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Pure oil and incense on the fire they throw,
And fat of victims which his friends bestow.
These gifts the greedy flames to dust devour;
Then on the living coals, red wine they pour;
And last the relics by themselves dispose,
Which in a brazen urn the priests enclose.
Old Corynæus compass'd thrice the crew,
And dipp'd an olive-branch in holy dew;
Which thrice he sprinkled round; and thrice
Invok'd the dead, and then dismiss'd the crowd.
But good Æneas order'd on the shore
A stately tomb, whose top a trumpet bore,
A soldier's falchion, and a seaman's oar.
Thus was his friend interr'd: and deathless
Still to the lofty cape consigns his name.
These rites perform'd, the prince without
Hastes to the nether world his destin'd way.
Deep was the cave; and, downward as it went
From the wide mouth, a rocky rough descent;
And here th' access a gloomy grove defends;
And here th' innavigable lake extends,
O'er whose unhappy waters, void of light,
No bird presumes to steer his airy flight:
And deadly stenches from the depth arise,
And streaming sulphur, that infects the skies.
From hence the Grecian bards their legends
And give the name Avernus to the lake.
Four sable bullocks, in the yoke untaught,
For sacrifice, the pious hero brought.
The priestess pours the wine betwixt their
Invoking Hecat hither to repair-
A powerful name in hell, and upper air.
The sacred priests, with ready knives, bereave
The beasts of life, and in full bowls receive
The streaming blood: a lamb to Hell and Night
(The sable wool without a streak of white)
Eneas offers: and by Fate's decree,
A barren heifer, Proserpine to thee.
With holocausts he Pluto's altar fills;
Sev'n brawny bulls with his own hand he kills:
Then, on the broiling entrails, oil he pours :
Which, ointed thus, the raging flame devours.
Late the nocturnal sacrifice begun,
Nor ended, till the next returning sun.
Then earth began to bellow, trees to dance,
And howling dogs in glimm'ring light advance,
Ere Hecat came--"Far hence be souls pro-
She said, and pass'd along the gloomy space:
The prince pursu'd her steps with equal pace.
Ye realms yet unreveal'd to human sight!
Ye gods, who rule the regions of the night!
Ye gliding ghosts! permit me to relate
The mystic wonders of your silent state.
Obscure they went thro' dreary shades, that
(Forms terrible to view,) their sentry keep;
With anxious Pleasure of a guilty mind,
Deep Frauds before, and open Force behind;
The furies' iron beds; and Strife, that shakes
Her hissing tresses, and unfolds her snakes:
Full in the midst of this infernal road,
An elm displays her dusky arms abroad:
The god of sleep there hides his heavy head:
And empty dreams on ev'ry leaf is spread.
Of various forms, unnumber'd spectres more,
Centaurs, and double shapes, besiege the door.
Before the passage horrid Hydra stands,
And Briareus with all his hundred hands;
Gorgons, Geryon with his triple frame;
And vain Chimæra vomits empty flame.
Then cuts the curling hair; that first oblation The chief unsheath'd his shining steel, prepar'd,
Though seiz'd with sudden fear, to force the
Off'ring his brandish'd weapon, at their face;
Had not the Sibyl stopp'd his eager pace,
And told him what those empty phantoms were→→→
Forms without bodies, and impassive air.
Hence to deep Acheron they take their way,
Whose troubled eddies, thick with ooze and
Are whirl'd aloft, and in Cocytus lost:
There Charon stands, who rules the dreary
The Sibyl cried-" and from the grove abstain!
Now, Trojan, take the way thy fates afford:
Assume thy courage, and unsheath thy sword."
Along the waste dominions of the dead.
Thus wander travellers in wood by night,
By the moon's doubtful and malignant light,
When Jove in dusky clouds involves the skies,
And the faint crescent shoots by fits before their
Just in the gate, and in the jaws of hell,
Revengeful Cares and sullen Sorrows dwell,
And pale Diseases, and repining Age,
Want, Fear, and Famine's unresisted rage;
Here, Toils, and Death, and Death's half-bro-
A sordid god down from his hoary chin
A length of beard descends, uncomb'd, unclean :
His eyes like hollow furnaces on fire;
A girdle, foul with grease, binds his obscene
He spreads his canvass; with his pole he
The freights of flitting ghosts in his thin bottom
He look'd in years; yet, in his years, were seen
A youthful vigour, and autumnal green. ́
An airy crowd came rushing where he stood, Which fill'd the margin of the fatal floodHusbands and wives, boys and unmarried maids,
And mighty heroes' more majestic shades, And youths, entomb'd before their fathers' eyes, With hollow groans, and shrieks, and feeble cries.
Thick as the leaves in autumn strow the woods, Or fowls, by winter forc'd, forsake the floods, And wing their hasty flight to happier landsSuch, and so thick, the shiv'ring army stands, And press for passage with extended hands.
Now these, now those, the surly boatman bore:
The rest he drove to distance from the shore. The hero, who beheld, with wond'ring eyes, The tumult mix'd with shrieks, laments, and cries, [meant?
Ask'd of his guide, what the rude concourse Why to the shore the thronging people bent ? What forms of law among the ghosts were us'd? Why some were ferried o'er, and some refus'd? "Son of Anchises! offspring of the gods! (The Sibyl said,) you see the Stygian floods, The sacred streams, which heav'n's imperial
For Phoebus, ever true in all he said,
Has in your fate alone, my faith betray'd.
The god foretold you should not die, before
You reach'd secure from seas, th' Italian shore.
Is this th' unerring pow'r!"-The ghost re-
"Nor Phoebus flatter'd, nor his answers lied; Nor envious gods have sent me to the deep: But, while the stars and course of heav'n I keep,
My wearied eyes were seiz'd with fatal sleep. I fell; and, with my weight, the helm constrain'd, Was drawn along, which yet my gripe retain❜d. Nor by the winds and raging waves I swear, Your safety, more than mine, was then my care;
Lest, of the guide bereft, the rudder lost,
Your ship should run against the rocky coast.
Three blust'ring nights, borne by the southern
I floated, and discover'd land at last;
High on a mounting wave, my head I bore,
Forcing my strength, and gath'ring to the shore.
Panting, but past the danger, now I seiz'd
The craggy cliffs, and my tir'd members eas'd.
While, cumber'd with my drooping clothes, I
lay, The cruel nation, covetous of prey, Stain'd with my blood th' unhospitable coast: And now by winds and waves, my lifeless limbs are toss'd:
Which, O! avert, by yon ethereal light,
Which I have lost for this eternal night:
Or, if by dearer ties you may be won,
By your dead sire, and by your living son,
Redeem from this reproach my wand'ring ghost,
Or with your navy seek the Velin coast,
And in a peaceful grave my corpse compose:
Or, if a nearer way your mother shows,
(Without whose aid, you durst not undertake
This frightful passage o'er the Stygian lake,)
Lend to this wretch your hand, and waft him
To the sweet banks of yon forbidden shore."
Scarce had he said; the prophetess began
"What hopes delude thee, miserable man
Think'st thou, thus unintomb'd, to cross the
To view the Furies and infernal gods,
And visit, without leave, the dark abodes?
Attend the term of long revolving years:
Fate, and the dooming gods, are deaf to tears.
This comfort of thy dire misfortune take-
The wrath of heav'n, inflicted for thy sake,
With vengeance shall pursue th' inhuman coast,
Till they propitiate thy offended ghost,
And raise a tomb, with vows and solemn pray'r,
And Palinurus' name the place shall bear."
This calm'd his cares-sooth'd with his future Which, mix'd with powerful drugs, she cast be fame,
His greedy grinning jaws, just op'd to roar. With three enormous mouth he gapes; and straight,
And pleas'd to hear his propagated name.
Now nearer to the Stygian lake they draw; Whom, from the shore, the surly boatman
Observ'd their passage through the shady wood,
And mark'd their near approaches to the flood:
Then thus he call'd aloud, inflam'd with wrath:
"Mortal, whate'er, who this forbidden path
In arms presum❜st to tread! I charge thee, stand
And tell thy name, and bus'ness in the land.
Know this the realm of night-the Stygian
My boat conveys no living bodies o'er:
Nor was I pleas'd, great Theseus once to bear,
(Who forc'd a passage with his pointed spear,)
Nor strong Alcides-men of mighty fame;
And from th' immortal gods their lineage came,
In fetters one the barking porter tied,
And took him trembling from his sov'reign's
Two sought by force to seize his beauteous bride."
To whom the Sibyl thus: "Compose thy mind: Nor frauds are here contriv'd, nor force design'd.
Still may the dog the wand'ring troops con
Of airy ghosts, and vex the guilty train; And with her grisly lord his lovely queen remain.
The Trojan chief, whose lineage is from Jove,
Much fam'd for arms, and more for filial love,
Is sent to seek his sire in your Elysian grove
If neither piety, nor heav'n's command,
Can gain his passage to the Stygian land,
This fatal present shall prevail, at least❞—
Then show'd the shining bough, conceal'd with-
in her vest.
No more was needful: for the gloomy god
Stood mute with awe, to see the golden rod;
Admir'd the destin'd off'ring to his queen-
A venerable gift, so rarely seen.
His fury thus appeas'd, he puts to land:
The ghosts forsake their seats at his command:
He clears the deck, receives the mighty freight;
The leaky vessel groans beneath the weight.
Slowly she sails, and scarcely stems the tides:
The pressing water pours within her sides.
His passengers at length are wafted o'er,
Expos'd, in muddy weeds, upon the miry shore
No sooner landed, in this den they found
The triple porter of the Stygian sound,
Grim Cerberus, who soon began to rear
His crested snakes, and arm'd his bristling hair.
The prudent Sibyl had before prepar'd
A sop, in honey steep'd to charm the guard;
With hunger press'd, devours the pleasing bait. Long draughts of sleep his monstrous limbs enslave;
He reels, and falling, fills the spacious cave.
The keeper charm'd, the chief without delay
Pass'd on, and took th' irremeable way.
Before the gates, the cries of babes new-born,
Whom Fate had from their tender mothers torn,
Assault his ears: then those, whom form of laws
Condemn'd to die, when traitors judg'd their
Nor want they lots, nor judges to review
The wrongful sentence, and award anew,
Minos, the strict inquisitor, appears;
And lives and crimes, with his assessors, hears.
Round in his urn, the blended balls he rolls,
Absolves the just, and dooms the guilty souls,
The next in place and punishment, are they
Who prodigally threw their souls away-
Fools, who, repining at their wretched state,
And loathing anxious life, suborn'd their fate.
With late repentance, now they would retrieve
The bodies they forsook, and wish to live;
Their pains and poverty desire to bear,
To view the light of heav'n, and breathe the
But fate forbids; the Stygian floods oppose, And with nine circling streams, the captive souls enclose.
Not far from hence, the Mournful Fields appear,
So call'd from lovers that inhabit there.
The souls, whom that unhappy flame invades
In secret solitude and myrtle shades
Make endless moans, and, pining with desire,
Lament too late their unextinguish'd fire.
Here Procris, Eriphyle here he found
Baring her breast, yet bleeding with the wound
Made by her son. He saw Pasiphae there,
With Phædra's ghost, a foul incestuous pair.
There Laodamia, with Evadne, moves-
Unhappy both, but loyal in their loves
Cæneus, a woman once, and once man,
But ending in the sex she first began.
Not far from these Phoenician Dido stood,
Fresh from her wound, her bosom bath'd in
Whom when the Trojan hero hardly knew,
Obscure in shades, and with a doubtful view,
(Doubtful as he who sees, through dusky night,
Or thinks he sees, the moon's uncertain light ;)
With tears he first approach'd the sullen shade;
And as his love inspir'd him, thus he said.
"Unhappy queen! then is the common breath
Of rumour true, in your reported death,
And I, alas! the cause ?-By heav'n, I vow,
And all the powr's that rule the realms below,
Unwilling I forsook your friendly state,
Commanded by the gods, and forc'd by Fate-
Those gods, that Fate, whose unresisted might
Have sent me to those regions void of light
Through the vast empire of eternal night.
Nor dar'd I to presume, that, press'd with
My flight should urge you to this dire relief.
Stay, stay your steps, and listen to my vows!
'Tis the last interview that Fate allows!"
In vain he thus attempts her mind to move
With tears and pray'rs and late repenting love.
Disdainfully she look'd; then turning round,
She fix'd her eyes unmov'd upon the ground,
And, what he says and swears, regards no more,
Than the deaf rocks, when the loud billows roar;
But whirl'd away to shun his hateful sight,
Hid in the forest, and the shades of night;
Then sought Sichæus through the shady grove,
Who answer'd all her cares, and equall'd all her
Some pious tears the pitying hero paid,
And follow'd with his eyes the flitting shade,
Then took the forward way by Fate ordain'd,
And with his guide, the further fields attain'd,
Where, sever'd from the rest, the warrior souls
Tydeus he met, with Meleager's race,
The pride of arinies, and the soldier's grace;
And pale Adrastrus with his ghastly face.
Of Trojan chiefs he view'd a numerous train,
All much lamented, all in battle slain-
Glaucus and Medon, high above the rest,
Antenor's sons, and Ceres' sacred priest,
And proud Idæus, Priam's charioteer,
Who shakes his empty reins, and aims his airy
The gladsome ghosts, in circling troops, attend,
And with unwearied eyes behold their friend;
Delight to hover near, and long to know
What bus'ness brought him to the realms below.
But Argive chiefs, and Agamemnon's train,
When his refulgent arms flash'd through the
Fled from his well-known face, with wonted
As when his thund'ring sword and pointed spear
Drove headlong to their ships, and glean'd the
They rais'd a feeble cry with trembling notes: But the weak voice deceiv'd their gasping throats.
Dishonest, with lopp'd arms, the youth appears,
Spoil'd of his nose, and shorten'd of his ears.
He scarcely knew him, striving to disown
His blotted form, and blushing to be known;
And therefore first began: "O Teucer's race
Who durst thy faultless figure thus deface?
What heart could wish, what hand inflict this
'T was fam'd, that in our last and fatal night,
Your single prowess long sustain'd the fight,
Till tir'd, not forc'd, a glorious fate you chose
And fell upon a heap of slaughter'd foes.
But, in remembrance of so brave a deed,
A tomb and fun'ral honours I decreed;
Thrice call'd your manes on the Trojan plains:
The place your armour and your name retains,
Your body too I sought, and, had I found,
Design'd for burial in your native ground.'
The ghost replied, "Your piety has paid
All needful rites, to rest my wand'ring shade:
But cruel Fate, and my more cruel wife,
To Grecian swords betray'd my sleeping life.
These are the monuments of Helen's love-
The shame I bear below, the marks I bore
Here Priam's son, Deiphobus, he found, Whose face and limbs were one continued wound.
You know in what deluding joys we past
The night, that was by heav'n decreed our last.
For, when the fatal horse, descending down,
Pregnant with arms, o'erwhelm'd th' unhappy
She feign'd nocturnal orgies: left
And, mix'd with Trojan dames, the dances led;
Then, waving high her torch, the signal made,
Which rous'd the Grecians from their ambus-
With watching overworn, with cares oppress'd,
Unhappy I had laid me down to rest;
And heavy sleep my weary limbs possess'd.
Meantime my worthy wife our arms mislaid,
And from beneath my head my sword convey'd :
The door unlatch'd, and, with repeated calls,
Invites her former lord within my walls.
Thus in her crime her confidence she plac'd,
And with new treasons would redeem the past,
What need I more? Into the room they ran,
And meanly murder'd a defenceless man.
Ulysses, basely born, first led the way.-
Avenging pow'rs! with justice if I pray,
That fortune be their own another day!
But answer you; and in your turn relate,
What brought you, living, to the Stygian state.
Driv'n by the winds and errors of the sea,
Or did you heav'n's superior doom obey?
Or tell what other chance conducts your way,
To view, with mortal eyes, our dark retreats,
Tumults and torments of th' infernal seats.'
While thus, in talk, the flying hours they pass,
The sun had finish'd more than half his race:
And they perhaps in words and tears had spent The little time of stay which heav'n had lent: But thus the Sibyl chides their long delay:
Night rushes down, and headlong drives the day
'Tis here, in diff'rent paths, the way divides:
The right to Pluto's golden palace guides:
The left, to that unhappy region tends,
Which to the depth of Tartarus descends—
The seat of night profound, and punish'd fiends."
Then thus Deiphobus: "O sacred maid!
Forbear to chide; and be your will obey'd.
Lo! to the sacred shadows I retire,
To pay my penance till my years expire.
Proceed, auspicious prince, with glory crown'd,
And born to better fates than I have found."
He said: and, while he said, his steps he turn'd
To sacred shadows, and in silence mourn'd.
The hero, looking on the left, espied
A lofty tow'r, and strong on ev'ry side
With treble walls, which Phlegethon sur-
And what the crimes,and what the tortures were,
And loud laments that rent the liquid air.
She thus replied: "The chaste and holy race
Are all forbidden this polluted place
But Hecat, when she gave to rule the woods,
Then led me trembling thro' these dire abodes,
And taught the tortures of th' avenging gods.
These are the realms of unrelenting Fate;
And awful Rhadamanthus rules the state.
He hears and judges each committed crime;
Inquires into the manner, place, and time.
The conscious wretch must all his acts reveal,
(Loath to confess, unable to conceal,)
From the first moment of his vital breath,
To his last hour of unrepenting death.
Straight o'er the guilty ghost, the Fury shakes
The sounding whip, and brandishes her snakes,
And the pale sinner, with her sisters, takes.
Then of itself, unfolds the eternal door:
With dreadful sounds, the brazen hinges roar.
You see, before the gate, what stalking ghost
Commands the guard, what sentries keep the
More formidable Hydra stands within,
Whose jaws with iron teeth severely grin.
The gaping gulf low to the centre lies,
And twice as deep as earth is distant from the
The rivals of the gods, the Titan race,
Here sing'd with lightning, roll within th' un-
Here he th' Aloean twins, (I saw them both,)
Enormous bodies of gigantic growth;
Who dar'd in fight the Thund'rer to defy,
Affect his heaven, and force him from the sky.
Salmoneus, suffering cruel pains, I found,
For emulating Jove; the rattling sound
Of mimic thunder, and the glitt❜ring blaze
Of pointed lightnings, and their forky rays.
Through Elis, and the Grecian towns he flew :
The audacious wretch four fiery coursers drew:
He wav'd a torch aloft, and, madly vain,
Sought godlike worship from a servile train.
Ambitious fool! with horny hoofs to pass
O'er hollow arches of resounding brass,
To rival thunder in its rapid course,
And imitate inimitable force!
But he, the king of heav'n, obscure on high, Bar'd his red arm, and launching from the sky His writhen bolt, not shaking empty smoke, Down to the deep abyss the flaming felon struck.
Where Tityus was to see, who took his birth
From heav'n, his nursing from the foodful earth.
Here his gigantic limbs, with large embrace,
Infold nine acres of infernal space.
A rav'nous vulture, in his open'd side,
Her crooked beak and cruel talons tried;
Still for the growing liver digg'd his breast:
The growing liver still supplied the feast;
Still are his entrails fruitful to their pains;
Th' immortal hunger lasts, th' immortal food
Ixion and Pirithous I could name,
And more Thessalian chiefs of mighty fame. High o'er their heads a mould'ring rock is plac'd,
That promises a fall, and shakes at ev'ry blast.
They lie below on golden beds display'd;
And genial feasts, with regal pomp are made.
The queen of Furies by their side is set,
And snatches from their mouths th' untasted
Which they touch, her hissing snakes she
Tossing her torch and thund'ring in their ears.