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ARGUMEN T.

Nain his father Laius, and married his mother Jocasta ; put out his own eyes, and resign’d his realm to his fons, Eteocles and Polynices. Being neglected by them, he makes his prayer to the Fury Tilīphone, to fow debate betwixt the brothers. They agree at last to reign singly, each a year by turns, and the first lot is obtained by Eteocles. Jupiter, in a council of the Gods, declares his resolution of punishing the Thebans, and Argives also, by means of a marriage betwixt Polynices and one of the daughters of Adrastus king of Argoś. Juno opposes, but to no effect ; and Mercury is sent on a mefsage to the shades, 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. Adrastus, entertains them, having received an oracle from Apollo that his daughters should be marry'd to a Boar and a Lion, which he understands to be meant of these strangers, by whom the hides of those beasts were worn, and who arriv'd at the time when he kept an annual feast in honour of that God. The rise of this solemnity he relates to his guests, the loves of Phæbus and Pfamathe, and the story of Chorcebus. He enquires, and is made acquainted with their descent and quality : The sacrifice is renew'd, and the book concludes with a Hymn to Apollo.

The Translator hopes he need not apologize for his Choice of this piece, which was made almost in his Childhood. But finding the Version better than he expe&ed, be gave

it some Correction a few years afterwards.

P. STATII

THEBAIDOS

LIBER PRIMU S.

F

Raternas acies, alternaque regna profanis

Decertata odiis, fontesque evolvere Thebas, Pierius menti calor incidit. Unde jubetis Ire, Deae ? gentisne canam primordia dirae ? Sidonios raptus, et inexorabile pactum Legis Agenoreae ? scrutantemque aequora Cad

mum? Longa retro series, trepidum fi Martis operti Agricolam infandis condentem praelia sulcis 10 Expediam, penitusque fequar quo carmine muris Jusferit Amphion Tyrios accedere montes ;

THE

FIRST BOOK

OF

STATIUS

HIS

THE B A I S.

Raternal

rage the guilty Thebes alarms, Th’alternate reign destroy'd by impious arms, Demand our song; a sacred Fury fires My ravilh'd breast, and all the Muse inspires. O Goddess, fay, shall I deduce my rhimes 5 From the dire nation in its early times, Europa's rape, Agenor's stern decree, And Cadmus searching round the spacious sea ? How with the serpent's teeth he fow'd the foil, And reap'd an Iron harvest of his toil? Or how from joining stones the city sprung, While to his harp divine Amphion fung?

IG

graves irae

irae cognata

20

Unde

in moenia Baccho, Quod faevae Junonis opus; cui sumpserit arcum Infelix Athamas, cur non expaverit ingens Ionium, focio casura Palaemone mater. Atque adeo jam nunc gemitus, et prospera Cadmi Praeteriisle finam : limes mihi carminis efto Oedipodae confusa domus : quando Itala nondum Signa, nec Arctoos ausim sperare triumphos, Bisque jugo Rhenum, bis adactum legibus Iftrum, Et conjurato dejectos vertice Dacos : Aut defensa prius vix pubescentibus annis Bella Jovis. Tuque o Latiae decus addite famae, Quem nova maturi subeuntem exorsa parentis Aeternum sibi Roma cupit: licet arctior omnes Limes agat ftellas, et te plaga lucida coeli Pleïadum, Boreaeque, et hiulci fulminis expers 35 Or shall I Juno's hate to Thebes resound, Whose fatal rage th' unhappy Monarch found? The fire against the son his arrows drew, 1 g O'er the wide fields the furious mother flew, And while her arms a second hope contain, Sprung from the rocks and plung’d into the main.

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 confusions of his guilty tace : Nor yet attempt to stretch thy bolder wing, And mighty Cæsar's conqu’ring eagles sing; How twice he tam'd proud Ister's rapid flood, 25 While Dacian mountains stream'd with barb'rous

blood;

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' assert 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 reigni,
Nor let defiring worlds entreat in vain. 34
What tho’the stars contract their heav'nly spaces
And croud their shining ranks to yield thee place;

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