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Soon, in a length of face, our head extends ;
Our chin stiff bristles bears, and forward bends.
A breadth of brawn new burnishes our neck;
Anon we grunt, as we begin to speak.
Alone Eurylochus refus'd to taste,
Nor to a beast obscene the man debas'd.
Hither Ulysses hastes (so Fates command)
And bears the powerful Moly in his hand;
Unsheaths his fcymitar, assaults the dame,
Preserves his species, and remains the same.
The nuptial right this outrage straight attends ;
The dower desir’d is his transfigur'd friends.
The incantation backwards the repeats,
Inverts her rod, and what she did defeats,
And now our skin grows smooth, our hape upright;
Our arms stretch up, our cloven feet unite.
With tears our weeping general we embrace ;
Hang on his neck, and melt upon his face ;
Twelve silver moons in Circe's court we stay,
Whilst there they waste th' unwilling hours away.
Twas here I spy'd a youth in Parian stone ;
His head a pecker bore; the cause unknown
To paslengers. A Nymph of Circe's train
The mystery thus attempted to explain.
Picus who once th’ Ausonian sceptre held,
Could rein the steed, and fit him for the field :
So like he was to what you see, that still
We doubt if real, or the sculptor's skill.
The Graces in the finish`d piece, you find,
Are but the copy of his fairer mind.
Four lustres scarce the royal youth could name,
Till every love-fick nyinph confess’d a flame.
Oft' for his love the mountain Dryads sued,
And every silver sister of the flood :
Those of Numicus, Albula, and those
Where Almo-creeps, and hasty. Nar o'erflows :
Where fedgy Anio glides through smiling meads,
Where shady Farfar ruftles in the reeds :
And those that love the lakes, and homage owe
To the chafte Goddess of the filver bow.
In vain each nymph her brightest charms put on,
His heart no sovereign would obey but one :
She whom Venilia, on Mount Palatine,
"To Janus bore the fairest of her line.
Nor did her face alone her charms confefs,
Her voice was ravishing, and pleas'd no less.
Whene'er fhe fung, so melting were her strains,
The flocks-unfed feem'd listening on the plains ;
The rivers would stand still, the cedars bend;
And birds neglect their pinions to attend ;
The savage kind in forest-wilds grow tame;
And Canens, from her heavenly voice, her name..
Hymen had now in some ill-fated hour
Their hands united, as their hearts before.
Whilst their soft moments in delights they waste,
And each new day was dearer than the past;
Picus would sometimes o'er the forests rove,
And mingle sports with intervals of love.
It chanc'd, as once the foaming boar he chac’d,
His jewels sparkling on his Tyrian vesi,
Lascivious Circe well the youth furvey'd,
As fimpling on the flowery hills the tray'd.
Her wishing eyes their tilent message tell,
And from her lap the verdant mischief fell.
As she attempts at words, his courser springs
O'er hills, and lawns, and ev'n a wish out wings.
Thou shalt not 'fcape me so, pronounc'd the dame,
If plants have power, and spells be not a naine.
She said--and forthwith form’d a boar of air,
That sought the covert with dillembled fear.
Swift to the thicket Picus winga his way
On foot, to chace the visionary prey.
Now the invokes the daughters of the night,
Does noxious juices smear, and charms recite ;
such as can veil the moon's more feeble fire,
Or Thade the golden luftre of her fire.
In filthy fogs The hides the chearful noon;
The guard at distance, and the youth alone :
By chose fair eyes, she cries, and every grace
That finish all the wonders of your face,
Oh! I conjure thee, hear a queen complain ;
Nor let the sun's soft lineage sue in vain.
Whoe'er thou art, reply'd the king, forbear,
None can my passion with my Canens share.
She first my every tender wish possest,
And found the soft approaches to my
breast, In nuptials blest, each loose desire we shun, Nor time can end what innocence begun.
Think not, the cry'd, to faunter out a life
Of form, with that domestic drudge a wife ;
My just revenge, dull foo!, ere long, shall show
What ills we women, if refus’d, can do :
Think me a woman, and a lover too.
From dear successful spite we hope for case,
Nor fail to punish, where we fail to please.
Now twice to east she turns, as oft' to west;
Thrice waves her wand, as oft' a charm exprest.
On the lost youth her magic power the tries ;
Aloft he springs, and wonders how he fies.
On painted plumes the woods he seeks, and still
The monarch oak he pierces with his bill.
Thus chang’d, no more o'er Larian lands he reigns;
Of Picus nothing but the name remains.
The winds from drizling damps now purge the air, The mists subside, the settling skies are fair : The court their sovereign feek with arms in hand, They threaten Circe, and their Lord demand.
Quick she invokes the spirits of the air,
And twilight elves, that on dun wings repair
To charnels, and th’unhallow'd sepulchre.
Now, strange to tell, the plants sweat drops of blool,
The trees are toss’d from forests where they food;
Blue serpents o'er the tainted herbage flide,
Pale glaring spectres on the æther ride ;
Dogs howl, earth yawns; rent rocks forsake their beds,
And from their quarries heave their stubborn liead's.
The sad fpectators, stiffen’d with their fears,
She sees, and sudden every limb the smears ;
Then each of savage beasts the figure bears.
The sun did now to western waves retire,
In tides to temper his bright world of fire.
Canens laments her royal husband's stay ;
Ill suits fond love with absence, or delay:
Where the commands, her ready people run ;
She wills, retracts; bids, and forbids anon.
Restless in mind, and dying with despair,
Her breasts she beats, and tears her flowing hair.
Six days and nights she wanders on, as chance
Directs, without or sleep, or fuftenance.
Tiber at last beholds the weeping fair ;
Her feeble limbs no more the mourner bear ;
Stretch'd on his banks, the to the flood complains,
And faintly tunes her voice to dying strains.
The fickening fwan thus hangs her silver wings,
And, as the droops, her elegy the fings :
Ere-long sad Canens wastes to air; whilst Fame
The place still honours with her hapless name.