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N those cold Climates, where
Unwillingly, and hides his
Face in Tears ;
A dismal Vale lies in a de-
On which indulgent Heav'n did never smile.
There a thick Grove of aged Cypress Trecs,
Which none without an awful Horror secs,
Into its wither'd Arms, depriv'd of Leaves,
Whole Flocks of ill-presaging Birds reccives.
Poisons are all the Plants that Soil will bear,
And Winter is the only Season there.
Millions of Graves o’ersprcad the spacious Field,
And Springs of Blood a thousand Rivers yield;
Whose Streams, oppress’d with Carcasses and Bones,
Instead of gentle Murmurs, pour forth Groans.
Within this Vale a famous Temple stands,
Old as the World itself, which it commands ;
Round is its Figure; and four Iron Gates
Divide Mankind, by Order of the Fates.
Thither in Crouds come to onc common Grave
The Young, the Old, the Monarchi, and the Slave.
Old Age and Pains, those Evils Man deplores,
Are rigid Keepers of th'eternal Doors,
All clad in mournful Blacks, which sadly load
The sacred Walls of this obscure Abode :
And Tapers, of a pitchy Substance made,
With Clouds of Smoke increase the dismal Shade.
A Monster void of Reason and of Sight, The Goddess is, who sways this Realm of Night: Her Pow'r extends o'er all things that have Breath, A cruel Tyrant, and her Name is Death. The fairest Object of our wond'ring Eyes Was newly offer'd up her Sacrifice ; Th'adjoining Places where the Altar stood, Yet blushing with the fair ALMERIA's Blood. When griev'd ORONTEs whose unhappy Flame Is known to all who e'er converse with Fame, His Mind possess’d by Fury and Despair, Within the sacred Temple made this Prayer :
Great Deity! Who in thy Hands do'st bear That Iron Scepter which poor
Mortals fear; Who wanting Eyes thy self, respectest none, And neither spar'st the Laurel, nor the Crown! O thou, whom all Mankind in vain withstand, Each of whose Blood must one day stain thy Hand !
O thou, who ev'ry Eye that sees the Light,
Closest for ever in the Shades of Night !
Goddess attend, and hearken to my Grief,
To which thy Pow'r alone can give Relicf,
Alas, I ask not to defer my Fate,
But wish my hapless Life a shorter Date,
And that the Earth would in its Bowels hide
A Wretch, whom Heav'n invades on ev'ry fide :
That from the Sight of Day I could remove,
And might have nothing left me but my Love,
Thou only Comforter of Minds oppress’d;
The Port where weary'd Spirits are at reft;
Conductor to Elyfum, take my Life;
My Breast I offer to thy sacred Knife :
So just a Grace refuse not, nor despise
A willing, thro' a worthless Sacrifice.
Others, (their frail and mortal State forgot)
Before thy Altars are not to be brought
Without Constraint; the Noise of dying Rage,
Heaps of the slain of ev'ry Sex and Age,
The Blade all reeking in the Gore it shed,
With sever'd Heads and Arms confus’dly spread;
The rapid Flames of a perpetual Fire,
The Groans of Wretches ready to expire:
This Tragick Scene in Terror makes them live,
Till that is forc'd, which they should freely give ;
Yielding unwillingly what Heav'n will have,
Their Fears eclipse the Glory of their Grave:
Before thy Face they make indecent Moan,
And feel a hundred Deaths in fearing one ;
Thy Flame becomes unhallow'd in their Breast,
And he a Murderer who was a Priest.
But against me thy strongest Forces call,
And on my Head let all the Tempest fall;
No mean Retreat shall any Weakness show,
But calmly I'll expeet the fatal Blow;
My Limbs not trembling, in my Mind no Fear,
Plaints in my Mouth, nor in my Eyes a Tear.
Think not that Time, our wonted sure Relief,
That universal Cure for ev'ry Gricf,