Ovid [Trans., Sir Samuel Garth]. Metamorphoses
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BOOK THE THIRTEENTH
The Speeches of Ajax and Ulysses
13:1 The chiefs were set; the soldiers crown'd the field:
13:2 To these the master of the seven-fold shield
13:3 Upstarted fierce: and kindled with disdain.
13:4 Eager to speak, unable to contain
13:5 His boiling rage, he rowl'd his eyes around
13:6 The shore, and Graecian gallies hall'd a-ground.
13:7 Then stretching out his hands, O Jove, he cry'd,
13:8 Must then our cause before the fleet be try'd?
13:9 And dares Ulysses for the prize contend,
13:10 In sight of what he durst not once defend?
13:11 But basely fled that memorable day,
13:12 When I from Hector's hands redeem'd the flaming prey.
13:13 So much 'tis safer at the noisie bar
13:14 With words to flourish, than ingage in war.
13:15 By diff'rent methods we maintain our right,
13:16 Nor am I made to talk, nor he to fight.
13:17 In bloody fields I labour to be great;
13:18 His arms are a smooth tongue, and soft deceit:
13:19 Nor need I speak my deeds, for those you see,
13:20 The sun, and day are witnesses for me.
13:21 Let him who fights unseen, relate his own,
13:22 And vouch the silent stars, and conscious moon.
13:23 Great is the prize demanded, I confess,
13:24 But such an abject rival makes it less;
13:25 That gift, those honours, he but hop'd to gain,
13:26 Can leave no room for Ajax to be vain:
13:27 Losing he wins, because his name will be
13:28 Ennobled by defeat, who durst contend with me.
13:29 Were my known valour question'd, yet my blood
13:30 Without that plea would make my title good:
13:31 My sire was Telamon, whose arms, employ'd
13:32 With Hercules, these Trojan walls destroy'd;
13:33 And who before with Jason sent from Greece,
13:34 In the first ship brought home the golden fleece.
13:35 Great Telamon from Aeacus derives
13:36 His birth (th' inquisitor of guilty lives
13:37 In shades below; where Sisyphus, whose son
13:38 This thief is thought, rouls up the restless heavy stone),
13:39 Just Aeacus, the king of Gods above
13:40 Begot: thus Ajax is the third from Jove.
13:41 Nor shou'd I seek advantage from my line,
13:42 Unless (Achilles) it was mix'd with thine:
13:43 As next of kin, Achilles' arms I claim;
13:44 This fellow wou'd ingraft a foreign name
13:45 Upon our stock, and the Sisyphian seed
13:46 By fraud, and theft asserts his father's breed:
13:47 Then must I lose these arms, because I came
13:48 To fight uncall'd, a voluntary name,
13:49 Nor shunn'd the cause, but offer'd you my aid?
13:50 While he long lurking was to war betray'd:
13:51 Forc'd to the field he came, but in the reer;
13:52 And feign'd distraction to conceal his fear:
13:53 'Till one more cunning caught him in the snare
13:54 (Ill for himself); and dragg'd him into war.
13:55 Now let a hero's arms a coward vest,
13:56 And he who shunn'd all honours, gain the best:
13:57 And let me stand excluded from my right,
13:58 Robb'd of my kinsman's arms, who first appear'd in fight,
13:59 Better for us, at home had he remain'd,
13:60 Had it been true the madness which he feign'd,
13:61 Or so believ'd; the less had been our shame,
13:62 The less his counsell'd crime, which brands the Grecian name;
13:63 Nor Philoctetes had been left inclos'd
13:64 In a bare isle, to wants and pains expos'd,
13:65 Where to the rocks, with solitary groans,
13:66 His suff'rings, and our baseness he bemoans:
13:67 And wishes (so may Heav'n his wish fulfill)
13:68 The due reward to him, who caus'd his ill.
13:69 Now he, with us to Troy's destruction sworn,
13:70 Our brother of the war, by whom are born
13:71 Alcides' arrows, pent in narrow bounds,
13:72 With cold and hunger pinch'd, and pain'd with wounds,
13:73 To find him food and cloathing, must employ
13:74 Against the birds the shafts due to the fate of Troy.
13:75 Yet still he lives, and lives from treason free,
13:76 Because he left Ulysses' company;
13:77 Poor Palamede might wish, so void of aid,
13:78 Rather to have been left, than so to death betray'd.
13:79 The coward bore the man immortal spight,
13:80 Who sham'd him out of madness into fight:
13:81 Nor daring otherwise to vent his hate,
13:82 Accus'd him first of treason to the state;
13:83 And then for proof produc'd the golden store,
13:84 Himself had hidden in his tent before:
13:85 Thus of two champions he depriv'd our host,
13:86 By exile one, and one by treason lost.
13:87 Thus fights Ulysses, thus his fame extends,
13:88 A formidable man, but to his friends:
13:89 Great, for what greatness is in words, and sound,
13:90 Ev'n faithful Nestor less in both is found:
13:91 But that he might without a rival reign,
13:92 He left this faithful Nestor on the plain;
13:93 Forsook his friend ev'n at his utmost need,
13:94 Who tir'd, and tardy with his wounded steed,
13:95 Cry'd out for aid, and call'd him by his name;
13:96 But cowardice has neither ears nor shame;
13:97 Thus fled the good old man, bereft of aid,
13:98 And, for as much as lay in him, betray'd:
13:99 That this is not a fable forg'd by me,
13:100 Like one of his, an Ulyssean lie,
13:101 I vouch ev'n Diomede, who tho' his friend,
13:102 Cannot that act excuse, much less defend:
13:103 He call'd him back aloud, and tax'd his fear;
13:104 And sure enough he heard, but durst not hear.
13:105 The Gods with equal eyes on mortal look,
13:106 He justly was forsaken, who forsook:
13:107 Wanted that succour, he refus'd to lend,
13:108 Found ev'ry fellow such another friend:
13:109 No wonder, if he roar'd that all might hear;
13:110 His elocution was increas'd by fear:
13:111 I heard, I ran, I found him out of breath,
13:112 Pale, trembling, and half dead with fear of death.
13:113 Though he had judg'd himself by his own laws,
13:114 And stood condemn'd, I help'd the common cause:
13:115 With my broad buckler hid him from the foe
13:116 (Ev'n the shield trembled as he lay below);
13:117 And from impending Fate the coward freed:
13:118 Good Heav'n forgive me for so bad a deed!
13:119 If still he will persist, and urge the strife,
13:120 First let him give me back his forfeit life:
13:121 Let him return to that opprobrious field;
13:122 Again creep under my protecting shield:
13:123 Let him lie wounded, let the foe be near,
13:124 And let his quiv'ring heart confess his fear;
13:125 There put him in the very jaws of Fate;
13:126 And let him plead his cause in that estate:
13:127 And yet when snatch'd from death, when from below
13:128 My lifted shield I loos'd, and let him go;
13:129 Good Heav'ns, how light he rose, with what a bound
13:130 He sprung from earth, forgetful of his wound;
13:131 How fresh, how eager then his feet to ply;
13:132 Who had not strength to stand, had speed to fly!
13:133 Hector came on, and brought the Gods along;
13:134 Fear seiz'd alike the feeble, and the strong:
13:135 Each Greek was an Ulysses; such a dread
13:136 Th' approach, and ev'n the sound of Hector bred:
13:137 Him, flesh'd with slaughter, and with conquest crown'd,
13:138 I met, and over-turn'd him to the ground;
13:139 When after, matchless as he deem'd in might,
13:140 He challeng'd all our host to single fight;
13:141 All eyes were fix'd on me: the lots were thrown;
13:142 But for your champion I was wish'd alone:
13:143 Your vows were heard; we fought, and neither yield;
13:144 Yet I return'd unvanquish'd from the field.
13:145 With Jove to friend, th' insulting Trojan came,
13:146 And menac'd us with force, our fleet with flame.
13:147 Was it the strength of this tongue-valiant lord,
13:148 In that black hour, that sav'd you from the sword?
13:149 Or was my breast expos'd alone, to brave
13:150 A thousand swords, a thousand ships to save?
13:151 The hopes of your return! And can you yield,
13:152 For a sav'd fleet, less than a single shield?
13:153 Think it no boast, o Grecians, if I deem
13:154 These arms want Ajax, more than Ajax them:
13:155 Or, I with them an equal honour share;
13:156 They honour'd to be worn, and I to wear.
13:157 Will he compare my courage with his sleight?
13:158 As well he may compare the day with night.
13:159 Night is indeed the province of his reign:
13:160 Yet all his dark exploits no more contain
13:161 Than a spy taken, and a sleeper slain;
13:162 A priest made pris'ner, Pallas made a prey:
13:163 But none of all these actions done by day:
13:164 Nor ought of these was done, and Diomede away.
13:165 If on such petty merits you confer
13:166 So vast a prize, let each his portion share;
13:167 Make a just dividend; and if not all,
13:168 The greater part to Diomede will fall.
13:169 But why for Ithacus such arms as those,
13:170 Who naked, and by night invades his foes?
13:171 The glitt'ring helm by moonlight will proclaim
13:172 The latent robber, and prevent his game:
13:173 Nor cou'd he hold his tott'ring head upright
13:174 Beneath that morion, or sustain the weight;
13:175 Nor that right arm cou'd toss the beamy lance;
13:176 Much less the left that ampler shield advance;
13:177 Pond'rous with precious weight, and rough with cost
13:178 Of the round world in rising gold emboss'd.
13:179 That orb would ill become his hand to wield,
13:180 And look as for the gold he stole the shield;
13:181 Which, shou'd your error on the wretch bestow,
13:182 It would not frighten, but allure the foe:
13:183 Why asks he, what avails him not in fight,
13:184 And wou'd but cumber, and retard his flight,
13:185 In which his only excellence is plac'd?
13:186 You give him death, that intercept his haste.
13:187 Add, that his own is yet a maiden-shield,
13:188 Nor the least dint has suffer'd in the field,
13:189 Guiltless of fight: mine batter'd, hew'd, and bor'd,
13:190 Worn out of service, must forsake his lord,
13:191 What farther need of words our right to scan?
13:192 My arguments are deeds, let action speak the man.
13:193 Since from a champion's arms the strife arose,
13:194 Go cast the glorious prize amid the foes;
13:195 Then send us to redeem both arms, and shield,
13:196 And let him wear, who wins 'em in the field.
13:197 He said: a murmur from a multitude,
13:198 Or somewhat like a stifled shout, ensu'd:
13:199 'Till from his seat arose Laertes' son,
13:200 Look'd down a while, and paus'd, e'er he begun;
13:201 Then, to th' expecting audience, rais'd his look,
13:202 And not without prepar'd attention spoke:
13:203 Soft was his tone, and sober was his face;
13:204 Action his words, and words his action grace.
13:205 If Heav'n, my lords, had heard our common pray'r,
13:206 These arms had caus'd no quarrel for an heir;
13:207 Still great Achilles had his own possess'd,
13:208 And we with great Achilles had been bless'd;
13:209 But since hard Fate, and Heav'n's severe decree,
13:210 Have ravish'd him away from you, and me
13:211 (At this he sigh'd, and wip'd his eyes, and drew,
13:212 Or seem'd to draw, some drops of kindly dew),
13:213 Who better can succeed Achilles lost,
13:214 Than he, who gave Achilles to your hoast?
13:215 This only I request, that neither he
13:216 May gain, by being what he seems to be,
13:217 A stupid thing; nor I may lose the prize,
13:218 By having sense, which Heav'n to him denies:
13:219 Since great or small, the talent I enjoy'd
13:220 Was ever in the common cause employ'd;
13:221 Nor let my wit, and wonted eloquence,
13:222 Which often has been us'd in your defense,
13:223 And in my own, this only time be brought
13:224 To bear against my self, and deem'd a fault.
13:225 Make not a crime, where Nature made it none;
13:226 For ev'ry man may freely use his own.
13:227 The deeds of long-descended ancestors
13:228 Are but by grace of imputation ours,
13:229 Theirs in effect; but since he draws his line
13:230 From Jove, and seems to plead a right divine;
13:231 From Jove, like him, I claim my pedigree,
13:232 And am descended in the same degree:
13:233 My sire Laertes was Arcesius' heir,
13:234 Arcesius was the son of Jupiter:
13:235 No parricide, no banish'd man, is known
13:236 In all my line: let him excuse his own.
13:237 Hermes ennobles too my mother's side,
13:238 By both my parents to the Gods ally'd.
13:239 But not because that on the female part
13:240 My blood is better, dare I claim desert,
13:241 Or that my sire from parricide is free;
13:242 But judge by merit betwixt him, and me:
13:243 The prize be to the best; provided yet
13:244 That Ajax for a while his kin forget,
13:245 And his great sire, and greater uncle's name,
13:246 To fortifie by them his feeble claim:
13:247 Be kindred and relation laid aside,
13:248 And honour's cause by laws of honour try'd:
13:249 For if he plead proximity of blood;
13:250 That empty title is with ease withstood.
13:251 Peleus, the hero's sire, more nigh than he,
13:252 And Pyrrhus, his undoubted progeny,
13:253 Inherit first these trophies of the field;
13:254 To Scyros, or to Pthia, send the shield:
13:255 And Teucer has an uncle's right; yet he
13:256 Waves his pretensions, nor contends with me.
13:257 Then since the cause on pure desert is plac'd,
13:258 Whence shall I take my rise, what reckon last?
13:259 I not presume on ev'ry act to dwell,
13:260 But take these few, in order as they fell.
13:261 Thetis, who knew the Fates, apply'd her care
13:262 To keep Achilles in disguise from war;
13:263 And 'till the threatning influence was past,
13:264 A woman's habit on the hero cast:
13:265 All eyes were cozen'd by the borrow'd vest,
13:266 And Ajax (never wiser than the rest)
13:267 Found no Pelides there: at length I came
13:268 With proffer'd wares to this pretended dame;
13:269 She, not discover'd by her mien, or voice,
13:270 Betray'd her manhood by her manly choice;
13:271 And while on female toys her fellows look,
13:272 Grasp'd in her warlike hand, a javelin shook;
13:273 Whom, by this act reveal'd, I thus bespoke:
13:274 O Goddess-born! resist not Heav'n's decree,
13:275 The fall of Ilium is reserv'd for thee;
13:276 Then seiz'd him, and produc'd in open light,
13:277 Sent blushing to the field the fatal knight.
13:278 Mine then are all his actions of the war;
13:279 Great Telephus was conquer'd by my spear,
13:280 And after cur'd: to me the Thebans owe,
13:281 Lesbos, and Tenedos, their overthrow;
13:282 Syros and Cylla: not on all to dwell,
13:283 By me Lyrnesus, and strong Chrysa fell:
13:284 And since I sent the man who Hector slew,
13:285 To me the noble Hector's death is due:
13:286 Those arms I put into his living hand,
13:287 Those arms, Pelides dead, I now demand.
13:288 When Greece was injur'd in the Spartan prince,
13:289 And met at Aulis to avenge th' offence,
13:290 'Twas a dead calm, or adverse blasts, that reign'd,
13:291 And in the port the wind-bound fleet detain'd:
13:292 Bad signs were seen, and oracles severe
13:293 Were daily thunder'd in our gen'ral's ear;
13:294 That by his daughter's blood we must appease
13:295 Diana's kindled wrath, and free the seas.
13:296 Affection, int'rest, fame, his heart assail'd:
13:297 But soon the father o'er the king prevail'd:
13:298 Bold, on himself he took the pious crime,
13:299 As angry with the Gods, as they with him.
13:300 No subject cou'd sustain their sov'reign's look,
13:301 'Till this hard enterprize I undertook:
13:302 I only durst th' imperial pow'r controul,
13:303 And undermin'd the parent in his soul;
13:304 Forc'd him t' exert the king for common good,
13:305 And pay our ransom with his daughter's blood.
13:306 Never was cause more difficult to plead,
13:307 Than where the judge against himself decreed:
13:308 Yet this I won by dint of argument;
13:309 The wrongs his injur'd brother underwent,
13:310 And his own office, sham'd him to consent.
13:311 'Tis harder yet to move the mother's mind,
13:312 And to this heavy task was I design'd:
13:313 Reasons against her love I knew were vain;
13:314 I circumvented whom I could not gain:
13:315 Had Ajax been employ'd, our slacken'd sails
13:316 Had still at Aulis waited happy gales.
13:317 Arriv'd at Troy, your choice was fix'd on me,
13:318 A fearless envoy, fit for a bold embassy:
13:319 Secure, I enter'd through the hostile court,
13:320 Glitt'ring with steel, and crowded with resort:
13:321 There, in the midst of arms, I plead our cause,
13:322 Urge the foul rape, and violated laws;
13:323 Accuse the foes, as authors of the strife,
13:324 Reproach the ravisher, demand the wife.
13:325 Priam, Antenor, and the wiser few,
13:326 I mov'd; but Paris, and his lawless crew
13:327 Scarce held their hands, and lifted swords; but stood
13:328 In act to quench their impious thirst of blood:
13:329 This Menelaus knows; expos'd to share
13:330 With me the rough preludium of the war.
13:331 Endless it were to tell, what I have done,
13:332 In arms, or council, since the siege begun:
13:333 The first encounter's past, the foe repell'd,
13:334 They skulk'd within the town, we kept the field.
13:335 War seem'd asleep for nine long years; at length
13:336 Both sides resolv'd to push, we try'd our strength
13:337 Now what did Ajax, while our arms took breath,
13:338 Vers'd only in the gross mechanick trade of death?
13:339 If you require my deeds, with ambush'd arms
13:340 I trapp'd the foe, or tir'd with false alarms;
13:341 Secur'd the ships, drew lines along the plain,
13:342 The fainting chear'd, chastis'd the rebel-train,
13:343 Provided forage, our spent arms renew'd;
13:344 Employ'd at home, or sent abroad, the common cause pursu'd.
13:345 The king, deluded in a dream by Jove,
13:346 Despair'd to take the town, and order'd to remove.
13:347 What subject durst arraign the Pow'r supream,
13:348 Producing Jove to justifie his dream?
13:349 Ajax might wish the soldiers to retain
13:350 From shameful flight, but wishes were in vain:
13:351 As wanting of effect had been his words,
13:352 Such as of course his thundring tongue affords.
13:353 But did this boaster threaten, did he pray,
13:354 Or by his own example urge their stay?
13:355 None, none of these: but ran himself away.
13:356 I saw him run, and was asham'd to see;
13:357 Who ply'd his feet so fast to get aboard, as he?
13:358 Then speeding through the place, I made a stand,
13:359 And loudly cry'd, O base degenerate band,
13:360 To leave a town already in your hand!
13:361 After so long expence of blood, for fame,
13:362 To bring home nothing, but perpetual shame!
13:363 These words, or what I have forgotten since
13:364 (For grief inspir'd me then with eloquence),
13:365 Reduc'd their minds; they leave the crowded port,
13:366 And to their late forsaken camp resort:
13:367 Dismay'd the council met: this man was there,
13:368 But mute, and not recover'd of his fear:
13:369 Thersites tax'd the king, and loudly rail'd,
13:370 But his wide opening mouth with blows I seal'd.
13:371 Then, rising, I excite their souls to fame,
13:372 And kindle sleeping virtue into flame.
13:373 From thence, whatever he perform'd in fight
13:374 Is justly mine, who drew him back from flight.
13:375 Which of the Grecian chiefs consorts with thee?
13:376 But Diomede desires my company,
13:377 And still communicates his praise with me.
13:378 As guided by a God, secure he goes,
13:379 Arm'd with my fellowship, amid the foes:
13:380 And sure no little merit I may boast,
13:381 Whom such a man selects from such an hoast;
13:382 Unforc'd by lots I went without affright,
13:383 To dare with him the dangers of the night:
13:384 On the same errand sent, we met the spy
13:385 Of Hector, double-tongu'd, and us'd to lie;
13:386 Him I dispatch'd, but not 'till undermin'd,
13:387 I drew him first to tell, what treach'rous Troy design'd:
13:388 My task perform'd, with praise I had retir'd,
13:389 But not content with this, to greater praise aspir'd:
13:390 Invaded Rhesus, and his Thracian crew,
13:391 And him, and his, in their own strength I slew;
13:392 Return'd a victor, all my vows compleat,
13:393 With the king's chariot, in his royal seat:
13:394 Refuse me now his arms, whose fiery steeds
13:395 Were promis'd to the spy for his nocturnal deeds:
13:396 Yet let dull Ajax bear away my right,
13:397 When all his days out-balance this one night.
13:398 Nor fought I darkling still: the sun beheld
13:399 With slaughter'd Lycians when I strew'd the field:
13:400 You saw, and counted as I pass'd along,
13:401 Alastor, Chromius, Ceranos the strong,
13:402 Alcander, Prytanis, and Halius,
13:403 Noemon, Charopes, and Ennomus;
13:404 Coon, Chersidamas; and five beside,
13:405 Men of obscure descent, but courage try'd:
13:406 All these this hand laid breathless on the ground;
13:407 Nor want I proofs of many a manly wound:
13:408 All honest, all before: believe not me;
13:409 Words may deceive, but credit what you see.
13:410 At this he bar'd his breast, and show'd his scars,
13:411 As of a furrow'd field, well plow'd with wars;
13:412 Nor is this part unexercis'd, said he;
13:413 That gyant-bulk of his from wounds is free:
13:414 Safe in his shield he fears no foe to try,
13:415 And better manages his blood, than I:
13:416 But this avails me not; our boaster strove
13:417 Not with our foes alone, but partial Jove,
13:418 To save the fleet: this I confess is true
13:419 (Nor will I take from any man his due):
13:420 But thus assuming all, he robs from you.
13:421 Some part of honour to your share will fall,
13:422 He did the best indeed, but did not all.
13:423 Patroclus in Achilles' arms, and thought
13:424 The chief he seem'd, with equal ardour fought;
13:425 Preserv'd the fleet, repell'd the raging fire,
13:426 And forc'd the fearful Trojans to retire.
13:427 But Ajax boasts, that he was only thought
13:428 A match for Hector, who the combat sought:
13:429 Sure he forgets the king, the chiefs, and me:
13:430 All were as eager for the fight, as he:
13:431 He but the ninth, and not by publick voice,
13:432 Or ours preferr'd, was only Fortune's choice:
13:433 They fought; nor can our hero boast th' event,
13:434 For Hector from the field unwounded went.
13:435 Why am I forc'd to name that fatal day,
13:436 That snatch'd the prop and pride of Greece away?
13:437 I saw Pelides sink, with pious grief,
13:438 And ran in vain, alas! to his relief;
13:439 For the brave soul was fled: full of my friend
13:440 I rush'd amid the war, his relicks to defend:
13:441 Nor ceas'd my toil, 'till I redeem'd the prey,
13:442 And, loaded with Achilles, march'd away:
13:443 Those arms, which on these shoulders then I bore,
13:444 'Tis just you to these shoulders should restore.
13:445 You see I want not nerves, who cou'd sustain
13:446 The pond'rous ruins of so great a man:
13:447 Or if in others equal force you find,
13:448 None is endu'd with a more grateful mind.
13:449 Did Thetis then, ambitious in her care,
13:450 These arms thus labour'd for her son prepare;
13:451 That Ajax after him the heav'nly gift shou'd wear!
13:452 For that dull soul to stare with stupid eyes,
13:453 On the learn'd unintelligible prize!
13:454 What are to him the sculptures of the shield,
13:455 Heav'n's planets, Earth, and Ocean's watry field?
13:456 The Pleiads, Hyads; less, and greater Bear,
13:457 Undipp'd in seas; Orion's angry star;
13:458 Two diff'ring cities, grav'd on either hand;
13:459 Would he wear arms he cannot understand?
13:460 Beside, what wise objections he prepares
13:461 Against my late accession to the wars?
13:462 Does not the fool perceive his argument
13:463 Is with more force against Achilles bent?
13:464 For if dissembling be so great a crime,
13:465 The fault is common, and the same in him:
13:466 And if he taxes both of long delay,
13:467 My guilt is less, who sooner came away.
13:468 His pious mother, anxious for his life,
13:469 Detain'd her son; and me, my pious wife.
13:470 To them the blossoms of our youth were due,
13:471 Our riper manhood we reserv'd for you.
13:472 But grant me guilty, 'tis not much my care,
13:473 When with so great a man my guilt I share:
13:474 My wit to war the matchless hero brought,
13:475 But by this fool I never had been caught.
13:476 Nor need I wonder, that on me he threw
13:477 Such foul aspersions, when he spares not you:
13:478 If Palamede unjustly fell by me,
13:479 Your honour suffer'd in th' unjust decree:
13:480 I but accus'd, you doom'd: and yet he dy'd,
13:481 Convinc'd of treason, and was fairly try'd:
13:482 You heard not he was false; your eyes beheld
13:483 The traytor manifest; the bribe reveal'd.
13:484 That Philoctetes is on Lemnos left,
13:485 Wounded, forlorn, of human aid bereft,
13:486 Is not my crime, or not my crime alone;
13:487 Defend your justice, for the fact's your own:
13:488 'Tis true, th' advice was mine; that staying there
13:489 He might his weary limbs with rest repair,
13:490 From a long voyage free, and from a longer war.
13:491 He took the counsl, and he lives at least;
13:492 Th' event declares I counsell'd for the best:
13:493 Though faith is all in ministers of state;
13:494 For who can promise to be fortunate?
13:495 Now since his arrows are the Fate of Troy,
13:496 Do not my wit, or weak address, employ;
13:497 Send Ajax there, with his persuasive sense,
13:498 To mollifie the man, and draw him thence:
13:499 But Xanthus shall run backward; Ida stand
13:500 A leafless mountain; and the Grecian band
13:501 Shall fight for Troy; if, when my councils fail,
13:502 The wit of heavy Ajax can prevail.
13:503 Hard Philoctetes, exercise thy spleen
13:504 Against thy fellows, and the king of men;
13:505 Curse my devoted head, above the rest,
13:506 And wish in arms to meet me breast to breast:
13:507 Yet I the dang'rous task will undertake,
13:508 And either die my self, or bring thee back.
13:509 Nor doubt the same success, as when before
13:510 The Phrygian prophet to these tents I bore,
13:511 Surpriz'd by night, and forc'd him to declare
13:512 In what was plac'd the fortune of the war,
13:513 Heav'n's dark decrees, and answers to display,
13:514 And how to take the town, and where the secret lay:
13:515 Yet this I compass'd, and from Troy convey'd
13:516 The fatal image of their guardian-maid;
13:517 That work was mine; for Pallas, though our friend,
13:518 Yet while she was in Troy, did Troy defend.
13:519 Now what has Ajax done, or what design'd?
13:520 A noisie nothing, and an empty wind.
13:521 If he be what he promises in show,
13:522 Why was I sent, and why fear'd he to go?
13:523 Our boasting champion thought the task not light
13:524 To pass the guards, commit himself to night;
13:525 Not only through a hostile town to pass,
13:526 But scale, with steep ascent, the sacred place;
13:527 With wand'ring steps to search the cittadel,
13:528 And from the priests their patroness to steal:
13:529 Then through surrounding foes to force my way,
13:530 And bear in triumph home the heavn'ly prey;
13:531 Which had I not, Ajax in vain had held,
13:532 Before that monst'rous bulk, his sev'nfold shield.
13:533 That night to conquer Troy I might be said,
13:534 When Troy was liable to conquest made.
13:535 Why point'st thou to my partner of the war?
13:536 Tydides had indeed a worthy share
13:537 In all my toil, and praise; but when thy might
13:538 Our ships protected, did'st thou singly fight?
13:539 All join'd, and thou of many wert but one;
13:540 I ask'd no friend, nor had, but him alone:
13:541 Who, had he not been well assur'd, that art,
13:542 And conduct were of war the better part,
13:543 And more avail'd than strength, my valiant friend
13:544 Had urg'd a better right, than Ajax can pretend:
13:545 As good at least Eurypilus may claim,
13:546 And the more mod'rate Ajax of the name:
13:547 The Cretan king, and his brave charioteer,
13:548 And Menelaus bold with sword, and spear:
13:549 All these had been my rivals in the shield,
13:550 And yet all these to my pretensions yield.
13:551 Thy boist'rous hands are then of use, when I
13:552 With this directing head those hands apply.
13:553 Brawn without brain is thine: my prudent care
13:554 Foresees, provides, administers the war:
13:555 Thy province is to fight; but when shall be
13:556 The time to fight, the king consults with me:
13:557 No dram of judgment with thy force is join'd:
13:558 Thy body is of profit, and my mind.
13:559 By how much more the ship her safety owes
13:560 To him who steers, than him that only rows;
13:561 By how much more the captain merits praise,
13:562 Than he who fights, and fighting but obeys;
13:563 By so much greater is my worth than thine,
13:564 Who canst but execute, what I design.
13:565 What gain'st thou, brutal man, if I confess
13:566 Thy strength superior, when thy wit is less?
13:567 Mind is the man: I claim my whole desert,
13:568 From the mind's vigour, and th' immortal part.
13:569 But you, o Grecian chiefs, reward my care,
13:570 Be grateful to your watchman of the war:
13:571 For all my labours in so long a space,
13:572 Sure I may plead a title to your grace:
13:573 Enter the town, I then unbarr'd the gates,
13:574 When I remov'd their tutelary Fates.
13:575 By all our common hopes, if hopes they be
13:576 Which I have now reduc'd to certainty;
13:577 By falling Troy, by yonder tott'ring tow'rs,
13:578 And by their taken Gods, which now are ours;
13:579 Or if there yet a farther task remains,
13:580 To be perform'd by prudence, or by pains;
13:581 If yet some desp'rate action rests behind,
13:582 That asks high conduct, and a dauntless mind;
13:583 If ought be wanting to the Trojan doom,
13:584 Which none but I can manage, and o'ercome,
13:585 Award, those arms I ask, by your decree:
13:586 Or give to this, what you refuse to me.
13:587 He ceas'd: and ceasing with respect he bow'd,
13:588 And with his hand at once the fatal statue show'd.
13:589 Heav'n, air and ocean rung, with loud applause,
13:590 And by the gen'ral vote he gain'd his cause.
13:591 Thus conduct won the prize, when courage fail'd,
13:592 And eloquence o'er brutal force prevail'd.
The Death of Ajax
13:593 He who cou'd often, and alone, withstand
13:594 The foe, the fire, and Jove's own partial hand,
13:595 Now cannot his unmaster'd grief sustain,
13:596 But yields to rage, to madness, and disdain;
13:597 Then snatching out his fauchion, Thou, said he,
13:598 Art mine; Ulysses lays no claim to thee.
13:599 O often try'd, and ever-trusty sword,
13:600 Now do thy last kind office to thy lord:
13:601 'Tis Ajax who requests thy aid, to show
13:602 None but himself, himself cou'd overthrow:
13:603 He said, and with so good a will to die,
13:604 Did to his breast the fatal point apply,
13:605 It found his heart, a way 'till then unknown,
13:606 Where never weapon enter'd, but his own.
13:607 No hands cou'd force it thence, so fix'd it stood,
13:608 'Till out it rush'd, expell'd by streams of spouting blood.
13:609 The fruitful blood produc'd a flow'r, which grew
13:610 On a green stem; and of a purple hue:
13:611 Like his, whom unaware Apollo slew:
13:612 Inscrib'd in both, the letters are the same,
13:613 But those express the grief, and these the name.
The Story of Polyxena and Hecuba
13:614 The victor with full sails for Lemnos stood
13:615 (Once stain'd by matrons with their husbands' blood),
13:616 Thence great Alcides' fatal shafts to bear,
13:617 Assign'd to Philoctetes' secret care.
13:618 These with their guardian to the Greeks convey'd,
13:619 Their ten years' toil with wish'd success repaid.
13:620 With Troy old Priam falls: his queen survives;
13:621 'Till all her woes compleat, transform'd she grieves
13:622 In borrow'd sounds, nor with an human face,
13:623 Barking tremendous o'er the plains of Thrace.
13:624 Still Ilium's flames their pointed columns raise,
13:625 And the red Hellespont reflects the blaze.
13:626 Shed on Jove's altar are the poor remains
13:627 Of blood, which trickl'd from old Priam's veins.
13:628 Cassandra lifts her hands to Heav'n in vain,
13:629 Drag'd by her sacred hair; the trembling train
13:630 Of matrons to their burning temples fly:
13:631 There to their Gods for kind protection cry;
13:632 And to their statues cling 'till forc'd away,
13:633 The victor Greeks bear off th' invidious prey.
13:634 From those high tow'rs Astyanax is thrown,
13:635 Whence he was wont with pleasure to look down.
13:636 When oft his mother with a fond delight
13:637 Pointed to view his father's rage in fight,
13:638 To win renown, and guard his country's right.
13:639 The winds now call to sea; brisk northern gales
13:640 Sing in the shrowds, and court the spreading sails.
13:641 Farewel, dear Troy, the captive matrons cry;
13:642 Yes, we must leave our long-lov'd native sky.
13:643 Then prostrate on the shore they kiss the sand,
13:644 And quit the smoking ruines of the land.
13:645 Last Hecuba on board, sad sight! appears;
13:646 Found weeping o'er her children's sepulchres:
13:647 Drag'd by Ulysses from her slaughter'd sons,
13:648 Whilst yet she graspt their tombs, and kist their mouldring bones.
13:649 Yet Hector's ashes from his urn she bore,
13:650 And in her bosom the sad relique wore:
13:651 Then scatter'd on his tomb her hoary hairs,
13:652 A poor oblation mingled with her tears.
13:653 Oppos'd to Ilium lye the Thracian plains,
13:654 Where Polymestor safe in plenty reigns.
13:655 King Priam to his care commits his son,
13:656 Young Polydore, the chance of war to shun.
13:657 A wise precaution! had not gold, consign'd
13:658 For the child's use, debauch'd the tyrant's mind.
13:659 When sinking Troy to its last period drew,
13:660 With impious hands his royal charge he slew;
13:661 Then in the sea the lifeless coarse is thrown;
13:662 As with the body he the guilt could drown.
13:663 The Greeks now riding on the Thracian shore,
13:664 'Till kinder gales invite, their vessels moor.
13:665 Here the wide-op'ning Earth to sudden view
13:666 Disclos'd Achilles, great as when he drew
13:667 The vital air, but fierce with proud disdain,
13:668 As when he sought Briseis to regain;
13:669 When stern debate, and rash injurious strife
13:670 Unsheath'd his sword, to reach Atrides' life.
13:671 And will ye go? he said. Is then the name
13:672 Of the once great Achilles lost to fame?
13:673 Yet stay, ungrateful Greeks; nor let me sue
13:674 In vain for honours to my Manes due.
13:675 For this just end, Polyxena I doom
13:676 With victim-rites to grace my slighted tomb.
13:677 The phantom spoke; the ready Greeks obey'd,
13:678 And to the tomb led the devoted maid
13:679 Snatch'd from her mother, who with pious care
13:680 Cherish'd this last relief of her despair.
13:681 Superior to her sex, the fearless maid,
13:682 Approach'd the altar, and around survey'd
13:683 The cruel rites, and consecrated knife,
13:684 Which Pyrrhus pointed at her guiltless life,
13:685 Then as with stern amaze intent he stood,
13:686 "Now strike," she said; "now spill my genr'ous blood;
13:687 Deep in my breast, or throat, your dagger sheath,
13:688 Whilst thus I stand prepar'd to meet my death.
13:689 For life on terms of slav'ry I despise:
13:690 Yet sure no God approves this sacrifice.
13:691 O cou'd I but conceal this dire event
13:692 From my sad mother, I should dye content.
13:693 Yet should she not with tears my death deplore,
13:694 Since her own wretched life demands them more.
13:695 But let not the rude touch of man pollute
13:696 A virgin-victim; 'tis a modest suit.
13:697 It best will please, whoe'er demands my blood,
13:698 That I untainted reach the Stygian flood.
13:699 Yet let one short, last, dying prayer be heard;
13:700 To Priam's daughter pay this last regard;
13:701 'Tis Priam's daughter, not a captive, sues;
13:702 Do not the rites of sepulture refuse.
13:703 To my afflicted mother, I implore,
13:704 Free without ransom my dead corpse restore:
13:705 Nor barter me for gain, when I am cold;
13:706 But be her tears the price, if I am sold:
13:707 Time was she could have ransom'd me with gold".
13:708 Thus as she pray'd, one common shower of tears
13:709 Burst forth, and stream'd from ev'ry eye but hers.
13:710 Ev'n the priest wept, and with a rude remorse
13:711 Plung'd in her heart the steel's resistless force.
13:712 Her slacken'd limbs sunk gently to the ground,
13:713 Dauntless her looks, unalter'd by the wound.
13:714 And as she fell, she strove with decent pride
13:715 To hide, what suits a virgin's care to hide.
13:716 The Trojan matrons the pale corpse receive,
13:717 And the whole slaughter'd race of Priam grieve,
13:718 Sad they recount the long disastrous tale;
13:719 Then with fresh tears, thee, royal maid, bewail;
13:720 Thy widow'd mother too, who flourish'd late
13:721 The royal pride of Asia's happier state:
13:722 A captive lot now to Ulysses born;
13:723 Whom yet the victor would reject with scorn,
13:724 Were she not Hector's mother: Hector's fame
13:725 Scarce can a master for his mother claim!
13:726 With strict embrace the lifeless coarse she view'd;
13:727 And her fresh grief that flood of tears renew'd,
13:728 With which she lately mourn'd so many dead;
13:729 Tears for her country, sons, and husband shed.
13:730 With the thick gushing stream she bath'd the wound;
13:731 Kiss'd her pale lips; then weltring on the ground,
13:732 With wonted rage her frantick bosom tore;
13:733 Sweeping her hair amidst the clotted gore;
13:734 Whilst her sad accents thus her loss deplore.
13:735 "Behold a mother's last dear pledge of woe!
13:736 Yes, 'tis the last I have to suffer now.
13:737 Thou, my Polyxena, my ills must crown:
13:738 Already in thy Fate, I feel my own.
13:739 'Tis thus, lest haply of my numerous seed
13:740 One should unslaughter'd fall, even thou must bleed:
13:741 And yet I hop'd thy sex had been thy guard;
13:742 But neither has thy tender sex been spar'd.
13:743 The same Achilles, by whose deadly hate
13:744 Thy brothers fell, urg'd thy untimely fate!
13:745 The same Achilles, whose destructive rage
13:746 Laid waste my realms, has robb'd my childless age.
13:747 When Paris' shafts with Phoebus' certain aid
13:748 At length had pierc'd this dreaded chief, I said,
13:749 Secure of future ills, he can no more:
13:750 But see, he still pursues me as before.
13:751 With rage rekindled his dead ashes burn;
13:752 And his yet murd'ring ghost my wretched house must mourn.
13:753 This tyrant's lust of slaughter I have fed
13:754 With large supplies from my too-fruitful bed.
13:755 Troy's tow'rs lye waste; and the wide ruin ends
13:756 The publick woe; but me fresh woe attends.
13:757 Troy still survives to me; to none but me;
13:758 And from its ills I never must be free.
13:759 I, who so late had power, and wealth, and ease,
13:760 Bless'd with my husband, and a large encrease,
13:761 Must now in poverty an exile mourn;
13:762 Ev'n from the tombs of my dead offspring torn:
13:763 Giv'n to Penelope, who proud of spoil,
13:764 Allots me to the loom's ungrateful toil;
13:765 Points to her dames, and crys with scorning mien:
13:766 See Hector's mother, and great Priam's queen!
13:767 And thou, my child, sole hope of all that's lost,
13:768 Thou now art slain, to sooth this hostile ghost.
13:769 Yes, my child falls an offering to my foe!
13:770 Then what am I, who still survive this woe?
13:771 Say, cruel Gods! for what new scenes of death
13:772 Must a poor aged wretch prolong this hated breath?
13:773 Troy fal'n, to whom could Priam happy seem?
13:774 Yet was he so; and happy must I deem
13:775 His death; for O! my child, he saw not thine,
13:776 When he his life did with his Troy resign.
13:777 Yet sure due obsequies thy tomb might grace;
13:778 And thou shalt sleep amidst thy kingly race.
13:779 Alas! my child, such fortune does not wait
13:780 Our suffering house in this abandon'd state.
13:781 A foreign grave, and thy poor mother's tears
13:782 Are all the honours that attend thy herse.
13:783 All now is lost!-Yet no; one comfort more
13:784 Of life remains, my much-lov'd Polydore.
13:785 My youngest hope: here on this coast he lives,
13:786 Nurs'd by the guardian-king, he still survives.
13:787 Then let me hasten to the cleansing flood,
13:788 And wash away these stains of guiltless blood."
13:789 Streit to the shore her feeble steps repair
13:790 With limping pace, and torn dishevell'd hair
13:791 Silver'd with age. "Give me an urn," she cry'd,
13:792 "To bear back water from this swelling tide":
13:793 When on the banks her son in ghastly hue
13:794 Transfix'd with Thracian arrows strikes her view.
13:795 The matrons shriek'd; her big-swoln grief surpast
13:796 The pow'r of utterance; she stood aghast;
13:797 She had nor speech, nor tears to give relief;
13:798 Excess of woe suppress'd the rising grief.
13:799 Lifeless as stone, on Earth she fix'd her eyes;
13:800 And then look'd up to Heav'n with wild surprise.
13:801 Now she contemplates o'er with sad delight
13:802 Her son's pale visage; then her aking sight
13:803 Dwells on his wounds: she varys thus by turns,
13:804 Wild as the mother-lion, when among
13:805 The haunts of prey she seeks her ravish'd young:
13:806 Swift flies the ravisher; she marks his trace,
13:807 And by the print directs her anxious chase.
13:808 So Hecuba with mingled grief, and rage
13:809 Pursues the king, regardless of her age.
13:810 She greets the murd'rer with dissembled joy
13:811 Of secret treasure hoarded for her boy.
13:812 The specious tale th' unwary king betray'd.
13:813 Fir'd with the hopes of prey: "Give quick," he said
13:814 With soft enticing speech, "the promis'd store:
13:815 Whate'er you give, you give to Polydore.
13:816 Your son, by the immortal Gods I swear,
13:817 Shall this with all your former bounty share."
13:818 She stands attentive to his soothing lyes,
13:819 And darts avenging horrour from her eyes.
13:820 Then full resentment fires her boyling blood:
13:821 She springs upon him, 'midst the captive crowd
13:822 (Her thirst of vengeance want of strength supplies):
13:823 Fastens her forky fingers in his eyes:
13:824 Tears out the rooted balls; her rage pursues,
13:825 And in the hollow orbs her hand imbrews.
13:826 The Thracians, fir'd, at this inhuman scene,
13:827 With darts, and stones assail the frantick queen.
13:828 She snarls, and growls, nor in an human tone;
13:829 Then bites impatient at the bounding stone;
13:830 Extends her jaws, as she her voice would raise
13:831 To keen invectives in her wonted phrase;
13:832 But barks, and thence the yelping brute betrays.
13:833 Still a sad monument the place remains,
13:834 And from this monstrous change its name obtains:
13:835 Where she, in long remembrance of her ills,
13:836 With plaintive howlings the wide desart fills.
13:837 Greeks, Trojans, friends, and foes, and Gods above
13:838 Her num'rous wrongs to just compassion move.
13:839 Ev'n Juno's self forgets her ancient hate,
13:840 And owns, she had deserv'd a milder fate.
The Funeral of Memnon
13:841 Yet bright Aurora, partial as she was
13:842 To Troy, and those that lov'd the Trojan cause,
13:843 Nor Troy, nor Hecuba can now bemoan,
13:844 But weeps a sad misfortune, more her own.
13:845 Her offspring Memnon, by Achilles slain,
13:846 She saw extended on the Phrygian plain:
13:847 She saw, and strait the purple beams, that grace
13:848 The rosie morning, vanish'd from her face;
13:849 A deadly pale her wonted bloom invades,
13:850 And veils the lowring skies with mournful shades.
13:851 But when his limbs upon the pile were laid,
13:852 The last kind duty that by friends is paid,
13:853 His mother to the skies directs her flight,
13:854 Nor cou'd sustain to view the doleful sight:
13:855 But frantick, with her loose neglected hair,
13:856 Hastens to Jove, and falls a suppliant there.
13:857 O king of Heav'n, o father of the skies,
13:858 The weeping Goddess passionately cries,
13:859 Tho' I the meanest of immortals am,
13:860 And fewest temples celebrate my fame,
13:861 Yet still a Goddess, I presume to come
13:862 Within the verge of your etherial dome:
13:863 Yet still may plead some merit, if my light
13:864 With purple dawn controuls the Pow'rs of night;
13:865 If from a female hand that virtue springs,
13:866 Which to the Gods, and men such pleasure brings.
13:867 Yet I nor honours seek, nor rites divine,
13:868 Nor for more altars, or more fanes repine;
13:869 Oh! that such trifles were the only cause,
13:870 From whence Aurora's mind its anguish draws!
13:871 For Memnon lost, my dearest only child,
13:872 With weightier grief my heavy heart is fill'd;
13:873 My warrior son! that liv'd but half his time,
13:874 Nipt in the bud, and blasted in his prime;
13:875 Who for his uncle early took the field,
13:876 And by Achilles' fatal spear was kill'd.
13:877 To whom but Jove shou'd I for succour come?
13:878 For Jove alone cou'd fix his cruel doom.
13:879 O sov'reign of the Gods accept my pray'r,
13:880 Grant my request, and sooth a mother's care;
13:881 On the deceas'd some solemn boon bestow,
13:882 To expiate the loss, and ease my woe.
13:883 Jove, with a nod, comply'd with her desire;
13:884 Around the body flam'd the fun'ral fire;
13:885 The pile decreas'd, that lately seem'd so high,
13:886 And sheets of smoak roll'd upward to the sky:
13:887 As humid vapours from a marshy bog,
13:888 Rise by degrees, condensing into fog,
13:889 That intercept the sun's enliv'ning ray,
13:890 And with a cloud infect the chearful day.
13:891 The sooty ashes wafted by the air,
13:892 Whirl round, and thicken in a body there;
13:893 Then take a form, which their own heat, and fire
13:894 With active life, and energy inspire.
13:895 Its lightness makes it seem to fly, and soon
13:896 It skims on real wings, that are its own;
13:897 A real bird, it beats the breezy wind,
13:898 Mix'd with a thousand sisters of the kind,
13:899 That, from the same formation newly sprung,
13:900 Up-born aloft on plumy pinions hung.
13:901 Thrice round the pile advanc'd the circling throng.
13:902 Thrice, with their wings, a whizzing consort rung.
13:903 In the fourth flight their squadron they divide,
13:904 Rank'd in two diff'rent troops, on either side:
13:905 Then two, and two, inspir'd with martial rage,
13:906 From either troop in equal pairs engage.
13:907 Each combatant with beak, and pounces press'd,
13:908 In wrathful ire, his adversary's breast;
13:909 Each falls a victim, to preserve the fame
13:910 Of that great hero, whence their being came.
13:911 From him their courage, and their name they take,
13:912 And, as they liv'd, they dye for Memnon's sake.
13:913 Punctual to time, with each revolving year,
13:914 In fresh array the champion birds appear;
13:915 Again, prepar'd with vengeful minds, they come
13:916 To bleed, in honour of the souldier's tomb.
13:917 Therefore in others it appear'd not strange,
13:918 To grieve for Hecuba's unhappy change:
13:919 But poor Aurora had enough to do
13:920 With her own loss, to mind another's woe;
13:921 Who still in tears, her tender nature shews,
13:922 Besprinkling all the world with pearly dews.
The Voyage of Aeneas
13:923 Troy thus destroy'd, 'twas still deny'd by Fate,
13:924 The hopes of Troy should perish with the state.
13:925 His sire, the son of Cytherea bore,
13:926 And household-Gods from burning Ilium's shore,
13:927 The pious prince (a double duty paid)
13:928 Each sacred burthen thro' the flames convey'd.
13:929 With young Ascanius, and this only prize,
13:930 Of heaps of wealth, he from Antandros flies;
13:931 But struck with horror, left the Thracian shore,
13:932 Stain'd with the blood of murder'd Polydore.
13:933 The Delian isle receives the banish'd train,
13:934 Driv'n by kind gales, and favour'd by the main.
13:935 Here pious Anius, priest, and monarch reign'd,
13:936 And either charge, with equal care sustain'd,
13:937 His subjects rul'd, to Phoebus homage pay'd,
13:938 His God obeying, and by those obey'd.
13:939 The priest displays his hospitable gate,
13:940 And shows the riches of his church, and state
13:941 The sacred shrubs, which eas'd Latona's pain,
13:942 The palm, and olive, and the votive fane.
13:943 Here grateful flames with fuming incense fed,
13:944 And mingled wine, ambrosial odours shed;
13:945 Of slaughter'd steers the crackling entrails burn'd:
13:946 And then the strangers to the court return'd.
13:947 On beds of tap'stry plac'd aloft, they dine
13:948 With Ceres' gift, and flowing bowls of wine;
13:949 When thus Anchises spoke, amidst the feast:
13:950 Say, mitred monarch, Phoebus' chosen priest,
13:951 Or (e'er from Troy by cruel Fate expell'd)
13:952 When first mine eyes these sacred walls beheld,
13:953 A son, and twice two daughters crown'd thy bliss?
13:954 Or errs my mem'ry, and I judge amiss?
13:955 The royal prophet shook his hoary head,
13:956 With snowy fillets bound, and sighing, said:
13:957 Thy mem'ry errs not, prince; thou saw'st me then,
13:958 The happy father of so large a train;
13:959 Behold me now (such turns of chance befall
13:960 The race of man!), almost bereft of all.
13:961 For (ah!) what comfort can my son bestow,
13:962 What help afford, to mitigate my woe!
13:963 While far from hence, in Andros' isle he reigns,
13:964 (From him so nam'd) and there my place sustains.
13:965 Him Delius praescience gave; the twice-born God
13:966 A boon more wond'rous on the maids bestow'd.
13:967 Whate'er they touch'd, he gave them to transmute
13:968 (A gift past credit, and above their suit)
13:969 To Ceres, Bacchus, and Minerva's fruit.
13:970 How great their value, and how rich their use,
13:971 Whose only touch such treasures could produce!
13:972 The dire destroyer of the Trojan reign,
13:973 Fierce Agamemnon, such a prize to gain
13:974 (A proof we also were design'd by Fate
13:975 To feel the tempest, that o'erturn'd your state),
13:976 With force superior, and a ruffian crew,
13:977 From these weak arms, the helpless virgins drew:
13:978 And sternly bad them use the grant divine,
13:979 To keep the fleet in corn, and oil, and wine.
13:980 Each, as they could, escap'd: two strove to gain
13:981 Euboea's isle, and two their brother's reign.
13:982 The soldier follows, and demands the dames;
13:983 If held by force, immediate war proclaims.
13:984 Fear conquer'd Nature in their brother's mind,
13:985 And gave them up to punishment assign'd.
13:986 Forgive the deed; nor Hector's arm was there,
13:987 Nor thine, Aeneas, to maintain the war;
13:988 Whose only force upheld your Ilium's tow'rs,
13:989 For ten long years, against the Grecian pow'rs.
13:990 Prepar'd to bind their captive arms in bands,
13:991 To Heav'n they rear'd their yet unfetter'd hands,
13:992 Help, Bacchus, author of the gift, they pray'd;
13:993 The gift's great author gave immediate aid;
13:994 If such destruction of their human frame
13:995 By ways so wond'rous, may deserve the name;
13:996 Nor could I hear, nor can I now relate
13:997 Exact, the manner of their alter'd state;
13:998 But this in gen'ral of my loss I knew,
13:999 Transform'd to doves, on milky plumes they flew,
13:1000 Such as on Ida's mount thy consort's chariot drew.
13:1001 With such discourse, they entertain'd the feast;
13:1002 Then rose from table, and withdrew to rest.
13:1003 The following morn, ere Sol was seen to shine,
13:1004 Th' inquiring Trojans sought the sacred shrine;
13:1005 The mystick Pow'r commands them to explore
13:1006 Their ancient mother, and a kindred shore.
13:1007 Attending to the sea, the gen'rous prince
13:1008 Dismiss'd his guests with rich munificence,
13:1009 In old Anchises' hand a sceptre plac'd,
13:1010 A vest, and quiver young Ascanius grac'd,
13:1011 His sire, a cup; which from th' Aonian coast,
13:1012 Ismenian Therses sent his royal host.
13:1013 Alcon of Myle made what Therses sent,
13:1014 And carv'd thereon this ample argument.
13:1015 A town with sev'n distinguish'd gates was shown,
13:1016 Which spoke its name, and made the city known;
13:1017 Before it, piles, and tombs, and rising flames,
13:1018 The rites of death, and quires of mourning dames,
13:1019 Who bar'd their breasts, and gave their hair to flow,
13:1020 The signs of grief, and marks of publick woe.
13:1021 Their fountains dry'd, the weeping Naiads mourn'd,
13:1022 The trees stood bare, with searing cankers burn'd,
13:1023 No herbage cloath'd the ground, a ragged flock
13:1024 Of goats half-famish'd, lick'd the naked rock,
13:1025 Of manly courage, and with mind serene,
13:1026 Orion's daughters in the town were seen;
13:1027 One heav'd her chest to meet the lifted knife,
13:1028 One plung'd the poyniard thro' the seat of life,
13:1029 Their country's victims; mourns the rescu'd state,
13:1030 The bodies burns, and celebrates their Fate.
13:1031 To save the failure of th' illustrious line,
13:1032 From the pale ashes rose, of form divine,
13:1033 Two gen'rous youths; these, fame Coronae calls,
13:1034 Who join the pomp, and mourn their mother's falls.
13:1035 These burnish'd figures form'd of antique mold,
13:1036 Shone on the brass, with rising sculpture bold;
13:1037 A wreath of gilt Acanthus round the brim was roll'd.
13:1038 Nor less expence the Trojan gifts express'd;
13:1039 A fuming censer for the royal priest,
13:1040 A chalice, and a crown of princely cost,
13:1041 With ruddy gold, and sparkling gems emboss'd.
13:1042 Now hoisting sail, to Crete the Trojans stood,
13:1043 Themselves remembring sprung from Teucer's blood;
13:1044 But Heav'n forbids, and pestilential Jove
13:1045 From noxious skies, the wand'ring navy drove.
13:1046 Her hundred cities left, from Crete they bore,
13:1047 And sought the destin'd land, Ausonia's shore;
13:1048 But toss'd by storms at either Strophas lay,
13:1049 'Till scar'd by Harpies from the faithless bay.
13:1050 Then passing onward with a prosp'rous wind,
13:1051 Left sly Ulysses' spacious realms behind;
13:1052 Ambracia's state, in former ages known.
13:1053 The strife of Gods, the judge transform'd to stone
13:1054 They saw; for Actian Phoebus since renown'd,
13:1055 Who Caesar's arms with naval conquest crown'd;
13:1056 Next pass'd Dodona, wont of old to boast
13:1057 Her vocal forest; and Chaonia's coast,
13:1058 Where king Molossus' sons on wings aspir'd,
13:1059 And saw secure the harmless fewel fir'd.
13:1060 Now to Phaeacia's happy isle they came,
13:1061 For fertile orchards known to early fame;
13:1062 Epirus past, they next beheld with joy
13:1063 A second Ilium, and fictitious Troy;
13:1064 Here Trojan Helenus the sceptre sway'd,
13:1065 Who show'd their fate and mystick truths display'd.
13:1066 By him confirm'd Sicilia's isle they reach'd,
13:1067 Whose sides to sea three promontories stretch'd,
13:1068 Pachynos to the stormy south is plac'd,
13:1069 On Lilybaeum blows the gentle west,
13:1070 Peloro's cliffs the northern bear survey,
13:1071 Who rolls above, and dreads to touch the sea.
13:1072 By this they steer, and favour'd by the tide,
13:1073 Secure by night in Zancle's harbour ride.
13:1074 Here cruel Scylla guards the rocky shore,
13:1075 And there the waves of loud Charybdis roar:
13:1076 This sucks, and vomits ships, and bodies drown'd;
13:1077 And rav'nous dogs the womb of that surround,
13:1078 In face a virgin; and (if ought be true
13:1079 By bards recorded) once a virgin too.
13:1080 A train of youths in vain desir'd her bed;
13:1081 By sea-nymphs lov'd, to nymphs of seas she fled;
13:1082 The maid to these, with female pride, display'd
13:1083 Their baffled courtship, and their love betray'd.
13:1084 When Galatea thus bespoke the fair
13:1085 (But first she sigh'd), while Scylla comb'd her hair:
13:1086 You, lovely maid, a gen'rous race pursues,
13:1087 Whom safe you may (as now you do) refuse;
13:1088 To me, tho' pow'rful in a num'rous train
13:1089 Of sisters, sprung from Gods, who rule the main,
13:1090 My native seas could scarce a refuge prove,
13:1091 To shun the fury of the Cyclops' love,
13:1092 Tears choak'd her utt'rance here; the pity'ng maid
13:1093 With marble fingers wip'd them off, and said:
13:1094 My dearest Goddess, let thy Scylla know,
13:1095 (For I am faithful) whence these sorrows flow.
13:1096 The maid's intreaties o'er the nymph prevail,
13:1097 Who thus to Scylla tells the mournful tale.
The Story of Acis, Polyphemus and Galatea
13:1098 Acis, the lovely youth, whose loss I mourn,
13:1099 From Faunus, and the nymph Symethis born,
13:1100 Was both his parents' pleasure; but, to me
13:1101 Was all that love could make a lover be.
13:1102 The Gods our minds in mutual bands did join:
13:1103 I was his only joy, and he was mine.
13:1104 Now sixteen summers the sweet youth had seen;
13:1105 And doubtful down began to shade his chin:
13:1106 When Polyphemus first disturb'd our joy;
13:1107 And lov'd me fiercely, as I lov'd the boy.
13:1108 Ask not which passion in my soul was high'r,
13:1109 My last aversion, or my first desire:
13:1110 Nor this the greater was, nor that the less;
13:1111 Both were alike, for both were in excess.
13:1112 Thee, Venus, thee both Heav'n, and Earth obey;
13:1113 Immense thy pow'r, and boundless is thy sway.
13:1114 The Cyclops, who defy'd th' aetherial throne,
13:1115 And thought no thunder louder than his own,
13:1116 The terror of the woods, and wilder far
13:1117 Than wolves in plains, or bears in forests are,
13:1118 Th' inhuman host, who made his bloody feasts
13:1119 On mangl'd members of his butcher'd guests,
13:1120 Yet felt the force of love, and fierce desire,
13:1121 And burnt for me, with unrelenting fire.
13:1122 Forgot his caverns, and his woolly care,
13:1123 Assum'd the softness of a lover's air;
13:1124 And comb'd, with teeth of rakes, his rugged hair.
13:1125 Now with a crooked scythe his beard he sleeks;
13:1126 And mows the stubborn stubble of his cheeks:
13:1127 Now in the crystal stream he looks, to try
13:1128 His simagres, and rowls his glaring eye.
13:1129 His cruelty, and thirst of blood are lost;
13:1130 And ships securely sail along the coast.
13:1131 The prophet Telemus (arriv'd by chance
13:1132 Where Aetna's summets to the seas advance,
13:1133 Who mark'd the tracts of every bird that flew,
13:1134 And sure presages from their flying drew)
13:1135 Foretold the Cyclops, that Ulysses' hand
13:1136 In his broad eye shou'd thrust a flaming brand.
13:1137 The giant, with a scornful grin, reply'd,
13:1138 Vain augur, thou hast falsely prophesy'd;
13:1139 Already love his flaming brand has tost;
13:1140 Looking on two fair eyes, my sight I lost,
13:1141 Thus, warn'd in vain, with stalking pace he strode,
13:1142 And stamp'd the margin of the briny flood
13:1143 With heavy steps; and weary, sought agen
13:1144 The cool retirement of his gloomy den.
13:1145 A promontory, sharp'ning by degrees,
13:1146 Ends in a wedge, and overlooks the seas:
13:1147 On either side, below, the water flows;
13:1148 This airy walk the giant lover chose.
13:1149 Here on the midst he sate; his flocks, unled,
13:1150 Their shepherd follow'd, and securely fed.
13:1151 A pine so burly, and of length so vast,
13:1152 That sailing ships requir'd it for a mast,
13:1153 He wielded for a staff, his steps to guide:
13:1154 But laid it by, his whistle while he try'd.
13:1155 A hundred reeds of a prodigious growth,
13:1156 Scarce made a pipe, proportion'd to his mouth:
13:1157 Which when he gave it wind, the rocks around,
13:1158 And watry plains, the dreadful hiss resound.
13:1159 I heard the ruffian-shepherd rudely blow,
13:1160 Where, in a hollow cave, I sat below;
13:1161 On Acis' bosom I my head reclin'd:
13:1162 And still preserve the poem in my mind.
13:1163 Oh lovely Galatea, whiter far
13:1164 Than falling snows, and rising lillies are;
13:1165 More flowry than the meads, as chrystal bright:
13:1166 Erect as alders, and of equal height:
13:1167 More wanton than a kid, more sleek thy skin,
13:1168 Than orient shells, that on the shores are seen,
13:1169 Than apples fairer, when the boughs they lade;
13:1170 Pleasing, as winter suns, or summer shade:
13:1171 More grateful to the sight, than goodly plains;
13:1172 And softer to the touch, than down of swans;
13:1173 Or curds new turn'd; and sweeter to the taste
13:1174 Than swelling grapes, that to the vintage haste:
13:1175 More clear than ice, or running streams, that stray
13:1176 Through garden plots, but ah! more swift than they.
13:1177 Yet, Galatea, harder to be broke
13:1178 Than bullocks, unreclaim'd, to bear the yoke,
13:1179 And far more stubborn, than the knotted oak:
13:1180 Like sliding streams, impossible to hold;
13:1181 Like them, fallacious, like their fountains, cold.
13:1182 More warping, than the willow, to decline
13:1183 My warm embrace, more brittle, than the vine;
13:1184 Immovable, and fixt in thy disdain:
13:1185 Tough, as these rocks, and of a harder grain.
13:1186 More violent, than is the rising flood;
13:1187 And the prais'd peacock is not half so proud.
13:1188 Fierce, as the fire, and sharp, as thistles are,
13:1189 And more outragious, than a mother-bear:
13:1190 Deaf, as the billows to the vows I make;
13:1191 And more revengeful, than a trodden snake.
13:1192 In swiftness fleeter, than the flying hind,
13:1193 Or driven tempests, or the driving wind.
13:1194 All other faults, with patience I can bear;
13:1195 But swiftness is the vice I only fear.
13:1196 Yet if you knew me well, you wou'd not shun
13:1197 My love, but to my wish'd embraces run:
13:1198 Wou'd languish in your turn, and court my stay;
13:1199 And much repent of your unwise delay.
13:1200 My palace, in the living rock, is made
13:1201 By Nature's hand; a spacious pleasing shade:
13:1202 Which neither heat can pierce, nor cold invade.
13:1203 My garden fill'd with fruits you may behold,
13:1204 And grapes in clusters, imitating gold;
13:1205 Some blushing bunches of a purple hue:
13:1206 And these, and those, are all reserv'd for you.
13:1207 Red strawberries, in shades, expecting stand,
13:1208 Proud to be gather'd by so white a hand.
13:1209 Autumnal cornels latter fruit provide;
13:1210 And plumbs, to tempt you, turn their glossy side:
13:1211 Not those of common kinds; but such alone,
13:1212 As in Phaeacian orchards might have grown:
13:1213 Nor chestnuts shall be wanting to your food,
13:1214 Nor garden-fruits, nor wildings of the wood;
13:1215 The laden boughs for you alone shall bear;
13:1216 And yours shall be the product of the year.
13:1217 The flocks you see, are all my own; beside
13:1218 The rest that woods, and winding vallies hide;
13:1219 And those that folded in the caves abide.
13:1220 Ask not the numbers of my growing store;
13:1221 Who knows how many, knows he has no more.
13:1222 Nor will I praise my cattle; trust not me,
13:1223 But judge your self, and pass your own decree:
13:1224 Behold their swelling dugs; the sweepy weight
13:1225 Of ewes, that sink beneath the milky freight;
13:1226 In the warm folds their tender lambkins lye;
13:1227 Apart from kids, that call with human cry.
13:1228 New milk in nut-brown bowls is duely serv'd
13:1229 For daily drink; the rest for cheese reserv'd.
13:1230 Nor are these household dainties all my store:
13:1231 The fields, and forests will afford us more;
13:1232 The deer, the hare, the goat, the savage boar.
13:1233 All sorts of ven'son; and of birds the best;
13:1234 A pair of turtles taken from the nest.
13:1235 I walk'd the mountains, and two cubs I found
13:1236 (Whose dam had left 'em on the naked ground),
13:1237 So like, that no distinction could be seen:
13:1238 So pretty, they were presents for a queen;
13:1239 And so they shall; I took them both away;
13:1240 And keep, to be companions of your play.
13:1241 Oh raise, fair nymph, your beauteous face above
13:1242 The waves; nor scorn my presents, and my love.
13:1243 Come, Galatea, come, and view my face;
13:1244 I late beheld it, in the watry glass;
13:1245 And found it lovelier, than I fear'd it was.
13:1246 Survey my towring stature, and my size:
13:1247 Not Jove, the Jove you dream, that rules the skies,
13:1248 Bears such a bulk, or is so largely spread:
13:1249 My locks (the plenteous harvest of my head)
13:1250 Hang o'er my manly face; and dangling down,
13:1251 As with a shady grove, my shoulders crown.
13:1252 Nor think, because my limbs and body bear
13:1253 A thick-set underwood of bristling hair,
13:1254 My shape deform'd; what fouler sight can be,
13:1255 Than the bald branches of a leafless tree?
13:1256 Foul is the steed without a flowing mane:
13:1257 And birds, without their feathers, and their train.
13:1258 Wool decks the sheep; and Man receives a grace
13:1259 From bushy limbs, and from a bearded face.
13:1260 My forehead with a single eye is fill'd,
13:1261 Round, as a ball, and ample, as a shield.
13:1262 The glorious lamp of Heav'n, the radiant sun,
13:1263 Is Nature's eye; and she's content with one.
13:1264 Add, that my father sways your seas, and I,
13:1265 Like you, am of the watry family.
13:1266 I make you his, in making you my own;
13:1267 You I adore; and kneel to you alone:
13:1268 Jove, with his fabled thunder, I despise,
13:1269 And only fear the lightning of your eyes.
13:1270 Frown not, fair nymph; yet I cou'd bear to be
13:1271 Disdain'd, if others were disdain'd with me.
13:1272 But to repulse the Cyclops, and prefer
13:1273 The love of Acis (Heav'ns!) I cannot bear.
13:1274 But let the stripling please himself; nay more,
13:1275 Please you, tho' that's the thing I most abhor;
13:1276 The boy shall find, if e'er we cope in fight,
13:1277 These giant limbs, endu'd with giant might.
13:1278 His living bowels from his belly torn,
13:1279 And scatter'd limbs shall on the flood be born:
13:1280 Thy flood, ungrateful nymph; and fate shall find,
13:1281 That way for thee, and Acis to be join'd.
13:1282 For oh! I burn with love, and thy disdain
13:1283 Augments at once my passion, and my pain.
13:1284 Translated Aetna flames within my heart,
13:1285 And thou, inhuman, wilt not ease my smart.
13:1286 Lamenting thus in vain, he rose, and strode
13:1287 With furious paces to the neighb'ring wood:
13:1288 Restless his feet, distracted was his walk;
13:1289 Mad were his motions, and confus'd his talk.
13:1290 Mad, as the vanquish'd bull, when forc'd to yield
13:1291 His lovely mistress, and forsake the field.
13:1292 Thus far unseen I saw: when fatal chance,
13:1293 His looks directing, with a sudden glance,
13:1294 Acis and I were to his sight betray'd;
13:1295 Where, nought suspecting, we securely play'd.
13:1296 From his wide mouth a bellowing cry he cast,
13:1297 I see, I see; but this shall be your last:
13:1298 A roar so loud made Aetna to rebound:
13:1299 And all the Cyclops labour'd in the sound.
13:1300 Affrighted with his monstrous voice, I fled,
13:1301 And in the neighbouring ocean plung'd my head.
13:1302 Poor Acis turn'd his back, and Help, he cry'd,
13:1303 Help, Galatea, help, my parent Gods,
13:1304 And take me dying to your deep abodes.
13:1305 The Cyclops follow'd; but he sent before
13:1306 A rib, which from the living rock he tore:
13:1307 Though but an angle reach'd him of the stone,
13:1308 The mighty fragment was enough alone,
13:1309 To crush all Acis; 'twas too late to save,
13:1310 But what the Fates allow'd to give, I gave:
13:1311 That Acis to his lineage should return;
13:1312 And rowl, among the river Gods, his urn.
13:1313 Straight issu'd from the stone a stream of blood;
13:1314 Which lost the purple, mingling with the flood,
13:1315 Then, like a troubled torrent, it appear'd:
13:1316 The torrent too, in little space, was clear'd.
13:1317 The stone was cleft, and through the yawning chink
13:1318 New reeds arose, on the new river's brink.
13:1319 The rock, from out its hollow womb, disclos'd
13:1320 A sound like water in its course oppos'd,
13:1321 When (wond'rous to behold), full in the flood,
13:1322 Up starts a youth, and navel high he stood.
13:1323 Horns from his temples rise; and either horn
13:1324 Thick wreaths of reeds (his native growth) adorn.
13:1325 Were not his stature taller than before,
13:1326 His bulk augmented, and his beauty more,
13:1327 His colour blue; for Acis he might pass:
13:1328 And Acis chang'd into a stream he was,
13:1329 But mine no more; he rowls along the plains
13:1330 With rapid motion, and his name retains.
The Story of Glaucus and Scylla
13:1331 Here ceas'd the nymph; the fair assembly broke,
13:1332 The sea-green Nereids to the waves betook:
13:1333 While Scylla, fearful of the wide-spread main,
13:1334 Swift to the safer shore returns again.
13:1335 There o'er the sandy margin, unarray'd,
13:1336 With printless footsteps flies the bounding maid;
13:1337 Or in some winding creek's secure retreat
13:1338 She baths her weary limbs, and shuns the noonday's heat.
13:1339 Her Glaucus saw, as o'er the deep he rode,
13:1340 New to the seas, and late receiv'd a God.
13:1341 He saw, and languish'd for the virgin's love;
13:1342 With many an artful blandishment he strove
13:1343 Her flight to hinder, and her fears remove.
13:1344 The more he sues, the more she wings her flight,
13:1345 And nimbly gains a neighb'ring mountain's height.
13:1346 Steep shelving to the margin of the flood,
13:1347 A neighb'ring mountain bare, and woodless stood;
13:1348 Here, by the place secur'd, her steps she stay'd,
13:1349 And, trembling still, her lover's form survey'd.
13:1350 His shape, his hue, her troubled sense appall,
13:1351 And dropping locks that o'er his shoulders fall;
13:1352 She sees his face divine, and manly brow,
13:1353 End in a fish's wreathy tail below:
13:1354 She sees, and doubts within her anxious mind,
13:1355 Whether he comes of God, or monster kind.
13:1356 This Glaucus soon perceiv'd; and, Oh! forbear
13:1357 (His hand supporting on a rock lay near),
13:1358 Forbear, he cry'd, fond maid, this needless fear.
13:1359 Nor fish am I, nor monster of the main,
13:1360 But equal with the watry Gods I reign;
13:1361 Nor Proteus, nor Palaemon me excell,
13:1362 Nor he whose breath inspires the sounding shell.
13:1363 My birth, 'tis true, I owe to mortal race,
13:1364 And I my self but late a mortal was:
13:1365 Ev'n then in seas, and seas alone, I joy'd;
13:1366 The seas my hours, and all my cares employ'd,
13:1367 In meshes now the twinkling prey I drew;
13:1368 Now skilfully the slender line I threw,
13:1369 And silent sat the moving float to view.
13:1370 Not far from shore, there lies a verdant mead,
13:1371 With herbage half, and half with water spread:
13:1372 There, nor the horned heifers browsing stray,
13:1373 Nor shaggy kids, nor wanton lambkins play;
13:1374 There, nor the sounding bees their nectar cull,
13:1375 Nor rural swains their genial chaplets pull,
13:1376 Nor flocks, nor herds, nor mowers haunt the place,
13:1377 To crop the flow'rs, or cut the bushy grass:
13:1378 Thither, sure first of living race came I,
13:1379 And sat by chance, my dropping nets to dry.
13:1380 My scaly prize, in order all display'd,
13:1381 By number on the greensward there I lay'd,
13:1382 My captives, whom or in my nets I took,
13:1383 Or hung unwary on my wily hook.
13:1384 Strange to behold! yet what avails a lye?
13:1385 I saw 'em bite the grass, as I sate by;
13:1386 Then sudden darting o'er the verdant plain,
13:1387 They spread their finns, as in their native main:
13:1388 I paus'd, with wonder struck, while all my prey
13:1389 Left their new master, and regain'd the sea.
13:1390 Amaz'd, within my secret self I sought,
13:1391 What God, what herb the miracle had wrought:
13:1392 But sure no herbs have pow'r like this, I cry'd;
13:1393 And strait I pluck'd some neighb'ring herbs, and try'd.
13:1394 Scarce had I bit, and prov'd the wond'rous taste,
13:1395 When strong convulsions shook my troubled breast;
13:1396 I felt my heart grow fond of something strange,
13:1397 And my whole Nature lab'ring with a change.
13:1398 Restless I grew, and ev'ry place forsook,
13:1399 And still upon the seas I bent my look.
13:1400 Farewel for ever! farewel, land! I said;
13:1401 And plung'd amidst the waves my sinking head.
13:1402 The gentle Pow'rs, who that low empire keep,
13:1403 Receiv'd me as a brother of the deep;
13:1404 To Tethys, and to Ocean old, they pray
13:1405 To purge my mortal earthy parts away.
13:1406 The watry parents to their suit agreed,
13:1407 And thrice nine times a secret charm they read,
13:1408 Then with lustrations purify my limbs,
13:1409 And bid me bathe beneath a hundred streams:
13:1410 A hundred streams from various fountains run,
13:1411 And on my head at once come rushing down.
13:1412 Thus far each passage I remember well,
13:1413 And faithfully thus far the tale I tell;
13:1414 But then oblivion dark, on all my senses fell.
13:1415 Again at length my thought reviving came,
13:1416 When I no longer found my self the same;
13:1417 Then first this sea-green beard I felt to grow,
13:1418 And these large honours on my spreading brow;
13:1419 My long-descending locks the billows sweep,
13:1420 And my broad shoulders cleave the yielding deep;
13:1421 My fishy tail, my arms of azure hue,
13:1422 And ev'ry part divinely chang'd, I view.
13:1423 But what avail these useless honours now?
13:1424 What joys can immortality bestow?
13:1425 What, tho' our Nereids all my form approve?
13:1426 What boots it, while fair Scylla scorns my love?
13:1427 Thus far the God; and more he wou'd have said;
13:1428 When from his presence flew the ruthless maid.
13:1429 Stung with repulse, in such disdainful sort,
13:1430 He seeks Titanian Circe's horrid court.