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Second PROPHET.

And though no temple richly drest,

Nor sacrifice is here;
We'll make his temple in our breast,
And offer up a tear.

[The first stanza repeated by the CHORUS.

Second PROPHET.

Recitative. That strain once more: it bids remembrance rise, And brings my long-lost country to mine eyes. Ye fields of Sharon, dress’d in flowery pride ; Ye plains where Jordan rolls its glassy tide ; Ye hills of Lebanon, with cedars crown'd; Ye Gilead groves, that fling perfumes around: These hills how sweet ! those plains how wond’rous fair ! But sweeter still, when Heaven was with us there.

Air.
O Memory, thou fond deceiver !

Still importunate and vain ;
To former joys recurring ever,

And turning all the past to pain ;

Hence, intruder, most distressing,

Seek the happy and the free;
The wretch who wants each other blessing,

Ever wants a friend in thee.

First PROPHET.

Recitatire. Yet, why complain? What, though by bonds confind, Should bonds repress the vigour of the mind ?

Have we not cause for triumph, when we see
Ourselves alone from idol-worship free?
Are not this very morn those feasts begun,
Where prostrate error hails the rising sun ?
Do not our tyrant lords this day ordain
For superstitious rites and mirth profane ?
And should we mourn ? Should coward virtue fly,
When impious folly rears her front on high ?
No; rather let us triumph still the more,
And as our fortune sinks, our wishes soar.

Air.
The triumphs that on vice attend
Shall ever in confusion end ;
The good man suffers but to gain,
And every virtue springs from pain :

As aromatic plants bestow
No spicy fragrance while they grow,
But crush'd or trodden to the ground,
Diffuse their balmy sweets around.

Second PROPHET.

Recitative.

But hush, my sons ! our tyrant lords are near ;
The sound of barbarous mirth offends mine ear ;
Triumphant music floats along the vale ;
Near, nearer still, it gathers on the gale;
The growing sound their swift approach declares ;-
Desist, my sons, nor mix the strain with theirs.

Enter CHALDEAN Priests, attended.

First PRIEST.

Air.

Come on, my companions, the triumph display ;

Let rapture the minutes employ ;
The sun calls us out on this festival day,

And our monarch partakes in the joy.

Second PRIEST.

Like the sun, our great monarch all rapture supplies,

Both similar blessings bestow :
The sun with his splendour illumines the skies,

And our monarch enlivens below.

A Chaldean WOMAN.

Air.
Haste, ye sprightly sons of pleasure ;
Love presents its brightest treasure,

Leave all other joys for me.

A Chaldean ATTENDANT.

Or rather Love's delights despising,
Haste to raptures ever rising :

Wine shall bless the brave and free.

First PRIEST.

Wine and beauty thus inviting,
Each to different joys exciting,

Whither shall my choice incline ?

Second PRIEST.

I'll waste no longer thought in choosing ;
But, neither this nor that refusing,

I'll make them both together mine.

Recitative.

But whence, when joy should brighten o'er the land,
This sullen gloom in Judah's captive band ?
Ye sons of Judah, why the lute unstrung?
Or why those harps on yonder willows hung ?
Come, take the lyre, and pour the strain along, ,
The day demands it ; sing us Sion's song.
Dismiss your griefs, and join our warbling choir ;
For who like you can wake the sleeping lyre !

Second PROPHET.

Bow'd down with chains, the scorn of all mankind,
To want, to toil, and every ill consign'd,
Is this a time to bid us raise the strain,
And mix in rites that Heaven regards with pain ?
No, never! May this hand forget each art
That speeds the power of music to the heart,
Ere I forget the land that gave me birth,
Or join with sounds profane its sacred mirth !

First PRIEST.

Insulting slaves ! if gentler methods fail,
The whips and angry tortures shall prevail.

[Exeunt CHALDEANS.

First PROPHET.
Why, let them come, one good remains to cheer ;
We fear the Lord, and know no other fear.

Chorus.
Can whips or tortures hurt the mind
On God's supporting breast reclind ?
Stand fast, and let our tyrants see,
That fortitude is victory.

[Exeunt.

ACT II.

Scene as before.

Chorus of ISRAELITES.
O peace of mind, angelic guest !
Thou soft companion of the breast !

Dispense thy balmy store.
Wing all our thoughts to reach the skies,
Till earth, receding from our eyes,

Shall vanish as we soar.

First PRIEST.

Recitative.
No more! Too long has justice been delay'd ;
The king's commands must fully be obey'd :
Compliance with his will your peace secures,
Praise but our gods, and every good is yours.
But if, rebellious to his high command,
You spurn the favours offer'd at his hand;

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