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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,
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,
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.
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.
O Laura, if thou chance the youth to find,
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,
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?
A father's power to me the virgin gave,
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.
| What horrours on the guilty mind attend!
His conscience had reveng'd an injur'd friend,
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.
Lycidas. O cruel shepherdess! for love of thee [To Parthenia. This fatal deed was done.
Scen E THE LAST. Lycidas, parthenia, LAURA. LAURA.
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!
—There pure Constancy lics dead!