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Enter ALEXANDER in a Triumphal Car drawn by Block
Slaves, Trophies and Marlike Ensigns in Procession
before him; CLYTUS, HEPHESTION, LYSIMACHUS,
ARISTANDER, Captives, Guards, and attendants.
See the cong'ring hero comes,
Sound the trumpet beat the drums;
Sports prepare, the laurel bring,
Sports of triumph to him sing.
See the godlike youth advance,
Breathe the flute and lead the dance ;
Myrtle, wreath, and roses twine
To deck the hero's brow divine,
Heph. Hail, son of Jovel great Alexander' hail.
Alex Rise all; and thou my second selt, my friend,
Oh, my Hephestion I raise thee from the earth!
Come to my arms, and hide thee in my heart;
Nearer, yet nearer, else thou lov'st me not.
Heph. Not love my king 1 bear witness all ye powers,
And let your thunder nail me to the centre,
If sacied friendship ever burn'd more brightly!
Immortal bosoms can alone admit
A Aime more pure, more permanent, than mine.
Alex. Thou dearer to me than my groves of laurel,
I know thou lov'st thy Alexander more
Than Clytus dces the king.
Lys. Now for my fate!
I see that death awaits me-yet I 'll on.
Dread sir! I cast me at your royal feet.
Alex. Rise, my Lysimachus; thy veins and mine
From the same fountain have deriv'd their streams :
Rise to my arms, and let thy king embrace thee.
Is not that Clytus ?
Clyt. Your old faithful soldier.
Alex. Clytus, thy hand—thy hand Lysimachus;
Thus double arm'd methinks
I stand tremendous as the Lybian god,
Who while his priests and I quaff'd sacred blood
Acknowledg’d me his son: my lightning thou,
And thou my mighty thunder. I have seen
Thy glitt'ring sword outfly celestial fire ;
And when l'ave cry'd begone and execute,
l'ave seen him run swifter than starting hinds,
Nor bent the tender grass beneath his feet.
Lys. When fame invites, and Alexander leads,
Dangers and toils but animate the brave.
Clyl. Perish the soldier inglorious and despis'd,
Who starts from either when the king cries--On.
Alex. Oh, Clytus! oh, my noble veteran !
'Twas, I remember, when I pass'd the Granicus
His arm preserv'd me from the unequal force:
When fierce Itanor and the bold Rhesaces
Fell both upon me with two mighty blows,
And clove my temper'd helmet quite asunder,
Then like a god flew Clytus to my aid,
Thy thunder struck Rhesaces to the ground,
And turn'd with ready vengeance on Itanor,
Clyt. To your own deeds that victory you owe;
And sure your arms did never boast a nobler.
Alex. By heaven they never did; they never can; And I more glory to have pass'd that stream Than to have drove a million o'er the plain. Can none remember, yes I know all must, When glory like the dazzling eagle stood Perch'd on my beaver in the Granick flood ; When fortune's self my standard trembling bore, And the pale fates stood frighted on the shore ; When each immortal on the billows rode, And I myself appear'd the leading god ?
Arist. Haste, first of hero's, from this fatal place;
Far, far from Babylon enjoy your triumph,
Or all the glories which your youth has won
Are blasted in their spring.
Alex. What mean thy fears?
And why that wild distraction on thy brow?
Arist. This morn, greatking! I view'd the angry sky,
And frighted at the direful prodigies
To Orosmades for instructions Aew;
But as I pray'd deep echoing groans I heard,
And shrieks as of the damn'd that howl for sin :
Shock'd at the omen, while amaz'd I lay
In prostrate rev'rence on the trembling floor,
Thus spoke the god:
The brightest glory of imperial man,
The pride of nations, and the boast of fame ;
Remorseless fate in Babylon has doom'd
To sudden and irrevocable ruin.
Alex. If Heaven ordains that Babylon must fall Can I prevent th’immutable degreer
Per. O horrorl horrorl dreadful and portentous !
Alex. How now Perdiccas I whence this exclamation ?
Per. As Meleager and myself this morn
Led forth the Persian horse to exercise,
We heard a noise as of a rushing wind ;
When suddenly a flight of baleful birds,
Like a thick cloud, obscur'd the face of Heaven;
On sounding wings from diff'rent parts they Аew,
Encount'ring met, and battled in the air-
Their talons clash'd, their heaks gave mighty blows,
And showers of blood fell copious from their wounds.
Alex. Tho' all the curtains of the sky were drawn,
And the stars wink, young Ammon shall go on.
While my Statira shines I cannot stray,
Love lifts bis torch to light me on my way,
And her bright eyes create another day.
Lys. Vouchsafe, dread sir I to hear my humble suit;
A prince entreats it.
Alex. A soldier asks it--that the noblest claim.
Lys. For all the services my word has done
Humbly I beg the Princess Parasitas.
Alex. Lysimachus, no more-it is not well-
My word, you know, was to Hephestion given:
Lys. At your command to scale th'embattled wall,
Or fetch the gore-dy'd standard from the foe,
When has Hephestion flown with warmer zeal?
When did he leave Lysimachus behind?
ese I have done, for these were in my power;
But when you charge me to renounce my love,
And from my thoughts to banish Parisatis,
Obedience there becomes impossible,
Nature revolts, and my whole soul rebels.
Alex. It does, brave sir!-Now hear me and be
When by my order curst Calisthenes
Was as a traitor doom'd to live in torments,
Your pity sped him in despite of me;
Think not I have forgot your insolence,
No, tho' I pardon’d it-Yet if again
Thou dar'st to cross me with another crime;
The bolts of fury shall be doubled on thee.
In the mean time-think not of Parisatis,
For if thou dost by the immortal Ammon
I'll not regard the blood of mine thou shar'st,
But use thee as the vilest Macedonian.
Lys. I knew you partial ere I mov’d my suit;
Yet know it shakes not
my determin'd purpose : While I have life and strength to wield a sword I never will forego the glorious claim.
Alex. Against my life! ha! traitor, was it so?
'Tis said that I am rash, of hasty humour;
But I appeal to the immortal gods
If every petty, poor, provincial lord
Had temper like to mine? My slave, whom I
Could tread to clay, dares utter bloody threats!
Clyt. Forgive, dread sir ! the frantic warmth of love; The noble prince, I read it in his eyes,