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Yet ftay, great Cæfar! and vouchsafe to reign
O'er the wide earth, and o'er the watry main ;
Refign to Jove his empire of the skies,
And people heav'n with Roman deities.



The time will come, when a diviner flame Shall warm my breaft to fing of Cæfar's fame: Mean while permit, that my preluding Muse In Theban wars an humbler theme may chufe: Of furious hate furviving death, fhe fings, A fatal throne to two contending Kings, And fun'ral flames, that parting wide in air Exprefs the difcord of the fouls they bear : Of towns difpeopled, and the wand'ring ghosts 55 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? Or how with hills of flain on ev'ry side, Hippomedon repell'd the hoftile tyde ? Or how the youth with ev'ry grace adorn'd, Untimely fell, to be for ever mourn'd? Then to fierce Capaneus thy verfe extend, And fing with horror his prodigious end.


VER. 65. Or bow the youth.] Parthenopeus.



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 Saeva dies animi, fcelerumque in pectore Dirae. Tunc vacuos orbes, crudum ac miferabile vitae Supplicium, oftentat coelo manibufque cruentis Pulfat inane folum, faevaque ita voce precatur: Di fontes animas, anguftaque 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 falío Contentus Polybo, trifidaeque in Phocidos arce Longaevum implicui regem, fecuique trementis Ora fenis, dum quaero patrem; fi Sphingos ini Callidus ambages te praemonftrante refolvi; Si dulces furias, et lamentabile matris

Now wretched Oedipus, depriv'd of fight, Led a long death in everlafting night;



But while he dwells where not a cheerful ray
Can pierce the darkness, and abhors the day;
The clear reflecting mind prefents his fin
In frightful views, and makes it day within ;
Returning thoughts in endlefs circles roll,
And thousand furies haunt his guilty foul,
The wretch then lifted to th' unpitying skies
Those empty orbs from whence he tore his eyes,
Whofe wounds, yet fresh, with bloody hands he

While from his breaft thefe dreadful accents broke.
Ye Gods, that o'er the gloomy regions reign, 81
Where guilty fpirits feel eternal pain;

Thou, fable Styx! whofe livid ftreams are roll'd
Thro' dreary coafts, which I, tho' blind, behold:
Tifiphone, that oft haft heard my pray❜r,

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 Fhocian fields divide:
If I the Sphynx's riddles durft explain,
Taught by thy felf to win the promis'd reign;
If wretched I, by baleful Furies led,
With monstrous mixture ftain'd my

mother's bed,




Connubium gavifus inî; noctemque nefandam
Saepe tuli, natofque tibi (scis 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
(Pro dolor) et noftro jamdudum funere reges,
Infultant tenebris, gemitufque odere paternos.
Hifne etiam funeftus ego? et videt ista deorum
Ignavus genitor? tu faltem debita vindex
Huc ades, et totos in poenam ordire nepotes.
Indue quod madidum tabo diadema cruentis
Unguibus arripui, votisque instincta 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 pigno


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For hell and thee begot an impious brood,
And with full luft those horrid joys renew'd;
Then felf-condemn'd to fhades of endless night,
Forc'd from thefe orbs the bleeding balls of fight;
O hear, and aid the vengeance I require,
If worthy thee, and what thou might'ft inspire!
My fons their old, unhappy fire despise,
Spoil'd of his kingdom, and depriv'd of eyes;
Guidelefs I wander, unregarded mourn,
While thefe exalt their fceptres o'er my urn;
These fons, ye Gods! who with flagitious pride,
Infult my darkness, and my groans deride,

Art thou a Father, unregarding Jove!


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And fleeps thy thunder in the realms above?
Thou Fury, then, fome lafting curse entail,
Which o'er their childrens children shall prevail :
Place on their heads that crown diftain'd with gore,
Which thefe 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:
Could't thou fome great, proportion'd mischief

They'd prove the father from whose loins they came.

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