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Not Troy itfelf, tho built by hands divine,
Nor Priam, nor his people, nor his line,
My mother, nor my brothers of renown,
Whofe valour yet defends th' unhappy town;
Not these, nor all their fates which I foresee,
Are half of that concern I have for thee.
I fee, I see thee, in that fatal hour,
Subjected to the victor's cruel pow'r;
Led hence a flave to fome infulting fword,
Forlorn, and trembling at a foreign lord;
A spectacle in Argos, at the loom,
Gracing with Trojan fights a Grecian room;
Or from deep wells the living ftream to take,
And on thy weary fhoulders bring it back.
While, groaning under this laborious life,
They infolently call thee Hector's wife;
Upbraid thy bondage with thy husband's name;
And from my glory propagate thy shame.
This when they fay, thy forrows will increase
With anxious thoughts of former happiness;
That he is dead who could thy wrongs redrefs.
But I, opprefs'd with iron fleep before,
Shall hear thy unavailing cries no more.
Then, holding forth his arms, he took his boy, The pledge of love and other hope of Troy.
The fearful infant turn'd his head away,
And on his nurfe's neck reclining lay,
His unknown father fhunning with affright,
And looking back on so uncouth a fight;
Daunted to fee a face with fteel o'er-fpread,
And his high plume that nodded o'er his head.
His fire and mother fmil'd with filent joy;
And Hector haften'd to relieve his boy;
Difmifs'd his burnish'd helm, that fhone afar,
The pride of warriors, and the pomp of war:
Th'illuftrious babe, thus reconcil'd, he took:
Hugg'd in his arms, and kiss'd, and thus he spoke.
Parent of Gods and Men, propitious Jove,
And you bright fynod of the Pow'rs above;
On this my fon your gracious gifts bestow;
Grant him to live, and great in arms to grow,
To reign in Troy, to govern with renown,
To shield the people, and affert the crown:
That, when hereafter he from war fhall come,
And bring his Trojans peace and triumph home,
Some aged man, who lives this act to fee,
And who in former times remember'd me,
May fay, the fon in fortitude and fame
Outgoes the mark, and drowns his father's name:
That at these words his mother may rejoice,
And add her fuffrage to the public voice.
Thus having said,
He first with suppliant hands the Gods ador'd:
Then to the mother's arms the child reftor'd:
With tears and fmiles fhe took her fon, and prefs'd
Th' illuftrious infant to her fragrant breast.
He, wiping her fair eyes, indulg'd her grief,
And eas'd her forrows with this laft relief.
My wife and miftrefs, drive thy fears away, Nor give fo bad an omen to the day; Think not it lies in any Grecian's power, To take my life before the fatal hour. When that arrives, nor good nor bad can fly Th' irrevocable doom of destiny. Return, and, to divert thy thoughts at home, There task thy maids, and exercise the loom, Employ'd in works that womankind become. The toils of war, and feats of chivalry Belong to men, and most of all to me.
At this, for new replies he did not stay, But lac'd his crefted helm, and strode His lovely confort to her houfe return'd, And looking often back in filence mourn'd: Home when he came, her fecret woe fhe vents, And fills the palace with her loud laments; Thofe loud laments her echoing maids reftore, And Hector, yet alive, as dead deplore.