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SPEECH OF THE CHORUS IN THE SAME
TO DISSUADE MEDEA FROM HER PURPOSE OF PUT
TING HER CHILDREN TO DEATH, AND FLYING
FOR PROTECTION TO ATHENS.
HAGGARD queen! to Athens dost thou guide Thy glowing chariot, steep'd in kindred gore ;
Or seek to hide thy damned parricide
Where Peace and Mercy dwell for ever more ?
The land where Truth, pure, precious, and sublime,
Woos the deep silence of sequester'd bowers,
And warriors, matchless since the first of Time,
Rear their bright banners o'er unconquer'd towers!
Where joyous youth, to Music's mellow strain,
Twines in the dance with nymphs for ever fair,
While Spring eternal, on the lilied plain,
Waves amber radiance through the fields of air!
The tuneful Nine (so sacred legends tell)
First waked their heavenly lyre these scenes among;
Still in your greenwood bowers they love to dwell ;
Still in your vales they swell the choral song!
But there the tuneful, chaste, Pierian fair,
The guardian nymphs of green Parnassus, now
Sprung from Harmonia, while her graceful hair
Waved in bright auburn o'er her polish'd brow!
Where silent vales, and glades of green array,
The murmuring wreaths of cool Cephisus lave,
There, as the Muse hath sung, at noon of day,
The Queen of Beauty bow'd to taste the wave;
And blest the stream, and breath'd across the land
The soft sweet gale that fans yon-summer bowers ;
And there the sister Loves, a smiling band,
Crown'd with the fragrant wreaths of rosy flowers !
“ And go," she cries, “ in yonder valleys rove,
With Beauty's torch the solemn scenes illume;
Wake in each eye the radiant light of Love,
Breathe on each cheek young Passion's tender
« Entwine, with myrtle chains, your soft controul,
To sway the hearts of Freedom's darling kind!
With glowing charms enrapture Wisdom's soul,
And mould to grace ethereal Virtue's mind.”
The land where Heaven's own hallow'd waters play,
Where friendship binds the generous and the good, Say, shall it hail thee from thy frantic way,
Unholy woman! with thy hands embrued
In thine own children's gore? Oh! ere they bleed,
Let Nature's voice thy ruthless heart appal!
Pause at the bold, irrevocable deed
The mother strikes-the guiltless babes shall fall !