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O THOU, the friend of man, assign'd
With balmy hands his wounds to bind,

And charm his frantic woe:


When first Distress, with dagger keen,
Broke forth to waste his destined scene,
His wild unsated foe!

By Pella's bard, a magic name,

By all the griefs his thought could frame,
Receive my humble rite:

Long, Pity, let the nations view

Thy sky-worn robes of tenderest blue,
And eyes of dewy light!




Euripides, of whom Aristotle pronounces, on a comparison of him with Sophocles, that he was the greater master of the tender passions, ἦν τραγικώτερος.

But wherefore need I wander wide
To old Ilissus' distant side,

Deserted stream, and mute?
Wild Arun too has heard thy strains,
And Echo, midst my native plains,
Been soothed by Pity's lute.

There first the wren thy myrtles shed
On gentlest Otway's infant head,

To him thy cell was shown;
And while he sung the female heart,
With youth's soft notes unspoil'd by art,
Thy turtles mix'd their own.

Come, Pity, come, by Fancy's aid,
E'en now my thoughts, relenting maid,
Thy temple's pride design:
Its southern site, its truth complete,
Shall raise a wild enthusiast heat
In all who view the shrine.

There Picture's toils shall well relate
How chance, or hard involving fate,
O'er mortal bliss prevail :

The buskin'd Muse shall near her stand,
And sighing prompt her tender hand,
With each disastrous tale.






b The river Arun runs by the village of Trotton in Sussex, where Otway had his birth.

There let me oft, retired by day,
In dreams of passion melt away,
Allow'd with thee to dwell:
There waste the mournful lamp of night,
Till, Virgin, thou again delight

To hear a British shell!



THOU, to whom the world unknown,
With all its shadowy shapes, is shown;
Who seest, appall'd, the unreal scene,
While Fancy lifts the veil between :
Ah Fear! ah frantic Fear!

I see, I see thee near.

I know thy hurried step, thy haggard eye!
Like thee I start; like thee disorder'd fly.
For, lo, what monsters in thy train appear!
Danger, whose limbs of giant mould
What mortal eye can fix'd behold?
Who stalks his round, an hideous form,
Howling amidst the midnight storm;
Or throws him on the ridgy steep
Of some loose hanging rock to sleep:
And with him thousand phantoms join'd,
Who prompt to deeds accursed the mind:
And those, the fiends, who, near allied,
O'er Nature's wounds, and wrecks, preside;
Whilst Vengeance, in the lurid air,

Lifts her red arm, exposed and bare :
On whom that ravening brood of Fate,
Who lap the blood of sorrow, wait:





© Alluding to the Kúvas äpuктovs of Sophocles. See the Electra.

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Who, Fear, this ghastly train can see,
And look not madly wild, like thee?



In earliest Greece, to thee, with partial choice, The grief-full Muse addrest her infant tongue; The maids and matrons, on her awful voice, Silent and pale, in wild amazement hung.

Yet he, the bardd who first invoked thy name, 30
Disdain'd in Marathon its power to feel:
For not alone he nursed the poet's flame,
But reach'd from Virtue's hand the patriot's

But who is he whom later garlands grace,
Who left a while o'er Hybla's dews to rove, 35
With trembling eyes thy dreary steps to trace,

Where thou and furies shared the baleful grove?

Wrapt in thy cloudy veil, the incestuous queen Sigh'd the sad call' her son and husband heard, When once alone it broke the silent scene,

And he the wretch of Thebes no more appear'd.

d Æschylus.

e Jocasta.


οὐδ ̓ ἔτ ̓ ὠρώρει βοή, ̔Ην μὲν σιωπή· φθέγμα δ ̓ ἐξαίφνης τινὸς θώϋξεν αὐτόν, ὥστε πάντας ὀρθίας Στῆσαι φόβω δείσαντας ἐξαίφνης τρίχας. See the Edip. Colon. of Sophocles.


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