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While all his sad companions upward gaze,
This golden bowl with generous juice was crown'd.
While with rich gums the fuming altar) blaze,
Then thus the king : 'Perbaps, my noble guests !
• When by a thousand darts the Python slaio With orbs unroll'd lay covering all the plain, (Transtix'd as o'er Castalia's streams he hung, And suck'd new poisons with his triple tongue) To Argos' realms the victor god resorts, And enters old Crotopos' humble courts. This rural prince one only daughter bless'd, That all the charms of blooming youth possess'd; Fair was her face, and spotless was her mind, Where filial love with virgin sweetness join'd: Happy! and happy still she might have prov'd, Were she less beautiful, or less belov'd! But Phæbus lov'd, and on the flowery side Of Nemea's stream the yielding fair enjoy'd.
Now ere ten moons their orb with light adorn,
How mean a fate, unhappy child, is thine!
• But touch'd with sorrow for the deed too late, The raging god prepares to' avevge her fate. He sends a monster, horrible and fell, Begot by furies in the depths of hell. The pest a virgin's face and bosom bears ; High on her crown a rising spake appears, Guards her black front, and hissses in her hairs :S About the realm she walks her dreadful round, When ght with sable wings o'erspreads the
Devours young babes before their parents' eyes, And feeds and thrives on public miseries.
• But generous rage the bold Choræbus warms, Choræbus ! fam'd for virtue as for arms; Some few, like him, inspir'd with martial tlame, Thought a short life well lost for endless fame. These, where two ways in equal parts divide, The direful monster from afar descry'd, Two bleeding babes depending at her side; Whose panting vitals, warm with life, she draws, And in their hearts imbrúes her cruel claws. The youths surround her with extended spears; But brave Choræbus in the front appears; Deep in her breast be plung'd his shining sword, And hell's dire mooster back to hell restori'd. The’ Inachians view the slain with vast sorprise, Her twisting volumes, and her rolling eyes, Her spotted breast and gaping womb imbrued With livid poison and our children's blood. The crowd in stupid wonder fix'd appear, Pale ev'n in joy, nor yet forget to fear. Some with vast beams the squalid corse engage, And weary all the wild efforts of rage. The birds obscene, that nightly flock'd to taste, With hollow screeches fled the dire repast; And ravenous dogs, allurd hy scented blood, And starving wolves, ran howling to the wood.
“But tir’d with rage, from cleft Parnassus' brow Avenging Phæbns bent his deadly bow, And hissing flew the feather'd fates below: A night of sultry clouds involv'd around The towers, the fields, and the devoted ground: And now a thousand lives together filed, Death with his scythe cut off the fatal thread, And a whole province in his triumpha led.
• But Phæbus, ask'd why noxious fires appear, And raging Sirius blasts the sickly year? Demands their lives by whom his monster fell, And dooms a dreadful sacrifice to hell.
• Bless'd be thy dust, and let eternal fame
'“ With piety, the soul's securest guard,
Merit distress'd impartial Heaven relieves Unwelcome life relepting Phæbus gives ;
For not the vengeful power, that glow'd with rage,
pease. • But say, illustrious guest! (adjoin'd the king) What name you bear, from what high race you
The 'Theban bends on earth his gloomy eyes,
• Before these altars how shall I proclaim (O generous prince !) my nation or my name, Or through what veins our ancient blood has roll'd? 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 generous breast Touch'd with concern for his unhappy guest) Replies—Ah! why forbears the son to name His wretched father, known too well by fame? Fame, that delights around the world to stray, Scorns not to take our Argos in her way. Ev'n those who dwell where suos at distance roll, In northern wilds, asd freeze beueath the pole,