Abbildungen der Seite

No nightly bands in glitt'ring armour wait

Before the sleepless tyrant's guarded gate; 205

No chargers then were wrought in burnish'd gold,

Nor silver vases took the forming mould;

Nor gems on bowls emboss'd were seen to shine,

Blaze on the brims, and sparkle in the wine—

Say, wretched rivals! what provokes your rage? 210

Say to what end your impious arms engage?

Not all bright Phoebus views in early morn,

Or when his ev'ning beams the west adorn,

When the south glows with his meridian ray,

And the cold north receives a fainter day; 215

Atria, congestos satis explicitura clientes.

Non impacatis regum ad vigilantia somnis 205

Pila, nee alterna ferri statione gementes

Excubiae, nee cura, mero committere g.mmas,

Atque aurum violare cibis. sed nuria potestas

Armavit fratres: pugna est de paupere regno.

Dumque uter angustae squalentia jugera Dirces

Verteret, aut Tyrii solio non altus ovaret

Exulis, arr.bigitur, periitjus, fasque, bonumque,

Et vitae, mortisque pudor. Quo tenditis iras, 210

Ah miseri I quid si petereturcrimine tanto

Limes uterque poli, quern Sol emissus Eoo

Cardine, quern porta vergens prospectat lbera?

Quasque procul terras obliquo sidere tamjit

Avius, aut Borea gelidas, madidive tepenlet 215

For crimes like these not all those realms suffice,
Were all those realms the guilty victor's prize!

But Fortune now (the lots of empire thrown)
Decrees to proud Eteocles the crown;
"What joys, o Tyrant! swell'd thy soul that day, 226
When all were slaves thou couldst around survey!
Pleas'd to behold unbounded pow'r thy own,
And singly fill a fear'd and envy'd throne l

But the vile vulgar, ever discontent, Their growing fears in secret murmurs vent; 225 Still prone to change, tho' still the slaves of state, And sure the monarch whom they have, to hate; New lords they madly make, then tamely bear, And softly curse the tyrants whom they fear. And one of those who groan beneath the sway 2 ja Of kings impos'd, and grudgingly obey,

Igne Noti? quid si Tyriae Phrygiaeve sub unum
Oonvectentur opes? loca dira, arcesque nefandae
Suff'ccere odio, furtisque immanibus emptum est
Oedipodae sedisse loco. Jam sortecarebat ,
Dilatus Polynicis honos, quis tum tibi, saeve, 226
Quis fuit ille dies? vacua cum solus in aula
Respiceres jus omne tuum, cunctosque minores,
Et nusquam par stare caput? Jam murmura serpunt
Plebis Echioniae, tacitumque aprincipe vulgus 22s
Dissident, et (qui mos populis) venturus amatur.
Atque aliquis, cui mens humili lossisse veneno 230
Summa, nee impositos upquam cervice volenti

(Whom envy to the great, and vulgar spite,

With scandal arm'd, th' ignoble mind's delight)

Exclaim'd—" O Thebes! for thee what fates remain?

What woes attend this inauspicious reign?

Must we, alas! our doubtful necks prepare,

Each haughty master's yoke by turns to bear,

And still to change whom chang'd we still must fear?

These now control a wretched people's fate,

These can divide, and. these reverse the state; 24a

Ev'n Fortune rules no more—O servile land,

Where exil'd tyrants still bv turns command!

Thou sire of gods and men, imperial Jove!

Is this th' eternal doom decreed above?

On thy own offspring hast thou fix'd this fate 24J

From the first birth of our unhappy state,

When banish'd Cadmus, wand'ring o'er the main,

For lost Europa search'd the world in vain,

Ferre duces: "Hancne Ogygiis," ait, aspera rebus235
Fata tulere vicetn? toties mutare timendos,
Alternoque jugo dubitantia subdere colla?
Parati versant populorum fato, manuque 240

Fortunam fecere levem. semperne vicissim
Exulibus servire dabor? tibi, summe deorum,
Terrarumque sator, scciis hanc addere mentem 245
Sedit? an inde vetus Thebis extenditur omen,
Ex quo Sidonii nequicquam blanda juvenci
Pondera, Carpathio jussus sale quaerere Cadmus

And fated in Bceotian fields to found

A rising empire on a foreign ground, 250

First rais'd our walls on that ill-omen'd plain,

Where earth-born brothers were by brothers slain?

What lofty looks th' unfivall'd monarch bears!

How all the tyrant in his fdce appears!

What sullen fury clouds his scornful brow! 25 J

Gods! how his eyes with threat'ning ardour glow!

Can this imperious lord forget to reign,

Quit all his state, descend, and serve again?

Yet who, before, more popularly bow'd?

Who more propitious to the suppliant crowd, 260

Patient of right, familiar in the throne?

What wonder then? he was not then alone,

O wretched we! a vile submissive train,

Fortune's tame fools, and slaves in ev'ry reign!

As when two winds with rival force contend, 263 This way and that the wav'ring sails they bend,

pxul Hyanteos invenit regna per agros; 2lo

Fraternasque acies feet* telluris hiatu,
Augurium, seros dimisit adusque nepotes?
Cernis ut erectum torva sub fronte minetur
Saevior assurgens dempto consorte potestas? 25J

Quas gerit ore minas? quanto premit omnia f.istu?
Hicne unquarti privatus erit? tamen ille precanti
Mitis, et aftatu bonus et patientior aeqUi: 260

Quid mirum? non solus erat. nos vilis in omnes Prompta manus casus domino cuicunque parati, Qualiter hinc gelidus Boreas, hinc nubifer Eurus 265

While freezing Boreas and black Eurus blow,
Nowhere, now there, the reeling vessel throw;
Thus on each side, alas I our lott'ring state
Feels all the fury of resistless f..te; 2-0

And doubtful still, .and still distracted, stands,
While that prince threatens, and while this com-
And now th' almighty father of the gods [mands."
Convenes a council in the hless'd abodes.
'Far in the bright recesses of the skies, 2 75

High o'er the rolling heav'ns a mansion lies,
Whence, far below, the gods at once survey
The realms of rising, and declining day,
And all th' extended space of earih, and air, and sea.
Full in the midst, and on a starry throne, 28o

The Majesty of heav'n superior shone:
{serene he look'd, and gave an awful nod,
And all the trembling spheres confess'd the god.
At Jove's assent, the deities around
In solemn state the consistory crown'd. 28t

Vela trahunt, nutat medias fortuna carinae.
Heu dubio suspensa metu, tolerandaque nullis
Aspera sors populis! hie imperat; ille minatur.

At Jovis imperiis rapidi super atria cceli'
Lectus concilio divum convenerat ordo
Interiore poli. spatiis hinc omnia juxta
Primaeque occiduaeque domus, eff'usa sub omni
Terra atque unda die. mediis sese arduus infert 280
Jpsedeis, placido quatieiis tamen omnia vultu,


[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »