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When all my glories o'er her limbs were spread,
And blazing lightnings danc'd around hier bed;
Curs'd Thebes the vengeance it destrves may proveo
Ah, why should Argos feel the rage of Jove?
Yet, since thou wilt thy sister queen control,
Since still the lust of discord fires thy soul,
Go, raise my Samos, let Mycene fall,
And level with the dust the Spartan wall;
No more let mortals Juno's power invoke,
Her fanes no more with eastern incense smoke,
Nor victims sink beneath the sacred stroke;
But to your Isis all my rights transfer,
Let altars blaze and temples smoke for her;
For her, through Egypt's fruitful clime renown'd,
Let weeping Nilus hear the timbrel sound.
But if thou must reform the stubborn times,
Avenging on the sons the father's crimes,
And from the long records of distant age
Derive incitements to renew thy rage;
Say, from what period then has Jove design'd
To date his vengeance; to what bounds confin'd?
Begin from thence, where first Alpheus hides
His wandering stream, and thro' the briny tides,
Unmix'd to his Sicilian river glides.
Thy own Arcadians there the thunder claim,
Whose impious rites disgrace thy mighty name;
Who raise thy temples where the chariot stood
Of fierce @nomäus, defil'd with blood;
Where once his steeds their savage banquet found,
And human bones yet whiten all the ground.
Say, can those honours please? and canst thou love
Presumptuous Crete, that boasts the tomb of Jove!
And shall not Tantalus's kingcom share
Thy wife and sister's tutelary care?
Reverse, O Jove, thy too severe decree,
Nor doom to war a race deriv'd from thee;
On impious realms and barbarous kings impose
Thy plagues, and curse them which such sons as


Thus, in reproach and prayer, the queen ex

press'd The rage and grief contending in her breast; Unmov'd remain'd the ruler of the sky, And from his throne return'd this stern reply: • 'Twas thus I deem'd thy haughty soul would.

bear The dire, though just, revenge which I prepare Against a nation, thy peculiar care : No less Dione might for Thebes contend, Nor Bacchus less bis native town defend; Yet these in silence see the fates fulfil Their work, and reverence our superior will. For, by the black infernal Styx I swear (That dreadful oath which binds the Thunderer), 'Tis fix'd; th' irrevocable doom of Jove; No force can bend me, no persuasion move. Haste then, Cyllenius, through the liquid air; Go mount the winds, and to the shades repair; Bid Hell's black monarch my commands obey, And give up Laius to the realms of day, Whose ghost, yet shivering on Cocytus’ sand, Expects its passage to the farther strand: Let the pale sire revisit Thebes, and bear These pleasing orders to the tyrant's ear; That from his exil'd brother, swelld with pride Of foreign forces, and his Argive bride, Almighty Jove commands him to detain The promis'd empire, and alternate reigo ; Be this the cause of more than mortal hate: The rest, succeeding times shall ripen into fate

The god obeys, and to his feet applies Those golden wings that cut the yielding skies. His ample hat his beamy locks o'erspread, And veil'd the starry glories of his head. He seiz'd the wand that causes sleep to fly, Or in soft slumbers seals the wakeful eye; That drives the dead to dark Tartarian coasts, Or back to life compels the wandering ghosts.

Thus, through the parting clouds, the son of May
Wings on the whistling winds his rapid way;
Now smoothly steers through air his equal flight,
Now springs aloft, and tow'rs th' ethereal height;
Then wheeling down the steep of heaven he flies,
And draws a radiant circle o'er the skies.

Meantime the bauish'd Polynices roves
(Flis Thebes abandon’d) through th' Aonian groves,
While future realms his wandering thought delight,
His daily vision, and his dream by night;
Forbidden Thebes appears before his eye,
From whence he sees his absent brother fly,
With transport views the airy rule his own,
And swells on an imaginary throne.
Fain would he cast a tedious age away,
And live out all in one triumphant day.
He chides the lazy progress of the sun,
And bids the year with swifter motion run.
With anxious hopes his craving mind is tost,
And all his joys in length of wishes lost.

The hero then resolves his course to bend
Where ancient Danaus' fruitful fields extend,
And fam'd Mycepe's lofty towers ascend,
(Where late the Sun did Atreus' crimes detest,
And disappear'd in horror of the feast).
And now, by chance, by fate, or furies led,
From Bacchus' consecrated caves he fled,
Where the shrill cries of frantic matrons sound,
And Pentheus' blood enrich'd the rising ground.
Then see Cithæron towering o'er the plain,

And thence declining gently to the main,
- Next to the bounds of Nisus' realm repairs,

Where treacherous Scylla cut the purple hairs:
The hanging cliffs of Scyron's rock explores,
And hears the murmurs of the different shores:
Passes the strait that parts the foaming seas,
And stately Corinth's pleasing site surveys.

'Twas now the time when Phobus yields to And rising Cynthia sheds her silver light; (night

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Wide o'er the world in solemn pomp she drew
Her airy chariot hung with pearly dew;
All birds and beasts lie hush'd: Sleep steals away
The wild desires of men, and toils of day,
And brings, descending through the silent air,
A sweet forgetfulness of human care.
Yet no red clouds, with golden borders gay,
Promise the skies the bright return of day;
No faint reflections of the distant light
Streak with long gleams thescattering shades of night;
From the damp earth impervious vapours rise,
Increase the darkness, and involve the skies.
At once the rushing winds with roaring sound
Burst from th' Æolian caves and rend the ground,
With equal rage their airy quarrel try,
And win by turns the kingdom of the sky;
But with a thicker night black Auster shrouds
The heavens, and drives on heaps the rolling clouds,
From whose dark womb a rattling tempest pours,
Which the cold North congeals to haily show'rs.
From pole to pole the thunder roars aloud,
And broken lightnings flash from every cloud.
Now smokes with show'rs the misty mountain

And floated fields lie undistinguish'd round.
Th' Inachian streams with headlong fury run,
And Erasinus rolls a deluge on:
The foaming Lerna swells above its bounds
And spreads its ancient poisons o'er the grounds:
Where late was dust, now rapid torrents play,
Rush through the mounds, and bear the dams away:
Old limbs of trees from crackling forests torn,
Are whirl'd in air, and on the winds are borne:
The storm the dark Lycæan groves display'd,
And first to light expos'd the sacred shade.
Th' intrepid Theban hears the bursting sky,
Sees yawning rocks in massy fragments Ay,
And views astonish'd from the hills afar,
The floods descending, and the watery war,

That, driven by storms, and pouring o'er the plain,
Swept herds, and hinds, and houses to the main.
Through the brown horrors of the night he fled,
Nor knows, amaz'd, what doubtful path to tread;
His brother's image to his mind appears,
Inflames his heart with rage, and wings his feet with

So fares a sailor on the stormy main,
When clouds conceal Boötes golden wain,
When not a star its friendly lustre keeps,
Nor trembling Cynthia glimmers on the deeps ;
He dreads the rocks, and shoals, and seas, and skies,
While thunder roars, and lightning round him flies.

Thus strove the chief, on every side distress'd,
Thus still his courage with his toils increas'd;
With his broad shield oppos'd he forc'd bis way
Through thickest woods, and rous'd the beasts of

Till he beheld, where from Larissa's height
The shelving walls reflect a glancing light:
Thither with haste the Theban hero flies;
On this side Lerna's poisonous water lies,
On that Prosymna's grove and temple rise:
He pass'd the gates, which then unguarded lay,
And to the regal palace bent his way;
On the cold marble, spent with toil, he lies,
And waits till pleasing slumbers seal his eyes.

Adrastus here his happy people sways,
Blest with calm peace in his declining days.
By both his parents of descent divine,
Great Jove and Phoebus grac'd his noble line :
Heaven had not crown'd his wishes with a son,
But two fair daughters heir'd his state and throne.
To him Apollo (wondrous to relate !
But who can pierce into the depths of Fate?)
Had sung-Expect thy sons on Argos' shore,
A yellow lion, and a bristly boar.'
This long revolv'd in his paternal breast,
Sat heavy on his heart, and broke his rest;

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