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Clor. Wouldst thou have
Me raise again (fond man) from silent grave,
Those sparks that long ago were buried here
With my dead friend's cold ashes?
The. Dearest dear,
I dare not ask it, nor you must not grant.
Stand strongly to your vow, and do not faint.
Remember how he lov'd ye; and be still
The same, opinion speaks ye; let not will,
And that great god of women, appetite,
Set up your blood again; do not invite
Desire and Fancy from their long exile,
To set them once more in a pleasing smile.
Be like a rock made firmly up 'gainst all
The power of angry leaven, or the strong fall
Of Neptune's battery; if ye yield, I die
To all affection : 'tis that loyalty,
Ye tie unto this grave, I so admire;
And yet there's something else I would desire
If you would hear me, but withal deny.
O Pan, what an uncertain destiny
Hangs over all my hopes! I will retire,
For if I longer stay, this double fire
Will lick my life up.
Clor. The gods give quick release
And happy cure unto thy hard disease. ---
The God of the River rises with Amoret in his arms, whom
the sullen Shepherd has flung wounded into his spring. River God. What powerful charms my streams do
Back again unto their spring,
With such force, that I their god,
Three times striking with my rod,
Could not keep them in their ranks ?
My fishes shoot into the banks,
There's not one that stays and feeds, so
All have hid them in the weeds.
Here's a' mortal almost dead .
Fal’n into my river head,
Hallow'd so with many a spell,
That till now none ever fell.
'Tis a female young and clear,
Cast in by some ravisher.
See upon her breast a wound,
On which there is no plaister bound.
Yet she's warm, her pulses beat,
"Tis a sign of life and heat.
If thou be'st a virgin pure, .
I can give a present cure.
Take a drop into thy wound
From my watry locks, more round
Than orient pearl, and far more pure
Than unchaste flesh may endnre.
See she pants, and from her flesh
The warm blood gusheth out afresh.
She is an unpolluted maid;
I must have this bleeding staid.
From my banks I pluck this flower
With holy hand, whose virtuous power
Is at once to heal and draw.
The blood returns. I never saw
A fairer mortal. Now doth break
Her deadly slumber. Virgin, speak.
Amo. Who hath restored my sense, given me new
And brought me back out of the arms of death?
River God. I have heal'd thy wounds.
Amo. Ah me!
River God. Fear not him that succour'd thee.
I am this fountain's god; below
My waters to a river grow,
And 'twixt two banks with osiers set,
That only prosper in the wet,
Through the meadows do they glide,
Wheeling still on every side,
Sometimes winding round about,
To find the evenest channel out;
And if thou wilt go with me,
Leaving mortal company,
In the cool streams shalt thou lie,
Free from harm as well as I.
I will give thee for thy food,
No fish that useth in the mud,
But trout and pike that love to swim
Where the gravel from the brim
Through the pure streams may be seen.
Orient pearl fit for a queen,
Will I give thy love to win,
And a shell to keep them in.
Not a fish in all my brook
That shall disobey thy look,
But when thou wilt, come sliding by,
And from thy white hand take a fly.
And to make thee understand,
How I can my waves command,
They shall bubble whilst I sing
Sweeter than the silver spring.
Do not fear to put thy feet
Naked in the rivers sweet :
Think not leach, or newt, or toad,
Will bite thy foot, when thou hast trod;
Nor let the water rising high,
As thou wadest in, make thee cry
And sob, but ever live with me,
And not a wave shall trouble thee.
Amo, Immortal power, that rulest this holy flood;
I know myself unworthy to be woo'd
By thee, a god : for e'er this, but for thee,
I should have shown my weak mortality.
Besides, by holy oath betwixt us twain,.
I am betroth'd unto a shepherd swain,
Whose comely face, I know, the gods above
May make me leave to see, but not to love.
River God. May he prove to thee as true.
Fairest virgin, now adieu,
I must make my waters fly,
Lest they leave their channels dry,
And beasts that come unto the spring
Miss their morning's watering :
Which I would not, for of late
All the neighbour people sate
On my banks, and from the fold
Two white lambs of three weeks old
Offer'd to my deity:
For which this year they shall be free
From raging floods, that as they pass
Leave their gravel in the grass :
Nor shall their meads be overflown,
When their grass is newly mown.
Amo. For thy kindness to me shown,
Never from thy banks be blown
Any tree, with windy force,
Cross thy streams to stop thy course:
May no beast that comes to drink,
With his horns cast down thy brink;
May none that for thy fish do look,
Cut thy banks to damm thy brook :
Bare-foot may no neighbour wade
In thy cool streams, wife nor maid,
When the spawn on stones do lie,
To wash their hemp, and spoil the fry.
River God. Thanks, virgin, I must down again,
Thy wound will put thee to no pain :
Wonder not so soon 'tis gone;
A holy hand was laid upon.96
THE FALSE ONE. A TRAGEDY. BY JOHN
Ptolomy, King of Egypt, presents to Cæsar the head of Pos
pey. Cæsar rebukes the Egyptians for their treachery as
ingratitude. CÆSAR, ANTHONY, DOLLABELA, Sceva, Romans; PTOLOM,
PHOTINUS, ACHILLAS, Egyptians.
Pho. Hail conqueror and head of all the world,
Now this head's off
Pho. Do not shun me, Cæsar.
From kingly Ptolomy I bring this present,
The crown and sweat of thy Pharsalian labour ;
The goal and mark of high ambitious honour.
Before, thy victory had no name, Cæsar ;
Thy travail and thy loss of blood no recompence;
Thou dream’dst of being worthy and of war;
And all thy furious conflicts were but slumbers;
Here they take life, here they inherit honour,
Grow fix'd and shoot up everlasting triumphs.