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My song shall elder fables leave,
And of thy parent say, That, when in heaven a favour'd guest, He call’d the gods in turns to feast On Sipylus, his mountain home :The sovereign of the ocean foam, -Can mortal form such favour prove ?Rapt thee on golden car above To highest house of mighty Jove ;
To which, in after day, Came golden-haired Ganymede, As bard in ancient story read,
The dark-wing'd eagle's prey.
And when no earthly tongue could tell
Some envious neighbour's spleen,
Thy mangled limbs were seen.-
But who shall tax, I dare not, I,
That head was Lydia's lord.
Above his nature soar'd.And now, condemn'd to endless dread, (Such is the righteous doom of fate) He eyes, above his guilty head, The shadowy rocks' impending weight :The fourth, with that tormented three In horrible society
For that, in frantic theft,
The nectar cup he reft, And to his mortal peers in feasting pour'd
For whom a sin it were
With mortal life to share The mystic dainties of th' immortal board : And who by policy
Can hope to 'scape the eye Of him who sits above by men and gods ador'd ?
For such offence, a doom severe,
Nor call'd in vain, through cloud and storm
The god of waters came.-
Have felt a lover's flame, A lover's prayer in pity hear, Repel the tyrant's brazen spear
That guards my lovely dame !And grant a car whose rolling speed May help a lover at his need ; Condemn’d by Pisa's hand to bleed, Unless I win the envied meed
In Elis' field of fame!
For youthful knights thirteen
By him have slaughter'd been,
Such to a coward's eye
Were evil augury ;Nor durst a coward's heart the strife essay !
Yet, since alike to all
The doom of death must fall,
Wear out a nameless life,
Remote from noble strife, And all the sweet applause to valour paid ?--Yes !--I will dare the course! but, thou, Immortal friend, my prayer allow !”—
Thus, not in vain, his grief he told--
The ruler of the wat’ry space
Bestow'd a wondrous car of gold,
And tireless steeds of winged pace.So, victor in the deathful race,
He tam'd the strength of Pisa's king,
Beheld a stock of warriors spring,
with fame and virtue crown'd,
Near that blest spot where strangers move In many a long procession round
The altar of protecting Jove.-
But what are past or future joys ?
The present is our own !