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283. C. Hé bien, Antiochus, vous dois-je la couronne ?
A. Madame, vous savez si le ciel me la donne.
C. Vous savez mieux que moi si vous la méritez.
A. Je sais que je péris si vous ne m'écoutez.
C. Un peu trop lent peut-être à servir ma colère.
Vous vous êtes laissé prévenir par un frère ;
Il a su me venger quand vous délibériez,
Et je dois à ses bras ce que vous espériez.
Je vous en plains, mon fils, ce malheur est extrême,
C'est périr en effet que perdre un diadème. 284. More wondrous yet ; Lavinia with her sire
Was on the altar kindling holy fumes,
When her long tresses from the torch caught fire ;
The crackling flames her rich attire consum’d,
Burn'd were her royal locks, her jewell’d crown;
The princess wrapt in smoke and dusky blaze
Thro' the whole palace conflagration spread;
An omen this was held of import dire,
High destiny presaging and renown
To her, but for the people grievous war. 285.
I was born with greatness :
I've honours, titles, power, here within :
All vain external greatness I contemn.
Am I the higher for supporting mountains ?
The better for a flatterer's humble bowing ?
Have I more room for being throng'd with fol.
The larger soul for having all my thoughts
Fill’d with the lumber of the state affairs ?
Honours and riches are all splendid vanities ;
They are of choicest use to fools and knaves. 286. 'Tis not on them alone who tempt the sea, That the storm breaks ; it whelms even us, O
Whether we pace the open colonnade,
Or to the inmost shelter of our house
Shrink from its rage. The sailor for a day
And night, perhaps, is bandied up and down,
And then anon reposes, when the wind
Veers to the wished-for point, and wafts him home.
But I know no repose; not one day only,
But every day, to the last hour of life,
Deeper and deeper I am plung’d in woe.
287. Peace! 'Tis my will. Let never mortal dare
Avenge Achilles : from this blood has sprung
One worthy to avenge it, one alone.
Alcimus and Automedon, return, '
And keep my Myrmidons within the camp,
Lest they should lose obedience and due awe
Of those whose orders bear no awful marks.
Diomed, Ajax, leave me ; leave a frame
Unequal to the weakest thing alive.
No, leave me not; bear me away: let none'
Who hate or fear me, see me and rejoice.
288. 0. Trust me, the race of Tantalus is doom'd;
Nor may his last descendant leave the earth,
Or crown'd with honour or unstain’d by crime.
P. The Gods avenge not on the son the deeds
Done by the father. Each, or good or bad,
Of his own actions reaps the due reward.
The parents' blessing, not their curse, descends.
0. Methinks their blessing did not lead us here.
P. It was at least the mighty Gods’ decree.
0. It is then their decree which doth destroy us.
P. Perform what they command, and wait the
289. Sweet fountain, once again I visit thee;
And thou art flowing on, and fresh’ning still
The green moss, and the flowers that bend to thee
Modestly ; with a soft, unboastful murmur,
Rejoicing at the blessings that thou bearest. )
Pure, stainless, thou art flowing on: the stars
Make thee their mirror, and the moonlight beams
Course one another o'er thy silver bosom ;
And yet thy flowing is through fields of blood,
And armed men their hot and wearied brows
Slake with thy limpid and perennial coolness. 290. B. The King at Chinon holds his little court;
He cannot keep the field for want of men.
Of what avail is courage in the chief,
When pallid terror seizes all the host?
A sudden panic, as if sent from God,
Unnerves the courage of the strongest men.
In vain the summons of the king resounds;
As, when the howling of the wolf is heard,
The sheep in terror gather side by side,
So Frenchmen, careless of their ancient fame,
Seek only now the shelter of the towns. 291. His spirit 'tis that calls me: 'tis the troop
Of his true followers, who offer'd up
Themselves to avenge his death : and they accuse
Of an ignoble loitering; they would not
Forsake their leader even in death ; they died for
And shall I live ? -
For me too was that laurel-garland twin'd
That decks his bier. Life is an empty casket:
I throw it from me. Oh! my only hope !
To die beneath the hoofs of trampling steeds -
That is the lot of heroes upon earth! 292. I. Me hast thou summon’d? wherefore art thou
T. Wherefore delay the sacrifice ? inform me.
I. I have acquainted Arkas with the reasons.
T. From thee I wish to hear them more at large.
I. The goddess for reflection grants thee time.
T. To thee this time seems also opportune.
1. If to this cruel deed thy heart is steeld,
Thou should'st not come. A king who meditātes
A deed inhuman, may find slaves enow.
293. Father, we must not let you here condemn;
Not, were the day less joyful: recollect,
We have no wicked here ; no king to judge.
Poseidon, we have heard, with bitter rage
Lashes his foaming steeds against the skies,
And, laughing with loud yell at winged fire,
Innoxious to his fields and palaces,
Affrights the eagle from the sceptred hand;
While Pluto, gentlest brother of the three,
And happiest in obedience, views sedate
His tranquil realm, nor envies theirs above. 294. Advancement now doth not attend desire,
But flows from fancies of a flatter'd mind,
Which to base hirelings honour doth impart,
Whilst envied worth no safe retreat can find.
All proud usurpers most addicted prove
To them whom without cause they raise too high,
As thinking those who stand but by their love
To entertain the same all means must try;
Whilst they, whose virtue reaps a due reward,
Not building only on the giver's grace,
Do by deserts not gain so great regard. 295. A. Thou didst not heed thy faithful friend's advice.
I. I willingly have done whate'er I could.
A. E'en now 'tis not too late to change thy mind.
I. To do so is no longer in my power.
A. What thou would'st shun, thou deem'st impos-
. . sible.
I. Thy wish doth make thee deem it possible.
A. Wilt thou so calmly venture everything?
I. My fate I have committed to the Gods.
A. The Gods are wont to save by human means.
I. By their appointment everything arrives.
A. Believe me, everything depends on thee.
Z. Ha, mother, is it you ?
C. Who should it be? where should'st thou look for
When we are sick, where can we turn for succour ?
When we are wretched, where can we complain ?
And when the world looks cold and sadly on us,
Where can we go to meet a warmer eye
With such sure confidence as to a mother? .
The world may scowl, acquaintance may forsake,
Friends may neglect, and lovers know a change;
But, when a mother doth forsake her child,
Men lift their hands and cry, A prodigy! . 297. Our revels now are ended ; these our actors
(As I foretold you) were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capt towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve ;
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuffs .
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep. 298.
A. In his looks
He carries guilt, whose horror breeds this strange
And obstinate silence ; shame and his conscience
Will not permit him to deny it. B. 'Tis, alas !
His modest, bashful nature, and pure innocence,
That makes him silent: think you that bright rose
That buds within his cheeks was planted there -