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Death's but a path that must be trod,
If man would ever pafs to God:
A port of calms, a state of ease
From the rough rage of fwelling feas.
Why then thy flowing fable ftoles,
Deep pendent cyprefs, mourning poles,
Loose scarfs to fall athwart thy weeds,
Long palls, drawn herfes, cover'd fteeds,
And plumes of black, that as they tread,
Nod o'er the 'fcutcheons of the dead?
Nor can the parted body know,
Nor wants the foul, thefe forms of woe:
As men who long in prison dwell,
With lamps that glimmer round the cell,
When-e'er their fuff'ring years are run,
Spring forth to greet the glitt'ring fun :
Such joy, tho' far tranfcending fense,
Have pious fouls at parting hence.
On earth, and in the body plac'd,
A few, and evil, years they waste :
But when their chains are caft afide,
See the glad fcene unfolding wide,
Clap the glad wing, and tow'r away,
And mingle with the blaze of day.
The Parting of HECTOR and Andromache. From Homer's Iliad, Book VI.
E faid, and paft with fad prefaging heart
To feek his fpoufe, his foul's far dearer part; At home he fought her, but he fought in vain: She, with one maid of all her menial train, Had thence retir'd; and with her fecond joy, The young Aftyanax, the hope of Troy, Penfive fhe flood on Ilion's tow'ry height, Beheld the war, and ficken'd at the fight;
There her fad eyes in vain her Lord explore,
Or weep the wounds her bleeding country bore.
But he who found not whom his foul defir'd,
Whose virtue charm'd him as her beauty fir'd,
Stood in the gates, and ask'd what way she bent
Her parting ftep? If to the fane she went,
Where late the mourning matrons made resort;
Or fought her fifters in the Trojan_court?
Not to the court, (reply'd th' attendant train)
Nor mix'd with matrons to Minerva's fane:
To Ilion's fleepy tow'r fhe bent her way,
To mark the fortunes of the doubtful day.
Troy fled, fhe heard, before the Grecian fword;
She heard, and trembled for her abfent Lord;
Distracted with furprise, she seem'd to fly,
Fear on her cheek, and forrow in her eye.
The nurse attended with her infant boy,
The young Aftyanax, the hope of Troy.
Hector, this heard, return'd without delay;
Swift thro' the town he trod his former way,
Thro' ftreets of palaces, and walks of state;
And met the mourner at the Scæan gate.
With hafte to meet him sprung the joyful fair,
His blameless wife, Aëtion's wealthy heir:
(Cilician Thebè great Aëtion sway'd,
And Hippoplacus' wide extended fhade)
The nurfe ftood near, in whofe embraces preft,
His only hope hung fmiling at her breast,
Whom each foft charm and early grace adorn,
Fair as the new-born star that gilds the morn.
To this lov'd infant Hector gave the name
Scamandrius, from Scamander's honour'd ftream;
Aftyanax the Trojans call'd the boy,
From his great father, the defence of Troy.
Silent the warriour fmil'd, and pleas'd refign'd
To tender paffions all his mighty mind:
His beauteous princess cast a mournful look,
Hung on his hand, and then dejected fpoke;
Her bofom labour'd with a boding figh,
And the big tear ftood trembling in her eye.
Too daring prince! ah whither dost thou run? Ah too forgetful of thy wife and fon!
And think'ft thou not how wretched we fhall be,
A widow I, an helpless orphan he!
For fure fuch courage length of life denies,
And thou must fall, thy virtue's facrifice.
Greece in her fingle heroes ftrove in vain;
Now hofts oppofe thee, and thou must be flain!
Oh grant me, Gods! ere He&tor meets his doom,
All I can ask of heav'n, an early tomb!
So fhall my days in one fad tenour run,
And end with forrows as they first begun.