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Without one hope; there, stifing sighs, she melts In silent tears. The sullen groan of winds, Which shake the roof, the beating rain she bears Unmov'd, nor heeds stern Winter, who benumbs Her tender beauties in his harsh embrace.
O Love! to vernal sweets, to summer's air, To bow'rs, which temper sultry suns at noon, Art thou confin'd? To rills in lulling flow, To flow'rs, which scent thy arbours of recess, To birds, who sing of youth and soft desire ? All is thy empire, ev'ry season thine, Thou universal origin of things, Sole ruler, oft a tyrant. Stealing steps Full frequent draw Acanthè to the door Of her preserver. While he sleeps, and pain Excites no groan to wound her list’ning ear, Anxiety abates; but passion grows. Then recollecting his intrepid strides Through fiery surge, devouring, as he pass'd, His hair majestic, wreathing round his limbs In torment, which none else to save her life Would face, or could endure, unguarded thought In murm'ring transport issues from her lips.
She could no more.
A parting cloud reveald The Moon. Before the silver light she dropp'd On her bare knee, enfeebled by the cold; There fix'd and freezing, from that awful pow'r Of chastity she seem'd invoking help; When, newly-waken'd by her piercing moan, With smarting limbs Themistocles had left His pillow; keener his internal pang, To see an image of despair, the work Of his fallacious art. On his approach, At once the worn remains of spirit fled From her cold bosom, heaving now no more. The twilight glimmers on the rear of night; His painful arms uplift her from the floor, And to her couch with decency of care Commit her lifeless charms. To sense restor'd, Just as the Morn's exploring eye unclos'd, Acanthè, faint and speechless, by a sign Forbids his presence; cautious he retires.
Whole days, whole nights, she saw
A tender sire beside her pillow mourn,
Her beauties wasting hourly in his view.
To gentler forms delirium then would change;
The Moon, so lately to her aid invok’d,
She saw, descending from her lucid sphere,
Assume her shape of goddess, who inspir'd
A soothing thought to seek for health and peace
At her propitious oracle, not rob
So kind a father of his only joy.”
We have not been able to persuade ourselves to omit the few extracts which succeed, short as they are. They are a collection of choice flowers, which altogether make up a fragrant wreath.
“An April Zephyr, with reviving sweets
From gay Eubea's myrtle-border'd meads,
Perfumes his breath, scarce ruffling in his course
The pearly robe of morn.”
Artemisia's quitting Mardonius is thus mentioned :
“She departs. Behind her, like the sinking globe of day, She leaves a trail of radiance on his soul.”
Of Melissa, the poet says,
“She o'er the dead through half the solemn night
A copious web of eloquence unwinds."
The death of Masistius is thus beautifully described :
“In death, resembling sweetest sleep, his eyes
Serenely drop their curtains, and the soul
Flies to th' eternal mansions of the just.”
Of whom his friend Mardonius thus speaks; I
“ Not us'd to weep,
humbled at thy loss,
Melt like a maiden, of her love bereav'd
By unrelenting death.”
The funeral dirge over Ariana is sweet. The two last lines are peculiarly tender.
“On gently-moving air
Sweet measures glide; this melancholy dirge,
To melting chords, by sorrow touch'd, is heard.
Cropp'd is the rose of beauty in her bud,
Bright virtue's purest mansion is defac'd;
Like Mithra's beams her silken tresses shone
In lustre gentle as a vernal morn;
Her eye reveal'd the beauties of her mind ;
The slave, the captive, in her light rejoic'd.
• Lament, ye daughters of Choaspes, wail,
Ye Cissian maids, your paragon is lost.
• Once like the fresh-blown lily in the vale,
In Susa fair, in radiancy of bloom
Like summer glowing, till consuming love
Deform'd her graces; then her hue she chang'd
To lilies pining in decay, but kept
The smile of kindness on her wasted cheek.'”
Themistocles is thus described contemplating an embark
“He said, and, moving tow'rds the beach, observes
The embarkation. Each progressive keel
His eye pursues. O'erswelling now in thought,
His own deservings, glory, and success,
Rush on his soul like torrents, which disturb
A limpid fount. Of purity depriv'd,
The rill no more in music steals along,
But harsh and turbid through its channel foams.”
We have had frequent occasion to mention our author's power of local description, in which there is a minuteness and distinctness of delineation, which, as before remarked, we in vain look for in the characters of his poem. The cave of the furies and the conjuration of the seven assassins are executed with a decided and powerful hand.
“ There was a cavern in the bowels deep
Of naked rock by Oreus, where the stern
Eumenides possess'd a dusky shrine,
And frown'd in direful idols from the time
That Titan's offspring o'er Eubea reign'd
The enemies of Jove. Around it slept
A stagnant water, overarch'd by yews,
Growth immemorial, which forbade the winds
E'er to disturb the melancholy pool.
To this, the fabled residence abhorr'd
Of Hell-sprung beings, Demonax, himself
Predominating demon of the place,
Conducts the sev'n assassins. There no priest
Officiates; single there, as Charon grim,
A boatman wafts them to the cavern's mouth.
They enter, fenc'd in armour; down the black
Descent, o'er moist and lubricated stone,
They tread unstable. Night's impurest birds
With noisome wings each loathing visage beat;
Of each the shudd'ring flesh through plated steel
By slimy efts, and clinging snakes, is chillid;
Cold, creeping toads beset th' infected way.
Now at the cave's extremity obscene
They reach the sisters three, tremendous forms,
Of huge, mis-shapen size. Alecto there,
Tisiphoné, Megæra, on their fronts
Display their scorpion curls ; within their grasp
Their serpents writh’d. Before them sulph'rous fires
In vases broad, antiquity's rude toil,
To render horrour visible, diffus’d
Such light, as Hell affords. Beside a chasm,
Whose bottom blind credulity confin'd
By Tartarus alone, with trembling feet
Stood Lamachus, the wicked and deform'd.
An ewe, in dye like ebony, he gor'd;
The dark abyss receiv'd a purple stream.
Next to the dire conspirators he held
A vessel; o'er the brim their naked arms
They stretch'd; he pierc'd the veins; the envenom'd blood,
A fit libation mix'd for Hell, he pour'd
Down the deep clift; then falt'ring, half dismay'd
At his own rites, began : · Ye injur’d men,
Of wealth and honours violently spoil'd,
Implacably condemn'd to bonds and rods
By insolent Themistocles, before
These dreadful goddesses you swear, his death
You vow, by ev'ry means revenge can prompt,
In secret ambush, or in open fight,
By day, by night, with poison, sword, or fire ;
Else on your heads you imprecate the wrath
Of these inexorable pow'rs. They swore."
There is a tender and mellow beauty in the lines we shall
· By his Cleora, Hyacinthus sat.
The youthful husband o'er the snowy breast
Which lulld and cherish'd a reposing babe,
The blooming father o'er that precious fruit
Hung fondly. Thoughtful ecstacy recalld
His dream at Juno's temple; where he saw
The visionary bosom of his bride
Disclose maternal to an infant new
The pillow smooth of lilies. Wan, her cheek
Told her confinement from the cheerful day.
Six moons in deep obscurity she dwelt;
Where, as a sea-nymph underneath a rock,
Or Indian genie in the cavern'd earth,
Her cell in conchs and coral she had dress'd,
By gracious Pamphila supply'd, to cheat
Time and despair."
We conclude our extracts with the following chaste picture of a Grecian marriage.
" To Calauria's
He pass'd; beneath a nuptial chaplet gay
He wore his crisped hair; of purest white,
A tunic wrapp'd his sinewy chest and loins;
A glowing mantle, new in Tyrian dye,
Fell down his shoulders. Up the shelving lawn
The high Neptunian structure he attains,
Where with her parents Ariphilia waits
Attir'd in roses like her hue, herself
As Flora fair, or Venus at her birth,
When from the ocean with unrifled charms
The virgin goddess sprung. Yet, far unlike
A maid sequester'd from the public eye,
She, early traind in dignity and state,
In sanctity of manners to attract
A nation's rev'rence, to the advancing chief
In sweet composure unreluctant yields
Her bridal hand, who down the vaulted isle,
Where Echo joins the hymeneal song,
Conducts the fair."
From the observations we have made, and the copious extracts we have given, we think our readers will be able to form