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ARGU M E N T.
Μ Ν Τ
Nain his father Laius, and marry'd his mother Jocasta ; put out his own eyes, and relign'd the realm to his fons, Eteocles and Polynices. Being neglected by them, hc makes his prayer to the fury Tisiphone, to sów debate betwixt the brothers. They agree at last co reign singly, each a year by turns, and the first lot is 'obtained by Eteocles. Jupiter, in a councit 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 Argos. Juno opposes, but to no effects and Mercury is fent on a message 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 fed from Calydon, having kill'd his brother. Adrastus entertains them, having receiv’d 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 arrivd at the time when he kept an annual feaft in honour of that God. The rise of this solemnity he relates to his guests, the loves of Phoebus and Pfamathe, and the story 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 Translator hopes he needs not apologize for his choice of this piece, which was made almost in bis Childhood. But finding the Version better than he expezted, ke gave it fome Correction a few years afterwards.
Raternas acies, alternaque regna profanis
Dęcertata odiis, fontesque evolvere Thebas, Pierius menti calor incidit,
Unde jubetis Ire, Deae? gentisne canam primordia dirae ? Sidonios raptus, et inexorabile pacțum Legis Agenoreae scrutantemque aequorą Cad
mum? Longa retro series, trepidum fi Martis operti Agricolam infandis condentem praelia fulcis 10 Expediam, penitusque fequar quo carmine muris Jufferit Amphion Tyrios accedere montes :
S T A T I US
THE B A I S.
Raternal 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, say, 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 sow'd the soil, 10 And reap'd an iron harvest of his toil? Or how from joining stones the city sprung, While to his harp divine Amphion sung?
graves cognata 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 Praeteriiffe finam: limes mihi carminis efto Oedipodae confusa domus: quando Itala nondum Signa, nec Arctoos aufim sperare triumphos, Bisque jugo Rhenum, bis adactum legibus Iftrum, Et conjurato dejectos vertice Dacos : Aut defensa prius vix pubefcentibus annis Bella Jovis. Tuque o Latiae decus addite famae, Quem nova maturi subeuntem exorsa parentis ... Aeternum fibi Roma cupit: licet arctior omnes Limes agat stellas, et te plaga lucida coeli Pleïadum, Boreaeque, et hiulci fulminis expers 35
Or shall I Juno's hate to Thebes resound,
rage th' unhappy Monarch found?
But wave whate'er to Cadmus may belong, And fix, O Muse! the barrier of thy song 20 At Oedipus---from his disasters trace The long confusions of his guilty race: 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
Twice taught the Rhine beneath his laws to roll,