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Perhaps I might have said, three months are gone.
Three months ! replied the fair, three months alone!
· Know that three hundred years have rolld away,
Since at my feet the lovely phenix lay.
Three hundred years! re-echo'd back the prince,
A whole three hundred years compleated since
I landed here! O! whither then are down
My dearest friends, my subjects, and my throne ?
How strange, alas ! how alter'd shall I find
Each earthly thing, each scene I left behind !
Who knows me now? on whom shall I depend
To gain my rights? where shall I find a friend?
My crown perhaps may grace a foreign line,
A race of kings that know, not me nor mine;
Who reigns may wish my death, his subjects treat
My claim with scorn, and call their prince a cheat.
Oh had my life been ended as begun!..
My destin'd stage; my race of glory run,
I should have died well pleas'd; my honour'd name
Had liv'd, had flourish'd in the list of fame;
Reflecting now my mind with horror fees
The sad survey, a scene of shameful ease,
The odious blot, the scandal of my race,
Scarce known, and only mention'd with disgrace.
The fair beheld him with impatient eye, And red with anger, made this warm reply. Ungrateful man! is this the kind return My love deserves ? and can you thus with scorn Reject what once you priz’d, what once you swore Surpass'd all charms, and made ev'n glory poor? What gifts have I bestow'd, what favours shewn! Made you partaker of my bed and throne ; Three centuries presery'd in youthful prime, Safe from the rage of death, and injuries of time. Weak arguments ! for glory reigns above The feeble ties of gratitude and love. I urge them not, nor would request your stay; : The phantom glory calls, and I obey; All other virtues are regardless quite, Sunk and absorb’d in that superior light. Go then, barbarian, to thy realms return, And shew thyself unworthy my concern; Go, tell the world, your tender heart could give Death to the princess, by whose care you live.
At this a deadly pale her cheeks o'erspread, Cold trembling seiz’d her limbs, her spirits fled; She sunk into his arms: the prince was mov’d, Felt all her griefs, for still he greatly lov’d.
He sigh’d, he wish'd he could forget his throne,
Confine his thoughts, and live for her alone ;
But glory shot him deep, the venom'd dart
Was fix'd within, and rankled at his heart;
He could not hide its wounds, but pin'd away
Like a sick fow'r, and languish'd in decay.
An age no longer like a month appears,
But every month becomes a hundred years.
Felicity was griev'd, and could not bear
A scene so chang’d, a sight of so much care.
She told him with a look of cold disdain,
And seeming ease, as women well can feign,
He might depart at will; a milder air
Would mend his health ; he was no pris’ner there ;
She kept him not, and wish'd he ne'er might find
Cause to regret the place he left behind ;
Which once he lov'd, and where he still must own,
He had at least some little pleasure known.
If these prophetic words awhile destroy
His peace, the former ballance it in joy.
He thank'd her for her kind concern, but chose
To quit the place, the rest let heav'n dispose.
For Fate, on mischiefs bent, perverts the will,
And first infatuates whom it means to kill.
Aurora now, not, as she wont to rise, In gay attire ting?d with a thousand dies, But sober-fad in folemn state appears, Clad in a dusky veil bedew'd' with tears. Thick mantling clouds beneath her chariot spread, A faded wreath hangs drooping from her head. The fick’ning sun emits a feeble ray, Half drown'd in fogs, and struggling into day. Some black event the threatning skies foretel. Porsenna rose to take his last farewel. A curious veft the mournful princess brought, And armour by the Lemnian artist wrought ; A shining lance with secret virtue stor’d, And of resistless force a magic sword ; Caparisons and gems of wond'rous price, And loaded him with gifts and good advice ; But chief she gave, and what he most would need, The fleetest of her stud, a flying steed. The swift Grifippo, said th' afflicted fair, (Such was the courser's name) with speed shall bear, And place you safely in your native air ; Asist against the foe, with matchless might ' Ravage the field, and turn the doubtful fight;
With care protect you till the danger cease,
Your trust in war, your ornament in peace.
But this, I warn, beware ; whate'er shall lay
To intercept your course, or tempt your stay,
Quit not your saddle, nor your speed abate,
'Till fafely landed at your palace gate.
On this alone depends your weal or woe;
Such is the will of Fate, and so the Gods foreshew.
He in the softest terms repaid her love,
And vow'd, nor age, nor absence should remove
His constant faith, and sure she could not blame
A short divorce due to his injur'd fame.
The debt discharg'd, then should her soldier come
Gay from the field, and flush'd with conquest, home;
With equal ardour her affection meet,
And lay his laurels at his mistress' feet.
He ceas'd, and fighing took a kind adieu ;
Then urg'd his steed; the fierce Grifippo flew ;
With rapid force outstripp'd the lagging wind,
And left the blissful shores, and weeping fair behind;
Now o'er the seas pursued his airy flight, height.
Now scower'd the plains, and climb'd the mountain's
Thus driving on at speed the prince had run
Near half his course, when, with the setting fun, .