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And still, as darker grows the night,

Emits a brighter ray.'

40

SECOND PRIEST.

Why this delay? At length for joy prepare :
I read your looks, and see compliance there.
Come on, and bid the warbling rapture rise,
Our monarch's fame the noblest theme supplies.
Begin, ye captive bands, and strike the lyre,
The time, the theme, the place, and all conspire.

45

CHALDEAN WOMAN.

Air.
See the ruddy morning smiling,
Hear the grove to bliss beguiling;
Zephyrs through the woodland playing,
Streams along the valley straying.

50

FIRST PRIEST.

While these a constant revel keep,
Shall Reason only teach to weep?
Hence, intruder! we'll pursue
Nature, a better guide than you.

SECOND PRIEST.

Air.
Every moment as it flows

55
Some peculiar pleasure owes :
Come, then, providently wise,
Seize the debtor as it flies.
Think not to-morrow can repay
The pleasures that we lose? to-day :

60
To-morrow's most unbounded store 3
Can but

pay
its

proper score. 1 This is the other of the two songs which were extracted, re-written, and published in 1776, or earlier; see Poems, p. 83.-ED. ? Vars. The debt of pleasure lost.–First MS.

The pleasures we have lost, &c.- Erasure.

The debt that we have lost, &c.-Erasure. 3 Var.-Alas! to-morrow's richest store.--First MS.

FIRST PRIEST.

65

Recitative.
But, hush!' see, foremost of the captive choir,
The master prophet grasps his full-toned lyre.
Mark where he sits, with executing art,
Feels for each tone, and speeds it to the heart;
See, how prophetic rapture fills his form,
Awful as clouds that nurse the growing storm !
And now his voice, accordant to the string,
Prepares our monarch's victories to sing.

70

FIRST PROPHET.

Air.
From north, from south, from east, from west,

Conspiring nations come :
Tremble, thou vice-polluted breast;

Blasphemers, all be dumb.

75

The tempest gathers all around,

On Babylon it lies ;
Down with her! down-down, to the ground,

She sinks, she groans, she dies.

SECOND PROPHET.
Down with her, Lord, to lick the dust,

Ere yonder setting sun;
Serve her as she has served the just !

'Tis fix'd-it shall be done.

80

FIRST PRIEST.

Recitative.
No more! when slaves thus insolent presume,
The king himself shall judge, and fix their doom.
Unthinking wretches ! have not you and all
Beheld our power in Zedekiah's fall?

85

i Var.--hold !--First MS. ? Var.–Before yon setting sun.-First MS.

To yonder gloomy dungeon turn your eyes :
See where dethron'd your captive monarch lies,
Deprived of sight, and rankling in his chain;
See where he mourns his friends and children slain.
Yet know, ye slaves, that still remain behind 91
More ponderous chains, and dungeons more confin'd.

CHORUS OF ALL,

Arise, all potent ruler, rise,

And vindicate thy people's cause,
Till every tongue in every land

Shall offer up unfeign'd applause.

95

[Eveunt.

ACT III.
SCENE as before.

5

FIRST PRIEST.

Recitative.
Yes, my companions, Heaven's decrees are pass'd,
And our fix'd empire shall for ever last :
In vain the madd’ning prophet threatens woe,
In vain rebellion aims her secret blow;
Still shall our fame' and growing power be spread,
And still our vengeance crush the traitor's head.

Air.
Coeval with man
Our empire began,
And never shall fall
Till ruin shakes all.
When ruin shakes all,
Then shall Babylon fall.

10

FIRST PROPHET.

Recitative. 'Tis thus that pride triumphant rears the head : A little while, and all their power is fled. 1 Var.-name.-First MS. ? Var.-justice.--First MS. 3 Var.-the proud. First MS.

15

But, ha! what means yon sadly plaintive train,
That this way slowly bends along the plain ?
And now, methinks, to yonder bank they bear
A pallid corse, and rest the body there.
Alas! too well mine eyes indignant trace
The last remains of Judah's royal race :
Our monarch falls, and now' our fears are o'er,
Unhappy Zedekiah is no more!

20

25

Air.
Ye wretches who by fortune's hate,

In want and sorrow groan,
Come, ponder his severer fate,

And learn to bless your own.
You vain, whom youth and pleasure guide,

Awhile the bliss suspend;
Like yours, his life began in pride,

Like his, your lives shall end.

30

SECOND PROPHET.

Behold his wretched corse, with sorrow worn,
His squalid limbs with ponderous fetters torn ;
Those eyeless orbs that shock with ghastly glare,
These ill-becoming rags—that matted hair!
And shall not Heaven for this its terrors show, 35
Grasp the red bolt, and lay the guilty low ? 6
How long, how long, Almighty God of all,
Shall wrath vindictive threaten ere it fall !

ISRAELITISH WOMAN.

Air.
As panting flies the hunted hind,

Where brooks refreshing stray ;

40

1 Var,-onward. First MS. 2 Var.behold.-First MS. 3 Var.-Falln is our king, and all, &c.First MS. 4 Var.-Ye sons from Fortune's lap supplied, &c. 5 Var.-avenge the foe. First MS. 6 Var.–And deal its angry vengeance on the foe ?

1

And rivers through the valley wind,
That stop the hunter's

8 way :
Thus we, O Lord, alike distrest,

For streams of mercy long;
Those streamswhich cheer the sore opprest,

And overwhelm the strong.

45

FIRST PROPHET.

Recitative. But, whence that shout ? Good heavens! amazement all! See yonder tower just nodding to the fall : See where an army covers all the ground, Saps the strong wall, and * pours destruction round! The ruin smokes, destruction pours alongHow low the great, how feeble are the strong ! 5 The foe prevails, the lofty walls

o reclineO, God of hosts, the victory is Thine !

50

CHORUS OF ISRAELITES.

55

Down with them, Lord, to lick the dust;

Thy vengeance be begun :
Serve them as they have serv'd the just,

And let' Thy Will be done.

FIRST PRIEST.

60

Recitative.
All, all is lost! The Syrian army fails,
Cyrus, the conqueror of the world, prevails !
The ruin smokes, the torrent pours along-
How low the proud, how feeble are the strong!
Save us, O Lord ! to Thee, though late, we pray,

And give repentance but an hour's delay.
1 Var.—deprest.–Erasure. 2 Var. -Streams.-First MS.
3 Var.—Behold.—First MS.
* Var.—'Tis Cyrus here that pours, &c.—First MS.
5 These two lines are not in the first MS.LED.
& Var.–And now, behold, the battlements recline.-First MS.
7 Var.-O Lord.- Erasure.
8 Var.—Whither shall we fly.- Erasure.

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