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Be this thy comfort, that 'tis thine t' efface
With virtnous acts thy ancestor's disgrace,
And be thyself the honour of thy race.
But see! the stars begin to steal away,
And shine more faintly at approaching day.
Now pour the wine; and in your tuneful lays
Once more resound the great Apollo's praise.'
* Oh, father Phoebus! whether Lycia's coast
And snowy mountains thy bright presence boast;
Whether to sweet Castalia thou repair,
And bathe in silver dews thy yellow hair;
Or, pleas'd to find fair Delos float no more,
Delight in Cynthus, and the shady shore;
Or choose thy seat in I lion's prond abodes,
The shining structures rais'd by labouring gods;
By thee the bow and mortal shafts are borne;
Eternal charms thy blooming youth adorn:
Skill'd in the laws of secret fate above,
And the dark counsels of almighty Jove,
Tis thine the seeds of future war to know,
The change of sceptres, and impending woe,
When direful meteors spread through glowing air
Long trails of light, and shake their blazing hair*
Thy rage the Phrygian felt, who durst aspire
T' excel the music of thy heavenly lyre;
Thy shafts aveng'd lewd Tityus' guilty flame,
Th' immortal victim of thy mother's fame;
Thy hand slew Python, and the dame who lost.
Her numerous offspring for a fatal boast.
In Phlegyas' doom thy just revenge appears,
Condemn'd to furies and eternal fears:
He views his food, but dreads, with lifted eye,
The mouldering rock, that trembles from on high.
Propitious hear our prayer, O power divine!
And on thy hospitable Argos shine,
Whether the style of Titan please thee more,
Whose purple rays th' Achaemenes adore;
Or great Osiris, who first taught the swain
In Pharian fields to sow the golden grain;
Or Mithra, to whose beams the Persian bows,
And pays, in hollow rocks, his awful vows!
Mithra, whose head the blaze of light adorns,
Who grasps the struggling heifer's lunar horns.'
THE FABLE OF DRYOPE.
SIIE said, and for her lost Galanthis sighs
When the fair consort of her son replies:
Since you a servant's ravish'd form bemoan
And kindly sigh for sorrows not your own;
Let me (if tears and grief permit) relate
A nearer woe, a sister's stranger fate.
No nymph of all CEchalia could compare
For beauteous form with Dryope the fair,
Her tender mother's only hope and pride
(Myself the offering of a second bride).
This nymph, compress'd by him who rules the day,
Whom Delphi and the Delian isle obey,
Andraemon lov'd; and, bless'd in all those charms
Tliat pleas'd a god, succeeded to her arms.
A lake there was, with shelving banks around,
Whose vprdant summit fragrant myrtles CTOwn'd,
These shades, unknowing of the fates, she sought
And to the Naiads ftow'ry garlands brought;
Her smiling babe (a pleasing charge) she prest
Within her arms, and nourish'd at her breast,
Not distant far, a watery lotos grows;
The spring was new, and all the verdant" boughs,
Adorn'd with blossoms, promis'd fruits that vie
In glowing colours with the Tyrian dye:
Of these she cropp'd to please her infant son;
And I myself the same rash act had done,
But, lo! I saw (as near her side I stood)
The violated blossoms drop with blood;
Upon the tree I cast a frightful look;
The trembling tree with sndden horror shook.
Lotis the nymph (if rural tales be true).
As from Priapus' lawless lust she flew,
Forsook her form; and, fixing here, became
A flowery plant, which still preserves her name.
This change unknown, astouish'd at the sight,
My trembling sister strove to urge her flight:
And first the pardon of the nymphs implor'd,
And those offended sylvan powers ador'd:
But when she backward would have fled, she found
Her stiffening feet were rooted in the ground:
In vain to free her fasten'd feet she strove,
And, as she struggles, only moves above;
She feels tii' encroaching bark around her grow
By quick degrees, and cover alt below:
Surpris'd at this, her trembling hand she heaves
To rend her hair; her hand is fill'd with leaves:
Where late was hair, the shooting leaves are seen
To rise and shade her with a sndden green.
The child Amphissus, to her bosom presa'd,
Perceiv'd a colder and a harder breast,
And found the springs, that ne'er till then denied
Their milky moisture, on a sndden dried.
I saw, unhappy! what I now relate,
And stood the helpless witness of thy fate,
fcmbrac'd thy boughs, thy rising bark delay'd.
There wish'd to grow, and mingle shade with shade.
Behold Andrsemon and th' unhappy sire
Appear, and for their Dryope inquire;
A springing tree for Dryope they find.
And print warm kisses on the panting rind;
Prostrate, with tears their kindred plant bedew,
And close embrace as to the roots they grew.
The face was all that now remain'd of thee.
No more a woman, nor yet quite a tree;
Thy branches hung with humid pearls appear.
From every leaf distils a trickling tear,
And straight a voice, while yet a voice remains, Thus through the trembling boughs in sighs complains:
< If to the wretched any faith be given I swear by all th' unpitying powers of heaves, No wilful crime this heavy vengeance bred; In mutual innocence our lives we led: If this be false, let these new greens decay, 'k Let sounding axes lop my limbs away, V And crackling flames on all my honours prey! 3 But from my branching arms this infant bear, Let some kind nurse supply a mother's care: And to his mother let him oft be led, Sport in her shades, and in her shades be fed; Teach him, when first his infant voice shall frame Imperfect words, and lisp his mother's name, To hail this tree; and say, with weeping eyes, Within this plant my hapless parent lies: And when in youth he seeks the shady woods. Oh, let him fly the crystal lakes and floods, Nor touch the fatal flowers; but warn'd by rae. Believe a goddess shrin'd in every tree. My sire, my sister, and my spouse, farewell If in your breasts or love or pity dwell, Protect your plant, nor let my branches feel The browsing cattle, or the piercing steel. Farewel! and since I cannot bend to join My lips to yours, advance at least to mine. My son, thy mother's parting kiss receive, While yet thy mother has a kiss to give. I can no more; the creeping rind invades My closing lips, and hides my head in shades: Remove your hands; the bark shall soon suffice Without their aid to seal these dying eyes.'
She ceas'd at once to speak, and ceasM to be; And all the nymph was lost within the tree; Yet latent life through her new branches reiga'd, And long the plant a human heat retain'd.