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Whose wounds, yet fresh, with bloody hands he ftrook,
While from his breast these dreadful accents broke: 80
Ye Gods! that o'er the gloomy regions reign,
Where guilty fpirits feel eternal pain;

Thou, fable Styx! whofe livid ftreams are roll'd
Through dreary coafts, which I, though blind, behold:
Tifiphone, that oft hast heard my prayer,


Affift, if Oedipus deferve thy care!

If you receiv'd me from Jocafta'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 fon the trembling father dy'd,

Where the three roads the Phocian fields divide:
If I the Sphynx's riddles durft explain,
Taught by thyself to win the promis'd reign;

Supplicium, oftentat coelo, manibufque cruentis
Pulsat inane folum, sævaque ita voce precatur :
Di fontes animas, auguftaque Tartara poenis
Qui regitis, tuque umbrifero Styx livida fundo,
Quam video, multumque mihi confueta vocari
Annue Tifiphone, perverfaque vota fecunda,
Si bene quid merui, fi me de matre cadentem
Fovifti gremio, et trajectum vulnere plantas
Firmâfti; fi ftagna petî Cyrrhaea bicorni
Interfufa jugo, poffem cum degere falfo
Contentus Polybo, trifidaeque in Phocidos arce
Longaevum implicui regem, fecuique trementis
Ora fenis, dum quaero patrem ; fi Sphingos iniquae





If wretched I, by baleful Furies led,

With monftrous mixture ftain'd my mother's bed,
For hell and thee begot an impious brood.


And with full luft thofe horrid joys renew'd;
Then felf-condemn'd, to fhades of endlefs night,
Forc'd from thefe orbs the bleeding balls of fight; 100
O hear, and aid the vengeance I require,

If worthy thee, and what thou might'ft infpire!
My fons their old unhappy fire despise,

Spoil'd of his kingdom, and depriv'd of eyes;
Guidelefs I wander, unregarded mourn,


While these exalt their fceptres o'er my urn;
These fons, ye Gods! who, with flagitious pride,
Infult my darknefs, and my groans deride.


Callidus ambages, te praemonftrante, resolvi;
Si dulces furias, et lamentabile matris
Connubium gavifus inî; noctemque nefandam
Saepe tuli, natofque tibi (fcis ipfa) paravi;
Mox avidus poenae digitis cedentibus ultro
Incubui, miferaque oculos in matre reliqui :
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
(Proh dolor) et noftro jamdudum funere reges,
Infultant tenebris, gemitufque odere paternos.
Hifne etiam funcftus ego? et videt ifta deorum



Art thou a Father, unregarding Jove!
And fleeps thy thunder in the realms above?
Thou Fury, then, fome lafting curfe entail,
Which o'er their childrens children shall prevail :
Place on their heads that crown distain'd with gore,
Which these dire hands from my flain father tore;
Go, and a parent's heavy curfes bear;

Break all the bonds of nature, and prepare
Their kindred fouls to mutual hate and war.

Give them to dare, what I might wish to see
Blind as I am, fome glorious villany!



Soon fhalt thou find, if thou but arm their hands,
Their ready guilt preventing thy commands :
Couldst thou fome great, proportion'd mischief frame,
They'd prove the father from whofe loins they came.
The Fury heard, while on Cocytus' brink
Her fnakes unty'd, fulphureous waters drink;

125 But

Ignavus genitor? tu faltem debita vindex
Huc ades, et totos in poenam ordire nepotes.
Indue quod madidum tabo diadema cruentis
Unguibus arripui, votifque inftincta paternis
I media in fratres, generis confortia ferro
Diffiliant: da Tartarei regina barathri

Quod cupiam vidiffe nefas, nec tarda fequetur



Mens juvenum; modo digna veni, mea pignora nofces.

Talia jactanti crudelis Diva feveros

Advertit vultus; inamoenum forte fedebat

Cocyton juxta, resolutaque vertice crines,

But at the fummons, roll'd her eyes around,

And fnatch'd the starting ferpents from the ground.
Not half fo fwiftly shoots along in air,
The gliding light'ning, or defcending star.
Through crouds. of airy fhades fhe wing'd her flight,
And dark dominions of the filent night
Swift as the pafs'd, the flitting ghofts withdrew,
And the pale spectres trembled at her view:
To th' iron gates of Tænarus fhe flies,
There fpreads her dufky pinions to the skies.
The day beheld, and, fickening at the fight,
Veil'd her fair glories in the fhades of night.
Affrighted Atlas, on the diftant fhore,

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

Aloft fhe fprung, and fteer'd to Thebes her flight;
With eager fpeed the well-known journey took,
Nor here regrets the hell the late forfook.



A hundred

Lambere fulfureas permiferat anguibus undas.
Ilicet igne Jovis, lapfifque citatior aftris
Triftibus exiliit ripis, difcedit inane
Vulgus, et occurfus dominae pavet; illa per
Et caligantes, animarum examine campos,
Taenariae limen petit irremeabile portae.
Senfit adeffe dies; piceo nox obvia nimbo
Lucentes turbavit equos. procul arduus Atlas
Horruit, et dubia coelum cervice remifit.
Arripit extemplo Maleae de valle refurgens





Notum iter ad Thebas: neque enim velocior ullas

A hundred fnakes her gloomy vifage fhade,
A hundred ferpents guard her horrid head,
In her funk eyeballs 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 fky.

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


Blue fteaming poifons, and a length of flame.

From every blaft of her contagious breath,



Famine and drought proceed, and plagues, and death.
A robe obfcene was o'er her shoulders thrown,
A drefs by Fates and Furies worn alone.
She tofs'd her meagre arms; her better hand
In waving circles whirl'd a funeral brand:

A ferpent

Itque reditque vias, cognataque Tartara mavult.
Centum illi ftantes umbrabant ora ceraftae,
Turba minor diri capitis: fedet intus abactis
Ferrea lux oculis; qualis per nubila Phoebes
Atracea rubet arte labor: fuffufa veneno
Tenditur, ac fanie glifcit cutis: igneus atro
Ore vapor, quo longa fitis, morbique famefque,
Et populis mors una venit. riget horrida tergo
Palla, et caerulei redeunt in pectore nodi.
Atropos hos, atque ipfa novat Proferpina cultus.
Tum geminas quatit illa manus: haec igne rogali
Fulgurat, haec vivo manus aëra verberat hydro.
Ut ftetit, abrupta qua plurimus arce Cithaeron
Occurrit coelo, fera fibila crine virenti




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