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THE CAPTIVITY.

AN ORATORIO.*

* (Written in 1764, and now printed from the original manuscript, in Goldsmith's handwriting, in the possession of Mr. Murray.—See LIFE, ch. xiv.1

THE PERSONS.

First JEWISH PROPHET.
SECOND JEWISH PROPHET.
ISRAELITISH WOMAN.
FIRST CHALDEAN PRIEST.
SECOND CHALDEAN Priest.
CHALDEAN WOMAN.
CHORUS OF YOUTHS AND Virgixs,

SCENE.- The Banks of the River Euphrates, near Babylon THE CAPTIVITY.

ACT I.--SCENE I.

ISRAELITES sitting on the Banks of the Euphrates,

First PROPHET.

Recitative.

Ye captive tribes, that hourly work and weep,
. Where flows Euphrates, murmuring to the deep;

Suspend awhile the task, the tear suspend,
And turn to God, your father and your friend;
Insulted, chain'd, and all the world a foe,
Our God alone is all we boast below.

First PROPHET.

Air.

Our God is all we boast below,

To him we turn our eyes ;
And every added weight of woe

Shall make our homage rise.

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.

Arr.

O Memory, thou fond decciver!

Still importunate and vain ;
To former joys recurring ever,

And turning all the past to pain :

Hence, intruder, most distressing,

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

Ever wants a friend in thee.

First PROPHET.

Recitative.

Yet, why complain? What, though by bonds confin'd,
Should bonds repress the vigor 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;

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