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Beginning from the rural Gods, his hand
Was liberal to the powers of high command :
Each Deity in every kind was bless’dy
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, said the,
Not unreveng'd that impious act shall be.
Swift as the word, the fped the boar away,
With charge on those devoted fields to prey.
No larger bulls th' Ægyptian pastures feed,
And none fo large Sicilian meadows breed :
His eye-balls glare with fire, suffus'd with blood;
His neck shoots up a thickset thorny wood;
His bristled back a trench impal'd appears,
And stands erected, like a field of spears.
Froth fills his chaps, he sends a grunting sound,
And part he churns, and part befoams the ground.
For tulks with Indian elephants he strove,
And Jove's own thunder from his mouth he drove.
He burns the leaves ; the scorching blast invades
The tender corn, and shrivels-up the blades :
Or, suffering 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 :
Ip 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.
Amid the fold he rages, nor the sheep
Their shepherds, por the grooms their bulls can keep.
From fields to walls the frighted rabble run,
Nor think themselves fecure within the town:
Till Meleagrus, and his chosen crew,
Contemn the danger, and the praise pursue.
Fair Leda's twins, (in time to stars decreed)
One fought on foot, one curb’d the fiery steed ;
Then issued forth fam’d Jason after these,
Who mann'd the foremost ship that fail'd the seas ;
Then Theseus join'd with bold Pirithous came :
A single concord in a double name:
The Thestian sons, Idas who swiftly ran,
And Ceneus, once a woman, now a man.
Lynceus, with eagle's eyes and lion's heart ;
Leucippus, with his never-erring dart;
Acastus, Phileus, Phænix, Telamon,
Echion, Lelex, and Eurytion,
Achilles' father, and great Phocys' son ;
Dryas the fierce, and Hippafus the strong ;
With twice old Iolas, and Neftor then but young.
Laertes active, and Ancæus bold;
Mopsus the fage, who future things foretold ;
And t'other seer yet by his wife unfold.
A thousand others of immortal fame;
Among the rest fair Atalanta came,
Grace of the woods; a diamond buckle bound
Her vest behind, that else had flow'd upon the ground,
And shew'd her buskin'd legs ; her head was bare;
But for her native ornament of hair ;
Which in a simple knot was ty'd above,
Sweet negligence, unheeded bait of love !
Her founding quiver on her shoulder ty’d,
One hand a dart, and one a bow supply'd.
Such was her face, as in a nymph display'd
A fair fierce boy, or in a boy betray'd
The blushing beauties of a modest maid.
The Caledonian chief at once the dame
Beheld, at once his heart receiv'd the flame,
With heavens averse. O happy youth, he cry'd ;
For whom thy fates reserve so fair a bride !
He sigh’d, and had no leisure more to say :
His honour call'd his
And forc'd him to pursue the now neglected prey.
There stood a forest on the mountain's brow,
Which over-look'd the fhaded plains below,
No founding ax presum'd those trees to bite ;
Coeval with the world, a venerable fight.
The heroes there arriv’d, some spread around
The toils, fome search the footsteps on the ground,
Some from the chains the faithful dogs unbound.
Of action eager, and intent on thought,
The chiefs their honourable danger sought:
A valley stood below; the common drain
Of waters from above, and falling rain :
The bottom was a moist and marshy ground,
Whose edges were with bending ofiers crown'd;
The knotty bulrush next in order stood,
And all within of reeds a trembling wood.
From hence the boar was rous'd, and sprung amain, Like lightning sudden on the warrior-train ; Beats down the trees before him, shakes the ground, The forest echoes to the crackling sound : Shout the fierce youth, and clamours ring around. All stood with their protended spears prepar’d, With broad steel heads the brandish'd weapons glar'd. The beast impetuous with his tulks aside Deals glancing wounds; the fearful dogs divide : All spend their mouth aloft, but none abide. Echion threw the first, but miss'd his mark, And stuck his boar-Spear on a maple's bark, Then Jason; and his javelin seem’d to take, But fail'd with over-force, and whizz’d above his back. Mopsus was next; but ere he threw, address'd To Phæbus thus :. O patron, help thy priest. If I adore, and ever have ador’d Thy power divine, thy present aid afford; That I may reach the beast. The God allow'd His prayer, and, smiling, gave him what he could : He reach'd the savage, but no blood he drew, Dian unarm’d the javelin as it flew.
This chaf’d the boar, his nostrils flames expire, And his red eye-balls roll with living fire. Whirl'd from a lling, or from an engine thrown, Amidst the foes, so flies a mighty stone, As flew the beast; the left wing put to flight, The chiefs o'erborn, he rushes on the right. Empalamos and Pelagon he laid In duft, and next to death, but for their fellows aid.
Onefimus far'd worfe, prepar'd to fly;
The fatal fang drove deep within his thigh,
And cut the nerves; the nerves no more fustain
The bulk; the bulk unprop'd falls headlong on the
Nestor had fail'd the fall of Troy to see,
But, leaning on his lance, he vaulted on a tree ;
Then, gathering up his feet, look'd down with fear,
And thought his monstrous foe was still too near.
Against a stump his tusk the monster grinds,
And in the sharpen’d edge new vigour finds ;
Then, trusting to his arms, young Othrys found,
And ranch'd his hips with one continued wound.
Now Leda's twins, the future stars, appear :
White were their habits, white their horses were ;
Conspicuous both, and both in act to throw,
Their trembling lances brandish'd at the foe :
Nor had they miss’d; but he to thickets fled,
Conceal'd from aiming fpears, not pervious to the steed.
But Telamon ruhid in, and happ'd to ineet
A riling root, that held his fasten'd feet;
So down he fell, whom, sprawling on the ground,
His brother from the wooden gyves unbound.
Mean time the virgin-huntress was not flow
T'expel the shaft from her contracted bow :
Beneath his ear the fasten d arrow stood,
And from the wound appeard the trickling blood.
She blush'd for joy: But Meleagrus rais'd
His voice with loud applause, and the fair archer prais'd.