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Each generous sentiment is thine, Demetrius,
Whose soul, perhaps, yet mindful of Aspasia,
Now hovers o'er this melancholy shade,
Well pleas'd to find thy precepts not forgotten.
O ! could the grave restore the pious hero,
Soon would his art or valour set us free,
And bear us far from servitude and crimes.
Alas! delusive dream :
Too well I know him; his immoderate courage,
Th’ impetuous sallies of excessive virtue,
Too strong for love, have hurried him on death.
ASPASIA, IRENE, CALI, ABDALLA.
CALI to ABDALLA, as they advance.
Behold our future Sultaness, Abdalla;-
Let artful flatt’ry now, to lull suspicion,
Glide through Irene to the Sultan's ear.
Would'st thou subdue th’ obdurate cannibal
To tender friendship, praise him to his mistress.
Well may those eyes that view these heav'nly charms
Reject the daughters of contending kings;
For what are pompous titles, proud alliance,
Empire or wealth, to excellence like thine P
A BID ALL.A. -
Receive th’ impatient Sultan to thy arms;
And may a long posterity of monarchs,
The pride and terrour of succeeding days,
Rise from the happy bed; and future queens
Diffuse Irene's beauty through the world !
I REN E- * ..
Can Mahomet's imperial hand descend
To clasp a slave? or can a soul like mine,
Unus’d to pow'r, and form'd for humbler scenes,
Support the splendid miseries of greatness?
No regal pageant deck'd with casual honours,
Scorn’d by his subjects, trampled by his foes,
No feeble tyrant of a petty state,
Courts thee to shake on a dependant throne;
Born to command, as thou to charm mankind,
The Sultan from himself derives his greatness.
Observe, bright maid, as his resistless voice
Drives on the tempest of destructive war,
How nation after nation falls before him.
At his dread name the distant mountains shake
Their cloudy summits, and the sons of fierceness,
That range uncivilized from rock to rock,
Distrust th' etermal fortresses of Nature,
And wish their gloomy caverns more obscure.
Forbear this lavish pomp of dreadful praise;
The horrid images of war and slaughter • *
Renew our sorrows, and awake our fears.
R 4 ABDALLA
Cali, methinks yon * waving trees afford
A doubtful glimpse of our approaching friends;
Just as I mark'd them, they forsook the shore,
And turn'd their hasty steps toward the garden.
Conduct these queens, Abdalla, to the palace:
Such heav'nly beauty, form'd for adoration, *
The pride of monarchs, the reward of conquest!
Such beauty must not shine to vulgar eyes.
CALI, solus. How Heav'n, in scorn of human arrogance, Commits to trivial chance the fate of nations ! While with incessant thought laborious man Extends his mighty schemes of wealth and pow'r, And tow’rs and triumphs in ideal greatness; Some accidental gust of opposition Blasts all the beauties of his new creation, O'erturns the fabrick of presumptuous reason, And whelms the swelling architect beneath it. Had not the breeze untwin'd the meeting boughs, And through the parted shade disclos'd the Greeks, Th’ important hour had pass'd unheeded by, In all the sweet oblivion of delight, In all the fopperies of meeting lovers; In sighs and tears, in transports and embraces, In soft complaints, and idle protestations.
CALI, DEMETRIUS, LEONTIUS.
Could omens fright the resolute and wise,
Well might we fear impending disappointments.
Your artful suit, your monarch's fierce denial,
The cruel doom of hapless Menodorus.
DEMETRIUS. And your new charge, that dear, that heav'nly maid* LEON TIUS. All this we know already from Abdalla.
T) F. METRIUS.
Such slight defeats but animate the brave
To stronger efforts and maturer counsels.
My doom confirm'd establishes my purpose.
Calmly he heard till Amurath's resumption
Rose to his thought, and set his soul on fire :
When from his lips the fatal name burst out,
A sudden pause th' imperfect sense suspended,
Like the dread stillness of condensing storms.
DEMETRIUS. The loudest cries of Nature urge us forward; Despotick rage pursues the life of Cali; His groaning country claims Leontius' aid; And yet another voice, forgive me, Greece, The
The pow'rful voice of Love inflames Demetrius,
Each ling ring hour alarms me for Aspasia.
What passions reign among thy crew, Leontius;
Does cheerless diffidence oppress their hearts 2
Or sprightly hope exalt their kindling spirits?
Do they with pain repress the struggling shout,
And listen eager to the rising wind?
All there is hope, and gaiety, and courage,
No cloudy doubts, or languishing delays;
Ere I could range them on the crowded deck,
At once an hundred voices thunder'd round me,
And ev'ry voice was Liberty and Greece.
Swift let us rush upon the careless tyrant,
Nor give him leisure for another crime.
LEON TI U.S.
Then let us now resolve, nor idly waste
Another hour in dull deliberation.
But see, where, destin'd to protract our counsels,
Comes Mustapha.—Your Turkish robes conceal you.
Retire with speed, while I prepare to meet him
With artificial smiles and seeming friendship.