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Tho' all the skies, ambitious of thy sway,
Confpire to court thee from our world away;
Tho' Phœbus longs to mix his rays with thine,
And in thy glories more ferenely shine;
Tho' Jove himself no less content would be
To part his throne and share his heav'n with thee;


Yet ftay, great Cæfar! and vouchsafe to reign
O'er the wide earth, and o'er the watry main;
Refign to Jove his empire of the skies,
And people heav'n with Roman deities.


The time will come, when a diviner flame
Shall warm my breaft to fing of Cæfar's fame:
Mean while permit, that my preluding Muse
In Theban wars an humbler theme may chufe:
Of furious hate furviving death, the fings,
A fatal throne to two contending Kings,
And fun'ral flames that, parting wide in air,
Express the discord of the fouls they bear
Of towns difpeopled, and the wand'ring ghosts 55
Of Kings unbury'd in the wasted coasts;
When Dirce's fountain blufh'd with Græcian

And Thetis, near Ifmenos' fwelling flood,
With dread beheld the rolling furges fweep,
In heaps, his flaughter'd fons into the deep. 60

Quem prius heroum Clio dabis? immodicum irae Tydea? laurigeri fubitos an vatis hiatus ? Urget ut hoftilem propellens caedibus amnem Turbidus Hippomedon, plorandaque bella pro


Arcados, atque alio Capaneus horrore canendus.
Impia jam merita scrutatus lumina dextra
Merferat aeterna damnatum nocte pudorem
Oedipodes, longaque animam fub morte tenebat.
Illum indulgentem tenebris, imaeque receffu
Sedis, inafpectos caelo, radiifque penates
Servantem, tamen affiduis circumvolat ális
Saeva dies animi, fcelerumque in pectore Dirae. 75
Tunc vacuos orbes, crudum ac miferabile vitae
Supplicium, oftentat coelo, manibufque cruentis
Pulfat inane folum, faevaque ita voce precatur:
Dî fontes animas, anguftaque Tartara poenis
Qui regitis, tuque umbrifero Styx livida fundo,
Quam video, multumque mihi confueta vocari


What Hero, Clio! wilt thou first relate? The rage of Tydeus, or the Prophet's fate? Or how, with hills of flain on ev'ry fide, Hippomedon repell'd the hoftile tide ? Or how the Youth with ev'ry grace adorn'd 65 Untimely fell, to be for ever mourn'd? Then to fierce Capaneus thy verse extend, And fing with horror his prodigious end. Now wretched Oedipus, depriv'd of fight, Led a long death in everlasting night; But while he dwells where not a cheerful ray Can pierce the darkness, and abhors the day; The clear reflecting mind prefents his fin In frightful views, and makes it day within; Returning thoughts in endless circles roll, 75 And thousand furies haunt his guilty foul, The wretch then lifted up to th' unpitying skies Those empty orbs from whence he tore his eyes, Whose wounds, yet fresh, with bloody hands he ftrook, 79 While from his breast these dreadful accents broke. Ye Gods! that o'er the gloomy regions reign, Where guilty spirits feel eternal pain; Thou, fable Styx! whose livid streams are roll'd Thro' dreary coafts, which I tho' blind behold:


VER. 65. Or how the Youth] Parthenopaus. P.

Annue Tifiphone, perverfaque vota fecunda, 85
Si bene quid merui, fi me de matre cadentem
Fovisti gremio, et trajectum vulnere plantas
Firmasti; si stagna petî Cyrrhaea bicorni
Interfufa jugo, poffem cum degere falso
Contentus Polybo, trifidaeque in Phocidos arce
Longaevum implicui regem, fecuique trementis
Ora fenis, dum quaero patrem: fi Sphingos iniquae
Callidus ambages, te praemonftrante, refolvi;
Si dulces Furias, et lamentabile matris
Connubium gavifus inî; noctemque nefandam
Saepe tuli, natofque tibi (fcis ipfa) paravi;
Mox avidus poenae digitis caedentibus ultro
Incubui, miferaque oculos in matre reliqui: 100
Exaudi, fi digna precor, quaeque ipfa furenti
Subjiceres: orbum visu regnisque parentem
Non regere, aut dictis moerentem flectere adorti
Quos genui, quocunque toro: quin ecce fuperbi
(Pro dolor) et noftro jamdudum funere reges,
Infultant tenebris, gemitufque odere paternos.



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Tifiphone, that oft' haft heard my pray'r,
Affist, if Oedipus deserve thy care!
If you receiv'd me from Jocafta's womb,
And nurs❜d the hope of mischiefs yet to come:
If leaving Polybus, I took my way

To Cyrrha's temple, on that fatal day,
When by the fon the trembling father dy'd,
Where the three roads the Phocian fields divide :
If I the Sphynx's riddles durft explain,


Taught by thyself to win the promis'd reign :
If wretched I, by baleful Furies led,
With monftrous mixture ftain'd my mother's bed,
For hell and thee begot an impious brood,
And with full luft those horrid joys renew'd;
Then self-condemn'd to shades of endless night,
Forc'd from these orbs the bleeding balls of fight;
Oh hear! and aid the vengeance I require, 101
If worthy thee, and what thou might'st inspire.
My fons their old, unhappy fire despise,
Spoil'd of his kingdom, and depriv'd of eyes;
Guideless I wander, unregarded mourn,
While these exalt their fceptres o'er my urn;
These fons, ye Gods! who with flagitious pride
Infult my darkness, and my groans deride.




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