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ACT THE FIFTH
The Bower of Semiramis,
virtue ! Where are you fięd, dear shades? where are you
fied ? 'Twas but a dream, and yet I saw and heard My royal parents, who, while pious care Sat on their faded cheeks, pronounced with tears, Tears such as angels weep, this hour
here! For oh, I tremble, and a thousand terrors Rush in upon me, and alarm my heart!
[Flourish of Trumpets. But hark ! 'tis he, and all my fears are fled : My life, my joy, my Alexander, comes ! Rox. [Within.] Make fast the gate, with all its
massy bars : At length we have conquered this stupendous height,
Stat. Ye guardian gods defend me! Roxana's voice! then all the vision's true,
And reached the grove.
And die I must.
Rox. Secure the brazen gate.
rival? 'tis Roxana calls:
Rox. Behold this dagger! 'Tis thy fate, Statira!
Stat. How little know'st thou what Statira dares !
Stat. Alas, Roxana! 'tis not in my power;
Ror. Oh, sorceress! to thy accursed charms
[Holds up the Dagger
Rox. Not for the world's wide empire shouldst
thou see him.
Rox. Ha ! Too long I have trifled. Let me then redeem The time mispent, and make great vengeance sure.
Stat. Is Alexander, oh ye gods ! so nigh, And can he not preserve me from her fury? Rox. Nor he nor Heaven shall shield thee from my
justice. Die, sorceress, die, and all my wrongs die with thee!
Alexander. [Without.] Away, ye slaves ! 'stand of; Nor Heaven nor earth shall stop me. Enter ALEXANDER, LYSIMACHUS, CASSANDER, PER
DiCCAS, THESSALUS, OFFICERS, and GUARDS. Ha! Oh! my soul! Îny queen, my love, Statira! Are these my promised joys ?
Stat. Alas! My only love, my best and dearest blessing! Would I had died before you entered here; For, thus delighted, while I gaze upon thee, Death grows more horrid, and I'm loath to leave
thee. Alex. Thou shalt not leave me-Cruel, cruel
stars ! Oh, where's the monster, where's the horrid fiend, That struck at innocence, and murdered thesd
Rox. Behold the wretch, who, desperate of thy
Ror. Yes, thus I'll fasten on your sacred robe,
of thine But like a basilisk comes winged with death, Rox. Oh speak not thus to one who kneels for
mercy! Think for whose sake it was I madly plunged In a crime abhorrent to my nature.
Alex. Oh, murderess, off! for ever shun my sight, My eyes detest thee, for thy soul is ruin.
Roč. Barbarian! yes, I will for ever shun thee. Repeated injuries have steeled my heart, And I could curse myself for being kind: If there is any majesty above, That has revenge in store for perjured love, Send, Heaven, the swiftest ruin on his head; Strike the destroyer! lay the victor dead ! But what are curses ? curses will not kill, Nor ease the tortures I am doomed to feel! Alex. Oh, my fair star, I shall be shortly with
thee! What means this deadly dew upon my
forehead? My heart too heavesCas. The poison works.
Alex. Dead ! then he is blest!
fate. Hephestion ! Clytus! My victories all for ever folded up In this dear body. Here my banners lost, My standard's triumphs gone. Oh, when—Oh,
when Shall I be mad indeed !
[Exeunt all but CASSANDER and THESSALUS. Cass. He's gone but whither? Follow, Thessalus, Attend his steps, and let me know what passes.
[Exeunt THESSALUS and CASSANDER, separately.