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

Demand our fong; a sacred fury fires
My ravish'd breast, and all the Muse inspires.
O Goddess, fay, shall I deduce my rhymes
From the dire nation in its early times,
Europa's rape, Agenor's stern decree,

And Cadmus fearching round the spacious fea?
How with the ferpent's teeth he fow'd the foil,
And reap'd an iron harvest of his toil?

RATERNAS acies, alternaque regna profanis
Decertata odiis, fontefquè evolvere Thebas,
Pierius menti calor incidit. Unde jubetis
Ire, Deae gentifne canam primordia dirae ?
Sidonios raptus, et inexorabile pactum

Legis Agenoreae ? fcrutantemque aequora Cadinum?
Longo retro feries, trepidum fi Martis operti
Agricolam infandis condentem praelia fulcis






Or how from joining ftones the city sprung,
While to his harp divine Amphion fung?
Or fhall I Juno's hate to Thebes refound,
Whofe fatal rage th' unhappy Monarch found?
The fire against the son his arrows drew,
O'er the wide fields the furious mother flew,
And while her arms a fecond hope contain,
Sprung from the rocks, and plung'd into the main.
But waive whate'er to Cadmus may belong,



And fix, O Mufe! the barrier of thy fong
At Oedipus-from his difafters trace
The long confufions of his guilty race:
Nor yet attempt to stretch thy bolder wing,
And mighty Cæfar's conquering eagles fing;
How twice he tam'd proud Ifter's rapid flood,
While Dacian mountains stream'd with barbarous blood;
Twice taught the Rhine beneath his laws to roll,
And stretch'd his empire to the frozen Pole;

Expediam, penitufque fequar quo carmine muris
Jufferit Amphion Tyrios accedere montes :
Unde graves irae cognata in moenia Baccho,
Quod faevae Junonis opus; cui fumpferit arcum
Infelix Athamas, cur non expaverit ingens
Ionium, focio cafura Palaemone mater.

Atque adeo jam nunc gemitus, et prospera Cadmi
Praeteriiffe finam; limes mihi carminis efto
Oedipodae confufa domus ; quando Itala nondum
Signa, nec Arctoos aufim fperare triumphos,
Bifque jugo Rhenum, bis adactum legibus Iftrum,




Or long before, with early valour, strove

In youthful arms t' affert the cause of Jove.


And Thou, great Heir of all thy father's fame,
Increase of glory to the Latian name!

O blefs thy Rome with an eternal reign,

Nor let defiring worlds entreat in vain.

What though the ftars contract their heavenly space, 35
And croud their fhining ranks to yield thee place;
Though all the skies, ambitious of thy fway,
Confpire to court thee from our world away;
Though Phoebus longs to mix his rays with thine,
And in thy glories more ferenely shine;
Though Jove himself no less content would be
To part his throne, and share his heaven with thee;
Yet ftay, great Cæfar! and vouchsafe to reign


O'er the wide earth, and o'er the watery main ;


Et conjurato dejectos vertice Dacos:

Aut defenfa prius vix pubefcentibus annis
Bella Jovis. Tuque o Latiae decus addite famae,
Quem nova maturi fubeuntem exorfa parentis
Aeternum fibi Roma cupit: licet arctior omnes
Limes agat ftellas, et te plaga lucida coeli
Pleiadum, Borcaeque, et hiulci fulminis expers
Sollicitet ; licet ignipedum frænator equorum
Ipfe tuis alte radiantem crinibus arcum
Imprimat, aut magni cedat tibi Jupiter aequa
Parte poli; maneas hominum contentus habenis,


Refign to Jove his empire of the skies,

And people heaven with Roman deities.



The time will come, when a diviner flame
Shall warm my breaft to fing of Cæfar's fame:
Meanwhile permit, that my preluding Muse
In Theban wars an humbler theme may
Of furious hate furviving death, fhe fings,
A fatal throne to two contending Kings,
And funeral flames, that parting wide in air
Exprefs the difcord of the fouls they bear:

Of towns difpeopled, and the wandering ghosts
Of Kings unbury'd in the wafted coafts;
When Dirce's fountain blush'd with Grecian blood,
And Thetis, near Ifmenos' fwelling flood,
With dread beheld the rolling furges fweep,
In heaps, his flaughter'd fons into the deep.
What Hero, Clio! wilt thou first relate?
The rage of Tydeus, or the Prophet's fate?

Undarum terraeque potens, et fidera dones.
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, flammafque 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 Ifinenon acervo.

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Or how, with hills of flain on every fide,
Hippomedon repell'd the hoftile 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 fing with horror his prodigious end.
Now wretched Oedipus, depriv'd of fight,
Led a long death in everlasting night;

But, while he dwells where not a chearful 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 thoufand furies haunt his guilty foul,
The wretch then lifted to th' unpitying skies
Thofe empty orbs from whence he tore his eyes,





Quem prius heroum Clio dabis? immodicum irae Tydea? laurigeri fubitos an vatis hiatus?

Urget et hoftilem propellens caedibus amnem


Turbidus Hippomedon, plorandaque bella protervi 64*
Arcados, atque alio Capaneus horrore canendus.
Impia jam merita fcrutatus lumina dextra
Merferat aeterna damnatum nocte pudorem
Oedipodes, longaque animam fub morte tenebat.
Illum indulgentem tenebris, imaeque receffu
Sedis, inafpectos coelo, radiifque penates
Servantem, tamen affiduis circumvolat alis
Sacva dies animi, fcelerumque in pectore Dirae.
Tunc vacuos orbes, crudum ac miferabile vitae


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