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She languishes, she burns, she wastes away .
In fruitless hopes, and dies upon thy name.
O fatal love ! which, ftung by jealousy,
Expelld a life far dearer than my own,
By cursed poison-Ah divine Apame!
And could the murd'ress hope she should inherit
This heart, and fill thy place within these arms ?
But grief thall yieldRevenge, I'm wholly thine!
The tyrant too is wanton in his age,
He Thews that all his thoughts are not in blood ;
Love claims its share; he envies poor Rameses
The softness of his bed; and thinks Amelia
A mistress worthy of a monarch's arms.
But see, Rameses comes; a sullen gloom
Scowls on his brow, and marks him through the dusk.
Enter RAMESES, PHERON, and other conspirators.
To what, my friend, shall Memnon bid you
To tombs, and melancholy scenes of death?
I have no costly banquets, such as spread
Prinçe Myron's table, when your brother fell.
I have no gilded roof, no gay apartment,
Such as the queen prepar'd for thee, Syphoces.
Yet be not discontent, my valiant friends,
Buftris reigns, and 'tis not out of season
To look on aught may mind us of our fate :
His sword is ever drawn, and furious Myris
Thinks the day loft that is not mark’d with blood.
And have we felt a tyrant twenty years, .
Felt him as the raw wound the burning steel;
And are we murmuring out our midnight curses,
Drying our tears in corners, and complaining ?
Qur hands are forfeited_Gods ! ftrike them off.
No hands we need to faften our own chains,
Our masters will do that; and we want souls
To raise them to an use more worthy men.
Ruffles your temper at offences past?
Here then, to fting thee into madness.
[Gives the Letter. Rameses reads. I RAMESES.
See how the struggling passions shake his frame!
My bosom joy, that crowns my happy bed
With tender pledges of our mutual love,
Far dearer than my soul ! and shall my
The mother of my little innocents,
Be taken from us! Torn from me, from mine,
Who live but on her fight! And shall I hear
Her cries for succour, and not rush upon him?
My infant hanging at the neck upbraids me,
And struggles with his little arms to save her.
These veins have still some gen'rous blood in store,
The dregs of those rich streams his wars have drain'd;
I'll giv't in dowry with her.
Well resolu'd : A tardy vengeance shares the tyrant's guilt.
Let me embrace thee, Pheron; thou art brave,
And doft disdain the coldness of delay.
Curse on the man that calls Ramefes friend,
And keeps his temper at a tale like this;
rage and rancour are the proper virtues, And lofs of reason is the mark of men,
Thus I've determin’d: When the midnight hour
Lulls this proud city, and her monarch dreams
Of humbler foes, or his new mistress' love,
Then we will rush at once, let loose the terrors
Of rage pent in, and struggling twenty years
To find a vent, and at one dreadful blow
Begin and end the war.
A more aufpicious juncture could not happen.
The Persian, who for years has join'd our counsels,
Stirr'd up the love of freedom, and in private
Long nurs'd that glorious appetite with gold,
This morn with transport snatch'd the wish'd occasion
Of throwing his resentment wide, and now
He frowns in arms, and gives th' event to fate.
This hand Mall drag the tyrant from the throne,
And Itab the royal victim on this altar.
[Pointing to the tomb.
O juftly thought! Friends, cast your eyes around;
All that most awful is, or great in nature,
This solemn scene presents ; the gods are here,
And here our fam'd forefathers' sacred tombs ;
Who never brook'd a tyrant in this land.
Let us not act beneath the grand aftembly!
The lighted altars tremble, and these tombs
Send forth a peal of groans to urge us on.
Come then, surround my father's monument,
And call his shade to witness to your vows.
Nor his alone, all ye mighty dead!
Illuftrious shades ! who nightly stalk around
The tyrant's couch, and shake his guilty foul;
Whether already you converse with gods,
Or stray below in melancholy glooms,
From earth, from air, from heav'n, and even hell,
Come, I conjure you, by the pris'ner's chain,
The widow's fighing, and the orphan's tears,
The virgin's shrieks, the hero's spouting veins,
By gods blasphem'd, and free-born men enslav'd.
Hear, Jove ! and you most injur'd heroes, hear,
While we o'er this thrice-hallow'd monument
Thus join our hands, and, kneeling to the gods,
Faft bind our fouls to great revenge !
This night the tyrant and his minions bleed.
So, now my foe is taken in the toil,
And I've a second cast for this proud maid-
It is an oath well spent, a perjury
Of good account in vengeance, and in love.
We wrong the mighty dead, if we permit
Our eyes alone to count this grand assembly :
A thousand unseen heroes walk among us ;
My father rises from his tomb; his wounds
Bleed all afresh, and consecrate the day :
He waves his arm, and chides our tardy vengeance :
More than this world shall thank us. O my friends!
Such our condition, we have nought to'lofe ;
And great may be our gain, if this be great,
To crush a Tyrant, and preserve a State ;
To ftill the clamours of our fathers blood,
To fix the basis of the Public good,
To leave a fame eternal; then to soar,
Mix with the gods, and bid the world adore.