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Tifiphone, that oft' haft heard my pray'r,
Affift, if Oedipus deferve 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 monstrous 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, 105
While these exalt their fceptres o'er my urn;
These fons, ye Gods! who with flagitious pride
Infult my darkness, and
my groans deride.
Hisne etiam funeftus ego? et videt ista deorum
Ignavus genitor? tu faltem debita vindex
Huc ades, et totos in poenam
Indue quod madidum tabo diadema cruentis
Unguibus arripui, votifque instincta paternis
I media in fratres, generis confortia ferro 115
Diffiliant: da Tartarei regina barathri
Quod cupiam vidiffe nefas, nec tarda fequetur
Mens juvenum; modo digna veni, mea pignora
Talia jactanti crudelis Diva feveros
Advertit vultus; inamoenum forte fedebat
Cocyton juxta, refolutaque vertice crines,
Lambere fulfureas permiferat anguibus undas.
Ilicet igne Jovis, lapfifque citatior aftris
Triftibus exiliit ripis, difcedit inane
Vulgus et occurfus dominae pavet; illa
Art thou a Father, unregarding Jove!
And sleeps thy thunder in the realms above?110
Thou Fury, then, fome lafting curfe entail,
Which o'er their children's children shall prevail :
Place on their heads that crown diftain'd with gore,
Which these dire hands from my flain father tore;
Go! and a parent's heavy curfes bear;
Break all the bonds of nature, and prepare
Their kindred fouls to mutual hate and war.
Give them to dare, what I might wish to see
Blind as I am, some glorious villany!
Soon fhalt thou find, if thou but arm their hands,
Their ready guilt preventing thy commands : 121
Could'st thou fome great, proportion'd mischief
They'd prove the father from whofe loins they
The Fury heard, while on Cocytus' brink Her snakes unty'd, fulphureous waters drink; 125 But at the fummons roll'd her eyes around, And fnatch'd the starting ferpents from the ground. Not half so swiftly shoots along in air The gliding light'ning, or descending star. Thro' crouds of airy fhades fhe wing'd her flight, And dark dominions of the filent night;
Et caligantes animarum exanime campos,
Taenariae limen petit irremeabile portae.
Senfit adeffe dies; piceo nox obvia nimbo
Lucentes turbavit equos. procul arduus Atlas
Horruit, et dubia coelum cervice remifit.
Arripit extemplo Maleae de valle refurgens 140
Notum iter ad Thebas: neque enim velocior ullas
Itque reditque vias, cognataque Tartara mavult.
Centum illi ftantes umbrabant ora ceraftae, 145
Turba minor diri capitis: fedet intus abactis
Ferrea lux oculis; qualis per nubila Phoebes
Atracea rubet arte labor: fuffufa veneno
Tenditur, ac fanie glifcit cutis: igneus atro
Ore vapor, quo longa fitis, morbique, famesque,
Et populis mors una venit. riget horrida tergo
Swift as she pass'd the flitting ghosts withdrew,
And the pale spectres trembled at her view:
To th' iron gates of Tenarus fhe flies,
There spreads her dusky pinions to the skies. 135
The day beheld, and fick'ning at the fight,
Veil'd her fair glories in the fhades of night.
Affrighted Atlas, on the distant shore,
Trembled, and fhook the heav'ns and gods he bore.
Now from beneath Malea's airy height
Aloft she fprung, and steer'd to Thebes her flight;
With eager speed the well-known journey took,
Nor here regrets the hell fhe late forfook.
A hundred fnakes her gloomy visage shade,
A hundred ferpents guard her horrid head, 145
In her funk eye-balls dreadful meteors glow :
Such rays from Phoebe's bloody circle flow,
When lab'ring with ftrong charms, she shoots
A fiery gleam, and reddens all the sky.
Blood ftain'd her cheeks, and from her mouth there came 150
Blue fteaming poifons, and a length of flame. From ev'ry blast of her contagious breath Famine and drought proceed, and plagues, and