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nlone. Was ever grief like mine ! O wretched maid " My friendship wrong'd' my constant love betray'd' Misfortune haunts my steps where’er I go, And all my days are overcast with woe. Long have 1 strove th' increasing load to bear, Now faints my soul, and sinks into despair. O lead me to the hanging mountain's cell, Jn whose brown cliffs the fowls of darkness dwell; Where waters, trickling down the rifted wall, Shall lull my sorrows with the tinkling fall. There seek thy grave. How canst thou bear the When banish'd ever from Evander's sight! [light,

SCENE VIII.

D10NE, LAURA,

Lau RA. Why hangs a cloud of grief upon thy brows 2 Does the proud nymph accept Evander's vows?

throne. Can I bear life with these new pangs opprest! Again he tears me from his faithless breast:

A perjur'd lover first he sought these plains,
And now my friendship like my love disdains.
As I new offers to Parthenia made,
Conceal’d he stood behind the woodbine shade.
He says, my treacherous tongue his heart betray'd,
That my false specches have misled the maid.
With groundless fear he thus his soul deceives;
What frenzy dictates, jealousy believes.

1. Attra, Resign thy crook, put off this manly vest, And let the wrong’d Dione stand confest; When he shall learn what sorrows thou hast borne, And find that nought relents Parthenia's scorn, Sure he will pity thee.

Dioxir.

No, Laura, no. Should I, alas ! the sylvan dress forego, Then might he think that I her pride foment, That injur'd love instructs me to resent; Our secretenterprise might fatal prove : Man flies the plague of persecuting love.

I.AURA. Avoid Parthenia; lest his rage grow warm, Andjealousy resolve some fatal harm.

roloxe.

O Laura, if thou chance the youth to find,
Tell him what torments vex may anxious mind;
Should I once more his awful presence seek,
The silent tears would bathe my glowing cheek;
By rising sighs my faultering voice be stay’d,
And trembling fear too soon confess the maid.
Haste, Laura, then; his vengeful soul assuage,
Tell him, I’m guiltless; cool his blinded raze;
Tell him that truth sincere my friendship brought,
Let him not cherish one suspicious thought.
Then, to convince him his distrust was vain,
I'll never, never see that nymph again.
This way he went.

Laura.
See, at the call of Night,
The star of evening sheds his silver light
High o'er yon western hill: the cooling gales
Fresh odours breathe along the winding dales;
Far from their home as yet our shepherds stray,
To close with cheerful walk the sultry day.
Methinks from far I hear the piping swain;
Hark in the breeze now swells, now sinks the
Thither I'll seek him. [strain!

Dioxir. While this length of glade Shall lead me pensive through the sable shade; Where on the branches murmur rushing winds, Grateful as falling floods to love-sick minds; O may this path to Death's dark vale descend! There only can the wretched hope a friend. [Er severally.

ACT V. SCENE I. A wood.

Dione, Cleanthes (who lies wounded in a distant part of the stage). trione.

The Moon serene now climbs th’ aerial way; Sce, at her sight ten thousand stars decay :

With trembling gleam she tips the silent grove,
While all beneath the chequer'd shadows move.
Turn back thy silver axles, downward roll,
Darkness best fits the horrours of my soul.
Rise, rise, ye clouds; the face of Heaven deform,
Veil the bright goddess in a sable storm:
O look not down upon a wretched maid!
Let thy bright torch the happy lover aid,
And light his wandering footsteps to the bower
Where the kind nymph attends th’ appointed hour.
Yet thou best seen unhappy love, like mine;
Did not thy lamp in Heaven's blue forehead shine,
When Thisbe sought her love along the glade?
Didst thou not then behold the gleaming blade,
And gild the fatal point that stabb'd her breast?
Soon I, like her, shall seek the realms of rest.
Let groves of mournful yew a wretch surround !
O sooth my ear with melancholy sound !
The village-curs now stretch their yelling throat,
And dogs from distant cots return the note;
The ravenous wolf along the valley prowls,
And with his famish’d cries the mountain howls.
But hark! what sudden noise advances near :
Repeated groans alarm my frighted ear!

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Dion p. Say then, unhappy stranger, how you bled; Collect thy spirits, raise thy drooping head. [Cleanthes raises himself on his arm. O horrid sight! Cleanthes gasping lies; And Death's black shadows float before his eyes. Unknown in this disguise, I'll check my woe, And learn what bloody hand has struck the blow. - [Aside. Say, youth, ere Fate thy feeble voice confounds, What led thee hither ? whence these purple wounds 2 cleax thes. Stay, fleeting life; may strength a-while prevail, Lest my clos'd lips contine th' imperfect tale. Ere the streak'd east grew warm with amber ray, 1 from the city took my doubtful way; Far o'er the plains I sought a beauteous maid, Who, from the court, in these wide forests stray'd, Wanders unknown; as I, with weary pain, Try'd every path, and opening glade, in vain, A band of thieves, forth-rushing from the wood, Unsheath'd their daggers warm with daily blood; Deep in my breast the barbarous steel is dy'd, And purple hands the golden prey divide. Hence are these mangling wounds. Say, gentle If thou hast known among the sylvan train [swain, The vagrant nymph I seek?

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A father's power to me the virgin gave,
But she disdain'd to live a nuptial slave;
So fled her native home.

Dione.
'Tis then from thce
Springs the foul source of all her misery.
Could'st thou, thy selfish appetite to please,
Condemn to endless woes another's peace 2

cleanThrs. O spare me; nor my hapless love upbraid, While on my heart Death's frozen hand is laid! Go, seek her, guide her where Cleanthes bled; When she surveys her lover pale and dead, Tell her, that since she fled my hateful sight, Without remorse I sought the realms of night. Methinks I see her view these poor remains, And on her cheek indecent gladness reigns! Full in her presence cold Cleanthes lies, And not one tear stands trembling in her eyes! O let a sigh my hapless fate deplore! Cleanthes now controls thy love no more.

Idio Nr. How shall my lids confine these rising woes [Aside.

cirANThrs. O might I see her, ere Death's finger close These eyes for ever! might her soften’d breast Forgive my love with too much ardour prest' Then I with peace could yield my latest breath.

dioxf. Shall I not calm the sable hour of death, And show myself before him 1–Ha! he dies. See from his trembling lip the spirit flies! [Aside. Stay yet awhile. Dione stands confest. He knows me not. He faints, he sinks to rest.

cleanorhts. Tell her, since all my hopes in her were lost, ... That death was welcome– [Dies.

Dione. What sudden gusts of grief my bosom rend' A parent's curses o'er my head impend, For disobedient vows; O wretched maid, Those very vows Fvander hath betray'd. See, at thy feet Cleanthes bath'd in blood' For love of thee he trod this lonely wood; Thou art the cruel authoress of his fate; He falls by thine; thou, by Evander's hate. When shall my soul know rest? Cleanthes slain No longer sighs and weeps for thy disdain. Thou still art curst with love. Bleed, virgin, bleed. How shall a wretch from anxious life be freed' My troubled brain with sudden frenzy burns, . And shatter'd thought now this, now that way turns. What do I see thus glittering on the plains? Ha! the dread sword yet warm with crimson stains'

[Takes up the dagger.

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| What horrours on the guilty mind attend!

His conscience had reveng'd an injur'd friend,
Hadst thou not held the stroke. In death he sought
To lose the heart-consuming pain of thought.
Did not the smooth-tongu'd boy perfidious prove,
Plead his own passion, and betray my love?

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Dione. When low beneath the sable mould I rest, May a sincerer friendship share thy breast ! Why are those heaving groans? (ah! cease to weep') May my lost name in dark oblivion sleep; Let this sad tale no speaking stone declare, From future eyes to draw a pitying tear. Let o'er my grave the leveling plough-share pass, Mark not the spot; forget that e'er I was. Then may’st thou with Parthenia's love be blest, And not one thought on me thy joys molest! My swimming eyes are overpower'd with light, And darkening shadows fleet before my sight: May'st thou be happy! ah! my soul is free.

[Dies.

Lycidas. O cruel shepherdess! for love of thee [To Parthenia. This fatal deed was done.

Scen E THE LAST. Lycidas, parthenia, LAURA. LAURA.

Alexis slain'

Lycidas. Yes. 'Twas I did it. See this crimson stain' My hands with blood of innocence are dy'd. O may the Moon her silver beauty hide In rolling clouds' my soul abhors the light; Shade, shade the murderer in eternal night!

LAURA. No rival shepherd is before thee laid; There bled the chastest, the sincerest maid That ever sigh’d for love. On her pale face, Cannot thy weeping eyes the feature trace Of thy once dear Dione. With wan care Sunk are those eyes, and livid with despair!

LYCIDAs. Diome!

LAURA.

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—There pure Constancy lics dead!

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