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Out of the EIGHTH BOOK of

OVID'S METAMORPHOSES.

CONNECTION to the former STORY.

Ovid, having told how Thefeus had freed Athens from the tribute of children, which was imposed on them by Minos king of Creta, by killing the Minotaur, here makes a digrefion to the ftory of Meleager and Atalanta, which is one of the most inartificial connections in all the Metamorphofes : for he only says, that Thefeus obtained fuch honour from that combat, that all Greece had recourse to him in their necessities ; and, amongst others, Calydon; though the hero of that country, prince Meleager, was then living.

F

ROM him, the Caledonians fought relief;
Though valiant Meleagrus was their chief.
The cause, a boar, who ravag'd far and near:
Of Cynthia's wrath, th' avenging minifter.
For Oeneus, with autumnal plenty blefs'd,
In gifts to heaven his gratitude express'd :
Cull'd fheaves, to Ceres; to Lyæus, wine;
To Pan, and Pales, offer'd fheep and kine;
And fat of olives, to Minerva's fhrine.

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Beginning

Beginning from the rural Gods, his hand

Was liberal to the powers of high command:
Each Deity in every kind was bless'd,

Till at Diana's fane th' invidious honour ceas'd.
Wrath touches ev'n the Gods; the queen of night,
Fir'd with disdain, and jealous of her right,
Unhonour'd though I am, at least, faid she,
Not unreveng'd that impious act shall be.
Swift as the word, the sped the boar away,
With charge on those devoted fields to prey.
No larger bulls th' Ægyptian paftures feed,
And none fo large Sicilian meadows breed
His eye-balls glare with fire, fuffus'd with blood;
His neck shoots up a thickfet thorny wood;
His briftled back a trench impal'd appears,
And ftands erected, like a field of spears.
Froth fills his chaps, he fends a grunting found,
And part he churns, and part befoams the ground.
For tusks with Indian elephants he ftrove,

:

And Jove's own thunder from his mouth he drove.
He burns the leaves; the fcorching blaft invades
The tender corn, and shrivels-up the blades:
Or, fuffering not their yellow beards to rear,

He tramples down the spikes, and intercepts the year.
In vain the barns expect their promis'd load,
Nor barns at home, nor reeks are heap'd abroad :
In vain the hinds the threshing-floor prepare,
And exercise their flails in empty air.
With olives ever green the ground is strow'd,
And grapes ungather'd shed their generous blood.

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