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RHADAMISTUS,} his sons.
Megistus, a shepherd, preserver of Zenobia's life.
Attendants, Guards, fc.
, } courtiers.
Suspended, hangs upon the doubtful sword,
If here the trembling heart thus shrink with Zelm. Through the wide camp 'tis awful so- horror, litude !
Here in these tents, in this unpeopled camp, On every tent, which, at the morning's dawn, Oh! think, Zopiron, in yon field of death, Rung with the din of arms, deep silence sits, Where numbers soon in purple heaps shall Adding new terrors to the dreadful scene !
bleed, My heart dies in me !-hark! with hideous roar What feelings there must throb in every breast? The turbulent Araxes foams along,
How long, ambition, wilt thou stalk the earth,
The warlike king, victorious Pharasmanes,
Closes the scene of war. The Roman bands
Asia pours forth, a firm, undaunted host ! Zop. Why didst thou leave thy tent?-Why A nation under arms! and every bosom thus afflict
To deeds of glory fired !- Iberia thenThy anxious breast, thou partner of my heart? Zelm. Perish Iberia !--may the sons of Ronie Why wilt thou thus distract thy tender nature Pour rapid vengeance on her falling ranks, With groundless fears? Ere yonder sun shall That he, who tramples on the rights of nature, visit
May see his vassals overwhelmed in ruin, The western sky, all will be hushed to peace. May from yon field be led in sullen chains,
Zelm. The interval is borrid; big with woe, To grace the triumph of imperial Rome, With consternation, peril, and dismay !
And from the assembled senate humbly learn And oh! if here, while yet the fate of nations, The dictates of humanity and justice !
2op. Thy generous zeal, thy every sentiment Zelm. How fares it, madam, now? Charms my delighted soul. But thou be cau- Zen. My strength returns—I thank ye, gers tious,
rous maids, And check the rising ardour that inflames thee! And would I could requite you—fruitless thanks The tyrant spares nor sex nor innocence. Are all a wretch can give, Zelm. Indignant of controul, he spurns each First attend. The gentle office law,
Of mild benevolence our nature prompts Each holy sanction, that restrains the nations, Your merit too commands :-on Ariana And forins 'twixt man and man the bond of We tend with willing, with delighted care, peace.
And that delight o'erpays us for our trouble
. Zop. 'This is the tyger's den; with human gore Zen. Your cares for me denote a heart that For ever floats the pavement; with the shrieks
feels Of matrons weeping o'er their slaughtered sons, For others' woes. Methinks, with strength reThe cries of virgins, to the brutal arms
newed, Of violation dragged, with ceaseless groans I could adventure forth again. Of varied misery, for ever rings
Second attend. 'Twere best The dreary region of his cursed domain. Repose your wearied spirits—we will seek Zelm. To multiply his crimes, a beauteous Yon rising ground, and bring the swiftest tidings captive,
Of all the mingled tumult. The afflicted Ariana-she-for her,
2en. Go, my virgins ; For that fair excellence my bosom bleeds ! Watch well each movement of the marshailed She, in the prime of every blooming grace,
field; When next the glowing hour of riot comes, Each turn of fortune ;- let me know it all; Shall fall a victim to his base desires
Each varying circumstance. Zop. The bounteous gods may succour virtue
Zel. And will you thus,
Be doomed for ever, Ariana, thus
Zen. Alas! I'm doomed to weep—the wrath of Prevail o'er Asia's numbers
Heaven, Zelm. That event
With inexhausted vengeance, follows still, Is all our hope. And lo! on yonder rampart, And each day comes with aggravated woes. Trembling with wild anxiety, she stands,
Zel. Yet, when Iberia's king, when Pharasınanes, Invokes each god, and bids her straining eye With all a lover's fondnessExplore the distant field.
2en. Name him not ! Zop. Yes, there she's fixed
Name not a monster horrible with blood, A statue of despair! That tender bosom The widow's, orphan's, and the virgin's tears! Heaves with no common grief-I've marked her
Zel. Yet, savage
as he is, at sight of thee oft,
Each fiercer passion softens into love. And, if I read aright, some mighty cause To you he bends; the monarch of the east, Of hoarded anguish, some peculiar woe
Dejected, droops beneath your cold disdain, Preys on her mind unseen !-But, ha! behold, And all the tyranny of female pride. She faints; her fears, too powerful for her frame, Zen. That pride is virtue; virtue, that abhors Sink that frail beauty drooping to the earth. The tyrant reeking from a brother's mnrder!
[Exit hastily. Oh, Mithridates ! ever honoured shade! Zelm. Haste, fly, Zopiron, fly with instant suc- Peaceful he reigned, dispensing good around hiz cour;
In the mild eve of honourable days! Support her; help her ;-lo! the attendant train Through all her peopled realm Armenia felt Have caught her in their arms !-Assist her, His equal sway: The sunset of his power, Heaven,
With fainter beams, but undiminished glury, Assuage the sorrows of her gentle spirit! Still shone serene; while every conscious subject, Her fluttering sense returns ;-and now this way with tears of praise, beheld his calm deche, The virgins lead her. May the avenging gods, And blessed the parting ray !yet then, Zeltirin In pity of the woes such virtue feels,
Oh, fact accursed !-yes, Pharasmanes their In pity of the wrongs a world endures,
Detested perfidy! nor ties of blood, With power resistless arm the Roman legions, Nor sacred laws, nor the just gods, restrain hir That they may hurl, in one collected blow, In the dead midnight hour, the fell assassin Assured destruction on the tyrant's head! Rushed on the slumber of the virtuous man;
His life blood gushed! The venerable king Enter ZENOBIA, leaning on two attendants.
Waked, saw a brother armed against his lifeZen. A little onward, still a little onward Forgave him, and expired! Support my steps
Zel. Yet wherefore open
Afresh the wounds, which time long since hath | And with these arms, close-wreathing round his closed?
To perish with him in a fond embrace !
leftHis sceptre, saidst thou?
-urge that word no He clasped me to his heart-together both,
Locked in the folds of love, we plunged at once,
Zel.-This wondrous tale-this sudden burst
[A flourish of trumpets.
Enter TIGRANES, Soldiers, and some Prisoners.
Zen. Thy looks, Tigranes, indicate thy pur-
Is it not so?
Tig. As yet with pent up fury
With eager speed we urged our rapid march,
To where the Romans, tented in the vale,
With cold delay protract the lingering war.
At our approach their scanty numbers form
its share Thrown by, to moulder into silent dust!
Of havock in that scene of blood and horror,
Tig. With cautious eye as I explored the
forest, As yet an infant, in his tenderest years
Which rises thick near yonder ridge of moun-
Seeking, with silent march, the Roman camp.
Gods! could I ever hope to see her more? Works in her heart, and melts her into tears. Thou virtuous maid! thou darling of my age!
[Aside. Zen. It is it is Megistus ! once again, Zen. Driven to the margin of Araxes' food Thus let me fall and clasp his reverend knee, No means of flight-aghast, he looked around- Print the warm kiss of gratitude and love Wild throbbed his bosom with conflicting pas- Upon this trembling hand, and pour the tears, sions
The mingled tears of wonder and of joy! And must I, then'-tears gushed and choaked Meg. Rise, Ariana, rise—almighty gods ! his voice
The tide of joy and transport pours too fast "And must I leave thee, then, Zenobia ?-must Along these withered veins—it is too much 'Thy beauteous form'—he paused, then aimed a For a poor weak old man, worn out with grief ponjard
And palsied age, it is too much to bear! At his great heart-But, oh! I rushed upon hiin, Oh! Ariana, daughter of aflliction,
Have I then found thee? do I thus behold thee ! | And lets each passion stand confessed to view; Now I can die content !
Such too is Ariana; bold and open,
She kindly gives instructions to her foe,
Zel. Her foe, Tigranes !
, You bid the storm o'ercast our darksome ways; Softest compassion, unaffected wisdom, You gild the cloud with gleams of cheering To outward beauty lending higher charms, light;
Adorning and adorned ! the generous prince, Then comes a breath from you, and all is vanish- He too-full well thou knowest him-he unites ed!
In the heroic mould of manly firmness, Zen. Wherefore dejected thus
Each mild attractive art-oh! surely none Meg. Alas! to meet thee
Envy the fair renown that's earned by virtue. But for a moment, and then part for ever! Tig: None should, Zelmira. Ha ! those wäTo meet thee here, only to grieve thee more,
like notes ! To add to thy afflictions, wound that bosom Where mild affection, where each virtue
Enter TERIBAZUS. dwells,
Ter. Each weary soldier rest upon his artes, Just to behold thee, and then close my eyes
And wait the king's return—Zelmira, say, In endless night, while you survey my pangs
In these dark moments of impending horror, In the approaching agony of torment
How fares thy beauteous friend? her tender Zen. Talk not of agony; 'tis rapture all !
spirit And who has power to tear thee from my heart? But ill supports the fierce alarms of war. Meg. A las ! the charge of vile imputed guilt
Enter ZENOBIA. Zen. I know thy truth, thy pure exalted mind
Zen. Where is he? let me fly-oh! PhzxThy sense of noble deeds—imputed guilt ! Oh! none will dare-hast thou, Tigranes? what, Methought those sounds bespoke the king's a What is his crime? blush, foul traducer, blush!
proachOh ! [to Meg.) the wide world must own thy Oh! Teribazus, tell me—have the fates
This horrible suspenseTig. If in the conscious forest I beheld
Ter. I came, bright maid, Their dark complottings
To hush the wild emotions of thy heart Zen. Peace, vile slanderer, peace!
Devouring slaughter for a while suspends Thou knowest who captivates a monarch's Its ruthless rage; as either host advanced heart
In dread array, and from the burnished arros 'Tis I protect him-Ariana does it !
Of Asia's ranks redoubled sunbeams played, Thou, venerable man ! in my pavillion
Burning with bright diversities of day, I'll lodge thee safe from danger-oh! this joy, Came forth an herald from the Roman camp This best supreme delight the gods have sent, With proffered terms—my father deigned i a In pity for whole years of countless woe.
[Exit Zen. with Meg. To yield to mild persuasion—in his tent Tig. With what wild fury her conflicting pas- The ambassador of Rome will soon attend his sions
To sheathe the sword, and give the nation peace. Rise to a storm, a tempest of the soul !
Zen. But oh! no peace for me, misforture' I know the latent cause—her heart revolts,
heir ! And leagues in secret with the Roman arms. The wretched heir of misery! But now
Zel. Beware, Tigranes ! that excess of joy, A more than father found, yet cruel men Those quick, those varied passions strongly speak Would tear him from me-generous, genCTOS The stranger has an interest in her heart.
prince, Besides, thou knowest o'er Pharasmanes' will Spare an old man, whose head is white with a She holds supreme dominion
Nor let thein wound me with the sharpest pas Tig. True, she rules him
That ever tortured a poor bleeding heart! With boundless sway
Ter. Arise, my fair ; let not a storm of griel Zel. Nay, more to wake thy fears—
Thus bend to earth my Ariana's beauties; The youthful prince, the valiant Teribazus, Soon shall they all revive In secret sighs, and feels the ray of beauty Zen. They brought him fettered, Through every sense soft-thrilling to his heart. Bound like a murderer! Tigranes, he, He too becomes thy foe.
This is the author of the horrid charge Tig. Unguarded man!
He threatens instant death—but oh! protect, Whate'er he loves or hates, with generous warmth, Protect an innocent, a good old man, As nature prompts, that dares he to avow, Or stretch me with him on the moumful bier!
Ter. By Heaven, whoe'er he is, since dear to To trace his father's loved resemblance to me,
The dear, dear offspring of our bridal loves.
Zen. Resigned and patient I since dwelt with He waits his doom
Far in the mazes of a winding wood,
Midst hoary mountains, and deep caverned rocks,
But oh! the fond idea of my lord
Zen. Zelmira, this is happiness supreme ! The sun looked joyless down; each lonely night
My infant Rhadamistus! he is lost;
And the wide waste of war, the hell-hound troops
Her child again!
Alay still restore your royal husband too-
Zen. No god,
-I am Zenobia-I that ill-starred wretch ! Oh, Rhadamistus! oh, my honoured lord !
No pitying eye beheld thy decent form
That trembled on thy tongue, came bubbling up,
Zel. Yet be calm;
To misery like thine, the heartfelt joy
Zen. Yes, Zelinira,
That pure delight is mine, a ray from heaven
żel. May the propitious gods reward his care! And seek my lord in the dark realms of night;
Zen. With me he saved a dear, a precious boy, Seek his dear shade in every pensive grove, Then in the womb concealed; he saved my | And bear him all my constancy and love. child
A military procession. Enter PHARASMANES, 8c. Enter TIGRANES.
Phar. At length, the fame of Pharasmanes' Tig. A false accuser deemed !-artificer of fraud !
llath awed the nations round. Rome shrinks as Those words, intemperate boy--thy phrenzy, too, ghast Deluded fair! shall cost you dear atonement. With pale dismay, recalls her trembling legions, Yet, till occasion rise---the king approaches. And deprecates the war. Oh! what a scene
(Grand warlike music. Of glorious havoc had yon field beheld, Vol. I.