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Give me fome flip of this moft blifsful tree,
Then how two wives their lord's deftruction prove Thro' hatred one, and one thro' too much love; That for her husband mix'd a pois'nous draught, And this for luft an am'rous philtre bought : The nimble juice foon feiz'd his giddy head, Frantic at night, and in the morning dead.
How fome with fwords their fleeping lords have flain, And fome have hammer'd nails into their brain, And some have drench'd them with a deadly potion; All this he read, and read with great devotion.
Long time I heard, and fwell'd, and blush'd, and
But when no end of these vile tales I found,
And down he fettled me with hearty blows.
Oh! thou haft flain me for my wealth (I cry'd) 420
But after many a hearty ftruggle past,
'Twas torn to fragments, and condemn'd to flames.435 Now heav'n on all my husbands gone, bestow Pleasures above, for tortures felt below:
That reft they wish'd for, grant them in the grave,
THEBAIS of STATIUS.
EDIPUS King of Thebes having by mistake flain his father Laius, and marry'd his mother Jo cafta; put out his own eyes, and refign'd the realm to his fons, Eteocles and Polynices. Being neglected by them, he makes his prayer to the fury Tifiphone, to fow debate betwixt the brothers. They agree at laft to reign fingly, each a year by turns, and the firft lo tis obtain'd by Eteocles. Jupiter, in a council of the Gods, declares his refolution of punishing the Thebans, and Argives alfo, by means of a marriage betwixt Polynices and one of the daughters of Adraftus King of Argos. Juno opposes, but to no effect; and Mercury is fent on a meflage to the fhades, to the ghoft of Laius, who is to appear to Eteocles, and provoke him to break the agreement, Polynices in the mean time departs from Thebes by night, is overtaken by a ftorm, and arrives at Argos; where he meets with Tydeus, who had fled from Calydon, having kill'd his brother. Adraftus entertains them, having receiv'd an oracle from Apollo that his daughters fhould be marry'd to a Boar and a Lion, which he understands to be meant of thefe ftrangers by whom the hides of those beafts were worn, and who arriv'd at the time when he kept an annual feast in honour of that God. The rife of this folemnity he relates to his guefts, the loves of Phoebus and Pfamathe, and the ftory of Choraebus. He enquires, and is made acquainted with their defcent and quality: The facrifice is renew'd, and the book concludes with a Hymn to Apollo.
The Tranflator hopes he needs not apologize for his Choice of this piece, which was made almoft in his Childhood. finding the Verfion better than he expected, he gave it fome Correction a few years afterwards.
THE BAI DOS
Raternas acies, alternaque regna profanis
Legis Agenoreae? fcrutantemque aequora Cadmum ?
Agricolam infandis condentem praelia fulcis
Ionium, focio cafura Palaemone mater.