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which he understands to be meant of these strangers, by whom the hides of those beasts were worn, and who arrived 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 Phoebus and Psamathe, and the story of Chora. bus. He inquires, and is made acquainted with their descent and quality. The sacrifice is renewed, and the book concludes with a hymn to Apollo.

The translator hopeshe needs not apologise for his choice of this piece, which was made almost in his childhood; but, finding the version better than he expected, he gave it some correction a few years afterwards.



RATERNAL rage, the guilty Thebes alarms,
The alternate reign destroy'd by impious arms,

Demand our song; a sacred fury fires

My ravish'd breast, and all the muse inspires.
O goddess! say, shall I deduce my rhymes
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,
And reap'd an iron harvest of his toil?

Or how from joining stones the city sprung,
While to his harp divine Amphion sung?
Or shall I Juno's hate to Thebes resound,
Whose fatal rage th' unhappy monarch found?
The sire against the son his arrows drew,
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 muse! the barrier of thy song At Edipus-from his disasters trace The long confusions of his guilty race: Nor yet attempt to stretch thy bolder wing, And mighty Cæsar's conquering eagles sing; How twice he tam'd proud Ister's rapid flood, While Dacian mountains stream'd with barbarous

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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.
And thou, great heir of all thy father's fame,
Increase of glory to the Latian name!

O bless thy Rome with an eternal reign,
Nor let desiring worlds entreat in vain.

What though the stars contract their heavenly space,
And crowd their shining ranks to yield thee place ;
Though all the skies, ambitious of thy sway,
Conspire to court thee from our world away;
Though Phoebus longs to mix his rays with thine,
And in thy glories more serenely shine;

Though Jove himself no less content would be
To part his throne, and share his heaven with thee;
Yet stay, great Cæsar! and vouchsafe to reign
O'er the wide earth, and o'er the wat'ry main;
Resign to Jove his empire of the skies,
And people Heaven with Roman deities.

The time will come, when a diviner filame
Shall warm my breast to sing of Cæsar's fame:
Meanwhile permit, that my preluding muse
In Theban wars an humbler theme may chuse:
Of furious hate surviving death, she sings,
A fatal throne to two contending kings,
And funeral flames, that parting wide in air
Express the discord of the souls they bear:
Of towns dispeopled, and the wandering ghosts
Of kings unbury'd in the wasted coasts;

When Dirce's fountain blush'd with Grecian blood,
And Thetis, near Ismenos' swelling flood,
With dread beheld the rolling surges sweep,
In heaps, his slaughter'd sons into the deep.
What hero, Clio! wilt thou first relate?
The rage of Tydeus, or the prophet's fate?
Or how, with hills of slain on every side,
Hippomedon repell'd the hostile tide?
Or how the youth, with every grace adorn'd,
Untimely fell, to be for ever mourn'd?
Then to fierce Capaneus thy verse extend,
And sing with horror his prodigious end.
Now wretched Edipus, depriv'd of sight,
Led a long death in everlasting night;
But, while he dwells where not a cheerful ray
Can pierce the darkness, and abhors the day,
The clear reflecting mind presents his sin
In frightful views, and makes it day within;
Returning thoughts in endless circles roll,
And thousand furies haunt his guilty soul;
The wretch then lifted to th' unpitying skies
Those empty orbs from whence he tore his eyes,
Whose wounds, yet fresh, with bloody hands he


While from his breast these dreadful accents broke: Ye gods! that o'er the gloomy regions reign,

Where guilty spirits feel eternal pain;

Thou, sable Styx! whose livid streams are roll'd Through dreary coasts, which I, though blind, be

Tisiphone, that oft has heard my prayer,

Assist, if Edipus deserve thy care!


you receiv'd me from Jocasta'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 son the trembling father died,
Where the three roads the Phocian fields divide:
If I the Sphynx's riddles durst explain,
Taught by thyself to win the promis'd reign:

If wretched I, by baleful Furies led,

With monstrous mixture stain'd my mother's bed,
For Hell and thee begot an impious brood,
And with full lust those horrid joys renew'd;
Then, self-condemn'd to shades of endless night,
Forc'd from these orbs the bleeding balls of sight:
O hear, and aid the vengeance I require,

If worthy thee, and what thou mightst inspire!
My sons their old unhappy sire despise,
Spoil'd of his kingdom, and depriv'd of eyes;
Guideless I wander, unregarded mourn,
While these exalt their sceptres o'er my urn;
These sons, ye gods! who, with flagitious pride,
Insult my darkness, and my groans deride.
Art thou a father, unregarding Jove?

And sleeps thy thunder in the realms above?
Thou Fury, then, some lasting curse entail,
Which o'er their children's children shall prevail :
Place on their heads that crown distain'd with


Which these dire hands from my slain father tore;
Go, and a parent's heavy curses bear;

Break all the bonds of Nature, and prepare
Their kindred souls to mutual hate and war.
Give them to dare, what I might wish to see,
Blind as I am, some glorious villany!

Soon shalt thou fin d,if thou but arm their hands,
Their ready guilt preventing thy commands:
Couldst thou some great, proportion'd mischief


They'd prove the father from whose loins they
The Fury heard, while on Cocytus' brink

Her snakes, untied, sulphureous waters drink;
But at the summons roll'd her eyes around,

And snatch'd the starting serpents from the ground.
Not half so swiftly shoots along in air

The gliding lightning, or descending star.

Through crowds of airy shades she wing'd her flight,

And dark dominions of the silent night;

Swift as she pass'd, the flitting ghosts withdrew,
And the pale spectres trembled at her view:
To th' iron gates of Tænarus she flies,

There spreads her dusky pinions to the skies.
The day beheld, and, sickening at the sight,
Veil'd her fair glories in the shades of night.
Affrighted Atlas, on the distant shore,

Trembled, and shook the heavens and gods he bore.
Now from beneath Malea's airy height

Aloft she sprung, and steer'd to Thebes her flight;
With eager speed the well-known journey took,
Nor here regrets the Hell she late forsook.
A hundred snakes her gloomy visage shade,
A hundred serpents guard her horrid head,
In her sunk eye-balls dreadful meteors glow:
Such rays from Phoebe's bloody circles flow,
When, labouring with strong charms, she shoots
from high

A fiery gleam, and reddens all the sky.

Blood stain'd her cheeks, and from her mouth there


Blue steaming poisons, and a length of flame.
From every blast of her contagious breath,

Famine and drought proceeds, and plagues and death.

A robe obscene was o'er her shoulders thrown,
A dress by fates and furies worn alone.
She toss'd her meagre arms; her better hand
In waving circles whirl'd a funeral brand:
A serpent from her left was seen to rear
His flaming crest, and lash the yielding air.
But when the Fury took her stand on high,
Where vast Citharon's top salutes the sky,
A hiss from all the snaky tire went round;
The dreadful signal all the rocks rebound,

Ete, with high Parnassus, heard the voice;
Eurotas' banks remurmur'd to the noise;
Again Lucothoë shook at these alarms,
And press'd Palæmon closer in her arms.

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