페이지 이미지
PDF

Heph. Hail, son of Jove! great Alexander, hail! Alex. Rise all; and thou, my second self, my friend, Oh, my Hephestion 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 ! bear witness, all ye powers, And let your thunder nail me to the centre, If sacred friendship ever burn'd more brightly Immortal bosoms can alone admit A flame more pure, more permanent than mine. Aler. Thou dearer to me than my groves of laurel, I know thou lov'st thy Alexander more Than Clytus does 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. Aler. 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. Aler. Clytus, thy hand—thy hand, Lysimachus; Thus doubly arm’d, methinks, I stand tremendous as the Lybian god, Who, while the 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 I've cried begone and execute, I've seen him run swifter than starting hinds, Norbent the tender grass beneath his feet. Lys. When fame invites, and Alexander leads, Dangers and toils but animate the brave. Clyt. Perish the soldier, inglorious and despis'd, Who starts from either when the king cries—On

Aler. Oh, Clytus ! oh, my noble veteran'
'Twas, I remember, when I pass'd the Granicus,
His arm preserv'd me from 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.

Aler. By Heav'n 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 Granic 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!

Enter ARISTANDER. Arist. Haste, first of Heroes, 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. Aler. What mean thy fears? And why that wild distraction on thy brow? Arist. This morn, great king! I view'd the angry sky. And frighted at the direful prodigies, To Orosmades for instruction flew ; But, as I prayed, 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 decree?

Enter PERDIccAs.

Per. O horror! horror! dreadful and portentous ! Aler. How now, Perdiccas' 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 flew, Encount'ring met, and battled in the air— Their talons clash'd, their beaks 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 his torch to light me on my way, And her bright eyes create another day. Lys. Vouchsafe, dread sir! to hear my humble suit; A prince entreats it, and, what's more, your kinsImall, Alex. A soldier asks it—that's the noblest claim. Lys. For all the services my sword has done, Humbly I beg the Princess Parisatis. Alex. Lysimachus—no more—it is not well

My word, you know, is to Hephestion given;
How dare you then—let me hear no more on't,
Lys. * 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
These I have done; for these were in my pow'r;
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,
Aler. It does, brave sir!—Now hear me, and be
dumb ;
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.
Aler. Against my life! has traitor, was it 80?
'Tis said that am I 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,

Would die a thousand deaths to serve his king,
And justify his loyalty and truth.
Lys. I meant, his minion there should feel my
artin.
Love claims his blood, nor shall he live to triumph
In that destruction that awaits his rival.
Aler. I pardon thee, for my old Clytus' sake;
But if once more thou mention thy rash love,
Or dar'st attempt Hephestion's precious life,
I'll pour such storms of indignation on thee,
Philotas' rack, Calisthenes' disgrace,
Shall be delight to what thou shalt endure.
Clyt. My lord, the aged queen, with Parisatis,
Come to congratulate your safe arrival.

Enter SysigAMBIs and PARISATIs.

Aler. Oh, thou, the best of women, Sysigambis’ Source of my joy, blest parent of my love .

Sys. In humble duty to the gods and you,
Permit us, sir, with gratitude to bow.
Thro' you the royal house of Persia shines,
Rais'd from the depth of wretchedness and ruin,
In all the splendour of imperial greatness.

Aler. To meet me thus was generously done :
But still there wants, to crown my happiness,
That treasure of my soul, the dear Statira !
Had she but come to meet her Alexander,
I had been blest indeed

Clyt. Now who shall dare
To tell him of the queen's vow

Aler. How fares
My love?—Ha! neither answer me! all sileni i
A sudden horror, like a bolt of ice,
Shoots to my heart, and 'numbs the seat of life.

Heph. I would relate it, but my courage fails me.

Aler. Why stand you all as you were rooted

here?

C

« 이전계속 »