Henceforth, ye swains, be true to vows profest;
For certain vengeance strikes the perjur'd breast.

Thou yet

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