Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

ILYSSUS MEETING CREUSA.

FROM HIS TRAGEDY OF CREUSA.

Persons.-Creusa, llyssus.

Ilyssus.

PLEASE you, great queen, In yon pavilion to repose, and wait Th' arrival of the king. Creusa.

Lycea,-Phorbas,
What youth is this? There's something in his eyes,
His shape, his voice.—What may we call thee, youth?

Ilyssus. The servant of the god who guards this fane.
Creusa. Bear'st thou no name?
Ilyssus.

Ilyssus, gracious queen,
The priests and virgins call me.
Creusu.

Ha! Ilyssus !
That name's Athenian. Tell me, gentle youth,
Art thou of Athens then?
Ilyssus.

I have no country;
Nor know I whence I am.
Creusa.

Who were thy parents ?
Thy father, mother?
Ilyssus.

Ever honour'd

queen,
I never knew a mother's tender cares,
Nor heard th’ instructions of a father's tongue.

Creusa. How cam’st thou hither?
Ilyssus.

Eighteen years are past
Since in the temple's portal I was found
A sleeping infant.

Creusa. Eighteen years! good heaven!

[ocr errors]

That fatal time recals a scene of woe-
Let me not think.-Were there no marks to shew
From whom or whence thou wert?
Ilyssus.

I have been told
An osier basket, such as shepherds weave,
And a few scatter'd leaves, were all the bed
And cradle I could boast.
Creusa.

Unhappy child! But more, O ten times more unhappy they Who lost perhaps in thee their only offspring! What pangs, what anguish, must the mother feel, Compell’d, no doubt, by some disastrous fate-But this is all conjecture.Ilyssus.

O great queen, Had those from whom I sprung been form'd like thee, Had they e'er felt the secret pangs of nature, They had not left me to the desart world So totally expos'd. I rather fear I am the child of lowliness and vice, And happy only in my ignorance. -Why should she weep? O if her tears can fall For ev'n a stranger's but suspected woes, How is that people blest where she presides As queen, and mother!—Please

you,

I retire ? Creusa. No, stay. Thy sentiments at least bespeak A gen'rous education. Tell me, youth, How has thy mind been form’d? Ilyssus.

In that, great queen, I never wanted parents. The good priests And pious priestess, who with care sustain'd

My helpless infancy, left not my youth
Without instruction. But 0, more than all,
The kindest, best good man, a neighb'ring sage,
Who has known better days, though now retir'd
To a small cottage on the mountain's brow,
He deals his blessings to the simple swains
In balms and powerful herbs. He taught me things
Which my soul treasures as its dearest wealth,
And will remember ever. The good priests,
'Tis true, had taught the same, but not with half
That force and energy; conviction's self
Dwelt on Aletes' tongue.
Creusa.

Aletes, said'st thou ?
Was that the good man's name?
Ilyssus.

It is, great queen,
For yet he lives, and guides me by his counsels.

Creusa. What did he teach thee?
Ilyssus.

To adore high heaven,
And venerate on earth heaven's image, truth !
To feel for others' woes, and bear my own
With manly resignation.--Yet I own
Some things he taught me, which but ill agree
With

my

condition here.
Creusa.

What things were those ?
Ilyssus. They were for exercise, and to confirm
My growing strength. And yet I often told him
The exercise he taught resembled much
What I had heard of war. He was himself
A warrior once.

Creusa. And did those sports delight thee?

[ocr errors]

Ilyssus. Great queen, I do confess, my soul mix'd

with them. Whene'er I grasp'd the osier-platted shield, Or sent the mimic javelin to its mark, I felt I know not what of manhood in me. But then I knew my duty, and repressid The swelling ardour. 'Tis to shades, I cried, The servant of the temple must confine His less ambitious, not less virtuous cares. Creusa. Did the good man observe, and blame thy

ardour ? Ilyssus. He only smil'd at my too forward zeal; Nay, seem'd to think such sports were necessary To soften, what he call'd, more rig'rous studies.

Creusa.--Suppose when I return to Athens, youth, Thou should'st attend me thither! would'st thou trust To me thy future fortunes ? Ilyssus.

O most gladly!
-But then to leave these shades where I was nurs'd
The servant of the god, how might that seem?
And good Aletes too, the kind old man
Of whom I spake ?—But wherefore talk I thus,
You only throw these tempting lures to try
Th' ambition of my youth. Please you, retire.

Creusa. Ilyesus, we will find a time to speak
More largely on this subject; for the present
Let all withdraw and leave us. Youth, farewel,
I see the place, and will retire at leisure.
Lycea, Phorbas, stay.
Ilyssus. (Aside.) How

my

heart beats!

She must mean something sure. Tho' good Aletes
Has told me polish'd courts abound in falsehood.
But I will bear the priestess' message to him,

all my
doubts.

[Exit.

And open

VARIETY.

A TALE FOR MARRIED PEOPLE.

A GENTLE maid, of rural breeding,
By Nature first, and then by reading,
Was fill'd with all those soft sensations
Which we restrain in near relations,
Lest future husbands should be jealous,
And think their wives too fond of fellows.

The morning sun beheld her rove
A nymph, or goddess of the grove!
At eve she pac'd the dewy lawn,
And call'd each clown she saw, a faun!
Then, scudding homeward, lock'd her door,
And turn'd some copious volume o'er.
For much she read; and chiefly those
Great authors, who in verse, or prose,
Or something betwixt both, unwind
The secret springs which move the mind.
These much she read; and thought she knew
The human heart's minutest clue ;
Yet shrewd observers still declare,
(To shew how shrewd observers are)

VOL. VI.

с

« PredošláPokračovať »