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While all his sad companions upward gaze,
Fix'd on the glorious scene in wild amaze,
And the swift honnds, affrighted as he flies,
Run to the shade, and bark against the skies.
This golden bowl with generous juice was crown'd.
The first libation sprinkled on the ground,
By turns on each celestial power they call;
With Phæbus' name resounds the vaulted ball.
The courtly train, the strangers, and the rest,
Crown'd with chaste laurel, and with garlands
dress’d, While with rich gums the fuming altar) blaze, Salute the god in numerous hymns of praise.
Then thus the king : Perbaps, my noble guests! These honour'd altars, and these anuval feasts
Unknown, with wonder may perplex your mind.
Great was the cause: our old solemnities
From po blind zeal or fond tradition rise;
But sav'd from death, our Argives yearly pay
These grateful honours to the god of day.
When by a thousand darts the Python slaio
With orbs unrolld lay covering all the plain,
(Trapstix'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,
The' illustrious offspring of the god was born;
The nymph, her father's anger to evade,
Retires from Argos to the silvan shade;
To woods and wilds the pleasing burden bears,
And trusts her infant to a shepherd's cares.
How mean a fate, unhappy child, is thine!
Ah! how unworthy those of race divine !
On flowery herbs in some green covert laid,
His bed the ground, his canopy the shade,
He mixes with the bleating lambs his cries,
While the rude swain his rural music tries,
To call soft slumbers on his infant eyes.
Yet ev'n in those obscure abodes to live
Was more, alas! than cruel fate would give;
For on the grassy verdure as he lay,
And breath'd the freshness of the early day,
Devouring dogs the helpless infạnt tore,
Fed on his trembling limbs, and lapp'd the gore.
The' astonish'd mother, wheu the rumour came,
Forgets her father, and neglects her fame;
With loud complaints she fills the yielding air,
And beats her breast, and rends her flowing hair;
Then wild with anguislı to her sire she flies,
Demands the sentence, and contented dies.
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 :)
About the realm she walks her dreadful round,
When night 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 flame, 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 imbrues 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 monster back to hell restor'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, allur'd by scented blood, And starving wolves, ran howling to the wood.
“But tir'd with rage, from cleft Parnassus' brow Avenging Phæbus bent his deadly bow, And hissing flew the feather'd fates below : ) A night of sultry clouds involvd around The towers, the fields, and the devoted ground: And now a thousand lives together fled, Death with his scythe cut off the fatal thread, And a whole province in his triumph 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
Attend thy manes, and preserve thy name,
Undaunted hero! wbo, divinely brave,
In such a cause disdain'd thy life to save,
But view'd the shrine with a superior look,
And its upbraided godhead thus bespoke :
'“ With piety, the soul's securest guard,
And conscious virtue, still its own reward,
Willing I come, unknowing how to fear,
Nor shalt thou, Phæbus, find a suppliant here :
Thy monster's death to me was ow'd alone,
And 'tis a deed too glorious to disown.
Behold him here, for wbom, so many days,
lmpervious clouds conceal'd thy sullen rays;
For whom, as man no longer claim'd thy care,
Such numbers fell by pestilential air!
But if the'abandon'd race of human kind
From gods above no more compassion find;
It such inclemency in heaven can dwell,
Yet why must unoffendivg Argos feel
The vengeance due to this unlucky steel?
On me, on me, let all thy fury fall,
Nor err from me, since I deserve it all,
Upless our desert cities please thy sight,
Or funeral flames reflect a grateful light.
Discharge thy shafts, this ready bosom rend,
And to the shades a ghost triumphant send;
But for my country let my fate atone;
Be mine the vengeance, as the crime my own.'
Merit distress'd impartial Heaven relieves Unwelcome life relepting Phæbus gives ;
For not the vengeful power, that glow'd with rage,
With such amazing virtue durst engage.
The clouds dispers’d, Apollo's wrath expir’d,
And from the wondering god the' unwilling youth
Thence we these altars in his temple raise,
And offer annual honours, feasts, and praise ;
These solemn feasts propitious Phæbus please;
These honours, still renew'd, his ancient wrath ap-
pease. • But say, illustrious guest! (adjoin'd the king) What name you bear, from what high race you
The noble Tydeus stands confess'd, and known
Our neighbour prince, and heir of Calydon:
Relate your fortuves, while the friendly night
And silent hours to various talk iovite.'
The Theban bends on earth his gloomy eyes,
Confus'd and sadly thus at length replies :-
• Before these altars how shall I proclaim (O generous prince !) my nation or my name, Or through what veins our ancient blood has rollid? 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, Scorps 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,