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The Persians
By Aeschylus

Translated by Robert Potter


Dramatis Personae

ATOSSA, widow of Darius and mother of XERXES
CHORUS OF PERSIAN ELDERS, who compose the Persian Council of


Before the Council-Hall of the Persian Kings at Susa. The tomb of
Darius the Great is visible. The time is 480 B.C., shortly after the
battle of Salamis. The play opens with the CHORUS OF PERSIAN ELDERS
singing its first choral lyric.


CHORUS While o'er the fields of Greece the embattled troops

Of Persia march with delegated sway, 
We o'er their rich and gold-abounding seats 
Hold faithful our firm guard; to this high charge 
Xerxes, our royal lord, the imperial son 
Of great Darius, chose our honour'd age. 
But for the king's return, and his arm'd host 
Blazing with gold, my soul presaging ill 
Swells in my tortured breast: for all her force 
Hath Asia sent, and for her youth I sigh. 
Nor messenger arrives, nor horseman spurs 
With tidings to this seat of Persia's kings. 
The gates of Susa and Ecbatana 
Pour'd forth their martial trains; and Cissia sees 
Her ancient towers forsaken, while her youth, 
Some on the bounding steed, the tall bark some 
Ascending, some with painful march on foot, 
Haste on, to arrange the deep'ning files of war. 
Amistres, Artaphernes, and the might 
Of great Astaspes, Megabazes bold, 
Chieftains of Persia, kings, that, to the power 
Of the great king obedient, march with these 
Leading their martial thousands; their proud steeds 
Prance under them; steel bows and shafts their arms, 
Dreadful to see, and terrible in fight, 
Deliberate valour breathing in their souls. 
Artembares, that in his fiery horse 
Delights; Masistress; and Imaeus bold, 
Bending with manly strength his stubborn bow; 
Pharandaces, and Sosthanes, that drives 
With military pomp his rapid steeds. 
Others the vast prolific Nile hath sent; 
Pegastagon, that from Aegyptus draws 
His high birth; Susiscanes; and the chief 
That reigns o'er sacred Memphis, great Arsames; 
And Ariomardus, that o'er ancient Thebes 
Bears the supreme dominion; and with these, 
Drawn from their watery marshes, numbers train'd 
To the stout oar. Next these the Lycian troops, 
Soft sons of luxury; and those that dwell 
Amid the inland forests, from the sea 
Far distant; these Metragathes commands, 
And virtuous Arceus, royal chiefs, that shine 
In burnish'd gold, and many a whirling car 
Drawn by six generous steeds from Sardis lead, 
A glorious and a dreadful spectacle. 
And from the foot of Tmolus, sacred mount, 
Eager to bind on Greece the servile yoke, 
Mardon and Tharybis the massy spear 
Grasp with unwearied vigour; the light lance 
The Mysians shake. A mingled multitude 
Swept from her wide dominions skill'd to draw 
The unerring bow, in ships Euphrates sends 
From golden Babylon. With falchions arm'd 
From all the extent of Asia move the hosts 
Obedient to their monarch's stern command. 
Thus march'd the flower of Persia, whose loved youth 
The world of Asia nourish'd, and with sighs 
Laments their absence; many an anxious look 
Their wives, their parents send, count the slow days, 
And tremble at the long-protracted time. 

(strophe 1)

Already o'er the adverse strand 
In arms the monarch's martial squadrons spread; 
The threat'ning ruin shakes the land, 
And each tall city bows its tower'd head. 
Bark bound to bark, their wondrous way 
They bridge across the indignant sea; 
The narrow Hellespont's vex'd waves disdain, 
His proud neck taught to wear the chain. 
Now has the peopled Asia's warlike lord, 
By land, by sea, with foot, with horse, 
Resistless in his rapid course, 
O'er all their realms his warring thousands pour'd; 
Now his intrepid chiefs surveys, 
And glitt'ring like a god his radiant state displays. 

(antistrophe 1)

Fierce as the dragon scaled in gold 
Through the deep files he darts his glowing eye; 
And pleased their order to behold, 
His gorgeous standard blazing to the sky, 
Rolls onward his Assyrian car, 
Directs the thunder of the war, 
Bids the wing'd arrows' iron storm advance 
Against the slow and cumbrous lance. 
What shall withstand the torrent of his sway 
When dreadful o'er the yielding shores 
The impetuous tide of battle roars, 
And sweeps the weak opposing mounds away? 
So Persia, with resistless might, 
Rolls her unnumber'd hosts of heroes to the fight. 

(strophe 2)

For when misfortune's fraudful hand 
Prepares to pour the vengeance of the sky, 
What mortal shall her force withstand? 
What rapid speed the impending fury fly? 
Gentle at first with flatt'ring smiles 
She spreads her soft enchanting wiles, 
So to her toils allures her destined prey, 
Whence man ne'er breaks unhurt away. 
For thus from ancient times the Fates ordain 
That Persia's sons should greatly dare, 
Unequall'd in the works of war; 
Shake with their thund'ring steeds the ensanguined plain,

Dreadful the hostile walls surround, 
And lay their rampired towers in ruins on the ground. 

(antistrophe 2)

Taught to behold with fearless eyes 
The whitening billows foam beneath the gale, 
They bid the naval forests rise, 
Mount the slight bark, unfurl the flying sail, 
And o'er the angry ocean bear 
To distant realms the storm of war. 
For this with many a sad and gloomy thought 
My tortured breast is fraught: 
Ah me! for Persia's absent sons I sigh; 
For while in foreign fields they fight, 
Our towns exposed to wild affright 
An easy prey to the invader lie: 
Where, mighty Susa, where thy powers, 
To wield the warrior's arms, and guard thy regal towers?


Crush'd beneath the assailing foe 
Her golden head must Cissia bend; 
While her pale virgins, frantic with despair, 
Through all her streets awake the voice of wo; 
And flying with their bosoms bare, 
Their purfled stoles in anguish rend: 
For all her youth in martial pride, 
Like bees that, clust'ring round their king, 
Their dark imbodied squadrons bring, 
Attend their sceptred monarch's side, 
And stretch across the watery way 
From shore to shore their long array. 
The Persian dames, with many a tender fear, 
In grief's sad vigils keep the midnight hour; 
Shed on the widow'd couch the streaming tear, 
And the long absence of their loves deplore. 
Each lonely matron feels her pensive breast 
Throb with desire, with aching fondness glow, 
Since in bright arms her daring warrior dress'd 
Left her to languish in her love-lorn wo. 

Now, ye grave Persians, that your honour'd seats 
Hold in this ancient house, with prudent care 
And deep deliberation, so the state 
Requires, consult we, pond'ring the event 
Of this great war, which our imperial lord, 
The mighty Xerxes from Darius sprung, 
The stream of whose rich blood flows in our veins, 
Leads against Greece; whether his arrowy shower 
Shot from the strong-braced bow, or the huge spear 
High brandish'd, in the deathful field prevails. 
But see, the monarch's mother: like the gods 
Her lustre blazes on our eyes: my queen, 
Prostrate I fall before her: all advance 
With reverence, and in duteous phrase address her,  (ATOSSA enters
with her retinue. The Elders do their obeisance to her.)

LEADER OF THE CHORUS Hail, queen, of Persia's high-zoned dames supreme,

Age-honour'd mother of the potent Xerxes, 
Imperial consort of Darius, hail! 
The wife, the mother of the Persians' god, 
If yet our former glories fade not from us. 

ATOSSA And therefore am I come, leaving my house 
That shines with gorgeous ornaments and gold, 
Where in past days Darius held with me 
His royal residence. With anxious care 
My heart is tortured: I will tell you, friends, 
My thoughts, not otherwise devoid of fear, 
Lest mighty wealth with haughty foot o'erturn 
And trample in the dust that happiness, 
Which, not unbless'd by Heaven, Darius raised. 
For this with double force unquiet thoughts 
Past utterance fill my soul; that neither wealth 
With all its golden stores, where men are wanting, 
Claims reverence; nor the light, that beams from power, 
Shines on the man whom wealth disdains to grace. 
The golden stores of wealth indeed are ours; 
But for the light (such in the house I deem 
The presence of its lord) there I have fears. 
Advise me then, you whose experienced age 
Supports the state of Persia: prudence guides 
Your councils, always kind and faithful to me. 

LEADER Speak, royal lady, what thy will, assured 
We want no second bidding, where our power 
In word or deed waits on our zeal: our hearts 
In this with honest duty shall obey thee. 

ATOSSA Oft, since my son hath march'd his mighty host 
Against the lonians, warring to subdue 
Their country, have my slumbers been disturb'd 
With dreams of dread portent; but most last night, 
With marks of plainest proof. I'll tell thee then: 
Alethought two women stood before my eyes 
Gorgeously vested, one in Persian robes 
Adorn'd, the other in the Doric garb. 
With more than mortal majesty they moved, 
Of peerless beauty; sisters too they seem'd, 
Though distant each from each they chanced to dwell, 
In Greece the one, on the barbaric coast 
The other. 'Twixt them soon dissension rose: 
My son then hasted to compose their strife, 
Soothed them to fair accord, beneath his car 
Yokes them, and reins their harness'd necks. The one, 
Exulting in her rich array, with pride 
Arching her stately neck, obey'd the reins; 
The other with indignant fury spurn'd 
The car, and dash'd it piecemeal, rent the reins, 
And tore the yoke asunder; down my son 
Fell from the seat, and instant at his side 
His father stands, Darius, at his fall 
Impress'd with pity: him when Xerxes saw, 
Glowing with grief and shame he rends his robes. 
This was the dreadful vision of the night. 
When I arose, in the sweet-flowing stream 
I bathed my hands, and on the incensed altars 
Presenting my oblations to the gods 
To avert these ills, an eagle I behold 
Fly to the altar of the sun; aghast 
I stood, my friends, and speechless; when a hawk 
With eager speed runs thither, furious cuffs 
The eagle with his wings, and with his talons 
Unplumes his head; meantime the imperial bird 
Cowers to the blows defenceless. Dreadful this 
To me that saw it, and to you that hear. 
My son, let conquest crown his arms, would shine 
With dazzling glory; but should Fortune frown, 
The state indeed presumes not to arraign 
His sovereignty; yet how, his honour lost, 
How shall he sway the sceptre of this land? 

LEADER We would not, royal lady, sink thy soul 
With fear in the excess, nor raise it high 
With confidence. Go then, address the gods; 
If thou hast seen aught ill, entreat their power 
To avert that ill, and perfect ev'ry good 
To thee, thy sons, the state, and all thy friends. 
Then to the earth, and to the mighty dead 
Behooves thee pour libations; gently cal 
Him that was once thy husband, whom thou saw'st 
In visions of the night; entreat his shade 
From the deep realms beneath to send to light 
Triumph to thee and to thy son; whate'er 
Bears other import, to inwrap, to hide it 
Close in the covering earth's profoundest gloom. 
This, in the presage of my thoughts that flow 
Benevolent to thee, have I proposed; 
And all, we trust, shall be successful to thee. 

ATOSSA Thy friendly judgment first hath placed these dreams

In a fair light, confirming the event 
Benevolent to my son and to my house. 
May all the good be ratified! These rites 
Shall, at thy bidding, to the powers of heaven, 
And to the manes of our friends, be paid 
In order meet, when I return; meanwhile 
Indulge me, friends, who wish to be inform'd 
Where, in what clime, the towers of Athens rise. 

LEADER Far in the west, where sets the imperial sun. 

ATOSSA Yet my son will'd the conquest of this town. 

LEADER May Greece through all her states bend to his power!

ATOSSA Send they embattled numbers to the field? 

LEADER A force that to the Medes hath wrought much wo. 

ATOSSA Have they sufficient treasures in their houses? 

LEADER Their rich earth yields a copious fount of silver.

ATOSSA From the strong bow wing they the barbed shaft? 

LEADER They grasp the stout spear, and the massy shield.

ATOSSA What monarch reigns, whose power commands their ranks?

LEADER Slaves to no lord, they own no kingly power. 

ATOSSA How can they then resist the invading foe? 

LEADER As to spread havoc through the numerous host, 
That round Darius form'd their glitt'ring files. 

ATOSSA Thy words strike deep, and wound the parent's breast

Whose sons are march'd to such a dangerous field. 

LEADER But, if I judge aright, thou soon shalt hear 
Each circumstance; for this way, mark him, speeds 
A Persian messenger; he bears, be sure, 
Tidings of high import, or good or ill.  (A MESSENGER enters.)

MESSENGER Wo to the towns through Asia's peopled realms!

Wo to the land of Persia, once the port 
Of boundless wealth, how is thy glorious state 
Vanish'd at once, and all thy spreading honours 
Fall'n, lost! Ah me! unhappy is his task 
That bears unhappy tidings: but constraint 
Compels me to relate this tale of wo. 
Persians, the whole barbaric host is fall'n. 

CHORUS  (chanting) O horror, horror! What a baleful train

Of recent ills! Ah, Persians, as he speaks 
Of ruin, let your tears stream to the earth. 

MESSENGER It is ev'n so, all ruin; and myself, 
Beyond all hope returning, view this light. 

CHORUS  (chanting) How tedious and oppressive is the weight

Of age, reserved to hear these hopeless ills! 

MESSENGER I speak not from report; but these mine eyes 
Beheld the ruin which my tongue would utter. 

CHORUS  (chanting) Wo, wo is me! Then has the iron storm,

That darken'd from the realms of Asia, pour'd 
In vain its arrowy shower on sacred Greece. 

MESSENGER In heaps the unhappy dead lie on the strand 
Of Salamis, and all the neighbouring shores. 

CHORUS  (chanting) Unhappy friends, sunk, perish'd in the sea;

Their bodies, mid the wreck of shatter'd ships, 
Mangled, and rolling on the encumber'd waves! 

MESSENGER Naught did their bows avail, but all the troops

In the first conflict of the ships were lost. 

CHORUS  (chanting) Raise the funereal cry, with dismal notes

Wailing the wretched Persians. Oh, how ill 
They plann'd their measures, all their army perish'd! 

MESSENGER O Salamis, how hateful is thy name! 
And groans burst from me when I think of Athens. 

CHORUS  (chanting) How dreadful to her foes! Call to remembrance

How many Persian dames, wedded in vain, 
Hath Athens of their noble husbands widow'd? 

ATOSSA Astonied with these ills, my voice thus long 
Hath wanted utterance: griefs like these exceed 
The power of speech or question: yet ev'n such, 
Inflicted by the gods, must mortal man 
Constrain'd by hard necessity endure. 
But tell me all, without distraction tell me, 
All this calamity, though many a groan 
Burst from thy labouring heart. Who is not fallen? 
What leader must we wail? What sceptred chief 
Dying hath left his troops without a lord? 

MESSENGER Xerxes himself lives, and beholds the light. 

ATOSSA That word beams comfort on my house, a ray 
That brightens through the melancholy gloom. 

MESSENGER Artembares, the potent chief that led 
Ten thousand horse, lies slaughtered on the rocks 
Of rough Sileniae. The great Dadaces, 
Beneath whose standard march'd a thousand horse, 
Pierced by a spear, fell headlong from the ship. 
Tenagon, bravest of the Bactrians, lies 
Roll'd on the wave-worn beach of Ajax' isle. 
Lilaeus, Arsames, Argestes, dash 
With violence in death against the rocks 
Where nest the silver doves. Arcteus, that dwelt 
Near to the fountains of the Egyptian Nile, 
Adeues, and Pheresba, and Pharnuchus 
Fell from one ship. Matallus, Chrysa's chief, 
That led his dark'ning squadrons, thrice ten thousand, 
On jet-black steeds, with purple gore distain'd 
The yellow of his thick and shaggy beard. 
The Magian Arabus, and Artames 
From Bactra, mould'ring on the dreary shore 
Lie low. Amistris, and Amphistreus there 
Grasps his war-wear spear; there prostrate lies 
The illustrious Ariomardus; long his los 
Shall Sardis weep: thy Mysian Sisames, 
And Tharybis, that o'er the burden'd deep 
Led five times fifty vessels; Lerna gave 
The hero birth, and manly race adorn'd 
His pleasing form, but low in death he lies 
Unhappy in his fate. Syennesis, 
Cilicia's warlike chief, who dared to front 
The foremost dangers, singly to the foes 
A terror, there too found a glorious death. 
These chieftains to my sad remembrance rise, 
Relating but a few of many ills. 

ATOSSA This is the height of ill, ah me! and shame 
To Persia, grief, and lamentation loud. 
But tell me this, afresh renew thy tale: 
What was the number of the Grecian fleet, 
That in fierce conflict their bold barks should dare 
Rush to encounter with the Persian hosts. 

MESSENGER Know then, in numbers the barbaric fleet 
Was far superior: in ten squadrons, each 
Of thirty ships, Greece plough'd the deep; of these 
One held a distant station. Xerxes led 
A thousand ships; their number well I know; 
Two hundred more, and seven, that swept the seas 
With speediest sail: this was their full amount. 
And in the engagement seem'd we not secure 
Of victory? But unequal fortune sunk 
Our scale in fight, discomfiting our host. 

ATOSSA The gods preserve the city of Minerva. 

MESSENGER The walls of Athens are impregnable, 
Their firmest bulwarks her heroic sons. 

ATOSSA Which navy first advanced to the attack? 
Who led to the onset, tell me; the bold Greeks, 
Or, glorying in his numerous fleet, my son? 

MESSENGER Our evil genius, lady, or some god 
Hostile to Persia, led to ev'ry ill. 
Forth from the troops of Athens came a Greek, 
And thus address'd thy son, the imperial Xerxes:- 
"Soon as the shades of night descend, the Grecians 
Shall quit their station; rushing to their oars 
They mean to separate, and in secret flight 
Seek safety." At these words, the royal chief, 
Little conceiving of the wiles of Greece 
And gods averse, to all the naval leaders 
Gave his high charge:-"Soon as yon sun shall cease 
To dart his radiant beams, and dark'ning night 
Ascends the temple of the sky, arrange 
In three divisions your well-ordered ships, 
And guard each pass, each outlet of the seas: 
Others enring around this rocky isle 
Of Salamis. Should Greece escape her fate, 
And work her way by secret flight, your heads 
Shall answer the neglect." This harsh command 
He gave, exulting in his mind, nor knew 
What Fate design'd. With martial discipline 
And prompt obedience, snatching a repast, 
Each mariner fix'd well his ready oar. 
Soon as the golden sun was set, and night 
Advanced, each train'd to ply the dashing oar, 
Assumed his seat; in arms each warrior stood, 
Troop cheering troop through all the ships of war. 
Each to the appointed station steers his course; 
And through the night his naval force each chief 
Fix'd to secure the passes. Night advanced, 
But not by secret flight did Greece attempt 
To escape. The morn, all beauteous to behold, 
Drawn by white steeds bounds o'er the enlighten'd earth;

At once from ev'ry Greek with glad acclaim 
Burst forth the song of war, whose lofty notes 
The echo of the island rocks return'd, 
Spreading dismay through Persia's hosts, thus fallen 
From their high hopes; no flight this solemn strain 
Portended, but deliberate valour bent 
On daring battle; while the trumpet's sound 
Kindled the flames of war. But when their oars 
The paean ended, with impetuous force 
Dash'd the resounding surges, instant all 
Rush'd on in view: in orderly array 
The squadron on the right first led, behind 
Rode their whole fleet; and now distinct we heard 
From ev'ry part this voice of exhortation:- 
"Advance, ye sons of Greece, from thraldom save 
Your country, save your wives, your children save, 
The temples of your gods, the sacred tomb 
Where rest your honour'd ancestors; this day 
The common cause of all demands your valour." 
Meantime from Persia's hosts the deep'ning shout 
Answer'd their shout; no time for cold delay; 
But ship 'gainst ship its brazen beak impell'd. 
First to the charge a Grecian galley rush'd; 
Ill the Phoenician bore the rough attack, 
Its sculptured prow all shatter'd. Each advanced 
Daring an opposite. The deep array 
Of Persia at the first sustain'd the encounter; 
But their throng'd numbers, in the narrow seas 
Confined, want room for action; and, deprived 
Of mutual aid, beaks clash with beaks, and each 
Breaks all the other's oars: with skill disposed 
The Grecian navy circled them around 
With fierce assault; and rushing from its height 
The inverted vessel sinks: the sea no more 
Wears its accustomed aspect, with foul wrecks 
And blood disfigured; floating carcasses 
Roll on the rocky shores: the poor remains 
Of the barbaric armament to flight 
Ply every oar inglorious: onward rush 
The Greeks amid the ruins of the fleet, 
As through a shoal of fish caught in the net, 
Spreading destruction: the wide ocean o'er 
Wailings are heard, and loud laments, till night 
With darkness on her brow brought grateful truce. 
Should I recount each circumstance of wo, 
Ten times on my unfinished tale the sun 
Would set; for be assured that not one day 
Could close the ruin of so vast a host. 

ATOSSA Ah, what a boundless sea of wo hath burst 
On Persia, and the whole barbaric race! 

MESSENGER These are not half, not half our ills; on these

Came an assemblage of calamities, 
That sunk us with a double weight of wo. 

ATOSSA What fortune can be more unfriendly to us 
Than this? Say on, what dread calamity 
Sunk Persia's host with greater weight of wo. 

MESSENGER Whoe'er of Persia's warriors glow'd in prime 
Of vig'rous youth, or felt their generous souls 
Expand with courage, or for noble birth 
Shone with distinguish'd lustre, or excell'd 
In firm and duteous loyalty, all these 
Are fall'n, ignobly, miserably fall'n. 

ATOSSA Alas, their ruthless fate, unhappy friends! 
But in what manner, tell me, did they perish? 

MESSENGER Full against Salamis an isle arises, 
Of small circumference, to the anchor'd bark 
Unfaithful; on the promontory's brow, 
That overlooks the sea, Pan loves to lead 
The dance: to this the monarch sends these chiefs, 
That when the Grecians from their shatter'd ships 
Should here seek shelter, these might hew them down 
An easy conquest, and secure the strand 
To their sea-wearied friends; ill judging what 
The event: but when the fav'ring god to Greece 
Gave the proud glory of this naval fight, 
Instant in all their glitt'ring arms they leap'd 
From their light ships, and all the island round 
Encompass'd, that our bravest stood dismay'd; 
While broken rocks, whirl'd with tempestuous force, 
And storms of arrows crush'd them; then the Greeks 
Rush to the attack at once, and furious spread 
The carnage, till each mangled Persian fell. 
Deep were the groans of Xerxes when he saw 
This havoc; for his seat, a lofty mound 
Commanding the wide sea, o'erlook'd his hosts. 
With rueful cries he rent his royal robes, 
And through his troops embattled on the shore 
Gave signal of retreat; then started wild, 
And fled disorder'd. To the former ills 
These are fresh miseries to awake thy sighs. 

ATOSSA Invidious Fortune, how thy baleful power 
Hath sunk the hopes of Persia! Bitter fruit 
My son hath tasted from his purposed vengeance 
On Athens, famed for arms; the fatal field 
Of Marathon, red with barbaric blood, 
Sufficed not; that defeat he thought to avenge, 
And pull'd this hideous ruin on his head. 
But tell me, if thou canst, where didst thou leave 
The ships that happily escaped the wreck? 

MESSENGER The poor remains of Persia's scatter'd fleet 
Spread ev'ry sail for flight, as the wind drives, 
In wild disorder; and on land no less 
The ruin'd army; in Boeotia some, 
With thirst oppress'd, at Crene's cheerful rills 
Were lost; forespent with breathless speed some pass 
The fields of Phocis, some the Doric plain, 
And near the gulf of Melia, the rich vale 
Through which Sperchius rolls his friendly stream. 
Achaea thence and the Thessalian state 
Received our famish'd train; the greater part 
Through thirst and hunger perish'd there, oppress'd 
At once by both: but we our painful steps 
Held onwards to Magnesia, and the land 
Of Macedonia, o'er the ford of Axius, 
And Bolbe's sedgy marshes, and the heights 
Of steep Pangaeos, to the realms of Thrace. 
That night, ere yet the season, breathing frore, 
Rush'd winter, and with ice incrusted o'er 
The flood of sacred Strymon: such as own'd 
No god till now, awe-struck, with many a prayer 
Adored the earth and sky. When now the troops 
Had ceased their invocations to the gods, 
O'er the stream's solid crystal they began 
Their march; and we, who took our early way, 
Ere the sun darted his warm beams, pass'd safe: 
But when this burning orb with fiery rays 
Unbound the middle current, down they sunk 
Each over other; happiest he who found 
The speediest death: the poor remains, that 'scaped, 
With pain through Thrace dragg'd on their toilsome march,

A feeble few, and reach'd their native soil; 
That Persia sighs through all her states, and mourns 
Her dearest youth. This is no feigned tale: 
But many of the ills, that burst upon us 
In dreadful vengeance, I refrain to utter.  (The MESSENGER withdraws.)

LEADER OF THE CHORUS O Fortune, heavy with affliction's load,

How bath thy foot crush'd all the Persian race! 

ATOSSA Ah me, what sorrows for our ruin'd host 
Oppress my soul! Ye visions of the night 
Haunting my dreams, how plainly did you show 
These ills!-You set them in too fair a light. 
Yet, since your bidding hath in this prevail'd, 
First to the gods wish I to pour my prayers, 
Then to the mighty dead present my off 'rings, 
Bringing libations from my house: too late, 
I know, to change the past; yet for the future, 
If haply better fortune may await it, 
Behooves you, on this sad event, to guide 
Your friends with faithful counsels. Should my son 
Return ere I have finish'd, let your voice 
Speak comfort to him; friendly to his house 
Attend him, nor let sorrow rise on sorrows.  (ATOSSA and her retinue
go out.)  

CHORUS  (singing, strophe)

Awful sovereign of the skies, 
When now o'er Persia's numerous host 
Thou badest the storm with ruin rise, 
All her proud vaunts of glory lost, 
Ecbatana's imperial head 
By thee was wrapp'd in sorrow's dark'ning shade; 
Through Susa's palaces with loud lament, 
By their soft hands their veils all rent, 
The copious tear the virgins pour, 
That trickles their bare bosoms o'er. 
From her sweet couch up starts the widow'd bride, 
Her lord's loved image rushing on her soul, 
Throws the rich ornaments of youth aside, 
And gives her griefs to flow without control: 
Her griefs not causeless; for the mighty slain 
Our melting tears demand, and sorrow-soften'd strain. 


Now her wailings wide despair 
Pours these exhausted regions o'er: 
Xerxes, ill-fated, led the war; 
Xerxes, ill-fated, leads no more; 
Xerxes sent forth the unwise command, 
The crowded ships unpeopled all the land; 
That land, o'er which Darius held his reign, 
Courting the arts of peace, in vain, 
O'er all his grateful realms adored, 
The stately Susa's gentle lord. 
Black o'er the waves his burden'd vessels sweep, 
For Greece elate the warlike squadrons fly; 
Now crush'd, and whelm'd beneath the indignant deep 
The shatter'd wrecks and lifeless heroes lie: 
While, from the arms of Greece escaped, with toil 
The unshelter'd monarch roams o'er Thracia's dreary soil.


The first in battle slain 
By Cychrea's craggy shore 
Through sad constraint, ah me! forsaken lie, 
All pale and smear'd with gore:- 
Raise high the mournful strain, 
And let the voice of anguish pierce the sky:- 
Or roll beneath the roaring tide, 
By monsters rent of touch abhorr'd; 
While through the widow'd mansion echoing wide 
Sounds the deep groan, and wails its slaughter'd lord: 
Pale with his fears the helpless orphan there 
Gives the full stream of plaintive grief to flow; 
While age its hoary head in deep despair 
Bends; list'ning to the shrieks of wo. 
With sacred awe 
The Persian law 
No more shall Asia's realms revere; 
To their lord's hand 
At his command, 
No more the exacted tribute bear. 
Who now falls prostrate at the monarch's throne? 
His regal greatness is no more. 
Now no restraint the wanton tongue shall own, 
Free from the golden curb of power; 
For on the rocks, wash'd by the beating flood, 
His awe commanding nobles lie in blood.  (ATOSSA returns, clad in
the garb of mourning; she carries offerings for the tomb of Darius.)

ATOSSA Whoe'er, my friends, in the rough stream of life

Hath struggled with affliction, thence is taught 
That, when the flood begins to swell, the heart 
Fondly fears all things; when the fav'ring gale 
Of Fortune smooths the current, it expands 
With unsuspecting confidence, and deems 
That gale shall always breathe. So to my eyes 
All things now wear a formidable shape, 
And threaten from the gods: my ears are pierced 
With sounds far other than of song. Such ills 
Dismay my sick'ning soul: hence from my house 
Nor glitt'ring car attends me, nor the train 
Of wonted state, while I return, and bear 
Libations soothing to the father's shade 
In the son's cause; delicious milk, that foams 
White from the sacred heifer; liquid honey, 
Extract of flowers; and from its virgin fount 
The running crystal; this pure draught, that flow'd 
From the ancient vine, of power to bathe the spirits 
In joy; the yellow olive's fragrant fruit, 
That glories in its leaves' unfading verdure; 
With flowers of various hues, earth's fairest offspring 
Inwreathed. But you, my friends, amid these rites 
Raise high your solemn warblings, and invoke 
Your lord, divine Darius; I meanwhile 
Will pour these off'rings to the infernal gods. 

CHORUS  (chanting) Yes, royal lady, Persia's honour'd grace,

To earth's dark chambers pour thy off'rings: we 
With choral hymns will supplicate the powers 
That guide the dead, to be propitious to us. 
And you, that o'er the realms of night extend 
Your sacred sway, thee mighty earth, and the 
Hermes; thee chief, tremendous king, whose throne 
Awes with supreme dominion, I adjure: 
Send, from your gloomy regions, send his shade 
Once more to visit this ethereal light; 
That he alone, if aught of dread event 
He sees yet threat'ning Persia, may disclose 
To us poor mortals Fate's extreme decree. 

Hears the honour'd godlike king? 
These barbaric notes of wo, 
Taught in descant sad to ring, 
Hears he in the shades below? 
Thou, O Earth, and you, that lead 
Through your sable realms the dead, 
Guide him as he takes his way, 
And give him to the ethereal light of day! 

Let the illustrious shade arise 
Glorious in his radiant state, 
More than blazed before our eyes, 
Ere sad Susa mourn'd his fate. 
Dear he lived, his tomb is dear, 
Shrining virtues we revere: 
Send then, monarch of the dead, 
Such as Darius was, Darius' shade. 

He in realm-unpeopling war 
Wasted not his subjects' blood, 
Godlike in his will to spare, 
In his councils wise and good. 
Rise then, sovereign lord, to light; 
On this mound's sepulchral height 
Lift thy sock in saffron died, 
And rear thy rich tiara's regal pride! 

Great and good, Darius, rise:  (Lord of Persia's lord, appear:)  Thus
involved with thrilling cries 
Come, our tale of sorrow hear! 
War her Stygian pennons spreads, 
Brooding darkness o'er our heads; 
For stretch'd along the dreary shore 
The flow'r of Asia lies distain'd with gore. 

Rise, Darius, awful power; 
Long for thee our tears shall flow. 
Why thy ruin'd empire o'er 
Swells this double flood of wo? 
Sweeping o'er the azure tide 
Rode thy navy's gallant pride: 
Navy now no more, for all 
Beneath the whelming wave-  (While the CHORUS Sings, ATOSSA performs
her ritual by the tomb. As the song concludes the GHOST OF DARIUS
appears from the tomb.)  

GHOST OF DARIUS Ye faithful Persians, honour'd now in age,

Once the companions of my youth, what ills 
Afflict the state? The firm earth groans, it opes, 
Disclosing its vast deeps; and near my tomb 
I see my wife: this shakes my troubled soul 
With fearful apprehensions; yet her off'rings 
Pleased I receive. And you around my tomb 
Chanting the lofty strain, whose solemn air 
Draws forth the dead, with grief-attemper'd notes 
Mournfully call me: not with ease the way 
Leads to this upper air; and the stern gods, 
Prompt to admit, yield not a passage back 
But with reluctance: much with them my power 
Availing, with no tardy step I come. 
Say then, with what new ill doth Persia groan? 

CHORUS  (chanting) My wonted awe o'ercomes me; in thy presence

I dare not raise my eyes, I dare not speak. 

GHOST OF DARIUS Since from the realms below, by thy sad strains

Adjured, I come, speak; let thy words be brief; 
Say whence thy grief, tell me unawed by fear. 
I dread to forge a flattering tale, I dread 
To grieve thee with a harsh offensive truth. 

GHOST OF DARIUS Since fear hath chained his tongue, high-honour'd
Once my imperial consort, check thy tears, 
Thy griefs, and speak distinctly. Mortal man 
Must bear his lot of wo; afflictions rise 
Many from sea, many from land, if life 
Be haply measured through a lengthen'd course. 

ATOSSA O thou that graced with Fortune's choicest gifts

Surpassing mortals, while thine eye beheld 
Yon sun's ethereal rays, lived'st like a god 
Bless'd amid thy Persians; bless'd I deem thee now 
In death, ere sunk in this abyss of ills, 
Darius, hear at once our sum of wo; 
Ruin through all her states hath crush'd thy Persia. 

GHOST OF DARIUS By pestilence, or faction's furious storms?

ATOSSA Not so: near Athens perish'd all our troops. 

GHOST OF DARIUS Say, of my sons, which led the forces thither?

ATOSSA The impetuous Xerxes, thinning all the land. 

GHOST OF DARIUS By sea or land dared he this rash attempt?

ATOSSA By both: a double front the war presented. 

GHOST OF DARIUS A host so vast what march conducted o'er?

ATOSSA From shore to shore he bridged the Hellespont. 

GHOST OF DARIUS What! could he chain the mighty Bosphorus?

ATOSSA Ev'n so, some god assisting his design. 

GHOST OF DARIUS Some god of power to cloud his better sense.

ATOSSA The event now shows what mischiefs he achieved. 

GHOST OF DARIUS What suffer'd they, for whom your sorrows flow?

ATOSSA His navy sunk spreads ruin through the camp. 

GHOST OF DARIUS Fell all his host beneath the slaught'ring spear?

ATOSSA Susa, through all her streets, mourns her lost sons.

GHOST OF DARIUS How vain the succour, the defence of arms?

ATOSSA In Bactra age and grief are only left. 

GHOST OF DARIUS Ah, what a train of warlike youth is lost!

ATOSSA Xerxes, astonished, desolate, alone- 

GHOST OF DARIUS How will this end? Nay, pause not. Is he safe?

ATOSSA Fled o'er the bridge, that join'd the adverse strands.

GHOST OF DARIUS And reach'd this shore in safety? Is this true?

ATOSSA True are thy words, and not to be gainsay'd. 

GHOST OF DARIUS With what a winged course the oracles 
Haste their completion! With the lightning's speed 
Jove on my son hath hurled his threaten'd vengeance: 
Yet I implored the gods that it might fall 
In time's late process: but when rashness drives 
Impetuous on, the scourge of Heaven upraised 
Lashes the Fury forward; hence these ills 
Pour headlong on my friends. Not weighing this, 
My son, with all the fiery pride of youth, 
Hath quickened their arrival, while he hoped 
To bind the sacred Hellespont, to hold 
The raging Bosphorus, like a slave, in chains, 
And dared the advent'rous passage, bridging firm 
With links of solid iron his wondrous way, 
To lead his numerous host; and swell'd with thoughts 
Presumptuous, deem'd, vain mortal! that his power 
Should rise above the gods, and Neptune's might. 
And was riot this the phrensy of the soul? 
But much I fear lest all my treasured wealth 
Fall to some daring hand an easy prey. 

ATOSSA This from too frequent converse with bad men 
The impetuous Xerxes learn'd; these caught his ear 
With thy great deeds, as winning for thy sons 
Vast riches with thy conquering spear, while he 
Tim'rous and slothful, never, save in sport, 
Lifted his lance, nor added to the wealth 
Won by his noble fathers. This reproach 
Oft by bad men repeated, urged his soul 
To attempt this war, and lead his troops to Greece. 

GHOST OF DARIUS Great deeds have they achieved, and memorable

For ages: never hath this wasted state 
Suffer'd such ruin, since heaven's awful king 
Gave to one lord Asia's extended plains 
White with innumerous flocks, and to his hands 
Consign'd the imperial sceptre. Her brave hosts 
A Mede first led; the virtues of his son 
Fix'd firm the empire, for his temperate soul 
Breathed prudence. Cyrus next, by fortune graced, 
Adorn'd the throne, and bless'd his grateful friends 
With peace: he to his mighty monarchy 
Join'd Lydia, and the Phrygians; to his power 
Ionia bent reluctant; but the gods 
His son then wore the regal diadem. 
With victory his gentle virtues crown'd 
His son then wore the regal diadem. 
Next to disgrace his country, and to stain 
The splendid glories of this ancient throne, 
Rose Mardus: him, with righteous vengeance fired 
Artaphernes, and his confederate chiefs 
Crush'd in his palace: Maraphis assumed 
The sceptre: after him Artaphernes. 
Me next to this exalted eminence, 
Crowning my great ambition, Fortune raised. 
In many a glorious field my glittering spear 
Flamed in the van of Persia's numerous hosts; 
But never wrought such ruin to the state. 
Xerxes, my son, in all the pride of youth 
Listens to youthful counsels, my commands 
No more remember'd; hence, my hoary friends, 
Not the whole line of Persia's sceptred lords, 
You know it well, so wasted her brave sons. 

LEADER OF THE CHORUS Why this? To what fair end are these thy words

Directed? Sovereign lord, instruct thy Persians 
How, mid this ruin, best to guide their state. 

GHOST OF DARIUS No more 'gainst Greece lead your embattled hosts;

Not though your deep'ning phalanx spreads the field 
Outnumb'ring theirs: their very earth fights for them. 

LEADER What may thy words import? How fight for them? 

GHOST OF DARIUS With famine it destroys your cumbrous train.

LEADER Choice levies, prompt for action, will we send, 

GHOST OF DARIUS Those, in the fields of Greece that now remain,

Shall not revisit safe the Persian shore. 

LEADER What! shall not all the host of Persia pass 
Again from Europe o'er the Hellespont? 

GHOST OF DARIUS Of all their numbers few, if aught avails

The faith of heaven-sent oracles to him 
That weighs the past, in their accomplishment 
Not partial: hence he left, in faithless hope 
Confiding, his selected train of heroes. 
These have their station where Asopus flows 
Wat'ring the plain, whose grateful currents roll 
Diffusing plenty through Boeotia's fields. 
There misery waits to crush them with the load 
Of heaviest ills, in vengeance for their proud 
And impious daring; for where'er they held 
Through Greece their march, they fear'd not to profane 
The statues of the gods; their hallow'd shrines 
Emblazed, o'erturn'd their altars, and in ruins, 
Rent from their firm foundations, to the ground 
Levell'd their temples; such their frantic deeds, 
Nor less their suff'rings; greater still await them; 
For Vengeance hath not wasted all her stores; 
The heap yet swells; for in Plataea's plains 
Beneath the Doric spear the clotted mas 
Of carnage shall arise, that the high mounds, 
Piled o'er the dead, to late posterity 
Shall give this silent record to men's eyes, 
That proud aspiring thoughts but ill beseem 
Weak mortals: for oppression, when it springs, 
Puts forth the blade of vengeance, and its fruit 
Yields a ripe harvest of repentant wo. 
Behold this vengeance, and remember Greece, 
Remember Athens: henceforth let not pride, 
Her present state disdaining, strive to grasp 
Another's, and her treasured happiness 
Shed on the ground: such insolent attempts 
Awake the vengeance of offended Jove. 
But you, whose age demands more temperate thoughts, 
With words of well-placed counsel teach his youth 
To curb that pride, which from the gods calls down 
Destruction on his head.  (To ATOSSA)  And thou, whose age

The miseries of thy Xerxes sink with sorrow, 
Go to thy house, thence choose the richest robe, 
And meet thy son; for through the rage of grief 
His gorgeous vestments from his royal limbs 
Are foully rent. With gentlest courtesy 
Soothe his affliction; for is duteous ear, 
I know, will listen to thy voice alone. 
Now to the realms of darkness I descend. 
My ancient friends, farewell, and mid these ills 
Each day in pleasures battle your drooping spirits, 
For treasured riches naught avail the dead.  (The GHOST OF DARIUS
vanishes into the tomb.)  

LEADER These many present, many future ills 
Denounced on Persia, sink my soul with grief. 

ATOSSA Unhappy fortune, what a tide of ills 
Bursts o'er me! Chief this foul disgrace, which shows 
My son divested of his rich attire, 
His royal robes all rent, distracts my thoughts. 
But I will go, choose the most gorgeous vest, 
And liaste to meet my son. Ne'er in his woes 
Will I forsake whom my soul holds most dear.  (ATOSSA departs as the
CHORUS begins its song.)  

CHORUS (strophe 1)

Ye powers that rule the skies, 
Memory recalls our great, our happy fate, 
Our well-appointed state, 
The scenes of glory opening to our eyes, 
When this vast empire o'er 
The good Darius, with each virtue bless'd 
That forms a monarch's breast, 
Shielding his subjects with a father's care 
Invincible in war, 
Extended like a god his awful power, 
Then spread our arms their glory wide, 
Guarding to peace her golden reign: 
Each tower'd city saw with pride 
Safe from the toils of war her homeward-marching train. 

(antistrophe 1)

Nor Haly's shallow strand 
He pass'd, nor from his palace moved his state; 
He spoke; his word was Fate. 
What strong-based cities could his might withstand? 
Not those that lift their heads 
Where to the sea the floods of Strymon pass, 
Leaving the huts of Thrace; 
Nor those, that far the extended ocean o'er 
Stand girt with many a tower; 
Nor where the Hellespont his broad wave spreads; 
Nor the firm bastions' rampired might, 
Whose foot the deep Propontis laves; 
Nor those, that glorying in their height 
Frown o'er the Pontic sea, and shade his darken'd waves.

(strophe 2)

Each sea-girt isle around 
Bow'd to this monarch: humbled Lesbos bow'd; 
Paros, of its marble proud; 
Naxos with vines, with olives Samos crown'd: 
Him Myconos adored; 
Chios, the seat of beauty; Andros steep, 
That stretches o'er the deep 
To meet the wat'ry Tenos; him each bay 
Bound by the Icarian sea, 
Him Melos, Gnidus, Rhodes confess'd their lord; 
O'er Cyprus stretch'd his sceptred hand: 
Paphos and Solos own'd his power, 
And Salamis, whose hostile strand, 
The cause of all our wo, is red with Persian gore. 

(antistrophe 2)

Ev'n the proud towns, that rear'd 
Sublime along the lonian coast their towers, 
Where wealth her treasures pours, 
Peopled from Greece, his prudent reign revered. 
With such unconquer'd might 
His hardy warriors shook the embattled fields, 
Heroes that Persia yields, 
And those from distant realms that took their way, 
And wedged in close array 
Beneath his glitt'ring banners claim'd the fight. 
But now these glories are no more: 
Farewell the big war's plumed pride: 
The gods have crush'd this trophied power; 
Sunk are our vanquish'd arms beneath the indignant tide.  (XERXES
enters, with a few followers. His royal raiment is torn, The entire
closing scene is sung or chanted.)  

XERXES Ah me, how sudden have the storms of Fate, 
Beyond all thought, all apprehension, burst 
On my devoted head! O Fortune, Fortune! 
With what relentless fury hath thy hand 
Hurl'd desolation on the Persian race! 
Wo unsupportable! The torturing thought 
Of our lost youth comes rushing on my mind, 
And sinks me to the ground. O Jove, that 
Had died with those brave men that died in fight I 

CHORUS O thou afflicted monarch, once the lord 
Of marshall'd armies, of the lustre beam'd 
From glory's ray o'er Persia, of her sons 
The pride, the grace, whom ruin now hath sunk 
In blood! The unpeopled land laments her youth 
By Xerxes led to slaughter, till the realms 
Of death are gorged with Persians; for the flower 
Of all the realm, thousands, whose dreadful bows 
With arrowy shower annoy'd the foe, are fall'n. 

XERXES Your fall, heroic youths, distracts my soul. 

CHORUS And Asia sinking on her knee, O king, 
Oppress'd, with griefs oppress'd, bends to the earth. 

XERXES And I, O wretched fortune, I was born 
To crush, to desolate my ruin'd country! 

CHORUS I have no voice, no swelling harmony, 
No descant, save these notes of wo, 
Harsh, and responsive to the sullen sigh, 
Rude strains, that unmelodious flow, 
To welcome thy return. 

XERXES Then bid them flow, bid the wild measures flow 
Hollow, unmusical, the notes of grief; 
They suit my fortune, and dejected state. 

CHORUS Yes, at thy royal bidding shall the strain 
Pour the deep sorrows of my soul; 
The suff'rings of my bleeding country plain, 
And bid the mournful measures roll. 
Again the voice of wild despair 
With thrilling shrieks shall pierce the air; 
For high the god of war his flaming crest 
Raised, with the fleet of Greece surrounded, 
The haughty arms of Greece with conquest bless'd, 
And Persia's wither'd force confounded, 
Dash'd on the dreary beach her heroes slain, 
Or whelm'd them in the darken'd main. 

XERXES To swell thy griefs ask ev'ry circumstance. 

CHORUS Where are thy valiant friends, thy chieftains where?

Pharnaces, Susas, and the might 
Of Pelagon, and Dotamas? The spear 
Of Agabates bold in fight? 
Psammis in mailed cuirass dress'd, 
And Susiscanes' glitt'ring crest? 

XERXES Dash'd from the Tyrian vessel on the rocks 
Of Salamis they sunk, and smear'd with gore 
The heroes on the dreary strand are stretch'd. 

CHORUS Where is Pharnuchus? Ariomardus where, 
With ev'ry gentle virtue graced? 
Lilaeus, that from chiefs renown'd in war 
His high-descended lineage traced? 
Where rears Sebalces his crown-circled head: 
Where Tharybis to battles bred, 
Artembares, Hystaechmes bold, 
Memphis, Masistress sheath'd in gold? 

XERXES Wretch that I am! These on the abhorred town 
Ogygian Athens, roll'd their glowing eyes 
Indignant; but at once in the fierce shock 
Of battle fell, dash'd breathless on the ground. 

CHORUS There does the son of Batanochus lie, 
Through whose rich veins the unsullied blood 
Of Susamus, down from the lineage high 
Of noble Mygabatas flow'd: 
Alpistus, who with faithful care 
Number'd the deep'ning files of war, 
The monarch's eye; on the ensanguined plain 
Low is the mighty warrior laid? 
Is great Aebares 'mong the heroes slain, 
And Partheus number'd with the dead?- 
Ah me! those bursting groans, deep-charged with wo, 
The fate of Persia's princes show. 

XERXES To my grieved memory thy mournful voice, 
Tuned to the saddest notes of wo, recalls 
My brave friends lost; and my rent heart returns 
In dreadful symphony the sorrowing strain. 

CHORUS Yet once more shall I ask thee, yet once more, 
Where is the Mardian Xanthes' might, 
The daring chief, that from the Pontic shore 
Led his strong phalanx to the fight? 
Anchares where, whose high-raised shield 
Flamed foremost in the embattled field? 
Where the high leaders of thy mail-clad horse, 
Daixis and Arsaces where? 
Where Cigdadatas and Lythimnas' force, 
Waving untired his purple spear? 

XERXES Entomb'd, I saw them in the earth entomb'd; 
Nor did the rolling car with solemn state 
Attend their rites: I follow'd: low they lie 
(Ah me, the once great leaders of my host! 
Low in the earth, without their honours lie.) 

CHORUS O wo, wo, wo! Unutterable wo 
The demons of revenge have spread; 
And Ate from her drear abode below 
Rises to view the horrid deed. 

XERXES Dismay, and rout, and ruin, ills that wait 
On man's afflicted fortune, sink us down. 

CHORUS Dismay, and rout, and ruin on us wait, 
And all the vengeful storms of Fate: 
Ill flows on ill, on sorrows sorrows rise; 
Misfortune leads her baleful train; 
Before the Ionian squadrons Persia flies, 
Or sinks ingulf'd beneath the main. 
Fall'n, fall'n is her imperial power, 
And conquest on her banners waits no more. 

XERXES At such a fall, such troops of heroes lost, 
How can my soul but sink in deep despair! 
Cease thy sad strain. 

CHORUS Is all thy glory lost? 

XERXES Seest thou these poor remains of my rent robes? 

CHORUS I see, I see. 

XERXES And this ill-furnish'd quiver? 

CHORUS Wherefore preserved? 

XERXES To store my treasured arrows. 

CHORUS Few, very few. 

XERXES And few my friendly aids. 

CHORUS I thought these Grecians shrunk appall'd at arms.

XERXES No: they are bold and daring: these sad eyes 
Beheld their violent and deathful deeds. 

CHORUS The ruin, sayst thou, of thy shattered fleet? 

XERXES And in the anguish of my soul I rent 
My royal robes. 

CHORUS Wo, wo! 

XERXES And more than wo. 

CHORUS Redoubled, threefold wo! 

XERXES Disgrace to me, 
But triumph to the foe. 

CHORUS Are all thy powers 
In ruin crush'd? 

XERXES No satrap guards me now. 

CHORUS Thy faithful friends sunk in the roaring main. 

XERXES Weep, weep their loss, and lead me to my house; 
Answer my grief with grief, an ill return 
Of ills for ills. Yet once more raise that strain 
Lamenting my misfortunes; beat thy breast, 
Strike, heave the groan; awake the Mysian strain 
To notes of loudest wo; rend thy rich robes, 
Pluck up thy beard, tear off thy hoary locks, 
And battle thine eyes in tears: thus through the streets

Solemn and slow with sorrow lead my steps; 
Lead to my house, and wail the fate of Persia. 

CHORUS Yes, once more at thy bidding shall the strain 
Pour the deep sorrows of my soul; 
The suff'rings of my bleeding untry plain, 
And bid the Mysian measures roll. 
Again the voice of wild despair 
With thrilling shrieks shall pierce the air; 
For high the god of war his flaming crest 
Raised, with the fleet of Greece surrounded, 
The haughty arms of Greece with conquest bless'd, 
And Persia's withered force confounded, 
Dash'd on the dreary beach her heroes slain., 
Or whelm'd them in the darken'd main. 



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Translation of "The Deeds of the Divine Augustus" by Augustus is
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