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Alex. Rise, my Lysimachus; thy veins and mine From the same fountain have deriv'd their streams : Rise to my arms, and let thy king embrace thee. Is not that Clytus ?
Clyt. Your old faithful soldier.
Alex. Clytus, thy hand-thy hand Lysimachus; Thus double arm'd methinks I stand tremendous as the Lybian god, Who while his priests and I quaff'd sacred blood Acknowledg’d me his son: my lightning thou, And thou my mighty thunder. I have seen Thy glitt'ring sword outfly celestial fire ; And when l'ave cry'd begone and execute, l'ave seen him run swifter than starting hinds, Nor bent the tender grass beneath his feet.
Lys. When fame invites, and Alexander leads, Dangers and toils but animate the brave,
Clyt. Perish the soldier inglorious and despis’d, Who starts from either when the king cries-On.
Alex. Oh, Clytus! oh, my noble veteran !
'Twas, I remember, when I pass'd the Granicus
His arm preserv'd me from the unequal force:
When fierce Itanor and the bold Rhesaces
Fell both upon me with two mighty blows,
And clove my temper'd helmet quite asunder,
Then like a god flew Clytus to my aid,
Thy thunder struck Rhesaces to the ground,
And turn'd with ready vengeance on Itanor,
Clyt. To your own deeds that victory you owe; And sure your arms did never boast a nobler,
Alex. By heaven they never did; they never can;
And I more glory to have pass'd that stream
Than to have drove a million o'er the plain.
Can none remember, yes, I know all must,
When glory like the dazzling eagle stood
Perch'd on my beaver in the Granick flood;
When fortune's self my standard trembling bore,
And the pale fates stood frighted on the shore;
When each immortal on the billows rode,
And I myself appear'd the leading god ?
Arist. Haste, first of hero's, from this fatal place;
Far, far from Babylon enjoy your triumph,
Or all the glories which your youth has won
Are blasted in their spring,
Alex. What mean thy fears?
And why that wild distraction on thy brow?
Arist. This morn, great kingi I view'd the angry sky.
And frighted at the direful prodigies
To Orosmades for instructions fiew;
But as I pray'd deep echoing groans I heard,
And shrieks as of the damn'd that howl for sin :
Shock'd at the omen, while amaz'd I lay
In prostrate rev'rence on the trembling floor,
Thus spoke the god:
The brightest glory of imperial man,
The pride of nations, and the boast of fame ;
Remorseless fate in Babylon has doom'd
To sudden and irrevocable ruin.
Alex. If Heaven ordains that Babylon must fall
Can I prevent th’immutable degree?
Per. O horror! horrorl dreadful and portentous !
Alex. How now Perdiccas ! whence this exclamation ?
Per. As Meleager and myself this morn
Led forth the Persian horse to exercise,
We heard a noise as of a rushing wind ;
When suddenly a flight of baleful birds,
Like a thick cloud, obscur'd the face of Heaven;
On sounding wings from diff'rent parts they few,
Encount’ring met, and battled in the air-
Their talons clash’d, their beaks gave mighty blows,
And showers of blood fell copious from their wounds.
Alex. Tho' all the curtains of the sky were drawn, And the stars wink, young Ammon shall go on. While
Statira shines I cannot stray, Love lifts bis torch to light me on my way, And her bright eyes create another day.
Lys. Vouchsafe, dread sir ! to hear my humble suit; A prince entreats it.
Alex. A soldier asks it--that the noblest claim.
Lys. For all the services my word has done Humbly I beg the PrincessParasitas.) Parisatis
Alex. Lysimachus, no more-it is not well-
My word, you know, was to Hephestion given :
thenLys. At your command to scale th'embattled wall, Or fetch the gore-dy'd standard from the foe, When has Hephestion flown with warmer zeal? When did he leave Lysimachus behind ? These I have done, for these were in my power ;
But when you charge me to renounce my love,
And from my thoughts to banish Parisatis,
Obedience there becomes impossible,
Nature revolts, and my whole soul rebels.
Alex. It does, brave sir l-Now hear me and be
When by my order curst Calisthenes
Was as a traitor doom'd to live in torments,
Your pity sped him in despite of me;
Think not I have forgot your insolence,
No, tho’I pardon'dit-Yet if again
Thou dar'st to cross me with another crime;
The bolts of fury shall be doubled on thee,
In the mean time-think not of Parisatis,
For if thou dost-by the immortal Ammon
I'll not regard the blood of mine thou shar'st,
But use thee as the vilest Macedonian.
Lys. I knew you partial ere I mov'd my suit;
Yet know it shakes not my determin’d purpose
While I have life and strength to wield a sword
I never will forego the glorious claim.
Alex. Against my life! ha! traitor, was it so ?
'Tis said that I am rash, of hasty humour;
But I appeal to the immortal gods
If every petty, poor, provincial lord
Had temper like to mine : My slave, whom I
Could tread to clay, dares utter bloody threats !
Clyt. Forgive, dread sir I the frantic warmth of love; The noble privce, I read it in his eyes,
Would die a thousand deaths to serve his king,
And justify his loyalty and truth.
Lys. I meant his minion there should feel my arm :
Love claims his blood, nor shall he live to triumph
In that destruction that awaits his rival,
Alex. I pardon thee for my old Clytus' sake;
But if once more thou mention thy rash love,
Or darist attempt Hephestion's precious life ;
I'll pour such storms of indignation on thee
Philotas' rack, Calisthenes' disgrace,
Shall be delight to what thou shalt endure.
Clyt. My lord, the aged queen, with Parisatis,
Come to congratulate your safe arrival.
Enter SYSIGAMBIS and PARISATIS.
Alex. Oh thou, the best of women, Sysigambis !
Source of my joy, blest parent of my love!
Sys, In humble duty to the gods and you
Permit us, sir, with gratitude to kneel.
Thro' you the royal house of Persia shines,
Rais'd from the depth of wretchedness and ruin,
In all the splendor of imperial greatness.
Alex. To meet me thus was generously done ;
But still there wants to crown my happiness
That treasure of my soul, the dear Statira !
Had she but come to meet her Alexander
I had been blest indeed.
Clyt. Now who shall dare
To tell him of the queen's vow ?