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Is this the Welcome of my worthy Deeds,
To meet my Triumph in Ill-omend Weeds?
Or envy you my Praise, and would destroy
With Grief my Pleasures, and pollute my Joy?
Or are you injur'd, and demand Relief?
Name your Request, and I will ease your Grief.
The most in Years of all the Mourning Train
Began; (but swooned first away for Pain)
Then scarce recover'd, fpoke: Nor envy we
Thy great Renown, nor grudge thy Victory;
'Tis thine, O King, th? Afflicted to redress,
And Fame has fillid the World with thy Success:
We wretched Women fue for that alonė,..
Which of thy Goodness is refus’d to none:
Let fall some Drops of Pity on our Grief, !
If what we beg be just, and we deserve Relief:
For none of us, who now thy Grace implore,
But held the Rank of Sovereign Queen before ;
Till, thanks to giddy Chance, which never bears
That Mortal Bliss should last for length of Years,
She cast us headlong from our high Estate,
And here in hope of thy Return we wait: 1.
And long have waited in the Temple nigh;
Built to the gracious Goddess Clemency.
But rey’rence thou the Pow'r whose Name it bears,
Relieve th’Oppress’d, and wipe the WidowsTears.
I, wretched I, have other Fortune seen,
The Wife of Capaneus, and once a Queen:
At Thebes he fell; cürst be the fatal Day!
And all the rest thou feeft in this Array,
To make their Moan, their Lords in Battel lost
Before that Townbesiegid by ourConfed’rate Hoft:
But Creon, old and impious, who commands
The Theban City, and usurps the Lands,
Denies the Rites of Fun'ral Fires to those
Whose breathless Bodies yet he calls his Foes.
Unburn'd, unbury'd, on a Heap they lie;.
Such is their Fate, and such his Tyranny;
No Friend has leave to bear away the Dead,
But with their Lifeless Limbs his Hounds are fed :
At this the skriek'd aloud, the mournful Train
Echo'd her Grief, and grov'ling on the Plain
WithGroans,and Hands upheld, to move hisMind,
Befought his Pity to their helpless Kind!
The Prince was touch'd, bis Tears began to flow, And, as his tender Heart would break in two, He sigh’d; and could not but their Fate deplore, So wretched now, fo fortunate before. Then lightly from his lofty Steed he flew, And raising one by one the fuppliant Crew, To comfort each, full folemnly he fwore, That by the Faith which Knights to Knighthood. And what e’er else to Chivalry belongs,
[bore, Hewould not cease, till he reveng'd their Wrongs: That Greece shou'd fee perform'd what he declar'd; And cruel Creon find his just Reward. He said no more, but, fhunning all Delay, Rode on; nor enter'd Athens on his Way: But left his Sister and his Queen behind, And wav'd his Royal Banner in the Wind : Where in an Argent Field the God of War Was drawn triumphant on his Iron Carr ; Red washis Sword, and Shield, and whole Attire, And all the Godhead seem'd to glow with Fire; Ev’n theGround glitter'd where the Standard Aew, And the green Grafs was dy'd to fanguine Hue.
High on his pointed Lance his Pennon bore
His Cretan Fight, the conquer'd Minotaure:
The Soldiers shout around with gen'rous Rage,
And in that Victory, their own presage.
He prais’d their Ardour: inly pleas'd to see
His Host the Flow'r of Grecian Chivalry.
All Day he march'd; and all th’ensuing Night;
And faw the City with returning Light.
The Process of the War I need not tell,
How Theseus conquer'd, and how Creon fell:
Or after, how by Storm the Walls were won,
Or how the Victor fack'd and burn'd the Town:
How to the Ladies he restor'd again
The Bodies of their Lords in Battel llain:
And with what ancient Rites they were interrd;
All these to fitter Time shall be deferr'd:
I spare the Widows Tears, their woful Cries
And Howling at their Husbands Obsequies;
How Theseus at these Fun'rals did affift,
(miss'a. And with what Gifts the mourning Dames dif
Thus when the Victor Chief had Creon Alain, And conquerid Thebes, he pitch'd upon the Plain
His mighty Camp, and when the Day returnd,
The Country wasted, and the Hamlets burnd;
And left the Pillagers, to Rapine bred,
Without Controul to strip and spoil the Dead:
There, in a Heap of Slain, among the rest Two youthful Knights they found beneath a Load
oppressid Offlaughter'd Foes, whom first to Death they sent, The Trophies of their Strength a bloody Monument. Both fair, and both of Royal Blood they seem'd, Whom Kinsmen to the Crown the Heralds deem'd; That Day in equal Arms they fought for Fame; Their Swords, their Shields, their Surcoats were
the same. Close by each other laid they press’d the Ground, Their manly Bosoms pierc'd with many à griefly Norwell alive,nor wholly dead they were,[Wound; But some faint Signs of feeble Life appear: The wandring Breath was on the Wing to part, Weak was the Pulse, and hardly heard the Heart. These two were Sisters Sons; and Arcite one, Much fam'd in Fields, with valiant Palamon.