Изображения страниц

Love and Friendship. That friendship which from withered love doth shoot, Like the faint herbage on a rock, wants root; Love is a tender amity, refined: Grafted on friendship, it exalts the mind; But when the graff no longer does remain, The dull stock lives, but never bears again.

[blocks in formation]

Fear of Death.

Berenice, Saint CATHERINE.
Ber. Now death draws near, a strange perplexity
Creeps coldly on me, like a fear to die:
Courage uncertain dangers may abate,
But who can bear th' approach of certain fate?

St. Cath. The wisest and the best some fear may show, And wish to stay, though they resolve to go.

Ber. As some faint pilgrim, standing on the shore,
First views the torrent he would venture o'er,
And then his inn upon the farther ground,
Loath to wade through, and loather to go round :
Then dipping in his staff, does trial make
How deep it is, and, sighing, pulls it back:
Sometimes resolved to fetch his leap; and then
Runs to the bank, but there stops short again :
So I at once
Both heavenly faith and human fear obey;
And feel before me in an unknown way.
For this blest voyage I with joy prepare,
Yet am ashamed to be a stranger there.

[blocks in formation]

Love and Beauty.
A CHANGE SO swift what heart did ever feel !
It rushed upon me like a mighty stream,
And bore me in a moment far from shore.
I've loved away myself; in one short hour
Already am I gone an age of passion.
Was it his youth, his valour, or success ?
These might, perhaps, be found in other men,
'Twas that respect, that awful homage paid me;
That fearful love which trembled in his eyes,
And with a silent earthquake shook his soul.
But when he spoke, what tender words he said !
So softly, that, like flakes of feathered snow,
They melted as they fell.

[blocks in formation]

Midnight Repose. All things are hushed, as Nature's self lay dead; The mountains seem to nod their drowsy head, The little birds in dreams their songs repeat, And sleeping flowers beneath the night-dew sweat; Even lust and envy sleep, yet love denies Rest to my soul and slumber to my eyes. Three days I promised to attend my doom, And two long days and nights are yet to come; 'Tis sure the noise of a tumultuous fight; [Noise within. They break the truce, and sally out by night.

Nathaniel Lee.

ALEXANDER THE GREAT ; OR, THE RIVAL QUEENS. ALEXANDER, having condemned to death LYSIMACHUS, for demanding

in marriage Parisatis, whom he had destined as the Bride of his Favourite, HEPHESTION, revokes the sentence, and awaits the presence of LYSIMACHUS ar a grand Regal Banquet, where Clytus, a brave old Soldier, refusing to pay Divine Honours to ALEXANDER, is

killed, ALEXANDER, PerdiccAS, CASSANDER, POLYPERCHON, EuMenes, discovered at a Banquet, &tc.

[A flourish of trumpets, Alex. To our immortal health and our fair queen’s; All drink it deep; and while the bowl goes round, Mars and Bellona join to make us music; A thousand bulls be offered to the sun, White as his beams; speak the big voice of war; Beat all our drums, and sound our silver trumpets ; Provoke the gods to follow our example In bowls of nectar, and replying thunder.

[Flourish of trumpets. Enter Clytus, Hephestion, and LYSIMACHUS, bloody.

Clyt. Long live the king! long live great Alexander ! And conquest crown his arms with deathless laurels, Propitious to his friends, and all he favours. Alex. Did I not give command you


preserve Lysimachus ?

Heph. Dread sir! you did.

Alex. What then
Portend these bloody marks ?

Heph. Ere we arrived

Perdiccas had already placed the prince
In a lone court, all but his hands unarmed.

Clyt. On them were gauntlets; such was his desire,
In death to show the difference betwixt
The blood of Æacus and common men.
Forth issuing from his den amazed we saw
The horrid savage, with whose hideous roar
The palace shook: his angry eye-balls, glaring
With triple fury, menaced death and ruin.

Heph. With unconcern the gallant prince advanced,
Now, Parisatis, be the glory thine,
But mine the danger, were his only words ;
For as he spoke the furious beast descried him,
And rushed outrageous to devour his prey.

Clyt. Agile and vigorous, he avoids the shock
With a slight wound, and as the lion turned,
Thrust gauntlet, arm and all, into his throat,
And with Herculean strength tears forth the tongue :
Foaming and bloody, the disabled savage
Sunk to the earth, and ploughed it with his teeth;
While with an active bound your conquering soldier
Leaped on his back, and dashed his skull in pieces.

Alex. By all my laurels, 'twas a godlike act !
And 'tis my glory, as it shall be thine,
That Alexander could not pardon thee.
Oh, my brave soldier ! think not all the prayers
And tears of the lamenting queens could move me,
Like what thou hast performed: grow to my breast.

Lys. Thus, self-condemned, and conscious of my guilt,
How shall I stand such unexampled goodness?
Oh, pardon, sir, the transports of despair,
The frantic outrage of ungoverned love!

Even when I showed the greatest want of reverence
I could have died with



Alex. Lysimachus, we both have been transported:
But from this hour be certain of my heart.
A lion be the impress of thy shield;
And that gold armour we from Porus won
Thy king presents thee- -But thy wounds ask rest.

Lys. I have no wounds, dread sir! or if I had,
Were they all mortal, they should stream unminded
When Alexander was the glorious health.

Alex. Thy hand, Hephestion : clasp him to thy heart,
And wear him ever near thee. Parisatis
Shall now be his who serves me best in war.
Neither reply, but mark the charge I give;
Live, live as friends—you will, you must, you shall :
'Tis a god gives you life.

Clyt. Oh, monstrous vanity !
Alex. Ha! what says Clytus ? who am I?
Clyt. The son of good king Philip.

Alex. By my kindred gods
'Tis false. Great Ammon gave me birth.

Clyt. I've done.
Alex. Clytus, what means that dress ? Give him a robe,

Take it and wear it.

Clyt. Sir, the wine, the weather, Has heated me: besides, you know

Alex. Oh, 'tis not well! I'd rather perish, burn,
Than be so singular and froward.

Clyt. So would I
Burn, hang, drown, but in a better cause.
I'll drink or fight for sacred majesty


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »