Garth's Metamorphoses: A Modernized Online Edition of the 1717 Text with Facsimile Preface and Credits

Metamorphoses *


The Creation of the World

1:1 Of bodies chang'd to various forms, I sing:
1:2 Ye Gods, from whom these miracles did spring,
1:3 Inspire my numbers with coelestial heat;
1:4 'Till I my long laborious work compleat:
1:5 And add perpetual tenour to my rhimes,
1:6 Deduc'd from Nature's birth, to Caesar's times.
1:7 Before the seas, and this terrestrial ball,
1:8 And Heav'n's high canopy, that covers all,
1:9 One was the face of Nature; if a face:
1:10 Rather a rude and indigested mass:
1:11 A lifeless lump, unfashion'd, and unfram'd,
1:12 Of jarring seeds; and justly Chaos nam'd.
1:13 No sun was lighted up, the world to view;
1:14 No moon did yet her blunted horns renew:
1:15 Nor yet was Earth suspended in the sky,
1:16 Nor pois'd, did on her own foundations lye:
1:17 Nor seas about the shores their arms had thrown;
1:18 But earth, and air, and water, were in one.
1:19 Thus air was void of light, and earth unstable,
1:20 And water's dark abyss unnavigable.
1:21 No certain form on any was imprest;
1:22 All were confus'd, and each disturb'd the rest.
1:23 For hot and cold were in one body fixt;
1:24 And soft with hard, and light with heavy mixt.

1:25 But God, or Nature, while they thus contend,
1:26 To these intestine discords put an end:
1:27 Then earth from air, and seas from earth were driv'n,
1:28 And grosser air sunk from aetherial Heav'n.
1:29 Thus disembroil'd, they take their proper place;
1:30 The next of kin, contiguously embrace;
1:31 And foes are sunder'd, by a larger space.
1:32 The force of fire ascended first on high,
1:33 And took its dwelling in the vaulted sky:
1:34 Then air succeeds, in lightness next to fire;
1:35 Whose atoms from unactive earth retire.
1:36 Earth sinks beneath, and draws a num'rous throng
1:37 Of pondrous, thick, unwieldy seeds along.
1:38 About her coasts, unruly waters roar;
1:39 And rising, on a ridge, insult the shore.

The Formation of Man

1:40 Thus when the God, whatever God was he,
1:41 Had form'd the whole, and made the parts agree,
1:42 That no unequal portions might be found,
1:43 He moulded Earth into a spacious round:
1:44 Then with a breath, he gave the winds to blow;
1:45 And bad the congregated waters flow.
1:46 He adds the running springs, and standing lakes;
1:47 And bounding banks for winding rivers makes.
1:48 Some part, in Earth are swallow'd up, the most
1:49 In ample oceans, disembogu'd, are lost.
1:50 He shades the woods, the vallies he restrains
1:51 With rocky mountains, and extends the plains.

1:52 And as five zones th' aetherial regions bind,
1:53 Five, correspondent, are to Earth assign'd:
1:54 The sun with rays, directly darting down,
1:55 Fires all beneath, and fries the middle zone:
1:56 The two beneath the distant poles, complain
1:57 Of endless winter, and perpetual rain.
1:58 Betwixt th' extreams, two happier climates hold
1:59 The temper that partakes of hot, and cold.
1:60 The fields of liquid air, inclosing all,
1:61 Surround the compass of this earthly ball:
1:62 The lighter parts lye next the fires above;
1:63 The grosser near the watry surface move:
1:64 Thick clouds are spread, and storms engender there,
1:65 And thunder's voice, which wretched mortals fear,
1:66 And winds that on their wings cold winter bear.
1:67 Nor were those blustring brethren left at large,
1:68 On seas, and shores, their fury to discharge:
1:69 Bound as they are, and circumscrib'd in place,
1:70 They rend the world, resistless, where they pass;
1:71 And mighty marks of mischief leave behind;
1:72 Such is the rage of their tempestuous kind.
1:73 First Eurus to the rising morn is sent
1:74 (The regions of the balmy continent);
1:75 And Eastern realms, where early Persians run,
1:76 To greet the blest appearance of the sun.
1:77 Westward, the wanton Zephyr wings his flight;
1:78 Pleas'd with the remnants of departing light:
1:79 Fierce Boreas, with his off-spring, issues forth
1:80 T' invade the frozen waggon of the North.
1:81 While frowning Auster seeks the Southern sphere;
1:82 And rots, with endless rain, th' unwholsom year.

1:83 High o'er the clouds, and empty realms of wind,
1:84 The God a clearer space for Heav'n design'd;
1:85 Where fields of light, and liquid aether flow;
1:86 Purg'd from the pondrous dregs of Earth below.

1:87 Scarce had the Pow'r distinguish'd these, when streight
1:88 The stars, no longer overlaid with weight,
1:89 Exert their heads, from underneath the mass;
1:90 And upward shoot, and kindle as they pass,
1:91 And with diffusive light adorn their heav'nly place.
1:92 Then, every void of Nature to supply,
1:93 With forms of Gods he fills the vacant sky:
1:94 New herds of beasts he sends, the plains to share:
1:95 New colonies of birds, to people air:
1:96 And to their oozy beds, the finny fish repair.

1:97 A creature of a more exalted kind
1:98 Was wanting yet, and then was Man design'd:
1:99 Conscious of thought, of more capacious breast,
1:100 For empire form'd, and fit to rule the rest:
1:101 Whether with particles of heav'nly fire
1:102 The God of Nature did his soul inspire,
1:103 Or Earth, but new divided from the sky,
1:104 And, pliant, still retain'd th' aetherial energy:
1:105 Which wise Prometheus temper'd into paste,
1:106 And, mixt with living streams, the godlike image cast.

1:107 Thus, while the mute creation downward bend
1:108 Their sight, and to their earthly mother tend,
1:109 Man looks aloft; and with erected eyes
1:110 Beholds his own hereditary skies.
1:111 From such rude principles our form began;
1:112 And earth was metamorphos'd into Man.

The Golden Age

1:113 The golden age was first; when Man yet new,
1:114 No rule but uncorrupted reason knew:
1:115 And, with a native bent, did good pursue.
1:116 Unforc'd by punishment, un-aw'd by fear,
1:117 His words were simple, and his soul sincere;
1:118 Needless was written law, where none opprest:
1:119 The law of Man was written in his breast:
1:120 No suppliant crowds before the judge appear'd,
1:121 No court erected yet, nor cause was heard:
1:122 But all was safe, for conscience was their guard.
1:123 The mountain-trees in distant prospect please,
1:124 E're yet the pine descended to the seas:
1:125 E're sails were spread, new oceans to explore:
1:126 And happy mortals, unconcern'd for more,
1:127 Confin'd their wishes to their native shore.
1:128 No walls were yet; nor fence, nor mote, nor mound,
1:129 Nor drum was heard, nor trumpet's angry sound:
1:130 Nor swords were forg'd; but void of care and crime,
1:131 The soft creation slept away their time.
1:132 The teeming Earth, yet guiltless of the plough,
1:133 And unprovok'd, did fruitful stores allow:
1:134 Content with food, which Nature freely bred,
1:135 On wildings and on strawberries they fed;
1:136 Cornels and bramble-berries gave the rest,
1:137 And falling acorns furnish'd out a feast.
1:138 The flow'rs unsown, in fields and meadows reign'd:
1:139 And Western winds immortal spring maintain'd.
1:140 In following years, the bearded corn ensu'd
1:141 From Earth unask'd, nor was that Earth renew'd.
1:142 From veins of vallies, milk and nectar broke;
1:143 And honey sweating through the pores of oak.

The Silver Age

1:144 But when good Saturn, banish'd from above,
1:145 Was driv'n to Hell, the world was under Jove.
1:146 Succeeding times a silver age behold,
1:147 Excelling brass, but more excell'd by gold.
1:148 Then summer, autumn, winter did appear:
1:149 And spring was but a season of the year.
1:150 The sun his annual course obliquely made,
1:151 Good days contracted, and enlarg'd the bad.
1:152 Then air with sultry heats began to glow;
1:153 The wings of winds were clogg'd with ice and snow;
1:154 And shivering mortals, into houses driv'n,
1:155 Sought shelter from th' inclemency of Heav'n.
1:156 Those houses, then, were caves, or homely sheds;
1:157 With twining oziers fenc'd; and moss their beds.
1:158 Then ploughs, for seed, the fruitful furrows broke,
1:159 And oxen labour'd first beneath the yoke.

The Brazen Age

1:160 To this came next in course, the brazen age:
1:161 A warlike offspring, prompt to bloody rage,
1:162 Not impious yet...

The Iron Age

1:163 Hard steel succeeded then:
1:164 And stubborn as the metal, were the men.
1:165 Truth, modesty, and shame, the world forsook:
1:166 Fraud, avarice, and force, their places took.
1:167 Then sails were spread, to every wind that blew.
1:168 Raw were the sailors, and the depths were new:
1:169 Trees, rudely hollow'd, did the waves sustain;
1:170 E're ships in triumph plough'd the watry plain.

1:171 Then land-marks limited to each his right:
1:172 For all before was common as the light.
1:173 Nor was the ground alone requir'd to bear
1:174 Her annual income to the crooked share,
1:175 But greedy mortals, rummaging her store,
1:176 Digg'd from her entrails first the precious oar;
1:177 Which next to Hell, the prudent Gods had laid;
1:178 And that alluring ill, to sight display'd.
1:179 Thus cursed steel, and more accursed gold,
1:180 Gave mischief birth, and made that mischief bold:
1:181 And double death did wretched Man invade,
1:182 By steel assaulted, and by gold betray'd,
1:183 Now (brandish'd weapons glittering in their hands)
1:184 Mankind is broken loose from moral bands;
1:185 No rights of hospitality remain:
1:186 The guest, by him who harbour'd him, is slain,
1:187 The son-in-law pursues the father's life;
1:188 The wife her husband murders, he the wife.
1:189 The step-dame poyson for the son prepares;
1:190 The son inquires into his father's years.
1:191 Faith flies, and piety in exile mourns;
1:192 And justice, here opprest, to Heav'n returns.

The Giants' War

1:193 Nor were the Gods themselves more safe above;
1:194 Against beleaguer'd Heav'n the giants move.
1:195 Hills pil'd on hills, on mountains mountains lie,
1:196 To make their mad approaches to the skie.
1:197 'Till Jove, no longer patient, took his time
1:198 T' avenge with thunder their audacious crime:
1:199 Red light'ning plaid along the firmament,
1:200 And their demolish'd works to pieces rent.
1:201 Sing'd with the flames, and with the bolts transfixt,
1:202 With native Earth, their blood the monsters mixt;
1:203 The blood, indu'd with animating heat,
1:204 Did in th' impregnant Earth new sons beget:
1:205 They, like the seed from which they sprung, accurst,
1:206 Against the Gods immortal hatred nurst,
1:207 An impious, arrogant, and cruel brood;
1:208 Expressing their original from blood.

1:209 Which when the king of Gods beheld from high
1:210 (Withal revolving in his memory,
1:211 What he himself had found on Earth of late,
1:212 Lycaon's guilt, and his inhumane treat),
1:213 He sigh'd; nor longer with his pity strove;
1:214 But kindled to a wrath becoming Jove:

1:215 Then call'd a general council of the Gods;
1:216 Who summon'd, issue from their blest abodes,
1:217 And fill th' assembly with a shining train.
1:218 A way there is, in Heav'n's expanded plain,
1:219 Which, when the skies are clear, is seen below,
1:220 And mortals, by the name of Milky, know.
1:221 The ground-work is of stars; through which the road
1:222 Lyes open to the Thunderer's abode:
1:223 The Gods of greater nations dwell around,
1:224 And, on the right and left, the palace bound;
1:225 The commons where they can: the nobler sort
1:226 With winding-doors wide open, front the court.
1:227 This place, as far as Earth with Heav'n may vie,
1:228 I dare to call the Louvre of the skie.
1:229 When all were plac'd, in seats distinctly known,
1:230 And he, their father, had assum'd the throne,
1:231 Upon his iv'ry sceptre first he leant,
1:232 Then shook his head, that shook the firmament:
1:233 Air, Earth, and seas, obey'd th' almighty nod;
1:234 And, with a gen'ral fear, confess'd the God.
1:235 At length, with indignation, thus he broke
1:236 His awful silence, and the Pow'rs bespoke.

1:237 I was not more concern'd in that debate
1:238 Of empire, when our universal state
1:239 Was put to hazard, and the giant race
1:240 Our captive skies were ready to imbrace:
1:241 For tho' the foe was fierce, the seeds of all
1:242 Rebellion, sprung from one original;
1:243 Now, wheresoever ambient waters glide,
1:244 All are corrupt, and all must be destroy'd.
1:245 Let me this holy protestation make,
1:246 By Hell, and Hell's inviolable lake,
1:247 I try'd whatever in the godhead lay:
1:248 But gangren'd members must be lopt away,
1:249 Before the nobler parts are tainted to decay.
1:250 There dwells below, a race of demi-gods,
1:251 Of nymphs in waters, and of fawns in woods:
1:252 Who, tho' not worthy yet, in Heav'n to live,
1:253 Let 'em, at least, enjoy that Earth we give.
1:254 Can these be thought securely lodg'd below,
1:255 When I my self, who no superior know,
1:256 I, who have Heav'n and Earth at my command,
1:257 Have been attempted by Lycaon's hand?

1:258 At this a murmur through the synod went,
1:259 And with one voice they vote his punishment.
1:260 Thus, when conspiring traytors dar'd to doom
1:261 The fall of Caesar, and in him of Rome,
1:262 The nations trembled with a pious fear;
1:263 All anxious for their earthly Thunderer:
1:264 Nor was their care, o Caesar, less esteem'd
1:265 By thee, than that of Heav'n for Jove was deem'd:
1:266 Who with his hand, and voice, did first restrain
1:267 Their murmurs, then resum'd his speech again.
1:268 The Gods to silence were compos'd, and sate
1:269 With reverence, due to his superior state.

1:270 Cancel your pious cares; already he
1:271 Has paid his debt to justice, and to me.
1:272 Yet what his crimes, and what my judgments were,
1:273 Remains for me thus briefly to declare.
1:274 The clamours of this vile degenerate age,
1:275 The cries of orphans, and th' oppressor's rage,
1:276 Had reach'd the stars: I will descend, said I,
1:277 In hope to prove this loud complaint a lye.
1:278 Disguis'd in humane shape, I travell'd round
1:279 The world, and more than what I heard, I found.
1:280 O'er Maenalus I took my steepy way,
1:281 By caverns infamous for beasts of prey:
1:282 Then cross'd Cyllene, and the piny shade
1:283 More infamous, by curst Lycaon made:
1:284 Dark night had cover'd Heaven, and Earth, before
1:285 I enter'd his unhospitable door.
1:286 Just at my entrance, I display'd the sign
1:287 That somewhat was approaching of divine.
1:288 The prostrate people pray; the tyrant grins;
1:289 And, adding prophanation to his sins,
1:290 I'll try, said he, and if a God appear,
1:291 To prove his deity shall cost him dear.
1:292 'Twas late; the graceless wretch my death prepares,
1:293 When I shou'd soundly sleep, opprest with cares:
1:294 This dire experiment he chose, to prove
1:295 If I were mortal, or undoubted Jove:
1:296 But first he had resolv'd to taste my pow'r;
1:297 Not long before, but in a luckless hour,
1:298 Some legates, sent from the Molossian state,
1:299 Were on a peaceful errand come to treat:
1:300 Of these he murders one, he boils the flesh;
1:301 And lays the mangled morsels in a dish:
1:302 Some part he roasts; then serves it up, so drest,
1:303 And bids me welcome to this humane feast.
1:304 Mov'd with disdain, the table I o'er-turn'd;
1:305 And with avenging flames, the palace burn'd.
1:306 The tyrant in a fright, for shelter gains
1:307 The neighb'ring fields, and scours along the plains.
1:308 Howling he fled, and fain he wou'd have spoke;
1:309 But humane voice his brutal tongue forsook.
1:310 About his lips the gather'd foam he churns,
1:311 And, breathing slaughters, still with rage he burns,
1:312 But on the bleating flock his fury turns.
1:313 His mantle, now his hide, with rugged hairs
1:314 Cleaves to his back; a famish'd face he bears;
1:315 His arms descend, his shoulders sink away
1:316 To multiply his legs for chase of prey.
1:317 He grows a wolf, his hoariness remains,
1:318 And the same rage in other members reigns.
1:319 His eyes still sparkle in a narr'wer space:
1:320 His jaws retain the grin, and violence of his face

1:321 This was a single ruin, but not one
1:322 Deserves so just a punishment alone.
1:323 Mankind's a monster, and th' ungodly times
1:324 Confed'rate into guilt, are sworn to crimes.
1:325 All are alike involv'd in ill, and all
1:326 Must by the same relentless fury fall.
1:327 Thus ended he; the greater Gods assent;
1:328 By clamours urging his severe intent;
1:329 The less fill up the cry for punishment.
1:330 Yet still with pity they remember Man;
1:331 And mourn as much as heav'nly spirits can.
1:332 They ask, when those were lost of humane birth,
1:333 What he wou'd do with all this waste of Earth:
1:334 If his dispeopl'd world he would resign
1:335 To beasts, a mute, and more ignoble line;
1:336 Neglected altars must no longer smoke,
1:337 If none were left to worship, and invoke.
1:338 To whom the Father of the Gods reply'd,
1:339 Lay that unnecessary fear aside:
1:340 Mine be the care, new people to provide.
1:341 I will from wondrous principles ordain
1:342 A race unlike the first, and try my skill again.

1:343 Already had he toss'd the flaming brand;
1:344 And roll'd the thunder in his spacious hand;
1:345 Preparing to discharge on seas and land:
1:346 But stopt, for fear, thus violently driv'n,
1:347 The sparks should catch his axle-tree of Heav'n.
1:348 Remembring in the fates, a time when fire
1:349 Shou'd to the battlements of Heaven aspire,
1:350 And all his blazing worlds above shou'd burn;
1:351 And all th' inferior globe to cinders turn.
1:352 His dire artill'ry thus dismist, he bent
1:353 His thoughts to some securer punishment:
1:354 Concludes to pour a watry deluge down;
1:355 And what he durst not burn, resolves to drown.

1:356 The northern breath, that freezes floods, he binds;
1:357 With all the race of cloud-dispelling winds:
1:358 The south he loos'd, who night and horror brings;
1:359 And foggs are shaken from his flaggy wings.
1:360 From his divided beard two streams he pours,
1:361 His head, and rheumy eyes distill in show'rs,
1:362 With rain his robe, and heavy mantle flow:
1:363 And lazy mists are lowring on his brow;
1:364 Still as he swept along, with his clench'd fist
1:365 He squeez'd the clouds, th' imprison'd clouds resist:
1:366 The skies, from pole to pole, with peals resound;
1:367 And show'rs inlarg'd, come pouring on the ground.
1:368 Then, clad in colours of a various dye,
1:369 Junonian Iris breeds a new supply
1:370 To feed the clouds: impetuous rain descends;
1:371 The bearded corn beneath the burden bends:
1:372 Defrauded clowns deplore their perish'd grain;
1:373 And the long labours of the year are vain.

1:374 Nor from his patrimonial Heaven alone
1:375 Is Jove content to pour his vengeance down;
1:376 Aid from his brother of the seas he craves,
1:377 To help him with auxiliary waves.
1:378 The watry tyrant calls his brooks and floods,
1:379 Who rowl from mossie caves (their moist abodes);
1:380 And with perpetual urns his palace fill:
1:381 To whom in brief, he thus imparts his will.

1:382 Small exhortation needs; your pow'rs employ:
1:383 And this bad world, so Jove requires, destroy.
1:384 Let loose the reins to all your watry store:
1:385 Bear down the damms, and open ev'ry door.

1:386 The floods, by Nature enemies to land,
1:387 And proudly swelling with their new command,
1:388 Remove the living stones, that stopt their way,
1:389 And gushing from their source, augment the sea.
1:390 Then, with his mace, their monarch struck the ground;
1:391 With inward trembling Earth receiv'd the wound;
1:392 And rising streams a ready passage found.
1:393 Th' expanded waters gather on the plain:
1:394 They float the fields, and over-top the grain;
1:395 Then rushing onwards, with a sweepy sway,
1:396 Bear flocks, and folds, and lab'ring hinds away.
1:397 Nor safe their dwellings were, for, sap'd by floods,
1:398 Their houses fell upon their houshold Gods.
1:399 The solid piles, too strongly built to fall,
1:400 High o'er their heads, behold a watry wall:
1:401 Now seas and Earth were in confusion lost;
1:402 A world of waters, and without a coast.

1:403 One climbs a cliff; one in his boat is born:
1:404 And ploughs above, where late he sow'd his corn.
1:405 Others o'er chimney-tops and turrets row,
1:406 And drop their anchors on the meads below:
1:407 Or downward driv'n, they bruise the tender vine,
1:408 Or tost aloft, are knock'd against a pine.
1:409 And where of late the kids had cropt the grass,
1:410 The monsters of the deep now take their place.
1:411 Insulting Nereids on the cities ride,
1:412 And wond'ring dolphins o'er the palace glide.
1:413 On leaves, and masts of mighty oaks they brouze;
1:414 And their broad fins entangle in the boughs.
1:415 The frighted wolf now swims amongst the sheep;
1:416 The yellow lion wanders in the deep:
1:417 His rapid force no longer helps the boar:
1:418 The stag swims faster, than he ran before.
1:419 The fowls, long beating on their wings in vain,
1:420 Despair of land, and drop into the main.
1:421 Now hills, and vales no more distinction know;
1:422 And levell'd Nature lies oppress'd below.
1:423 The most of mortals perish in the flood:
1:424 The small remainder dies for want of food.

1:425 A mountain of stupendous height there stands
1:426 Betwixt th' Athenian and Boeotian lands,
1:427 The bound of fruitful fields, while fields they were,
1:428 But then a field of waters did appear:
1:429 Parnassus is its name; whose forky rise
1:430 Mounts thro' the clouds, and mates the lofty skies.
1:431 High on the summit of this dubious cliff,
1:432 Deucalion wafting, moor'd his little skiff.
1:433 He with his wife were only left behind
1:434 Of perish'd Man; they two were human kind.
1:435 The mountain nymphs, and Themis they adore,
1:436 And from her oracles relief implore.
1:437 The most upright of mortal men was he;
1:438 The most sincere, and holy woman, she.

1:439 When Jupiter, surveying Earth from high,
1:440 Beheld it in a lake of water lie,
1:441 That where so many millions lately liv'd,
1:442 But two, the best of either sex, surviv'd;
1:443 He loos'd the northern wind; fierce Boreas flies
1:444 To puff away the clouds, and purge the skies:
1:445 Serenely, while he blows, the vapours driv'n,
1:446 Discover Heav'n to Earth, and Earth to Heav'n.
1:447 The billows fall, while Neptune lays his mace
1:448 On the rough sea, and smooths its furrow'd face.
1:449 Already Triton, at his call, appears
1:450 Above the waves; a Tyrian robe he wears;
1:451 And in his hand a crooked trumpet bears.
1:452 The soveraign bids him peaceful sounds inspire,
1:453 And give the waves the signal to retire.
1:454 His writhen shell he takes; whose narrow vent
1:455 Grows by degrees into a large extent,
1:456 Then gives it breath; the blast with doubling sound,
1:457 Runs the wide circuit of the world around:
1:458 The sun first heard it, in his early east,
1:459 And met the rattling ecchos in the west.
1:460 The waters, listning to the trumpet's roar,
1:461 Obey the summons, and forsake the shore.

1:462 A thin circumference of land appears;
1:463 And Earth, but not at once, her visage rears,
1:464 And peeps upon the seas from upper grounds;
1:465 The streams, but just contain'd within their bounds,
1:466 By slow degrees into their channels crawl;
1:467 And Earth increases, as the waters fall.
1:468 In longer time the tops of trees appear,
1:469 Which mud on their dishonour'd branches bear.

1:470 At length the world was all restor'd to view;
1:471 But desolate, and of a sickly hue:
1:472 Nature beheld her self, and stood aghast,
1:473 A dismal desart, and a silent waste.

1:474 Which when Deucalion, with a piteous look
1:475 Beheld, he wept, and thus to Pyrrha spoke:
1:476 Oh wife, oh sister, oh of all thy kind
1:477 The best, and only creature left behind,
1:478 By kindred, love, and now by dangers joyn'd;
1:479 Of multitudes, who breath'd the common air,
1:480 We two remain; a species in a pair:
1:481 The rest the seas have swallow'd; nor have we
1:482 Ev'n of this wretched life a certainty.
1:483 The clouds are still above; and, while I speak,
1:484 A second deluge o'er our heads may break.
1:485 Shou'd I be snatcht from hence, and thou remain,
1:486 Without relief, or partner of thy pain,
1:487 How cou'dst thou such a wretched life sustain?
1:488 Shou'd I be left, and thou be lost, the sea
1:489 That bury'd her I lov'd, shou'd bury me.
1:490 Oh cou'd our father his old arts inspire,
1:491 And make me heir of his informing fire,
1:492 That so I might abolisht Man retrieve,
1:493 And perisht people in new souls might live.
1:494 But Heav'n is pleas'd, nor ought we to complain,
1:495 That we, th' examples of mankind, remain.
1:496 He said; the careful couple joyn their tears:
1:497 And then invoke the Gods, with pious prayers.
1:498 Thus, in devotion having eas'd their grief,
1:499 From sacred oracles they seek relief;
1:500 And to Cephysus' brook their way pursue:
1:501 The stream was troubled, but the ford they knew;
1:502 With living waters, in the fountain bred,
1:503 They sprinkle first their garments, and their head,
1:504 Then took the way, which to the temple led.
1:505 The roofs were all defil'd with moss, and mire,
1:506 The desart altars void of solemn fire.
1:507 Before the gradual, prostrate they ador'd;
1:508 The pavement kiss'd; and thus the saint implor'd.

1:509 O righteous Themis, if the Pow'rs above
1:510 By pray'rs are bent to pity, and to love;
1:511 If humane miseries can move their mind;
1:512 If yet they can forgive, and yet be kind;
1:513 Tell how we may restore, by second birth,
1:514 Mankind, and people desolated Earth.
1:515 Then thus the gracious Goddess, nodding, said;
1:516 Depart, and with your vestments veil your head:
1:517 And stooping lowly down, with losen'd zones,
1:518 Throw each behind your backs, your mighty mother's bones.
1:519 Amaz'd the pair, and mute with wonder stand,
1:520 'Till Pyrrha first refus'd the dire command.
1:521 Forbid it Heav'n, said she, that I shou'd tear
1:522 Those holy reliques from the sepulcher.
1:523 They ponder'd the mysterious words again,
1:524 For some new sense; and long they sought in vain:
1:525 At length Deucalion clear'd his cloudy brow,
1:526 And said, the dark Aenigma will allow
1:527 A meaning, which, if well I understand,
1:528 From sacrilege will free the God's command:
1:529 This Earth our mighty mother is, the stones
1:530 In her capacious body, are her bones:
1:531 These we must cast behind. With hope, and fear,
1:532 The woman did the new solution hear:
1:533 The man diffides in his own augury,
1:534 And doubts the Gods; yet both resolve to try.
1:535 Descending from the mount, they first unbind
1:536 Their vests, and veil'd, they cast the stones behind:
1:537 The stones (a miracle to mortal view,
1:538 But long tradition makes it pass for true)
1:539 Did first the rigour of their kind expel,
1:540 And suppled into softness, as they fell;
1:541 Then swell'd, and swelling, by degrees grew warm;
1:542 And took the rudiments of human form.
1:543 Imperfect shapes: in marble such are seen,
1:544 When the rude chizzel does the man begin;
1:545 While yet the roughness of the stone remains,
1:546 Without the rising muscles, and the veins.
1:547 The sappy parts, and next resembling juice,
1:548 Were turn'd to moisture, for the body's use:
1:549 Supplying humours, blood, and nourishment;
1:550 The rest, too solid to receive a bent,
1:551 Converts to bones; and what was once a vein,
1:552 Its former name and Nature did retain.
1:553 By help of pow'r divine, in little space,
1:554 What the man threw, assum'd a manly face;
1:555 And what the wife, renew'd the female race.
1:556 Hence we derive our nature; born to bear
1:557 Laborious life; and harden'd into care.

1:558 The rest of animals, from teeming Earth
1:559 Produc'd, in various forms receiv'd their birth.
1:560 The native moisture, in its close retreat,
1:561 Digested by the sun's aetherial heat,
1:562 As in a kindly womb, began to breed:
1:563 Then swell'd, and quicken'd by the vital seed.
1:564 And some in less, and some in longer space,
1:565 Were ripen'd into form, and took a sev'ral face.
1:566 Thus when the Nile from Pharian fields is fled,
1:567 And seeks, with ebbing tides, his ancient bed,
1:568 The fat manure with heav'nly fire is warm'd;
1:569 And crusted creatures, as in wombs, are form'd;
1:570 These, when they turn the glebe, the peasants find;
1:571 Some rude, and yet unfinish'd in their kind:
1:572 Short of their limbs, a lame imperfect birth:
1:573 One half alive; and one of lifeless earth.

1:574 For heat, and moisture, when in bodies join'd,
1:575 The temper that results from either kind
1:576 Conception makes; and fighting 'till they mix,
1:577 Their mingled atoms in each other fix.
1:578 Thus Nature's hand the genial bed prepares
1:579 With friendly discord, and with fruitful wars.

1:580 From hence the surface of the ground, with mud
1:581 And slime besmear'd (the faeces of the flood),
1:582 Receiv'd the rays of Heav'n: and sucking in
1:583 The seeds of heat, new creatures did begin:
1:584 Some were of sev'ral sorts produc'd before,
1:585 But of new monsters, Earth created more.
1:586 Unwillingly, but yet she brought to light
1:587 Thee, Python too, the wondring world to fright,
1:588 And the new nations, with so dire a sight:
1:589 So monstrous was his bulk, so large a space
1:590 Did his vast body, and long train embrace.
1:591 Whom Phoebus basking on a bank espy'd;
1:592 E're now the God his arrows had not try'd
1:593 But on the trembling deer, or mountain goat;
1:594 At this new quarry he prepares to shoot.
1:595 Though ev'ry shaft took place, he spent the store
1:596 Of his full quiver; and 'twas long before
1:597 Th' expiring serpent wallow'd in his gore.
1:598 Then, to preserve the fame of such a deed,
1:599 For Python slain, he Pythian games decred.
1:600 Where noble youths for mastership shou'd strive,
1:601 To quoit, to run, and steeds, and chariots drive.
1:602 The prize was fame: in witness of renown
1:603 An oaken garland did the victor crown.
1:604 The laurel was not yet for triumphs born;
1:605 But every green alike by Phoebus worn,
1:606 Did, with promiscuous grace, his flowing locks adorn.

The Transformation of Daphne into a Lawrel

1:607 The first and fairest of his loves, was she
1:608 Whom not blind fortune, but the dire decree
1:609 Of angry Cupid forc'd him to desire:
1:610 Daphne her name, and Peneus was her sire.
1:611 Swell'd with the pride, that new success attends,
1:612 He sees the stripling, while his bow he bends,
1:613 And thus insults him: Thou lascivious boy,
1:614 Are arms like these for children to employ?
1:615 Know, such atchievements are my proper claim;
1:616 Due to my vigour, and unerring aim:
1:617 Resistless are my shafts, and Python late
1:618 In such a feather'd death, has found his fate.
1:619 Take up the torch (and lay my weapons by),
1:620 With that the feeble souls of lovers fry.
1:621 To whom the son of Venus thus reply'd,
1:622 Phoebus, thy shafts are sure on all beside,
1:623 But mine of Phoebus, mine the fame shall be
1:624 Of all thy conquests, when I conquer thee.

1:625 He said, and soaring, swiftly wing'd his flight:
1:626 Nor stopt but on Parnassus' airy height.
1:627 Two diff'rent shafts he from his quiver draws;
1:628 One to repel desire, and one to cause.
1:629 One shaft is pointed with refulgent gold:
1:630 To bribe the love, and make the lover bold:
1:631 One blunt, and tipt with lead, whose base allay
1:632 Provokes disdain, and drives desire away.
1:633 The blunted bolt against the nymph he drest:
1:634 But with the sharp transfixt Apollo's breast.

1:635 Th' enamour'd deity pursues the chace;
1:636 The scornful damsel shuns his loath'd embrace:
1:637 In hunting beasts of prey, her youth employs;
1:638 And Phoebe rivals in her rural joys.
1:639 With naked neck she goes, and shoulders bare;
1:640 And with a fillet binds her flowing hair.
1:641 By many suitors sought, she mocks their pains,
1:642 And still her vow'd virginity maintains.
1:643 Impatient of a yoke, the name of bride
1:644 She shuns, and hates the joys, she never try'd.
1:645 On wilds, and woods, she fixes her desire:
1:646 Nor knows what youth, and kindly love, inspire.
1:647 Her father chides her oft: Thou ow'st, says he,
1:648 A husband to thy self, a son to me.
1:649 She, like a crime, abhors the nuptial bed:
1:650 She glows with blushes, and she hangs her head.
1:651 Then casting round his neck her tender arms,
1:652 Sooths him with blandishments, and filial charms:
1:653 Give me, my Lord, she said, to live, and die,
1:654 A spotless maid, without the marriage tye.
1:655 'Tis but a small request; I beg no more
1:656 Than what Diana's father gave before.
1:657 The good old sire was soften'd to consent;
1:658 But said her wish wou'd prove her punishment:
1:659 For so much youth, and so much beauty join'd,
1:660 Oppos'd the state, which her desires design'd.

1:661 The God of light, aspiring to her bed,
1:662 Hopes what he seeks, with flattering fancies fed;
1:663 And is, by his own oracles, mis-led.
1:664 And as in empty fields the stubble burns,
1:665 Or nightly travellers, when day returns,
1:666 Their useless torches on dry hedges throw,
1:667 That catch the flames, and kindle all the row;
1:668 So burns the God, consuming in desire,
1:669 And feeding in his breast a fruitless fire:
1:670 Her well-turn'd neck he view'd (her neck was bare)
1:671 And on her shoulders her dishevel'd hair;
1:672 Oh were it comb'd, said he, with what a grace
1:673 Wou'd every waving curl become her face!
1:674 He view'd her eyes, like heav'nly lamps that shone,
1:675 He view'd her lips, too sweet to view alone,
1:676 Her taper fingers, and her panting breast;
1:677 He praises all he sees, and for the rest
1:678 Believes the beauties yet unseen are best:
1:679 Swift as the wind, the damsel fled away,
1:680 Nor did for these alluring speeches stay:
1:681 Stay Nymph, he cry'd, I follow, not a foe.
1:682 Thus from the lyon trips the trembling doe;
1:683 Thus from the wolf the frighten'd lamb removes,
1:684 And, from pursuing faulcons, fearful doves;
1:685 Thou shunn'st a God, and shunn'st a God, that loves.
1:686 Ah, lest some thorn shou'd pierce thy tender foot,
1:687 Or thou shou'dst fall in flying my pursuit!
1:688 To sharp uneven ways thy steps decline;
1:689 Abate thy speed, and I will bate of mine.
1:690 Yet think from whom thou dost so rashly fly;
1:691 Nor basely born, nor shepherd's swain am I.
1:692 Perhaps thou know'st not my superior state;
1:693 And from that ignorance proceeds thy hate.
1:694 Me Claros, Delphi, Tenedos obey;
1:695 These hands the Patareian scepter sway.
1:696 The King of Gods begot me: what shall be,
1:697 Or is, or ever was, in Fate, I see.
1:698 Mine is th' invention of the charming lyre;
1:699 Sweet notes, and heav'nly numbers, I inspire.
1:700 Sure is my bow, unerring is my dart;
1:701 But ah! more deadly his, who pierc'd my heart.
1:702 Med'cine is mine; what herbs and simples grow
1:703 In fields, and forrests, all their pow'rs I know;
1:704 And am the great physician call'd, below.
1:705 Alas that fields and forrests can afford.
1:706 No remedies to heal their love-sick lord!
1:707 To cure the pains of love, no plant avails:
1:708 And his own physick, the physician falls.

1:709 She heard not half; so furiously she flies;
1:710 And on her ear th' imperfect accent dies,
1:711 Fear gave her wings; and as she fled, the wind
1:712 Increasing, spread her flowing hair behind;
1:713 And left her legs and thighs expos'd to view:
1:714 Which made the God more eager to pursue.
1:715 The God was young, and was too hotly bent
1:716 To lose his time in empty compliment:
1:717 But led by love, and fir'd with such a sight,
1:718 Impetuously pursu'd his near delight.

1:719 As when th' impatient greyhound slipt from far,
1:720 Bounds o'er the glebe to course the fearful hare,
1:721 She in her speed does all her safety lay;
1:722 And he with double speed pursues the prey;
1:723 O'er-runs her at the sitting turn, and licks
1:724 His chaps in vain, and blows upon the flix:
1:725 She scapes, and for the neighb'ring covert strives,
1:726 And gaining shelter, doubts if yet she lives:
1:727 If little things with great we may compare,
1:728 Such was the God, and such the flying fair,
1:729 She urg'd by fear, her feet did swiftly move,
1:730 But he more swiftly, who was urg'd by love.
1:731 He gathers ground upon her in the chace:
1:732 Now breathes upon her hair, with nearer pace;
1:733 And just is fast'ning on the wish'd embrace.
1:734 The nymph grew pale, and in a mortal fright,
1:735 Spent with the labour of so long a flight;
1:736 And now despairing, cast a mournful look
1:737 Upon the streams of her paternal brook;
1:738 Oh help, she cry'd, in this extreamest need!
1:739 If water Gods are deities indeed:
1:740 Gape Earth, and this unhappy wretch intomb;
1:741 Or change my form, whence all my sorrows come.
1:742 Scarce had she finish'd, when her feet she found
1:743 Benumb'd with cold, and fasten'd to the ground:
1:744 A filmy rind about her body grows;
1:745 Her hair to leaves, her arms extend to boughs:
1:746 The nymph is all into a lawrel gone;
1:747 The smoothness of her skin remains alone.
1:748 Yet Phoebus loves her still, and casting round
1:749 Her bole, his arms, some little warmth he found.
1:750 The tree still panted in th' unfinish'd part:
1:751 Not wholly vegetive, and heav'd her heart.
1:752 He fixt his lips upon the trembling rind;
1:753 It swerv'd aside, and his embrace declin'd.
1:754 To whom the God, Because thou canst not be
1:755 My mistress, I espouse thee for my tree:
1:756 Be thou the prize of honour, and renown;
1:757 The deathless poet, and the poem, crown.
1:758 Thou shalt the Roman festivals adorn,
1:759 And, after poets, be by victors worn.
1:760 Thou shalt returning Caesar's triumph grace;
1:761 When pomps shall in a long procession pass.
1:762 Wreath'd on the posts before his palace wait;
1:763 And be the sacred guardian of the gate.
1:764 Secure from thunder, and unharm'd by Jove,
1:765 Unfading as th' immortal Pow'rs above:
1:766 And as the locks of Phoebus are unshorn,
1:767 So shall perpetual green thy boughs adorn.
1:768 The grateful tree was pleas'd with what he said;
1:769 And shook the shady honours of her head.

The Transformation of Io into a Heyfer

1:770 An ancient forest in Thessalia grows;
1:771 Which Tempe's pleasing valley does inclose:
1:772 Through this the rapid Peneus take his course;
1:773 From Pindus rolling with impetuous force;
1:774 Mists from the river's mighty fall arise:
1:775 And deadly damps inclose the cloudy skies:
1:776 Perpetual fogs are hanging o'er the wood;
1:777 And sounds of waters deaf the neighbourhood.
1:778 Deep, in a rocky cave, he makes abode
1:779 (A mansion proper for a mourning God).
1:780 Here he gives audience; issuing out decrees
1:781 To rivers, his dependant deities.
1:782 On this occasion hither they resort;
1:783 To pay their homage, and to make their court.
1:784 All doubtful, whether to congratulate
1:785 His daughter's honour, or lament her fate.
1:786 Sperchaeus, crown'd with poplar, first appears;
1:787 Then old Apidanus came crown'd with years:
1:788 Enipeus turbulent, Amphrysos tame;
1:789 And Aeas last with lagging waters came.
1:790 Then, of his kindred brooks, a num'rous throng
1:791 Condole his loss; and bring their urns along.
1:792 Not one was wanting of the wat'ry train,
1:793 That fill'd his flood, or mingled with the main:
1:794 But Inachus, who in his cave, alone,
1:795 Wept not another's losses, but his own,
1:796 For his dear Io, whether stray'd, or dead,
1:797 To him uncertain, doubtful tears he shed.
1:798 He sought her through the world; but sought in vain;
1:799 And no where finding, rather fear'd her slain.

1:800 Her, just returning from her father's brook,
1:801 Jove had beheld, with a desiring look:
1:802 And, Oh fair daughter of the flood, he said,
1:803 Worthy alone of Jove's imperial bed,
1:804 Happy whoever shall those charms possess;
1:805 The king of Gods (nor is thy lover less)
1:806 Invites thee to yon cooler shades; to shun
1:807 The scorching rays of the meridian sun.
1:808 Nor shalt thou tempt the dangers of the grove
1:809 Alone, without a guide; thy guide is Jove.
1:810 No puny Pow'r, but he whose high command
1:811 Is unconfin'd, who rules the seas and land;
1:812 And tempers thunder in his awful hand,
1:813 Oh fly not: for she fled from his embrace
1:814 O'er Lerna's pastures: he pursu'd the chace
1:815 Along the shades of the Lyrcaean plain;
1:816 At length the God, who never asks in vain,
1:817 Involv'd with vapours, imitating night,
1:818 Both Air, and Earth; and then suppress'd her flight,
1:819 And mingling force with love, enjoy'd the full delight.
1:820 Mean-time the jealous Juno, from on high,
1:821 Survey'd the fruitful fields of Arcady;
1:822 And wonder'd that the mist shou'd over-run
1:823 The face of day-light, and obscure the sun.
1:824 No nat'ral cause she found, from brooks, or bogs,
1:825 Or marshy lowlands, to produce the fogs;
1:826 Then round the skies she sought for Jupiter,
1:827 Her faithless husband; but no Jove was there:
1:828 Suspecting now the worst, Or I, she said,
1:829 Am much mistaken, or am much betray'd.
1:830 With fury she precipitates her flight:
1:831 Dispels the shadows of dissembled night;
1:832 And to the day restores his native light.
1:833 Th' Almighty Leacher, careful to prevent
1:834 The consequence, foreseeing her descent,
1:835 Transforms his mistress in a trice; and now
1:836 In Io's place appears a lovely cow.
1:837 So sleek her skin, so faultless was her make,
1:838 Ev'n Juno did unwilling pleasure take
1:839 To see so fair a rival of her love;
1:840 And what she was, and whence, enquir'd of Jove:
1:841 Of what fair herd, and from what pedigree?
1:842 The God, half caught, was forc'd upon a lye:
1:843 And said she sprung from Earth. She took the word,
1:844 And begg'd the beauteous heyfer of her lord.
1:845 What should he do? 'twas equal shame to Jove
1:846 Or to relinquish, or betray his love:
1:847 Yet to refuse so slight a gift, wou'd be
1:848 But more t' increase his consort's jealousie:
1:849 Thus fear, and love, by turns, his heart assail'd;
1:850 And stronger love had sure, at length, prevail'd:
1:851 But some faint hope remain'd, his jealous queen
1:852 Had not the mistress through the heyfer seen.
1:853 The cautious Goddess, of her gift possest,
1:854 Yet harbour'd anxious thoughts within her breast;
1:855 As she who knew the falshood of her Jove;
1:856 And justly fear'd some new relapse of love.
1:857 Which to prevent, and to secure her care,
1:858 To trusty Argus she commits the fair.

1:859 The head of Argus (as with stars the skies)
1:860 Was compass'd round, and wore an hundred eyes.
1:861 But two by turns their lids in slumber steep;
1:862 The rest on duty still their station keep;
1:863 Nor cou'd the total constellation sleep.
1:864 Thus, ever present, to his eyes, and mind,
1:865 His charge was still before him, tho' behind.
1:866 In fields he suffer'd her to feed by Day,
1:867 But when the setting sun to night gave way,
1:868 The captive cow he summon'd with a call;
1:869 And drove her back, and ty'd her to the stall.
1:870 On leaves of trees, and bitter herbs she fed,
1:871 Heav'n was her canopy, bare earth her bed:
1:872 So hardly lodg'd, and to digest her food,
1:873 She drank from troubled streams, defil'd with mud.
1:874 Her woeful story fain she wou'd have told,
1:875 With hands upheld, but had no hands to hold.
1:876 Her head to her ungentle keeper bow'd,
1:877 She strove to speak, she spoke not, but she low'd:
1:878 Affrighted with the noise, she look'd around,
1:879 And seem'd t' inquire the author of the sound.

1:880 Once on the banks where often she had play'd
1:881 (Her father's banks), she came, and there survey'd
1:882 Her alter'd visage, and her branching head;
1:883 And starting, from her self she wou'd have fled.
1:884 Her fellow nymphs, familiar to her eyes,
1:885 Beheld, but knew her not in this disguise.
1:886 Ev'n Inachus himself was ignorant;
1:887 And in his daughter, did his daughter want.
1:888 She follow'd where her fellows went, as she
1:889 Were still a partner of the company:
1:890 They stroak her neck; the gentle heyfer stands,
1:891 And her neck offers to their stroaking hands.
1:892 Her father gave her grass; the grass she took;
1:893 And lick'd his palms, and cast a piteous look;
1:894 And in the language of her eyes, she spoke.
1:895 She wou'd have told her name, and ask'd relief,
1:896 But wanting words, in tears she tells her grief.
1:897 Which, with her foot she makes him understand;
1:898 And prints the name of Io in the sand.

1:899 Ah wretched me! her mournful father cry'd;
1:900 She, with a sigh, to wretched me reply'd:
1:901 About her milk-white neck, his arms he threw;
1:902 And wept, and then these tender words ensue.
1:903 And art thou she, whom I have sought around
1:904 The world, and have at length so sadly found?
1:905 So found, is worse than lost: with mutual words
1:906 Thou answer'st not, no voice thy tongue affords:
1:907 But sighs are deeply drawn from out thy breast;
1:908 And speech deny'd, by lowing is express'd.
1:909 Unknowing, I prepar'd thy bridal bed;
1:910 With empty hopes of happy issue fed.
1:911 But now the husband of a herd must be
1:912 Thy mate, and bell'wing sons thy progeny.
1:913 Oh, were I mortal, death might bring relief:
1:914 But now my God-head but extends my grief:
1:915 Prolongs my woes, of which no end I see,
1:916 And makes me curse my immortality!
1:917 More had he said, but fearful of her stay,
1:918 The starry guardian drove his charge away,
1:919 To some fresh pasture; on a hilly height
1:920 He sate himself, and kept her still in sight.

The Eyes of Argus transform'd into a Peacock's Train

1:922 Now Jove no longer cou'd her suff'rings bear;
1:923 But call'd in haste his airy messenger,
1:924 The son of Maia, with severe decree
1:925 To kill the keeper, and to set her free.
1:926 With all his harness soon the God was sped,
1:927 His flying hat was fastned on his head,
1:928 Wings on his heels were hung, and in his hand
1:929 He holds the vertue of the snaky wand.
1:930 The liquid air his moving pinions wound,
1:931 And, in the moment, shoot him on the ground.
1:932 Before he came in sight, the crafty God
1:933 His wings dismiss'd, but still retain'd his rod:
1:934 That sleep-procuring wand wise Hermes took,
1:935 But made it seem to sight a sherpherd's hook.
1:936 With this, he did a herd of goats controul;
1:937 Which by the way he met, and slily stole.
1:938 Clad like a country swain, he pip'd, and sung;
1:939 And playing, drove his jolly troop along.

1:940 With pleasure, Argus the musician heeds;
1:941 But wonders much at those new vocal reeds.
1:942 And whosoe'er thou art, my friend, said he,
1:943 Up hither drive thy goats, and play by me:
1:944 This hill has browz for them, and shade for thee.
1:945 The God, who was with ease induc'd to climb,
1:946 Began discourse to pass away the time;
1:947 And still betwixt, his tuneful pipe he plies;
1:948 And watch'd his hour, to close the keeper's eyes.
1:949 With much ado, he partly kept awake;
1:950 Not suff'ring all his eyes repose to take:
1:951 And ask'd the stranger, who did reeds invent,
1:952 And whence began so rare an instrument?

The Transformation of Syrinx into Reeds

1:953 Then Hermes thus: A nymph of late there was
1:954 Whose heav'nly form her fellows did surpass.
1:955 The pride and joy of fair Arcadia's plains,
1:956 Belov'd by deities, ador'd by swains:
1:957 Syrinx her name, by Sylvans oft pursu'd,
1:958 As oft she did the lustful Gods delude:
1:959 The rural, and the woodland Pow'rs disdain'd;
1:960 With Cynthia hunted, and her rites maintain'd:
1:961 Like Phoebe clad, even Phoebe's self she seems,
1:962 So tall, so streight, such well-proportion'd limbs:
1:963 The nicest eye did no distinction know,
1:964 But that the goddess bore a golden bow:
1:965 Distinguish'd thus, the sight she cheated too.
1:966 Descending from Lycaeus, Pan admires
1:967 The matchless nymph, and burns with new desires.
1:968 A crown of pine upon his head he wore;
1:969 And thus began her pity to implore.
1:970 But e'er he thus began, she took her flight
1:971 So swift, she was already out of sight.
1:972 Nor stay'd to hear the courtship of the God;
1:973 But bent her course to Ladon's gentle flood:
1:974 There by the river stopt, and tir'd before;
1:975 Relief from water nymphs her pray'rs implore.

1:976 Now while the lustful God, with speedy pace,
1:977 Just thought to strain her in a strict embrace,
1:978 He fill'd his arms with reeds, new rising on the place.
1:979 And while he sighs, his ill success to find,
1:980 The tender canes were shaken by the wind;
1:981 And breath'd a mournful air, unheard before;
1:982 That much surprizing Pan, yet pleas'd him more.
1:983 Admiring this new musick, Thou, he said,
1:984 Who canst not be the partner of my bed,
1:985 At least shall be the confort of my mind:
1:986 And often, often to my lips be joyn'd.
1:987 He form'd the reeds, proportion'd as they are,
1:988 Unequal in their length, and wax'd with care,
1:989 They still retain the name of his ungrateful fair.

1:990 While Hermes pip'd, and sung, and told his tale,
1:991 The keeper's winking eyes began to fail,
1:992 And drowsie slumber on the lids to creep;
1:993 'Till all the watchman was at length asleep.
1:994 Then soon the God his voice, and song supprest;
1:995 And with his pow'rful rod confirm'd his rest:
1:996 Without delay his crooked faulchion drew,
1:997 And at one fatal stroke the keeper slew.
1:998 Down from the rock fell the dissever'd head,
1:999 Opening its eyes in death; and falling, bled;
1:1000 And mark'd the passage with a crimson trail:
1:1001 Thus Argus lies in pieces, cold, and pale;
1:1002 And all his hundred eyes, with all their light,
1:1003 Are clos'd at once, in one perpetual night.
1:1004 These Juno takes, that they no more may fail,
1:1005 And spreads them in her peacock's gaudy tail.

1:1006 Impatient to revenge her injur'd bed,
1:1007 She wreaks her anger on her rival's head;
1:1008 With Furies frights her from her native home;
1:1009 And drives her gadding, round the world to roam:
1:1010 Nor ceas'd her madness, and her flight, before
1:1011 She touch'd the limits of the Pharian shore.
1:1012 At length, arriving on the banks of Nile,
1:1013 Wearied with length of ways, and worn with toil,
1:1014 She laid her down; and leaning on her knees,
1:1015 Invok'd the cause of all her miseries:
1:1016 And cast her languishing regards above,
1:1017 For help from Heav'n, and her ungrateful Jove.
1:1018 She sigh'd, she wept, she low'd; 'twas all she cou'd;
1:1019 And with unkindness seem'd to tax the God.
1:1020 Last, with an humble pray'r, she beg'd repose,
1:1021 Or death at least, to finish all her woes.
1:1022 Jove heard her vows, and with a flatt'ring look,
1:1023 In her behalf to jealous Juno spoke,
1:1024 He cast his arms about her neck, and said,
1:1025 Dame, rest secure; no more thy nuptial bed
1:1026 This nymph shall violate; by Styx I swear,
1:1027 And every oath that binds the Thunderer.
1:1028 The Goddess was appeas'd; and at the word
1:1029 Was Io to her former shape restor'd.
1:1030 The rugged hair began to fall away;
1:1031 The sweetness of her eyes did only stay,
1:1032 Tho' not so large; her crooked horns decrease;
1:1033 The wideness of her jaws and nostrils cease:
1:1034 Her hoofs to hands return, in little space:
1:1035 The five long taper fingers take their place,
1:1036 And nothing of the heyfer now is seen,
1:1037 Beside the native whiteness of the skin.
1:1038 Erected on her feet she walks again:
1:1039 And two the duty of the four sustain.
1:1040 She tries her tongue; her silence softly breaks,
1:1041 And fears her former lowings when she speaks:
1:1042 A Goddess now, through all th' Aegyptian State:
1:1043 And serv'd by priests, who in white linnen wait.

1:1044 Her son was Epaphus, at length believ'd
1:1045 The son of Jove, and as a God receiv'd;
1:1046 With sacrifice ador'd, and publick pray'rs,
1:1047 He common temples with his mother shares.
1:1048 Equal in years, and rival in renown
1:1049 With Epaphus, the youthful Phaeton
1:1050 Like honour claims; and boasts his sire the sun.
1:1051 His haughty looks, and his assuming air,
1:1052 The son of Isis could no longer bear:
1:1053 Thou tak'st thy mother's word too far, said he,
1:1054 And hast usurp'd thy boasted pedigree.
1:1055 Go, base pretender to a borrow'd name.
1:1056 Thus tax'd, he blush'd with anger, and with shame;
1:1057 But shame repress'd his rage: the daunted youth
1:1058 Soon seeks his mother, and enquires the truth:
1:1059 Mother, said he, this infamy was thrown
1:1060 By Epaphus on you, and me your son.
1:1061 He spoke in publick, told it to my face;
1:1062 Nor durst I vindicate the dire disgrace:
1:1063 Even I, the bold, the sensible of wrong,
1:1064 Restrain'd by shame, was forc'd to hold my tongue.
1:1065 To hear an open slander, is a curse:
1:1066 But not to find an answer, is a worse.
1:1067 If I am Heav'n-begot, assert your son
1:1068 By some sure sign; and make my father known,
1:1069 To right my honour, and redeem your own.
1:1070 He said, and saying cast his arms about
1:1071 Her neck, and beg'd her to resolve the doubt.

1:1072 'Tis hard to judge if Clymene were mov'd
1:1073 More by his pray'r, whom she so dearly lov'd,
1:1074 Or more with fury fir'd, to find her name
1:1075 Traduc'd, and made the sport of common fame.
1:1076 She stretch'd her arms to Heav'n, and fix'd her eyes
1:1077 On that fair planet that adorns the skies;
1:1078 Now by those beams, said she, whose holy fires
1:1079 Consume my breast, and kindle my desires;
1:1080 By him, who sees us both, and clears our sight,
1:1081 By him, the publick minister of light,
1:1082 I swear that Sun begot thee; if I lye,
1:1083 Let him his chearful influence deny:
1:1084 Let him no more this perjur'd creature see;
1:1085 And shine on all the world but only me.
1:1086 If still you doubt your mother's innocence,
1:1087 His eastern mansion is not far from hence;
1:1088 With little pains you to his Leve go,
1:1089 And from himself your parentage may know.
1:1090 With joy th' ambitious youth his mother heard,
1:1091 And eager, for the journey soon prepar'd.
1:1092 He longs the world beneath him to survey;
1:1093 To guide the chariot; and to give the day:
1:1094 From Meroe's burning sands he bends his course,
1:1095 Nor less in India feels his father's force:
1:1096 His travel urging, till he came in sight;
1:1097 And saw the palace by the purple light.


The Story of Phaeton

2:1 The Sun's bright palace, on high columns rais'd,
2:2 With burnish'd gold and flaming jewels blaz'd;
2:3 The folding gates diffus'd a silver light,
2:4 And with a milder gleam refresh'd the sight;
2:5 Of polish'd iv'ry was the cov'ring wrought:
2:6 The matter vied not with the sculptor's thought,
2:7 For in the portal was display'd on high
2:8 (The work of Vulcan) a fictitious sky;
2:9 A waving sea th' inferiour Earth embrac'd,
2:10 And Gods and Goddesses the waters grac'd.
2:11 Aegeon here a mighty whale bestrode;
2:12 Triton, and Proteus (the deceiving God)
2:13 With Doris here were carv'd, and all her train,
2:14 Some loosely swimming in the figur'd main,
2:15 While some on rocks their dropping hair divide,
2:16 And some on fishes through the waters glide:
2:17 Tho' various features did the sisters grace,
2:18 A sister's likeness was in ev'ry face.
2:19 On Earth a diff'rent landskip courts the eyes,
2:20 Men, towns, and beasts in distant prospects rise,
2:21 And nymphs, and streams, and woods, and rural deities.
2:22 O'er all, the Heav'n's refulgent image shines;
2:23 On either gate were six engraven signs.

2:24 Here Phaeton still gaining on th' ascent,
2:25 To his suspected father's palace went,
2:26 'Till pressing forward through the bright abode,
2:27 He saw at distance the illustrious God:
2:28 He saw at distance, or the dazling light
2:29 Had flash'd too strongly on his aking sight.

2:30 The God sits high, exalted on a throne
2:31 Of blazing gems, with purple garments on;
2:32 The Hours, in order rang'd on either hand,
2:33 And Days, and Months, and Years, and Ages stand.
2:34 Here Spring appears with flow'ry chaplets bound;
2:35 Here Summer in her wheaten garland crown'd;
2:36 Here Autumn the rich trodden grapes besmear;
2:37 And hoary Winter shivers in the reer.

2:38 Phoebus beheld the youth from off his throne;
2:39 That eye, which looks on all, was fix'd in one.
2:40 He saw the boy's confusion in his face,
2:41 Surpriz'd at all the wonders of the place;
2:42 And cries aloud, "What wants my son? for know
2:43 My son thou art, and I must call thee so."
2:44 "Light of the world," the trembling youth replies,
2:45 "Illustrious parent! since you don't despise
2:46 The parent's name, some certain token give,
2:47 That I may Clymene's proud boast believe,
2:48 Nor longer under false reproaches grieve."

2:49 The tender sire was touch'd with what he said,
2:50 And flung the blaze of glories from his head,
2:51 And bid the youth advance: "My son," said he,
2:52 "Come to thy father's arms! for Clymene
2:53 Has told thee true; a parent's name I own,
2:54 And deem thee worthy to be called my son.
2:55 As a sure proof, make some request, and I,
2:56 Whate'er it be, with that request comply;
2:57 By Styx I swear, whose waves are hid in night,
2:58 And roul impervious to my piercing sight."
2:59 The youth transported, asks, without delay,
2:60 To guide the sun's bright chariot for a day.

2:61 The God repented of the oath he took,
2:62 For anguish thrice his radiant head he shook;
2:63 "My son," says he, "some other proof require,
2:64 Rash was my promise, rash is thy desire.
2:65 I'd fain deny this wish, which thou hast made,
2:66 Or, what I can't deny, wou'd fain disswade.
2:67 Too vast and hazardous the task appears,
2:68 Nor suited to thy strength, nor to thy years.
2:69 Thy lot is mortal, but thy wishes fly
2:70 Beyond the province of mortality:
2:71 There is not one of all the Gods that dares
2:72 (However skill'd in other great affairs)
2:73 To mount the burning axle-tree, but I;
2:74 Not Jove himself, the ruler of the sky,
2:75 That hurles the three-fork'd thunder from above,
2:76 Dares try his strength: yet who so strong as Jove?
2:77 The steeds climb up the first ascent with pain,
2:78 And when the middle firmament they gain,
2:79 If downward from the Heav'ns my head I bow,
2:80 And see the Earth and Ocean hang below,
2:81 Ev'n I am seiz'd with horror and affright,
2:82 And my own heart misgives me at the sight.
2:83 A mighty downfal steeps the ev'ning stage,
2:84 And steddy reins must curb the horses' rage.
2:85 Tethys herself has fear'd to see me driv'n
2:86 Down headlong from the precipice of Heav'n.
2:87 Besides, consider what impetuous force
2:88 Turns stars and planets in a diff'rent course.
2:89 I steer against their motions; nor am I
2:90 Born back by all the current of the sky.
2:91 But how cou'd you resist the orbs that roul
2:92 In adverse whirls, and stem the rapid pole?
2:93 But you perhaps may hope for pleasing woods,
2:94 And stately dooms, and cities fill'd with Gods;
2:95 While through a thousand snares your progress lies,
2:96 Where forms of starry monsters stock the skies:
2:97 For, shou'd you hit the doubtful way aright,
2:98 The bull with stooping horns stands opposite;
2:99 Next him the bright Haemonian bow is strung,
2:100 And next, the lion's grinning visage hung:
2:101 The scorpion's claws, here clasp a wide extent;
2:102 And here the crab's in lesser clasps are bent.
2:103 Nor wou'd you find it easie to compose
2:104 The mettled steeds, when from their nostrils flows
2:105 The scorching fire, that in their entrails glows.
2:106 Ev'n I their head-strong fury scarce restrain,
2:107 When they grow warm and restif to the rein.
2:108 Let not my son a fatal gift require,
2:109 But, O! in time, recall your rash desire;
2:110 You ask a gift that may your parent tell,
2:111 Let these my fears your parentage reveal;
2:112 And learn a father from a father's care:
2:113 Look on my face; or if my heart lay bare,
2:114 Cou'd you but look, you'd read the father there.
2:115 Chuse out a gift from seas, or Earth, or skies,
2:116 For open to your wish all Nature lies,
2:117 Only decline this one unequal task,
2:118 For 'tis a mischief, not a gift, you ask.
2:119 You ask a real mischief, Phaeton:
2:120 Nay hang not thus about my neck, my son:
2:121 I grant your wish, and Styx has heard my voice,
2:122 Chuse what you will, but make a wiser choice."

2:123 Thus did the God th' unwary youth advise;
2:124 But he still longs to travel through the skies.
2:125 When the fond father (for in vain he pleads)
2:126 At length to the Vulcanian Chariot leads.
2:127 A golden axle did the work uphold,
2:128 Gold was the beam, the wheels were orb'd with gold.
2:129 The spokes in rows of silver pleas'd the sight,
2:130 The seat with party-colour'd gems was bright;
2:131 Apollo shin'd amid the glare of light.
2:132 The youth with secret joy the work surveys,
2:133 When now the moon disclos'd her purple rays;
2:134 The stars were fled, for Lucifer had chased
2:135 The stars away, and fled himself at last.
2:136 Soon as the father saw the rosy morn,
2:137 And the moon shining with a blunter horn,
2:138 He bid the nimble Hours, without delay,
2:139 Bring forth the steeds; the nimble Hours obey:
2:140 From their full racks the gen'rous steeds retire,
2:141 Dropping ambrosial foams, and snorting fire.
2:142 Still anxious for his son, the God of day,
2:143 To make him proof against the burning ray,
2:144 His temples with celestial ointment wet,
2:145 Of sov'reign virtue to repel the heat;
2:146 Then fix'd the beamy circle on his head,
2:147 And fetch'd a deep foreboding sigh, and said,
2:148 "Take this at least, this last advice, my son,
2:149 Keep a stiff rein, and move but gently on:
2:150 The coursers of themselves will run too fast,
2:151 Your art must be to moderate their haste.
2:152 Drive 'em not on directly through the skies,
2:153 But where the Zodiac's winding circle lies,
2:154 Along the midmost Zone; but sally forth
2:155 Nor to the distant south, nor stormy north.
2:156 The horses' hoofs a beaten track will show,
2:157 But neither mount too high, nor sink too low.
2:158 That no new fires, or Heav'n or Earth infest;
2:159 Keep the mid way, the middle way is best.
2:160 Nor, where in radiant folds the serpent twines,
2:161 Direct your course, nor where the altar shines.
2:162 Shun both extreams; the rest let Fortune guide,
2:163 And better for thee than thy self provide!
2:164 See, while I speak, the shades disperse away,
2:165 Aurora gives the promise of a day;
2:166 I'm call'd, nor can I make a longer stay.
2:167 Snatch up the reins; or still th' attempt forsake,
2:168 And not my chariot, but my counsel, take,
2:169 While yet securely on the Earth you stand;
2:170 Nor touch the horses with too rash a hand.
2:171 Let me alone to light the world, while you
2:172 Enjoy those beams which you may safely view."
2:173 He spoke in vain; the youth with active heat
2:174 And sprightly vigour vaults into the seat;
2:175 And joys to hold the reins, and fondly gives
2:176 Those thanks his father with remorse receives.

2:177 Mean-while the restless horses neigh'd aloud,
2:178 Breathing out fire, and pawing where they stood.
2:179 Tethys, not knowing what had past, gave way,
2:180 And all the waste of Heav'n before 'em lay.
2:181 They spring together out, and swiftly bear
2:182 The flying youth thro' clouds and yielding air;
2:183 With wingy speed outstrip the eastern wind,
2:184 And leave the breezes of the morn behind.
2:185 The youth was light, nor cou'd he fill the seat,
2:186 Or poise the chariot with its wonted weight:
2:187 But as at sea th' unballass'd vessel rides,
2:188 Cast to and fro, the sport of winds and tides;
2:189 So in the bounding chariot toss'd on high,
2:190 The youth is hurry'd headlong through the sky.
2:191 Soon as the steeds perceive it, they forsake
2:192 Their stated course, and leave the beaten track.
2:193 The youth was in a maze, nor did he know
2:194 Which way to turn the reins, or where to go;
2:195 Nor wou'd the horses, had he known, obey.
2:196 Then the sev'n stars first felt Apollo's ray,
2:197 And wish'd to dip in the forbidden sea.
2:198 The folded serpent next the frozen pole,
2:199 Stiff and benum'd before, began to rowle,
2:200 And raged with inward heat, and threaten'd war,
2:201 And shot a redder light from ev'ry star;
2:202 Nay, and 'tis said Bootes too, that fain
2:203 Thou woud'st have fled, tho' cumber'd with thy wane.

2:204 Th' unhappy youth then, bending down his head,
2:205 Saw Earth and Ocean far beneath him spread.
2:206 His colour chang'd, he startled at the sight,
2:207 And his eyes darken'd by too great a light.
2:208 Now cou'd he wish the fiery steeds untry'd,
2:209 His birth obscure, and his request deny'd:
2:210 Now wou'd he Merops for his father own,
2:211 And quit his boasted kindred to the sun.

2:212 So fares the pilot, when his ship is tost
2:213 In troubled seas, and all its steerage lost,
2:214 He gives her to the winds, and in despair
2:215 Seeks his last refuge in the Gods and pray'r.

2:216 What cou'd he do? his eyes, if backward cast,
2:217 Find a long path he had already past;
2:218 If forward, still a longer path they find:
2:219 Both he compares, and measures in his mind;
2:220 And sometimes casts an eye upon the east,
2:221 And sometimes looks on the forbidden west,
2:222 The horses' names he knew not in the fright,
2:223 Nor wou'd he loose the reins, nor cou'd he hold 'em right.

2:224 Now all the horrors of the Heav'ns he spies,
2:225 And monstrous shadows of prodigious size,
2:226 That, deck'd with stars, lye scatter'd o'er the skies.
2:227 There is a place above, where Scorpio bent
2:228 In tail and arms surrounds a vast extent;
2:229 In a wide circuit of the Heav'ns he shines,
2:230 And fills the space of two coelestial signs.
2:231 Soon as the youth beheld him vex'd with heat
2:232 Brandish his sting, and in his poison sweat,
2:233 Half dead with sudden fear he dropt the reins;
2:234 The horses felt 'em loose upon their mains,
2:235 And, flying out through all the plains above,
2:236 Ran uncontroul'd where-e're their fury drove;
2:237 Rush'd on the stars, and through a pathless way
2:238 Of unknown regions hurry'd on the day.
2:239 And now above, and now below they flew,
2:240 And near the Earth the burning chariot drew.

2:241 The clouds disperse in fumes, the wond'ring Moon
2:242 Beholds her brother's steeds beneath her own;
2:243 The highlands smoak, cleft by the piercing rays,
2:244 Or, clad with woods, in their own fewel blaze.
2:245 Next o'er the plains, where ripen'd harvests grow,
2:246 The running conflagration spreads below.
2:247 But these are trivial ills: whole cities burn,
2:248 And peopled kingdoms into ashes turn.

2:249 The mountains kindle as the car draws near,
2:250 Athos and Tmolus red with fires appear;
2:251 Oeagrian Haemus (then a single name)
2:252 And virgin Helicon increase the flame;
2:253 Taurus and Oete glare amid the sky,
2:254 And Ida, spight of all her fountains, dry.
2:255 Eryx and Othrys, and Cithaeron, glow,
2:256 And Rhodope, no longer cloath'd in snow;
2:257 High Pindus, Mimas, and Parnassus, sweat,
2:258 And Aetna rages with redoubled heat.
2:259 Ev'n Scythia, through her hoary regions warm'd,
2:260 In vain with all her native frost was arm'd.
2:261 Cover'd with flames the tow'ring Appennine,
2:262 And Caucasus, and proud Olympus, shine;
2:263 And, where the long-extended Alpes aspire,
2:264 Now stands a huge continu'd range of fire.

2:265 Th' astonisht youth, where-e'er his eyes cou'd turn,
2:266 Beheld the universe around him burn:
2:267 The world was in a blaze; nor cou'd he bear
2:268 The sultry vapours and the scorching air,
2:269 Which from below, as from a furnace, flow'd;
2:270 And now the axle-tree beneath him glow'd:
2:271 Lost in the whirling clouds that round him broke,
2:272 And white with ashes, hov'ring in the smoke.
2:273 He flew where-e'er the horses drove, nor knew
2:274 Whither the horses drove, or where he flew.

2:275 'Twas then, they say, the swarthy Moor begun
2:276 To change his hue, and blacken in the sun.
2:277 Then Libya first, of all her moisture drain'd,
2:278 Became a barren waste, a wild of sand.
2:279 The water-nymphs lament their empty urns,
2:280 Boeotia, robb's of silve Dirce, mourns,
2:281 Corinth Pyrene's wasted spring bewails,
2:282 And Argos grieves whilst Amymone fails.

2:283 The floods are drain'd from ev'ry distant coast,
2:284 Ev'n Tanais, tho' fix'd in ice, was lost.
2:285 Enrag'd Caicus and Lycormas roar,
2:286 And Xanthus, fated to be burnt once more.
2:287 The fam'd Maeander, that unweary'd strays
2:288 Through mazy windings, smoaks in ev'ry maze.
2:289 From his lov'd Babylon Euphrates flies;
2:290 The big-swoln Ganges and the Danube rise
2:291 In thick'ning fumes, and darken half the skies.
2:292 In flames Ismenos and the Phasis roul'd,
2:293 And Tagus floating in his melted gold.
2:294 The swans, that on Cayster often try'd
2:295 Their tuneful songs, now sung their last and dy'd.
2:296 The frighted Nile ran off, and under ground
2:297 Conceal'd his head, nor can it yet be found:
2:298 His sev'n divided currents all are dry,
2:299 And where they row'ld, sev'n gaping trenches lye:
2:300 No more the Rhine or Rhone their course maintain,
2:301 Nor Tiber, of his promis'd empire vain.

2:302 The ground, deep-cleft, admits the dazling ray,
2:303 And startles Pluto with the flash of day.
2:304 The seas shrink in, and to the sight disclose
2:305 Wide naked plains, where once their billows rose;
2:306 Their rocks are all discover'd, and increase
2:307 The number of the scatter'd Cyclades.
2:308 The fish in sholes about the bottom creep,
2:309 Nor longer dares the crooked dolphin leap
2:310 Gasping for breath, th' unshapen Phocae die,
2:311 And on the boiling wave extended lye.
2:312 Nereus, and Doris with her virgin train,
2:313 Seek out the last recesses of the main;
2:314 Beneath unfathomable depths they faint,
2:315 And secret in their gloomy caverns pant.
2:316 Stern Neptune thrice above the waves upheld
2:317 His face, and thrice was by the flames repell'd.

2:318 The Earth at length, on ev'ry side embrac'd
2:319 With scalding seas that floated round her waste,
2:320 When now she felt the springs and rivers come,
2:321 And crowd within the hollow of her womb,
2:322 Up-lifted to the Heav'ns her blasted head,
2:323 And clapt her hand upon her brows, and said
2:324 (But first, impatient of the sultry heat,
2:325 Sunk deeper down, and sought a cooler seat):
2:326 "If you, great king of Gods, my death approve,
2:327 And I deserve it, let me die by Jove;
2:328 If I must perish by the force of fire,
2:329 Let me transfix'd with thunder-bolts expire.
2:330 See, whilst I speak, my breath the vapours choak
2:331 (For now her face lay wrapt in clouds of smoak),
2:332 See my singe'd hair, behold my faded eye,
2:333 And wither'd face, where heaps of cinders lye!
2:334 And does the plow for this my body tear?
2:335 This the reward for all the fruits I bear,
2:336 Tortur'd with rakes, and harrass'd all the year?
2:337 That herbs for cattle daily I renew,
2:338 And food for Man, and frankincense for you?
2:339 But grant me guilty; what has Neptune done?
2:340 Why are his waters boiling in the sun?
2:341 The wavy empire, which by lot was giv'n,
2:342 Why does it waste, and further shrink from Heav'n?
2:343 If I nor he your pity can provoke,
2:344 See your own Heav'ns, the Heav'ns begin to smoke!
2:345 Shou'd once the sparkles catch those bright abodes,
2:346 Destruction seizes on the Heav'ns and Gods;
2:347 Atlas becomes unequal to his freight,
2:348 And almost faints beneath the glowing weight.
2:349 If Heav'n, and Earth, and sea, together burn,
2:350 All must again into their chaos turn.
2:351 Apply some speedy cure, prevent our fate,
2:352 And succour Nature, ere it be too late."
2:353 She cea'sd, for choak'd with vapours round her spread,
2:354 Down to the deepest shades she sunk her head.

2:355 Jove call'd to witness ev'ry Pow'r above,
2:356 And ev'n the God, whose son the chariot drove,
2:357 That what he acts he is compell'd to do,
2:358 Or universal ruin must ensue.
2:359 Strait he ascends the high aetherial throne,
2:360 From whence he us'd to dart his thunder down,
2:361 From whence his show'rs and storms he us'd to pour,
2:362 But now cou'd meet with neither storm nor show'r.
2:363 Then, aiming at the youth, with lifted hand,
2:364 Full at his head he hurl'd the forky brand,
2:365 In dreadful thund'rings. Thus th' almighty sire
2:366 Suppress'd the raging of the fires with fire.

2:367 At once from life and from the chariot driv'n,
2:368 Th' ambitious boy fell thunder-struck from Heav'n.
2:369 The horses started with a sudden bound,
2:370 And flung the reins and chariot to the ground:
2:371 The studded harness from their necks they broke,
2:372 Here fell a wheel, and here a silver spoke,
2:373 Here were the beam and axle torn away;
2:374 And, scatter'd o'er the Earth, the shining fragments lay.
2:375 The breathless Phaeton, with flaming hair,
2:376 Shot from the chariot, like a falling star,
2:377 That in a summer's ev'ning from the top
2:378 Of Heav'n drops down, or seems at least to drop;
2:379 'Till on the Po his blasted corps was hurl'd,
2:380 Far from his country, in the western world.

Phaeton's Sisters transform'd into Trees

2:381 The Latian nymphs came round him, and, amaz'd,
2:382 On the dead youth, transfix'd with thunder, gaz'd;
2:383 And, whilst yet smoaking from the bolt he lay,
2:384 His shatter'd body to a tomb convey,
2:385 And o'er the tomb an epitaph devise:
2:386 "Here he, who drove the sun's bright chariot, lies;
2:387 His father's fiery steeds he cou'd not guide,
2:388 But in the glorious enterprize he dy'd."

2:389 Apollo hid his face, and pin'd for grief,
2:390 And, if the story may deserve belief,
2:391 The space of one whole day is said to run,
2:392 From morn to wonted ev'n, without a sun:
2:393 The burning ruins, with a fainter ray,
2:394 Supply the sun, and counterfeit a day,
2:395 A day, that still did Nature's face disclose:
2:396 This comfort from the mighty mischief rose.

2:397 But Clymene, enrag'd with grief, laments,
2:398 And as her grief inspires, her passion vents:
2:399 Wild for her son, and frantick in her woes,
2:400 With hair dishevel'd round the world she goes,
2:401 To seek where-e'er his body might be cast;
2:402 'Till, on the borders of the Po, at last
2:403 The name inscrib'd on the new tomb appears.
2:404 The dear dear name she bathes in flowing tears,
2:405 Hangs o'er the tomb, unable to depart,
2:406 And hugs the marble to her throbbing heart.

2:407 Her daughters too lament, and sigh, and mourn
2:408 (A fruitless tribute to their brother's urn),
2:409 And beat their naked bosoms, and complain,
2:410 And call aloud for Phaeton in vain:
2:411 All the long night their mournful watch they keep,
2:412 And all the day stand round the tomb, and weep.

2:413 Four times, revolving, the full moon return'd;
2:414 So long the mother and the daughters mourn'd:
2:415 When now the eldest, Phaethusa, strove
2:416 To rest her weary limbs, but could not move;
2:417 Lampetia wou'd have help'd her, but she found
2:418 Her self with-held, and rooted to the ground:
2:419 A third in wild affliction, as she grieves,
2:420 Wou'd rend her hair, but fills her hands with leaves;
2:421 One sees her thighs transform'd, another views
2:422 Her arms shot out, and branching into boughs.
2:423 And now their legs, and breasts, and bodies stood
2:424 Crusted with bark, and hard'ning into wood;
2:425 But still above were female heads display'd,
2:426 And mouths, that call'd the mother to their aid.
2:427 What cou'd, alas! the weeping mother do?
2:428 From this to that with eager haste she flew,
2:429 And kiss'd her sprouting daughters as they grew.
2:430 She tears the bark that to each body cleaves,
2:431 And from their verdant fingers strips the leaves:
2:432 The blood came trickling, where she tore away
2:433 The leaves and bark: the maids were heard to say,
2:434 "Forbear, mistaken parent, oh! forbear;
2:435 A wounded daughter in each tree you tear;
2:436 Farewell for ever." Here the bark encreas'd,
2:437 Clos'd on their faces, and their words suppress'd.

2:438 The new-made trees in tears of amber run,
2:439 Which, harden'd into value by the sun,
2:440 Distill for ever on the streams below:
2:441 The limpid streams their radiant treasure show,
2:442 Mixt in the sand; whence the rich drops convey'd
2:443 Shine in the dress of the bright Latian maid.

The Transformation of Cycnus into a Swan

2:444 Cycnus beheld the nymphs transform'd, ally'd
2:445 To their dead brother on the mortal side,
2:446 In friendship and affection nearer bound;
2:447 He left the cities and the realms he own'd,
2:448 Thro' pathless fields and lonely shores to range,
2:449 And woods made thicker by the sisters' change.
2:450 Whilst here, within the dismal gloom, alone,
2:451 The melancholy monarch made his moan,
2:452 His voice was lessen'd, as he try'd to speak,
2:453 And issu'd through a long-extended neck;
2:454 His hair transforms to down, his fingers meet
2:455 In skinny films, and shape his oary feet;
2:456 From both his sides the wings and feathers break;
2:457 And from his mouth proceeds a blunted beak:
2:458 All Cycnus now into a Swan was turn'd,
2:459 Who, still remembring how his kinsman burn'd,
2:460 To solitary pools and lakes retires,
2:461 And loves the waters as oppos'd to fires.

2:462 Mean-while Apollo in a gloomy shade
2:463 (The native lustre of his brows decay'd)
2:464 Indulging sorrow, sickens at the sight
2:465 Of his own sun-shine, and abhors the light;
2:466 The hidden griefs, that in his bosom rise,
2:467 Sadden his looks and over-cast his eyes,
2:468 As when some dusky orb obstructs his ray,
2:469 And sullies in a dim eclipse the day.

2:470 Now secretly with inward griefs he pin'd,
2:471 Now warm resentments to his griefs he joyn'd,
2:472 And now renounc'd his office to mankind.
2:473 "Ere since the birth of time," said he, "I've born
2:474 A long ungrateful toil, without return;
2:475 Let now some other manage, if he dare,
2:476 The fiery steeds, and mount the burning carr;
2:477 Or, if none else, let Jove his fortune try,
2:478 And learn to lay his murd'ring thunder by;
2:479 Then will he own, perhaps, but own too late,
2:480 My son deserv'd not so severe a fate."

2:481 The Gods stand round him, as he mourns, and pray
2:482 He would resume the conduct of the day,
2:483 Nor let the world be lost in endless night:
2:484 Jove too himself descending from his height,
2:485 Excuses what had happen'd, and intreats,
2:486 Majestically mixing pray'rs and threats.
2:487 Prevail'd upon at length, again he took
2:488 The harness'd steeds, that still with horror shook,
2:489 And plies 'em with the lash, and whips 'em on,
2:490 And, as he whips, upbraids 'em with his son.

The Story of Calisto

2:491 The day was settled in its course; and Jove
2:492 Walk'd the wide circuit of the Heavens above,
2:493 To search if any cracks or flaws were made;
2:494 But all was safe: the Earth he then survey'd,
2:495 And cast an eye on ev'ry diff'rent coast,
2:496 And ev'ry land; but on Arcadia most.
2:497 Her fields he cloath'd, and chear'd her blasted face
2:498 With running fountains, and with springing grass.
2:499 No tracks of Heav'n's destructive fire remain,
2:500 The fields and woods revive, and Nature smiles again.

2:501 But as the God walk'd to and fro the Earth,
2:502 And rais'd the plants, and gave the spring its birth,
2:503 By chance a fair Arcadian nymph he view'd,
2:504 And felt the lovely charmer in his blood.
2:505 The nymph nor spun, nor dress'd with artful pride,
2:506 Her vest was gather'd up, her hair was ty'd;
2:507 Now in her hand a slender spear she bore,
2:508 Now a light quiver on her shoulders wore;
2:509 To chaste Diana from her youth inclin'd,
2:510 The sprightly warriors of the wood she joyn'd.
2:511 Diana too the gentle huntress lov'd,
2:512 Nor was there one of all the nymphs that rov'd
2:513 O'er Maenalus, amid the maiden throng,
2:514 More favour'd once; but favour lasts not long.

2:515 The sun now shone in all its strength, and drove
2:516 The heated virgin panting to a grove;
2:517 The grove around a grateful shadow cast:
2:518 She dropt her arrows, and her bow unbrac'd;
2:519 She flung her self on the cool grassy bed;
2:520 And on the painted quiver rais'd her head,
2:521 Jove saw the charming huntress unprepar'd,
2:522 Stretch'd on the verdant turf, without a guard.
2:523 "Here I am safe," he cries, "from Juno's eye;
2:524 Or shou'd my jealous queen the theft descry,
2:525 Yet wou'd I venture on a theft like this,
2:526 And stand her rage for such, for such a bliss!"
2:527 Diana's shape and habit strait he took,
2:528 Soften'd his brows, and smooth'd his awful look,
2:529 And mildly in a female accent spoke.
2:530 "How fares my girl? How went the morning chase?"
2:531 To whom the virgin, starting from the grass,
2:532 "All hail, bright deity, whom I prefer
2:533 To Jove himself, tho' Jove himself were here."
2:534 The God was nearer than she thought, and heard
2:535 Well-pleas'd himself before himself preferr'd.

2:536 He then salutes her with a warm embrace;
2:537 And, e're she half had told the morning chase,
2:538 With love enflam'd, and eager on his bliss,
2:539 Smother'd her words, and stop'd her with a kiss;
2:540 His kisses with unwonted ardour glow'd,
2:541 Nor cou'd Diana's shape conceal the God.
2:542 The virgin did whate'er a virgin cou'd
2:543 (Sure Juno must have pardon'd, had she view'd);
2:544 With all her might against his force she strove;
2:545 But how can mortal maids contend with Jove?

2:546 Possest at length of what his heart desir'd,
2:547 Back to his Heav'ns, th' exulting God retir'd.
2:548 The lovely huntress, rising from the grass,
2:549 With down-cast eyes, and with a blushing face,
2:550 By shame confounded, and by fear dismay'd,
2:551 Flew from the covert of the guilty shade,
2:552 And almost, in the tumult of her mind,
2:553 Left her forgotten bow and shafts behind.

2:554 But now Diana, with a sprightly train
2:555 Of quiver'd virgins, bounding o'er the plain,
2:556 Call'd to the nymph; the nymph began to fear
2:557 A second fraud, a Jove disguis'd in her;
2:558 But, when she saw the sister nymphs, suppress'd
2:559 Her rising fears, and mingled with the rest.

2:560 How in the look does conscious guilt appear!
2:561 Slowly she mov'd, and loiter'd in the rear;
2:562 Nor lightly tripp'd, nor by the Goddess ran,
2:563 As once she us'd, the foremost of the train.
2:564 Her looks were flush'd, and sullen was her mien,
2:565 That sure the virgin Goddess (had she been
2:566 Aught but a virgin) must the guilt have seen.
2:567 'Tis said the nymphs saw all, and guess'd aright:
2:568 And now the moon had nine times lost her light,
2:569 When Dian, fainting in the mid-day beams,
2:570 Found a cool covert, and refreshing streams
2:571 That in soft murmurs through the forest flow'd,
2:572 And a smooth bed of shining gravel show'd.

2:573 A covert so obscure, and streams so clear,
2:574 The Goddess prais'd: "And now no spies are near
2:575 Let's strip, my gentle maids, and wash," she cries.
2:576 Pleas'd with the motion, every maid complies;
2:577 Only the blushing huntress stood confus'd,
2:578 And form'd delays, and her delays excus'd;
2:579 In vain excus'd: her fellows round her press'd,
2:580 And the reluctant nymph by force undress'd,
2:581 The naked huntress all her shame reveal'd,
2:582 In vain her hands the pregnant womb conceal'd;
2:583 "Begone!" the Goddess cries with stern disdain,
2:584 "Begone! nor dare the hallow'd stream to stain":
2:585 She fled, for ever banish'd from the train.

2:586 This Juno heard, who long had watch'd her time
2:587 To punish the detested rival's crime;
2:588 The time was come; for, to enrage her more,
2:589 A lovely boy the teeming rival bore.

2:590 The Goddess cast a furious look, and cry'd,
2:591 "It is enough! I'm fully satisfy'd!
2:592 This boy shall stand a living mark, to prove
2:593 My husband's baseness and the strumpet's love:
2:594 But vengeance shall awake: those guilty charms
2:595 That drew the Thunderer from Juno's arms,
2:596 No longer shall their wonted force retain,
2:597 Nor please the God, nor make the mortal vain."

2:598 This said, her hand within her hair she wound,
2:599 Swung her to Earth, and drag'd her on the ground:
2:600 The prostrate wretch lifts up her arms in pray'r;
2:601 Her arms grow shaggy, and deform'd with hair,
2:602 Her nails are sharpen'd into pointed claws,
2:603 Her hands bear half her weight, and turn to paws;
2:604 Her lips, that once cou'd tempt a God, begin
2:605 To grow distorted in an ugly grin.
2:606 And, lest the supplicating brute might reach
2:607 The ears of Jove, she was depriv'd of speech:
2:608 Her surly voice thro' a hoarse passage came
2:609 In savage sounds: her mind was still the same,
2:610 The furry monster fix'd her eyes above,
2:611 And heav'd her new unwieldy paws to Jove,
2:612 And beg'd his aid with inward groans; and tho'
2:613 She could not call him false, she thought him so.

2:614 How did she fear to lodge in woods alone,
2:615 And haunt the fields and meadows, once her own!
2:616 How often wou'd the deep-mouth'd dogs pursue,
2:617 Whilst from her hounds the frighted huntress flew!
2:618 How did she fear her fellow-brutes, and shun
2:619 The shaggy bear, tho' now her self was one!
2:620 How from the sight of rugged wolves retire,
2:621 Although the grim Lycaon was her sire!

2:622 But now her son had fifteen summers told,
2:623 Fierce at the chase, and in the forest bold;
2:624 When, as he beat the woods in quest of prey,
2:625 He chanc'd to rouze his mother where she lay.
2:626 She knew her son, and kept him in her sight,
2:627 And fondly gaz'd: the boy was in a fright,
2:628 And aim'd a pointed arrow at her breast,
2:629 And would have slain his mother in the beast;
2:630 But Jove forbad, and snatch'd 'em through the air
2:631 In whirlwinds up to Heav'n, and fix'd 'em there!
2:632 Where the new constellations nightly rise,
2:633 And add a lustre to the northern skies.

2:634 When Juno saw the rival in her height,
2:635 Spangled with stars, and circled round with light,
2:636 She sought old Ocean in his deep abodes,
2:637 And Tethys, both rever'd among the Gods.
2:638 They ask what brings her there: "Ne'er ask," says she,
2:639 "What brings me here, Heav'n is no place for me.
2:640 You'll see, when night has cover'd all things o'er,
2:641 Jove's starry bastard and triumphant whore
2:642 Usurp the Heav'ns; you'll see 'em proudly rowle
2:643 And who shall now on Juno's altars wait,
2:644 When those she hates grow greater by her hate?
2:645 I on the nymph a brutal form impress'd,
2:646 Jove to a goddess has transform'd the beast;
2:647 This, this was all my weak revenge could do:
2:648 But let the God his chaste amours pursue,
2:649 And, as he acted after Io's rape,
2:650 Restore th' adultress to her former shape;
2:651 Then may he cast his Juno off, and lead
2:652 The great Lycaon's offspring to his bed.
2:653 But you, ye venerable Pow'rs, be kind,
2:654 And, if my wrongs a due resentment find,
2:655 Receive not in your waves their setting beams,
2:656 Nor let the glaring strumpet taint your streams."

2:657 The Goddess ended, and her wish was giv'n.
2:658 Back she return'd in triumph up to Heav'n;
2:659 Her gawdy peacocks drew her through the skies.
2:660 Their tails were spotted with a thousand eyes;
2:661 The eyes of Argus on their tails were rang'd,
2:662 At the same time the raven's colour chang'd.

The Story of Coronis, and Birth of Aesculapius

2:663 The raven once in snowy plumes was drest,
2:664 White as the whitest dove's unsully'd breast,
2:665 Fair as the guardian of the Capitol,
2:666 Soft as the swan; a large and lovely fowl;
2:667 His tongue, his prating tongue had chang'd him quite
2:668 To sooty blackness, from the purest white.

2:669 The story of his change shall here be told;
2:670 In Thessaly there liv'd a nymph of old,
2:671 Coronis nam'd; a peerless maid she shin'd,
2:672 Confest the fairest of the fairer kind.
2:673 Apollo lov'd her, 'till her guilt he knew,
2:674 While true she was, or whilst he thought her true.
2:675 But his own bird the raven chanc'd to find
2:676 The false one with a secret rival joyn'd.
2:677 Coronis begg'd him to suppress the tale,
2:678 But could not with repeated pray'rs prevail.
2:679 His milk-white pinions to the God he ply'd;
2:680 The busy daw flew with him, side by side,
2:681 And by a thousand teizing questions drew
2:682 Th' important secret from him as they flew.
2:683 The daw gave honest counsel, tho' despis'd,
2:684 And, tedious in her tattle, thus advis'd:
2:685 "Stay, silly bird, th' ill-natur'd task refuse,
2:686 Nor be the bearer of unwelcome news.
2:687 Be warn'd by my example: you discern
2:688 What now I am, and what I was shall learn.
2:689 My foolish honesty was all my crime;
2:690 Then hear my story. Once upon a time,
2:691 The two-shap'd Ericthonius had his birth
2:692 (Without a mother) from the teeming Earth;
2:693 Minerva nurs'd him, and the infant laid
2:694 Within a chest, of twining osiers made.
2:695 The daughters of king Cecrops undertook
2:696 To guard the chest, commanded not to look
2:697 On what was hid within. I stood to see
2:698 The charge obey'd, perch'd on a neighb'ring tree.
2:699 The sisters Pandrosos and Herse keep
2:700 The strict command; Aglauros needs would peep,
2:701 And saw the monstrous infant, in a fright,
2:702 And call'd her sisters to the hideous sight:
2:703 A boy's soft shape did to the waste prevail,
2:704 But the boy ended in a dragon's tail.
2:705 I told the stern Minerva all that pass'd;
2:706 But for my pains, discarded and disgrac'd,
2:707 The frowning Goddess drove me from her sight,
2:708 And for her fav'rite chose the bird of night.
2:709 Be then no tell-tale; for I think my wrong
2:710 Enough to teach a bird to hold her tongue.

2:711 But you, perhaps, may think I was remov'd,
2:712 As never by the heav'nly maid belov'd:
2:713 But I was lov'd; ask Pallas if I lye;
2:714 Tho' Pallas hate me now, she won't deny:
2:715 For I, whom in a feather'd shape you view,
2:716 Was once a maid (by Heav'n the story's true)
2:717 A blooming maid, and a king's daughter too.
2:718 A crowd of lovers own'd my beauty's charms;
2:719 My beauty was the cause of all my harms;
2:720 Neptune, as on his shores I wont to rove,
2:721 Observ'd me in my walks, and fell in love.
2:722 He made his courtship, he confess'd his pain,
2:723 And offer'd force, when all his arts were vain;
2:724 Swift he pursu'd: I ran along the strand,
2:725 'Till, spent and weary'd on the sinking sand,
2:726 I shriek'd aloud, with cries I fill'd the air
2:727 To Gods and men; nor God nor man was there:
2:728 A virgin Goddess heard a virgin's pray'r.
2:729 For, as my arms I lifted to the skies,
2:730 I saw black feathers from my fingers rise;
2:731 I strove to fling my garment on the ground;
2:732 My garment turn'd to plumes, and girt me round:
2:733 My hands to beat my naked bosom try;
2:734 Nor naked bosom now nor hands had I:
2:735 Lightly I tript, nor weary as before
2:736 Sunk in the sand, but skim'd along the shore;
2:737 'Till, rising on my wings, I was preferr'd
2:738 To be the chaste Minerva's virgin bird:
2:739 Preferr'd in vain! I am now in disgrace:
2:740 Nyctimene the owl enjoys my place.

2:741 On her incestuous life I need not dwell
2:742 (In Lesbos still the horrid tale they tell),
2:743 And of her dire amours you must have heard,
2:744 For which she now does penance in a bird,
2:745 That conscious of her shame, avoids the light,
2:746 And loves the gloomy cov'ring of the night;
2:747 The birds, where-e'er she flutters, scare away
2:748 The hooting wretch, and drive her from the day."

2:749 The raven, urg'd by such impertinence,
2:750 Grew passionate, it seems, and took offence,
2:751 And curst the harmless daw; the daw withdrew:
2:752 The raven to her injur'd patron flew,
2:753 And found him out, and told the fatal truth
2:754 Of false Coronis and the favour'd youth.

2:755 The God was wroth, the colour left his look,
2:756 The wreath his head, the harp his hand forsook:
2:757 His silver bow and feather'd shafts he took,
2:758 And lodg'd an arrow in the tender breast,
2:759 That had so often to his own been prest.
2:760 Down fell the wounded nymph, and sadly groan'd,
2:761 And pull'd his arrow reeking from the wound;
2:762 And weltring in her blood, thus faintly cry'd,
2:763 "Ah cruel God! tho' I have justly dy'd,
2:764 What has, alas! my unborn infant done,
2:765 That he should fall, and two expire in one?"
2:766 This said, in agonies she fetch'd her breath.

2:767 The God dissolves in pity at her death;
2:768 He hates the bird that made her falshood known,
2:769 And hates himself for what himself had done;
2:770 The feather'd shaft, that sent her to the Fates,
2:771 And his own hand, that sent the shaft, he hates.
2:772 Fain would he heal the wound, and ease her pain,
2:773 And tries the compass of his art in vain.
2:774 Soon as he saw the lovely nymph expire,
2:775 The pile made ready, and the kindling fire.
2:776 With sighs and groans her obsequies he kept,
2:777 And, if a God could weep, the God had wept.
2:778 Her corps he kiss'd, and heav'nly incense brought,
2:779 And solemniz'd the death himself had wrought.

2:780 But lest his offspring should her fate partake,
2:781 Spight of th' immortal mixture in his make,
2:782 He ript her womb, and set the child at large,
2:783 And gave him to the centaur Chiron's charge:
2:784 Then in his fury black'd the raven o'er,
2:785 And bid him prate in his white plumes no more.

Ocyrrhoe transform'd into a Mare

2:786 Old Chiron took the babe with secret joy,
2:787 Proud of the charge of the celestial boy.
2:788 His daughter too, whom on the sandy shore
2:789 The nymph Charicle to the centaur bore,
2:790 With hair dishevel'd on her shoulders, came
2:791 To see the child, Ocyrrhoe was her name;
2:792 She knew her father's arts, and could rehearse
2:793 The depths of prophecy in sounding verse.
2:794 Once, as the sacred infant she survey'd,
2:795 The God was kindled in the raving maid,
2:796 And thus she utter'd her prophetick tale:
2:797 "Hail, great physician of the world, all-hail;
2:798 Hail, mighty infant, who in years to come
2:799 Shalt heal the nations, and defraud the tomb;
2:800 Swift be thy growth! thy triumphs unconfin'd!
2:801 Make kingdoms thicker, and increase mankind.
2:802 Thy daring art shall animate the dead,
2:803 And draw the thunder on thy guilty head:
2:804 Then shalt thou dye, but from the dark abode
2:805 Rise up victorious, and be twice a God.
2:806 And thou, my sire, not destin'd by thy birth
2:807 To turn to dust, and mix with common earth,
2:808 How wilt thou toss, and rave, and long to dye,
2:809 And quit thy claim to immortality;
2:810 When thou shalt feel, enrag'd with inward pains,
2:811 The Hydra's venom rankling in thy veins?
2:812 The Gods, in pity, shall contract thy date,
2:813 And give thee over to the pow'r of Fate."

2:814 Thus entring into destiny, the maid
2:815 The secrets of offended Jove betray'd:
2:816 More had she still to say; but now appears
2:817 Oppress'd with sobs and sighs, and drown'd in tears.
2:818 "My voice," says she, "is gone, my language fails;
2:819 Through ev'ry limb my kindred shape prevails:
2:820 Why did the God this fatal gift impart,
2:821 And with prophetick raptures swell my heart!
2:822 What new desires are these? I long to pace
2:823 O'er flow'ry meadows, and to feed on grass;
2:824 I hasten to a brute, a maid no more;
2:825 But why, alas! am I transform'd all o'er?
2:826 My sire does half a human shape retain,
2:827 And in his upper parts preserve the man."

2:828 Her tongue no more distinct complaints affords,
2:829 But in shrill accents and mis-shapen words
2:830 Pours forth such hideous wailings, as declare
2:831 The human form confounded in the mare:
2:832 'Till by degrees accomplish'd in the beast,
2:833 She neigh'd outright, and all the steed exprest.
2:834 Her stooping body on her hands is born,
2:835 Her hands are turn'd to hoofs, and shod in horn,
2:836 Her yellow tresses ruffle in a mane,
2:837 And in a flowing tail she frisks her train,
2:838 The mare was finish'd in her voice and look,
2:839 And a new name from the new figure took.

The Transformation of Battus to a Touch stone

2:840 Sore wept the centuar, and to Phoebus pray'd;
2:841 But how could Phoebus give the centaur aid?
2:842 Degraded of his pow'r by angry Jove,
2:843 In Elis then a herd of beeves he drove;
2:844 And wielded in his hand a staff of oak,
2:845 And o'er his shoulders threw the shepherd's cloak;
2:846 On sev'n compacted reeds he us'd to play,
2:847 And on his rural pipe to waste the day.

2:848 As once attentive to his pipe he play'd,
2:849 The crafty Hermes from the God convey'd
2:850 A drove, that sep'rate from their fellows stray'd.
2:851 The theft an old insidious peasant view'd
2:852 (They call'd him Battus in the neighbourhood),
2:853 Hir'd by a vealthy Pylian prince to feed
2:854 His fav'rite mares, and watch the gen'rous breed.
2:855 The thievish God suspected him, and took
2:856 The hind aside, and thus in whispers spoke:
2:857 "Discover not the theft, whoe'er thou be,
2:858 And take that milk-white heifer for thy fee."
2:859 "Go, stranger," cries the clown, "securely on,
2:860 That stone shall sooner tell," and show'd a stone.

2:861 The God withdrew, but strait return'd again,
2:862 In speech and habit like a country swain;
2:863 And cries out, "Neighbour, hast thou seen a stray
2:864 Of bullocks and of heifers pass this way?
2:865 In the recov'ry of my cattle join,
2:866 A bullock and a heifer shall be thine."
2:867 The peasant quick replies, "You'll find 'em there
2:868 In yon dark vale"; and in the vale they were.
2:869 The double bribe had his false heart beguil'd:
2:870 The God, successful in the tryal, smil'd;
2:871 "And dost thou thus betray my self to me?
2:872 Me to my self dost thou betray?" says he:
2:873 Then to a Touch stone turns the faithless spy;
2:874 And in his name records his infamy.

The Story of Aglauros, transform'd into a Statue

2:875 This done, the God flew up on high, and pass'd
2:876 O'er lofty Athens, by Minerva grac'd,
2:877 And wide Munichia, whilst his eyes survey
2:878 All the vast region that beneath him lay.

2:879 'Twas now the feast, when each Athenian maid
2:880 Her yearly homage to Minerva paid;
2:881 In canisters, with garlands cover'd o'er,
2:882 High on their heads, their mystick gifts they bore:
2:883 And now, returning in a solemn train,
2:884 The troop of shining virgins fill'd the plain.

2:885 The God well pleas'd beheld the pompous show,
2:886 And saw the bright procession pass below;
2:887 Then veer'd about, and took a wheeling flight,
2:888 And hover'd o'er them: as the spreading kite,
2:889 That smells the slaughter'd victim from on high,
2:890 Flies at a distance, if the priests are nigh,
2:891 And sails around, and keeps it in her eye:
2:892 So kept the God the virgin quire in view,
2:893 And in slow winding circles round them flew.

2:894 As Lucifer excells the meanest star,
2:895 Or, as the full-orb'd Phoebe, Lucifer;
2:896 So much did Herse all the rest outvy,
2:897 And gave a grace to the solemnity.
2:898 Hermes was fir'd, as in the clouds he hung:
2:899 So the cold bullet, that with fury slung
2:900 From Balearick engines mounts on high,
2:901 Glows in the whirl, and burns along the sky.
2:902 At length he pitch'd upon the ground, and show'd
2:903 The form divine, the features of a God.
2:904 He knew their vertue o'er a female heart,
2:905 And yet he strives to better them by art.
2:906 He hangs his mantle loose, and sets to show
2:907 The golden edging on the seam below;
2:908 Adjusts his flowing curls, and in his hand
2:909 Waves, with an air, the sleep-procuring wand;
2:910 The glitt'ring sandals to his feet applies,
2:911 And to each heel the well-trim'd pinion ties.

2:912 His ornaments with nicest art display'd,
2:913 He seeks th' apartment of the royal maid.
2:914 The roof was all with polish'd iv'ry lin'd,
2:915 That richly mix'd, in clouds of tortoise shin'd.
2:916 Three rooms, contiguous, in a range were plac'd,
2:917 The midmost by the beauteous Herse grac'd;
2:918 Her virgin sisters lodg'd on either side.
2:919 Aglauros first th' approaching God descry'd,
2:920 And, as he cross'd her chamber, ask'd his name,
2:921 And what his business was, and whence he came.
2:922 "I come," reply'd the God, "from Heav'n, to woo
2:923 Your sister, and to make an aunt of you;
2:924 I am the son and messenger of Jove;
2:925 My name is Mercury, my bus'ness love;
2:926 Do you, kind damsel, take a lover's part,
2:927 And gain admittance to your sister's heart."

2:928 She star'd him in the face with looks amaz'd,
2:929 As when she on Minerva's secret gaz'd,
2:930 And asks a mighty treasure for her hire;
2:931 And, 'till he brings it, makes the God retire.
2:932 Minerva griev'd to see the nymph succeed;
2:933 And now remembring the late impious deed,
2:934 When, disobedient to her strict command,
2:935 She touch'd the chest with an unhallow'd hand;
2:936 In big-swoln sighs her inward rage express'd,
2:937 That heav'd the rising Aegis on her breast;
2:938 Then sought out Envy in her dark abode,
2:939 Defil'd with ropy gore and clots of blood:
2:940 Shut from the winds, and from the wholesome skies,
2:941 In a deep vale the gloomy dungeon lies,
2:942 Dismal and cold, where not a beam of light
2:943 Invades the winter, or disturbs the night.

2:944 Directly to the cave her course she steer'd;
2:945 Against the gates her martial lance she rear'd;
2:946 The gates flew open, and the fiend appear'd.
2:947 A pois'nous morsel in her teeth she chew'd,
2:948 And gorg'd the flesh of vipers for her food.
2:949 Minerva loathing turn'd away her eye;
2:950 The hideous monster, rising heavily,
2:951 Came stalking forward with a sullen pace,
2:952 And left her mangled offals on the place.
2:953 Soon as she saw the goddess gay and bright,
2:954 She fetch'd a groan at such a chearful sight.
2:955 Livid and meagre were her looks, her eye
2:956 In foul distorted glances turn'd awry;
2:957 A hoard of gall her inward parts possess'd,
2:958 And spread a greenness o'er her canker'd breast;
2:959 Her teeth were brown with rust, and from her tongue,
2:960 In dangling drops, the stringy poison hung.
2:961 She never smiles but when the wretched weep,
2:962 Nor lulls her malice with a moment's sleep,
2:963 Restless in spite: while watchful to destroy,
2:964 She pines and sickens at another's joy;
2:965 Foe to her self, distressing and distrest,
2:966 She bears her own tormentor in her breast.
2:967 The Goddess gave (for she abhorr'd her sight)
2:968 A short command: "To Athens speed thy flight;
2:969 On curst Aglauros try thy utmost art,
2:970 And fix thy rankest venoms in her heart."
2:971 This said, her spear she push'd against the ground,
2:972 And mounting from it with an active bound,
2:973 Flew off to Heav'n: the hag with eyes askew
2:974 Look'd up, and mutter'd curses as she flew;
2:975 For sore she fretted, and began to grieve
2:976 At the success which she her self must give.
2:977 Then takes her staff, hung round with wreaths of thorn,
2:978 And sails along, in a black whirlwind born,
2:979 O'er fields and flow'ry meadows: where she steers
2:980 Her baneful course, a mighty blast appears,
2:981 Mildews and blights; the meadows are defac'd,
2:982 The fields, the flow'rs, and the whole years laid waste:
2:983 On mortals next, and peopled towns she falls,
2:984 And breathes a burning plague among their walls.

2:985 When Athens she beheld, for arts renown'd,
2:986 With peace made happy, and with plenty crown'd,
2:987 Scarce could the hideous fiend from tears forbear,
2:988 To find out nothing that deserv'd a tear.
2:989 Th' apartment now she enter'd, where at rest
2:990 Aglauros lay, with gentle sleep opprest.
2:991 To execute Minerva's dire command,
2:992 She stroak'd the virgin with her canker'd hand,
2:993 Then prickly thorns into her breast convey'd,
2:994 That stung to madness the devoted maid:
2:995 Her subtle venom still improves the smart,
2:996 Frets in the blood, and festers in the heart.

2:997 To make the work more sure, a scene she drew,
2:998 And plac'd before the dreaming virgin's view
2:999 Her sister's marriage, and her glorious fate:
2:1000 Th' imaginary bride appears in state;
2:1001 The bride-groom with unwonted beauty glows:
2:1002 For envy magnifies what-e'er she shows.

2:1003 Full of the dream, Aglauros pin'd away
2:1004 In tears all night, in darkness all the day;
2:1005 Consum'd like ice, that just begins to run,
2:1006 When feebly smitten by the distant sun;
2:1007 Or like unwholsome weeds, that set on fire
2:1008 Are slowly wasted, and in smoke expire.
2:1009 Giv'n up to envy (for in ev'ry thought
2:1010 The thorns, the venom, and the vision wrought)
2:1011 Oft did she call on death, as oft decreed,
2:1012 Rather than see her sister's wish succeed,
2:1013 To tell her awfull father what had past:
2:1014 At length before the door her self she cast;
2:1015 And, sitting on the ground with sullen pride,
2:1016 A passage to the love-sick God deny'd.
2:1017 The God caress'd, and for admission pray'd,
2:1018 And sooth'd in softest words th' envenom'd maid.
2:1019 In vain he sooth'd: "Begone!" the maid replies,
2:1020 "Or here I keep my seat, and never rise."
2:1021 "Then keep thy seat for ever," cries the God,
2:1022 And touch'd the door, wide op'ning to his rod.
2:1023 Fain would she rise, and stop him, but she found
2:1024 Her trunk too heavy to forsake the ground;
2:1025 Her joynts are all benum'd, her hands are pale,
2:1026 And marble now appears in ev'ry nail.
2:1027 As when a cancer in the body feeds,
2:1028 And gradual death from limb to limb proceeds;
2:1029 So does the chilness to each vital parte
2:1030 Spread by degrees, and creeps into her heart;
2:1031 'Till hard'ning ev'ry where, and speechless grown,
2:1032 She sits unmov'd, and freezes to a stone.
2:1033 But still her envious hue and sullen mien
2:1034 Are in the sedentary figure seen.

Europa's Rape

2:1035 When now the God his fury had allay'd,
2:1036 And taken vengeance of the stubborn maid,
2:1037 From where the bright Athenian turrets rise
2:1038 He mounts aloft, and re-ascends the skies.
2:1039 Jove saw him enter the sublime abodes,
2:1040 And, as he mix'd among the crowd of Gods,
2:1041 Beckon'd him out, and drew him from the rest,
2:1042 And in soft whispers thus his will exprest.

2:1043 "My trusty Hermes, by whose ready aid
2:1044 Thy sire's commands are through the world convey'd.
2:1045 Resume thy wings, exert their utmost force,
2:1046 And to the walls of Sidon speed thy course;
2:1047 There find a herd of heifers wand'ring o'er
2:1048 The neighb'ring hill, and drive 'em to the shore."

2:1049 Thus spoke the God, concealing his intent.
2:1050 The trusty Hermes, on his message went,
2:1051 And found the herd of heifers wand'ring o'er
2:1052 A neighb'ring hill, and drove 'em to the shore;
2:1053 Where the king's daughter, with a lovely train
2:1054 Of fellow-nymphs, was sporting on the plain.

2:1055 The dignity of empire laid aside,
2:1056 (For love but ill agrees with kingly pride)
2:1057 The ruler of the skies, the thund'ring God,
2:1058 Who shakes the world's foundations with a nod,
2:1059 Among a herd of lowing heifers ran,
2:1060 Frisk'd in a bull, and bellow'd o'er the plain.
2:1061 Large rowles of fat about his shoulders clung,
2:1062 And from his neck the double dewlap hung.
2:1063 His skin was whiter than the snow that lies
2:1064 Unsully'd by the breath of southern skies;
2:1065 Small shining horns on his curl'd forehead stand,
2:1066 As turn'd and polish'd by the work-man's hand;
2:1067 His eye-balls rowl'd, not formidably bright,
2:1068 But gaz'd and languish'd with a gentle light.
2:1069 His ev'ry look was peaceful, and exprest
2:1070 The softness of the lover in the beast.

2:1071 Agenor's royal daughter, as she plaid
2:1072 Among the fields, the milk-white bull survey'd,
2:1073 And view'd his spotless body with delight,
2:1074 And at a distance kept him in her sight.
2:1075 At length she pluck'd the rising flow'rs, and fed
2:1076 The gentle beast, and fondly stroak'd his head.
2:1077 He stood well-pleas'd to touch the charming fair,
2:1078 But hardly could confine his pleasure there.
2:1079 And now he wantons o'er the neighb'ring strand,
2:1080 Now rowls his body on the yellow sand;
2:1081 And, now perceiving all her fears decay'd,
2:1082 Comes tossing forward to the royal maid;
2:1083 Gives her his breast to stroke, and downward turns
2:1084 His grizly brow, and gently stoops his horns.
2:1085 In flow'ry wreaths the royal virgin drest
2:1086 His bending horns, and kindly clapt his breast.
2:1087 'Till now grown wanton and devoid of fear,
2:1088 Not knowing that she prest the Thunderer,
2:1089 She plac'd her self upon his back, and rode
2:1090 O'er fields and meadows, seated on the God.

2:1091 He gently march'd along, and by degrees
2:1092 Left the dry meadow, and approach'd the seas;
2:1093 Where now he dips his hoofs and wets his thighs,
2:1094 Now plunges in, and carries off the prize.
2:1095 The frighted nymph looks backward on the shoar,
2:1096 And hears the tumbling billows round her roar;
2:1097 But still she holds him fast: one hand is born
2:1098 Upon his back; the other grasps a horn:
2:1099 Her train of ruffling garments flies behind,
2:1100 Swells in the air, and hovers in the wind.

2:1101 Through storms and tempests he the virgin bore,
2:1102 And lands her safe on the Dictean shore;
2:1103 Where now, in his divinest form array'd,
2:1104 In his true shape he captivates the maid;
2:1105 Who gazes on him, and with wond'ring eyes
2:1106 Beholds the new majestick figure rise,
2:1107 His glowing features, and celestial light,
2:1108 And all the God discover'd to her sight.


The Story of of Cadmus

3:1 Through storms and tempests he the virgin bore,
3:2 And lands her safe on the Dictean shore;
3:3 Where now, in his divinest form array'd,
3:4 In his true shape he captivates the maid;
3:5 Who gazes on him, and with wond'ring eyes
3:6 Beholds the new majestick figure rise,
3:7 His glowing features, and celestial light,
3:8 And all the God discover'd to her sight.

3:9 When now Agenor had his daughter lost,
3:10 He sent his son to search on ev'ry coast;
3:11 And sternly bid him to his arms restore
3:12 The darling maid, or see his face no more,
3:13 But live an exile in a foreign clime;
3:14 Thus was the father pious to a crime.
3:15 The restless youth search'd all the world around;
3:16 But how can Jove in his amours be found?
3:17 When, tir'd at length with unsuccessful toil,
3:18 To shun his angry sire and native soil,
3:19 He goes a suppliant to the Delphick dome;
3:20 There asks the God what new appointed home
3:21 Should end his wand'rings, and his toils relieve.
3:22 The Delphick oracles this answer give.

3:23 "Behold among the fields a lonely cow,
3:24 Unworn with yokes, unbroken to the plow;
3:25 Mark well the place where first she lays her down,
3:26 There measure out thy walls, and build thy town,
3:27 And from thy guide Boeotia call the land,
3:28 In which the destin'd walls and town shall stand."

3:29 No sooner had he left the dark abode,
3:30 Big with the promise of the Delphick God,
3:31 When in the fields the fatal cow he view'd,
3:32 Nor gall'd with yokes, nor worn with servitude:
3:33 Her gently at a distance he pursu'd;
3:34 And as he walk'd aloof, in silence pray'd
3:35 To the great Pow'r whose counsels he obey'd.
3:36 Her way thro' flow'ry Panope she took,
3:37 And now, Cephisus, cross'd thy silver brook;
3:38 When to the Heav'ns her spacious front she rais'd,
3:39 And bellow'd thrice, then backward turning gaz'd
3:40 On those behind, 'till on the destin'd place
3:41 She stoop'd, and couch'd amid the rising grass.

3:42 Cadmus salutes the soil, and gladly hails
3:43 The new-found mountains, and the nameless vales,
3:44 And thanks the Gods, and turns about his eye
3:45 To see his new dominions round him lye;
3:46 Then sends his servants to a neighb'ring grove
3:47 For living streams, a sacrifice to Jove.
3:48 O'er the wide plain there rose a shady wood
3:49 Of aged trees; in its dark bosom stood
3:50 A bushy thicket, pathless and unworn,
3:51 O'er-run with brambles, and perplex'd with thorn:
3:52 Amidst the brake a hollow den was found,
3:53 With rocks and shelving arches vaulted round.

3:54 Deep in the dreary den, conceal'd from day,
3:55 Sacred to Mars, a mighty dragon lay,
3:56 Bloated with poison to a monstrous size;
3:57 Fire broke in flashes when he glanc'd his eyes:
3:58 His tow'ring crest was glorious to behold,
3:59 His shoulders and his sides were scal'd with gold;
3:60 Three tongues he brandish'd when he charg'd his foes;
3:61 His teeth stood jaggy in three dreadful rowes.
3:62 The Tyrians in the den for water sought,
3:63 And with their urns explor'd the hollow vault:
3:64 From side to side their empty urns rebound,
3:65 And rowse the sleeping serpent with the sound.
3:66 Strait he bestirs him, and is seen to rise;
3:67 And now with dreadful hissings fills the skies,
3:68 And darts his forky tongues, and rowles his glaring eyes.
3:69 The Tyrians drop their vessels in the fright,
3:70 All pale and trembling at the hideous sight.
3:71 Spire above spire uprear'd in air he stood,
3:72 And gazing round him over-look'd the wood:
3:73 Then floating on the ground in circles rowl'd;
3:74 Then leap'd upon them in a mighty fold.
3:75 Of such a bulk, and such a monstrous size
3:76 The serpent in the polar circle lyes,
3:77 That stretches over half the northern skies.
3:78 In vain the Tyrians on their arms rely,
3:79 In vain attempt to fight, in vain to fly:
3:80 All their endeavours and their hopes are vain;
3:81 Some die entangled in the winding train;
3:82 Some are devour'd, or feel a loathsom death,
3:83 Swoln up with blasts of pestilential breath.

3:84 And now the scorching sun was mounted high,
3:85 In all its lustre, to the noon-day sky;
3:86 When, anxious for his friends, and fill'd with cares,
3:87 To search the woods th' impatient chief prepares.
3:88 A lion's hide around his loins he wore,
3:89 The well poiz'd javelin to the field he bore,
3:90 Inur'd to blood; the far-destroying dart;
3:91 And, the best weapon, an undaunted heart.

3:92 Soon as the youth approach'd the fatal place,
3:93 He saw his servants breathless on the grass;
3:94 The scaly foe amid their corps he view'd,
3:95 Basking at ease, and feasting in their blood.
3:96 "Such friends," he cries, "deserv'd a longer date;
3:97 But Cadmus will revenge or share their fate."
3:98 Then heav'd a stone, and rising to the throw,
3:99 He sent it in a whirlwind at the foe:
3:100 A tow'r, assaulted by so rude a stroke,
3:101 With all its lofty battlements had shook;
3:102 But nothing here th' unwieldy rock avails,
3:103 Rebounding harmless from the plaited scales,
3:104 That, firmly join'd, preserv'd him from a wound,
3:105 With native armour crusted all around.
3:106 With more success, the dart unerring flew,
3:107 Which at his back the raging warriour threw;
3:108 Amid the plaited scales it took its course,
3:109 And in the spinal marrow spent its force.
3:110 The monster hiss'd aloud, and rag'd in vain,
3:111 And writh'd his body to and fro with pain;
3:112 He bit the dart, and wrench'd the wood away;
3:113 The point still buried in the marrow lay.
3:114 And now his rage, increasing with his pain,
3:115 Reddens his eyes, and beats in ev'ry vein;
3:116 Churn'd in his teeth the foamy venom rose,
3:117 Whilst from his mouth a blast of vapours flows,
3:118 Such as th' infernal Stygian waters cast.
3:119 The plants around him wither in the blast.
3:120 Now in a maze of rings he lies enrowl'd,
3:121 Now all unravel'd, and without a fold;
3:122 Now, like a torrent, with a mighty force
3:123 Bears down the forest in his boist'rous course.
3:124 Cadmus gave back, and on the lion's spoil
3:125 Sustain'd the shock, then forc'd him to recoil;
3:126 The pointed jav'lin warded off his rage:
3:127 Mad with his pains, and furious to engage,
3:128 The serpent champs the steel, and bites the spear,
3:129 'Till blood and venom all the point besmear.
3:130 But still the hurt he yet receiv'd was slight;
3:131 For, whilst the champion with redoubled might
3:132 Strikes home the jav'lin, his retiring foe
3:133 Shrinks from the wound, and disappoints the blow.

3:134 The dauntless heroe still pursues his stroke,
3:135 And presses forward, 'till a knotty oak
3:136 Retards his foe, and stops him in the rear;
3:137 Full in his throat he plung'd the fatal spear,
3:138 That in th' extended neck a passage found,
3:139 And pierc'd the solid timber through the wound.
3:140 Fix'd to the reeling trunk, with many a stroke
3:141 Of his huge tail he lash'd the sturdy oak;
3:142 'Till spent with toil, and lab'ring hard for breath,
3:143 He now lay twisting in the pangs of death.

3:144 Cadmus beheld him wallow in a flood
3:145 Of swimming poison, intermix'd with blood;
3:146 When suddenly a speech was heard from high
3:147 (The speech was heard, nor was the speaker nigh),
3:148 "Why dost thou thus with secret pleasure see,
3:149 Insulting man! what thou thy self shalt be?"
3:150 Astonish'd at the voice, he stood amaz'd,
3:151 And all around with inward horror gaz'd:
3:152 When Pallas swift descending from the skies,
3:153 Pallas, the guardian of the bold and wise,
3:154 Bids him plow up the field, and scatter round
3:155 The dragon's teeth o'er all the furrow'd ground;
3:156 Then tells the youth how to his wond'ring eyes
3:157 Embattled armies from the field should rise.

3:158 He sows the teeth at Pallas's command,
3:159 And flings the future people from his hand.
3:160 The clods grow warm, and crumble where he sows;
3:161 And now the pointed spears advance in rows;
3:162 Now nodding plumes appear, and shining crests,
3:163 Now the broad shoulders and the rising breasts;
3:164 O'er all the field the breathing harvest swarms,
3:165 A growing host, a crop of men and arms.

3:166 So through the parting stage a figure rears
3:167 Its body up, and limb by limb appears
3:168 By just degrees; 'till all the man arise,
3:169 And in his full proportion strikes the eyes.

3:170 Cadmus surpriz'd, and startled at the sight
3:171 Of his new foes, prepar'd himself for fight:
3:172 When one cry'd out, "Forbear, fond man, forbear
3:173 To mingle in a blind promiscuous war."
3:174 This said, he struck his brother to the ground,
3:175 Himself expiring by another's wound;
3:176 Nor did the third his conquest long survive,
3:177 Dying ere scarce he had begun to live.

3:178 The dire example ran through all the field,
3:179 'Till heaps of brothers were by brothers kill'd;
3:180 The furrows swam in blood: and only five
3:181 Of all the vast increase were left alive.
3:182 Echion one, at Pallas's command,
3:183 Let fall the guiltless weapon from his hand,
3:184 And with the rest a peaceful treaty makes,
3:185 Whom Cadmus as his friends and partners takes;
3:186 So founds a city on the promis'd earth,
3:187 And gives his new Boeotian empire birth.

3:188 Here Cadmus reign'd; and now one would have guess'd
3:189 The royal founder in his exile blest:
3:190 Long did he live within his new abodes,
3:191 Ally'd by marriage to the deathless Gods;
3:192 And, in a fruitful wife's embraces old,
3:193 A long increase of children's children told:
3:194 But no frail man, however great or high,
3:195 Can be concluded blest before he die.

3:196 Actaeon was the first of all his race,
3:197 Who griev'd his grandsire in his borrow'd face;
3:198 Condemn'd by stern Diana to bemoan
3:199 The branching horns, and visage not his own;
3:200 To shun his once lov'd dogs, to bound away,
3:201 And from their huntsman to become their prey,
3:202 And yet consider why the change was wrought,
3:203 You'll find it his misfortune, not his fault;
3:204 Or, if a fault, it was the fault of chance:
3:205 For how can guilt proceed from ignorance?

The Transformation of Actaeon into a Stag

3:206 In a fair chace a shady mountain stood,
3:207 Well stor'd with game, and mark'd with trails of blood;
3:208 Here did the huntsmen, 'till the heat of day,
3:209 Pursue the stag, and load themselves with rey:
3:210 When thus Actaeon calling to the rest:
3:211 "My friends," said he, "our sport is at the best,
3:212 The sun is high advanc'd, and downward sheds
3:213 His burning beams directly on our heads;
3:214 Then by consent abstain from further spoils,
3:215 Call off the dogs, and gather up the toils,
3:216 And ere to-morrow's sun begins his race,
3:217 Take the cool morning to renew the chace."
3:218 They all consent, and in a chearful train
3:219 The jolly huntsmen, loaden with the slain,
3:220 Return in triumph from the sultry plain.

3:221 Down in a vale with pine and cypress clad,
3:222 Refresh'd with gentle winds, and brown with shade,
3:223 The chaste Diana's private haunt, there stood
3:224 Full in the centre of the darksome wood
3:225 A spacious grotto, all around o'er-grown
3:226 With hoary moss, and arch'd with pumice-stone.
3:227 From out its rocky clefts the waters flow,
3:228 And trickling swell into a lake below.
3:229 Nature had ev'ry where so plaid her part,
3:230 That ev'ry where she seem'd to vie with art.
3:231 Here the bright Goddess, toil'd and chaf'd with heat,
3:232 Was wont to bathe her in the cool retreat.

3:233 Here did she now with all her train resort,
3:234 Panting with heat, and breathless from the sport;
3:235 Her armour-bearer laid her bow aside,
3:236 Some loos'd her sandals, some her veil unty'd;
3:237 Each busy nymph her proper part undrest;
3:238 While Crocale, more handy than the rest,
3:239 Gather'd her flowing hair, and in a noose
3:240 Bound it together, whilst her own hung loose.
3:241 Five of the more ignoble sort by turns
3:242 Fetch up the water, and unlade the urns.

3:243 Now all undrest the shining Goddess stood,
3:244 When young Actaeon, wilder'd in the wood,
3:245 To the cool grott by his hard fate betray'd,
3:246 The fountains fill'd with naked nymphs survey'd.
3:247 The frighted virgins shriek'd at the surprize
3:248 (The forest echo'd with their piercing cries).
3:249 Then in a huddle round their Goddess prest:
3:250 She, proudly eminent above the rest,
3:251 With blushes glow'd; such blushes as adorn
3:252 The ruddy welkin, or the purple morn;
3:253 And tho' the crowding nymphs her body hide,
3:254 Half backward shrunk, and view'd him from a side.
3:255 Surpriz'd, at first she would have snatch'd her bow,
3:256 But sees the circling waters round her flow;
3:257 These in the hollow of her hand she took,
3:258 And dash'd 'em in his face, while thus she spoke:
3:259 "Tell, if thou can'st, the wond'rous sight disclos'd,
3:260 A Goddess naked to thy view expos'd."

3:261 This said, the man begun to disappear
3:262 By slow degrees, and ended in a deer.
3:263 A rising horn on either brow he wears,
3:264 And stretches out his neck, and pricks his ears;
3:265 Rough is his skin, with sudden hairs o'er-grown,
3:266 His bosom pants with fears before unknown:
3:267 Transform'd at length, he flies away in haste,
3:268 And wonders why he flies away so fast.
3:269 But as by chance, within a neighb'ring brook,
3:270 He saw his branching horns and alter'd look.
3:271 Wretched Actaeon! in a doleful tone
3:272 He try'd to speak, but only gave a groan;
3:273 And as he wept, within the watry glass
3:274 He saw the big round drops, with silent pace,
3:275 Run trickling down a savage hairy face.
3:276 What should he do? Or seek his old abodes,
3:277 Or herd among the deer, and sculk in woods!
3:278 Here shame dissuades him, there his fear prevails,
3:279 And each by turns his aking heart assails.

3:280 As he thus ponders, he behind him spies
3:281 His op'ning hounds, and now he hears their cries:
3:282 A gen'rous pack, or to maintain the chace,
3:283 Or snuff the vapour from the scented grass.

3:284 He bounded off with fear, and swiftly ran
3:285 O'er craggy mountains, and the flow'ry plain;
3:286 Through brakes and thickets forc'd his way, and flew
3:287 Through many a ring, where once he did pursue.
3:288 In vain he oft endeavour'd to proclaim
3:289 His new misfortune, and to tell his name;
3:290 Nor voice nor words the brutal tongue supplies;
3:291 From shouting men, and horns, and dogs he flies,
3:292 Deafen'd and stunn'd with their promiscuous cries.
3:293 When now the fleetest of the pack, that prest
3:294 Close at his heels, and sprung before the rest,
3:295 Had fasten'd on him, straight another pair,
3:296 Hung on his wounded haunch, and held him there,
3:297 'Till all the pack came up, and ev'ry hound
3:298 Tore the sad huntsman grov'ling on the ground,
3:299 Who now appear'd but one continu'd wound.
3:300 With dropping tears his bitter fate he moans,
3:301 And fills the mountain with his dying groans.
3:302 His servants with a piteous look he spies,
3:303 And turns about his supplicating eyes.
3:304 His servants, ignorant of what had chanc'd,
3:305 With eager haste and joyful shouts advanc'd,
3:306 And call'd their lord Actaeon to the game.
3:307 He shook his head in answer to the name;
3:308 He heard, but wish'd he had indeed been gone,
3:309 Or only to have stood a looker-on.
3:310 But to his grief he finds himself too near,
3:311 And feels his rav'nous dogs with fury tear
3:312 Their wretched master panting in a deer.

The Birth of Bacchus

3:313 Actaeon's suff'rings, and Diana's rage,
3:314 Did all the thoughts of men and Gods engage;
3:315 Some call'd the evils which Diana wrought,
3:316 Too great, and disproportion'd to the fault:
3:317 Others again, esteem'd Actaeon's woes
3:318 Fit for a virgin Goddess to impose.
3:319 The hearers into diff'rent parts divide,
3:320 And reasons are produc'd on either side.

3:321 Juno alone, of all that heard the news,
3:322 Nor would condemn the Goddess, nor excuse:
3:323 She heeded not the justice of the deed,
3:324 But joy'd to see the race of Cadmus bleed;
3:325 For still she kept Europa in her mind,
3:326 And, for her sake, detested all her kind.
3:327 Besides, to aggravate her hate, she heard
3:328 How Semele, to Jove's embrace preferr'd,
3:329 Was now grown big with an immortal load,
3:330 And carry'd in her womb a future God.
3:331 Thus terribly incens'd, the Goddess broke
3:332 To sudden fury, and abruptly spoke.

3:333 "Are my reproaches of so small a force?
3:334 'Tis time I then pursue another course:
3:335 It is decreed the guilty wretch shall die,
3:336 If I'm indeed the mistress of the sky,
3:337 If rightly styl'd among the Pow'rs above
3:338 The wife and sister of the thund'ring Jove
3:339 (And none can sure a sister's right deny);
3:340 It is decreed the guilty wretch shall die.
3:341 She boasts an honour I can hardly claim,
3:342 Pregnant she rises to a mother's name;
3:343 While proud and vain she triumphs in her Jove,
3:344 And shows the glorious tokens of his love:
3:345 But if I'm still the mistress of the skies,
3:346 By her own lover the fond beauty dies."
3:347 This said, descending in a yellow cloud,
3:348 Before the gates of Semele she stood.

3:349 Old Beroe's decrepit shape she wears,
3:350 Her wrinkled visage, and her hoary hairs;
3:351 Whilst in her trembling gait she totters on,
3:352 And learns to tattle in the nurse's tone.
3:353 The Goddess, thus disguis'd in age, beguil'd
3:354 With pleasing stories her false foster-child.
3:355 Much did she talk of love, and when she came
3:356 To mention to the nymph her lover's name,
3:357 Fetching a sigh, and holding down her head,
3:358 "'Tis well," says she, "if all be true that's said.
3:359 But trust me, child, I'm much inclin'd to fear
3:360 Some counterfeit in this your Jupiter:
3:361 Many an honest well-designing maid
3:362 Has been by these pretended Gods betray'd,
3:363 But if he be indeed the thund'ring Jove,
3:364 Bid him, when next he courts the rites of love,
3:365 Descend triumphant from th' etherial sky,
3:366 In all the pomp of his divinity,
3:367 Encompass'd round by those celestial charms,
3:368 With which he fills th' immortal Juno's arms."

3:369 Th' unwary nymph, ensnar'd with what she said,
3:370 Desir'd of Jove, when next he sought her bed,
3:371 To grant a certain gift which she would chuse;
3:372 "Fear not," reply'd the God, "that I'll refuse
3:373 Whate'er you ask: may Styx confirm my voice,
3:374 Chuse what you will, and you shall have your choice."
3:375 "Then," says the nymph, "when next you seek my arms,
3:376 May you descend in those celestial charms,
3:377 With which your Juno's bosom you enflame,
3:378 And fill with transport Heav'n's immortal dame."
3:379 The God surpriz'd would fain have stopp'd her voice,
3:380 But he had sworn, and she had made her choice.

3:381 To keep his promise he ascends, and shrowds
3:382 His awful brow in whirl-winds and in clouds;
3:383 Whilst all around, in terrible array,
3:384 His thunders rattle, and his light'nings play.
3:385 And yet, the dazling lustre to abate,
3:386 He set not out in all his pomp and state,
3:387 Clad in the mildest light'ning of the skies,
3:388 And arm'd with thunder of the smallest size:
3:389 Not those huge bolts, by which the giants slain
3:390 Lay overthrown on the Phlegrean plain.
3:391 'Twas of a lesser mould, and lighter weight;
3:392 They call it thunder of a second-rate,
3:393 For the rough Cyclops, who by Jove's command
3:394 Temper'd the bolt, and turn'd it to his hand,
3:395 Work'd up less flame and fury in its make,
3:396 And quench'd it sooner in the standing lake.
3:397 Thus dreadfully adorn'd, with horror bright,
3:398 Th' illustrious God, descending from his height,
3:399 Came rushing on her in a storm of light.

3:400 The mortal dame, too feeble to engage
3:401 The lightning's flashes, and the thunder's rage,
3:402 Consum'd amidst the glories she desir'd,
3:403 And in the terrible embrace expir'd.

3:404 But, to preserve his offspring from the tomb,
3:405 Jove took him smoaking from the blasted womb:
3:406 And, if on ancient tales we may rely,
3:407 Inclos'd th' abortive infant in his thigh.
3:408 Here when the babe had all his time fulfill'd,
3:409 Ino first took him for her foster-child;
3:410 Then the Niseans, in their dark abode,
3:411 Nurs'd secretly with milk the thriving God.

The Transformation of Tiresias

3:412 'Twas now, while these transactions past on Earth,
3:413 And Bacchus thus procur'd a second birth,
3:414 When Jove, dispos'd to lay aside the weight
3:415 Of publick empire and the cares of state,
3:416 As to his queen in nectar bowls he quaff'd,
3:417 "In troth," says he, and as he spoke he laugh'd,
3:418 "The sense of pleasure in the male is far
3:419 More dull and dead, than what you females share."
3:420 Juno the truth of what was said deny'd;
3:421 Tiresias therefore must the cause decide,
3:422 For he the pleasure of each sex had try'd.

3:423 It happen'd once, within a shady wood,
3:424 Two twisted snakes he in conjunction view'd,
3:425 When with his staff their slimy folds he broke,
3:426 And lost his manhood at the fatal stroke.
3:427 But, after seven revolving years, he view'd
3:428 The self-same serpents in the self-same wood:
3:429 "And if," says he, "such virtue in you lye,
3:430 That he who dares your slimy folds untie
3:431 Must change his kind, a second stroke I'll try."
3:432 Again he struck the snakes, and stood again
3:433 New-sex'd, and strait recover'd into man.
3:434 Him therefore both the deities create
3:435 The sov'raign umpire, in their grand debate;
3:436 And he declar'd for Jove: when Juno fir'd,
3:437 More than so trivial an affair requir'd,
3:438 Depriv'd him, in her fury, of his sight,
3:439 And left him groping round in sudden night.
3:440 But Jove (for so it is in Heav'n decreed,
3:441 That no one God repeal another's deed)
3:442 Irradiates all his soul with inward light,
3:443 And with the prophet's art relieves the want of sight.

The Transformation of Echo

3:444 Fam'd far and near for knowing things to come,
3:445 From him th' enquiring nations sought their doom;
3:446 The fair Liriope his answers try'd,
3:447 And first th' unerring prophet justify'd.
3:448 This nymph the God Cephisus had abus'd,
3:449 With all his winding waters circumfus'd,
3:450 And on the Nereid got a lovely boy,
3:451 Whom the soft maids ev'n then beheld with joy.

3:452 The tender dame, sollicitous to know
3:453 Whether her child should reach old age or no,
3:454 Consults the sage Tiresias, who replies,
3:455 "If e'er he knows himself he surely dies."
3:456 Long liv'd the dubious mother in suspence,
3:457 'Till time unriddled all the prophet's sense.

3:458 Narcissus now his sixteenth year began,
3:459 Just turn'd of boy, and on the verge of man;
3:460 Many a friend the blooming youth caress'd,
3:461 Many a love-sick maid her flame confess'd:
3:462 Such was his pride, in vain the friend caress'd,
3:463 The love-sick maid in vain her flame confess'd.

3:464 Once, in the woods, as he pursu'd the chace,
3:465 The babbling Echo had descry'd his face;
3:466 She, who in others' words her silence breaks,
3:467 Nor speaks her self but when another speaks.
3:468 Echo was then a maid, of speech bereft,
3:469 Of wonted speech; for tho' her voice was left,
3:470 Juno a curse did on her tongue impose,
3:471 To sport with ev'ry sentence in the close.
3:472 Full often when the Goddess might have caught
3:473 Jove and her rivals in the very fault,
3:474 This nymph with subtle stories would delay
3:475 Her coming, 'till the lovers slip'd away.
3:476 The Goddess found out the deceit in time,
3:477 And then she cry'd, "That tongue, for this thy crime,
3:478 Which could so many subtle tales produce,
3:479 Shall be hereafter but of little use."
3:480 Hence 'tis she prattles in a fainter tone,
3:481 With mimick sounds, and accents not her own.

3:482 This love-sick virgin, over-joy'd to find
3:483 The boy alone, still follow'd him behind:
3:484 When glowing warmly at her near approach,
3:485 As sulphur blazes at the taper's touch,
3:486 She long'd her hidden passion to reveal,
3:487 And tell her pains, but had not words to tell:
3:488 She can't begin, but waits for the rebound,
3:489 To catch his voice, and to return the sound.

3:490 The nymph, when nothing could Narcissus move,
3:491 Still dash'd with blushes for her slighted love,
3:492 Liv'd in the shady covert of the woods,
3:493 In solitary caves and dark abodes;
3:494 Where pining wander'd the rejected fair,
3:495 'Till harrass'd out, and worn away with care,
3:496 The sounding skeleton, of blood bereft,
3:497 Besides her bones and voice had nothing left.
3:498 Her bones are petrify'd, her voice is found
3:499 In vaults, where still it doubles ev'ry sound.

The Story of Narcissus

3:500 Thus did the nymphs in vain caress the boy,
3:501 He still was lovely, but he still was coy;
3:502 When one fair virgin of the slighted train
3:503 Thus pray'd the Gods, provok'd by his disdain,
3:504 "Oh may he love like me, and love like me in vain!"
3:505 Rhamnusia pity'd the neglected fair,
3:506 And with just vengeance answer'd to her pray'r.

3:507 There stands a fountain in a darksom wood,
3:508 Nor stain'd with falling leaves nor rising mud;
3:509 Untroubled by the breath of winds it rests,
3:510 Unsully'd by the touch of men or beasts;
3:511 High bow'rs of shady trees above it grow,
3:512 And rising grass and chearful greens below.
3:513 Pleas'd with the form and coolness of the place,
3:514 And over-heated by the morning chace,
3:515 Narcissus on the grassie verdure lyes:
3:516 But whilst within the chrystal fount he tries
3:517 To quench his heat, he feels new heats arise.
3:518 For as his own bright image he survey'd,
3:519 He fell in love with the fantastick shade;
3:520 And o'er the fair resemblance hung unmov'd,
3:521 Nor knew, fond youth! it was himself he lov'd.
3:522 The well-turn'd neck and shoulders he descries,
3:523 The spacious forehead, and the sparkling eyes;
3:524 The hands that Bacchus might not scorn to show,
3:525 And hair that round Apollo's head might flow;
3:526 With all the purple youthfulness of face,
3:527 That gently blushes in the wat'ry glass.
3:528 By his own flames consum'd the lover lyes,
3:529 And gives himself the wound by which he dies.
3:530 To the cold water oft he joins his lips,
3:531 Oft catching at the beauteous shade he dips
3:532 His arms, as often from himself he slips.
3:533 Nor knows he who it is his arms pursue
3:534 With eager clasps, but loves he knows not who.

3:535 What could, fond youth, this helpless passion move?
3:536 What kindled in thee this unpity'd love?
3:537 Thy own warm blush within the water glows,
3:538 With thee the colour'd shadow comes and goes,
3:539 Its empty being on thy self relies;
3:540 Step thou aside, and the frail charmer dies.

3:541 Still o'er the fountain's wat'ry gleam he stood,
3:542 Mindless of sleep, and negligent of food;
3:543 Still view'd his face, and languish'd as he view'd.
3:544 At length he rais'd his head, and thus began
3:545 To vent his griefs, and tell the woods his pain.
3:546 "You trees," says he, "and thou surrounding grove,
3:547 Who oft have been the kindly scenes of love,
3:548 Tell me, if e'er within your shades did lye
3:549 A youth so tortur'd, so perplex'd as I?
3:550 I, who before me see the charming fair,
3:551 Whilst there he stands, and yet he stands not there:
3:552 In such a maze of love my thoughts are lost:
3:553 And yet no bulwark'd town, nor distant coast,
3:554 Preserves the beauteous youth from being seen,
3:555 No mountains rise, nor oceans flow between.
3:556 A shallow water hinders my embrace;
3:557 And yet the lovely mimick wears a face
3:558 That kindly smiles, and when I bend to join
3:559 My lips to his, he fondly bends to mine.
3:560 Hear, gentle youth, and pity my complaint,
3:561 Come from thy well, thou fair inhabitant.
3:562 My charms an easy conquest have obtain'd
3:563 O'er other hearts, by thee alone disdain'd.
3:564 But why should I despair? I'm sure he burns
3:565 With equal flames, and languishes by turns.
3:566 When-e'er I stoop, he offers at a kiss,
3:567 And when my arms I stretch, he stretches his.
3:568 His eye with pleasure on my face he keeps,
3:569 He smiles my smiles, and when I weep he weeps.
3:570 When e'er I speak, his moving lips appear
3:571 To utter something, which I cannot hear.

3:572 "Ah wretched me! I now begin too late
3:573 To find out all the long-perplex'd deceit;
3:574 It is my self I love, my self I see;
3:575 The gay delusion is a part of me.
3:576 I kindle up the fires by which I burn,
3:577 And my own beauties from the well return.
3:578 Whom should I court? how utter my complaint?
3:579 Enjoyment but produces my restraint,
3:580 And too much plenty makes me die for want.
3:581 How gladly would I from my self remove!
3:582 And at a distance set the thing I love.
3:583 My breast is warm'd with such unusual fire,
3:584 I wish him absent whom I most desire.
3:585 And now I faint with grief; my fate draws nigh;
3:586 In all the pride of blooming youth I die.
3:587 Death will the sorrows of my heart relieve.
3:588 Oh might the visionary youth survive,
3:589 I should with joy my latest breath resign!
3:590 But oh! I see his fate involv'd in mine."

3:591 This said, the weeping youth again return'd
3:592 To the clear fountain, where again he burn'd;
3:593 His tears defac'd the surface of the well,
3:594 With circle after circle, as they fell:
3:595 And now the lovely face but half appears,
3:596 O'er-run with wrinkles, and deform'd with tears.
3:597 "Ah whither," cries Narcissus, "dost thou fly?
3:598 Let me still feed the flame by which I die;
3:599 Let me still see, tho' I'm no further blest."
3:600 Then rends his garment off, and beats his breast:
3:601 His naked bosom redden'd with the blow,
3:602 In such a blush as purple clusters show,
3:603 Ere yet the sun's autumnal heats refine
3:604 Their sprightly juice, and mellow it to wine.
3:605 The glowing beauties of his breast he spies,
3:606 And with a new redoubled passion dies.
3:607 As wax dissolves, as ice begins to run,
3:608 And trickle into drops before the sun;
3:609 So melts the youth, and languishes away,
3:610 His beauty withers, and his limbs decay;
3:611 And none of those attractive charms remain,
3:612 To which the slighted Echo su'd in vain.

3:613 She saw him in his present misery,
3:614 Whom, spight of all her wrongs, she griev'd to see.
3:615 She answer'd sadly to the lover's moan,
3:616 Sigh'd back his sighs, and groan'd to ev'ry groan:
3:617 "Ah youth! belov'd in vain," Narcissus cries;
3:618 "Ah youth! belov'd in vain," the nymph replies.
3:619 "Farewel," says he; the parting sound scarce fell
3:620 From his faint lips, but she reply'd, "farewel."
3:621 Then on th' wholsome earth he gasping lyes,
3:622 'Till death shuts up those self-admiring eyes.
3:623 To the cold shades his flitting ghost retires,
3:624 And in the Stygian waves it self admires.

3:625 For him the Naiads and the Dryads mourn,
3:626 Whom the sad Echo answers in her turn;
3:627 And now the sister-nymphs prepare his urn:
3:628 When, looking for his corps, they only found
3:629 A rising stalk, with yellow blossoms crown'd.

The Story of Pentheus

3:630 This sad event gave blind Tiresias fame,
3:631 Through Greece establish'd in a prophet's name.

3:632 Th' unhallow'd Pentheus only durst deride
3:633 The cheated people, and their eyeless guide.
3:634 To whom the prophet in his fury said,
3:635 Shaking the hoary honours of his head:
3:636 "'Twere well, presumptuous man, 'twere well for thee
3:637 If thou wert eyeless too, and blind, like me:
3:638 For the time comes, nay, 'tis already here,
3:639 When the young God's solemnities appear:
3:640 Which, if thou dost not with just rites adorn,
3:641 Thy impious carcass, into pieces torn,
3:642 Shall strew the woods, and hang on ev'ry thorn.
3:643 Then, then, remember what I now foretel,
3:644 And own the blind Tiresias saw too well."

3:645 Still Pentheus scorns him, and derides his skill;
3:646 But time did all the prophet's threats fulfil.
3:647 For now through prostrate Greece young Bacchus rode,
3:648 Whilst howling matrons celebrate the God:
3:649 All ranks and sexes to his Orgies ran,
3:650 To mingle in the pomps, and fill the train.
3:651 When Pentheus thus his wicked rage express'd:
3:652 "What madness, Thebans, has your souls possess'd?
3:653 Can hollow timbrels, can a drunken shout,
3:654 And the lewd clamours of a beastly rout,
3:655 Thus quell your courage; can the weak alarm
3:656 Of women's yells those stubborn souls disarm,
3:657 Whom nor the sword nor trumpet e'er could fright,
3:658 Nor the loud din and horror of a fight?
3:659 And you, our sires, who left your old abodes,
3:660 And fix'd in foreign earth your country Gods;
3:661 Will you without a stroak your city yield,
3:662 And poorly quit an undisputed field?
3:663 But you, whose youth and vigour should inspire
3:664 Heroick warmth, and kindle martial fire,
3:665 Whom burnish'd arms and crested helmets grace,
3:666 Not flow'ry garlands and a painted face;
3:667 Remember him to whom you stand ally'd:
3:668 The serpent for his well of waters dy'd.
3:669 He fought the strong; do you his courage show,
3:670 And gain a conquest o'er a feeble foe.
3:671 If Thebes must fall, oh might the fates afford
3:672 A nobler doom from famine, fire, or sword.
3:673 Then might the Thebans perish with renown:
3:674 But now a beardless victor sacks the town;
3:675 Whom nor the prancing steed, nor pond'rous shield,
3:676 Nor the hack'd helmet, nor the dusty field,
3:677 But the soft joys of luxury and ease,
3:678 The purple vests, and flow'ry garlands please.
3:679 Stand then aside, I'll make the counterfeit
3:680 Renounce his god-head, and confess the cheat.
3:681 Acrisius from the Grecian walls repell'd
3:682 This boasted pow'r; why then should Pentheus yield?
3:683 Go quickly drag th' impostor boy to me;
3:684 I'll try the force of his divinity."
3:685 Thus did th' audacious wretch those rites profane;
3:686 His friends dissuade th' audacious wretch in vain:
3:687 In vain his grandsire urg'd him to give o'er
3:688 His impious threats; the wretch but raves the more.

3:689 So have I seen a river gently glide,
3:690 In a smooth course, and inoffensive tide;
3:691 But if with dams its current we restrain,
3:692 It bears down all, and foams along the plain.

3:693 But now his servants came besmear'd with blood,
3:694 Sent by their haughty prince to seize the God;
3:695 The God they found not in the frantick throng,
3:696 But dragg'd a zealous votary along.

The Mariners transform'd to Dolphins

3:697 Him Pentheus view'd with fury in his look,
3:698 And scarce with-held his hands, whilst thus he spoke:
3:699 "Vile slave! whom speedy vengeance shall pursue,
3:700 And terrify thy base seditious crew:
3:701 Thy country and thy parentage reveal,
3:702 And, why thou joinest in these mad Orgies, tell."

3:703 The captive views him with undaunted eyes,
3:704 And, arm'd with inward innocence, replies,

3:705 "From high Meonia's rocky shores I came,
3:706 Of poor descent, Acoetes is my name:
3:707 My sire was meanly born; no oxen plow'd
3:708 His fruitful fields, nor in his pastures low'd.
3:709 His whole estate within the waters lay;
3:710 With lines and hooks he caught the finny prey,
3:711 His art was all his livelyhood; which he
3:712 Thus with his dying lips bequeath'd to me:
3:713 In streams, my boy, and rivers take thy chance;
3:714 There swims, said he, thy whole inheritance.
3:715 Long did I live on this poor legacy;
3:716 'Till tir'd with rocks, and my old native sky,
3:717 To arts of navigation I inclin'd;
3:718 Observ'd the turns and changes of the wind,
3:719 Learn'd the fit havens, and began to note
3:720 The stormy Hyades, the rainy Goat,
3:721 The bright Taygete, and the shining Bears,
3:722 With all the sailor's catalogue of stars.

3:723 "Once, as by chance for Delos I design'd,
3:724 My vessel, driv'n by a strong gust of wind,
3:725 Moor'd in a Chian Creek; a-shore I went,
3:726 And all the following night in Chios spent.
3:727 When morning rose, I sent my mates to bring
3:728 Supplies of water from a neighb'ring spring,
3:729 Whilst I the motion of the winds explor'd;
3:730 Then summon'd in my crew, and went aboard.
3:731 Opheltes heard my summons, and with joy
3:732 Brought to the shore a soft and lovely boy,
3:733 With more than female sweetness in his look,
3:734 Whom straggling in the neighb'ring fields he took.
3:735 With fumes of wine the little captive glows,
3:736 And nods with sleep, and staggers as he goes.

3:737 "I view'd him nicely, and began to trace
3:738 Each heav'nly feature, each immortal grace,
3:739 And saw divinity in all his face,
3:740 I know not who, said I, this God should be;
3:741 But that he is a God I plainly see:
3:742 And thou, who-e'er thou art, excuse the force
3:743 These men have us'd; and oh befriend our course!
3:744 Pray not for us, the nimble Dictys cry'd,
3:745 Dictys, that could the main-top mast bestride,
3:746 And down the ropes with active vigour slide.
3:747 To the same purpose old Epopeus spoke,
3:748 Who over-look'd the oars, and tim'd the stroke;
3:749 The same the pilot, and the same the rest;
3:750 Such impious avarice their souls possest.
3:751 Nay, Heav'n forbid that I should bear away
3:752 Within my vessel so divine a prey,
3:753 Said I; and stood to hinder their intent:
3:754 When Lycabas, a wretch for murder sent
3:755 From Tuscany, to suffer banishment,
3:756 With his clench'd fist had struck me over-board,
3:757 Had not my hands in falling grasp'd a cord.

3:758 "His base confederates the fact approve;
3:759 When Bacchus (for 'twas he) begun to move,
3:760 Wak'd by the noise and clamours which they rais'd;
3:761 And shook his drowsie limbs, and round him gaz'd:
3:762 What means this noise? he cries; am I betray'd?
3:763 Ah, whither, whither must I be convey'd?
3:764 Fear not, said Proreus, child, but tell us where
3:765 You wish to land, and trust our friendly care.
3:766 To Naxos then direct your course, said he;
3:767 Naxos a hospitable port shall be
3:768 To each of you, a joyful home to me.
3:769 By ev'ry God, that rules the sea or sky,
3:770 The perjur'd villains promise to comply,
3:771 And bid me hasten to unmoor the ship.
3:772 With eager joy I launch into the deep;
3:773 And, heedless of the fraud, for Naxos stand.
3:774 They whisper oft, and beckon with the hand,
3:775 And give me signs, all anxious for their prey,
3:776 To tack about, and steer another way.
3:777 Then let some other to my post succeed,
3:778 Said I, I'm guiltless of so foul a deed.
3:779 What, says Ethalion, must the ship's whole crew
3:780 Follow your humour, and depend on you?
3:781 And strait himself he seated at the prore,
3:782 And tack'd about, and sought another shore.

3:783 "The beauteous youth now found himself betray'd,
3:784 And from the deck the rising waves survey'd,
3:785 And seem'd to weep, and as he wept he said:
3:786 And do you thus my easy faith beguile?
3:787 Thus do you bear me to my native isle?
3:788 Will such a multitude of men employ
3:789 Their strength against a weak defenceless boy?

3:790 "In vain did I the God-like youth deplore,
3:791 The more I begg'd, they thwarted me the more.
3:792 And now by all the Gods in Heav'n that hear
3:793 This solemn oath, by Bacchus' self, I swear,
3:794 The mighty miracle that did ensue,
3:795 Although it seems beyond belief, is true.
3:796 The vessel, fix'd and rooted in the flood,
3:797 Unmov'd by all the beating billows stood.
3:798 In vain the mariners would plow the main
3:799 With sails unfurl'd, and strike their oars in vain;
3:800 Around their oars a twining ivy cleaves,
3:801 And climbs the mast, and hides the cords in leaves:
3:802 The sails are cover'd with a chearful green,
3:803 And berries in the fruitful canvass seen.
3:804 Amidst the waves a sudden forest rears
3:805 Its verdant head, and a new Spring appears.

3:806 "The God we now behold with open'd eyes;
3:807 A herd of spotted panthers round him lyes
3:808 In glaring forms; the grapy clusters spread
3:809 On his fair brows, and dangle on his head.
3:810 And whilst he frowns, and brandishes his spear,
3:811 My mates surpriz'd with madness or with fear,
3:812 Leap'd over board; first perjur'd Madon found
3:813 Rough scales and fins his stiff'ning sides surround;
3:814 Ah what, cries one, has thus transform'd thy look?
3:815 Strait his own mouth grew wider as he spoke;
3:816 And now himself he views with like surprize.
3:817 Still at his oar th' industrious Libys plies;
3:818 But, as he plies, each busy arm shrinks in,
3:819 And by degrees is fashion'd to a fin.
3:820 Another, as he catches at a cord,
3:821 Misses his arms, and, tumbling over-board,
3:822 With his broad fins and forky tail he laves
3:823 The rising surge, and flounces in the waves.
3:824 Thus all my crew transform'd around the ship,
3:825 Or dive below, or on the surface leap,
3:826 And spout the waves, and wanton in the deep.
3:827 Full nineteen sailors did the ship convey,
3:828 A shole of nineteen dolphins round her play.
3:829 I only in my proper shape appear,
3:830 Speechless with wonder, and half dead with fear,
3:831 'Till Bacchus kindly bid me fear no more.
3:832 With him I landed on the Chian shore,
3:833 And him shall ever gratefully adore."

3:834 "This forging slave," says Pentheus, "would prevail
3:835 O'er our just fury by a far-fetch'd tale:
3:836 Go, let him feel the whips, the swords, the fire,
3:837 And in the tortures of the rack expire."
3:838 Th' officious servants hurry him away,
3:839 And the poor captive in a dungeon lay.
3:840 But, whilst the whips and tortures are prepar'd,
3:841 The gates fly open, of themselves unbarr'd;
3:842 At liberty th' unfetter'd captive stands,
3:843 And flings the loosen'd shackles from his hands.

The Death of Pentheus

3:844 But Pentheus, grown more furious than before,
3:845 Resolv'd to send his messengers no more,
3:846 But went himself to the distracted throng,
3:847 Where high Cithaeron echo'd with their song.
3:848 And as the fiery war-horse paws the ground,
3:849 And snorts and trembles at the trumpet's sound;
3:850 Transported thus he heard the frantick rout,
3:851 And rav'd and madden'd at the distant shout.

3:852 A spacious circuit on the hill there stood.
3:853 Level and wide, and skirted round with wood;
3:854 Here the rash Pentheus, with unhallow'd eyes,
3:855 The howling dames and mystick Orgies spies.
3:856 His mother sternly view'd him where he stood,
3:857 And kindled into madness as she view'd:
3:858 Her leafy jav'lin at her son she cast,
3:859 And cries, "The boar that lays our country waste!
3:860 The boar, my sisters! Aim the fatal dart,
3:861 And strike the brindled monster to the heart."

3:862 Pentheus astonish'd heard the dismal sound,
3:863 And sees the yelling matrons gath'ring round;
3:864 He sees, and weeps at his approaching fate,
3:865 And begs for mercy, and repents too late.
3:866 "Help, help! my aunt Autonoe," he cry'd;
3:867 "Remember, how your own Actaeon dy'd."
3:868 Deaf to his cries, the frantick matron crops
3:869 One stretch'd-out arm, the other Ino lops.
3:870 In vain does Pentheus to his mother sue,
3:871 And the raw bleeding stumps presents to view:
3:872 His mother howl'd; and, heedless of his pray'r,
3:873 Her trembling hand she twisted in his hair,
3:874 "And this," she cry'd, "shall be Agave's share,"
3:875 When from the neck his struggling head she tore,
3:876 And in her hands the ghastly visage bore.
3:877 With pleasure all the hideous trunk survey;
3:878 Then pull'd and tore the mangled limbs away,
3:879 As starting in the pangs of death it lay,
3:880 Soon as the wood its leafy honours casts,
3:881 Blown off and scatter'd by autumnal blasts,
3:882 With such a sudden death lay Pentheus slain,
3:883 And in a thousand pieces strow'd the plain.

3:884 By so distinguishing a judgment aw'd,
3:885 The Thebans tremble, and confess the God.


The Story of Alcithoe and her Sisters

4:1 Yet still Alcithoe perverse remains,
4:2 And Bacchus still, and all his rites, disdains.
4:3 Too rash, and madly bold, she bids him prove
4:4 Himself a God, nor owns the son of Jove.
4:5 Her sisters too unanimous agree,
4:6 Faithful associates in impiety.
4:7 Be this a solemn feast, the priest had said;
4:8 Be, with each mistress, unemploy'd each maid.
4:9 With skins of beasts your tender limbs enclose,
4:10 And with an ivy-crown adorn your brows,
4:11 The leafy Thyrsus high in triumph bear,
4:12 And give your locks to wanton in the air.

4:13 These rites profan'd, the holy seer foreshow'd
4:14 A mourning people, and a vengeful God.

4:15 Matrons and pious wives obedience show,
4:16 Distaffs, and wooll, half spun, away they throw:
4:17 Then incense burn, and, Bacchus, thee adore,
4:18 Or lov'st thou Nyseus, or Lyaeus more?
4:19 O! doubly got, O! doubly born, they sung,
4:20 Thou mighty Bromius, hail, from light'ning sprung!
4:21 Hail, Thyon, Eleleus! each name is thine:
4:22 Or, listen parent of the genial vine!
4:23 Iachus! Evan! loudly they repeat,
4:24 And not one Grecian attribute forget,
4:25 Which to thy praise, great Deity, belong,
4:26 Stil'd justly Liber in the Roman song.
4:27 Eternity of youth is thine! enjoy
4:28 Years roul'd on years, yet still a blooming boy.
4:29 In Heav'n thou shin'st with a superior grace;
4:30 Conceal thy horns, and 'tis a virgin's face.
4:31 Thou taught'st the tawny Indian to obey,
4:32 And Ganges, smoothly flowing, own'd thy sway.
4:33 Lycurgus, Pentheus, equally profane,
4:34 By thy just vengeance equally were slain.
4:35 By thee the Tuscans, who conspir'd to keep
4:36 Thee captive, plung'd, and cut with finns the deep.
4:37 With painted reins, all-glitt'ring from afar,
4:38 The spotted lynxes proudly draw thy car.
4:39 Around, the Bacchae, and the satyrs throng;
4:40 Behind, Silenus, drunk, lags slow along:
4:41 On his dull ass he nods from side to side,
4:42 Forbears to fall, yet half forgets to ride.
4:43 Still at thy near approach, applauses loud
4:44 Are heard, with yellings of the female crowd.
4:45 Timbrels, and boxen pipes, with mingled cries,
4:46 Swell up in sounds confus'd, and rend the skies.
4:47 Come, Bacchus, come propitious, all implore,
4:48 And act thy sacred orgies o'er and o'er.

4:49 But Mineus' daughters, while these rites were pay'd,
4:50 At home, impertinently busie, stay'd.
4:51 Their wicked tasks they ply with various art,
4:52 And thro' the loom the sliding shuttle dart;
4:53 Or at the fire to comb the wooll they stand,
4:54 Or twirl the spindle with a dext'rous hand.
4:55 Guilty themselves, they force the guiltless in;
4:56 Their maids, who share the labour, share the sin.
4:57 At last one sister cries, who nimbly knew
4:58 To draw nice threads, and winde the finest clue,
4:59 While others idly rove, and Gods revere,
4:60 Their fancy'd Gods! they know not who, or where;
4:61 Let us, whom Pallas taught her better arts,
4:62 Still working, cheer with mirthful chat our hearts,
4:63 And to deceive the time, let me prevail
4:64 With each by turns to tell some antique tale.
4:65 She said: her sisters lik'd the humour well,
4:66 And smiling, bad her the first story tell.
4:67 But she a-while profoundly seem'd to muse,
4:68 Perplex'd amid variety to chuse:
4:69 And knew not, whether she should first relate
4:70 The poor Dircetis, and her wond'rous fate.
4:71 The Palestines believe it to a man,
4:72 And show the lake, in which her scales began.
4:73 Or if she rather should the daughter sing,
4:74 Who in the hoary verge of life took wing;
4:75 Who soar'd from Earth, and dwelt in tow'rs on high,
4:76 And now a dove she flits along the sky.
4:77 Or how lewd Nais, when her lust was cloy'd,
4:78 To fishes turn'd the youths, she had enjoy'd,
4:79 By pow'rful verse, and herbs; effect most strange!
4:80 At last the changer shar'd herself the change.
4:81 Or how the tree, which once white berries bore,
4:82 Still crimson bears, since stain'd with crimson gore.
4:83 The tree was new; she likes it, and begins
4:84 To tell the tale, and as she tells, she spins.

The Story of Pyramus and Thisbe

4:85 In Babylon, where first her queen, for state
4:86 Rais'd walls of brick magnificently great,
4:87 Liv'd Pyramus, and Thisbe, lovely pair!
4:88 He found no eastern youth his equal there,
4:89 And she beyond the fairest nymph was fair.
4:90 A closer neighbourhood was never known,
4:91 Tho' two the houses, yet the roof was one.
4:92 Acquaintance grew, th' acquaintance they improve
4:93 To friendship, friendship ripen'd into love:
4:94 Love had been crown'd, but impotently mad,
4:95 What parents could not hinder, they forbad.
4:96 For with fierce flames young Pyramus still burn'd,
4:97 And grateful Thisbe flames as fierce return'd.
4:98 Aloud in words their thoughts they dare not break,
4:99 But silent stand; and silent looks can speak.
4:100 The fire of love the more it is supprest,
4:101 The more it glows, and rages in the breast.

4:102 When the division-wall was built, a chink
4:103 Was left, the cement unobserv'd to shrink.
4:104 So slight the cranny, that it still had been
4:105 For centuries unclos'd, because unseen.
4:106 But oh! what thing so small, so secret lies,
4:107 Which scapes, if form'd for love, a lover's eyes?
4:108 Ev'n in this narrow chink they quickly found
4:109 A friendly passage for a trackless sound.
4:110 Safely they told their sorrows, and their joys,
4:111 In whisper'd murmurs, and a dying noise,
4:112 By turns to catch each other's breath they strove,
4:113 And suck'd in all the balmy breeze of love.
4:114 Oft as on diff'rent sides they stood, they cry'd,
4:115 Malicious wall, thus lovers to divide!
4:116 Suppose, thou should'st a-while to us give place
4:117 To lock, and fasten in a close embrace:
4:118 But if too much to grant so sweet a bliss,
4:119 Indulge at least the pleasure of a kiss.
4:120 We scorn ingratitude: to thee, we know,
4:121 This safe conveyance of our minds we owe.

4:122 Thus they their vain petition did renew
4:123 'Till night, and then they softly sigh'd adieu.
4:124 But first they strove to kiss, and that was all;
4:125 Their kisses dy'd untasted on the wall.
4:126 Soon as the morn had o'er the stars prevail'd,
4:127 And warm'd by Phoebus, flow'rs their dews exhal'd,
4:128 The lovers to their well-known place return,
4:129 Alike they suffer, and alike they mourn.
4:130 At last their parents they resolve to cheat
4:131 (If to deceive in love be call'd deceit),
4:132 To steal by night from home, and thence unknown
4:133 To seek the fields, and quit th' unfaithful town.
4:134 But, to prevent their wand'ring in the dark,
4:135 They both agree to fix upon a mark;
4:136 A mark, that could not their designs expose:
4:137 The tomb of Ninus was the mark they chose.
4:138 There they might rest secure beneath the shade,
4:139 Which boughs, with snowy fruit encumber'd, made:
4:140 A wide-spread mulberry its rise had took
4:141 Just on the margin of a gurgling brook.
4:142 Impatient for the friendly dusk they stay;
4:143 And chide the slowness of departing day;
4:144 In western seas down sunk at last the light,
4:145 From western seas up-rose the shades of night.
4:146 The loving Thisbe ev'n prevents the hour,
4:147 With cautious silence she unlocks the door,
4:148 And veils her face, and marching thro' the gloom
4:149 Swiftly arrives at th' assignation-tomb.
4:150 For still the fearful sex can fearless prove;
4:151 Boldly they act, if spirited by love.
4:152 When lo! a lioness rush'd o'er the plain,
4:153 Grimly besmear'd with blood of oxen slain:
4:154 And what to the dire sight new horrors brought,
4:155 To slake her thirst the neighb'ring spring she sought.
4:156 Which, by the moon, when trembling Thisbe spies,
4:157 Wing'd with her fear, swift, as the wind, she flies;
4:158 And in a cave recovers from her fright,
4:159 But drop'd her veil, confounded in her flight.
4:160 When sated with repeated draughts, again
4:161 The queen of beasts scour'd back along the plain,
4:162 She found the veil, and mouthing it all o'er,
4:163 With bloody jaws the lifeless prey she tore.

4:164 The youth, who could not cheat his guards so soon,
4:165 Late came, and noted by the glimm'ring moon
4:166 Some savage feet, new printed on the ground,
4:167 His cheeks turn'd pale, his limbs no vigour found;
4:168 But when, advancing on, the veil he spied
4:169 Distain'd with blood, and ghastly torn, he cried,
4:170 One night shall death to two young lovers give,
4:171 But she deserv'd unnumber'd years to live!
4:172 'Tis I am guilty, I have thee betray'd,
4:173 Who came not early, as my charming maid.
4:174 Whatever slew thee, I the cause remain,
4:175 I nam'd, and fix'd the place where thou wast slain.
4:176 Ye lions from your neighb'ring dens repair,
4:177 Pity the wretch, this impious body tear!
4:178 But cowards thus for death can idly cry;
4:179 The brave still have it in their pow'r to die.
4:180 Then to th' appointed tree he hastes away,
4:181 The veil first gather'd, tho' all rent it lay:
4:182 The veil all rent yet still it self endears,
4:183 He kist, and kissing, wash'd it with his tears.
4:184 Tho' rich (he cry'd) with many a precious stain,
4:185 Still from my blood a deeper tincture gain.
4:186 Then in his breast his shining sword he drown'd,
4:187 And fell supine, extended on the ground.
4:188 As out again the blade lie dying drew,
4:189 Out spun the blood, and streaming upwards flew.
4:190 So if a conduit-pipe e'er burst you saw,
4:191 Swift spring the gushing waters thro' the flaw:
4:192 Then spouting in a bow, they rise on high,
4:193 And a new fountain plays amid the sky.
4:194 The berries, stain'd with blood, began to show
4:195 A dark complexion, and forgot their snow;
4:196 While fatten'd with the flowing gore, the root
4:197 Was doom'd for ever to a purple fruit.

4:198 Mean-time poor Thisbe fear'd, so long she stay'd,
4:199 Her lover might suspect a perjur'd maid.
4:200 Her fright scarce o'er, she strove the youth to find
4:201 With ardent eyes, which spoke an ardent mind.
4:202 Already in his arms, she hears him sigh
4:203 At her destruction, which was once so nigh.
4:204 The tomb, the tree, but not the fruit she knew,
4:205 The fruit she doubted for its alter'd hue.
4:206 Still as she doubts, her eyes a body found
4:207 Quiv'ring in death, and gasping on the ground.
4:208 She started back, the red her cheeks forsook,
4:209 And ev'ry nerve with thrilling horrors shook.
4:210 So trembles the smooth surface of the seas,
4:211 If brush'd o'er gently with a rising breeze.
4:212 But when her view her bleeding love confest,
4:213 She shriek'd, she tore her hair, she beat her breast.
4:214 She rais'd the body, and embrac'd it round,
4:215 And bath'd with tears unfeign'd the gaping wound.
4:216 Then her warm lips to the cold face apply'd,
4:217 And is it thus, ah! thus we meet, she cry'd!
4:218 My Pyramus! whence sprung thy cruel fate?
4:219 My Pyramus!-ah! speak, ere 'tis too late.
4:220 I, thy own Thisbe, but one word implore,
4:221 One word thy Thisbe never ask'd before.
4:222 At Thisbe's name, awak'd, he open'd wide
4:223 His dying eyes; with dying eyes he try'd
4:224 On her to dwell, but clos'd them slow, and dy'd.

4:225 The fatal cause was now at last explor'd,
4:226 Her veil she knew, and saw his sheathless sword:
4:227 From thy own hand thy ruin thou hast found,
4:228 She said, but love first taught that hand to wound,
4:229 Ev'n I for thee as bold a hand can show,
4:230 And love, which shall as true direct the blow.
4:231 I will against the woman's weakness strive,
4:232 And never thee, lamented youth, survive.
4:233 The world may say, I caus'd, alas! thy death,
4:234 But saw thee breathless, and resign'd my breath.
4:235 Fate, tho' it conquers, shall no triumph gain,
4:236 Fate, that divides us, still divides in vain.

4:237 Now, both our cruel parents, hear my pray'r;
4:238 My pray'r to offer for us both I dare;
4:239 Oh! see our ashes in one urn confin'd,
4:240 Whom love at first, and fate at last has join'd.
4:241 The bliss, you envy'd, is not our request;
4:242 Lovers, when dead, may sure together rest.
4:243 Thou, tree, where now one lifeless lump is laid,
4:244 Ere-long o'er two shalt cast a friendly shade.
4:245 Still let our loves from thee be understood,
4:246 Still witness in thy purple fruit our blood.
4:247 She spoke, and in her bosom plung'd the sword,
4:248 All warm and reeking from its slaughter'd lord.
4:249 The pray'r, which dying Thisbe had preferr'd,
4:250 Both Gods, and parents, with compassion heard.
4:251 The whiteness of the mulberry soon fled,
4:252 And rip'ning, sadden'd in a dusky red:
4:253 While both their parents their lost children mourn,
4:254 And mix their ashes in one golden urn.

4:255 Thus did the melancholy tale conclude,
4:256 And a short, silent interval ensu'd.
4:257 The next in birth unloos'd her artful tongue,
4:258 And drew attentive all the sister-throng.

The Story of Leucothoe and the Sun

4:259 The Sun, the source of light, by beauty's pow'r
4:260 Once am'rous grew; then hear the Sun's amour.
4:261 Venus, and Mars, with his far-piercing eyes
4:262 This God first spy'd; this God first all things spies.
4:263 Stung at the sight, and swift on mischief bent,
4:264 To haughty Juno's shapeless son he went:
4:265 The Goddess, and her God gallant betray'd,
4:266 And told the cuckold, where their pranks were play'd.
4:267 Poor Vulcan soon desir'd to hear no more,
4:268 He drop'd his hammer, and he shook all o'er:
4:269 Then courage takes, and full of vengeful ire
4:270 He heaves the bellows, and blows fierce the fire:
4:271 From liquid brass, tho' sure, yet subtile snares
4:272 He forms, and next a wond'rous net prepares,
4:273 Drawn with such curious art, so nicely sly,
4:274 Unseen the mashes cheat the searching eye.
4:275 Not half so thin their webs the spiders weave,
4:276 Which the most wary, buzzing prey deceive.
4:277 These chains, obedient to the touch, he spread
4:278 In secret foldings o'er the conscious bed:
4:279 The conscious bed again was quickly prest
4:280 By the fond pair, in lawless raptures blest.
4:281 Mars wonder'd at his Cytherea's charms,
4:282 More fast than ever lock'd within her arms.
4:283 While Vulcan th' iv'ry doors unbarr'd with care,
4:284 Then call'd the Gods to view the sportive pair:
4:285 The Gods throng'd in, and saw in open day,
4:286 Where Mars, and beauty's queen, all naked, lay.
4:287 O! shameful sight, if shameful that we name,
4:288 Which Gods with envy view'd, and could not blame;
4:289 But, for the pleasure, wish'd to bear the shame.
4:290 Each Deity, with laughter tir'd, departs,
4:291 Yet all still laugh'd at Vulcan in their hearts.

4:292 Thro' Heav'n the news of this surprizal run,
4:293 But Venus did not thus forget the Sun.
4:294 He, who stol'n transports idly had betray'd,
4:295 By a betrayer was in kind repay'd.
4:296 What now avails, great God, thy piercing blaze,
4:297 That youth, and beauty, and those golden rays?
4:298 Thou, who can'st warm this universe alone,
4:299 Feel'st now a warmth more pow'rful than thy own:
4:300 And those bright eyes, which all things should survey,
4:301 Know not from fair Leucothoe to stray.
4:302 The lamp of light, for human good design'd,
4:303 Is to one virgin niggardly confin'd.
4:304 Sometimes too early rise thy eastern beams,
4:305 Sometimes too late they set in western streams:
4:306 'Tis then her beauty thy swift course delays,
4:307 And gives to winter skies long summer days.
4:308 Now in thy face thy love-sick mind appears,
4:309 And spreads thro' impious nations empty fears:
4:310 For when thy beamless head is wrapt in night,
4:311 Poor mortals tremble in despair of light.
4:312 'Tis not the moon, that o'er thee casts a veil
4:313 'Tis love alone, which makes thy looks so pale.
4:314 Leucothoe is grown thy only care,
4:315 Not Phaeton's fair mother now is fair.
4:316 The youthful Rhodos moves no tender thought,
4:317 And beauteous Porsa is at last forgot.
4:318 Fond Clytie, scorn'd, yet lov'd, and sought thy bed,
4:319 Ev'n then thy heart for other virgins bled.
4:320 Leucothoe has all thy soul possest,
4:321 And chas'd each rival passion from thy breast.
4:322 To this bright nymph Eurynome gave birth
4:323 In the blest confines of the spicy Earth.
4:324 Excelling others, she herself beheld
4:325 By her own blooming daughter far excell'd.
4:326 The sire was Orchamus, whose vast command,
4:327 The sev'nth from Belus, rul'd the Persian Land.

4:328 Deep in cool vales, beneath th' Hesperian sky,
4:329 For the Sun's fiery steeds the pastures lye.
4:330 Ambrosia there they eat, and thence they gain
4:331 New vigour, and their daily toils sustain.
4:332 While thus on heav'nly food the coursers fed,
4:333 And night, around, her gloomy empire spread,
4:334 The God assum'd the mother's shape and air,
4:335 And pass'd, unheeded, to his darling fair.
4:336 Close by a lamp, with maids encompass'd round,
4:337 The royal spinster, full employ'd, he found:
4:338 Then cry'd, A-while from work, my daughter, rest;
4:339 And, like a mother, scarce her lips he prest.
4:340 Servants retire!-nor secrets dare to hear,
4:341 Intrusted only to a daughter's ear.
4:342 They swift obey'd: not one, suspicious, thought
4:343 The secret, which their mistress would be taught.
4:344 Then he: since now no witnesses are near,
4:345 Behold! the God, who guides the various year!
4:346 The world's vast eye, of light the source serene,
4:347 Who all things sees, by whom are all things seen.
4:348 Believe me, nymph! (for I the truth have show'd)
4:349 Thy charms have pow'r to charm so great a God.
4:350 Confus'd, she heard him his soft passion tell,
4:351 And on the floor, untwirl'd, the spindle fell:
4:352 Still from the sweet confusion some new grace
4:353 Blush'd out by stealth, and languish'd in her face.
4:354 The lover, now inflam'd, himself put on,
4:355 And out at once the God, all-radiant, shone.
4:356 The virgin startled at his alter'd form,
4:357 Too weak to bear a God's impetuous storm:
4:358 No more against the dazling youth she strove,
4:359 But silent yielded, and indulg'd his love.

4:360 This Clytie knew, and knew she was undone,
4:361 Whose soul was fix'd, and doated on the Sun.
4:362 She rag'd to think on her neglected charms,
4:363 And Phoebus, panting in another's arms.
4:364 With envious madness fir'd, she flies in haste,
4:365 And tells the king, his daughter was unchaste.
4:366 The king, incens'd to hear his honour stain'd,
4:367 No more the father nor the man retain'd.
4:368 In vain she stretch'd her arms, and turn'd her eyes
4:369 To her lov'd God, th' enlightner of the skies.
4:370 In vain she own'd it was a crime, yet still
4:371 It was a crime not acted by her will.
4:372 The brutal sire stood deaf to ev'ry pray'r,
4:373 And deep in Earth entomb'd alive the fair.
4:374 What Phoebus could do, was by Phoebus done:
4:375 Full on her grave with pointed beams he shone:
4:376 To pointed beams the gaping Earth gave way;
4:377 Had the nymph eyes, her eyes had seen the day,
4:378 But lifeless now, yet lovely still, she lay.
4:379 Not more the God wept, when the world was fir'd,
4:380 And in the wreck his blooming boy expir'd.
4:381 The vital flame he strives to light again,
4:382 And warm the frozen blood in ev'ry vein:
4:383 But since resistless Fates deny'd that pow'r,
4:384 On the cold nymph he rain'd a nectar show'r.
4:385 Ah! undeserving thus (he said) to die,
4:386 Yet still in odours thou shalt reach the sky.
4:387 The body soon dissolv'd, and all around
4:388 Perfum'd with heav'nly fragrancies the ground,
4:389 A sacrifice for Gods up-rose from thence,
4:390 A sweet, delightful tree of frankincense.

The Transformation of Clytie

4:391 Tho' guilty Clytie thus the sun betray'd,
4:392 By too much passion she was guilty made.
4:393 Excess of love begot excess of grief,
4:394 Grief fondly bad her hence to hope relief.
4:395 But angry Phoebus hears, unmov'd, her sighs,
4:396 And scornful from her loath'd embraces flies.
4:397 All day, all night, in trackless wilds, alone
4:398 She pin'd, and taught the list'ning rocks her moan.
4:399 On the bare earth she lies, her bosom bare,
4:400 Loose her attire, dishevel'd is her hair.
4:401 Nine times the morn unbarr'd the gates of light,
4:402 As oft were spread th' alternate shades of night,
4:403 So long no sustenance the mourner knew,
4:404 Unless she drunk her tears, or suck'd the dew.
4:405 She turn'd about, but rose not from the ground,
4:406 Turn'd to the Sun, still as he roul'd his round:
4:407 On his bright face hung her desiring eyes,
4:408 'Till fix'd to Earth, she strove in vain to rise.
4:409 Her looks their paleness in a flow'r retain'd,
4:410 But here, and there, some purple streaks they gain'd.
4:411 Still the lov'd object the fond leafs pursue,
4:412 Still move their root, the moving Sun to view,
4:413 And in the Heliotrope the nymph is true.

4:414 The sisters heard these wonders with surprise,
4:415 But part receiv'd them as romantick lies;
4:416 And pertly rally'd, that they could not see
4:417 In Pow'rs divine so vast an energy.
4:418 Part own'd, true Gods such miracles might do,
4:419 But own'd not Bacchus, one among the true.
4:420 At last a common, just request they make,
4:421 And beg Alcithoe her turn to take.
4:422 I will (she said) and please you, if I can.
4:423 Then shot her shuttle swift, and thus began.

4:424 The fate of Daphnis is a fate too known,
4:425 Whom an enamour'd nymph transform'd to stone,
4:426 Because she fear'd another nymph might see
4:427 The lovely youth, and love as much as she:
4:428 So strange the madness is of jealousie!
4:429 Nor shall I tell, what changes Scython made,
4:430 And how he walk'd a man, or tripp'd a maid.
4:431 You too would peevish frown, and patience want
4:432 To hear, how Celmis grew an adamant.
4:433 He once was dear to Jove, and saw of old
4:434 Jove, when a child; but what he saw, he told.
4:435 Crocus, and Smilax may be turn'd to flow'rs,
4:436 And the Curetes spring from bounteous show'rs;
4:437 I pass a hundred legends stale, as these,
4:438 And with sweet novelty your taste will please.

The Story of Salmacis and Hermaphroditus

4:439 How Salmacis, with weak enfeebling streams
4:440 Softens the body, and unnerves the limbs,
4:441 And what the secret cause, shall here be shown;
4:442 The cause is secret, but th' effect is known.

4:443 The Naids nurst an infant heretofore,
4:444 That Cytherea once to Hermes bore:
4:445 From both th' illustrious authors of his race
4:446 The child was nam'd, nor was it hard to trace
4:447 Both the bright parents thro' the infant's face.
4:448 When fifteen years in Ida's cool retreat
4:449 The boy had told, he left his native seat,
4:450 And sought fresh fountains in a foreign soil:
4:451 The pleasure lessen'd the attending toil,
4:452 With eager steps the Lycian fields he crost,
4:453 A river here he view'd so lovely bright,
4:454 It shew'd the bottom in a fairer light,
4:455 Nor kept a sand conceal'd from human sight.
4:456 The stream produc'd nor slimy ooze, nor weeds,
4:457 Nor miry rushes, nor the spiky reeds;
4:458 But dealt enriching moisture all around,
4:459 The fruitful banks with chearful verdure crown'd,
4:460 And kept the spring eternal on the ground.
4:461 A nymph presides, not practis'd in the chace,
4:462 Nor skilful at the bow, nor at the race;
4:463 Of all the blue-ey'd daughters of the main,
4:464 The only stranger to Diana's train:
4:465 Her sisters often, as 'tis said, wou'd cry,
4:466 "Fie Salmacis: what, always idle! fie.
4:467 Or take thy quiver, or thy arrows seize,
4:468 And mix the toils of hunting with thy ease."
4:469 Nor quiver she nor arrows e'er wou'd seize,
4:470 Nor mix the toils of hunting with her ease.
4:471 But oft would bathe her in the chrystal tide,
4:472 Oft with a comb her dewy locks divide;
4:473 Now in the limpid streams she views her face,
4:474 And drest her image in the floating glass:
4:475 On beds of leaves she now repos'd her limbs,
4:476 Now gather'd flow'rs that grew about her streams,
4:477 And then by chance was gathering, as he stood
4:478 To view the boy, and long'd for what she view'd.

4:479 Fain wou'd she meet the youth with hasty feet,
4:480 She fain wou'd meet him, but refus'd to meet
4:481 Before her looks were set with nicest care,
4:482 And well deserv'd to be reputed fair.
4:483 "Bright youth," she cries, "whom all thy features prove
4:484 A God, and, if a God, the God of love;
4:485 But if a mortal, blest thy nurse's breast,
4:486 Blest are thy parents, and thy sisters blest:
4:487 But oh how blest! how more than blest thy bride,
4:488 Ally'd in bliss, if any yet ally'd.
4:489 If so, let mine the stoln enjoyments be;
4:490 If not, behold a willing bride in me."

4:491 The boy knew nought of love, and toucht with shame,
4:492 He strove, and blusht, but still the blush became:
4:493 In rising blushes still fresh beauties rose;
4:494 The sunny side of fruit such blushes shows,
4:495 And such the moon, when all her silver white
4:496 Turns in eclipses to a ruddy light.
4:497 The nymph still begs, if not a nobler bliss,
4:498 A cold salute at least, a sister's kiss:
4:499 And now prepares to take the lovely boy
4:500 Between her arms. He, innocently coy,
4:501 Replies, "Or leave me to my self alone,
4:502 You rude uncivil nymph, or I'll be gone."
4:503 "Fair stranger then," says she, "it shall be so";
4:504 And, for she fear'd his threats, she feign'd to go:
4:505 But hid within a covert's neighbouring green,
4:506 She kept him still in sight, herself unseen.
4:507 The boy now fancies all the danger o'er,
4:508 And innocently sports about the shore,
4:509 Playful and wanton to the stream he trips,
4:510 And dips his foot, and shivers as he dips.
4:511 The coolness pleas'd him, and with eager haste
4:512 His airy garments on the banks he cast;
4:513 His godlike features, and his heav'nly hue,
4:514 And all his beauties were expos'd to view.
4:515 His naked limbs the nymph with rapture spies,
4:516 While hotter passions in her bosom rise,
4:517 Flush in her cheeks, and sparkle in her eyes.
4:518 She longs, she burns to clasp him in her arms,
4:519 And looks, and sighs, and kindles at his charms.

4:520 Now all undrest upon the banks he stood,
4:521 And clapt his sides, and leapt into the flood:
4:522 His lovely limbs the silver waves divide,
4:523 His limbs appear more lovely through the tide;
4:524 As lillies shut within a chrystal case,
4:525 Receive a glossy lustre from the glass.
4:526 He's mine, he's all my own, the Naid cries,
4:527 And flings off all, and after him she flies.
4:528 And now she fastens on him as he swims,
4:529 And holds him close, and wraps about his limbs.
4:530 The more the boy resisted, and was coy,
4:531 The more she clipt, and kist the strugling boy.
4:532 So when the wrigling snake is snatcht on high
4:533 In Eagle's claws, and hisses in the sky,
4:534 Around the foe his twirling tail he flings,
4:535 And twists her legs, and wriths about her wings.

4:536 The restless boy still obstinately strove
4:537 To free himself, and still refus'd her love.
4:538 Amidst his limbs she kept her limbs intwin'd,
4:539 "And why, coy youth," she cries, "why thus unkind!
4:540 Oh may the Gods thus keep us ever join'd!
4:541 Oh may we never, never part again!"

4:542 So pray'd the nymph, nor did she pray in vain:
4:543 For now she finds him, as his limbs she prest,
4:544 Grow nearer still, and nearer to her breast;
4:545 'Till, piercing each the other's flesh, they run
4:546 Together, and incorporate in one:
4:547 Last in one face are both their faces join'd,
4:548 As when the stock and grafted twig combin'd
4:549 Shoot up the same, and wear a common rind:
4:550 Both bodies in a single body mix,
4:551 A single body with a double sex.

4:552 The boy, thus lost in woman, now survey'd
4:553 The river's guilty stream, and thus he pray'd.
4:554 (He pray'd, but wonder'd at his softer tone,
4:555 Surpriz'd to hear a voice but half his own.)
4:556 You parent-Gods, whose heav'nly names I bear,
4:557 Hear your Hermaphrodite, and grant my pray'r;
4:558 Oh grant, that whomsoe'er these streams contain,
4:559 If man he enter'd, he may rise again
4:560 Supple, unsinew'd, and but half a man!

4:561 The heav'nly parents answer'd from on high,
4:562 Their two-shap'd son, the double votary
4:563 Then gave a secret virtue to the flood,
4:564 And ting'd its source to make his wishes good.

Alcithoe and her Sisters transform'd to Bats

4:565 But Mineus' daughters still their tasks pursue,
4:566 To wickedness most obstinately true:
4:567 At Bacchus still they laugh, when all around,
4:568 Unseen, the timbrels hoarse were heard to sound.
4:569 Saffron and myrrh their fragrant odours shed,
4:570 And now the present deity they dread.
4:571 Strange to relate! Here ivy first was seen,
4:572 Along the distaff crept the wond'rous green.
4:573 Then sudden-springing vines began to bloom,
4:574 And the soft tendrils curl'd around the loom:
4:575 While purple clusters, dangling from on high,
4:576 Ting'd the wrought purple with a second die.

4:577 Now from the skies was shot a doubtful light,
4:578 The day declining to the bounds of night.
4:579 The fabrick's firm foundations shake all o'er,
4:580 False tigers rage, and figur'd lions roar.
4:581 Torches, aloft, seem blazing in the air,
4:582 And angry flashes of red light'nings glare.
4:583 To dark recesses, the dire sight to shun,
4:584 Swift the pale sisters in confusion run.
4:585 Their arms were lost in pinions, as they fled,
4:586 And subtle films each slender limb o'er-spread.
4:587 Their alter'd forms their senses soon reveal'd;
4:588 Their forms, how alter'd, darkness still conceal'd.
4:589 Close to the roof each, wond'ring, upwards springs,
4:590 Born on unknown, transparent, plumeless wings.
4:591 They strove for words; their little bodies found
4:592 No words, but murmur'd in a fainting sound.
4:593 In towns, not woods, the sooty bats delight,
4:594 And, never, 'till the dusk, begin their flight;
4:595 'Till Vesper rises with his ev'ning flame;
4:596 From whom the Romans have deriv'd their name.

The Transformation of Ino and Melicerta to Sea-Gods

4:597 The pow'r of Bacchus now o'er Thebes had flown:
4:598 With awful rev'rence soon the God they own.
4:599 Proud Ino, all around the wonder tells,
4:600 And on her nephew deity still dwells.
4:601 Of num'rous sisters, she alone yet knew
4:602 No grief, but grief, which she from sisters drew.

4:603 Imperial Juno saw her with disdain,
4:604 Vain in her offspring, in her consort vain,
4:605 Who rul'd the trembling Thebans with a nod,
4:606 But saw her vainest in her foster-God.
4:607 Could then (she cry'd) a bastard-boy have pow'r
4:608 To make a mother her own son devour?
4:609 Could he the Tuscan crew to fishes change,
4:610 And now three sisters damn to forms so strange?
4:611 Yet shall the wife of Jove find no relief?
4:612 Shall she, still unreveng'd, disclose her grief?
4:613 Have I the mighty freedom to complain?
4:614 Is that my pow'r? is that to ease my pain?
4:615 A foe has taught me vengeance; and who ought
4:616 To scorn that vengeance, which a foe has taught?
4:617 What sure destruction frantick rage can throw,
4:618 The gaping wounds of slaughter'd Pentheus show.
4:619 Why should not Ino, fir'd with madness, stray,
4:620 Like her mad sisters her own kindred slay?
4:621 Why, she not follow, where they lead the way?

4:622 Down a steep, yawning cave, where yews display'd
4:623 In arches meet, and lend a baleful shade,
4:624 Thro' silent labyrinths a passage lies
4:625 To mournful regions, and infernal skies.
4:626 Here Styx exhales its noisome clouds, and here,
4:627 The fun'ral rites once paid, all souls appear.
4:628 Stiff cold, and horror with a ghastly face
4:629 And staring eyes, infest the dreary place.
4:630 Ghosts, new-arriv'd, and strangers to these plains,
4:631 Know not the palace, where grim Pluto reigns.
4:632 They journey doubtful, nor the road can tell,
4:633 Which leads to the metropolis of Hell.
4:634 A thousand avenues those tow'rs command,
4:635 A thousand gates for ever open stand.
4:636 As all the rivers, disembogu'd, find room
4:637 For all their waters in old Ocean's womb:
4:638 So this vast city worlds of shades receives,
4:639 And space for millions still of worlds she leaves.
4:640 Th' unbody'd spectres freely rove, and show
4:641 Whate'er they lov'd on Earth, they love below.
4:642 The lawyers still, or right, or wrong, support,
4:643 The courtiers smoothly glide to Pluto's court.
4:644 Still airy heroes thoughts of glory fire,
4:645 Still the dead poet strings his deathless lyre,
4:646 And lovers still with fancy'd darts expire.

4:647 The Queen of Heaven, to gratify her hate,
4:648 And sooth immortal wrath, forgets her state.
4:649 Down from the realms of day, to realms of night,
4:650 The Goddess swift precipitates her flight.
4:651 At Hell arriv'd, the noise Hell's porter heard,
4:652 Th' enormous dog his triple head up-rear'd:
4:653 Thrice from three grizly throats he howl'd profound,
4:654 Then suppliant couch'd, and stretch'd along the ground.
4:655 The trembling threshold, which Saturnia prest,
4:656 The weight of such divinity confest.

4:657 Before a lofty, adamantine gate,
4:658 Which clos'd a tow'r of brass, the Furies sate:
4:659 Mis-shapen forms, tremendous to the sight,
4:660 Th' implacable foul daughters of the night.
4:661 A sounding whip each bloody sister shakes,
4:662 Or from her tresses combs the curling snakes.
4:663 But now great Juno's majesty was known;
4:664 Thro' the thick gloom, all heav'nly bright, she shone:
4:665 The hideous monsters their obedience show'd,
4:666 And rising from their seats, submissive bow'd.

4:667 This is the place of woe, here groan the dead;
4:668 Huge Tityus o'er nine acres here is spread.
4:669 Fruitful for pain th' immortal liver breeds,
4:670 Still grows, and still th' insatiate vulture feeds.
4:671 Poor Tantalus to taste the water tries,
4:672 But from his lips the faithless water flies:
4:673 Then thinks the bending tree he can command,
4:674 The tree starts backwards, and eludes his hand.
4:675 The labour too of Sisyphus is vain,
4:676 Up the steep mount he heaves the stone with pain,
4:677 Down from the summet rouls the stone again.
4:678 The Belides their leaky vessels still
4:679 Are ever filling, and yet never fill:
4:680 Doom'd to this punishment for blood they shed,
4:681 For bridegrooms slaughter'd in the bridal bed.
4:682 Stretch'd on the rolling wheel Ixion lies;
4:683 Himself he follows, and himself he flies.
4:684 Ixion, tortur'd, Juno sternly ey'd,
4:685 Then turn'd, and toiling Sisyphus espy'd:
4:686 And why (she said) so wretched is the fate
4:687 Of him, whose brother proudly reigns in state?
4:688 Yet still my altars unador'd have been
4:689 By Athamas, and his presumptuous queen.

4:690 What caus'd her hate, the Goddess thus confest,
4:691 What caus'd her journey now was more than guest.
4:692 That hate, relentless, its revenge did want,
4:693 And that revenge the Furies soon could grant:
4:694 They could the glory of proud Thebes efface,
4:695 And hide in ruin the Cadmean race.
4:696 For this she largely promises, entreats,
4:697 And to intreaties adds imperial threats.

4:698 Then fell Tisiphone with rage was stung,
4:699 And from her mouth th' untwisted serpents flung.
4:700 To gain this trifling boon, there is no need
4:701 (She cry'd) in formal speeches to proceed.
4:702 Whatever thou command'st to do, is done;
4:703 Believe it finish'd, tho' not yet begun.
4:704 But from these melancholly seats repair
4:705 To happier mansions, and to purer air.
4:706 She spoke: the Goddess, darting upwards, flies,
4:707 And joyous re-ascends her native skies:
4:708 Nor enter'd there, till 'round her Iris threw
4:709 Ambrosial sweets, and pour'd celestial dew.

4:710 The faithful Fury, guiltless of delays,
4:711 With cruel haste the dire command obeys.
4:712 Girt in a bloody gown, a torch she shakes,
4:713 And round her neck twines speckled wreaths of snakes.
4:714 Fear, and dismay, and agonizing pain,
4:715 With frantick rage, compleat her loveless train.
4:716 To Thebes her flight she sped, and Hell forsook;
4:717 At her approach the Theban turrets shook:
4:718 The sun shrunk back, thick clouds the day o'er-cast,
4:719 And springing greens were wither'd as she past.

4:720 Now, dismal yellings heard, strange spectres seen,
4:721 Confound as much the monarch as the queen.
4:722 In vain to quit the palace they prepar'd,
4:723 Tisiphone was there, and kept the ward.
4:724 She wide extended her unfriendly arms,
4:725 And all the Fury lavish'd all her harms.
4:726 Part of her tresses loudly hiss, and part
4:727 Spread poyson, as their forky tongues they dart.
4:728 Then from her middle locks two snakes she drew,
4:729 Whose merit from superior mischief grew:
4:730 Th' envenom'd ruin, thrown with spiteful care,
4:731 Clung to the bosoms of the hapless pair.
4:732 The hapless pair soon with wild thoughts were fir'd,
4:733 And madness, by a thousand ways inspir'd.
4:734 'Tis true, th' unwounded body still was sound,
4:735 But 'twas the soul which felt the deadly wound.
4:736 Nor did th' unsated monster here give o'er,
4:737 But dealt of plagues a fresh, unnumber'd store.
4:738 Each baneful juice too well she understood,
4:739 Foam, churn'd by Cerberus, and Hydra's blood.
4:740 Hot hemlock, and cold aconite she chose,
4:741 Delighted in variety of woes.
4:742 Whatever can untune th' harmonious soul,
4:743 And its mild, reas'ning faculties controul,
4:744 Give false ideas, raise desires profane,
4:745 And whirl in eddies the tumultuous brain,
4:746 Mix'd with curs'd art, she direfully around
4:747 Thro' all their nerves diffus'd the sad compound.
4:748 Then toss'd her torch in circles still the same,
4:749 Improv'd their rage, and added flame to flame.
4:750 The grinning Fury her own conquest spy'd,
4:751 And to her rueful shades return'd with pride,
4:752 And threw th' exhausted, useless snakes aside.

4:753 Now Athamas cries out, his reason fled,
4:754 Here, fellow-hunters, let the toils be spread.
4:755 I saw a lioness, in quest of food,
4:756 With her two young, run roaring in this wood.
4:757 Again the fancy'd savages were seen,
4:758 As thro' his palace still he chac'd his queen;
4:759 Then tore Learchus from her breast: the child
4:760 Stretch'd little arms, and on its father smil'd:
4:761 A father now no more, who now begun
4:762 Around his head to whirl his giddy son,
4:763 And, quite insensible to Nature's call,
4:764 The helpless infant flung against the wall.
4:765 The same mad poyson in the mother wrought,
4:766 Young Melicerta in her arms she caught,
4:767 And with disorder'd tresses, howling, flies,
4:768 O! Bacchus, Evoe, Bacchus! loud she cries.
4:769 The name of Bacchus Juno laugh'd to hear,
4:770 And said, Thy foster-God has cost thee dear.

4:771 A rock there stood, whose side the beating waves
4:772 Had long consum'd, and hollow'd into caves.
4:773 The head shot forwards in a bending steep,
4:774 And cast a dreadful covert o'er the deep.
4:775 The wretched Ino, on destruction bent,
4:776 Climb'd up the cliff; such strength her fury lent:
4:777 Thence with her guiltless boy, who wept in vain,
4:778 At one bold spring she plung'd into the main.

4:779 Her neice's fate touch'd Cytherea's breast,
4:780 And in soft sounds she Neptune thus addrest:
4:781 Great God of waters, whose extended sway
4:782 Is next to his, whom Heav'n and Earth obey:
4:783 Let not the suit of Venus thee displease,
4:784 Pity the floaters on th' Ionian seas.
4:785 Encrease thy Subject-Gods, nor yet disdain
4:786 To add my kindred to that glorious train.
4:787 If from the sea I may such honours claim,
4:788 If 'tis desert, that from the sea I came,
4:789 As Grecian poets artfully have sung,
4:790 And in the name confest, from whence I sprung.

4:791 Pleas'd Neptune nodded his assent, and free
4:792 Both soon became from frail mortality.
4:793 He gave them form, and majesty divine,
4:794 And bad them glide along the foamy brine.
4:795 For Melicerta is Palaemon known,
4:796 And Ino once, Leucothoe is grown.

The Transformation of the Theban Matrons

4:797 The Theban matrons their lov'd queen pursu'd,
4:798 And tracing to the rock, her footsteps view'd.
4:799 Too certain of her fate, they rend the skies
4:800 With piteous shrieks, and lamentable cries.
4:801 All beat their breasts, and Juno all upbraid,
4:802 Who still remember'd a deluded maid:
4:803 Who, still revengeful for one stol'n embrace,
4:804 Thus wreak'd her hate on the Cadmean race.
4:805 This Juno heard: And shall such elfs, she cry'd,
4:806 Dispute my justice, or my pow'r deride?
4:807 You too shall feel my wrath not idly spent;
4:808 A Goddess never for insults was meant.

4:809 She, who lov'd most, and who most lov'd had been,
4:810 Said, Not the waves shall part me from my queen.
4:811 She strove to plunge into the roaring flood;
4:812 Fix'd to the stone, a stone her self she stood.
4:813 This, on her breast would fain her blows repeat,
4:814 Her stiffen'd hands refus'd her breast to beat.
4:815 That, stretch'd her arms unto the seas; in vain
4:816 Her arms she labour'd to unstretch again.
4:817 To tear her comely locks another try'd,
4:818 Both comely locks, and fingers petryfi'd.
4:819 Part thus; but Juno with a softer mind
4:820 Part doom'd to mix among the feather'd kind.
4:821 Transform'd, the name of Theban birds they keep,
4:822 And skim the surface of that fatal deep.

Cadmus and his Queen transform'd to Serpents

4:823 Mean-time, the wretched Cadmus mourns, nor knows,
4:824 That they who mortal fell, immortal rose.
4:825 With a long series of new ills opprest,
4:826 He droops, and all the man forsakes his breast.
4:827 Strange prodigies confound his frighted eyes;
4:828 From the fair city, which he rais'd, he flies:
4:829 As if misfortune not pursu'd his race,
4:830 But only hung o'er that devoted place.
4:831 Resolv'd by sea to seek some distant land,
4:832 At last he safely gain'd th' Illyrian strand.
4:833 Chearless himself, his consort still he chears,
4:834 Hoary, and loaden'd both with woes and years.
4:835 Then to recount past sorrows they begin,
4:836 And trace them to the gloomy origin.
4:837 That serpent sure was hallow'd, Cadmus cry'd,
4:838 Which once my spear transfix'd with foolish pride;
4:839 When the big teeth, a seed before unknown,
4:840 By me along the wond'ring glebe were sown,
4:841 And sprouting armies by themselves o'erthrown.
4:842 If thence the wrath of Heav'n on me is bent,
4:843 May Heav'n conclude it with one sad event;
4:844 To an extended serpent change the man:
4:845 And while he spoke, the wish'd-for change began.
4:846 His skin with sea-green spots was vary'd 'round,
4:847 And on his belly prone he prest the ground.
4:848 He glitter'd soon with many a golden scale,
4:849 And his shrunk legs clos'd in a spiry tail.
4:850 Arms yet remain'd, remaining arms he spread
4:851 To his lov'd wife, and human tears yet shed.
4:852 Come, my Harmonia, come, thy face recline
4:853 Down to my face; still touch, what still is mine.
4:854 O! let these hands, while hands, be gently prest,
4:855 While yet the serpent has not all possest.
4:856 More he had spoke, but strove to speak in vain,
4:857 The forky tongue refus'd to tell his pain,
4:858 And learn'd in hissings only to complain.

4:859 Then shriek'd Harmonia, Stay, my Cadmus, stay,
4:860 Glide not in such a monstrous shape away!
4:861 Destruction, like impetuous waves, rouls on.
4:862 Where are thy feet, thy legs, thy shoulders gone?
4:863 Chang'd is thy visage, chang'd is all thy frame;
4:864 Cadmus is only Cadmus now in name.
4:865 Ye Gods, my Cadmus to himself restore,
4:866 Or me like him transform; I ask no more.

4:867 The husband-serpent show'd he still had thought,
4:868 With wonted fondness an embrace he sought;
4:869 Play'd 'round her neck in many a harmless twist,
4:870 And lick'd that bosom, which, a man, he kist.
4:871 The lookers-on (for lookers-on there were)
4:872 Shock'd at the sight, half-dy'd away with fear.
4:873 The transformation was again renew'd,
4:874 And, like the husband, chang'd the wife they view'd.
4:875 Both, serpents now, with fold involv'd in fold,
4:876 To the next covert amicably roul'd.
4:877 There curl'd they lie, or wave along the green,
4:878 Fearless see men, by men are fearless seen,
4:879 Still mild, and conscious what they once have been.

The Story of Perseus

4:880 Yet tho' this harsh, inglorious fate they found,
4:881 Each in the deathless grandson liv'd renown'd.
4:882 Thro' conquer'd India Bacchus nobly rode,
4:883 And Greece with temples hail'd the conqu'ring God.
4:884 In Argos only proud Acrisius reign'd,
4:885 Who all the consecrated rites profan'd.
4:886 Audacious wretch! thus Bacchus to deny,
4:887 And the great Thunderer's great son defie!
4:888 Nor him alone: thy daughter vainly strove,
4:889 Brave Perseus of celestial stem to prove,
4:890 And her self pregnant by a golden Jove.
4:891 Yet this was true, and truth in time prevails;
4:892 Acrisius now his unbelief bewails.
4:893 His former thought, an impious thought he found,
4:894 And both the heroe, and the God were own'd.
4:895 He saw, already one in Heav'n was plac'd,
4:896 And one with more than mortal triumphs grac'd,
4:897 The victor Perseus with the Gorgon-head,
4:898 O'er Libyan sands his airy journey sped.
4:899 The gory drops distill'd, as swift he flew,
4:900 And from each drop envenom'd serpents grew,
4:901 The mischiefs brooded on the barren plains,
4:902 And still th' unhappy fruitfulness remains.

Atlas transform'd to a Mountain

4:903 Thence Perseus, like a cloud, by storms was driv'n,
4:904 Thro' all th' expanse beneath the cope of Heaven.
4:905 The jarring winds unable to controul,
4:906 He saw the southern, and the northern pole:
4:907 And eastward thrice, and westward thrice was whirl'd,
4:908 And from the skies survey'd the nether world.
4:909 But when grey ev'ning show'd the verge of night,
4:910 He fear'd in darkness to pursue his flight.
4:911 He pois'd his pinions, and forgot to soar,
4:912 And sinking, clos'd them on th' Hesperian shore:
4:913 Then beg'd to rest, 'till Lucifer begun
4:914 To wake the morn, the morn to wake the sun.

4:915 Here Atlas reign'd, of more than human size,
4:916 And in his kingdom the world's limit lies.
4:917 Here Titan bids his weary'd coursers sleep,
4:918 And cools the burning axle in the deep.
4:919 The mighty monarch, uncontrol'd, alone,
4:920 His sceptre sways: no neighb'ring states are known.
4:921 A thousand flocks on shady mountains fed,
4:922 A thousand herds o'er grassy plains were spread.
4:923 Here wond'rous trees their shining stores unfold,
4:924 Their shining stores too wond'rous to be told,
4:925 Their leafs, their branches, and their apples, gold.
4:926 Then Perseus the gigantick prince addrest,
4:927 Humbly implor'd a hospitable rest.
4:928 If bold exploits thy admiration fire,
4:929 He said, I fancy, mine thou wilt admire.
4:930 Or if the glory of a race can move,
4:931 Not mean my glory, for I spring from Jove.
4:932 At this confession Atlas ghastly star'd,
4:933 Mindful of what an oracle declar'd,
4:934 That the dark womb of Time conceal'd a day,
4:935 Which should, disclos'd, the bloomy gold betray:
4:936 All should at once be ravish'd from his eyes,
4:937 And Jove's own progeny enjoy the prize.
4:938 For this, the fruit he loftily immur'd,
4:939 And a fierce dragon the strait pass secur'd.
4:940 For this, all strangers he forbad to land,
4:941 And drove them from th' inhospitable strand.
4:942 To Perseus then: Fly quickly, fly this coast,
4:943 Nor falsly dare thy acts and race to boast.
4:944 In vain the heroe for one night entreats,
4:945 Threat'ning he storms, and next adds force to threats.
4:946 By strength not Perseus could himself defend,
4:947 For who in strength with Atlas could contend?
4:948 But since short rest to me thou wilt not give,
4:949 A gift of endless rest from me receive,
4:950 He said, and backward turn'd, no more conceal'd
4:951 The present, and Medusa's head reveal'd.
4:952 Soon the high Atlas a high mountain stood,
4:953 His locks, and beard became a leafy wood.
4:954 His hands, and shoulders, into ridges went,
4:955 The summit-head still crown'd the steep ascent.
4:956 His bones a solid, rocky hardness gain'd:
4:957 He, thus immensely grown (as fate ordain'd),
4:958 The stars, the Heav'ns, and all the Gods sustain'd.

Andromeda rescu'd from the Sea Monster

4:959 Now Aeolus had with strong chains confin'd,
4:960 And deep imprison'd e'vry blust'ring wind,
4:961 The rising Phospher with a purple light
4:962 Did sluggish mortals to new toils invite.
4:963 His feet again the valiant Perseus plumes,
4:964 And his keen sabre in his hand resumes:
4:965 Then nobly spurns the ground, and upwards springs,
4:966 And cuts the liquid air with sounding wings.
4:967 O'er various seas, and various lands he past,
4:968 'Till Aethiopia's shore appear'd at last.
4:969 Andromeda was there, doom'd to attone
4:970 By her own ruin follies not her own:
4:971 And if injustice in a God can be,
4:972 Such was the Libyan God's unjust decree.
4:973 Chain'd to a rock she stood; young Perseus stay'd
4:974 His rapid flight, to view the beauteous maid.
4:975 So sweet her frame, so exquisitely fine,
4:976 She seem'd a statue by a hand divine,
4:977 Had not the wind her waving tresses show'd,
4:978 And down her cheeks the melting sorrows flow'd.
4:979 Her faultless form the heroe's bosom fires;
4:980 The more he looks, the more he still admires.
4:981 Th' admirer almost had forgot to fly,
4:982 And swift descended, flutt'ring from on high.
4:983 O! Virgin, worthy no such chains to prove,
4:984 But pleasing chains in the soft folds of love;
4:985 Thy country, and thy name (he said) disclose,
4:986 And give a true rehearsal of thy woes.

4:987 A quick reply her bashfulness refus'd,
4:988 To the free converse of a man unus'd.
4:989 Her rising blushes had concealment found
4:990 From her spread hands, but that her hands were bound.
4:991 She acted to her full extent of pow'r,
4:992 And bath'd her face with a fresh, silent show'r.
4:993 But by degrees in innocence grown bold,
4:994 Her name, her country, and her birth she told:
4:995 And how she suffer'd for her mother's pride,
4:996 Who with the Nereids once in beauty vy'd.
4:997 Part yet untold, the seas began to roar,
4:998 And mounting billows tumbled to the shore.
4:999 Above the waves a monster rais'd his head,
4:1000 His body o'er the deep was widely spread:
4:1001 Onward he flounc'd; aloud the virgin cries;
4:1002 Each parent to her shrieks in shrieks replies:
4:1003 But she had deepest cause to rend the skies.
4:1004 Weeping, to her they cling; no sign appears
4:1005 Of help, they only lend their helpless tears.
4:1006 Too long you vent your sorrows, Perseus said,
4:1007 Short is the hour, and swift the time of aid,
4:1008 In me the son of thund'ring Jove behold,
4:1009 Got in a kindly show'r of fruitful gold.
4:1010 Medusa's snaky head is now my prey,
4:1011 And thro' the clouds I boldly wing my way.
4:1012 If such desert be worthy of esteem,
4:1013 And, if your daughter I from death redeem,
4:1014 Shall she be mine? Shall it not then be thought,
4:1015 A bride, so lovely, was too cheaply bought?
4:1016 For her my arms I willingly employ,
4:1017 If I may beauties, which I save, enjoy.
4:1018 The parents eagerly the terms embrace:
4:1019 For who would slight such terms in such a case?
4:1020 Nor her alone they promise, but beside,
4:1021 The dowry of a kingdom with the bride.

4:1022 As well-rigg'd gallies, which slaves, sweating, row,
4:1023 With their sharp beaks the whiten'd ocean plough;
4:1024 So when the monster mov'd, still at his back
4:1025 The furrow'd waters left a foamy track.
4:1026 Now to the rock he was advanc'd so nigh,
4:1027 Whirl'd from a sling a stone the space would fly.
4:1028 Then bounding, upwards the brave Perseus sprung,
4:1029 And in mid air on hov'ring pinions hung.
4:1030 His shadow quickly floated on the main;
4:1031 The monster could not his wild rage restrain,
4:1032 But at the floating shadow leap'd in vain.
4:1033 As when Jove's bird, a speckl'd serpent spies,
4:1034 Which in the shine of Phoebus basking lies,
4:1035 Unseen, he souses down, and bears away,
4:1036 Truss'd from behind, the vainly-hissing prey.
4:1037 To writh his neck the labour nought avails,
4:1038 Too deep th' imperial talons pierce his scales.
4:1039 Thus the wing'd heroe now descends, now soars,
4:1040 And at his pleasure the vast monster gores.
4:1041 Full in his back, swift stooping from above,
4:1042 The crooked sabre to its hilt he drove.
4:1043 The monster rag'd, impatient of the pain,
4:1044 First bounded high, and then sunk low again.
4:1045 Now, like a savage boar, when chaf'd with wounds,
4:1046 And bay'd with opening mouths of hungry hounds,
4:1047 He on the foe turns with collected might,
4:1048 Who still eludes him with an airy flight;
4:1049 And wheeling round, the scaly armour tries
4:1050 Of his thick sides; his thinner tall now plies:
4:1051 'Till from repeated strokes out gush'd a flood,
4:1052 And the waves redden'd with the streaming blood.
4:1053 At last the dropping wings, befoam'd all o'er,
4:1054 With flaggy heaviness their master bore:
4:1055 A rock he spy'd, whose humble head was low,
4:1056 Bare at an ebb, but cover'd at a flow.
4:1057 A ridgy hold, he, thither flying, gain'd,
4:1058 And with one hand his bending weight sustain'd;
4:1059 With th' other, vig'rous blows he dealt around,
4:1060 And the home-thrusts the expiring monster own'd.
4:1061 In deaf'ning shouts the glad applauses rise,
4:1062 And peal on peal runs ratling thro' the skies.
4:1063 The saviour-youth the royal pair confess,
4:1064 And with heav'd hands their daughter's bridegroom bless.
4:1065 The beauteous bride moves on, now loos'd from chains,
4:1066 The cause, and sweet reward of all the heroe's pains,

4:1067 Mean-time, on shore triumphant Perseus stood,
4:1068 And purg'd his hands, smear'd with the monster's blood:
4:1069 Then in the windings of a sandy bed
4:1070 Compos'd Medusa's execrable head.
4:1071 But to prevent the roughness, leafs he threw,
4:1072 And young, green twigs, which soft in waters grew,
4:1073 There soft, and full of sap; but here, when lay'd,
4:1074 Touch'd by the head, that softness soon decay'd.
4:1075 The wonted flexibility quite gone,
4:1076 The tender scyons harden'd into stone.
4:1077 Fresh, juicy twigs, surpriz'd, the Nereids brought,
4:1078 Fresh, juicy twigs the same contagion caught.
4:1079 The nymphs the petrifying seeds still keep,
4:1080 And propagate the wonder thro' the deep.
4:1081 The pliant sprays of coral yet declare
4:1082 Their stiff'ning Nature, when expos'd to air.
4:1083 Those sprays, which did, like bending osiers, move,
4:1084 Snatch'd from their element, obdurate prove,
4:1085 And shrubs beneath the waves, grow stones above.

4:1086 The great immortals grateful Perseus prais'd,
4:1087 And to three Pow'rs three turfy altars rais'd.
4:1088 To Hermes this; and that he did assign
4:1089 To Pallas: the mid honours, Jove, were thine,
4:1090 He hastes for Pallas a white cow to cull,
4:1091 A calf for Hermes, but for Jove a bull.
4:1092 Then seiz'd the prize of his victorious fight,
4:1093 Andromeda, and claim'd the nuptial rite.
4:1094 Andromeda alone he greatly sought,
4:1095 The dowry kingdom was not worth his thought.

4:1096 Pleas'd Hymen now his golden torch displays;
4:1097 With rich oblations fragrant altars blaze,
4:1098 Sweet wreaths of choicest flow'rs are hung on high,
4:1099 And cloudless pleasure smiles in ev'ry eye.
4:1100 The melting musick melting thoughts inspires,
4:1101 And warbling songsters aid the warbling lyres.
4:1102 The palace opens wide in pompous state,
4:1103 And by his peers surrounded, Cepheus sate.
4:1104 A feast was serv'd, fit for a king to give,
4:1105 And fit for God-like heroes to receive.
4:1106 The banquet ended, the gay, chearful bowl
4:1107 Mov'd round, and brighten'd, and enlarg'd each soul.
4:1108 Then Perseus ask'd, what customs there obtain'd,
4:1109 And by what laws the people were restrain'd.
4:1110 Which told; the teller a like freedom takes,
4:1111 And to the warrior his petition makes,
4:1112 To know, what arts had won Medusa's snakes.

The Story of Medusa's Head

4:1113 The heroe with his just request complies,
4:1114 Shows, how a vale beneath cold Atlas lies,
4:1115 Where, with aspiring mountains fenc'd around,
4:1116 He the two daughters of old Phorcus found.
4:1117 Fate had one common eye to both assign'd,
4:1118 Each saw by turns, and each by turns was blind.
4:1119 But while one strove to lend her sister sight,
4:1120 He stretch'd his hand, and stole their mutual light,
4:1121 And left both eyeless, both involv'd in night.
4:1122 Thro' devious wilds, and trackless woods he past,
4:1123 And at the Gorgon-seats arriv'd at last:
4:1124 But as he journey'd, pensive he survey'd,
4:1125 What wasteful havock dire Medusa made.
4:1126 Here, stood still breathing statues, men before;
4:1127 There, rampant lions seem'd in stone to roar.
4:1128 Nor did he, yet affrighted, quit the field,
4:1129 But in the mirror of his polish'd shield
4:1130 Reflected saw Medusa slumbers take,
4:1131 And not one serpent by good chance awake.
4:1132 Then backward an unerring blow he sped,
4:1133 And from her body lop'd at once her head.
4:1134 The gore prolifick prov'd; with sudden force
4:1135 Sprung Pegasus, and wing'd his airy course.

4:1136 The Heav'n-born warrior faithfully went on,
4:1137 And told the num'rous dangers which he run.
4:1138 What subject seas, what lands he had in view,
4:1139 And nigh what stars th' advent'rous heroe flew.
4:1140 At last he silent sate; the list'ning throng
4:1141 Sigh'd at the pause of his delightful tongue.
4:1142 Some beg'd to know, why this alone should wear,
4:1143 Of all the sisters, such destructive hair.

4:1144 Great Perseus then: With me you shall prevail,
4:1145 Worth the relation, to relate a tale.
4:1146 Medusa once had charms; to gain her love
4:1147 A rival crowd of envious lovers strove.
4:1148 They, who have seen her, own, they ne'er did trace
4:1149 More moving features in a sweeter face.
4:1150 Yet above all, her length of hair, they own,
4:1151 In golden ringlets wav'd, and graceful shone.
4:1152 Her Neptune saw, and with such beauties fir'd,
4:1153 Resolv'd to compass, what his soul desir'd.
4:1154 In chaste Minerva's fane, he, lustful, stay'd,
4:1155 And seiz'd, and rifled the young, blushing maid.
4:1156 The bashful Goddess turn'd her eyes away,
4:1157 Nor durst such bold impurity survey;
4:1158 But on the ravish'd virgin vengeance takes,
4:1159 Her shining hair is chang'd to hissing snakes.
4:1160 These in her Aegis Pallas joys to bear,
4:1161 The hissing snakes her foes more sure ensnare,
4:1162 Than they did lovers once, when shining hair.


The Story of Perseus continu'd

5:1 While Perseus entertain'd with this report
5:2 His father Cepheus, and the list'ning court,
5:3 Within the palace walls was heard aloud
5:4 The roaring noise of some unruly crowd;
5:5 Not like the songs which chearful friends prepare
5:6 For nuptial days, but sounds that threaten'd war;
5:7 And all the pleasures of this happy feast,
5:8 To tumult turn'd, in wild disorder ceas'd:
5:9 So, when the sea is calm, we often find
5:10 A storm rais'd sudden by some furious wind.
5:11 Chief in the riot Phineus first appear'd,
5:12 The rash ringleader of this boist'rous herd,
5:13 And brandishing his brazen-pointed lance,
5:14 Behold, he said, an injur'd man advance,
5:15 Stung with resentment for his ravish'd wife,
5:16 Nor shall thy wings, o Perseus, save thy life;
5:17 Nor Jove himself; tho' we've been often told
5:18 Who got thee in the form of tempting gold.
5:19 His lance was aim'd, when Cepheus ran, and said,
5:20 Hold, brother, hold; what brutal rage has made
5:21 Your frantick mind so black a crime conceive?
5:22 Are these the thanks that you to Perseus give?
5:23 This the reward that to his worth you pay,
5:24 Whose timely valour sav'd Andromeda?
5:25 Nor was it he, if you would reason right,
5:26 That forc'd her from you, but the jealous spight
5:27 Of envious Nereids, and Jove's high decree;
5:28 And that devouring monster of the sea,
5:29 That ready with his jaws wide gaping stood
5:30 To eat my child, the fairest of my blood.
5:31 You lost her then, when she seem'd past relief,
5:32 And wish'd perhaps her death, to ease your grief
5:33 With my afflictions: not content to view
5:34 Andromeda in chains, unhelp'd by you,
5:35 Her spouse, and uncle; will you grieve that he
5:36 Expos'd his life the dying maid to free?
5:37 And shall you claim his merit? Had you thought
5:38 Her charms so great, you shou'd have bravely sought
5:39 That blessing on the rocks, where fix'd she lay:
5:40 But now let Perseus bear his prize away,
5:41 By service gain'd, by promis'd faith possess'd;
5:42 To him I owe it, that my age is bless'd
5:43 Still with a child: Nor think that I prefer
5:44 Perseus to thee, but to the loss of her.

5:45 Phineus on him, and Perseus, roul'd about
5:46 His eyes in silent rage, and seem'd to doubt
5:47 Which to destroy; 'till, resolute at length,
5:48 He threw his spear with the redoubled strength
5:49 His fury gave him, and at Perseus struck;
5:50 But missing Perseus, in his seat it stuck.
5:51 Who, springing nimbly up, return'd the dart,
5:52 And almost plung'd it in his rival's heart;
5:53 But he for safety to the altar ran,
5:54 Unfit protection for so vile a man;
5:55 Yet was the stroke not vain, as Rhaetus found,
5:56 Who in his brow receiv'd a mortal wound;
5:57 Headlong he tumbled, when his skull was broke,
5:58 From which his friends the fatal weapon took,
5:59 While he lay trembling, and his gushing blood
5:60 In crimson streams around the table flow'd.

5:61 But this provok'd th' unruly rabble worse,
5:62 They flung their darts, and some in loud discourse
5:63 To death young Perseus, and the monarch doom;
5:64 But Cepheus left before the guilty room,
5:65 With grief appealing to the Gods above,
5:66 Who laws of hospitality approve,
5:67 Who faith protect, and succour injur'd right,
5:68 That he was guiltless of this barb'rous fight.

5:69 Pallas her brother Perseus close attends,
5:70 And with her ample shield from harm defends,
5:71 Raising a sprightly courage in his heart:
5:72 But Indian Athis took the weaker part,
5:73 Born in the chrystal grottoes of the sea,
5:74 Limnate's son, a fenny nymph, and she
5:75 Daughter of Ganges; graceful was his mein,
5:76 His person lovely, and his age sixteen.
5:77 His habit made his native beauty more;
5:78 A purple mantle fring'd with gold he wore;
5:79 His neck well-turn'd with golden chains was grac'd,
5:80 His hair with myrrh perfum'd, was nicely dress'd.
5:81 Tho' with just aim he cou'd the javelin throw,
5:82 Yet with more skill he drew the bending bow;
5:83 And now was drawing it with artful hand,
5:84 When Perseus snatching up a flaming brand,
5:85 Whirl'd sudden at his face the burning wood,
5:86 Crush'd his eyes in, and quench'd the fire with blood;
5:87 Thro' the soft skin the splinter'd bones appear,
5:88 And spoil'd the face that lately was so fair.

5:89 When Lycabas his Athis thus beheld,
5:90 How was his heart with friendly horror fill'd!
5:91 A youth so noble, to his soul so dear,
5:92 To see his shapeless look, his dying groans to hear!
5:93 He snatch'd the bow the boy was us'd to bend,
5:94 And cry'd, With me, false traytor, dare contend;
5:95 Boast not a conquest o'er a child, but try
5:96 Thy strength with me, who all thy pow'rs defy;
5:97 Nor think so mean an act a victory.
5:98 While yet he spoke he flung the whizzing dart,
5:99 Which pierc'd the plaited robe, but miss'd his heart:
5:100 Perseus defy'd, upon him fiercely press'd
5:101 With sword, unsheath'd, and plung'd it in his breast;
5:102 His eyes o'erwhelm'd with night, he stumbling falls,
5:103 And with his latest breath on Athis calls;
5:104 Pleas'd that so near the lovely youth he lies,
5:105 He sinks his head upon his friend, and dies.

5:106 Next eager Phorbas, old Methion's son,
5:107 Came rushing forward with Amphimedon;
5:108 When the smooth pavement, slippery made with gore,
5:109 Trip'd up their feet, and flung 'em on the floor;
5:110 The sword of Perseus, who by chance was nigh,
5:111 Prevents their rise, and where they fall, they lye:
5:112 Full in his ribs Amphimedon he smote,
5:113 And then stuck fiery Phorbas in the throat.
5:114 Eurythus lifting up his ax, the blow
5:115 Was thus prevented by his nimble foe;
5:116 A golden cup he seizes, high embost,
5:117 And at his head the massy goblet tost:
5:118 It hits, and from his forehead bruis'd rebounds,
5:119 And blood, and brains he vomits from his wounds;
5:120 With his slain fellows on the floor he lies,
5:121 And death for ever shuts his swimming eyes.
5:122 Then Polydaemon fell, a Goddess-born;
5:123 Phlegias, and Elycen with locks unshorn
5:124 Next follow'd; next, the stroke of death he gave
5:125 To Clytus, Abanis, and Lycetus brave;
5:126 While o'er unnumber'd heaps of ghastly dead,
5:127 The Argive heroe's feet triumphant tread.

5:128 But Phineus stands aloof, and dreads to feel
5:129 His rival's force, and flies his pointed steel:
5:130 Yet threw a dart from far; by chance it lights
5:131 On Idas, who for neither party fights;
5:132 But wounded, sternly thus to Phineus said,
5:133 Since of a neuter thou a foe hast made,
5:134 This I return thee, drawing from his side
5:135 The dart; which, as he strove to fling, he dy'd.
5:136 Odites fell by Clymenus's sword,
5:137 The Cephen court had not a greater lord.
5:138 Hypseus his blade does in Protenor sheath,
5:139 But brave Lyncides soon reveng'd his death.
5:140 Here too was old Emathion, one that fear'd
5:141 The Gods, and in the cause of Heav'n appear'd,
5:142 Who only wishing the success of right,
5:143 And, by his age, exempted from the fight,
5:144 Both sides alike condemns: This impious war
5:145 Cease, cease, he cries; these bloody broils forbear.
5:146 This scarce the sage with high concern had said,
5:147 When Chromis at a blow struck off his head,
5:148 Which dropping, on the royal altar roul'd,
5:149 Still staring on the crowd with aspect bold;
5:150 And still it seem'd their horrid strife to blame,
5:151 In life and death, his pious zeal the same;
5:152 While clinging to the horns, the trunk expires,
5:153 The sever'd head consumes amidst the fires.

5:154 Then Phineus, who from far his javelin threw,
5:155 Broteas and Ammon, twins and brothers, slew;
5:156 For knotted gauntlets matchless in the field;
5:157 But gauntlets must to swords and javelins yield.
5:158 Ampycus next, with hallow'd fillets bound,
5:159 As Ceres' priest, and with a mitre crown'd,
5:160 His spear transfix'd, and struck him to the ground.

5:161 O Iapetides, with pain I tell
5:162 How you, sweet lyrist, in the riot fell;
5:163 What worse than brutal rage his breast could fill,
5:164 Who did thy blood, o bard celestial! spill?
5:165 Kindly you press'd amid the princely throng,
5:166 To crown the feast, and give the nuptial song:
5:167 Discord abhorr'd the musick of thy lyre,
5:168 Whose notes did gentle peace so well inspire;
5:169 Thee, when fierce Pettalus far off espy'd,
5:170 Defenceless with thy harp, he scoffing cry'd,
5:171 Go; to the ghosts thy soothing lessons play;
5:172 We loath thy lyre, and scorn thy peaceful lay:
5:173 And, as again he fiercely bid him go,
5:174 He pierc'd his temples with a mortal blow.
5:175 His harp he held, tho' sinking on the ground,
5:176 Whose strings in death his trembling fingers found
5:177 By chance, and tun'd by chance a dying sound.

5:178 With grief Lycormas saw him fall, from far,
5:179 And, wresting from the door a massy bar,
5:180 Full in his poll lays on a load of knocks,
5:181 Which stun him, and he falls like a devoted ox.
5:182 Another bar Pelates would have snach'd,
5:183 But Corynthus his motions slily watch'd;
5:184 He darts his weapon from a private stand,
5:185 And rivets to the post his veiny hand:
5:186 When strait a missive spear transfix'd his side,
5:187 By Abas thrown, and as he hung, he dy'd.

5:188 Melaneus on the prince's side was slain;
5:189 And Dorylas, who own'd a fertile plain,
5:190 Of Nasamonia's fields the wealthy lord,
5:191 Whose crowded barns, could scarce contain their board.
5:192 A whizzing spear obliquely gave a blow,
5:193 Stuck in his groin, and pierc'd the nerves below;
5:194 His foe behld his eyes convulsive roul,
5:195 His ebbing veins, and his departing soul;
5:196 Then taunting said, Of all thy spacious plain,
5:197 This spot thy only property remains.
5:198 He left him thus; but had no sooner left,
5:199 Than Perseus in revenge his nostrils cleft;
5:200 From his friend's breast the murd'ring dart he drew,
5:201 And the same weapon at the murderer threw;
5:202 His head in halves the darted javelin cut,
5:203 And on each side the brain came issuing out.

5:204 Fortune his friend, in deaths around he deals,
5:205 And this his lance, and that his faulchion feels:
5:206 Now Clytius dies; and by a diff'rent wound,
5:207 The twin, his brother Clanis, bites the ground.
5:208 In his rent jaw the bearded weapon sticks,
5:209 And the steel'd dart does Clytius' thigh transfix.
5:210 With these Mendesian Celadon he slew:
5:211 And Astreus next, whose mother was a Jew,
5:212 His sire uncertain: then by Perseus fell
5:213 Aethion, who cou'd things to come foretell;
5:214 But now he knows not whence the javelin flies
5:215 That wounds his breast, nor by whose arm he dies.

5:216 The squire to Phineus next his valour try'd,
5:217 And fierce Agyrtes stain'd with paricide.

5:218 As these are slain, fresh numbers still appear,
5:219 And wage with Perseus an unequal war;
5:220 To rob him of his right, the maid he won,
5:221 By honour, promise, and desert his own.
5:222 With him, the father of the beauteous bride,
5:223 The mother, and the frighted virgin side;
5:224 With shrieks, and doleful cries they rend the air:
5:225 Their shrieks confounded with the din of war,
5:226 With dashing arms, and groanings of the slain,
5:227 They grieve unpitied, and unheard complain.
5:228 The floor with ruddy streams Bellona stains,
5:229 And Phineus a new war with double rage maintains.

5:230 Perseus begirt, from all around they pour
5:231 Their lances on him, a tempestuous show'r,
5:232 Aim'd all at him; a cloud of darts, and spears,
5:233 Or blind his eyes, or whistle round his ears.
5:234 Their numbers to resist, against the wall
5:235 He guards his back secure, and dares them all.
5:236 Here from the left Molpeus renews the fight,
5:237 And bold Ethemon presses on the right:
5:238 As when a hungry tyger near him hears
5:239 Two lowing herds, a-while he both forbears;
5:240 Nor can his hopes of this, or that renounce,
5:241 So strong he lusts to prey on both at once;
5:242 Thus Perseus now with that, or this is loth
5:243 To war distinct:, but fain would fall on both.
5:244 And first Chaonian Molpeus felt his blow,
5:245 And fled, and never after fac'd his foe;
5:246 Then fierce Ethemon, as he turn'd his back,
5:247 Hurried with fury, aiming at his neck,
5:248 His brandish'd sword against the marble struck
5:249 With all his might; the brittle weapon broke,
5:250 And in his throat the point rebounding stuck.
5:251 Too slight the wound for life to issue thence,
5:252 And yet too great for battel, or defence;
5:253 His arms extended in this piteous state,
5:254 For mercy he wou'd sue, but sues too late;
5:255 Perseus has in his bosom plung'd the sword,
5:256 And, ere he speaks, the wound prevents the word.

5:257 The crowds encreasing, and his friends distress'd,
5:258 Himself by warring multitudes oppress'd:
5:259 Since thus unequally you fight, 'tis time,
5:260 He cry'd, to punish your presumptuous crime;
5:261 Beware, my friends; his friends were soon prepar'd,
5:262 Their sight averting, high the head he rear'd,
5:263 And Gorgon on his foes severely star'd.
5:264 Vain shift! says Thescelus, with aspect bold,
5:265 Thee, and thy bugbear monster, I behold
5:266 With scorn; he lifts his arm, but ere he threw
5:267 The dart, the heroe to a statue grew.
5:268 In the same posture still the marble stands,
5:269 And holds the warrior's weapons in its hands.
5:270 Amphyx, whom yet this wonder can't alarm,
5:271 Heaves at Lyncides' breast his impious arm;
5:272 But, while thus daringly he presses on,
5:273 His weapon and his arm are turn'd to stone.
5:274 Next Nileus, he who vainly said he ow'd
5:275 His origin to Nile's prolifick flood;
5:276 Who on his shield seven silver rivers bore,
5:277 His birth to witness by the arms he wore;
5:278 Full of his sev'n-fold father, thus express'd
5:279 His boast to Perseus, and his pride confess'd:
5:280 See whence we sprung; let this thy comfort be
5:281 In thy sure death, that thou didst die by me.
5:282 While yet he spoke, the dying accents hung
5:283 In sounds imperfect on his marble tongue;
5:284 Tho' chang'd to stone, his lips he seem'd to stretch,
5:285 And thro' th' insensate rock wou'd force a speech.

5:286 This Eryx saw, but seeing wou'd not own;
5:287 The mischief by your selves, he cries, is done,
5:288 'Tis your cold courage turns your hearts to stone.
5:289 Come, follow me; fall on the stripling boy,
5:290 Kill him, and you his magick arms destroy.
5:291 Then rushing on, his arm to strike he rear'd,
5:292 And marbled o'er his varied frame appear'd.

5:293 These for affronting Pallas were chastis'd,
5:294 And justly met the death they had despis'd.
5:295 But brave Aconteus, Perseus' friend, by chance
5:296 Look'd back, and met the Gorgon's fatal glance:
5:297 A statue now become, he ghastly stares,
5:298 And still the foe to mortal combat dares.
5:299 Astyages the living likeness knew,
5:300 On the dead stone with vengeful fury flew;
5:301 But impotent his rage, the jarring blade
5:302 No print upon the solid marble made:
5:303 Again, as with redoubled might he struck,
5:304 Himself astonish'd in the quarry stuck.

5:305 The vulgar deaths 'twere tedious to rehearse,
5:306 And fates below the dignity of verse;
5:307 Their safety in their flight two hundred found,
5:308 Two hundred, by Medusa's head were ston'd.
5:309 Fierce Phineus now repents the wrongful fight,
5:310 And views his varied friends, a dreadful sight;
5:311 He knows their faces, for their help he sues,
5:312 And thinks, not hearing him, that they refuse:
5:313 By name he begs their succour, one by one,
5:314 Then doubts their life, and feels the friendly stone.
5:315 Struck with remorse, and conscious of his pride,
5:316 Convict of sin, he turn'd his eyes aside;
5:317 With suppliant mein to Perseus thus he prays,
5:318 Hence with the head, as far as winds and seas
5:319 Can bear thee; hence, o quit the Cephen shore,
5:320 And never curse us with Medusa more,
5:321 That horrid head, which stiffens into stone
5:322 Those impious men who, daring death, look on.
5:323 I warr'd not with thee out of hate or strife,
5:324 My honest cause was to defend my wife,
5:325 First pledg'd to me; what crime cou'd I suppose,
5:326 To arm my friends, and vindicate my spouse?
5:327 But vain, too late I see, was our design;
5:328 Mine was the title, but the merit thine.
5:329 Contending made me guilty, I confess;
5:330 But penitence shou'd make that guilt the less:
5:331 'Twas thine to conquer by Minerva's pow'r;
5:332 Favour'd of Heav'n, thy mercy I implore;
5:333 For life I sue; the rest to thee I yield;
5:334 In pity, from my sight remove the shield.

5:335 He suing said; nor durst revert his eyes
5:336 On the grim head: and Perseus thus replies:
5:337 Coward, what is in me to grant, I will,
5:338 Nor blood, unworthy of my valour spill:
5:339 Fear not to perish by my vengeful sword,
5:340 From that secure; 'tis all the Fates afford.
5:341 Where I now see thee, thou shalt still be seen,
5:342 A lasting monument to please our queen;
5:343 There still shall thy betroth'd behold her spouse,
5:344 And find his image in her father's house.
5:345 This said; where Phineus turn'd to shun the shield
5:346 Full in his face the staring head he held;
5:347 As here and there he strove to turn aside,
5:348 The wonder wrought, the man was petrify'd:
5:349 All marble was his frame, his humid eyes
5:350 Drop'd tears, which hung upon the stone like ice.
5:351 In suppliant posture, with uplifted hands,
5:352 And fearful look, the guilty statue stands.

5:353 Hence Perseus to his native city hies,
5:354 Victorious, and rewarded with his prize.
5:355 Conquest, o'er Praetus the usurper, won,
5:356 He re-instates his grandsire in the throne.
5:357 Praetus, his brother dispossess'd by might,
5:358 His realm enjoy'd, and still detain'd his right:
5:359 But Perseus pull'd the haughty tyrant down,
5:360 And to the rightful king restor'd the throne.
5:361 Weak was th' usurper, as his cause was wrong;
5:362 Where Gorgon's head appears, what arms are strong?
5:363 When Perseus to his host the monster held,
5:364 They soon were statues, and their king expell'd.

5:365 Thence, to Seriphus with the head he sails,
5:366 Whose prince his story treats as idle tales:
5:367 Lord of a little isle, he scorns to seem
5:368 Too credulous, but laughs at that, and him.
5:369 Yet did he not so much suspect the truth,
5:370 As out of pride, or envy, hate the youth.
5:371 The Argive prince, at his contempt enrag'd,
5:372 To force his faith by fatal proof engag'd.
5:373 Friends, shut your eyes, he cries; his shield he takes,
5:374 And to the king expos'd Medusa's snakes.
5:375 The monarch felt the pow'r he wou'd not own,
5:376 And stood convict of folly in the stone.

Minerva's Interview with the Muses

5:377 Thus far Minerva was content to rove
5:378 With Perseus, offspring of her father Jove:
5:379 Now, hid in clouds, Seriphus she forsook;
5:380 And to the Theban tow'rs her journey took.
5:381 Cythnos and Gyaros lying to the right,
5:382 She pass'd unheeded in her eager flight;
5:383 And chusing first on Helicon to rest,
5:384 The virgin Muses in these words address'd:

5:385 Me, the strange tidings of a new-found spring,
5:386 Ye learned sisters, to this mountain bring.
5:387 If all be true that Fame's wide rumours tell,
5:388 'Twas Pegasus discover'd first your well;
5:389 Whose piercing hoof gave the soft earth a blow,
5:390 Which broke the surface where these waters flow.
5:391 I saw that horse by miracle obtain
5:392 Life, from the blood of dire Medusa slain;
5:393 And now, this equal prodigy to view,
5:394 From distant isles to fam'd Boeotia flew.

5:395 The Muse Urania said, Whatever cause
5:396 So great a Goddess to this mansion draws;
5:397 Our shades are happy with so bright a guest,
5:398 You, Queen, are welcome, and we Muses blest.
5:399 What Fame has publish'd of our spring is true,
5:400 Thanks for our spring to Pegasus are due.
5:401 Then, with becoming courtesy, she led
5:402 The curious stranger to their fountain's head;
5:403 Who long survey'd, with wonder, and delight,
5:404 Their sacred water, charming to the sight;
5:405 Their ancient groves, dark grottos, shady bow'rs,
5:406 And smiling plains adorn'd with various flow'rs.
5:407 O happy Muses! she with rapture cry'd,
5:408 Who, safe from cares, on this fair hill reside;
5:409 Blest in your seat, and free your selves to please
5:410 With joys of study, and with glorious ease.

The Fate of Pyreneus

5:411 Then one replies: O Goddess, fit to guide
5:412 Our humble works, and in our choir preside,
5:413 Who sure wou'd wisely to these fields repair,
5:414 To taste our pleasures, and our labours share,
5:415 Were not your virtue, and superior mind
5:416 To higher arts, and nobler deeds inclin'd;
5:417 Justly you praise our works, and pleasing seat,
5:418 Which all might envy in this soft retreat,
5:419 Were we secur'd from dangers, and from harms;
5:420 But maids are frighten'd with the least alarms,
5:421 And none are safe in this licentious time;
5:422 Still fierce Pyreneus, and his daring crime,
5:423 With lasting horror strikes my feeble sight,
5:424 Nor is my mind recover'd from the fright.
5:425 With Thracian arms this bold usurper gain'd
5:426 Daulis, and Phocis, where he proudly reign'd:
5:427 It happen'd once, as thro' his lands we went,
5:428 For the bright temple of Parnassus bent,
5:429 He met us there, and in his artful mind
5:430 Hiding the faithless action he design'd,
5:431 Confer'd on us (whom, oh! too well he knew)
5:432 All honours that to Goddesses are due.
5:433 Stop, stop, ye Muses, 'tis your friend who calls,
5:434 The tyrant said; behold the rain that falls
5:435 On ev'ry side, and that ill-boding sky,
5:436 Whose lowring face portends more storms are nigh.
5:437 Pray make my house your own, and void of fear,
5:438 While this bad weather lasts, take shelter here.
5:439 Gods have made meaner places their resort,
5:440 And, for a cottage, left their shining court.

5:441 Oblig'd to stop, by the united force
5:442 Of pouring rains, and complaisant discourse,
5:443 His courteous invitation we obey,
5:444 And in his hall resolve a-while to stay.
5:445 Soon it clear'd up; the clouds began to fly,
5:446 The driving north refin'd the show'ry sky;
5:447 Then to pursue our journey we began:
5:448 But the false traitor to his portal ran,
5:449 Stopt our escape, the door securely barr'd,
5:450 And to our honour, violence prepar'd.
5:451 But we, transform'd to birds, avoid his snare,
5:452 On pinions rising in the yielding air.

5:453 But he, by lust and indignation fir'd,
5:454 Up to his highest tow'r with speed retir'd,
5:455 And cries, In vain you from my arms withdrew,
5:456 The way you go your lover will pursue.
5:457 Then, in a flying posture wildly plac'd,
5:458 And daring from that height himself to cast,
5:459 The wretch fell headlong, and the ground bestrew'd
5:460 With broken bones, and stains of guilty blood.

The Story of the Pierides

5:461 The Muse yet spoke; when they began to hear
5:462 A noise of wings that flutter'd in the air;
5:463 And strait a voice, from some high-spreading bough,
5:464 Seem'd to salute the company below.
5:465 The Goddess wonder'd, and inquir'd from whence
5:466 That tongue was heard, that spoke so plainly sense
5:467 (It seem'd to her a human voice to be,
5:468 But prov'd a bird's; for in a shady tree
5:469 Nine magpies perch'd lament their alter'd state,
5:470 And, what they hear, are skilful to repeat).

5:471 The sister to the wondring Goddess said,
5:472 These, foil'd by us, by us were thus repaid.
5:473 These did Evippe of Paeonia bring
5:474 With nine hard labour-pangs to Pella's king.
5:475 The foolish virgins of their number proud,
5:476 And puff'd with praises of the senseless crowd,
5:477 Thro' all Achaia, and th' Aemonian plains
5:478 Defy'd us thus, to match their artless strains;
5:479 No more, ye Thespian girls, your notes repeat,
5:480 Nor with false harmony the vulgar cheat;
5:481 In voice or skill, if you with us will vye,
5:482 As many we, in voice or skill will try.
5:483 Surrender you to us, if we excell,
5:484 Fam'd Aganippe, and Medusa's well.
5:485 The conquest yours, your prize from us shall be
5:486 The Aemathian plains to snowy Paeone;
5:487 The nymphs our judges. To dispute the field,
5:488 We thought a shame; but greater shame to yield.
5:489 On seats of living stone the sisters sit,
5:490 And by the rivers swear to judge aright.

The Song of the Pierides

5:491 Then rises one of the presumptuous throng,
5:492 Steps rudely forth, and first begins the song;
5:493 With vain address describes the giants' wars,
5:494 And to the Gods their fabled acts prefers.
5:495 She sings, from Earth's dark womb how Typhon rose,
5:496 And struck with mortal fear his heav'nly foes.
5:497 How the Gods fled to Egypt's slimy soil,
5:498 And hid their heads beneath the banks of Nile:
5:499 How Typhon, from the conquer'd skies, pursu'd
5:500 Their routed godheads to the sev'n-mouth'd flood;
5:501 Forc'd every God, his fury to escape,
5:502 Some beastly form to take, or earthly shape.
5:503 Jove (so she sung) was chang'd into a ram,
5:504 From whence the horns of Libyan Ammon came.
5:505 Bacchus a goat, Apollo was a crow,
5:506 Phaebe a cat; die wife of Jove a cow,
5:507 Whose hue was whiter than the falling snow.
5:508 Mercury to a nasty Ibis turn'd,
5:509 The change obscene, afraid of Typhon, mourn'd;
5:510 While Venus from a fish protection craves,
5:511 And once more plunges in her native waves.

5:512 She sung, and to her harp her voice apply'd;
5:513 Then us again to match her they defy'd.
5:514 But our poor song, perhaps, for you to hear,
5:515 Nor leisure serves, nor is it worth your ear.
5:516 That causeless doubt remove, O Muse rehearse,
5:517 The Goddess cry'd, your ever-grateful verse.
5:518 Beneath a chequer'd shade she takes her seat,
5:519 And bids the sister her whole song repeat.
5:520 The sister thus: Calliope we chose
5:521 For the performance. The sweet virgin rose,
5:522 With ivy crown'd she tunes her golden strings,
5:523 And to her harp this composition sings.

The Song of the Muses

5:524 First Ceres taught the lab'ring hind to plow
5:525 The pregnant Earth, and quickning seed to sow.
5:526 She first for Man did wholsome food provide,
5:527 And with just laws the wicked world supply'd:
5:528 All good from her deriv'd, to her belong
5:529 The grateful tributes of the Muse's song.
5:530 Her more than worthy of our verse we deem,
5:531 Oh! were our verse more worthy of the theme.

5:532 Jove on the giant fair Trinacria hurl'd,
5:533 And with one bolt reveng'd his starry world.
5:534 Beneath her burning hills Tiphaeus lies,
5:535 And, strugling always, strives in vain to rise.
5:536 Down does Pelorus his right hand suppress
5:537 Tow'rd Latium, on the left Pachyne weighs.
5:538 His legs are under Lilybaeum spread,
5:539 And Aetna presses hard his horrid head.
5:540 On his broad back he there extended lies,
5:541 And vomits clouds of ashes to the skies.
5:542 Oft lab'ring with his load, at last he tires,
5:543 And spews out in revenge a flood of fires.
5:544 Mountains he struggles to o'erwhelm, and towns;
5:545 Earth's inmost bowels quake, and Nature groans.
5:546 His terrors reach the direful king of Hell;
5:547 He fears his throws will to the day reveal
5:548 The realms of night, and fright his trembling ghosts.

5:549 This to prevent, he quits the Stygian coasts,
5:550 In his black carr, by sooty horses drawn,
5:551 Fair Sicily he seeks, and dreads the dawn.
5:552 Around her plains he casts his eager eyes,
5:553 And ev'ry mountain to the bottom tries.
5:554 But when, in all the careful search, he saw
5:555 No cause of fear, no ill-suspected flaw;
5:556 Secure from harm, and wand'ring on at will,
5:557 Venus beheld him from her flow'ry hill:
5:558 When strait the dame her little Cupid prest
5:559 With secret rapture to her snowy breast,
5:560 And in these words the flutt'ring boy addrest.

5:561 O thou, my arms, my glory, and my pow'r,
5:562 My son, whom men, and deathless Gods adore;
5:563 Bend thy sure bow, whose arrows never miss'd,
5:564 No longer let Hell's king thy sway resist;
5:565 Take him, while stragling from his dark abodes
5:566 He coasts the kingdoms of superior Gods.
5:567 If sovereign Jove, if Gods who rule the waves,
5:568 And Neptune, who rules them, have been thy slaves;
5:569 Shall Hell be free? The tyrant strike, my son,
5:570 Enlarge thy mother's empire, and thy own.
5:571 Let not our Heav'n be made the mock of Hell,
5:572 But Pluto to confess thy pow'r compel.
5:573 Our rule is slighted in our native skies,
5:574 See Pallas, see Diana too defies
5:575 Thy darts, which Ceres' daughter wou'd despise.
5:576 She too our empire treats with aukward scorn;
5:577 Such insolence no longer's to be born.
5:578 Revenge our slighted reign, and with thy dart
5:579 Transfix the virgin's to the uncle's heart.

5:580 She said; and from his quiver strait he drew
5:581 A dart that surely wou'd the business do.
5:582 She guides his hand, she makes her touch the test,
5:583 And of a thousand arrows chose the best:
5:584 No feather better pois'd, a sharper head
5:585 None had, and sooner none, and surer sped.
5:586 He bends his bow, he draws it to his ear,
5:587 Thro' Pluto's heart it drives, and fixes there.

The Rape of Proserpine

5:588 Near Enna's walls a spacious lake is spread,
5:589 Fam'd for the sweetly-singing swans it bred;
5:590 Pergusa is its name: and never more
5:591 Were heard, or sweeter on Cayster's shore.
5:592 Woods crown the lake; and Phoebus ne'er invades
5:593 The tufted fences, or offends the shades:
5:594 Fresh fragrant breezes fan the verdant bow'rs,
5:595 And the moist ground smiles with enamel'd flow'rs
5:596 The chearful birds their airy carols sing,
5:597 And the whole year is one eternal spring.

5:598 Here, while young Proserpine, among the maids,
5:599 Diverts herself in these delicious shades;
5:600 While like a child with busy speed and care
5:601 She gathers lillies here, and vi'lets there;
5:602 While first to fill her little lap she strives,
5:603 Hell's grizly monarch at the shade arrives;
5:604 Sees her thus sporting on the flow'ry green,
5:605 And loves the blooming maid, as soon as seen.
5:606 His urgent flame impatient of delay,
5:607 Swift as his thought he seiz'd the beauteous prey,
5:608 And bore her in his sooty carr away.
5:609 The frighted Goddess to her mother cries,
5:610 But all in vain, for now far off she flies;
5:611 Far she behind her leaves her virgin train;
5:612 To them too cries, and cries to them in vain,
5:613 And, while with passion she repeats her call,
5:614 The vi'lets from her lap, and lillies fall:
5:615 She misses 'em, poor heart! and makes new moan;
5:616 Her lillies, ah! are lost, her vi'lets gone.

5:617 O'er hills, the ravisher, and vallies speeds,
5:618 By name encouraging his foamy steeds;
5:619 He rattles o'er their necks the rusty reins,
5:620 And ruffles with the stroke their shaggy manes.
5:621 O'er lakes he whirls his flying wheels, and comes
5:622 To the Palici breathing sulph'rous fumes.
5:623 And thence to where the Bacchiads of renown
5:624 Between unequal havens built their town;
5:625 Where Arethusa, round th' imprison'd sea,
5:626 Extends her crooked coast to Cyane;
5:627 The nymph who gave the neighb'ring lake a name,
5:628 Of all Sicilian nymphs the first in fame,
5:629 She from the waves advanc'd her beauteous head,
5:630 The Goddess knew, and thus to Pluto said:
5:631 Farther thou shalt not with the virgin run;
5:632 Ceres unwilling, canst thou be her son?
5:633 The maid shou'd be by sweet perswasion won.
5:634 Force suits not with the softness of the fair;
5:635 For, if great things with small I may compare,
5:636 Me Anapis once lov'd; a milder course
5:637 He took, and won me by his words, not force.

5:638 Then, stretching out her arms, she stopt his way;
5:639 But he, impatient of the shortest stay,
5:640 Throws to his dreadful steeds the slacken'd rein,
5:641 And strikes his iron sceptre thro' the main;
5:642 The depths profound thro' yielding waves he cleaves,
5:643 And to Hell's center a free passage leaves;
5:644 Down sinks his chariot, and his realms of night
5:645 The God soon reaches with a rapid flight.

Cyane dissolves to a Fountain

5:646 But still does Cyane the rape bemoan,
5:647 And with the Goddess' wrongs laments her own;
5:648 For the stoln maid, and for her injur'd spring,
5:649 Time to her trouble no relief can bring.
5:650 In her sad heart a heavy load she bears,
5:651 'Till the dumb sorrow turns her all to tears.
5:652 Her mingling waters with that fountain pass,
5:653 Of which she late immortal Goddess was;
5:654 Her varied members to a fluid melt,
5:655 A pliant softness in her bones is felt;
5:656 Her wavy locks first drop away in dew,
5:657 And liquid next her slender fingers grew.
5:658 The body's change soon seizes its extreme,
5:659 Her legs dissolve, and feet flow off in stream.
5:660 Her arms, her back, her shoulders, and her side,
5:661 Her swelling breasts in little currents glide,
5:662 A silver liquor only now remains
5:663 Within the channel of her purple veins;
5:664 Nothing to fill love's grasp; her husband chaste
5:665 Bathes in that bosom he before embrac'd.

A Boy transform'd to an Eft

5:666 Thus, while thro' all the Earth, and all the main,
5:667 Her daughter mournful Ceres sought in vain;
5:668 Aurora, when with dewy looks she rose,
5:669 Nor burnish'd Vesper found her in repose,
5:670 At Aetna's flaming mouth two pitchy pines
5:671 To light her in her search at length she tines.
5:672 Restless, with these, thro' frosty night she goes,
5:673 Nor fears the cutting winds, nor heeds the snows;
5:674 And, when the morning-star the day renews,
5:675 From east to west her absent child pursues.

5:676 Thirsty at last by long fatigue she grows,
5:677 But meets no spring, no riv'let near her flows.
5:678 Then looking round, a lowly cottage spies,
5:679 Smoaking among the trees, and thither hies.
5:680 The Goddess knocking at the little door,
5:681 'Twas open'd by a woman old and poor,
5:682 Who, when she begg'd for water, gave her ale
5:683 Brew'd long, but well preserv'd from being stale.
5:684 The Goddess drank; a chuffy lad was by,
5:685 Who saw the liquor with a grutching eye,
5:686 And grinning cries, She's greedy more than dry.

5:687 Ceres, offended at his foul grimace,
5:688 Flung what she had not drunk into his face,
5:689 The sprinklings speckle where they hit the skin,
5:690 And a long tail does from his body spin;
5:691 His arms are turn'd to legs, and lest his size
5:692 Shou'd make him mischievous, and he might rise
5:693 Against mankind, diminutives his frame,
5:694 Less than a lizzard, but in shape the same.
5:695 Amaz'd the dame the wondrous sight beheld,
5:696 And weeps, and fain wou'd touch her quondam child.
5:697 Yet her approach th' affrighted vermin shuns,
5:698 And fast into the greatest crevice runs.
5:699 A name they gave him, which the spots exprest,
5:700 That rose like stars, and varied all his breast.

5:701 What lands, what seas the Goddess wander'd o'er,
5:702 Were long to tell; for there remain'd no more.
5:703 Searching all round, her fruitless toil she mourns,
5:704 And with regret to Sicily returns.
5:705 At length, where Cyane now flows, she came,
5:706 Who cou'd have told her, were she still the same
5:707 As when she saw her daughter sink to Hell;
5:708 But what she knows she wants a tongue to tell.
5:709 Yet this plain signal manifestly gave,
5:710 The virgin's girdle floating on a wave,
5:711 As late she dropt it from her slender waste,
5:712 When with her uncle thro' the deep she past.
5:713 Ceres the token by her grief confest,
5:714 And tore her golden hair, and beat her breast.
5:715 She knows not on what land her curse shou'd fall,
5:716 But, as ingrate, alike upbraids them all,
5:717 Unworthy of her gifts; Trinacria most,
5:718 Where the last steps she found of what she lost.
5:719 The plough for this the vengeful Goddess broke,
5:720 And with one death the ox, and owner struck,
5:721 In vain the fallow fields the peasant tills,
5:722 The seed, corrupted ere 'tis sown, she kills.
5:723 The fruitful soil, that once such harvests bore,
5:724 Now mocks the farmer's care, and teems no more.
5:725 And the rich grain which fills the furrow'd glade,
5:726 Rots in the seed, or shrivels in the blade;
5:727 Or too much sun burns up, or too much rain
5:728 Drowns, or black blights destroy the blasted plain;
5:729 Or greedy birds the new-sown seed devour,
5:730 Or darnel, thistles, and a crop impure
5:731 Of knotted grass along the acres stand,
5:732 And spread their thriving roots thro' all the land.

5:733 Then from the waves soft Arethusa rears
5:734 Her head, and back she flings her dropping hairs.
5:735 O mother of the maid, whom thou so far
5:736 Hast sought, of whom thou canst no tidings hear;
5:737 O thou, she cry'd, who art to life a friend,
5:738 Cease here thy search, and let thy labour end.
5:739 Thy faithful Sicily's a guiltless clime,
5:740 And shou'd not suffer for another's crime;
5:741 She neither knew, nor cou'd prevent the deed;
5:742 Nor think that for my country thus I plead;
5:743 My country's Pisa, I'm an alien here,
5:744 Yet these abodes to Elis I prefer,
5:745 No clime to me so sweet, no place so dear.
5:746 These springs I Arethusa now possess,
5:747 And this my seat, o gracious Goddess, bless:
5:748 This island why I love, and why I crost
5:749 Such spacious seas to reach Ortygia's coast,
5:750 To you I shall impart, when, void of care,
5:751 Your heart's at ease, and you're more fit to hear;
5:752 When on your brow no pressing sorrow sits,
5:753 For gay content alone such tales admits.
5:754 When thro' Earth's caverns I a-while have roul'd
5:755 My waves, I rise, and here again behold
5:756 The long-lost stars; and, as I late did glide
5:757 Near Styx, Proserpina there I espy'd.
5:758 Fear still with grief might in her face be seen;
5:759 She still her rape laments; yet, made a queen,
5:760 Beneath those gloomy shades her sceptre sways,
5:761 And ev'n th' infernal king her will obeys.

5:762 This heard, the Goddess like a statue stood,
5:763 Stupid with grief; and in that musing mood
5:764 Continu'd long; new cares a-while supprest
5:765 The reigning of her immortal breast.
5:766 At last to Jove her daughter's sire she flies,
5:767 And with her chariot cuts the chrystal skies;
5:768 She comes in clouds, and with dishevel'd hair,
5:769 Standing before his throne, prefers her pray'r.

5:770 King of the Gods, defend my blood and thine,
5:771 And use it not the worse for being mine.
5:772 If I no more am gracious in thy sight,
5:773 Be just, o Jove, and do thy daughter right.
5:774 In vain I sought her the wide world around,
5:775 And, when I most despair'd to find her, found.
5:776 But how can I the fatal finding boast,
5:777 By which I know she is for ever lost?
5:778 Without her father's aid, what other Pow'r
5:779 Can to my arms the ravish'd maid restore?
5:780 Let him restore her, I'll the crime forgive;
5:781 My child, tho' ravish'd, I'd with joy receive.
5:782 Pity, your daughter with a thief shou'd wed,
5:783 Tho' mine, you think, deserves no better bed.

5:784 Jove thus replies: It equally belongs
5:785 To both, to guard our common pledge from wrongs.
5:786 But if to things we proper names apply,
5:787 This hardly can be call'd an injury.
5:788 The theft is love; nor need we blush to own
5:789 The thief, if I can judge, to be our son.
5:790 Had you of his desert no other proof,
5:791 To be Jove's brother is methinks enough.
5:792 Nor was my throne by worth superior got,
5:793 Heav'n fell to me, as Hell to him, by lot:
5:794 If you are still resolv'd her loss to mourn,
5:795 And nothing less will serve than her return;
5:796 Upon these terms she may again be yours
5:797 (Th' irrevocable terms of fate, not ours),
5:798 Of Stygian food if she did never taste,
5:799 Hell's bounds may then, and only then, be past.

The Transformation of Ascalaphus into an Owl

5:800 The Goddess now, resolving to succeed,
5:801 Down to the gloomy shades descends with speed;
5:802 But adverse fate had otherwise decreed.
5:803 For, long before, her giddy thoughtless child
5:804 Had broke her fast, and all her projects spoil'd.
5:805 As in the garden's shady walk she stray'd,
5:806 A fair pomegranate charm'd the simple maid,
5:807 Hung in her way, and tempting her to taste,
5:808 She pluck'd the fruit, and took a short repast.
5:809 Seven times, a seed at once, she eat the food;
5:810 The fact Ascalaphus had only view'd;
5:811 Whom Acheron begot in Stygian shades
5:812 On Orphne, fam'd among Avernal maids;
5:813 He saw what past, and by discov'ring all,
5:814 Detain'd the ravish'd nymph in cruel thrall.

5:815 But now a queen, she with resentment heard,
5:816 And chang'd the vile informer to a bird.
5:817 In Phlegeton's black stream her hand she dips,
5:818 Sprinkles his head, and wets his babling lips.
5:819 Soon on his face, bedropt with magick dew,
5:820 A change appear'd, and gawdy feathers grew.
5:821 A crooked beak the place of nose supplies,
5:822 Rounder his head, and larger are his eyes.
5:823 His arms and body waste, but are supply'd
5:824 With yellow pinions flagging on each side.
5:825 His nails grow crooked, and are turn'd to claws,
5:826 And lazily along his heavy wings he draws.
5:827 Ill-omen'd in his form, the unlucky fowl,
5:828 Abhorr'd by men, and call'd a scrieching owl.

The Daughters of Achelous transform'd to Sirens

5:829 Justly this punishment was due to him,
5:830 And less had been too little for his crime;
5:831 But, o ye nymphs that from the flood descend,
5:832 What fault of yours the Gods cou'd so offend,
5:833 With wings and claws your beauteous forms to spoil,
5:834 Yet save your maiden face, and winning smile?
5:835 Were you not with her in Pergusa's bow'rs,
5:836 When Proserpine went forth to gather flow'rs?
5:837 Since Pluto in his carr the Goddess caught,
5:838 Have you not for her in each climate sought?
5:839 And when on land you long had search'd in vain,
5:840 You wish'd for wings to cross the pathless main;
5:841 That Earth and Sea might witness to your care:
5:842 The Gods were easy, and return'd your pray'r;
5:843 With golden wing o'er foamy waves you fled,
5:844 And to the sun your plumy glories spread.
5:845 But, lest the soft enchantment of your songs,
5:846 And the sweet musick of your flat'ring tongues
5:847 Shou'd quite be lost (as courteous fates ordain),
5:848 Your voice and virgin beauty still remain.

5:849 Jove some amends for Ceres lost to make,
5:850 Yet willing Pluto shou'd the joy partake,
5:851 Gives 'em of Proserpine an equal share,
5:852 Who, claim'd by both, with both divides the year.
5:853 The Goddess now in either empire sways,
5:854 Six moons in Hell, and six with Ceres stays.
5:855 Her peevish temper's chang'd; that sullen mind,
5:856 Which made ev'n Hell uneasy, now is kind,
5:857 Her voice refines, her mein more sweet appears,
5:858 Her forehead free from frowns, her eyes from tears,
5:859 As when, with golden light, the conqu'ring day
5:860 Thro' dusky exhalations clears a way.
5:861 Ceres her daughter's rape no longer mourn'd,
5:862 But back to Arethusa's spring return'd;
5:863 And sitting on the margin, bid her tell
5:864 From whence she came, and why a sacred well.

The Story of Arethusa

5:865 Still were the purling waters, and the maid
5:866 From the smooth surface rais'd her beauteous head,
5:867 Wipes off the drops that from her tresses ran,
5:868 And thus to tell Alpheus' loves began.

5:869 In Elis first I breath'd the living air,
5:870 The chase was all my pleasure, all my care.
5:871 None lov'd like me the forest to explore,
5:872 To pitch the toils, and drive the bristled boar.
5:873 Of fair, tho' masculine, I had the name,
5:874 But gladly wou'd to that have quitted claim:
5:875 It less my pride than indignation rais'd,
5:876 To hear the beauty I neglected, prais'd;
5:877 Such compliments I loath'd, such charms as these
5:878 I scorn'd, and thought it infamy to please.

5:879 Once, I remember, in the summer's heat,
5:880 Tir'd with the chase, I sought a cool retreat;
5:881 And, walking on, a silent current found,
5:882 Which gently glided o'er the grav'ly ground.
5:883 The chrystal water was so smooth, so clear,
5:884 My eye distinguish'd ev'ry pebble there.
5:885 So soft its motion, that I scarce perceiv'd
5:886 The running stream, or what I saw believ'd.
5:887 The hoary willow, and the poplar, made
5:888 Along the shelving bank a grateful shade.
5:889 In the cool rivulet my feet I dipt,
5:890 Then waded to the knee, and then I stript;
5:891 My robe I careless on an osier threw,
5:892 That near the place commodiously grew;
5:893 Nor long upon the border naked stood,
5:894 But plung'd with speed into the silver flood.
5:895 My arms a thousand ways I mov'd, and try'd
5:896 To quicken, if I cou'd, the lazy tide;
5:897 Where, while I play'd my swimming gambols o'er,
5:898 I heard a murm'ring voice, and frighted sprung to shore.
5:899 Oh! whither, Arethusa, dost thou fly?
5:900 From the brook's bottom did Alpheus cry;
5:901 Again, I heard him, in a hollow tone,
5:902 Oh! whither, Arethusa, dost thou run?
5:903 Naked I flew, nor cou'd I stay to hide
5:904 My limbs, my robe was on the other side;
5:905 Alpheus follow'd fast, th' inflaming sight
5:906 Quicken'd his speed, and made his labour light;
5:907 He sees me ready for his eager arms,
5:908 And with a greedy glance devours my charms.
5:909 As trembling doves from pressing danger fly,
5:910 When the fierce hawk comes sousing from the sky;
5:911 And, as fierce hawks the trembling doves pursue,
5:912 From him I fled, and after me he flew.
5:913 First by Orchomenus I took my flight,
5:914 And soon had Psophis and Cyllene in sight;
5:915 Behind me then high Maenalus I lost,
5:916 And craggy Erimanthus scal'd with frost;
5:917 Elis was next; thus far the ground I trod
5:918 With nimble feet, before the distanc'd God.
5:919 But here I lagg'd, unable to sustain
5:920 The labour longer, and my flight maintain;
5:921 While he more strong, more patient of the toil,
5:922 And fir'd with hopes of beauty's speedy spoil,
5:923 Gain'd my lost ground, and by redoubled pace,
5:924 Now left between us but a narrow space.
5:925 Unweary'd I 'till now o'er hills, and plains,
5:926 O'er rocks, and rivers ran, and felt no pains:
5:927 The sun behind me, and the God I kept,
5:928 But, when I fastest shou'd have run, I stept.
5:929 Before my feet his shadow now appear'd;
5:930 As what I saw, or rather what I fear'd.
5:931 Yet there I could not be deceiv'd by fear,
5:932 Who felt his breath pant on my braided hair,
5:933 And heard his sounding tread, and knew him to be near.
5:934 Tir'd, and despairing, O celestial maid,
5:935 I'm caught, I cry'd, without thy heav'nly aid.
5:936 Help me, Diana, help a nymph forlorn,
5:937 Devoted to the woods, who long has worn
5:938 Thy livery, and long thy quiver born.
5:939 The Goddess heard; my pious pray'r prevail'd;
5:940 In muffling clouds my virgin head was veil'd,
5:941 The am'rous God, deluded of his hopes,
5:942 Searches the gloom, and thro' the darkness gropes;
5:943 Twice, where Diana did her servant hide
5:944 He came, and twice, O Arethusa! cry'd.
5:945 How shaken was my soul, how sunk my heart!
5:946 The terror seiz'd on ev'ry trembling part.
5:947 Thus when the wolf about the mountain prowls
5:948 For prey, the lambkin hears his horrid howls:
5:949 The tim'rous hare, the pack approaching nigh,
5:950 Thus hearkens to the hounds, and trembles at the cry;
5:951 Nor dares she stir, for fear her scented breath
5:952 Direct the dogs, and guide the threaten'd death.
5:953 Alpheus in the cloud no traces found
5:954 To mark my way, yet stays to guard the ground,
5:955 The God so near, a chilly sweat possest
5:956 My fainting limbs, at ev'ry pore exprest;
5:957 My strength distill'd in drops, my hair in dew,
5:958 My form was chang'd, and all my substance new.
5:959 Each motion was a stream, and my whole frame
5:960 Turn'd to a fount, which still preserves my name.
5:961 Resolv'd I shou'd not his embrace escape,
5:962 Again the God resumes his fluid shape;
5:963 To mix his streams with mine he fondly tries,
5:964 But still Diana his attempt denies.
5:965 She cleaves the ground; thro' caverns dark I run
5:966 A diff'rent current, while he keeps his own.
5:967 To dear Ortygia she conducts my way,
5:968 And here I first review the welcome day.

5:969 Here Arethusa stopt; then Ceres takes
5:970 Her golden carr, and yokes her fiery snakes;
5:971 With a just rein, along mid-heaven she flies
5:972 O'er Earth, and seas, and cuts the yielding skies.
5:973 She halts at Athens, dropping like a star,
5:974 And to Triptolemus resigns her carr.
5:975 Parent of seed, she gave him fruitful grain,
5:976 And bad him teach to till and plough the plain;
5:977 The seed to sow, as well in fallow fields,
5:978 As where the soil manur'd a richer harvest yields.

The Transformation of Lyncus

5:979 The youth o'er Europe and o'er Asia drives,
5:980 'Till at the court of Lyncus he arrives.
5:981 The tyrant Scythia's barb'rous empire sway'd;
5:982 And, when he saw Triptolemus, he said,
5:983 How cam'st thou, stranger, to our court, and why?
5:984 Thy country, and thy name? The youth did thus reply:
5:985 Triptolemus my name; my country's known
5:986 O'er all the world, Minerva's fav'rite town,
5:987 Athens, the first of cities in renown.
5:988 By land I neither walk'd, nor sail'd by sea,
5:989 But hither thro' the Aether made my way.
5:990 By me, the Goddess who the fields befriends,
5:991 These gifts, the greatest of all blessings, sends.
5:992 The grain she gives if in your soil you sow,
5:993 Thence wholsom food in golden crops shall grow.

5:994 Soon as the secret to the king was known,
5:995 He grudg'd the glory of the service done,
5:996 And wickedly resolv'd to make it all his own.
5:997 To hide his purpose, he invites his guest,
5:998 The friend of Ceres, to a royal feast,
5:999 And when sweet sleep his heavy eyes had seiz'd,
5:1000 The tyrant with his steel attempts his breast.
5:1001 Him strait a lynx's shape the Goddess gives,
5:1002 And home the youth her sacred dragons drives.

The Pierides transform'd to Magpies

5:1003 The chosen Muse here ends her sacred lays;
5:1004 The nymphs unanimous decree the bays,
5:1005 And give the Heliconian Goddesses the praise.
5:1006 Then, far from vain that we shou'd thus prevail,
5:1007 But much provok'd to hear the vanquish'd rail,
5:1008 Calliope resumes: Too long we've born
5:1009 Your daring taunts, and your affronting scorn;
5:1010 Your challenge justly merited a curse,
5:1011 And this unmanner'd railing makes it worse.
5:1012 Since you refuse us calmly to enjoy
5:1013 Our patience, next our passions we'll employ;
5:1014 The dictates of a mind enrag'd pursue,
5:1015 And, what our just resentment bids us, do.

5:1016 The railers laugh, our threats and wrath despise,
5:1017 And clap their hands, and make a scolding noise:
5:1018 But in the fact they're seiz'd; beneath their nails
5:1019 Feathers they feel, and on their faces scales;
5:1020 Their horny beaks at once each other scare,
5:1021 Their arms are plum'd, and on their backs they bear
5:1022 Py'd wings, and flutter in the fleeting air.
5:1023 Chatt'ring, the scandal of the woods they fly,
5:1024 And there continue still their clam'rous cry:
5:1025 The same their eloquence, as maids, or birds,
5:1026 Now only noise, and nothing then but words.


The Transformation of Arachne into a Spider

6:1 Pallas, attending to the Muse's song,
6:2 Approv'd the just resentment of their wrong;
6:3 And thus reflects: While tamely I commend
6:4 Those who their injur'd deities defend,
6:5 My own divinity affronted stands,
6:6 And calls aloud for justice at my hands;
6:7 Then takes the hint, asham'd to lag behind,
6:8 And on Arachne' bends her vengeful mind;
6:9 One at the loom so excellently skill'd,
6:10 That to the Goddess she refus'd to yield.
6:11 Low was her birth, and small her native town,
6:12 She from her art alone obtain'd renown.
6:13 Idmon, her father, made it his employ,
6:14 To give the spungy fleece a purple dye:
6:15 Of vulgar strain her mother, lately dead,
6:16 With her own rank had been content to wed;
6:17 Yet she their daughter, tho' her time was spent
6:18 In a small hamlet, and of mean descent,
6:19 Thro' the great towns of Lydia gain'd a name,
6:20 And fill'd the neighb'ring countries with her fame.

6:21 Oft, to admire the niceness of her skill,
6:22 The Nymphs would quit their fountain, shade, or hill:
6:23 Thither, from green Tymolus, they repair,
6:24 And leave the vineyards, their peculiar care;
6:25 Thither, from fam'd Pactolus' golden stream,
6:26 Drawn by her art, the curious Naiads came.
6:27 Nor would the work, when finish'd, please so much,
6:28 As, while she wrought, to view each graceful touch;
6:29 Whether the shapeless wool in balls she wound,
6:30 Or with quick motion turn'd the spindle round,
6:31 Or with her pencil drew the neat design,
6:32 Pallas her mistress shone in every line.
6:33 This the proud maid with scornful air denies,
6:34 And ev'n the Goddess at her work defies;
6:35 Disowns her heav'nly mistress ev'ry hour,
6:36 Nor asks her aid, nor deprecates her pow'r.
6:37 Let us, she cries, but to a tryal come,
6:38 And, if she conquers, let her fix my doom.

6:39 The Goddess then a beldame's form put on,
6:40 With silver hairs her hoary temples shone;
6:41 Prop'd by a staff, she hobbles in her walk,
6:42 And tott'ring thus begins her old wives' talk.

6:43 Young maid attend, nor stubbornly despise
6:44 The admonitions of the old, and wise;
6:45 For age, tho' scorn'd, a ripe experience bears,
6:46 That golden fruit, unknown to blooming years:
6:47 Still may remotest fame your labours crown,
6:48 And mortals your superior genius own;
6:49 But to the Goddess yield, and humbly meek
6:50 A pardon for your bold presumption seek;
6:51 The Goddess will forgive. At this the maid,
6:52 With passion fir'd, her gliding shuttle stay'd;
6:53 And, darting vengeance with an angry look,
6:54 To Pallas in disguise thus fiercely spoke.

6:55 Thou doating thing, whose idle babling tongue
6:56 But too well shews the plague of living long;
6:57 Hence, and reprove, with this your sage advice,
6:58 Your giddy daughter, or your aukward neice;
6:59 Know, I despise your counsel, and am still
6:60 A woman, ever wedded to my will;
6:61 And, if your skilful Goddess better knows,
6:62 Let her accept the tryal I propose.

6:63 She does, impatient Pallas strait replies,
6:64 And, cloath'd with heavenly light, sprung from her odd disguise.
6:65 The Nymphs, and virgins of the plain adore
6:66 The awful Goddess, and confess her pow'r;
6:67 The maid alone stood unappall'd; yet show'd
6:68 A transient blush, that for a moment glow'd,
6:69 Then disappear'd; as purple streaks adorn
6:70 The opening beauties of the rosy morn;
6:71 Till Phoebus rising prevalently bright,
6:72 Allays the tincture with his silver light.
6:73 Yet she persists, and obstinately great,
6:74 In hopes of conquest hurries on her fate.
6:75 The Goddess now the challenge waves no more,
6:76 Nor, kindly good, advises as before.
6:77 Strait to their posts appointed both repair,
6:78 And fix their threaded looms with equal care:
6:79 Around the solid beam the web is ty'd,
6:80 While hollow canes the parting warp divide;
6:81 Thro' which with nimble flight the shuttles play,
6:82 And for the woof prepare a ready way;
6:83 The woof and warp unite, press'd by the toothy slay.

6:84 Thus both, their mantles button'd to their breast,
6:85 Their skilful fingers ply with willing haste,
6:86 And work with pleasure; while they chear the eye
6:87 With glowing purple of the Tyrian dye:
6:88 Or, justly intermixing shades with light,
6:89 Their colourings insensibly unite.
6:90 As when a show'r transpierc'd with sunny rays,
6:91 Its mighty arch along the heav'n displays;
6:92 From whence a thousand diff'rent colours rise,
6:93 Whose fine transition cheats the clearest eyes;
6:94 So like the intermingled shading seems,
6:95 And only differs in the last extreams.
6:96 Then threads of gold both artfully dispose,
6:97 And, as each part in just proportion rose,
6:98 Some antique fable in their work disclose.

6:99 Pallas in figures wrought the heav'nly Pow'rs,
6:100 And Mars's hill among th' Athenian tow'rs.
6:101 On lofty thrones twice six celestials sate,
6:102 Jove in the midst, and held their warm debate;
6:103 The subject weighty, and well-known to fame,
6:104 From whom the city shou'd receive its name.
6:105 Each God by proper features was exprest,
6:106 Jove with majestick mein excell'd the rest.
6:107 His three-fork'd mace the dewy sea-God shook,
6:108 And, looking sternly, smote the ragged rock;
6:109 When from the stone leapt forth a spritely steed,
6:110 And Neptune claims the city for the deed.

6:111 Herself she blazons, with a glitt'ring spear,
6:112 And crested helm that veil'd her braided hair,
6:113 With shield, and scaly breast-plate, implements of war.
6:114 Struck with her pointed launce, the teeming Earth
6:115 Seem'd to produce a new surprizing birth;
6:116 When, from the glebe, the pledge of conquest sprung,
6:117 A tree pale-green with fairest olives hung.

6:118 And then, to let her giddy rival learn
6:119 What just rewards such boldness was to earn,
6:120 Four tryals at each corner had their part,
6:121 Design'd in miniature, and touch'd with art.
6:122 Haemus in one, and Rodope of Thrace
6:123 Transform'd to mountains, fill'd the foremost place;
6:124 Who claim'd the titles of the Gods above,
6:125 And vainly us'd the epithets of Jove.
6:126 Another shew'd, where the Pigmaean dame,
6:127 Profaning Juno's venerable name,
6:128 Turn'd to an airy crane, descends from far,
6:129 And with her Pigmy subjects wages war.
6:130 In a third part, the rage of Heav'n's great queen,
6:131 Display'd on proud Antigone, was seen:
6:132 Who with presumptuous boldness dar'd to vye,
6:133 For beauty with the empress of the sky.
6:134 Ah! what avails her ancient princely race,
6:135 Her sire a king, and Troy her native place:
6:136 Now, to a noisy stork transform'd, she flies,
6:137 And with her whiten'd pinions cleaves the skies.
6:138 And in the last remaining part was drawn
6:139 Poor Cinyras that seem'd to weep in stone;
6:140 Clasping the temple steps, he sadly mourn'd
6:141 His lovely daughters, now to marble turn'd.
6:142 With her own tree the finish'd piece is crown'd,
6:143 And wreaths of peaceful olive all the work surround.

6:144 Arachne drew the fam'd intrigues of Jove,
6:145 Chang'd to a bull to gratify his love;
6:146 How thro' the briny tide all foaming hoar,
6:147 Lovely Europa on his back he bore.
6:148 The sea seem'd waving, and the trembling maid
6:149 Shrunk up her tender feet, as if afraid;
6:150 And, looking back on the forsaken strand,
6:151 To her companions wafts her distant hand.
6:152 Next she design'd Asteria's fabled rape,
6:153 When Jove assum'd a soaring eagle's shape:
6:154 And shew'd how Leda lay supinely press'd,
6:155 Whilst the soft snowy swan sate hov'ring o'er her breast,
6:156 How in a satyr's form the God beguil'd,
6:157 When fair Antiope with twins he fill'd.
6:158 Then, like Amphytrion, but a real Jove,
6:159 In fair Alcmena's arms he cool'd his love.
6:160 In fluid gold to Danae's heart he came,
6:161 Aegina felt him in a lambent flame.
6:162 He took Mnemosyne in shepherd's make,
6:163 And for Deois was a speckled snake.

6:164 She made thee, Neptune, like a wanton steer,
6:165 Pacing the meads for love of Arne dear;
6:166 Next like a stream, thy burning flame to slake,
6:167 And like a ram, for fair Bisaltis' sake.
6:168 Then Ceres in a steed your vigour try'd,
6:169 Nor cou'd the mare the yellow Goddess hide.
6:170 Next, to a fowl transform'd, you won by force
6:171 The snake-hair'd mother of the winged horse;
6:172 And, in a dolphin's fishy form, subdu'd
6:173 Melantho sweet beneath the oozy flood.

6:174 All these the maid with lively features drew,
6:175 And open'd proper landskips to the view.
6:176 There Phoebus, roving like a country swain,
6:177 Attunes his jolly pipe along the plain;
6:178 For lovely Isse's sake in shepherd's weeds,
6:179 O'er pastures green his bleating flock he feeds,
6:180 There Bacchus, imag'd like the clust'ring grape,
6:181 Melting bedrops Erigone's fair lap;
6:182 And there old Saturn, stung with youthful heat,
6:183 Form'd like a stallion, rushes to the feat.
6:184 Fresh flow'rs, which twists of ivy intertwine,
6:185 Mingling a running foliage, close the neat design.

6:186 This the bright Goddess passionately mov'd,
6:187 With envy saw, yet inwardly approv'd.
6:188 The scene of heav'nly guilt with haste she tore,
6:189 Nor longer the affront with patience bore;
6:190 A boxen shuttle in her hand she took,
6:191 And more than once Arachne's forehead struck.
6:192 Th' unhappy maid, impatient of the wrong,
6:193 Down from a beam her injur'd person hung;
6:194 When Pallas, pitying her wretched state,
6:195 At once prevented, and pronounc'd her fate:
6:196 Live; but depend, vile wretch, the Goddess cry'd,
6:197 Doom'd in suspence for ever to be ty'd;
6:198 That all your race, to utmost date of time,
6:199 May feel the vengeance, and detest the crime.

6:200 Then, going off, she sprinkled her with juice,
6:201 Which leaves of baneful aconite produce.
6:202 Touch'd with the pois'nous drug, her flowing hair
6:203 Fell to the ground, and left her temples bare;
6:204 Her usual features vanish'd from their place,
6:205 Her body lessen'd all, but most her face.
6:206 Her slender fingers, hanging on each side
6:207 With many joynts, the use of legs supply'd:
6:208 A spider's bag the rest, from which she gives
6:209 A thread, and still by constant weaving lives.

The Story of Niobe

6:210 Swift thro' the Phrygian towns the rumour flies,
6:211 And the strange news each female tongue employs:
6:212 Niobe, who before she married knew
6:213 The famous nymph, now found the story true;
6:214 Yet, unreclaim'd by poor Arachne's fate,
6:215 Vainly above the Gods assum'd a state.
6:216 Her husband's fame, their family's descent,
6:217 Their pow'r, and rich dominion's wide extent,
6:218 Might well have justify'd a decent pride;
6:219 But not on these alone the dame rely'd.
6:220 Her lovely progeny, that far excell'd,
6:221 The mother's heart with vain ambition swell'd:
6:222 The happiest mother not unjustly styl'd,
6:223 Had no conceited thoughts her tow'ring fancy fill'd.

6:224 For once a prophetess with zeal inspir'd,
6:225 Their slow neglect to warm devotion fir'd;
6:226 Thro' ev'ry street of Thebes who ran possess'd,
6:227 And thus in accents wild her charge express'd:
6:228 Haste, haste, ye Theban matrons, and adore,
6:229 With hallow'd rites, Latona's mighty pow'r;
6:230 And, to the heav'nly twins that from her spring,
6:231 With laurel crown'd, your smoaking incense bring.
6:232 Strait the great summons ev'ry dame obey'd,
6:233 And due submission to the Goddess paid:
6:234 Graceful, with laurel chaplets dress'd, they came,
6:235 And offer'd incense in the sacred flame.

6:236 Mean-while, surrounded with a courtly guard,
6:237 The royal Niobe in state appear'd;
6:238 Attir'd in robes embroider'd o'er with gold,
6:239 And mad with rage, yet lovely to behold:
6:240 Her comely tresses, trembling as she stood,
6:241 Down her fine neck with easy motion flow'd;
6:242 Then, darting round a proud disdainful look,
6:243 In haughty tone her hasty passion broke,
6:244 And thus began: What madness this, to court
6:245 A Goddess, founded meerly on report?
6:246 Dare ye a poor pretended Pow'r invoke,
6:247 While yet no altars to my godhead smoke?
6:248 Mine, whose immediate lineage stands confess'd
6:249 From Tantalus, the only mortal guest
6:250 That e'er the Gods admitted to their feast.
6:251 A sister of the Pleiads gave me birth;
6:252 And Atlas, mightiest mountain upon Earth,
6:253 Who bears the globe of all the stars above,
6:254 My grandsire was, and Atlas sprung from Jove.
6:255 The Theban towns my majesty adore,
6:256 And neighb'ring Phrygia trembles at my pow'r:
6:257 Rais'd by my husband's lute, with turrets crown'd,
6:258 Our lofty city stands secur'd around.
6:259 Within my court, where-e'er I turn my eyes,
6:260 Unbounded treasures to my prospect rise:
6:261 With these my face I modestly may name,
6:262 As not unworthy of so high a claim;
6:263 Seven are my daughters, of a form divine,
6:264 With seven fair sons, an indefective line.
6:265 Go, fools! consider this; and ask the cause
6:266 From which my pride its strong presumption draws;
6:267 Consider this; and then prefer to me
6:268 Caeus the Titan's vagrant progeny;
6:269 To whom, in travel, the whole spacious Earth
6:270 No room afforded for her spurious birth.
6:271 Not the least part in Earth, in Heav'n, or seas,
6:272 Would grant your out-law'd Goddess any ease:
6:273 'Till pitying hers, from his own wand'ring case,
6:274 Delos, the floating island, gave a place.
6:275 There she a mother was, of two at most;
6:276 Only the seventh part of what I boast.
6:277 My joys all are beyond suspicion fix'd;
6:278 With no pollutions of misfortune mix'd;
6:279 Safe on the Basis of my pow'r I stand,
6:280 Above the reach of Fortune's fickle hand.
6:281 Lessen she may my inexhausted store,
6:282 And much destroy, yet still must leave me more.
6:283 Suppose it possible that some may dye
6:284 Of this my num'rous lovely progeny;
6:285 Still with Latona I might safely vye.
6:286 Who, by her scanty breed, scarce fit to name,
6:287 But just escapes the childless woman's shame.
6:288 Go then, with speed your laurel'd heads uncrown,
6:289 And leave the silly farce you have begun.

6:290 The tim'rous throng their sacred rites forbore,
6:291 And from their heads the verdant laurel tore;
6:292 Their haughty queen they with regret obey'd,
6:293 And still in gentle murmurs softly pray'd.

6:294 High, on the top of Cynthus' shady mount,
6:295 With grief the Goddess saw the base affront;
6:296 And, the abuse revolving in her breast,
6:297 The mother her twin-offspring thus addrest.

6:298 Lo I, my children, who with comfort knew
6:299 Your God-like birth, and thence my glory drew;
6:300 And thence have claim'd precedency of place
6:301 From all but Juno of the heav'nly race,
6:302 Must now despair, and languish in disgrace.
6:303 My godhead question'd, and all rites divine,
6:304 Unless you succour, banish'd from my shrine.
6:305 Nay more, the imp of Tantalus has flung
6:306 Reflections with her vile paternal tongue;
6:307 Has dar'd prefer her mortal breed to mine,
6:308 And call'd me childless; which, just fate, may she repine!

6:309 When to urge more the Goddess was prepar'd,
6:310 Phoebus in haste replies, Too much we've heard,
6:311 And ev'ry moment's lost, while vengeance is defer'd.
6:312 Diana spoke the same. Then both enshroud
6:313 Their heav'nly bodies in a sable cloud;
6:314 And to the Theban tow'rs descending light,
6:315 Thro' the soft yielding air direct their flight.

6:316 Without the wall there lies a champian ground
6:317 With even surface, far extending round,
6:318 Beaten and level'd, while it daily feels
6:319 The trampling horse, and chariot's grinding wheels.
6:320 Part of proud Niobe's young rival breed,
6:321 Practising there to ride the manag'd steed,
6:322 Their bridles boss'd with gold, were mounted high
6:323 On stately furniture of Tyrian dye.
6:324 Of these, Ismenos, who by birth had been
6:325 The first fair issue of the fruitful queen,
6:326 Just as he drew the rein to guide his horse,
6:327 Around the compass of the circling course,
6:328 Sigh'd deeply, and the pangs of smart express'd,
6:329 While the shaft stuck, engor'd within his breast:
6:330 And, the reins dropping from his dying hand,
6:331 He sunk quite down, and tumbled on the sand.
6:332 Sipylus next the rattling quiver heard,
6:333 And with full speed for his escape prepar'd;
6:334 As when the pilot from the black'ning skies
6:335 A gath'ring storm of wintry rain descries,
6:336 His sails unfurl'd, and crowded all with wind,
6:337 He strives to leave the threat'ning cloud behind:
6:338 So fled the youth; but an unerring dart
6:339 O'ertook him, quick discharg'd, and sped with art;
6:340 Fix'd in his neck behind, it trembling stood,
6:341 And at his throat display'd the point besmear'd with blood
6:342 Prone, as his posture was, he tumbled o'er,
6:343 And bath'd his courser's mane with steaming gore.
6:344 Next at young Phaedimus they took their aim,
6:345 And Tantalus who bore his grandsire's name:
6:346 These, when their other exercise was done,
6:347 To try the wrestler's oily sport begun;
6:348 And, straining ev'ry nerve, their skill express'd
6:349 In closest grapple, joining breast to breast:
6:350 When from the bending bow an arrow sent,
6:351 Joyn'd as they were, thro' both their bodies went:
6:352 Both groan'd, and writhing both their limbs with pain,
6:353 They fell together bleeding on the plain;
6:354 Then both their languid eye-balls faintly roul,
6:355 And thus together breathe away their soul.
6:356 With grief Alphenor saw their doleful plight,
6:357 And smote his breast, and sicken'd at the sight;
6:358 Then to their succour ran with eager haste,
6:359 And, fondly griev'd, their stiff'ning limbs embrac'd;
6:360 But in the action falls: a thrilling dart,
6:361 By Phoebus guided, pierc'd him to the heart.
6:362 This, as they drew it forth, his midriff tore,
6:363 Its barbed point the fleshy fragments bore,
6:364 And let the soul gush out in streams of purple gore.
6:365 But Damasichthon, by a double wound,
6:366 Beardless, and young, lay gasping on the ground.
6:367 Fix'd in his sinewy ham, the steely point
6:368 Stuck thro' his knee, and pierc'd the nervous joint:
6:369 And, as he stoop'd to tug the painful dart,
6:370 Another struck him in a vital part;
6:371 Shot thro' his wezon, by the wing it hung.
6:372 The life-blood forc'd it out, and darting upward sprung,
6:373 Ilioneus, the last, with terror stands,
6:374 Lifting in pray'r his unavailing hands;
6:375 And, ignorant from whom his griefs arise,
6:376 Spare me, o all ye heav'nly Pow'rs, he cries:
6:377 Phoebus was touch'd too late, the sounding bow
6:378 Had sent the shaft, and struck the fatal blow;
6:379 Which yet but gently gor'd his tender side,
6:380 So by a slight and easy wound he dy'd.

6:381 Swift to the mother's ears the rumour came,
6:382 And doleful sighs the heavy news proclaim;
6:383 With anger and surprize inflam'd by turns,
6:384 In furious rage her haughty stomach burns:
6:385 First she disputes th' effects of heav'nly pow'r,
6:386 Then at their daring boldness wonders more;
6:387 For poor Amphion with sore grief distrest,
6:388 Hoping to sooth his cares by endless rest,
6:389 Had sheath'd a dagger in his wretched breast.
6:390 And she, who toss'd her high disdainful head,
6:391 When thro' the streets in solemn pomp she led
6:392 The throng that from Latona's altar fled,
6:393 Assuming state beyond the proudest queen;
6:394 Was now the miserablest object seen.
6:395 Prostrate among the clay-cold dead she fell,
6:396 And kiss'd an undistinguish'd last farewel.
6:397 Then her pale arms advancing to the skies,
6:398 Cruel Latona! triumph now, she cries.
6:399 My grieving soul in bitter anguish drench,
6:400 And with my woes your thirsty passion quench;
6:401 Feast your black malice at a price thus dear,
6:402 While the sore pangs of sev'n such deaths I bear.
6:403 Triumph, too cruel rival, and display
6:404 Your conqu'ring standard; for you've won the day.
6:405 Yet I'll excel; for yet, tho' sev'n are slain,
6:406 Superior still in number I remain.
6:407 Scarce had she spoke; the bow-string's twanging sound
6:408 Was heard, and dealt fresh terrors all around;
6:409 Which all, but Niobe alone, confound.
6:410 Stunn'd, and obdurate by her load of grief,
6:411 Insensible she sits, nor hopes relief.

6:412 Before the fun'ral biers, all weeping sad,
6:413 Her daughters stood, in vests of sable clad,
6:414 When one, surpriz'd, and stung with sudden smart,
6:415 In vain attempts to draw the sticking dart:
6:416 But to grim death her blooming youth resigns,
6:417 And o'er her brother's corpse her dying head reclines.
6:418 This, to asswage her mother's anguish tries,
6:419 And, silenc'd in the pious action, dies;
6:420 Shot by a secret arrow, wing'd with death,
6:421 Her fault'ring lips but only gasp'd for breath.
6:422 One, on her dying sister, breathes her last;
6:423 Vainly in flight another's hopes are plac'd:
6:424 This hiding, from her fate a shelter seeks;
6:425 That trembling stands, and fills the air with shrieks.
6:426 And all in vain; for now all six had found
6:427 Their way to death, each by a diff'rent wound.
6:428 The last, with eager care the mother veil'd,
6:429 Behind her spreading mantle close conceal'd,
6:430 And with her body guarded, as a shield.
6:431 Only for this, this youngest, I implore,
6:432 Grant me this one request, I ask no more;
6:433 O grant me this! she passionately cries:
6:434 But while she speaks, the destin'd virgin dies.

The Transformation of Niobe

6:435 Widow'd, and childless, lamentable state!
6:436 A doleful sight, among the dead she sate;
6:437 Harden'd with woes, a statue of despair,
6:438 To ev'ry breath of wind unmov'd her hair;
6:439 Her cheek still red'ning, but its colour dead,
6:440 Faded her eyes, and set within her head.
6:441 No more her pliant tongue its motion keeps,
6:442 But stands congeal'd within her frozen lips.
6:443 Stagnate, and dull, within her purple veins,
6:444 Its current stop'd, the lifeless blood remains.
6:445 Her feet their usual offices refuse,
6:446 Her arms, and neck their graceful gestures lose:
6:447 Action, and life from ev'ry part are gone,
6:448 And ev'n her entrails turn to solid stone;
6:449 Yet still she weeps, and whirl'd by stormy winds,
6:450 Born thro' the air, her native country finds;
6:451 There fix'd, she stands upon a bleaky hill,
6:452 There yet her marble cheeks eternal tears distil.

The Peasants of Lycia transform'd to Frogs

6:453 Then all, reclaim'd by this example, show'd
6:454 A due regard for each peculiar God:
6:455 Both men, and women their devoirs express'd,
6:456 And great Latona's awful pow'r confess'd.
6:457 Then, tracing instances of older time,
6:458 To suit the nature of the present crime,
6:459 Thus one begins his tale.-Where Lycia yields
6:460 A golden harvest from its fertile fields,
6:461 Some churlish peasants, in the days of yore,
6:462 Provok'd the Goddess to exert her pow'r.
6:463 The thing indeed the meanness of the place
6:464 Has made obscure, surprizing as it was;
6:465 But I my self once happen'd to behold
6:466 This famous lake of which the story's told.
6:467 My father then, worn out by length of days,
6:468 Nor able to sustain the tedious ways,
6:469 Me with a guide had sent the plains to roam,
6:470 And drive his well-fed stragling heifers home.
6:471 Here, as we saunter'd thro' the verdant meads,
6:472 We spy'd a lake o'er-grown with trembling reeds,
6:473 Whose wavy tops an op'ning scene disclose,
6:474 From which an antique smoaky altar rose.
6:475 I, as my susperstitious guide had done,
6:476 Stop'd short, and bless'd my self, and then went on;
6:477 Yet I enquir'd to whom the altar stood,
6:478 Faunus, the Naids, or some native God?
6:479 No silvan deity, my friend replies,
6:480 Enshrin'd within this hallow'd altar lies.
6:481 For this, o youth, to that fam'd Goddess stands,
6:482 Whom, at th' imperial Juno's rough commands,
6:483 Of ev'ry quarter of the Earth bereav'd,
6:484 Delos, the floating isle, at length receiv'd.
6:485 Who there, in spite of enemies, brought forth,
6:486 Beneath an olive's shade, her great twin-birth.

6:487 Hence too she fled the furious stepdame's pow'r,
6:488 And in her arms a double godhead bore;
6:489 And now the borders of fair Lycia gain'd,
6:490 Just when the summer solstice parch'd the land.
6:491 With thirst the Goddess languishing, no more
6:492 Her empty'd breast would yield its milky store;
6:493 When, from below, the smiling valley show'd
6:494 A silver lake that in its bottom flow'd:
6:495 A sort of clowns were reaping, near the bank,
6:496 The bending osier, and the bullrush dank;
6:497 The cresse, and water-lilly, fragrant weed,
6:498 Whose juicy stalk the liquid fountains feed.
6:499 The Goddess came, and kneeling on the brink,
6:500 Stoop'd at the fresh repast, prepar'd to drink.
6:501 Then thus, being hinder'd by the rabble race,
6:502 In accents mild expostulates the case.
6:503 Water I only ask, and sure 'tis hard
6:504 From Nature's common rights to be debar'd:
6:505 This, as the genial sun, and vital air,
6:506 Should flow alike to ev'ry creature's share.
6:507 Yet still I ask, and as a favour crave,
6:508 That which, a publick bounty, Nature gave.
6:509 Nor do I seek my weary limbs to drench;
6:510 Only, with one cool draught, my thirst I'd quench.
6:511 Now from my throat the usual moisture dries,
6:512 And ev'n my voice in broken accents dies:
6:513 One draught as dear as life I should esteem,
6:514 And water, now I thirst, would nectar seem.
6:515 Oh! let my little babes your pity move,
6:516 And melt your hearts to charitable love;
6:517 They (as by chance they did) extend to you
6:518 Their little hands, and my request pursue.

6:519 Whom would these soft perswasions not subdue,
6:520 Tho' the most rustick, and unmanner'd crew?
6:521 Yet they the Goddess's request refuse,
6:522 And with rude words reproachfully abuse:
6:523 Nay more, with spiteful feet the villains trod
6:524 O'er the soft bottom of the marshy flood,
6:525 And blacken'd all the lake with clouds of rising mud.

6:526 Her thirst by indignation was suppress'd;
6:527 Bent on revenge, the Goddess stood confess'd.
6:528 Her suppliant hands uplifting to the skies,
6:529 For a redress, to Heav'n she now applies.
6:530 And, May you live, she passionately cry'd,
6:531 Doom'd in that pool for ever to abide.

6:532 The Goddess has her wish; for now they chuse
6:533 To plunge, and dive among the watry ooze;
6:534 Sometimes they shew their head above the brim,
6:535 And on the glassy surface spread to swim;
6:536 Often upon the bank their station take,
6:537 Then spring, and leap into the cooly lake.
6:538 Still, void of shame, they lead a clam'rous life,
6:539 And, croaking, still scold on in endless strife;
6:540 Compell'd to live beneath the liquid stream,
6:541 Where still they quarrel, and attempt to skream.
6:542 Now, from their bloated throat, their voice puts on
6:543 Imperfect murmurs in a hoarser tone;
6:544 Their noisy jaws, with bawling now grown wide,
6:545 An ugly sight! extend on either side:
6:546 Their motly back, streak'd with a list of green,
6:547 Joyn'd to their head, without a neck is seen;
6:548 And, with a belly broad and white, they look
6:549 Meer frogs, and still frequent the muddy brook.

The Fate of Marsyas

6:550 Scarce had the man this famous story told,
6:551 Of vengeance on the Lycians shown of old,
6:552 When strait another pictures to their view
6:553 The Satyr's fate, whom angry Phoebus slew;
6:554 Who, rais'd with high conceit, and puff'd with pride,
6:555 At his own pipe the skilful God defy'd.
6:556 Why do you tear me from my self, he cries?
6:557 Ah cruel! must my skin be made the prize?
6:558 This for a silly pipe? he roaring said,
6:559 Mean-while the skin from off his limbs was flay'd.
6:560 All bare, and raw, one large continu'd wound,
6:561 With streams of blood his body bath'd the ground.
6:562 The blueish veins their trembling pulse disclos'd,
6:563 The stringy nerves lay naked, and expos'd;
6:564 His guts appear'd, distinctly each express'd,
6:565 With ev'ry shining fibre of his breast.

6:566 The Fauns, and Silvans, with the Nymphs that rove
6:567 Among the Satyrs in the shady grove;
6:568 Olympus, known of old, and ev'ry swain
6:569 That fed, or flock, or herd upon the plain,
6:570 Bewail'd the loss; and with their tears that flow'd,
6:571 A kindly moisture on the earth bestow'd;
6:572 That soon, conjoyn'd, and in a body rang'd,
6:573 Sprung from the ground, to limpid water chang'd;
6:574 Which, down thro' Phrygia's rocks, a mighty stream,
6:575 Comes tumbling to the sea, and Marsya is its name.

The Story of Pelops

6:576 From these relations strait the people turn
6:577 To present truths, and lost Amphion mourn:
6:578 The mother most was blam'd, yet some relate
6:579 That Pelops pity'd, and bewail'd her fate,
6:580 And stript his cloaths, and laid his shoulder bare,
6:581 And made the iv'ry miracle appear.
6:582 This shoulder, from the first, was form'd of flesh,
6:583 As lively as the other, and as fresh;
6:584 But, when the youth was by his father slain,
6:585 The Gods restor'd his mangled limbs again;
6:586 Only that place which joins the neck and arm,
6:587 The rest untouch'd, was found to suffer harm:
6:588 The loss of which an iv'ry piece sustain'd;
6:589 And thus the youth his limbs, and life regain'd.

The Story of Tereus, Procne, and Philomela

6:590 To Thebes the neighb'ring princes all repair,
6:591 And with condolance the misfortune share.
6:592 Each bord'ring state in solemn form address'd,
6:593 And each betimes a friendly grief express'd.
6:594 Argos, with Sparta's, and Mycenae's towns,
6:595 And Calydon, yet free from fierce Diana's frowns.
6:596 Corinth for finest brass well fam'd of old,
6:597 Orthomenos for men of courage bold:
6:598 Cleonae lying in the lowly dale,
6:599 And rich Messene with its fertile vale:
6:600 Pylos, for Nestor's City after fam'd,
6:601 And Troezen, not as yet from Pittheus nam'd.
6:602 And those fair cities, which are hem'd around
6:603 By double seas within the Isthmian ground;
6:604 And those, which farther from the sea-coast stand,
6:605 Lodg'd in the bosom of the spacious land.

6:606 Who can believe it? Athens was the last:
6:607 Tho' for politeness fam'd for ages past.
6:608 For a strait siege, which then their walls enclos'd,
6:609 Such acts of kind humanity oppos'd:
6:610 And thick with ships, from foreign nations bound,
6:611 Sea-ward their city lay invested round.

6:612 These, with auxiliar forces led from far,
6:613 Tereus of Thrace, brave, and inur'd to war,
6:614 Had quite defeated, and obtain'd a name,
6:615 The warrior's due, among the sons of Fame.
6:616 This, with his wealth, and pow'r, and ancient line,
6:617 From Mars deriv'd, Pandions's thoughts incline
6:618 His daughter Procne with the prince to joyn.

6:619 Nor Hymen, nor the Graces here preside,
6:620 Nor Juno to befriend the blooming bride;
6:621 But Fiends with fun'ral brands the process led,
6:622 And Furies waited at the Genial bed:
6:623 And all night long the scrieching owl aloof,
6:624 With baleful notes, sate brooding o'er the roof.
6:625 With such ill Omens was the match begun,
6:626 That made them parents of a hopeful son.
6:627 Now Thrace congratulates their seeming joy,
6:628 And they, in thankful rites, their minds employ.
6:629 If the fair queen's espousals pleas'd before,
6:630 Itys, the new-born prince, now pleases more;
6:631 And each bright day, the birth, and bridal feast,
6:632 Were kept with hallow'd pomp above the rest.
6:633 So far true happiness may lye conceal'd,
6:634 When, by false lights, we fancy 'tis reveal'd!

6:635 Now, since their nuptials, had the golden sun
6:636 Five courses round his ample zodiac run;
6:637 When gentle Procne thus her lord address'd,
6:638 And spoke the secret wishes of her breast:
6:639 If I, she said, have ever favour found,
6:640 Let my petition with success be crown'd:
6:641 Let me at Athens my dear sister see,
6:642 Or let her come to Thrace, and visit me.
6:643 And, lest my father should her absence mourn,
6:644 Promise that she shall make a quick return.
6:645 With thanks I'd own the obligation due
6:646 Only, o Tereus, to the Gods, and you.

6:647 Now, ply'd with oar, and sail at his command,
6:648 The nimble gallies reach'd th' Athenian land,
6:649 And anchor'd in the fam'd Piraean bay,
6:650 While Tereus to the palace takes his way;
6:651 The king salutes, and ceremonies past,
6:652 Begins the fatal embassy at last;
6:653 The occasion of his voyage he declares,
6:654 And, with his own, his wife's request prefers:
6:655 Asks leave that, only for a little space,
6:656 Their lovely sister might embark for Thrace.

6:657 Thus while he spoke, appear'd the royal maid,
6:658 Bright Philomela, splendidly array'd;
6:659 But most attractive in her charming face,
6:660 And comely person, turn'd with ev'ry grace:
6:661 Like those fair Nymphs, that are describ'd to rove
6:662 Across the glades, and op'nings of the grove;
6:663 Only that these are dress'd for silvan sports,
6:664 And less become the finery of courts.

6:665 Tereus beheld the virgin, and admir'd,
6:666 And with the coals of burning lust was fir'd:
6:667 Like crackling stubble, or the summer hay,
6:668 When forked lightnings o'er the meadows play.
6:669 Such charms in any breast might kindle love,
6:670 But him the heats of inbred lewdness move;
6:671 To which, tho' Thrace is naturally prone,
6:672 Yet his is still superior, and his own.
6:673 Strait her attendants he designs to buy,
6:674 And with large bribes her governess would try:
6:675 Herself with ample gifts resolves to bend,
6:676 And his whole kingdom in th' attempt expend:
6:677 Or, snatch'd away by force of arms, to bear,
6:678 And justify the rape with open war.
6:679 The boundless passion boils within his breast,
6:680 And his projecting soul admits no rest.

6:681 And now, impatient of the least delay,
6:682 By pleading Procne's cause, he speeds his way:
6:683 The eloquence of love his tongue inspires,
6:684 And, in his wife's, he speaks his own desires;
6:685 Hence all his importunities arise,
6:686 And tears unmanly trickle from his eyes.

6:687 Ye Gods! what thick involving darkness blinds
6:688 The stupid faculties of mortal minds!
6:689 Tereus the credit of good-nature gains
6:690 From these his crimes; so well the villain feigns.
6:691 And, unsuspecting of his base designs,
6:692 In the request fair Philomela joyns;
6:693 Her snowy arms her aged sire embrace,
6:694 And clasp his neck with an endearing grace:
6:695 Only to see her sister she entreats,
6:696 A seeming blessing, which a curse compleats.
6:697 Tereus surveys her with a luscious eye,
6:698 And in his mind forestalls the blissful joy:
6:699 Her circling arms a scene of lust inspire,
6:700 And ev'ry kiss foments the raging fire.
6:701 Fondly he wishes for the father's place,
6:702 To feel, and to return the warm embrace;
6:703 Since not the nearest ties of filial blood
6:704 Would damp his flame, and force him to be good.

6:705 At length, for both their sakes, the king agrees;
6:706 And Philomela, on her bended knees,
6:707 Thanks him for what her fancy calls success,
6:708 When cruel fate intends her nothing less.

6:709 Now Phoebus, hastning to ambrosial rest,
6:710 His fiery steeds drove sloping down the west:
6:711 The sculptur'd gold with sparkling wines was fill'd,
6:712 And, with rich meats, each chearful table smil'd.
6:713 Plenty, and mirth the royal banquet close,
6:714 Then all retire to sleep, and sweet repose.
6:715 But the lewd monarch, tho' withdrawn apart,
6:716 Still feels love's poison rankling in his heart:
6:717 Her face divine is stamp'd within his breast,
6:718 Fancy imagines, and improves the rest:
6:719 And thus, kept waking by intense desire,
6:720 He nourishes his own prevailing fire.

6:721 Next day the good old king for Tereus sends,
6:722 And to his charge the virgin recommends;
6:723 His hand with tears th' indulgent father press'd,
6:724 Then spoke, and thus with tenderness address'd.

6:725 Since the kind instances of pious love,
6:726 Do all pretence of obstacle remove;
6:727 Since Procne's, and her own, with your request,
6:728 O'er-rule the fears of a paternal breast;
6:729 With you, dear son, my daughter I entrust,
6:730 And by the Gods adjure you to be just;
6:731 By truth, and ev'ry consanguineal tye,
6:732 To watch, and guard her with a father's eye.
6:733 And, since the least delay will tedious prove,
6:734 In keeping from my sight the child I love,
6:735 With speed return her, kindly to asswage
6:736 The tedious troubles of my lingring age.
6:737 And you, my Philomel, let it suffice,
6:738 To know your sister's banish'd from my eyes;
6:739 If any sense of duty sways your mind,
6:740 Let me from you the shortest absence find.
6:741 He wept; then kiss'd his child; and while he speaks,
6:742 The tears fall gently down his aged cheeks.
6:743 Next, as a pledge of fealty, he demands,
6:744 And, with a solemn charge, conjoyns their hands;
6:745 Then to his daughter, and his grandson sends,
6:746 And by their mouth a blessing recommends;
6:747 While, in a voice with dire forebodings broke,
6:748 Sobbing, and faint, the last farewel was spoke.

6:749 Now Philomela, scarce receiv'd on board,
6:750 And in the royal gilded bark secur'd,
6:751 Beheld the dashes of the bending oar,
6:752 The ruffled sea, and the receding shore;
6:753 When strait (his joy impatient of disguise)
6:754 We've gain'd our point, the rough Barbarian cries;
6:755 Now I possess the dear, the blissful hour,
6:756 And ev'ry wish subjected to my pow'r.
6:757 Transports of lust his vicious thoughts employ,
6:758 And he forbears, with pain, th' expected joy.
6:759 His gloting eyes incessantly survey'd
6:760 The virgin beauties of the lovely maid:
6:761 As when the bold rapacious bird of Jove,
6:762 With crooked talons stooping from above,
6:763 Has snatcht, and carry'd to his lofty nest
6:764 A captive hare, with cruel gripes opprest;
6:765 Secure, with fix'd, and unrelenting eyes,
6:766 He sits, and views the helpless, trembling prize.

6:767 Their vessels now had made th' intended land,
6:768 And all with joy descend upon the strand;
6:769 When the false tyrant seiz'd the princely maid,
6:770 And to a lodge in distant woods convey'd;
6:771 Pale, sinking, and distress'd with jealous fears,
6:772 And asking for her sister all in tears.
6:773 The letcher, for enjoyment fully bent,
6:774 No longer now conceal'd his base intent;
6:775 But with rude haste the bloomy girl deflow'r'd,
6:776 Tender, defenceless, and with ease o'erpower'd.
6:777 Her piercing accents to her sire complain,
6:778 And to her absent sister, but in vain:
6:779 In vain she importunes, with doleful cries,
6:780 Each unattentive godhead of the skies.
6:781 She pants and trembles, like the bleating prey,
6:782 From some close-hunted wolf just snatch'd away;
6:783 That still, with fearful horror, looks around,
6:784 And on its flank regards the bleeding wound.
6:785 Or, as the tim'rous dove, the danger o'er,
6:786 Beholds her shining plumes besmear'd with gore,
6:787 And, tho' deliver'd from the faulcon's claw,
6:788 Yet shivers, and retains a secret awe.

6:789 But when her mind a calm reflection shar'd,
6:790 And all her scatter'd spirits were repair'd:
6:791 Torn, and disorder'd while her tresses hung,
6:792 Her livid hands, like one that mourn'd, she wrung;
6:793 Then thus, with grief o'erwhelm'd her languid eyes,
6:794 Savage, inhumane, cruel wretch! she cries;
6:795 Whom not a parent's strict commands could move,
6:796 Tho' charg'd, and utter'd with the tears of love;
6:797 Nor virgin innocence, nor all that's due
6:798 To the strong contract of the nuptial vow:
6:799 Virtue, by this, in wild confusion's laid,
6:800 And I compell'd to wrong my sister's bed;
6:801 Whilst you, regardless of your marriage oath,
6:802 With stains of incest have defil'd us both.
6:803 Tho' I deserv'd some punishment to find,
6:804 This was, ye Gods! too cruel, and unkind.
6:805 Yet, villain, to compleat your horrid guilt,
6:806 Stab here, and let my tainted blood be spilt.
6:807 Oh happy! had it come, before I knew
6:808 The curs'd embrace of vile perfidious you;
6:809 Then my pale ghost, pure from incestuous love,
6:810 Had wander'd spotless thro' th' Elysian grove.
6:811 But, if the Gods above have pow'r to know,
6:812 And judge those actions that are done below;
6:813 Unless the dreaded thunders of the sky,
6:814 Like me, subdu'd, and violated lye;
6:815 Still my revenge shall take its proper time,
6:816 And suit the baseness of your hellish crime.
6:817 My self, abandon'd, and devoid of shame,
6:818 Thro' the wide world your actions will proclaim;
6:819 Or tho' I'm prison'd in this lonely den,
6:820 Obscur'd, and bury'd from the sight of men,
6:821 My mournful voice the pitying rocks shall move,
6:822 And my complainings eccho thro' the grove.
6:823 Hear me, o Heav'n! and, if a God be there,
6:824 Let him regard me, and accept my pray'r.

6:825 Struck with these words, the tyrant's guilty breast
6:826 With fear, and anger, was, by turns, possest;
6:827 Now, with remorse his conscience deeply stung,
6:828 He drew the faulchion that beside her hung,
6:829 And first her tender arms behind her bound,
6:830 Then drag'd her by the hair along the ground.
6:831 The princess willingly her throat reclin'd,
6:832 And view'd the steel with a contented mind;
6:833 But soon her tongue the girding pinchers strain,
6:834 With anguish, soon she feels the piercing pain:
6:835 Oh father! father! would fain have spoke,
6:836 But the sharp torture her intention broke;
6:837 In vain she tries, for now the blade has cut
6:838 Her tongue sheer off, close to the trembling root.
6:839 The mangled part still quiver'd on the ground,
6:840 Murmuring with a faint imperfect sound:
6:841 And, as a serpent writhes his wounded train,
6:842 Uneasy, panting, and possess'd with pain;
6:843 The piece, while life remain'd, still trembled fast,
6:844 And to its mistress pointed to the last.

6:845 Yet, after this so damn'd, and black a deed,
6:846 Fame (which I scarce can credit) has agreed,
6:847 That on her rifled charms, still void of shame,
6:848 He frequently indulg'd his lustful flame,
6:849 At last he ventures to his Procne's sight,
6:850 Loaded with guilt, and cloy'd with long delight;
6:851 There, with feign'd grief, and false, dissembled sighs,
6:852 Begins a formal narrative of lies;
6:853 Her sister's death he artfully declares,
6:854 Then weeps, and raises credit from his tears.
6:855 Her vest, with flow'rs of gold embroider'd o'er,
6:856 With grief distress'd, the mournful matron tore,
6:857 And a beseeming suit of gloomy sable wore.
6:858 With cost, an honorary tomb she rais'd,
6:859 And thus th' imaginary ghost appeas'd.
6:860 Deluded queen! the fate of her you love,
6:861 Nor grief, nor pity, but revenge should move.

6:862 Thro' the twelve signs had pass'd the circling sun,
6:863 And round the compass of the Zodiac run;
6:864 What must unhappy Philomela do,
6:865 For ever subject to her keeper's view?
6:866 Huge walls of massy stone the lodge surround,
6:867 From her own mouth no way of speaking's found.
6:868 But all our wants by wit may be supply'd,
6:869 And art makes up, what fortune has deny'd:
6:870 With skill exact a Phrygian web she strung,
6:871 Fix'd to a loom that in her chamber hung,
6:872 Where in-wrought letters, upon white display'd,
6:873 In purple notes, her wretched case betray'd:
6:874 The piece, when finish'd, secretly she gave
6:875 Into the charge of one poor menial slave;
6:876 And then, with gestures, made him understand,
6:877 It must be safe convey'd to Procne's hand.
6:878 The slave, with speed, the queen's apartment sought,
6:879 And render'd up his charge, unknowing what he brought.
6:880 But when the cyphers, figur'd in each fold,
6:881 Her sister's melancholy story told
6:882 (Strange that she could!) with silence, she survey'd
6:883 The tragick piece, and without weeping read:
6:884 In such tumultuous haste her passions sprung,
6:885 They choak'd her voice, and quite disarm'd her tongue.
6:886 No room for female tears; the Furies rise,
6:887 Darting vindictive glances from her eyes;
6:888 And, stung with rage, she bounds from place to place,
6:889 While stern revenge sits low'ring in her face.

6:890 Now the triennial celebration came,
6:891 Observ'd to Bacchus by each Thracian dame;
6:892 When, in the privacies of night retir'd,
6:893 They act his rites, with sacred rapture fir'd:
6:894 By night, the tinkling cymbals ring around,
6:895 While the shrill notes from Rhodope resound;
6:896 By night, the queen, disguis'd, forsakes the court,
6:897 To mingle in the festival resort.
6:898 Leaves of the curling vine her temples shade,
6:899 And, with a circling wreath, adorn her head:
6:900 Adown her back the stag's rough spoils appear,
6:901 Light on her shoulder leans a cornel spear.

6:902 Thus, in the fury of the God conceal'd,
6:903 Procne her own mad headstrong passion veil'd;
6:904 Now, with her gang, to the thick wood she flies,
6:905 And with religious yellings fills the skies;
6:906 The fatal lodge, as 'twere by chance, she seeks,
6:907 And, thro' the bolted doors, an entrance breaks;
6:908 From thence, her sister snatching by the hand,
6:909 Mask'd like the ranting Bacchanalian band,
6:910 Within the limits of the court she drew,
6:911 Shading, with ivy green, her outward hue.
6:912 But Philomela, conscious of the place,
6:913 Felt new reviving pangs of her disgrace;
6:914 A shiv'ring cold prevail'd in ev'ry part,
6:915 And the chill'd blood ran trembling to her heart.

6:916 Soon as the queen a fit retirement found,
6:917 Stript of the garlands that her temples crown'd,
6:918 She strait unveil'd her blushing sister's face,
6:919 And fondly clasp'd her with a close embrace:
6:920 But, in confusion lost, th' unhappy maid,
6:921 With shame dejected, hung her drooping head,
6:922 As guilty of a crime that stain'd her sister's bed.
6:923 That speech, that should her injur'd virtue clear,
6:924 And make her spotless innocence appear,
6:925 Is now no more; only her hands, and eyes
6:926 Appeal, in signals, to the conscious skies.
6:927 In Procne's breast the rising passions boil,
6:928 And burst in anger with a mad recoil;
6:929 Her sister's ill-tim'd grief, with scorn, she blames,
6:930 Then, in these furious words her rage proclaims.

6:931 Tears, unavailing, but defer our time,
6:932 The stabbing sword must expiate the crime;
6:933 Or worse, if wit, on bloody vengeance bent,
6:934 A weapon more tormenting can invent.
6:935 O sister! I've prepar'd my stubborn heart,
6:936 To act some hellish, and unheard-of part;
6:937 Either the palace to surround with fire,
6:938 And see the villain in the flames expire;
6:939 Or, with a knife, dig out his cursed eyes,
6:940 Or, his false tongue with racking engines seize;
6:941 Or, cut away the part that injur'd you,
6:942 And, thro' a thousand wounds, his guilty soul pursue.
6:943 Tortures enough my passion has design'd,
6:944 But the variety distracts my mind.

6:945 A-while, thus wav'ring, stood the furious dame,
6:946 When Itys fondling to his mother came;
6:947 From him the cruel fatal hint she took,
6:948 She view'd him with a stern remorseless look:
6:949 Ah! but too like thy wicked sire, she said,
6:950 Forming the direful purpose in her head.
6:951 At this a sullen grief her voice supprest,
6:952 While silent passions struggle in her breast.

6:953 Now, at her lap arriv'd, the flatt'ring boy
6:954 Salutes his parent with a smiling joy:
6:955 About her neck his little arms are thrown,
6:956 And he accosts her in a pratling tone.
6:957 Then her tempestuous anger was allay'd,
6:958 And in its full career her vengeance stay'd;
6:959 While tender thoughts, in spite of passion, rise,
6:960 And melting tears disarm her threat'ning eyes.
6:961 But when she found the mother's easy heart,
6:962 Too fondly swerving from th' intended part;
6:963 Her injur'd sister's face again she view'd:
6:964 And, as by turns surveying both she stood,
6:965 While this fond boy (she said) can thus express
6:966 The moving accents of his fond address;
6:967 Why stands my sister of her tongue bereft,
6:968 Forlorn, and sad, in speechless silence left?
6:969 O Procne, see the fortune of your house!
6:970 Such is your fate, when match'd to such a spouse!
6:971 Conjugal duty, if observ'd to him,
6:972 Would change from virtue, and become a crime;
6:973 For all respect to Tereus must debase
6:974 The noble blood of great Pandion's race.

6:975 Strait at these words, with big resentment fill'd,
6:976 Furious her look, she flew, and seiz'd her child;
6:977 Like a fell tigress of the savage kind,
6:978 That drags the tender suckling of the hind
6:979 Thro' India's gloomy groves, where Ganges laves
6:980 The shady scene, and rouls his streamy waves.

6:981 Now to a close apartment they were come,
6:982 Far off retir'd within the spacious dome;
6:983 When Procne, on revengeful mischief bent,
6:984 Home to his heart a piercing ponyard sent.
6:985 Itys, with rueful cries, but all too late,
6:986 Holds out his hands, and deprecates his fate;
6:987 Still at his mother's neck he fondly aims,
6:988 And strives to melt her with endearing names;
6:989 Yet still the cruel mother perseveres,
6:990 Nor with concern his bitter anguish hears.
6:991 This might suffice; but Philomela too
6:992 Across his throat a shining curtlass drew.
6:993 Then both, with knives, dissect each quiv'ring part,
6:994 And carve the butcher'd limbs with cruel art;
6:995 Which, whelm'd in boiling cauldrons o'er the fire,
6:996 Or turn'd on spits, in steamy smoak aspire:
6:997 While the long entries, with their slipp'ry floor,
6:998 Run down in purple streams of clotted gore.

6:999 Ask'd by his wife to this inhuman feast,
6:1000 Tereus unknowingly is made a guest:
6:1001 Whilst she her plot the better to disguise,
6:1002 Styles it some unknown mystick sacrifice;
6:1003 And such the nature of the hallow'd rite,
6:1004 The wife her husband only could invite,
6:1005 The slaves must all withdraw, and be debarr'd the sight.
6:1006 Tereus, upon a throne of antique state,
6:1007 Loftily rais'd, before the banquet sate;
6:1008 And glutton like, luxuriously pleas'd,
6:1009 With his own flesh his hungry maw appeas'd.
6:1010 Nay, such a blindness o'er his senses falls,
6:1011 That he for Itys to the table calls.
6:1012 When Procne, now impatient to disclose
6:1013 The joy that from her full revenge arose,
6:1014 Cries out, in transports of a cruel mind,
6:1015 Within your self your Itys you may find.
6:1016 Still, at this puzzling answer, with surprise,
6:1017 Around the room he sends his curious eyes;
6:1018 And, as he still inquir'd, and call'd aloud,
6:1019 Fierce Philomela, all besmear'd with blood,
6:1020 Her hands with murder stain'd, her spreading hair
6:1021 Hanging dishevel'd with a ghastly air,
6:1022 Stept forth, and flung full in the tyrant's face
6:1023 The head of Itys, goary as it was:
6:1024 Nor ever so much to use her tongue,
6:1025 And with a just reproach to vindicate her wrong.

6:1026 The Thracian monarch from the table flings,
6:1027 While with his cries the vaulted parlour rings;
6:1028 His imprecations eccho down to Hell,
6:1029 And rouze the snaky Furies from their Stygian cell.
6:1030 One while he labours to disgorge his breast,
6:1031 And free his stomach from the cursed feast;
6:1032 Then, weeping o'er his lamentable doom,
6:1033 He styles himself his son's sepulchral tomb.
6:1034 Now, with drawn sabre, and impetuous speed,
6:1035 In close pursuit he drives Pandion's breed;
6:1036 Whose nimble feet spring with so swift a force
6:1037 Across the fields, they seem to wing their course.
6:1038 And now, on real wings themselves they raise,
6:1039 And steer their airy flight by diff'rent ways;
6:1040 One to the woodland's shady covert hies,
6:1041 Around the smoaky roof the other flies;
6:1042 Whose feathers yet the marks of murder stain,
6:1043 Where stampt upon her breast, the crimson spots remain.
6:1044 Tereus, through grief, and haste to be reveng'd,
6:1045 Shares the like fate, and to a bird is chang'd:
6:1046 Fix'd on his head, the crested plumes appear,
6:1047 Long is his beak, and sharpen'd like a spear;
6:1048 Thus arm'd, his looks his inward mind display,
6:1049 And, to a lapwing turn'd, he fans his way.
6:1050 Exceeding trouble, for his children's fate,
6:1051 Shorten'd Pandion's days, and chang'd his date;
6:1052 Down to the shades below, with sorrow spent,
6:1053 An earlier, unexpected ghost he went.

Boreas in Love

6:1054 Erechtheus next th' Athenian sceptre sway'd,
6:1055 Whose rule the state with joynt consent obey'd;
6:1056 So mix'd his justice with his valour flow'd,
6:1057 His reign one scene of princely goodness shew'd.
6:1058 Four hopeful youths, as many females bright,
6:1059 Sprung from his loyns, and sooth'd him with delight.

6:1060 Two of these sisters, of a lovelier air,
6:1061 Excell'd the rest, tho' all the rest were fair.
6:1062 Procris, to Cephalus in wedlock ty'd,
6:1063 Bless'd the young silvan with a blooming bride:
6:1064 For Orithyia Boreas suffer'd pain,
6:1065 For the coy maid sued long, but sued in vain;
6:1066 Tereus his neighbour, and his Thracian blood,
6:1067 Against the match a main objection stood;
6:1068 Which made his vows, and all his suppliant love,
6:1069 Empty as air and ineffectual prove.

6:1070 But when he found his soothing flatt'ries fail,
6:1071 Nor saw his soft addresses cou'd avail;
6:1072 Blust'ring with ire, he quickly has recourse
6:1073 To rougher arts, and his own native force.
6:1074 'Tis well, he said; such usage is my due,
6:1075 When thus disguis'd by foreign ways I sue;
6:1076 When my stern airs, and fierceness I disclaim,
6:1077 And sigh for love, ridiculously tame;
6:1078 When soft addresses foolishly I try,
6:1079 Nor my own stronger remedies apply.
6:1080 By force and violence I chiefly live,
6:1081 By them the lowring stormy tempests drive;
6:1082 In foaming billows raise the hoary deep,
6:1083 Writhe knotted oaks, and sandy desarts sweep;
6:1084 Congeal the falling flakes of fleecy snow,
6:1085 And bruise, with ratling hall, the plains below.
6:1086 I, and my brother-winds, when joyn'd above,
6:1087 Thro' the waste champian of the skies we rove,
6:1088 With such a boist'rous full career engage,
6:1089 That Heav'n's whole concave thunders at our rage.
6:1090 While, struck from nitrous clouds, fierce lightnings play,
6:1091 Dart thro' the storm, and gild the gloomy day.
6:1092 Or when, in subterraneous caverns pent,
6:1093 My breath, against the hollow Earth, is bent,
6:1094 The quaking world above, and ghosts below,
6:1095 My mighty pow'r, by dear experience, know,
6:1096 Tremble with fear, and dread the fatal blow.
6:1097 This is the only cure to be apply'd,
6:1098 Thus to Erechtheus I should be ally'd;
6:1099 And thus the scornful virgin should be woo'd,
6:1100 Not by intreaty, but by force subdu'd.

6:1101 Boreas, in passion, spoke these huffing things,
6:1102 And, as he spoke, he shook his dreadful wings;
6:1103 At which, afar the shiv'ring sea was fan'd,
6:1104 And the wide surface of the distant land:
6:1105 His dusty mantle o'er the hills he drew,
6:1106 And swept the lowly vallies, as he flew;
6:1107 Then, with his yellow wings, embrac'd the maid,
6:1108 And, wrapt in dusky clouds, far off convey'd.
6:1109 The sparkling blaze of Love's prevailing fire
6:1110 Shone brighter as he flew, and flam'd the higher.
6:1111 And now the God, possess'd of his delight,
6:1112 To northern Thrace pursu'd his airy flight,
6:1113 Where the young ravish'd nymph became his bride,
6:1114 And soon the luscious sweets of wedlock try'd.

6:1115 Two lovely twins, th' effect of this embrace,
6:1116 Crown their soft labours, and their nuptials grace;
6:1117 Who, like their mother, beautiful, and fair,
6:1118 Their father's strength, and feather'd pinions share:
6:1119 Yet these, at first, were wanting, as 'tis said,
6:1120 And after, as they grew, their shoulders spread.
6:1121 Zethes and Calais, the pretty twins,
6:1122 Remain'd unfledg'd, while smooth their beardless chins;
6:1123 But when, in time, the budding silver down
6:1124 Shaded their face, and on their cheeks was grown,
6:1125 Two sprouting wings upon their shoulders sprung,
6:1126 Like those in birds, that veil the callow young.
6:1127 Then as their age advanc'd, and they began
6:1128 From greener youth to ripen into man,
6:1129 With Jason's Argonauts they cross'd the seas,
6:1130 Embark'd in quest of the fam'd golden fleece;
6:1131 There, with the rest, the first frail vessel try'd,
6:1132 And boldly ventur'd on the swelling tide.


The Story of Medea and Jason

7:1 The Argonauts now stemm'd the foaming tide,
7:2 And to Arcadia's shore their course apply'd;
7:3 Where sightless Phineus spent his age in grief,
7:4 But Boreas' sons engage in his relief;
7:5 And those unwelcome guests, the odious race
7:6 Of Harpyes, from the monarch's table chase.
7:7 With Jason then they greater toils sustain,
7:8 And Phasis' slimy banks at last they gain,
7:9 Here boldly they demand the golden prize
7:10 Of Scythia's king, who sternly thus replies:
7:11 That mighty labours they must first o'ercome,
7:12 Or sail their Argo thence unfreighted home.
7:13 Meanwhile Medea, seiz'd with fierce desire,
7:14 By reason strives to quench the raging fire;
7:15 But strives in vain!-Some God (she said) withstands,
7:16 And reason's baffl'd council countermands.
7:17 What unseen Pow'r does this disorder move?
7:18 'Tis love,-at least 'tis like, what men call love.
7:19 Else wherefore shou'd the king's commands appear
7:20 To me too hard?-But so indeed they are.
7:21 Why shou'd I for a stranger fear, lest he
7:22 Shou'd perish, whom I did but lately see?
7:23 His death, or safety, what are they to me?
7:24 Wretch, from thy virgin-breast this flame expel,
7:25 And soon-Oh cou'd I, all wou'd then be well!
7:26 But love, resistless love, my soul invades;
7:27 Discretion this, affection that perswades.
7:28 I see the right, and I approve it too,
7:29 Condemn the wrong-and yet the wrong pursue.
7:30 Why, royal maid, shou'dst thou desire to wed
7:31 A wanderer, and court a foreign bed?
7:32 Thy native land, tho' barb'rous, can present
7:33 A bridegroom worth a royal bride's content:
7:34 And whether this advent'rer lives, or dies,
7:35 In Fate, and Fortune's fickle pleasure lies.
7:36 Yet may be live! for to the Pow'rs above,
7:37 A virgin, led by no impulse of love,
7:38 So just a suit may, for the guiltless, move.
7:39 Whom wou'd not Jason's valour, youth and blood
7:40 Invite? or cou'd these merits be withstood,
7:41 At least his charming person must encline
7:42 The hardest heart-I'm sure 'tis so with mine!
7:43 Yet, if I help him not, the flaming breath
7:44 Of bulls, and earth-born foes, must be his death.
7:45 Or, should he through these dangers force his way,
7:46 At last he must be made the dragon's prey.
7:47 If no remorse for such distress I feel,
7:48 I am a tigress, and my breast is steel.
7:49 Why do I scruple then to see him slain,
7:50 And with the tragick scene my eyes prophane?
7:51 My magick's art employ, not to asswage
7:52 The Salvages, but to enflame their rage?
7:53 His earth-born foes to fiercer fury move,
7:54 And accessary to his murder prove?
7:55 The Gods forbid-But pray'rs are idle breath,
7:56 When action only can prevent his death.
7:57 Shall I betray my father, and the state,
7:58 To intercept a rambling hero's fate;
7:59 Who may sail off next hour, and sav'd from harms
7:60 By my assistance, bless another's arms?
7:61 Whilst I, not only of my hopes bereft,
7:62 But to unpity'd punishment am left.
7:63 If he is false, let the ingrateful bleed!
7:64 But no such symptom in his looks I read.
7:65 Nature wou'd ne'er have lavish'd so much grace
7:66 Upon his person, if his soul were base.
7:67 Besides, he first shall plight his faith, and swear
7:68 By all the Gods; what therefore can'st thou fear?
7:69 Medea haste, from danger set him free,
7:70 Jason shall thy eternal debtor be.
7:71 And thou, his queen, with sov'raign state enstall'd,
7:72 By Graecian dames the Kind Preserver call'd.
7:73 Hence idle dreams, by love-sick fancy bred!
7:74 Wilt thou, Medea, by vain wishes led,
7:75 To sister, brother, father bid adieu?
7:76 Forsake thy country's Gods, and country too?
7:77 My father's harsh, my brother but a child,
7:78 My sister rivals me, my country's wild;
7:79 And for its Gods, the greatest of 'em all
7:80 Inspires my breast, and I obey his call.
7:81 That great endearments I forsake, is true,
7:82 But greater far the hopes that I pursue:
7:83 The pride of having sav'd the youths of Greece
7:84 (Each life more precious than our golden fleece);
7:85 A nobler soil by me shall be possest,
7:86 I shall see towns with arts and manners blest;
7:87 And, what I prize above the world beside,
7:88 Enjoy my Jason-and when once his bride,
7:89 Be more than mortal, and to Gods ally'd.
7:90 They talk of hazards I must first sustain,
7:91 Of floating islands justling in the main;
7:92 Our tender barque expos'd to dreadful shocks
7:93 Of fierce Charybdis' gulf, and Scylla's rocks,
7:94 Where breaking waves in whirling eddies rowl,
7:95 And rav'nous dogs that in deep caverns howl:
7:96 Amidst these terrors, while I lye possest
7:97 Of him I love, and lean on Jason's breast,
7:98 In tempests unconcern'd I will appear,
7:99 Or, only for my husband's safety fear.
7:100 Didst thou say husband?-canst thou so deceive
7:101 Thy self, fond maid, and thy own cheat believe?
7:102 In vain thou striv'st to varnish o'er thy shame,
7:103 And grace thy guilt with wedlock's sacred name.
7:104 Pull off the coz'ning masque, and oh! in time
7:105 Discover and avoid the fatal crime.
7:106 She ceas'd-the Graces now, with kind surprize,
7:107 And virtue's lovely train, before her eyes
7:108 Present themselves, and vanquish'd Cupid flies.

7:109 She then retires to Hecate's shrine, that stood
7:110 Far in the covert of a shady wood:
7:111 She finds the fury of her flames asswag'd,
7:112 But, seeing Jason there, again they rag'd.
7:113 Blushes, and paleness did by turns invade
7:114 Her tender cheeks, and secret grief betray'd.
7:115 As fire, that sleeping under ashes lyes,
7:116 Fresh-blown, and rous'd, does up in blazes rise,
7:117 So flam'd the virgin's breast-
7:118 New kindled by her lover's sparkling eyes.
7:119 For chance, that day, had with uncommon grace
7:120 Adorn'd the lovely youth, and through his face
7:121 Display'd an air so pleasing as might charm
7:122 A Goddess, and a Vestal's bosom warm.
7:123 Her ravish'd eyes survey him o'er and o'er,
7:124 As some gay wonder never seen before;
7:125 Transported to the skies she seems to be,
7:126 And thinks she gazes on a deity.
7:127 But when he spoke, and prest her trembling hand,
7:128 And did with tender words her aid demand,
7:129 With vows, and oaths to make her soon his bride,
7:130 She wept a flood of tears, and thus reply'd:
7:131 I see my error, yet to ruin move,
7:132 Nor owe my fate to ignorance, but love:
7:133 Your life I'll guard, and only crave of you
7:134 To swear once more-and to your oath be true.
7:135 He swears by Hecate he would all fulfil,
7:136 And by her grandfather's prophetick skill,
7:137 By ev'ry thing that doubting love cou'd press,
7:138 His present danger, and desir'd success.
7:139 She credits him, and kindly does produce
7:140 Enchanted herbs, and teaches him their use:
7:141 Their mystick names, and virtues he admires,
7:142 And with his booty joyfully retires.

The Dragon's Teeth transform'd to Men

7:143 Impatient for the wonders of the day,
7:144 Aurora drives the loyt'ring stars away.
7:145 Now Mars's mount the pressing people fill,
7:146 The crowd below, the nobles crown the hill;
7:147 The king himself high-thron'd above the rest,
7:148 With iv'ry scepter, and in purple drest.

7:149 Forthwith the brass-hoof'd bulls are set at large,
7:150 Whose furious nostrils sulph'rous flame discharge:
7:151 The blasted herbage by their breath expires;
7:152 As forges rumble with excessive fires,
7:153 And furnaces with fiercer fury glow,
7:154 When water on the panting mass ye throw;
7:155 With such a noise, from their convulsive breast,
7:156 Thro' bellowing throats, the struggling vapour prest.

7:157 Yet Jason marches up without concern,
7:158 While on th' advent'rous youth the monsters turn
7:159 Their glaring eyes, and, eager to engage,
7:160 Brandish their steel-tipt horns in threatning rage:
7:161 With brazen hoofs they beat the ground, and choak
7:162 The ambient air with clouds of dust and smoak:
7:163 Each gazing Graecian for his champion shakes,
7:164 While bold advances he securely makes
7:165 Thro' sindging blasts; such wonders magick art
7:166 Can work, when love conspires, and plays his part.
7:167 The passive savages like statues stand,
7:168 While he their dew-laps stroaks with soothing hand;
7:169 To unknown yokes their brawny necks they yield,
7:170 And, like tame oxen, plow the wond'ring field.
7:171 The Colchians stare; the Graecians shout, and raise
7:172 Their champion's courage with inspiring praise.

7:173 Embolden'd now, on fresh attempts he goes,
7:174 With serpent's teeth the fertile furrows sows;
7:175 The glebe, fermenting with inchanted juice,
7:176 Makes the snake's teeth a human crop produce.
7:177 For as an infant, pris'ner to the womb,
7:178 Contented sleeps, 'till to perfection come,
7:179 Then does the cell's obscure confinement scorn,
7:180 He tosses, throbs, and presses to be born;
7:181 So from the lab'ring Earth no single birth,
7:182 But a whole troop of lusty youths rush forth;
7:183 And, what's more strange, with martial fury warm'd,
7:184 And for encounter all compleatly arm'd;
7:185 In rank and file, as they were sow'd, they stand,
7:186 Impatient for the signal of command.
7:187 No foe but the Aemonian youth appears;
7:188 At him they level their steel-pointed spears;
7:189 His frighted friends, who triumph'd, just before,
7:190 With peals of sighs his desp'rate case deplore:
7:191 And where such hardy warriors are afraid,
7:192 What must the tender, and enamour'd maid?
7:193 Her spirits sink, the blood her cheek forsook;
7:194 She fears, who for his safety undertook:
7:195 She knew the vertue of the spells she gave,
7:196 She knew the force, and knew her lover brave;
7:197 But what's a single champion to an host?
7:198 Yet scorning thus to see him tamely lost,
7:199 Her strong reserve of secret arts she brings,
7:200 And last, her never-failing song she sings.
7:201 Wonders ensue; among his gazing foes
7:202 The massy fragment of a rock he throws;
7:203 This charm in civil war engag'd 'em all;
7:204 By mutual wounds those Earth-born brothers fall.

7:205 The Greeks, transported with the strange success,
7:206 Leap from their seats the conqu'ror to caress;
7:207 Commend, and kiss, and clasp him in their arms:
7:208 So would the kind contriver of the charms;
7:209 But her, who felt the tenderest concern,
7:210 Honour condemns in secret flames to burn;
7:211 Committed to a double guard of fame,
7:212 Aw'd by a virgin's, and a princess' name.
7:213 But thoughts are free, and fancy unconfin'd,
7:214 She kisses, courts, and hugs him in her mind;
7:215 To fav'ring Pow'rs her silent thanks she gives,
7:216 By whose indulgence her lov'd hero lives.

7:217 One labour more remains, and, tho' the last,
7:218 In danger far surmounting all the past;
7:219 That enterprize by Fates in store was kept,
7:220 To make the dragon sleep that never slept,
7:221 Whose crest shoots dreadful lustre; from his jaws
7:222 A tripple tire of forked stings he draws,
7:223 With fangs, and wings of a prodigious size:
7:224 Such was the guardian of the golden prize.
7:225 Yet him, besprinkled with Lethaean dew,
7:226 The fair inchantress into slumber threw;
7:227 And then, to fix him, thrice she did repeat
7:228 The rhyme, that makes the raging winds retreat,
7:229 In stormy seas can halcyon seasons make,
7:230 Turn rapid streams into a standing lake;
7:231 While the soft guest his drowzy eye-lids seals,
7:232 Th' ungarded golden fleece the stranger steals;
7:233 Proud to possess the purchase of his toil,
7:234 Proud of his royal bride, the richer spoil;
7:235 To sea both prize, and patroness he bore,
7:236 And lands triumphant on his native shore.

Old Aeson restor'd to Youth

7:237 Aemonian matrons, who their absence mourn'd,
7:238 Rejoyce to see their prosp'rous sons return'd:
7:239 Rich curling fumes of incense feast the skies,
7:240 An hecatomb of voted victims dies,
7:241 With gilded horns, and garlands on their head,
7:242 And all the pomp of death, to th' altar led.
7:243 Congratulating bowls go briskly round,
7:244 Triumphant shouts in louder musick drown'd.
7:245 Amidst these revels, why that cloud of care
7:246 On Jason's brow? (to whom the largest share
7:247 Of mirth was due)-His father was not there.
7:248 Aeson was absent, once the young, and brave,
7:249 Now crush'd with years, and bending to the grave.
7:250 At last withdrawn, and by the crowd unseen,
7:251 Pressing her hand (with starting sighs between),
7:252 He supplicates his kind, and skilful queen.

7:253 O patroness! preserver of my life!
7:254 (Dear when my mistress, and much dearer wife)
7:255 Your favours to so vast a sum amount,
7:256 'Tis past the pow'r of numbers to recount;
7:257 Or cou'd they be to computation brought,
7:258 The history would a romance be thought:
7:259 And yet, unless you add one favour more,
7:260 Greater than all that you conferr'd before,
7:261 But not too hard for love and magick skill,
7:262 Your past are thrown away, and Jason's wretched still.
7:263 The morning of my life is just begun,
7:264 But my declining father's race is run;
7:265 From my large stock retrench the long arrears,
7:266 And add 'em to expiring Aeson's years.

7:267 Thus spake the gen'rous youth, and wept the rest.
7:268 Mov'd with the piety of his request,
7:269 To his ag'd sire such filial duty shown,
7:270 So diff'rent from her treatment of her own,
7:271 But still endeav'ring her remorse to hide,
7:272 She check'd her rising sighs, and thus reply'd.

7:273 How cou'd the thought of such inhuman wrong
7:274 Escape (said she) from pious Jason's tongue?
7:275 Does the whole world another Jason bear,
7:276 Whose life Medea can to yours prefer?
7:277 Or cou'd I with so dire a change dispence,
7:278 Hecate will never join in that offence:
7:279 Unjust is the request you make, and I
7:280 In kindness your petition shall deny;
7:281 Yet she that grants not what you do implore,
7:282 Shall yet essay to give her Jason more;
7:283 Find means t' encrease the stock of Aeson's years,
7:284 Without retrenchment of your life's arrears;
7:285 Provided that the triple Goddess join
7:286 A strong confed'rate in my bold design.

7:287 Thus was her enterprize resolv'd; but still
7:288 Three tedious nights are wanting to fulfil
7:289 The circling crescents of th' encreasing moon;
7:290 Then, in the height of her nocturnal noon,
7:291 Medea steals from court; her ankles bare,
7:292 Her garments closely girt, but loose her hair;
7:293 Thus sally'd, like a solitary sprite,
7:294 She traverses the terrors of the night.

7:295 Men, beasts, and birds in soft repose lay charm'd,
7:296 No boistrous wind the mountain-woods alarm'd;
7:297 Nor did those walks of love, the myrtle-trees,
7:298 Of am'rous Zephir hear the whisp'ring breeze;
7:299 All elements chain'd in unactive rest,
7:300 No sense but what the twinkling stars exprest;
7:301 To them (that only wak'd) she rears her arm,
7:302 And thus commences her mysterious charms.

7:303 She turn'd her thrice about, as oft she threw
7:304 On her pale tresses the nocturnal dew;
7:305 Then yelling thrice a most enormous sound,
7:306 Her bare knee bended on the flinty ground.
7:307 O night (said she) thou confident and guide
7:308 Of secrets, such as darkness ought to hide;
7:309 Ye stars and moon, that, when the sun retires,
7:310 Support his empire with succeeding fires;
7:311 And thou, great Hecate, friend to my design;
7:312 Songs, mutt'ring spells, your magick forces join;
7:313 And thou, O Earth, the magazine that yields
7:314 The midnight sorcerer drugs; skies, mountains, fields;
7:315 Ye wat'ry Pow'rs of fountain, stream, and lake;
7:316 Ye sylvan Gods, and Gods of night, awake,
7:317 And gen'rously your parts in my adventure take.

7:318 Oft by your aid swift currents I have led
7:319 Thro' wand'ring banks, back to their fountain head;
7:320 Transformed the prospect of the briny deep,
7:321 Made sleeping billows rave, and raving billows sleep;
7:322 Made clouds, or sunshine; tempests rise, or fall;
7:323 And stubborn lawless winds obey my call:
7:324 With mutter'd words disarm'd the viper's jaw;
7:325 Up by the roots vast oaks, and rocks cou'd draw,
7:326 Make forests dance, and trembling mountains come,
7:327 Like malefactors, to receive their doom;
7:328 Earth groan, and frighted ghosts forsake their tomb.
7:329 Thee, Cynthia, my resistless rhymes drew down,
7:330 When tinkling cymbals strove my voice to drown;
7:331 Nor stronger Titan could their force sustain,
7:332 In full career compell'd to stop his wain:
7:333 Nor could Aurora's virgin blush avail,
7:334 With pois'nous herbs I turn'd her roses pale;
7:335 The fury of the fiery bulls I broke,
7:336 Their stubborn necks submitting to my yoke;
7:337 And when the sons of Earth with fury burn'd,
7:338 Their hostile rage upon themselves I turn'd;
7:339 The brothers made with mutual wounds to bleed,
7:340 And by their fatal strife my lover freed;
7:341 And, while the dragon slept, to distant Greece,
7:342 Thro' cheated guards, convey'd the golden fleece.
7:343 But now to bolder action I proceed,
7:344 Of such prevailing juices now have need,
7:345 That wither'd years back to their bloom can bring,
7:346 And in dead winter raise a second spring.
7:347 And you'll perform't-
7:348 You will; for lo! the stars, with sparkling fires,
7:349 Presage as bright success to my desires:
7:350 And now another happy omen see!
7:351 A chariot drawn by dragons waits for me.

7:352 With these last words he leaps into the wain,
7:353 Stroaks the snakes' necks, and shakes the golden rein;
7:354 That signal giv'n, they mount her to the skies,
7:355 And now beneath her fruitful Tempe lies,
7:356 Whose stories she ransacks, then to Crete she flies;
7:357 There Ossa, Pelion, Othrys, Pindus, all
7:358 To the fair ravisher, a booty fall;
7:359 The tribute of their verdure she collects,
7:360 Nor proud Olympus' height his plants protects.
7:361 Some by the roots she plucks; the tender tops
7:362 Of others with her culling sickle crops.
7:363 Nor could the plunder of the hills suffice,
7:364 Down to the humble vales, and meads she flies;
7:365 Apidanus, Amphrysus, the next rape
7:366 Sustain, nor could Enipeus' bank escape;
7:367 Thro' Beebe's marsh, and thro' the border rang'd
7:368 Whose pasture Glaucus to a Triton chang'd.

7:369 Now the ninth day, and ninth successive night,
7:370 Had wonder'd at the restless rover's flight;
7:371 Mean-while her dragons, fed with no repast,
7:372 But her exhaling simples od'rous blast,
7:373 Their tarnish'd scales, and wrinkled skins had cast.
7:374 At last return'd before her palace gate,
7:375 Quitting her chariot, on the ground she sate;
7:376 The sky her only canopy of state.
7:377 All conversation with her sex she fled,
7:378 Shun'd the caresses of the nuptial bed:
7:379 Two altars next of grassy turf she rears,
7:380 This Hecate's name, that Youth's inscription bears;
7:381 With forest-boughs, and vervain these she crown'd;
7:382 Then delves a double trench in lower ground,
7:383 And sticks a black-fleec'd ram, that ready stood,
7:384 And drench'd the ditches with devoted blood:
7:385 New wine she pours, and milk from th' udder warm,
7:386 With mystick murmurs to compleat the charm,
7:387 And subterranean deities alarm.
7:388 To the stern king of ghosts she next apply'd,
7:389 And gentle Proserpine, his ravish'd bride,
7:390 That for old Aeson with the laws of Fate
7:391 They would dispense, and lengthen his short date;
7:392 Thus with repeated pray'rs she long assails
7:393 Th' infernal tyrant and at last prevails;
7:394 Then calls to have decrepit Aeson brought,
7:395 And stupifies him with a sleeping draught;
7:396 On Earth his body, like a corpse, extends,
7:397 Then charges Jason and his waiting friends
7:398 To quit the place, that no unhallow'd eye
7:399 Into her art's forbidden secrets pry.
7:400 This done, th' inchantress, with her locks unbound,
7:401 About her altars trips a frantick round;
7:402 Piece-meal the consecrated wood she splits,
7:403 And dips the splinters in the bloody pits,
7:404 Then hurles 'em on the piles; the sleeping sire
7:405 She lustrates thrice, with sulphur, water, fire.

7:406 In a large cauldron now the med'cine boils,
7:407 Compounded of her late-collected spoils,
7:408 Blending into the mesh the various pow'rs
7:409 Of wonder-working juices, roots, and flow'rs;
7:410 With gems i' th' eastern ocean's cell refin'd,
7:411 And such as ebbing tides had left behind;
7:412 To them the midnight's pearly dew she flings,
7:413 A scretch-owl's carcase, and ill boding wings;
7:414 Nor could the wizard wolf's warm entrails scape
7:415 (That wolf who counterfeits a human shape).
7:416 Then, from the bottom of her conj'ring bag,
7:417 Snakes' skins, and liver of a long-liv'd stag;
7:418 Last a crow's head to such an age arriv'd,
7:419 That he had now nine centuries surviv'd;
7:420 These, and with these a thousand more that grew
7:421 In sundry soils, into her pot she threw;
7:422 Then with a wither'd olive-bough she rakes
7:423 The bubling broth; the bough fresh verdure takes;
7:424 Green leaves at first the perish'd plant surround,
7:425 Which the next minute with ripe fruit were crown'd.
7:426 The foaming juices now the brink o'er-swell;
7:427 The barren heath, where-e'er the liquor fell,
7:428 Sprang out with vernal grass, and all the pride
7:429 Of blooming May-When this Medea spy'd,
7:430 She cuts her patient's throat; th' exhausted blood
7:431 Recruiting with her new enchanted flood;
7:432 While at his mouth, and thro' his op'ning wound,
7:433 A double inlet her infusion found;
7:434 His feeble frame resumes a youthful air,
7:435 A glossy brown his hoary beard and hair.
7:436 The meager paleness from his aspect fled,
7:437 And in its room sprang up a florid red;
7:438 Thro' all his limbs a youthful vigour flies,
7:439 His empty'd art'ries swell with fresh supplies:
7:440 Gazing spectators scarce believe their eyes.
7:441 But Aeson is the most surpriz'd to find
7:442 A happy change in body and in mind;
7:443 In sense and constitution the same man,
7:444 As when his fortieth active year began.

7:445 Bacchus, who from the clouds this wonder view'd,
7:446 Medea's method instantly pursu'd,
7:447 And his indulgent nurse's youth renew'd.

The Death of Pelias

7:448 Thus far obliging love employ'd her art,
7:449 But now revenge must act a tragick part;

7:450 Medea feigns a mortal quarrel bred
7:451 Betwixt her, and the partner of her bed;
7:452 On this pretence to Pelias' court she flies,
7:453 Who languishing with age and sickness lies:
7:454 His guiltless daughters, with inveigling wiles,
7:455 And well dissembled friendship, she beguiles:
7:456 The strange achievements of her art she tells,
7:457 With Aeson's cure, and long on that she dwells,
7:458 'Till them to firm perswasion she has won,
7:459 The same for their old father may be done:
7:460 For him they court her to employ her skill,
7:461 And put upon the cure what price she will.
7:462 At first she's mute, and with a grave pretence
7:463 Of difficulty, holds 'em in suspense;
7:464 Then promises, and bids 'em, from the fold
7:465 Chuse out a ram, the most infirm and old;
7:466 That so by fact their doubts may be remov'd,
7:467 And first on him the operation prov'd.

7:468 A wreath-horn'd ram is brought, so far o'er-grown
7:469 With years, his age was to that age unknown
7:470 Of sense too dull the piercing point to feel,
7:471 And scarce sufficient blood to stain the steel.
7:472 His carcass she into a cauldron threw,
7:473 With drugs whose vital qualities she knew;
7:474 His limbs grow less, he casts his horns, and years,
7:475 And tender bleatings strike their wond'ring ears.
7:476 Then instantly leaps forth a frisking lamb,
7:477 That seeks (too young to graze) a suckling dam.
7:478 The sisters, thus confirm'd with the success,
7:479 Her promise with renew'd entreaty press;
7:480 To countenance the cheat, three nights and days
7:481 Before experiment th' inchantress stays;
7:482 Then into limpid water, from the springs,
7:483 Weeds, and ingredients of no force she flings;
7:484 With antique ceremonies for pretence
7:485 And rambling rhymes without a word of sense.

7:486 Mean-while the king with all his guards lay bound
7:487 In magick sleep, scarce that of death so sound;
7:488 The daughters now are by the sorc'ress led
7:489 Into his chamber, and surround his bed.
7:490 Your father's health's concern'd, and can ye stay?
7:491 Unnat'ral nymphs, why this unkind delay?
7:492 Unsheath your swords, dismiss his lifeless blood,
7:493 And I'll recruit it with a vital flood:
7:494 Your father's life and health is in your hand,
7:495 And can ye thus like idle gazers stand?
7:496 Unless you are of common sense bereft,
7:497 If yet one spark of piety is left,
7:498 Dispatch a father's cure, and disengage
7:499 The monarch from his toilsome load of age:
7:500 Come-drench your weapons in his putrid gore;
7:501 'Tis charity to wound, when wounding will restore.

7:502 Thus urg'd, the poor deluded maids proceed,
7:503 Betray'd by zeal, to an inhumane deed,
7:504 And, in compassion, make a father bleed.
7:505 Yes, she who had the kindest, tend'rest heart,
7:506 Is foremost to perform the bloody part.

7:507 Yet, tho' to act the butchery betray'd,
7:508 They could not bear to see the wounds they made;
7:509 With looks averted, backward they advance,
7:510 Then strike, and stab, and leave the blows to chance.

7:511 Waking in consternation, he essays
7:512 (Weltring in blood) his feeble arms to raise:
7:513 Environ'd with so many swords-From whence
7:514 This barb'rous usage? what is my offence?
7:515 What fatal fury, what infernal charm,
7:516 'Gainst a kind father does his daughters arm?

7:517 Hearing his voice, as thunder-struck they stopt,
7:518 Their resolution, and their weapons dropt:
7:519 Medea then the mortal blow bestows,
7:520 And that perform'd, the tragick scene to close,
7:521 His corpse into the boiling cauldron throws.

7:522 Then, dreading the revenge that must ensue,
7:523 High mounted on her dragon-coach she flew;
7:524 And in her stately progress thro' the skies,
7:525 Beneath her shady Pelion first she spies,
7:526 With Othrys, that above the clouds did rise;
7:527 With skilful Chiron's cave, and neighb'ring ground,
7:528 For old Cerambus' strange escape renown'd,
7:529 By nymphs deliver'd, when the world was drown'd;
7:530 Who him with unexpected wings supply'd,
7:531 When delug'd hills a safe retreat deny'd.
7:532 Aeolian Pitane on her left hand
7:533 She saw, and there the statu'd dragon stand;
7:534 With Ida's grove, where Bacchus, to disguise
7:535 His son's bold theft, and to secure the prize,
7:536 Made the stoln steer a stag to represent;
7:537 Cocytus' father's sandy monument;
7:538 And fields that held the murder'd sire's remains,
7:539 Where howling Moera frights the startled plains.
7:540 Euryphilus' high town, with tow'rs defac'd
7:541 By Hercules, and matrons more disgrac'd
7:542 With sprouting horns, in signal punishment,
7:543 From Juno, or resenting Venus sent.
7:544 Then Rhodes, which Phoebus did so dearly prize,
7:545 And Jove no less severely did chastize;
7:546 For he the wizard native's pois'ning sight,
7:547 That us'd the farmer's hopeful crops to blight,
7:548 In rage o'erwhelm'd with everlasting night.
7:549 Cartheia's ancient walls come next in view,
7:550 Where once the sire almost a statue grew
7:551 With wonder, which a strange event did move,
7:552 His daughter turn'd into a turtle-dove.
7:553 Then Hyrie's lake, and Tempe's field o'er-ran,
7:554 Fam'd for the boy who there became a swan;
7:555 For there enamour'd Phyllius, like a slave,
7:556 Perform'd what tasks his paramour would crave.
7:557 For presents he had mountain-vultures caught,
7:558 And from the desart a tame lion brought;
7:559 Then a wild bull commanded to subdue,
7:560 The conquer'd savage by the horns he drew;
7:561 But, mock'd so oft, the treatment he disdains,
7:562 And from the craving boy this prize detains.
7:563 Then thus in choler the resenting lad:
7:564 Won't you deliver him?-You'll wish you had:
7:565 Nor sooner said, but, in a peevish mood,
7:566 Leapt from the precipice on which he stood:
7:567 The standers-by were struck with fresh surprize,
7:568 Instead of falling, to behold him rise
7:569 A snowy swan, and soaring to the skies.

7:570 But dearly the rash prank his mother cost,
7:571 Who ignorantly gave her son for lost;
7:572 For his misfortune wept, 'till she became
7:573 A lake, and still renown'd with Hyrie's name.

7:574 Thence to Latona's isle, where once were seen,
7:575 Transform'd to birds, a monarch, and his queen.
7:576 Far off she saw how old Cephisus mourn'd
7:577 His son, into a seele by Phoebus turn'd;
7:578 And where, astonish'd at a stranger sight,
7:579 Eumelus gaz'd on his wing'd daughter's flight.

7:580 Aetolian Pleuron she did next survey,
7:581 Where sons a mother's murder did essay,
7:582 But sudden plumes the matron bore away.
7:583 On her right hand, Cyllene, a fair soil,
7:584 Fair, 'till Menephron there the beauteous hill
7:585 Attempted with foul incest to defile.

7:586 Her harness'd dragons now direct she drives
7:587 For Corinth, and at Corinth she arrives;
7:588 Where, if what old tradition tells, be true,
7:589 In former ages men from mushrooms grew.

7:590 But here Medea finds her bed supply'd,
7:591 During her absence, by another bride;
7:592 And hopeless to recover her lost game,
7:593 She sets both bride and palace in a flame.
7:594 Nor could a rival's death her wrath asswage,
7:595 Nor stopt at Creon's family her rage,
7:596 She murders her own infants, in despight
7:597 To faithless Jason, and in Jason's sight;
7:598 Yet e'er his sword could reach her, up she springs,
7:599 Securely mounted on her dragon's wings.

The Story of Aegeus

7:600 From hence to Athens she directs her flight,
7:601 Where Phineus, so renown'd for doing right;
7:602 Where Periphas, and Polyphemon's neece,
7:603 Soaring with sudden plumes amaz'd the towns of Greece.

7:604 Here Aegeus so engaging she addrest,
7:605 That first he treats her like a royal guest;
7:606 Then takes the sorc'ress for his wedded wife;
7:607 The only blemish of his prudent life.

7:608 Mean-while his son, from actions of renown,
7:609 Arrives at court, but to his sire unknown.
7:610 Medea, to dispatch a dang'rous heir
7:611 (She knew him), did a pois'nous draught prepare;
7:612 Drawn from a drug, was long reserv'd in store
7:613 For desp'rate uses, from the Scythian shore;
7:614 That from the Echydnaean monster's jaws
7:615 Deriv'd its origin, and this the cause.

7:616 Thro' a dark cave a craggy passage lies,
7:617 To ours, ascending from the nether skies;
7:618 Thro' which, by strength of hand, Alcides drew
7:619 Chain'd Cerberus, who lagg'd, and restive grew,
7:620 With his blear'd eyes our brighter day to view.
7:621 Thrice he repeated his enormous yell,
7:622 With which he scares the ghosts, and startles Hell;
7:623 At last outragious (tho' compell'd to yield)
7:624 He sheds his foam in fury on the field,-
7:625 Which, with its own, and rankness of the ground,
7:626 Produc'd a weed, by sorcerers renown'd,
7:627 The strongest constitution to confound;
7:628 Call'd Aconite, because it can unlock
7:629 All bars, and force its passage thro' a rock.

7:630 The pious father, by her wheedles won,
7:631 Presents this deadly potion to his son;
7:632 Who, with the same assurance takes the cup,
7:633 And to the monarch's health had drank it up,
7:634 But in the very instant he apply'd
7:635 The goblet to his lips, old Aegeus spy'd
7:636 The iv'ry hilted sword that grac'd his side.
7:637 That certain signal of his son he knew,
7:638 And snatcht the bowl away; the sword he drew,
7:639 Resolv'd, for such a son's endanger'd life,
7:640 To sacrifice the most perfidious wife.
7:641 Revenge is swift, but her more active charms
7:642 A whirlwind rais'd, that snatch'd her from his arms.
7:643 While conjur'd clouds their baffled sense surprize,
7:644 She vanishes from their deluded eyes,
7:645 And thro' the hurricane triumphant flies.

7:646 The gen'rous king, altho' o'er-joy'd to find
7:647 His son was safe, yet bearing still in mind
7:648 The mischief by his treach'rous queen design'd;
7:649 The horrour of the deed, and then how near
7:650 The danger drew, he stands congeal'd with fear.
7:651 But soon that fear into devotion turns,
7:652 With grateful incense ev'ry altar burns;
7:653 Proud victims, and unconscious of their fate,
7:654 Stalk to the temple, there to die in state.
7:655 In Athens never had a day been found
7:656 For mirth, like that grand festival, renown'd.
7:657 Promiscuously the peers, and people dine,
7:658 Promiscuously their thankful voices join,
7:659 In songs of wit, sublim'd by spritely wine.
7:660 To list'ning spheres their joint applause they raise,
7:661 And thus resound their matchless Theseus' praise.

7:662 Great Theseus! Thee the Marathonian plain
7:663 Admires, and wears with pride the noble stain
7:664 Of the dire monster's blood, by valiant Theseus slain.
7:665 That now Cromyon's swains in safety sow,
7:666 And reap their fertile field, to thee they owe.
7:667 By thee th' infested Epidaurian coast
7:668 Was clear'd, and now can a free commerce boast.
7:669 The traveller his journey can pursue,
7:670 With pleasure the late dreadful valley view,
7:671 And cry, Here Theseus the grand robber slew.
7:672 Cephysus' cries to his rescu'd shore,
7:673 The merciless Procrustes is no more.
7:674 In peace, Eleusis, Ceres' rites renew,
7:675 Since Theseus' sword the fierce Cercyon slew.
7:676 By him the tort'rer Sinis was destroy'd,
7:677 Of strength (but strength to barb'rous use employ'd)
7:678 That tops of tallest pines to Earth could bend,
7:679 And thus in pieces wretched captives rend.
7:680 Inhuman Scyron now has breath'd his last,
7:681 And now Alcatho's roads securely past;
7:682 By Theseus slain, and thrown into the deep:
7:683 But Earth nor Sea his scatter'd bones wou'd keep,
7:684 Which, after floating long, a rock became,
7:685 Still infamous with Scyron's hated name.
7:686 When Fame to count thy acts and years proceeds,
7:687 Thy years appear but cyphers to thy deeds.
7:688 For thee, brave youth, as for our common-wealth,
7:689 We pray; and drink, in yours, the publick health.
7:690 Your praise the senate, and plebeians sing,
7:691 With your lov'd name the court, and cottage ring.
7:692 You make our shepherds and our sailors glad,
7:693 And not a house in this vast city's sad.

7:694 But mortal bliss will never come sincere,
7:695 Pleasure may lead, but grief brings up the rear;
7:696 While for his sons' arrival, rev'ling joy
7:697 Aegeus, and all his subjects does employ;
7:698 While they for only costly feasts prepare,
7:699 His neighb'ring monarch, Minos, threatens war:
7:700 Weak in land-forces, nor by sea more strong,
7:701 But pow'rful in a deep resented wrong
7:702 For a son's murder, arm'd with pious rage;
7:703 Yet prudently before he would engage,
7:704 To raise auxiliaries resolv'd to sail,
7:705 And with the pow'rful princes to prevail.

7:706 First Anaphe, then proud Astypalaea gains,
7:707 By presents that, and this by threats obtains:
7:708 Low Mycone, Cymolus, chalky soil,
7:709 Tall Cythnos, Scyros, flat Seriphos' isle;
7:710 Paros, with marble cliffs afar display'd;
7:711 Impregnable Sithonia; yet betray'd
7:712 To a weak foe by a gold-admiring maid,
7:713 Who, chang'd into a daw of sable hue,
7:714 Still hoards up gold, and hides it from the view.

7:715 But as these islands chearfully combine,
7:716 Others refuse t' embark in his design.
7:717 Now leftward with an easy sail he bore,
7:718 And prosp'rous passage to Oenopia's shore;
7:719 Oenopia once, but now Aegina call'd,
7:720 And with his royal mother's name install'd
7:721 By Aeacus, under whose reign did spring
7:722 The Myrmidons, and now their reigning king.

7:723 Down to the port, amidst the rabble, run
7:724 The princes of the blood; with Telamon,
7:725 Peleus the next, and Phocus the third son:
7:726 Then Aeacus, altho' opprest with years,
7:727 To ask the cause of their approach appears.

7:728 That question does the Gnossian's grief renew,
7:729 And sighs from his afflicted bosom drew;
7:730 Yet after a short solemn respite made,
7:731 The ruler of the hundred cities said:

7:732 Assist our arms, rais'd for a murder'd son,
7:733 In this religious war no risque you'll run:
7:734 Revenge the dead-for who refuse to give
7:735 Rest to their urns, unworthy are to live.

7:736 What you request, thus Aeacus replies,
7:737 Not I, but truth and common faith denies;
7:738 Athens and we have long been sworn allies:
7:739 Our leagues are fix'd, confed'rate are our pow'rs,
7:740 And who declare themselves their foes, are ours.

7:741 Minos rejoins, Your league shall dearly cost
7:742 (Yet, mindful how much safer 'twas to boast,
7:743 Than there to waste his forces, and his fame,
7:744 Before in field with his grand foe he came),
7:745 Parts without blows-nor long had left the shore,
7:746 E're into port another navy bore,
7:747 With Cephalus, and all his jolly crew;
7:748 Th' Aeacides their old acquaintance knew:
7:749 The princes bid him welcome, and in state
7:750 Conduct the heroe to their palace gate;
7:751 Who entr'ring, seem'd the charming mein to wear,
7:752 As when in youth he paid his visit there.
7:753 In his right hand an olive-branch he holds,
7:754 And, salutation past, the chief unfolds
7:755 His embassy from the Athenian state,
7:756 Their mutual friendship, leagues of ancient date;
7:757 Their common danger, ev'ry thing cou'd wake
7:758 Concern, and his address successful make:
7:759 Strength'ning his plea with all the charms of sense,
7:760 And those, with all the charms of eloquence.

7:761 Then thus the king: Like suitors do you stand
7:762 For that assistance which you may command?
7:763 Athenians, all our listed forces use
7:764 (They're such as no bold service will refuse);
7:765 And when y' ave drawn them off, the Gods be prais'd,
7:766 Fresh legions can within our isle be rais'd:
7:767 So stock'd with people, that we can prepare
7:768 Both for domestick, and for distant war,
7:769 Ours, or our friends' insulters to chastize.

7:770 Long may ye flourish thus, the prince replies.
7:771 Strange transport seiz'd me as I pass'd along,
7:772 To meet so many troops, and all so young,
7:773 As if your army did of twins consist;
7:774 Yet amongst them my late acquaintance miss'd:
7:775 Ev'n all that to your palace did resort,
7:776 When first you entertain'd me at your court;
7:777 And cannot guess the cause from whence cou'd spring
7:778 So vast a change-Then thus the sighing king:

7:779 Illustrious guest, to my strange tale attend,
7:780 Of sad beginning, but a joyful end:
7:781 The whole to a vast history wou'd swell,
7:782 I shall but half, and that confus'dly, tell.
7:783 That race whom so deserv'dly you admir'd,
7:784 Are all into their silent tombs retir'd:
7:785 They fell; and falling, how they shook my state,
7:786 Thought may conceive, but words can ne'er relate.

The Story of Ants chang'd to Men

7:787 A dreadful plague from angry Juno came,
7:788 To scourge the land, that bore her rival's name;
7:789 Before her fatal anger was reveal'd,
7:790 And teeming malice lay as yet conceal'd,
7:791 All remedies we try, all med'cines use,
7:792 Which Nature cou'd supply, or art produce;
7:793 Th' unconquer'd foe derides the vain design,
7:794 And art, and Nature foil'd, declare the cause divine.

7:795 At first we only felt th' oppressive weight
7:796 Of gloomy clouds, then teeming with our fate,
7:797 And lab'ring to discarge unactive heat:
7:798 But ere four moons alternate changes knew,
7:799 With deadly blasts the fatal South-wind blew,
7:800 Infected all the air, and poison'd as it flew.
7:801 Our fountains too a dire infection yield,
7:802 For crowds of vipers creep along the field,
7:803 And with polluted gore, and baneful steams,
7:804 Taint all the lakes, and venom all the streams.

7:805 The young disease with milder force began,
7:806 And rag'd on birds, and beasts, excusing Man.
7:807 The lab'ring oxen fall before the plow,
7:808 Th' unhappy plow-men stare, and wonder how:
7:809 The tabid sheep, with sickly bleatings, pines;
7:810 Its wool decreasing, as its strength declines:
7:811 The warlike steed, by inward foes compell'd,
7:812 Neglects his honours, and deserts the field;
7:813 Unnerv'd, and languid, seeks a base retreat,
7:814 And at the manger groans, but wish'd a nobler fate:
7:815 The stags forget their speed, the boars their rage,
7:816 Nor can the bears the stronger herds engage:
7:817 A gen'ral faintness does invade 'em all,
7:818 And in the woods, and fields, promiscuously they fall.
7:819 The air receives the stench, and (strange to say)
7:820 The rav'nous birds and beasts avoid the prey:
7:821 Th' offensive bodies rot upon the ground,
7:822 And spread the dire contagion all around.

7:823 But now the plague, grown to a larger size,
7:824 Riots on Man, and scorns a meaner prize.
7:825 Intestine heats begin the civil war,
7:826 And flushings first the latent flame declare,
7:827 And breath inspir'd, which seem'd like fiery air.
7:828 Their black dry tongues are swell'd, and scarce can move,
7:829 And short thick sighs from panting lung are drove.
7:830 They gape for air, with flatt'ring hopes t' abate
7:831 Their raging flames, but that augments their heat.
7:832 No bed, no cov'ring can the wretches bear,
7:833 But on the ground, expos'd to open air,
7:834 They lye, and hope to find a pleasing coolness there.
7:835 The suff'ring Earth with that oppression curst,
7:836 Returns the heat which they imparted first.

7:837 In vain physicians would bestow their aid,
7:838 Vain all their art, and useless all their trade;
7:839 And they, ev'n they, who fleeting life recall,
7:840 Feel the same Pow'rs, and undistinguish'd fall.
7:841 If any proves so daring to attend
7:842 His sick companion, or his darling friend,
7:843 Th' officious wretch sucks in contagious breath,
7:844 And with his friend does sympathize in death.

7:845 And now the care and hopes of life are past,
7:846 They please their fancies, and indulge their taste;
7:847 At brooks and streams, regardless of their shame,
7:848 Each sex, promiscuous, strives to quench their flame;
7:849 Nor do they strive in vain to quench it there,
7:850 For thirst, and life at once extinguish'd are.
7:851 Thus in the brooks the dying bodies sink,
7:852 But heedless still the rash survivors drink.

7:853 So much uneasy down the wretches hate,
7:854 They fly their beds, to struggle with their fate;
7:855 But if decaying strength forbids to rise,
7:856 The victim crawls and rouls, 'till on the ground he lies.
7:857 Each shuns his bed, as each wou'd shun his tomb,
7:858 And thinks th' infection only lodg'd at home.

7:859 Here one, with fainting steps, does slowly creep
7:860 O'er heaps of dead, and strait augments the heap;
7:861 Another, while his strength and tongue prevail'd,
7:862 Bewails his friend, and falls himself bewail'd:
7:863 This with imploring looks surveys the skies,
7:864 The last dear office of his closing eyes,
7:865 But finds the Heav'ns implacable, and dies.

7:866 What now, ah! what employ'd my troubled mind?
7:867 But only hopes my subjects' fate to find.
7:868 What place soe'er my weeping eyes survey,
7:869 There in lamented heaps the vulgar lay;
7:870 As acorns scatter when the winds prevail,
7:871 Or mellow fruit from shaken branches fall.

7:872 You see that dome which rears its front so high:
7:873 'Tis sacred to the monarch of the sky:
7:874 How many there, with unregarded tears,
7:875 And fruitless vows, sent up successless pray'rs?
7:876 There fathers for expiring sons implor'd,
7:877 And there the wife bewail'd her gasping lord;
7:878 With pious off'rings they'd appease the skies,
7:879 But they, ere yet th' attoning vapours rise,
7:880 Before the altars fall, themselves a sacrifice:
7:881 They fall, while yet their hands the gums contain,
7:882 The gums surviving, but their off'rers slain.

7:883 The destin'd ox, with holy garlands crown'd,
7:884 Prevents the blow, and feels th' expected wound:
7:885 When I my self invok'd the Pow'rs divine,
7:886 To drive the fatal pest from me and mine;
7:887 When now the priest with hands uplifted stood,
7:888 Prepar'd to strike, and shed the sacred blood,
7:889 The Gods themselves the mortal stroke bestow,
7:890 The victim falls, but they impart the blow:
7:891 Scarce was the knife with the pale purple stain'd,
7:892 And no presages cou'd be then obtain'd,
7:893 From putrid entrails, where th' infection reign'd.

7:894 Death stalk'd around with such resistless sway,
7:895 The temples of the Gods his force obey,
7:896 And suppliants feel his stroke, while yet they pray.
7:897 Go now, said he, your deities implore
7:898 For fruitless aid, for I defie their pow'r.
7:899 Then with a curst malicious joy survey'd
7:900 The very altars, stain'd with trophies of the dead.

7:901 The rest grown mad, and frantick with despair,
7:902 Urge their own fate, and so prevent the fear.
7:903 Strange madness that, when Death pursu'd so fast,
7:904 T' anticipate the blow with impious haste.

7:905 No decent honours to their urns are paid,
7:906 Nor cou'd the graves receive the num'rous dead;
7:907 For, or they lay unbury'd on the ground,
7:908 Or unadorn'd a needy fun'ral found:
7:909 All rev'rence past, the fainting wretches fight
7:910 For fun'ral piles which were another's right.

7:911 Unmourn'd they fall: for, who surviv'd to mourn?
7:912 And sires, and mothers unlamented burn:
7:913 Parents, and sons sustain an equal fate,
7:914 And wand'ring ghosts their kindred shadows meet.
7:915 The dead a larger space of ground require,
7:916 Nor are the trees sufficient for the fire.

7:917 Despairing under grief's oppressive weight,
7:918 And sunk by these tempestuous blasts of Fate,
7:919 O Jove, said I, if common fame says true,
7:920 If e'er Aegina gave those joys to you,
7:921 If e'er you lay enclos'd in her embrace,
7:922 Fond of her charms, and eager to possess;
7:923 O father, if you do not yet disclaim
7:924 Paternal care, nor yet disown the name;
7:925 Grant my petitions, and with speed restore
7:926 My subjects num'rous as they were before,
7:927 Or make me partner of the fate they bore.
7:928 I spoke, and glorious lightning shone around,
7:929 And ratling thunder gave a prosp'rous sound;
7:930 So let it be, and may these omens prove
7:931 A pledge, said I, of your returning love.

7:932 By chance a rev'rend oak was near the place,
7:933 Sacred to Jove, and of Dodona's race,
7:934 Where frugal ants laid up their winter meat,
7:935 Whose little bodies bear a mighty weight:
7:936 We saw them march along, and hide their store,
7:937 And much admir'd their number, and their pow'r;
7:938 Admir'd at first, but after envy'd more.
7:939 Full of amazement, thus to Jove I pray'd,
7:940 O grant, since thus my subjects are decay'd,
7:941 As many subjects to supply the dead.
7:942 I pray'd, and strange convulsions mov'd the oak,
7:943 Which murmur'd, tho' by ambient winds unshook:
7:944 My trembling hands, and stiff-erected hair,
7:945 Exprest all tokens of uncommon fear;
7:946 Yet both the earth and sacred oak I kist,
7:947 And scarce cou'd hope, yet still I hop'd the best;
7:948 For wretches, whatsoe'er the Fates divine,
7:949 Expound all omens to their own design.

7:950 But now 'twas night, when ev'n distraction wears
7:951 A pleasing look, and dreams beguile our cares,
7:952 Lo! the same oak appears before my eyes,
7:953 Nor alter'd in his shape, nor former size;
7:954 As many ants the num'rous branches bear,
7:955 The same their labour, and their frugal care;
7:956 The branches too a like commotion sound,
7:957 And shook th' industrious creatures on the ground,
7:958 Who, by degrees (what's scarce to be believ'd)
7:959 A nobler form, and larger bulk receiv'd,
7:960 And on the earth walk'd an unusual pace,
7:961 With manly strides, and an erected face-
7:962 Their num'rous legs, and former colour lost,
7:963 The insects cou'd a human figure boast.

7:964 I wake, and waking find my cares again,
7:965 And to the unperforming Gods complain,
7:966 And call their promise, and pretences, vain.
7:967 Yet in my court I heard the murm'ring voice
7:968 Of strangers, and a mixt uncommon noise:
7:969 But I suspected all was still a dream,
7:970 'Till Telamon to my apartment came,
7:971 Op'ning the door with an impetuous haste,
7:972 O come, said he, and see your faith and hopes surpast:
7:973 I follow, and, confus'd with wonder, view
7:974 Those shapes which my presaging slumbers drew:
7:975 I saw, and own'd, and call'd them subjects; they
7:976 Confest my pow'r, submissive to my sway.
7:977 To Jove, restorer of my race decay'd,
7:978 My vows were first with due oblations paid,
7:979 I then divide with an impartial hand
7:980 My empty city, and my ruin'd land,
7:981 To give the new-born youth an equal share,
7:982 And call them Myrmidons, from what they were.
7:983 You saw their persons, and they still retain
7:984 The thrift of ants, tho' now transform'd to men.
7:985 A frugal people, and inur'd to sweat,
7:986 Lab'ring to gain, and keeping what they get.
7:987 These, equal both in strength and years, shall join
7:988 Their willing aid, and follow your design,
7:989 With the first southern gale that shall present
7:990 To fill your sails, and favour your intent.

7:991 With such discourse they entertain the day;
7:992 The ev'ning past in banquets, sport, and play:
7:993 Then, having crown'd the night with sweet repose,
7:994 Aurora (with the wind at east) arose.
7:995 Now Pallas' sons to Cephalus resort,
7:996 And Cephalus with Pallas' sons to court,
7:997 To the king's levee; him sleep's silken chain,
7:998 And pleasing dreams, beyond his hour detain;
7:999 But then the princes of the blood, in state,
7:1000 Expect, and meet 'em at the palace gate.

The Story of Cephalus and Procris

7:1001 To th' inmost courts the Grecian youths were led,
7:1002 And plac'd by Phocus on a Tyrian bed;
7:1003 Who, soon observing Cephalus to hold
7:1004 A dart of unknown wood, but arm'd with gold:
7:1005 None better loves (said he) the huntsman's sport,
7:1006 Or does more often to the woods resort;
7:1007 Yet I that jav'lin's stem with wonder view,
7:1008 Too brown for box, too smooth a grain for yew.
7:1009 I cannot guess the tree; but never art
7:1010 Did form, or eyes behold so fair a dart!
7:1011 The guest then interrupts him-'Twou'd produce
7:1012 Still greater wonder, if you knew its use.
7:1013 It never fails to strike the game, and then
7:1014 Comes bloody back into your hand again.
7:1015 Then Phocus each particular desires,
7:1016 And th' author of the wond'rous gift enquires.
7:1017 To which the owner thus, with weeping eyes,
7:1018 And sorrow for his wife's sad fate, replies,
7:1019 This weapon here (o prince!) can you believe
7:1020 This dart the cause for which so much I grieve;
7:1021 And shall continue to grieve on, 'till Fate
7:1022 Afford such wretched life no longer date.
7:1023 Would I this fatal gift had ne'er enjoy'd,
7:1024 This fatal gift my tender wife destroy'd:
7:1025 Procris her name, ally'd in charms and blood
7:1026 To fair Orythia courted by a God.
7:1027 Her father seal'd my hopes with rites divine,
7:1028 But firmer love before had made her mine.
7:1029 Men call'd me blest, and blest I was indeed.
7:1030 The second month our nuptials did succeed;
7:1031 When (as upon Hymettus' dewy head,
7:1032 For mountain stags my net betimes I spread)
7:1033 Aurora spy'd, and ravish'd me away,
7:1034 With rev'rence to the Goddess, I must say,
7:1035 Against my will, for Procris had my heart,
7:1036 Nor wou'd her image from my thoughts depart.
7:1037 At last, in rage she cry'd, Ingrateful boy
7:1038 Go to your Procris, take your fatal joy;
7:1039 And so dismiss'd me: musing, as I went,
7:1040 What those expressions of the Goddess meant,
7:1041 A thousand jealous fears possess me now,
7:1042 Lest Procris had prophan'd her nuptial vow:
7:1043 Her youth and charms did to my fancy paint
7:1044 A lewd adultress, but her life a saint.
7:1045 Yet I was absent long, the Goddess too
7:1046 Taught me how far a woman cou'd be true.
7:1047 Aurora's treatment much suspicion bred;
7:1048 Besides, who truly love, ev'n shadows dread.
7:1049 I strait impatient for the tryal grew,
7:1050 What courtship back'd with richest gifts cou'd do.
7:1051 Aurora's envy aided my design,
7:1052 And lent me features far unlike to mine.
7:1053 In this disguise to my own house I came,
7:1054 But all was chaste, no conscious sign of blame:
7:1055 With thousand arts I scarce admittance found,
7:1056 And then beheld her weeping on the ground
7:1057 For her lost husband; hardly I retain'd
7:1058 My purpose, scarce the wish'd embrace refrain'd.
7:1059 How charming was her grief! Then, Phocus, guess
7:1060 What killing beauties waited on her dress.
7:1061 Her constant answer, when my suit I prest,
7:1062 Forbear, my lord's dear image guards this breast;
7:1063 Where-e'er he is, whatever cause detains,
7:1064 Who-e'er has his, my heart unmov'd remains.
7:1065 What greater proofs of truth than these cou'd be?
7:1066 Yet I persist, and urge my destiny.
7:1067 At length, she found, when my own form return'd,
7:1068 Her jealous lover there, whose loss she mourn'd.
7:1069 Enrag'd with my suspicion, swift as wind,
7:1070 She fled at once from me and all mankind;
7:1071 And so became, her purpose to retain,
7:1072 A nymph, and huntress in Diana's train:
7:1073 Forsaken thus, I found my flames encrease,
7:1074 I own'd my folly, and I su'd for peace.
7:1075 It was a fault, but not of guilt, to move
7:1076 Such punishment, a fault of too much love.
7:1077 Thus I retriev'd her to my longing arms,
7:1078 And many happy days possess'd her charms.
7:1079 But with herself she kindly did confer,
7:1080 What gifts the Goddess had bestow'd on her;
7:1081 The fleetest grey-hound, with this lovely dart,
7:1082 And I of both have wonders to impart.
7:1083 Near Thebes a savage beast, of race unknown,
7:1084 Laid waste the field, and bore the vineyards down;
7:1085 The swains fled from him, and with one consent
7:1086 Our Grecian youth to chase the monster went;
7:1087 More swift than light'ning he the toils surpast,
7:1088 And in his course spears, men, and trees o'er-cast.
7:1089 We slipt our dogs, and last my Lelaps too,
7:1090 When none of all the mortal race wou'd do:
7:1091 He long before was struggling from my hands,
7:1092 And, e're we cou'd unloose him, broke his bands.
7:1093 That minute where he was, we cou'd not find,
7:1094 And only saw the dust he left behind.
7:1095 I climb'd a neighb'ring hill to view the chase,
7:1096 While in the plain they held an equal race;
7:1097 The savage now seems caught, and now by force
7:1098 To quit himself, nor holds the same strait course;
7:1099 But running counter, from the foe withdraws,
7:1100 And with short turning cheats his gaping jaws:
7:1101 Which he retrieves, and still so closely prest,
7:1102 You'd fear at ev'ry stretch he were possess'd;
7:1103 Yet for the gripe his fangs in vain prepare;
7:1104 The game shoots from him, and he chops the air.
7:1105 To cast my jav'lin then I took my stand;
7:1106 But as the thongs were fitting to my hand,
7:1107 While to the valley I o'er-look'd the wood,
7:1108 Before my eyes two marble statues stood;
7:1109 That, as pursu'd appearing at full stretch,
7:1110 This barking after, and at point to catch:
7:1111 Some God their course did with this wonder grace,
7:1112 That neither might be conquer'd in the chase.
7:1113 A sudden silence here his tongue supprest,
7:1114 He here stops short, and fain wou'd wave the rest.

7:1115 The eager prince then urg'd him to impart,
7:1116 The Fortune that attended on the dart.
7:1117 First then (said he) past joys let me relate,
7:1118 For bliss was the foundation of my fate.
7:1119 No language can those happy hours express,
7:1120 Did from our nuptials me, and Procris bless:
7:1121 The kindest pair! What more cou'd Heav'n confer?
7:1122 For she was all to me, and I to her.
7:1123 Had Jove made love, great Jove had been despis'd;
7:1124 And I my Procris more than Venus priz'd:
7:1125 Thus while no other joy we did aspire,
7:1126 We grew at last one soul, and one desire.
7:1127 Forth to the woods I went at break of day
7:1128 (The constant practice of my youth) for prey:
7:1129 Nor yet for servant, horse, or dog did call,
7:1130 I found this single dart to serve for all.
7:1131 With slaughter tir'd, I sought the cooler shade,
7:1132 And winds that from the mountains pierc'd the glade:
7:1133 Come, gentle air (so was I wont to say)
7:1134 Come, gentle air, sweet Aura come away.
7:1135 This always was the burden of my song,
7:1136 Come 'swage my flames, sweet Aura come along.
7:1137 Thou always art most welcome to my breast;
7:1138 I faint; approach, thou dearest, kindest guest!
7:1139 These blandishments, and more than these, I said
7:1140 (By Fate to unsuspected ruin led),
7:1141 Thou art my joy, for thy dear sake I love
7:1142 Each desart hill, and solitary grove;
7:1143 When (faint with labour) I refreshment need,
7:1144 For cordials on thy fragrant breath I feed.
7:1145 At last a wand'ring swain in hearing came,
7:1146 And cheated with the sound of Aura's name,
7:1147 He thought I some assignation made;
7:1148 And to my Procris' ear the news convey'd.
7:1149 Great love is soonest with suspicion fir'd:
7:1150 She swoon'd, and with the tale almost expir'd.
7:1151 Ah! wretched heart! (she cry'd) ah! faithless man.
7:1152 And then to curse th' imagin'd nymph began:
7:1153 Yet oft she doubts, oft hopes she is deceiv'd,
7:1154 And chides herself, that ever she believ'd
7:1155 Her lord to such injustice cou'd proceed,
7:1156 'Till she her self were witness of the deed.
7:1157 Next morn I to the woods again repair,
7:1158 And, weary with the chase, invoke the air:
7:1159 Approach, dear Aura, and my bosom chear:
7:1160 At which a mournful sound did strike my ear;
7:1161 Yet I proceeded, 'till the thicket by,
7:1162 With rustling noise and motion, drew my eye:
7:1163 I thought some beast of prey was shelter'd there,
7:1164 And to the covert threw my certain spear;
7:1165 From whence a tender sigh my soul did wound,
7:1166 Ah me! it cry'd, and did like Procris sound.
7:1167 Procris was there, too well the voice I knew,
7:1168 And to the place with headlong horror flew;
7:1169 Where I beheld her gasping on the ground,
7:1170 In vain attempting from the deadly wound
7:1171 To draw the dart, her love's dear fatal gift!
7:1172 My guilty arms had scarce the strength to lift
7:1173 The beauteous load; my silks, and hair I tore
7:1174 (If possible) to stanch the pressing gore;
7:1175 For pity beg'd her keep her flitting breath,
7:1176 And not to leave me guilty of her death.
7:1177 While I intreat she fainted fast away,
7:1178 And these few words had only strength to say:
7:1179 By all the sacred bonds of plighted love,
7:1180 By all your rev'rence to the Pow'rs above,
7:1181 By all the truth for which you held me dear,
7:1182 And last by love, the cause through which I bleed,
7:1183 Let Aura never to my bed succeed.
7:1184 I then perceiv'd the error of our fate,
7:1185 And told it her, but found and told too late!
7:1186 I felt her lower to my bosom fall,
7:1187 And while her eyes had any sight at all,
7:1188 On mine she fix'd them; in her pangs still prest
7:1189 My hand, and sigh'd her soul into my breast;
7:1190 Yet, being undeceiv'd, resign'd her breath
7:1191 Methought more chearfully, and smil'd in death.

7:1192 With such concern the weeping heroe told
7:1193 This tale, that none who heard him cou'd with-hold
7:1194 From melting into sympathizing tears,
7:1195 'Till Aeacus with his two sons appears;
7:1196 Whom he commits, with their new-levy'd bands,
7:1197 To Fortune's, and so brave a gen'ral's hands.


The Story of Nisus and Scylla

8:1 Now shone the morning star in bright array,
8:2 To vanquish night, and usher in the day:
8:3 The wind veers southward, and moist clouds arise,
8:4 That blot with shades the blue meridian skies.
8:5 Cephalus feels with joy the kindly gales,
8:6 His new allies unfurl the swelling sails;
8:7 Steady their course, they cleave the yielding main,
8:8 And, with a wish, th' intended harbour gain.
8:9 Mean-while King Minos, on the Attick strand,
8:10 Displays his martial skill, and wastes the land.
8:11 His army lies encampt upon the plains,
8:12 Before Alcathoe's walls, where Nisus reigns;
8:13 On whose grey head a lock of purple hue,
8:14 The strength, and fortune of his kingdom, grew.

8:15 Six moons were gone, and past, when still from far
8:16 Victoria hover'd o'er the doubtful war.
8:17 So long, to both inclin'd, th' impartial maid
8:18 Between 'em both her equal wings display'd.
8:19 High on the walls, by Phoebus vocal made,
8:20 A turret of the palace rais'd its head;
8:21 And where the God his tuneful harp resign'd.
8:22 The sound within the stones still lay enshrin'd:
8:23 Hither the daughter of the purple king
8:24 Ascended oft, to hear its musick ring;
8:25 And, striking with a pebble, wou'd release
8:26 Th' enchanted notes, in times of happy peace.
8:27 But now, from thence, the curious maid beheld
8:28 Rough feats of arms, and combats of the field:
8:29 And, since the siege was long, had learnt the name
8:30 Of ev'ry chief, his character, and fame;
8:31 Their arms, their horse, and quiver she descry'd,
8:32 Nor cou'd the dress of war the warriour hide.

8:33 Europa's son she knew above the rest,
8:34 And more, than well became a virgin breast:
8:35 In vain the crested morion veils his face,
8:36 She thinks it adds a more peculiar grace:
8:37 His ample shield, embost with burnish'd gold,
8:38 Still makes the bearer lovelier to behold:
8:39 When the tough jav'lin, with a whirl, he sends,
8:40 His strength and skill the sighing maid commends;
8:41 Or, when he strains to draw the circling bow,
8:42 And his fine limbs a manly posture show,
8:43 Compar'd with Phoebus, he performs so well,
8:44 Let her be judge, and Minos shall excell.

8:45 But when the helm put off, display'd to sight,
8:46 And set his features in an open light;
8:47 When, vaulting to his seat, his steed he prest,
8:48 Caparison'd in gold, and richly drest;
8:49 Himself in scarlet sumptuously array'd,
8:50 New passions rise, and fire the frantick maid.
8:51 O happy spear! she cries, that feels his touch;
8:52 Nay, ev'n the reins he holds are blest too much.
8:53 Oh! were it lawful, she cou'd wing her way
8:54 Thro' the stern hostile troops without dismay;
8:55 Or throw her body to the distant ground,
8:56 And in the Cretans happy camp be found.
8:57 Wou'd Minos but desire it! she'd expose
8:58 Her native country to her country's foes;
8:59 Unbar the gates, the town with flames infest,
8:60 Or any thing that Minos shou'd request.

8:61 And as she sate, and pleas'd her longing sight,
8:62 Viewing the king's pavilion veil'd with white,
8:63 Shou'd joy, or grief, she said, possess my breast,
8:64 To see my country by a war opprest?
8:65 I'm in suspense! For, tho' 'tis grief to know
8:66 I love a man that is declar'd my foe;
8:67 Yet, in my own despite, I must approve
8:68 That lucky war, which brought the man I love.
8:69 Yet, were I tender'd as a pledge of peace,
8:70 The cruelties of war might quickly cease.
8:71 Oh! with what joy I'd wear the chains he gave!
8:72 A patient hostage, and a willing slave.
8:73 Thou lovely object! if the nymph that bare
8:74 Thy charming person, were but half so fair;
8:75 Well might a God her virgin bloom desire,
8:76 And with a rape indulge his amorous fire.
8:77 Oh! had I wings to glide along the air,
8:78 To his dear tent I'd fly, and settle there:
8:79 There tell my quality, confess my flame,
8:80 And grant him any dowry that he'd name.
8:81 All, all I'd give; only my native land,
8:82 My dearest country, shou'd excepted stand,
8:83 For, perish love, and all expected joys,
8:84 E're, with so base a thought, my soul complies.
8:85 Yet, oft the vanquish'd some advantage find,
8:86 When conquer'd by a noble, gen'rous mind.
8:87 Brave Minos justly has the war begun,
8:88 Fir'd with resentment for his murder'd son:
8:89 The righteous Gods a righteous cause regard,
8:90 And will, with victory, his arms reward:
8:91 We must be conquer'd; and the captive's fate
8:92 Will surely seize us, tho' it seize us late.
8:93 Why then shou'd love be idle, and neglect
8:94 What Mars, by arms and perils, will effect?
8:95 Oh! Prince, I dye, with anxious fear opprest,
8:96 Lest some rash hand shou'd wound my charmer's breast:
8:97 For, if they saw, no barb'rous mind cou'd dare
8:98 Against that lovely form to raise a spear.

8:99 But I'm resolv'd, and fix'd in this decree,
8:100 My father's country shall my dowry be.
8:101 Thus I prevent the loss of life and blood,
8:102 And, in effect, the action must be good.
8:103 Vain resolution! for, at ev'ry gate
8:104 The trusty centinels, successive, wait:
8:105 The keys my father keeps; ah! there's my grief;
8:106 'Tis he obstructs all hopes of my relief.
8:107 Gods! that this hated light I'd never seen!
8:108 Or, all my life, without a father been!
8:109 But Gods we all may be; for those that dare,
8:110 Are Gods, and Fortune's chiefest favours share.
8:111 The ruling Pow'rs a lazy pray'r detest,
8:112 The bold adventurer succeeds the best.
8:113 What other maid, inspir'd with such a flame,
8:114 But wou'd take courage, and abandon shame?
8:115 But wou'd, tho' ruin shou'd ensue, remove
8:116 Whate'er oppos'd, and clear the way to love?
8:117 This, shall another's feeble passion dare?
8:118 While I sit tame, and languish in despair:
8:119 No; for tho' fire and sword before me lay,
8:120 Impatient love thro' both shou'd force its way.
8:121 Yet I have no such enemies to fear,
8:122 My sole obstruction is my father's hair;
8:123 His purple lock my sanguine hope destroys,
8:124 And clouds the prospect of my rising joys.

8:125 Whilst thus she spoke, amid the thick'ning air
8:126 Night supervenes, the greatest nurse of care:
8:127 And, as the Goddess spreads her sable wings,
8:128 The virgin's fears decay, and courage springs.
8:129 The hour was come, when Man's o'er-labour'd breast
8:130 Surceas'd its care, by downy sleep possest:
8:131 All things now hush'd, Scylla with silent tread
8:132 Urg'd her approach to Nisus' royal bed:
8:133 There, of the fatal lock (accursed theft!)
8:134 She her unwitting father's head bereft.
8:135 In safe possession of her impious prey,
8:136 Out at a postern gate she takes her way.
8:137 Embolden'd, by the merit of the deed
8:138 She traverses the adverse camp with speed,
8:139 'Till Minos' tent she reach'd: the righteous king
8:140 She thus bespoke, who shiver'd at the thing.

8:141 Behold th' effect of love's resistless sway!
8:142 I, Nisus' royal seed, to thee betray
8:143 My country, and my Gods. For this strange task,
8:144 Minos, no other boon but thee I ask.
8:145 This purple lock, a pledge of love, receive;
8:146 No worthless present, since in it I give
8:147 My father's head.-Mov'd at a crime so new,
8:148 And with abhorrence fill'd, back Minos drew,
8:149 Nor touch'd th' unhallow'd gift; but thus exclaim'd
8:150 (With mein indignant, and with eyes inflam'd),
8:151 Perdition seize thee, thou, thy kind's disgrace!
8:152 May thy devoted carcass find no place
8:153 In earth, or air, or sea, by all out-cast!
8:154 Shall Minos, with so foul a monster, blast
8:155 His Cretan world, where cradled Jove was nurst?
8:156 Forbid it Heav'n!-away, thou most accurst!

8:157 And now Alcathoe, its lord exchang'd,
8:158 Was under Minos' domination rang'd.
8:159 While the most equal king his care applies
8:160 To curb the conquer'd, and new laws devise,
8:161 The fleet, by his command, with hoisted sails,
8:162 And ready oars, invites the murm'ring gales.
8:163 At length the Cretan hero anchor weigh'd,
8:164 Repaying, with neglect, th' abandon'd maid.
8:165 Deaf to her cries, he furrows up the main:
8:166 In vain she prays, sollicits him in vain.

8:167 And now she furious grows in wild despair,
8:168 She wrings her hands, and throws aloft her hair.
8:169 Where run'st thou? (thus she vents her deep distress)
8:170 Why shun'st thou her that crown'd thee with success?
8:171 Her, whose fond love to thee cou'd sacrifice
8:172 Her country, and her parent, sacred ties!
8:173 Can nor my love, nor proffer'd presents find
8:174 A passage to thy heart, and make thee kind?
8:175 Can nothing move thy pity? O ingrate,
8:176 Can'st thou behold my lost, forlorn estate,
8:177 And not be soften'd? Can'st thou throw off one
8:178 Who has no refuge left but thee alone?
8:179 Where shall I seek for comfort? whither fly?
8:180 My native country does in ashes lye:
8:181 Or were't not so, my treason bars me there,
8:182 And bids me wander. Shall I next repair
8:183 To a wrong'd father, by my guilt undone?-
8:184 Me all Mankind deservedly will shun.
8:185 I, out of all the world, my self have thrown,
8:186 To purchase an access to Crete alone;
8:187 Which, since refus'd, ungen'rous man, give o'er
8:188 To boast thy race; Europa never bore
8:189 A thing so savage. Thee some tygress bred,
8:190 On the bleak Syrt's inhospitable bed;
8:191 Or where Charybdis pours its rapid tide
8:192 Tempestuous. Thou art not to Jove ally'd;
8:193 Nor did the king of Gods thy mother meet
8:194 Beneath a bull's forg'd shape, and bear to Crete.
8:195 That fable of thy glorious birth is feign'd;
8:196 Some wild outrageous bull thy dam sustain'd.
8:197 O father Nisus, now my death behold;
8:198 Exult, o city, by my baseness sold:
8:199 Minos, obdurate, has aveng'd ye all;
8:200 But 'twere more just by those I wrong'd to fall:
8:201 For why shou'dst thou, who only didst subdue
8:202 By my offending, my offence pursue?
8:203 Well art thou matcht to one whose am'rous flame
8:204 Too fiercely rag'd, for human-kind to tame;
8:205 One who, within a wooden heifer thrust,
8:206 Courted a low'ring bull's mistaken lust;
8:207 And, from whose monster-teeming womb, the Earth
8:208 Receiv'd, what much it mourn'd, a bi-form birth.
8:209 But what avails my plaints? the whistling wind,
8:210 Which bears him far away, leaves them behind.
8:211 Well weigh'd Pasiphae, when she prefer'd
8:212 A bull to thee, more brutish than the herd.
8:213 But ah! Time presses, and the labour'd oars
8:214 To distance drive the fleet, and lose the less'ning shores.
8:215 Think not, ungrateful man, the liquid way
8:216 And threat'ning billows shall inforce my stay.
8:217 I'll follow thee in spite: My arms I'll throw
8:218 Around thy oars, or grasp thy crooked prow,
8:219 And drag thro' drenching seas. Her eager tongue
8:220 Had hardly clos'd the speech, when forth she sprung
8:221 And prov'd the deep. Cupid with added force
8:222 Recruits each nerve, and aids her wat'ry course.
8:223 Soon she the ship attains, unwelcome guest;
8:224 And, as with close embrace its sides she prest,
8:225 A hawk from upper air came pouring down
8:226 ('Twas Nisus cleft the sky with wings new grown).
8:227 At Scylla's head his horny bill he aims;
8:228 She, fearful of the blow, the ship disclaims,
8:229 Quitting her hold: and yet she fell not far,
8:230 But wond'ring, finds her self sustain'd in air.
8:231 Chang'd to a lark, she mottled pinions shook,
8:232 And, from the ravish'd lock, the name of Ciris took.

The Labyrinth

8:233 Now Minos, landed on the Cretan shore,
8:234 Performs his vows to Jove's protecting pow'r;
8:235 A hundred bullocks of the largest breed,
8:236 With flowrets crown'd, before his altar bleed:
8:237 While trophies of the vanquish'd, brought from far
8:238 Adorn the palace with the spoils of war.

8:239 Mean-while the monster of a human-beast,
8:240 His family's reproach, and stain, increas'd.
8:241 His double kind the rumour swiftly spread,
8:242 And evidenc'd the mother's beastly deed.
8:243 When Minos, willing to conceal the shame
8:244 That sprung from the reports of tatling Fame,
8:245 Resolves a dark inclosure to provide,
8:246 And, far from sight, the two-form'd creature hide.

8:247 Great Daedalus of Athens was the man
8:248 That made the draught, and form'd the wondrous plan;
8:249 Where rooms within themselves encircled lye,
8:250 With various windings, to deceive the eye.
8:251 As soft Maeander's wanton current plays,
8:252 When thro' the Phrygian fields it loosely strays;
8:253 Backward and forward rouls the dimpl'd tide,
8:254 Seeming, at once, two different ways to glide:
8:255 While circling streams their former banks survey,
8:256 And waters past succeeding waters see:
8:257 Now floating to the sea with downward course,
8:258 Now pointing upward to its ancient source,
8:259 Such was the work, so intricate the place,
8:260 That scarce the workman all its turns cou'd trace;
8:261 And Daedalus was puzzled how to find
8:262 The secret ways of what himself design'd.

8:263 These private walls the Minotaur include,
8:264 Who twice was glutted with Athenian blood:
8:265 But the third tribute more successful prov'd,
8:266 Slew the foul monster, and the plague remov'd.
8:267 When Theseus, aided by the virgin's art,
8:268 Had trac'd the guiding thread thro' ev'ry part,
8:269 He took the gentle maid, that set him free,
8:270 And, bound for Dias, cut the briny sea.
8:271 There, quickly cloy'd, ungrateful, and unkind,
8:272 Left his fair consort in the isle behind,
8:273 Whom Bacchus saw, and straining in his arms
8:274 Her rifled bloom, and violated charms,
8:275 Resolves, for this, the dear engaging dame
8:276 Shou'd shine for ever in the rolls of Fame;
8:277 And bids her crown among the stars be plac'd,
8:278 With an eternal constellation grac'd.
8:279 The golden circlet mounts; and, as it flies,
8:280 Its diamonds twinkle in the distant skies;
8:281 There, in their pristin form, the gemmy rays
8:282 Between Alcides, and the dragon blaze.

The Story of Daedalus and Icarus

8:283 In tedious exile now too long detain'd,
8:284 Daedalus languish'd for his native land:
8:285 The sea foreclos'd his flight; yet thus he said:
8:286 Tho' Earth and water in subjection laid,
8:287 O cruel Minos, thy dominion be,
8:288 We'll go thro' air; for sure the air is free.
8:289 Then to new arts his cunning thought applies,
8:290 And to improve the work of Nature tries.
8:291 A row of quils in gradual order plac'd,
8:292 Rise by degrees in length from first to last;
8:293 As on a cliff th' ascending thicket grows,
8:294 Or, different reeds the rural pipe compose.
8:295 Along the middle runs a twine of flax,
8:296 The bottom stems are joyn'd by pliant wax.
8:297 Thus, well compact, a hollow bending brings
8:298 The fine composure into real wings.

8:299 His boy, young Icarus, that near him stood,
8:300 Unthinking of his fate, with smiles pursu'd
8:301 The floating feathers, which the moving air
8:302 Bore loosely from the ground, and wasted here and there.
8:303 Or with the wax impertinently play'd,
8:304 And with his childish tricks the great design delay'd.

8:305 The final master-stroke at last impos'd,
8:306 And now, the neat machine compleatly clos'd;
8:307 Fitting his pinions on, a flight he tries,
8:308 And hung self-ballanc'd in the beaten skies.
8:309 Then thus instructs his child: My boy, take care
8:310 To wing your course along the middle air;
8:311 If low, the surges wet your flagging plumes;
8:312 If high, the sun the melting wax consumes:
8:313 Steer between both: nor to the northern skies,
8:314 Nor south Orion turn your giddy eyes;
8:315 But follow me: let me before you lay
8:316 Rules for the flight, and mark the pathless way.
8:317 Then teaching, with a fond concern, his son,
8:318 He took the untry'd wings, and fix'd 'em on;
8:319 But fix'd with trembling hands; and as he speaks,
8:320 The tears roul gently down his aged cheeks.
8:321 Then kiss'd, and in his arms embrac'd him fast,
8:322 But knew not this embrace must be the last.
8:323 And mounting upward, as he wings his flight,
8:324 Back on his charge he turns his aking sight;
8:325 As parent birds, when first their callow care
8:326 Leave the high nest to tempt the liquid air.
8:327 Then chears him on, and oft, with fatal art,
8:328 Reminds the stripling to perform his part.

8:329 These, as the angler at the silent brook,
8:330 Or mountain-shepherd leaning on his crook,
8:331 Or gaping plowman, from the vale descries,
8:332 They stare, and view 'em with religious eyes,
8:333 And strait conclude 'em Gods; since none, but they,
8:334 Thro' their own azure skies cou'd find a way.

8:335 Now Delos, Paros on the left are seen,
8:336 And Samos, favour'd by Jove's haughty queen;
8:337 Upon the right, the isle Lebynthos nam'd,
8:338 And fair Calymne for its honey fam'd.
8:339 When now the boy, whose childish thoughts aspire
8:340 To loftier aims, and make him ramble high'r,
8:341 Grown wild, and wanton, more embolden'd flies
8:342 Far from his guide, and soars among the skies.
8:343 The soft'ning wax, that felt a nearer sun,
8:344 Dissolv'd apace, and soon began to run.
8:345 The youth in vain his melting pinions shakes,
8:346 His feathers gone, no longer air he takes:
8:347 Oh! Father, father, as he strove to cry,
8:348 Down to the sea he tumbled from on high,
8:349 And found his Fate; yet still subsists by fame,
8:350 Among those waters that retain his name.

8:351 The father, now no more a father, cries,
8:352 Ho Icarus! where are you? as he flies;
8:353 Where shall I seek my boy? he cries again,
8:354 And saw his feathers scatter'd on the main.
8:355 Then curs'd his art; and fun'ral rites confer'd,
8:356 Naming the country from the youth interr'd.

8:357 A partridge, from a neighb'ring stump, beheld
8:358 The sire his monumental marble build;
8:359 Who, with peculiar call, and flutt'ring wing,
8:360 Chirpt joyful, and malicious seem'd to sing:
8:361 The only bird of all its kind, and late
8:362 Transform'd in pity to a feather'd state:
8:363 From whence, O Daedalus, thy guilt we date.

8:364 His sister's son, when now twelve years were past,
8:365 Was, with his uncle, as a scholar plac'd;
8:366 The unsuspecting mother saw his parts,
8:367 And genius fitted for the finest arts.
8:368 This soon appear'd; for when the spiny bone
8:369 In fishes' backs was by the stripling known,
8:370 A rare invention thence he learnt to draw,
8:371 Fil'd teeth in ir'n, and made the grating saw.
8:372 He was the first, that from a knob of brass
8:373 Made two strait arms with widening stretch to pass;
8:374 That, while one stood upon the center's place,
8:375 The other round it drew a circling space.
8:376 Daedalus envy'd this, and from the top
8:377 Of fair Minerva's temple let him drop;
8:378 Feigning, that, as he lean'd upon the tow'r,
8:379 Careless he stoop'd too much, and tumbled o'er.

8:380 The Goddess, who th' ingenious still befriends,
8:381 On this occasion her asssistance lends;
8:382 His arms with feathers, as he fell, she veils,
8:383 And in the air a new made bird he sails.
8:384 The quickness of his genius, once so fleet,
8:385 Still in his wings remains, and in his feet:
8:386 Still, tho' transform'd, his ancient name he keeps,
8:387 And with low flight the new-shorn stubble sweeps,
8:388 Declines the lofty trees, and thinks it best
8:389 To brood in hedge-rows o'er its humble nest;
8:390 And, in remembrance of the former ill,
8:391 Avoids the heights, and precipices still.

8:392 At length, fatigu'd with long laborious flights,
8:393 On fair Sicilia's plains the artist lights;
8:394 Where Cocalus the king, that gave him aid,
8:395 Was, for his kindness, with esteem repaid.
8:396 Athens no more her doleful tribute sent,
8:397 That hardship gallant Theseus did prevent;
8:398 Their temples hung with garlands, they adore
8:399 Each friendly God, but most Minerva's pow'r:
8:400 To her, to Jove, to all, their altars smoak,
8:401 They each with victims, and perfumes invoke.

8:402 Now talking Fame, thro' every Grecian town,
8:403 Had spread, immortal Theseus, thy renown.
8:404 From him the neighb'ring nations in distress,
8:405 In suppliant terms implore a kind redress.

The Story of Meleager and Atalanta

8:406 From him the Caledonians sought relief;
8:407 Though valiant Meleagros was their chief.
8:408 The cause, a boar, who ravag'd far and near:
8:409 Of Cynthia's wrath, th' avenging minister.
8:410 For Oeneus with autumnal plenty bless'd,
8:411 By gifts to Heav'n his gratitude express'd:
8:412 Cull'd sheafs, to Ceres; to Lyaeus, wine;
8:413 To Pan, and Pales, offer'd sheep and kine;
8:414 And fat of olives, to Minerva's shrine.
8:415 Beginning from the rural Gods, his hand
8:416 Was lib'ral to the Pow'rs of high command:
8:417 Each deity in ev'ry kind was bless'd,
8:418 'Till at Diana's fane th' invidious honour ceas'd.

8:419 Wrath touches ev'n the Gods; the Queen of Night,
8:420 Fir'd with disdain, and jealous of her right,
8:421 Unhonour'd though I am, at least, said she,
8:422 Not unreveng'd that impious act shall be.
8:423 Swift as the word, she sped the boar away,
8:424 With charge on those devoted fields to prey.
8:425 No larger bulls th' Aegyptian pastures feed,
8:426 And none so large Sicilian meadows breed:
8:427 His eye-balls glare with fire suffus'd with blood;
8:428 His neck shoots up a thick-set thorny wood;
8:429 His bristled back a trench impal'd appears,
8:430 And stands erected, like a field of spears;
8:431 Froth fills his chaps, he sends a grunting sound,
8:432 And part he churns, and part befoams the ground,
8:433 For tusks with Indian elephants he strove,
8:434 And Jove's own thunder from his mouth he drove.
8:435 He burns the leaves; the scorching blast invades
8:436 The tender corn, and shrivels up the blades:
8:437 Or suff'ring not their yellow beards to rear,
8:438 He tramples down the spikes, and intercepts the year:
8:439 In vain the barns expect their promis'd load,
8:440 Nor barns at home, nor recks are heap'd abroad:
8:441 In vain the hinds the threshing-floor prepare,
8:442 And exercise their flail in empty air.
8:443 With olives ever-green the ground is strow'd,
8:444 And grapes ungather'd shed their gen'rous blood.
8:445 Amid the fold he rages, nor the sheep
8:446 Their shepherds, nor the grooms their bulls can keep.

8:447 From fields to walls the frighted rabble run,
8:448 Nor think themselves secure within the town:
8:449 'Till Meleagros, and his chosen crew,
8:450 Contemn the danger, and the praise pursue.
8:451 Fair Leda's twins (in time to stars decreed)
8:452 One fought on foot, one curb'd the fiery steed;
8:453 Then issu'd forth fam'd Jason after these,
8:454 Who mann'd the foremost ship that sail'd the seas;
8:455 Then Theseus join'd with bold Perithous came;
8:456 A single concord in a double name:
8:457 The Thestian sons, Idas who swiftly ran,
8:458 And Ceneus, once a woman, now a man.
8:459 Lynceus, with eagle's eyes, and lion's heart;
8:460 Leucippus, with his never-erring dart;
8:461 Acastus, Phileus, Phoenix, Telamon,
8:462 Echion, Lelix, and Eurytion,
8:463 Achilles' father, and great Phocus' son;
8:464 Dryas the fierce, and Hippasus the strong;
8:465 With twice old Iolas, and Nestor then but young.
8:466 Laertes active, and Ancaeus bold;
8:467 Mopsus the sage, who future things foretold;
8:468 And t' other seer, yet by his wife unsold.
8:469 A thousand others of immortal fame;
8:470 Among the rest, fair Atalanta came,
8:471 Grace of the woods: a diamond buckle bound
8:472 Her vest behind, that else had flow'd upon the ground,
8:473 And shew'd her buskin'd legs; her head was bare,
8:474 But for her native ornament of hair;
8:475 Which in a simple knot was ty'd above,
8:476 Sweet negligence! unheeded bait of love!
8:477 Her sounding quiver, on her shoulder ty'd,
8:478 One hand a dart, and one a bow supply'd.
8:479 Such was her face, as in a nymph display'd
8:480 A fair fierce boy, or in a boy betray'd
8:481 The blushing beauties of a modest maid.
8:482 The Caledonian chief at once the dame
8:483 Beheld, at once his heart receiv'd the flame,
8:484 With Heav'ns averse. O happy youth, he cry'd;
8:485 For whom thy fates reserve so fair a bride!
8:486 He sigh'd, and had no leisure more to say;
8:487 His honour call'd his eyes another way,
8:488 And forc'd him to pursue the now-neglected prey.

8:489 There stood a forest on a mountain's brow,
8:490 Which over-look'd the shaded plains below.
8:491 No sounding ax presum'd those trees to bite;
8:492 Coeval with the world, a venerable sight.
8:493 The heroes there arriv'd, some spread around
8:494 The toils; some search the footsteps on the ground:
8:495 Some from the chains the faithful dogs unbound.
8:496 Of action eager, and intent in thought,
8:497 The chiefs their honourable danger sought:
8:498 A valley stood below; the common drain
8:499 Of waters from above, and falling rain:
8:500 The bottom was a moist, and marshy ground,
8:501 Whose edges were with bending oziers crown'd:
8:502 The knotty bulrush next in order stood,
8:503 And all within of reeds a trembling wood.

8:504 From hence the boar was rous'd, and sprung amain,
8:505 Like lightning sudden, on the warrior train;
8:506 Beats down the trees before him, shakes the ground.
8:507 The forest echoes to the crackling sound;
8:508 Shout the fierce youth, and clamours ring around.
8:509 All stood with their protended spears prepar'd,
8:510 With broad steel heads the brandish'd weapons glar'd.
8:511 The beast impetuous with his tusks aside
8:512 Deals glancing wounds; the fearful dogs divide:
8:513 All spend their mouths aloof, but none abide.
8:514 Echion threw the first, but miss'd his mark,
8:515 And stuck his boar-spear on a maple's bark.
8:516 Then Jason; and his javelin seem'd to take,
8:517 But fail'd with over-force, and whiz'd above his back.
8:518 Mopsus was next; but e'er he threw, address'd
8:519 To Phoebus, thus: O patron, help thy priest:
8:520 If I adore, and ever have ador'd
8:521 Thy pow'r divine, thy present aid afford;
8:522 That I may reach the beast. The God allow'd
8:523 His pray'r, and smiling, gave him what he cou'd:
8:524 He reach'd the savage, but no blood he drew:
8:525 Diana unarm'd the javelin, as it flew.

8:526 This chaf'd the boar, his nostrils flames expire,
8:527 And his red eye-balls roul with living fire.
8:528 Whirl'd from a sling, or from an engine thrown,
8:529 Amid the foes, so flies a mighty stone,
8:530 As flew the beast: the left wing put to flight,
8:531 The chiefs o'er-born, he rushes on the right.
8:532 Eupalamos and Pelagon he laid
8:533 In dust, and next to death, but for their fellows' aid.
8:534 Onesimus far'd worse, prepar'd to fly,
8:535 The fatal fang drove deep within his thigh,
8:536 And cut the nerves: the nerves no more sustain
8:537 The bulk; the bulk unprop'd, falls headlong on the plain.

8:538 Nestor had fail'd the fall of Troy to see,
8:539 But leaning on his lance, he vaulted on a tree;
8:540 Then gath'ring up his feet, look'd down with fear,
8:541 And thought his monstrous foe was still too near.
8:542 Against a stump his tusk the monster grinds,
8:543 And in the sharpen'd edge new vigour finds;
8:544 Then, trusting to his arms, young Othrys found,
8:545 And ranch'd his hips with one continu'd wound.

8:546 Now Leda's twins, the future stars, appear;
8:547 White were their habits, white their horses were:
8:548 Conspicuous both, and both in act to throw,
8:549 Their trembling lances brandish'd at the foe:
8:550 Nor had they miss'd; but he to thickets fled,
8:551 Conceal'd from aiming spears, not pervious to the steed.
8:552 But Telamon rush'd in, and happ'd to meet
8:553 A rising root, that held his fastned feet;
8:554 So down he fell, whom, sprawling on the ground,
8:555 His brother from the wooden gyves unbound.

8:556 Mean-time the virgin-huntress was not slow
8:557 T' expel the shaft from her contracted bow:
8:558 Beneath his ear the fastned arrow stood,
8:559 And from the wound appear'd the trickling blood.
8:560 She blush'd for joy: but Meleagros rais'd
8:561 His voice with loud applause, and the fair archer prais'd.
8:562 He was the first to see, and first to show
8:563 His friends the marks of the successful blow.
8:564 Nor shall thy valour want the praises due,
8:565 He said; a virtuous envy seiz'd the crew.
8:566 They shout; the shouting animates their hearts,
8:567 And all at once employ their thronging darts:
8:568 But out of order thrown, in air they joyn,
8:569 And multitude makes frustrate the design.
8:570 With both his hands the proud Ancaeus takes,
8:571 And flourishes his double-biting ax:
8:572 Then, forward to his fate, he took a stride
8:573 Before the rest, and to his fellows cry'd,
8:574 Give place, and mark the diff'rence, if you can,
8:575 Between a woman warrior, and a man,
8:576 The boar is doom'd; nor though Diana lend
8:577 Her aid, Diana can her beast defend.
8:578 Thus boasted he; then stretch'd, on tiptoe stood,
8:579 Secure to make his empty promise good.
8:580 But the more wary beast prevents the blow,
8:581 And upward rips the groin of his audacious foe.
8:582 Ancaeus falls; his bowels from the wound
8:583 Rush out, and clotted blood distains the ground.

8:584 Perithous, no small portion of the war,
8:585 Press'd on, and shook his lance: to whom from far
8:586 Thus Theseus cry'd; O stay, my better part,
8:587 My more than mistress; of my heart, the heart.
8:588 The strong may fight aloof; Ancaeus try'd
8:589 His force too near, and by presuming dy'd:
8:590 He said, and while he spake his javelin threw,
8:591 Hissing in air th' unerring weapon flew;
8:592 But on an arm of oak, that stood betwixt
8:593 The marks-man and the mark, his lance he fixt.

8:594 Once more bold Jason threw, but fail'd to wound
8:595 The boar, and slew an undeserving hound,
8:596 And thro' the dog the dart was nail'd to ground.

8:597 Two spears from Meleager's hand were sent,
8:598 With equal force, but various in th' event:
8:599 The first was fix'd in earth, the second stood
8:600 On the boar's bristled back, and deeply drank his blood.
8:601 Now while the tortur'd savage turns around,
8:602 And flings about his foam, impatient of the wound,
8:603 The wound's great author close at hand provokes
8:604 His rage, and plies him with redoubled strokes;
8:605 Wheels, as he wheels; and with his pointed dart
8:606 Explores the nearest passage to his heart.
8:607 Quick, and more quick he spins in giddy gires,
8:608 Then falls, and in much foam his soul expires.
8:609 This act with shouts heav'n-high the friendly band
8:610 Applaud, and strain in theirs the victor's hand.
8:611 Then all approach the slain with vast surprize,
8:612 Admire on what a breadth of earth he lies,
8:613 And scarce secure, reach out their spears afar,
8:614 And blood their points, to prove their partnership of war.

8:615 But he, the conqu'ring chief, his foot impress'd
8:616 On the strong neck of that destructive beast;
8:617 And gazing on the nymph with ardent eyes,
8:618 Accept, said he, fair Nonacrine, my prize,
8:619 And, though inferior, suffer me to join
8:620 My labours, and my part of praise, with thine:
8:621 At this presents her with the tusky head
8:622 And chine, with rising bristles roughly spread.
8:623 Glad she receiv'd the gift; and seem'd to take
8:624 With double pleasure, for the giver's sake.
8:625 The rest were seiz'd with sullen discontent,
8:626 And a deaf murmur through the squadron went:
8:627 All envy'd; but the Thestyan brethren show'd
8:628 The least respect, and thus they vent their spleen aloud:
8:629 Lay down those honour'd spoils, nor think to share,
8:630 Weak woman as thou art, the prize of war:
8:631 Ours is the title, thine a foreign claim,
8:632 Since Meleagrus from our lineage came.
8:633 Trust not thy beauty; but restore the prize,
8:634 Which he, besotted on that face, and eyes,
8:635 Would rend from us: at this, enflam'd with spite,
8:636 From her they snatch the gift, from him the giver's right.

8:637 But soon th' impatient prince his fauchion drew,
8:638 And cry'd, Ye robbers of another's due,
8:639 Now learn the diff'rence, at your proper cost,
8:640 Betwixt true valour, and an empty boast.
8:641 At this advanc'd, and sudden as the word,
8:642 In proud Plexippus' bosom plung'd the sword:
8:643 Toxeus amaz'd, and with amazement slow,
8:644 Or to revenge, or ward the coming blow,
8:645 Stood doubting; and while doubting thus he stood,
8:646 Receiv'd the steel bath'd in his brother's blood.

8:647 Pleas'd with the first, unknown the second news;
8:648 Althaea to the temples pays their dues
8:649 For her son's conquest; when at length appear
8:650 Her grisly brethren stretch'd upon the bier:
8:651 Pale at the sudden sight, she chang'd her cheer,
8:652 And with her cheer her robes; but hearing tell
8:653 The cause, the manner, and by whom they fell,
8:654 'Twas grief no more, or grief and rage were one
8:655 Within her soul; at last 'twas rage alone;
8:656 Which burning upwards in succession, dries
8:657 The tears, that stood consid'ring in her eyes.

8:658 There lay a log unlighted on the hearth,
8:659 When she was lab'ring in the throws of birth
8:660 For th' unborn chief; the fatal sisters came,
8:661 And rais'd it up, and toss'd it on the flame:
8:662 Then on the rock a scanty measure place
8:663 Of vital flax, and turn'd the wheel apace;
8:664 And turning sung, To this red brand and thee,
8:665 O new born babe, we give an equal destiny;
8:666 So vanish'd out of view. The frighted dame
8:667 Sprung hasty from her bed, and quench'd the flame:
8:668 The log, in secret lock'd, she kept with care,
8:669 And that, while thus preserv'd, preserv'd her heir.
8:670 This brand she now produc'd; and first she strows
8:671 The hearth with heaps of chips, and after blows;
8:672 Thrice heav'd her hand, and heav'd, she thrice repress'd:
8:673 The sister and the mother long contest,
8:674 Two doubtful titles, in one tender breast:
8:675 And now her eyes, and cheeks with fury glow,
8:676 Now pale her cheeks, her eyes with pity flow:
8:677 Now low'ring looks presage approaching storms,
8:678 And now prevailing love her face reforms:
8:679 Resolv'd, she doubts again; the tears she dry'd
8:680 With burning rage, are by new tears supply'd;
8:681 And as a ship, which winds and waves assail
8:682 Now with the current drives, now with the gale,
8:683 Both opposite, and neither long prevail:
8:684 She feels a double force, by turns obeys
8:685 Th' imperious tempest, and th' impetuous seas:
8:686 So fares Althaea's mind, she first relents
8:687 With pity, of that pity then repents:
8:688 Sister, and mother long the scales divide,
8:689 But the beam nodded on the sister's side.
8:690 Sometimes she softly sigh'd, then roar'd aloud;
8:691 But sighs were stifled in the cries of blood.

8:692 The pious, impious wretch at length decreed,
8:693 To please her brothers' ghost, her son should bleed:
8:694 And when the fun'ral flames began to rise,
8:695 Receive, she said, a sister's sacrifice;
8:696 A mother's bowels burn: high in her hand,
8:697 Thus while she spoke, she held the fatal brand;
8:698 Then thrice before the kindled pile she bow'd,
8:699 And the three Furies thrice invok'd aloud:
8:700 Come, come, revenging sisters, come, and view
8:701 A sister paying her dead brothers due:
8:702 A crime I punish, and a crime commit;
8:703 But blood for blood, and death for death is fit:
8:704 Great crimes must be with greater crimes repaid,
8:705 And second fun'rals on the former laid.
8:706 Let the whole houshold in one ruin fall,
8:707 And may Diana's curse o'ertake us all.
8:708 Shall Fate to happy Oenus still allow
8:709 One son, while Thestius stands depriv'd of two?
8:710 Better three lost, than one unpunish'd go.
8:711 Take then, dear ghosts (while yet admitted new
8:712 In Hell you wait my duty), take your due:
8:713 A costly off'ring on your tomb is laid,
8:714 When with my blood the price of yours is paid.

8:715 Ah! whither am I hurry'd? Ah! forgive,
8:716 Ye shades, and let your sister's issue live;
8:717 A mother cannot give him death; tho' he
8:718 Deserves it, he deserves it not from me.

8:719 Then shall th' unpunish'd wretch insult the slain,
8:720 Triumphant live, nor only live, but reign?
8:721 While you, thin shades, the sport of winds, are tost
8:722 O'er dreary plains, or tread the burning coast.
8:723 I cannot, cannot bear; 'tis past, 'tis done;
8:724 Perish this impious, this detested son:
8:725 Perish his sire, and perish I withal;
8:726 And let the house's heir, and the hop'd kingdom fall.

8:727 Where is the mother fled, her pious love,
8:728 And where the pains with which ten months I strove!
8:729 Ah! had'st thou dy'd, my son, in infant years,
8:730 Thy little herse had been bedew'd with tears.

8:731 Thou liv'st by me; to me thy breath resign;
8:732 Mine is the merit, the demerit thine.
8:733 Thy life by double title I require;
8:734 Once giv'n at birth, and once preserv'd from fire:
8:735 One murder pay, or add one murder more,
8:736 And me to them who fell by thee restore.

8:737 I would, but cannot: my son's image stands
8:738 Before my sight; and now their angry hands
8:739 My brothers hold, and vengeance these exact;
8:740 This pleads compassion, and repents the fact.

8:741 He pleads in vain, and I pronounce his doom:
8:742 My brothers, though unjustly, shall o'ercome.
8:743 But having paid their injur'd ghosts their due,
8:744 My son requires my death, and mine shall his pursue.

8:745 At this, for the last time, she lifts her hand,
8:746 Averts her eyes, and, half unwilling, drops the brand.
8:747 The brand, amid the flaming fewel thrown,
8:748 Or drew, or seem'd to draw, a dying groan;
8:749 The fires themselves but faintly lick'd their prey,
8:750 Then loath'd their impious food, and would have shrunk away.

8:751 Just then the heroe cast a doleful cry,
8:752 And in those absent flames began to fry:
8:753 The blind contagion rag'd within his veins;
8:754 But he with manly patience bore his pains:
8:755 He fear'd not Fate, but only griev'd to die
8:756 Without an honest wound, and by a death so dry.
8:757 Happy Ancaeus, thrice aloud he cry'd,
8:758 With what becoming fate in arms he dy'd!
8:759 Then call'd his brothers, sisters, sire around,
8:760 And, her to whom his nuptial vows were bound,
8:761 Perhaps his mother; a long sigh she drew,
8:762 And his voice failing, took his last adieu.
8:763 For as the flames augment, and as they stay
8:764 At their full height, then languish to decay,
8:765 They rise and sink by fits; at last they soar
8:766 In one bright blaze, and then descend no more:
8:767 Just so his inward heats, at height, impair,
8:768 'Till the last burning breath shoots out the soul in air.

8:769 Now lofty Calidon in ruins lies;
8:770 All ages, all degrees unsluice their eyes,
8:771 And Heav'n, and Earth resound with murmurs, groans, and cries.
8:772 Matrons and maidens beat their breasts, and tear
8:773 Their habits, and root up their scatter'd hair:
8:774 The wretched father, father now no more,
8:775 With sorrow sunk, lies prostrate on the floor,
8:776 Deforms his hoary locks with dust obscene,
8:777 And curses age, and loaths a life prolong'd with pain.
8:778 By steel her stubborn soul his mother freed,
8:779 And punish'd on her self her impious deed.

8:780 Had I a hundred tongues, a wit so large
8:781 As could their hundred offices discharge;
8:782 Had Phoebus all his Helicon bestow'd
8:783 In all the streams, inspiring all the God;
8:784 Those tongues, that wit, those streams, that God in vain
8:785 Would offer to describe his sisters' pain:
8:786 They beat their breasts with many a bruizing blow,
8:787 'Till they turn livid, and corrupt the snow.
8:788 The corps they cherish, while the corps remains,
8:789 And exercise, and rub with fruitless pains;
8:790 And when to fun'ral flames 'tis born away,
8:791 They kiss the bed on which the body lay:
8:792 And when those fun'ral flames no longer burn
8:793 (The dust compos'd within a pious urn),
8:794 Ev'n in that urn their brother they confess,
8:795 And hug it in their arms, and to their bosoms press.

8:796 His tomb is rais'd; then, stretch'd along the ground,
8:797 Those living monuments his tomb surround:
8:798 Ev'n to his name, inscrib'd, their tears they pay,
8:799 'Till tears, and kisses wear his name away.

8:800 But Cynthia now had all her fury spent,
8:801 Not with less ruin than a race content:
8:802 Excepting Gorge, perish'd all the seed,
8:803 And her whom Heav'n for Hercules decreed.
8:804 Satiate at last, no longer she pursu'd
8:805 The weeping sisters; but With Wings endu'd,
8:806 And horny beaks, and sent to flit in air;
8:807 Who yearly round the tomb in feather'd flocks repair.

The Transformation of the Naiads

8:808 Theseus mean-while acquitting well his share
8:809 In the bold chace confed'rate like a war,
8:810 To Athens' lofty tow'rs his march ordain'd,
8:811 By Pallas lov'd, and where Erectheus reign'd.
8:812 But Achelous stop'd him on the way,
8:813 By rains a deluge, and constrain'd his stay.

8:814 O fam'd for glorious deeds, and great by blood,
8:815 Rest here, says he, nor trust the rapid flood;
8:816 It solid oaks has from its margin tore,
8:817 And rocky fragments down its current bore,
8:818 The murmur hoarse, and terrible the roar.
8:819 Oft have I seen herds with their shelt'ring fold
8:820 Forc'd from the banks, and in the torrent roul'd;
8:821 Nor strength the bulky steer from ruin freed,
8:822 Nor matchless swiftness sav'd the racing steed.
8:823 In cataracts when the dissolving snow
8:824 Falls from the hills, and floods the plains below;
8:825 Toss'd by the eddies with a giddy round,
8:826 Strong youths are in the sucking whirlpools drown'd.
8:827 'Tis best with me in safety to abide,
8:828 'Till usual bounds restrain the ebbing tide,
8:829 And the low waters in their channel glide.

8:830 Theseus perswaded, in compliance bow'd:
8:831 So kind an offer, and advice so good,
8:832 O Achelous, cannot be refus'd;
8:833 I'll use them both, said he; and both he us'd.

8:834 The grot he enter'd, pumice built the hall,
8:835 And tophi made the rustick of the wall;
8:836 The floor, soft moss, an humid carpet spread,
8:837 And various shells the chequer'd roof inlaid.
8:838 'Twas now the hour when the declining sun
8:839 Two thirds had of his daily journey run;
8:840 At the spread table Theseus took his place,
8:841 Next his companions in the daring chace;
8:842 Perithous here, there elder Lelex lay,
8:843 His locks betraying age with sprinkled grey.
8:844 Acharnia's river-God dispos'd the rest,
8:845 Grac'd with the equal honour of the feast,
8:846 Elate with joy, and proud of such a guest.
8:847 The nymphs were waiters, and with naked feet
8:848 In order serv'd the courses of the meat.
8:849 The banquet done, delicious wine they brought,
8:850 Of one transparent gem the cup was wrought.

8:851 Then the great heroe of this gallant train,
8:852 Surveying far the prospect of the main:
8:853 What is that land, says he, the waves embrace?
8:854 (And with his finger pointed at the place);
8:855 Is it one parted isle which stands alone?
8:856 How nam'd? and yet methinks it seems not one.
8:857 To whom the watry God made this reply;
8:858 'Tis not one isle, but five; distinct they lye;
8:859 'Tis distance which deceives the cheated eye.
8:860 But that Diana's act may seem less strange,
8:861 These once proud Naiads were, before their change.
8:862 'Twas on a day more solemn than the rest,
8:863 Ten bullocks slain, a sacrificial feast:
8:864 The rural Gods of all the region near
8:865 They bid to dance, and taste the hallow'd cheer.
8:866 Me they forgot: affronted with the slight,
8:867 My rage, and stream swell'd to the greatest height;
8:868 And with the torrent of my flooding store,
8:869 Large woods from woods, and fields from fields I tore.
8:870 The guilty nymphs, oh! then, remembring me,
8:871 I, with their country, wash'd into the sea;
8:872 And joining waters with the social main,
8:873 Rent the gross land, and split the firm champagne.
8:874 Since, the Echinades, remote from shore
8:875 Are view'd as many isles, as nymphs before.

Perimele turn'd into an Island

8:876 But yonder far, lo, yonder does appear
8:877 An isle, a part to me for ever dear.
8:878 From that (it sailors Perimele name)
8:879 I doating, forc'd by rape a virgin's fame.
8:880 Hippodamas's passion grew so strong,
8:881 Gall'd with th' abuse, and fretted at the wrong,
8:882 He cast his pregnant daughter from a rock;
8:883 I spread my waves beneath, and broke the shock;
8:884 And as her swimming weight my stream convey'd,
8:885 I su'd for help divine, and thus I pray'd:
8:886 O pow'rful thou, whose trident does command
8:887 The realm of waters, which surround the land;
8:888 We sacred rivers, wheresoe'er begun,
8:889 End in thy lot, and to thy empire run.
8:890 With favour hear, and help with present aid;
8:891 Her whom I bear 'twas guilty I betray'd.
8:892 Yet if her father had been just, or mild,
8:893 He would have been less impious to his child;
8:894 In her, have pity'd force in the abuse;
8:895 In me, admitted love for my excuse.
8:896 O let relief for her hard case be found,
8:897 Her, whom paternal rage expell'd from ground,
8:898 Her, whom paternal rage relentless drown'd.
8:899 Grant her some place, or change her to a place,
8:900 Which I may ever clasp with my embrace.

8:901 His nodding head the sea's great ruler bent,
8:902 And all his waters shook with his assent.
8:903 The nymph still swam, tho' with the fright distrest,
8:904 I felt her heart leap trembling in her breast;
8:905 But hardning soon, whilst I her pulse explore,
8:906 A crusting Earth cas'd her stiff body o'er;
8:907 And as accretions of new-cleaving soil
8:908 Inlarg'd the mass, the nymph became an isle.

The Story of Baucis and Philemon

8:909 Thus Achelous ends: his audience hear
8:910 With admiration, and admiring, fear
8:911 The Pow'rs of Heav'n; except Ixion's Son,
8:912 Who laugh'd at all the Gods, believ'd in none:
8:913 He shook his impious head, and thus replies.
8:914 These legends are no more than pious lies:
8:915 You attribute too much to heav'nly sway,
8:916 To think they give us forms, and take away.

8:917 The rest of better minds, their sense declar'd
8:918 Against this doctrine, and with horror heard.
8:919 Then Lelex rose, an old experienc'd man,
8:920 And thus with sober gravity began;
8:921 Heav'n's pow'r is infinite: Earth, Air, and Sea,
8:922 The manufacture mass, the making Pow'r obey:
8:923 By proof to clear your doubt; in Phrygian ground
8:924 Two neighb'ring trees, with walls encompass'd round,
8:925 Stand on a mod'rate rise, with wonder shown,
8:926 One a hard oak, a softer linden one:
8:927 I saw the place, and them, by Pittheus sent
8:928 To Phrygian realms, my grandsire's government.
8:929 Not far from thence is seen a lake, the haunt
8:930 Of coots, and of the fishing cormorant:
8:931 Here Jove with Hermes came; but in disguise
8:932 Of mortal men conceal'd their deities;
8:933 One laid aside his thunder, one his rod;
8:934 And many toilsome steps together trod:
8:935 For harbour at a thousand doors they knock'd,
8:936 Not one of all the thousand but was lock'd.
8:937 At last an hospitable house they found,
8:938 A homely shed; the roof, not far from ground,
8:939 Was thatch'd with reeds, and straw, together bound.
8:940 There Baucis and Philemon liv'd, and there
8:941 Had liv'd long marry'd, and a happy pair:
8:942 Now old in love, though little was their store,
8:943 Inur'd to want, their poverty they bore,
8:944 Nor aim'd at wealth, professing to be poor.
8:945 For master, or for servant here to call,
8:946 Was all alike, where only two were all.
8:947 Command was none, where equal love was paid,
8:948 Or rather both commanded, both obey'd.

8:949 From lofty roofs the Gods repuls'd before,
8:950 Now stooping, enter'd through the little door:
8:951 The man (their hearty welcome first express'd)
8:952 A common settle drew for either guest,
8:953 Inviting each his weary limbs to rest.
8:954 But ere they sate, officious Baucis lays
8:955 Two cushions stuff'd with straw, the seat to raise;
8:956 Coarse, but the best she had; then rakes the load
8:957 Of ashes from the hearth, and spreads abroad
8:958 The living coals; and, lest they should expire,
8:959 With leaves, and bark she feeds her infant fire:
8:960 It smoaks; and then with trembling breath she blows,
8:961 'Till in a chearful blaze the flames arose.
8:962 With brush-wood, and with chips she strengthens these,
8:963 And adds at last the boughs of rotten trees.
8:964 The fire thus form'd, she sets the kettle on
8:965 (Like burnish'd gold the little seether shone),
8:966 Next took the coleworts which her husband got
8:967 From his own ground (a small well-water'd spot);
8:968 She stripp'd the stalks of all their leaves; the best
8:969 She cull'd, and them with handy care she drest.
8:970 High o'er the hearth a chine of bacon hung;
8:971 Good old Philemon seiz'd it with a prong,
8:972 And from the sooty rafter drew it down,
8:973 Then cut a slice, but scarce enough for one;
8:974 Yet a large portion of a little store,
8:975 Which for their sakes alone he wish'd were more.
8:976 This in the pot he plung'd without delay,
8:977 To tame the flesh, and drain the salt away.
8:978 The time beween, before the fire they sat,
8:979 And shorten'd the delay by pleasing chat.

8:980 A beam there was, on which a beechen pail
8:981 Hung by the handle, on a driven nail:
8:982 This fill'd with water, gently warm'd, they set
8:983 Before their guests; in this they bath'd their feet,
8:984 And after with clean towels dry'd their sweat.
8:985 This done, the host produc'd the genial bed,
8:986 Sallow the feet, the borders, and the sted,
8:987 Which with no costly coverlet they spread,
8:988 But coarse old garments; yet such robes as these
8:989 They laid alone, at feasts, on holidays.
8:990 The good old housewife, tucking up her gown,
8:991 The table sets; th' invited Gods lie down.
8:992 The trivet-table of a foot was lame,
8:993 A blot which prudent Baucis overcame,
8:994 Who thrusts beneath the limping leg a sherd,
8:995 So was the mended board exactly rear'd:
8:996 Then rubb'd it o'er with newly gather'd mint,
8:997 A wholsom herb, that breath'd a grateful scent.
8:998 Pallas began the feast, where first was seen
8:999 The party-colour'd olive, black, and green:
8:1000 Autumnal cornels next in order serv'd,
8:1001 In lees of wine well pickled, and preserv'd.
8:1002 A garden-sallad was the third supply,
8:1003 Of endive, radishes, and succory:
8:1004 Then curds, and cream, the flow'r of country fare,
8:1005 And new-laid eggs, which Baucis' busie care
8:1006 Turn'd by a gentle fire, and roasted rare.
8:1007 All these in earthen ware were serv'd to board;
8:1008 And next in place, an earthen pitcher stor'd,
8:1009 With liquor of the best the cottage could afford.
8:1010 This was the table's ornament and pride,
8:1011 With figures wrought: like pages at his side
8:1012 Stood beechen bowls; and these were shining clean,
8:1013 Varnish'd with wax without, and lin'd within.
8:1014 By this the boiling kettle had prepar'd,
8:1015 And to the table sent the smoaking lard;
8:1016 On which with eager appetite they dine,
8:1017 A sav'ry bit, that serv'd to relish wine:
8:1018 The wine itself was suiting to the rest,
8:1019 Still working in the must, and lately press'd.
8:1020 The second course succeeds like that before,
8:1021 Plums, apples, nuts, and of their wintry store
8:1022 Dry figs, and grapes, and wrinkled dates were set
8:1023 In canisters, t' enlarge the little treat:
8:1024 All these a milk-white honey-comb surround,
8:1025 Which in the midst the country-banquet crown'd:
8:1026 But the kind hosts their entertainment grace
8:1027 With hearty welcome, and an open face:
8:1028 In all they did, you might discern with ease,
8:1029 A willing mind, and a desire to please.

8:1030 Mean-time the beechen bowls went round, and still,
8:1031 Though often empty'd, were observ'd to fill;
8:1032 Fill'd without hands, and of their own accord
8:1033 Ran without feet, and danc'd about the board.
8:1034 Devotion seiz'd the pair, to see the feast
8:1035 With wine, and of no common grape, increas'd;
8:1036 And up they held their hands, and fell to pray'r,
8:1037 Excusing, as they could, their country fare.

8:1038 One goose they had ('twas all they could allow),
8:1039 A wakeful centry, and on duty now,
8:1040 Whom to the Gods for sacrifice they vow:
8:1041 Her with malicious zeal the couple view'd;
8:1042 She ran for life, and limping they pursu'd:
8:1043 Full well the fowl perceiv'd their bad intent,
8:1044 And would not make her master's compliment;
8:1045 But persecuted, to the Pow'rs she flies,
8:1046 And close between the legs of Jove she lies:
8:1047 He with a gracious ear the suppliant heard,
8:1048 And sav'd her life; then what he has declar'd,
8:1049 And own'd the God. The neighbourhood, said he,
8:1050 Shall justly perish for impiety:
8:1051 You stand alone exempted; but obey
8:1052 With speed, and follow where we lead the way:
8:1053 Leave these accurs'd; and to the mountain's height
8:1054 Ascend; nor once look backward in your flight.

8:1055 They haste, and what their tardy feet deny'd,
8:1056 The trusty staff (their better leg) supply'd.
8:1057 An arrow's flight they wanted to the top,
8:1058 And there secure, but spent with travel, stop;
8:1059 Then turn their now no more forbidden eyes;
8:1060 Lost in a lake the floated level lies:
8:1061 A watry desart covers all the plains,
8:1062 Their cot alone, as in an isle, remains.
8:1063 Wondring, with weeping eyes, while they deplore
8:1064 Their neighbours' fate, and country now no more,
8:1065 Their little shed, scarce large enough for two,
8:1066 Seems, from the ground increas'd, in height and bulk to grow.
8:1067 A stately temple shoots within the skies,
8:1068 The crotches of their cot in columns rise:
8:1069 The pavement polish'd marble they behold,
8:1070 The gates with sculpture grac'd, the spires and tiles of gold.

8:1071 Then thus the sire of Gods, with looks serene,
8:1072 Speak thy desire, thou only just of men;
8:1073 And thou, o woman, only worthy found
8:1074 To be with such a man in marriage bound.

8:1075 A-while they whisper; then, to Jove address'd,
8:1076 Philemon thus prefers their joint request:
8:1077 We crave to serve before your sacred shrine,
8:1078 And offer at your altars rites divine:
8:1079 And since not any action of our life
8:1080 Has been polluted with domestick strife;
8:1081 We beg one hour of death, that neither she
8:1082 With widow's tears may live to bury me,
8:1083 Nor weeping I, with wither'd arms may bear
8:1084 My breathless Baucis to the sepulcher.

8:1085 The Godheads sign their suit. They run their race
8:1086 In the same tenour all th' appointed space:
8:1087 Then, when their hour was come, while they relate
8:1088 These past adventures at the temple gate,
8:1089 Old Baucis is by old Philemon seen
8:1090 Sprouting with sudden leaves of spritely green:
8:1091 Old Baucis look'd where old Philemon stood,
8:1092 And saw his lengthen'd arms a sprouting wood:
8:1093 New roots their fasten'd feet begin to bind,
8:1094 Their bodies stiffen in a rising rind:
8:1095 Then, ere the bark above their shoulders grew,
8:1096 They give, and take at once their last adieu.
8:1097 At once, Farewell, o faithful spouse, they said;
8:1098 At once th' incroaching rinds their closing lips invade.
8:1099 Ev'n yet, an ancient Tyanaean shows
8:1100 A spreading oak, that near a linden grows;
8:1101 The neighbourhood confirm the prodigy,
8:1102 Grave men, not vain of tongue, or like to lie.
8:1103 I saw my self the garlands on their boughs,
8:1104 And tablets hung for gifts of granted vows;
8:1105 And off'ring fresher up, with pious pray'r,
8:1106 The good, said I, are God's peculiar care,
8:1107 And such as honour Heav'n, shall heav'nly honour share.

The Changes of Proteus

8:1108 He ceas'd in his relation to proceed,
8:1109 Whilst all admir'd the author, and the deed;
8:1110 But Theseus most, inquisitive to know
8:1111 From Gods what wondrous alterations grow.
8:1112 Whom thus the Calydonian stream address'd,
8:1113 Rais'd high to speak, the couch his elbow press'd.
8:1114 Some, when transform'd, fix in the lasting change;
8:1115 Some with more right, thro' various figures range.
8:1116 Proteus, thus large thy privilege was found,
8:1117 Thou inmate of the seas, which Earth surround.
8:1118 Sometimes a bloming youth you grac'd the shore;
8:1119 Oft a fierce lion, or a furious boar:
8:1120 With glist'ning spires now seem'd an hissing snake,
8:1121 The bold would tremble in his hands to take:
8:1122 With horns assum'd a bull; sometimes you prov'd
8:1123 A tree by roots, a stone by weight unmov'd:
8:1124 Sometimes two wav'ring contraries became,
8:1125 Flow'd down in water, or aspir'd in flame.

The Story of Erisichthon

8:1126 In various shapes thus to deceive the eyes,
8:1127 Without a settled stint of her disguise,
8:1128 Rash Erisichthon's daughter had the pow'r,
8:1129 And brought it to Autolicus in dow'r.
8:1130 Her atheist sire the slighted Gods defy'd,
8:1131 And ritual honours to their shrines deny'd.
8:1132 As fame reports, his hand an ax sustain'd,
8:1133 Which Ceres' consecrated grove prophan'd;
8:1134 Which durst the venerable gloom invade,
8:1135 And violate with light the awful shade.
8:1136 An ancient oak in the dark center stood,
8:1137 The covert's glory, and itself a wood:
8:1138 Garlands embrac'd its shaft, and from the boughs
8:1139 Hung tablets, monuments of prosp'rous vows.
8:1140 In the cool dusk its unpierc'd verdure spread,
8:1141 The Dryads oft their hallow'd dances led;
8:1142 And oft, when round their gaging arms they cast,
8:1143 Full fifteen ells it measu'rd in the waste:
8:1144 Its height all under standards did surpass,
8:1145 As they aspir'd above the humbler grass.

8:1146 These motives, which would gentler minds restrain,
8:1147 Could not make Triope's bold son abstain;
8:1148 He sternly charg'd his slaves with strict decree,
8:1149 To fell with gashing steel the sacred tree.
8:1150 But whilst they, lingring, his commands delay'd,
8:1151 He snatch'd an Ax, and thus blaspheming said:
8:1152 Was this no oak, nor Ceres' favourite care,
8:1153 But Ceres' self, this arm, unaw'd, shou'd dare
8:1154 Its leafy honours in the dust to spread,
8:1155 And level with the earth its airy head.
8:1156 He spoke, and as he poiz'd a slanting stroak,
8:1157 Sighs heav'd, and tremblings shook the frighted oak;
8:1158 Its leaves look'd sickly, pale its acorns grew,
8:1159 And its long branches sweat a chilly dew.
8:1160 But when his impious hand a wound bestow'd,
8:1161 Blood from the mangled bark in currents flow'd.
8:1162 When a devoted bull of mighty size,
8:1163 A sinning nation's grand atonement, dies;
8:1164 With such a plenty from the spouting veins,
8:1165 A crimson stream the turfy altars stains.

8:1166 The wonder all amaz'd; yet one more bold,
8:1167 The fact dissuading, strove his ax to hold.
8:1168 But the Thessalian, obstinately bent,
8:1169 Too proud to change, too harden'd to repent,
8:1170 On his kind monitor, his eyes, which burn'd
8:1171 With rage, and with his eyes his weapon turn'd;
8:1172 Take the reward, says he, of pious dread:
8:1173 Then with a blow lopp'd off his parted head.
8:1174 No longer check'd, the wretch his crime pursu'd,
8:1175 Doubled his strokes, and sacrilege renew'd;
8:1176 When from the groaning trunk a voice was heard,
8:1177 A Dryad I, by Ceres' love preferr'd,
8:1178 Within the circle of this clasping rind
8:1179 Coeval grew, and now in ruin join'd;
8:1180 But instant vengeance shall thy sin pursue,
8:1181 And death is chear'd with this prophetick view.

8:1182 At last the oak with cords enforc'd to bow,
8:1183 Strain'd from the top, and sap'd with wounds below,
8:1184 The humbler wood, partaker of its fate,
8:1185 Crush'd with its fall, and shiver'd with its weight.

8:1186 The grove destroy'd, the sister Dryads moan,
8:1187 Griev'd at its loss, and frighted at their own.
8:1188 Strait, suppliants for revenge to Ceres go,
8:1189 In sable weeds, expressive of their woe.

8:1190 The beauteous Goddess with a graceful air
8:1191 Bow'd in consent, and nodded to their pray'r.
8:1192 The awful motion shook the fruitful ground,
8:1193 And wav'd the fields with golden harvests crown'd.
8:1194 Soon she contriv'd in her projecting mind
8:1195 A plague severe, and piteous in its kind
8:1196 (If plagues for crimes of such presumptuous height
8:1197 Could pity in the softest breast create).
8:1198 With pinching want, and hunger's keenest smart,
8:1199 To tear his vitals, and corrode his heart.
8:1200 But since her near approach by Fate's deny'd
8:1201 To famine, and broad climes their pow'rs divide,
8:1202 A nymph, the mountain's ranger, she address'd,
8:1203 And thus resolv'd, her high commands express'd.

The Description of Famine

8:1204 Where frozen Scythia's utmost bound is plac'd,
8:1205 A desart lies, a melancholy waste:
8:1206 In yellow crops there Nature never smil'd,
8:1207 No fruitful tree to shade the barren wild.
8:1208 There sluggish cold its icy station makes,
8:1209 There paleness, frights, and aguish trembling shakes,
8:1210 Of pining famine this the fated seat,
8:1211 To whom my orders in these words repeat:
8:1212 Bid her this miscreant with her sharpest pains
8:1213 Chastise, and sheath herself into his veins;
8:1214 Be unsubdu'd by plenty's baffled store,
8:1215 Reject my empire, and defeat my pow'r.
8:1216 And lest the distance, and the tedious way,
8:1217 Should with the toil, and long fatigue dismay,
8:1218 Ascend my chariot, and convey'd on high,
8:1219 Guide the rein'd dragons thro' the parting sky.

8:1220 The nymph, accepting of the granted carr,
8:1221 Sprung to the seat, and posted thro' the air;
8:1222 Nor stop'd 'till she to a bleak mountain came
8:1223 Of wondrous height, and Caucasus its name.
8:1224 There in a stony field the fiend she found,
8:1225 Herbs gnawing, and roots scratching from the ground.
8:1226 Her elfelock hair in matted tresses grew,
8:1227 Sunk were her eyes, and pale her ghastly hue,
8:1228 Wan were her lips, and foul with clammy glew.
8:1229 Her throat was furr'd, her guts appear'd within
8:1230 With snaky crawlings thro' her parchment skin.
8:1231 Her jutting hips seem'd starting from their place,
8:1232 And for a belly was a belly's space,
8:1233 Her dugs hung dangling from her craggy spine,
8:1234 Loose to her breast, and fasten'd to her chine.
8:1235 Her joints protuberant by leanness grown,
8:1236 Consumption sunk the flesh, and rais'd the bone.
8:1237 Her knees large orbits bunch'd to monstrous size,
8:1238 And ancles to undue proportion rise.

8:1239 This plague the nymph, not daring to draw near,
8:1240 At distance hail'd, and greeted from afar.
8:1241 And tho' she told her charge without delay,
8:1242 Tho' her arrival late, and short her stay,
8:1243 She felt keen famine, or she seem'd to feel,
8:1244 Invade her blood, and on her vitals steal.
8:1245 She turn'd, from the infection to remove,
8:1246 And back to Thessaly the serpents drove.

8:1247 The fiend obey'd the Goddess' command
8:1248 (Tho' their effects in opposition stand),
8:1249 She cut her way, supported by the wind,
8:1250 And reach'd the mansion by the nymph assign'd.

8:1251 'Twas night, when entring Erisichthon's room,
8:1252 Dissolv'd in sleep, and thoughtless of his doom,
8:1253 She clasp'd his limbs, by impious labour tir'd,
8:1254 With battish wings, but her whole self inspir'd;
8:1255 Breath'd on his throat and chest a tainting blast,
8:1256 And in his veins infus'd an endless fast.

8:1257 The task dispatch'd, away the Fury flies
8:1258 From plenteous regions, and from rip'ning skies;
8:1259 To her old barren north she wings her speed,
8:1260 And cottages distress'd with pinching need.

8:1261 Still slumbers Erisichthon's senses drown,
8:1262 And sooth his fancy with their softest down.
8:1263 He dreams of viands delicate to eat,
8:1264 And revels on imaginary meat,
8:1265 Chaws with his working mouth, but chaws in vain,
8:1266 And tires his grinding teeth with fruitless pain;
8:1267 Deludes his throat with visionary fare,
8:1268 Feasts on the wind, and banquets on the air.

8:1269 The morning came, the night, and slumbers past,
8:1270 But still the furious pangs of hunger last;
8:1271 The cank'rous rage still gnaws with griping pains,
8:1272 Stings in his throat, and in his bowels reigns.

8:1273 Strait he requires, impatient in demand,
8:1274 Provisions from the air, the seas, the land.
8:1275 But tho' the land, air, seas, provisions grant,
8:1276 Starves at full tables, and complains of want.
8:1277 What to a people might in dole be paid,
8:1278 Or victual cities for a long blockade,
8:1279 Could not one wolfish appetite asswage;
8:1280 For glutting nourishment increas'd its rage.
8:1281 As rivers pour'd from ev'ry distant shore,
8:1282 The sea insatiate drinks, and thirsts for more;
8:1283 Or as the fire, which all materials burns,
8:1284 And wasted forests into ashes turns,
8:1285 Grows more voracious, as the more it preys,
8:1286 Recruits dilate the flame, and spread the blaze:
8:1287 So impious Erisichthon's hunger raves,
8:1288 Receives refreshments, and refreshments craves.
8:1289 Food raises a desire for food, and meat
8:1290 Is but a new provocative to eat.
8:1291 He grows more empty, as the more supply'd,
8:1292 And endless cramming but extends the void.

The Transformations of Erisichthon's Daughter

8:1293 Now riches hoarded by paternal care
8:1294 Were sunk, the glutton swallowing up the heir.
8:1295 Yet the devouring flame no stores abate,
8:1296 Nor less his hunger grew with his estate.
8:1297 One daughter left, as left his keen desire,
8:1298 A daughter worthy of a better sire:
8:1299 Her too he sold, spent Nature to sustain;
8:1300 She scorn'd a lord with generous disdain,
8:1301 And flying, spread her hand upon the main.
8:1302 Then pray'd: Grant, thou, I bondage may escape,
8:1303 And with my liberty reward thy rape;
8:1304 Repay my virgin treasure with thy aid
8:1305 ('Twas Neptune who deflower'd the beauteous maid).

8:1306 The God was mov'd, at what the fair had su'd,
8:1307 When she so lately by her master view'd
8:1308 In her known figure, on a sudden took
8:1309 A fisher's habit, and a manly look.
8:1310 To whom her owner hasted to enquire;
8:1311 O thou, said he, whose baits hide treach'rous wire;
8:1312 Whose art can manage, and experienc'd skill
8:1313 The taper angle, and the bobbing quill,
8:1314 So may the sea be ruffled with no storm,
8:1315 But smooth with calms, as you the truth inform;
8:1316 So your deceit may no shy fishes feel,
8:1317 'Till struck, and fasten'd on the bearded steel.
8:1318 Did not you standing view upon the strand,
8:1319 A wand'ring maid? I'm sure I saw her stand;
8:1320 Her hair disorder'd, and her homely dress
8:1321 Betray'd her want, and witness'd her distress.

8:1322 Me heedless, she reply'd, whoe'er you are
8:1323 Excuse, attentive to another care.
8:1324 I settled on the deep my steady eye;
8:1325 Fix'd on my float, and bent on my employ.
8:1326 And that you may not doubt what I impart,
8:1327 So may the ocean's God assist my art,
8:1328 If on the beach since I my sport pursu'd,
8:1329 Or man, or woman but my self I view'd.
8:1330 Back o'er the sands, deluded, he withdrew,
8:1331 Whilst she for her old form put off her new.

8:1332 Her sire her shifting pow'r to change perceiv'd;
8:1333 And various chapmen by her sale deceiv'd.
8:1334 A fowl with spangled plumes, a brinded steer,
8:1335 Sometimes a crested mare, or antler'd deer:
8:1336 Sold for a price, she parted, to maintain
8:1337 Her starving parent with dishonest gain.

8:1338 At last all means, as all provisions, fail'd;
8:1339 For the disease by remedies prevail'd;
8:1340 His muscles with a furious bite he tore,
8:1341 Gorg'd his own tatter'd flesh, and gulph'd his gore.
8:1342 Wounds were his feast, his life to life a prey,
8:1343 Supporting Nature by its own decay.

8:1344 But foreign stories why shou'd I relate?
8:1345 I too my self can to new forms translate,
8:1346 Tho' the variety's not unconfin'd,
8:1347 But fix'd, in number, and restrain'd in kind:
8:1348 For often I this present shape retain,
8:1349 Oft curl a snake the volumes of my train.
8:1350 Sometimes my strength into my horns transfer'd,
8:1351 A bull I march, the captain of the herd.
8:1352 But whilst I once those goring weapons wore,
8:1353 Vast wresting force one from my forehead tore.
8:1354 Lo, my maim'd brows the injury still own;
8:1355 He ceas'd; his words concluding with a groan.


The Story of Achelous and Hercules

9:1 Theseus requests the God to tell his woes,
9:2 Whence his maim'd brow, and whence his groans arose
9:3 Whence thus the Calydonian stream reply'd,
9:4 With twining reeds his careless tresses ty'd:
9:5 Ungrateful is the tale; for who can bear,
9:6 When conquer'd, to rehearse the shameful war?
9:7 Yet I'll the melancholy story trace;
9:8 So great a conqu'ror softens the disgrace:
9:9 Nor was it still so mean the prize to yield,
9:10 As great, and glorious to dispute the field.
9:11 Perhaps you've heard of Deianira's name,
9:12 For all the country spoke her beauty's fame.
9:13 Long was the nymph by num'rous suitors woo'd,
9:14 Each with address his envy'd hopes pursu'd:
9:15 I joyn'd the loving band; to gain the fair,
9:16 Reveal'd my passion to her father's ear.
9:17 Their vain pretensions all the rest resign,
9:18 Alcides only strove to equal mine;
9:19 He boasts his birth from Jove, recounts his spoils,
9:20 His step-dame's hate subdu'd, and finish'd toils.

9:21 Can mortals then (said I), with Gods compare?
9:22 Behold a God; mine is the watry care:
9:23 Through your wide realms I take my mazy way,
9:24 Branch into streams, and o'er the region stray:
9:25 No foreign guest your daughter's charms adores,
9:26 But one who rises in your native shores.
9:27 Let not his punishment your pity move;
9:28 Is Juno's hate an argument for love?
9:29 Though you your life from fair Alcmena drew,
9:30 Jove's a feign'd father, or by fraud a true.
9:31 Chuse then; confess thy mother's honour lost,
9:32 Or thy descent from Jove no longer boast.

9:33 While thus I spoke, he look'd with stern disdain,
9:34 Nor could the sallies of his wrath restrain,
9:35 Which thus break forth. This arm decides our right;
9:36 Vanquish in words, be mine the prize in fight.

9:37 Bold he rush'd on. My honour to maintain,
9:38 I fling my verdant garments on the plain,
9:39 My arms stretch forth, my pliant limbs prepare,
9:40 And with bent hands expect the furious war.
9:41 O'er my sleek skin now gather'd dust he throws,
9:42 And yellow sand his mighty muscles strows.
9:43 Oft he my neck, and nimble legs assails,
9:44 He seems to grasp me, but as often fails.
9:45 Each part he now invades with eager hand;
9:46 Safe in my bulk, immoveable I stand.
9:47 So when loud storms break high, and foam and roar
9:48 Against some mole that stretches from the shore;
9:49 The firm foundation lasting tempests braves,
9:50 Defies the warring winds, and driving waves.

9:51 A-while we breathe, then forward rush amain,
9:52 Renew the combat, and our ground maintain;
9:53 Foot strove with foot, I prone extend my breast,
9:54 Hands war with hands, and forehead forehead prest.
9:55 Thus have I seen two furious bulls engage,
9:56 Inflam'd with equal love, and equal rage;
9:57 Each claims the fairest heifer of the grove,
9:58 And conquest only can decide their love:
9:59 The trembling herds survey the fight from far,
9:60 'Till victory decides th' important war.
9:61 Three times in vain he strove my joints to wrest,
9:62 To force my hold, and throw me from his breast;
9:63 The fourth he broke my gripe, that clasp'd him round,
9:64 Then with new force he stretch'd me on the ground;
9:65 Close to my back the mighty burthen clung,
9:66 As if a mountain o'er my limbs were flung.
9:67 Believe my tale; nor do I, boastful, aim
9:68 By feign'd narration to extol my fame.
9:69 No sooner from his grasp I freedom get,
9:70 Unlock my arms, that flow'd with trickling sweat,
9:71 But quick he seized me, and renew'd the strife,
9:72 As my exhausted bosom pants for life:
9:73 My neck he gripes, my knee to earth he strains;
9:74 I fall, and bite the sand with shame, and pains.

9:75 O'er-match'd in strength, to wiles, and arts I take,
9:76 And slip his hold, in form of speckled snake;
9:77 Who, when I wreath'd in spires my body round,
9:78 Or show'd my forky tongue with hissing sound,
9:79 Smiles at my threats: Such foes my cradle knew,
9:80 He cries, dire snakes my infant hand o'erthrew;
9:81 A dragon's form might other conquests gain,
9:82 To war with me you take that shape in vain.
9:83 Art thou proportion'd to the Hydra's length,
9:84 Who by his wounds receiv'd augmented strength?
9:85 He rais'd a hundred hissing heads in air;
9:86 When one I lopt, up-sprung a dreadful pair.
9:87 By his wounds fertile, and with slaughter strong,
9:88 Singly I quell'd him, and stretch'd dead along.
9:89 What canst thou do, a form precarious, prone,
9:90 To rouse my rage with terrors not thy own?
9:91 He said; and round my neck his hands he cast,
9:92 And with his straining fingers wrung me fast;
9:93 My throat he tortur'd, close as pincers clasp,
9:94 In vain I strove to loose the forceful grasp.

9:95 Thus vanquish'd too, a third form still remains,
9:96 Chang'd to a bull, my lowing fills the plains.
9:97 Strait on the left his nervous arms were thrown
9:98 Upon my brindled neck, and tugg'd it down;
9:99 Then deep he struck my horn into the sand,
9:100 And fell'd my bulk among the dusty land.
9:101 Nor yet his fury cool'd; 'twixt rage and scorn,
9:102 From my maim'd front he tore the stubborn horn:
9:103 This, heap'd with flow'rs, and fruits, the Naiads bear,
9:104 Sacred to plenty, and the bounteous year.

9:105 He spoke; when lo, a beauteous nymph appears,
9:106 Girt like Diana's train, with flowing hairs;
9:107 The horn she brings in which all Autumn's stor'd,
9:108 And ruddy apples for the second board.

9:109 Now morn begins to dawn, the sun's bright fire
9:110 Gilds the high mountains, and the youths retire;
9:111 Nor stay'd they, 'till the troubled stream subsides,
9:112 And in its bounds with peaceful current glides.
9:113 But Achelous in his oozy bed
9:114 Deep hides his brow deform'd, and rustick head:
9:115 No real wound the victor's triumph show'd,
9:116 But his lost honours griev'd the watry God;
9:117 Yet ev'n that loss the willow's leaves o'erspread,
9:118 And verdant reeds, in garlands, bind his head.

The Death of Nessus the Centaur

9:119 This virgin too, thy love, O Nessus, found,
9:120 To her alone you owe the fatal wound.
9:121 As the strong son of Jove his bride conveys,
9:122 Where his paternal lands their bulwarks raise;
9:123 Where from her slopy urn, Evenus pours
9:124 Her rapid current, swell'd by wintry show'rs,
9:125 He came. The frequent eddies whirl'd the tide,
9:126 And the deep rolling waves all pass deny'd.
9:127 As for himself, he stood unmov'd by fears,
9:128 For now his bridal charge employ'd his cares,
9:129 The strong-limb'd Nessus thus officious cry'd
9:130 (For he the shallows of the stream had try'd),
9:131 Swim thou, Alcides, all thy strength prepare,
9:132 On yonder bank I'll lodge thy nuptial care.

9:133 Th' Aonian chief to Nessus trusts his wife,
9:134 All pale, and trembling for her heroe's life:
9:135 Cloath'd as he stood in the fierce lion's hide,
9:136 The laden quiver o'er his shoulder ty'd
9:137 (For cross the stream his bow and club were cast),
9:138 Swift he plung'd in: These billows shall be past,
9:139 He said, nor sought where smoother waters glide,
9:140 But stem'd the rapid dangers of the tide.
9:141 The bank he reach'd; again the bow he bears;
9:142 When, hark! his bride's known voice alarms his ears.
9:143 Nessus, to thee I call (aloud he cries)
9:144 Vain is thy trust in flight, be timely wise:
9:145 Thou monster double-shap'd, my right set free;
9:146 If thou no rev'rence owe my fame and me,
9:147 Yet kindred should thy lawless lust deny;
9:148 Think not, perfidious wretch, from me to fly,
9:149 Tho' wing'd with horse's speed; wounds shall pursue;
9:150 Swift as his words the fatal arrow flew:
9:151 The centaur's back admits the feather'd wood,
9:152 And thro' his breast the barbed weapon stood;
9:153 Which when, in anguish, thro' the flesh he tore,
9:154 From both the wounds gush'd forth the spumy gore
9:155 Mix'd with Lernaean venom; this he took,
9:156 Nor dire revenge his dying breast forsook.
9:157 His garment, in the reeking purple dy'd,
9:158 To rouse love's passion, he presents the bride.

The Death of Hercules

9:159 Now a long interval of time succeeds,
9:160 When the great son of Jove's immortal deeds,
9:161 And step-dame's hate, had fill'd Earth's utmost round;
9:162 He from Oechalia, with new lawrels crown'd,
9:163 In triumph was return'd. He rites prepares,
9:164 And to the King of Gods directs his pray'rs;
9:165 When Fame (who falshood cloaths in truth's disguise,
9:166 And swells her little bulk with growing lies)
9:167 Thy tender ear, o Deianira, mov'd,
9:168 That Hercules the fair Iole lov'd.
9:169 Her love believes the tale; the truth she fears
9:170 Of his new passion, and gives way to tears.
9:171 The flowing tears diffus'd her wretched grief,
9:172 Why seek I thus, from streaming eyes, relief?
9:173 She cries; indulge not thus these fruitless cares,
9:174 The harlot will but triumph in thy tears:
9:175 Let something be resolv'd, while yet there's time;
9:176 My bed not conscious of a rival's crime.
9:177 In silence shall I mourn, or loud complain?
9:178 Shall I seek Calydon, or here remain?
9:179 What tho', ally'd to Meleager's fame,
9:180 I boast the honours of a sister's name?
9:181 My wrongs, perhaps, now urge me to pursue
9:182 Some desp'rate deed, by which the world shall view
9:183 How far revenge, and woman's rage can rise,
9:184 When weltring in her blood the harlot dies.

9:185 Thus various passions rul'd by turns her breast,
9:186 She now resolves to send the fatal vest,
9:187 Dy'd with Lernaean gore, whose pow'r might move
9:188 His soul anew, and rouse declining love.
9:189 Nor knew she what her sudden rage bestows,
9:190 When she to Lychas trusts her future woes;
9:191 With soft endearments she the boy commands,
9:192 To bear the garment to her husband's hands.

9:193 Th' unwitting hero takes the gift in haste,
9:194 And o'er his shoulders Lerna's poison cast,
9:195 As first the fire with frankincense he strows,
9:196 And utters to the Gods his holy vows;
9:197 And on the marble altar's polish'd frame
9:198 Pours forth the grapy stream; the rising flame
9:199 Sudden dissolves the subtle pois'nous juice,
9:200 Which taints his blood, and all his nerves bedews.
9:201 With wonted fortitude he bore the smart,
9:202 And not a groan confess'd his burning heart.
9:203 At length his patience was subdu'd by pain,
9:204 He rends the sacred altar from the plain;
9:205 Oete's wide forests echo with his cries:
9:206 Now to rip off the deathful robe he tries.
9:207 Where-e'er he plucks the vest, the skin he tears,
9:208 The mangled muscles, and huge bones he bares
9:209 (A ghastful sight!), or raging with his pain,
9:210 To rend the sticking plague he tugs in vain.

9:211 As the red iron hisses in the flood,
9:212 So boils the venom in his curdling blood.
9:213 Now with the greedy flame his entrails glow,
9:214 And livid sweats down all his body flow;
9:215 The cracking nerves burnt up are burst in twain,
9:216 The lurking venom melts his swimming brain.

9:217 Then, lifting both his hands aloft, he cries,
9:218 Glut thy revenge, dread Empress of the skies;
9:219 Sate with my death the rancour of thy heart,
9:220 Look down with pleasure, and enjoy my smart.
9:221 Or, if e'er pity mov'd a hostile breast
9:222 (For here I stand thy enemy profest),
9:223 Take hence this hateful life, with tortures torn,
9:224 Inur'd to trouble, and to labours born.
9:225 Death is the gift most welcome to my woe,
9:226 And such a gift a stepdame may bestow.
9:227 Was it for this Busiris was subdu'd,
9:228 Whose barb'rous temples reek'd with strangers' blood?
9:229 Press'd in these arms his fate Antaeus found,
9:230 Nor gain'd recruited vigour from the ground.
9:231 Did I not triple-form'd Geryon fell?
9:232 Or did I fear the triple dog of Hell?
9:233 Did not these hands the bull's arm'd forehead hold?
9:234 Are not our mighty toils in Elis told?
9:235 Do not Stymphalian lakes proclaim thy fame?
9:236 And fair Parthenian woods resound thy name?
9:237 Who seiz'd the golden belt of Thermodon?
9:238 And who the dragon-guarded apples won?
9:239 Could the fierce centaur's strength my force withstand,
9:240 Or the fell boar that spoil'd th' Arcadian land?
9:241 Did not these arms the Hydra's rage subdue,
9:242 Who from his wounds to double fury grew?
9:243 What if the Thracian horses, fat with gore,
9:244 Who human bodies in their mangers tore,
9:245 I saw, and with their barb'rous lord o'erthrew?
9:246 What if these hands Nemaea's lion slew?
9:247 Did not this neck the heav'nly globe sustain?
9:248 The female partner of the Thunderer's reign
9:249 Fatigu'd, at length suspends her harsh commands,
9:250 Yet no fatigue hath slack'd these valiant hands.
9:251 But now new plagues pursue me, neither force,
9:252 Nor arms, nor darts can stop their raging course.
9:253 Devouring flame thro' my rack'd entrails strays,
9:254 And on my lungs and shrivel'd muscles preys.
9:255 Yet still Eurystheus breathes the vital air.
9:256 What mortal now shall seek the Gods with pray'r?

The Transformation of Lychas into a Rock

9:257 The hero said; and with the torture stung,
9:258 Furious o'er Oete's lofty hills he sprung.
9:259 Stuck with the shaft, thus scours the tyger round,
9:260 And seeks the flying author of his wound.
9:261 Now might you see him trembling, now he vents
9:262 His anguish'd soul in groans, and loud laments;
9:263 He strives to tear the clinging vest in vain,
9:264 And with up-rooted forests strows the plain;
9:265 Now kindling into rage, his hands he rears,
9:266 And to his kindred Gods directs his pray'rs.
9:267 When Lychas, lo, he spies; who trembling flew,
9:268 And in a hollow rock conceal'd from view,
9:269 Had shun'd his wrath. Now grief renew'd his pain,
9:270 His madness chaf'd, and thus he raves again.

9:271 Lychas, to thee alone my fate I owe,
9:272 Who bore the gift, the cause of all my woe.
9:273 The youth all pale, with shiv'ring fear was stung,
9:274 And vain excuses falter'd on his tongue.
9:275 Alcides snatch'd him, as with suppliant face
9:276 He strove to clasp his knees, and beg for grace:
9:277 He toss'd him o'er his head with airy course,
9:278 And hurl'd with more than with an engine's force;
9:279 Far o'er th' Eubaean main aloof he flies,
9:280 And hardens by degrees amid the skies.
9:281 So showry drops, when chilly tempests blow,
9:282 Thicken at first, then whiten into snow,
9:283 In balls congeal'd the rolling fleeces bound,
9:284 In solid hail result upon the ground.
9:285 Thus, whirl'd with nervous force thro' distant air,
9:286 The purple tide forsook his veins, with fear;
9:287 All moisture left his limbs. Transform'd to stone,
9:288 In ancient days the craggy flint was known;
9:289 Still in the Eubaean waves his front he rears,
9:290 Still the small rock in human form appears,
9:291 And still the name of hapless Lychas bears.

The Apotheosis of Hercules

9:292 But now the hero of immortal birth
9:293 Fells Oete's forests on the groaning Earth;
9:294 A pile he builds; to Philoctetes' care
9:295 He leaves his deathful instruments of war;
9:296 To him commits those arrows, which again
9:297 Shall see the bulwarks of the Trojan reign.
9:298 The son of Paean lights the lofty pyre,
9:299 High round the structure climbs the greedy fire;
9:300 Plac'd on the top, thy nervous shoulders spread
9:301 With the Nemaean spoils, thy careless head
9:302 Rais'd on a knotty club, with look divine,
9:303 Here thou, dread hero, of celestial line,
9:304 Wert stretch'd at ease; as when a chearful guest,
9:305 Wine crown'd thy bowls, and flow'rs thy temples drest.

9:306 Now on all sides the potent flames aspire,
9:307 And crackle round those limbs that mock the fire
9:308 A sudden terror seiz'd th' immortal host,
9:309 Who thought the world's profess'd defender lost.
9:310 This when the Thund'rer saw, with smiles he cries,
9:311 'Tis from your fears, ye Gods, my pleasures rise;
9:312 Joy swells my breast, that my all-ruling hand
9:313 O'er such a grateful people boasts command,
9:314 That you my suff'ring progeny would aid;
9:315 Tho' to his deeds this just respect be paid,
9:316 Me you've oblig'd. Be all your fears forborn,
9:317 Th' Oetean fires do thou, great hero, scorn.
9:318 Who vanquish'd all things, shall subdue the flame.
9:319 That part alone of gross maternal frame
9:320 Fire shall devour; while what from me he drew
9:321 Shall live immortal, and its force subdue;
9:322 That, when he's dead, I'll raise to realms above;
9:323 May all the Pow'rs the righteous act approve.
9:324 If any God dissent, and judge too great
9:325 The sacred honours of the heav'nly seat,
9:326 Ev'n he shall own his deeds deserve the sky,
9:327 Ev'n he reluctant, shall at length comply.
9:328 Th' assembled Pow'rs assent. No frown 'till now
9:329 Had mark'd with passion vengeful Juno's brow,
9:330 Mean-while whate'er was in the pow'r of flame
9:331 Was all consum'd; his body's nervous frame
9:332 No more was known, of human form bereft,
9:333 Th' eternal part of Jove alone was left.
9:334 As an old serpent casts his scaly vest,
9:335 Wreathes in the sun, in youthful glory drest;
9:336 So when Alcides mortal mold resign'd,
9:337 His better part enlarg'd, and grew refin'd;
9:338 August his visage shone; almighty Jove
9:339 In his swift carr his honour'd offspring drove;
9:340 High o'er the hollow clouds the coursers fly,
9:341 And lodge the hero in the starry sky.

The Transformation of Galanthis

9:342 Atlas perceiv'd the load of Heav'n's new guest.
9:343 Revenge still rancour'd in Eurystheus' breast
9:344 Against Alcides' race. Alcmena goes
9:345 To Iole, to vent maternal woes;
9:346 Here she pours forth her grief, recounts the spoils
9:347 Her son had bravely reap'd in glorious toils.
9:348 This Iole, by Hercules' commands,
9:349 Hyllus had lov'd, and joyn'd in nuptial bands.
9:350 Her swelling womb the teeming birth confess'd,
9:351 To whom Alcmena thus her speech address'd.

9:352 O, may the Gods protect thee, in that hour,
9:353 When, 'midst thy throws, thou call'st th' Ilithyan Pow'r!
9:354 May no delays prolong thy racking pain,
9:355 As when I su'd for Juno's aid in vain.

9:356 When now Alcides' mighty birth drew nigh,
9:357 And the tenth sign roll'd forward on the sky,
9:358 My womb extends with such a mighty load,
9:359 As Jove the parent of the burthen show'd.
9:360 I could no more th' encreasing smart sustain,
9:361 My horror kindles to recount the pain;
9:362 Cold chills my limbs while I the tale pursue,
9:363 And now methinks I feel my pangs anew.
9:364 Seven days and nights amidst incessant throws,
9:365 Fatigu'd with ills I lay, nor knew repose;
9:366 When lifting high my hands, in shrieks I pray'd,
9:367 Implor'd the Gods, and call'd Lucina's aid.
9:368 She came, but prejudic'd, to give my Fate
9:369 A sacrifice to vengeful Juno's hate.
9:370 She hears the groaning anguish of my fits,
9:371 And on the altar at my door she sits.
9:372 O'er her left knee her crossing leg she cast,
9:373 Then knits her fingers close, and wrings them fast:
9:374 This stay'd the birth; in mutt'ring verse she pray'd,
9:375 The mutt'ring verse th' unfinish'd birth delay'd.
9:376 Now with fierce struggles, raging with my pain,
9:377 At Jove's ingratitude I rave in vain.
9:378 How did I wish for death! such groans I sent,
9:379 As might have made the flinty heart relent.

9:380 Now the Cadmeian matrons round me press,
9:381 Offer their vows, and seek to bring redress;
9:382 Among the Theban dames Galanthis stands,
9:383 Strong limb'd, red hair'd, and just to my commands:
9:384 She first perceiv'd that all these racking woes
9:385 From the persisting hate of Juno rose.
9:386 As here and there she pass'd, by chance she sees
9:387 The seated Goddess; on her close-press'd knees
9:388 Her fast-knit hands she leans; with chearful voice
9:389 Galanthis cries, Whoe'er thou art, rejoyce,
9:390 Congratulate the dame, she lies at rest,
9:391 At length the Gods Alcmena's womb have blest.
9:392 Swift from her seat the startled Goddess springs,
9:393 No more conceal'd, her hands abroad she flings;
9:394 The charm unloos'd, the birth my pangs reliev'd;
9:395 Galanthis' laughter vex'd the Pow'r deceiv'd.
9:396 Fame says, the Goddess dragg'd the laughing maid
9:397 Fast by the hair; in vain her force essay'd
9:398 Her grov'ling body from the ground to rear;
9:399 Chang'd to fore-feet her shrinking arms appear:
9:400 Her hairy back her former hue retains,
9:401 The form alone is lost; her strength remains;
9:402 Who, since the lye did from her mouth proceed,
9:403 Shall from her pregnant mouth bring forth her breed;
9:404 Nor shall she quit her long-frequented home,
9:405 But haunt those houses where she lov'd to roam.

The Fable of Dryope

9:406 She said, and for her lost Galanthis sighs;
9:407 When the fair consort of her son replies;
9:408 Since you a servant's ravish'd form bemoan,
9:409 And kindly sigh for sorrows not your own,
9:410 Let me (if tears and grief permit) relate
9:411 A nearer woe, a sister's stranger fate.

9:412 No nymph of all Oechaloa could compare
9:413 For beauteous form with Dryope the fair;
9:414 Her tender mother's only hope and pride
9:415 (My self the offspring of a second bride),
9:416 This nymph, compress'd by him who rules the day,
9:417 Whom Delphi, and the Delian isle obey,
9:418 Andraemon lov'd; and blest in all those charms
9:419 That pleas'd a God, succeeded to her arms.

9:420 A lake there was, with shelving banks around,
9:421 Whose verdant summit fragrant myrtles crown'd.
9:422 Those shades, unknowing of the fates, she sought;
9:423 And to the Naiads flow'ry garlands brought;
9:424 Her smiling babe (a pleasing charge) she prest
9:425 Between her arms, and nourish'd at her breast.
9:426 Not distant far a watry lotos grows;
9:427 The Spring was new, and all the verdant boughs,
9:428 Acorn'd with blossoms, promis'd fruits that vye
9:429 In glowing colours with the Tyrian dye.
9:430 Of these she cropt, to please her infant son,
9:431 And I my self the same rash act had done,
9:432 But, lo! I saw (as near her side I stood)
9:433 The violated blossoms drop with blood;
9:434 Upon the tree I cast a frightful look,
9:435 The trembling tree with sudden horror shook.
9:436 Lotis the nymph (if rural tales be true)
9:437 As from Priapus' lawless lust she flew,
9:438 Forsook her form; and fixing here became
9:439 A flow'ry plant, which still preserves her name.

9:440 This change unknown, astonish'd at the sight,
9:441 My trembling sister strove to urge her flight;
9:442 Yet first the pardon of the Nymphs implor'd,
9:443 And those offended Sylvan pow'rs ador'd:
9:444 But when she backward would have fled, she found
9:445 Her stiff'ning feet were rooted to the ground:
9:446 In vain to free her fasten'd feet she strove,
9:447 And as she struggles only moves above;
9:448 She feels th' incroaching bark around her grow,
9:449 By slow degrees, and cover all below:
9:450 Surpriz'd at this, her trembling hand she heaves
9:451 To rend her hair; her hand is fill'd with leaves;
9:452 Where late was hair, the shooting leaves are seen
9:453 To rise, and shade her with a sudden green.
9:454 The Child Amphisus, to her bosom prest,
9:455 Perceiv'd a colder and a harder breast,
9:456 And found the springs, that n'er 'till then deny'd
9:457 Their milky moisture, on a sudden dry'd.
9:458 I saw, unhappy, what I now relate,
9:459 And stood the helpless witness of thy fate;
9:460 Embrac'd thy boughs, the rising bark delay'd,
9:461 There wish'd to grow, and mingle shade with shade.

9:462 Behold Andraemon, and th' unhappy sire
9:463 Appear, and for their Dryope enquire;
9:464 A springing tree for Dryope they find,
9:465 And print warm kisses on the panting rind;
9:466 Prostrate, with tears their kindred plant bedew,
9:467 And close embrac'd, as to the roots they grew;
9:468 The face was all that now remain'd of thee;
9:469 No more a woman, nor yet quite a tree:
9:470 Thy branches hung with humid pearls appear,
9:471 From ev'ry leaf distills a trickling tear;
9:472 And strait a voice, while yet a voice remains,
9:473 Thus thro' the trembling boughs in sighs complains.

9:474 If to the wretched any faith be giv'n,
9:475 I swear by all th' unpitying Pow'rs of Heav'n,
9:476 No wilful crime this heavy vengeance bred,
9:477 In mutual innocence our lives we led.
9:478 If this be false, let these new greens decay,
9:479 Let sounding axes lop my limbs away,
9:480 And crackling flames on all my honours prey.
9:481 Now from my branching arms this infant bear,
9:482 Let some kind nurse supply a mother's care;
9:483 Yet to his mother let him oft be led,
9:484 Sport in her shades, and in her shades be fed;
9:485 Teach him, when first his infant voice shall frame
9:486 Imperfect words, and lisp his mother's name,
9:487 To hail this tree, and say with weeping eyes,
9:488 Within this plant my hapless parent lies;
9:489 And when in youth he seeks the shady woods,
9:490 Oh, let him fly the chrystal lakes and floods,
9:491 Nor touch the fatal flow'rs; but warn'd by me,
9:492 Believe a Goddess shrin'd in ev'ry tree.
9:493 My sire, my sister, and my spouse farewel!
9:494 If in your breasts or love, or pity, dwell,
9:495 Protect your plant, nor let my branches feel
9:496 The browzing cattle, or the piercing steel.
9:497 Farewel! and since I cannot bend to join
9:498 My lips to yours, advance at least to mine.
9:499 My son, thy mother's parting kiss receive,
9:500 While yet thy mother has a kiss to give.
9:501 I can no more; the creeping rind invades
9:502 My closing lips, and hides my head in shades:
9:503 Remove your hands; the bark shall soon suffice,
9:504 Without their aid, to seal these dying eyes.
9:505 She ceas'd at once to speak, and ceas'd to be;
9:506 And all the nymph was lost within the tree:
9:507 Yet latent life thro' her new branches reign'd,
9:508 And long the plant a human heat retain'd.

Iolaus restor'd to Youth

9:509 While Iole the fatal change declares,
9:510 Alcmena's pitying hand oft wip'd her tears.
9:511 Grief too stream'd down her cheeks; soon sorrow flies,
9:512 And rising joy the trickling moisture dries,
9:513 Lo Iolaus stands before their eyes.
9:514 A youth he stood; and the soft down began
9:515 O'er his smooth chin to spread, and promise man.
9:516 Hebe submitted to her husband's pray'rs,
9:517 Instill'd new vigour, and restor'd his years.

The Prophecy of Themis

9:518 Now from her lips a solemn oath had past,
9:519 That Iolaus this gift alone shou'd taste,
9:520 Had not just Themis thus maturely said
9:521 (Which check'd her vow, and aw'd the blooming maid).

9:522 Thebes is embroil'd in war. Capaneus stands
9:523 Invincible, but by the Thund'rer's hands.
9:524 Ambition shall the guilty brothers fire,
9:525 Both rush to mutual wounds, and both expire.
9:526 The reeling Earth shall ope her gloomy womb,
9:527 Where the yet breathing bard shall find his tomb.
9:528 The son shall bath his hands in parents' blood,
9:529 And in one act be both unjust, and good.
9:530 Of home, and sense depriv'd, where-e'er he flies,
9:531 The Furies, and his mother's ghost he spies.
9:532 His wife the fatal bracelet shall implore,
9:533 And Phegeus stain his sword in kindred gore.
9:534 Callirhoe shall then with suppliant pray'r
9:535 Prevail on Jupiter's relenting ear.
9:536 Jove shall with youth her infant sons inspire,
9:537 And bid their bosoms glow with manly fire.

The Debate of the Gods

9:538 When Themis thus with prescient voice had spoke,
9:539 Among the Gods a various murmur broke;
9:540 Dissention rose in each immortal breast,
9:541 That one should grant, what was deny'd the rest.
9:542 Aurora for her aged spouse complains,
9:543 And Ceres grieves for Jason's freezing veins;
9:544 Vulcan would Erichthonius' years renew,
9:545 Her future race the care of Venus drew,
9:546 She would Anchises' blooming age restore;
9:547 A diff'rent care employ'd each heav'nly Pow'r:
9:548 Thus various int'rests did their jars encrease,
9:549 'Till Jove arose; he spoke, their tumults cease.

9:550 Is any rev'rence to our presence giv'n,
9:551 Then why this discord 'mong the Pow'rs of Heav'n?
9:552 Who can the settled will of Fate subdue?
9:553 'Twas by the Fates that Iolaus knew
9:554 A second youth. The Fates' determin'd doom
9:555 Shall give Callirhoe's race a youthful bloom.
9:556 Arms, nor ambition can this pow'r obtain;
9:557 Quell your desires; ev'n me the Fates restrain.
9:558 Could I their will controul, no rolling years
9:559 Had Aeacus bent down with silver hairs;
9:560 Then Rhadamanthus still had youth possess'd,
9:561 And Minos with eternal bloom been bless'd.
9:562 Jove's words the synod mov'd; the Pow'rs give o'er,
9:563 And urge in vain unjust complaint no more.
9:564 Since Rhadamanthus' veins now slowly flow'd,
9:565 And Aeacus, and Minos bore the load;
9:566 Minos, who in the flow'r of youth, and fame,
9:567 Made mighty nations tremble at his name,
9:568 Infirm with age, the proud Miletus fears,
9:569 Vain of his birth, and in the strength of years,
9:570 And now regarding all his realms as lost,
9:571 He durst not force him from his native coast.
9:572 But you by choice, Miletus, fled his reign,
9:573 And thy swift vessel plow'd th' Aegean main;
9:574 On Asiatick shores a town you frame,
9:575 Which still is honour'd with the founder's name.
9:576 Here you Cyanee knew, the beauteous maid,
9:577 As on her father's winding banks she stray'd:
9:578 Caunus and Byblis hence their lineage trace,
9:579 The double offspring of your warm embrace.

The Passion of of Byblis

9:580 Let the sad fate of wretched Byblis prove
9:581 A dismal warning to unlawful love;
9:582 One birth gave being to the hapless pair,
9:583 But more was Caunus than a sister's care;
9:584 Unknown she lov'd, for yet the gentle fire
9:585 Rose not in flames, nor kindled to desire,
9:586 'Twas thought no sin to wonder at his charms,
9:587 Hang on his neck, and languish in his arms;
9:588 Thus wing'd with joy, fled the soft hours away,
9:589 And all the fatal guilt on harmless Nature lay.

9:590 But love (too soon from piety declin'd)
9:591 Insensibly deprav'd her yielding mind.
9:592 Dress'd she appears, with nicest art adorn'd,
9:593 And ev'ry youth, but her lov'd brother, scorn'd;
9:594 For him alone she labour'd to be fair,
9:595 And curst all charms that might with hers compare.
9:596 'Twas she, and only she, must Caunus please,
9:597 Sick at her heart, yet knew not her disease:
9:598 She call'd him lord, for brother was a name
9:599 Too cold, and dull for her aspiring flame;
9:600 And when he spoke, if sister he reply'd,
9:601 For Byblis change that frozen word, she cry'd.
9:602 Yet waking still she watch'd her strugling breast,
9:603 And love's approaches were in vain address'd,
9:604 'Till gentle sleep an easy conquest made,
9:605 And in her soft embrace the conqueror was laid.
9:606 But oh too soon the pleasing vision fled,
9:607 And left her blushing on the conscious bed:
9:608 Ah me! (she cry'd) how monstrous do I seem?
9:609 Why these wild thoughts? and this incestuous dream?
9:610 Envy herself ('tis true) must own his charms,
9:611 But what is beauty in a sister's arms?
9:612 Oh were I not that despicable she,
9:613 How bless'd, how pleas'd, how happy shou'd I be!
9:614 But unregarded now must bear my pain,
9:615 And but in dreams, my wishes can obtain.

9:616 O sea-born Goddess! with thy wanton boy!
9:617 Was ever such a charming scene of joy?
9:618 Such perfect bliss! such ravishing delight!
9:619 Ne'er hid before in the kind shades of night.
9:620 How pleas'd my heart! in what sweet raptures tost!
9:621 Ev'n life it self in the soft combat lost,
9:622 While breathless he on my heav'd bosom lay,
9:623 And snatch'd the treasures of my soul away.

9:624 If the bare fancy so affects my mind,
9:625 How shou'd I rave if to the substance join'd?
9:626 Oh, gentle Caunus! quit thy hated line,
9:627 Or let thy parents be no longer mine!
9:628 Oh that in common all things were enjoy'd,
9:629 But those alone who have our hopes destroy'd.
9:630 Were I a princess, thou an humble swain,
9:631 The proudest kings shou'd rival thee in vain.
9:632 It cannot be, alas! the dreadful ill
9:633 Is fix'd by Fate, and he's my brother still.
9:634 Hear me, ye Gods! I must have friends in Heav'n,
9:635 For Jove himself was to a sister giv'n:
9:636 But what are their prerogatives above,
9:637 To the short liberties of human love?
9:638 Fantastick thoughts! down, down, forbidden fires,
9:639 Or instant death extinguish my desires.
9:640 Strict virtue, then, with thy malicious leave,
9:641 Without a crime I may a kiss receive:
9:642 But say shou'd I in spight of laws comply,
9:643 Yet cruel Caunus might himself deny,
9:644 No pity take of an afflicted maid
9:645 (For love's sweet game must be by couples play'd).
9:646 Yet why shou'd youth, and charms like mine, despair?
9:647 Such fears ne'er startled the Aeolian pair;
9:648 No ties of blood could their full hopes destroy,
9:649 They broke thro' all, for the prevailing joy;
9:650 And who can tell but Caunus too may be
9:651 Rack'd and tormented in his breast for me?
9:652 Like me, to the extreamest anguish drove,
9:653 Like me, just waking from a dream of love?
9:654 But stay! Oh whither wou'd my fury run!
9:655 What arguments I urge to be undone!
9:656 Away fond Byblis, quench these guilty flames;
9:657 Caunus thy love but as brother claims;
9:658 Yet had he first been touch'd with love of me,
9:659 The charming youth cou'd I despairing see?
9:660 Oppress'd with grief, and dying by disdain?
9:661 Ah no! too sure I shou'd have eas'd his pain!
9:662 Since then, if Caunus ask'd me, it were done;
9:663 Asking my self, what dangers can I run?
9:664 But canst thou ask? and see that right betray'd,
9:665 From Pyrrha down to thy whole sex convey'd?
9:666 That self-denying gift we all enjoy,
9:667 Of wishing to be won, yet seeming to be coy.
9:668 Well then, for once, let a fond mistress woo;
9:669 The force of love no custom can subdue;
9:670 This frantick passion he by words shall know,
9:671 Soft as the melting heart from whence they flow.
9:672 The pencil then in her fair hand she held,
9:673 By fear discourag'd, but by love compell'd
9:674 She writes, then blots, writes on, and blots again,
9:675 Likes it as fit, then razes it as vain:
9:676 Shame, and assurance in her face appear,
9:677 And a faint hope just yielding to despair;
9:678 Sister was wrote, and blotted as a word
9:679 Which she, and Caunus too (she hop'd) abhorr'd;
9:680 But now resolv'd to be no more controul'd
9:681 By scrup'lous virtue, thus her grief she told.

9:682 Thy lover (gentle Caunus) wishes thee
9:683 That health, which thou alone canst give to me.
9:684 O charming youth! the gift I ask bestow,
9:685 Ere thou the name of the fond writer know;
9:686 To thee without a name I would be known,
9:687 Since knowing that, my frailty I must own.
9:688 Yet why shou'd I my wretched name conceal?
9:689 When thousand instances my flames reveal:
9:690 Wan looks, and weeping eyes have spoke my pain,
9:691 And sighs discharg'd from my heav'd heart in vain;
9:692 Had I not wish'd my passion might be seen,
9:693 What cou'd such fondness and embraces mean?
9:694 Such kisses too! (Oh heedless lovely boy)
9:695 Without a crime no sister cou'd enjoy:
9:696 Yet (tho' extreamest rage has rack'd my soul,
9:697 And raging fires in my parch'd bosom roul)
9:698 Be witness, Gods! how piously I strove,
9:699 To rid my thoughts of this enchanting love.
9:700 But who cou'd scape so fierce, and sure a dart,
9:701 Aim'd at a tender, and defenceless heart?
9:702 Alas! what maid cou'd suffer, I have born,
9:703 Ere the dire secret from my breast was torn;
9:704 To thee a helpless vanquish'd wretch I come,
9:705 'Tis you alone can save, or give my doom;
9:706 My life, or death this moment you may chuse.
9:707 Yet think, oh think, no hated stranger sues,
9:708 No foe; but one, alas! too near ally'd,
9:709 And wishing still much nearer to be ty'd.
9:710 The forms of decency let age debate,
9:711 And virtue's rules by their cold morals state;
9:712 Their ebbing joys give leisure to enquire,
9:713 And blame those noble flights our youth inspire:
9:714 Where Nature kindly summons let us go,
9:715 Our sprightly years no bounds in love shou'd know,
9:716 Shou'd feel no check of guilt, and fear no ill;
9:717 Lovers, and Gods act all things at their will:
9:718 We gain one blessing from our hated kin,
9:719 Since our paternal freedom hides the sin;
9:720 Uncensur'd in each other's arms we lye,
9:721 Think then how easie to compleat our joy.
9:722 Oh, pardon and oblige a blushing maid,
9:723 Whose rage the pride of her vain sex betray'd;
9:724 Nor let my tomb thus mournfully complain,
9:725 Here Byblis lies, by her lov'd Caunus slain.

9:726 Forc'd here to end, she with a falling tear
9:727 Temper'd the pliant wax, which did the signet bear:
9:728 The curious cypher was impress'd by art,
9:729 But love had stamp'd one deeper in her heart;
9:730 Her page, a youth of confidence, and skill,
9:731 (Secret as night) stood waiting on her will;
9:732 Sighing (she cry'd): Bear this, thou faithful boy,
9:733 To my sweet partner in eternal joy:
9:734 Here a long pause her secret guilt confess'd,
9:735 And when at length she would have spoke the rest,
9:736 Half the dear name lay bury'd in her breast.

9:737 Thus as he listned to her vain command,
9:738 Down fell the letter from her trembling hand.
9:739 The omen shock'd her soul. Yet go, she cry'd;
9:740 Can a request from Byblis be deny'd?

9:741 To the Maeandrian youth this message's born,
9:742 The half-read lines by his fierce rage were torn;
9:743 Hence, hence, he cry'd, thou pandar to her lust,
9:744 Bear hence the triumph of thy impious trust:
9:745 Thy instant death will but divulge her shame,
9:746 Or thy life's blood shou'd quench the guilty flame.
9:747 Frighted, from threatning Caunus he withdrew,
9:748 And with the dreadful news to his lost mistress flew.
9:749 The sad repulse so struck the wounded fair,
9:750 Her sense was bury'd in her wild despair;
9:751 Pale was her visage, as the ghastly dead;
9:752 And her scar'd soul from the sweet mansion fled;
9:753 Yet with her life renew'd, her love returns,
9:754 And faintly thus her cruel fate she mourns:
9:755 'Tis just, ye Gods! was my false reason blind?
9:756 To write a secret of this tender kind?
9:757 With female craft I shou'd at first have strove,
9:758 By dubious hints to sound his distant love;
9:759 And try'd those useful, tho' dissembled, arts,
9:760 Which women practise on disdainful hearts:
9:761 I shou'd have watch'd whence the black storm might rise;
9:762 Ere I had trusted the unfaithful skies.
9:763 Now on the rouling billows I am tost,
9:764 And with extended sails, on the blind shelves am lost.
9:765 Did not indulgent Heav'n my doom foretell,
9:766 When from my hand the fatal letter fell?
9:767 What madness seiz'd my soul? and urg'd me on
9:768 To take the only course to be undone?
9:769 I cou'd my self have told the moving tale
9:770 With such alluring grace as must prevail;
9:771 Then had his eyes beheld my blushing fears,
9:772 My rising sighs, and my descending tears;
9:773 Round his dear neck these arms I then had spread,
9:774 And, if rejected, at his feet been dead:
9:775 If singly these had not his thoughts inclin'd,
9:776 Yet all united would have shock'd his mind.
9:777 Perhaps, my careless page might be in fault,
9:778 And in a luckless hour the fatal message brought;
9:779 Business, and worldly thoughts might fill his breast,
9:780 Sometimes ev'n love itself may be an irksome guest:
9:781 He cou'd not else have treated me with scorn,
9:782 For Caunus was not of a tygress born;
9:783 Nor steel, nor adamant has fenc'd his heart;
9:784 Like mine, 'tis naked to the burning dart.

9:785 Away false fears! he must, he shall be mine;
9:786 In death alone I will my claim resign;
9:787 'Tis vain to wish my written crime unknown,
9:788 And for my guilt much vainer to atone.
9:789 Repuls'd and baffled, fiercer still she burns,
9:790 And Caunus with disdain her impious love returns.
9:791 He saw no end of her injurious flame,
9:792 And fled his country to avoid the shame.
9:793 Forsaken Byblis, who had hopes no more;
9:794 Burst out in rage, and her loose robes she tore;
9:795 With her fair hands she smote her tender breast,
9:796 And to the wond'ring world her love confess'd;
9:797 O'er hills and dales, o'er rocks and streams she flew,
9:798 But still in vain did her wild lust pursue:
9:799 Wearied at length, on the cold earth she fell,
9:800 And now in tears alone could her sad story tell.
9:801 Relenting Gods in pity fix'd her there,
9:802 And to a fountain turn'd the weeping fair.

The Fable of Iphis and Ianthe

9:803 The fame of this, perhaps, thro' Crete had flown:
9:804 But Crete had newer wonders of her own,
9:805 In Iphis chang'd; for, near the Gnossian bounds
9:806 (As loud report the miracle resounds),
9:807 At Phaestus dwelt a man of honest blood,
9:808 But meanly born, and not so rich as good;
9:809 Esteem'd, and lov'd by all the neighbourhood;
9:810 Who to his wife, before the time assign'd
9:811 For child-birth came, thus bluntly spoke his mind.
9:812 If Heav'n, said Lygdus, will vouchsafe to hear,
9:813 I have but two petitions to prefer;
9:814 Short pains for thee, for me a son and heir.
9:815 Girls cost as many throes in bringing forth;
9:816 Beside, when born, the titts are little worth;
9:817 Weak puling things, unable to sustain
9:818 Their share of labour, and their bread to gain.
9:819 If, therefore, thou a creature shalt produce,
9:820 Of so great charges, and so little use
9:821 (Bear witness, Heav'n, with what reluctancy),
9:822 Her hapless innocence I doom to die.
9:823 He said, and common tears the common grief display,
9:824 Of him who bad, and her who must obey.

9:825 Yet Telethusa still persists, to find
9:826 Fit arguments to move a father's mind;
9:827 T' extend his wishes to a larger scope,
9:828 And in one vessel not confine his hope.
9:829 Lygdus continues hard: her time drew near,
9:830 And she her heavy load could scarcely bear;
9:831 When slumbring, in the latter shades of night,
9:832 Before th' approaches of returning light,
9:833 She saw, or thought she saw, before her bed,
9:834 A glorious train, and Isis at their head:
9:835 Her moony horns were on her forehead plac'd,
9:836 And yellow shelves her shining temples grac'd:
9:837 A mitre, for a crown, she wore on high;
9:838 The dog, and dappl'd bull were waiting by;
9:839 Osyris, sought along the banks of Nile;
9:840 The silent God: the sacred crocodile;
9:841 And, last, a long procession moving on,
9:842 With timbrels, that assist the lab'ring moon.
9:843 Her slumbers seem'd dispell'd, and, broad awake,
9:844 She heard a voice, that thus distinctly spake.
9:845 My votary, thy babe from death defend,
9:846 Nor fear to save whate'er the Gods will send.
9:847 Delude with art thy husband's dire decree:
9:848 When danger calls, repose thy trust on me:
9:849 And know thou hast not serv'd a thankless deity.
9:850 This promise made, with night the Goddess fled;
9:851 With joy the woman wakes, and leaves her bed;
9:852 Devoutly lifts her spotless hands on high,
9:853 And prays the Pow'rs their gift to ratifie.

9:854 Now grinding pains proceed to bearing throes,
9:855 'Till its own weight the burden did disclose.
9:856 'Twas of the beauteous kind, and brought to light
9:857 With secrecy, to shun the father's sight.
9:858 Th' indulgent mother did her care employ,
9:859 And past it on her husband for a boy.
9:860 The nurse was conscious of the fact alone;
9:861 The father paid his vows as for a son;
9:862 And call'd him Iphis, by a common name,
9:863 Which either sex with equal right may claim.
9:864 Iphis his grandsire was; the wife was pleas'd,
9:865 Of half the fraud by Fortune's favour eas'd:
9:866 The doubtful name was us'd without deceit,
9:867 And truth was cover'd with a pious cheat.
9:868 The habit show'd a boy, the beauteous face
9:869 With manly fierceness mingled female grace.

9:870 Now thirteen years of age were swiftly run,
9:871 When the fond father thought the time drew on
9:872 Of settling in the world his only son.
9:873 Ianthe was his choice; so wondrous fair,
9:874 Her form alone with Iphis cou'd compare;
9:875 A neighbour's daughter of his own degree,
9:876 And not more bless'd with Fortune's goods than he.

9:877 They soon espous'd; for they with ease were join'd,
9:878 Who were before contracted in the mind.
9:879 Their age the same, their inclinations too;
9:880 And bred together, in one school they grew.
9:881 Thus, fatally dispos'd to mutual fires,
9:882 They felt, before they knew, the same desires.
9:883 Equal their flame, unequal was their care;
9:884 One lov'd with hope, one languish'd in despair.
9:885 The maid accus'd the lingring day alone:
9:886 For whom she thought a man, she thought her own.
9:887 But Iphis bends beneath a greater grief;
9:888 As fiercely burns, but hopes for no relief.
9:889 Ev'n her despair adds fuel to her fire;
9:890 A maid with madness does a maid desire.
9:891 And, scarce refraining tears, Alas, said she,
9:892 What issue of my love remains for me!
9:893 How wild a passion works within my breast,
9:894 With what prodigious flames am I possest!
9:895 Could I the care of Providence deserve,
9:896 Heav'n must destroy me, if it would preserve.
9:897 And that's my fate, or sure it would have sent
9:898 Some usual evil for my punishment:
9:899 Not this unkindly curse; to rage, and burn,
9:900 Where Nature shews no prospect of return.
9:901 Nor cows for cows consume with fruitless fire;
9:902 Nor mares, when hot, their fellow-mares desire:
9:903 The father of the fold supplies his ewes;
9:904 The stag through secret woods his hind pursues;
9:905 And birds for mates the males of their own species chuse.
9:906 Her females Nature guards from female flame,
9:907 And joins two sexes to preserve the game:
9:908 Wou'd I were nothing, or not what I am!
9:909 Crete, fam'd for monsters, wanted of her store,
9:910 'Till my new love produc'd one monster more.
9:911 The daughter of the sun a bull desir'd,
9:912 And yet ev'n then a male a female fir'd:
9:913 Her passion was extravagantly new,
9:914 But mine is much the madder of the two.
9:915 To things impossible she was not bent,
9:916 But found the means to compass her intent.
9:917 To cheat his eyes she took a different shape;
9:918 Yet still she gain'd a lover, and a leap.
9:919 Shou'd all the wit of all the world conspire,
9:920 Shou'd Daedalus assist my wild desire,
9:921 What art can make me able to enjoy,
9:922 Or what can change Ianthe to a boy?
9:923 Extinguish then thy passion, hopeless maid,
9:924 And recollect thy reason for thy aid.
9:925 Know what thou art, and love as maidens ought,
9:926 And drive these golden wishes from thy thought.
9:927 Thou canst not hope thy fond desires to gain;
9:928 Where hope is wanting, wishes are in vain.

9:929 And yet no guards against our joys conspire;
9:930 No jealous husband hinders our desire;
9:931 My parents are propitious to my wish,
9:932 And she herself consenting to the bliss.
9:933 All things concur to prosper our design;
9:934 All things to prosper any love but mine.
9:935 And yet I never can enjoy the fair;
9:936 'Tis past the pow'r of Heav'n to grant my pray'r.
9:937 Heav'n has been kind, as far as Heav'n can be;
9:938 Our parents with our own desires agree;
9:939 But Nature, stronger than the Gods above,
9:940 Refuses her assistance to my love;
9:941 She sets the bar that causes all my pain;
9:942 One gift refus'd, makes all their bounty vain.
9:943 And now the happy day is just at hand,
9:944 To bind our hearts in Hymen's holy band:
9:945 Our hearts, but not our bodies: thus accurs'd,
9:946 In midst of water I complain of thirst.
9:947 Why com'st thou, Juno, to these barren rites,
9:948 To bless a bed defrauded of delights?
9:949 But why shou'd Hymen lift his torch on high,
9:950 To see two brides in cold embraces lye?

9:951 Thus love-sick Iphis her vain passion mourns;
9:952 With equal ardour fair Ianthe burns,
9:953 Invoking Hymen's name, and Juno's pow'r,
9:954 To speed the work, and haste the happy hour.

9:955 She hopes, while Telethusa fears the day,
9:956 And strives to interpose some new delay:
9:957 Now feigns a sickness, now is in a fright
9:958 For this bad omen, or that boding sight.
9:959 But having done whate'er she could devise,
9:960 And empty'd all her magazine of lies,
9:961 The time approach'd; the next ensuing day
9:962 The fatal secret must to light betray.
9:963 Then Telethusa had recourse to pray'r,
9:964 She, and her daughter with dishevel'd hair;
9:965 Trembling with fear, great Isis they ador'd,
9:966 Embrac'd her altar, and her aid implor'd.

9:967 Fair queen, who dost on fruitful Egypt smile,
9:968 Who sway'st the sceptre of the Pharian isle,
9:969 And sev'n-fold falls of disemboguing Nile,
9:970 Relieve, in this our last distress, she said,
9:971 A suppliant mother, and a mournful maid.
9:972 Thou, Goddess, thou wert present to my sight;
9:973 Reveal'd I saw thee by thy own fair light:
9:974 I saw thee in my dream, as now I see,
9:975 With all thy marks of awful majesty:
9:976 The glorious train that compass'd thee around;
9:977 And heard the hollow timbrels holy sound.
9:978 Thy words I noted, which I still retain;
9:979 Let not thy sacred oracles be vain.
9:980 That Iphis lives, that I myself am free
9:981 From shame, and punishment, I owe to thee.
9:982 On thy protection all our hopes depend.
9:983 Thy counsel sav'd us, let thy pow'r defend.

9:984 Her tears pursu'd her words; and while she spoke,
9:985 The Goddess nodded, and her altar shook:
9:986 The temple doors, as with a blast of wind,
9:987 Were heard to clap; the lunar horns that bind
9:988 The brows of Isis cast a blaze around;
9:989 The trembling timbrel made a murm'ring sound.

9:990 Some hopes these happy omens did impart;
9:991 Forth went the mother with a beating heart:
9:992 Not much in fear, nor fully satisfy'd;
9:993 But Iphis follow'd with a larger stride:
9:994 The whiteness of her skin forsook her face;
9:995 Her looks embolden'd with an awful grace;
9:996 Her features, and her strength together grew,
9:997 And her long hair to curling locks withdrew.
9:998 Her sparkling eyes with manly vigour shone,
9:999 Big was her voice, audacious was her tone.
9:1000 The latent parts, at length reveal'd, began
9:1001 To shoot, and spread, and burnish into man.
9:1002 The maid becomes a youth; no more delay
9:1003 Your vows, but look, and confidently pay.
9:1004 Their gifts the parents to the temple bear:
9:1005 The votive tables this inscription wear;
9:1006 Iphis the man, has to the Goddess paid
9:1007 The vows, that Iphis offer'd when a maid.

9:1008 Now when the star of day had shewn his face,
9:1009 Venus and Juno with their presence grace
9:1010 The nuptial rites, and Hymen from above
9:1011 Descending to compleat their happy love;
9:1012 The Gods of marriage lend their mutual aid;
9:1013 And the warm youth enjoys the lovely maid.


The Story of Orpheus and Eurydice

10:1 Thence, in his saffron robe, for distant Thrace,
10:2 Hymen departs, thro' air's unmeasur'd space;
10:3 By Orpheus call'd, the nuptial Pow'r attends,
10:4 But with ill-omen'd augury descends;
10:5 Nor chearful look'd the God, nor prosp'rous spoke,
10:6 Nor blaz'd his torch, but wept in hissing smoke.
10:7 In vain they whirl it round, in vain they shake,
10:8 No rapid motion can its flames awake.
10:9 With dread these inauspicious signs were view'd,
10:10 And soon a more disastrous end ensu'd;
10:11 For as the bride, amid the Naiad train,
10:12 Ran joyful, sporting o'er the flow'ry plain,
10:13 A venom'd viper bit her as she pass'd;
10:14 Instant she fell, and sudden breath'd her last.

10:15 When long his loss the Thracian had deplor'd,
10:16 Not by superior Pow'rs to be restor'd;
10:17 Inflam'd by love, and urg'd by deep despair,
10:18 He leaves the realms of light, and upper air;
10:19 Daring to tread the dark Tenarian road,
10:20 And tempt the shades in their obscure abode;
10:21 Thro' gliding spectres of th' interr'd to go,
10:22 And phantom people of the world below:
10:23 Persephone he seeks, and him who reigns
10:24 O'er ghosts, and Hell's uncomfortable plains.
10:25 Arriv'd, he, tuning to his voice his strings,
10:26 Thus to the king and queen of shadows sings.

10:27 Ye Pow'rs, who under Earth your realms extend,
10:28 To whom all mortals must one day descend;
10:29 If here 'tis granted sacred truth to tell:
10:30 I come not curious to explore your Hell;
10:31 Nor come to boast (by vain ambition fir'd)
10:32 How Cerberus at my approach retir'd.
10:33 My wife alone I seek; for her lov'd sake
10:34 These terrors I support, this journey take.
10:35 She, luckless wandring, or by fate mis-led,
10:36 Chanc'd on a lurking viper's crest to tread;
10:37 The vengeful beast, enflam'd with fury, starts,
10:38 And thro' her heel his deathful venom darts.
10:39 Thus was she snatch'd untimely to her tomb;
10:40 Her growing years cut short, and springing bloom.
10:41 Long I my loss endeavour'd to sustain,
10:42 And strongly strove, but strove, alas, in vain:
10:43 At length I yielded, won by mighty love;
10:44 Well known is that omnipotence above!
10:45 But here, I doubt, his unfelt influence fails;
10:46 And yet a hope within my heart prevails.
10:47 That here, ev'n here, he has been known of old;
10:48 At least if truth be by tradition told;
10:49 If fame of former rapes belief may find,
10:50 You both by love, and love alone, were join'd.
10:51 Now, by the horrors which these realms surround;
10:52 By the vast chaos of these depths profound;
10:53 By the sad silence which eternal reigns
10:54 O'er all the waste of these wide-stretching plains;
10:55 Let me again Eurydice receive,
10:56 Let Fate her quick-spun thread of life re-weave.
10:57 All our possessions are but loans from you,
10:58 And soon, or late, you must be paid your due;
10:59 Hither we haste to human-kind's last seat,
10:60 Your endless empire, and our sure retreat.
10:61 She too, when ripen'd years she shall attain,
10:62 Must, of avoidless right, be yours again:
10:63 I but the transient use of that require,
10:64 Which soon, too soon, I must resign entire.
10:65 But if the destinies refuse my vow,
10:66 And no remission of her doom allow;
10:67 Know, I'm determin'd to return no more;
10:68 So both retain, or both to life restore.

10:69 Thus, while the bard melodiously complains,
10:70 And to his lyre accords his vocal strains,
10:71 The very bloodless shades attention keep,
10:72 And silent, seem compassionate to weep;
10:73 Ev'n Tantalus his flood unthirsty views,
10:74 Nor flies the stream, nor he the stream pursues;
10:75 Ixion's wond'ring wheel its whirl suspends,
10:76 And the voracious vulture, charm'd, attends;
10:77 No more the Belides their toil bemoan,
10:78 And Sisiphus reclin'd, sits list'ning on his stone.

10:79 Then first ('tis said) by sacred verse subdu'd,
10:80 The Furies felt their cheeks with tears bedew'd:
10:81 Nor could the rigid king, or queen of Hell,
10:82 Th' impulse of pity in their hearts repell.

10:83 Now, from a troop of shades that last arriv'd,
10:84 Eurydice was call'd, and stood reviv'd:
10:85 Slow she advanc'd, and halting seem to feel
10:86 The fatal wound, yet painful in her heel.
10:87 Thus he obtains the suit so much desir'd,
10:88 On strict observance of the terms requir'd:
10:89 For if, before he reach the realms of air,
10:90 He backward cast his eyes to view the fair,
10:91 The forfeit grant, that instant, void is made,
10:92 And she for ever left a lifeless shade.

10:93 Now thro' the noiseless throng their way they bend,
10:94 And both with pain the rugged road ascend;
10:95 Dark was the path, and difficult, and steep,
10:96 And thick with vapours from the smoaky deep.
10:97 They well-nigh now had pass'd the bounds of night,
10:98 And just approach'd the margin of the light,
10:99 When he, mistrusting lest her steps might stray,
10:100 And gladsome of the glympse of dawning day,
10:101 His longing eyes, impatient, backward cast
10:102 To catch a lover's look, but look'd his last;
10:103 For, instant dying, she again descends,
10:104 While he to empty air his arms extends.
10:105 Again she dy'd, nor yet her lord reprov'd;
10:106 What could she say, but that too well he lov'd?
10:107 One last farewell she spoke, which scarce he heard;
10:108 So soon she drop'd, so sudden disappear'd.

10:109 All stunn'd he stood, when thus his wife he view'd
10:110 By second Fate, and double death subdu'd:
10:111 Not more amazement by that wretch was shown,
10:112 Whom Cerberus beholding, turn'd to stone;
10:113 Nor Olenus cou'd more astonish'd look,
10:114 When on himself Lethaea's fault he took,
10:115 His beauteous wife, who too secure had dar'd
10:116 Her face to vye with Goddesses compar'd:
10:117 Once join'd by love, they stand united still,
10:118 Turn'd to contiguous rocks on Ida's hill.

10:119 Now to repass the Styx in vain he tries,
10:120 Charon averse, his pressing suit denies.
10:121 Sev'n days entire, along th' infernal shores,
10:122 Disconsolate, the bard Eurydice deplores;
10:123 Defil'd with filth his robe, with tears his cheeks,
10:124 No sustenance but grief, and cares, he seeks:
10:125 Of rigid Fate incessant he complains,
10:126 And Hell's inexorable Gods arraigns.
10:127 This ended, to high Rhodope he hastes,
10:128 And Haemus' mountain, bleak with northern blasts.

10:129 And now his yearly race the circling sun
10:130 Had thrice compleat thro' wat'ry Pisces run,
10:131 Since Orpheus fled the face of womankind,
10:132 And all soft union with the sex declin'd.
10:133 Whether his ill success this change had bred,
10:134 Or binding vows made to his former bed;
10:135 Whate'er the cause, in vain the nymphs contest,
10:136 With rival eyes to warm his frozen breast:
10:137 For ev'ry nymph with love his lays inspir'd,
10:138 But ev'ry nymph repuls'd, with grief retir'd.

10:139 A hill there was, and on that hill a mead,
10:140 With verdure thick, but destitute of shade.
10:141 Where, now, the Muse's son no sooner sings,
10:142 No sooner strikes his sweet resounding strings.
10:143 But distant groves the flying sounds receive,
10:144 And list'ning trees their rooted stations leave;
10:145 Themselves transplanting, all around they grow,
10:146 And various shades their various kinds bestow.
10:147 Here, tall Chaonian oaks their branches spread,
10:148 While weeping poplars there erect their head.
10:149 The foodful Esculus here shoots his leaves,
10:150 That turf soft lime-tree, this, fat beach receives;
10:151 Here, brittle hazels, lawrels here advance,
10:152 And there tough ash to form the heroe's lance;
10:153 Here silver firs with knotless trunks ascend,
10:154 There, scarlet oaks beneath their acorns bend.
10:155 That spot admits the hospitable plane,
10:156 On this, the maple grows with clouded grain;
10:157 Here, watry willows are with Lotus seen;
10:158 There, tamarisk, and box for ever green.
10:159 With double hue here mirtles grace the ground,
10:160 And laurestines, with purple berries crown'd.
10:161 With pliant feet, now, ivies this way wind,
10:162 Vines yonder rise, and elms with vines entwin'd.
10:163 Wild Ornus now, the pitch-tree next takes root,
10:164 And Arbutus adorn'd with blushing fruit.
10:165 Then easy-bending palms, the victor's prize,
10:166 And pines erect with bristly tops arise.
10:167 For Rhea grateful still the pine remains,
10:168 For Atys still some favour she retains;
10:169 He once in human shape her breast had warm'd,
10:170 And now is cherish'd, to a tree transform'd.

The Fable of Cyparissus

10:171 Amid the throng of this promiscuous wood,
10:172 With pointed top, the taper cypress stood;
10:173 A tree, which once a youth, and heav'nly fair,
10:174 Was of that deity the darling care,
10:175 Whose hand adapts, with equal skill, the strings
10:176 To bows with which he kills, and harps to which he sings.

10:177 For heretofore, a mighty stag was bred,
10:178 Which on the fertile fields of Caea fed;
10:179 In shape and size he all his kind excell'd,
10:180 And to Carthaean nymphs was sacred held.
10:181 His beamy head, with branches high display'd,
10:182 Afforded to itself an ample shade;
10:183 His horns were gilt, and his smooth neck was grac'd
10:184 With silver collars thick with gems enchas'd:
10:185 A silver boss upon his forehead hung,
10:186 And brazen pendants in his ear-rings rung.
10:187 Frequenting houses, he familiar grew,
10:188 And learnt by custom, Nature to subdue;
10:189 'Till by degrees, of fear, and wildness, broke,
10:190 Ev'n stranger hands his proffer'd neck might stroak.

10:191 Much was the beast by Caea's youth caress'd,
10:192 But thou, sweet Cyparissus, lov'dst him best:
10:193 By thee, to pastures fresh, he oft was led,
10:194 By thee oft water'd at the fountain's head:
10:195 His horns with garlands, now, by thee were ty'd,
10:196 And, now, thou on his back wou'dst wanton ride;
10:197 Now here, now there wou'dst bound along the plains,
10:198 Ruling his tender mouth with purple reins.

10:199 'Twas when the summer sun, at noon of day,
10:200 Thro' glowing Cancer shot his burning ray,
10:201 'Twas then, the fav'rite stag, in cool retreat,
10:202 Had sought a shelter from the scorching heat;
10:203 Along the grass his weary limbs he laid,
10:204 Inhaling freshness from the breezy shade:
10:205 When Cyparissus with his pointed dart,
10:206 Unknowing, pierc'd him to the panting heart.
10:207 But when the youth, surpriz'd, his error found,
10:208 And saw him dying of the cruel wound,
10:209 Himself he would have slain thro' desp'rate grief:
10:210 What said not Phoebus, that might yield relief!
10:211 To cease his mourning, he the boy desir'd,
10:212 Or mourn no more than such a loss requir'd.
10:213 But he, incessant griev'd: at length address'd
10:214 To the superior Pow'rs a last request;
10:215 Praying, in expiation of his crime,
10:216 Thenceforth to mourn to all succeeding time.

10:217 And now, of blood exhausted he appears,
10:218 Drain'd by a torrent of continual tears;
10:219 The fleshy colour in his body fades,
10:220 And a green tincture all his limbs invades;
10:221 From his fair head, where curling locks late hung,
10:222 A horrid bush with bristled branches sprung,
10:223 Which stiffning by degrees, its stem extends,
10:224 'Till to the starry skies the spire ascends.

10:225 Apollo sad look'd on, and sighing, cry'd,
10:226 Then, be for ever, what thy pray'r imply'd:
10:227 Bemoan'd by me, in others grief excite;
10:228 And still preside at ev'ry fun'ral rite.

10:229 Thus the sweet artist in a wondrous shade
10:230 Of verdant trees, which harmony had made,
10:231 Encircled sate, with his own triumphs crown'd,
10:232 Of listning birds, and savages around.
10:233 Again the trembling strings he dext'rous tries,
10:234 Again from discord makes soft musick rise.
10:235 Then tunes his voice: O Muse, from whom I sprung,
10:236 Jove be my theme, and thou inspire my song.
10:237 To Jove my grateful voice I oft have rais'd,
10:238 Oft his almighty pow'r with pleasure prais'd.
10:239 I sung the giants in a solemn strain,
10:240 Blasted, and thunder-struck on Phlegra's plain.
10:241 Now be my lyre in softer accents mov'd,
10:242 To sing of blooming boys by Gods belov'd;
10:243 And to relate what virgins, void of shame,
10:244 Have suffer'd vengeance for a lawless flame.

10:245 The King of Gods once felt the burning joy,
10:246 And sigh'd for lovely Ganimede of Troy:
10:247 Long was he puzzled to assume a shape
10:248 Most fit, and expeditious for the rape;
10:249 A bird's was proper, yet he scorns to wear
10:250 Any but that which might his thunder bear.
10:251 Down with his masquerading wings he flies,
10:252 And bears the little Trojan to the skies;
10:253 Where now, in robes of heav'nly purple drest,
10:254 He serves the nectar at th' Almighty's feast,
10:255 To slighted Juno an unwelcome guest.

Hyacinthus transform'd into a Flower

10:256 Phoebus for thee too, Hyacinth, design'd
10:257 A place among the Gods, had Fate been kind:
10:258 Yet this he gave; as oft as wintry rains
10:259 Are past, and vernal breezes sooth the plains,
10:260 From the green turf a purple flow'r you rise,
10:261 And with your fragrant breath perfume the skies.

10:262 You when alive were Phoebus' darling boy;
10:263 In you he plac'd his Heav'n, and fix'd his joy:
10:264 Their God the Delphic priests consult in vain;
10:265 Eurotas now he loves, and Sparta's plain:
10:266 His hands the use of bow and harp forget,
10:267 And hold the dogs, or bear the corded net;
10:268 O'er hanging cliffs swift he pursues the game;
10:269 Each hour his pleasure, each augments his flame.

10:270 The mid-day sun now shone with equal light
10:271 Between the past, and the succeeding night;
10:272 They strip, then, smooth'd with suppling oyl, essay
10:273 To pitch the rounded quoit, their wonted play:
10:274 A well-pois'd disk first hasty Phoebus threw,
10:275 It cleft the air, and whistled as it flew;
10:276 It reach'd the mark, a most surprizing length;
10:277 Which spoke an equal share of art, and strength.
10:278 Scarce was it fall'n, when with too eager hand
10:279 Young Hyacinth ran to snatch it from the sand;
10:280 But the curst orb, which met a stony soil,
10:281 Flew in his face with violent recoil.
10:282 Both faint, both pale, and breathless now appear,
10:283 The boy with pain, the am'rous God with fear.
10:284 He ran, and rais'd him bleeding from the ground,
10:285 Chafes his cold limbs, and wipes the fatal wound:
10:286 Then herbs of noblest juice in vain applies;
10:287 The wound is mortal, and his skill defies.

10:288 As in a water'd garden's blooming walk,
10:289 When some rude hand has bruis'd its tender stalk,
10:290 A fading lilly droops its languid head,
10:291 And bends to earth, its life, and beauty fled:
10:292 So Hyacinth, with head reclin'd, decays,
10:293 And, sickning, now no more his charms displays.

10:294 O thou art gone, my boy, Apollo cry'd,
10:295 Defrauded of thy youth in all its pride!
10:296 Thou, once my joy, art all my sorrow now;
10:297 And to my guilty hand my grief I owe.
10:298 Yet from my self I might the fault remove,
10:299 Unless to sport, and play, a fault should prove,
10:300 Unless it too were call'd a fault to love.
10:301 Oh cou'd I for thee, or but with thee, dye!
10:302 But cruel Fates to me that pow'r deny.
10:303 Yet on my tongue thou shalt for ever dwell;
10:304 Thy name my lyre shall sound, my verse shall tell;
10:305 And to a flow'r transform'd, unheard-of yet,
10:306 Stamp'd on thy leaves my cries thou shalt repeat.
10:307 The time shall come, prophetick I foreknow,
10:308 When, joyn'd to thee, a mighty chief shall grow,
10:309 And with my plaints his name thy leaf shall show.

10:310 While Phoebus thus the laws of Fate reveal'd,
10:311 Behold, the blood which stain'd the verdant field,
10:312 Is blood no longer; but a flow'r full blown,
10:313 Far brighter than the Tyrian scarlet shone.
10:314 A lilly's form it took; its purple hue
10:315 Was all that made a diff'rence to the view,
10:316 Nor stop'd he here; the God upon its leaves
10:317 The sad expression of his sorrow weaves;
10:318 And to this hour the mournful purple wears
10:319 Ai, Ai, inscrib'd in funeral characters.
10:320 Nor are the Spartans, who so much are fam'd
10:321 For virtue, of their Hyacinth asham'd;
10:322 But still with pompous woe, and solemn state,
10:323 The Hyacinthian feasts they yearly celebrate

The Transformations of the Cerastae and Propoetides

10:324 Enquire of Amathus, whose wealthy ground
10:325 With veins of every metal does abound,
10:326 If she to her Propoetides wou'd show,
10:327 The honour Sparta does to him allow?
10:328 Nor more, she'd say, such wretches wou'd we grace,
10:329 Than those whose crooked horns deform'd their face,
10:330 From thence Cerastae call'd, an impious race:
10:331 Before whose gates a rev'rend altar stood,
10:332 To Jove inscrib'd, the hospitable God:
10:333 This had some stranger seen with gore besmear'd,
10:334 The blood of lambs, and bulls it had appear'd:
10:335 Their slaughter'd guests it was; nor flock nor herd.

10:336 Venus these barb'rous sacrifices view'd
10:337 With just abhorrence, and with wrath pursu'd:
10:338 At first, to punish such nefarious crimes,
10:339 Their towns she meant to leave, her once-lov'd climes:
10:340 But why, said she, for their offence shou'd I
10:341 My dear delightful plains, and cities fly?
10:342 No, let the impious people, who have sinn'd,
10:343 A punishment in death, or exile, find:
10:344 If death, or exile too severe be thought,
10:345 Let them in some vile shape bemoan their fault.
10:346 While next her mind a proper form employs,
10:347 Admonish'd by their horns, she fix'd her choice.
10:348 Their former crest remains upon their heads,
10:349 And their strong limbs an ox's shape invades.

10:350 The blasphemous Propoetides deny'd
10:351 Worship of Venus, and her pow'r defy'd:
10:352 But soon that pow'r they felt, the first that sold
10:353 Their lewd embraces to the world for gold.
10:354 Unknowing how to blush, and shameless grown,
10:355 A small transition changes them to stone.

The Story of Pygmalion and the Statue

10:356 Pygmalion loathing their lascivious life,
10:357 Abhorr'd all womankind, but most a wife:
10:358 So single chose to live, and shunn'd to wed,
10:359 Well pleas'd to want a consort of his bed.
10:360 Yet fearing idleness, the nurse of ill,
10:361 In sculpture exercis'd his happy skill;
10:362 And carv'd in iv'ry such a maid, so fair,
10:363 As Nature could not with his art compare,
10:364 Were she to work; but in her own defence
10:365 Must take her pattern here, and copy hence.
10:366 Pleas'd with his idol, he commends, admires,
10:367 Adores; and last, the thing ador'd, desires.
10:368 A very virgin in her face was seen,
10:369 And had she mov'd, a living maid had been:
10:370 One wou'd have thought she cou'd have stirr'd, but strove
10:371 With modesty, and was asham'd to move.
10:372 Art hid with art, so well perform'd the cheat,
10:373 It caught the carver with his own deceit:
10:374 He knows 'tis madness, yet he must adore,
10:375 And still the more he knows it, loves the more:
10:376 The flesh, or what so seems, he touches oft,
10:377 Which feels so smooth, that he believes it soft.
10:378 Fir'd with this thought, at once he strain'd the breast,
10:379 And on the lips a burning kiss impress'd.
10:380 'Tis true, the harden'd breast resists the gripe,
10:381 And the cold lips return a kiss unripe:
10:382 But when, retiring back, he look'd again,
10:383 To think it iv'ry, was a thought too mean:
10:384 So wou'd believe she kiss'd, and courting more,
10:385 Again embrac'd her naked body o'er;
10:386 And straining hard the statue, was afraid
10:387 His hands had made a dint, and hurt his maid:
10:388 Explor'd her limb by limb, and fear'd to find
10:389 So rude a gripe had left a livid mark behind:
10:390 With flatt'ry now he seeks her mind to move,
10:391 And now with gifts (the pow'rful bribes of love),
10:392 He furnishes her closet first; and fills
10:393 The crowded shelves with rarities of shells;
10:394 Adds orient pearls, which from the conchs he drew,
10:395 And all the sparkling stones of various hue:
10:396 And parrots, imitating human tongue,
10:397 And singing-birds in silver cages hung:
10:398 And ev'ry fragrant flow'r, and od'rous green,
10:399 Were sorted well, with lumps of amber laid between:
10:400 Rich fashionable robes her person deck,
10:401 Pendants her ears, and pearls adorn her neck:
10:402 Her taper'd fingers too with rings are grac'd,
10:403 And an embroider'd zone surrounds her slender waste.
10:404 Thus like a queen array'd, so richly dress'd,
10:405 Beauteous she shew'd, but naked shew'd the best.
10:406 Then, from the floor, he rais'd a royal bed,
10:407 With cov'rings of Sydonian purple spread:
10:408 The solemn rites perform'd, he calls her bride,
10:409 With blandishments invites her to his side;
10:410 And as she were with vital sense possess'd,
10:411 Her head did on a plumy pillow rest.

10:412 The feast of Venus came, a solemn day,
10:413 To which the Cypriots due devotion pay;
10:414 With gilded horns the milk-white heifers led,
10:415 Slaughter'd before the sacred altars, bled.

10:416 Pygmalion off'ring, first approach'd the shrine,
10:417 And then with pray'rs implor'd the Pow'rs divine:
10:418 Almighty Gods, if all we mortals want,
10:419 If all we can require, be yours to grant;
10:420 Make this fair statue mine, he wou'd have said,
10:421 But chang'd his words for shame; and only pray'd,
10:422 Give me the likeness of my iv'ry maid.

10:423 The golden Goddess, present at the pray'r,
10:424 Well knew he meant th' inanimated fair,
10:425 And gave the sign of granting his desire;
10:426 For thrice in chearful flames ascends the fire.
10:427 The youth, returning to his mistress, hies,
10:428 And impudent in hope, with ardent eyes,
10:429 And beating breast, by the dear statue lies.
10:430 He kisses her white lips, renews the bliss,
10:431 And looks, and thinks they redden at the kiss;
10:432 He thought them warm before: nor longer stays,
10:433 But next his hand on her hard bosom lays:
10:434 Hard as it was, beginning to relent,
10:435 It seem'd, the breast beneath his fingers bent;
10:436 He felt again, his fingers made a print;
10:437 'Twas flesh, but flesh so firm, it rose against the dint:
10:438 The pleasing task he fails not to renew;
10:439 Soft, and more soft at ev'ry touch it grew;
10:440 Like pliant wax, when chasing hands reduce
10:441 The former mass to form, and frame for use.
10:442 He would believe, but yet is still in pain,
10:443 And tries his argument of sense again,
10:444 Presses the pulse, and feels the leaping vein.
10:445 Convinc'd, o'erjoy'd, his studied thanks, and praise,
10:446 To her, who made the miracle, he pays:
10:447 Then lips to lips he join'd; now freed from fear,
10:448 He found the savour of the kiss sincere:
10:449 At this the waken'd image op'd her eyes,
10:450 And view'd at once the light, and lover with surprize.
10:451 The Goddess, present at the match she made,
10:452 So bless'd the bed, such fruitfulness convey'd,
10:453 That ere ten months had sharpen'd either horn,
10:454 To crown their bliss, a lovely boy was born;
10:455 Paphos his name, who grown to manhood, wall'd
10:456 The city Paphos, from the founder call'd.

The Story of of Cinyras and Myrrha

10:457 Nor him alone produc'd the fruitful queen;
10:458 But Cinyras, who like his sire had been
10:459 A happy prince, had he not been a sire.
10:460 Daughters, and fathers, from my song retire;
10:461 I sing of horror; and could I prevail,
10:462 You shou'd not hear, or not believe my tale.
10:463 Yet if the pleasure of my song be such,
10:464 That you will hear, and credit me too much,
10:465 Attentive listen to the last event,
10:466 And, with the sin, believe the punishment:
10:467 Since Nature cou'd behold so dire a crime,
10:468 I gratulate at least my native clime,
10:469 That such a land, which such a monster bore,
10:470 So far is distant from our Thracian shore.
10:471 Let Araby extol her happy coast,
10:472 Her cinamon, and sweet Amomum boast,
10:473 Her fragrant flow'rs, her trees with precious tears,
10:474 Her second harvests, and her double years;
10:475 How can the land be call'd so bless'd, that Myrrha bears?
10:476 Nor all her od'rous tears can cleanse her crime;
10:477 Her Plant alone deforms the happy clime:
10:478 Cupid denies to have inflam'd thy heart,
10:479 Disowns thy love, and vindicates his dart:
10:480 Some Fury gave thee those infernal pains,
10:481 And shot her venom'd vipers in thy veins.
10:482 To hate thy sire, had merited a curse;
10:483 But such an impious love deserv'd a worse.
10:484 The neighb'ring monarchs, by thy beauty led,
10:485 Contend in crowds, ambitious of thy bed:
10:486 The world is at thy choice; except but one,
10:487 Except but him, thou canst not chuse, alone.
10:488 She knew it too, the miserable maid,
10:489 Ere impious love her better thoughts betray'd,
10:490 And thus within her secret soul she said:
10:491 Ah Myrrha! whither wou'd thy wishes tend?
10:492 Ye Gods, ye sacred laws, my soul defend
10:493 From such a crime as all mankind detest,
10:494 And never lodg'd before in human breast!
10:495 But is it sin? Or makes my mind alone
10:496 Th' imagin'd sin? For Nature makes it none.
10:497 What tyrant then these envious laws began,
10:498 Made not for any other beast, but Man!
10:499 The father-bull his daughter may bestride,
10:500 The horse may make his mother-mare a bride;
10:501 What piety forbids the lusty ram,
10:502 Or more salacious goat, to rut their dam?
10:503 The hen is free to wed the chick she bore,
10:504 And make a husband, whom she hatch'd before.
10:505 All creatures else are of a happier kind,
10:506 Whom nor ill-natur'd laws from pleasure bind,
10:507 Nor thoughts of sin disturb their peace of mind.
10:508 But Man a slave of his own making lives;
10:509 The fool denies himself what Nature gives:
10:510 Too-busie senates, with an over-care,
10:511 To make us better than our kind can bear,
10:512 Have dash'd a spice of envy in the laws,
10:513 And straining up too high, have spoil'd the cause.
10:514 Yet some wise nations break their cruel chains,
10:515 And own no laws, but those which love ordains;
10:516 Where happy daughters with their sires are join'd,
10:517 And piety is doubly paid in kind.
10:518 O that I had been born in such a clime,
10:519 Not here, where 'tis the country makes the crime!
10:520 But whither wou'd my impious fancy stray?
10:521 Hence hopes, and ye forbidden thoughts away!
10:522 His worth deserves to kindle my desires,
10:523 But with the love, that daughters bear to sires.
10:524 Then had not Cinyras my father been,
10:525 What hinder'd Myrrha's hopes to be his queen?
10:526 But the perverseness of my fate is such,
10:527 That he's not mine, because he's mine too much:
10:528 Our kindred-blood debars a better tie;
10:529 He might be nearer, were he not so nigh.
10:530 Eyes, and their objects, never must unite;
10:531 Some distance is requir'd to help the sight:
10:532 Fain wou'd I travel to some foreign shore,
10:533 Never to see my native country more,
10:534 So might I to my self my self restore;
10:535 So might my mind these impious thoughts remove,
10:536 And ceasing to behold, might cease to love.
10:537 But stay I must, to feed my famish'd sight,
10:538 To talk, to kiss, and more, if more I might:
10:539 More, impious maid! What more canst thou design?
10:540 To make a monstrous mixture in thy line,
10:541 And break all statutes human and divine!
10:542 Can'st thou be call'd (to save thy wretched life)
10:543 Thy mother's rival, and thy father's wife?
10:544 Confound so many sacred names in one,
10:545 Thy brother's mother! Sister to thy son!
10:546 And fear'st thou not to see th' infernal bands,
10:547 Their heads with snakes; with torches arm'd their hands
10:548 Full at thy face th' avenging brands to bear,
10:549 And shake the serpents from their hissing hair;
10:550 But thou in time th' increasing ill controul,
10:551 Nor first debauch the body by the soul;
10:552 Secure the sacred quiet of thy mind,
10:553 And keep the sanctions Nature has design'd.
10:554 Suppose I shou'd attempt, th' attempt were vain,
10:555 No thoughts like mine, his sinless soul profane;
10:556 Observant of the right: and o that he
10:557 Cou'd cure my madness, or be mad like me!
10:558 Thus she: but Cinyras, who daily sees
10:559 A crowd of noble suitors at his knees,
10:560 Among so many, knew not whom to chuse,
10:561 Irresolute to grant, or to refuse.
10:562 But having told their names, enquir'd of her
10:563 Who pleas'd her best, and whom she would prefer.
10:564 The blushing maid stood silent with surprize,
10:565 And on her father fix'd her ardent eyes,
10:566 And looking sigh'd, and as she sigh'd, began
10:567 Round tears to shed, that scalded as they ran.
10:568 The tender sire, who saw her blush, and cry,
10:569 Ascrib'd it all to maiden modesty,
10:570 And dry'd the falling drops, and yet more kind,
10:571 He stroak'd her cheeks, and holy kisses join'd.
10:572 She felt a secret venom fire her blood,
10:573 And found more pleasure, than a daughter shou'd;
10:574 And, ask'd again what lover of the crew
10:575 She lik'd the best, she answer'd, One like you.
10:576 Mistaking what she meant, her pious will
10:577 He prais'd, and bid her so continue still:
10:578 The word of pious heard, she blush'd with shame
10:579 Of secret guilt, and cou'd not bear the name.

10:580 'Twas now the mid of night, when slumbers close
10:581 Our eyes, and sooth our cares with soft repose;
10:582 But no repose cou'd wretched Myrrha find,
10:583 Her body rouling, as she roul'd her mind:
10:584 Mad with desire, she ruminates her sin,
10:585 And wishes all her wishes o'er again:
10:586 Now she despairs, and now resolves to try;
10:587 Wou'd not, and wou'd again, she knows not why;
10:588 Stops, and returns; makes, and retracts the vow;
10:589 Fain wou'd begin, but understands not how.
10:590 As when a pine is hew'd upon the plains,
10:591 And the last mortal stroke alone remains,
10:592 Lab'ring in pangs of death, and threatning all,
10:593 This way, and that she nods, consid'ring where to fall:
10:594 So Myrrha's mind, impell'd on either side,
10:595 Takes ev'ry bent, but cannot long abide;
10:596 Irresolute on which she shou'd relie,
10:597 At last, unfix'd in all, is only fix'd to die.
10:598 On that sad thought she rests, resolv'd on death,
10:599 She rises, and prepares to choak her breath:
10:600 Then while about the beam her zone she ties,
10:601 Dear Cinyras farewell, she softly cries;
10:602 For thee I die, and only wish to be
10:603 Not hated, when thou know'st die I for thee:
10:604 Pardon the crime, in pity to the cause:
10:605 This said, about her neck the noose she draws.
10:606 The nurse, who lay without, her faithful guard,
10:607 Though not the words, the murmurs over-heard;
10:608 And sighs, and hollow sounds: surpriz'd with fright,
10:609 She starts, and leaves her bed, and springs a light;
10:610 Unlocks the door, and entring out of breath,
10:611 The dying saw, and instruments of death;
10:612 She shrieks, she cuts the zone with trembling haste,
10:613 And in her arms her fainting charge embrac'd:
10:614 Next (for she now had leisure for her tears),
10:615 She weeping ask'd, in these her blooming years,
10:616 What unforeseen misfortune caus'd her care,
10:617 To loath her life, and languish in despair!
10:618 The maid, with down-cast eyes, and mute with grief
10:619 For death unfinish'd, and ill-tim'd relief,
10:620 Stood sullen to her suit: the beldame press'd
10:621 The more to know, and bar'd her wither'd breast,
10:622 Adjur'd her by the kindly food she drew
10:623 From those dry founts, her secret ill to shew.
10:624 Sad Myrrha sigh'd, and turn'd her eyes aside:
10:625 The nurse still urg'd, and wou'd not be deny'd:
10:626 Nor only promis'd secresie, but pray'd
10:627 She might have leave to give her offer'd aid.
10:628 Good-will, she said, my want of strength supplies,
10:629 And diligence shall give what age denies:
10:630 If strong desires thy mind to fury move,
10:631 With charms and med'cines I can cure thy love:
10:632 If envious eyes their hurtuful rays have cast,
10:633 More pow'rful verse shall free thee from the blast:
10:634 If Heav'n offended sends thee this disease,
10:635 Offended Heav'n with pray'rs we can appease.
10:636 What then remains, that can these cares procure?
10:637 Thy house is flourishing, thy fortune sure:
10:638 Thy careful mother yet in health survives,
10:639 And, to thy comfort, thy kind father lives.
10:640 The virgin started at her father's name,
10:641 And sigh'd profoundly, conscious of the shame
10:642 Nor yet the nurse her impious love divin'd,
10:643 But yet surmis'd that love disturb'd her mind:
10:644 Thus thinking, she pursu'd her point, and laid,
10:645 And lull'd within her lap the mourning maid;
10:646 Then softly sooth'd her thus; I guess your grief:
10:647 You love, my child; your love shall find relief.
10:648 My long-experienc'd age shall be your guide;
10:649 Rely on that, and lay distrust aside.
10:650 No breath of air shall on the secret blow,
10:651 Nor shall (what most you fear) your father know.
10:652 Struck once again, as with a thunder-clap,
10:653 The guilty virgin bounded from her lap,
10:654 And threw her body prostrate on the bed.
10:655 And, to conceal her blushes, hid her head;
10:656 There silent lay, and warn'd her with her hand
10:657 To go: but she receiv'd not the command;
10:658 Remaining still importunate to know:
10:659 Then Myrrha thus: Or ask no more, or go;
10:660 I pr'ythee go, or staying spare my shame;
10:661 What thou would'st hear, is impious ev'n to name.
10:662 At this, on high the beldame holds her hands,
10:663 And trembling both with age, and terror stands;
10:664 Adjures, and falling at her feet intreats,
10:665 Sooths her with blandishments, and frights with threats,
10:666 To tell the crime intended, or disclose
10:667 What part of it she knew, if she no farther knows.
10:668 And last, if conscious to her counsel made,
10:669 Confirms anew the promise of her aid.
10:670 Now Myrrha rais'd her head; but soon oppress'd
10:671 With shame, reclin'd it on her nurse's breast;
10:672 Bath'd it with tears, and strove to have confess'd:
10:673 Twice she began, and stopp'd; again she try'd;
10:674 The falt'ring tongue its office still deny'd.
10:675 At last her veil before her face she spread,
10:676 And drew a long preluding sigh, and said,
10:677 O happy mother, in thy marriage-bed!
10:678 Then groan'd, and ceas'd. The good old woman shook,
10:679 Stiff were her eyes, and ghastly was her look:
10:680 Her hoary hair upright with horror stood,
10:681 Made (to her grief) more knowing than she wou'd.
10:682 Much she reproach'd, and many things she said,
10:683 To cure the madness of th' unhappy maid,
10:684 In vain: for Myrrha stood convict of ill;
10:685 Her reason vanquish'd, but unchang'd her will:
10:686 Perverse of mind, unable to reply;
10:687 She stood resolv'd, or to possess, or die.
10:688 At length the fondness of a nurse prevail'd
10:689 Against her better sense, and virtue fail'd:
10:690 Enjoy, my child, since such is thy desire,
10:691 Thy love, she said; she durst not say, thy sire:
10:692 Live, though unhappy, live on any terms;
10:693 Then with a second oath her faith confirms.

10:694 The solemn feast of Ceres now was near,
10:695 When long white linnen stoles the matrons wear;
10:696 Rank'd in procession walk the pious train,
10:697 Off'ring first-fruits, and spikes of yellow grain:
10:698 For nine long nights the nuptial-bed they shun,
10:699 And sanctifying harvest, lie alone.

10:700 Mix'd with the crowd, the queen forsook her lord,
10:701 And Ceres' pow'r with secret rites ador'd:
10:702 The royal couch, now vacant for a time,
10:703 The crafty crone, officious in her crime,
10:704 The first occasion took: the king she found
10:705 Easie with wine, and deep in pleasures drown'd,
10:706 Prepar'd for love: the beldame blew the flame,
10:707 Confess'd the passion, but conceal'd the name.
10:708 Her form she prais'd; the monarch ask'd her years;
10:709 And she reply'd, The same thy Myrrha bears.
10:710 Wine, and commended beauty fir'd his thought;
10:711 Impatient, he commands her to be brought.
10:712 Pleas'd with her charge perform'd, she hies her home,
10:713 And gratulates the nymph, the task was overcome.
10:714 Myrrha was joy'd the welcome news to hear;
10:715 But clog'd with guilt, the joy was unsincere:
10:716 So various, so discordant is the mind,
10:717 That in our will a diff'rent will we find.
10:718 Ill she presag'd, and yet pursu'd her lust;
10:719 For guilty pleasures give a double gust.

10:720 'Twas depth of night: Arctophylax had driv'n
10:721 His lazy wain half round the northern Heav'n,
10:722 When Myrrha hasten'd to the crime desir'd:
10:723 The moon beheld her first, and first retir'd:
10:724 The stars amaz'd, ran backward from the sight,
10:725 And (shrunk within their sockets) lost their light.
10:726 Icarius first withdraws his holy flame:
10:727 The virgin sign, in Heav'n the second name,
10:728 Slides down the belt, and from her station flies,
10:729 And night with sable clouds involves the skies.
10:730 Bold Myrrha still pursues her black intent;
10:731 She stumbled thrice (an omen of th' event);
10:732 Thrice shriek'd the fun'ral owl, yet on she went,
10:733 Secure of shame, because secure of sight;
10:734 Ev'n bashful sins are impudent by night.
10:735 Link'd hand in hand, th' accomplice, and the dame,
10:736 Their way exploring, to the chamber came:
10:737 The door was ope; they blindly grope their way,
10:738 Where dark in bed th' expecting monarch lay.
10:739 Thus far her courage held, but here forsakes;
10:740 Her faint knees knock at ev'ry step she makes.
10:741 The nearer to her crime, the more within
10:742 She feels remorse, and horror of her sin;
10:743 Repents too late her criminal desire,
10:744 And wishes, that unknown she could retire.
10:745 Her lingring thus, the nurse (who fear'd delay
10:746 The fatal secret might at length betray)
10:747 Pull'd forward, to compleat the work begun,
10:748 And said to Cinyras, Receive thy own.
10:749 Thus saying, she deliver'd kind to kind,
10:750 Accurs'd, and their devoted bodies join'd.
10:751 The sire, unknowing of the crime, admits
10:752 His bowels, and prophanes the hallow'd sheets;
10:753 He found she trembled, but believ'd she strove
10:754 With maiden modesty against her love,
10:755 And sought with flatt'ring words vain fancies to remove.
10:756 Perhaps he said, My daughter, cease thy fears
10:757 (Because the title suited with her years);
10:758 And, Father, she might whisper him again,
10:759 That names might not be wanting to the sin.

10:760 Full of her sire, she left th' incestuous bed,
10:761 And carry'd in her womb the crime she bred.
10:762 Another, and another night she came;
10:763 For frequent sin had left no sense of shame:
10:764 'Till Cinyras desir'd to see her face,
10:765 Whose body he had held in close embrace,
10:766 And brought a taper; the revealer, light,
10:767 Expos'd both crime, and criminal to sight.
10:768 Grief, rage, amazement, could no speech afford,
10:769 But from the sheath he drew th' avenging sword:
10:770 The guilty fled: the benefit of night,
10:771 That favour'd first the sin, secur'd the flight.
10:772 Long wand'ring thro' the spacious fields, she bent
10:773 Her voyage to th' Arabian continent;
10:774 Then pass'd the region which Panchaea join'd,
10:775 And flying, left the palmy plains behind.
10:776 Nine times the moon had mew'd her horns; at length
10:777 With travel weary, unsupply'd with strength,
10:778 And with the burden of her womb oppress'd,
10:779 Sabaean fields afford her needful rest:
10:780 There, loathing life, and yet of death afraid,
10:781 In anguish of her spirit, thus she pray'd:
10:782 Ye Pow'rs, if any so propitious are
10:783 T' accept my penitence, and hear my pray'r;
10:784 Your judgments, I confess, are justly sent;
10:785 Great sins deserve as great a punishment:
10:786 Yet since my life the living will profane,
10:787 And since my death the happy dead will stain,
10:788 A middle state your mercy may bestow,
10:789 Betwixt the realms above, and those below:
10:790 Some other form to wretched Myrrha give,
10:791 Nor let her wholly die, nor wholly live.

10:792 The pray'rs of penitents are never vain;
10:793 At least she did her last request obtain:
10:794 For while she spoke, the ground began to rise,
10:795 And gather'd round her feet, her legs, and thighs;
10:796 Her toes in roots descend, and spreading wide,
10:797 A firm foundation for the trunk provide:
10:798 Her solid bones convert to solid wood,
10:799 To pith her marrow, and to sap her blood:
10:800 Her arms are boughs, her fingers change their kind,
10:801 Her tender skin is harden'd into rind.
10:802 And now the rising tree her womb invests,
10:803 Now shooting upwards still, invades her breasts,
10:804 And shades the neck; when weary with delay,
10:805 She sunk her head within, and met it half the way.
10:806 And tho' with outward shape she lost her sense,
10:807 With bitter tears she wept her last offence;
10:808 And still she weeps, nor sheds her tears in vain;
10:809 For still the precious drops her name retain.
10:810 Mean-time the mis-begotten infant grows,
10:811 And ripe for birth, distends with deadly throes
10:812 The swelling rind, with unavailing strife,
10:813 To leave the wooden womb, and pushes into life.
10:814 The mother-tree, as if oppress'd with pain,
10:815 Writhes here, and there, to break the bark, in vain;
10:816 And, like a lab'ring woman, wou'd have pray'd,
10:817 But wants a voice to call Lucina's aid:
10:818 The bending bole sends out a hollow sound,
10:819 And trickling tears fall thicker on the ground.
10:820 The mild Lucina came uncall'd, and stood
10:821 Beside the struggling boughs, and heard the groaning wood;
10:822 Then reach'd her midwife-hand to speed the throes,
10:823 And spoke the pow'rful spells, that babes to birth disclose.
10:824 The bark divides, the living load to free,
10:825 And safe delivers the convulsive tree.
10:826 The ready nymphs receive the crying child,
10:827 And wash him in the tears the parent plant distill'd.
10:828 They swath'd him with their scarfs; beneath him spread
10:829 The ground with herbs; with roses rais'd his head.
10:830 The lovely babe was born with ev'ry grace,
10:831 Ev'n envy must have prais'd so fair a face:
10:832 Such was his form, as painters when they show
10:833 Their utmost art, on naked loves bestow:
10:834 And that their arms no diff'rence might betray,
10:835 Give him a bow, or his from Cupid take away.
10:836 Time glides along with undiscover'd haste,
10:837 The future but a length behind the past;
10:838 So swift are years. The babe, whom just before
10:839 His grandsire got, and whom his sister bore;
10:840 The drop, the thing, which late the tree inclos'd,
10:841 And late the yawning bark to life expos'd;
10:842 A babe, a boy, a beauteous youth appears,
10:843 And lovelier than himself at riper years.
10:844 Now to the queen of love he gave desires,
10:845 And, with her pains, reveng'd his mother's fires.

The Story of Venus and Adonis

10:846 For Cytherea's lips while Cupid prest,
10:847 He with a heedless arrow raz'd her breast,
10:848 The Goddess felt it, and with fury stung,
10:849 The wanton mischief from her bosom flung:
10:850 Yet thought at first the danger slight, but found
10:851 The dart too faithful, and too deep the wound.
10:852 Fir'd with a mortal beauty, she disdains
10:853 To haunt th' Idalian mount, or Phrygian plains.
10:854 She seeks not Cnidos, nor her Paphian shrines,
10:855 Nor Amathus, that teems with brazen mines:
10:856 Ev'n Heav'n itself with all its sweets unsought,
10:857 Adonis far a sweeter Heav'n is thought.
10:858 On him she hangs, and fonds with ev'ry art,
10:859 And never, never knows from him to part.
10:860 She, whose soft limbs had only been display'd
10:861 On rosie beds beneath the myrtle shade,
10:862 Whose pleasing care was to improve each grace,
10:863 And add more charms to an unrival'd face,
10:864 Now buskin'd, like the virgin huntress, goes
10:865 Thro' woods, and pathless wilds, and mountain-snows
10:866 With her own tuneful voice she joys to cheer
10:867 The panting hounds, that chace the flying deer.
10:868 She runs the labyrinth of fearful hares,
10:869 But fearless beasts, and dang'rous prey forbears,
10:870 Hunts not the grinning wolf, or foamy boar,
10:871 And trembles at the lion's hungry roar.
10:872 Thee too, Adonis, with a lover's care
10:873 She warns, if warn'd thou wou'dst avoid the snare,
10:874 To furious animals advance not nigh,
10:875 Fly those that follow, follow those that fly;
10:876 'Tis chance alone must the survivors save,
10:877 Whene'er brave spirits will attempt the brave.
10:878 O! lovely youth! in harmless sports delight;
10:879 Provoke not beasts, which, arm'd by Nature, fight.
10:880 For me, if not thy self, vouchsafe to fear;
10:881 Let not thy thirst of glory cost me dear.
10:882 Boars know not bow to spare a blooming age;
10:883 No sparkling eyes can sooth the lion's rage.
10:884 Not all thy charms a savage breast can move,
10:885 Which have so deeply touch'd the queen of love.
10:886 When bristled boars from beaten thickets spring,
10:887 In grinded tusks a thunderbolt they bring.
10:888 The daring hunters lions rouz'd devour,
10:889 Vast is their fury, and as vast their pow'r:
10:890 Curst be their tawny race! If thou would'st hear
10:891 What kindled thus my hate, then lend an ear:
10:892 The wond'rous tale I will to thee unfold,
10:893 How the fell monsters rose from crimes of old.
10:894 But by long toils I faint: see! wide-display'd,
10:895 A grateful poplar courts us with a shade.
10:896 The grassy turf, beneath, so verdant shows,
10:897 We may secure delightfully repose.
10:898 With her Adonis here be Venus blest;
10:899 And swift at once the grass and him she prest.
10:900 Then sweetly smiling, with a raptur'd mind,
10:901 On his lov'd bosom she her head reclin'd,
10:902 And thus began; but mindful still of bliss,
10:903 Seal'd the soft accents with a softer kiss.

10:904 Perhaps thou may'st have heard a virgin's name,
10:905 Who still in swiftness swiftest youths o'ercame.
10:906 Wondrous! that female weakness should outdo
10:907 A manly strength; the wonder yet is true.
10:908 'Twas doubtful, if her triumphs in the field
10:909 Did to her form's triumphant glories yield;
10:910 Whether her face could with more ease decoy
10:911 A crowd of lovers, or her feet destroy.
10:912 For once Apollo she implor'd to show
10:913 If courteous Fates a consort would allow:
10:914 A consort brings thy ruin, he reply'd;
10:915 O! learn to want the pleasures of a bride!
10:916 Nor shalt thou want them to thy wretched cost,
10:917 And Atalanta living shall be lost.
10:918 With such a rueful Fate th' affrighted maid
10:919 Sought green recesses in the wood-land glade.
10:920 Nor sighing suiters her resolves could move,
10:921 She bad them show their speed, to show their love.
10:922 He only, who could conquer in the race,
10:923 Might hope the conquer'd virgin to embrace;
10:924 While he, whose tardy feet had lagg'd behind,
10:925 Was doom'd the sad reward of death to find.
10:926 Tho' great the prize, yet rigid the decree,
10:927 But blind with beauty, who can rigour see?
10:928 Ev'n on these laws the fair they rashly sought,
10:929 And danger in excess of love forgot.

10:930 There sat Hippomenes, prepar'd to blame
10:931 In lovers such extravagance of flame.
10:932 And must, he said, the blessing of a wife
10:933 Be dearly purchas'd by a risk of life?
10:934 But when he saw the wonders of her face,
10:935 And her limbs naked, springing to the race,
10:936 Her limbs, as exquisitely turn'd, as mine,
10:937 Or if a woman thou, might vie with thine,
10:938 With lifted hands, he cry'd, forgive the tongue
10:939 Which durst, ye youths, your well-tim'd courage wrong.
10:940 I knew not that the nymph, for whom you strove,
10:941 Deserv'd th' unbounded transports of your love.
10:942 He saw, admir'd, and thus her spotless frame
10:943 He prais'd, and praising, kindled his own flame.
10:944 A rival now to all the youths who run,
10:945 Envious, he fears they should not be undone.
10:946 But why (reflects he) idly thus is shown
10:947 The fate of others, yet untry'd my own?
10:948 The coward must not on love's aid depend;
10:949 The God was ever to the bold a friend.
10:950 Mean-time the virgin flies, or seems to fly,
10:951 Swift as a Scythian arrow cleaves the sky:
10:952 Still more and more the youth her charms admires.
10:953 The race itself t' exalt her charms conspires.
10:954 The golden pinions, which her feet adorn,
10:955 In wanton flutt'rings by the winds are born.
10:956 Down from her head, the long, fair tresses flow,
10:957 And sport with lovely negligence below.
10:958 The waving ribbands, which her buskins tie,
10:959 Her snowy skin with waving purple die;
10:960 As crimson veils in palaces display'd,
10:961 To the white marble lend a blushing shade.
10:962 Nor long he gaz'd, yet while he gaz'd, she gain'd
10:963 The goal, and the victorious wreath obtain'd.
10:964 The vanquish'd sigh, and, as the law decreed,
10:965 Pay the dire forfeit, and prepare to bleed.

10:966 Then rose Hippomenes, not yet afraid,
10:967 And fix'd his eyes full on the beauteous maid.
10:968 Where is (he cry'd) the mighty conquest won,
10:969 To distance those, who want the nerves to run?
10:970 Here prove superior strength, nor shall it be
10:971 Thy loss of glory, if excell'd by me.
10:972 High my descent, near Neptune I aspire,
10:973 For Neptune was grand-parent to my sire.
10:974 From that great God the fourth my self I trace,
10:975 Nor sink my virtues yet beneath my race.
10:976 Thou from Hippomenes, o'ercome, may'st claim
10:977 An envy'd triumph, and a deathless fame.

10:978 While thus the youth the virgin pow'r defies,
10:979 Silent she views him still with softer eyes.
10:980 Thoughts in her breast a doubtful strife begin,
10:981 If 'tis not happier now to lose, than win.
10:982 What God, a foe to beauty, would destroy
10:983 The promis'd ripeness of this blooming boy?
10:984 With his life's danger does he seek my bed?
10:985 Scarce am I half so greatly worth, she said.
10:986 Nor has his beauty mov'd my breast to love,
10:987 And yet, I own, such beauty well might move:
10:988 'Tis not his charms, 'tis pity would engage
10:989 My soul to spare the greenness of his age.
10:990 What, that heroick conrage fires his breast,
10:991 And shines thro' brave disdain of Fate confest?
10:992 What, that his patronage by close degrees
10:993 Springs from th' imperial ruler of the seas?
10:994 Then add the love, which bids him undertake
10:995 The race, and dare to perish for my sake.
10:996 Of bloody nuptials, heedless youth, beware!
10:997 Fly, timely fly from a too barb'rous fair.
10:998 At pleasure chuse; thy love will be repaid
10:999 By a less foolish, and more beauteous maid.
10:1000 But why this tenderness, before unknown?
10:1001 Why beats, and pants my breast for him alone?
10:1002 His eyes have seen his num'rous rivals yield;
10:1003 Let him too share the rigour of the field,
10:1004 Since, by their fates untaught, his own he courts,
10:1005 And thus with ruin insolently sports.
10:1006 Yet for what crime shall he his death receive?
10:1007 Is it a crime with me to wish to live?
10:1008 Shall his kind passion his destruction prove?
10:1009 Is this the fatal recompence of love?
10:1010 So fair a youth, destroy'd, would conquest shame,
10:1011 Aud nymphs eternally detest my fame.
10:1012 Still why should nymphs my guiltless fame upbraid?
10:1013 Did I the fond adventurer persuade?
10:1014 Alas! I wish thou would'st the course decline,
10:1015 Or that my swiftness was excell'd by thine.
10:1016 See! what a virgin's bloom adorns the boy!
10:1017 Why wilt thou run, and why thy self destroy?
10:1018 Hippomenes! O that I ne'er had been
10:1019 By those bright eyes unfortunately seen!
10:1020 Ah! tempt not thus a swift, untimely Fate;
10:1021 Thy life is worthy of the longest date.
10:1022 Were I less wretched, did the galling chain
10:1023 Of rigid Gods not my free choice restrain,
10:1024 By thee alone I could with joy be led
10:1025 To taste the raptures of a nuptial bed.

10:1026 Thus she disclos'd the woman's secret heart,
10:1027 Young, innocent, and new to Cupid's dart.
10:1028 Her thoughts, her words, her actions wildly rove,
10:1029 With love she burns, yet knows not that 'tis love.

10:1030 Her royal sire now with the murm'ring crowd
10:1031 Demands the race impatiently aloud.
10:1032 Hippomenes then with true fervour pray'd,
10:1033 My bold attempt let Venus kindly aid.
10:1034 By her sweet pow'r I felt this am'rous fire,
10:1035 Still may she succour, whom she did inspire.
10:1036 A soft, unenvious wind, with speedy care,
10:1037 Wafted to Heav'n the lover's tender pray'r.
10:1038 Pity, I own, soon gain'd the wish'd consent,
10:1039 And all th' assistance he implor'd I lent.
10:1040 The Cyprian lands, tho' rich, in richness yield
10:1041 To that, surnam'd the Tamasenian field.
10:1042 That field of old was added to my shrine,
10:1043 And its choice products consecrated mine.
10:1044 A tree there stands, full glorious to behold,
10:1045 Gold are the leafs, the crackling branches gold.
10:1046 It chanc'd, three apples in my hand I bore,
10:1047 Which newly from the tree I sportive tore;
10:1048 Seen by the youth alone, to him I brought
10:1049 The fruit, and when, and how to use it, taught.
10:1050 The signal sounding by the king's command,
10:1051 Both start at once, and sweep th' imprinted sand.
10:1052 So swiftly mov'd their feet, they might with ease,
10:1053 Scarce moisten'd, skim along the glassy seas;
10:1054 Or with a wondrous levity be born
10:1055 O'er yellow harvests of unbending corn.
10:1056 Now fav'ring peals resound from ev'ry part,
10:1057 Spirit the youth, and fire his fainting heart.
10:1058 Hippomenes! (they cry'd) thy life preserve,
10:1059 Intensely labour, and stretch ev'ry nerve.
10:1060 Base fear alone can baffle thy design,
10:1061 Shoot boldly onward, and the goal is thine.
10:1062 'Tis doubtful whether shouts, like these, convey'd
10:1063 More pleasures to the youth, or to the maid.
10:1064 When a long distance oft she could have gain'd,
10:1065 She check'd her swiftness, and her feet restrain'd:
10:1066 She sigh'd, and dwelt, and languish'd on his face,
10:1067 Then with unwilling speed pursu'd the race.
10:1068 O'er-spent with heat, his breath he faintly drew,
10:1069 Parch'd was his mouth, nor yet the goal in view,
10:1070 And the first apple on the plain he threw.
10:1071 The nymph stop'd sudden at th' unusual sight,
10:1072 Struck with the fruit so beautifully bright.
10:1073 Aside she starts, the wonder to behold,
10:1074 And eager stoops to catch the rouling gold.
10:1075 Th' observant youth past by, and scour'd along,
10:1076 While peals of joy rung from th' applauding throng.
10:1077 Unkindly she corrects the short delay,
10:1078 And to redeem the time fleets swift away,
10:1079 Swift, as the lightning, or the northern wind,
10:1080 And far she leaves the panting youth behind.
10:1081 Again he strives the flying nymph to hold
10:1082 With the temptation of the second gold:
10:1083 The bright temptation fruitlessly was tost,
10:1084 So soon, alas! she won the distance lost.
10:1085 Now but a little interval of space
10:1086 Remain'd for the decision of the race.
10:1087 Fair author of the precious gift, he said,
10:1088 Be thou, O Goddess, author of my aid!
10:1089 Then of the shining fruit the last he drew,
10:1090 And with his full-collected vigour threw:
10:1091 The virgin still the longer to detain,
10:1092 Threw not directly, but a-cross the plain.
10:1093 She seem'd a-while perplex'd in dubious thought,
10:1094 If the far-distant apple should be sought:
10:1095 I lur'd her backward mind to seize the bait,
10:1096 And to the massie gold gave double weight.
10:1097 My favour to my votary was show'd,
10:1098 Her speed I lessen'd, and encreas'd her load.
10:1099 But lest, tho' long, the rapid race be run,
10:1100 Before my longer, tedious tale is done,
10:1101 The youth the goal, and so the virgin won.

10:1102 Might I, Adonis, now not hope to see
10:1103 His grateful thanks pour'd out for victory?
10:1104 His pious incense on my altars laid?
10:1105 But he nor grateful thanks, nor incense paid.
10:1106 Enrag'd I vow'd, that with the youth the fair,
10:1107 For his contempt, should my keen vengeance share;
10:1108 That future lovers might my pow'r revere,
10:1109 And, from their sad examples, learn to fear.
10:1110 The silent fanes, the sanctify'd abodes,
10:1111 Of Cybele, great mother of the Gods,
10:1112 Rais'd by Echion in a lonely wood,
10:1113 And full of brown, religious horror stood.
10:1114 By a long painful journey faint, they chose!
10:1115 Their weary limbs here secret to repose.
10:1116 But soon my pow'r inflam'd the lustful boy,
10:1117 Careless of rest he sought untimely joy.
10:1118 A hallow'd gloomy cave, with moss o'er-grown,
10:1119 The temple join'd, of native pumice-stone,
10:1120 Where antique images by priests were kept.
10:1121 And wooden deities securely slept.
10:1122 Thither the rash Hippomenes retires,
10:1123 And gives a loose to all his wild desires,
10:1124 And the chaste cell pollutes with wanton fires.
10:1125 The sacred statues trembled with surprize,
10:1126 The tow'ry Goddess, blushing, veil'd her eyes;
10:1127 And the lewd pair to Stygian sounds had sent,
10:1128 But unrevengeful seem'd that punishment,
10:1129 A heavier doom such black prophaneness draws,
10:1130 Their taper figures turn to crooked paws.
10:1131 No more their necks the smoothness can retain,
10:1132 Now cover'd sudden with a yellow mane.
10:1133 Arms change to legs: each finds the hard'ning breast
10:1134 Of rage unknown, and wond'rous strength possest.
10:1135 Their alter'd looks with fury grim appear,
10:1136 And on the ground their brushing tails they hear.
10:1137 They haunt the woods: their voices, which before
10:1138 Were musically sweet, now hoarsly roar.
10:1139 Hence lions, dreadful to the lab'ring swains,
10:1140 Are tam'd by Cybele, and curb'd with reins,
10:1141 And humbly draw her car along the plains.
10:1142 But thou, Adonis, my delightful care,
10:1143 Of these, and beasts, as fierce as these, beware!
10:1144 The savage, which not shuns thee, timely shun,
10:1145 For by rash prowess should'st thou be undone,
10:1146 A double ruin is contain'd in one.
10:1147 Thus cautious Venus school'd her fav'rite boy;
10:1148 But youthful heat all cautions will destroy.
10:1149 His sprightly soul beyond grave counsels flies,
10:1150 While with yok'd swans the Goddess cuts the skies.
10:1151 His faithful hounds, led by the tainted wind,
10:1152 Lodg'd in thick coverts chanc'd a boar to find.
10:1153 The callow hero show'd a manly heart,
10:1154 And pierc'd the savage with a side-long dart.
10:1155 The flying savage, wounded, turn'd again,
10:1156 Wrench'd out the gory dart, and foam'd with pain.
10:1157 The trembling boy by flight his safety sought,
10:1158 And now recall'd the lore, which Venus taught;
10:1159 But now too late to fly the boar he strove,
10:1160 Who in the groin his tusks impetuous drove,
10:1161 On the discolour'd grass Adonis lay,
10:1162 The monster trampling o'er his beauteous prey.

10:1163 Fair Cytherea, Cyprus scarce in view,
10:1164 Heard from afar his groans, and own'd them true,
10:1165 And turn'd her snowy swans, and backward flew.
10:1166 But as she saw him gasp his latest breath,
10:1167 And quiv'ring agonize in pangs of death,
10:1168 Down with swift flight she plung'd, nor rage forbore,
10:1169 At once her garments, and her hair she tore.
10:1170 With cruel blows she beat her guiltless breast,
10:1171 The Fates upbraided, and her love confest.
10:1172 Nor shall they yet (she cry'd) the whole devour
10:1173 With uncontroul'd, inexorable pow'r:
10:1174 For thee, lost youth, my tears, and restless pain
10:1175 Shall in immortal monuments remain,
10:1176 With solemn pomp in annual rites return'd,
10:1177 Be thou for ever, my Adonis, mourn'd,
10:1178 Could Pluto's queen with jealous fury storm,
10:1179 And Menthe to a fragrant herb transform?
10:1180 Yet dares not Venus with a change surprise,
10:1181 And in a flow'r bid her fall'n heroe rise?
10:1182 Then on the blood sweet nectar she bestows,
10:1183 The scented blood in little bubbles rose:
10:1184 Little as rainy drops, which flutt'ring fly,
10:1185 Born by the winds, along a low'ring sky.
10:1186 Short time ensu'd, 'till where the blood was shed,
10:1187 A flow'r began to rear its purple head:
10:1188 Such, as on Punick apples is reveal'd,
10:1189 Or in the filmy rind but half conceal'd.
10:1190 Still here the Fate of lovely forms we see,
10:1191 So sudden fades the sweet Anemonie.
10:1192 The feeble stems, to stormy blasts a prey,
10:1193 Their sickly beauties droop, and pine away.
10:1194 The winds forbid the flow'rs to flourish long,
10:1195 Which owe to winds their names in Grecian song.


The Death of Orpheus

11:1 Here, while the Thracian bard's enchanting strain
11:2 Sooths beasts, and woods, and all the listn'ing plain,
11:3 The female Bacchanals, devoutly mad,
11:4 In shaggy skins, like savage creatures, clad,
11:5 Warbling in air perceiv'd his lovely lay,
11:6 And from a rising ground beheld him play.
11:7 When one, the wildest, with dishevel'd hair,
11:8 That loosely stream'd, and ruffled in the air;
11:9 Soon as her frantick eye the lyrist spy'd,
11:10 See, see! the hater of our sex, she cry'd.
11:11 Then at his face her missive javelin sent,
11:12 Which whiz'd along, and brusht him as it went;
11:13 But the soft wreathes of ivy twisted round,
11:14 Prevent a deep impression of the wound.
11:15 Another, for a weapon, hurls a stone,
11:16 Which, by the sound subdu'd as soon as thrown,
11:17 Falls at his feet, and with a seeming sense
11:18 Implores his pardon for its late offence.
11:19 But now their frantick rage unbounded grows,
11:20 Turns all to madness, and no measure knows:
11:21 Yet this the charms of musick might subdue,
11:22 But that, with all its charms, is conquer'd too;
11:23 In louder strains their hideous yellings rise,
11:24 And squeaking horn-pipes eccho thro' the skies,
11:25 Which, in hoarse consort with the drum, confound
11:26 The moving lyre, and ev'ry gentle sound:
11:27 Then 'twas the deafen'd stones flew on with speed,
11:28 And saw, unsooth'd, their tuneful poet bleed.
11:29 The birds, the beasts, and all the savage crew
11:30 Which the sweet lyrist to attention drew,
11:31 Now, by the female mob's more furious rage,
11:32 Are driv'n, and forc'd to quit the shady stage.
11:33 Next their fierce hands the bard himself assail,
11:34 Nor can his song against their wrath prevail:
11:35 They flock, like birds, when in a clustring flight,
11:36 By day they chase the boding fowl of night.
11:37 So crowded amphitheatres survey
11:38 The stag, to greedy dogs a future prey.
11:39 Their steely javelins, which soft curls entwine
11:40 Of budding tendrils from the leafy vine,
11:41 For sacred rites of mild religion made,
11:42 Are flung promiscuous at the poet's head.
11:43 Those clods of earth or flints discharge, and these
11:44 Hurl prickly branches sliver'd from the trees.
11:45 And, lest their passion shou'd be unsupply'd,
11:46 The rabble crew, by chance, at distance spy'd
11:47 Where oxen, straining at the heavy yoke,
11:48 The fallow'd field with slow advances broke;
11:49 Nigh which the brawny peasants dug the soil,
11:50 Procuring food with long laborious toil.
11:51 These, when they saw the ranting throng draw near,
11:52 Quitted their tools, and fled, possest with fear.
11:53 Long spades, and rakes of mighty size were found,
11:54 Carelesly left upon the broken ground.
11:55 With these the furious lunaticks engage,
11:56 And first the lab'ring oxen feel their rage;
11:57 Then to the poet they return with speed,
11:58 Whose fate was, past prevention, now decreed:
11:59 In vain he lifts his suppliant hands, in vain
11:60 He tries, before, his never-failing strain.
11:61 And, from those sacred lips, whose thrilling sound
11:62 Fierce tygers, and insensate rocks cou'd wound,
11:63 Ah Gods! how moving was the mournful sight!
11:64 To see the fleeting soul now take its flight.
11:65 Thee the soft warblers of the feather'd kind
11:66 Bewail'd; for thee thy savage audience pin'd;
11:67 Those rocks and woods that oft thy strain had led,
11:68 Mourn for their charmer, and lament him dead;
11:69 And drooping trees their leafy glories shed.
11:70 Naids and Dryads with dishevel'd hair
11:71 Promiscuous weep, and scarfs of sable wear;
11:72 Nor cou'd the river-Gods conceal their moan,
11:73 But with new floods of tears augment their own.
11:74 His mangled limbs lay scatter'd all around,
11:75 His head, and harp a better fortune found;
11:76 In Hebrus' streams they gently roul'd along,
11:77 And sooth'd the waters with a mournful song.
11:78 Soft deadly notes the lifeless tongue inspire,
11:79 A doleful tune sounds from the floating lyre;
11:80 The hollows banks in solemn consort mourn,
11:81 And the sad strain in ecchoing groans return.
11:82 Now with the current to the sea they glide,
11:83 Born by the billows of the briny tide;
11:84 And driv'n where waves round rocky Lesbos roar,
11:85 They strand, and lodge upon Methymna's shore.

11:86 But here, when landed on the foreign soil,
11:87 A venom'd snake, the product of the isle
11:88 Attempts the head, and sacred locks embru'd
11:89 With clotted gore, and still fresh-dropping blood.
11:90 Phoebus, at last, his kind protection gives,
11:91 And from the fact the greedy monster drives:
11:92 Whose marbled jaws his impious crime atone,
11:93 Still grinning ghastly, tho' transform'd to stone.

11:94 His ghost flies downward to the Stygian shore,
11:95 And knows the places it had seen before:
11:96 Among the shadows of the pious train
11:97 He finds Eurydice, and loves again;
11:98 With pleasure views the beauteous phantom's charms,
11:99 And clasps her in his unsubstantial arms.
11:100 There side by side they unmolested walk,
11:101 Or pass their blissful hours in pleasing talk;
11:102 Aft or before the bard securely goes,
11:103 And, without danger, can review his spouse.

The Thracian Women transform'd to Trees

11:104 Bacchus, resolving to revenge the wrong,
11:105 Of Orpheus murder'd, on the madding throng,
11:106 Decreed that each accomplice dame should stand
11:107 Fix'd by the roots along the conscious land.
11:108 Their wicked feet, that late so nimbly ran
11:109 To wreak their malice on the guiltless man,
11:110 Sudden with twisted ligatures were bound,
11:111 Like trees, deep planted in the turfy ground.
11:112 And, as the fowler with his subtle gins,
11:113 His feather'd captives by the feet entwines,
11:114 That flutt'ring pant, and struggle to get loose,
11:115 Yet only closer draw the fatal noose;
11:116 So these were caught; and, as they strove in vain
11:117 To quit the place, they but encreas'd their pain.
11:118 They flounce and toil, yet find themselves controul'd;
11:119 The root, tho' pliant, toughly keeps its hold.
11:120 In vain their toes and feet they look to find,
11:121 For ev'n their shapely legs are cloath'd with rind.
11:122 One smites her thighs with a lamenting stroke,
11:123 And finds the flesh transform'd to solid oak;
11:124 Another, with surprize, and grief distrest,
11:125 Lays on above, but beats a wooden breast.
11:126 A rugged bark their softer neck invades,
11:127 Their branching arms shoot up delightful shades;
11:128 At once they seem, and are, a real grove,
11:129 With mossy trunks below, and verdant leaves above.

The Fable of Midas

11:130 Nor this suffic'd; the God's disgust remains,
11:131 And he resolves to quit their hated plains;
11:132 The vineyards of Tymole ingross his care,
11:133 And, with a better choir, he fixes there;
11:134 Where the smooth streams of clear Pactolus roll'd,
11:135 Then undistinguish'd for its sands of gold.
11:136 The satyrs with the nymphs, his usual throng,
11:137 Come to salute their God, and jovial danc'd along.
11:138 Silenus only miss'd; for while he reel'd,
11:139 Feeble with age, and wine, about the field,
11:140 The hoary drunkard had forgot his way,
11:141 And to the Phrygian clowns became a prey;
11:142 Who to king Midas drag the captive God,
11:143 While on his totty pate the wreaths of ivy nod.

11:144 Midas from Orpheus had been taught his lore,
11:145 And knew the rites of Bacchus long before.
11:146 He, when he saw his venerable guest,
11:147 In honour of the God ordain'd a feast.
11:148 Ten days in course, with each continu'd night,
11:149 Were spent in genial mirth, and brisk delight:
11:150 Then on th' eleventh, when with brighter ray
11:151 Phosphor had chac'd the fading stars away,
11:152 The king thro' Lydia's fields young Bacchus sought,
11:153 And to the God his foster-father brought.
11:154 Pleas'd with the welcome sight, he bids him soon
11:155 But name his wish, and swears to grant the boon.
11:156 A glorious offer! yet but ill bestow'd
11:157 On him whose choice so little judgment show'd.
11:158 Give me, says he (nor thought he ask'd too much),
11:159 That with my body whatsoe'er I touch,
11:160 Chang'd from the nature which it held of old,
11:161 May be converted into yellow gold.
11:162 He had his wish; but yet the God repin'd,
11:163 To think the fool no better wish could find.

11:164 But the brave king departed from the place,
11:165 With smiles of gladness sparkling in his face:
11:166 Nor could contain, but, as he took his way,
11:167 Impatient longs to make the first essay.
11:168 Down from a lowly branch a twig he drew,
11:169 The twig strait glitter'd with a golden hue:
11:170 He takes a stone, the stone was turn'd to gold;
11:171 A clod he touches, and the crumbling mold
11:172 Acknowledg'd soon the great transforming pow'r,
11:173 In weight and substance like a mass of ore.
11:174 He pluck'd the corn, and strait his grasp appears
11:175 Fill'd with a bending tuft of golden ears.
11:176 An apple next he takes, and seems to hold
11:177 The bright Hesperian vegetable gold.
11:178 His hand he careless on a pillar lays.
11:179 With shining gold the fluted pillars blaze:
11:180 And while he washes, as the servants pour,
11:181 His touch converts the stream to Danae's show'r.

11:182 To see these miracles so finely wrought,
11:183 Fires with transporting joy his giddy thought.
11:184 The ready slaves prepare a sumptuous board,
11:185 Spread with rich dainties for their happy lord;
11:186 Whose pow'rful hands the bread no sooner hold,
11:187 But its whole substance is transform'd to gold:
11:188 Up to his mouth he lifts the sav'ry meat,
11:189 Which turns to gold as he attempts to eat:
11:190 His patron's noble juice of purple hue,
11:191 Touch'd by his lips, a gilded cordial grew;
11:192 Unfit for drink, and wondrous to behold,
11:193 It trickles from his jaws a fluid gold.

11:194 The rich poor fool, confounded with surprize,
11:195 Starving in all his various plenty lies:
11:196 Sick of his wish, he now detests the pow'r,
11:197 For which he ask'd so earnestly before;
11:198 Amidst his gold with pinching famine curst;
11:199 And justly tortur'd with an equal thirst.
11:200 At last his shining arms to Heav'n he rears,
11:201 And in distress, for refuge, flies to pray'rs.
11:202 O father Bacchus, I have sinn'd, he cry'd,
11:203 And foolishly thy gracious gift apply'd;
11:204 Thy pity now, repenting, I implore;
11:205 Oh! may I feel the golden plague no more.

11:206 The hungry wretch, his folly thus confest,
11:207 Touch'd the kind deity's good-natur'd breast;
11:208 The gentle God annull'd his first decree,
11:209 And from the cruel compact set him free.
11:210 But then, to cleanse him quite from further harm,
11:211 And to dilute the relicks of the charm,
11:212 He bids him seek the stream that cuts the land
11:213 Nigh where the tow'rs of Lydian Sardis stand;
11:214 Then trace the river to the fountain head,
11:215 And meet it rising from its rocky bed;
11:216 There, as the bubling tide pours forth amain,
11:217 To plunge his body in, and wash away the stain.
11:218 The king instructed to the fount retires,
11:219 But with the golden charm the stream inspires:
11:220 For while this quality the man forsakes,
11:221 An equal pow'r the limpid water takes;
11:222 Informs with veins of gold the neighb'ring land,
11:223 And glides along a bed of golden sand.

11:224 Now loathing wealth, th' occasion of his woes,
11:225 Far in the woods he sought a calm repose;
11:226 In caves and grottos, where the nymphs resort,
11:227 And keep with mountain Pan their sylvan court.
11:228 Ah! had he left his stupid soul behind!
11:229 But his condition alter'd not his mind.

11:230 For where high Tmolus rears his shady brow,
11:231 And from his cliffs surveys the seas below,
11:232 In his descent, by Sardis bounded here,
11:233 By the small confines of Hypaepa there,
11:234 Pan to the nymphs his frolick ditties play'd,
11:235 Tuning his reeds beneath the chequer'd shade.
11:236 The nymphs are pleas'd, the boasting sylvan plays,
11:237 And speaks with slight of great Apollo's lays.
11:238 Tmolus was arbiter; the boaster still
11:239 Accepts the tryal with unequal skill.
11:240 The venerable judge was seated high
11:241 On his own hill, that seem'd to touch the sky.
11:242 Above the whisp'ring trees his head he rears,
11:243 From their encumbring boughs to free his ears;
11:244 A wreath of oak alone his temples bound,
11:245 The pendant acorns loosely dangled round.
11:246 In me your judge, says he, there's no delay:
11:247 Then bids the goatherd God begin, and play.
11:248 Pan tun'd the pipe, and with his rural song
11:249 Pleas'd the low taste of all the vulgar throng;
11:250 Such songs a vulgar judgment mostly please,
11:251 Midas was there, and Midas judg'd with these.

11:252 The mountain sire with grave deportment now
11:253 To Phoebus turns his venerable brow:
11:254 And, as he turns, with him the listning wood
11:255 In the same posture of attention stood.
11:256 The God his own Parnassian laurel crown'd,
11:257 And in a wreath his golden tresses bound,
11:258 Graceful his purple mantle swept the ground.
11:259 High on the left his iv'ry lute he rais'd,
11:260 The lute, emboss'd with glitt'ring jewels, blaz'd
11:261 In his right hand he nicely held the quill,
11:262 His easy posture spoke a master's skill.
11:263 The strings he touch'd with more than human art,
11:264 Which pleas'd the judge's ear, and sooth'd his heart;
11:265 Who soon judiciously the palm decreed,
11:266 And to the lute postpon'd the squeaking reed.

11:267 All, with applause, the rightful sentence heard,
11:268 Midas alone dissatisfy'd appear'd;
11:269 To him unjustly giv'n the judgment seems,
11:270 For Pan's barbarick notes he most esteems.
11:271 The lyrick God, who thought his untun'd ear
11:272 Deserv'd but ill a human form to wear,
11:273 Of that deprives him, and supplies the place
11:274 With some more fit, and of an ampler space:
11:275 Fix'd on his noddle an unseemly pair,
11:276 Flagging, and large, and full of whitish hair;
11:277 Without a total change from what he was,
11:278 Still in the man preserves the simple ass.

11:279 He, to conceal the scandal of the deed,
11:280 A purple turbant folds about his head;
11:281 Veils the reproach from publick view, and fears
11:282 The laughing world would spy his monstrous ears.
11:283 One trusty barber-slave, that us'd to dress
11:284 His master's hair, when lengthen'd to excess,
11:285 The mighty secret knew, but knew alone,
11:286 And, tho' impatient, durst not make it known.
11:287 Restless, at last, a private place he found,
11:288 Then dug a hole, and told it to the ground;
11:289 In a low whisper he reveal'd the case,
11:290 And cover'd in the earth, and silent left the place.

11:291 In time, of trembling reeds a plenteous crop
11:292 From the confided furrow sprouted up;
11:293 Which, high advancing with the ripening year,
11:294 Made known the tiller, and his fruitless care:
11:295 For then the rustling blades, and whisp'ring wind,
11:296 To tell th' important secret, both combin'd.

The Building of Troy

11:297 Phoebus, with full revenge, from Tmolus flies,
11:298 Darts thro' the air, and cleaves the liquid skies;
11:299 Near Hellespont he lights, and treads the plains
11:300 Where great Laomedon sole monarch reigns;
11:301 Where, built between the two projecting strands,
11:302 To Panomphaean Jove an altar stands.
11:303 Here first aspiring thoughts the king employ,
11:304 To found the lofty tow'rs of future Troy.
11:305 The work, from schemes magnificent begun,
11:306 At vast expence was slowly carry'd on:
11:307 Which Phoebus seeing, with the trident God
11:308 Who rules the swelling surges with his nod,
11:309 Assuming each a mortal shape, combine
11:310 At a set price to finish his design.
11:311 The work was built; the king their price denies,
11:312 And his injustice backs with perjuries.
11:313 This Neptune cou'd not brook, but drove the main,
11:314 A mighty deluge, o'er the Phrygian plain:
11:315 'Twas all a sea; the waters of the deep
11:316 From ev'ry vale the copious harvest sweep;
11:317 The briny billows overflow the soil,
11:318 Ravage the fields, and mock the plowman's toil.

11:319 Nor this appeas'd the God's revengeful mind,
11:320 For still a greater plague remains behind;
11:321 A huge sea-monster lodges on the sands,
11:322 And the king's daughter for his prey demands.
11:323 To him that sav'd the damsel, was decreed
11:324 A set of horses of the Sun's fine breed:
11:325 But when Alcides from the rock unty'd
11:326 The trembling fair, the ransom was deny'd.
11:327 He, in revenge, the new-built walls attack'd,
11:328 And the twice-perjur'd city bravely sack'd.
11:329 Telamon aided, and in justice shar'd
11:330 Part of the plunder as his due reward:
11:331 The princess, rescu'd late, with all her charms,
11:332 Hesione, was yielded to his arms;
11:333 For Peleus, with a Goddess-bride, was more
11:334 Proud of his spouse, than of his birth before:
11:335 Grandsons to Jove there might be more than one,
11:336 But he the Goddess had enjoy'd alone.

The Story of Thetis and Peleus

11:337 For Proteus thus to virgin Thetis said,
11:338 Fair Goddess of the waves, consent to wed,
11:339 And take some spritely lover to your bed.
11:340 A son you'll have, the terror of the field,
11:341 To whom in fame, and pow'r his sire shall yield.

11:342 Jove, who ador'd the nymph with boundless love,
11:343 Did from his breast the dangerous flame remove.
11:344 He knew the Fates, nor car'd to raise up one,
11:345 Whose fame and greatness should eclipse his own,
11:346 On happy Peleus he bestow'd her charms,
11:347 And bless'd his grandson in the Goddess' arms:

11:348 A silent creek Thessalia's coast can show;
11:349 Two arms project, and shape it like a bow;
11:350 'Twould make a bay, but the transparent tide
11:351 Does scarce the yellow-gravell'd bottom hide;
11:352 For the quick eye may thro' the liquid wave
11:353 A firm unweedy level beach perceive.
11:354 A grove of fragrant myrtle near it grows,
11:355 Whose boughs, tho' thick, a beauteous grot disclose;
11:356 The well-wrought fabrick, to discerning eyes,
11:357 Rather by art than Nature seems to rise.
11:358 A bridled dolphin oft fair Thetis bore
11:359 To this her lov'd retreat, her fav'rite shore.
11:360 Here Peleus seiz'd her, slumbring while she lay,
11:361 And urg'd his suit with all that love could say:
11:362 But when he found her obstinately coy,
11:363 Resolv'd to force her, and command the joy;
11:364 The nymph, o'erpowr'd, to art for succour flies
11:365 And various shapes the eager youth surprize:
11:366 A bird she seems, but plies her wings in vain,
11:367 His hands the fleeting substance still detain:
11:368 A branchy tree high in the air she grew;
11:369 About its bark his nimble arms he threw:
11:370 A tyger next she glares with flaming eyes;
11:371 The frighten'd lover quits his hold, and flies:
11:372 The sea-Gods he with sacred rites adores,
11:373 Then a libation on the ocean pours;
11:374 While the fat entrails crackle in the fire,
11:375 And sheets of smoak in sweet perfume aspire;
11:376 'Till Proteus rising from his oozy bed,
11:377 Thus to the poor desponding lover said:
11:378 No more in anxious thoughts your mind employ,
11:379 For yet you shall possess the dear expected joy.
11:380 You must once more th' unwary nymph surprize,
11:381 As in her cooly grot she slumbring lies;
11:382 Then bind her fast with unrelenting hands,
11:383 And strain her tender limbs with knotted bands.
11:384 Still hold her under ev'ry different shape,
11:385 'Till tir'd she tries no longer to escape.
11:386 Thus he: then sunk beneath the glassy flood,
11:387 And broken accents flutter'd, where he stood.

11:388 Bright Sol had almost now his journey done,
11:389 And down the steepy western convex run;
11:390 When the fair Nereid left the briny wave,
11:391 And, as she us'd, retreated to her cave.
11:392 He scarce had bound her fast, when she arose,
11:393 And into various shapes her body throws:
11:394 She went to move her arms, and found 'em ty'd;
11:395 Then with a sigh, Some God assists ye, cry'd,
11:396 And in her proper shape stood blushing by his side.
11:397 About her waiste his longing arms he flung,
11:398 From which embrace the great Achilles sprung.

The Transformation of Daedalion

11:399 Peleus unmix'd felicity enjoy'd
11:400 (Blest in a valiant son, and virtuous bride),
11:401 'Till Fortune did in blood his hands imbrue,
11:402 And his own brother by curst chance he slew:
11:403 Then driv'n from Thessaly, his native clime,
11:404 Trachinia first gave shelter to his crime;
11:405 Where peaceful Ceyx mildly fill'd the throne,
11:406 And like his sire, the morning planet, shone;
11:407 But now, unlike himself, bedew'd with tears,
11:408 Mourning a brother lost, his brow appears.
11:409 First to the town with travel spent, and care,
11:410 Peleus, and his small company repair:
11:411 His herds, and flocks the while at leisure feed,
11:412 On the rich pasture of a neighb'ring mead.
11:413 The prince before the royal presence brought,
11:414 Shew'd by the suppliant olive what he sought;
11:415 Then tells his name, and race, and country right,
11:416 But hides th' unhappy reason of his flight.
11:417 He begs the king some little town to give,
11:418 Where they may safe his faithful vassals live.
11:419 Ceyx reply'd: To all my bounty flows,
11:420 A hospitable realm your suit has chose.
11:421 Your glorious race, and far-resounding fame,
11:422 And grandsire Jove, peculiar favours claim.
11:423 All you can wish, I grant; entreaties spare;
11:424 My kingdom (would 'twere worth the sharing) share.

11:425 Tears stop'd his speech: astonish'd Peleus pleads
11:426 To know the cause from whence his grief proceeds.
11:427 The prince reply'd: There's none of ye but deems
11:428 This hawk was ever such as now it seems;
11:429 Know 'twas a heroe once, Daedalion nam'd,
11:430 For warlike deeds, and haughty valour fam'd;
11:431 Like me to that bright luminary born,
11:432 Who wakes Aurora, and brings on the morn.
11:433 His fierceness still remains, and love of blood,
11:434 Now dread of birds, and tyrant of the wood.
11:435 My make was softer, peace my greatest care;
11:436 But this my brother wholly bent on war;
11:437 Late nations fear'd, and routed armies fled
11:438 That force, which now the tim'rous pigeons dread.
11:439 A daughter he possess'd, divinely fair,
11:440 And scarcely yet had seen her fifteenth year;
11:441 Young Chione: a thousand rivals strove
11:442 To win the maid, and teach her how to love.
11:443 Phoebus, and Mercury by chance one day
11:444 From Delphi, and Cyllene past this way;
11:445 Together they the virgin saw: desire
11:446 At once warm'd both their breasts with am'rous fire.
11:447 Phoebus resolv'd to wait 'till close of day;
11:448 But Mercury's hot love brook'd no delay;
11:449 With his entrancing rod the maid he charms,
11:450 And unresisted revels in her arms.
11:451 'Twas night, and Phoebus in a beldam's dress,
11:452 To the late rifled beauty got access.
11:453 Her time compleat nine circling moons had run;
11:454 To either God she bore a lovely son:
11:455 To Mercury Autolycus she brought,
11:456 Who turn'd to thefts and tricks his subtle thought;
11:457 Possess'd he was of all his father's slight,
11:458 At will made white look black, and black look white.
11:459 Philammon born to Phoebus, like his sire,
11:460 The Muses lov'd, and finely struck the lyre,
11:461 And made his voice, and touch in harmony conspire.
11:462 In vain, fond maid, you boast this double birth,
11:463 The love of Gods, and royal father's worth,
11:464 And Jove among your ancestors rehearse!
11:465 Could blessings such as these e'er prove a curse?
11:466 To her they did, who with audacious pride,
11:467 Vain of her own, Diana's charms decry'd.
11:468 Her taunts the Goddess with resentment fill;
11:469 My face you like not, you shall try my skill.
11:470 She said; and strait her vengeful bow she strung,
11:471 And sent a shaft that pierc'd her guilty tongue:
11:472 The bleeding tongue in vain its accents tries;
11:473 In the red stream her soul reluctant flies.
11:474 With sorrow wild I ran to her relief,
11:475 And try'd to moderate my brother's grief.
11:476 He, deaf as rocks by stormy surges beat,
11:477 Loudly laments, and hears me not intreat.
11:478 When on the fun'ral pile he saw her laid,
11:479 Thrice he to rush into the flames assay'd,
11:480 Thrice with officious care by us was stay'd.
11:481 Now, mad with grief, away he fled amain,
11:482 Like a stung heifer that resents the pain,
11:483 And bellowing wildly bounds along the plain.
11:484 O'er the most rugged ways so fast he ran,
11:485 He seem'd a bird already, not a man:
11:486 He left us breathless all behind; and now
11:487 In quest of death had gain'd Parnassus' brow:
11:488 But when from thence headlong himself he threw,
11:489 He fell not, but with airy pinions flew.
11:490 Phoebus in pity chang'd him to a fowl,
11:491 Whose crooked beak and claws the birds controul,
11:492 Little of bulk, but of a warlike soul.
11:493 A hawk become, the feather'd race's foe,
11:494 He tries to case his own by other's woe.

A Wolf turn'd into Marble

11:495 While they astonish'd heard the king relate
11:496 These wonders of his hapless brother's fate;
11:497 The prince's herdsman at the court arrives,
11:498 And fresh surprize to all the audience gives.
11:499 O Peleus, Peleus! dreadful news I bear,
11:500 He said; and trembled as he spoke for fear.
11:501 The worst, affrighted Peleus bid him tell,
11:502 Whilst Ceyx too grew pale with friendly zeal.
11:503 Thus he began: When Sol mid-heav'n had gain'd,
11:504 And half his way was past, and half remain'd,
11:505 I to the level shore my cattle drove,
11:506 And let them freely in the meadows rove.
11:507 Some stretch'd at length admire the watry plain,
11:508 Some crop'd the herb, some wanton swam the main.
11:509 A temple stands of antique make hard by,
11:510 Where no gilt domes, nor marble lure the eye;
11:511 Unpolish'd rafters bear its lowly height,
11:512 Hid by a grove, as ancient, from the sight.
11:513 Here Nereus, and the Nereids they adore;
11:514 I learnt it from the man who thither bore
11:515 His net, to dry it on the sunny shore.
11:516 Adjoyns a lake, inclos'd with willows round,
11:517 Where swelling waves have overflow'd the mound,
11:518 And, muddy, stagnate on the lower ground.
11:519 From thence a russling noise increasing flies,
11:520 Strikes the still shore; and frights us with surprize,
11:521 Strait a huge wolf rush'd from the marshy wood,
11:522 His jaws besmear'd with mingled foam, and blood,
11:523 Tho' equally by hunger urg'd, and rage,
11:524 His appetite he minds not to asswage;
11:525 Nought that he meets, his rabid fury spares,
11:526 But the whole herd with mad disorder tears.
11:527 Some of our men who strove to drive him thence,
11:528 Torn by his teeth, have dy'd in their defence.
11:529 The echoing lakes, the sea, and fields, and shore,
11:530 Impurpled blush with streams of reeking gore.
11:531 Delay is loss, nor have we time for thought;
11:532 While yet some few remain alive, we ought
11:533 To seize our arms, and with confederate force
11:534 Try if we so can stop his bloody course.
11:535 But Peleus car'd not for his ruin'd herd;
11:536 His crime he call'd to mind, and thence inferr'd,
11:537 That Psamathe's revenge this havock made,
11:538 In sacrifice to murder'd Phocus' shade.
11:539 The king commands his servants to their arms;
11:540 Resolv'd to go; but the loud noise alarms
11:541 His lovely queen, who from her chamber flew,
11:542 And her half-plaited hair behind her threw:
11:543 About his neck she hung with loving fears,
11:544 And now with words, and now with pleading tears,
11:545 Intreated that he'd send his men alone,
11:546 And stay himself, to save two lives in one.
11:547 Then Peleus: Your just fears, o queen, forget;
11:548 Too much the offer leaves me in your debt.
11:549 No arms against the monster I shall bear,
11:550 But the sea nymphs appease with humble pray'r.

11:551 The citadel's high turrets pierce the sky,
11:552 Which home-bound vessels, glad, from far descry;
11:553 This they ascend, and thence with sorrow ken
11:554 The mangled heifers lye, and bleeding men;
11:555 Th' inexorable ravager they view,
11:556 With blood discolour'd, still the rest pursue:
11:557 There Peleus pray'd submissive tow'rds the sea,
11:558 And deprecates the ire of injur'd Psamathe.
11:559 But deaf to all his pray'rs the nymph remain'd,
11:560 'Till Thetis for her spouse the boon obtain'd.
11:561 Pleas'd with the luxury, the furious beast,
11:562 Unstop'd, continues still his bloody feast:
11:563 While yet upon a sturdy bull he flew,
11:564 Chang'd by the nymph, a marble block he grew.
11:565 No longer dreadful now the wolf appears,
11:566 Bury'd in stone, and vanish'd like their fears.
11:567 Yet still the Fates unhappy Peleus vex'd;
11:568 To the Magnesian shore he wanders next.
11:569 Acastus there, who rul'd the peaceful clime,
11:570 Grants his request, and expiates his crime.

The Story of Ceyx and Alcyone

11:571 These prodigies affect the pious prince,
11:572 But more perplex'd with those that happen'd since,
11:573 He purposes to seek the Clarian God,
11:574 Avoiding Delphi, his more fam'd abode,
11:575 Since Phlegyan robbers made unsafe the road.
11:576 Yet could he not from her he lov'd so well,
11:577 The fatal voyage, he resolv'd, conceal;
11:578 But when she saw her lord prepar'd to part,
11:579 A deadly cold ran shiv'ring to her heart;
11:580 Her faded cheeks are chang'd to boxen hue,
11:581 And in her eyes the tears are ever new.
11:582 She thrice essay'd to speak; her accents hung,
11:583 And falt'ring dy'd unfinish'd on her tongue,
11:584 And vanish'd into sighs: with long delay
11:585 Her voice return'd, and found the wonted way.

11:586 Tell me, my lord, she said, what fault unknown
11:587 Thy once belov'd Alcyone has done?
11:588 Whither, ah, whither, is thy kindness gone!
11:589 Can Ceyx then sustain to leave his wife,
11:590 And unconcern'd forsake the sweets of life?
11:591 What can thy mind to this long journey move?
11:592 Or need'st thou absence to renew thy love?
11:593 Yet, if thou go'st by land, tho' grief possess
11:594 My soul ev'n then, my fears will be the less.
11:595 But ah! be warn'd to shun the watry way,
11:596 The face is frightful of the stormy sea:
11:597 For late I saw a-drift disjointed planks,
11:598 And empty tombs erected on the banks.
11:599 Nor let false hopes to trust betray thy mind,
11:600 Because my sire in caves constrains the wind,
11:601 Can with a breath their clam'rous rage appease,
11:602 They fear his whistle, and forsake the seas:
11:603 Not so; for once indulg'd, they sweep the main;
11:604 Deaf to the call, or hearing, hear in vain;
11:605 But bent on mischief bear the waves before,
11:606 And not content with seas, insult the shore,
11:607 When ocean, air, and Earth, at once ingage,
11:608 And rooted forests fly before their rage:
11:609 At once the clashing clouds to battel move,
11:610 And lightnings run across the fields above:
11:611 I know them well, and mark'd their rude comport,
11:612 While yet a child within my father's court:
11:613 In times of tempest they command alone,
11:614 And he but sits precarious on the throne:
11:615 The more I know, the more my fears augment;
11:616 And fears are oft prophetick of th' event.
11:617 But if not fears, or reasons will prevail,
11:618 If Fate has fix'd thee obstinate to sail,
11:619 Go not without thy wife, but let me bear
11:620 My part of danger with an equal share,
11:621 And present, what I suffer only fear:
11:622 Then o'er the bounding billows shall we fly,
11:623 Secure to live together, or to die.

11:624 These reasons mov'd her warlike husband's heart,
11:625 But still he held his purpose to depart:
11:626 For as he lov'd her equal to his life,
11:627 He would not to the seas expose his wife;
11:628 Nor could be wrought his voyage to refrain,
11:629 But sought by arguments to sooth her pain:
11:630 Nor these avail'd; at length he lights on one,
11:631 With which so difficult a cause he won:
11:632 My love, so short an absence cease to fear,
11:633 For by my father's holy flame I swear,
11:634 Before two moons their orb with light adorn,
11:635 If Heav'n allow me life, I will return.

11:636 This promise of so short a stay prevails;
11:637 He soon equips the ship, supplies the sails,
11:638 And gives the word to launch; she trembling views
11:639 This pomp of death, and parting tears renews:
11:640 Last with a kiss, she took a long farewel,
11:641 Sigh'd with a sad presage, and swooning fell:
11:642 While Ceyx seeks delays, the lusty crew,
11:643 Rais'd on their banks, their oars in order drew
11:644 To their broad breasts, the ship with fury flew.

11:645 The queen recover'd, rears her humid eyes,
11:646 And first her husband on the poop espies,
11:647 Shaking his hand at distance on the main;
11:648 She took the sign, and shook her hand again.
11:649 Still as the ground recedes, contracts her view
11:650 With sharpen'd sight, 'till she no longer knew
11:651 The much-lov'd face; that comfort lost supplies
11:652 With less, and with the galley feeds her eyes;
11:653 The galley born from view by rising gales,
11:654 She follow'd with her sight the flying sails:
11:655 When ev'n the flying sails were seen no more,
11:656 Forsaken of all sight she left the shore.

11:657 Then on her bridal bed her body throws,
11:658 And sought in sleep her wearied eyes to close:
11:659 Her husband's pillow, and the widow'd part
11:660 Which once he press'd, renew'd the former smart.

11:661 And now a breeze from shoar began to blow,
11:662 The sailors ship their oars, and cease to row;
11:663 Then hoist their yards a-trip, and all their sails
11:664 Let fall, to court the wind, and catch the gales:
11:665 By this the vessel half her course had run,
11:666 Both shoars were lost to sight, when at the close
11:667 Of day a stiffer gale at east arose:
11:668 The sea grew white, the rouling waves from far,
11:669 Like heralds, first denounce the watry war.

11:670 This seen, the master soon began to cry,
11:671 Strike, strike the top-sail; let the main-sheet fly,
11:672 And furl your sails: the winds repel the sound,
11:673 And in the speaker's mouth the speech is drown'd.
11:674 Yet of their own accord, as danger taught
11:675 Each in his way, officiously they wrought;
11:676 Some stow their oars, or stop the leaky sides,
11:677 Another bolder, yet the yard bestrides,
11:678 And folds the sails; a fourth with labour laves
11:679 Th' intruding seas, and waves ejects on waves.

11:680 In this confusion while their work they ply,
11:681 The winds augment the winter of the sky,
11:682 And wage intestine wars; the suff'ring seas
11:683 Are toss'd, and mingled, as their tyrants please.
11:684 The master would command, but in despair
11:685 Of safety, stands amaz'd with stupid care,
11:686 Nor what to bid, or what forbid he knows,
11:687 Th' ungovern'd tempest to such fury grows:
11:688 Vain is his force, and vainer is his skill;
11:689 With such a concourse comes the flood of ill;
11:690 The cries of men are mix'd with rattling shrowds;
11:691 Seas dash on seas, and clouds encounter clouds:
11:692 At once from east to west, from pole to pole,
11:693 The forky lightnings flash, the roaring thunders roul.

11:694 Now waves on waves ascending scale the skies,
11:695 And in the fires above the water fries:
11:696 When yellow sands are sifted from below,
11:697 The glittering billows give a golden show:
11:698 And when the fouler bottom spews the black
11:699 The Stygian dye the tainted waters take:
11:700 Then frothy white appear the flatted seas,
11:701 And change their colour, changing their disease,
11:702 Like various fits the Trachin vessel finds,
11:703 And now sublime, she rides upon the winds;
11:704 As from a lofty summit looks from high,
11:705 And from the clouds beholds the nether sky;
11:706 Now from the depth of Hell they lift their sight,
11:707 And at a distance see superior light;
11:708 The lashing billows make a loud report,
11:709 And beat her sides, as batt'ring rams a fort:
11:710 Or as a lion bounding in his way,
11:711 With force augmented, bears against his prey,
11:712 Sidelong to seize; or unapal'd with fear,
11:713 Springs on the toils, and rushes on the spear:
11:714 So seas impell'd by winds, with added pow'r
11:715 Assault the sides, and o'er the hatches tow'r.

11:716 The planks (their pitchy cov'ring wash'd away)
11:717 Now yield; and now a yawning breach display:
11:718 The roaring waters with a hostile tide
11:719 Rush through the ruins of her gaping side.
11:720 Mean-time in sheets of rain the sky descends,
11:721 And ocean swell'd with waters upwards tends;
11:722 One rising, falling one, the Heav'ns and sea
11:723 Meet at their confines, in the middle way:
11:724 The sails are drunk with show'rs, and drop with rain,
11:725 Sweet waters mingle with the briny main.
11:726 No star appears to lend his friendly light;
11:727 Darkness, and tempest make a double night;
11:728 But flashing fires disclose the deep by turns,
11:729 And while the lightnings blaze, the water burns.

11:730 Now all the waves their scatter'd force unite,
11:731 And as a soldier foremost in the fight,
11:732 Makes way for others, and an host alone
11:733 Still presses on, and urging gains the town;
11:734 So while th' invading billows come a-breast,
11:735 The hero tenth advanc'd before the rest,
11:736 Sweeps all before him with impetuous sway,
11:737 And from the walls descends upon the prey;
11:738 Part following enter, part remain without,
11:739 With envy hear their fellows' conqu'ring shout,
11:740 And mount on others' backs, in hopes to share
11:741 The city, thus become the seat of war.

11:742 An universal cry resounds aloud,
11:743 The sailors run in heaps, a helpless crowd;
11:744 Art fails, and courage falls, no succour near;
11:745 As many waves, as many deaths appear.
11:746 One weeps, and yet despairs of late relief;
11:747 One cannot weep, his fears congeal his grief,
11:748 But stupid, with dry eyes expects his fate:
11:749 One with loud shrieks laments his lost estate,
11:750 And calls those happy whom their fun'rals wait.
11:751 This wretch with pray'rs and vows the Gods implores,
11:752 And ev'n the skies he cannot see, adores.
11:753 That other on his friends his thoughts bestows,
11:754 His careful father, and his faithful spouse.
11:755 The covetous worldling in his anxious mind,
11:756 Thinks only on the wealth he left behind.

11:757 All Ceyx his Alcyone employs,
11:758 For her he grieves, yet in her absence joys:
11:759 His wife he wishes, and would still be near,
11:760 Not her with him, but wishes him with her:
11:761 Now with last looks he seeks his native shoar,
11:762 Which Fate has destin'd him to see no more;
11:763 He sought, but in the dark tempestuous night
11:764 He knew not whither to direct his sight.
11:765 So whirl the seas, such darkness blinds the sky,
11:766 That the black night receives a deeper dye.

11:767 The giddy ship ran round; the tempest tore
11:768 Her mast, and over-board the rudder bore.
11:769 One billow mounts, and with a scornful brow,
11:770 Proud of her conquest gain'd, insults the waves below;
11:771 Nor lighter falls, than if some giant tore
11:772 Pindus and Athos with the freight they bore,
11:773 And toss'd on seas; press'd with the pond'rous blow,
11:774 Down sinks the ship within th' abyss below:
11:775 Down with the vessel sink into the main
11:776 The many, never more to rise again.
11:777 Some few on scatter'd planks, with fruitless care,
11:778 Lay hold, and swim; but while they swim, despair.

11:779 Ev'n he who late a scepter did command,
11:780 Now grasps a floating fragment in his hand;
11:781 And while he struggles on the stormy main,
11:782 Invokes his father, and his wife's, in vain.
11:783 But yet his consort is his greatest care,
11:784 Alcyone he names amidst his pray'r;
11:785 Names as a charm against the waves and wind;
11:786 Most in his mouth, and ever in his mind.
11:787 Tir'd with his toil, all hopes of safety past,
11:788 From pray'rs to wishes he descends at last;
11:789 That his dead body, wafted to the sands,
11:790 Might have its burial from her friendly hands,
11:791 As oft as he can catch a gulp of air,
11:792 And peep above the seas, he names the fair;
11:793 And ev'n when plung'd beneath, on her he raves,
11:794 Murm'ring Alcyone below the waves:
11:795 At last a falling billow stops his breath,
11:796 Breaks o'er his head, and whelms him underneath.
11:797 That night, his heav'nly form obscur'd with tears,
11:798 And since he was forbid to leave the skies,
11:799 He muffled with a cloud his mournful eyes.

11:800 Mean-time Alcyone (his fate unknown)
11:801 Computes how many nights he had been gone.
11:802 Observes the waining moon with hourly view,
11:803 Numbers her age, and wishes for a new;
11:804 Against the promis'd time provides with care,
11:805 And hastens in the woof the robes he was to wear:
11:806 And for her self employs another loom,
11:807 New-dress'd to meet her lord returning home,
11:808 Flatt'ring her heart with joys, that never were to come:
11:809 She fum'd the temples with an od'rous flame,
11:810 And oft before the sacred altars came,
11:811 To pray for him, who was an empty name.
11:812 All Pow'rs implor'd, but far above the rest
11:813 To Juno she her pious vows address'd,
11:814 Her much-lov'd lord from perils to protect,
11:815 And safe o'er seas his voyage to direct:
11:816 Then pray'd, that she might still possess his heart,
11:817 And no pretending rival share a part;
11:818 This last petition heard of all her pray'r,
11:819 The rest, dispers'd by winds, were lost in air.

11:820 But she, the Goddess of the nuptial bed,
11:821 Tir'd with her vain devotions for the dead,
11:822 Resolv'd the tainted hand should be repell'd,
11:823 Which incense offer'd, and her altar held:
11:824 Then Iris thus bespoke: Thou faithful maid,
11:825 By whom thy queen's commands are well convey'd,
11:826 Haste to the house of sleep, and bid the God
11:827 Who rules the night by visions with a nod,
11:828 Prepare a dream, in figure, and in form
11:829 Resembling him, who perish'd in the storm;
11:830 This form before Alcyone present,
11:831 To make her certain of the sad event.

11:832 Indu'd with robes of various hue she flies,
11:833 And flying draws an arch (a segment of the skies):
11:834 Then leaves her bending bow, and from the steep
11:835 Descends, to search the silent house of sleep.

The House of Sleep

11:836 Near the Cymmerians, in his dark abode,
11:837 Deep in a cavern, dwells the drowzy God;
11:838 Whose gloomy mansion nor the rising sun,
11:839 Nor setting, visits, nor the lightsome noon;
11:840 But lazy vapours round the region fly,
11:841 Perpetual twilight, and a doubtful sky:
11:842 No crowing cock does there his wings display,
11:843 Nor with his horny bill provoke the day;
11:844 Nor watchful dogs, nor the more wakeful geese,
11:845 Disturb with nightly noise the sacred peace;
11:846 Nor beast of Nature, nor the tame are nigh,
11:847 Nor trees with tempests rock'd, nor human cry;
11:848 But safe repose without an air of breath
11:849 Dwells here, and a dumb quiet next to death.

11:850 An arm of Lethe, with a gentle flow
11:851 Arising upwards from the rock below,
11:852 The palace moats, and o'er the pebbles creeps,
11:853 And with soft murmurs calls the coming sleeps.
11:854 Around its entry nodding poppies grow,
11:855 And all cool simples that sweet rest bestow;
11:856 Night from the plants their sleepy virtue drains,
11:857 And passing, sheds it on the silent plains:
11:858 No door there was th' unguarded house to keep,
11:859 On creaking hinges turn'd, to break his sleep.

11:860 But in the gloomy court was rais'd a bed,
11:861 Stuff'd with black plumes, and on an ebon-sted:
11:862 Black was the cov'ring too, where lay the God,
11:863 And slept supine, his limbs display'd abroad:
11:864 About his head fantastick visions fly,
11:865 Which various images of things supply,
11:866 And mock their forms; the leaves on trees not more,
11:867 Nor bearded ears in fields, nor sands upon the shore.

11:868 The virgin ent'ring bright, indulg'd the day
11:869 To the brown cave, and brush'd the dreams away:
11:870 The God disturb'd with this new glare of light,
11:871 Cast sudden on his face, unseal'd his sight,
11:872 And rais'd his tardy head, which sunk again,
11:873 And sinking, on his bosom knock'd his chin;
11:874 At length shook off himself, and ask'd the dame,
11:875 (And asking yawn'd) for what intent she came.

11:876 To whom the Goddess thus: O sacred rest,
11:877 Sweet pleasing sleep, of all the Pow'rs the best!
11:878 O peace of mind, repairer of decay,
11:879 Whose balms renew the limbs to labours of the day,
11:880 Care shuns thy soft approach, and sullen flies away!
11:881 Adorn a dream, expressing human form,
11:882 The shape of him who suffer'd in the storm,
11:883 And send it flitting to the Trachin court,
11:884 The wreck of wretched Ceyx to report:
11:885 Before his queen bid the pale spectre stand,
11:886 Who begs a vain relief at Juno's hand.
11:887 She said, and scarce awake her eyes could keep,
11:888 Unable to support the fumes of sleep;
11:889 But fled, returning by the way she went,
11:890 And swerv'd along her bow with swift ascent.

11:891 The God, uneasy 'till he slept again,
11:892 Resolv'd at once to rid himself of pain;
11:893 And, tho' against his custom, call'd aloud,
11:894 Exciting Morpheus from the sleepy crowd:
11:895 Morpheus, of all his numerous train, express'd
11:896 The shape of man, and imitated best;
11:897 The walk, the words, the gesture could supply,
11:898 The habit mimick, and the mein bely;
11:899 Plays well, but all his action is confin'd,
11:900 Extending not beyond our human kind.
11:901 Another, birds, and beasts, and dragons apes,
11:902 And dreadful images, and monster shapes:
11:903 This demon, Icelos, in Heav'n's high hall
11:904 The Gods have nam'd; but men Phobetor call.
11:905 A third is Phantasus, whose actions roul
11:906 On meaner thoughts, and things devoid of soul;
11:907 Earth, fruits, and flow'rs he represents in dreams,
11:908 And solid rocks unmov'd, and running streams.
11:909 These three to kings, and chiefs their scenes display,
11:910 The rest before th' ignoble commons play.
11:911 Of these the chosen Morpheus is dispatch'd;
11:912 Which done, the lazy monarch, over-watch'd,
11:913 Down from his propping elbow drops his head,
11:914 Dissolv'd in sleep, and shrinks within his bed.

11:915 Darkling the demon glides, for flight prepar'd,
11:916 So soft, that scarce his fanning wings are heard.
11:917 To Trachin, swift as thought, the flitting shade,
11:918 Thro' air his momentary journey made:
11:919 Then lays aside the steerage of his wings,
11:920 Forsakes his proper form, assumes the king's;
11:921 And pale, as death, despoil'd of his array,
11:922 Into the queen's apartment takes his way,
11:923 And stands before the bed at dawn of day:
11:924 Unmov'd his eyes, and wet his beard appears;
11:925 And shedding vain, but seeming real tears;
11:926 The briny waters dropping from his hairs.
11:927 Then staring on her with a ghastly look,
11:928 And hollow voice, he thus the queen bespoke.

11:929 Know'st thou not me? Not yet, unhappy wife?
11:930 Or are my features perish'd with my life?
11:931 Look once again, and for thy husband lost,
11:932 Lo all that's left of him, thy husband's ghost!
11:933 Thy vows for my return were all in vain,
11:934 The stormy south o'ertook us in the main,
11:935 And never shalt thou see thy living lord again.
11:936 Bear witness, Heav'n, I call'd on thee in death,
11:937 And while I call'd, a billow stop'd my breath.
11:938 Think not, that flying fame reports my fate;
11:939 I present, I appear, and my own wreck relate.
11:940 Rise, wretched widow, rise; nor undeplor'd
11:941 Permit my soul to pass the Stygian ford;
11:942 But rise, prepar'd in black, to mourn thy perish'd lord.

11:943 Thus said the player-God; and adding art
11:944 Of voice and gesture, so perform'd his part,
11:945 She thought (so like her love the shade appears)
11:946 That Ceyx spake the words, and Ceyx shed the tears;
11:947 She groan'd, her inward soul with grief opprest,
11:948 She sigh'd, she wept, and sleeping beat her breast;
11:949 Then stretch'd her arms t' embrace his body bare;
11:950 Her clasping arms inclose but empty air:
11:951 At this, not yet awake, she cry'd, O stay;
11:952 One is our fate, and common is our way!

11:953 So dreadful was the dream, so loud she spoke,
11:954 That starting sudden up, the slumber broke:
11:955 Then cast her eyes around, in hope to view
11:956 Her vanish'd lord, and find the vision true:
11:957 For now the maids, who waited her commands,
11:958 Ran in with lighted tapers in their hands.
11:959 Tir'd with the search, not finding what she seeks,
11:960 With cruel blows she pounds her blubber'd cheeks;
11:961 Then from her beaten breast the linnen tare,
11:962 And cut the golden caul that bound her hair.
11:963 Her nurse demands the cause; with louder cries
11:964 She prosecutes her griefs, and thus replies.

11:965 No more Alcyone; she suffer'd death
11:966 With her lov'd lord, when Ceyx lost his breath:
11:967 No flatt'ry, no false comfort, give me none,
11:968 My shipwreck'd Ceyx is for ever gone:
11:969 I saw, I saw him manifest in view,
11:970 His voice, his figure, and his gestures knew:
11:971 His lustre lost, and ev'ry living grace,
11:972 Yet I retain'd the features of his face;
11:973 Tho' with pale cheeks, wet beard, and dropping hair,
11:974 None but my Ceyx could appear so fair:
11:975 I would have strain'd him with a strict embrace,
11:976 But thro' my arms he slipt, and vanish'd from the place:
11:977 There, ev'n just there he stood; and as she spoke,
11:978 Where last the spectre was she cast her look:
11:979 Fain would she hope, and gaz'd upon the ground,
11:980 If any printed footsteps might be found.

11:981 Then sigh'd, and said: This I too well foreknew,
11:982 And my prophetick fears presag'd too true:
11:983 'Twas what I begg'd, when with a bleeding heart
11:984 I took my leave, and suffer'd thee to part;
11:985 Or I to go along, or thou to stay,
11:986 Never, ah never to divide our way!
11:987 Happier for me, that all our hours assign'd
11:988 Together we had liv'd; ev'n not in death disjoin'd!
11:989 So had my Ceyx still been living here,
11:990 Or with my Ceyx I had perish'd there:
11:991 Now I die absent, in the vast profound;
11:992 And me, without my self, the seas have drown'd.
11:993 The storms were not so cruel: should I strive
11:994 To lengthen life, and such a grief survive;
11:995 But neither will I strive, nor wretched thee
11:996 In death forsake, but keep thee company.
11:997 If not one common sepulchre contains
11:998 Our bodies, or one urn our last remains,
11:999 Yet Ceyx and Alcyone shall join,
11:1000 Their names remember'd in one common line.

11:1001 No farther voice her mighty grief affords,
11:1002 For sighs come rushing in betwixt her words,
11:1003 And stop'd her tongue; but what her tongue deny'd,
11:1004 Soft tears, and groans, and dumb complaints supply'd.

11:1005 'Twas morning; to the port she takes her way,
11:1006 And stands upon the margin of the sea:
11:1007 That place, that very spot of ground she sought,
11:1008 Or thither by her destiny was brought,
11:1009 Where last he stood: and while she sadly said,
11:1010 'Twas here he left me, lingring here delay'd
11:1011 His parting kiss, and there his anchors weigh'd.

11:1012 Thus speaking, while her thoughts past actions trace,
11:1013 And call to mind, admonish'd by the place,
11:1014 Sharp at her utmost ken she cast her eyes,
11:1015 And somewhat floating from afar descries:
11:1016 It seems a corps a-drift to distant sight,
11:1017 But at a distance who could judge aright?
11:1018 It wafted nearer yet, and then she knew,
11:1019 That what before she but surmis'd, was true:
11:1020 A corps it was, but whose it was, unknown,
11:1021 Yet mov'd, howe'er, she made the cause her own.
11:1022 Took the bad omen of a shipwreck'd man,
11:1023 As for a stranger wept, and thus began.

11:1024 Poor wretch, on stormy seas to lose thy life,
11:1025 Unhappy thou, but more thy widow'd wife;
11:1026 At this she paus'd: for now the flowing tide
11:1027 Had brought the body nearer to the side:
11:1028 The more she looks, the more her fears increase,
11:1029 At nearer sight; and she's her self the less:
11:1030 Now driv'n ashore, and at her feet it lies,
11:1031 She knows too much in knowing whom she sees:
11:1032 Her husband's corps; at this she loudly shrieks,
11:1033 'Tis he, 'tis he, she cries, and tears her cheeks,
11:1034 Her hair, and vest; and stooping to the sands,
11:1035 About his neck she cast her trembling hands.

11:1036 And is it thus, o dearer than my life,
11:1037 Thus, thus return'st thou to thy longing wife!
11:1038 She said, and to the neighbouring mole she strode,
11:1039 (Rais'd there to break th' incursions of the flood).

11:1040 Headlong from hence to plunge her self she springs,
11:1041 But shoots along, supported on her wings;
11:1042 A bird new-made, about the banks she plies,
11:1043 Not far from shore, and short excursions tries;
11:1044 Nor seeks in air her humble flight to raise,
11:1045 Content to skim the surface of the seas:
11:1046 Her bill tho' slender, sends a creaking noise,
11:1047 And imitates a lamentable voice.
11:1048 Now lighting where the bloodless body lies,
11:1049 She with a fun'ral note renews her cries:
11:1050 At all her stretch, her little wings she spread,
11:1051 And with her feather'd arms embrac'd the dead:
11:1052 Then flick'ring to his palid lips, she strove
11:1053 To print a kiss, the last essay of love.
11:1054 Whether the vital touch reviv'd the dead,
11:1055 Or that the moving waters rais'd his head
11:1056 To meet the kiss, the vulgar doubt alone;
11:1057 For sure a present miracle was shown.
11:1058 The Gods their shapes to winter-birds translate,
11:1059 But both obnoxious to their former fate.
11:1060 Their conjugal affection still is ty'd,
11:1061 And still the mournful race is multiply'd:
11:1062 They bill, they tread; Alcyone compress'd,
11:1063 Sev'n days sits brooding on her floating nest:
11:1064 A wintry queen: her sire at length is kind,
11:1065 Calms ev'ry storm, and hushes ev'ry wind;
11:1066 Prepares his empire for his daughter's ease,
11:1067 And for his hatching nephews smooths the seas.

Aesacus transform'd into a Cormorant

11:1068 These some old man sees wanton in the air,
11:1069 And praises the unhappy constant pair.
11:1070 Then to his friend the long-neck'd corm'rant shows,
11:1071 The former tale reviving others' woes:
11:1072 That sable bird, he cries, which cuts the flood
11:1073 With slender legs, was once of royal blood;
11:1074 His ancestors from mighty Tros proceed,
11:1075 The brave Laomedon, and Ganymede
11:1076 (Whose beauty tempted Jove to steal the boy),
11:1077 And Priam, hapless prince! who fell with Troy:
11:1078 Himself was Hector's brother, and (had Fate
11:1079 But giv'n this hopeful youth a longer date)
11:1080 Perhaps had rival'd warlike Hector's worth,
11:1081 Tho' on the mother's side of meaner birth;
11:1082 Fair Alyxothoe, a country maid,
11:1083 Bare Aesacus by stealth in Ida's shade.
11:1084 He fled the noisy town, and pompous court,
11:1085 Lov'd the lone hills, and simple rural sport.
11:1086 And seldom to the city would resort.
11:1087 Yet he no rustick clownishness profest,
11:1088 Nor was soft love a stranger to his breast:
11:1089 The youth had long the nymph Hesperie woo'd,
11:1090 Oft thro' the thicket, or the mead pursu'd:
11:1091 Her haply on her father's bank he spy'd,
11:1092 While fearless she her silver tresses dry'd;
11:1093 Away she fled: not stags with half such speed,
11:1094 Before the prowling wolf, scud o'er the mead;
11:1095 Not ducks, when they the safer flood forsake,
11:1096 Pursu'd by hawks, so swift regain the lake.
11:1097 As fast he follow'd in the hot career;
11:1098 Desire the lover wing'd, the virgin fear.
11:1099 A snake unseen now pierc'd her heedless foot;
11:1100 Quick thro' the veins the venom'd juices shoot:
11:1101 She fell, and 'scap'd by death his fierce pursuit;
11:1102 Her lifeless body, frighted, he embrac'd,
11:1103 And cry'd, Not this I dreaded, but thy haste:
11:1104 O had my love been less, or less thy fear!
11:1105 The victory, thus bought, is far too dear.
11:1106 Accursed snake! yet I more curs'd than he!
11:1107 He gave the wound; the cause was given by me.
11:1108 Yet none shall say, that unreveng'd you dy'd.
11:1109 He spoke; then climb'd a cliff's o'er-hanging side,
11:1110 And, resolute, leap'd on the foaming tide.
11:1111 Tethys receiv'd him gently on the wave;
11:1112 The death he sought deny'd, and feathers gave.
11:1113 Debarr'd the surest remedy of grief,
11:1114 And forc'd to live, he curst th' unask'd relief.
11:1115 Then on his airy pinions upward flies,
11:1116 And at a second fall successless tries;
11:1117 The downy plume a quick descent denies.
11:1118 Enrag'd, he often dives beneath the wave,
11:1119 And there in vain expects to find a grave.
11:1120 His ceaseless sorrow for th' unhappy maid,
11:1121 Meager'd his look, and on his spirits prey'd.
11:1122 Still near the sounding deep he lives; his name
11:1123 From frequent diving and emerging came.


The Trojan War

12:1 Priam, to whom the story was unknown,
12:2 As dead, deplor'd his metamorphos'd son:
12:3 A cenotaph his name, and title kept,
12:4 And Hector round the tomb, with all his brothers, wept.
12:5 This pious office Paris did not share;
12:6 Absent alone; and author of the war,
12:7 Which, for the Spartan queen, the Grecians drew
12:8 T' avenge the rape; and Asia to subdue.
12:9 A thousand ships were mann'd, to sail the sea:
12:10 Nor had their just resentments found delay,
12:11 Had not the winds, and waves oppos'd their way.
12:12 At Aulis, with united pow'rs they meet,
12:13 But there, cross-winds or calms detain'd the fleet.
12:14 Now, while they raise an altar on the shore,
12:15 And Jove with solemn sacrifice adore;
12:16 A boding sign the priests and people see:
12:17 A snake of size immense ascends a tree,
12:18 And, in the leafie summit, spy'd a nest,
12:19 Which o'er her callow young, a sparrow press'd.
12:20 Eight were the birds unfledg'd; their mother flew,
12:21 And hover'd round her care; but still in view:
12:22 'Till the fierce reptile first devour'd the brood,
12:23 Then seiz'd the flutt'ring dam, and drunk her blood.
12:24 This dire ostent, the fearful people view;
12:25 Calchas alone, by Phoebus taught, foreknew
12:26 What Heav'n decreed; and with a smiling glance,
12:27 Thus gratulates to Greece her happy chance:
12:28 O Argives, we shall conquer: Troy is ours,
12:29 But long delays shall first afflict our pow'rs:
12:30 Nine years of labour, the nine birds portend;
12:31 The tenth shall in the town's destruction end.

12:32 The serpent, who his maw obscene had fill'd,
12:33 The branches in his curl'd embraces held:
12:34 But, as in spires he stood, he turn'd to stone:
12:35 The stony snake retain'd the figure still his own.

12:36 Yet, not for this, the wind-bound navy weigh'd;
12:37 Slack were their sails; and Neptune disobey'd.
12:38 Some thought him loth the town should be destroy'd,
12:39 Whose building had his hands divine employ'd:
12:40 Not so the seer; who knew, and known foreshow'd,
12:41 The virgin Phoebe, with a virgin's blood
12:42 Must first be reconcil'd: the common cause
12:43 Prevail'd; and pity yielding to the laws,
12:44 Fair Iphigenia the devoted maid
12:45 Was, by the weeping priests, in linnen-robes array'd;
12:46 All mourn her fate; but no relief appear'd;
12:47 The royal victim bound, the knife already rear'd:
12:48 When that offended Pow'r, who caus'd their woe,
12:49 Relenting ceas'd her wrath; and stop'd the coming blow.
12:50 A mist before the ministers she cast,
12:51 And, in the virgin's room, a hind she plac'd.
12:52 Th' oblation slain, and Phoebe, reconcil'd,
12:53 The storm was hush'd, and dimpled ocean smil'd:
12:54 A favourable gale arose from shore,
12:55 Which to the port desir'd, the Graecian gallies bore.

The House of Fame

12:56 Full in the midst of this created space,
12:57 Betwixt Heav'n, Earth, and skies, there stands a place,
12:58 Confining on all three, with triple bound;
12:59 Whence all things, tho' remote, are view'd around;
12:60 And thither bring their undulating sound.
12:61 The palace of loud Fame, her seat of pow'r,
12:62 Plac'd on the summet of a lofty tow'r;
12:63 A thousand winding entries long and wide,
12:64 Receive of fresh reports a flowing tide.
12:65 A thousand crannies in the walls are made;
12:66 Nor gate, nor bars exclude the busie trade.
12:67 'Tis built of brass, the better to diffuse
12:68 The spreading sounds, and multiply the news:
12:69 Where eccho's in repeated eccho's play:
12:70 A mart for ever full, and open night and day.
12:71 Nor silence is within, nor voice express,
12:72 But a deaf noise of sounds, that never cease.
12:73 Confus'd and chiding, like the hollow roar
12:74 Of tides, receding from th' insulted shore,
12:75 Or like the broken thunder heard from far,
12:76 When Jove at distance drives the rouling war.
12:77 The courts are fill'd with a tumultuous din
12:78 Of crouds, or issuing forth, or entring in:
12:79 A thorough-fare of news: where some devise
12:80 Things never heard, some mingle truth with lies;
12:81 The troubled air with empty sounds they beat,
12:82 Intent to hear, and eager to repeat.
12:83 Error sits brooding there, with added train
12:84 Of vain credulity, and joys as vain:
12:85 Suspicion, with sedition join'd, are near,
12:86 And rumours rais'd, and murmurs mix'd, and panique fear.
12:87 Fame sits aloft, and sees the subject ground,
12:88 And seas about, and skies above; enquiring all around.

12:89 The Goddess gives th' alarm; and soon is known
12:90 The Grecian fleet descending on the town.
12:91 Fix'd on defence, the Trojans are not slow
12:92 To guard their shore, from an expected foe.
12:93 They meet in fight: by Hector's fatal hand
12:94 Protesilaus falls, and bites the strand:
12:95 Which with expence of blood the Grecians won;
12:96 And prov'd the strength unknown of Priam's son.
12:97 And to their cost the Trojan leaders felt
12:98 The Grecian heroes; and what deaths they dealt.

The Story of Cygnus

12:99 From these first onsets, the Sigaean shore
12:100 Was strew'd with carcasses, and stain'd with gore:
12:101 Neptunian Cygnus troops of Greeks had slain;
12:102 Achilles in his carr had scour'd the plain,
12:103 And clear'd the Trojan ranks: where-e'er he fought,
12:104 Cygnus, or Hector, through the fields he sought:
12:105 Cygnus he found; on him his force essay'd:
12:106 For Hector was to the tenth year delay'd.
12:107 His white-main'd steeds, that bow'd beneath the yoke,
12:108 He chear'd to courage, with a gentle stroke;
12:109 Then urg'd his fiery chariot on the foe;
12:110 And rising shook his lance; in act to throw.
12:111 But first he cry'd, O youth, be proud to bear
12:112 Thy death, ennobled by Pelides' spear.
12:113 The lance pursu'd the voice without delay,
12:114 Nor did the whizzing weapon miss the way;
12:115 But pierc'd his cuirass, with such fury sent,
12:116 And sign'd his bosom with a purple dint.
12:117 At this the seed of Neptune: Goddess-born,
12:118 For ornament, not use, these arms are worn;
12:119 This helm, and heavy buckler, I can spare;
12:120 As only decorations of the war:
12:121 So Mars is arm'd for glory, not for need.
12:122 'Tis somewhat more from Neptune to proceed,
12:123 Than from a daughter of the sea to spring:
12:124 Thy sire is mortal; mine is ocean's king.
12:125 Secure of death, I shou'd contemn thy dart,
12:126 Tho' naked; and impassible depart:
12:127 He said, and threw: the trembling weapon pass'd
12:128 Through nine bull-hides, each under other plac'd,
12:129 On his broad shield; and stuck within the last.
12:130 Achilles wrench'd it out; and sent again
12:131 The hostile gift: the hostile gift was vain.
12:132 He try'd a third, a tough well-chosen spear;
12:133 Th' inviolable body stood sincere,
12:134 Though Cygnus then did no defence provide,
12:135 But scornful offer'd his unshielded side.

12:136 Not otherwise th' impatient hero far'd,
12:137 Than as a bull incompass'd with a guard,
12:138 Amid the Circus roars, provok'd from far
12:139 By sight of scarlet, and a sanguine war:
12:140 They quit their ground, his bended horns elude;
12:141 In vain pursuing, and in vain pursu'd:

12:142 Before to farther fight he wou'd advance,
12:143 He stood considering, and survey'd his lance.
12:144 Doubts if he wielded not a wooden spear
12:145 Without a point: he look'd, the point was there.
12:146 This is my hand, and this my lance, he said;
12:147 By which so many thousand foes are dead,
12:148 O whither is their usual virtue fled!
12:149 I had it once; and the Lyrnessian wall,
12:150 And Tenedos, confess'd it in their fall.
12:151 Thy streams, Caicus, rowl'd a crimson-flood;
12:152 And Thebes ran red with her own natives' blood.
12:153 Twice Telephus employ'd their piercing steel,
12:154 To wound him first, and afterward to heal.
12:155 The vigour of this arm was never vain:
12:156 And that my wonted prowess I retain,
12:157 Witness these heaps of slaughter on the plain.
12:158 He said; and, doubtful of his former deeds,
12:159 To some new tryal of his force proceeds.
12:160 He chose Menoetes from among the rest;
12:161 At him he launch'd his spear, and pierc'd his breast:
12:162 On the hard earth the Lycian knock'd his head,
12:163 And lay supine; and forth the spirit fled.

12:164 Then thus the hero: Neither can I blame
12:165 The hand, or jav'lin; both are still the same.
12:166 The same I will employ against this foe,
12:167 And wish but with the same success to throw.
12:168 So spoke the chief; and while he spoke he threw;
12:169 The weapon with unerring fury flew,
12:170 At his left shoulder aim'd: nor entrance found;
12:171 But back, as from a rock, with swift rebound
12:172 Harmless return'd: a bloody mark appear'd,
12:173 Which with false joy the flatter'd hero chear'd.
12:174 Wound there was none; the blood that was in view,
12:175 The lance before from slain Menoetes drew.

12:176 Headlong he leaps from off his lofty car,
12:177 And in close fight on foot renews the war.
12:178 Raging with high disdain, repeats his blows;
12:179 Nor shield, nor armour can their force oppose;
12:180 Huge cantlets of his buckler strew the ground,
12:181 And no defence in his bor'd arms is found,
12:182 But on his flesh, no wound or blood is seen;
12:183 The sword it self is blunted on the skin.

12:184 This vain attempt the chief no longer bears;
12:185 But round his hollow temples and his ears
12:186 His buckler beats: the son of Neptune, stunn'd
12:187 With these repeated buffets, quits his ground;
12:188 A sickly sweat succeeds, and shades of night;
12:189 Inverted Nature swims before his sight:
12:190 Th' insulting victor presses on the more,
12:191 And treads the steps the vanquish'd trod before,
12:192 Nor rest, nor respite gives. A stone there lay
12:193 Behind his trembling foe, and stopp'd his way:
12:194 Achilles took th' advantage which he found,
12:195 O'er-turn'd, and push'd him backward on the ground,
12:196 His buckler held him under, while he press'd,
12:197 With both his knees, above his panting breast.
12:198 Unlac'd his helm: about his chin the twist
12:199 He ty'd; and soon the strangled soul dismiss'd.

12:200 With eager haste he went to strip the dead:
12:201 The vanish'd body from his arms was fled.
12:202 His sea-God sire, t' immortalize his frame,
12:203 Had turn'd it to a bird that bears his name.

12:204 A truce succeeds the labours of this day,
12:205 And arms suspended with a long delay.
12:206 While Trojan walls are kept with watch and ward;
12:207 The Greeks before their trenches mount the guard;
12:208 The feast approach'd; when to the blue-ey'd maid
12:209 His vows for Cygnus slain the victor paid,
12:210 And a white heyfer on her altar laid.
12:211 The reeking entrails on the fire they threw,
12:212 And to the Gods the grateful odour flew.
12:213 Heav'n had its part in sacrifice: the rest
12:214 Was broil'd, and roasted for the future feast.
12:215 The chief-invited guests were set around!
12:216 And hunger first asswag'd, the bowls were crown'd,
12:217 Which in deep draughts their cares, and labours drown'd.
12:218 The mellow harp did not their ears employ:
12:219 And mute was all the warlike symphony:
12:220 Discourse, the food of souls, was their delight,
12:221 And pleasing chat prolong'd the summer's night.
12:222 The subject, deeds of arms; and valour shown,
12:223 Or on the Trojan side, or on their own.
12:224 Of dangers undertaken, fame atchiev'd,
12:225 They talk'd by turns; the talk by turns reliev'd.
12:226 What things but these could fierce Achilles tell,
12:227 Or what cou'd fierce Achilles hear so well?
12:228 The last great act perform'd, of Cygnus slain,
12:229 Did most the martial audience entertain:
12:230 Wondring to find a body free by Fate
12:231 From steel; and which cou'd ev'n that steel rebate:
12:232 Amaz'd, their admiration they renew;
12:233 And scarce Pelides cou'd believe it true.

The Story of Caeneus

12:234 Then Nestor thus: what once this age has known,
12:235 In fated Cygnus, and in him alone,
12:236 These eyes have seen in Caeneus long before;
12:237 Whose body not a thousand swords cou'd bore.
12:238 Caeneus, in courage, and in strength, excell'd;
12:239 And still his Othrys with his fame is fill'd:
12:240 But what did most his martial deeds adorn
12:241 (Though since he chang'd his sex) a woman born.

12:242 A novelty so strange, and full of Fate,
12:243 His list'ning audience ask'd him to relate.
12:244 Achilles thus commends their common sute:
12:245 O father, first for prudence in repute,
12:246 Tell, with that eloquence, so much thy own,
12:247 What thou hast heard, or what of Caeneus known:
12:248 What was he, whence his change of sex begun,
12:249 What trophies, join'd in wars with thee, he won?
12:250 Who conquer'd him, and in what fatal strife
12:251 The youth, without a wound, cou'd lose his life?

12:252 Neleides then: Though tardy age, and time,
12:253 Have shrunk my sinews, and decay'd my prime;
12:254 Though much I have forgotten of my store,
12:255 Yet not exhausted, I remember more.
12:256 Of all that arms atchiev'd, or peace design'd,
12:257 That action still is fresher in my mind,
12:258 Than ought beside. If reverend age can give
12:259 To faith a sanction, in my third I live.

12:260 'Twas in my second cent'ry, I survey'd
12:261 Young Caenis, then a fair Thessalian maid:
12:262 Caenis the bright, was born to high command;
12:263 A princess, and a native of thy land,
12:264 Divine Achilles; every tongue proclaim'd
12:265 Her beauty, and her eyes all hearts inflam'd.
12:266 Peleus, thy sire, perhaps had sought her bed,
12:267 Among the rest; but he had either led
12:268 Thy mother then; or was by promise ty'd;
12:269 But she to him, and all, alike her love deny'd.

12:270 It was her fortune once to take her way
12:271 Along the sandy margin of the sea:
12:272 The Pow'r of ocean view'd her as she pass'd,
12:273 And, lov'd as soon as seen, by force embrac'd.
12:274 So Fame reports. Her virgin-treasure seiz'd,
12:275 And his new joys, the ravisher so pleas'd,
12:276 That thus, transported, to the nymph he cry'd;
12:277 Ask what thou wilt, no pray'r shall be deny'd.
12:278 This also Fame relates: the haughty fair,
12:279 Who not the rape ev'n of a God cou'd bear,
12:280 This answer, proud, return'd: To mighty wrongs
12:281 A mighty recompence, of right, belongs.
12:282 Give me no more to suffer such a shame;
12:283 But change the woman, for a better name;
12:284 One gift for all: she said; and while she spoke,
12:285 A stern, majestick, manly tone she took.
12:286 A man she was: and as the Godhead swore,
12:287 To Caeneus turn'd, who Caenis was before.

12:288 To this the lover adds, without request,
12:289 No force of steel shou'd violate his breast.
12:290 Glad of the gift, the new-made warrior goes;
12:291 And arms among the Greeks, and longs for equal foes.

The Skirmish between the Centaurs and Lapithites

12:292 Now brave Perithous, bold Ixion's son,
12:293 The love of fair Hippodame had won.
12:294 The cloud-begotten race, half men, half beast,
12:295 Invited, came to grace the nuptial feast:
12:296 In a cool cave's recess the treat was made,
12:297 Whose entrance, trees with spreading boughs o'er-shade
12:298 They sate: and summon'd by the bridegroom, came,
12:299 To mix with those, the Lapythaean name:
12:300 Nor wanted I: the roofs with joy resound:
12:301 And Hymen, Io Hymen, rung around.
12:302 Rais'd altars shone with holy fires; the bride,
12:303 Lovely her self (and lovely by her side
12:304 A bevy of bright nymphs, with sober grace),
12:305 Came glitt'ring like a star, and took her place.
12:306 Her heav'nly form beheld, all wish'd her joy;
12:307 And little wanted; but in vain, their wishes all employ.

12:308 For one, most brutal, of the brutal brood,
12:309 Or whether wine, or beauty fir'd his blood,
12:310 Or both at once, beheld with lustful eyes
12:311 The bride; at once resolv'd to make his prize.
12:312 Down went the board; and fastning on her hair,
12:313 He seiz'd with sudden force the frighted fair.
12:314 'Twas Eurytus began: his bestial kind
12:315 His crime pursu'd; and each as pleas'd his mind,
12:316 Or her, whom chance presented, took: the feast
12:317 An image of a taken town express'd.

12:318 The cave resounds with female shrieks; we rise,
12:319 Mad with revenge to make a swift reprise:
12:320 And Theseus first, What phrenzy has possess'd,
12:321 O Eurytus, he cry'd, thy brutal breast,
12:322 To wrong Perithous, and not him alone,
12:323 But while I live, two friends conjoyn'd in one?

12:324 To justifie his threat, he thrusts aside
12:325 The crowd of centaurs; and redeems the bride:
12:326 The monster nought reply'd: for words were vain,
12:327 And deeds cou'd only deeds unjust maintain;
12:328 But answers with his hand, and forward press'd,
12:329 With blows redoubled, on his face, and breast.
12:330 An ample goblet stood, of antick mold,
12:331 And rough with figures of the rising gold;
12:332 The hero snatch'd it up, and toss'd in air
12:333 Full at the front of the foul ravisher.
12:334 He falls; and falling vomits forth a flood
12:335 Of wine, and foam, and brains, and mingled blood.
12:336 Half roaring, and half neighing through the hall,
12:337 Arms, arms, the double-form'd with fury call;
12:338 To wreak their brother's death: a medley-flight
12:339 Of bowls, and jars, at first supply the fight,
12:340 Once instruments of feasts; but now of Fate;
12:341 Wine animates their rage, and arms their hate.

12:342 Bold Amycus, from the robb'd vestry brings
12:343 The chalices of Heav'n; and holy things
12:344 Of precious weight: a sconce that hung on high,
12:345 With tapers fill'd, to light the sacristy,
12:346 Torn from the cord, with his unhallow'd hand
12:347 He threw amid the Lapythaean band.
12:348 On Celadon the ruin fell; and left
12:349 His face of feature, and of form bereft:
12:350 So, when some brawny sacrificer knocks,
12:351 Before an altar led, an offer'd ox,
12:352 His eyes-balls rooted out, are thrown to ground;
12:353 His nose, dismantled, in his mouth is found;
12:354 His jaws, cheeks, front, one undistinguish'd wound.

12:355 This, Belates, th' avenger, cou'd not brook;
12:356 But, by the foot, a maple board he took;
12:357 And hurl'd at Amycus; his chin it bent
12:358 Against his chest, and down the centaur sent:
12:359 Whom sputtring bloody teeth, the second blow
12:360 Of his drawn sword, dispatch'd to shades below.

12:361 Grineus was near; and cast a furious look
12:362 On the side-altar, cens'd with sacred smoke,
12:363 And bright with flaming fires; The Gods, he cry'd,
12:364 Have with their holy trade our hands supply'd:
12:365 Why use we not their gifts? Then from the floor
12:366 An altar stone he heav'd, with all the load it bore:
12:367 Altar, and altar's freight together slew,
12:368 Where thickest throng'd the Lapythaean crew:
12:369 And, at once, Broteas and Oryus flew.
12:370 Oryus' mother, Mycale, was known
12:371 Down from her sphere to draw the lab'ring moon.

12:372 Exadius cry'd, Unpunish'd shall not go
12:373 This fact, if arms are found against the foe.
12:374 He look'd about, where on a pine were spread
12:375 The votive horns of a stag's branching head:
12:376 At Grineus these he throws; so just they fly,
12:377 That the sharp antlers stuck in either eye:
12:378 Breathless, and blind he fell; with blood besmear'd;
12:379 His eye-balls beaten out, hung dangling on his beard.
12:380 Fierce Rhoetus, from the hearth a burning brand
12:381 Selects, and whirling waves; 'till, from his hand
12:382 The fire took flame; then dash'd it from the right,
12:383 On fair Charaxus' temples, near the sight:
12:384 The whistling pest came on, and pierc'd the bone,
12:385 And caught the yellow hair, that shrivel'd while it shone.
12:386 Caught, like dry stubble fir'd; or like seerwood;
12:387 Yet from the wound ensu'd no purple flood;
12:388 But look'd a bubbling mass of frying blood.
12:389 His blazing locks sent forth a crackling sound;
12:390 And hiss'd, like red hot ir'n within the smithy drown'd.
12:391 The wounded warrior shook his flaming hair,
12:392 Then (what a team of horse could hardly rear)
12:393 He heaves the threshold stone, but could not throw;
12:394 The weight itself forbad the threaten'd blow;
12:395 Which dropping from his lifted arms, came down
12:396 Full on Cometes' head; and crush'd his crown.
12:397 Nor Rhoetus then retain'd his joy; but said,
12:398 So by their fellows may our foes be sped;
12:399 Then, with redoubled strokes he plies his head:
12:400 The burning lever not deludes his pains:
12:401 But drives the batter'd skull within the brains.

12:402 Thus flush'd, the conqueror, with force renew'd,
12:403 Evagrus, Dryas, Corythus, pursu'd:
12:404 First, Corythus, with downy cheeks, he slew;
12:405 Whose fall, when fierce Evagrus had in view,
12:406 He cry'd, What palm is from a beardless prey?
12:407 Rhoetus prevents what more he had to say;
12:408 And drove within his mouth the fi'ry death,
12:409 Which enter'd hissing in, and choak'd his breath.
12:410 At Dryas next he flew: but weary chance,
12:411 No longer wou'd the same success advance.
12:412 For while he whirl'd in fiery circles round
12:413 The brand, a sharpen'd stake strong Dryas found;
12:414 And in the shoulder's joint inflicts the wound.
12:415 The weapon stuck; which, roaring out with pain,
12:416 He drew; nor longer durst the fight maintain,
12:417 But turn'd his back, for fear; and fled amain.
12:418 With him fled Orneus, with like dread possess'd,
12:419 Thaumas, and Medon wounded in the breast;
12:420 And Mermeros, in the late race renown'd,
12:421 Now limping ran, and tardy with his wound.
12:422 Pholus, and Melaneus from fight withdrew,
12:423 And Abas maim'd, who boars encountring slew:
12:424 And Augur Asbolos, whose art in vain,
12:425 From fight dissuaded the four-footed train,
12:426 Now beat the hoof with Nessus on the plain;
12:427 But to his fellow cry'd, Be safely slow,
12:428 Thy death deferr'd is due to great Alcides' bow.

12:429 Mean-time strong Dryas urg'd his chance so well,
12:430 That Lycidas, Areos, Imbreus fell;
12:431 All, one by one, and fighting face to face:
12:432 Crenaeus fled, to fall with more disgrace:
12:433 For, fearful, while he look'd behind, he bore,
12:434 Betwixt his nose, and front, the blow before.
12:435 Amid the noise, and tumult of the fray,
12:436 Snoring, and drunk with wine, Aphidas lay.
12:437 Ev'n then the bowl within his hand he kept,
12:438 And on a bear's rough hide securely slept.
12:439 Him Phorbas with his flying dart transfix'd;
12:440 Take thy next draught, with Stygian waters mix'd,
12:441 And sleep thy fill, th' insulting victor cry'd;
12:442 Surpriz'd with death unfelt, the centaur dy'd;
12:443 The ruddy vomit, as he breath'd his soul
12:444 Repass'd his throat, and fill'd his empty bowl.

12:445 I saw Petraeus' arms employ'd around
12:446 A well-grown oak, to root it from the ground.
12:447 This way, and that, he wrench'd the fibrous bands;
12:448 The trunk was like a sappling, in his hands,
12:449 And still obey'd the bent: while thus he stood,
12:450 Perithous' dart drove on; and nail'd him to the wood;
12:451 Lycus, and Chromis fell, by him oppress'd:
12:452 Helops, and Dictis added to the rest
12:453 A nobler palm: Helops, through either ear
12:454 Transfix'd, receiv'd the penetrating spear.
12:455 This Dictis saw; and, seiz'd with sudden fright,
12:456 Leapt headlong from the hill of steepy height;
12:457 And crush'd an ash beneath, that cou'd not bear his weight.
12:458 The shatter'd tree receives his fall; and strikes,
12:459 Within his full-blown paunch, the sharpen'd spikes.
12:460 Strong Aphareus had heav'd a mighty stone,
12:461 The fragment of a rock; and wou'd have thrown;
12:462 But Theseus, with a club of harden'd oak,
12:463 The cubit-bone of the bold centaur broke;
12:464 And left him maim'd; nor seconded the stroke.
12:465 Then leapt on tall Bianor's back (who bore
12:466 No mortal burden but his own, before);
12:467 Press'd with his knees his sides; the double man,
12:468 His speed with spurs increas'd, unwilling ran.
12:469 One hand the hero fastn'd on his locks;
12:470 His other ply'd him with repeated strokes.
12:471 The club rung round his ears, and batter'd brows;
12:472 He falls; and lashing up his heels, his rider throws.

12:473 The same Herculean arms, Nedymnus wound;
12:474 And lay by him Lycotas on the ground,
12:475 And Hippasus, whose beard his breast invades;
12:476 And Ripheus, haunter of the woodland shades:
12:477 And Thereus, us'd with mountain-bears to strive,
12:478 And from their dens to draw th' indignant beasts alive.

12:479 Demoleon cou'd not bear this hateful sight,
12:480 Or the long fortune of th' Athenian knight:
12:481 But pull'd with all his force, to disengage
12:482 From Earth a pine, the product of an age:
12:483 The root stuck fast: the broken trunk he sent
12:484 At Theseus; Theseus frustrates his intent,
12:485 And leaps aside; by Pallas warn'd, the blow
12:486 To shun (for so he said; and we believ'd it so).
12:487 Yet not in vain th' enormous weight was cast;
12:488 Which Crantor's body sunder'd at the waist:
12:489 Thy father's 'squire, Achilles, and his care;
12:490 Whom conquer'd in the Polopeian war,
12:491 Their king, his present ruin to prevent,
12:492 A pledge of peace implor'd, to Peleus sent.

12:493 Thy sire, with grieving eyes, beheld his Fate;
12:494 And cry'd, Not long, lov'd Crantor, shalt thou wait
12:495 Thy vow'd revenge. At once he said, and threw
12:496 His ashen-spear; which quiver'd, as it flew;
12:497 With all his force, and all his soul apply'd;
12:498 The sharp point enter'd in the centaur's side:
12:499 Both hands, to wrench it out, the monster join'd;
12:500 And wrench'd it out; but left the steel behind;
12:501 Stuck in his lungs it stood: inrag'd he rears
12:502 His hoofs, and down to ground thy father bears.
12:503 Thus trampled under foot, his shield defends
12:504 His head; his other hand the lance portends.
12:505 Ev'n while he lay extended on the dust,
12:506 He sped the centaur, with one single thrust.
12:507 Two more his lance before transfix'd from far;
12:508 And two, his sword had slain, in closer war.
12:509 To these was added Dorylas, who spread
12:510 A bull's two goring horns around his head.
12:511 With these he push'd; in blood already dy'd,
12:512 Him fearless, I approach'd; and thus defy'd:
12:513 Now, monster, now, by proof it shall appear,
12:514 Whether thy horns are sharper, or my spear.
12:515 At this, I threw: for want of other ward,
12:516 He lifted up his hand, his front to guard.
12:517 His hand it pass'd; and fix'd it to his brow:
12:518 Loud shouts of ours attend the lucky blow.
12:519 Him Peleus finish'd, with a second wound,
12:520 Which thro' the navel pierc'd: he reel'd around;
12:521 And dragg'd his dangling bowels on the ground.
12:522 Trod what he drag'd; and what he trod, he crush'd:
12:523 And to his mother-Earth, with empty belly, rush'd.

The Story of Cyllarus and Hylonome

12:524 Nor cou'd thy form, o Cyllarus, foreflow
12:525 Thy Fate (if form to monsters men allow):
12:526 Just bloom'd thy beard: thy beard of golden hue:
12:527 Thy locks, in golden waves, about thy shoulders flew.
12:528 Sprightly thy look: thy shapes in ev'ry part
12:529 So clean, as might instruct the sculptor's art;
12:530 As far as man extended: where began
12:531 The beast, the beast was equal to the man.
12:532 Add but a horse's head and neck; and he,
12:533 O Castor, was a courser worthy thee.
12:534 So was his back proportion'd for the seat:
12:535 So rose his brawny chest; so swiftly mov'd his feet.
12:536 Coal-black his colour, but like jett it shone;
12:537 His legs, and flowing tail were white alone.
12:538 Belov'd by many maidens of his kind;
12:539 But fair Hylonome possess'd his mind;
12:540 Hylonome, for features, and for face,
12:541 Excelling all the nymphs of double race:
12:542 Nor less her blandishments, than beauty, move;
12:543 At once both loving, and confessing love.
12:544 For him she dress'd: for him, with female care
12:545 She comb'd, and set in curls, her auburn hair.
12:546 Of roses, violets, and lillies mix'd,
12:547 And sprigs of flowing rosemary betwixt,
12:548 She form'd the chaplet, that adorn'd her front:
12:549 In waters of the Pegasaean fount,
12:550 And in the streams that from the fountain play,
12:551 She wash'd her face; and bath'd her twice a-day.
12:552 The scarf of furs, that hung below her side,
12:553 Was ermin, or the panther's spotted pride;
12:554 Spoils of no common beast: with equal flame
12:555 They lov'd: their silvan pleasures were the same:
12:556 All day they hunted: and when day expir'd,
12:557 Together to some shady cave retir'd:
12:558 Invited to the nuptials, both repair:
12:559 And, side by side, they both engage in war.

12:560 Uncertain from what hand, a flying dart
12:561 At Cyllarus was sent; which pierc'd his heart.
12:562 The jav'lin drawn from out the mortal wound,
12:563 He faints with stagg'ring steps; and seeks the ground:
12:564 The fair within her arms receiv'd his fall,
12:565 And strove his wand'ring spirits to recall:
12:566 And while her hand the streaming blood oppos'd,
12:567 Join'd face to face, his lips with hers she clos'd.
12:568 Stifled with kisses, a sweet death he dies;
12:569 She fills the fields with undistinguish'd cries;
12:570 At least her words were in her clamour drown'd;
12:571 For my stunn'd ears receiv'd no vocal sound.
12:572 In madness of her grief, she seiz'd the dart
12:573 New-drawn, and reeking from her lover's heart;
12:574 To her bare bosom the sharp point apply'd;
12:575 And wounded fell; and falling by his side,
12:576 Embrac'd him in her arms; and thus embracing dy'd.

12:577 Ev'n still methinks, I see Phaeocomes;
12:578 Strange was his habit, and as odd his dress.
12:579 Six lions' hides, with thongs together fast,
12:580 His upper part defended to his waist:
12:581 And where man ended, the continued vest,
12:582 Spread on his back, the houss and trappings of a beast.
12:583 A stump too heavy for a team to draw
12:584 (It seems a fable, tho' the fact I saw);
12:585 He threw at Pholon; the descending blow
12:586 Divides the skull, and cleaves his head in two.
12:587 The brains, from nose, and mouth, and either ear,
12:588 Came issuing out, as through a colendar
12:589 The curdled milk; or from the press the whey,
12:590 Driv'n down by weight above, is drain'd away.

12:591 But him, while stooping down to spoil the slain,
12:592 Pierc'd through the paunch, I tumbled on the plain.
12:593 Then Chthonyus, and Teleboas I slew:
12:594 A fork the former arm'd; a dart his fellow threw.
12:595 The jav'lin wounded me (behold the scar,
12:596 Then was my time to seek the Trojan war;
12:597 Then I was Hector's match in open field;
12:598 But he was then unborn; at least a child:
12:599 Now, I am nothing). I forbear to tell
12:600 By Periphantas how Pyretus fell;
12:601 The centaur by the knight: nor will I stay
12:602 On Amphix, or what deaths he dealt that day:
12:603 What honour, with a pointless lance, he won,
12:604 Stuck in the front of a four-footed man.
12:605 What fame young Macareus obtain'd in fight:
12:606 Or dwell on Nessus, now return'd from flight.
12:607 How prophet Mopsus not alone divin'd,
12:608 Whose valour equal'd his foreseeing mind.

Caeneus transform'd to an Eagle

12:609 Already Caeneus, with his conquering hand,
12:610 Had slaughter'd five the boldest of their band.
12:611 Pyrachmus, Helymus, Antimachus,
12:612 Bromus the brave, and stronger Stiphelus,
12:613 Their names I number'd, and remember well,
12:614 No trace remaining, by what wounds they fell.

12:615 Laitreus, the bulki'st of the double race,
12:616 Whom the spoil'd arms of slain Halesus grace,
12:617 In years retaining still his youthful might,
12:618 Though his black hairs were interspers'd with white,
12:619 Betwixt th' imbattled ranks began to prance,
12:620 Proud of his helm, and Macedonian lance;
12:621 And rode the ring around; that either hoast
12:622 Might hear him, while he made this empty boast:
12:623 And from a strumpet shall we suffer shame?
12:624 For Caenis still, not Caeneus, is thy name:
12:625 And still the native softness of thy kind
12:626 Prevails; and leaves the woman in thy mind;
12:627 Remember what thou wert; what price was paid
12:628 To change thy sex; to make thee not a maid:
12:629 And but a man in shew; go, card and spin;
12:630 And leave the business of the war to men.

12:631 While thus the boaster exercis'd his pride,
12:632 The fatal spear of Caeneus reach'd his side:
12:633 Just in the mixture of the kinds it ran;
12:634 Betwixt the neather beast, and upper man:
12:635 The monster mad with rage, and stung with smart,
12:636 His lance directed at the hero's heart:
12:637 It struck; but bounded from his harden'd breast,
12:638 Like hail from tiles, which the safe house invest.
12:639 Nor seem'd the stroke with more effect to come,
12:640 Than a small pebble falling on a drum.
12:641 He next his fauchion try'd, in closer fight;
12:642 But the keen fauchion had no pow'r to bite.
12:643 He thrust; the blunted point return'd again:
12:644 Since downright blows, he cry'd, and thrusts are vain,
12:645 I'll prove his side; in strong embraces held
12:646 He prov'd his side; his side the sword repell'd:
12:647 His hollow belly eccho'd to the stroke,
12:648 Untouch'd his body, as a solid rock;
12:649 Aim'd at his neck at last, the blade in shivers broke.

12:650 Th' impassive knight stood idle, to deride
12:651 His rage, and offer'd oft his naked side;
12:652 At length, Now monster, in thy turn, he cry'd,
12:653 Try thou the strength of Caeneus: at the word
12:654 He thrust; and in his shoulder plung'd the sword.
12:655 Then writh'd his hand; and as he drove it down,
12:656 Deep in his breast, made many wounds in one.

12:657 The centaurs saw, inrag'd, th' unhop'd success;
12:658 And rushing on in crowds, together press;
12:659 At him, and him alone, their darts they threw:
12:660 Repuls'd they from his fated body flew.
12:661 Amaz'd they stood; 'till Monichus began,
12:662 O shame, a nation conquer'd by a man!
12:663 A woman-man! yet more a man is he,
12:664 Than all our race; and what he was, are we.
12:665 Now, what avail our nerves? th' united force,
12:666 Of two the strongest creatures, man and horse;
12:667 Nor Goddess-born; nor of Ixion's seed
12:668 We seem (a lover built for Juno's bed);
12:669 Master'd by this half man. Whole mountains throw
12:670 With woods at once, and bury him below.
12:671 This only way remains. Nor need we doubt
12:672 To choak the soul within; though not to force it out:
12:673 Heap weights, instead of wounds. He chanc'd to see
12:674 Where southern storms had rooted up a tree;
12:675 This, rais'd from Earth, against the foe he threw;
12:676 Th' example shewn, his fellow-brutes pursue.
12:677 With forest-loads the warrior they invade;
12:678 Othrys, and Pelion soon were void of shade;
12:679 And spreading groves were naked mountains made.
12:680 Press'd with the burden, Caeneus pants for breath;
12:681 And on his shoulders bears the wooden death.
12:682 To heave th' intolerable weight he tries;
12:683 At length it rose above his mouth and eyes:
12:684 Yet still he heaves; and, strugling with despair,
12:685 Shakes all aside, and gains a gulp of air:
12:686 A short relief, which but prolongs his pain;
12:687 He faints by fits; and then respires again:
12:688 At last, the burden only nods above,
12:689 As when an earthquake stirs th' Idaean grove.
12:690 Doubtful his death: he suffocated seem'd,
12:691 To most; but otherwise our Mopsus deem'd,
12:692 Who said he saw a yellow bird arise
12:693 From out the piles, and cleave the liquid skies:
12:694 I saw it too, with golden feathers bright;
12:695 Nor e'er before beheld so strange a sight.
12:696 Whom Mopsus viewing, as it soar'd around
12:697 Our troop, and heard the pinions' rattling sound,
12:698 All hail, he cry'd, thy country's grace and love!
12:699 Once first of men below, now first of birds above.
12:700 Its author to the story gave belief:
12:701 For us, our courage was increas'd by grief:
12:702 Asham'd to see a single man, pursu'd
12:703 With odds, to sink beneath a multitude,
12:704 We push'd the foe: and forc'd to shameful flight,
12:705 Part fell, and part escap'd by favour of the night.

The Fate of Periclymenos

12:706 This tale, by Nestor told, did much displease
12:707 Tlepolemus, the seed of Hercules:
12:708 For, often he had heard his father say,
12:709 That he himself was present at the fray;
12:710 And more than shar'd the glories of the day.

12:711 Old Chronicle, he said, among the rest,
12:712 You might have nam'd Alcides at the least:
12:713 Is he not worth your praise? The Pylian prince
12:714 Sigh'd ere he spoke; then made this proud defence.
12:715 My former woes in long oblivion drown'd,
12:716 I wou'd have lost; but you renew the wound:
12:717 Better to pass him o'er, than to relate
12:718 The cause I have your mighty sire to hate.
12:719 His fame has fill'd the world, and reach'd the sky
12:720 (Which, oh, I wish, with truth, I cou'd deny!);
12:721 We praise not Hector; though his name, we know,
12:722 Is great in arms; 'tis hard to praise a foe.

12:723 He, your great father, levell'd to the ground
12:724 Messenia's tow'rs: nor better fortune found
12:725 Elis, and Pylos; that a neighb'ring state,
12:726 And this my own: both guiltless of their fate.

12:727 To pass the rest, twelve, wanting one, he slew;
12:728 My brethren, who their birth from Neleus drew,
12:729 All youths of early promise, had they liv'd;
12:730 By him they perish'd: I alone surviv'd.
12:731 The rest were easie conquest: but the fate
12:732 Of Periclymenos, is wondrous to relate.
12:733 To him, our common grandsire of the main
12:734 Had giv'n to change his form, and chang'd, resume again.
12:735 Vary'd at pleasure, every shape he try'd;
12:736 And in all beasts, Alcides still defy'd:
12:737 Vanquish'd on Earth, at length he soar'd above;
12:738 Chang'd to the bird, that bears the bolt of Jove:
12:739 The new-dissembled eagle, now endu'd
12:740 With beak, and pounces, Hercules pursu'd,
12:741 And cuff'd his manly cheeks, and tore his face;
12:742 Then, safe retir'd, and tour'd in empty space.
12:743 Alcides bore not long his flying foe;
12:744 But bending his inevitable bow,
12:745 Reach'd him in air, suspended as he stood;
12:746 And in his pinion fix'd the feather'd wood.
12:747 Light was the wound; but in the sinew hung
12:748 The point, and his disabled wing unstrung.
12:749 He wheel'd in air, and stretch'd his vans in vain;
12:750 His vans no longer cou'd his flight sustain:
12:751 For while one gather'd wind, one unsupply'd
12:752 Hung drooping down, nor pois'd his other side.
12:753 He fell: the shaft that slightly was impress'd,
12:754 Now from his heavy fall with weight increas'd,
12:755 Drove through his neck, aslant, he spurns the ground,
12:756 And the soul issues through the weazon's wound.

12:757 Now, brave commander of the Rhodian seas,
12:758 What praise is due from me, to Hercules?
12:759 Silence is all the vengeance I decree
12:760 For my slain brothers; but 'tis peace with thee.

12:761 Thus with a flowing tongue old Nestor spoke:
12:762 Then, to full bowls each other they provoke:
12:763 At length, with weariness, and wine oppress'd,
12:764 They rise from table; and withdraw to rest.

The Death of Achilles

12:765 The sire of Cygnus, monarch of the main,
12:766 Mean-time, laments his son, in battel slain,
12:767 And vows the victor's death; nor vows in vain.
12:768 For nine long years the smother'd pain he bore
12:769 (Achilles was not ripe for Fate before):
12:770 Then when he saw the promis'd hour was near,
12:771 He thus bespoke the God, that guides the year:
12:772 Immortal offspring of my brother Jove;
12:773 My brightest nephew, and whom best I love,
12:774 Whose hands were join'd with mine, to raise the wall
12:775 Of tott'ring Troy, now nodding to her fall,
12:776 Dost thou not mourn our pow'r employ'd in vain;
12:777 And the defenders of our city slain?
12:778 To pass the rest, could noble Hector lie
12:779 Unpity'd, drag'd around his native Troy?
12:780 And yet the murd'rer lives: himself by far
12:781 A greater plague, than all the wasteful war:
12:782 He lives; the proud Pelides lives, to boast
12:783 Our town destroy'd, our common labour lost.
12:784 O, could I meet him! But I wish too late:
12:785 To prove my trident is not in his Fate!
12:786 But let him try (for that's allow'd) thy dart,
12:787 And pierce his only penetrable part.

12:788 Apollo bows to the superior throne;
12:789 And to his uncle's anger, adds his own.
12:790 Then in a cloud involv'd, he takes his flight,
12:791 Where Greeks, and Trojans mix'd in mortal fight;
12:792 And found out Paris, lurking where he stood,
12:793 And stain'd his arrows with plebeian blood:
12:794 Phoebus to him alone the God confess'd,
12:795 Then to the recreant knight, he thus address'd.
12:796 Dost thou not blush, to spend thy shafts in vain
12:797 On a degenerate, and ignoble train?
12:798 If fame, or better vengeance be thy care,
12:799 There aim: and, with one arrow, end the war.

12:800 He said; and shew'd from far the blazing shield
12:801 And sword, which, but Achilles, none cou'd wield;
12:802 And how he mov'd a God, and mow'd the standing field.
12:803 The deity himself directs aright
12:804 Th' invenom'd shaft; and wings the fatal flight.

12:805 Thus fell the foremost of the Grecian name;
12:806 And he, the base adult'rer, boasts the fame.
12:807 A spectacle to glad the Trojan train;
12:808 And please old Priam, after Hector slain.
12:809 If by a female hand he had foreseen
12:810 He was to die, his wish had rather been
12:811 The lance, and double ax of the fair warriour queen.
12:812 And now the terror of the Trojan field,
12:813 The Grecian honour, ornament, and shield,
12:814 High on a pile, th' unconquer'd chief is plac'd,
12:815 The God that arm'd him first, consum'd at last.
12:816 Of all the mighty man, the small remains
12:817 A little urn, and scarcely fill'd, contains.
12:818 Yet great in Homer, still Achilles lives;
12:819 And equal to himself, himself survives.

12:820 His buckler owns its former lord; and brings
12:821 New cause of strife, betwixt contending kings;
12:822 Who worthi'st after him, his sword to wield,
12:823 Or wear his armour, or sustain his shield.
12:824 Ev'n Diomede sat mute, with down-cast eyes;
12:825 Conscious of wanted worth to win the prize:
12:826 Nor Menelaus presum'd these arms to claim,
12:827 Nor he the king of men, a greater name.
12:828 Two rivals only rose: Laertes' son,
12:829 And the vast bulk of Ajax Telamon:
12:830 The king, who cherish'd each with equal love,
12:831 And from himself all envy wou'd remove,
12:832 Left both to be determin'd by the laws;
12:833 And to the Graecian chiefs transferr'd the cause.


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.

The last two books of Garth's Metamorphoses, courtesy of e-books.


The Transformation of Scylla  The Voyage of Aeneas Continu'd  The Transformation of Cercopians into Apes  Aeneas Descends to Hell  The Story of the Sibyll  The Adventures of Achaemenides  The Adventures of Macareus  The Enchantments of Circe  The Story of Picus and Canens  Aeneas Arrives in Italy  The Adventures of Diomedes  The Transformation of Appulus  The Trojan Ships Transform'd to Sea Nymphs  The Deification of Aeneas  The Line of the Latian Kings  The Story of Vertumnus and Pomona  The Story of Iphis and Anaxarete  The Latian Line Continu'd  The Assumption of Romulus  The Assumption of Hersilia

The Transformation of Scylla

14:1. Now Glaucus, with a lover's haste, bounds o'er
14:2. The swelling waves, and seeks the Latian shore.
14:3. Messena, Rhegium, and the barren coast
14:4. Of flaming Aetna, to his sight are lost:
14:5. At length he gains the Tyrrhene seas, and views
14:6. The hills where baneful philters Circe brews;
14:7. Monsters, in various forms, around her press;
14:8. As thus the God salutes the sorceress.
14:9. O Circe, be indulgent to my grief,
14:10. And give a love-sick deity relief.
14:11. Too well the mighty pow'r of plants I know,
14:12. To those my figure, and new Fate I owe.
14:13. Against Messena, on th' Ausonian coast,
14:14. I Scylla view'd, and from that hour was lost.
14:15. In tend'rest sounds I su'd; but still the fair
14:16. Was deaf to vows, and pityless to pray'r.
14:17. If numbers can avail, exert their pow'r;
14:18. Or energy of plants, if plants have more.
14:19. I ask no cure; let but the virgin pine
14:20. With dying pangs, or agonies, like mine.
14:21. No longer Circe could her flame disguise,
14:22. But to the suppliant God marine, replies:
14:23. When maids are coy, have manlier aims in view;
14:24. Leave those that fly, but those that like, pursue.
14:25. If love can be by kind compliance won;
14:26. See, at your feet, the daughter of the Sun.
14:27. Sooner, said Glaucus, shall the ash remove
14:28. From mountains, and the swelling surges love;
14:29. Or humble sea-weed to the hills repair;
14:30. E'er I think any but my Scylla fair.
14:31. Strait Circe reddens with a guilty shame,
14:32. And vows revenge for her rejected flame.
14:33. Fierce liking oft a spight as fierce creates;
14:34. For love refus'd, without aversion, hates.
14:35. To hurt her hapless rival she proceeds;
14:36. And, by the fall of Scylla, Glaucus bleeds.
14:37. Some fascinating bev'rage now she brews;
14:38. Compos'd of deadly drugs, and baneful juice.
14:39. At Rhegium she arrives; the ocean braves,
14:40. And treads with unwet feet the boiling waves.
14:41. Upon the beach a winding bay there lies,
14:42. Shelter'd from seas, and shaded from the skies:
14:43. This station Scylla chose: a soft retreat
14:44. From chilling winds, and raging Cancer's heat.
14:45. The vengeful sorc'ress visits this recess;
14:46. Her charm infuses, and infects the place.
14:47. Soon as the nymph wades in, her nether parts
14:48. Turn into dogs; then at her self she starts.
14:49. A ghastly horror in her eyes appears;
14:50. But yet she knows not, who it is she fears;
14:51. In vain she offers from her self to run,
14:52. And drags about her what she strives to shun.
14:53. Oppress'd with grief the pitying God appears:
14:54. And swells the rising surges with his tears;
14:55. From the detested sorceress he flies;
14:56. Her art reviles, and her address denies:
14:57. Whilst hapless Scylla, chang'd to rocks, decrees
14:58. Destruction to those barques, that beat the seas.

The Voyage of Aeneas Continu'd

14:59. Here bulg'd the pride of fam'd Ulysses' fleet,
14:60. But good Aeneas 'scap'd the Fate he met.
14:61. As to the Latian shore the Trojan stood,
14:62. And cut with well-tim'd oars the foaming flood:
14:63. He weather'd fell Charybdis: but ere-long
14:64. The skies were darken'd, and the tempest strong.
14:65. Then to the Libyan coast he stretches o'er;
14:66. And makes at length the Carthaginian shore.
14:67. Here Dido, with an hospitable care,
14:68. Into her heart receives the wanderer.
14:69. From her kind arms th' ungrateful hero flies;
14:70. The injur'd queen looks on with dying eyes,
14:71. Then to her folly falls a sacrifice.
14:72. Aeneas now sets sail, and plying gains
14:73. Fair Eryx, where his friend Acestes reigns:
14:74. First to his sire does fun'ral rites decree,
14:75. Then gives the signal next, and stands to sea;
14:76. Out-runs the islands where Volcanos roar;
14:77. Gets clear of Syrens, and their faithless shore:
14:78. But looses Palynurus in the way;
14:79. Then makes Inarime, and Prochyta.

The Transformation of Cercopians into Apes

14:80. The gallies now by Pythecusa pass;
14:81. The name is from the natives of the place,
14:82. The father of the Gods detesting lies,
14:83. Oft, with abhorrence, heard their perjuries.
14:84. Th' abandon'd race, transform'd to beasts, began
14:85. To mimick the impertinence of Man.
14:86. Flat-nos'd, and furrow'd; with grimace they grin;
14:87. And look, to what they were, too near akin:
14:88. Merry in make, and busy to no end;
14:89. This moment they divert, the next offend:
14:90. So much this species of their past retains;
14:91. Tho' lost the language, yet the noise remains.

Aeneas Descends to Hell

14:92. Now, on his right, he leaves Parthenope:
14:93. His left, Misenus jutting in the sea:
14:94. Arrives at Cuma, and with awe survey'd
14:95. The grotto of the venerable maid:
14:96. Begs leave thro' black Avernus to retire;
14:97. And view the much-lov'd Manes of his sire.
14:98. Straight the divining virgin rais'd her eyes:
14:99. And, foaming with a holy rage, replies:
14:100. O thou, whose worth thy wond'rous works proclaim;
14:101. The flames, thy piety; the world, thy fame;
14:102. Tho' great be thy request, yet shalt thou see
14:103. Th' Elysian fields, th' infernal monarchy;
14:104. Thy parent's shade: this arm thy steps shall guide:
14:105. To suppliant virtue nothing is deny'd.
14:106. She spoke, and pointing to the golden bough,
14:107. Which in th' Avernian grove refulgent grew,
14:108. Seize that, she bids; he listens to the maid;
14:109. Then views the mournful mansions of the dead:
14:110. The shade of great Anchises, and the place
14:111. By Fates determin'd to the Trojan race.
14:112. As back to upper light the hero came,
14:113. He thus salutes the visionary dame.-
14:114. O, whether some propitious deity,
14:115. Or lov'd by those bright rulers of the sky!
14:116. With grateful incense I shall stile you one,
14:117. And deem no Godhead greater, than your own.
14:118. 'Twas you restor'd me from the realms of night,
14:119. And gave me to behold the fields of light:
14:120. To feel the breezes of congenial air;
14:121. And Nature's blest benevolence to share.

The Story of the Sibyll

14:122. I am no deity, reply'd the dame,
14:123. But mortal, and religious rites disclaim.
14:124. Yet had avoided death's tyrannick sway,
14:125. Had I consented to the God of day.
14:126. With promises he sought my love, and said,
14:127. Have all you wish, my fair Cumaean maid.
14:128. I paus'd; then pointing to a heap of sand,
14:129. For ev'ry grain, to live a year, demand.
14:130. But ah! unmindful of th' effect of time,
14:131. Forgot to covenant for youth, and prime.
14:132. The smiling bloom, I boasted once, is gone,
14:133. And feeble age with lagging limbs creeps on.
14:134. Sev'n cent'ries have I liv'd; three more fulfil
14:135. The period of the years to finish still.
14:136. Who'll think, that Phoebus, drest in youth divine,
14:137. Had once believ'd his lustre less than mine?
14:138. This wither'd frame (so Fates have will'd) shall waste
14:139. To nothing, but prophetick words, at last.
14:140. The Sibyll mounting now from nether skies,
14:141. And the fam'd Ilian prince, at Cuma rise.
14:142. He sail'd, and near the place to anchor came,
14:143. Since call'd Cajeta from his nurse's name.
14:144. Here did the luckless Macareus, a friend
14:145. To wise Ulysses, his long labours end.
14:146. Here, wandring, Achaemenides he meets,
14:147. And, sudden, thus his late associate, greets.
14:148. Whence came you here, o friend, and whither bound?
14:149. All gave you lost on far Cyclopean ground;
14:150. A Greek's at last aboard a Trojan found.

The Adventures of Achaemenides

14:151. Thus Achaemenides- With thanks I name
14:152. Aeneas, and his piety proclaim.
14:153. I 'scap'd the Cyclops thro' the hero's aid,
14:154. Else in his maw my mangled limbs had laid.
14:155. When first your navy under sail he found,
14:156. He rav'd, 'till Aetna labour'd with the sound.
14:157. Raging, he stalk'd along the mountain's side,
14:158. And vented clouds of breath at ev'ry stride.
14:159. His staff a mountain ash; and in the clouds
14:160. Oft, as he walks, his grisly front he shrowds.
14:161. Eyeless he grop'd about with vengeful haste,
14:162. And justled promontories, as he pass'd.
14:163. Then heav'd a rock's high summit to the main,
14:164. And bellow'd, like some bursting hurricane.
14:165. Oh! cou'd I seize Ulysses in his flight,
14:166. How unlamented were my loss of sight!
14:167. These jaws should piece-meal tear each panting vein,
14:168. Grind ev'ry crackling bone, and pound his brain.
14:169. As thus he rav'd, my joynts with horror shook;
14:170. The tide of blood my chilling heart forsook.
14:171. I saw him once disgorge huge morsels, raw,
14:172. Of wretches undigested in his maw.
14:173. From the pale breathless trunks whole limbs he tore,
14:174. His beard all clotted with o'erflowing gore.
14:175. My anxious hours I pass'd in caves; my food
14:176. Was forest fruits, and wildings of the wood.
14:177. At length a sail I wafted, and aboard
14:178. My fortune found an hospitable lord.
14:179. Now, in return, your own adventures tell,
14:180. And what, since first you put to sea, befell.

The Adventures of Macareus

14:181. Then Macareus- There reign'd a prince of fame
14:182. O'er Tuscan seas, and Aeolus his name.
14:183. A largess to Ulysses he consign'd,
14:184. And in a steer's tough hide inclos'd a wind.
14:185. Nine days before the swelling gale we ran;
14:186. The tenth, to make the meeting land, began:
14:187. When now the merry mariners, to find
14:188. Imagin'd wealth within, the bag unbind.
14:189. Forthwith out-rush'd a gust, which backwards bore
14:190. Our gallies to the Laestrigonian shore,
14:191. Whose crown, Antiphates the tyrant wore.
14:192. Some few commission'd were with speed to treat;
14:193. We to his court repair, his guards we meet.
14:194. Two, friendly flight preserv'd; the third was doom'd,
14:195. To be by those curs'd cannibals consum'd.
14:196. Inhumanly our hapless friends they treat;
14:197. Our men they murder, and destroy our fleet.
14:198. In time the wise Ulysses bore away,
14:199. And drop'd his anchor in yon faithless bay.
14:200. The thoughts of perils past we still retain,
14:201. And fear to land, 'till lots appoint the men.
14:202. Polites true, Elpenor giv'n to wine,
14:203. Eurylochus, my self, the lots assign.
14:204. Design'd for dangers, and resolv'd to dare,
14:205. To Circe's fatal palace we repair.

The Enchantments of Circe

14:206. Before the spacious front, a herd we find
14:207. Of beasts, the fiercest of the savage kind.
14:208. Our trembling steps with blandishments they meet,
14:209. And fawn, unlike their species, at our feet.
14:210. Within upon a sumptuous throne of state,
14:211. On golden columns rais'd, th' enchantress sate.
14:212. Rich was her robe, and amiable her mein,
14:213. Her aspect awful, and she look'd a queen.
14:214. Her maids not mind the loom, nor household care,
14:215. Nor wage in needle-work a Scythian war,
14:216. But cull in canisters disastrous flow'rs,
14:217. And plants from haunted heaths, and fairy bow'rs,
14:218. With brazen sickles reap'd at planetary hours.
14:219. Each dose the Goddess weighs with watchful eye;
14:220. So nice her art in impious pharmacy!
14:221. Entring she greets us with a gracious look,
14:222. And airs, that future amity bespoke.
14:223. Her ready nymphs serve up a rich repast;
14:224. The bowl she dashes first, then gives to taste.
14:225. Quick, to our own undoing, we comply;
14:226. Her pow'r we prove, and shew the sorcery.
14:227. Soon, in a length of face, our head extends;
14:228. Our chine stiff bristles bears, and forward bends:
14:229. A breadth of brawn new burnishes our neck;
14:230. Anon we grunt, as we begin to speak.
14:231. Alone Eurylochus refus'd to taste,
14:232. Nor to a breast obscene the man debas'd.
14:233. Hither Ulysses hastes (so Fates command)
14:234. And bears the pow'rful Moly in his hand;
14:235. Unsheaths his scymitar, assaults the dame,
14:236. Preserves his species, and remains the same.
14:237. The nuptial right this outrage strait attends;
14:238. The dow'r desir'd is his transfigur'd friends.
14:239. The incantation backward she repeats,
14:240. Inverts her rod, and what she did, defeats.
14:241. And now our skin grows smooth, our shape upright;
14:242. Our arms stretch up, our cloven feet unite.
14:243. With tears our weeping gen'ral we embrace;
14:244. Hang on his neck, and melt upon his face,
14:245. Twelve silver moons in Circe's court we stay,
14:246. Whilst there they waste th' unwilling hours away.
14:247. 'Twas here I spy'd a youth in Parian stone;
14:248. His head a pecker bore; the cause unknown
14:249. To passengers. A nymph of Circe's train
14:250. The myst'ry thus attempted to explain.

The Story of Picus and Canens

14:251. Picus, who once th' Ausonian scpetre held,
14:252. Could rein the steed, and fit him for the field.
14:253. So like he was to what you see, that still
14:254. We doubt if real, or the sculptor's skill.
14:255. The graces in the finish'd piece, you find,
14:256. Are but the copy of his fairer mind.
14:257. Four lustres scarce the royal youth could name,
14:258. 'Till ev'ry love-sick nymph confess'd a flame.
14:259. Oft for his love the mountain Dryads su'd,
14:260. And ev'ry silver sister of the flood:
14:261. Those of Numicus, Albula, and those
14:262. Where Almo creeps, and hasty Nar o'erflows:
14:263. Where sedgy Anio glides thro' smiling meads,
14:264. Where shady Farfar rustles in the reeds:
14:265. And those that love the lakes, and homage owe
14:266. To the chaste Goddess of the silver bow.
14:267. In vain each nymph her brightest charms put on,
14:268. His heart no sov'reign would obey but one.
14:269. She whom Venilia, on Mount Palatine,
14:270. To Janus bore, the fairest of her line.
14:271. Nor did her face alone her charms confess,
14:272. Her voice was ravishing, and pleas'd no less.
14:273. When e'er she sung, so melting were her strains,
14:274. The flocks unfed seem'd list'ning on the plains;
14:275. The rivers would stand still, the cedars bend;
14:276. And birds neglect their pinions to attend;
14:277. The savage kind in forest-wilds grow tame;
14:278. And Canens, from her heav'nly voice, her name.
14:279. Hymen had now in some ill-fated hour
14:280. Their hands united, as their hearts before.
14:281. Whilst their soft moments in delights they waste,
14:282. And each new day was dearer than the past;
14:283. Picus would sometimes o'er the forests rove,
14:284. And mingle sports with intervals of love.
14:285. It chanc'd, as once the foaming boar he chac'd,
14:286. His jewels sparkling on his Tyrian vest,
14:287. Lascivious Circe well the youth survey'd,
14:288. As simpling on the flow'ry hills she stray'd.
14:289. Her wishing eyes their silent message tell,
14:290. And from her lap the verdant mischief fell.
14:291. As she attempts at words, his courser springs
14:292. O'er hills, and lawns, and ev'n a wish outwings.
14:293. Thou shalt not 'scape me so, pronounc'd the dame,
14:294. If plants have pow'r, and spells be not a name.
14:295. She said- and forthwith form'd a boar of air,
14:296. That sought the covert with dissembled fear.
14:297. Swift to the thicket Picus wings his way
14:298. On foot, to chase the visionary prey.
14:299. Now she invokes the daughters of the night,
14:300. Does noxious juices smear, and charms recite;
14:301. Such as can veil the moon's more feeble fire,
14:302. Or shade the golden lustre of her sire.
14:303. In filthy fogs she hides the chearful noon;
14:304. The guard at distance, and the youth alone,
14:305. By those fair eyes, she cries, and ev'ry grace
14:306. That finish all the wonders of your face,
14:307. Oh! I conjure thee, hear a Queen complain;
14:308. Nor let the sun's soft lineage sue in vain.
14:309. Who-e'er thou art, reply'd the King, forbear,
14:310. None can my passion with my Canens share.
14:311. She first my ev'ry tender wish possest,
14:312. And found the soft approaches to my breast.
14:313. In nuptials blest, each loose desire we shun,
14:314. Nor time can end, what innocence begun.
14:315. Think not, she cry'd, to saunter out a life
14:316. Of form, with that domestick drudge, a wife;
14:317. My just revenge, dull fool, ere-long shall show
14:318. What ills we women, if refus'd, can do:
14:319. Think me a woman, and a lover too.
14:320. From dear successful spight we hope for ease,
14:321. Nor fail to punish, where we fail to please.
14:322. Now twice to east she turns, as oft to west;
14:323. Thrice waves her wand, as oft a charm exprest.
14:324. On the lost youth her magick pow'r she tries;
14:325. Aloft he springs, and wonders how he flies.
14:326. On painted plumes the woods he seeks, and still
14:327. The monarch oak he pierces with his bill.
14:328. Thus chang'd, no more o'er Latian lands he reigns;
14:329. Of Picus nothing but the name remains.
14:330. The winds from drisling damps now purge the air,
14:331. The mist subsides, the settling skies are fair:
14:332. The court their sovereign seek with arms in hand,
14:333. They threaten Circe, and their lord demand.
14:334. Quick she invokes the spirits of the air,
14:335. And twilight elves, that on dun wings repair
14:336. To charnels, and th' unhallow'd sepulcher.
14:337. Now, strange to tell, the plants sweat drops of blood,
14:338. The trees are toss'd from forests where they stood;
14:339. Blue serpents o'er the tainted herbage slide,
14:340. Pale glaring spectres on the Aether ride;
14:341. Dogs howl, Earth yawns, rent rocks forsake their beds,
14:342. And from their quarries heave their stubborn heads.
14:343. The sad spectators, stiffen'd with their fears
14:344. She sees, and sudden ev'ry limb she smears;
14:345. Then each of savage beasts the figure bears.
14:346. The Sun did now to western waves retire,
14:347. In tides to temper his bright world of fire.
14:348. Canens laments her royal husband's stay;
14:349. Ill suits fond love with absence, or delay.
14:350. Where she commands, her ready people run;
14:351. She wills, retracts; bids, and forbids anon.
14:352. Restless in mind, and dying with despair,
14:353. Her breasts she beats, and tears her flowing hair.
14:354. Six days, and nights she wanders on, as chance
14:355. Directs, without or sleep, or sustenance.
14:356. Tiber at last beholds the weeping fair;
14:357. Her feeble limbs no more the mourner bear;
14:358. Stretch'd on his banks, she to the flood complains,
14:359. And faintly tunes her voice to dying strains.
14:360. The sick'ning swan thus hangs her silver wings,
14:361. And, as she droops, her elegy she sings,
14:362. Ere-long sad Canens wastes to air; whilst Fame
14:363. The place still honours with her hapless name.
14:364. Here did the tender tale of Picus cease,
14:365. Above belief the wonder, I confess.
14:366. Again we sail, but more disasters meet,
14:367. Foretold by Circe, to our suff'ring fleet.
14:368. My self unable further woes to bear,
14:369. Declin'd the voyage, and am refug'd here.

Aeneas Arrives in Italy

14:370. Thus Macareus- Now with a pious aim
14:371. Had good Aeneas rais'd a fun'ral flame,
14:372. In honour of his hoary nurse's name.
14:373. Her epitaph he fix'd; and setting sail,
14:374. Cajeta left, and catch'd at ev'ry gale.
14:375. He steer'd at distance from the faithless shore
14:376. Where the false Goddess reigns with fatal pow'r;
14:377. And sought those grateful groves, that shade the plain,
14:378. Where Tyber rouls majestick to the main,
14:379. And fattens, as he runs, the fair campain.
14:380. His kindred Gods the hero's wishes crown
14:381. With fair Lavinia, and Latinus' throne:
14:382. But not without a war the prize he won.
14:383. Drawn up in bright array the battel stands:
14:384. Turnus with arms his promis'd wife demands.
14:385. Hetrurians, Latians equal fortune share;
14:386. And doubtful long appears the face of war.
14:387. Both pow'rs from neighb'ring princes seek supplies,
14:388. And embassies appoint for new allies.
14:389. Aeneas, for relief, Evander moves;
14:390. His quarrel he asserts, his cause approves.
14:391. The bold Rutilians, with an equal speed,
14:392. Sage Venelus dispatch to Diomede.
14:393. The King, late griefs revolving in his mind,
14:394. These reasons for neutrality assign'd.-
14:395. Shall I, of one poor dotal town possest,
14:396. My people thin, my wretched country waste;
14:397. An exil'd prince, and on a shaking throne;
14:398. Or risk my patron's subjects, or my own?
14:399. You'll grieve the harshness of our hap to hear;
14:400. Nor can I tell the tale without a tear.

The Adventures of Diomedes

14:401. After fam'd Ilium was by Argives won,
14:402. And flames had finish'd, what the sword begun;
14:403. Pallas, incens'd, pursu'd us to the main,
14:404. In vengeance of her violated fane.
14:405. Alone Oileus forc'd the Trojan maid,
14:406. Yet all were punish'd for the brutal deed.
14:407. A storm begins, the raging waves run high,
14:408. The clouds look heavy, and benight the sky;
14:409. Red sheets of light'ning o'er the seas are spread,
14:410. Our tackling yields, and wrecks at last succeed.
14:411. 'Tis tedious our disast'rous state to tell;
14:412. Ev'n Priam wou'd have pity'd, what befell.
14:413. Yet Pallas sav'd me from the swallowing main;
14:414. At home new wrongs to meet, as Fates ordain.
14:415. Chac'd from my country, I once more repeat
14:416. All suff'rings seas could give, or war compleat.
14:417. For Venus, mindful of her wound, decreed
14:418. Still new calamities should past succeed.
14:419. Agmon, impatient thro' successive ills,
14:420. With fury, love's bright Goddess thus reviles:-
14:421. These plagues in spight to Diomede are sent;
14:422. The crime is his, but ours the punishment.
14:423. Let each, my friends, her puny spleen despise,
14:424. And dare that haughty harlot of the skies.
14:425. The rest of Agmon's insolence complain,
14:426. And of irreverence the wretch arraign.
14:427. About to answer; his blaspheming throat
14:428. Contracts, and shrieks in some disdainful note.
14:429. To his new skin a fleece of feather clings,
14:430. Hides his late arms, and lengthens into wings.
14:431. The lower features of his face extend,
14:432. Warp into horn, and in a beak descend.
14:433. Some more experience Agmon's destiny,
14:434. And wheeling in the air, like swans they fly:
14:435. These thin remains to Daunus' realms I bring,
14:436. And here I reign, a poor precarious king.

The Transformation of Appulus

14:437. Thus Diomedes. Venulus withdraws;
14:438. Unsped the service of the common cause.
14:439. Puteoli he passes, and survey'd
14:440. A cave long honour'd for its awful shade.
14:441. Here trembling reeds exclude the piercing ray,
14:442. Here streams in gentle falls thro' windings stray,
14:443. And with a passing breath cool zephyrs play.
14:444. The goatherd God frequents the silent place,
14:445. As once the wood-nymphs of the sylvan race,
14:446. 'Till Appulus with a dishonest air,
14:447. And gross behaviour, banish'd thence the fair.
14:448. The bold buffoon, when-e'er they tread the green,
14:449. Their motion mimicks, but with gest obscene.
14:450. Loose language oft he utters; but ere-long
14:451. A bark in filmy net-work binds his tongue.
14:452. Thus chang'd, a base wild olive he remains;
14:453. The shrub the coarseness of the clown retains.

The Trojan Ships Transform'd to Sea Nymphs

14:454. Mean-while the Latians all their pow'r prepare,
14:455. 'Gainst Fortune, and the foe to push the war.
14:456. With Phrygian blood the floating fields they stain;
14:457. But, short of succours, still contend in vain.
14:458. Turnus remarks the Trojan fleet ill mann'd,
14:459. Unguarded, and at anchor near the strand;
14:460. He thought; and strait a lighted brand he bore,
14:461. And fire invades, what 'scap'd the waves before.
14:462. The billows from the kindling prow retire;
14:463. Pitch, rosin, searwood on red wings aspire,
14:464. And Vulcan on the seas exerts his attribute of fire.
14:465. This when the mother of the Gods beheld,
14:466. Her towry crown she shook, and stood reveal'd;
14:467. Her brindl'd lions rein'd, unveil'd her head,
14:468. And hov'ring o'er her favour'd fleet, she said:
14:469. Cease Turnus, and the heav'nly Pow'rs respect,
14:470. Nor dare to violate, what I protect.
14:471. These gallies, once fair trees on Ida stood,
14:472. And gave their shade to each descending God.
14:473. Nor shall consume; irrevocable Fate
14:474. Allots their being no determin'd date.
14:475. Strait peals of thunder Heav'n's high arches rend,
14:476. The hail-stones leap, the show'rs in spouts descend.
14:477. The winds with widen'd throats the signal give;
14:478. The cables break, the smoaking vessels drive.
14:479. Now, wondrous, as they beat the foaming flood,
14:480. The timber softens into flesh, and blood;
14:481. The yards, and oars new arms, and legs design;
14:482. A trunk the hull; the slender keel, a spine;
14:483. The prow a female face; and by degrees
14:484. The gallies rise green daughters of the seas.
14:485. Sometimes on coral beds they sit in state,
14:486. Or wanton on the waves they fear'd of late.
14:487. The barks, that beat the seas are still their care,
14:488. Themselves remembring what of late they were;
14:489. To save a Trojan sail in throngs they press,
14:490. But smile to see Alcinous in distress.
14:491. Unable were those wonders to deter
14:492. The Latians from their unsuccessful war.
14:493. Both sides for doubtful victory contend;
14:494. And on their courage, and their Gods depend.
14:495. Nor bright Lavinia, nor Latinus' crown,
14:496. Warm their great soul to war, like fair renown.
14:497. Venus at last beholds her godlike son
14:498. Triumphant, and the field of battel won;
14:499. Brave Turnus slain, strong Ardea but a name,
14:500. And bury'd in fierce deluges of flame.
14:501. Her tow'rs, that boasted once a sov'reign sway,
14:502. The fate of fancy'd grandeur now betray.
14:503. A famish'd heron from the ashes springs,
14:504. And beats the ruin with disastrous wings.
14:505. Calamities of towns distrest she feigns,
14:506. And oft, with woful shrieks, of war complains.

The Deification of Aeneas

14:507. Now had Aeneas, as ordain'd by Fate,
14:508. Surviv'd the period of Saturnia's hate:
14:509. And by a sure irrevocable doom,
14:510. Fix'd the immortal majesty of Rome.
14:511. Fit for the station of his kindred stars,
14:512. His mother Goddess thus her suit prefers.
14:513. Almighty Arbiter, whose pow'rful nod
14:514. Shakes distant Earth, and bows our own abode;
14:515. To thy great progeny indulgent be,
14:516. And rank the Goddess born a deity.
14:517. Already has he view'd, with mortal eyes,
14:518. Thy brother's kingdoms of the nether skies.
14:519. Forthwith a conclave of the godhead meets,
14:520. Where Juno in the shining senate sits,
14:521. Remorse for past revenge the Goddess feels;
14:522. Then thund'ring Jove th' almighty mandate seals;
14:523. Allots the prince of his celestial line
14:524. An Apotheosis, and rights divine.
14:525. The crystal mansions eccho with applause,
14:526. And, with her graces, love's bright Queen withdraws;
14:527. Shoots in a blaze of light along the skies,
14:528. And, born by turtles, to Laurentum flies.
14:529. Alights, where thro' the reeds Numicius strays,
14:530. And to the seas his watry tribute pays.
14:531. The God she supplicates to wash away
14:532. The parts more gross, and subject to decay,
14:533. And cleanse the Goddess-born from seminal allay.
14:534. The horned flood with glad attention stands,
14:535. Then bids his streams obey their sire's commands.
14:536. His better parts by lustral waves refin'd,
14:537. More pure, and nearer to aetherial mind;
14:538. With gums of fragrant scent the Goddess strews,
14:539. And on his features breathes ambrosial dews.
14:540. Thus deify'd, new honours Rome decrees,
14:541. Shrines, festivals; and styles him Indiges.

The Line of the Latian Kings

14:542. Ascanius now the Latian sceptre sways;
14:543. The Alban nation, Sylvius, next obeys.
14:544. Then young Latinus: next an Alba came,
14:545. The grace, and guardian of the Alban name.
14:546. Then Epitus; then gentle Capys reign'd;
14:547. Then Capetis the regal pow'r sustain'd.
14:548. Next he who perish'd on the Tuscan flood,
14:549. And honour'd with his name the river God.
14:550. Now haughty Remulus begun his reign,
14:551. Who fell by thunder he aspir'd to feign.
14:552. Meek Acrota succeeded to the crown;
14:553. From peace endeavouring, more than arms, renown,
14:554. To Aventinus well resign'd his throne.
14:555. The mount on which he rul'd, preserves his name,
14:556. And Procas wore the regal diadem.

The Story of Vertumnus and Pomona

14:557. A Hama-Dryad flourish'd in these days,
14:558. Her name Pomona, from her woodland race.
14:559. In garden culture none could so excell,
14:560. Or form the pliant souls of plants so well;
14:561. Or to the fruit more gen'rous flavours lend,
14:562. Or teach the trees with nobler loads to bend.
14:563. The nymph frequented not the flatt'ring stream,
14:564. Nor meads, the subject of a virgin's dream;
14:565. But to such joys her nurs'ry did prefer,
14:566. Alone to tend her vegetable care.
14:567. A pruning-hook she carry'd in her hand,
14:568. And taught the straglers to obey command;
14:569. Lest the licentious, and unthrifty bough,
14:570. The too-indulgent parent should undo.
14:571. She shows, how stocks invite to their embrace
14:572. A graft, and naturalize a foreign race
14:573. To mend the salvage teint; and in its stead
14:574. Adopt new nature, and a nobler breed.
14:575. Now hourly she observes her growing care,
14:576. And guards their nonage from the bleaker air:
14:577. Then opes her streaming sluices, to supply
14:578. With flowing draughts her thirsty family.
14:579. Long had she labour'd to continue free
14:580. From chains of love, and nuptial tyranny;
14:581. And in her orchard's small extent immur'd,
14:582. Her vow'd virginity she still secur'd.
14:583. Oft would loose Pan, and all the lustful train
14:584. Of Satyrs, tempt her innocence in vain.
14:585. Silenus, that old dotard, own'd a flame;
14:586. And he, that frights the thieves with stratagem
14:587. Of sword, and something else too gross to name.
14:588. Vertumnus too pursu'd the maid no less;
14:589. But, with his rivals, shar'd a like success.
14:590. To gain access a thousand ways he tries;
14:591. Oft, in the hind, the lover would disguise.
14:592. The heedless lout comes shambling on, and seems
14:593. Just sweating from the labour of his teams.
14:594. Then, from the harvest, oft the mimick swain
14:595. Seems bending with a load of bearded grain.
14:596. Sometimes a dresser of the vine he feigns,
14:597. And lawless tendrils to their bounds restrains.
14:598. Sometimes his sword a soldier shews; his rod,
14:599. An angler; still so various is the God.
14:600. Now, in a forehead-cloth, some crone he seems,
14:601. A staff supplying the defect of limbs;
14:602. Admittance thus he gains; admires the store
14:603. Of fairest fruit; the fair possessor more;
14:604. Then greets her with a kiss: th' unpractis'd dame
14:605. Admir'd a grandame kiss'd with such a flame.
14:606. Now, seated by her, he beholds a vine
14:607. Around an elm in am'rous foldings twine.
14:608. If that fair elm, he cry'd, alone should stand,
14:609. No grapes would glow with gold and tempt the hand;
14:610. Or if that vine without her elm should grow,
14:611. 'Twould creep a poor neglected shrub below.
14:612. Be then, fair nymph, by these examples led;
14:613. Nor shun, for fancy'd fears, the nuptial bed.
14:614. Not she for whom the Lapithites took arms,
14:615. Nor Sparta's queen, could boast such heavenly charms.
14:616. And if you would on woman's faith rely,
14:617. None can your choice direct so well, as I.
14:618. Tho' old, so much Pomona I adore,
14:619. Scarce does the bright Vertumnus love her more.
14:620. 'Tis your fair self alone his breast inspires
14:621. With softest wishes and unsoyl'd desires.
14:622. Then fly all vulgar followers, and prove
14:623. The God of seasons only worth your love:
14:624. On my assurance well you may repose;
14:625. Vertumnus scarce Vertumnus better knows.
14:626. True to his choice, all looser flames he flies;
14:627. Nor for new faces fashionably dies.
14:628. The charms of youth, and ev'ry smiling grace
14:629. Bloom in his features, and the God confess.
14:630. Besides, he puts on ev'ry shape at ease;
14:631. But those the most, that best Pomona please.
14:632. Still to oblige her is her lover's aim;
14:633. Their likings and aversions are the same.
14:634. Nor the fair fruit your burthen'd branches bear;
14:635. Nor all the youthful product of the year,
14:636. Could bribe his choice; your self alone can prove
14:637. A fit reward for so refin'd a love.
14:638. Relent, fair nymph, and with a kind regret,
14:639. Think 'tis Vertumnus weeping at your feet.
14:640. A tale attend, thro' Cyprus known, to prove
14:641. How Venus once reveng'd neglected love.

The Story of Iphis and Anaxarete

14:642. Iphis, of vulgar birth, by chance had view'd
14:643. Fair Anaxarete of Teucer's blood.
14:644. Not long had he beheld the royal dame,
14:645. Ere the bright sparkle kindled into flame.
14:646. Oft did he struggle with a just despair,
14:647. Unfix'd to ask, unable to forbear.
14:648. But love, who flatters still his own disease,
14:649. Hopes all things will succeed, he knows will please.
14:650. Where-e'er the fair one haunts, he hovers there;
14:651. And seeks her confident with sighs, and pray'r,
14:652. Or letters he conveys, that seldom prove
14:653. Successless messengers in suits of love.
14:654. Now shiv'ring at her gates the wretch appears,
14:655. And myrtle garlands on the columns rears,
14:656. Wet with a deluge of unbidden tears.
14:657. The nymph more hard than rocks, more deaf than seas,
14:658. Derides his pray'rs; insults his agonies;
14:659. Arraigns of insolence th' aspiring swain;
14:660. And takes a cruel pleasure in his pain.
14:661. Resolv'd at last to finish his despair,
14:662. He thus upbraids th' inexorable fair.-
14:663. O Anaxarete, at last forget
14:664. The licence of a passion indiscreet.
14:665. Now triumph, since a welcome sacrifice
14:666. Your slave prepares, to offer to your eyes.
14:667. My life, without reluctance, I resign;
14:668. That present best can please a pride, like thine.
14:669. But, o! forbear to blast a flame so bright,
14:670. Doom'd never to expire, but with the light.
14:671. And you, great Pow'rs, do justice to my name;
14:672. The hours, you take from life, restore to Fame.
14:673. Then o'er the posts, once hung with wreaths, he throws
14:674. The ready cord, and fits the fatal noose;
14:675. For death prepares; and bounding from above,
14:676. At once the wretch concludes his life, and love.
14:677. Ere-long the people gather, and the dead
14:678. Is to his mourning mother's arms convey'd.
14:679. First, like some ghastly statue, she appears;
14:680. Then bathes the breathless coarse in seas of tears,
14:681. And gives it to the pile; now as the throng
14:682. Proceed in sad solemnity along,
14:683. To view the passing pomp, the cruel fair
14:684. Hastes, and beholds her breathless lover there.
14:685. Struck with the sight, inanimate she seems;
14:686. Set are her eyes, and motionless her limbs:
14:687. Her features without fire, her colour gone,
14:688. And, like her heart, she hardens into stone.
14:689. In Salamis the statue still is seen
14:690. In the fam'd temple of the Cyprian Queen.
14:691. Warn'd by this tale, no longer then disdain,
14:692. O nymph belov'd, to ease a lover's pain.
14:693. So may the frosts in Spring your blossoms spare,
14:694. And winds their rude autumnal rage forbear.
14:695. The story oft Vertumnus urg'd in vain,
14:696. But then assum'd his heav'nly form again.
14:697. Such looks, and lustre the bright youth adorn.
14:698. As when with rays glad Phoebus paints the morn,
14:699. The sight so warms the fair admiring maid,
14:700. Like snow she melts: so soon can youth persuade.
14:701. Consent, on eager winds, succeeds desire;
14:702. And both the lovers glow with mutual fire.

The Latian Line Continu'd

14:703. Now Procas yielding to the Fates, his son
14:704. Mild Numitor succeeded to the crown.
14:705. But false Amulius, with a lawless pow'r,
14:706. At length depos'd his brother Numitor.
14:707. Then Ilia's valiant issue, with the word,
14:708. Her parent re-inthron'd, the rightful lord.
14:709. Next Romulus to people Rome contrives;
14:710. The joyous time of Pales' feast arrives;
14:711. He gives the word to seize the Sabine wives.
14:712. The sires enrag'd take arms, by Tatius led,
14:713. Bold to revenge their violated bed.
14:714. A fort there was, not yet unknown to fame,
14:715. Call'd the Tarpeian, its commander's name.
14:716. This by the false Tarpeia was betray'd,
14:717. But death well recompens'd the treach'rous maid.
14:718. The foe on this new-bought success relies,
14:719. And silent, march; the city to surprize.
14:720. Saturnia's arts with Sabine arms combine;
14:721. But Venus countermines the vain design;
14:722. Intreats the nymphs that o'er the springs preside,
14:723. Which near the fane of hoary Janus glide,
14:724. To send their succours; ev'ry urn they drain,
14:725. To stop the Sabines' progress, but in vain.
14:726. The Naiads now more stratagems essay;
14:727. And kindling sulphur to each source convey.
14:728. The floods ferment, hot exhalations rise,
14:729. 'Till from the scalding ford the army flies.
14:730. Soon Romulus appears in shining arms,
14:731. And to the war the Roman legions warms:
14:732. The battel rages, and the field is spread
14:733. With nothing, but the dying, and the dead.
14:734. Both sides consent to treat without delay,
14:735. And their two chiefs at once the sceptre sway.
14:736. But Tatius by Lavinian fury slain;
14:737. Great Romulus continu'd long to reign.

The Assumption of Romulus

14:738. Now warrior Mars his burnish'd helm puts on,
14:739. And thus addresses Heav'n's imperial throne.
14:740. Since the inferior world is now become
14:741. One vassal globe, and colony to Rome,
14:742. This grace, o Jove, for Romulus I claim,
14:743. Admit him to the skies, from whence he came.
14:744. Long hast thou promis'd an aetherial state
14:745. To Mars's lineage; and thy word is Fate.
14:746. The sire, that rules the thunder, with a nod,
14:747. Declar'd the Fiat, and dismiss'd the God.
14:748. Soon as the Pow'r armipotent survey'd
14:749. The flashing skies, the signal he obey'd,-
14:750. And leaning on his lance, he mounts his car,
14:751. His fiery coursers lashing thro' the air.
14:752. Mount Palatine he gains, and finds his son
14:753. Good laws enacting on a peaceful throne;
14:754. The scales of heav'nly justice holding high,
14:755. With steady hand, and a discerning eye.
14:756. Then vaults upon his carr, and to the spheres,
14:757. Swift, as a flying shaft, Rome's founder bears.
14:758. The parts more pure, in rising are refin'd,
14:759. The gross, and perishable lag behind.
14:760. His shrine in purple vestments stands in view;
14:761. He looks a God, and is Quirinus now.

The Assumption of Hersilia

14:762. Ere-long the Goddess of the nuptial bed,
14:763. With pity mov'd, sends Iris in her stead
14:764. To sad Hersilia- Thus the meteor maid:-
14:765. Chast relict! in bright truth to Heav'n ally'd,
14:766. The Sabines' glory, and the sex's pride;
14:767. Honour'd on Earth, and worthy of the love
14:768. Of such a spouse, as now resides above,
14:769. Some respite to thy killing griefs afford;
14:770. And if thou wouldst once more behold thy lord,
14:771. Retire to yon steep mount, with groves o'er-spread,
14:772. Which with an awful gloom his temple shade.
14:773. With fear the modest matron lifts her eyes,
14:774. And to the bright embassadress replies:-
14:775. O Goddess, yet to mortal eyes unknown,
14:776. But sure thy various charms confess thee one:
14:777. O quick to Romulus thy votress bear,
14:778. With looks of love he'll smile away my care:
14:779. In what-e'er orb he shines, my Heav'n is there.
14:780. Then hastes with Iris to the holy grove,
14:781. And up the Mount Quirinal as they move,
14:782. A lambent flame glides downward thro' the air,
14:783. And brightens with a blaze Hersilia's hair.
14:784. Together on the bounding ray they rise,
14:785. And shoot a gleam of light along the skies.
14:786. With op'ning arms Quirinus met his bride,
14:787. Now Ora nam'd, and press'd her to his side.


The Pythagorean Philosophy  The Story of Hippolytus  Egeria Transform'd to a Fountain  The Story of Cippus  The Occasion of Aesculapius Being Brought to Rome  The Deification of Julius Caesar  The Reign of Augustus, in which Ovid Flourish'd  The Poet Concludes

The Pythagorean Philosophy

15:1. A KING is sought to guide the growing state,
15:2. One able to support the publick weight
15:3. And fill the throne where Romulus had sate.
15:4. Renown, which oft bespeaks the publick voice,
15:5. Had recommended Numa to their choice:
15:6. A peaceful, pious prince; who not content
15:7. To know the Sabine rites, his study bent
15:8. To cultivate his mind; to learn the laws
15:9. Of Nature, and explore their hidden cause.
15:10. Urg'd by this care, his country he forsook,
15:11. And to Crotona thence his journey took.
15:12. Arriv'd, he first enquir'd the founder's name
15:13. Of this new colony; and whence he came.
15:14. Then thus a senior of the place replies
15:15. (Well read, and curious of antiquities):
15:16. 'Tis said, Alcides hither took his way
15:17. From Spain, and drove along his conquer'd prey;
15:18. Then, leaving in the fields his grazing cows,
15:19. He sought himself some hospitable house:
15:20. Good Croton entertain'd his godlike guest;
15:21. While he repair'd his weary limbs with rest.
15:22. The hero, thence departing, bless'd the place;
15:23. And here, he said, in time's revolving race,
15:24. A rising town shall take his name from thee.
15:25. Revolving time fulfill'd the prophecy:
15:26. For Myscelos, the justest man on Earth,
15:27. Alemon's son, at Argos had his birth:
15:28. Him Hercules, arm'd with his club of oak,
15:29. O'ershadow'd in a dream, and thus bespoke:
15:30. Go, leave thy native soil, and make abode,
15:31. Where Aesaris rowls down his rapid flood:
15:32. He said; and sleep forsook him, and the God.
15:33. Trembling he wak'd, and rose with anxious heart;
15:34. His country laws forbad him to depart:
15:35. What shou'd he do? 'Twas death to go away,
15:36. And the God menac'd, if he dar'd to stay.
15:37. All day he doubted, and when night came on,
15:38. Sleep, and the same forewarning dream, begun:
15:39. Once more the God stood threatning o'er his head;
15:40. With added curses if he disobey'd.
15:41. Twice warn'd, he study'd flight; but wou'd convey,
15:42. At once, his person, and his wealth away:
15:43. Thus while he linger'd, his design was heard;
15:44. A speedy process form'd, and death declar'd.
15:45. Witness there needed none of his offence;
15:46. Against himself the wretch was evidence:
15:47. Condemn'd, and destitute of human aid,
15:48. To him, for whom he suffer'd, thus he pray'd.
15:49. O Pow'r, who hast deserv'd in Heav'n a throne,
15:50. Not giv'n, but by thy labours made thy own,
15:51. Pity thy suppliant, and protect his cause,
15:52. Whom thou hast made obnoxious to the laws.
15:53. A custom was of old, and still remains,
15:54. Which life, or death by suffrages ordains:
15:55. White stones, and black within an urn are cast;
15:56. The first absolve, but Fate is in the last.
15:57. The judges to the common urn bequeath
15:58. Their votes, and drop the sable signs of death;
15:59. The box receives all black, but, pour'd from thence,
15:60. The stones came candid forth; the hue of innocence.
15:61. Thus Alemonides his safety won,
15:62. Preserv'd from death by Alcumena's son:
15:63. Then to his kinsman-God his vows he pays,
15:64. And cuts with prosp'rous gales th' Ionian seas:
15:65. He leaves Tarentum favour'd by the wind,
15:66. And Thurine bays, and Temises, behind;
15:67. Soft Sybaris, and all the capes that stand
15:68. Along the shore, he makes in sight of land;
15:69. Still doubling, and still coasting, 'till he found
15:70. The mouth of Aesaris, and promis'd ground;
15:71. Then saw, where, on the margin of the flood,
15:72. The tomb, that held the bones of Croton stood:
15:73. Here, by the Gods' command, he built, and wall'd
15:74. The place predicted; and Crotona call'd.
15:75. Thus Fame, from time to time, delivers down
15:76. The sure tradition of th' Italian town.
15:77. Here dwelt the man divine, whom Samos bore,
15:78. But now self-banish'd from his native shore,
15:79. Because he hated tyrants, nor cou'd bear
15:80. The chains, which none but servile souls will wear.
15:81. He, tho' from Heav'n remote, to Heav'n cou'd move,
15:82. With strength of mind, and tread th' abyss above;
15:83. And penetrate, with his interior light,
15:84. Those upper depths, which Nature hid from sight:
15:85. And what he had observ'd, and learnt from thence,
15:86. Lov'd in familiar language to dispence.
15:87. The crowd with silent admiration stand,
15:88. And heard him, as they heard their God's command;
15:89. While he discours'd of Heav'n's mysterious laws,
15:90. The world's original, and Nature's cause;
15:91. And what was God; and why the fleecy snows
15:92. In silence fell, and rattling winds arose;
15:93. What shook the stedfast Earth, and whence begun
15:94. The dance of planets round the radiant sun;
15:95. If thunder was the voice of angry Jove,
15:96. Or clouds, with nitre pregnant, burst above:
15:97. Of these, and things beyond the common reach,
15:98. He spoke, and charm'd his audience with his speech.
15:99. He first the taste of flesh from tables drove,
15:100. And argu'd well, if arguments cou'd move:
15:101. O mortals, from your fellows' blood abstain,
15:102. Nor taint your bodies with a food profane:
15:103. While corn, and pulse by Nature are bestow'd,
15:104. And planted orchards bend their willing load;
15:105. While labour'd gardens wholesom herbs produce,
15:106. And teeming vines afford their gen'rous juice;
15:107. Nor tardier fruits of cruder kind are lost,
15:108. But tam'd with fire, or mellow'd by the frost;
15:109. While kine to pails distended udders bring,
15:110. And bees their hony redolent of Spring;
15:111. While Earth not only can your needs supply,
15:112. But, lavish of her store, provides for luxury;
15:113. A guiltless feast administers with ease,
15:114. And without blood is prodigal to please.
15:115. Wild beasts their maws with their slain brethren fill;
15:116. And yet not all, for some refuse to kill;
15:117. Sheep, goats, and oxen, and the nobler steed,
15:118. On browz, and corn, and flow'ry meadows, feed.
15:119. Bears, tygers, wolves, the lyon's angry brood,
15:120. Whom Heav'n endu'd with principles of blood,
15:121. He wisely sundred from the rest, to yell
15:122. In forests, and in lonely caves to dwell;
15:123. Where stronger beasts oppress the weak by might.
15:124. And all in prey, and purple feasts delight.
15:125. O impious use! to Nature's laws oppos'd,
15:126. Where bowels are in other bowels clos'd:
15:127. Where fatten'd by their fellow's fat, they thrive;
15:128. Maintain'd by murder, and by death they live.
15:129. 'Tis then for nought, that Mother Earth provides
15:130. The stores of all she shows, and all she hides,
15:131. If men with fleshy morsels must be fed,
15:132. And chaw with bloody teeth the breathing bread:
15:133. What else is this, but to devour our guests,
15:134. And barb'rously renew Cyclopean feasts!
15:135. We, by destroying life, our life sustain;
15:136. And gorge th' ungodly maw with meats obscene.
15:137. Not so the Golden Age, who fed on fruit,
15:138. Nor durst with bloody meals their mouths pollute.
15:139. Then birds in airy space might safely move,
15:140. And tim'rous hares on heaths securely rove:
15:141. Nor needed fish the guileful hooks to fear,
15:142. For all was peaceful; and that peace sincere.
15:143. Whoever was the wretch (and curs'd be he)
15:144. That envy'd first our food's simplicity,
15:145. Th' essay of bloody feasts on brutes began,
15:146. And after forg'd the sword to murder Man.
15:147. Had he the sharpen'd steel alone employ'd
15:148. On beasts of prey; that other beasts destroy'd,
15:149. Or Man invaded with their fangs and paws,
15:150. This had been justify'd by Nature's laws,
15:151. And self-defence: but who did feasts begin
15:152. Of flesh, he stretch'd necessity to sin.
15:153. To kill man-killers, Man has lawful pow'r,
15:154. But not th' extended licence, to devour.
15:155. Ill habits gather by unseen degrees,
15:156. As brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas.
15:157. The sow, with her broad snout, for rooting up
15:158. Th' intrusted seed, was judg'd to spoil the crop,
15:159. And intercept the sweating farmer's hope:
15:160. The covetous churl, of unforgiving kind,
15:161. Th' offender to the bloody priest resign'd:
15:162. Her hunger was no plea: for that she dy'd.
15:163. The goat came next in order to be try'd:
15:164. The goat had cropt the tendrils of the vine:
15:165. In vengeance laity, and clergy join,
15:166. Where one had lost his profit, one his wine.
15:167. Here was, at least, some shadow of offence;
15:168. The sheep was sacrific'd on no pretence,
15:169. But meek, and unresisting innocence.
15:170. A patient, useful creature, born to bear
15:171. The warm, and wooly fleece, that cloath'd her murderer;
15:172. And daily to give down the milk she bred,
15:173. A tribute for the grass on which she fed.
15:174. Living, both food and rayment she supplies,
15:175. And is of least advantage, when she dies.
15:176. How did the toyling ox his death deserve,
15:177. A downright simple drudge, and born to serve?
15:178. O tyrant! with what justice canst thou hope
15:179. The promise of the year, a plenteous crop;
15:180. When thou destroy'st thy lab'ring steer, who till'd,
15:181. And plough'd with pains, thy else ungrateful field?
15:182. From his yet reeking neck, to draw the yoke,
15:183. That neck, with which the surly clods he broke;
15:184. And to the hatchet yield thy husbandman,
15:185. Who finish'd Autumn, and the Spring began!
15:186. Nor this alone! but Heav'n it self to bribe,
15:187. We to the Gods our impious acts ascribe:
15:188. First recompence with death their creatures' toil;
15:189. Then call the bless'd above to share the spoil:
15:190. The fairest victim must the Pow'rs appease
15:191. (So fatal 'tis sometimes too much to please!),
15:192. A purple fillet his broad brows adorns,
15:193. With flow'ry garlands crown'd, and gilded horns:
15:194. He hears the murd'rous pray'r the priest prefers,
15:195. But understands not, 'tis his doom he hears:
15:196. Beholds the meal betwixt his temples cast
15:197. (The fruit and product of his labours past);
15:198. And in the water views perhaps the knife
15:199. Uplifted, to deprive him of his life;
15:200. Then broken up alive, his entrails sees
15:201. Torn out, for priests t' inspect the Gods' decrees.
15:202. From whence, o mortal men, this gust of blood
15:203. Have you deriv'd, and interdicted food?
15:204. Be taught by me this dire delight to shun,
15:205. Warn'd by my precepts, by my practice won:
15:206. And when you eat the well-deserving beast,
15:207. Think, on the lab'rour of your field you feast!
15:208. Now since the God inspires me to proceed,
15:209. Be that, whate'er inspiring Pow'r, obey'd.
15:210. For I will sing of mighty mysteries,
15:211. Of truths conceal'd before, from human eyes,
15:212. Dark oracles unveil and open all the skies.
15:213. Pleas'd as I am to walk along the sphere
15:214. Of shining stars, and travel with the year,
15:215. To leave the heavy Earth, and scale the height
15:216. Of Atlas, who supports the heav'nly weight;
15:217. To look from upper light, and thence survey
15:218. Mistaken mortals wand'ring from the way,
15:219. And wanting wisdom, fearful for the state
15:220. Of future things, and trembling at their Fate!
15:221. Those I would teach; and by right reason bring
15:222. To think of death, as but an idle thing.
15:223. Why thus affrighted at an empty name,
15:224. A dream of darkness, and fictitious flame?
15:225. Vain themes of wit, which but in poems pass,
15:226. And fables of a world, that never was!
15:227. What feels the body, when the soul expires,
15:228. By time corrupted, or consum'd by fires?
15:229. Nor dies the spirit, but new life repeats
15:230. In other forms, and only changes seats.
15:231. Ev'n I, who these mysterious truths declare,
15:232. Was once Euphorbus in the Trojan war;
15:233. My name, and lineage I remember well,
15:234. And how in fight by Sparta's king I fell.
15:235. In Argive Juno's fane I late beheld
15:236. My buckler hung on high, and own'd my former shield.
15:237. Then, death, so call'd, is but old matter dress'd
15:238. In some new figure, and a vary'd vest:
15:239. Thus all things are but alter'd, nothing dies;
15:240. And here, and there th' unbody'd spirit flies.
15:241. By time, or force, or sickness dispossest,
15:242. And lodges, where it lights, in man or beast;
15:243. Or hunts without, 'till ready limbs it find,
15:244. And actuates those according to their kind;
15:245. From tenement to tenement is toss'd,
15:246. The soul is still the same, the figure only lost:
15:247. And, as the soften'd wax new seals receives,
15:248. This face assumes, and that impression leaves;
15:249. Now call'd by one, now by another name;
15:250. The form is only chang'd, the wax is still the same:
15:251. So death, so call'd, can but the form deface;
15:252. Th' immortal soul flies out in empty space,
15:253. To seek her fortune in some other place.
15:254. Then let not piety be put to flight,
15:255. To please the taste of glutton appetite;
15:256. But suffer inmate souls secure to dwell,
15:257. Lest from their seats your parents you expel;
15:258. With rabid hunger feed upon your kind,
15:259. Or from a beast dislodge a brother's mind.
15:260. And since, like Typhis parting from the shore,
15:261. In ample seas I sail, and depths untry'd before,
15:262. This let me further add, that Nature knows
15:263. No stedfast station, but, or ebbs, or flows:
15:264. Ever in motion; she destroys her old,
15:265. And casts new figures in another mold.
15:266. Ev'n times are in perpetual flux, and run,
15:267. Like rivers from their fountain, rowling on,
15:268. For time, no more than streams, is at a stay;
15:269. The flying hour is ever on her way:
15:270. And as the fountain still supplies her store,
15:271. The wave behind impels the wave before;
15:272. Thus in successive course the minutes run,
15:273. And urge their predecessor minutes on,
15:274. Till moving, ever new: for former things
15:275. Are set aside, like abdicated kings:
15:276. And every moment alters what is done,
15:277. And innovates some act, 'till then unknown.
15:278. Darkness we see emerges into light,
15:279. And shining suns descend to sable night;
15:280. Ev'n Heav'n it self receives another dye,
15:281. When weary'd animals in slumbers lie
15:282. Of midnight ease: another, when the gray
15:283. Of morn preludes the splendor of the day.
15:284. The disk of Phoebus, when he climbs on high,
15:285. Appears at first but as a bloodshot eye;
15:286. And when his chariot downwards drives to bed.
15:287. His ball is with the same suffusion red;
15:288. But mounted high in his meridian race
15:289. All bright he shines, and with a better face:
15:290. For there, pure particles of Aether flow,
15:291. Far from th' infection of the world below.
15:292. Nor equal light th' unequal Moon adorns,
15:293. Or in her waxing, or her waning horns,
15:294. For ev'ry day she wanes, her face is less;
15:295. But gath'ring into globe, she fattens at increase.
15:296. Perceiv'st thou not the process of the year,
15:297. How the four seasons in four forms appear,
15:298. Resembling human life in ev'ry shape they wear?
15:299. Spring first, like infancy, shoots out her head,
15:300. With milky juice requiring to be fed:
15:301. Helpless, tho' fresh, and wanting to be led.
15:302. The green stem grows in stature, and in size,
15:303. But only feeds with hope the farmer's eyes;
15:304. Then laughs the childish year with flowrets crown'd,
15:305. And lavishly perfumes the fields around,
15:306. But no substantial nourishment receives;
15:307. Infirm the stalks, unsolid are the leaves.
15:308. Proceeding onward whence the year began,
15:309. The Summer grows adult, and ripens into Man.
15:310. This season, as in men, is most repleat
15:311. With kindly moisture, and prolifick heat.
15:312. Autumn succeeds, a sober tepid age,
15:313. Not froze with fear, nor boiling into rage;
15:314. More than mature, and tending to decay,
15:315. When our brown locks repine to mix with odious gray.
15:316. Last, Winter creeps along with tardy pace,
15:317. Sour is his front, and furrow'd is his face;
15:318. His scalp if not dishonour'd quite of hair,
15:319. The ragged fleece is thin; and thin is worse than bare.
15:320. Ev'n our own bodies daily change receive,
15:321. Some part of what was theirs before, they leave;
15:322. Nor are to-day, what yesterday they were;
15:323. Nor the whole same to-morrow will appear.
15:324. Time was, when we were sow'd, and just began,
15:325. From some few fruitful drops, the promise of a man:
15:326. Then Nature's hand (fermented as it was)
15:327. Moulded to shape the soft, coagulated mass;
15:328. And when the little man was fully form'd,
15:329. The breathless embrio with a spirit warm'd;
15:330. But when the mother's throws begin to come,
15:331. The creature, pent within the narrow room,
15:332. Breaks his blind prison, pushing to repair
15:333. His stifled breath, and draw the living air;
15:334. Cast on the margin of the world he lies,
15:335. A helpless babe, but by instinct he cries.
15:336. He next essays to walk, but downward press'd
15:337. On four feet imitates his brother beast:
15:338. By slow degrees he gathers from the ground
15:339. His legs, and to the rowling chair is bound;
15:340. Then walks alone; a horseman now become,
15:341. He rides a stick, and travels round the room.
15:342. In time he vaunts among his youthful peers,
15:343. Strong-bon'd, and strung with nerves, in pride of years,
15:344. He runs with mettle his first merry stage,
15:345. Maintains the next, abated of his rage,
15:346. But manages his strength, and spares his age.
15:347. Heavy the third, and stiff, he sinks apace,
15:348. And tho' tis down hill all, but creeps along the race.
15:349. Now sapless on the verge of death he stands,
15:350. Contemplating his former feet and hands;
15:351. And, Milo-like, his slacken'd sinews sees,
15:352. And wither'd arms, once fit to cope with Hercules,
15:353. Unable now to shake, much less to tear, the trees.
15:354. So Helen wept, when her too faithful glass
15:355. Reflected on her eyes the ruins of her face:
15:356. Wondring, what charms her ravishers cou'd spy,
15:357. To force her twice, or ev'n but once t' enjoy!
15:358. Thy teeth, devouring time, thine, envious age,
15:359. On things below still exercise your rage:
15:360. With venom'd grinders you corrupt your meat,
15:361. And then, at lingring meals, the morsels eat.
15:362. Nor those, which elements we call, abide,
15:363. Nor to this figure, nor to that are ty'd;
15:364. For this eternal world is said, of old,
15:365. But four prolifick principles to hold,
15:366. Four different bodies; two to Heav'n ascend,
15:367. And other two down to the center tend:
15:368. Fire first with wings expanded mounts on high,
15:369. Pure, void of weight, and dwells in upper sky;
15:370. Then air, because unclog'd in empty space,
15:371. Flies after fire, and claims the second place:
15:372. But weighty water, as her nature guides,
15:373. Lies on the lap of Earth; and Mother Earth subsides.
15:374. All things are mix'd of these, which all contain,
15:375. And into these are all resolv'd again:
15:376. Earth rarifies to dew; expanded more,
15:377. The subtil dew in air begins to soar;
15:378. Spreads, as she flies, and weary of her name
15:379. Extenuates still, and changes into flame;
15:380. Thus having by degrees perfection won,
15:381. Restless they soon untwist the web, they spun,
15:382. And fire begins to lose her radiant hue,
15:383. Mix'd with gross air, and air descends to dew;
15:384. And dew condensing, does her form forego,
15:385. And sinks, a heavy lump of Earth below.
15:386. Thus are their figures never at a stand,
15:387. But chang'd by Nature's innovating hand;
15:388. All things are alter'd, nothing is destroy'd,
15:389. The shifted scene for some new show employ'd.
15:390. Then, to be born, is to begin to be
15:391. Some other thing we were not formerly:
15:392. And what we call to die, is not t' appear,
15:393. Or be the thing, that formerly we were.
15:394. Those very elements, which we partake
15:395. Alive, when dead some other bodies make:
15:396. Translated grow, have sense, or can discourse;
15:397. But death on deathless substance has no force.
15:398. That forms are chang'd, I grant; that nothing can
15:399. Continue in the figure it began:
15:400. The golden age, to silver was debas'd:
15:401. To copper that; our metal came at last.
15:402. The face of places, and their forms, decay;
15:403. And that is solid Earth, that once was sea:
15:404. Seas in their turn retreating from the shore,
15:405. Make solid land, what ocean was before;
15:406. And far from strands are shells of fishes found,
15:407. And rusty anchors fix'd on mountain-ground:
15:408. And what were fields before, now wash'd and worn
15:409. By falling floods from high, to valleys turn,
15:410. And crumbling still descend to level lands;
15:411. And lakes, and trembling bogs, are barren sands.
15:412. And the parch'd desart floats in streams unknown;
15:413. Wondring to drink of waters not her own.
15:414. Here Nature living fountains opes; and there
15:415. Seals up the wombs, where living fountains were;
15:416. Or earthquakes stop their ancient course, and bring
15:417. Diverted streams to feed a distant spring.
15:418. So Licus, swallow'd up, is seen no more,
15:419. But far from thence knocks out another door.
15:420. Thus Erasinus dives; and blind in Earth
15:421. Runs on, and gropes his way to second birth,
15:422. Starts up in Argos' meads, and shakes his locks
15:423. Around the fields, and fattens all the flocks.
15:424. So Mysus by another way is led,
15:425. And, grown a river, now disdains his head:
15:426. Forgets his humble birth, his name forsakes,
15:427. And the proud title of Caicus takes.
15:428. Large Amenane, impure with yellow sands,
15:429. Runs rapid often, and as often stands,
15:430. And here he threats the drunken fields to drown;
15:431. And there his dugs deny to give their liquor down.
15:432. Anigros once did wholsome draughts afford,
15:433. But now his deadly waters are abhorr'd:
15:434. Since, hurt by Hercules, as Fame resounds,
15:435. The centaurs in his current wash'd their wounds.
15:436. The streams of Hypanis are sweet no more,
15:437. But brackish lose the taste they had before.
15:438. Antissa, Pharos, Tyre, in seas were pent,
15:439. Once isles, but now increase the continent;
15:440. While the Leucadian coast, main land before,
15:441. By rushing seas is sever'd from the shore.
15:442. So Zancle to th' Italian earth was ty'd,
15:443. And men once walk'd, where ships at anchor ride.
15:444. 'Till Neptune overlook'd the narrow way,
15:445. And in disdain pour'd in the conqu'ring sea.
15:446. Two cities that adorn'd th' Achaian ground,
15:447. Buris, and Helice, no more are found,
15:448. But whelm'd beneath a lake, are sunk and drown'd;
15:449. And boatsmen through the crystal water show,
15:450. To wond'ring passengers, the walls below.
15:451. Near Trazen stands a hill, expos'd in air
15:452. To winter-winds, of leafy shadows bare:
15:453. This once was level ground: but (strange to tell)
15:454. Th' included vapours, that in caverns dwell,
15:455. Lab'ring with cholick pangs; and close confin'd,
15:456. In vain sought issue for the rumbling wind:
15:457. Yet still they heav'd for vent, and heaving still
15:458. Inlarg'd the concave, and shot up the hill;
15:459. As breath extends a bladder, or the skins
15:460. Of goats are blown t' inclose the hoarded wines:
15:461. The mountain yet retains a mountain's face,
15:462. And gather'd rubbish heals the hollow space.
15:463. Of many wonders, which I heard, or knew,
15:464. Retrenching most, I will relate but few:
15:465. What, are not springs with qualities oppos'd,
15:466. Endu'd at seasons, and at seasons lost?
15:467. Thrice in a day thine, Ammon, change their form,
15:468. Cold at high noon, at morn, and evening warm:
15:469. Thine, Athaman, will kindle wood, if thrown
15:470. On the pil'd earth, and in the waning moon.
15:471. The Thracians have a stream, if any try
15:472. The taste, his harden'd bowels petrify;
15:473. Whate'er it touches, it converts to stones,
15:474. And makes a marble pavement, where it runs.
15:475. Crathis, and Sybaris her sister flood,
15:476. That slide through our Calabrian neighbour wood,
15:477. With gold, and amber dye the shining hair,
15:478. And thither youth resort (for who would not be fair?).
15:479. But stranger virtues yet in streams we find,
15:480. Some change not only bodies, but the mind:
15:481. Who has not heard of Salmacis obscene,
15:482. Whose waters into women soften men?
15:483. Or Aethiopian lakes, which turn the brain
15:484. To madness, Or in heavy sleep constrain?
15:485. Clytorian streams the love of wine expel
15:486. (Such is the virtue of th' abstemious well),
15:487. Whether the colder nymph that rules the flood
15:488. Extinguishes, and balks the drunken God;
15:489. Or that Melampus (so have some assur'd)
15:490. When the mad Proetides with charms he cur'd,
15:491. And pow'rful herbs, both charms, and simples cast
15:492. Into the sober spring, where still their virtues last.
15:493. Unlike effects Lyncestis will produce;
15:494. Who drinks his waters, tho' with mod'rate use,
15:495. Reels as with wine, and sees with double sight:
15:496. His heels too heavy, and his head too light.
15:497. Ladon, once Pheneos, an Arcadian stream
15:498. (Ambiguous in th' effects, as in the name),
15:499. By day is wholsome bev'rage; but is thought
15:500. By night infected, and a deadly draught.
15:501. Thus running rivers, and the standing lake,
15:502. Now of these virtues, now of those partake:
15:503. Time was (and all things time, and Fate obey)
15:504. When fast Ortygia floated on the sea;
15:505. Such were Cyanean isles, when Typhis steer'd
15:506. Betwixt their streights, and their collision fear'd;
15:507. They swam, where now they sit; and firmly join'd
15:508. Secure of rooting up, resist the wind.
15:509. Nor Aetna vomiting sulphureous fire
15:510. Will ever belch; for sulphur will expire
15:511. (The veins exhausted of the liquid store):
15:512. Time was, she cast no flames; in time will cast no more.
15:513. For whether Earth's an animal, and air
15:514. Imbibes; her lungs with coolness to repair,
15:515. And what she sucks remits; she still requires
15:516. Inlets for air, and outlets for her fires;
15:517. When tortur'd with convulsive fits she shakes,
15:518. That motion choaks the vent, 'till other vent she makes:
15:519. Or when the winds in hollow caves are clos'd,
15:520. And subtle spirits find that way oppos'd,
15:521. They toss up flints in air; the flints that hide
15:522. The seeds of fire, thus toss'd in air, collide,
15:523. Kindling the sulphur, 'till the fewel spent
15:524. The cave is cool'd, and the fierce winds relent.
15:525. Or whether sulphur, catching fire, feeds on
15:526. Its unctuous parts, 'till all the matter gone
15:527. The flames no more ascend; for Earth supplies
15:528. The fat that feeds them; and when Earth denies
15:529. That food, by length of time consum'd, the fire
15:530. Famish'd for want of fewel must expire.
15:531. A race of men there are, as Fame has told,
15:532. Who shiv'ring suffer Hyperborean cold,
15:533. 'Till nine times bathing in Minerva's lake,
15:534. Soft feathers, to defend their naked sides, they take.
15:535. 'Tis said, the Scythian wives (believe who will)
15:536. Transform themselves to birds by magick skill;
15:537. Smear'd over with an oil of wond'rous might.
15:538. That adds new pinions to their airy flight.
15:539. But this by sure experiment we know,
15:540. That living creatures from corruption grow:
15:541. Hide in a hollow pit a slaughter'd steer,
15:542. Bees from his putrid bowels will appear;
15:543. Who, like their parents, haunt the fields, and bring
15:544. Their hony-harvest home, and hope another Spring.
15:545. The warlike-steed is multiply'd, we find,
15:546. To wasps, and hornets of the warrior kind.
15:547. Cut from a crab his crooked claws, and hide
15:548. The rest in Earth, a scorpion thence will glide,
15:549. And shoot his sting, his tail in circles toss'd
15:550. Refers the limbs his backward father lost:
15:551. And worms, that stretch on leaves their filmy loom,
15:552. Crawl from their bags, and butterflies become.
15:553. Ev'n slime begets the frog's loquacious race:
15:554. Short of their feet at first, in little space
15:555. With arms, and legs endu'd, long leaps they take
15:556. Rais'd on their hinder part, and swim the lake,
15:557. And waves repel: for Nature gives their kind,
15:558. To that intent, a length of legs behind.
15:559. The cubs of bears a living lump appear,
15:560. When whelp'd, and no determin'd figure wear.
15:561. Their mother licks 'em into shape, and gives
15:562. As much of form, as she her self receives.
15:563. The grubs from their sexangular abode
15:564. Crawl out unfinish'd, like the maggot's brood:
15:565. Trunks without limbs; 'till time at leisure brings
15:566. The thighs they wanted, and their tardy wings.
15:567. The bird who draws the carr of Juno, vain
15:568. Of her crown'd head, and of her starry train;
15:569. And he that bears th' Artillery of Jove,
15:570. The strong-pounc'd eagle, and the billing dove;
15:571. And all the feather'd kind, who cou'd suppose
15:572. (But that from sight, the surest sense, he knows)
15:573. They from th' included yolk, not ambient white, arose.
15:574. There are, who think the marrow of a man,
15:575. Which in the spine, while he was living, ran;
15:576. When dead, the pith corrupted will become
15:577. A snake, and hiss within the hollow tomb.
15:578. All these receive their birth from other things;
15:579. But from himself the Phoenix only springs:
15:580. Self-born, begotten by the parent flame
15:581. In which he burn'd, another, and the same;
15:582. Who not by corn, or herbs his life sustains,
15:583. But the sweet essence of Amomum drains:
15:584. And watches the rich gums Arabia bears,
15:585. While yet in tender dew they drop their tears.
15:586. He (his five centuries of life fulfill'd)
15:587. His nest on oaken boughs begins to build,
15:588. Or trembling tops of palm, and first he draws
15:589. The plan with his broad bill, and crooked claws,
15:590. Nature's artificers; on this the pile
15:591. Is form'd, and rises round, then with the spoil
15:592. Of Casia, Cynamon, and stems of Nard
15:593. (For softness strew'd beneath) his fun'ral bed is rear'd:
15:594. Fun'ral and bridal both; and all around
15:595. The borders with corruptless myrrh are crown'd,
15:596. On this incumbent; 'till aetherial flame
15:597. First catches, then consumes the costly frame:
15:598. Consumes him too, as on the pile he lies;
15:599. He liv'd on odours, and in odours dies.
15:600. An infant Phoenix from the former springs,
15:601. His father's heir, and from his tender wings
15:602. Shakes off his parent dust, his method he pursues,
15:603. And the same lease of life on the same terms renews.
15:604. When grown to manhood he begins his reign,
15:605. And with stiff pinions can his flight sustain,
15:606. He lightens of its load the tree that bore
15:607. His father's royal sepulcher before,
15:608. And his own cradle: this (with pious care
15:609. Plac'd on his back) he cuts the buxome air,
15:610. Seeks the Sun's city, and his sacred church,
15:611. And decently lays down his burden in the porch.
15:612. A wonder more amazing wou'd we find?
15:613. Th' Hyaena shows it, of a double kind,
15:614. Varying the sexes in alternate years,
15:615. In one begets, and in another bears.
15:616. The thin Camelion fed with air, receives
15:617. The colour of the thing, to which he cleaves.
15:618. India when conquer'd, on the conqu'ring God
15:619. For planted vines the sharp-ey'd Lynx bestow'd,
15:620. Whose urine, shed before it touches Earth,
15:621. Congeals in air, and gives to gems their birth.
15:622. So Coral soft, and white in ocean's bed,
15:623. Comes harden'd up in air, and glows with red.
15:624. All changing species should my song recite;
15:625. Before I ceas'd, wou'd change the day to night.
15:626. Nations, and empires flourish, and decay,
15:627. By turns command, and in their turns obey;
15:628. Time softens hardy people, time again
15:629. Hardens to war a soft, unwarlike train.
15:630. Thus Troy for ten long years her foes withstood,
15:631. And daily bleeding bore th' expence of blood:
15:632. Now for thick streets it shows an empty space,
15:633. Or only fill'd with tombs of her own perish'd race,
15:634. Her self becomes the sepulcher of what she was.
15:635. Mycene, Sparta, Thebes of mighty fame,
15:636. Are vanish'd out of substance into name.
15:637. And Dardan Rome that just begins to rise,
15:638. On Tiber's banks, in time shall mate the skies:
15:639. Widening her bounds, and working on her way;
15:640. Ev'n now she meditates imperial sway:
15:641. Yet this is change, but she by changing thrives,
15:642. Like moons new-born, and in her cradle strives
15:643. To fill her infant-horns; an hour shall come,
15:644. When the round world shall be contain'd in Rome.
15:645. For thus old saws foretel, and Helenus
15:646. Anchises' drooping son enliven'd thus:
15:647. When Ilium now was in a sinking state;
15:648. And he was doubtful of his future fate:
15:649. O Goddess-born, with thy hard fortune strive,
15:650. Troy never can be lost, and thou alive.
15:651. Thy passage thou shalt free through fire, and sword,
15:652. And Troy in foreign lands shall be restor'd.
15:653. In happier fields a rising town I see
15:654. Greater, than what e'er was, or is, or e'er shall be:
15:655. And Heav'n yet owes the world a race deriv'd from thee.
15:656. Sages, and chiefs, of other lineage born,
15:657. The city shall extend, extended shall adorn:
15:658. But from Iulus he must draw his breath,
15:659. By whom thy Rome shall rule the conquer'd Earth:
15:660. Whom Heav'n will lend Mankind on Earth to reign,
15:661. And late require the precious pledge again.
15:662. This Helenus to great Aeneas told,
15:663. Which I retain, e'er since in other mould
15:664. My soul was cloath'd; and now rejoice to view
15:665. My country walls rebuilt, and Troy reviv'd anew,
15:666. Rais'd by the fall, decreed by loss to gain;
15:667. Enslav'd but to be free, and conquer'd but to reign.
15:668. 'Tis time my hard-mouth'd coursers to controul,
15:669. Apt to run riot, and transgress the goal:
15:670. And therefore I conclude, Whatever lies,
15:671. In Earth, or flits in air, or fills the skies,
15:672. All suffer change; and we, that are of soul
15:673. And body mix'd, are members of the whole.
15:674. Then when our sires, or grandsires, shall forsake
15:675. The forms of men, and brutal figures take,
15:676. Thus hous'd, securely let their spirits rest,
15:677. Nor violate thy father in the beast,
15:678. Thy friend, thy brother, any of thy kin,
15:679. If none of these, yet there's a man within:
15:680. O spare to make a Thyestaean meal,
15:681. T' inclose his body, and his soul expel.
15:682. Ill customs by degrees to habits rise,
15:683. Ill habits soon become exalted vice:
15:684. What more advance can mortals make in sin
15:685. So near perfection, who with blood begin?
15:686. Deaf to the calf, that lyes beneath the knife,
15:687. Looks up, and from her butcher begs her life:
15:688. Deaf to the harmless kid, that ere he dies
15:689. All methods to procure thy mercy tries,
15:690. And imitates in vain thy children's cries.
15:691. Where will he stop, who feeds with houshold bread,
15:692. Then eats the poultry, which before he fed?
15:693. Let plough thy steers; that when they lose their breath,
15:694. To Nature, not to thee, they may impute their death.
15:695. Let goats for food their loaded udders lend,
15:696. And sheep from winter-cold thy sides defend;
15:697. But neither sprindges, nets, nor snares employ,
15:698. And be no more ingenious to destroy.
15:699. Free as in air, let birds on Earth remain,
15:700. Nor let insidious glue their wings constrain;
15:701. Nor opening hounds the trembling stag affright,
15:702. Nor purple feathers intercept his flight:
15:703. Nor hooks conceal'd in baits for fish prepare,
15:704. Nor lines to heave 'em twinkling up in air.
15:705. Take not away the life you cannot give,
15:706. For all things have an equal right to live.
15:707. Kill noxious creatures, where 'tis sin to save;
15:708. This only just prerogative we have:
15:709. But nourish life with vegetable food,
15:710. And shun the sacrilegious taste of blood.
15:711. These precepts by the Samian sage were taught,
15:712. Which God-like Numa to the Sabines brought,
15:713. And thence transferr'd to Rome, by gift his own:
15:714. A willing people, and an offer'd throne.
15:715. O happy monarch, sent by Heav'n to bless
15:716. A salvage nation with soft arts of peace,
15:717. To teach religion, rapine to restrain,
15:718. Give laws to lust, and sacrifice ordain:
15:719. Himself a saint, a Goddess was his bride,
15:720. And all the Muses o'er his acts preside.

The Story of Hippolytus

15:721. Advanc'd in years he dy'd; one common date
15:722. His reign concluded, and his mortal state.
15:723. Their tears plebeians, and patricians shed,
15:724. And pious matrons wept their monarch dead.
15:725. His mournful wife, her sorrows to bewail,
15:726. Withdrew from Rome, and sought th' Arician vale.
15:727. Hid in thick woods, she made incessant moans,
15:728. Disturbing Cinthia's sacred rites with groans.
15:729. How oft the nymphs, who rul'd the wood and lake,
15:730. Reprov'd her tears, and words of comfort spake!
15:731. How oft (in vain) the son of Theseus said,
15:732. Thy stormy sorrows be with patience laid;
15:733. Nor are thy fortunes to be wept alone,
15:734. Weigh others' woes, and learn to bear thine own,
15:735. Be mine an instance to asswage thy grief:
15:736. Would mine were none!- yet mine may bring relief.
15:737. You've heard, perhaps, in conversation told,
15:738. What once befel Hippolytus of old;
15:739. To death by Theseus' easie faith betray'd,
15:740. And caught in snares his wicked step-dame laid.
15:741. The wondrous tale your credit scarce may claim,
15:742. Yet (strange to say) in me behold the same,
15:743. Whom lustful Phaedra oft had press'd in vain,
15:744. With impious joys, my father's bed to stain;
15:745. 'Till seiz'd with fear, or by revenge inspir'd,
15:746. She charg'd on me the crimes herself desir'd.
15:747. Expell'd by Theseus, from his home I fled
15:748. With heaps of curses on my guiltless head.
15:749. Forlorn, I sought Pitthean Troezen's land,
15:750. And drove my chariot o'er Corinthus' strand;
15:751. When from the surface of the level main
15:752. A billow rising, heav'd above the plain;
15:753. Rolling, and gath'ring, 'till so high it swell'd,
15:754. A mountain's height th' enormous mass excell'd;
15:755. Then bellowing, burst; when from the summit cleav'd,
15:756. A horned bull his ample chest upheav'd.
15:757. His mouth, and nostrils, storms of briny rain,
15:758. Expiring, blew. Dread horror seiz'd my train.
15:759. I stood unmov'd. My father's cruel doom
15:760. Claim'd all my soul, nor fear could find a room.
15:761. Amaz'd, awhile my trembling coursers stood
15:762. With prick'd up ears, contemplating the flood;
15:763. Then starting sudden, from the dreadful view,
15:764. At once, like lightning, from the seas they flew,
15:765. And o'er the craggy rocks the rattling chariot drew.
15:766. In vain to stop the hot-mouth'd steeds I try'd,
15:767. And bending backward all my strength apply'd;
15:768. The frothy foam in driving flakes distains
15:769. The bits, and bridles, and bedews the reins.
15:770. But tho', as yet untam'd they run, at length
15:771. Their heady rage had tir'd beneath my strength,
15:772. When in the spokes, a stump intangling, tore
15:773. The shatter'd wheel, and from its axle bore.
15:774. The shock impetuous tost me from the seat,
15:775. Caught in the reins beneath my horse's feet.
15:776. My reeking guts drag'd out alive, around
15:777. The jagged strump, my trembling nerves were wound,
15:778. Then stretch'd the well-knit limbs, in pieces hal'd,
15:779. Part stuck behind, and part the chariot trail'd;
15:780. 'Till, midst my cracking joints, and breaking bones,
15:781. I breath'd away my weary'd soul in groans.
15:782. No part distinguish'd from the rest was found,
15:783. But all my parts an universal wound.
15:784. Now say, self-tortur'd nymph, can you compare
15:785. Our griefs as equal, or in justice dare?
15:786. I saw besides the darksome realms of woe,
15:787. And bath'd my wounds in smoking streams below.
15:788. There I had staid, nor second life injoy'd,
15:789. But Poean's son his wondrous art imploy'd.
15:790. To light restor'd, by medicinal skill,
15:791. In spight of Fate, and rigid Pluto's will,
15:792. Th' invidious object to preserve from view,
15:793. A misty cloud around me Cynthia threw;
15:794. And lest my sight should stir my foes to rage,
15:795. She stamp'd my visage with the marks of age.
15:796. My former hue was chang'd, and for it shown
15:797. A set of features, and a face unknown.
15:798. A-while the Goddess stood in doubt, or Crete,
15:799. Or Delos' isle, to chuse for my retreat.
15:800. Delos, and Crete refus'd, this wood she chose,
15:801. Bad me my former luckless name depose,
15:802. Which kept alive the mem'ry of my woes;
15:803. Then said, Immortal life be thine; and thou,
15:804. Hippolytus once call'd, be Virbius now.
15:805. Here then a God, but of th' inferior race,
15:806. I serve my Goddess, and attend her chace.

Egeria Transform'd to a Fountain

15:807. But others' woes were useless to appease
15:808. Egeria's grief, or set her mind at ease.
15:809. Beneath the hill, all comfortless she laid,
15:810. The dropping tears her eyes incessant shed,
15:811. 'Till pitying Phoebe eas'd her pious woe,
15:812. Thaw'd to a spring, whose streams for ever flow.
15:813. The nymphs, and Virbius, like amazement fill'd,
15:814. As seiz'd the swains, who Tyrrhene furrows till'd;
15:815. When heaving up, a clod was seen to roll,
15:816. Untouch'd, self-mov'd, and big with human soul.
15:817. The spreading mass in former shape depos'd,
15:818. Began to shoot, and arms and legs disclos'd,
15:819. 'Till form'd a perfect man, the living mold
15:820. Op'd its new mouth, and future truths foretold;
15:821. And Tages nam'd by natives of the place,
15:822. Taught arts prophetic to the Tuscan race.
15:823. Or such as once by Romulus was shown,
15:824. Who saw his lance with sprouting leaves o'er-grown,
15:825. When fix'd in Earth the point began to shoot,
15:826. And growing downward turn'd a fibrous root;
15:827. While spread aloft the branching arms display'd,
15:828. O'er wondring crowds, an unexpected shade.

The Story of Cippus

15:829. Or as when Cippus in the current view'd
15:830. The shooting horns that on his forehead stood,
15:831. His temples first he feels, and with surprize
15:832. His touch confirms th' assurance of his eyes.
15:833. Streight to the skies his horned front he rears,
15:834. And to the Gods directs these pious pray'rs.
15:835. If this portent be prosp'rous, O decree
15:836. To Rome th' event; if otherwise, to me.
15:837. An altar then of turf he hastes to raise,
15:838. Rich gums in fragrant exhalations blaze;
15:839. The panting entrails crackle as they fry,
15:840. And boding fumes pronounce a mystery,
15:841. Soon as the augur saw the holy fire,
15:842. And victims with presaging signs expire,
15:843. To Cippus then he turns his eyes with speed,
15:844. And views the horny honours of his head:
15:845. Then cry'd, Hail conqueror! thy call obey,
15:846. Those omens I behold presage thy sway.
15:847. Rome waits thy nod, unwilling to be free,
15:848. And owns thy sov'reign pow'r as Fate's decree.
15:849. He said- and Cippus, starting at th' event,
15:850. Spoke in these words his pious discontent.
15:851. Far hence, ye Gods, this execration send,
15:852. And the great race of Romulus defend.
15:853. Better that I in exile live abhorr'd,
15:854. Than e'er the Capitol shou'd style me lord.
15:855. This spoke, he hides with leaves his omen'd head.
15:856. Then prays, the senate next convenes, and said:
15:857. If augurs can foresee, a wretch is come,
15:858. Design'd by destiny the bane of Rome.
15:859. Two horns (most strange to tell) his temples crown;
15:860. If e'er he pass the walls, and gain the town,
15:861. Your laws are forfeit, that ill-fated hour;
15:862. And liberty must yield to lawless pow'r.
15:863. Your gates he might have enter'd; but this arm
15:864. Seiz'd the usurper, and with-held the harm.
15:865. Haste, find the monster out, and let him be
15:866. Condemn'd to all the senate can decree;
15:867. Or ty'd in chains, or into exile thrown;
15:868. Or by the tyrant's death prevent your own.
15:869. The crowd such murmurs utter as they stand,
15:870. As swelling surges breaking on the strand;
15:871. Or as when gath'ring gales sweep o'er the grove,
15:872. And their tall heads the bending cedars move.
15:873. Each with confusion gaz'd, and then began
15:874. To feel his fellow's brows, and find the man.
15:875. Cippus then shakes his garland off, and cries,
15:876. The wretch you want, I offer to your eyes.
15:877. The anxious throng look'd down, and sad in thought,
15:878. All wish'd they had not found the sign they sought:
15:879. In haste with laurel wreaths his head they bind;
15:880. Such honour to such virtue was assign'd.
15:881. Then thus the senate- Hear, o Cippus, hear;
15:882. So god-like is thy tutelary care,
15:883. That since in Rome thy self forbids thy stay,
15:884. For thy abode those acres we convey
15:885. The plough-share can surround, the labour of a day.
15:886. In deathless records thou shalt stand inroll'd,
15:887. And Rome's rich posts shall shine with horns of gold.

The Occasion of Aesculapius Being Brought to Rome

15:888. Melodious maids of Pindus, who inspire
15:889. The flowing strains, and tune the vocal lyre;
15:890. Tradition's secrets are unlock'd to you,
15:891. Old tales revive, and ages past renew;
15:892. You, who can hidden causes best expound,
15:893. Say, whence the isle, which Tiber flows around,
15:894. Its altars with a heav'nly stranger grac'd,
15:895. And in our shrines the God of physic plac'd.
15:896. A wasting plague infected Latium's skies;
15:897. Pale, bloodless looks were seen, with ghastly eyes;
15:898. The dire disease's marks each visage wore,
15:899. And the pure blood was chang'd to putrid gore:
15:900. In vain were human remedies apply'd;
15:901. In vain the pow'r of healing herbs was try'd:
15:902. Weary'd with death, they seek celestial aid,
15:903. And visit Phoebus in his Delphic shade;
15:904. In the world's centre sacred Delphos stands,
15:905. And gives its oracles to distant lands:
15:906. Here they implore the God, with fervent vows,
15:907. His salutary pow'r to interpose,
15:908. And end a great afflicted city's woes.
15:909. The holy temple sudden tremors prov'd;
15:910. The laurel grove and all its quivers mov'd;
15:911. In hollow sounds the priestess, thus, began,
15:912. And thro' each bosom thrilling horrors ran.
15:913. "Th' assistance, Roman, which you here implore,
15:914. Seek from another, and a nearer shore;
15:915. Relief must be implor'd, and succour won,
15:916. Not from Apollo, but Apollo's son;
15:917. My son, to Latium born, shall bring redress:
15:918. Go with good omens, and expect success."
15:919. When these clear oracles the senate knew;
15:920. The sacred tripod's counsels they pursue,
15:921. Depute a pious and a chosen band,
15:922. Who sail to Epidaurus' neighb'ring land:
15:923. Before the Graecian elders when they stood,
15:924. They pray 'em to bestow the healing God:
15:925. Ordain'd was he to save Ausonia's state;
15:926. So promis'd Delphi, and unerring Fate."
15:927. Opinions various their debates enlarge:
15:928. Some plead to yield to Rome the sacred charge;
15:929. Others, tenacious of their country's wealth,
15:930. Refuse to grant the pow'r, who guards its health.
15:931. While dubious they remain'd, the wasting light
15:932. Withdrew before the growing shades of night;
15:933. Now, Roman, clos'd in sleep were mortal eyes,
15:934. When health's auspicious God appears to thee,
15:935. And thy glad dreams his form celestial see:
15:936. In his left hand, a rural staff preferr'd,
15:937. His right is seen to stroke his decent beard.
15:938. "Dismiss," said he, with mildness all divine,
15:939. "Dismiss your fears; I come, and leave my shrine;
15:940. This serpent view, that with ambitious play
15:941. My staff encircles, mark him ev'ry way;
15:942. His form, tho' larger, nobler, I'll assume,
15:943. And chang'd, as Gods should be, bring aid to Rome."
15:944. Here fled the vision, and the vision's flight
15:945. Was follow'd by the chearful dawn of light.
15:946. Now was the morn with blushing streaks o'erspread,
15:947. And all the starry fires of Heav'n were fled;
15:948. The chiefs perplex'd, and fill'd with doubtful care,
15:949. To their protector's sumptuous roofs repair,
15:950. By genuin signs implore him to express,
15:951. What seats he deigns to chuse, what land to bless:
15:952. Scarce their ascending pray'rs had reach'd the sky;
15:953. Lo, the serpentine God, erected high!
15:954. Forerunning hissings his approach confest;
15:955. Bright shone his golden scales, and wav'd his lofty crest;
15:956. The trembling altar his appearance spoke;
15:957. The marble floor, and glittering ceiling shook;
15:958. The doors were rock'd; the statue seem'd to nod;
15:959. And all the fabric own'd the present God:
15:960. His radiant chest he taught aloft to rise,
15:961. And round the temple cast his flaming eyes:
15:962. Struck was th' astonish'd crowd; the holy priest,
15:963. His temples with white bands of ribbon drest,
15:964. With rev'rent awe the Power divine confest!
15:965. The God! the God! he cries; all tongues be still!
15:966. Each conscious breast devoutest ardour fill!
15:967. O beauteous! O divine! assist our cares,
15:968. And be propitious to thy vot'ries prayers!
15:969. All with consenting hearts, and pious fear,
15:970. The words repeat, the deity revere:
15:971. The Romans in their holy worship join'd,
15:972. With silent awe, and purity of mind:
15:973. Gracious to them, his crest is seen to nod,
15:974. And, as an earnest of his care, the God,
15:975. Thrice hissing, vibrates thrice his forked tongue;
15:976. And now the smooth descent he glides along:
15:977. Still on the ancient seats he bends his eyes,
15:978. In which his statue breaths, his altars rise;
15:979. His long-lov'd shrine with kind concern he leaves,
15:980. And to forsake th' accustom'd mansion grieves:
15:981. At length, his sweeping bulk in state is born
15:982. Thro' the throng'd streets, which scatter'd flowers adorn;
15:983. Thro' many a fold he winds his mazy course,
15:984. And gains the port and moles, which break the ocean's force.
15:985. 'Twas here he made a stand, and having view'd
15:986. The pious train, who his last steps pursu'd,
15:987. Seem'd to dismiss their zeal with gracious eyes,
15:988. While gleams of pleasure in his aspect rise.
15:989. And now the Latian vessel he ascends;
15:990. Beneath the weighty God the vessel bends:
15:991. The Latins on the strand great Jove appease,
15:992. Their cables loose, and plough the yielding seas:
15:993. The high-rear'd serpent from the stern displays
15:994. His gorgeous form, and the blue deep surveys;
15:995. The ship is wafted on with gentle gales,
15:996. And o'er the calm Ionian smoothly sails;
15:997. On the sixth morn th' Italian coast they gain,
15:998. And touch Lacinia, grac'd with Juno's fane;
15:999. Now fair Calabria to the sight is lost,
15:1000. And all the cities on her fruitful coast;
15:1001. They pass at length the rough Sicilian shore,
15:1002. The Brutian soil, rich with metalic ore,
15:1003. The famous isles, where Aeolus was king,
15:1004. And Paestum blooming with eternal Spring:
15:1005. Minerva's cape they leave, and Capreae's isle,
15:1006. Campania, on whose hills the vineyards smile,
15:1007. The city, which Alcides' spoils adorn,
15:1008. Naples, for soft delight and pleasure born;
15:1009. Fair Stabiae, with Cumean Sibyl's seats,
15:1010. And Baia's tepid baths, and green retreats;
15:1011. Linternum next they reach, where balmy gums
15:1012. Distil from mastic trees, and spread perfumes:
15:1013. Caieta, from the nurse so nam'd, for whom
15:1014. With pious care Aeneas rais'd a tomb,
15:1015. Vulturne, whose whirlpools suck the numerous sands,
15:1016. And Trachas, and Minturnea's marshy lands,
15:1017. And Formia's coast is left, and Circe's plain,
15:1018. Which yet remembers her enchanting reign;
15:1019. To Antium, last, his course the pilot guides.
15:1020. Here, while the anchor'd vessel safely rides
15:1021. (For now the rufled deep portends a storm),
15:1022. The spiry God unfolds his spheric form,
15:1023. Thro' large indentings draws his lubric train,
15:1024. And seeks the refuge of Apollo's fane;
15:1025. The fane is situate on the yellow shore:
15:1026. When the sea smil'd, and the winds rag'd no more,
15:1027. He leaves his father's hospitable lands,
15:1028. And furrows, with his rattling scales, the sands
15:1029. Along the coast; at length the ship regains,
15:1030. And sails to Tibur, and Lavinum's plains.
15:1031. Here mingling crowds to meet their patron came,
15:1032. Ev'n the chast guardians of the Vestal flame,
15:1033. From every part tumultuous they repair,
15:1034. And joyful acclamations rend the air:
15:1035. Along the flowry banks, on either side,
15:1036. Where the tall ship floats on the swelling tide,
15:1037. Dispos'd in decent order altars rise,
15:1038. And crackling incense, as it mounts the skies,
15:1039. The air with sweets refreshes; while the knife,
15:1040. Warm with the victim's blood, lets out the streaming life.
15:1041. The world's great mistress, Rome, receives him now;
15:1042. On the mast's top reclin'd he waves his brow,
15:1043. And from that height surveys the great abodes,
15:1044. And mansions, worthy of residing Gods.
15:1045. The land, a narrow neck, it self extends,
15:1046. Round which his course the stream divided bends;
15:1047. The stream's two arms, on either side, are seen,
15:1048. Stretch'd out in equal length; the land between.
15:1049. The isle, so call'd from hence derives its name:
15:1050. 'Twas here the salutary serpent came;
15:1051. Nor sooner has he left the Latian pine,
15:1052. But he assumes again his form divine,
15:1053. And now no more the drooping city mourns,
15:1054. Joy is again restor'd, and health returns.

The Deification of Julius Caesar

15:1055. But Aesculapius was a foreign power:
15:1056. In his own city Caesar we adore:
15:1057. Him arms, and arts alike renown'd beheld,
15:1058. In peace conspicuous, dreadful in the field;
15:1059. His rapid conquest, and swift-finish'd wars,
15:1060. The hero justly fix'd among the stars;
15:1061. Yet is his progeny his greatest fame:
15:1062. The son immortal makes the father's name.
15:1063. The sea-girt Britons, by his courage tam'd,
15:1064. For their high rocky cliffs, and fierceness fam'd;
15:1065. His dreadful navies, which victorious rode
15:1066. O'er Nile's affrighted waves and seven-sourc'd flood;
15:1067. Numidia, and the spacious realms regain'd;
15:1068. Where Cinyphis or flows, or Juba reign'd;
15:1069. The powers of titled Mithridates broke,
15:1070. And Pontus added to the Roman yoke;
15:1071. Triumphal shows decreed, for conquests won,
15:1072. For conquests, which the triumphs still outshone;
15:1073. These are great deeds; yet less, than to have giv'n
15:1074. The world a lord, in whom, propitious Heav'n
15:1075. When you decreed the sov'reign rule to place,
15:1076. You blest with lavish bounty human race.
15:1077. Now lest so great a prince might seem to rise
15:1078. Of mortal stem, his sire much reach the skies;
15:1079. The beauteous Goddess, that Aeneas bore,
15:1080. Foresaw it, and foreseeing did deplore;
15:1081. For well she knew her hero's fate was nigh,
15:1082. Devoted by conspiring arms to die.
15:1083. Trembling, and pale, to every God, she cry'd,
15:1084. Behold, what deep and subtle arts are try'd,
15:1085. To end the last, the only branch that springs
15:1086. From my Iulus, and the Dardan kings!
15:1087. How bent they are! how desp'rate to destroy
15:1088. All that is left me of unhappy Troy!
15:1089. Am I alone by Fate ordain'd to know
15:1090. Uninterrupted care, and endless woe!
15:1091. Now from Tydides' spear I feel the wound:
15:1092. Now Ilium's tow'rs the hostile flames surround:
15:1093. Troy laid in dust, my exil'd son I mourn,
15:1094. Thro' angry seas, and raging billows born;
15:1095. O'er the wide deep his wandring course he bends;
15:1096. Now to the sullen shades of Styx descends,
15:1097. With Turnus driv'n at last fierce wars to wage,
15:1098. Or rather with unpitying Juno's rage.
15:1099. But why record I now my ancient woes?
15:1100. Sense of past ills in present fears I lose;
15:1101. On me their points the impious daggers throw;
15:1102. Forbid it, Gods, repel the direful blow:
15:1103. If by curs'd weapons Numa's priest expires,
15:1104. No longer shall ye burn, ye Vestal fires.
15:1105. While such complainings Cypria's grief disclose;
15:1106. In each celestial breast compassion rose:
15:1107. Not Gods can alter Fate's resistless will;
15:1108. Yet they foretold by signs th' approaching ill.
15:1109. Dreadful were heard, among the clouds, alarms
15:1110. Of ecchoing trumpets, and of clashing arms;
15:1111. The Sun's pale image gave so faint a light,
15:1112. That the sad Earth was almost veil'd in night;
15:1113. The Aether's face with fiery meteors glow'd;
15:1114. With storms of hail were mingled drops of blood;
15:1115. A dusky hue the morning star o'erspread,
15:1116. And the Moon's orb was stain'd with spots of red;
15:1117. In every place portentous shrieks were heard,
15:1118. The fatal warnings of th' infernal bird;
15:1119. In ev'ry place the marble melts to tears;
15:1120. While in the groves, rever'd thro' length of years,
15:1121. Boding, and awful sounds the ear invade;
15:1122. And solemn music warbles thro' the shade;
15:1123. No victim can attone the impious age,
15:1124. No sacrifice the wrathful Gods asswage;
15:1125. Dire wars and civil fury threat the state;
15:1126. And every omen points out Caesar's fate:
15:1127. Around each hallow'd shrine, and sacred dome,
15:1128. Night-howling dogs disturb the peaceful gloom;
15:1129. Their silent seats the wandring shades forsake,
15:1130. And fearful tremblings the rock'd city shake.
15:1131. Yet could not, by these prodigies, be broke
15:1132. The plotted charm, or staid the fatal stroke;
15:1133. Their swords th' assassins in the temple draw;
15:1134. Their murth'ring hands nor Gods nor temples awe;
15:1135. This sacred place their bloody weapons stain,
15:1136. And Virtue falls, before the altar slain.
15:1137. 'Twas now fair Cypria, with her woes opprest,
15:1138. In raging anguish smote her heav'nly breast;
15:1139. Wild with distracting fears, the Goddess try'd
15:1140. Her hero' in th' etherial cloud to hide,
15:1141. The cloud, which youthful Paris did conceal,
15:1142. When Menelaus urg'd the threatning steel;
15:1143. The cloud, which once deceiv'd Tydides' sight.
15:1144. And sav'd Aeneas in th' unequal fight.
15:1145. When Jove- In vain, fair daughter, you assay
15:1146. To o'er-rule destiny's unconquer'd sway:
15:1147. Your doubts to banish, enter Fate's abode;
15:1148. A privilege to heav'nly powers allow'd;
15:1149. There shall you see the records grav'd, in length,
15:1150. On ir'n and solid brass, with mighty strength;
15:1151. Which Heav'n's and Earth's concussion shall endure,
15:1152. Maugre all shocks, eternal, and secure:
15:1153. There, on perennial adamant design'd,
15:1154. The various fortunes of your race you'll find:
15:1155. Well I have mark'd 'em, and will now relate
15:1156. To thee the settled laws of future Fate.
15:1157. He, Goddess, for whose death the Fates you blame,
15:1158. Has finish'd his determin'd course with Fame:
15:1159. To thee 'tis giv'n at length, that he shall shine
15:1160. Among the Gods, and grace the worship'd shrine:
15:1161. His son to all his greatness shall be heir,
15:1162. And worthily succeed to empire's care:
15:1163. Our self will lead his wars, resolv'd to aid
15:1164. The brave avenger of his father's shade:
15:1165. To him its freedom Mutina shall owe,
15:1166. And Decius his auspicious conduct know;
15:1167. His dreadful powers shall shake Pharsalia's plain,
15:1168. And drench in gore Philippi's fields again:
15:1169. A mighty leader, in Sicilia's flood,
15:1170. Great Pompey's warlike son, shall be subdu'd:
15:1171. Aegypt's soft queen, adorn'd with fatal charms,
15:1172. Shall mourn her soldier's unsuccessful arms:
15:1173. Too late shall find her swelling hopes were vain,
15:1174. And know, that Rome o'er Memphis still must reign:
15:1175. What name I Afric, or Nile's hidden head?
15:1176. Far as both oceans roll, his power shall spread:
15:1177. All the known Earth to him shall homage pay,
15:1178. And the seas own his universal sway:
15:1179. When cruel war no more disturbs Mankind;
15:1180. To civil studies shall he bend his mind,
15:1181. With equal justice guardian laws ordain,
15:1182. And by his great example vice restrain:
15:1183. Where will his bounty or his goodness end?
15:1184. To times unborn his gen'rous views extend;
15:1185. The virtues of his heir our praise engage,
15:1186. And promise blessings to the coming age:
15:1187. Late shall he in his kindred orbs be placed,
15:1188. With Pylian years, and crowded honours graced.
15:1189. Mean-time, your hero's fleeting spirit bear,
15:1190. Fresh from his wounds, and change it to a star:
15:1191. So shall great Julius rites divine assume,
15:1192. And from the skies eternal smile on Rome.
15:1193. This spoke, the Goddess to the senate flew;
15:1194. Where, her fair form conceal'd from mortal view,
15:1195. Her Caesar's heav'nly part she made her care,
15:1196. Nor left the recent soul to waste to air;
15:1197. But bore it upwards to its native skies:
15:1198. Glowing with new-born fires she saw it rise;
15:1199. Forth springing from her bosom up it flew,
15:1200. And kindling, as it soar'd, a comet grew:
15:1201. Above the lunar sphere it took its flight,
15:1202. And shot behind it a long trail of light.

The Reign of Augustus, in which Ovid Flourish'd

15:1203. Thus rais'd, his glorious off-spring Julius view'd,
15:1204. Beneficently great, and scattering good,
15:1205. Deeds, that his own surpass'd, with joy beheld,
15:1206. And his large heart dilates to be excell'd.
15:1207. What tho' this prince refuses to receive
15:1208. The preference, which his juster subjects give;
15:1209. Fame uncontroll'd, that no restraint obeys,
15:1210. The homage, shunn'd by modest virtue, pays,
15:1211. And proves disloyal only in his praise.
15:1212. Tho' great his sire, him greater we proclaim:
15:1213. So Atreus yields to Agamemnon's fame;
15:1214. Achilles so superior honours won,
15:1215. And Peleus must submit to Peleus' son;
15:1216. Examples yet more noble to disclose,
15:1217. So Saturn was eclips'd, when Jove to empire rose;
15:1218. Jove rules the Heav'ns, the Earth Augustus sways;
15:1219. Each claims a monarch's, and a father's praise.
15:1220. Celestials, who for Rome your cares employ;
15:1221. Ye Gods, who guarded the remains of Troy;
15:1222. Ye native Gods, here born, and fix'd by Fate;
15:1223. Quirinus, founder of the Roman state;
15:1224. O parent Mars, from whom Quirinus sprung;
15:1225. Chaste Vesta, Caesar's household Gods among,
15:1226. Most sacred held; domestic Phoebus, thou,
15:1227. To whom with Vesta chaste alike we bow;
15:1228. Great guardian of the high Tarpeian rock;
15:1229. And all ye Pow'rs, whom poets may invoke;
15:1230. O grant, that day may claim our sorrows late,
15:1231. When lov'd Augustus shall submit to Fate,
15:1232. Visit those seats, where Gods and heroes dwell,
15:1233. And leave, in tears, the world he rul'd so well!

The Poet Concludes

15:1234. The work is finish'd, which nor dreads the rage
15:1235. Of tempests, fire, or war, or wasting age;
15:1236. Come, soon or late, death's undetermin'd day,
15:1237. This mortal being only can decay;
15:1238. My nobler part, my fame, shall reach the skies,
15:1239. And to late times with blooming honours rise:
15:1240. Whate'er th' unbounded Roman power obeys,
15:1241. All climes and nations shall record my praise:
15:1242. If 'tis allow'd to poets to divine,
15:1243. One half of round eternity is mine.

  * From a Latin-linked TEI.2-conformant transcript of Garth's Metamorphoses Books I-XIII (click here for transcription details and conditions of use) with the rest of the text supplied courtesy of e-books.