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Chorus of Matrons and Virgins.
Ever may his mighty arm
Priests of Jupiter.
The earth was troubled at his host,
Chorus of all.
There the brave Three Hundred died,
Faithful by their prince's side:
There they conquer'd, though they died. Priests O^hercules.
On earth below, in heaven above,
Chorus of all.
Bend thy bow, Tyrinthius, bend,
Lightly on the earth descend.
Fix an arrow on the string,
Stand beside the Spartan king,
Agis of thy race divine,
Tried in labours like to thine. Undaunted, like thee, with monsters he strives; The fiercest of Hydras in faction revives.
If he falls a sacrifice,
Never more shall Sparta rise! [Exeunt.
As the Procession goes off, enter Amphares.
Amph. Thus may my pious foes for ever strive, Be theirs the airy aid of fabled Jove. In nearer and more certain force I trust: Of human race, I fight with mortal arms. Yet, praised be Fortune, goddess of my vows,
'Tis she whose happy hand leads forth these dames;
Athenian Pallas! O my native Gods!
Enter Lysander in a Helot's garb.
Helot, if pity, or if gold
Euan. O heaven and earth! Lysander!
Lysan. Yes, my love!
Euan. Amidst the clash of arms,
Lysan. Then all is safe ; for Sparta lives in him.
Euan. But the good queen!
Lysan. Her sex, her age protects her.
Euan. Heaven grant they may; an impious
band in arms
Pursued the holy train. Fear gave me speed, For I outstript them all. But now, Lysander, Betray'd, encompass'd, now what shall we do?
Lysan. Wert thou but safely placed, Lysander
What he should do. I must not tarry here.
Elian. Whither dost thou go?
Lysan. In this inglorious garb disguised, I wait Till night and darkness come; then I attempt The wall, where'er I find it slightly guarded. What mortal arm shall then oppose my way, Urged as I am! Alas, my loved Euanthe! From my compliance with thy fond request Springs the worst evil of this dreadful hour.