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ACT THREE


Scene 1

(The Palace. Nitocris, Daniel, jews)

50. Air

NITOCRIS
Alternate hopes and fears
distract my mind,
my weary soul no rest can find.
My busy fancy now presents
a gracious scene:
my son repents
and God recalls his doom.
Now to false shame
he quits his fears,
false courage takes,
and madly dares
hs impious feast resume.
Then arms and dying
groans resound,
ad streams of blood gush out around.
Alternate hopes and fears
distract my mind,
My weary soul no rest can find.

51. Recitative

Fain would I hope. It cannot surely be.

DANIEL
Oh, that it could not!
But if I may judge the future by the past,
it were vain flattery
to bid you hope for his conversion.

52. Air

Can the vile monster change his skin,
his native spots the leopard lose?
Then may the heart
obdur'd in sin
grow soft, repent,
and virtue choose!
Can the vile monster change his skin.
Then may the heart
obdur'd in sin
grow soft, repent,
and virtue choose!
Threats or advice
but move disdain,
and signs and wonders
glare in vain.
Can the vile monster change his skin,
his native spots the leopard lose?
Then may the heart
obdur'd in sin
grow soft, repent,
and virtue choose!

(Enter Arioch)

53. Recitative

NITOCRIS
My hopes revive, here Arioch comes!
By this 'Tis plain the revels are broke up.
Say, Arioch, where is the king?

AIROCH
When you had left the room,
A while deep silence reigned;
the king sat pensive, as doubting whether
to break up the banquet, or to continue.
At length some parasites,
those insects vile that still infest a court,
began to minister false comfort to him.
With this, again they sat them down to drink.
The bowl went round, the king forgot his fears,
the wine inspired him, and he blasphemed gain.
Not long we sat,
when from without the gates
a noise tumultuous was heard,
loud shouts and cries,
and clashing arms.
The king deputed some to learn the cause.
I gladly seized the opportunity,
and fled a place
to swift destruction doomed.

(Enter a Messenger)

MESSENGER
All's lost,
the fate of Babylon is come!
Cyrus is here, ev'n within the palace!

NITOCRIS
Cyrus, impossible!

MESSENGER
It is too true;
A tumult heard without,
the gates unbarred,
disclosed a dreadful scene:
the guards overpow'rd
by numbers far superior,
fell before them
with faint resistance.
The victorious foe no sooner saw
the gates set open wide,
but rushed at once, and easy entrance gained.

54. JEWS
Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth!
How is Sesach taken, and how
is the praise of the whole earth surprised!
Thy counsel stands, O Lord,
and thou dost all thy pleasure!

Scene 2

(Belshazzar, his lords, and other Babylonians, with their swords drawn)

55. Air

BELSHAZZAR
I thank thee, Sesach!
Thy sweet power
does to myself myself restore.
I thank thee, Sesach!
Thy plenteous heart-inspiring juice
all my courage lost renews.
I blush to think
I shadows feared.
Cyrus, come on, I'm now prepared!

(Exeunt to meet Cyrus)

56. A Martial Symphony

(during which a battle is supposed, in which Belshazzar and his attendants are slain)

Scene 3

(Cyrus, Gobrias and Chorus)

57. Air

GOBRIAS
To power immortal
my first thanks are due;
My next, great Cyrus, let me pay to you,
whose arm this impious king laid low,
the bitter source of all my woe.
Tears, sure, will all my life employ,
even now I weep, but weep for joy.

58. Recitative

CYRUS
Be it thy care, good Gobrias,
to find out the queen,
and that great Jew,
of whom thou tolds't me.
Guard them in safety hither;
if harm befall them
I shall repent, and curse my victory.

(Exit Gobrias)

59. Air

CYRUS
Destructive war, thy limits know;
Here, tyrant death, thy terrors end.
To tyrants only I'm a foe,
to virtue and her friends, a friend.
Destructive war, thy limits know;
Here, tyrant death, thy terrors end.

(Re-enter Gobrias, with Nitocris, Daniel, and Jews)

60. Duet

NITOCRIS
Great victor, at your feet I bow,
no more a queen, your vassal now!
My people spare!
Forgive my fears, I mourn a son,
indulge my tears,
resistless nature bids them flow.

CYRUS
Rise, virtuous queen,
compose your mind,
give fear and sorrow to the wind.
Safe are your people if they will;
Be still a queen, a mother still,
a son in Cyrus you shall find.

61. Recitative

(to Daniel)

Say, venerable prophet,
is there aught in Cyrus' power
by which he can oblige
thee, or thy people?

DANIEL
O victorious prince,
The God of Israel,
Lord of Heav'n and earth,
long ere thy birth,
foretold thee by thy name,
and shewed thy conquests!
'Tis to Him thou owest,
to Him thou must ascribe them.
Read those lines,
the great prediction which thou
hast already in part accomplished,
and, we trust, will soon
fulfil the rest.

62. CHORUS, SOLITS
Tell it out among the heathen,
That the Lord is King.

63. Accompagnato

CYRUS
Yes, I will rebuild thy city,
God of Israel!
I will release thy captives,
not for price, not for reward,
but to perform thy pleasure.
Thus prostrate I confess,
thou art the Lord,
there is none else,
there is no God beside Thee.
Thou condescendest to call me thy shepherd,
and I will feed thy flock.
To me Thou hast given
the kingdoms of the earth;
and shall I suffer
thy kingdom to lie waste,
thy chosen people
in exile and captivity to wander?
Far be from Cyrus such ingratitude!
Hear, holy people!
Hear, elect of God!
The God of Israel
(he alone is God)
hath charged me
to rebuild his house and city,
and let his exiled
captive people go.
With transport I obey!
Be free, ye captives,
and to your native land in peace return.
Thou, O Jerusalem, shalt be rebuilt;
O Temple, thy foundation shall be laid.
No thanks to me;
to God return your thanks, as I do mine!
We all are to his goodness
indebted deep,
to Him be all the praise.

64. CHORUS, SOLITS

DANIEL
I will magnify Thee, O God my king!
And I will praise thy name
for ever and ever.

DANIEL, NITOCRIS
My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord,
and let all flesh give thanks
unto His holy name
for ever and ever.

CHORUS
Amen.
ACT THREE


Scene 1

(The Palace. Nitocris, Daniel, jews)

50. Air

NITOCRIS
Alternate hopes and fears
distract my mind,
my weary soul no rest can find.
My busy fancy now presents
a gracious scene:
my son repents
and God recalls his doom.
Now to false shame
he quits his fears,
false courage takes,
and madly dares
hs impious feast resume.
Then arms and dying
groans resound,
ad streams of blood gush out around.
Alternate hopes and fears
distract my mind,
My weary soul no rest can find.

51. Recitative

Fain would I hope. It cannot surely be.

DANIEL
Oh, that it could not!
But if I may judge the future by the past,
it were vain flattery
to bid you hope for his conversion.

52. Air

Can the vile monster change his skin,
his native spots the leopard lose?
Then may the heart
obdur'd in sin
grow soft, repent,
and virtue choose!
Can the vile monster change his skin.
Then may the heart
obdur'd in sin
grow soft, repent,
and virtue choose!
Threats or advice
but move disdain,
and signs and wonders
glare in vain.
Can the vile monster change his skin,
his native spots the leopard lose?
Then may the heart
obdur'd in sin
grow soft, repent,
and virtue choose!

(Enter Arioch)

53. Recitative

NITOCRIS
My hopes revive, here Arioch comes!
By this 'Tis plain the revels are broke up.
Say, Arioch, where is the king?

AIROCH
When you had left the room,
A while deep silence reigned;
the king sat pensive, as doubting whether
to break up the banquet, or to continue.
At length some parasites,
those insects vile that still infest a court,
began to minister false comfort to him.
With this, again they sat them down to drink.
The bowl went round, the king forgot his fears,
the wine inspired him, and he blasphemed gain.
Not long we sat,
when from without the gates
a noise tumultuous was heard,
loud shouts and cries,
and clashing arms.
The king deputed some to learn the cause.
I gladly seized the opportunity,
and fled a place
to swift destruction doomed.

(Enter a Messenger)

MESSENGER
All's lost,
the fate of Babylon is come!
Cyrus is here, ev'n within the palace!

NITOCRIS
Cyrus, impossible!

MESSENGER
It is too true;
A tumult heard without,
the gates unbarred,
disclosed a dreadful scene:
the guards overpow'rd
by numbers far superior,
fell before them
with faint resistance.
The victorious foe no sooner saw
the gates set open wide,
but rushed at once, and easy entrance gained.

54. JEWS
Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth!
How is Sesach taken, and how
is the praise of the whole earth surprised!
Thy counsel stands, O Lord,
and thou dost all thy pleasure!

Scene 2

(Belshazzar, his lords, and other Babylonians, with their swords drawn)

55. Air

BELSHAZZAR
I thank thee, Sesach!
Thy sweet power
does to myself myself restore.
I thank thee, Sesach!
Thy plenteous heart-inspiring juice
all my courage lost renews.
I blush to think
I shadows feared.
Cyrus, come on, I'm now prepared!

(Exeunt to meet Cyrus)

56. A Martial Symphony

(during which a battle is supposed, in which Belshazzar and his attendants are slain)

Scene 3

(Cyrus, Gobrias and Chorus)

57. Air

GOBRIAS
To power immortal
my first thanks are due;
My next, great Cyrus, let me pay to you,
whose arm this impious king laid low,
the bitter source of all my woe.
Tears, sure, will all my life employ,
even now I weep, but weep for joy.

58. Recitative

CYRUS
Be it thy care, good Gobrias,
to find out the queen,
and that great Jew,
of whom thou tolds't me.
Guard them in safety hither;
if harm befall them
I shall repent, and curse my victory.

(Exit Gobrias)

59. Air

CYRUS
Destructive war, thy limits know;
Here, tyrant death, thy terrors end.
To tyrants only I'm a foe,
to virtue and her friends, a friend.
Destructive war, thy limits know;
Here, tyrant death, thy terrors end.

(Re-enter Gobrias, with Nitocris, Daniel, and Jews)

60. Duet

NITOCRIS
Great victor, at your feet I bow,
no more a queen, your vassal now!
My people spare!
Forgive my fears, I mourn a son,
indulge my tears,
resistless nature bids them flow.

CYRUS
Rise, virtuous queen,
compose your mind,
give fear and sorrow to the wind.
Safe are your people if they will;
Be still a queen, a mother still,
a son in Cyrus you shall find.

61. Recitative

(to Daniel)

Say, venerable prophet,
is there aught in Cyrus' power
by which he can oblige
thee, or thy people?

DANIEL
O victorious prince,
The God of Israel,
Lord of Heav'n and earth,
long ere thy birth,
foretold thee by thy name,
and shewed thy conquests!
'Tis to Him thou owest,
to Him thou must ascribe them.
Read those lines,
the great prediction which thou
hast already in part accomplished,
and, we trust, will soon
fulfil the rest.

62. CHORUS, SOLITS
Tell it out among the heathen,
That the Lord is King.

63. Accompagnato

CYRUS
Yes, I will rebuild thy city,
God of Israel!
I will release thy captives,
not for price, not for reward,
but to perform thy pleasure.
Thus prostrate I confess,
thou art the Lord,
there is none else,
there is no God beside Thee.
Thou condescendest to call me thy shepherd,
and I will feed thy flock.
To me Thou hast given
the kingdoms of the earth;
and shall I suffer
thy kingdom to lie waste,
thy chosen people
in exile and captivity to wander?
Far be from Cyrus such ingratitude!
Hear, holy people!
Hear, elect of God!
The God of Israel
(he alone is God)
hath charged me
to rebuild his house and city,
and let his exiled
captive people go.
With transport I obey!
Be free, ye captives,
and to your native land in peace return.
Thou, O Jerusalem, shalt be rebuilt;
O Temple, thy foundation shall be laid.
No thanks to me;
to God return your thanks, as I do mine!
We all are to his goodness
indebted deep,
to Him be all the praise.

64. CHORUS, SOLITS

DANIEL
I will magnify Thee, O God my king!
And I will praise thy name
for ever and ever.

DANIEL, NITOCRIS
My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord,
and let all flesh give thanks
unto His holy name
for ever and ever.

CHORUS
Amen.



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