Графични страници
PDF файл

Pluto! whom ruthless fates a god ordain,
And doom to immortality of pain ;
Ye fair Elysian manfions of the blest,
Where no Theffalian charmer hopes to rest;
Styx! and Persephone, compellid to fly

Thy fruitful mother, and the chearful sky!
Third Hecate! by whom my whispers breathe
My secret purpose to the shades beneath ;
Thou greedy dog, who at th' infernal gate,
In everlasting hunger, still doft wait !

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.
Let the pale shade these herbs, these numbers hear,
And in his well-known warlike form appear.
Here let him stand, before his leader's son,
And say what dire events are drawing on :
If blood be your delight, let this be done.

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,
And fear'd to enter into life anew;
Fain from those mangled limbs it would have run,
And, lothing, strove that house of pain to thun, 1100
Ah! wretch! to whom the cruel fates deny.
That privilege of human kind, to die!
Wroth was the hag at lingering death's delay,
And wonder'd hell could dare to disobey ;
With curling snakes the senseless trunk she beats, 1105
And curses dire, at every lash, repeats ;
With magic numbers cleaves the groaning ground,
And, thus, barks downwards to th' aby's profound ::

Ye fiends hell-born, ye sisters of despair !
Thus? is it thus my will becomes your care ?
Still fleep those whips within your idle hands,
Nor drive the loitering ghost this voice demands ?
But mark me well! my charms, in Fate's despite,
Shall drag you forth, ye Stygian dogs, to light;
Through vaults and tombs, where now secure you roam
My vengeance shall pursue, and chace


And thou, oh! Hecate, that dar ft to rise,
Various and alter'd to immortal eyes,
No more shalt veil thy horrors in disguise ;
Still in thy form accursed shalt thou dwell,
Nor change the face that nature made for hell.
Each mystery beneath I will display,
And Stygian loves shall stand confess’d to day.
Thee, Proserpine! thy fatal feast I 'H show,
What leagues detain thee in the realms below,
And why thy once-fond mother loaths thee now.



At my command, earth’s barrier shall remove,
And piercing Titan vex infernal Jove;
Full on his throne the blazing beams shall beat,
And light abhorr'd aflict the gloomy feat. 1130
Yet, am I yet, ye sullen fiends, obey'd ?
Or must I call

master to


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,
Since doubtful truths ambiguous prophets tell ;
While each event aright and plain is read,
every bold inquirer of the deed:

Do thou unfold what end these wars, shall wait,
Persons, and things, and time, and place relate,
And be the juft Interpreter of Fate.

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,
Thee only, Brutus! smiling I beheld ;
Thee, thou first conful, haughty Tarquin's dread,
From whose juft wrath the conscious tyrant fled,
When freedom first upreard her infant head.
Meanwhile the damn'd exult amidst their pains,
And Catiline audacious breaks his chains.
There the Cethegan naked race I view'd, 1195
The Marii fierce, with human gore embrued,
The Gracchi, fond of mischief-making laws,
And Drusi, popular in faction's cause;
All clap'd their hands in horrible applause.
The crash of brazen fetters rung around, 1200
And hell's wide caverns trembled with the found.
No more the bounds of fate their guilt constrain,
But proudly they demand th' Elyfian plain.
Thus they, while dreadful Dis, with bufy cares,
New torments for the conquerors prepares ;

New chains of adamant he forms below,
And opens all his deep reserves of woe :
Sharp are the pains for tyrants kept in store,
And flames yet ten times hotter than before.
But thou, oh noble youth! in peace depart,
And sooth, with better hopes, thy doubtful heart:
Sweet is the rest, and blissful is the place,
That wait thy fire, and his illustrious race.
Nor fondly seek to lengthen out thy date,
Nor envy the surviving victor's fate;
The hour draws near when all alike must yield,
And death shall mix the fame of every field.




« ПредишнаНапред »