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Here Lethe's streams, from secret springs below,
Rise to the light; here heavily, and flow,
The flent dull forgetful waters flow.
Here, by the wakeful dragon kept of old,
Hefperian plants grew rich with living gold;
Long since, the fruit was from the branches torn,
And now the gardens their loft honours mourn.
Such was in ancient times the tale receiv'd,
Such by our good forefathers was believ'd;
Nor let enquirers the tradition wrong,
Or dare to question, now, the poet's sacred song.
Then take it for a truth, the wealthy wood

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Here under golden boughs low bending stood;
On some large tree his folds the serpent wound,
The fair Hesperian virgins watch'd around,
And join'd to guard the rich forbidden ground.
But great Alcides came to end their care,
Stript the gay grove, and left the branches bare;
Then back returning sought the Argive fhore,
And the bright spoil to proud Eurystheus bore.

These famous regions and the Syrts o’erpast, They reach'd the Garamantian coast at last;

620 Here, under Pompey's care the navy lies, Beneath the gentlest clime of Libya's skies.

But Cato's soul, by dangers unrestrain’d,
Ease and a dull unactive life disdain'd.
His daring virtue urges to go on,
Through desert lands, and nations yet unknown;
To march, and prove th' un hospitable ground,
To thun the Syrts, and lead the soldier round.

615

625

منة

Since now tempestuous seasons vex the fea,
And the declining year forbids the watery way ;. 630
He sees the cloudy drizzling winter near, -
And hopes kind rains may cool the sultry air: :
So happily may they journey on secure;
Nor burning heats, nor killing frosts endure ;
But while cool winds the winter's breath fupplies,
With gentle warmth the Libyan sun may rise,
And both may join and temper well the skies.

But ere the toilfome march he undertook,
The hero thus the liftning hoft bespoke :

Fellows in arms! whose bliss, whose chiefelt good, 640 Is Rome's defence, and freedom bought with blood.;You, who, to die with liberty, from farHave follow'd Cato in this fatal war, . Be now for virtue's noblest talk prepar'd,. ? Kor labours many, perilous, -and hard. Think throughwhat burning elimes,what wildswego: No leafy shades the naked deserts know, Nor silver streams through flowery meadows flow: But horrors there, and various deaths. abound, And serpents guard th' unhospitable ground. Hard is the way ; but thus our fate demands ; Rome and her laws we seek amidst these fands. Let those who, glowing with their country's love, Resolve with me these dreadful plains to provey Mor of return nor safety once debate, But only dare to go, and leave the rest to fate. Think not I mean the dangers to disguise, Or hide them from the cheated vulgar's eyes,

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670

Those, only those, shall in my fate partake,
Who love the daring for the danger's fake ; 660
Those who can suffer all the worst can come,
And think it what they owe themselves and Rome.
If

any yet shall doubt, or yet shall fear;
If life be, more than liberty, his care;
Here, ere we journey farther, let him stay,
Inglorious let him, like a flave, obey,
And seek a master in some safer way.
Foremost, behold, I lead you to the toil,
My feet shall foremost print the dusty soil :
Strike me the first, thou flaming God of Day,
First let me feel thy fierce, thy scorching ray;
Ye living poisons all, ye snaky train,
Meet me the first upon the fatal plain.
In every pain, which you my warriors fear,
Let me be first, and teach you how to bear. 675
Who sees me pant for drought, or fainting first,
Let him upbraid me, and complain of thirtt.
If e'er for shelter to the shades I fly,
Me let him curse, me, for the sultry sky.
If while the weary soldier marches on,
Your leader by distinguish d ease he known,
Forsake my caule, and leave me there alone.
The sands, the serpents, thirst, and burning heat,
Are dear to patience, and to virtue sweet ;
Virtue, that scorns on cowards terms to please, 685
Or cheaply to be bought, or won with ease;
But then the joys, then smiles upon her state, 2
Then fairest to herself, then most complete,
When glorious danger makes her truly great,

So

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So Libya's plains alone shall wipe away 696
The foul dishonours of Pharsalia's day;
So thall your courage now transcend that fear :
You fled with glory there, to conquer here.

He said; and hardy love of toil inspir’d;
And
every

breast with godlike ardour fir'd.
Straight, careless of return, without delay
Through the wide waste he took his pathlefs way.
Libya, ordain'd to be his last retreat,
Receives the hero, fearless of his fate ;
Here the good gods his last of labours doom,
Here shall his bones and sacred duft find

room, And his great head be hid, within an humble tomb.

If this large globe be portion'd right by fame, Then one third part shall sandy Libya claim : But if we count, as suns descend and rise,

705 If we divide by east and west the skies, Then, with fair Europe, Libya shall combine, And both to make the western half fhall join. Whilst wide-extended Asia fills the rest, Of all from Tanais to Nile pofteit, And reigns fole empress of the dawning east. Of all the Libyan foil, the kindliest found Far to the western seas extends its bound; Where cooling gales, where gentle Zephyrs fly, And setting funs adorn the gaudy sky :

715 And yet ey’n here no liquid fountain's vein Wells through the soil, and gurgles o'er the plain ;. But from our northern clime, our gentler heaven, Refreshing dews and fruitful rains are driven ;

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All bleak, the god, cold Boreas, spreads his wing, 720*
And with our winter gives the Libyan spring.
No wicked wealth infects the simple soil,
Nor golden ores disclose their shining spoil:
Pure is the glebe, 'tis earth, and earth alone,
To guilty pride and avarice unknown:

725
There citron groves, the native riches, grow, 2
There cool retreats and fragant shades bestow,
And hospitably screen their guests below.
Safe by their leafy office, long they stood.
Ą facred, old, unviolated woody,

730 Till Roman luxury to Afric paft, And foreign axes laid their honours waste.. Thus utmost lands are ransack d, to afford The far-fetch'd dainties, and the costly board. But rude and wasteful all those regions lie That border on the Syrts, and feel too nigh: Their sultry summer fun, and parching-sky. No harvest, there, the scatter:d grain repays, But withering dies, and ere. it thoots decays : There never loves to spring the mantling vine, 740 Nor wanton ringlets round her elm to twine :: The thirsty dust prevents the swelling fruit, Drinks

generous juice, and kills the root;: Through secret veins no tempering moistures pass, To bind with viscous force the mouldering mass ; 745 But genial Jove, averse, disdains to smile, Forgets, and curses the neglected foil. Thence lazy Nature droops her idle head, As every vegetable lenfe were dead;

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