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« The unknown region purpos'd to explore, Against whose state united foes conspire, Cleon, with me alone, forsakes the shure; And waste her wide domain with sword and fire. Back to the cave we left, by angry fate There on the cliffs, which bound the neighb'ring Implicitly conducted, at the gate
We found the mansion of a lonely swain; (main, The injur'd youth we found; a thick disguise Much like to this, but that its rocky mouth, His native forin conceal’d, and mock'd our eyes; The cooling north respects, as this the south ; For the black locks in waving ringlets spread, And, in a corner of the cave conceal’d, A wreath of hoary white involv'd his head, The club which great Alcides us'd to wield. Beneath a load of years, he seem'd to bend, Wrapt in his shaggy robe, the lion's spoils, His breast to sink, his shoulders to ascend.
The mantle which he wore in all his toils. He saw us straight, and, rising from his seat, At ev'na hunter in the cave appear'd ; Began with sharp reproaches to repeat
From whom the fate of Hercules wc heard. Our crime; but could not thus s'ispicion give;
He told us that he saw the chief expire, So strong is errour when the gods deceive! That he himself did light his fun'ral fire ; We question'd of the country as we came,
And boasted, that the hero had resign'd, By whom inhabited, and what its name ;
To him, this bow and quiver, as his friend : How far from Thebes: that thither we were bound; Oft seen before, these deadly shafts we know, And thus the wary youth our errour found. And tipp'd with stars of gold th' Herculean bow: Sinooth'd to deceive, his accent straight he But of the hero's fate, the tale he told, turn'd,
Whether 'tis true, I cannot now unfold.' Wbile in his breast the thirst of vengeance burn'd; “ He spoke. T'he youth with indignation burn'd, And thinking now his bow and shafts regain'd,
Yet calm in outward semblance, thus return'di Reply'd with hospitable kindness feign'd :
* I must admire the man who could resign On Ida's sacred height, my guests ! you stand; To you, these arms so precious and divine, Here Priam rules, in peace, a happy land.
Which, to the love of such a friend, he ow'd; Twelve cities own bim, on the Phrygian plain,
Great was the gift if willingly bestow'd : Their lord, and twelve fair islands on the main. By force they could not easily be gain'd, From hence to Thebes in seven days space you'll And fraud, I know, yonr gen'rous souls disclain'd.' If Jove propitious sends a prosp'rous gale. (sail, “ Severely smiling, thus the hero spoke; But now accept a homely meal, and deign With conscious shame we heard, nor silence To share, what Heav'n affords a humble swain."
broke : “ He said ; and brought a bowl with vintage And thus again: • The only boon I claim, fillid,
Wnich, to your host deny'd, would merit blame; From berries wild, and mountain grapes distilla, Is, that my hands that weapon may embrace, Of largest size; and plac'd it on a rock,
And on the flaxen cord an arrow place; Under the covert of a spreading oak ;
An honour which I covet ; though we mourn'd, Around it autumn's mellow stores he laid, By great Alcides, once our state o'erturu'd : Which the Sun ripens, in the woodland shade. When proud Laomedon the hero brav'd, Our thirst and hunger thus at once allay'd, Nor paid the ransom for his daughter sav'd.' To Cleon turning, Philoctctes said :
“ Dissembling thus did Philoctetes strive • The bow you wear of such unusual size, His instruments of vengeance to retrieve : With wonder still I view and curious eyes ; [art, And, by the Fates deceiv'd, in evil hour, For length, for thickness, and the workman's The bow and shafts we yielded to his pow'r, Surpassing all I've seen in ev'ry part.'
Io mirthful mood, provoking him to try * Dissembling, thus inquir'd the wary youth, whether the weapon would his force obey; And thus your valiant son declar'd the truth : For weak he seem'd, like those whose nerves have • Father! the weapɔn, which you thus commend,
[boast. The force of great Alcides once did bend; (du’d, Through age, the vigour which in youth they These shafts the same which monsters fierce sub The belt around his shoulders first heilung, And lawless men with vengeance just pursu'd.' And, glitt'ring by his side the quiver hung:
“ The hero thus; and Pæan's son again : Compress'd with all his force the stubborn yew • What now I ask, refuse not to explain : He bent, and from the case an arrow drew: Whether the bero still exerts his might,
And yielding to his rage in furious mood, For innocence oppress'd: and injur'd right? With aim direct against us full he stool, (guise, Or yields to fate; and with the mighty dead, For vengeance arm'd; and now the thick disa From toil reposes in the Elysian shade!
Which veil'd his form before, and mock'd our Sure, if he liv'd, he would not thus forego Vanish'd in air ; our errour then appear'd; [eyes, His shafts invincible and mighty bow,
I saw the vengeance of the gods, and fear'd, By which he oft immortal honour gain'd Before him on the ground my knees I bowd, For wrongs redress'd and lawless force re- and, with extended hands, for mercy su’d. strain'd.'
But Cleon, fierce and scorning to entreat, “ The rage suppress’d, which in his bosom His weapon drew, and rush'd upon his fate: burn'd,
For as he came, the fatal arrow flew, He question's thus; and Cleon thus return'd: And from his heart the vital current drew : • What we have heard of Hercules, I'll show; Supine he fell: and, welling from the wound, What by report we learn'd, and wbat we know. A tide of gore impurpled all the ground. From Thebes to Deta's wilderness we went, The son of Pæan stooping drew the dart, With supplications, to the hero, sent
Yet warm with slaughter, from the hero's heart ; From all our princes ; that he would exert And turn'd it full on me: with humble pray'r His matchless valour on his country's part,
And lifted hands, I mov'd him still to spare.
At last he yielded, from his purpose sway'd, Soon as the Sun forsakes the eastern main,
With rows of sacrifice and humble pray'r:
The stars descend ; and soon the morning ray
Once sacred, now for common use ordain'd, The rest conven'd, with sorrow to relate
By war's wide licence and the ax profan'd: This anger of the gods and Cleon's fate:
Thither the monarch, froin th'assembly, went The hero's fate his bold companions mourn'd,
Alone, his fury and despair to vent, And ev'ry breast with keen resentment buru'd.
And thus to Hear'n: “ Dread pow'r ! whose They in their heady transports straight decreed,
sor'reign sway His fall with vengeance to requite or bleed.
The fates of men and mortal things obey! I fear'd the angry gods; and gave command,
From me expect not such applause to hear, With sail and oar, to fly the fatal strand;
As fawning vot'ries to thine altars bear; Enrag'd and sad, the mariners obey'd,
But truth severe. Although the forked brand, Unfurl'd the canvass, and the anchor weigh'd.
Which for destruction arms thy mighty hand, Our course, behind, the westeru breezes sped,
Were level'd at my head; a mind I hold, And from the coast with heavy hearts we fed.
By present ills, or future, uncontrol'd. All day they favour'd, but with ev'ning ceas'd;
Beneath thy sway, the race of mortals groan; And straight a tempest, from the storiny east,
Felicity sincere is felt by none : In opposition full, began to blow,
Delusive hope th’ unpractis'd mind assails, And rear in ridges bigh the deep below.
And, by ten thousand treach'rous arts, prevails, Against its boist'rous sway in vain we strove;
Through all the Earth the fair deceiver strays, Obliquely to the Thracian coast we drove :
And wretched man to misery betrays. Where Pelion lifts his head aloft in air,
Our crimes you punish, never teach to shun, With pointed cliffs and precipices bare; When, blind from folly, on our fate we run: Thither our course we steer'd, and on the strand
Hence sighs and groans thy tyrant reign confess, Descending, fix'd our cable to the land.
With ev'ry rueful symptom of distress. There twenty days we stay'd, and wish’d, in vain, Here war unchain'd exerts bis wasteful pow'r; A favourable breeze, to cross the main;
Here famine pines ; diseases there devour, For with unceasing rage the tempest ravid, And lead a train of all the ills that know And o'er the rocky beach the ocean heav'd.
To shorten life, or lengthen it in woe. At last with care the hero's limbs we bum'd,
All men are curst; but I, above the rest, And, water'd with our tears, his bones inurn'd.
With tenfold vengeance, for my crimes, opprest: There, where a promontory's height divides, With hostile pow'rs beset my tott'ring reign, Extended in the deep, the parted tides,
The people wasted, and my children slain; His tomb is seen, which, from its airy stand,
In swift approach, I see destruction come, Marks to the mariner the distant land. (will But, with a mind unmovd, I'll meet my doom;
"This, princes! is the truth; and though the For know, stern pow'r ! 'whose rengeance has Of Heav'n, the sov'reign cause of good and ill,
decreed Has dash’d our hopes, and, for the good in view, That Creon, after all his sons, should bleed; With griefs afflicts us and disasters new; As from the sunimit of some desert rock, Yet, innocent of all, I justly claim
The sport of ternpests, falls the leafless oak, To stand exempt from punishment, or blame.
Of all its honours stript, thou ne'er shalt find, That zeal for Thebes 'gainst hospitable laws Weakly submiss, or stupidly resign'd Prevail’d, and ardour in my country's cause, This dauntless heart; but purpos'd to debate I freely have confess'd; but sure, if wrong Thy stern decrees, and burst the chains of fate." Was e'er permitted to inducement strong,
He said; and turning where the herals dstand This claims to be excus'd : our country's need, All night by turns, and wait their lord's command; With all who hear it, will for favour plead." Menestheus there and Hegesander found, He ended thus. Unable to subdue
And Phæmius sage, for valour once renown'd; His grief, the monarch from the throne withdrew: He charg'd them thus: “ Beyond the eastera In silent wonder fix'd, the rest remain'd;
tow'rs, Till Clytuphon the gen’ral sense explain'd:
Summon to meet in arms our martial pow'rs. « Your just defence, we mean not to refuse; In silence let them move; let sigos command, Your prudence censure, or your zeal accuse : And mute obedience reign through ev'ry band; To Heav'n we owe the valiant Cleon's fate,
For when the cast with early twilight glows, With each disaster which afflicts the state.
We rusdı, from cover'd ambush, on our foes
Secure and unprepar'd: the truce we swore, When tempests with unlicens'd fury rave,
If he to whom each pow'r of ocean bends,
To aid her fav'rite host the goddess came,
Already arm'd the valiant youth she found,
And now the Argives froin their tents proceed, and thus began : “Brave prince! our foes appear With rites sepulchral to intomb the dead. For battle order'd, and the fight is near. The king of men, amid the fun'ral fires,
Dauntless they come superior and elate,
The generous warrior, thus replying, said :
Thus as he spoke ; approaching from afar, But as the gods, to save a sinking state,
He pray'd ; and nearer came the hostile train, The steed dismay'd shall backward hurl the car;
Coufusion straight through all the host arose, On ev'ry side the spreading flame extends,
Or trench defensive, which his rage restrains
O’er all the field he sends his eyes afar,
Whose martial skill he priz'd and valour most,
The monarch sent, Chalcidamus the strong, Thick fly the embers, where the coursers tread, Who from fair Thespia led his martial throng, And cloudy volumes all the welkin shade. Where Helicon erects his verdant head,
The king of men, to meet the tempest, fires And crowns the champaign with a lofty shade : His wav'ring bands, and ralour thus inspires. Oechalia's chief was added to the band,
“ Gods! shall one fatal hour deface the praise For valour fam’d and skilful in command; Of all our sleepless nights, and bloody days? Eritbæus, with him, his brother, came,
Shall no just meed for all our toils remain ? Of worth unequal, and unequal fame.
Our labours, blood, and victories in vaio ? Rhesus, with these, the Thracian leader, went, Shall Creon triumph, and bis impious brow, To merit fame, by high achievements, bent; Claim the fair wreath, to truth and valour due? Of stature tall, he scorns the pointed spear, No, warriors ! by the heav'nly pow'rs, is weigh'd And crushes with his mace the ranks of war: Justice with wrong, in equal balance laid : With him twelve leaders of bis native train, From Jove's high roof depend th' eternal scales, In combats, taught the bounding steed to rein, Wrong mounts defeated still, and right prevails. By none surpass'd who boast superior skill Fear then no odds; on Heav'n itself depend, To send the winged arrow swift to kill,
Which falschood will confound, and truth defend.'* Mov'd to the fight. The rest of vulgar name, He said; and sudden in the shock they close, Though brave in combat, were unknown to fame. Their shields and helmets ring with mutual blows
Their bold invasion dauntless to oppose, Disorder dire the mingling ranks confounds, Full in the midst, the bulk of Ajax rose;
And shouts of triumph mix with dying sounds ; Unarm'd he stood; but, in his mighty band, As fire, with wasteful conflagration, spreads, Brandish’d, with gesture fierce, a burning brand, And kindles, in its course, the woodland shades, Snatch'd from the ashes of a fun'ral fire;
When, shooting sudden from the clouds above, An olive's trunk, five cubit lengths entire. On some thick forest fall the flames of Juve; Arın'd for the fight, the Cretan monarch stood; The lofty oaks, the pines and cedars burn, And Merion, thirsting still for hostile blood; Their verdant honours all to ashes turu; The prince of Ithaca, with him who led
Loud roars the tempest; and the trembling swains The youtis, in Sycion, and Pellene, bred. See the wide havoc of the wasted plains : But ere they clos'd, the Thracian leader prest, Such seem'd the conflict ; such the dire alarms, With eager courage, far before the rest ;
From shouts of battle mix'd with din of arms. Him Ajax met, inflam'd with equal rage: Phericles, first, Lycaon's valiant son, Between the wond'ring hosts the chiefs engage; The sage whose counsels propp'd the Theban Their weighty weapons round their heads they
Rose in the fight, superior to the rest, And swift, and heavy falls each thund'ring blow; And brave Democleon's fall bis might confest, As when in Ætna's caves the giant brood, The chief and leader of a valiant band, The one-ey'd servants of the Lemnian god, Froin fair Eione and th’ Asinian strand. In order round the burning anvil stand,
Next Asius, Iphitus, and Crates fell; And forge,with weighty strokes,the forked brand: Terynthian Podius trode the path to Hell : The shaking bills their fervid toil confess, And Schedius, from Mazeta's fruitful plain, And echoes rattling through each dark recess: Met there his fate, and perish'd with the slain. So rag'd the fight; their mighty limbs they strain; Awd by their fall, the Argire bands give way ; And oft their pond'rous maces fall in vain : As yields some rampart to the ocean's sway, For neither chief was destin'd yet to bleed; Whe i rous'd to rage, it scorns opposing mounds, But fate at last the victory decreed.
And sweeps victorious through furbidden grounds. The Saląminian bero aim'd a stroke,
Put Pallas, anxious for her fav’rite host, Which thund'ring on the Thracian helmet broke; Their best already wounded, many lost, Stunn’d by the boist'rous shock, the warrior reelid Ulysses sought : she found himn, in the rear, With yiddy poise, then sunk upon the field. Wounded and faint, and leaning on his spear. Their leader to defend, his native train
And thus in Mentor's forın; “Brave prince! I With speed advance, and guard him on the plain.
dread Against his fue, their threat'ning lances rise, Our hopes defeated, and our fall decreed: And aim'd at once, a storm of arrows fies; For conqu’rivg on the right the foe prevails, Around the chief on ev'ry side they sing ; And all defence against their fury fails; One in his shoulder fix'd its barbed sting.
While here, in doubtful poise, the battle sways Amaz'd he stood, nor could the fight renew; And various fates alternately obeys; But slow and sullen from the foe withdrew. If great Tydides, wbo beholds from far Straight to the charge Idomeneus proceeds, Our danger imminent, yet shuns the war, With hardy Merion, try'd in martial deeds, Held by resentment, or some cause unknown, Laertes' valiant son, and he who led
Regardless of our safety and his own, The youth in Sycion, and Pellene, bred; Would rise to aid us; yet we might respire, With force united, these the foe sustain, And Creon, frustrated, again retire. And wasteful havoc loads the purple plain : Great were his praise, who could the chief per. In doubtful poise the scales of combat sway'd, In peril so extreme, the host to aid. (suade, And various fates alternately obey'd.
The fittest you, who boast the happy skill, But now the flames, which harr'd th' invading With pleasing words, to move the fixed will: Sunk to the wasted wood, in ashes glow; [foe, Though Nestor justly merits equal fame, Thebes rushes to the fight; their polish'd shields A friend the soonest will a friend reclaim." Gleam through the smoke, and brighten all the And thus Ulysses to the martial maida
“ I cannot hope the heru to persuade:
The source unknown from which his rage pro- Or Eryınanthus ; while in fix'd amaze, ceeds,
At awful distance held, the satyrs gaze. Reason in vain from loose conjecture pleads; With oaths divine our plighted faith we bound; The fatal truce, with faithless Creon made, Hymen had soon our mutual wishes crown'd; Provokes him not, nor holds him from our aid; When, call'd to arms, against the Theban tuwirs, He easily resign'd whate'er he mov'd,
From Calydon I led my martial pow'rs. Till now, approving as the rest approvd,
Her female form in martial arins conceal'd, Some dire disaster, some disgrace unseen,
With me she brav'd the terrours of the field: Confounds his steady temper, else serene :
Unknown and unrewarded, from my side
He spoke; his words the martial maid admir'd; If of your counsel -, 1, or works, partake;
Till twenty moroings in the east shall rise, Lightly the hero mov'd, and took his way And twenty ev'nings gild the western skies. Where broad ene mp'd th’ Etolian warriors lay: Sce then the cause wbich holds me, and confines Already arın d he found the daring band, My arm, to aid you, though my heart inclines; Fierce and impatient of their lord's command ; Love mix'd with pity, whose restraints I feel Some, murm'ring, round the king's pavilion Than adaınant more strong, and links of steel." stood,
The hero thus. Laertes' son reply'd : While others, more remote, complain'd aloud : “Oft have I heard what now is verify'd ; With pleasing words he sooth'd them as he went, That still wben passion reigns without control, And sought their valiant leader in bis tent: Its sway confounds and darkens all the soul. Him pond'ring deep in his distracted mind, If Thebes, by perjury, the gods provok'd, He found, and sitting sad, with head declin'd. The vengeance slighted, by themselves invok'd, He thus address’d him: “Will the news, I bring, Assaulted us, secure, with hostile arms, Alict, or gratify, th’ Etolian king?
And mix'd our pious rites with dire alarins : s That wav'ring on the brink of foul defeat, With better faith, by faithless Creon sway'd, Without the hopes of success or retreat,
Will they at last restore the captive maid? Our valiant bands th’unequal fight maintain ;
When from their battlements and lofty spires, Their best already wounded, many slain.' They see their champaign shine with hostile If treach'rous Thebes has brib'd you with her
And, pitch'd around them, hosts of armed foes, And bought the venal faith which once you swore; With strict embrace, their straiten'd wallsencloses Has promis'd precious ore, or lovely dames, The gods they scorn as impotent, and vain : And pays to lust the price which treason claims : What will they do, when you alone remain? Name but the proffers of the perjur'd king, Our princes fall'n, the vulgar warriors fled, And more, and better, from your friends I'll bring; Shall to your tent the captive fair be led? Vast sums of precious ore, and greater far Or rather must you see her matchless charms Than Thebes, in peace, had treasur’d for the war; Reserv'd to bless some happier rival's arms: Or, though, to gratify thy boundless mind, Wbile rage and jealousy divide your breast, Her private wealth and public were combin'd. No present friend to pity or assist ? If beauty's pow'r your am'rous heart inflames, Now rather rise; and, ere it is too late, Unrival'd are Achaia's lovely dames;
Rescue our armies from impending fate. Her fairest dames Adrastus shall bestow, The captive maid uninjur'd you'll regain ; And purchase thus the aid you freely owe. Force oft obtains what justice asks in vain. Gods! that our armies e'er should need to fear With success thus your wishes shall be crown'd, Destruction, and the son of Tydeus near !" Which trust in Thebes would frustrate and conUlysses thus ; and Tydeus' son again :
found." “Your false reproaches aggravate my pain Ulysses thus : his weighty words inclin'd, Too great already: in my heart I feel
Long tortur'd with suspense, the hero's mind; Its venom'd sting, more sharp than pointed steel. As settling winds the moving deep control, No bribe persuades, or promise from the foe, And teach the wav'ring billows how to rull. My oath to vi’late, and the war forego :
Straight from his seat th' Etolian warrior rose; In vain for this were all the precious store, His inighty limbs the martial greaves enclose ; Which trading Zicon wafts from shore to shore; His breast and thighs in polish'd steel he dress'd; With all that rich Iberia yet contains,
A plumed helmet next his temples press'd: Safe and unrified in her golden veins.
Proin the broad baldric, round his shoulders The source from which my miseries arise,
flung, The cause, which to the host my aid denies, His shining sword and starry falchion hung : With truth I shall relate; and hope to claim The spear he last assum'd, and pond'rous shield, Your friendly sympathy, for groundless blame. With martial grace, and issu'd to the field : In yonder walls a captive maid remains,
To mingle in the fight, with eager baste To me more dear than all the world contains ; He rush'd, nor call'd his warriors as he past. Fairer she is than nymph was erer fair; Ulysses these conven'd; his prudent care Pallas in stature and majestic air ;
Their ranks dispos'd, and led them to the war. As Venus soft, with Cynthia's sprightly grace, Afar distinguish'd by his armour bright, When on Targetus she leads the chase,
With shouts Tydides rous'd the lipg'ring fight;