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EDIPUS King of Thebes having by mistake flain his father Laius, and married his mother Jocafta; put out his own eyes, and refign'd his realm to his fons, Eteocles and Polynices. Being neglected by them, he makes his prayer to the Fury Tifiphone, to fow debate betwixt the brothers. They agree at laft to reign fingly, each a year by turns, and the first lot is obtained by Eteocles. Jupiter, in a council of the Gods, declares his refolution of punishing the Thebans, and Argives alfo, by means of a marriage betwixt Polynices and one of the daughters of Adraftus king of Argos. Juno opposes, but to no effect; and Mercury is fent on a meffage to the fhades, to the ghost of Laius, who is to appear to Eteocles, and provoke him to break the agreement. Polynices in the mean time departs from Thebes by night, is overtaken by a storm, and arrives at Argos; where he meets with Tydeus, who had fled from Calydon, having kill'd his brother. Adraftus entertains them, having received an oracle from Apollo that his daughters fhould be marry'd to a Boar and a Lion, which he understands to be meant of these strangers, by whom the hides of those beafts were worn, and who arriv'd at the time when he kept an annual feast in honour of that God. The rife of this folemnity he relates to his guests, the loves of Phoebus and Pfamathe, and the ftory of Choroebus. He enquires, and is made acquainted with their descent and quality: The facrifice is renew'd, and the book concludes with a Hymn to Apollo.
The Tranflator hopes he need not apologize for his Choice of this piece, which was made almoft in his Childhood. But finding the Verfion better than be expected, be gave Jome Correction a few years afterwards.
'Raternas acies, alternaque regna profanis
Decertata odiis, fontefque evolvere Thebas, Pierius menti calor incidit. Unde jubetis Ire, Deae? gentifne canam primordia dirae ? Sidonios raptus, et inexorabile pactum Legis Agenoreae? fcrutantemque aequora Cad
Longa retro feries, trepidum fi Martis operti Agricolam infandis condentem praelia fulcis 10 Expediam, penitufque fequar quo carmine muris Jufferit Amphion Tyrios accedere montes ;
the guilty Thebes alarms,
Th'alternate reign destroy'd by impious arms, Demand our fong; a facred Fury fires My ravish'd breast, and all the Mufe inspires. O Goddess, say, shall I deduce my rhimes From the dire nation in its early times, Europa's rape, Agenor's ftern decree,
And Cadmus searching round the spacious fea?
Or how from joining stones the city sprung,
Unde graves irae cognata in moenia Baccho,
Aut defenfa prius vix pubefcentibus annis
Or fhall I Juno's hate to Thebes refound,
Twice taught the Rhine beneath his laws to roll, And stretch'd his empire to the frozen Pole,
Or long before, with early valour strove,
In youthful arms t' affert the cause of Jove. 30 And Thou, great Heir of all thy father's fame, Encrease of glory to the Latian name,
Oh! bless thy Rome with an eternal reign,