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Enrols Rape, Agenor\ stern Decree,
And Cadmus searching round the spacious Sea?
How with the Serpent's Teeth hesow'd the Soil,
And reap'd an Iron Harvest of his Toil;
Or how from joyning Stones the City sprung,
While to his Harp Divine Amphion fung?
Or shall I Juno's Hate to Thebes resound,
Whose fatal Rage th' unhappy Monarch found;
The Sire against the Son his Arrows drew,
O'er the wide Fields the furious Mother flew, ,
And while her Arms her Second Hope contain,
Sprung from the Rocks, and plung'd into the Main.
But wave whate'er to Cadmus may belong,
And fix, O Muse! the Barrier of thy Song,
At Oedtpus from his Disasters trace
The long Confusions of his guilty Race.
Nor yet attempt to stretch thy bolder Wing,
And mighty Casar\ conqu'ring Eagles sing;
Mow twice the Mountains ran with Dacian Blood,
And trembling Ifler check'd his rapid Flood;
How twicehe vanquish'd where xhtRhine does roll,
And stretch'd his Empire to the frozen Pole;
Or long before, with early Valour strove
In youthful Arms t'assert the Cause of Jove.
And Thou, great Heir of all thy Father's Fame,
Encrease of Glory to the Lation Name;
Oh bless thy Rome with an Eternal Reign,
Nor4et desiring Worlds intreat in vain!
What tho' the Stars contract their Heav'nly Space,
And crowd their mininglRaiiks to yield tbeeplace;
Tho' all the Skies, ambitious of thy Sway,
'Conspire to court thee from our World away;
Tho'fhœbus longs to mix his Rays with thine,
And in thy Glories more serenely shine;
B 4 Tho'
Tho' Jove himself no less content wou'd be,
To part hisThrone and share his Heav'n with thee;
Yet stay, great Cœsar\ and vouchsafe to reign
O'er the wide Earth, and o'er the watry Main,
Resign to Jove his Empire of the Skies,
And People Heav'n with Roman Deities.
The Time will come, when a diviner Flame
Shall warm my Breast to sing of Casar\ Fame:
Mean while permit that my preluding Muse
In Theban Wars an humbler Theme may chuse:
Of furious Hate surviving Death, she sings,
A fatal Throne to two contending Kings,,
And Fun'ral Flames, that parting wide in Air,
Express the Discord of the Souls they bear:
Of Towns dispeopled, and the wandring Ghosts
Of Kings unbury'd, on the wasted Coast*;
When tDirce'% Fountain blush'd with Grecian
And Thetis; near Ismenos* swelling Flood,
With Dread beheld the rolling Surges sweep
In Heaps his slaughter'd Sons into the Deep.
"What Hero, Clio\ wilt thou first relate?
The raging Tydeus, or the Prophet's Fate?
Or how with Hills of slain on ev'ry side,
Htypomedon repell'd the hostile Tyde?
Or how the * Youth with ev'ry Grace adorn'd,
Untimely fell, to be for ever mourn'd?
Then to fierce Capaneus thy Verse extend,
And sing, with Horror, his prodigious End.
Now wretched Oedipui, depriv'd of Sight, Led a long Death in everlasting Night; But while he dwells where not a chearful Ray . Can pierce the Darkness, and abhors the Day;
The clear, reflecting Mind, presents his Sin
In frightful Views, and makes it Day within;
Returning Thoughts in endless Circles roll,
And thousand Furies haunt his guilty Soul.
The Wretch then lifted to th' unpitying Skies
Thole empty Orbs, from whence he tore his Eyes,
Whose Wounds yet fresh, with bloody Hands he
While from hisBreast these dreadfulAccents broke.
Ye Gods that o'er the gloomy Regions reign Where guilty Spirits feel Eternal OPain; Thou, fable ,%w/ whose livid Streams are roll'd Thro'dreary Coasts which I, tho'Blind, behold: Tisiphone! that oft hast heard my Pray'r, Assist, if Oedipus deserve thy Care! If you receiv'd me from Jocasta's Womb, And nurst the Hope of Mischiefs yet to come: