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PHILANDER.

ACT I.

SCENE, An open plain, with the prospect of a wood at a distance.
Enter SYLVIA. NERINA following.
NERINA.
1 YOU shun me then, my Sylvia?
SYLVIA.
1 No, my friend,
2 Not you, 'tis the fond voice of love, I shun;
3 Chuse any other theme, and I will listen
4 Still as the night, when not a zephyr stirs
5 The trembling leaves.
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NERINA.
5 And why not talk of love?
6 While that soft bloom glows on thy beauteous cheek,
7 While thy eyes dart their undiminish'd rays,
8 And every feature smiles with rosy youth.
9 Youth, the fit season for delight and joy.
10 Ah! trifler, waste not thus the fleeting hours,
11 The spring of life knows no return; and age,
12 The ceaseless winter of the human frame,
13 Steals silent on, to blast thy flow'ry prime.
SONG.
14 Ah! waste not thus thy flow'ry prime,
15 The vernal season of delight;
16 Youth flies upon the wings of time,
17 And age and winter are in sight.
SYLVIA.
18 Then let me seize each minute as it flies,
19 Consume in varied sports the blissful day,
20 Rise with the dawn, and join the virgin train,
21 Bound o'er the dewy vale, dislodge the deer,
22 Pursue with flying pace the nimble doe,
23 And with the savage wage a distant war.
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NERINA.
24 Ah! foolish nymph, begin the war at home:
25 Within thy charming breast the savage lies,
26 Covert too sweet for such a dang'rous foe.
SONG.
27 Would'st thou a greater monster quell,
28 Than all our teeming woods e'er bore:
29 Subdue thy pride, that foe repel,
30 And yield to love's persuasive lore.
SYLVIA.
31 Thee, chaste Diana, all my wishes claim;
32 By choice thy vot'ry, my whole life is thine.
SONG.
33 Oh! goddess of the Sylvan reign
34 Where peace, where innocence abide;
35 My freedom is to wear thy chain,
36 In serving thee my noblest pride.
NERINA.
37 Thy infant-vows, to young Philander given,
38 Thou stand'st excluded from the virgin choir.
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SYLVIA.
39 Philander was my parent's choice, not mine.
40 My heart subscrib'd not to th' unhallow'd vow
41 That pass'd my infant lips; urge it no more.
NERINA.
42 Montano's heir, Montano Phoebus' priest,
43 Dear to his patron-god, and blest with wealth:
44 Where could your choice have fix'd, had it been free
45 But on your destin'd spouse? Arcadia's boast,
46 The secret wish of every blooming maid.
SYLVIA.
47 Take him who will, this all-accomplish'd youth:
48 My part in him I quit, and, sweet exchange!
49 Be freedom mine; mine the enchanting joys
50 These woods and forests yield, this well-strung bow,
51 This sounding quiver, pure delights supply.
52 Be but my arrows fleet, and just their aim,
53 And I have all my wish.
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NERINA.
53 Take heed, fond maid!
54 For love has arrows fleeter far; and oh!
55 More deadly too, if pointed with despair.
SONG.
56 Think what the hapless virgin proves,
57 Who loves in vain, yet fondly loves;
58 While modesty and female pride,
59 The slighted passion seek to hide.
60 For oh! in vain the sigh's represt
61 That struggling heaves her anxious breast.
62 In vain the falling tear's with-held,
63 The conscious wish in vain repell'd.
64 Her faded cheek, and air forlorn,
65 Coarse jests invite, and cruel scorn.
66 To hopeless love she falls a prey,
67 And wastes in silent grief away.
SYLVIA.
68 With her own coldness Cynthia guards my breast;
69 And the soft god can find no entrance there.
SONG.
70 Ye gently-breathing zephyrs say,
71 If as your airy course yon fly,
72 Did you e'er meet with one so gay,
73 So happy, or so free, as I.
74 Ye softly-murm'ring streams declare,
75 If on your banks you ever knew
76 A maid who own'd so little care,
77 A heart to liberty so true.
NERINA.
78 Yet dread the anger of avenging gods,
79 For broken vows and violated faith.
SYLVIA.
80 The gods are just: they form'd me what I am,
81 Cold and disdainful of the nuptial tye;
82 They will not punish faults themselves have caus'd.
83 But while forgetful of the promis'd chace,
84 With thee the moments idly thus I waste,
85 A bevy of bright nymphs, already met
86 In yonder grove of oaks, expect my coming.
87 This day we hunt the stag.
SONG.
88 Celestial huntress, deign to grace
89 Our sports, and bless the morning chace.
90 The goddess comes, she comes, and lo!
91 I see her silver-beaming bow.
92 I hear her rattling quiver sound,
93 Her nymphs with chearful shoutings fill the place,
94 And the glad echos from the hills rebound.
[Going.]
PHILANDER meets her.
PHILANDER.
95 One moment stay.
SYLVIA.
96 Detain me not, the morning wears apace.
97 The nymphs expect me to the promis'd chace.
PHILANDER.
98 Ah! quit the Sylvan war, the hunter's toils,
99 Love, nobler trophies yields, and sweeter spoils.
100 Beauty like your's should these rough sports despise,
101 Nor with your arrows conquer, but your eyes.
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SYLVIA.
102 Beauty's short conquests soon to bondage turn,
103 The vanquish'd triumph, and the victors mourn.
104 With haughty sway his empire Love maintains,
105 And all are vassals, where a tyrant reigns.
PHILANDER.
106 Yet his soft power, even gods themselves confess,
107 'Tis his to conquer, but 'tis his to bless.
108 Then yield thee, beauteous nymph, and thou shalt prove
109 How faint all joys compar'd to mutual love.
SYLVIA.
110 Away, presumptuous! taint not my chaste car
111 With sounds Diana's handmaid must not hear.
112 Hate ever be my part, be thine despair,
113 Away, presumptuous! and thy suit forbear.
PHILANDER.
SONG.
114 Yes, cruel maid, I go to prove
115 The last sad effort of despair:
116 One death shall this lost wretch remove,
117 And thousands from thy scorn shall spare.
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118 Yet shall thy image bless my closing eye,
119 And my last breath thy still lov'd name shall sigh.
Exeunt.
NERINA.
120 Oh! cruelty extreme! ungrateful maid,
121 Thus, is it thus, that faithful love is paid?
SYLVIA.
122 Cease chiding now, my savage lover comes,
123 The rude, rough Satyr ah! he's here already.
Enter the SATYR.
124 Ah! Sylvia, whither, whither, dost thou fly?
125 Turn, cruel maid, too lovely Sylvia turn.
126 Oh! fairer than the fairest lillies thou,
127 Erect and tall as alders; thy soft skin
128 More sleek than orient shells; and whiter far
129 Than falling snows; turn, turn thy starry eyes,
130 And bless thy lover with their beauteous rays.
SYLVIA.
131 Great terror of these woods; ah! why on me,
132 This lavish praise? know thy own worth, and woo
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133 Some nymph, if such there be, whose wondrous form
134 Is lovely as thy own.
SATYR.
134 Insulting maid!
135 This form despis'd by thee wants not its charms,
136 If in the liquid mirror of the sea
137 I view myself aright, this face of mine
138 A sanguine colour boasts; these shaggy limbs
139 For strength and swiftness form'd, and manly grace.
SYLVIA.
140 If charms like these want pow'r to gain my love,
141 Blame my dull eyes, and my still duller mind.
SATYR.
142 To charm those eyes the aid of art I'll try,
143 To move that mind the force of gifts I'll prove,
144 A pair of turtles callow from the nest,
145 Court the soft soothings of thy lilly-hand;
146 Oh! learn of them to love, and pay my pains.
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SONG.
147 Doves are Venus' birds, and bear
148 Her chariot through the yielding air;
149 Cupid, with their feathers, wings
150 Those darts th' unerring archer flings.
151 Yet his soft rage the wantons prove,
152 And all their little life, is love.
SYLVIA.
153 Melodious strains, indeed! your music, Satyr,
154 Nought equals, but your verse.
SATYR.
155 Do my songs please thee? stay then and behold
156 A vintage measure, and my skill applaud
157 As in the harmonious maze I lightly move.
158 Here on the verdant turf recline, while I
159 Summon my fellows to the antic round.
Enter SATYRS.
160 Ye dear companions of my rural joys,
161 This paragon of nymphs, this conquering fair
162 Deigns to behold our sports; begin and shew
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163 That Satyrs have their graces, and can tread
164 With Bacchanalian skill the sprightly dance.
165 Begin, I say.
SYLVIA.
166 This lawless rout with terror chills my heart:
167 Seize the first happy moment, to retire.
[To NERINA.]
DANCE of the SATYRS.
Sylvia and Nerina steal off when it is almost ended.
SATYR.
168 Ha, gone! break off the dance:
169 She is not here whose eyes I sought to charm.
170 Ah! cruel nymph, inexorable fair,
171 Harder than tygers to be broke; than rocks
172 More fix'd in thy disdain; more haughty far
173 Than the vain peacock in its plumy pride.
174 Why seek I thee with song and dance to move?
175 Colder than fountains; like the sliding streams
176 Impossible to hold: but here I swear
177 By Pan, great author of our race, I swear,
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178 Since song, nor dance, nor gifts, nor pray'rs can move
179 Thy stubborn soul, by force I'll crown my love.
END of the FIRST ACT.
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ACT the SECOND.

SCENE continues.
Enter SYLVIA and NYMPHS, as from hunting, with bows and arrows.
First NYMPH.
1 GRace of our woods! sure Dian's self directs
2 Thy still unerring dart.
SYLVIA.
2 Be her's the praise.
3 Oh! virgin huntress, to thy fav'ring smile
4 Alone I owe, that foremost in the chace
5 My shaft transfixes first the trembling prey.
6 Thou speed'st the whistling arrow to its mark:
7 Wing'd with thy swiftness o'er the plain I fly,
8 And all my honours are deriv'd from thee.
SONG.
9 Cynthia, queen of rural pleasures,
10 Pleasures which no guilt destroys,
11 Thine are all health's choicest treasures,
12 Thine are virtue's solid joys.
[Here the Satyr appears listening.]
SYLVIA.
13 Now while the sun darts fierce the noon-tide blaze,
14 Haste to the neighb'ring grove, fair nymphs, and shun
15 His fervid ray; mean time, in yonder vale
16 Where pines and cedars mingling grateful shade,
17 And from the stream which slowly glides beneath
18 Excludes the light; there will I bathe, then taste
19 A short repose upon its flow'ry border.
First NYMPH.
20 Soft be thy slumbers, gentle maid, farewel!
Exeunt.
The SATYR comes forward.
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SATYR.
21 So my coy Nymph! I think I hold thee now
22 Safe in my toils; go on, securely go
23 To thy well-chosen privacy; by Pan,
24 It fits my purpose well: yes, stubborn maid!
25 There shalt thou find an unexpected guest,
26 An injur'd lover bent on great revenge.
SONG.
27 I hate your sighing, fawning, lying,
28 To cry each moment one is dying,
29 In some sick puppy's tone.
30 No: while her pride looks most demurely,
31 Let me, invading, clasp securely
32 What force has made my own.
Exeunt Satyr.
Enter PHILANDER in a melancholy posture.
PHILANDER.
SONG.
33 In vain I strive to fly
34 This soul-consuming care;
35 My sorrow's always nigh,
36 And present every where.
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37 In vain I seek the grove,
38 There no repose I find,
39 What shades can shut out love?
40 Or cool the fever'd mind?
41 That sweetly-dashing stream,
42 Those gales that whisper round,
43 Increase the fatal flame,
44 Enlarge the bleeding wound.
45 The silent gloom of night
46 Adds horror to my grief;
47 The gay return of light
48 To me brings no relief.
49 Why do I wander thus in woods alone?
50 Why vent to senseless trees my mournful plaints;
51 Sigh to the fleeting wind; with tears deface
52 The dimpled stream? Oh! Sylvia, cruel maid!
53 Thy pride a savage sacrifice demands,
54 Nor will be satisfied with less than life.
Enter THIRSIS.
THIRSIS.
55 I sought thee, dear Philander!
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PHILANDER.
55 Oh! my Thirsis!
56 Why seek a wretch who cannot find himself?
57 Lost to each joy, to fierce despair a prey?
58 Fain would I shun all commerce with mankind:
59 In these dark shades wear out the sad remains
60 Of hated life.
THIRSIS.
61 Oh love! thou tyrant of the human breast,
62 Fierce and remorseless as the prowling wolf
63 That nightly makes the helpless flock his prey:
64 Falsly they call thee god of pleasing pains,
65 Of gentle wishes and refin'd delights:
66 Doubts, fears, and jealousies, surround thy throne;
67 Eternal sighs fan thy destructive fires,
68 And broken hearts are thy sad sacrifice.
PHILANDER.
69 Such is, indeed, the fate of hopeless love;
70 And such is mine.
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THIRSIS.
70 You make yourself your fate;
71 Love should be paid with love, and hate with hate.
PHILANDER.
SONG.
72 In vain my passion you reprove,
73 This heart, alas! was form'd for love,
74 His pains, if not his joys, to feel:
75 Here the soft god has fix'd his throne,
76 But oh! 'midst sighs, and tears alone,
77 Nor deigns the wounds he makes to heal.
THIRSIS.
78 Oh! bend not thus thy drooping head to earth,
79 Like tender plants beneath the beating storm;
80 This day thy father, by thy griefs impell'd,
81 With grateful off'rings seeks his patron god;
82 Prostrate before his altar now he lies,
83 And all his pious prayers ascend for thee.
PHILANDER.
84 To mine, alas! no pitying pow'rs enclin'd,
85 Unheard, and mingled with the vagrant wind.
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THIRSIS.
86 Hope better now, for see thy fire appears,
87 A solemn joy upon his brow he wears:
88 Some pleasing news he brings.
PHILANDER.
88 Be still, my heart!
89 Oh! throb not thus, can hope be painful too?
Enter MONTANO.
MONTANO.
90 Oh! thou to fierce despair a wretched prey,
91 Much-lov'd, lamented youth.
PHILANDER.
91 Ill-omen'd pity!
92 Alas! my father mourns my fate; 'tis past,
93 Hope is no more.
MONTANO.
94 I bring thee more than hope,
95 My vows are heard, thy wishes all are crown'd,
96 No more the haughty maid shall fly thy love.
PHILANDER.
97 Oh! sounds which might arrest the stroke of death,
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98 Call back the soul to her abandon'd seat,
99 And give it more than life, give immortality.
MONTANO.
100 With awful rev'rence hear the god's decree,
101 At whose dread altars I so long have serv'd;
102 Sylvia, by plighted vows, thy lawful claim
103 Must either yield this day to be thy bride,
104 Or by her death
PHILANDER.
104 Oh! love! almighty love!
105 What do I hear?
MONTANO.
105 Or, by her death atone
106 For violated faith. Thus dooms Apollo.
PHILANDER.
107 Is this to crown my wishes? oh! my father.
MONTANO.
108 Rash youth, repine not at the god's decree,
109 But to the haughty fair reveal her sentence,
110 This day to be a victim, or a bride,
111 Is all her fate allows.
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PHILANDER.
SONG.
112 Oh! stop that death-denouncing sound,
113 Nor mix it with the passing air,
114 Lest by some ruder zephyr found,
115 'Tis wasted to the trembling fair.
116 His own soft cause love best can plead,
117 Or let me die, or let me thus succeed.
[Exit.]
THIRSIS.
118 Despair is in his eyes, oh! sage Montano!
119 Should the proud nymph persist in her denial,
120 Her sentence urg'd would aggravate his woe;
121 And, but forgive my sad foreboding fears,
122 Perhaps involve him in her wretched fate.
MONTANO.
123 Dismiss thy fears, thy unexperienc'd youth
124 Reads not the secret heart of varying woman;
125 Form'd to ensnare, and practis'd to delude,
126 She flies, but flying, hopes to be pursu'd,
127 With doubling arts long keeps the doubtful field,
128 And yields, or seems to force alone to yield.
END of the SECOND ACT.
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ACT the THIRD.

SCENE, A Grove.
SYLVIA discovered sleeping at a distance; PHILANDER enters and gazes on her.
PHILANDER.
1 SHE sleeps, and I may gaze securely now,
2 Nor fear the lightning of her angry eyes;
3 So looks the goddess of the silver bow!
4 When by Eurota's lucid wave she lies.
SONG.
5 On those fair eye-lids, gentle sleep,
6 Thy softest influence shed,
7 Still in thy downy fetters keep
8 The lovely, cruel maid.
9 Ye sighing gales, ye murm'ring streams,
10 Ye tenants of the grove,
11 Oh! lengthen out her pleasing dreams,
12 And tune her soul to love.
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13 Conceal'd I'll guard thy slumbers, lovely maid,
14 Lest some rude swain the sweet recess invade,
15 Those charms a lover views with chasten'd fires,
16 In vulgar breasts may kindle loose desires.
Enter the SATYR looking about him.
SATYR.
17 Low murm'ring sounds I heard, yet none are here;
18 'Twas but the whispers of the am'rous breeze
19 That plays among the boughs.
SYLVIA
awaking.
19 What do I see?
20 The brutal Satyr! guard me, chaste Diana.
SATYR.
21 Aye, you may call your goddess to your aid,
22 She hears you not; the music of her hounds
23 And beagle-horn will drown your feeble cries.
SYLVIA.
24 Ah! whither would'st thou drag me, cruel Sylvan?
25 Help, help, some pitying power!
[Page 33]
Enter PHILANDER.
PHILANDER.
26 Vile monster! hence.
The SATYR runs off.
PHILANDER approaches SYLVIA, who turns from him.
PHILANDER.
27 Oh! stedfast hate, yet hear me, cruel maid,
28 If to have sav'd thee from the brutal rage
29 Of that fierce Sylvan, claims one kind regard,
30 Turn, turn, and listen to my ardent vows.
SYLVIA.
31 Why will you still this hated theme pursue?
32 Must I another Satyr find in you?
33 Both persecutors in a different way,
34 My honour he, you would my heart betray.
SONG.
35 Love, o'er the abject breast may reign,
36 With all his light fantastic train
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37 Of wishes, cares, and fond desires,
38 Fears and hopes, and jealous fires,
39 Be mine from the soft folly free;
40 Love has no charms like liberty.
PHILANDER.
41 Yet, yet, relent! yield to a lover's prayer.
SYLVIA.
42 Away, or this detested theme forbear.
PHILANDER.
43 What shall I say, her stubborn mind to move?
44 Declare her sentence: no, forbid it love!
[To her]
45 Yet hear me, Sylvia, e'er it be too late,
46 Speak one kind word, for oh! thy breath is fate.
SYLVIA.
47 Mark then my firm resolves, and oh! be thou,
48 Celestial maid, propitious to my vow;
49 With thee an humble vot'ry to remain,
50 Tho' last and meanest of thy virgin train.
51 If cold and temp'rate as thy own mild ray,
52 Thy shades I haunt, and thy commands obey,
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53 Still, goddess, thy protection let me prove,
54 And guard me from the sly seducer, love.
[Exit.]
PHILANDER.
55 Stay, Sylvia, stay, and from these trembling lips
56 Hear the stern god's decree Alas! she flies
57 Swift as the trackless winds, to death she flies,
58 Death less abhorr'd than me.
Enter NERINA.
NERINA.
59 Here Sylvia should be found; but sure I heard
60 The plaintive voice of sorrow 'tis Philander,
61 Alas! poor youth, he weeps, I will observe him.
PHILANDER.
62 Why wears
63 The face of nature such a chearful smile?
64 Why this soft verdure? why this gaudy bloom?
65 Fall horrors, fall, and make this beauteous scene
66 Dark as my gloomy soul oh Sylvia! Sylvia!
NERINA.
67 Would she were here, and heard thee.
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PHILANDER.
68 Cold shadowy queen, who laugh'st at lover's woes,
69 Thy self unloving, unbelov'd, now save
70 From the sad doom incurr'd, thy beauteous vot'ry.
NERINA
(approaching him)
71 Alas! what doom? speak'st thou of Sylvia, shepherd?
PHILANDER.
72 Ha! sure the goddess' self inspires the thought.
73 Haste, haste Nerina, seek thy cruel friend,
74 Tell her oh heaven! tell her that Phoebus claims
75 Her forfeit life for violated faith:
76 Fly, bid her seek Diana's sacred fane,
77 And claim protection there.
NERINA.
78 Oh gen'rous youth! oh my unhappy friend!
[Exit running.]
Enter THIRSIS.
THIRSIS.
79 He's here: how shall I speak the dreadful news?
[Page 37]
PHILANDER.
80 Why art thou thus alarm'd? say, dearest Thirsis.
81 Alas! 'tis the sad privilege of despair
82 To fear no worse.
THIRSIS.
83 She has refus'd you then.
PHILANDER.
84 She has, and oh! with such a fix'd disdain!
85 Ungrateful maid, then when my timely aid
86 Had sav'd her from a brutal Satyr's lust,
87 Then to reject my humble suff'ring love,
88 And, in despite of former ties, renew
89 Her vows to the rough goddess of the woods.
THIRSIS.
90 Horrid ingratitude! would thou could'st hate her.
PHILANDER.
91 Hate her! yes, friend, I'll tear her from my breast.
92 Oh! may she feel, like me, the pangs of love,
93 Like me unpity'd mourn, and sigh in vain.
THIRSIS.
94 The righteous gods, to nobler vengeance doom
95 The perjur'd maid.
[Page 38]
PHILANDER.
96 Oh! Thirsis, there I'm lost.
THIRSIS.
97 Arcadia groans beneath Apollo's frown,
98 In thee his priest is scorn'd; the wrathful god
99 Bends his dread bow o'er our devoted plains,
100 And claims his victim.
PHILANDER.
101 Sylvia then must die!
THIRSIS.
102 She must, my friend, e'en now with mild entreaty
103 Thy father urg'd her to perform her vow,
104 Scornful she heard, nor shook at the sad sentence
105 Which he with tears pronounc'd.
PHILANDER.
106 Yet hold my heart,
107 Where is she now?
THRISIS.
108 I saw her, guarded by the attending priests
109 In sad procession, led tow'rds the temple:
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110 Her griev'd companions rend the air with cries,
111 And beat their snowy breasts in wild despair.
112 But she with haughty mien, erect and firm
113 As the stern deity by her obey'd,
114 Welcomes her fate; nor can th'approach of death
115 Banish the colour from her cheeks; or rage
116 And fierce disdain plant fresher roses there.
PHILANDER.
117 Oh! Sylvia, must thou die?
THIRSIS.
117 Alas! my friend,
118 You tremble, you look pale; think on your wrongs,
119 Think on her scorn, and th'impending curse
120 That threats Arcadia, till the god's appeas'd.
SOLEMN MUSIC at a distance.
PHILANDER.
121 By all the pangs that rend this tortur'd breast,
122 The sad solemnity is now begun:
123 Ah! friend, farewel! farewel my dearest Thirsis.
[Embracing him.]
[Page 40]
THIRSIS.
124 Ha! whither now? what mean'st thou, dear Philander?
PHILANDER.
125 Oh Thirsis! I must see her once again.
THIRSIS.
126 You must not go, forgive my friendly zeal.
[Holding him.]
PHILANDER.
127 Off! or by heaven this moment is my last.
128 See, fate is in my power.
[Shewing a poniard.]
THIRSIS.
129 Desp'rate youth!
[Exit PHILANDER. THIRSIS following.]
[Page 41]
SCENE changes to the temple of Apollo, an altar, priests attending: solemn music plays; then the procession appears; four priests walk two and two, Montano next with the sacred knife in his hand; after him Sylvia in white, led by two priests, her head bound with the sacred fillets; a train of virgins following weeping: they advance to the altar: the HYMN to Apollo is sung.
HYMN to APOLLO.
130 HAIL Phoebus, son of Jove,
131 Great patron of the moving lyre,
132 Whose sounds, soft peace and smiling joy inspire,
133 And give new pleasures to the blest above.
134 To thee our noblest lays belong,
135 Thine is the poet, thine the song,
136 Eternal source of light, of music, and of love.
137 Hail! mighty Paean, hail!
138 Asserter of thy father's throne,
139 Thy force the rebel giants own,
140 Who vainly hop'd against him to prevail:
141 Thy name redeem'd Thessalia sings,
142 And all her noblest off'rings brings
143 To thee, by whose dread arm the monster Python fell.
[Page 42]
144 Who can thy frown sustain?
145 Or bear impure, thy piercing ray?
146 Thou, on the guilty bosom pour'st the day,
147 And all the wretch's crimes are seen:
148 Lo! perjur'd beauty justly dies,
149 Accept this awful sacrifice,
150 And bless, oh! bless Arcadia with thy smiles again.
MONTANO.
151 Ill-fated maid! whose soul no pray'rs could move,
152 No sorrows soften, and no vows could bind;
153 Tho' by thy fierce disdain, my hapless son
154 In anguish wastes his days: tho' o'er Arcadia
155 Apollo bends his fatal bow, and claims
156 Thy forfeit life, yet still this aged hand
157 Shrinks to perform its office.
SYLVIA.
157 You may spare
158 Your ill-tim'd pity, priest, I need it not.
159 O Cynthia! guardian-goddess of my youth,
160 To whom my virgin vows have still been paid;
161 I die thy votary, and this pure blood
162 Shed in thy cause, seals me for ever thine.
MONTANO to the PRIESTS.
163 Lead her to the altar.
[Page 43]
Enter PHILANDER.
PHILANDER.
164 I charge you hold.
MONTANO.
165 Rash youth retire, nor with your useless grief
166 Profane the solemn rites.
PHILANDER.
166 Oh! give me way.
167 I swear the awful pow'r shall be appeas'd,
168 He shall, my father; only suffer me
169 To kneel before that dear devoted maid,
170 And groan for pardon, since she dies my victim.
SYLVIA to PHILANDER,
who kneels.
171 Hence, from my sight, and let me die in peace.
PHILANDER
rising.
172 Oh, cruel even in death! yet hold, my heart,
173 Break not, e'er thy sad purpose is compleated,
174 Lest heaven reject th'imperfect sacrifice.
SYLVIA.
175 What mean'st thou?
PHILANDER.
175 Mighty love!
176 This is thy triumph, Sylvia thou art free,
[Page 44]
177 Oh! hate not life, because it is my gift;
178 Thus I appease the god, and die to save thee.
Kneels before the altar, and as he raises his arm to stab himself, Thirsis enters and holds him.
THIRSIS.
179 Help! save him, help!
MONTANO.
180 My son! my dear Philander!
SYLVIA.
181 Oh! wond'rous proof of unexampled love!
MONTANO.
182 Eternal night shroud my unhappy eyes.
THIRSIS.
183 Why this excess of grief? your son is safe.
MONTANO.
184 No pow'r on earth
185 Can save him now, our sacred law forbids
186 A second victim; well he knew it's force,
187 And hence this dire resolve.
SYLVIA.
188 Ah me! unhappy
MONTANO.
189 Dost thou weep, proud maid?
190 Inhuman tears! such the hyena sheds
191 Over her helpless prey.
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PHILANDER.
191 Oh! sacred drops,
192 To me more grateful than the morning dew
193 On dying plants; then dost thou pity me?
SYLVIA.
194 Pity! yet sure there is a softer name
195 For what I feel this moment oh Philander!
PHILANDER.
196 Why dost thou pause? why dost thou turn away?
197 Speak, speak again, and bless my ravish'd eyes
198 With one look more, then let them close for ever.
SYLVIA.
199 For me thou shalt not die.
PHILANDER.
199 For thee I will,
200 And oh! be witness, love!
201 With what extatic joy I meet my fate.
MONTANO.
202 Ungrateful to a father's tender cares,
203 A faithful lover, but a son unkind!
204 Yet let me fold thee to my aking breast
205 Before we part for ever, now farewel!
206 Receive your victim, priests, but spare my eyes
207 The dreadful sight! I go to weep and die.
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SYLVIA.
208 Stay, holy sire.
MONTANO.
209 What would'st thou?
SYLVIA.
209 O! behold
210 The only lawful victim, save your son,
211 And strike this harden'd breast.
MONTANO.
211 Away, fond maid!
212 Your pity comes too late oh, my Philander!
[Going.]
SYLVIA.
213 Oh! youth, too little known, belov'd too late,
214 Thou shalt not conquer in this noble strife:
215 I cannot change, but I will share thy fate,
216 And death shall give what I deny'd in life.
[Snatches a dart from one of the nymphs.]
PHILANDER
(catching hold of her.)
217 Oh! hold thy hand, or hate me once again:
218 Live, beauteous maid, nor let me die in vain.
Thunder; a bright cloud appears; Apollo is discovered seated in his chariot; soft music as he descends.
MONTANO.
219 He comes, the awful god himself appears!
220 Kneel, and confess the present deity.
[All kneel.]
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APOLLO.
221 Returning virtue's contrite sighs,
222 Are heaven's most pleasing sacrifice;
223 Through the wide space of yielding air,
224 The winds the grateful incense bear,
225 And waft it to the skies.
226 Blest shepherd! who such truth could prove,
227 Blest maid! whom truth at last could move;
228 On you th'immortal pow'rs bestow
229 Their best, their fairest gifts below,
230 Peace, innocence, and love.
MONTANO.
231 Oh! pow'r by me ador'd, with awful love,
232 With duteous rev'rence serv'd, gracious, accept
233 A happy father's thanks.
PHILANDER.
233 Oh! son of Jove,
234 Immortal Phoebus, light-dispensing god,
235 And theme of verse perpetual, be thy praise
236 For ever sung by me.
SYLVIA.
236 Oh! pow'r benign!
237 Fav'rite of gods and men, my grateful heart
238 To thee its purest vows shall ever pay.
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PHILANDER to SYLVIA.
239 Restor'd to life, to hope, to love, and thee,
240 Now let me gaze upon thy beauteous eyes,
241 And read my bliss confirm'd, or else in vain
242 A god pronounc'd me happy.
SYLVIA.
242 Dearest and best
243 Of all thy sex; oh! if thou read'st not there
244 The softest, truest passion, that e'er warm'd
245 A virgin-breast, they injure what I feel.
PHILANDER
(taking her hand)
246 Oh! sweet reward of suff'ring love; oh! bliss
247 Unutterable.
MONTANO.
248 Still may your joys increase, a virtuous flame
249 Knows no decay, and burns through life the same;
250 Like noon-tide sun it glows in youth's short day,
251 And milder friendship is its setting ray.
FINIS.

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Title (in Source Edition): PHILANDER.
Themes:
Genres: blank verse; drama

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Source edition

Philander. A Dramatic Pastoral: By the Author of the Female Quixote. London: printed for A. Millar, 1758, pp. []-48. 48p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T9992; OTA K024779.000)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.