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Yet none had courage to prevent this murder:
* [Falls on CLYTUs.
Per. Treason! foul treason! Hephestion, where's
the king 2 Heph. There, by old Clytus' side, whom he hatn slain. Per. Rise, sacred sir: and haste to save the queen.
Roxana, filled with furious jealousy, -
ACT THE FIFTH.
The Bower of Semiramis,
Stat. Bless me, ye powers above, and guard my virtue ! Where are you fled, dear shades? where are you fled 2 "Twas but a dream, and yet I saw and heard My royal parents, who, while pious care Sat on their faded cheeks, pronounced with tears, Tears such as angels weep, this hour my last! But hence with fear—my Alexander comes, And fear and danger ever fled from him. My Alexander—would that he were here! For oh, I tremble, and a thousand terrors Rush in upon me, and alarm my heart! - [Flourish of Trumpets. But hark' 'tis he, and all my fears are fled: My life, my joy, my Alexander, comes Ror. [Within..] Make fast the gate, with all its massy bars: At length we have conquered this stupendous height, And reached the grove. . . Stat. Ye guardian gods defend me! Roxana's voice! then all the vision's true, And die I must.
Roz. Secure the brazen gate. Where is my rival? 'tis Roxana calls: Stat. And what is she, who, with such towering pride, Would awe a princess that is born above her. Ror. Behold this dagger! "Tis thy fate, Statira! Behold, and meet it as becomes a queen. Fain would I find thee worthy of my vengeance; Here, take my weapon then, and if thou darest— Stat. How little know'st thou what Statira dares Yes, cruel woman! yes, I dare meet death With a resolve at which thy coward heart Would shrink; for terror haunts the guilty mind; While conscious innocence, that knows no fear, Can smiling pass, and scorn thy idle threats. , Row. Return, fair insolent return, I say: Darest thou, presumptuous, to invade my rights : Restore him quickly to my longing arms, And with him give me back his broken vows, For, perjured as he is, he still is mine, Or I will rend them from thy bleeding heart. Stat. Alas, Roxana' 'tis not in my power; I cannot if I would—and oh, ye gods ! What were the world to Alexander's loss | Ror. Oh, sorceress' to thy accursed charms’ I owe the phrensy that distracts my soul; To them I owe my Alexander's loss: Too late thou tremblest at my just revenge, My wrongs cry out, and vengeance will have way. [Holds up the Dagger Stat. Hold, hold, thy hand advanc'd in air: I read my sentence written in thine eyes; Yet oh, Roxana! on thy black revenge One kindly ray of female pity beam; And give me death in Alexander's presence.
Row. Not for the world's wide empire shouldst thou see him. Fool' but for him thou might'st unheeded live; For his sake only art thou doom'd to die. The sole remaining joy that glads my soul, Is to deprive thee of the heart I have lost.
Slave. Madam, the king and all his guards are come; With frantic rage they thunder at the gate, And must ere this have gained admittance, Ror. Ha . , Too long I have trifled. Let me then redeem The time mispent, and make great vengeance Sure, Stat. Is Alexander, oh ye gods ! so nigh, And can he not preserve me from her fury? Row, Nor he nor Heaven shall shield thee from my justice. Die, sorceress, die, and all my wrongs die with thee! - - [Stabs her. Alexander. [Without..] Away, yeslaves! stand off; Nor Heaven nor earth shall stop me.
Enter ALEXANDER, Lysimachus, Cassander, Psk-
Ha! Oh! my soul! my queen, my love, Statira!
Ror. Behold the wretch, who, desperate of thy love, - In jealous madness gave the fatal blow ! Aler. To dungeons, tortures, drag her from my sight. Stat. My soul is on the wing: Farewell, my most loved lord: ah, me! farewell! Yet ere I die grant this request. Spare Roxana's life—'Twas love of you that caused The death she gave me. And oh! sometimes think, Amidst your revels, think on your poor queen: And ere the cheerful bowl salutes your lips,
All, all is hushed, no music now is heard;