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And Tapers, of a pitchy Substance made,
With Clouds of Smoke increase the dismal Shade.
A Monster void of Reason and of Sight, The Goddess is, who sways this Realm of Night: Her Pow'r extends o’er all things that have Breath, A cruel Tyrant, and her Name is Death. The fairest Object of our wondring Eyes Was newly offer'd up her Sacrifice; Th'adjoining Places where the Altar stood, Yet blushing with the fair ALMERIA’s Blood. When griev'd Orontes whose unhappy Flame Is known to all who c'er converse with Fame, His Mind possess’d by Fury and Despair, Within the sacred Temple made this Prayer :
Great Deity! Who in thy Hands do'st bear That Iron Scepter which poor
Mortals fear; Who wanting Eyes thy self, respectest none, And neither spar'st the Laurel, nor the Crown! O thou, whom all Mankind in vain withstand, Each of whose Blood must one day stain thy Hand!
O thou, who ev'ry Eye that sees the Light,
Closest for ever in the Shades of Night!
Goddess attend, and hearken to my Grief,
To which thy Pow'r alone can give Relief.
Alas, I ask not to defer my Fate,
But wish my hapless Life a shorter Date,
And that the Earth would in its Bowels hide
A Wretch, whom Heav'n invades on ev'ry side ;
That from the Sight of Day I could remove,
And might have nothing left me but my Love,
Thou only Comforter of Minds oppress’d;
The Port where weary'd Spirits are at rest
Conductor to Elysium, take my Life;
My Breast I offer to thy facred Knife :
So just a Grace refuse not, nor despise
A willing, tho’a worthless Sacrifice.
Others, (their frail and mortal State forgot)
Before thy Altars are not to be brought
Without Constraint ; the Noise of dying Rage,
Heaps of the slain of ev'ry Sex and Age,
The Blade all reeking in the Gore it shed,
With sever'd Heads and Arms confus’dly spread;
The rapid Flames of a perpetual Fire,
The Groans of Wretches ready to expire :
This Tragick Scene in Terror makes them live,
Till that is forc'd, which they should freely give;
Yielding unwillingly what Heav'n will have,
Their Fears eclipse the Glory of their Grave:
Before thy Face they make indecent Moan,
And feel a hundred Deaths in fearing one;
Thy Flame becomes unhallow'd in their Breast,
And he a Murderer who was a Priest.
But against me thy strongest Forces call,
And on my Head let all the Tempest fall;
No mean Retreat shall
But calmly I'll expect the fatal Blow;
My Limbs not trembling, in my Mind no Fear,
Plaints in my Mouth, nor in my Eyes a Tear.
Think not that Time, our wonted sure Relief,
That universal Cure for ev'ry Grief,
Whose Aid so many Lovers oft have found,
With like Success can ever heal my
Too weak the Pow'r of Nature, or of Art,
Nothing but Death can ease a broken Heart.
And that thou may'st behold my helpless State,
Learn the extremest Rigour of my Fate.
Amidst th' innumerable beauteous Train,
Paris, the Queen of Cities, does contain,
(The fairest Town, the largest, and the best,)
The fair ALMERIA shin'd above the rest.
From her bright Eyes to feel a hopeless Flame,
Was of our Youth the most ambitious Aim ;
Her Chains were Marks of Honour to the Brave,
She made a Prince whenc'er she made a Slave.
Love, under whose tyrannick Pow'r I groan,
Shew'd me this Beauty e'er 'twas fully blown;
Her tim’rous Charms, and her unpractis’d Look,
Their first Assurance from my Conquest took;
By wounding me she learn'd the fatal Art,
And the first Sigh she had was from my Heart :
My Eyes with Tears moist’ning her snowy Arms,
Render'd the Tribute owing to her Charms.
But, as I soonest of all mortals paid,
My Vows, and to her Beauty Altars made;
So, among all those Slaves that figh'd in vain,
She thought me only worthy of my Chain.
Love's heavy Burden my submissive Heart
Endur'd not long, before she bore her part ;
My vi’olent Flame melted her frozen Breaft,
And in soft Sighs her Pity she express’d;
Her gentle Voice allay'd my raging Pains,
And her fair Hands sustain'd me in my Chains :
Ev'n Tears of Pity waited on my Moan,
And tender Looks were cast on mc alone.
My Hopes and Dangers were less mine than hers,
Those fill'd her Soul with Joys, and these with
Our Hearts united had the same Desires,
And both alike burn'd with impatient Fires.