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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'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, said she,
Not unreveng'd that impious act shall be.
Swift as the word, fhe fped the boar away,
With charge on those devoted fields to prey.
No larger bulls th' Egyptian pafturès feed,
And none fo large Sicilian meadows breed :
His eye-balls glare with fire, fuffus'd with blood;
His neck shoots up a thickset 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 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, 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 exercife their flails in empty air.
With olives ever green the ground is ftrow'd,
And grapes ungather'd shed their generous blood.
Amid the fold he rages, nor the fheep
Their fhepherds, nor the grooms their bulls can keep.
From fields to walls the frighted rabble run,
Nor think themfelves fecure within the town:
Till Meleagrus, and his chofen crew,
Contemn the danger, and the praife pursue.
Fair Leda's twins, (in time to stars decreed)
One fought on foot, one curb'd the fiery steed;
Then iffued forth fam'd Jafon after thefe,
Who mann'd the foremost ship that fail'd the seas ;
Then Thefeus join'd with bold Pirithous came :
A fingle concord in a double name :
The Theftian fons, Idas who fwiftly ran,
And Ceneus, once a woman, now a man.
Lynceus, with eagle's eyes and lion's heart ;
Leucippus, with his never-erring dart;
Acaftus, Phileus, Phænix, Telamon,
Echion, Lelex, and Eurytion,
Achilles' father, and great Phocus' fon;
Dryas the fierce, and Hippafus the strong;
With twice old Iolas, and Neftor then but young.
Laertes active, and Ancæus bold;
Mopfus the fage, who future things foretold;
And t' other feer 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 veft behind, that else had flow'd upon the ground, And fhew'd her bufkin'd legs; her head was bare,
But for her native ornament of hair;
Which in a fimple knot was tý'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 referve fo fair a bride!
He figh'd, and had no leisure more to say:
His honour call'd his
And forc'd him to purfue the now neglected prey.
There ftood a forest on the mountain's brow,
Which over-look'd the fhaded plains below,
No founding ax prefum'd those trees to bite ;
Coeval with the world, a venerable fight.
The heroes there arriv'd, fome spread around
The toils, fome fearch 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 fought:
A valley stood below; the common drain
Of waters from above, and falling rain :
The bottom was a moift and marshy ground,
Whofe 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 fudden on the warrior-train ;
Beats down the trees before him, fhakes the ground,
The foreft echoes to the crackling found:
Shout the fierce youth, and clamours ring around.
All stood with their protended spears prepar'd,
With broad steel heads the brandifh'd weapons glar'd.
The beaft 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 ftuck his boar-fpear 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.
Mopfus was next; but ere he threw, addrefs'd
To Phoebus thus: O patron, help thy priest.
If I adore, and ever have ador'd
Thy power divine, thy prefent aid afford;
That I may reach the beaft. The God allow'd
His prayer, and, fmiling, 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 noftrils flames expire,
And his red eye-balls roll with living fire.
Whirl'd from a fling, or from an engine thrown,
Amidst the foes, fo flies a mighty stone,
As flew the beaft; 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 plain.
Neftor had fail'd the fall of Troy to fee,
But, leaning on his lance, he vaulted on a tree;
Then, gathering up his feet, look'd down with fear,
And thought his monftrous foe was ftill too near.
Against a ftump his tufk the monfter grinds,
And in the sharpen'd edge new vigour finds ;
Then, trufting to his arms, young Othrys found,
And ranch'd his hips with one continued wound.
Now Leda's twins, the future ftars, appear:
White were their habits, white their horfes were ;
Confpicuous both, and both in act to throw,
Their trembling lances brandifh'd at the foe:
Nor had they mifs'd; but he to thickets fled,
Conceal'd from aiming fpears, not pervious to the steed.
But Telamon rufh'd in, and happ'd to meet
A rifing root, that held his faften'd feet;
So down he fell, whom, fprawling on the ground,
His brother from the wooden gyves unbound.
Mean time the virgin-huntress was not flow
T'expel the fhaft from her contracted bow :
Beneath his ear the faften'd arrow stood,
And from the wound appear'd the trickling blood.
She blush'd for joy: But Meleagrus rais'd
His voice with loud applause, and the fair archer prais'd.