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The Persians   


Once my imperial consort, check thy tears,
Thy griefs, and speak distinctly. Mortal man
Must bear his lot of wo; afflictions rise
Many from sea, many from land, if life
Be haply measured through a lengthen'd course.
ATOSSA
O thou that graced with Fortune's choicest gifts
Surpassing mortals, while thine eye beheld
Yon sun's ethereal rays, lived'st like a god
Bless'd amid thy Persians; bless'd I deem thee now
In death, ere sunk in this abyss of ills,
Darius, hear at once our sum of wo;
Ruin through all her states hath crush'd thy Persia.

GHOST OF DARIUS
By pestilence, or faction's furious storms?

ATOSSA
Not so: near Athens perish'd all our troops.

GHOST OF DARIUS
Say, of my sons, which led the forces thither?

ATOSSA
The impetuous Xerxes, thinning all the land.

GHOST OF DARIUS
By sea or land dared he this rash attempt?

ATOSSA
By both: a double front the war presented.

GHOST OF DARIUS
A host so vast what march conducted o'er?

ATOSSA
From shore to shore he bridged the Hellespont.

GHOST OF DARIUS
What! could he chain the mighty Bosphorus?

ATOSSA
Ev'n so, some god assisting his design.

GHOST OF DARIUS
Some god of power to cloud his better sense.

ATOSSA
The event now shows what mischiefs he achieved.

GHOST OF DARIUS
What suffer'd they, for whom your sorrows flow?

ATOSSA
His navy sunk spreads ruin through the camp.

GHOST OF DARIUS
Fell all his host beneath the slaught'ring spear?

ATOSSA
Susa, through all her streets, mourns her lost sons.

GHOST OF DARIUS
How vain the succour, the defence of arms?

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