Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

So Neek her skin, fo faultless was her make,
Ev'n Juno did unwilling pleasure take
To see so fair a rival of her love;
And what she was, and whence, enquir’d of Jove :
Of what fair berd, and from what pedigree ?
The God half-caught was forc'd upon a lie ;
And said, the sprung from earth. She took the word,
And begg'd the beauteous heifer of her lord.
What should he do ? 'twas equal shame to Jove,
Or to relinquish, or betray his love :
Yet to refuse so light a gift, would be
But more t' increase his confort's jealousy:
Thus fear, and love, by turns his heart affail'd ;
And stronger love had lure at length prevailid;
But some faint hope remain'd, his jealous queen;
Had not the mistress through the heifer seen.
The cautious Goddess of her gift poffeft,
Yet harbour'd anxious thoughts within her breast;
As she who knew the falsehood of her Jove,
And justly fear’d some new relapse of love.
Which to prevent, and to fecure her care,
To trusty Argus the commits the fair.

The head of Argus (as with stars the skies)
Was compass’d round, and wore an hundred eyes.
But two by turns their lids in slumber steep;
The rest on duty still their station keep;
Nor could the total constellation sleep.
Thus, ever present, to his eyes and mind,
His charge was still before him, though behind,

In

}

In fields he suffer'd her to feed by day;
But, when the setting fun to night gave way,
The captive, cow he summond with a call,
And drove her back, and ty'd her to the stall.
On leaves of trees and bitter herbs the fed,
Heaven was her canopy, bare earth her bed;
So hardly lodg’d: and digest her food,
She drank from troubled streams defil'd with mud.
Her woful story fain she would have told,
With hands upheld, but had no hands to hold.
Her head to her ungentle keeper bow'd,
She strove to speak; the spoke not, but she low'd.
Affrighted with the noise, the look'd around,
And seem'd t'inquire the author of the found.

Once on the banks where often she had play'd
(Her father's banks) she came, and there survey'd
Her alter'd visage, and her branching head;
And starting from herself she would have fled.
Her fellow-nymphs, familiar to her eyes,
Beheld, but knew her not in this disguise.
Ev'n Inachus himself was ignorant;
And in his daughter did his daughter want.
She follow'd where her fellows went, as the
Were still a partner of the company :
They stroke her neck; the gentle heifer stands,
And her neck offers to their stroking hands :
Her father

gave her grass; the grass she took ; And lick'd his palıns, and cast a piteous look; And in the language of her eyes she spoke.

Y. 4

}

She

She would have told her name, and ask'd relief,
But, wanting words, in tears she tells her grief.
Which with her foot she makes him understand ;
And prints the naine of Io in the fand,

Ah wretched me! her mournful father cry'd ; • She with a figh to wretched me reply'd :

About her milk-white neck his arms he threw;
And wept, and then these tender words ensue:
And art thou she, whom I have fought around
The world, and have at length fo fadly found ?
So found, is worse than loft : with mutual words
Thou answer'it not, no voice thy tongue affords:
But sighs are deeply drawn from out thy brealt; .
And speech deny'd by lowing is express d.
Unknowing, I prepar'd thy bridal bed;
With empty hopes of happy issue fed.
But now the husband of a herd must be
Thy mate, and bellowing fons thy progeny.
Oh, were I mortal, death might bring relief!
But now my God-head but extends my grief ;
Prolongs my woes, of which no end I see,
And makes me curse my immortality.
More had he said, but, fearful of her stay,
The starry guardian drove his charge away
To some fresh pasture ; on a hilly height
He fate himself, and kept her still in sight.

The

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Now Jove ro longer could her sufferings bcar:
But call'd in haite his airy meffenger,
The son of Maia, with severe decree
To kill the keeper, and to set her free.
With all his harness soon the God was sped;
His flying hat was fastend on his head;
Wings on his hcels were hung, and in his hand
He holds the virtue of the snaky wand.
The liquid air his moving pinions wound,
And, in the moment, shoot him on the ground.
Before he came in sight, the crafty God
His wings dismiss’d, but still retain'd his rod :
That sleep-procuring wand wise Hermes took,
But made it seem to fight a shepherd's hook.
With this he did a herd of goats control;
Which by the

way

he met, and flily stole.
Clad like a country swain, he pip'd, and sung;
And playing drove his jolly troop along.

With pleasure Argus the musician heeds ;
But wonders much at those new vocal reeds.
And whoso'er thou art, my friend, said he,
Up hither drive thy goats, and play by me :
This hill has brouze for them, and made for thee.
The God, who was with ease induc'd to climb,
Began discourse to pass away the time;
And still betwixt his tuneful pipe he plies :
And watch'd his hour, to close the keeper's eyes.

}

With much ado, he partly kept awake;
Not suffering all his eyes repose to take :
And ask'd the stranger, who did reeds invent,
And whence began so rare an instrument.

The TRANSFORMATION of SYRINX

into REEDS.

Then Hermes thus; a nymph of late there was,
Whose heavenly form her fellows did surpass.
The pride and joy of fair Arcadia's plains ;
Belov'd by Deities, ador'd by fwains :
Syrinx her name, by Sylvans oft pursued,
As oft Me did the lustful Gods delude :
The rural and the wood-land powers disdain'd;
With Cynthia hunted, and her rites maintain'd;
Like Phæhe clad, ev'n Phæbe's self the feeins,
So tall, so straight, such well-proportion'd limbs :
The nicest eye did no distinction know,
But that the Goddess bore a golden bow :
Distinguish'd thus, the fight she cheated too.
Descending from Lycæus, Pan admires
The matchless nymph, and burns with new desires.
A crown of pine upon his head he wore ;
And thus began her pity to implore.
But, ere he thus began, she took her fight
So swift, she was already out of sight.
Nor stay'd to hear the courtship of the God;
But lent her course to Ladon's gentle flood :
There by the river stopt, and tir'd before,
Relief from water-nymphs her prayers implore.

}

« ПредишнаНапред »