Imatges de pàgina
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Is this a time to bid us raise the strain,
And mix in rites that Heaven regards with pain?
No, never! May this hand forget each art
That speeds the power of music to the heart,
Ere I forget the land that gave me birth,
Or join with sounds profane its sacred mirth!

First PRIEST.
Iosulting slaves! if gentler methods fail,
The whips and angry tortures shall prevail.

[Esceunt CHALDEANS.
First PROPHET.
Why, let them come, one good remains to cheer;
We fear the Lord, and know no other fear.

Chorus.
Can whips or tortures hurt the mind
On God's supporting breast reclin'd?
Stand fast, and let our tyrants see,
That fortitude is victory.

[Exeunt.

ACT II.
Scene as before.

Chorus of ISRAELITES.
O peace of mind, angelic guest!
Thou soft companion of the breast!

Dispense thy balmy store.
Wing all our thoughts to reach the skies,
1911 earth, receding from our eyes,
Shall vanish as we soar.

First PRIEST.

Recitative,
No more! Too long has justice been delay'd;
The king's commands must fully be obey'd :
Compliance with his will your peace secures,
Praise but our gods, and every good is yours,

But if, rebellious to bis high command,
You spurn the favours offer'd at his hand;
Think, timely think, what terrors are behind;
Reflect, nor tempt to rage the royal mind,

Second PRIEST.

Air.
Fierce is the whirlwind howling

O'er Afric's sandy plain,
And fierce the tempest rolling
Along the furrow'd main:

But storms that fly,

To rend the sky,
Every ill presaging,

Less dreadful show

To worlds below
Than angry monarch's raging,
ISRAELITISH WOMAN.

Recitative,
Ah, me! what angry terrors round us grow;
How shrinks my soul to meet the threaten'd blow!
Ye prophets, skill'd in Heaven's eternal truth,
Forgive my sex's fears, forgive my youth!
If shrinking thus, when frowning power appears,
I wish for life, and yield me to my fears.
Let us one hour, one little hour obey;
To-morrow's tears may wash our stains away.

Air.
To the last moment of his breath,

On hope the wretch relies;
And e'en the pang preceding death

Bids expectation rise.
Hope, like the gleaming taper's light,

Adorns and cheers our way;
And still, as darker grows the night,

Emits a brighter ray.

Second PRIEST. Why this delay? At length for joy prepare; I read your looks, and see compliance there, Come on, and bid the warbling rapture rise, Our monarch's fame the noblest theme supplies. Begin, ye captive bands, and strike the lyre; The time, the theme, the place, and all conspire.

CHALDEAN WOMAN.

Air.
See the ruddy morning smiling,
Hear the grove to bliss beguiling;
Zephyrs through the woodland playing,
Streams along the valley straying.

First PRIEST.
While these a constant revel keep,
Shall Reason only teach to weep?
Hence intruder! we'll pursue
Nature, a better guide than you.

Second PRIEST.
Every moment, as it flows,
Some peculiar pleasure owes;
Then let us, providently wise,
Seize the debtor as it flies.
Think not to-morrow can repay
The pleasures that we lose to-day;
To-morrow's most unbounded store
Can but pay its proper score.

First PRIEST.

Recitative.
But, hush! see foremost of the captive choir,
The master-propkat grasps his full-ton'd lyre.
Mark where he sits, with executing art,
Feels for each tone, and speeds it to the heart.
See how prophetic rapture fills his form,
Awful as clouds that nurse the growing storm;

And now his voice, accordant to the string,
Prepares our monarch's victories to sing.

First PROPHET.

Air.
From north, from south, from east, from west,

Conspiring nations come;
Tremble thou vice-polluted breast,

Blasphemers, all be dumb.
The tempest gathers all around,

On Babylon it lies;
Down with her! down – down to the ground,
She sinks, she groans, she dies.

Second PROPHET,
Down with her, Lord, to lick the dust,

Ere yonder setting sun;
Serve her as she has servd the just!
"T is fix'd it shall be done.

First PRIEST.

Recitative,
No more! when slaves thus insolent presume,
The king himself shall judge, and fix their doom.
Unthinking wretches ! have not you and all,
Beheld our-power in Zedekiah's fall?
To yonder gloomy dungeon turn your eyes;
See where dethron'd your captive monarch lies,
Depriv'd of sight and rankling in his chain;
See where he mourns his friends and children slain.
Yet know, ye slaves, that still remain behind
More pondrous chains, and dungeons more confin'd.

Chorus of Au.
Arise, all potent ruler, rise,

And vindicate thy people's cause;
Till every tongue in every land
Shall offer up unfeign'd applause.

[Exeunt, Goldsmith.

14

ACT III.
Scene as before.
First PRIEST.

Recitative,
Yes, my companions, Heaven's decrees are past,
And our fix'd empire shall for ever last;
In vain the madd’ning prophet threatens woe,
In vain rebellion aims her secret blow;
Still shall our fame and growing power be spread,
And still our vengeance crush the traitor's head.

Air.
Coeval with man
Our empire began,
And pever shall fall
Till ruin sbakes all :
When ruin shakes all
Then shall Babylon fall.

First PROPHET.

Recitative.
'Tis thus that pride triumphant rears the head,
A little while, and all their power is fled;
But hal what means yon sadly plaintive train,
That this way slowly bend along the plain?
And now, methinks, to yonder bank they bear
A pallid corse, and rest the body there.
Alas! too well mine eyes indigoant trace
The last remains of Judah's royal race:
Our monarch falls, and now our fears are o'er,
Unhappy Zedekiah is no more!

Air.
Ye wretches who by fortune's hate,

In want and sorrow groan; Come ponder his severer fate, And learn to bless

your own.

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