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And now above, and now below they flew,
And near the earth the burning chariot drew.

The clouds disperse in fumes, the wondering moon
Beholds her brother's steeds beneath her own ;
The highlands smoke, cleft by the piercing rays,
Or, clad with woods, in their own fuel blaze.
Next o'er the plains, where ripen'd harvests grow,
The running conflagration spreads below,
But these are trivial ills : whole cities burn,
And peopled kingdoms into ashes turn.

The mountains kindle as the car draws near,
Athos and Tmolus red with fires appear;
Oeagrian Hæmus (then a single name)
And virgin Helicon increase the flame ;
Taurus and Oete glare amid the sky,
And Ida, spite of all her fountains, dry.
Eryx, and Othrys, and Cithæron, glow;
And Rhodope, no longer cloath'd in snow ;
High Pindus, Mimas, and Parnassus, sweat,
And Ætna rages with redoubled heat.
Ev’n Scythia, through her hoary regions warın'd
In vain with all her native froft was arm’d.
Cover'd with flames, the towering Appennine,
And Caucasus, and proud Olympus, shine ;
And, where the long-extended Alps afpire,
Now ftands a hu continued range of fire.

Th’astonish'd youth, where-e'er his eyes could turn,
Beheld the universe around him burn :
The world was in a blaze; nor could he bear
The fultry vapours and the scorching air,

Which from below, as from a furnace, flow'd;
And now the axle-tree beneath him glow'd :
Lost in the whirling clouds, that round him broke,
And white with ashes, hovering in the smoke,
He flew where-e'er the horses drove, nor knew
Whither the horses drove, or where he few.

'Twas then, they say, the swarthy Moor begun
To change his hue, and blacken in the sun.
Then Libya first, of all her moisture drain’d,
Became a barren waste, a wild of sand.
The water-nymphs lament their empty urns;
Bæotia, robb’d of filver Dirce, mourns ;
Corinth Pyrene's watted spring bewails;
And Argos grieves whilst Amymonè fails.
The floods are drain'd from

distant coast : Ev'n Tanaïs, though fix'd in ice, was lost; Enrag'd Caïcus and Lycormas roar, And Xanthus, fated to be burnt once more. The fam’d Mxander, that unweary'd strays Through mazy windings, smokes in every maze. From his lov'd Babylon Euphrates flies; The big-swoln Ganges and the Danube rise In thickening fumes, and darken half the skies. In flames Ismenos and the Phafis roll’d, And Tagus floating in his melted gold. The swans, that on Cyster often try'd Their tuneful fongs, now sung their last, and dy'd. The frighted Nile ran off, and under ground Conceal'd his head, nor can it yet be found : His seven divided currents are all dry, And where they roll”d, feven gaping trenches lie.

every

No more the Rhine or Rhone their course maintain, Nor Tiber, of his promis'd empire vain.

The ground, deep cleft, admits the dazzling ray, And startles Pluto with the flash of day. The feas fhrink in, and to the light disclose Wide naked plains, where once their billows rose; Their rocks are all discover'd, and increase The number of the scatter'd Cyclades. The fish in fholes about the bottom creep, Nor longer dares the crooked dolphin leap : Gafping for breath, th' unihapen Phocæ die, And on the boiling wave extended lie. Nereus, and Doris with her virgin train, Seek out the last recesses of the main; Beneath unfathomable depths they faint, And secret in their gloomy caverns pant. Stern Neptune thrice above the waves upheld His face, and thrice was by the flames repellid,

The earth at length on every fide embrac'd With scalding seas, that floated round her waste, When now she felt the springs and rivers come, And crowd within the hollow of her womb, Uf-lifted to the heavens her blasted head, And clapt her hands upon her brows, and said; (But first, impatient of the sultry heat, Sunk deeper down, and sought a cooler feat:) “ If you, great King of Gods, my death approve, " And I deserve it, let me die by Jove;

If I must perish by the force of fire, “ Let me transfix'd with thunderbolts expire,

S

" See

" See, whilft I speak, my breath the vapours choke, (For now her face lay wript in clouds of fmoke) “ See my fing'd hair, behold my

faded

eye, 6 And wither'd face, where heaps of cinders lie! " And does the plough for this my body tear? " This the reward for all the fruits I bear, 6 Tortur'd with rakes, and harass'd all the year? 66 That herbs for cattle daily I renew, And food for inan, and frankincenie for you? “ But grant me guilty; what has Neptune done ? " Why are bis waters hoiling in the fun ? “ The wavy empire, which by lot was given, " Why does it waste, and further shrink from heaven? “ If i nor he your pity can provoke, is. See your own heavens, the heavens begin to smoke! “ Should once the sparkles catch those bright abodes, " Destruction seizes on the heavens and gods; “ Atlas becomes unequal to his freight, “ And almost faints beneath the glowing weight. “ If heaven, and earth, and fea, together burn, “ All must again into their chaos turn.

Apply fome speedy cure, prevent our fate,
66 And succour nature, ere it be too late."
She ceas d; for, chok'd with vapours round her spread,
Down to the deepest fades fire sunk her head.

Jove call’d to witness every power above,
And ev’n, the God, whose fon the chariot drove,
That what he acts he is compellid to do,
Or universal ruin must ensue.
Straight he ascends the high ethereal throne,
From whence he us’d to dart his thunder down,

From

I }

From whence his fhowers and storms he us’d to pour,
But now could meet with neither storm nor thower,
Then, aiming at the youth, with lifted hand,
Full at his head he hurl'd the forky brand,
In dreadful thunderings. Thus th’ Almighty fire
Suppress’d the raging of the fires with fire.

At once from life and from the chariot driven,
Th' ambitious boy fell thunder-struck from heaven,
The horses started with a sudden bound,
And flung the reins and chariot to the ground:
The studded harness from their necks they broke;
Here fell a wheel, and here a silver spoke,
Here were the beam and axle torn away ;
And, scatter'd o’er the earth, the shining fragments lay..
The breathless Phaeton, with flaming hair,
Shot froin the chariot, like a falling star,
That in a summer's evening from the top
Of heaven drops down, or seems at least to drops
Till on the Po his blasted corpse was hurld,
Far from his country, in the western world.

PHAETON'S SISTERS TRANSFORMED

INTO TREES.

THE Latian nymphs came round him, and amaz'd On the dead youth, transfix'd with thunder, gaz’d;. And, whilst yet smoking from the bolt he láyz His shatter'd body to a tomb convey, And o'er the tomb an epitaph devise : 66 Here he who drove the sun's bright chariot lies; “ His father's fiery steeds he could not guide, " But in the glorious enterprize he dy'd."

Apollo

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