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The nurse stood near, in whose embraces prest
His only hope hung smiling at her breast,
Whom each soft charm and early grace adorn,
Fair as the new-born star that gilds the morn.
To this lov'd infant Hector gave
Scamandrius, from Scamander's honour'd stream;
Astyanax the Trojans call'd the boy,
From his great father, the defence of Troy.
Silent the warrior smil'd, and pleas'd resign'd
To tender passions all his mighty mind.
His beauteoas princess cast a mournful look,
Hung on his hand, and then dejected spoke ;
Her bosom labour'd with a boding sigh,
And the big tear stood trembling in her eye.
Too daring prince! ah whither dost thou run ?
Ah too forgetful of thy wife and son !
And think'st thou not how wretched we shall be,
A widow I, an helpless orphan he !
For sure such courage length of life denies,
And thou must fall, thy virtue's sacrifice.
Greece in her single heroes strove in vain;
Now hosts oppose thee, and thou must be slain!
Oh grant me, gods ! ere Hector meet his doom,
All I can ask of Heav'n, an early tomb !
So shall my days in one sad tenour run,
And end with sorrows as they first begun,
No parent now remains my grief to share,
No father's aid, no mother's tender care.
The fierce Achilles wrapt our walls in fire,
Laid Thebe waste, and slew my warlike sire!
His fate compassion in the victor bred;
Stern as he was, he yet rever'd the dead,
His radiant arins preserv’d from hostile spoil,
And laid him decent on the fun'ral pile ;
Then rais'd a mountain where his bones were burn'd:
The mountain-nymphs the rural tomb adorn'd;
Jove's sylvan daughters bade their elms bestow
A barren shade, and in his honour grow,
By the same arm my seven brave brothers fell;
In one sad day beheld the gates of hell :
While the fat herds and snowy flocks they fed ;
Amid their fields the hapless heroes bled!
My mother liv'd to bear the victor's bands,
The Queen of Hippoplacia's sylvan lands:
Redeem'd too late, she scarce beheld again
Her pleasing empire and her native plain,
When ah! opprest by life-consuming woe,
She fell a victim to Diana's bow.
Yet while my Hector still survives, I see
My father, mother, brethren, all in thee :
Alas! my parents, brothers, kindred, all
Once more will perish, if my Hector fall.
Thy wife, thy infant, in thy danger share:
Oh prove a husband's and á father's care!
That quarter most the skilful Greeks annoy,
Where yon' wild fig-trees join the wall of Troy :
Thou, from this tow'r, defend the important post;
There Agamemnon points his dreadful host,
That pass Tydides, Ajax, strive to gain,
And there the vengeful Spartan fires his train.
Thrice our bold foes the fierce attack have giv'n,
Or led by hopes, or dictated from Heav'n.
Let others in the field their arms employ,
But stay my liector here, and guard his Troy.
The Chief reply'd : that post shall be my care,
Nor that alone, but all the works of war,
How would the sons of Troy, in arms renown'd,
And Troy's proud dames, whose garments sweep the ground,
Attaint the lustre of my former naine,
Should Hector basely quit the field of fame?
My early youth was bred to martial pains,
My soul impels me to th' embattled plains :
Let me be foremost to defend the throne,
And guard my father's glories and my own.
Yet come it will, the day decreed by fates :
(How my heart trembles, while my tongue relates!)
The day when thou, imperial Troy, must bend,
And see thy warriors fall, thy glories end.
And yet no clire presage so wounds my mind,
My mother's death, the ruin of my kind,
Not Priam's hoary hairs defil'd with gore,
Not all my brothers gasping on the shore ;
As thine, Andromache! thy griefs 1 dread ;
I see thee treinbling, weeping, captive led !
In Argive looms our battles to design,
And woes of which so large a part was thine !
To bear the victor's hard commands, or bring
The weight of waters from Hyperia's spring.
There, while you groan beneath the load of life,
They cry, behold the mighty Hector's wife!
Some haughty Greek, who lives thy tears to see,
Embitters all thy woes, by naming me.
The thoughts of glory past, and present shame,
A thousand griefs shall waken at the name :
May I be cold before that dreadful day,
Press'd with a load of monumental clay !
Thy Hector, wrapt in everlasting sleep,
Shall neither hear thee sigh, nor see thee weep.
Thus having spoke, th’ illustrious chief of Troy
Stretch'd his fond arms to clasp the lovely boy.
The babe clung crying to his nurse's breast,
Scar'd at the dazzling helm, and nodding crest.
With secret pleasure each fond parent smild,
And Hector hasted to relieve his child,
The glitt'ring terrors from his brows unbound,
And plac'd the beaming helmet on the ground;
Then kiss'd the child, and lifting high in air,
Thus to the gods preferr'd a father's pray'r.
O thou ! whose glory fills th' æthereal throne, And all ye deathless pow'rs! protect my son! Grant him, like me, to purchase just renown, Ta guard the Trojans, to defend the crown, Against his country's foes the war to wage, And rise the Hector of the future age! So when triumphant from successful toils Of heroes slain he bears the reeking spoils, Whole hosts may hail him with deserv'd acclaim, And say, this chief transcends his father's fame : While pleas'd amidst the gen'ral shouts of Troy, His mother's conscious heart o'erflows with joy.
He spoke, and fondly gazing on her charms, Restor'd the pleasing burthen to her arms; Soft on her fragrant breast the babe she laid, Hush'd to repose, and with a smile survey'd. The troubld pleasure soon chastis'd by fear, She mingled with a smile a tender tear. The soften'd chief with kind compassion view'd, And dry'd the falling drops, and thus pursu'd.
Andromache! my soul's far better part, With what untimely sorrows heaves thy heart? No hostile hand can antedate my doom, Till fate condemns me to the silent tomb.
Fix'd is the term of all the race of earth;
And such the hard condition of our birth,
No force can then resist, no flight can save;
All sink alike, the fearful and the brave.
No more--but hasten to thy tasks at home,
There guide the spindle, and direct the loom :
Me glory summons to the martial scene,
The field of combat is the sphere for men.
Where heroes war, the foremost place I claim,
The first in danger as the first in fame.
Thus having said, the glorious chief resumes
His tow'ry helmet, black with shading plumes,
His princess parts with a prophetic sigh,
Unwilling parts, and oft reverts her eye
That stream'd at ev'ry look: then moving slow,
Sought her own palace, and indulg'd her woe.
There, while her tears deplor'd the godlike man,
Thro' all her train the soft infection ran;
The pious maids their mingled sorrows shed,
And mourn the living Hector, as the dead.
ODE for Music on St. Cecilia's Day.
DESCEND, ye nine! descend and sing;
The breathing instruments inspire,
Wake into voice each silent string,
And sweep the sounding lyre !
In a sadly-pleasing strain,
Let the warbling lute complain :
Let the loud trumpet sound,
"Till the roofs all around
The shrill echoes rebound :
While in more lengthen'd notes and slow,
The deep, majestic, solemn organs blow.
Hark! the numbers, soft and clear,
Gently steal upon
Now louder, and yet louder rise,
And fill with spreading sounds the skies;
Exulting in triumph now swell the bold notes,
In broken air, trembling, the wild music floats;
'Till, by degrees, remote and small,
The strains decay,
And melt away,
In a dying, dying fall.
By Music, minds an equal temper know,
Nor swell too high, nor sink too low.
If in the breast tumultuous joys arise,
Music her soft assuasive voice applies;
Or, when the soul is press'd with cares,
Exalts ber in enlivening airs.
Warriors she fires with animated sounds;
Pours balın into the bleeding lover's wounds :
Melancholy lifts her head,
Morpheus rouzes from his bed,
Sloth unfolds her arms and wakes,
List'ning Envy drops her snakes;
Intestine war no more our passionis wage,
And giddy factions hear away
But when our country's cause provokes to arms,
How martial Music every bosom warms!
So when the first bold vessel dar'd the seas,
High on the stern the Thracian rais’d his strain,
While Argo saw her kindred trees
Descend from Pelion to the main.
Transported demi-gods stood round,
And men grew heroes at the sound,
Inflam'd with glory's charms :
Each chief his sev'nfold shield display'd,
And half unsheath'd the shining blade :
And seas, and rocks, and skies rebound,
To arms, to arms, to arms !
But when thro' all th' infernal bounds,
Which flaming Phlegethon surrounds,
Love, strong as Death, the Poet lead
To the pale nations of the dead,
What sounds were heard,
What scenes appear’d,
O'er all the dreary coasts!
Fires that glow,
Shrieks of woe,
And cries of tortur'd ghosts!
But hark! he strikes the golden lyre;
And see, the tortur'd ghosts respire :