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Pluto! whom ruthless fates a god ordain,
1075 And thou old Charon, horrible and hoar! For ever labouring back from Thore to fhore: Who murmuring doft in weariness complain, That I so oft demand ihy dead again; Hear, all ye powers ! If e'er your hell rejoice, 1080 In the lov'd horrors of this impious voice ; If still with human flesh I have been fed, If pregnant mothers have, to please you, bled; If from the womb these ruthless hands have torn Infants, mature, and struggling to be born; 1085 Hear and obey ! nor do I ask a ghost, Long since receiv'd upon your Stygian coast; But one that, new to death, for entrance waits, And loiters
before your gloomy gates.
Foaming she spoke : then rear'd her hateful head, And hard at hand beheld th' attending shade.
Too well the trembling sprite the carcase knew,
Ye fiends hell-born, ye sisters of despair !
At my command, earth’s barrier shall remove,
aid ? At whose dread name the trembling Furies quake, Hell stands abah'd, and earth's foundation thake ? Who views the Gorgons with intrepid eyes, 1135 And your unviolable flood desies?
She said; and, at the word, the frozen blood Slowly began to roll its creeping flood; Through the known channels stole the purple tide, And warmth and motion through the members glide; The nerves are stretch'd, the turgid muscles fwell, And the heart moves within its secret cell; The haggard eyes their stupid lights disclose, And heavy by degrees the corpse arose. Doubtful and faint th’ uncertain life appears, 1145 And death, all-o'er, the livid visage wears. Pale, stiff, and mute, the ghastly figure stands, Nor knows to speak, but at her dread commands. When thus the hag: Speak what I wish to know, And endless rest attends thy shade below;
1150 Reveal the truth, and, to reward thy pain, No charms shall drag thee back to life again; Such hallow'd wood shall feed thy funeral fire, Such numbers to thy last repose conspire, No lister of our art thy ghost shall wrong,
1155 Or force thee listen to her potent song.
Since the dark gods in mystic tripods dwell,
She spoke, and, as the spoke, a spell she made, That
gave new prescience to th’unknowing shade. 1165 When thus the spectre, weeping all for woe; Seek not from me the Parcæ’s will to know. I saw not what their dreadful looms ordain, Too soon recall'd to hated life again ; Recall’d, ere yet my waiting ghost had pass'd 1170 The filent stream, that wafts us all to rest. All I could learn, was from the loose report Of wandering shades, that to the banks resort. Uproar, and discord, never known till now, Distract the peaceful realms of death below; 1175 From blissful plains of sweet Elyfium fome, Others from doleful dens, and torments, come; While in the face of every various shade, The woes of Rome too plainly might be read. In tears lamenting, ghosts of patriots stood, 1130 And mourn'd their country in a falling flood ; Sad were the Decii, and the Curii seen, And heavy was the great Camillus' mien : On fortune loud indignant Sylla rail'd, And Scipio his unhappy race bewail'd ; The Censor iad foresaw his Cato's doom, Resolv'd to die for liberty, and Rome.
Of all the shades that haunt the happy field,