Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Still may they all their great example draw
From her Augustus, and thy own Nassau!
May the fair line cach happy realm adorn,
Bless future states, and nations yet unborn!"

Soon shall thy eyes a brighter scene survey
(Lo, the fleet hours already wing their way!)
When, to thy native soil in peace restor❜d,
Once more shall Gotha see her lawful lord.
True to religion, each successive son
Shall aid the cause their generous sires begun.
Even now I look through fate. O glorious sight!
see thy offspring as they rise to light.
What benefits to man! what lights divine!

ON THE

MARRIAGE OF FREDERIC PRINCE OF What heroes, and what saints adorn the line!
And oh to crown the scene, my joyful eyes
Behold from far a princely virgin rise!
This, this is she, the smiling Fates ordain
To bring the bright primeval times again!
The fair Augusta!-grac'd with blooming charms;
Reserv'd to bless a British prince's arms.
Behold, behold the long-expected day!
Fly swift, ye hours, ye minutes, haste away;
To wed the fair, O favour'd of the skies,
Rise in thy time, thou destin'd hero, rise!
For through this scene of opening fate, I see
A greater Frederic shall arise in thee!
Then let thy fears from this blest moment cease,
Henceforth shall pure religion reign in peace.
Thy royal race shall Albion's sceptre sway,
And son to son th' imperial power convey:
All shall support, like thee, the noble cause
Of truth, religion, liberty, and laws."

This said, the venerable shade retir'd:
The wondering hero, at the vision fir'd,
With generous rapture glows; forgets his pains,
Smiles at his woes, and triumphs in his chains.

WALES,

AND PRINCESS augusta of saxe-gotha'.

WHEN pious frauds and holy pride no more
Could hold that empire which so long they bore;
From fair Germania's states the truth began
To gleam, and shed her heavenly light on man;
To Frederic' first, the Saxon prince, 'twas given,
To nurse and cherish this blest gift of Heaven.
Its growth, whilst young and tender, was his care,
To guard its blossoms from th' inclement air,
And dying, " May'st thou flourish!" was his
prayer.

Again, when fair Religion now had spread
Her influence round, and rais'd her captiv'd Wead;
When Charles and Rome their impious forces join'd
To quench its light, and re-enslave mankind;
Another Frederic' first appear'd in arms,
To guard th' endanger'd blessing from alarms.
Ye Heavens! what virtues with what courage join'd!
But join'd in vain!-See, vanquish'd, and confin'd
In the deep gloom, the pious hero
And lifts to heaven his ever-streaming eyes.
There, spent with sorrows, as he sunk to rest
(The public cause still labouring in his breast),
Behold, in slumber, to his view display'd,
Rose the first Frederic's venerable shade!
His temples circled with a heavenly flame;
The same his flowing robe, his look the same.
"And art thou come?" (the captive warriour cries)
"What realms so long detained thee from our eyes
After such wars, such deaths and honours past,
Is our great guardian chief return'd at last?
Say, from your Heaven, so long desir'd in vain,
Descends our hero to our aid again?
Now when proud Rome, her standard wide unfurl'd,
Pours like a deluge o'er the trembling world;
Fierce, her disputed empire to restore,
And scourge mankind for ten dark ages more?
Like me, Religion wears the Tyrant's chain;
Prostrate like me, she bleeds at every vein :
Oh! must we never, never rise again?"
"Dismiss thy fears," (the reverend shade replies)
"Be firm, be constant, and absolve the skies.
Dark are the ways of Heaven: let man attend:
Soon will the regular confusion end.

[blocks in formation]

THE FIRST HYMN OF CALLIMACHUS TO
JUPITER.

WHILE trembling we approach Jove's awful shrine,
What theme more proper can we chose to sing,
With pure libations, and with rites divine;
Than Jove himself, the great, eternal king!
Whose word gives law to those of heavenly birth;
Whose hand subdues the rebel sons of Earth.
Since doubts and dark disputes thy titles move,
For here thy birth the tops of Ida claim,
Hear'st thou, Dictæan or Lycæan Jove?
And there Arcadia triumphs in thy name.
But Crete in vain would boast a grace so high,
Whose faithless sons through meer complexion lie:
Immortal as thou art in endless bloom,

To prove their claim, they build the thunderer's
Of steep Parrhasia welcom'd thee to light;
Be then Arcadian, for the towering height (tomb.
When pregnant Rhæa, wandering through the wood,
Sought out her darkest shades, and bore the god;
The place thus hallow'd by the birth of Jove,
The gloom all teeming females still decline,
More than religious horrour guards the grove :
From the vile worm, to woman, form divine.
She sought a spring to bathe the recent god;
Soon as the mother had discharg'd her lord,
Though since, the waters drench the realms around.
But sought in vain: no living stream she found,
Clear Erymanthus had not learn'd to glide,
Nor mightier Ladon drove his swelling tide,
Tall towering oaks, and pathless forests rose.
At thy great birth, where row Iäon flows,
The thirsty savages were heard to roar,
Where Cario softly murmurs to the shore ;

Where spreading Melas widely floats the coast,
The flying chariot rais'd a cloud of dust.
With drowth o'er Cratis and Menope curst,
The fainting swain, to aggravate his thirst,
Heard from within the bubbling waters flow,
In close restraint, and murnur froin below.

"Thou too, O Earth," (enjoin'd the power divine)
"Bring forth; thy pangs are less severe than mine,
And sooner past;" she spoke, and as she spoke
Rear'd bigh her scepter'd arm and pierc'd the rock.
Wide to the blow the parting mountain rent,
The waters gush'd tumultuous at the vent,
Impatient to be freed; amid the flood

Vulcan presides o'er all who bear the mass,
Bend the tough steel, and shape the tortur'd brass.
Diana those adore who spread the toils;
To Mars the warrior dedicates his spoils.
The bard to Phoebus strikes the living strings,
Jove's royal province is the care of kings;
For kings submissive hear thy high decree,
And hold their delegated powers from thee.
Thy name the judge and legislator awes,
When this enacts, and that directs the laws :
Cities and realms thy great protection prove;
These bend to monarchs, as they bend to Jove.

|

Full soon, almighty king, thy early prime
Advanc'd beyond the bounds of vulgar time.
Ere the soft down had cloth'd thy youthful face,
Swift was thy growth in wit and every grace.
Fraught was thy mind in life's beginning stage,
With all the wisdom of experienc'd age:
Thy elder brothers hence their claims resign,
And leave the unbounded Heavens by merit thine;
For sure those poets fable, who advance
The bold assertion, that capricious chance
By equal lots to Saturns sons had given
The triple reign of Ocean, Hell, and Heaven.
Above blind chance the vast division lies,
And Hell holds no proportion to the skies.
Things of a less, and equal value, turn
On the blind lot of an inverted urn.
Not chance, O Jove, attain'd Heaven's high abodes,
But thy own power advanc'd thee o'er the gods,
Thy power, that whirls thy rapid chariot on,
Thy power, the great assessor of thy throne.
Dismist by thee, th' imperial eagle flies
Charg'd with thy signs and thunders through the
To me and mine glad omens may she bring, [skies:
And to the left extend her golden wing.

Thou to inferior gods hast well assign'd
The various ranks and orders of mankind :
Of these the wandering merchants claim the care;
Of those the poets, and the sons of war:
Kings claim from thee their titles and their reign
O'er all degrees, the soldier and the swain.

Though to thy scepter'd sons thy will extends,
The proper means proportion'd to their ends;
All are not favour'd in the same degree,
For power supreme belongs to Ptolemy; -
What no inferior limitary king,

She plung'd the recent babe; and bath'd the god.
She wrapp'd thee, mighty king, in purple bands,
Then gave the sacred charge to Neda's hands,
The babe to nourish in the close retreat,
And in the safe recess, of distant Crete.
In years and wisdom, of the nymphs who nurst
The infant thunderer, Neda was the first;
Next Styx and Phylirè; the virgin shar'd
For her great trust discharg'd a great reward:
For by her honour'd name the flood she calls,
Which rolls into the sea by Leprion's walls;
To drink her streams the sons of Arcas crowd,
And draw for ever from the ancient flood.

Hail Saturn's mighty son, to whom we owe
Life, health, and every blessing here below!
Who shall in worthy strains thy name adorn?
What living bard? what poet yet unborn?

Thee, Jove, the careful nymph to Cnossus bore, Hail and all hail again; in equal shares
(To Cnossus seated on the Cretan shore)
With joyful arms the Corybantes heav'd,
And the proud nymphs the glorious charge receiv'd.
Above the rest in grace Adraste stood,
She rock'd the golden cradle of the god;
On his ambrosial lips the goat distill'd
Her milky store, and fed th' immortal child:
With her the duteous bee presents her spoils,
And for the god repeats her flowery toils.

The fierce Curetes too in arms advance,
And tread tumultuously their mystic dance:
And, lest thy cries should reach old Saturn's ear,
Beat on their brazen shields the din of war.

Could in a length of years to ripeness bring,
Sudden his word perforins: his boundless power
Compleats the work of ages in an hour:
While others labour through a wretched reign,
Their schemes are blasted, and their counsels vain.

Give wealth and virtue, and indulge our prayers.
Hear us, great king, unless they meet combin'd,
Each is but half a blessing to mankind.

Then grant us both, that blended they may prove
A doubled happiness, and worthy Jove.

THE

SECOND HYMN OF CALLIMACHUS TO
APOLLO.

HA! how Apollo's hallow'd laurel's wave?
How shakes the temple from its inmost care?
Fly, ye profane; for lo; in heavenly state
The power descends, and thunders at the gate.
See, how the Delian palms with reverence nod!
Hark! how the tuneful swans confess the, god!
Leap from your hinges, burst your brazen bars,
Ye sacred doors; the god, the god appears.
Ye youth, begin the song; in choirs advance;
Wake all your lyres, and form the measur'd dance.
No impious wretch his holy eyes have view'd,
None but the just, the innocent, and good.
To see the power confest your minds prepare,
Refin'd from guilt, and purify'd by prayer.
So may you mount in youth the nuptial bed,
So grace with silver hairs your aged head;
So the proud walls with lofty turrets crown,
And lay foundations for the rising town.

Apollo's song with awful silence hear;
Ev'n the wild seas the sacred song revere:
Nor wretched Thetis dares to make her moan,
For great Apollo slew her darling son.
When the loud Iö Pæans ring around,

She checks her sighs, and trembles at the sound.
Fixt in her grief must Niobe appear,

Nor through the Prygian marble drop a tear;
Still, though a rock, she dreads Apollo's bow,
And stands her own sad monument of woe.

Sound the loud lös, and the temple rend, With the blest gods 'tis impious to contend.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

In his audacious rage would brave the skies
He, who the power of Ptolemy defies,

(From whence the mighty blessing was bestow'd)
Or challenge Phoebus, and resist the god.
Beyond the night your hallow'd strains prolong,
Till the day rises on th' unfinish'd song.
Nor less his various attributes require,
So shall he honour, and reward the choir;
For honour is his gift, and high above
He shines, and graces the right-hand of Jove:
With beamy gold his robes divinely glow,
His harp, his quiver, and his Lictian bow;
His feet how fair and glorious to behold!.
Shod in rich sandals of refulgent gold!
Wealth still attends him, and vast gifts bestow'd,
Adorn the Delphic temple of the god.
Eternal charms his youthful cheeks diffuse;
His tresses dropping with ambrosial dews,
Pale Death before him flies, with dire Disease,
And Health and Life are wafted in the breeze.

To thee, great Phœbus, various arts belong, To wing the dart, and guide the poet's song: Th' enlighten'd prophet feels thy flames divine, And all the dark events of lots are thine. By Phoebus taught the sage prolongs our breath, And in its flight suspends the dart of Death.

To thy great name, O Nomian power, we cry, Ere since the time when, stooping from the sky, To tend Admetus' herds thy godhead chose, On the fair banks where clear Amphrysus flows: Blest are the herds, and blest the flocks, that lie Beneath the influence of Apollo's eye. The meads re-echo'd to the bleating lambs, And the kids leap'd, and frisk'd around their dams; Her weight of milk each ewe dragg'd on with pain, And dropp'd a double offspring on the plain.

On great Apollo for his aid we call,

f

To build th' town and raise th' embattled wall:
He, while an infant, fram'd the wondrous plan,
In fair Ortygia, for the use of man.
When young Diana urg'd her sylvan toils,
From Cynthus' tops she brought her savage spoils;
The heads of mountain-goats, and antlers lay
Spread wide around, the trophies of the day:
Of these a structure he compos'd with art,
In order rang'd and just in every part ;
And by that model taught us to dispose
The rising city, and with walls enclose;
Where the foundations of the pile should lie,
Or towers and battlements should reach the sky.

a

Apollo sent th' auspicious crow before,
When our great founder touch'd the Libyan shore:
Full on the right he flew to call him on,
And guide the people to their destin'd town;
Which to a race of kings Apollo vow'd,
And fix'd for ever stands the promise of the god.
Or hear'st thou, while thy honours we proclaim,
Thy Boëdromian, or thy Clarian name?
(For to the power are various names assign'd
From cities raised, and blessings to mankind.)
In thy Carnean title I rejoice,

And join my, grateful country's public voice.
Ere to Cyrene's realms our course we bore,
Thrice were we led by thee from shore to shore;
Till our progenitor the region gain'd,
And annual rites and annual feasts ordain'd:
When at thy prophet Carnus' will, we rais'd
A glorious temple; and the altars blaz'd
With hecatombs of bulls, whose reeking blood,
Great king, they shed to thee their guardian god.

Iö! Carnean Phoebus! awful power! Whom fair Cyrene's suppliant sons adore! To deck thy hallow'd temple, see! we bring The choicest flowers, and rifle all the Spring: The most distinguish'd odours Nature yields, When balmy Zephyr bratthes along the fields; Soon as the sad inverted year retreats, To thee the crocus dedicates his sweets. From thy bright altars hallow'd flames aspire; They shine incessant from the sacred fire. What joy, what transport, swells Apollo's breast, When at his great Carnean annual feast, Clad in their arms our Lybian tribes advance, Mixt with our swarthy dames, and lead the dance. Nor yet the Greeks had reach'd Cyrene's floods; But rov'd through wild Azilis' gloomy woods; Whom to his nymph Apollo deign'd to show, High as he stood on tall Myrtusa's brow; Where the fierce lion by her hands was slain, Who in his fatal rage laid waste the plain. Still to Cyrene are his gifts convey'd, In dear remembrance of the ravish'd maid; Nor were her sons ungrateful, who bestow'd Their choicest honours on their guardian god.

Iö! with holy raptures sing around; We owe to Delphos the triumphant sound. When they victorious hands vouchsaf'd to show The wonders of thy shafts and golden bow; When Python from his den was seen to rise, Dire, fierce, tremendous, of enormous size; By thee with many a fatal arrow slain, The monster sunk extended on the plain! Shaft after shaft in swift succession flew ; As swift the people's shouts and prayers pursue. lö, Apollo, lanch thy flying dart; Send it, oh! send it to the monster's heart. When thy fair mother bore thee, she design'd Her mighty son, a blessing to mankind.

Envy, that other plague and fiend, drew near; And gently whisper'd in Apollo's ear: "No poet I regard but him whose lays Are swelling, loud, and boundless as the seas;" Apollo spurn'd the fury, and reply'd, "The vast Euphrates rolls a mighty tide; With rumbling torrents the rough river roars; But black with mud, discolour'd from his shores, Prone down Assyria's lands his course he keeps, And with polluted waters stains the deeps. But the Melissan nymphs to Ceres bring The purest product of the limpid spring; Small is the sacred stream, but never stain'd With mud, or foul ablutions from the land."

Hail, glorious king! beneath thy matchless power May malice sink, and envy be no more!

TO SIR JAMES THORNHILL,

ON HIS EXCELLENT PAINTING, THE RAPE OF HELEN, AT THE SEAT OF GENERAL ERLE IN DORSETSHIRE WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1718.

COULD I with thee, O Thornhill, bear a part,
And join the poet's with the painter's art,
(Though both share mutually each common name
Their thoughts, their genius and design the same!)
The Muse, with features neither weak nor faint,
Should draw her sister art in speaking paint.

But while admiring thine and Nature's strife,
I see each touch just starting into life,
From side to side with various raptures tost,
Amid the visionary scenes I'm lost.

Methinks, as thrown upon some fairy land,
Amaz'd we know not how, nor where we stand;
While tripping phantoms to the sight advance,
And gay ideas lead the mazy dance :
While wondering we behold in every part
The beauteous scenes of thy creating art.

By such degrees thy colours rise and fall,
And breathing flush the animated wall;
That the bright objects which our eyes survey,
Ravish the mind, and steal the soul away;
Our footsteps by some secret power are orost,
And in the painter all the bard is lost.

Thus in a magic ring we stand confin'd
While subtle spells the fatal circle bind ;
In vain we strive and labour to depart,
Fix'd by the charms of that mysterious art;
In vain the paths and avenues we trace,
While spirits guard and fortify the place.

How could my stretch'd imagination swell,
And on each regular proportion dwell!
While thy swift art unravels Nature's maze,
And imitates her works, and treads her ways,
Nature with wonder sees herself out-done,
And claims thy fair creation for her own;
Thy figures in such lively strokes excel,
They give those passions which they seem to feel.
Each various feature some strong impulse bears,
Wraps us in joy, or melts us all to tears.
Each piece with such transcendent art is wrought,
That we could almost say thy pictures thought;
When we behold thee conquer in the strife,
And strike the kindling figures into life,
Which does from thy creating pencil pass,
Warm the dull matter, and inspire the mass;
As fam'd Prometheus' wand convey'd the ray
Of heavenly fire to animate his clay.

How the just strokes in harmony unite!
How shades and darkness recommend the light!
No lineaments unequally surprise;
The beauties regularly fall and rise.
Lost in each other we in vain pursue
The fleeting lines that cheat our wearied view.
Nor know we how their subtle courses run,
Nor where this ended, nor where that begun.
Nor where the shades their utmost bounds display,
Or the light fades insensibly away;

But all harmoniously confus'd we see,
While all the sweet varieties agree.

Thus when the organ's solemn airs aspire, The blended music wings our thoughts with fire; Here warbling notes in whispering breezes sigh, But in their birth the tender accents die; While thence the bolder notes exulting come, Swell as they fly, and bound along the dome. With transport fir'd, each lost in each we hear, And all the soul is center'd in the ear.

See first the senate of the gods above, Frequent and full amid the courts of Jove: Behold the radiant consistory shine, With features, airs, and lineaments divine. Hermes dispatch'd from the bright council flies, And cleaves with all his wings the liquid skies. In many a whirl and rapid circle driven So swift, he seems at once in Earth and Heaven. Oh! with what energy! what noble force Of strongest colours you describe his course?

Till the swift god the Phrygian shepherd found
Compos'd for sleep, and stretch'd along the ground
He brings the blooming gold, the fatal prize,
The bright reward of Cytherea's eyes.
The conscious Earth the awful signal takes,
Without a wind the quivering forest shakes;
Tall Ida bows; the unwieldy mountains nod;
And all confess the presence of the god.

Like shooting meteors, gliding from above,
See the proud consort of the thundering Jove,
War's glorious goddess, and the queen of love;
Arm'd in their naked charms, the Phrygian boy
Regards those charms with mingled fear and joy.
Here Juno stands with an imperial mein,
At once confest a goddess and a queen.
Her cheeks a scornful indignation warms,
Blots out her smiles, as conscious of her charms.
But Venus shines in milder beauties there,
And every grace adorns the blooming fair.
While, conscious of her charms, she seems to rise,
Claims, and already grasps in hope the prize;
Beauteous, as when immortal Phidias strove
From Parian rocks to carve the queen of love;
Each grace obey'd the summons of his art,
And a new beauty sprung from every part.
In all the terrours of her beauty bright,
Fair Pallas awes and charms the Trojan's sight,
And gives successive reverence and delight.

Nor thrones, nor victories, his soul can move;
Crowns, arins, and triumphs, what are you to love!
Too soon resign'd to Venus, they behold
The glittering ball of vegetable gold.

While Jove's proud consort thrown from her desires,
Inflam'd with rage maliciously retires;
Already kindles her immortal hate,
Already labours with the Trojan fate.
While a new transport flush'd the blooming boy,
Helen he seems already to enjoy,

And feeds the flame that must consume his Troy.
Another scene our wondering sight recalls;
The fair adultress leaves her native walls:
Her cheeks are stain'd with mingled shame and
joy;

Lull'd on the bosom of the Phrygian boy.
To the loud deeps he bears his charming spouse,
Freed from her lord, and from her former vows.
On their soft wings the whispering zephyrs play,
The breezes skim along the dimpled sea:
The wanton Loves direct the gentle gales,
Sport in the shrouds, and flutter in the sails.
While her twin-brothers' with a gracious ray
Point out her course along the watery way.

Th' exalted strokes so delicately shine, All so conspire to push the bold design; That in each sprightly feature we may find The great ideas of the master's mind, As the strong colours faithfully unite, Mellow to shade, and ripen into light. Let others form with care the ruddy mass, And torture into life the running brass, With potent art the breathing statue mould, Shape and inspire the animated gold; Let others sense to Parian marbles give, Bid the rocks leap to form and learn to live; Still be it thine, O Thornhill, to unite The pleasing discord of the shade and light; To vanquish Nature in the generous strife, And touch the glowing features into life.

1 Castor and Pollux.

[merged small][ocr errors]

One from this crowd exclaim'd (whose lawless will
Inur'd to crimes, and exercis'd in ill,
Taught his preposterous joys from pains to flow,
And never triumph'd, but in scenes of woe)
"Go to thy province in the realms above,
Call'd by the Furies or the will of Jove:
Or drawn by magic force or mystic spell,
Rise, and purge off the sooty gloom of Hell.
Go, see the Sun, and whiten in his beams,
Or haunt the flowery fields and limpid streams,
With woes redoubled to return again,
When thy past pleasures shall enhance thy pain."

Now by the Stygian dog they bent their way;
Stretch'd in his den the dreadful monster lay;
But lay not long, for, startling at the sound,
Head above head he rises from the ground.
From their close folds his starting serpents break,
And curl in horrid circles round his neck.
This saw the god, and, stretching forth his hand,
Lull'd the grim monster with his potent wand;
Through his vast bulk the gliding slumbers creep,
And scal down all his glaring eyes in sleep.
There lies a place in Greece well known to Fame,
Through all her realms, and Tænarus the name,
Where from the sea the tops of Malea rise,
Beyond the ken of mortals, to the skies:
Proud in his height he calmly hears below
The distant winds in hollow murmurs blow.
Here sleep the storms when weary'd and opprest,
And on his head the drowsy planets rest:
There in blue mists ..is rocky sides he shrouds,
And here the towering mountain props the clouds;
Above his awful brow no bird can fly,

Draw the triumphant chief, and vanquish'd foe:
In his own dome, amid the spacious walls,
Draw the deep squadrons of the routed Gauls;
Their ravish'd banners, and their arms resign'd,
While the brave hero thunders from behind;
Pours on their front, or hangs upon their rear ;
Fights, leads, commands, and animates the war.
Let his strong courser champ his golden chain,
And proudly paw th' imaginary plain.
To Aghrim's bloody wreaths let Cressi yield,
With the fair laurels of Ramillia's field.

Next, on the sea the daring hero show,
To cheer his friends, and terrify the foe.
Lo! the great chief to famish'd thousands bears,
The food of armies, and support of wars.
The Britons rush'd, with native virtue fir'd,
And quell'd the foe, or gloriously expir'd;
Plunging through flames and floods, their valour
O'er the rang'd cannon, and a night of smoke, [broke
Through the wedg'd legions urg'd their noble toil,
To spend their thunder on the towers of Lisle ;.
While by his deeds their courage he inspires,
And wakes in every breast the sleeping fires.
Thus the whole series of his labours join,
Stretch'd from the Belgic ocean to the Boyne.

Then glorious in retreat the chief may read
Th' immortal actions of the noble dead;
And in recording colours, with delight
Review his conquests and enjoy the fight;
See his own deeds on each ennobled plain;
While fancy acts his triumphs o'er again.

Thus on the Tyrian walls Æneas read,
How stern Achilles rag'd and Hector bled;
But half unsheath'd his sword, and grip'd his shield,
When he amidst the scene himself beheld,
Thundering on Simois' banks or battling in the field.

PART OF

THE SECOND BOOK OF STATIUS.

Now Jove's command fulfill'd, the son of May
Quits the black shade, and slowly mounts to day,
For lazy clouds in gloomy barriers rise,
Obstruct the god, and intercept the skies;
No Zephyrs here their airy pinions move,
To speed his progress to the realms above.
Scarce can he steer his dark laborious flight,
Lost and encumber'd in the damps of night:
There roaring tides of fire his course withstood,
Here Styx in nine wide circles roll'd his flood.
Behind old Laius trod th' infernal ground,
Trembling with age, and tardy from his wound:
(For all his force his furious son apply'd,
And plung'd the guilty falchion in his side.)
Propt and supported by the healing rod,
The shade pursued the footsteps of the god.
The groves that never bloom, the Stygian coasts,
The house of woe, the mansions of the ghosts;
Earth too admires to see the ground give way,
And gild Hell's horrors with the gleams of day.
But not with life repining Envy fled,
She still reigns there, and lives among the dead.

And far beneath the muttering thunders die
When down the steep of Heaven the day descends,
The Sun so wide his floating bound extends,
That o'er the deeps the mountain hangs display'd,
And covers half the ocean with his shade:
Where the Tænarian shores oppose the sea,
The land retreats, and winds into a bay.
Here for repose imperial Neptune leads,
Tir'd from th' Egean floods, his smoaking steeds;
With their broad hoofs they scoop the beach away,
Their finny train rolls back, and floats along the sea,
Here Fame reports th' unbody'd shades to go
Through this wide passage to the realms below,
From hence the peasants (as th' Arcadians tell)
Hear all the cries, and groans, and din of Hell.
Oft, as her scourge of snakes the fury plies,
The piercing echoes mount the distant skies;
Scar'd at the porter's triple roar, the swains
Have fled astonish'd, and forsook the plains.

From hence emergent in a mantling cloud Sprung to his native skies the winged god. Swift from his face before th' ethereal ray, Flew all the black Tartarean stains away, And the dark Stygian gloom refin'd to day. O'er towns and realms he held his progress on, Now wing'd the skies where bright Arcturus shone, And now the silent empire of the Moon. The Power of Sleep, who met his radiant flight, And drove the solemn chariot of the night, Rose with respect, and from th' empyreal road Turn'd his pale steeds, in reverence to the god. The shade beneath pursues his course, and spies The well-known planets and congenial skies. His eyes from far, tall Cyrrha's heights explore, And Phocian fields polluted with his gore. At length to Thebes he came, and with a groan urvey'd the guilty palace once his own;

« AnteriorContinuar »