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How curs'd Eryphile her lord betray'd,
And the dire ambush Clytemnestra laid.
But what most pleas'd him was the Cretan Dame,
And Husband-bull— oh monstrous! fy for shame!
He had by heart the whole detail of woe
He read, how Arins to his friend complain'd, A fatal tree was growing in his land, On which three wives successively had twin'd A sliding noose, and waver'd in the wind * Where grows this plant,' replied the friend, ' oh where?
For better fruit did never orchard bear:
Through hatred one, and one through too much love;
That for her husband mix'd a poisonous dranght,
And some have hammer'd nails into their brain, And some have drench'd them with a deadly potion;
All this he read, and read with great devotion.
And with one buffet fell'd him on the floor.
* Oh! thou liast Main me for my wealth,' I cried,
* Yet 1 forgive thee—take my last embrace—'
He wept, kind soul! and stoop*d to kiss my face, 1 took him such a box as turn'd him blue, Then sigh'd and cried, ' Adien, my dear, adien!'
But after many a hearty struggle past, 1 condescended to be pleas'd at last. Soon as he said, ' My mistress,and my wife, Do what you list, the term of all your life;' I took to heart the merits of the canse, And stood content to rule by wholesome laws; Receiv'd the reins of absolute command, With all the government of house and land, And empire o'er his tongue, and o'er his hand. As for the volume that revil'd the dames, 'Twas toru to fragments, and condemn'd to flames.
Now Heaven on all my husbands gone bestow Pleasures above for tortures felt below: That rest they wish'd for, grant them in the grave, And bless those souls my conduct help'd to save!
THE FIRST BOOK OF
STAT1US HIS THEBAIS.
Translated in the Year 1703.
CEdipus king of Thebes, having by mistake slain his father Laius, and married his mother Jocasta, put out liis own eyes, and resigned the realm to his sons, Eteocles and Folyniccs. Being neglected by them, he mukcs his prayer to the fury Tisiphone, to sow debate betwixt the brothers. They agree at last to reign singly, each a year by turns, and the first lot is obtained by Eteocles. Jupiter, in a council of the gods, declares his resolution of punishing theThebans, and Argives also, by means of a marriage betwixt Polynices and one of the danghters of Adrastus, king of Argos. Juno opposes, but to no effect; and Mercury is sent on a message to the Sljades, to the ghost of Laius, who is to appear to Eteocles, and provoke him to break the agreement. Polynices in the mean time departs from Thebes by night, is overtaken by a storm, and arrives at Argos; where he meets with Tydens, who had fled from Calydon, having killed his brother. Adrastus entertains them, having received an oracle from Apollo, that his danghter should be married to a boar and a lion, which he understands to be meant of these strangers, by whom the hides of those beasts were worn, and who arrived at the time when he kept an annual feast in honour of that god. The rise of this solemnityMie relntes to his guests, the loves of Phoebus and Psamathe, and the story of Choreebus. He inquires, and is made acquainted with their descent and quality. The sacrifice is renewed, and the book concludes with a hymn to Apollo.
The translator hopeshe needs not apologise for his choice of this piece, which was made almost in his childhood; but, finding the version better than he expected, he gave it some correction a few years afterwards.
STATIUS HIS THEBAIS.
IFRATERNAL rage, the guilty Thebes alarms,
But wave what e'er to Cadmus may belong,
Twice taught the Rhine beneath his laws to roll,
The time will come, when a diviner flame