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What wonder, in the sultry climes, that spread,
Where Nile redundant o'er his summer bed
From his broad bosom life and verdure flings,
And broods o'er Egypt with his wat'ry wings,
If with advent'rous oar and ready sail,
The dusky people drive before the gale;
Or on frail floats to neighb'ring cities ride
That rise and glitter o'er the ambient tide.


Now the golden morn aloft
Waves her dew-bespangled wing,
With vermil cheek, and whisper soft,
She wooes the tardy spring :
Till April starts, and calls around
The sleeping fragrance from the ground;
And lightly o'er the living scene
Scatters his freshest, tenderest green.

New-born flocks, in rustic dance,
Frisking ply their feeble feet;
Forgetful of their wint'ry trance
The birds his presence greet:
But chief, the sky-lark warbles high
His trembling thrilling ecstacy;
And, lessening from the dazzled sight,
Melts into air and liquid light,

Yesterday the sullen year
Saw the snowy whirlwind fly;
Mute was the music of the air,
The herd stood drooping by:
Their raptures now that wildly flow,
No yesterday, nor morrow know;
'Tis man alone that joy descries
With forward and reverted eyes.

Smiles on past misfortune's brow,
Soft reflection's hand can trace ;
And o'er the cheek of sorrow throw
A melancholy grace:
While hope prolongs our happier hour;
Or deepest shades, that dimly lower
And blacken round our weary way,
Gilds with a gleam of distant day.

Still, where rosy pleasure leads,
See a kindred grief pursue;
Behind the steps that misery treads
Approaching comfort view :
The hues of bliss more brightly glow,
Chastis’d by sabler tints of woe;
And blended form, with artful strife,
The strength and harmony of life.

See the wretch, that long has tost
On the thorny bed of pain,
At length repair his vigour lost,
And breathe, and walk again :

The meanest floweret of the vale,
The simplest note that swells the galé,
The common sun, the air, the skies,
To him are opening Paradise,

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Humble Quiet builds her cell
Near the course where pleasure flows ;
She eyes the clear crystalline well,
And tastes it as it goes.

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Agrip. 'Tis well, begone! your errand is per

form'd: [Speaks as to Anicetus entering The message

needs no comment. Tell your master,
His mother shall obey him. Say you saw her
Yielding due reverence to his high command :
Alone, unguarded, and without a lictor,
As fits the daughter of Germanicus.
Say, she retired to Antium; there to tend
Her household cares, a woman's best employment.
What if you add, how she turn'd pale, and trembled;
You think, you spied a tear stand in her eye,
And would have dropp’d, but that her pride re-

strain'd it?
(Go! you can paint it well) 'twill profit you,

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And please the stripling. Yet 'twould dash his joy
To hear the spirit of Britannicus
Yet walks on earth; at least there are who know
Without a spell to raise, and bid it fire
A thousand haughty hearts, unus'd to shake
When a boy frowns, nor to be lur'd with smiles
To taste of hollow kindness, or partake
His hospitable board: They ate aware
Of th' unpledg'd bowl, they love not aconite.
Acer. He's gone; and much I hope these walls

And the mute air are privy to your passion.
Forgive your servant’s fears, who sees the danger
Which fierce resentment cannot fail to raise
In haughty youth, and irritated power.

Agrip. And dost thou talk to me, to me, of danger, Of haughty youth, and irritated power, To her that gave it being, her that arm'd This painted Jove, and taught his novice hand To aim the forked bolt; whilst he stood trembling, Scar'd at the sound, and dazzled with its brightness ? 'Tis like, thou hast forgot, when yet a stranger To adoration, to the grateful steam Of flattery's incense, and obsequious vows From voluntary realms, a puny boy, Deck'd with no other lustre than the blood Of Agrippina's race, he liv'd unknown To fame, or fortune; haply ey'd at distance Some edileship, ambitious of the power To judge of weights and measures; scarcely dar'd

On expectation's strongest wing to soar
High as the consulate, that empty shade
Of long-forgotten liberty: When I
Oped his young eye to bear the blaze of greatness ;
Show'd him, where empire tower'd, and bade him

The noble quarry. Gods! then was the time
To shrink from danger; fear might then have worn
The mask of prudence: but a heart like mine,
A heart that glows with the pure Julian fire,
If bright ambition from her craggy seat
Display the radiant prize, will mount undaunted,
Gain the rough heights, and grasp the dangerous

honour. Acer. Through various life I have pursued your

steps, Have seen your soul, and wonder'd at its daring: Hence rise


fears. Nor am I How vast the debt of gratitude, which Nero To such a mother owes; the world, you gave him, Suffices not to pay the obligation. I well remember too (for I was present) When in a secret and dead hour of night, Due sacrifice perform’d with barb'rous rites Of mutter'd charms, and solemn invocation, You bad the magi call the dreadful powers, That read futurity, to know the fate Impending o'er your son: Their answer was, If the son reign, the mother perishes. Perish (you cried) the mother! reign the son !

yet to learn

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