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For sure, such courage length of life denies;
And thou must fall, thy virtue's sacrifice.
Greece in her single heroes strove in vain ;
Now hosts oppose thee-and thou must be slain.
Oh, grant me, gods! ere Hector meets his doom,
All I can ask of heaven-an early tomb!
So shall my days in one sad tenor run,
And end with sorrows, as they first begun.
Thy wife, thy infant, in thy danger share;
Oh! prove a husband's, and a parent's care.
That quarer most the skilful Greek's annoy,
Where yon wild fig-tree joins the wall of Troy :
Thrice our bold foes the fierce attack have given;
Or led by hopes, or dictated from heaven.
Let others in the field their arms employ;
But stay my Hector here, and guard his Troy."
The chief replied "That post shall be my care;
Nor that alone, but all the works of war.
How would the sons of Troy, in arms renown'd,
And Troy's proud dames, whose garments sweep the ground
Attaint the lustre of my former name,
Should Hector basely quit the field of fame!
My early youth was bred to warlike pains;
My soul impels me to the martial plains.">
Still foremost let me stand to guard the throne,
To save my father's honours and my own.
Yet, come it will! the day decreed by fates!
(How my heart trembles while my tongue relates!)
The day when thou, imperial Troy, must bend,
Must see thy warriors fall, thy glories end,
And yet, no dire presage so wounds my mind,
My mother's death, the ruin of my kind,
Not Priam's hoary hairs, defiled with gore,
Not all my brothers gasping on the shore,
As thine, Andromache! Thy griefs I dread!
I see thee trembling, weeping, captive led,
In Argive looms our battles to design,
And woes, of which so large a part was thine.
There, while you groan beneath the load of life,
They cry-"Behold the mighty Hector's wife!"
Some haughty Greek, who lives thy tears to see,
Embitters all thy woes by naming me.
The thoughts of glory past, and present shame,
A thousand griefs shall waken at the name!
May I lie cold before that dreadful day,
Press'd with a load of monumental clay!
Thy Hector wrapp'd in everlasting sleep,
Shall neither hear thee sigh, nor see thee weep."
Thus having spoke, th' illustrious chief of Troy
Stretch'd his fond arms to clasp the lovely boy.
The habe clung, crying, to the nurse's breast,
Scar'd with the dazzling helm, and nodding crest.
With secret pleasure, each fond parent smil'd,
And Hector hasted to relieve his child:
The glitt'ring terrors from his brows unbound,
And plac'd the beaming helmet on the ground.
Then kiss'd the child; and, lifting high in air,
Thus to the gods preferr'd a parent's prayer.
"Oh thou, whose glory fills the etherial throne!
And all ye deathless powers! protect my son!
Grant him, like me, to purchase just renown,
To guard the Trojans, to defend the crown;
Against his country's foes the war to wage,
And rise the Hector of the future age.
So when triumphant from successful toils,
Of heroes slain he bears the reeking spoils,
Whole hosts may hail him with deserved acclaim,
"This chief transcends his father's fame;"
While, pleas'd amidst the general shouts of Troy,
His mother's conscious heart o'erflows with joy."
He spoke and, fondly gazing on her charms,
Restor❜d the pleasing burden to her arms.
Soft on her fragrant breast the babe she laid,
Hush'd to repose, and with a smile survey'd:
The troubled pleasure, soon chastis'd with fear,
She mingled with the smile, a tender tear.
The soften'd chief with kind compassion view'd,
And dry'd the falling drops; and thus pursu'd―
"Andromache! my soul's far better part!
Why with untimely sorrow heaves thy heart?
No hostile hand can antedate my doom,
Till fate condemn me to the silent tomb :
Fix'd is the term of all the race of earth;
And such the hard condition of our birth.
No force can then resist, no flight can save ;
All sink alike, the fearful and the brave.
No more-but hasten to thy tasks at home;
There guide the spindle, and direct the loom.
Me, glory summons to the martial scene;
The field of combat is the sphere for men:
Where heroes war, the foremost place I claim,
The first in danger, as the first in fame."
Thus having said, th' undaunted chief resumes His towery helmet, black with shading plumes. His princess parts with a prophetic sigh, Unwilling parts, and oft reverts her eye, That stream'd at every look; then moving slow, Sought her own palace, and indulg'd her wo. There, while her tears deplor'd the godlike-man, Through all her train the soft infection ran: The pious maids their mingled sorrows shed, And mourn'd the living Hector as the dead.
Smack went the whip, round went the wheels,
Were never folks so glad;
The stones did rattle underneath,
As if Cheapside were mad.
John Gilpin at his horse's side,
Seiz'd fast the flowing mane,