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I le tires his fav’rites with Irene's praise,
And seeks the shades to muse upon Irene;
Irene steals unheeded from his tongue,
And mingles unperceiv'd with ev'ry thought.
Why should the Sultan shun the joys of beauty,
Or arm his breast against the force of love?
Love, that with sweet vicissitude relieves
The warrior's labours and the monarch's cares.
But will she yet receive the faith of Mecca?
MUSTAPHA. Those pow'rful tyrants of the female breast, Fear and Ambition, urge her to compliance; Dross'd in each charm of gay magnificence, Alluring grandeur courts her to his arms, Religion calls her from the wish'd embrace, Paints future joys, and points to distant glories.
CALI. Soon will th' unequal contest be decided, Prospects, obscur'd by distance, faintly strike; Each pleasure brightens at its near approach, And ev'ry danger shocks with double horror,
How shall I scorn the beautiful apostate ;
How will the bright Aspasia shine above her!
Should she, for proselytes are always zealous,
With pious warmth receive our prophet's law
Heav'n will contemn the mercenary fervour,
Which love of greatness, not of truth, inflames.
CALI. Cease, cease thy censures; for the Sultan comes Alone, with ain'rous haste to seek his love.
MAHOMET, CALI BASSA, MUSTAPHA,
Hail ! terror of the monarchs of the world,
Unshaken be thy throne as earth's firm base,
Live till the sun forgets to dart his beams,
And weary planets loiter in their courses !
But, Cali, let Irene share thy prayers;
For what is length of days without Irene?
I come from empty noise, and tasteless pomp,
From crowds that hide a monarch from himself,
To prove the sweets of privacy and friendship,
And dwell upon the beauties of Irene.
O máy her beauties last unchang'd by time,
As those that bless the mansions of the good!
Each realm where beauty turns the graceful shape,
Swells the fair breast, or animates the glance,
Adorns my palace with its brightest virgins;
Yet, unacquainted with these soft emotions,
I walk'd superior through the blaze of charms,
Prais'd without rapture, left without regret.
Why rove I now, when absent from my fair,
From solitude to crowds, froin crowds to solitude,
Still restless, till I clasp the lovely maid,
And ease my loaded soul upon her bosom?
Forgive, great Sultan, that intrusive duty
Enquires the final doom of Menodorus,
The Grecian counsellor.
Go see him die ;
His martial rhet'rick taught the Greeks resistance;
Had they prevail'd, I ne'er had known Irene.
Remote from tumult, in th' adjoining palace,
Thy care shall guard this treasure of my soul :
There let Aspasia, since my Fair entreats it,
With converse chase the melancholy moments.
Sure, chilld with sixty winter camps, thy blood
At sight of female charms will glow no more.
These years, unconquer'd Mahomet, demand
Desires more pure, and other cares than Love.
Long have I wish’d, before our prophet's tomb,
To pour my pray'rs for thy successful reign,
To quit the tumults of the noisy camp,
And sink into the silent grave in peace.
What! think of peace while haughty Scanderbeg,
Elate with conquest, in his native mountains,
Prowls o’er the wealthy spoils of bleeding Turkey!
While fair Hungaria's unexhausted valleys
Pour forth their legions, and the roaring Danube
Rolls half his floods unheard through shouting camps!
Nor could'st thou more support a life of sloth
Still full of Amurath. [Aside.
Than Amurath, accustom’d to command,
Could bear his son upon the Turkish throne.
This pilgrimage our lawgiver ordain'd
For those who could not please by nobler service,
Our warlike Prophet loves an active faith,
The holy fame of enterprising virtue,
Mocks the dull vows of solitude and penance,
And scorns the lazy hermit's cheap devotion,
Shine thou, distinguish'd by superior merit,
With wonted zeal pursue the task of war,
Till ev'ry nation reverence the Koran,
And ev'ry suppliant lift his eyes to Mecca.
This regal confidence, this pious ardour,
Let prudence moderate, though not suppress.
Is not each realm that smiles with kinder suns,
Or boasts a happier soil, already thine?
Extended empire, like expanded gold,
Exchanges solid strength for feeble splendour,
Preach thy dull politicks to vulgar kings,
Thou know'st not yet thy master's future greatness,
His vast designs, his plans of boundless pow'r.
When ev'ry storm in my domain shall roar,
When ev'ry wave shall beat a Turkish shore;
Then, Cali, shall the toils of battle cease,
Then dream of prayer, and pilgrimage, and peace.
ASPASIA, yet pursue the sacred theme;
Exhaust the stores of pious eloquence,
And teach me to repei the Sultan's passion,
Still at Aspasia's voice a sudden rapture
Exaltş my soul, and fortifies my heart.
The glitering vanities of empty greatness,
The hopes and fears, the joys and pains of life,
Dissolve in air, and vanish into nothing,
Let nobler hopes and juster fears succeed,
And bar the passes of Irene's mind
Against returning guilt.
When thou art absent,
Death rises to my view, with all his terrors;
Then visions, horrid as a murd'rer's dreams,
Chill my resolves, and blast my blooming virtue :
Stern Torture shakes his bloody scourge before me,
And Anguish gnashes on the fåtal wheel.
Since fear predominates in ey'ry thought,
And sways thy breast with absolute dominion,
Think on th' insulting scorn, the conscious pangs,
The future mis’ries that wait th' apostate;
So shall Timidity assist thy reason,
And Wisdom into yirtue turn thy frailty,
Will not that Power that form’d the heart of woman,
And wove the feeble texture of her nerves,
Forgive those fears that shake the tender frame?
The weakness we lament, ourselves create ;
Instructed from our infant years to court,
With counterfeited fears, the aid of man,
We learn to shudder at the rustling breeze,
Start at the light, and tremble in the dark ;
Till, affectation ripening to belief,
And Folly frighted at her own chimeras,
Habitual cowardice usurps the soul.
Not all like thcę can brave the shocks of fate,