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The Persians   


Guide him as he takes his way,
And give him to the ethereal light of day!
Let the illustrious shade arise
Glorious in his radiant state,
More than blazed before our eyes,
Ere sad Susa mourn'd his fate.
Dear he lived, his tomb is dear,
Shrining virtues we revere:
Send then, monarch of the dead,
Such as Darius was, Darius' shade.
He in realm-unpeopling war
Wasted not his subjects' blood,
Godlike in his will to spare,
In his councils wise and good.
Rise then, sovereign lord, to light;
On this mound's sepulchral height
Lift thy sock in saffron died,
And rear thy rich tiara's regal pride!
Great and good, Darius, rise:
Lord of Persia's lord, appear: Thus involved with thrilling cries
Come, our tale of sorrow hear!
War her Stygian pennons spreads,
Brooding darkness o'er our heads;
For stretch'd along the dreary shore
The flow'r of Asia lies distain'd with gore.
Rise, Darius, awful power;
Long for thee our tears shall flow.
Why thy ruin'd empire o'er
Swells this double flood of wo?
Sweeping o'er the azure tide
Rode thy navy's gallant pride:
Navy now no more, for all
Beneath the whelming wave-


While the CHORUS Sings, ATOSSA performs her ritual by the tomb. As
the song concludes the GHOST OF DARIUS appears from the tomb.


GHOST OF DARIUS
Ye faithful Persians, honour'd now in age,
Once the companions of my youth, what ills
Afflict the state? The firm earth groans, it opes,
Disclosing its vast deeps; and near my tomb
I see my wife: this shakes my troubled soul
With fearful apprehensions; yet her off'rings
Pleased I receive. And you around my tomb
chanting the lofty strain, whose solemn air
Draws forth the dead, with grief-attemper'd notes
Mournfully call me: not with ease the way
Leads to this upper air; and the stern gods,
Prompt to admit, yield not a passage back
But with reluctance: much with them my power
Availing, with no tardy step I come.
Say then, with what new ill doth Persia groan?
CHORUS chanting
My wonted awe o'ercomes me; in thy presence
I dare not raise my eyes, I dare not speak.
GHOST OF DARIUS
Since from the realms below, by thy sad strains
Adjured, I come, speak; let thy words be brief;
Say whence thy grief, tell me unawed by fear.
I dread to forge a flattering tale, I dread
To grieve thee with a harsh offensive truth.
GHOST OF DARIUS
Since fear hath chained his tongue, high-honour'd dame,

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