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The Theban bends on earth his gloomy eyes, Confus’d, and sadly thus at length replies : Before these altars how shall I proclaim (Oh gen'rous prince) my nation or my name, Or thro' what veins our ancient blood has roll'd ?800 Let the sad tale for ever rest untold ! Yet if, propitious to a wretch unknown, You seek to share in sorrows not your own; Know then from Cadmus I derive my race, Jocasta's son, and Thebes my native place. To whom the King (who felt his gen'rous breast Touch'd with concern for his unhappy guest) Replies - Ah why forbears the fon to name His wretched father known too well by fame? Fame, that delights around the world to stray, 810 Scorns not to take our Argos in her way. E'en those who dwell where suns at distance roll, In northern wilds, and freeze beneath the pole: And those who tread the burning Libyan lands, The faithless Syrtes and the moving sands ; Who view the western sea's extremest bounds, Or drink of Ganges in their eastern grounds; All these the woes of Oedipus have known, Your fates, your furies, and your haunted town. If on the sons the parents crimes descend, 820 What Prince from those his lineage can defend?
Tu modo diffimilis rebus mereare secundis
Excusare tuos. sed jam temone supino
Languet Hyperboreae glacialis portitor ursae :
Fundite vina focis, servatoremque parentum
Latoïden votis iterumque iterumque canamus.
Phoebe parens, seu te Lyciae Pataraea nivosis
Exercent dumeta jugis, seu rore pudico 830
Caftaliae flavos amor est tibi mergere crines :
Seu Trojam Thymbraeus babes, ubi fama volentem
Ingratis Phrygios humeris subiiffe molares:
Scu juvat Aegaeum feriens Latonius umbra
Cynthus, et assiduam pelago non quaerere Delon:
Tela tibi, longeque feros lentandus in hoftes
Arcus, et aetherii dono ceflere parentes
Aeternum florere genas. tu doctus iniquas
Parcarum praenôffe minas, fatumque quod ultra eft,
Et fummo placitura Jovi. quis letifer annus,
Bella quibus populis, mutent quae sceptra cometae.
Tu Phrvga fubmittis citharae. tu matris honori
Terrigenam Tityon Stygiis extendis arenis.
"Te viridis Python, Thebanaque mater ovantem,
Be this thy comfort, that 'tis thine t'efface
With virtuous acts thy ancestor's disgrace,
And be thyself the honour of thy race.
But see! the stars begin to steal away,
And shine more faintly at approaching day ;
Now pour the wine; and in your tuneful lays
Once more refound the great Apollo's praise.
Oh father Phæbus! whether Lycia's coast
And snowy mountains, thy bright presence boast;
Whether to sweet Caftalia thou repair,
And bathe in filver dews thy yellow hair ;
Or pleas’d to find fair Delos float no more,
Delight in Cynthus, and the shady shore ;
Or chuse thy seat in Ilion's proud abodes,
The shining structures rais’d by lab’ring Gods,
By thee the bow and mortal shafts are born;
Eternal charms thy blooming youth adorn:
Skill'd in the laws of secret fate above,
And the dark counsels of almighty Jove, 840
'Tis thine the seeds of future war to know,
The change of Sceptres, and impending woe;
When direful meteors spread thro' glowing air
Long trails of light, and shake their blazing hair.
Thy rage the Phrygian felt, who durst aspire 845
T'excel the music of thy heav'nly lyre;
Thy shafts aveng'd lewd Tityus' guilty flame,
Th’immortal victim of thy mother's fame ;
Horruit in pharetris, ultrix tibi torva Megaera
Jejunum Phlegyam subter cava faxa jacentem
Aeterno premit accubitu, dapibusque profanis
Instimulat : fed mifta famem faftidia vincunt,
Adsis o memor hospitii, Junoniaque arva
Dexter ames. seu te roseum Titana vocari
Gentis Achaemeniae ritu, seu praestat Ofirin
Frugiferum, seu Persei sub rupibus antri
Indignata loqui torquentem cornua Mitram.
Thy hand flew Python, and the dame who loft
Her num'rous off-spring for a fatal boast.
In Phlegyas' doom thy just revenge appears,
Condemn'd to furies and eternal fears ;
He views his food, but dreads, with lifted eye,
The mouldring rock that trembles from on high.
Propitious hear our pray'r, O Pow'r divine ! 855
And on thy hospitable Argos shine
Whether the style of Titan please thee more,
Whose purple rays th’Achæmenes adore;
Or great Ofiris, who first taught the swain
In Pharian fields to sow the golden grain ;
860 Or Mitra, to whose beams the Persian bows, And pays, in hollow rocks, his awful vows; Mitra, whose head the blaze of light adorns, Who grafps the struggling heifer's lunar horns,