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Great was the cause ; our old solemnities
The Inachians view the slain with vast surprise, From no blind zeal or fond tradition rise ;
Her twisting volumes, and her rolling eyes, But, saved from death, our Argives yearly pay Her spotted breast, and gaping womb imbrued These grateful honours to the god of day.
With livid poison, and our children's blood. "When by a thousand darts the Python slain, The crowd in stupid wonder fix'd appear, With orbs unroll'd, lay covering all the plain, Pale e'en in joy, nor yet forget to fear. (Transfix'd as o'er Castalia's streams he hung, Some with vast beams the squalid corpse engage, And suck'd new poison with his triple tongue,) And weary all the wild efforts of rage. To Argo's realms the victor god resorts,
The birds obscene, that nightly flock'd to taste, And enters old Crotopus' humble courts.
With hollow screeches fed the dire repast; This rural prince one only daughter bless'd, And ravenous dogs, allured by scented blood, That all the charms of blooming youth possess'd : And starving wolves ran howling to the wood. Fair was her face, and spotless was her mind, * But, fired with rage, from cleft Parnassus' brow Where filial love with virgin sweetness join'd. Avenging Phæbus bent his deadly bow, Happy! and happy still she might have proved, And hissing flew the feather'd fates below: Were she less beautiful, or less beloved !
A night of sultry clouds involved around But Phæbus loved, and on the flowery side
The towers, the fields, and the devoted ground: Of Nemea's stream the yielding fair enjoy'd : And now a thousand lives together Aed, Now, ere ten moons their orb with light adorn, Death with his scythe cut off the fatal thread, The illustrious offspring of the god was born; And a whole province in his triumph led. The nymph, her father's anger to evade,
But Phæbus, ask'd why noxious fires appear, Retires from Argos to the sylvan shade;
And raging Sirius blasts the sickly year, To woods and wilds the pleasing burthen bears, Demands their lives by whom his monster fell, And trusts her infant to a shepherd's cares. And dooms a dreadful sacrifice to hell.
• How mean a fate, unhappy child is thine ! Bless'd be thy dust, and let eternal fame Ah, how unworthy those of race divine !
Attend thy manes, and preserve thy name,
In such a cause disdain'd thy life to save;
With piety, the soul's securest guard, Yet e'en in those obscure abodes to live,
And conscious virtue, still its own reward, Was more, alas ! than cruel fate would give; Willing I come, unknowing how to fear; For on the grassy verdure as he lay,
Nor shalt thou, Phæbus, find a suppliant here.
And 'tis a deed too glorious to disown.
For whom, as man no longer claim'd thy care,
• But, touch'd with sorrow for the dead too late, Yet why must unoffending Argos feel The raging god prepares to avenge her fate. The vengeance due to this unlucky steel ? Ile sends a monster, horrible and fell,
On me, on me, let all thy fury fall, Begot by furies in the depths of hell.
Nor err from me, since I deserve it all: The pest a virgin's face and bosom bears ;
Unless our desert cities please thy sight, High on a crown a rising snake appears,
Or funeral flames reflect a grateful light, Guards her black front, and hisses in her hairs; Discharge thy shafts, this ready bosom rend, About the realm she walks her dreadful round, And to the shades a ghost triumphant send; When night with sable wings o'erspreads the But for my country let my fate atone, ground,
Be mine the vengeance, as the crime my own.' Devours young babes before their parents' eyes, Merit distress'd, impartial Heaven relieves : And feeds and thrives on public miseries.
Unwelcome life relenting Phæbus gives : But generous rage the bold Choræbus warms, For not the vengeful power, that glow'd with rage, Chorebus, famed for virtue, as for arms;
With such amazing virtue durst engage. Some few like him, inspired with martial flame, The clouds dispersed, Apollo's wrath expired, Thought a short life well lost for endless fame. And from the wondering god the unwilling youth reThese, where two ways in equal parts divide,
tired. The direful monster from afar descried,
Thence we these altars in his temple raise, Two bleeding babes depending at her side, And offer annual honours, feasts, and praise ; ! Whose panting vitals, warm with life, she draws, Those solemn feasts propitious Phæbus please ;
And in their hearts imbrues her cruel claws. These honours still renew'd, his ancient wrath appease
Relate your fortunes, while the friendly night Or Mithra, to whose beams the Persian bows,
And pays, in hollow rocks, his awful vows; The Theban bends on earth his gloomy eyes, Mithra, whose head the blaze of light adorns, Confused, and sadly thus at length replies : Who grasps the struggling heifer's lunar horns * Before these altars how shall I proclaim (Oh generous prince !) my nation or my name, Or through what veins our ancient blood has roll'd? THE FABLE OF DRYOPE. Let the sad tale for ever rest untold !
Book 9. Jocasta's son, and Thebes my native place.'
To whom the king (who felt his generous breast She said, and for her lost Galanthis sighs, Touch'd with concern for his unhappy guest) When the fair consort of her son replies : Replies : Ah, why forbears the son to name
Since you a servant's ravish'd form bemoan, His wretched father, known too well by fame?
And kindly sigh for sorrows not your own; Fame, that delights around the world to stray,
Let me (if tears and grief permit) relate Scorns not to take our Argos in her way.
A nearer woe, a sister's stranger fate. E'en those who dwell where suns al distance roll,
No nymph of all Echalia could compare In northern wilds, and freeze beneath the pole;
For beauteous form with Dryope the fair, And those who tread the burning Libyan lands,
Her tender mother's only hope and pride The faithless Syrtes, and the moving sands;
|(Myself the offspring of a second bride.) Who view the western sea's extremest bounds,
This nymph, compress’d by him who rules the day, Or drink of Ganges in their eastern grounds ;
Whom Delphi and the Delian isle obey, All these the woes of Edipus have known,
Andræmon loved; and, bless'd in all those charms Your fates, your furies, and your haunted town
That pleased a god, succeeded to her arms.
A lake there was, with shelving banks around,
Whose verdant summit fragrant myrtles crown'd. Be this thy comfort, that 'tis thine to efface
These shades, unknowing of the fates, she sought, With virtuous acts thy ancestor's disgrace,
And to the Naiads flowery garlands brought ; And be thyself the honour of thy race.
Her smiling babe (a pleasing charge) she press'd But see! the stars begin to steal away,
Within her arms, and nourish'd at her breast. And shine more faintly at approaching day.
Not distant far, a watery lotos grows; Now pour the wine ; and in your tuneful lays
The spring was new, and all the verdant boughs Once more resound the great Apollo's praise/
Adorn'd with blossoms, promised fruits that vie Oh, father Phæbus! whether Lycia's coast
In glowing colours with the Tyrian dye:
Of these she cropp'd to please her infant son; And bathe in silver dews thy yellow hair;
And I myself the same rash act had done :
But lo! I saw (as near her side I stood) Or, pleased to find fair Delos float no more,
The violated blossoms drop with blood.
Upon the tree I cast a frightful look;
The trembling tree with sudden horror shook.
Lotis the nymph (if rural tales be true,) By thee the bow and mortal shafts are borne ;
As from Priapus' lawless lust she few, Eternal charms thy blooming youth adorn:
Forsook her form; and, fixing here, became Skill'd in the laws of secret fate above,
A flowery plant, which still preserves her name. And the dark counsels of almighty Jove, 'Tis thine the seeds of future war to know,
This change unknown, astonish'd at the sight,
My trembling sister strove to urge her flight :
And first the pardon of the nymphs implored,
And those offended sylvan powers adored : Long trails of light, and shake their blazing hair.
But when she backward would have fled, she found Thy rage the Phrygian felt, who durst aspire
Her stiffening feet were rooted in the ground:
In vain to free her fasten'd feet she strove,
And, as she struggles, only moves above;
She feels the encroaching bark around her grow Thy hand slew Python, and the dame who lost
By quick degrees, and cover all below:
Surprised at this, her trembling hand she heaves
To rend her hair : her hand is fill'd with leaves : Condemn'd to furies and eternal fears :
Where late was hair, the shooting leaves are seen He views his food, but dreads, with lifted eye,
To rise, and shade her with a sudden green. The mouldering rock, that trembles from on high.
The child Amphissus, to her bosom press'd,
Perceived a colder and a harder breast, Propitious hear our prayer, O power divine ! And found the springs, that ne'er till then denied And on thy hospitable Argos shine,
Their milky moisture, on a sudden dried. Whether the style of Titan please thee more, I saw, unhappy! what I now relate, Whose purple rays the Achæmenes adore;
And stood the helpless witness of thy fate, Or great Osiris, who first taught the swain
Embraced thy boughs, thy rising bark delay'd, · Pharian field to sow the golden grain;
There wish'd to grow, and mingle shade with shade
Behold Adramon and the unhappy sire
Now the cleft rind inserted graffs receives, Appear, and for their Dryope inquire ;
And yields an offspring more than nature gives ; A springing tree for Dryope they find,
Now sliding streams the thirsty plants renew,
To lawless sylvans all access denied.
Who haunt the forests, or frequent the lawns,
Employ'd their wiles and unavailing care, I swear by all the unpitying powers of heaven, To
the fences, and surprise the fair! No wilful crime this heavy vengeance bred; Like these, Vertumnus own'd his faithful flame, In mutual innocence our lives we led :
Like these, rejected by the scornful dame. If this be false, let these new greens decay, To gain her sight a thousand forms he wears ; Let sounding axes lop my limbs away,
And first a reaper from the field appears, And crackling flames on all my honours prey! Sweating he walks, while loads of golden grain But from my branching arms this infant bear, O'ercharge the shoulders of the seeming swain. Let some kind nurse supply a mother's care : Oft o'er bis back a crooked scythe is laid, And to his mother let him oft be led,
And wreaths of hay his sun-burnt temples shade ; Sport in her shades, and in her shades be fed ; Oft in his harden'd hand a goad he bears, 'Teach him, when first his infant voice shall frame Like one who late unyoked the sweating steers. Imperfect words, and lisp his mother's name, Sometimes his pruning-hook corrects the vines, To hail this tree; and say with weeping eyes, And the loose stragglers to their ranks confines. Within this plant my hapless parent lies :
Now gathering what the bounteous year allows, And when in youth he seeks the shady woods He pulls ripe apples from the bending boughs. Oh, let him ily the crystal lakes and floods,
A soldier now, he with his sword appears ; Nor touch the fatal flowers; but, warn'd by me, A fisher next, his trembling angle bears. Believe a goddess shrined in every tree.
Each shape he varies, and each art he tries, My sire, my sister, and my spouse farewell! On her bright charms to feast his longing eyes. If in your breast or love or pity dwell,
A female form at last Vertumnus wears, Protect your plant, nor let my branches feel With all the marks of reverend age appears, The browsing cattle, or the piercing steel.
His temples thinly spread with silver hairs : Farewell! and since I cannot bend to join
Propp'd on his staff, and stooping as he goes, My lips to yours, advance at least to mine.
A painted mitre shades his furrow'd brows. My son, thy mother's parting kiss receive,
The god, in this decrepit form array'd, While yet thy mother has a kiss to give.
The gardens entered, and the fruit survey'd; I can no more; the creeping rind invades
And • Happy you !' he thus address'd the maid, My closing lips, and hides my head in shades : *Whose charms as far all other nymphs out-shine, Remove your hands; the bark shall soon suffice As other gardens are excell'd by thine!' Without their aid to seal these dying eyes.' Then kiss'd the fair (his kisses warmer grow
She ceased at once to speak, and ceased to be; Than such as women on their sex bestow ;) And all the nymph was lost within the tree; Then, placed beside her on the flowery ground, Yet latent life through her new branches reign'd, Beheld the trees with autumn's bounty crown'd. And long the plant a human heat retain'd.
An elm was near, to whose embraces led,
He view'd her twining branches with delight, VERTUMNUS AND POMONA. And praised the beauty of the pleasing sight.
Yet this tall elm, but for his vine,' he said,
Had stood neglected, and a barren shade ;
And this fair vine, but that her arms surround
Her married elm, had crept along the ground. Book 4.
Ah beauteous maid ! let this example move
Your mind, averse from all the joys of love. THE fair Pomona flourish'd in his reign:
Deign to be loved, and every heart subdue : Of all the virgins of the sylvan train,
What nymph could e'er attract such crowds as you None caught the trees a nobler race to bear, Not she whose beauty urged the Centaur's arms, Or more improved the vegetable care.
Ulysses' queen, nor Helen's fatal charms. ro her the shady grove, the flowery field, E'en now, when silent scorn is all they gain, The streams and fountains, no delights could yield; A thousand court you, though they court in vain
T'was all her joy the ripening fruits to tend, A thousand sylvans, demigods, and gods,
Whom age and long experience render wise, l'o decent for the lawless shoots to bring, And one whose tender care is far above And teach the obedient branches where to spring. All that these lovers ever felt for love;
(Far more than e'er can by yourself be guess'd ;) But as he glozeth with speeches soote, Fix on Vertumnus and reject the rest.
The ducke sore tickleth his erse roote; For his firm faith I dare engage my own;
Fore-piece and buttons all to-brest, Scarce to himself, himself is better known.
Forth thrust a white neck, and red crest.
|* Te-he,' cried ladies; clerke nought spake ;
Bette is to pine on coals and chalke,
Then trust on mon, whose yerde can talke.
In every town where Thamis rolls his tyde, (A pleasing offering when 'tis made by you) A narrow pass there is with houses low; Ile values these: but yet, alas ! complains,
Where, ever and anon, the stream is eyed, That still the best and dearest gift remains.
And many a boat, soft sliding to and fro. Vot the fair fruit that on yon branches glows
There oft are heard the notes of infant woe, With that ripe red the autumnal sun bestows;
The short thick sob, loud scream, and shriller squall Nor tasteful herbs that in these gardens rise,
How can ye, mothers, vex your children so ? Which the kind soil with milky sap supplies :
Some play, some eat, some cack against the wall, You, only you, can move the god's desire :
And as they crouchen low, for bread and butter call. Oh, crown so constant and so pure a fire!
And on the broken pavement, here and there, Let soft compassion touch your gentle mind;
Doth many a stinking sprat and herring lie; Think, 'tis Vertumnus begg you to be kind :
A brandy and tobacco shop is near, So may no frost, when early buds appear,
And hens, and dogs, and hogs are feeding by ; Destroy the promise of the youthful year;
And here a sailor's jacket hangs to dry. Nor winds, when first your fiorid orchard blows,
At every door are sun-burnt matrons seen, Shake the light blossoms from their blasted boughs. Mending old nels to catch the scaly fry, This when the various god had urged in vain,
Now singing shrill, and scolding eft between ; He straight assumed his native form again; Scolds answer foul-mouth'd scolds; bad neighbour. Such, and so bright an aspect now he bears,
hood I ween. As when through clouds the emerging sun appears, And, thence exerting his refulgent ray,
The snappish cur (the passengers' annoy)
Close at my heel with yelping treble flies; Dispels the darkness, and reveals the day.
The whimpering girl, and hoarser screaming box, Force he prepared, but check'd the rash design;
Join to the yelping treble, shrilling crics;
The scolding quean to louder notes doth rise,
And her full pipes those shrilling cries confound; In her soft breast consenting passions move,
To her full pipes the grunting hog replies;
The grunting hoge alarm the neighbours round,
Hard by a sty, beneath a roof of thatch,
Dwelt Obloquy, who in her early days
Cod, whiting, oyster, mackrel, sprat, or plaice :
There learn'd she speech from tongues that sever
Slander beside her, like a magpie, chatters,
Her dugs were mark'd by every collier's hand,
Her mouth was black as bull dog's at the stall;
Such Lambeth, envy of each band and gown; There in bright drops the crystal fountains play,
Still from Apollo vindicates her shade,
Still turns her beauties from the invading beam, Ne Richmond's self, from whose tall front are eyed Nor seeks in vain for succour to the stream; Vales, spires, meandering streams, and Windsor's The stream at once preserves her virgin leaves, towery pride.
At once a shelter from her boughs receives,
And winter's coolness spite of summer's rays.
WHILE Celia's tears make sorrow bright,
Proud grief sits swelling in her eyes : We were too bless'd with these enchanting lays,
The sun, next those the fairest light, Which must be heavenly when an angel plays :
Thus from the ocean first did rise; But killing charms your lover's death contrive,'
And thus through mists we see the sun,
Which else we durst not gaze upon.
So from one cloud soft showers we view,
And blasting lightnings burst away.
Declare our doom is drawing nigh.
The baby in that sunny sphere
So like a Phaëton appears, COME, gentle air!' the Æolian shepherd said,
That heaven, the threaten'd world to spare, • While Procris panted in the secret shade ;
Thought fit to drown him in her tears :
Else might the ambitious nymph aspire
To set, like him, heaven too on fire.
EARL OF ROCHESTER.
SILENCE! coeval with eternity,
Thou wert, ere nature's self began to be; At random wounds, nor knows the wound she gives ; 'Twas one vast nothing, all, and all slept fast in thee. She views the story with attentive eyes,
Thine was the sway, ere heav'n was formed, or earth: And pities Procris, while her lover dies.
Ere fruitful thought conceived creation's birth,
Or midwife word gave aid, and spoke the infant forth. COWLEY.
The various elements against thee join'd
In one more various animal combined,
And framed the clamorous race of busy human-kind.
The tongue moved gently first, and speech was low, Where opening roses breathing sweets diffuse,
Till wrangling science taught it noise and show, And soft carnations shower their balmy dews;
And wicked wit arose, thy most abusive foe. Where lilies smile in virgin robes of white,
But rebel wit deserts thee oft in vain ; The thin undress of superficial light,
Lost in the maze of words he turns again, And varied tulips show so dazzling gay,
And seeks a surer state, and courts thy gentle reign. Blushing in bright diversities of day.
Afflicted sense thou kindly dost set free, Fach painted foweret in the lake below
Oppress'd with argumental tyranny, Surveys its beauties, whence its beauties grow ; And routed reason finds a safe retreat in thee. And pale Narcissus, on the bank, in vain
With thee in private modest dulness lies, Transformed, gazes on himself again.
And in thy bosom lurks in thought's disguise ; Here aged trees cathedral walks compose, And mount the hill in venerable rows;
Thou varnisher of fools, and cheat of all the wise! 'There the green infants in their beds are laid,
Yet thy indulgence is by both confess'd ; The garden's hope, and its expected shade.
Folly by thee lies sleeping in the breast, Jlere orange trees with blooms and pendants shinc, And 'tis in thee at last that wisdom seeks for rest. And vernal honours to their autumn join;
Silence, the knave's repute, the whore's good namne, Exceed their promise in their ripeo'd store,
The only honour of the wishing dame; Yet in the rising blossom promise more.
Thy very want of tongue makes thee a kind of fame.