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Such is the burst of bellowing Ætna's found,
When fair Sicilia's pastures thake around; 150
Such from Inarimè Typhæus roars,
While rattling rocks bestrew Campania's shores.
The listening god, still ready with replies,
To none his aid, or oracle, denies;
Yet, wise and righteous ever, scorns to hear
The fool's fond wishes, or the guilty's prayer ;
Though vainly in repeated vows they trust,
None e'er find grace before him, but the just.
Oft to a banilh'd, wandering, houseless race,
The sacred dictates have affign'd a place.
Oft from the strong he faves the weak in war :
This truth, ye Salaminian seas, declare !
And heals the barren land, and pestilential air.
Of all the wants with which this
is curlt, The Delphic filence surely is the worst.
165 But tyrants, justly fearful of their doom, Forbid the gods to tell us what's to come. Mean-while, the prophetess may well rejoice, And bless the ceasing of the sacred voice : Since death too oft her holy talk attends,
17. And immature her dreadful labour ends. Torn by the fierce distracting rage she springs, And dies beneath the god for whom she sings.
These filent caves, these Tripods long unmov'd, Anxious for Rome, inquiring Appius prov'd : 175 He bids the guardian of the dread abode Send in the trembling priestess to the god. P
The reverend fire the Latian chief obey'd,
And sudden seiz'd the unsuspecting maid,
Where careless in the peaceful grove the stray'd.
Dismay'd, aghaft, and pale, he drags her on;
She stops, and strives the fatal talk to shun:
Subdued by force, to fraud and art she flies,
And thus to turn the Roman's purpose tries :
What curious hopes thy wandering fancy move, 185
The filent Delphic oracle to prove ?
In vain, Ausonian Appius, art thou come ;
Long has our Phæbus and his cave been dumb.
Whether, disdaining us, the sacred voice
Has made some other distant land its choice; 19€
Or whether, when the fierce barbarians' fires
Low in the dust had laid our lofty fpires,
In heaps the mouldering afhes heavy rod,
And chok'd the channels of the breathing god :
Or whether heaven no longer gives replies, 195
But bids the Sibyls mystic verse suffice;
Or, if he deigns not this bad age to bear,
And holds the world unworthy of his care;
Whate er the cause, our god has long been mute,
And answers not to any suppliant's fuit.
But, ah! too well her artifice is known,
Her fears confess the god, whom they disown.
Howe'er, each rite she seemingly prepares ;
A fillet gathers up her foremost hairs;
While the white wreath and bays her temples bind, 205
And knit the looser locks which flow behind.
Sudden, the stronger priest, though yet the strives,
The lingering maid within the temple drives ;
But still the fears, still fhuns the dreadful thrine,
Lags in the outer space, and feigns the rage divine. 216
But far unlike the god, her calmer breast
No strong enthusiastic throes confeft;
No terrors in her starting hairs were seen,
To cast from off her brow the wreathing green;
No broken accents half obstructed hung,
Nor swelling murmurs roll her labouring tongue.
From her fierce jaws no sounding horrors come,
No thunders bellow through the working foam,
Torend the spacious cave, and shake the vaulted dome.
Too plain, the peaceful groves and fane betray'd 220
The wily, fearful, god-diffembling maid.
The furious Roman foon the fraud espy'd,
And, Hope not thou to 'scape my rage, he cry'd ;
Sore shalt thou rue thy fond deceit, profane,
(The gods and Appius are not mock'd in vain)
22 5 Unless thou cease thy mortal sounds to tell, Unless thou plunge thee in the mystic cell, Unless the gods themselves reveal the doom, Which shall befall the warring world and Rome.
He Spoke, and, aw'd, by the superior dread, 230 The trembling priestess to the Tripod Aed : Close to the holy breathing vent the cleaves, And largely the unwonted god receives. Nor age the potent spirit had decay’d, But with full force he fills the heaving maid ; 235 Nor e'er so strong inspiring Pran came, Nor stretch'd, as now, her agonizing frame : The mortal mind driv'n out forfook her breast, And the fole godhead every part posielt.
Now swell her veins, her turgid finews rise, 240
And bounding frantic through the cave she flies;
Her bristling locks the wreathy fillet scorn,
And her fierce feet the tumbling Tripods fpurn. : Now wild the dances o'er the vacant fane,
And whirls her giddy head, and bellows with the pain.
Nor yet the less th' avenging wrathful god 246
Pours in his fires, and shakes his founding rod :
He lathes now, and goads her on amain;
And now he checks her stubborn to the rein,
Curbs in her tongue, just labouring to disclose,
And speak that fate which in her bofom glows.
Ages on ages throng, a painful load,
Myriads of images, and myriads croud;
Men, times, and things, or present, or to come,
Work labouring up and down, and urge for room. 255
Whatever is, shall be, or e'er has been,
Rolls in her thought, and to her fight is seen.
The ocean's utmost bounds her eyes explore,
And number every sand on every shore ;
Nature, and all her works, at once they see, 260
Know when the first begun, and when her end shall be.
And as the Sity once in Cumæ’s cell, When vulgar fates the proudly ceas'd to tell, The Roman destiny diftinguith d took, And kept it careful in her facred book; - 265 So now, Phemonoë; in crouds of thought, The single doom of Latian Appius fought. Nor in that mass, where multitudes abound, A private fortune can with ease be found,
At length her foamy mouth begins to flow,
270 Groans more distinct, and plainer murmurs go : A doleful howl the roomy cavern shook, And thus the calmer maid in fainting accents spoke
While guilty rage the world tumultuous rends, In peace for thee, Eubea's vale attends;
275Thither, as to thy refuge, shalt thou fly, There find repose, and unmolested lye.. She said; the god her labouring tongue supprest, : And in eternal darkness veil'd the rest.
Ye sacred Tripods, on whose doom we wait! 280 Ye guardians of the future laws of fate! And thou, oh! Phoebus, whose prophetic skill ? Reads the dark counsels of the heavenly will;
Why did your wary oracles refrain,
$ To tell what kings, what heroes must be fain,
And how much blood the blushing earth should stain?
Was it that, yet, the guilt was undecreed?
That yet our Pompey was not doom'd to bleed?: .-
Or chose you wisely, rather, to afford
A just occafion to the patriot's sword ?
299 * As if you fear'd t'avert the tyrant's doom, And hinder Brutus from avenging Rome ?
Through the wide gates at length by force display'd, Impetuous fallies the prophetic maid; Nor yet the holy rage was all suppress’d,
295 Part of the god still heaving in her breast : Urg’d by the Dæmon, yet she rolls her eyes, And wildly wanders o'er the spacious skies. Now, horrid purple flushes in her face, ! And now a livid pale supplies the place;