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Till having spent his Feather's Store,
In vain a useless Shield I rear,
ICH in Pleasures, I disdain
Sardian Gyges' wealthy Reign. Gold's a Folly that has Wings ; Mirth's too great to envy Kings.
the fame Complaint in an Epigram, Antholog. L. 7. P. 457 Μηκέτι τις σηξες πόθε βίλη" 1ουόκην 8
Εις εμέ λάβρος "Έρως εξεκένωσεν όλων. Let none afraid of Cupid's Arrows be, The God has spent his Quiver all on me. VER. 2. Sardian Gyges' wealthy Reign.] Gyges at
Έμοί μέλει μύροισι
tain'd the Crown of Lydia by the following Accident, as Herodotus informs us. His Master Candaules having a very beautiful Queen, was so vain of his Happiness, that he could not rest till he had privately admitted his Favourite Gyges to see her naked; which the discovering, was so exasperated at the Affront, that she sent for Gyges, and gave him his Choice, either immediate Death, or to kill Candaules, and take her and the Kingdom for his Reward. Gyges proving afterwards a Prince of great Prudence and Intelligence, was fabled to have a Ring by which he could render himself invisible wherever he pleas'd. Sardis was the Name of his Metropolis, which was so wealthy, that its Riches became a Proverb.
VER. 9 & 10. Court the present Hour to stay,
Fate mayn't have another Day.] An Epigram in the Anthologia gives the same agreeable Advice. πίνε, και αφραίνε τί γδ αύριον, ή τί το μέλλον
Ουδείς γινώσκα. μή τρίχε, μη κοπία. Ως δuύασαι, χάρισα, μετάδΘ, φάγε, θνητα λογίζε, Το ζην μη ζην εν όλως απέχει.
All th’Ambition that I know,
Πάς ο βίG- τοϊος δε, ροπήν μόνον αν προλάβω τις.
Αν και θανής, ετέρα σάνα, συ δ' δεν έχεις. None know the Morrow ; drink, and sweetly smile, Give Fate thy Cares, and cease thy anxious Toil; Indulge thy Taite, the present Hour enjoy, Remember, to be born is but to die. He only lives, who lives to Pleasure free,
Thy treasur'd Heaps will soon another's be.
Quid fit futurum cras, fuge quærere: &
Lay hold upon the present Hour, And snatch the Pleasures passing by,
To put them out of Fortune's Pow'r : Nor Love, nor Love's Delights disdain, Whate'er thou get'it to Day is Gain. Dryden.
V E R. 1.
VER. 1. Thebes' fatal Wars your Muse recites.] The Poet alludes to the famous War of the seven Captains against Thebes, occafion'd by Eteocles the Son of Oedipus, denying his Brother Polynices his Turn in the Kingdom, tho' they had agreed to reign alternately: The two Brothers kill'd each other, and their Mother Jocasta flew herself for Grief. Æschylus has wrote a Tragedy, and Statius an Heroic Poem on the Subject.
VER. 2. He- fings of Phrygia's clam'rous Fights. ] Meaning the Trojan War, in which the Greeks engag'd for the Recovery of Helen, the Queen of Menelaus, King of Sparta, whom Paris had stolen from her Husband. . Anacreon calls the Phrygians clam'rous, because, as Homer tells us, those People always went to Battle with
Whilft no Tempest blots your Sky,
T He linge of Phrygia's clam'rous Fights ;
HEB ES fatal Wars your Muse recites,
great Cries; but the Greeks, on the contrary, in profound Silence.
Tpwes i unaton i čvonñ z loan
oi Map To av orgiño scfied Aveortes, 'Axouoio 'Εν θυμώ μεμαώτες αλεξίμαν αλλήλοισιν. With Shouts the Trojans, rushing from afar, Proclaim their Motions, and provoke the War.
But filent, breathing Rage, resolv'd and skilld,