« ПредишнаНапред »
When urg'd to rage, their teeth the serpents fix,
1055 The pest infus’d through every vein runs round, Infects the mass, and death is in the wound. Harmless and safe, no poison here they shed : He said; and first the doubtful draught essay'd; He, who through all their march, their toil, their thirst,
1060 Demanded, here alone, to drink the first.
Why.plagues, like these, infect the Libyan air, Why deaths unknown in various shapes appear ; Why, fruitful to destroy, the cursed landIs temper'd thus, by nature's secret hand; 1065 Dark and obscure the hidden cause remains; And still deludes the vain enquirer's pains ; Unless a tale for truth may be believ'd, And the good-natur'd world be willingly deceiv'd.
Where western waves on farthest Libya beat, Warm’d with the setting fun's descending heat, Dreadful Medusa fix'd her horrid feat. No leafy shade, with kind protection, shields The rough, the fqualid, unfrequented fields ; No mark of thepherds, or the plowman's toil, 1075 To tend the flocks, or turn the mellow soil : But, rude with rocks, the region all around Its mistress, and her potent visage, own’d. 'Twas from this monster to afflict mankind, That nature first produc'd the fnaky kind: 1080 On her, at first their forky tongues appear'd'; From her, their dreadful hisfings first were heard.
Some wreath'd in folds upon her temples hung ;
None, who beheld the fury, could complain ;
1090 Ere they had time to fear, the change came on, And motion, sense, and life, were lost in stone. The soul itself, from sudden flight debarr’d, Congealing, in the body's fortune Thar'd. The dire Eumenides could rage inspire,
1095 But could no more; the tuneful Thracian lyre Infernal Cerberus did soon assuage, Lulld him to rest, and footh'd his triple rage ; Hydra's feyen heads the bold Alcides view'd, Safely he faw, and what he saw, subdued : Of these in various terrors each excell’d; But all to this superior fury yield. Phorcus and Cæto, next to Neptune hey Immortal both, and rulers of the sea, This monster's parents did their offspring dread ; 1105 And from her sight her sister Gorgons fled. Old ocean's waters, and the liquid air, The universal world her power might fear: All nature's beauteous works she could invade, Through every part a lazy numbness fhed, And over all a stony surface spread. Birds in their flight were stopt, and ponderous grown, Forgot their pinions, and fell senseless down.
Beasts to the rocks were fix'd, and all around
To seek this monster, and her fate to prove, The son of Danaë and golden Jove, Attempts a flight through airy ways above, The youth Cyllenian Hermes' aid implor’d; 1130 The god assisted with his wings the sword, His sword, which late made watchful Argus bleed, And lö from her cruel keeper freed : Unwedded Pallas lent a sister's aid ; But ask'd, for recompence, Medusa's head. 1135 Eastward she warns her brother bend his flight, And from the Gorgon realms avert his fight; Then arms his left with her refulgent shield, And shews how there the foe might be beheld. Deep slumbers had the drouiy fiend poffeft, 1140 Such as drew on, and well might seem, her last: And yet the slept not whole ; one half her snakes Watchful, to guard their horrid mistress, wakes
The rest disheveld, loosely, round her head,
'Twas somewhat that immortal gods might fear,
No land more high erects its lofty head,
First of those plagues the drousy Asp appear’d,
Her scaly folds th’ Hæmorrhois unbends,