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Nor yet attempt to stretch thy bolder wing,
While Dacian mountains stream'd with barb'rous
Twice taught the Rhine beneath his laws to roll,
Oh! bless thy Rome with an eternal reign,
Nor let desiring worlds entreat in vain.
What tho' the stars contract their heav'nly space,
And croud their shining ranks to yield thee place;
Το part his throne and share his heav'n with thee
Yet stay, great Cæsar! and vouchsafe to reign
And people heav'n with Roman deities.
The time will come, when a diviner flame
Of furious hate surviving death, she sings,
Of towns dispeopled, and the wand'ring ghosts
Of Kings unbury'd in the wasted coasts;
When Dirce's fountain blush'd with Grecian blood, And Thetis, near Ismenos' swelling flood,
With dread beheld the rolling surges sweep,
What hero, Clio! wilt thou first relate ?
Or how the youth with ev'ry grace adorn'd,
But while he dwells where not a cheerful ray
VER. 65. Or how the youth] Parthenopaus.
Whose wounds, yet fresh, with bloody hands he strook, While from his breast these dreadful accents broke. 80
Ye Gods! that o'er the gloomy regions reign, Where guilty spirits feel eternal pain;
Thou, sable Styx! whose livid streams are roll'd Through dreary coasts, which I tho' blind behold: Tisiphone, that oft' hast heard my pray'r,
dipus deserve thy care!
If you receiv'd me from Jocasta's womb,
To Cyrrha's temple on that fatal day,
When by the son the trembling father dy'd,
Where the three roads the Phocian fields divide :
If I the Sphynx's riddles durst explain,
Taught by thyself to win the promis'd reign:
If wretched I, by baleful furies led,
With monstrous mixture stain'd my mother's bed,
These sons, ye Gods! who with flagitious pride
And sleeps thy thunder in the realms above?
Break all the bonds of nature, and prepare
Soon shalt thou find, if thou but arm their hands,
The Fury heard, while on Cocytus' brink
And snatch'd the starting serpents from the ground.
Not half so swiftly shoots along the air
The gliding lightning, or descending star.
Through crouds of airy shades she wing'd her flight,
And dark dominions of the silent night;
Swift as she pass'd the flitting ghosts withdrew,
And the pale spectres trembled at her view:
There spreads her dusky pinions to the skies.
The day beheld, and sick’ning at the sight,
Veil'd her fair glories in the shades of night.
Trembled, and shook the heav'ns and gods he bore. Now from beneath Malea's airy height 140
Aloft she sprung, and steer'd to Thebes her flight;
When lab'ring with strong charms, she shoots from high
A fiery gleam, and reddens all the sky.
Blood stain'd her cheeks, and from her mouth there
Blue steaming poisons, and a length of flame.
From ev'ry blast of her contagious breath
Famine and drought proceed, and plagues, and death. A robe obscene was o'er her shoulders thrown,
A dress by fates and furies worn alone.
In waving circles whirl'd a fun'ral brand:
A serpent from her left was seen to rear
His flaming crest, and lash the yielding air.
But when the Fury took her stand on high, 160
Where vast Citharon's top salutes the sky,