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In vain the charmer pleads, unbounded flow Sudden and swift as kindling flames arise, The parent's tears, in violence of woe.
Float o'er the fields, and blaze unto the skies. He hears no more than storms that thund'ring The sinking grove resounds with frequent groans, Regard the sailors vows, or piercing cries, Crise, Sylvanus starts, and hoary Pales moans. And the wild horour of their stony eyes.
Trembling and slow the guardian-nymphs retire, Apart, a crowd of friends the bier bestrow Or clasp the tree, and perish in the fire. With cypress-boughs: then place the straw be. So when some chjef (the city storm'd) coinlow.
They strike, they level, seize and bear away,
Inwoven on the pall, young Linus lay The music of the Phrygian tife complaius; In lonely woods, to mangling dogs a prey. Whose pow'rful sounds th’unwilling ghosts obey, Heart-wounded at the sight, in anguish stands And, pale and shiv'ring, mount the realms of day. Eurydice, and spreads her trembling hands; First Pelops taught these melancholy strains, Then turns her eyes, half dying with a groan, When Niobe's fond offspring prest the plains : For kindred miseries so like her own.
Six blooming youths, and six fair virgins fell, Arms, scepters, jewels, on the lead they throw, Sent by fierce Cynthia to the shades of Hell, And sacrifice all grandeur to their woe.
Incence and oil upon the pile they throw, As if the hero, deck'd with warlike spoil,
And mighty nionarchs mighty gifts bestow. Was borne in triumph to the fun'ral pyle. High-rais'd in air the mournful bier is born, Yet as due rites, with kind affection paid, Dejected chiefs Lycurgus' train adorn; Can add some honours to the infant-shade; The female sex around ihe mother crowd, Hence rose magnificence, and solemn tcars, And weep and sob, and vent their griefs aloud : With presents suited to maturer years.
Behind, Hypsipyle's soft sorrows Now
Each beaving bosoin draws a deeper sigh,
Thus while the crystal tears unbounded ran,
In piercing shrieks Eurydice began.
In the first moments of thy infant breath? These and the rest at once, the furious sire How could I dread these bloody wars to see ; Dooms in distraction to the greedy fire.
Or deem that Thebes should ever murder thee? Meana hile, asseinbled by the seer's commands, What sudden vengeance wing’d with wrath diTo raise the pyre, crowd thick the Grecian Pursues me still, and curses all my line? (vine bands,
Yet Cadmus' sons in ease and plenty live, From Nemee these, and Tempe's lofty crown, Blest with each joy th' indulging pow'rs can give; Tumble whole heaps of crashing forests down : No mourning dames in sable weeds appear, Their airy brows the naked hills alisplay,
'To bathe the last cold ashes with a tear. And earth once more beholds the face of day. “ Wretch that I was, too fondly to believe Deep groan the groves : on ruffling pinions rise A faithless slave, a wand'ring fugitive ! Birds after birds; the angry savage flies. Pious she told the melancholy tale Sacred through time, from age to age it stood, With fair invention, pow'rful to prevail ; A wide-spread, gloomy, venerable wood; Is this that guardian of the Lemnian state, Older than man, and ev'ry sylvan maid,
Who snatch'd her father from the jaws of fate? Who haunts the grot, or skims along the glade. “ Ah no! herself the bloody furies join'd, Stretch'd o'er the ground the tow'ring oaks were And vow'd like those, destruction to mankind! scen,
Is this her care; to leave in woods alone The foodful beech, and cypress ever green : Her prince, nay more, an infant not her own? The nuptial elm, and mountain-holm entire, Suppose through pity or neglect she stray'd, The pitchy tree that feeds the fun'ral fire: (Wbile my dear child lay trembling in the shade) The resin soft, and solitary yew,
Unknowing of the monsters wild and vast, For ever dropping with unwholesome dew; Who haunt the gloomy groves, or dreary, waste; The poplar trembling o'er the silver flood, Each murm'ring fount that quivers to the breeze, The warrior ash that reeks in hostile blood, Each dying gale that, pants upon the trees, Th’advent'rous fir that sails the vast profound, Sudden by turns distract an infant's ears, And pine, fresh bleeding from th'odorous and death attends th’imaginary fears. wound
" Hail thou dear infant! wretched, early ghost, All at one time the nodding forests bend, Murder'd by her who ought to love shee most. And with a crash together all descend,
Whose bands sustain'd thee, and wbose musie Loud as when blust'ring Boreas issues forth,
(warm’d: To bring the sweeping whirlwind from the north : Whose eye o'ersaw thee, and whose bosom
Who dry'd thy cheeks with streams of crystal Remote from these, another fire they feed drown'd,
(sound. With firstling victims of the woolly breed. And taught thy voice to frame the fault'ring Intent in thought the pious augur stands, Ungrateful wretch, may grief thy years consume, Approves the rites, inspires the fainting bands : And pains eternal bend thee to the tomb ! Calmiy dissembling in his anxious mind Tear her, ye warriors, tear her from my eyes, Each sad presage of miseries behind. Deaf to her vows, her penitence, or cries:
Returning from the right with loud alarms, Deep in her bosom drive th’avenging dart, Again the warriors beat their clatt’ring arms: To drink the blood that feeds her faithless heart. Shields, lances, helms, the sinking flames o'era In the same moment I'll resign my breath,
spread, Satiate with fury, and content in death!” A friend's last pledges to the warlike dead.
She spake, and starting saw the Lemnian maid, Full on the winds the swelling music floats, As in the silence of her sonl she pray'd :
And Nemee's shades pour back the leng h’ning Sudden her rage rekindles at the view,
notes, And trickling down her cheeks descend the drops So when the trumpeter with lab'ring breath of dew.
Shakes the wide fields, and sounds the charge of “ Bear, oh ye chiefs, this female curse away,
death : Who adds a horrour to the fun’ral day,
The blood ferinenting feels a gentle heat, Who with a smile profanes the matron's moan, Quick roll the eyes, and fast the pulses beat : And triumphs in misfortunes not her own.” E’er yet their rage the martial god controls, She said, and sinking drew a fainter sigh.
Nor swells their nerves, nor rushes on their souls. Rage stop'd her voice, and grief o'erwhelmed Now careful Night in sober weeds array'd,
O'er the clear skies exteuds her dusky shade. Thence slowly moving thro' the crowd she went They bend the copious goblet o'er the pyre, By silent steps, in sullen discontent.
And quench with wine the yet remaining fire. So when the holy priest with curious eyes, Nine times his course bright Lucifer had rollid, Dooms some fair heifer to the sacrifice,
And ev’ning Vesper deck'd his rays with gold : Or the gaunt lion bears her thro' the wood, Now o'er the urn the sacred earth they spread: As down her side distils the life-warm bloud: And raise a monument to grace the dead. The mother-beast, dejected and alone,
Here in relief the Lemnian virgin stands, Pours to the winds her lamentable moan, Who points the grateful spring to Grecia's bands: With mournful looks she paces from the plain, There young Opheltes breathes his dying moan, And often goes, and often turns again.
And seems to shiver, and turn pale in stone; The father now unbares his rev'rend head; In waving spires the serpent floats along, His silver locks he scatters o'er the dead :
And rolls his eyes in death, and darts his forky Then with a sigh, the venerable man
tongue. Thus to the parent of the gods began.
By this, the pleas'd spectators in a row, “If Jove's almighty wisdom can deceive, Throng the green Circus, and enjoy the show, Curst is the man who fondly will believe! Deep in the bosom of a vale it stood, These sacred hairs, long from the razor free, Sacred to sports, and overhung with wood: I bore, a pious gift reserv'd for thee:
A darker green its grassy surface crowns, What time Opbeltes' youthful cheeks resign And smoothly swims the car along the downs. Their tender down, an off’ring at thy shrine. Long ere the dawn of morp the mingling throng In vain—the sullen priest refus'd my pray'r, Spreads o'er the plain, and man bears man along : And scatt'ring winds disperst it all in air. (Not half such numbers crowd the sacred space, Tear them my fingers, tear them from my head, Where yearly honours dead Palæmon grace ;) The last sad office to the worthy dead!"
Confus'd delight! the fair, the gay, the sage, Mean while the kindling brand awakes the And boastful youth, and deep-discerning age. Th’ unwilling parents silently retire; [fire, Twice fifty steers along the plains they drew, High-lifted shields, that intercept the light As many mother-cow's of sable bue; In one dark circle, hide the mournful sight. As many beifers raise their youthful horns, The flying em'ralds crackle in the blaze,
Whose front as yet, no biaze of white adorns. And fiery rubies stream with sanguine rays. High o'er the people, wrought with lively In shining rills the trembling silver flows,
grace, And clearer gold with Aaming lustre glows. Shine the fair glories of their ancient race: In balmy clouds Arabia's odours rise,
Each speaking figure seems to touch the soul, To waft their grateful fragrance to the skies. And life and motion animate the whole. Rich urns of milk, tott'ring, their streams in- Flere lab'ring Hercules with anguish prest cline,
The roaring lion to his maniy breast. Mingling with blood, and ting'd with sable wine. Inspir'd with art th' historic figures rise, Sev'n mournful cohorts (as their chieftains and ev'n in sculpture live, and meet the eyes lead)
Here rev'rend Ivachus extends his side With arms reverst pace slowly round the dead; O'er the green margin of his silver tide: Now moving to the left, enclose the pyre, Transformi’u, behind him fearful lö stood, And scatter heaps of dust to sink the fire, And cropt the grass beside her father's flood; Thrice join their spears, thrice clash their sound. She mixes with the herd bier mournful cries, ing shields;
And often turns, and watches Argus' eyes. Four times the females shriek, and clamour fills Fler, from the Pharian coasi indulging ore the fields,
Transferi'd iniuortal, to the reaisus abuve.
Still in her fanes the sable Memphian bows, Nor strokes nor blandishment their rage coni.. And eastern Magi pay their early vows.
[souls, Here Tan'a'us amid the pow'rs divine
They bound and swell with more than female Lifts the deep goblet crown’d with sparkling wine: Sprung from the cloud-born Centaurs, such their Nor stands (as poets sing) in streams below,
force, Still curst with life, yet fared still to woe, Their lustful heat, and fury in the course. The wretch for ever pines, the streams for ever Then fair Hypsipile's bold offspring came, flow.
Two lovely twins, alike intent on fame, (same. There Pelops lashes on with loos'ned reins Their steeds, their chariots, and their arms the Neptune's feet coursers o'er the smoking plains: (This Thoas call'd, the name his grandsire bore, Behind his rival o'er the rapid steed
And Euneos that, to sail from shore to shore) Hangs imminent-and drives with equal speed. Each wish'd the glorious victory his own, Acrysius here in thoughtful posture stands : If not-- his brother to be blest alone. There brave Choræbus lifts his bleeding hands. Last Chromis and Hippodamus succeed, Here am'rous Jove descending as of old,
Each checks the reins, and each inspires his Impregnates Danae with a show'r of gold.
steed : Her blushes Amymóne strives to hide,
Alike with martial eminence they shone, Comprest by Neptune in the silver tide.
Enomäus' this, and that Alcides' son; Alcmena there young Hercules admires,
One drove the coursers erst at Pisa bred, As her head blazes with three lambent fires. And one the savage steeds of Diomed.
Here Belus' sons at Hymen's altars stand, Whence first they start, a stony fragment And joir, with hearts averse the friendly hand : Of old, a limit to contiguous lands. (stands, A faithless smile of ill-dissembled grace
An aged oak of leaves and branches bare, Seem'd most to flatter in Egysthus' face: Presents a goal to guide the circling car. As the calm villain with severe delight
Their distance such, as the wiag'd arrow fies Ac s in his mind the murders of the night. Thrice from the bow sent hissing through the Now ev'ry bosom beats with hopes, or fear,
skies. The clamours thicken and the crowd draws near. Mean while, high-thron'd amid th' Aonian Inspire the muse, to sing each hero's deeds, Divine Apollo strikes the silver lyre; [quire O pow'r of verse! and naine, and gen'rous steeds. He sung the wars on Phlegra's fatal plain,
Before, afar, Arion beats the plain ; [mane : And Python, o'er Castalia's fountain slain. Loose to the breeze high-danc'd his floating He sung what order rules the worlds on high, Immortal steed! whom first th' earth-shaker's Who bids the thunder roar, and lightning fy: hand
Who feeds the stars, or gave the winds to blow: Tam'd to the lash, and drove along the strand : What springs eternal swell the seas below ; Though restless as the wintry surges roll, Who spread the clouds, who rolls the lamp of And furious still, and unsubdu'd of soul.
light Mix'd with his watry steeds the god he bore O’er Hear'n's blue arch, or wraps the world in 'To Lybian Syrtes, or th’lonian shore:
night. Swift flew the rapid car, and left behind
Here ceas'd th' harmonious god, his lyre he The noise of tempests, and the wings of wind. With decent care beneath a laureat shade; (laid To glory next great Hercules he drew,
Then in rich robes his beauteous limbs he drest: O'er hills, and vales, and craggy rocks he flew : A starry zone hung blazing o'er his breast. Then to Adrastus' government was gir'n
Sudden a shout confus'dly strikes his earsTh’immortal courser, and the gift of Heav'n. He bends his awful eyes, the crowd appears. The royal hand by due degrees reclaim'd,
Each chief he knows, and honours each, but most And length of years bis stubborn spirit tam'd : The ? priest, and ruler of Thessalia's host, 3 Him now with many a wish, and many a pray'r, “W'bat pow'r,” (he cries) “ has fir'd with thirst of Adrastus lends to Polynices' care ;
These two adorers of Apollo's name? (fame Shows him to urge his fiery soul along
Equally dear and good, alike renown'd With tim'rous band, and gentleness of tongue: For piety, alike with favours crown'd. The reins to guide, the circling lash to wield, When once a swain the lowing herds I drove, And drive victorious o'er the dusty field. (Such was the doom of fate, and wrath of Jove) So sad Apollo with a boding sigh
Still did Admetus' pious altars blaze, Told his fond child the danger of the sky : And ev'ry temple rung with hymns of praise; Careful the parent, such advice to give;
While at my shrine Amphiaräus stands, Could fate be changd, or headstrong youth And lifts bis eyes, and spreads his trembling believe !
hauds; Th' @balian priest moves second o'er the dearest, best of men; alas no moreplain,
Black fate impends, and all thy joys are o'er. Who boasts his coursers of immortal strain : Soon must the Theban earth in sunder rend Sprung from fair Cyllarus in days of yore: Her opening jaws, and thou to Hell descend ! (1'he guilty product of a stol'n amour)
Admetus' life to distant times shall last, Wben Castor griev'd in bitterness of soul, (pole. And ev'ry year add glories to the past : Where seas scarce flow beneath the Sevthian Unknowing of repentance, cares, and strife, White were the steeds that drew him o'er the These hands shall guide him to the verge of life. field,
Each bird of omen told the fatal day" White was his helm, his ribbands, and his shield. He said, and weeping turn’d his eyes away :
Next, bold Admetus, wbirling from above
Then sudden from Olympus' airy height, Unable to control, the trembling chief
Pleas'd with his liberty the sea-horn horse Bending he shoots adown the shining skies : Springs with a bound, and thunders o'er the Ev'n while on Earth the god pursues his way,
course : Behind, aloft, the streams of glory play,
Loud shouts the multitude ; in wild debate Dance on the winds, or in a blaze decay. Of fears and terrours Polynices sate,
Now in his helm impartial Prothöns throws Flings up the reins, and waits th' event of fate. The flying lots, and as the lots dispose,
So spent with toils, and gasping after breath, Around him rang'd in beauteous order came Pants the pale sailor in the arms of death; Each ardent youth, a candidate for fame. In sad despair gives ev'ry labour o'er, Here wild mistrust, and jealousies appear,
And marks the skies and faithless winds no more. And pale surprise, and self-suspecting fear:
Now horse with horse, to chariot chariot clos'd, Restless impatience, cold in ev'ry part,
Wheels clash'd with wheels, and chief to chief And a sad dread that seems to sink the heart.
(ways There shouts of triumph rend the vaulted sky, War, war it seem'd! and death ten thousand And fame and conquest brighten ev'ry eye, So dreadful, is the sacred lust of praise ! Th' impatient coursers pant in ev'ry vein, Each chief by turns bis panting coursers fires, And pawing seem to beat the distant plain : With praise now pleases, now with rage inspires. Tbe burning foam descends, the bridles ring, By fair address Admetiis sooths along And from the barrier-bounds in thought they Iris the swift, and Pholőe the strong, spring;
Ampbiaräus hastens with a blow
Fierce Aschetos to rush before the foe,
Strimon encourag'd by bold Chromis fies,
By Thoas summon’d, beats the sounding plains. Swift as an arrow hisses through the skies : In silence Polynices drives alone, Swift as a fame devours the crackling wood, Sighs to himself, and trembles to be known. Swift as the headlong torrents of a food.
Three times the smoking car with rapid pace Now in one cloud they vanish from the eye, Had turn'd the goal, the fourth concludes the Nor see nor know their rivals as they fly : They turn the goal: again with rapid pace Fast and more fast the panting coursers blow, The wheels roll round, and blot their former And streams of sweat from ev'ry member flow. trace;
Now Fortune first the crown of conquest Now on their knees they steer a bending course,
brings Now hang impatient o'er the flying horse. (Suspending in mid air her trembling wings). From groaning earth the mingling clamours rise, in act to burl Admetus to the plain, Confusion fills their ears, and darkness blinds Revengful Thoas gives up all the rein ;
Hippodamus survey'd the fraud from far: Instinct with prescience, or o'eraw'd by fear, Full in its course he met the driving car, Arion feels an unknown charioteer
Loud clash'd the wheels; Hippodamus withdrew Pois'd on the reins; to sudden thought restor'd, To turn the chariot, ardent Chromas flew He dreads the fury of his absent lord :
Instant before, in angry fight oppos’d, Enrag'd now runs at random, and disdains Chief strove with chief, to chariot chariot clos'd. To bear a stranger : wonder fills the plains. In vain th’impatient coursers urge along, All think the steed too eager for the prize; Lock'd in th' embrace, indissolubly strong. The steed breathes vengeance, from the driver So when the summer winds in silence sleep, flies,
And drowsy Neptune stills the watry deep: And seeks his master round with wishful eyes. O’er the clear verdant wave extended lies The next, though mighty far the next, suc- Th' nomoving vessel, till the gales arise. ceeds
Again the warriors strive, the fields resound. Amphiaräus with his snow-white steeds: Hippodamus, all sudden with a bound Close by his side Admetus whirls along, Shock'd from his chariot tumbled to the ground. Euneos and Thoas join the flying throng: The Thracian coursers (but their chief withstood) Next Chromas and Hippodamus appear,
Spring to devour his limbs, and drink his blood: Who wage a dreadful conflict in the rear : Instant the gen'rous victor turn'd away, Skill'd of themselves, in vain they urge the chase, And gaind inore glory though he lost the day. (Their steeds too heavy for so swift a race)
Mean while the god who gilds th' ethereal Hippodamus flew first, and full behind
space Impatient Chromis blows the sultry wind. Descends, himself a partner of the race:
Admetus now directs the side-long horse (Just where the steeds their stretching shade To turn the goal, and intercept the course: And the long labours of the Circus end) [extend, His equal art the priest of Phoebus tries, A Gorgon's head aloft in air he bore, The goal he brushes, as his chariot Aies ;
Horrid with snakes, and stain's) with human gore: While mad Arion wanders o'er the plain, One ghastly look were able to dismay Nor minds the race, nor hears the curbing rein. I The steeds of Mars, or those that lead the day;
Ev'n Hell's grim guardian might surcease to roar;
First cheerful Jdas in the lists appears, And furies fear, unknown to fear before.
Idas, a lovely boy in blooming years Sudden Arion ey'd the sight from far,
(Idas who late his honour'd temples bound And loudly snorting stopp'd the driving car: With palms that fourish'd on th’ Olympian Cold darts of ice shot thrilling through bis blood,
ground). His fearful flesh all trembled as they stood: Loud shouts each chief that from high Elis leads Abruptly shock'd, and mindless of the rein, His native train, and Pisa's watry meads: Th’ Aoniar hero tumbled to the plain ;
Then Phædimus proclaim'd in Isthmian games, Again recover'd, fleeter than the wind
And Alcon first of Sicyonian names; Arion flies, and leaves his chief behind.
Next aged Dymas rose, whose youthful speed Beside the prostrate chief, the rival throng Surpass'd the swiftness of the flying steed: Obliquely bending, swiftly rush'd along.
And last in infamous disorder came
Like Cynthia's self she seem'd, a sylvan gracet
Furious the prophet drove with rapid pace As thro' the lawns he drives the panting hind: Sure of the prize, yet second in the race: Or when he catches sudden with a bound Before, afar the sea-born courser drew
The flying jav'lin e'er it touch the ground. His empty chariot rat'ling as he few.
The modest youth unbinds with decent care Yet still the prophet thunders o'er the plain, His damask vesture dancing to the air: Eager of praise, amaz'd, enrag'd, min vain; Then by degrees unveils to public view The pow'r of wisdom more than mortal strong, His snowy limbs like marble, vein'd with blue. Swells ev'ry nerve to lash the steeds along : His rosy cheeks that glow'd with warmth before, Instinct with rage divine bis steeds renew His tresses wav'd in ringlets please no more; The rapid labour bath'd in streams of dew, A thousand charms appear! in stupid gaze The glowing axle kindles as they fly,
The crowd devours him, silent with amaze. And drifts of rising dust involve the sky. Conscious he stands, his head declining down, Earth opening seeins to groan, (a fatal sign !) And blushes oft; and chides them with a frond: Still they rush on, advancing in a line:
Decent confusion ! mindful of the toil Now with redoubled swiftness Cycnus Bies, He bathes his shining limbs in streams of oil ; But partial Neptune the whole palm denies: Alike the chiefs-- Intent, th' encircling host Arion won the race, the prophet bore the prize. Admires 'em all, Parthenopæus most.
A massy bowl (the pledge design'd to grace So when the night in solemn silence reigns, The gen'rous chief victorious in the race) And one clear blue o'erspreads th' etherial plains: Two youths present bim: antique was the mould, The glittåring stars with living splendours glow, Blazing with gems, and rough with rising gold : And dance and tremble on the seas below; In this, Alcides each revolving night
High o'er them all exalted Hesper rolls, Was wont to drown the labours of the fight : Itsejf a son, and gilds the distant poles. Gravid on the sides was seen the dreadful fray The next in beauty, as in speed, appears When brutal Centaurs snatch'd the bride away. | Fair Idas, in the streugth of youthful years : With living terrours stare the chiefs around, A party-coloured down but just began These aim the dart, and those receive the wound: To shade lis chin, the promise of a man. Each in distorted postures beaves for breath, A signal sounds. The ready racers start, And seems to threaten in the pangs of death. Double their speed, and summon all their art.
A costly vesture was reserv'd to grace Low at each step their straining knees they bend, Admetus, vext in merit as in place;
Theu springing with a bound, again ascend, Embroider'd figures o'er the texture shine, Swifter than thought; nor seem to run, but fly, And Tyrian purple heightens the design. Stretch'd on the winds, half-Fanish'd from the Here pale and trembling with the wintry air,
eye. Leander stands, an image of despair.
Now side by side, or breast to breast they close, Now bending from the beach, he seems to glide While each alike by turns outstrips his foes. With eyes oplifted through the rolling tide; Scarce half so swiftly v'er the Nemean plains Aloft, alone the melancholy dame
the courser pour’d with loos'ned reink Eyes the rough waters, and extends the flame. Each, like an arrow from the Parthian yew Half-weeping Polysices takes his prize,
Sent with full force, along the Circus flew. A beauteous handmaid wiih celestial eyes,
So when a tim'rous herd of list’ning deer August rewards are destin'd next to grace The roaring lion hears, or seems to hear, The spritely youth contending in the race. (What time the lordly savage haunts the wood, A blameless sport! and sacred sure the praise And longs to bathe his thirsty jaws in blood), To grace a festival in peaceful days :
Close and more close they join, a trembling Nor yet unuseful in th' embattel'd plain
trajn, Whep death is certain, and resistance vain. And wildly stare, and scour along the plain