« EelmineJätka »
Thebes 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 firft 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 story of Choroebus. He enquires, and is made acquainted with their defcent 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 he expected, be gave fome 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 ?
Longa retro feries, trepidum fi Martis operti Agricolam infandis condentem praelia fulcis 10 Expediam, penitufque fequar quo carmine muris Jufferit Amphion Tyrios accedere montes :
FIRST во ок
THEBA I S.
rage 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 Muse inspires. O Goddess, fay, fhall 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? How with the serpent's teeth he fow'd the soil, And reap'd an Iron harvest of his toil? Or how from joining ftones the city sprung, While to his harp divine Amphion fung?
Unde graves irae cognata
Atque adeo jam nunc gemitus, et profpera Cadmi
Or fhall I Juno's hate to Thebes refound,
But wave whate'er to Cadmus may belong, And fix, O Mufe! the barrier of thy fong 20 At Oedipus---from his disasters trace The long confufions of his guilty race: Nor yet attempt to stretch thy bolder wing, And mighty Cæfar's conqu'ring eagles fing; How twice he tam'd proud Ifter's rapid flood, zg While Dacian mountains stream'd with barb'rous blood;
Twice taught the Rhine beneath his laws to roll,
Oh! bless thy Rome with an eternal reign,