Page images

Sollicitet; licet ignipedum frenator equorum
Ipfe tuis alte radiantem crinibus arcum
Imprimat, aut magni cedat tibi Jupiter aequa
Parte poli; maneas hominum contentus habenis,
Undarum terraeque potens, et fidera dones. 45
Tempus erit, cum Pierio tua fortior oeftro
Facta canam: nunc tendo chelyn. fatis arma referre
Aonia, et geminis fceptrum exitiale tyrannis,
Nec furiis poft fata modum, flammasque rebelles
Seditione rogi, tumulifque carentia regum
Funera, et egeftas alternis mortibus urbes;
Caerula cum rubuit Lernaeo fanguine Dirce,
Et Thetis arentes affuetum ftringere ripas,
Horruit ingenti venientem Ifmenon acervo



Tho' all the skies, ambitious of thy sway,
Confpire to court thee from our world away;
Tho' Phœbus longs to mix his rays with thine
And in thy glories more ferenely shine;
Tho' Jove himself no less content would be
To part his throne and share his heav'n with thee;
Yet stay, great Cæfar! and vouchsafe to reign
O'er the wide earth, and o'er the watry main;
Resign to Jove his empire of the skies,

And people heav'n with Roman deities.


The time will come, when a diviner flame Shall warm my breast to fing of Cæfar's fame: Mean while permit, that my preluding Muse In Theban wars an humbler theme may chuse: 50 Of furious hate furviving death, fhe fings, A fatal throne to two contending Kings, And fun'ral flames, that parting wide in air Express the difcord of the fouls they bear: Of towns difpeopled, and the wand'ring ghosts 55 Of Kings unbury'd in the wafted coafts;

When Dirce's fountain blush'd with Grecian blood, And Thetis, near Ifinenos' fwelling flood,

With dread beheld the rolling furges sweep,

In heaps, his flaughter'd fons into the deep. 60

[ocr errors]

Quem prius heroum Clio dabis? immodicum irae
Tydea? laurigeri fubitos an vatis hiatus?
Urget et hoftilem propellens caedibus amnem
Turbidus Hippomedon, plorandaque bella protervi
Arcados, atque alio Capaneus horrore canendus.
Impia jam merita fcrutatus lumina dextra
Merferat aeterna damnatum nocte pudorem
Oedipodes, longaque animam sub morte tenebat.
Illum indulgentem tenebris, imaeque receffu
Sedis, inafpectos coelo radiifque penates
Servantem, tamen affiduis circumvolat alis
Saeva dies animi, fcelerumque in pectore Dirae. 75
Tunc vacuos orbes, crudum ac miferabile vitae
Supplicium, oftentat coelo manibufque cruentis
Pulfat inane folum, facvaque ita voce precatur: 80
Dî fontes animas, anguftaque Tartara poenis
Qui regitis, tuque umbrifero Styx livida fundo,
Quam video, multumque mihi confueta vocari

What Hero, Clio, wilt thou first relate? The rage of Tydeus, or the Prophet's fate? Or how with hills of flain on ev'ry fide, Hippomedon repell'd the hostile tyde? Or how the youth with ev'ry grace adorn'd, 65 Untimely fell, to be for ever mourn'd? Then to fierce Capaneus thy verse extend, And fing with horror his prodigious end. Now wretched Oedipus, depriv'd of fight, Led a long death in everlasting night; 70 But while he dwells where not a cheerful ray Can pierce the darkness, and abhors the day; The clear reflecting mind presents his fin In frightful views, and makes it day within; Returning thoughts in endless circles roll, And thousand furies haunt his guilty foul, The wretch then lifted to th' unpitying skies Thofe empty orbs from whence he tore his eyes, Whose wounds, yet fresh, with bloody hands he ftrook,


While from his breast these dreadful accents broke. Ye Gods, that o'er the gloomy regions reign, Where guilty spirits feel eternal pain;

Thou, fable Styx! whofe livid ftreams are roll'd Thro' dreary coafts, which I, tho' blind, behold:


VER. 65. Or how the Youth.] Parthenopæus.



Annue Tifiphone, perverfaque vota fecunda, 85
Si bene quid merui, fi me de matre cadentem
Fovifti gremio, et trajectum vulnere plantas
Firmafti; fi ftagna petî Cyrrhaea bicorni
Interfufa jugo, poffem cum degere falso
Contentus Polybo, trifidaeque in Phocidos arce
Longaevum implicui regem, fecuique trementis
Ora fenis, dum quaero patrem; fi Sphingos iniquae
Callidus ambages te praemonftrante refolvi ;
Si dulces furias, et lamentabile matris
Connubium gravifus inî; noctemque nefandam
Saepe tuli, natofque tibi (fcis ipfa) paravi;
Mox avidus poenae digitis cedentibus ultro
Incubui, miferaque oculos in matre reliqui: 100
Exaudi, fi digna precor, quaeque ipfa furenti
Subjiceres orbum vifu regnifque parentem
Non regere, aut dictis moerentem flectere adorti
Quos genui, quocunque toro: quin ecce fuperbi
(Pro dolor) et noftro jamdudum funere reges,
Infultant tenebris, gemitufque odere paternos.

« EelmineJätka »