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Ouce more I come the moving cause to plead,
As yet her tongue resists the tempting snare, Yet let my friendship do his passion right,
And guards my panting bosom from despair. Aud show thy lover in his native light.
Must such a lover waste his life in woe?
Tell him, his gifts ( scorn; not all his art,
Not all his flattery shall seduce my heart. Let not thy kindling rage my words restrain.
Courtiers, I know, are disciplin'd to cheat, Know, then, Parthenia slights no vulgar swain.
Their infant lips are taught to lisp deceit; For thee he bears the scrip and sylvan crook,
To For thee the glories of a court forsook.
prey on easy nymphis they range the shade,
And vainly boast of innocence betray'd; May not thy heart the wealthy fame decline !
Chaste hearts, unlearn'd in falsehood, thcy assail, His honours, his possessions, all are thine.
And think our ear will drink the grateful tale.
No. Lycidas shall ne'er my peace destroy, If he's a courtier, O ye nymphs, beware!
l'll guard my virtue, and content enjoy. Those who most promise are the least sincere. The quick-ey'd bawk shoots headlong from above,
So strong a passion in my bosom bums, And in his pounces bears the treinbling dove;
Whene'er his soul is griev'd, Alexis mourns ! The pilfering wolf o'erleaps the fold's defence. But the false courtier preys on innocence.
Canst thou this importuning ardour blame? If he's a courtier, () ye nyinphs, beware:
Would not thy tongue for friendship urge the same ? Those who most promise are the least sincere.
Yes, blooming swain. You show an honest mind; Alas! thou ne'er hast prov'd the sweets of state, I see it, with the purest flame refin'd. Nor known that female pleasure, to be great. Who shall compare love's mean and gross desire 'Tis for the town ripe clusters load the poies, To the chaste zeal of friendship's sacred fire ? And all our Autumn crowns the courtier's bowls; By whining love our weakness is confest; For him our woods the red-ey'd pheasant breed, But stronger friendship shows a virtuous breast. And annual coveys in our harvest feed;
In Folly's heart the short-liv'd blaze may glow, For him with fruit the bending branch is stor'd, Wisdom alone can purer friendship know. Plenty pours all her blessings on his board. Love is a sudden blaze which soon decays, If (when the market to the city calls)
Friendship is like the Sun's eternal rays;
Not daily benefits exhaust the flame,
All the low images of grosser love;
Such mild, such gentle looks thy heart declare,
Fain would my breast thy faithful friendship share. PARTHENIA. See yon gay goldfinch hop from spray to spray,
How dare you in the different sex confide? Who sings a farewel to the parting day;
And seek a friendship u bich you ne'er have try'd ?
With thee may strictest virtue walk secure.
Think, when the Hymencal torch shall blaze,
Yet can I safely on the nymph depend,
And yet, Alexis, all that pomp and show
Say, shepherd, when you proffer'd wealth and state,
Did not her scorn and suppled pride abate?
[Listening. Why stays Alexis ? can my bosom bear
As sparkling diamonds to the feather'd train, Thus long alternate storms of hope and fear? Who scrape the winnow'd chatf in search of grain; Yonder they walk; no frowns her brow disguise, Such to the shepherdess the court appears : But love consenting sparkles in her eyes ;
Content she seeks, and spurns those glittering caros. Here will I listen, here, impatient wait. Spare me, Parthenia, and resign thy hate. (.1 side. 'Tis not in woman grandeur to despise, PARTHENIA.
'Tis not from courts, from me alone she fies. When Lycidas shall to the court repair,
Did not my passion suffer like disgrace, Still let Alexis love his fleecy care ;
While she believ'd me born of sylvan race? Still let him chuse cool grots and sylvan bowers,
Dost thou not think, this proudest of her kind
No rival shepherd her disdain can move;
How can I know the secrets of her heart?
Answer sincere, nor from the question start,
And is no swain distinguish'd from the rest ?
O Lycidas, bid all thy troubles cease;
Let not a thought on her disturb thy peace. A scornful mistress, and a treacherous friend!
May justice bid thy former passion wake; Would ye be cozen'd, more than woman can, Think how Dione suffers for thy sake: Unlock your bosom to perfidious man.
Let not a broken oath thy honour stain, One faithful woman have these eyes beheld,
Recall thy vows, and seek the town again.
Why am I banish'd to the hateful town?
Hath some new shepherd warm'd Parthenia's
breast ? LYCIDAS, DIONE.
And does my love his amorous hours molest?
Is it for this thou bidd'st me quit the plain? Why starts the swain? why turn his eyes away,
Yes, yes, thou fondly lov'st this rival swain. As if amidst his path the viper lay?
When first my cheated soul thy friendship woo'd, Did I not to thy charge my heart confide?
To my warm heart I took the viperous brood. Did I not trust thee near Parthenia's side,
O false Alexis !
-Why am I accus'd?
Thy jealous mind is by weak fears abus'd. As in the morn awakes the folded rose, And all around her breathing odour throws; Was not thy bosom fraught with false design? So wak'd Parthenia.
Didst thou not plead his cause, and give up mine?
Let not thy tongue evasive answer seek; -Could thy guarded heart, The conscious crimson rises on thy cheek: When her full beauty glow'd, put by the dart ? Thy coward conscience, by thy guilt dismay'd, Yet on Alexis let my soul depend ;
Shakes in each joint, and owns that I'm betray'd. Tis most ungenerous to suspect a friend, And thou, I hope, bast well that name profest. DIONE.
How my poor heart is wrong'd! O spare thy friend!
Seek not detected falsehood to defend.
Beware, lest blind suspicion rashly blame.
[Aside. Own thyself then the rival of my flame.
If this be she for whom Alexis pin'd,
A perjur'd lover first he sought these plains, She now no more is to thy vows unkind.
And now my friendship like iny lore disdains. Behind the thicket's twisted verdure laid,
As I new offers to Parthenia made, I witness'd every tender thing she said;
Conceal'd he stood behind the woodbine shade. I saw bright pleasure kindle in her eyes,
He says, my treacherous tougue his heart betray'd, Love warnı'd each feature at thy soft replies. That my false speeches have misled the maid;
With gronnilless fear he thus his soul deceives ; Yet hear me speak.
What frenzy dictates, jealousy believes.
Resign thy crook, put off this manly rest,
And let the wrong'd Dione stand contest; Haste, from iny sight. Rage burns in every vein; When he shall learn what sorrows thou hast borne, Never approach my just revenge again.
And find tbat nonght relents Parthenia's scorn,
Sure he will pity thee. O search my heart; there injur'd truth thou'lt sind.
-No, Laura, no. Talk not of truth; long since she left mankind.
Should I, alas! the sylvan dress forego, So smooth a tongue! and yet so false a heart !
Then might he think that I her pride foment, Sure courts first taught thee fawning friendship's
That injur'd love instructs me to resent ; No. Thou art false by nature.
(art! Our secret enterprise might fatal prove:
Man flies the plague of persecuting love.
And jealousy resolve some fatal harm.
Tell him what torments vex my anxious mind;
Should I once more his awful presence seek,
The silent tears would bathe my glowing check; In stabbing mine, you wound Parthenia's breast. By rising sighs my faultering voice be stay'd, She said, she still defy'd Love's keenest dart; And trembling fear too soon confess the maid. Yet purer friendship might divide her heart, Haste, Laura, then; his vengeful soul assuage, Friendship's sincerer bands she wish'd to prove. Tell him, I'm guiltless; cool his blinded rage; LYCIDAS.
Tell him that truth sincere my friendship brought, A woman's friendship ever ends in lore.
Let him not cherish one suspicious thought.
I'll never, never see that nymph again.
-See, at the call of Night,
The star of evening sheds his silver light
Fresh odours breathe along the winding dales;
To close with cheerful walk the sultry day.
Methinks from far I hear the piping swain; My friendship wrong'd! my constant love betray'd! Hark in the breeze now swells, now sinks the Misfortune haunts my steps where'er I go,
Thither I'll seek him.
(strain! And all my days are overcast with woe. Long have I strove th' increasing load to bear, Now faints my soul, and sinks into despair.
-While this length of glade O lead me to the hanging mountain's cell,
Shall lead me pensive through the sable shade; In whose brown cliffs the fowls of darkness dwell; Where on the branches murmur rushing winds, Where waters, trickling down the rifted wall,
Grateful as falling floods to love-sick minds; Shall lull my sorrows with the tinkling fall. O may this path to Death's dark vale descend! There seek thy grave. How canst thou bear the There only can the wretched hope a friend. When banish'd ever from Evander's sight! (light,
ACT V. SCENE 1.
part of the stage).
With trembling gleam she tips the silent grove,
A father's power to me the virgin gave, While all beneath the chequer'd shadows move.
But she disdain’d to live a nuptial slave;
So fled her native home.
"Tis then from thee Veil the bright goddess in a sable storm:
Springs the foul source of all her misery. O look not down upon a wretched maid !
Could'st thou, thy selfish appetite to please,
Condemn to endless woes another's peace?
O spare me; nor my hapless love upbraid,
While on my heart Death's frozen hand is laid ! When Thisbe sought her love along the glade? Didst thou not then beholl the gleaming blade,
When she surveys her lover pale and dead, And gild the fatal point that stabb’d her breast?
Tell her, that since she fled my hateful sight, Soon I, like her, shall seek the realms of rest.
Without remorse I sought the realms of night. Let groves of mournful yew a wretch surround !
Methinks I see her view these poor remains, O sooth my ear with melancholy sound!
And on her cheek indecent gladness reigns ! The village-curs now stretch their yelling throat,
Full in her presence cold Cleanthes lies, And dogs from distant cots return the vote;
And not one tear stan is trembling in her eyes ! The ravenous wolf along the valley prowls,
O let a sigh my hapless fate deplore!
Cleanthes now controls thy love no more.
How shall my lids confine these rising woes ? [Aside.
[glade. Shepherd, approach; ah! fy not through the O might I see her, ere Death's finger close A wretch all dy'd with wounds invokes thy aid. These eyes for ever! might her soften'd breast
Forgive my love with too much arduur prest!
Then I with peace could yield my latest breath. Say then, unhappy stranger, how you bled; Collect thy spirits, raise thy drooping head. [Cleanthes raises himself on his arm.
Shall I not calm the sable hour of death, ( horrid sight! Cleanthes gasping lies;
And show myself before him !-Ha! he dies. And Death's black shadows Noat before bis eyes.
See from his trembling lip the spirit flies! [ Aside. Unknown in this disguise, I'll check my woe,
Stay yet awhile. Dione stands confest.
He knows me not. And learn what bloody hand has struck the blow.
He faints, he sinks to rest.
[Aside. Say, youth, ere Fate thy feeble voice confounds, Tell her, since all my hopes in her were lost, What led theė bither whence these purple That death was welcome
For disobedient vows; O wretched maid,
Those very vows Evander hath betray'd. Far o'er the plains I sought a beauteous maid, See, at thy feet Cleanthes bath'd in blood ! Who, from the court, in these wide forests stray'd, For love of thee he trod this lonely wood; Wanders unknown ; as I, with weary pain,
Thou art the cruel authoress of his fate; Try'd every path, and opening glade, in vain,
He falls by thine ; thou, by Evander's hate. A band of thieves, forth-rushing from the wood, When shall my soul know rest? Cleanthes slain Unsheath'd their daggers warm with daily blood;
No longer sighs and weeps for thy disdain. Deep in my breast the barbarous steel is dy'd,
Thou still art curst with love. Bleed, virgin, bleed. And purple hands the golden prey divide.
How shall a wretch from anxious life be freed! Hence are these mangling wounds. Say, gentle
My troubled brain with sudden frenzy burns, If thou hast known among the sylvan tiain (swain, And shatter'd thought now this, now that way turns. The vagrant nymph I seek?
What do I see thus glittering on the plains ?
Ha ! the dread sword yet warm with crimson stains ! DIONE.
[Takes up the dagger. -What mov'd thy care, Thus, in these pathless wilds, to search the fair?
Sweet is the walk when night has cool'd the hour.
Why is my soul with sudden fear dismay'd ? Show her, I charge you, where Cleanthes dy'd ; Why drops my trembling hand the pointed blade? The grass yet reeking with the sanguine tide.
string my arın with force!
[ Aside, VOL. X.
No thieves in dreams the fancy'd dagger hold, -Methought a noise
And drag him to detect the buried gold ; Broke through the silent air, like human voice. Nor starts he from his couch aghast and pale,
[ Aside. When the door murmurs with the hollow gale.
While he, whose iron coffers rust with wealth, One well-aim'd blow shall all my pangs remove,
Harbours beneath his roof Deceit and Stealth; Grasp firm the fatal steel, and cease to love. [Aside. Treachery with lurking pace frequents his walks,
And close behind him horrid Murder stalks. PARTHENIA.
'Tis tempting lucre makes the villain bold: Sure 'twas Alexis. Ha! a sword display'd ! The streaming lustre darts across the shade. (Aside. There lies a bleeding sacrifice to gold.
To live, is but to wake to daily cares, May Heaven new vigour to my soul impart,
And journey through a tedious vale of tears. And guide the desperate weapon to my heart !
Had you not rush'd between, my life had flown;
And I, like him, no more had sorrow known. PARTIENIA. May I the meditated death arrest!
PARTHEXIA. [Holds Lione's hand.
When anguish in the gloomy bosom dwells, Strike not, rash shepherd; spare thy guiltless breast. The counsel of a friend the cloud dispels. O give me strength to stay the threaten'd harm,
Give thy breast vent, the secret grief impart, And wrench the dagger from his lifted arm!
And say what woe lies heary at thy heart.
To save thy life, kind Heaven has succour sent, What cruel hand with-holds the welcome blow? The gods by me thy threaten'd fate prevent. In giving life, you but prolong my woe. O may not thus th' expected stroke impend !
No. To prerent it, is beyond thy power; l'nloose thy grasp, and let swift death descend. But if yon' murder thy red bani's hath dy'd;
Thou only canst defer the welcome hour.
When you the lifted dagger turn' aside,
Only one road to death thy force deny’d.
Deep in whose shadow craggy ruins lie, Wait not thy fate ; but this way turn thy eyes: Can I not headlong tling this weight of woe, My virgin hand no purple murder dyes.
And dash out life against the flints below? Turn then, Alexis; and Parthenia know,
Are there noi streams, and lakes, and rivers wide, 'Tis she protects thee from the fatal blow.
Where my last breath may bubble on the tide ?
Ne. Life shall never flatter me again, Must the night-watches by iny sighs be told?
Nor shall to morrow bring new sighs and pain. And must these eyes another morn behold Through dazzling floods of tears? Ungenerous maid, The friendly stroke is by thy hand delay'd;
Can I this burthen of thy soul relieve, Call it not merey to prolong my breath;
And calm thy grief?
DIONE. "Tis but to torture me with lingering death.
-If thou wilt comfort give, PARTIENIA.
Plight me thy word, and to that word be just, What moves thy hand to act this bloody part? Whenceare these guawing pangs that tear thy heart? That pride no longer shall command thy mind,
When poor Alexis shall be laid in dust, Is that thy friend who lies before thee slain?
That thou wilt spare the friend I leave behind. Is it his wound that reeks upon the plain?
I know his virtue worthy of thy breast.
Long in thy love may Lycidas be blest!
To please some short-liv'd transport of his soul) He from the city took his vagrant way,
Shows, while his importuning flame he moves, A murdering band pour'd on him from the acod,
That 'tis not me, himself alone he loves. First seiz'd his goll, then bath'd their swords in
Olive, nor leave him by misfortune prest:
'Tis shameful to desert a friend distrest.
Alas! a wretch like me no loss would prove, Safe are the shepherd's paths; when sober Even
Would kind Parthenia listen to his love. Streaks with pale light the bending arch of Heaven,
PARTHENIA. From danger free, through deserts wild he hies,
Why bides thy bosom this mysterious grief? The rising smoke far o'er the mountain spies, Which marks his distant cottage ; on he fares,
Ease thy o'erburthen'd heart, and hope relief. For him no murderers lay their nightly snares; They pass him by, they turn their steps away: What profits it to touch thy tender breast, Safe Poverty was ne'er the villain's prey.
With wrongs, like mine, wbich ne'er can be redrest? At home he lies secure in easy sleep,
Let in my heart the fatal secret lie, No bars his ivy-mantled cottage keep;
Nor call up sorrow in another's eye'