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strangers, by whom the hides of those beasts were worn, Of towns dispeopled, and the wandering ghosts and who arrived at the time when he kept an annual Of kings unburied in the wasted coasts ; feast in honour of that god. The rise of this solemnity | When Dirce's fountain blush'd with Grecian blood, he relates to his guests, the loves of Phæbus and

And Thetis, near Ismenos swelling flood, Psamathe, and the story of Chorebus. He inquires, and is made acquainted with their descent and quali.

With dread beheld the rolling surges sweep, ty. The sacrifice is renewed, and the book concludes In heaps, her slaughter'd sons into the deep. with a hymn to Apollo.

What hero, Clio! wilt thou first relate ? The translator hopes he need not apologize for his choice The rage of Tydeus, or the prophet's fate ?

of this piece, which was made almost in his childhood:Or how, with hills of slain on every side, but, finding the version better than he expected, he Hippomedon repell'd the hostile tide ? gave it some correction a few years afterwards.

Or how the youth, with every grace adorn'd,

Untimely fell, to be for ever mourn'd ?

Then to fierce Capaneus thy verse extend,
FRATERNAL rage the guilty Thebes alarms, And sing with horror his prodigious end.
The alternate reign destroy'd by impious arms,

Now wretched (Edipus, deprived of sight,
Demand our song; a sacred fury fires ! Led a long death in everlasting night;
My ravish'd breast, and all the muse inspires.

But while he dwells where not a cheerful ray
O goddess ! say, shall I deduce my rhymes

Can pierce the darkness, and abhors the day; From the dire nation in its early times,

The clear reflecting mind presents his sin Europa's rape, Agenor's stern decree, .

In frightful views, and makes it day within ;. And Cadmus searching round the spacious sea ?

Returning thoughts in endless circles roll, How with the serpent's teeth he sowed the soil, And thousand furies haunt his guilty soul; And reap'd an iron harvest of his toil ?

|The wretch then lifted to the unpitying skies, Or how from joining stones the city sprung,

Those empty orbs from whence he tore his eyes, While to his harp divine Amphion sung?

Whose wounds, yet fresh, with bloody hand he Or shall I Juno's hate to Thebes resound,

strook, Whose fatal rage the unhappy monarch found?

While froin his breast these dreadful accents broke : The sire against the son his arrows drew,

*Ye gods! that o'er the gloomy regions reign, O'er the wide fields the furious mother flew, Where guilty spirits feel eternal pain; ! And while her arms a second hope contain,

Thou, sable Styx! whose livid streams are roll'd Sprung from the rocks, and plunged into the main. Through dreary coasts, which I, though blind, behold But wave whate'er to Cadmus may belong,

Tissiphone, that oft hast heard my prayer, And fix, O Muse! the barrier of thy song

Assist, if Edipus deserve thy care! At Edipus-from his disasters trace

If you received me from Jocasta's womb, The long confusions of his guilty race:

And nursed the hope of mischiefs yet to come: Nor yet attempt to stretch thy older wing,

If, leaving Polybus, I took my way And mighty Cæsar's conquering eagles sing: |To Cyrrha's temple, on that fatal day, How twice he tamed proud Ister's rapid flood,

When by the son the trembling father died, While Dacian mountains stream'd with barbarous Where the three roads the Phocian fields divide blood :

If I the Sphinx's riddles durst explain,
Twice taught the Rhine beneath his laws to roll, Taught by thyself to win the promised reign;
And stretch'd his empire to the frozen pole:

If wretched I, by baleful Furies led,
Or long before, with early valour, strove

With monstrous mixture stain'd my mother's bed, In youthful arms to assert the cause of Jove. For hell and thee begot an impious brood, And thou, great heir of all thy father's fame, And with full lust those horrid joys renew'd; Increase of glory to the Latian name,

Then self-condemn'd to shades of endless night, O bless thy Rome with an eternal reign,

Forced from these orbs the bleeding balls of sight; Nor let desiring worlds entreat in vain !

O hear, and aid the vengeance I require, What though the stars contract their heavenly space, If worthy thee, and what thou mightst inspire ! And crowd their shining ranks to yield thee place;. My sons their old unhappy sire despise, Though all the skies, ambitious of thy sway, Spoil'd of his kingdom, and deprived of eyes ; Conspire to court thee from our world away; Guideless I wander, unregarded mourn, Though Phoebus longs to mix his rays with thine, While these exalt their sceptres o'er my urn; And in thy glories more serenely shine;

These sons, ye gods! who, with flagitious pride, Though Jove himself no less content would be Insult my darkness, and my groans deride. To part his throne, and share his heaven with thee; Art thou a father, unregarding Jove! Yet stay, great Cæsar! and vouchsafe to reign And sleeps thy thunder in the realms above? O'er the wide earth, and o'er the watery main; Thou Fury, then, some lasting curse entail, Resign to Jove his empire of the skies,

Which o'er their children's children shall prevail: And people heaven with Roman deities.

Place on their heads that crown distain'd with gore,
The time will come, when a diviner flame Which these dire hands from my slain father tore;
Shall warm my breast to sing of Cæsar's fame: Go, and a parent's heavy curses bear;
Meanwhile permit, that my preluding muse

Break all the bonds of nature, and prepare
In Theban wars a humbler theme may chuse : Their kindred souls to mutual hate and war.
Of furious hate, surviving death, she sings,

Give them to dare, what I might wish to see,
A fatal throne to two contending kings, in

| Blind as I am, some glorious villany! And funeral flames, that parting wide in air, Soon shalt thou find, if thou but arm their hands, Express the discord of the souls they bear: | Their ready guilt preventing thy commands :


Couldst thou some great, proportion'd mischief frame, But rend the reins, and bound a different way,
They'd prove the father from whose loins they came.' And all the furrows in confusion lay;

The Fury heard, while on Cocytus' brink Such was the discord of the royal pair,
Her snakes, untied, sulphureous waters drink; Whom fury drove precipitate to war.
But at the summons roll'd her eyes around, In vain the chiefs contrived a specious way,
And snatch'd the starting serpents from the ground. To govern Thebes by their alternate sway:
Not half so swiftly shoots along the air,

Unjust decree! while this enjoys the state,
The gliding lightning, or descending star.,

That mourns in exile his unequal fate, Through crowds of airy shades she wing'd her flight, And the short monarch of a hasty year And dark dominions of the silent night;

Foresees with anguish his returning heir. Swift as she pass'd, the fitting ghosts withdrew, Thus did the league their impious arms restrain, And the pale spectres trembled at her view : But scarce subsisted to the second reign. To the iron gates of Tænarus'she flies,

Yet then no proud aspiring piles were raised, There spreads her dusky pinions to the skies. No fretted roof with polish'd metals blazed ; The day beheld, and, sickening at the sight, No labour'd columns in long order placed, Veil'd her fair glories in the shades of night. No Grecian stone the pompous arches grac'd ; Affrighted Atlas, on the distant shore,

No nightly bands in glittering armour wait, Trembled, and shook the heavens and gods he bore. Before the sleepless tyrant's guarded gate; Now from beneath Malea's airy height

No chargers then were wrought in burnish'd gold, Aloft she sprung, and steer'd to Thebes her flight; Nor silver vases took the forming mould ; With eager speed the well-known journey took, Nor gems on bowls emboss'd were seen to shine, Nor here regrets the hell she late forsook.

Blaze on the brims, and sparkle in the wineA hundred snakes her gloomy visage shade,

Say, wretched rivals! what provokes your rage? . A hundred serpents guard her horrid head; ' Say, to what end your impious arms engage ? In her sunk eye-balls dreadful meteors glow: Not all bright Phæbus views in early morn, Such rays from Phebe's bloody circles flow, Or when his evening beams the west adorn, When, labouring with strong charms, she shoots from When the south glows with his meridian ray,

And the cold north receives a fainter day; A fiery gleam, and reddens all the sky.

For crimes like these, not all those realms suffice, Blood stain'd her cheeks, and from her mouth there Were all those realms the guilty victor's prize! came,

But Fortune now (the lots of empire thrown)
Blue steaming poisons, and a length of flame. Decrees to proud Eteocles the crown:
From every blast of her contagious breath, What joys, oh tyrant! swell'd thy soul that day,
Famine and drought proceed, and plagues and death. When all were slaves thou couldst around survey,
A robe obscene was o'er her shoulders thrown, Pleased to behold unbounded power thy own,
A dress by Fates and Furies worn alone.

And singly fill a fear'd and envied throne !
She toss'd her meagre arms: her better hand, But the vile vulgar, ever discontent,
In waving circles whirl'd a funeral brand :

Their growing fears in secret murmurs vent;
A serpent from her left was seen to rear

Still prone to change, though still the slaves of state, His flaming crest, and lash the yielding air.

And sure the monarch whom they have, to hate : But when the Fury took her stand on high, New lords they madly make, then tamely bear, Where vast Cithæron's top salutes the sky, And softly eurse the tyrants whom they fear. A hiss from all the snaky tire went round;

And one of those who groan beneath the sway The dreadful signal all the rocks rebound,

Of kings imposed, and grudgingly obey, And through the Achaian cities send the sound.. (Whom envy to the great, and vulgar spite Ete, with high Parnassus, heard the voice; With scandal arm'd, the ignoble mind's delight) Eurotus' banks remurmur'd to the noise;

Exclaim'd-'0 Thebes ! for thee what fates remain ! Again Leucothoë shook at these alarms,

What woes attend this inauspicious reign! And press'd Palamon closer in her arms.

Must we, alas! our doubtful necks prepare, Headlong from thence the glowing Fury springs, Each haughty master's yoke by turns to bear, And o'er the Theban palace spreads her wings, And still to change whom changed we still must Once more invades the guilty dome, and shrouds

fear? Its bright pavilions in a veil of clouds.

These now control a wretched people's fate, Straight with the rage of all their race possess'd, These can divide, and these reverse the state : Stung to the soul, the brothers start from rest, E'en fortune rules no more :-O servile land, And all their furies wake within their breast. Where exil'd tyrants still-by turns command. Their tortured minds repining envy tears,

Thou sire of gods and men, imperial Jove! And hate engender'd by suspicious fears;

Is this the eternal doom decreed above ? And sacred thirst of sway; and all the ties

On thy own offspring hast thou fix'd this fate, Of nature broke; and royal perjuries;

From the first birth of our unhappy state; And impotent desire to reign alone,

When banish'd Cadmus, wandering o'er the main, That scorns the dull reversion of a throne;

For lost Europa search'd the world in vain, Each would the sweets of sovereign rule devour, And, fated in Bæotian fields to found While discord waits upon divided power.

A rising empire on a foreign ground, As stubborn steers by brawny plowmen broke, First raised our walls on that ill-omen'd plain, . And join'd reluctant to the galling yoke,

Where earth-born brothers were by brothers slain? Alike disdain with servile necks to bear

What lofty looks the unrivall'd monarch bears! The unwonted weight, or drag the crooked share, How all the tyrant in his face appears ;

What sudden furý clouds his scornful brow! The exulting mother, stain'd with filial blood;
Gods! how his eyes with threatening ardour glow! The savage hunter, and the haunted wood ?
Can this imperious lord forget to reign,

The direful banquet why should I proclaim,
Quit all his state, descend, and serve again? And crimes that grieve the trembling gods to name?
Yet who, before, more popularly bow'd ? i Ere I recount the sins of these profane,
Who more propitious to the suppliant crowd? The sun would sink into the western main,
Patient of right, familiar in the throne ?

And rising gild the radiant east again.
What wonder then ? he was not then alone. Have we not seen (the blood of Laïus shed)
O wretched we, a vile submissive train,

The murdering son ascend his parent's bed,
Fortune's tame fools, and slaves in every reign! Through 'violated nature force his way,

"As when two winds with rival force contend, And stain the sacred womb where once he lay? This way and that, the wavering sails they bend, Yet now in darkness and despair he groans, While freezing Boreas and black Eurus blow, And for the crimes of guilty fate atones ; Now here, now there, the reeling vessel throw : - His sons with scorn their eyeless father view, Thus on each side, alas! our tottering state

Insult his wounds, and make them bleed anew.
Feels all the fury of resistless fate;

Thy curse, oh @dipus, just Heaven alarms,
And doubtful still, and still distracted stands, And sets the avenging Thunderer in arms..
While that prince threatens, and while this commands.' I from the root thy guilty race will tear,
And now the almighty father of the gods

And give the nations to the waste of war.
Convenes a council in the bless'd abodes :

Adrastus soon, with gods averse, shall join Far in the bright recesses of the skies,

In dire alliance with the Theban line : High o'er the rolling heavens, a mansion lies, Hence strife shall rise, and mortal war succeed ; Whence, far below, the gods at once survey, The guilty realms of Tantalus shall bleed: The realms of rising and declining day,'

Fix'd is their doom ; this all-remembering breast And all the extended space of earth, and air, and sea. Yet harbours vengeance for the tyrant's feast.' Full in the midst, and on a starry throne,

He said: and thus the queen of heaven return'd, The majesty of heaven superior shone .

(With sudden grief her labouring bosom burn'd;) Serene he look'd, and gave an awful nod," ] * Must I, whose cares Phoroneus' towers defend, And all the trembling spheres confess'd the god. Must I, oh Jove, in bloody wars contend? . At Jove's assent, the deities around

Thou know'st those regions my protection claim, In solemn state the consistory crown'd.

Glorious in arms, in riches, and in fame : Next a long order of inferior powers .

Though there the fair Egyptian heifer fed, Ascend from hills, and plains, and shady bowers; And there deluded Argus slept, and bled; Those from whose urns the rolling rivers flow; | Though there the brazen tower was storm'd of old, And those that give the wandering winds to blow; When Jove descended in almighty gold, Here all their rage, and e'en their murmurs cease, Yet I can pardon those obscurer rapes, And sacred silence reigns, and universal peace.

Those bashful crimes disguised in borrow'd shapes; A shining synod of majestic gods

But Thebes, where, shining in celestial charms, Gilds with new lustre the divine abodes; .. Thou camest triumphant to a mortal's arms, Heaven seems improved with a superior ray, When all my glories o'er her limbs were spread, And the bright arch reflects a double day.

And blazing lightnings danced around her bed ; The monarch then his solemn silence broke, Cursed Thebes the vengeance it deserves may The still creation listen'd while he spoke ;

prove.' Each sacred accent bears eternal weight,

Ah, why should Argos feel the rage of Jove ? And each irrevocable word is fate.

Yet, since thou wilt thy sister queen control, i *How long shall man the wrath of heaven defy, Since still the lust of discord fires thy soul, And force unwilling vengeance from the sky! Go, raze my Samos, let Mycene fall, Oh race confederate into crimes, that prove

And level with the dust the Spartan wall; in Triumphant o'er the eluded rage of Jove!

No more let mortals Juno's power invoke,
This wearied arm can scarce the bolt sustain, Her fanes no more with eastern incense smoke,
And unregarded thunder rolls in vain ;

Nor victims sink beneath the sacred stroke :
The o'erlabour'd Cyclop from his task retires ;: But to your Isis all my rights transfer,
The Æolian forge exhausted of its fires.

Let altars blaze, and temples smoke for her;
For this I suffer'd Phæbus' steeds to stray, ' For her, through Egypt's fruitful clime renown'd,
And the mad ruler to misguide the day,

Let weeping Nilus hear the timbrel sound.
When the wide earth to heaps of ashes turn'd, But if thou must reform the stubborn times,
And heaven itself the wandering chariot burn'd. Avenging on the sons the father's crimes,.. .
For this, my brother of the watery reign,

And from the long records of distant age,
Released the impetuous sluices of the main: Derive incitements to renew thy rage;
But flames consumed, and billows raged in vain. Say, from what period then has Jove design'd
Two races now, allied to Jove, offend :

To date his vengeance; to what bounds confined ?
To punish these, see Jove himself descend. Begin from thence, where first Alpheus hides
The Theban kings their line from Cadmus trace, His wandering stream, and through the briny tides
From godlike Perseus those of Argive race. Unmix'd to his Sicilian river glides.
Unhappy Cadmus' fate who does not know, Thy own Arcadians there the thunder claim,
And the long series of succeeding wo?

Whose impious rites disgrace thy mighty name How oft the Furies, from the deeps of night, Who raise thy temples where the chariot stood Arose, and mix'd with men in mortal fight: Tor fierce Enomäus defild with blood;

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