Iras. Hark! they redouble it.

Alex. ’Tis from the port.
The loudness shows it near: Good news, kind heavens!

Cleo. Osiris make it so!

Enter Serapion.

Serap. Where, where’s the queen?

Alex. How frightfully the holy coward stares
As if not yet recovered of the assault,
When all his gods, and, what’s more dear to him,
His offerings, were at stake.

Serap. O horror, horror!
Egypt has been; our latest hour has come:
The queen of nations, from her ancient seat,
Is sunk for ever in the dark abyss:
Time has unrolled her glories to the last,
And now closed up the volume.

Cleo. Be more plain:
Say, whence thou comest; though fate is in thy face,
Which from thy haggard eyes looks wildly out.
And threatens ere thou speakest.

Serap. I came from Pharos;
From viewing (spare me, and imagine it)
Our land’s last hope, your navy—

Cleo. Vanquished?

Serap. No:
They fought not.

Cleo. Then they fled.

Serap. Nor that. I saw,
With Antony, your well-appointed fleet
Row out; and thrice he waved his hand on high,
And thrice with cheerful cries they shouted back:
’Twas then false Fortune, like a fawning strumpet,
About to leave the bankrupt prodigal,
With a dissembled smile would kiss at parting,
And flatter to the last; the well-timed oars,
Now dipt from every bank, now smoothly run
To meet the foe; and soon indeed they met,
But not as foes. In few, we saw their caps
On either side thrown up; the Egyptian galleys,
Received like friends, passed through, and fell behind
The Roman rear: And now, they all come forward.
And ride within the port.

Cleo. Enough, Serapion:
I’ve heard my doom.—This needed not, you gods:
When I lost Antony, your work was done;
’Tis but superfluous malice.—Where’s my lord?
How bears he this last blow?

Serap. His fury cannot be expressed by words:
Thrice he attempted headlong to have fallen
Full on his foes, and aimed at Cæsar’s galley:
Withheld, he raves on you; cries,—He’s betrayed.
Should he now find you—

Alex. Shun him; seek your safety,
Till you can clear your innocence.

Cleo. I’ll stay.

Alex. You must not; haste you to your monument,
While I make speed to Cæsar.

Cleo. Cæsar! No,
I have no business with him.

Alex. I can work him
To spare your life, and let this madman perish.

Cleo. Base fawning wretch! wouldst thou betray him too?
Hence from my sight! I will not hear a traitor;
’Twas thy design brought all this ruin on us.—
Serapion, thou art honest; counsel me:
But haste, each moment’s precious.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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