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The Persians   


Where rears Sebalces his crown-circled head:
Where Tharybis to battles bred,
Artembares, Hystaechmes bold,
Memphis, Masistress sheath'd in gold?
XERXES
Wretch that I am! These on the abhorred town
Ogygian Athens, roll'd their glowing eyes
Indignant; but at once in the fierce shock
Of battle fell, dash'd breathless on the ground.

CHORUS
There does the son of Batanochus lie,
Through whose rich veins the unsullied blood
Of Susamus, down from the lineage high
Of noble Mygabatas flow'd:
Alpistus, who with faithful care
Number'd the deep'ning files of war,
The monarch's eye; on the ensanguined plain
Low is the mighty warrior laid?
Is great Aebares 'mong the heroes slain,
And Partheus number'd with the dead?-
Ah me! those bursting groans, deep-charged with wo,
The fate of Persia's princes show.
XERXES
To my grieved memory thy mournful voice,
Tuned to the saddest notes of wo, recalls
My brave friends lost; and my rent heart returns
In dreadful symphony the sorrowing strain.
CHORUS
Yet once more shall I ask thee, yet once more,
Where is the Mardian Xanthes' might,
The daring chief, that from the Pontic shore
Led his strong phalanx to the fight?
Anchares where, whose high-raised shield
Flamed foremost in the embattled field?
Where the high leaders of thy mail-clad horse,
Daixis and Arsaces where?
Where Cigdadatas and Lythimnas' force,
Waving untired his purple spear?
XERXES
Entomb'd, I saw them in the earth entomb'd;
Nor did the rolling car with solemn state
Attend their rites: I follow'd: low they lie
(Ah me, the once great leaders of my host!
Low in the earth, without their honours lie.)
CHORUS
O wo, wo, wo! Unutterable wo
The demons of revenge have spread;
And Ate from her drear abode below
Rises to view the horrid deed.
XERXES
Dismay, and rout, and ruin, ills that wait
On man's afflicted fortune, sink us down.
CHORUS
Dismay, and rout, and ruin on us wait,
And all the vengeful storms of Fate:
Ill flows on ill, on sorrows sorrows rise;
Misfortune leads her baleful train;
Before the Ionian squadrons Persia flies,
Or sinks ingulf'd beneath the main.
Fall'n, fall'n is her imperial power,
And conquest on her banners waits no more.
XERXES
At such a fall, such troops of heroes lost,

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