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Where once his steeds their savage banquet found, | The hero then resolves his course to bend,
And disappear'd in horror of the feast.)
And now, by chance, by fate, or furies led, Reverse, O Jove, thy too severe decree,
From Bacchus' consecrated caves he fled, Nor doom to war a race derived from thee : Where the shrill cries of frantic matrons sound, On impious realms and barbarous kings impose And Pentheus? blood enrich'd the rising ground. Thy plagues, and curse them with such sons as those.' Then sees Cithæron towering o'er the plain,
Thus, in reproach and prayer, the queen express'd, And thence declining gently to the main." The rage and grief contending in her breast; Next to the bounds of Nisus' realm repairs, Unmoved remain'd the ruler of the sky,
Where treacherous Scylla cut the purple hairs : And from his throne return'd this stern reply: The hanging cliffs of Scyron's rock explores, ''Twas thus I deem'd thy haughty soul would And hears the murmurs of the different shores : bear
Passes the strait that parts the foaming seas, The dire, though just, revenge which I prepare And stately Corinth's pleasing site surveys. Against a nation thy peculiar care.
'Twas now the time when Phæbus yields to night, No less Dione might for Thebes contend,
And rising Cynthia sheds her silver light: Nor Bacchus less his native town defend;
Wide o'er the world in solemn pomp she drew Yet these in silence see the fates fulfil
Her airy chariot, hung with pearly dew; Their work, and reverence our superior will. All birds and beasts lie hush'd : Sleep steals away For, by the black infernal Styx I swear,
The wild desires of men, and toils of day, (That dreadful oath which binds the Thunderer,) And brings, descending through the silent air, 'Tis fix'd; the irrevocable doom of Jove;
A sweet forgetfulness of human care. No force can bend me, no persuasion move.
Yet no red clouds, with golden borders gay Haste then, Cyllenius, through the liquid air ; Promise the skies the bright return of day; Go mount the winds, and to the shades repair; No faint reflections of the distant light Bid hell's black monarch my commands obey, .. Streak with long gleams the scattering shades of night; And give up Laius to the realms of day :
From the damp earth impervious vapours rise, Whose ghost yet shivering on Cocytus' sand, Increase the darkness, and involve the skies. Expects its passage to the farther strand;
At once the rushing winds with roaring sound Let the pale sire revisit Thebes, and bear
Burst from the Æolian caves, and rend the ground, These pleasing orders to the tyrant's ear;
With equal rage their airy quarrel try,
But with a thicker night black Auster shrouds
The heavens, and drives on heaps the rolling clouds, The promised empire, and alternate reign;
From whose dark womb a rattling tempest pours, Be this the cause of more than mortal hate : Which the cold North congeals to haily showers. The rest succeeding times shall ripen into fate.' From pole to pole the thunder roars aloud, The god obeys, and to his feet applies
And broken lightnings Aash from every cloud. Those golden wings that cut the yielding skies. Now smokes with showers the misty mountain-ground, His ample hat his beamy locks o'erspread, And floated fields lie undistinguish'd round, And veil'd the starry glories of his head.
The Inachian streams with headlong fury run, He seized the wand that 'causes sleep to fly,
And Erasinus rolls a deluge on : Or in soft slumbers seals the wakeful eye ;
The foaming Lerna swells above its bounds, That drives the dead to dark Tartarian coasts, And spreads its ancient poisons o'er the grounds : Or back to life compels the wandering ghosts. Where late was dust, now rapid torrents play, Thus, through the parting clouds, the son of May Rush through the mounds, and bear the dams away Wings on the whistling winds his rapid way; Old limbs of trees from crackling forests torn, Now smoothly steers through air his equal flight,.' Are whirl'd in air, and on the winds are borne : Now springs aloft, and towers the ethereal height; The storm the dark Lycæan groves display'd, Then wheeling, down the steep of heaven he flies, And first to light exposed the sacred shade. And draws a radiant circle o'er the skies. I The intrepid Theban hears the bursting sky,
Meantime the banish'd Polynices roves . . Sees yawning rocks in massy fragments fly, (His Thebes abandon'd) through the Aonian groves, And views astonish'd from the hills afar, While future realms his wandering thoughts delight, The foods descending, and the watery war, His daily vision, and his dream by night;
That, driven by storms, and pouring o'er the plain, Forbidden Thebes appears before his eye,
Swept herds, and hinds, and houses to the main. From whence he sees his absent brother fly; Through the brown horrors of the night he fled, With transport views the airy rule his own, Nor knows, amazed, what doubtful path to tread; * And swells on an imaginary throne. »
His brother's image to his mind appears, Fain would he cast a tedious age away
Inflames his heart with rage, and wings his feet with And live out all in one triumphant day:
fears. He chides the lazy progress of the sun,
So fares a sailor on the stormy main, And bids the year with swifter motion run. When clouds conceal Böotes' golden wain; With anxious hopes his craving mind is toss'd, When not a star its friendly lustre keeps, And all his joys in length of wishes lost : Nor trembling Cynthia glimmers on the deeps;
He dreads the rocks, and shoals, and seas, and skies, We to thy name our annual rites will pay,
Thus strove the chief, on every side distress'd. The sable flock shall fall beneath the stroke,
Thus, seized with sacred fear, the monarch pray'd The shelving walls reflect a glancing light:
Then to his inner court the guests convey'd : Thither with haste the Theban hero flies;
Where yet thin fumes from dying sparks arise, On this side Lerna's poisonous water lies,
And dust yet white upon each altar lies, On that Prosymna's grove and temple rise:
The relics of a former sacrifice. He pass'd the gates, which then unguarded lay, : The king once more the solemn rites requires, And to the regal palace bent his way;
And bids renew the feasts, and wake the fires. . On the cold marble, spent with toil, he lies, His train obey, while all the courts around And waits till pleasing slumbers seal his eyes. With noisy care and various tumult sound. Adrastus here his happy people sways,
Embroider'd purple clothes the golden beds ; Bless'd with calm peace in his declining days. This slave the floor, and that the table spreads ; By both his parents of descent divine,
A third dispels the darkness of the night; Great Jove and Phæbus graced his noble line : And fills depending lamps with beats of light'; Heaven had not crown'd his wishes with a son, Here loaves in canisters are piled on high, But two fair daughters, heir'd his state and throne. And there in flames the slaughter'd victims fry. To him A pollo.(wondrous tó relate!
Sublime in regal state Adrastus shone, But who can pierce into the depths of Fate ?) Stretch'd on rich carpets on his ivory throne; Had sung-Expect thy sons on Argos' shore, A lofty couch receives each princely guest; A yellow lion, and a bristly boar.'
Around, at awful distance, wait the rest. This, long revolved in his paternal breast,
And now the king, his royal feast to grace, Sate heavy on his heart, and broke his rest; Acestis calls, the guardian of his race, This, great Amphiarus, lay bid from thee,
Who first their youth in arts of virtue train'd, Though skill'd in fate, and dark futurity.'
And their ripe years in modest grace maintain'd; The father's care and prophet's art were vain : Then softly whisper'd in her faithful ear, For thus did the predicting god ordain.
| And bade his daughters at the rites appear. Lo, hapless Tydeus, whose ill-fated hand When from the close apartments of the night, Had slain his brother, leaves his native land, The royal nymphs approach divinely bright; And, seized with horror, in the shades of night, Such was Diana's, such Minerva's face; Through the thick deserts headlong urged his flight. Nor shine their beauties with superior grace, Now by the fury of the tempest driven,
But that in these a milder charm endears, He seeks a shelter from the inclement heaven, And less of terror in their looks appears. Till, led by fate, the Theban's steps he treads, As on the heroes first they cast their eyes, And to fair Argos' open court succeeds.
O'er their fair cheeks the glowing blushes rise, When thus the chiefs from different lands resort Their downcast looks a decent shame confess'd, To Adrastus' realms, and hospitable court ; * Then on their father's reverend features rést. The king surveys his guests with curious eyes, | The banquet done, the monarch gives the sign And views their arms and habit with surprise. To fill the goblet high with sparkling wine, A lion's yellow skin the Theban wears,
Which Danaus used in sacred rites of old, Horrid his mane, and rough with curling hairs : With sculpturé graced, and rough with rising gold Such once employ'd Alcides' youthful toils, Here to the clouds victorious Perseus flies, Ere yet adorn'd with Nemea's dreadful spoils. Medusa seems to move her languid eyes, A boar's stiff hide, of Calydonian breed,
And e'en in gold, turns paler as she dies.! (Enides' manly shoulders overspread :
There from the chase Jove's towering eagle bears, Oblique his tusks, erect his bristles stood: .:: . On golden wings, the Phrygian to the stars; Alive, the pride and terror of the wood.'
Still as he rises in the ethereal height, Struck with the sight, and fix'd in deep amaze, His native mountains lessen to his sight; The king the accomplish'd oracle surveys;
While all his sad companions upward gaze, Reveres Apollo's vocal caves, and owns
Fix'd on the glorious scene in wild amaze; The guiding godhead, and his future sons.
And the swift hounds, affrighted as he flies, O'er all his bosom secret transports reign,
Run to the shade, and bark against the skies. And a glad horror shoots through every vein.
This golden bowl with generous juice was crown'd To heaven he lifts his hands, erect his sight, The first libation sprinkled on the ground: And thus invokes the silent queen of night : By turns on each celestial power they call,
Goddess of shades, beneath whose gloomy reign With Phæbus' name resounds the vaulted hall. Yon spangled arch glows with the starry train; The courtly train, the strangers, and the rest, You, who the cares of heaven and earth allay, Crown'd with chaste laurel, and with garlands dress'd Till nature, quicken'd by the inspiring ray,
While with rich gums the fuming altars blaze, Wakes to new vigour with the rising day :
Salute the god in numerous hymns of praise. O thou, who freest me from my doubtful state, | Then thus the king : Perhaps, my noble guests, Long lost and wilderd in the maze ot' fate!
These honour'd altars, and these annual feasts Be present still: oh goddess ! in our aid ! To bright Apollo's awful name design'd, Proceed, and 'firm those omens thou hast made. TUnknown, with wonder may perplex your mnd.
Great was the cause ; our old solemnities : The Inachians view the slain with vast surprise, From no blind zeal or fond tradition rise ;
Her twisting volumes, and her rolling eyes, But, saved from death, our Argives yearly pay Her spotted breast, and gaping womb imbrued These grateful honours to the god of day.
With livid poison, and our children's blood.. When by a thousand darts the Python slain, The crowd in stupid wonder fix'd appear, 1 With orbs unroll'd, lay covering all the plain, Pale e'en in joy, nor yet forget to fear. (Transfix'd as o'er Castalia’s streams he hung, Some with vast beams the squalid corpse engage, And suck'd new poison with his triple tongue, And weary all the wild efforts of rage. To Argo's realms the victor god resorts,
The birds obscene, that nightly flock'd to taste, And enters old Crotopus' humble courts.
With hollow screeches fled the dire repast; This rural prince one only daughter bless’d, And ravenous dogs, allured by scented blood, That all the charms of blooming youth possess'd: And starving wolves ran howling to the wood. Fair was her face, and spotless was her mind,
But, fired with rage, from cleft Parnassus' brow Where filial love with virgin sweetness join'd. Avenging Phæbus bent his deadly bow, Happy! and happy still she might have proved, And hissing flew the feather'd fates below: Were she less beautiful, or less beloved !
A night of sultry clouds involved around But Phæbus loved, and on the flowery side The towers, the fields, and the devoted ground: Of Nemea's stream the yielding fair enjoy'd : And now a thousand lives together fled, Now, ere ten moons their orb with light adorn, Death with his scythe cut off the fatal thread, The illustrious offspring of the god was born; And a whole province in his triumph led. The nymph, her father's anger to evade,
But Phæbus, ask'd why noxious fires appear, Retires from Argos to the sylvan shade;
And raging Sirius blasts the sickly year, To woods and wilds the pleasing burthen bears, Demands their lives by whom his monster fell, And trusts her infant to a shepherd's cares. And dooms a dreadful sacrifice to hell. "How mean a fate, unhappy child is thine!
Bless'd be thy dust, and let eternal fame
Attend thy manes, and preserve thy name,
In such à cause disdain'd thy life to save;
But view'd the shrine with a superior look, While the rude swain his rural music tries,
And its upbraided godhead thus bespoke : To call soft-slumbers on his infant eyes. in "With piety, the soul's securest guard, Yet e'en in those obscure abodes to live,
And conscious virtue, still its own reward, Was more, alas! than cruel fate would give; Willing I come, unknowing how to fear; For on the grassy verdure as he lay,
Nor shalt thou, Phæbus, find a suppliant here.
And 'tis a deed too glorious to disown.
For whom, as man no longer claim'd thy care,
If such inclemeney in heaven can dwell,
On me, on me, let all thy fury fall,
Nor err from me, since I deserve it all:
Or funeral flames reflect a grateful light,
Be mine the vengeance, as the crime my own.' Devours young babes before their parents' eyes, | Merit distress'd, impartial Heaven relieves : And feeds and thrives on public miseries.
Unwelcome life relenting Phæbus gives : But generous rage the bold Choræbus warms, For not the vengeful power, that glow'd with rage, Chorebus, famed for virtue, as for arms;
With such amazing virtue durst engage.' Some few like him, inspired with martial flame, The clouds dispersed, Apollo's wrath expired, Thought a short life well lost for endless fame. And from the wondering god the unwilling youth reThese, where two ways in equal parts divide,
tired. The direful monster from afar descried,
Thence we these altars in his temple raise, Two bleeding babes depending at her side,
And offer annual honours, feasts, and praise; Whose panting vitals, warm with life, she draws, Those solemn feasts propitious Phæbus please ; And in their hearts imbrues her cruel claws.
These honours still renew'd, his ancient wrath appease The youths surround her with extended spears ; But say, illustrious guest !' adjoin'd the king, But brave Chorcebus in the front appears,
'What name you bear, from what high race you spring Deep in her breast he plunged his shining sword, The noble Tydeus stands confess'd, and known And hell's dire monster back to hell restored. Tour neighbour prince, and heir of Calydon."
Relate your fortunes, while the friendly night Or Mithra, to whose beams the Persian bows,
And pays, in hollow rocks, his awful vows; The Theban bends on earth his gloomy eyes, Mithra, whose head the blaze of light adorns, Çonfused, and sadly thus at length replies : Who grasps the struggling heifer's lunar horns "Before these altars how shall I proclaim (Oh generous prince !) my nation or my name, Or through what veins our ancient blood has roll'd? THE FABLE OF DRYOPE. Let the sad tale for ever rest untold !
Book 9. Jocasta's son, and Thebes my native place.'
To whom the king (who felt his generous breast SHE said, and for her lost Galanthis sighs, Touch'd with concern for his unhappy guest) When the fair consort of her son replies : Replies :- Ah, why forbears the son to name
Since you à servant's ravish'd form bemoan, His wretched father, known too well by fame ?
And kindly sigh for sorrows not your own; . Fame, that delights around the world to stray,
Let me (if tears and grief permit) relate Scorns not to take our Argos in her way.
A nearer woe, a sister's stranger fate. . E'en those who dwell where suns at distance roll,
No nymph of all Echalia could compare In northern wilds, and freeze beneath the pole;
For beauteous form with Dryope the fair, And those who tread the burning Libyan lands,
Her tender mother's only hope and pride" The faithless Syrtes, and the moving sands;
|(Myself the offspring of a second bride.) Who view the western sea's extremest bounds,
This nymph, compress'd by him who rules the day, Or drink of Ganges in their eastern grounds;
Whom Delphi and the Delian isle obey, All these the woes of dipus have known,
Andræmon loved; and, bless'd in all those charms Your fates, your furies, and your haunted town
That pleased a god, succeeded to her arms. If on the sons the parents' crimes descend,
A lake there was, with shelving banks around, What prince from those his lineage can defend?
Whose verdant summit fragrant myrtles crown'd. Be this thy comfort, that 'tis thine to efface :
These shades, unknowing of the fates, she sought, With virtuous acts thy ancestor's disgrace,
And to the Naiads flowery garlands brought ;. And be thyself the honour of thy race.
Her smiling babe (a pleasing charge) she press'd But see! the stars begin to steal away,
Within her arms, and nourish'd'at her breast. And shine more faintly at approaching day..
Not distant far, a watery lotos grows; Now pour the wine ; and in your tuneful lays
The spring was new, and all the verdant boughs Once more resound the great Apollo's praise.'
Adorn'd with blossoms, promised fruits that vie Oh, father Phæbus! whether Lycia's coast
In glowing colours with the Tyrian dye: And snowy mountains thy bright presence boast;
Of these she cropp'd to please her infant son; Whether to sweet Castalia thou repair,
And I myself the same rash act had done : And bathe in silver dews thy yellow hair;
But lo! I saw (as near her side I stood) Or, pleased to find fair Delos float no more,
The violated blossoms drop with blood. Delight in Cynthus, and the shady shore;
Upon the tree I cast a frightful look; Or choose thy seat in Ilion's proud abodes,
The trembling tree with sudden horror shook. The shining structures raised by labouring gods;
ing gous ;
Lotis the nymph (if rural tales be true,). By thee the bow and mortal shafts are borne ;
As from Priapus' lawless lust she flew, . Eternal charms thy blooming youth adorn:
Forsook her form; and, fixing here, became Skill'd in the laws of secret fate above,
A flowery plant, which still preserves her name. ' And the dark counsels of almighty Jove,
This change unknown, astonish'd at the sight, 'Tis thine the seeds of future war to know, in
My trembling sister strove to urge her flight: The change of sceptres, and impending woe;
And first the pardon of the nymphs implored, When direful meteors spread through glowing air
And those offended sylvan powers adored : Long trails of light, and shake their blazing hair. But when she backward would have fled, she found Thy rage the Phrygian felt, who durst aspire
Her stiffening feet were rooted in the ground: To excel the music of thy heavenly lyre ;
In vain to free her fasten'd feet she strove, Thy shafts avenged lewd Tityus' guilty flame,
And, as she struggles, only moves above; The immortal victim of thy mother's fame; .,
She feels the encroaching bark around her grow Thy hand slew Python, and the dame who lost .
By quick degrees, and cover all below: Her numerous offspring for a fatal boast..
Surprised at this, her trembling hand she heaves In Phlegyas' doom thy just revenge appears,
To rend her hair : her hand is fill'd with leaves : Condemn'd to furies and eternal fears :
Where late was hair, the shooting leaves are seen He views his food, but dreads, with lifted eye,
To rise, and shade her with a sudden green. The mouldering rock, that trembles from on high.
The child Amphissus, to her bosom press'd,
Perceived a colder and a harder breast, Propitious hear our prayer, O power divine ! And found the springs, that ne'er till then denied And on thy hospitable Argos shine, ,
Their milky moisture, on a sudden dried. Whether the style of Titan please thee more, I saw, unhappy! what I now relate, Whose purple rays the Achæmenes adore ; And stood the helpless witness of thy fate, Or great Osiris, who first taught the swain
Embraced thy boughs, thy rising bark delay'd, In Pharian field to sow the golden grain ;
There wish'd to grow, and mingle shade with shade Behold Adræmon and the unhappy sire
Now the cleft rind inserted graffs receives, Appear, and for their Dryope inquire ;
And yields an offspring more than nature gives ; A springing tree for Dryope they find,
Now sliding streams the thirsty plants renew,
To lawless sylvans all access denied.
Who haunt the forests, or frequent the lawns,
|Employ'd their wiles and unavailing care, I swear by all the unpitying powers of heaven, To pass the fences, and surprise the fair! No wilful crime this heavy vengeance bred; Like these, Vertumnus own'd his faithful flame, In mutual innocence our lives we led :
Like these, rejected by the scornful dame. If this be false, let these new greens decay, To gain her sight a thousand forms he wears ; Let sounding axes lop my limbs away,
And first a reaper from the field appears, And crackling flames on all my honours prey! Sweating he walks, while loads of golden grain But from my branching arms this infant bear, O'ercharge the shoulders of the seeming swain. Let some kind nurse supply a mother's care : JOft o'er his back a crooked scythe is laid, And to his mother let him oft be led,
And wreaths of hay his sun-burnt temples shade ; Sport in her shades, and in her shades be fed ; . Oft in his hardend hand a goad he bears, Teach him, when first his infant voice shall frame Like one who late unyoked the sweating steers. Imperfect words, and lisp his mother's name, Sometimes his pruning-hook corrects the vines, To hail this tree; and say with weeping eyes, And the loose stragglers to their ranks confines. Within this plant my hapless parent lies :
Now gathering what the bounteous year allows, And when in youth he seeks the shady woods He pulls ripe apples from the bending boughs. Oh, let him fly the crystal lakes and floods,
A soldier now, he with his sword appears ; Nor touch the fatal flowers; but, warn'd by me, | A fisher next, his trembling angle bears. Believe a goddess shrined in every tree.
Each shape he varies, and each art he tries, My sire, my sister, and my spouse farewell! On her bright charms to feast his longing eyes. If in your breast or love or pity dwell,
A female form at last Vertumnus wears, Protect your plant, nor let my branches feel With all the marks of reverend age appears, The browsing cattle, or the piercing steel.
His temples thinly spread with silver hairs : Farewell! and since I cannot bend to join
Propp'd on his staff, and stooping as he goes, My lips to yours, advance at least to mine, | A painted mitre shades his furrow'd brows. My son, thy mother's parting kiss receive,
The god, in this decrepit form array'd, While yet thy mother has a kiss to give.
The gardens entered, and the fruit survey'd ; I can no more; the creeping rind invades
And • Happy you !' he thus address'd the maid, My closing lips, and hides my head in shades : | Whose charms as far all other nymphs out-shine, Remove your hands; the bark shall soon suffice As other gardens are excell?d by thine! Without their aid to seal these dying eyes.' Then kiss'd the fair (his kisses warmer grow
She ceased at once to speak, and ceased to be; | Than such as women on their sex bestow ;) And all the nymph was lost within the tree; Then, placed beside her on the flowery ground, Yet latent life through her new branches reign'd, Beheld the trees with autumn's bounty crown'd And long the plant a human heat retain'd.
An elm was near, to whose embraces led,
He view'd her twining branches with delight, VERTUMNUS AND POMONA. And praised the beauty of the pleasing sight.
| Yet this tall elm, but for his vine,' he said, FROM
Had stood neglected, and a barren shade;
And this fair vine, but that her arms surround
Her married elm, had crept along the ground. Book 4.
Ah beauteous maid ! let this example move
Your mind, averse from all the joys of love. The fair Pomona flourish'd in his reign:
Deign to be loved, and every heart subdue : Of all the virgins of the sylvan train,
What nymph could e'er attract such crowds as you None taught the trees a nobler race to bear, Not she whose beauty urged the Centaur's arms, Or more improved the vegetable care.
Ulysses? queen, nor Helen's fatal charms. To her the shady grove, the flowery field,
E'en now, when silent scorn is all they gain, The streams and fountains, no delights could yield; A thousand court you, though they court in vain . 'Twas all her joy the ripening fruits to tend, . . A thousand sylvans, demigods, and gods, And see the boughs with happy burthens bend. "That haunt our mountains, and our Alban woods The hook she bore instead of Cynthia's spear, But if you'll prosper, mark what I advise, To lop the growth of the luxuriant year,
Whom age and long experience render wise, To decent form the lawless shoots to bring,
And one whose tender care is far above And teach the obedient branches where to spring. All that these lovers, ever felt for love;