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The fappy parts, and next resembling juice,
Were turn’d to moisture, for the body's ule :
Supplying humours, blood, and nourishment :
The rest, too solid to receive a bent,
Converts to bones; and what was once a vein,
Its former name and nature did retain.
By help of power divine, in little space,
What the man threw assum'd a manly face ;
And what the wife, renew'd the female race.
Hence we derive our nature, born to bear
Laborious life, and harden'd into care.
The rest of animals, from teeming earth
Produc'd, in various forms receiv'd their birth.
The native moisture, in its close retreat,
Digested by the sun's ætherial heat,
As in a kindly womb, began to breed :
Then swell'd, and quicken'd by the vital feed.
And some in less, and some in longer space,
Were ripen’d into form, and took a several face.
Thus when the Nile from Pharian fields is Aed,
And seeks with ebbing tides his ancient bed,
The fat manure with heavenly fire is warm’d;
And crusted creatures, as in wombs, are form’d:
These, when they turn the glebe, the peasants find :
Some rude, and yet unfinish'd in their kind :
Short of their limbs, a lame imperfect birth ;
One half alive, and one of lifeless earth.
For heat and moisture when in bodies join'd, The temper that results from either kind
Conception makes ; and fighting, till they mix,
Their mingled atoms in each other fix.
Thus nature's hand the genial bed prepares
With friendly discord, and with fruitful wars.
From hence the surface of the ground with mud
And flime besmear'd (the fæces of the flood)
Receiv'd the rays of heaven ; and, sucking in
The seeds of heat, new creatures did begin :
Some were of several sorts produc'd before ;
But of new monsters earth created more.
Unwillingly, but yet he brought to light
Thee, Python too, the wondering world to fright,
· And the new nations, with so dire a sight.
So monstrous was his bulk, so large a space
Did his vast body and long train embrace :
Whom Fiicbus balking on a bank espy'd,
Ere now the God his arrows had not try'd,
But on the trembling deer, or mountain-goat;
At this new quarry he prepares to Moot.
Though every shaft took place, he spent the store
Of his full quiver; and 'twas long before
Th’expiring serpent wallow'd in his gore.
Then, to preserve the fame of such a deed,
For Python Nain, he Pythian games decreed,
Where noble youths for mastership should strive,
To quoit, to run, and steeds and chariots drive.
The prize was fame, in witness of renown,
An oaken garland did the victor crown.
The laurel was not yet for triumphs born;
But every green alike by Phæbus worn
Đid, with promiscuous grace, his flowing locks adorn.
The TRANSFORMATION of DAPHNE.
into a L A UREL.
The first and fairest of his loves was she
Whom not blind fortune, but the dire decree
Of angry Cupid forc’d him to desire :
Daphne her name, and Peneus was her fire.'
Swell’d with the pride that new success attends,
He sees the ftripling, while his bow he bends,
And thus insults him : Thou lascivious boy,
Are arms like these for chiidren to employ?
Know, such atchievements are my proper claim;
Due to my vigour and unerring aim :
Resistless are my shafts ; and Python late,
In such a feather'd death, has found his fate.
Take up thy torch, and lay my weapons by;
With that the feeble souls of lovers fry.
To whom the son of Venus thus reply'd :
Phæbus, thy shafts are sure on all beside ;
But mine on Phæbus : mine the fame shall be
Of all thy conquests, when I conquer thee.
He said, and soaring swiftly wing'd his flight;
Nor stopt but on Parnassus' airy height.
Two different shafts he from his quiver draws ;
One to repel desire, and one to cause.
One shaft is pointed with refulgent gold,
To bribe the love, and make the lover bold :
One blunt, and tipt with lead, whose base allay
Provokes disdain, and drives desire away.
The blunted bolt against the nymph he drest :
But with the sharp transfix'd Apollo's breast.
Th’enamour'd Deity pursues the chace;
The scornful damsel shuns his loath'd embrace :
In hunting beasts of prey her youth employs ;
And Phæbe rivals in her rural joys.
With naked neck she goes, and shoulders bare,
And with a fillet binds her flowing hair.
By many fuitors fought, the mocks their pains,
And still her vow'd virginity maintains.
Impatient of a yoke, the name of bride
She shuns, and hates the joys the never try’d.
On wilds and wood she fixes her desire :
Nor knows what youth and kindly love inspire.
Her father chides her oft: Thou ow'st, says he,
A husband to thyself, a son to me.
She, like a crimne, abhors the nuptial bed :
She glows with blushes, and the hangs her head.
Then, casting round his neck her tender arms,
Soothes him with blandishments and filial charms :
Give me, my lord, he said, to live, and die,
A spotless maid, without the marriage-tie.
'Tis but a small request; I beg no more
Than what Diana's father gave before.
The good old fire was soften’d to consent;
But said, her wish would prove her punishment :
For so much youth, and so much beauty joind,
Oppos®d the state, which her desires design'd.
The God of light, aspiring to her bed,
Hopes what he seeks, with flattering fancies fed;
And is by his own oracles milled.
And as in empty fields, the stubble burns,
Or nightly travellers, when day returns,
Their useless torches on dry hedges throw,
That catch the flames, and kindle all. the row;
So burns the God, consuming in desire,
And feeding in his breast the fruitless fire :
Her well-turn'd neck he view'd (her neck was bare)
And on her shoulders her dishevel'd hair :
Oh, were it comb'd, laid he, with what a grace
Would every waving curl become her face !
He view'd her eyes, like heavenly lamps that shone !
He view'd her lips, too sweet to view alope,
Her taper fingers, and her panting breast;
He praises all he fees, and for the rest
Believes the beauties yet unseen are best.
Swift as the wind, the damsel fed away,
Nor did for these alluring speeches stay :
Stay, nymph, he cry'd, I follow, not a foe :
Thus from the Lion trips the trembling Doe;
Thus from the Wolf the frighten'd Lamb removes,
And from pursuing Falcons fearful Doves ;
Thou shunn'st a God, and munn'st a God, that loves.
Ah, left fome thorn should pierce thy tender foot,
Or thou should'It fall in flying my pursuit !
To sharp uneven ways thy steps decline ;
Abate thy speed, and I will bate of mine.
Yet think from whom thou doft fo rashlý fly;
Nor basely born, nor shepherd's swain am I.
Perhaps thou know'It not my superior state ;
And froin that ignorance proceeds thy hate.