« ПредишнаНапред »
Nor swells the stretching canvas half so fast,
When the fails gather all the driving blast,
Strain the tough yards, and bow the lofty mast.
The various parts no longer now are known,
One headless formless heap remains alone ;
The feather'd kind avoid the fatal feast,
And leave it deadly to some hungry beast;
With horror feiz'd, his fad companions too,
In haste froin the unbury'd carcase flew;
But fertile Libya still new plagues supplies, And to more horrid monsters turns their eyes. 1365 Deeply the fierce Hæmorrhoïs impreft Her fatal teeth on Tullus' valiant breast, The noble youth :-with virtue's love inspir’d, Her, in her Cato, follow'd and admir'd; Mov'd by his great example, vow'd to share, 1370 With him, each chance of that disastrous war. And as when mighty Rome's spectators meet In the full theatre's capacious seat, At once, by secret pipes and channels fed, Rich tinctures gush from every antique head; 1375 At once ten thousand saffron currents flow, And rain their odours on the croud below : So the warm blood at once from every part Ran purple poison down, and drain'd the fainting heart. Blood falls for tears, and o'er his mournful face 1380 The ruddy drops their tainted passage trace : Where-e'er the liquid juices find a way, There streams of blood, there crimson rivers ftray:
His mouth and gushing nostrils pour a flood,
And ev'n the pores ooze out the trickling blood ; 1385
In the red deluge all the parts lie drown'd,
And the whole body seems one bleeding wound.
Lævus, a colder Afpic bit, and straight
His blood forgot to flow, his heart to beat;
Thick shades upon his eye-lids seem'd to creep, 1390
And lock him fast in everlasting sleep :
No sense of pain, no torment did he know,
But funk in flumbers to the shades below.
Not swifter death attends the noxious juice, Which dire Sabxan Aconites produce.
1395 Well may their crafty priests divine, and well The fate which they themselves can cause, foretel.
Fierce from afar a darting Javelin shot, (For such, the serpents name has Afric taught) And through unhappy Paulus' temples flew; 1400 Nor poison, but a wound, the soldier slew. No flight so swift, so rapid none we know, Stones for the sounding sling, compar'd, are flow, And the shaft loiters from the Scythian bow. A basilisk bold Murrus kill'd in vain,
1405 And nail'd it dying to the sandy plain ; Along the spear the Diding venom ran, And sudden, from the weapon, seiz'd the man : His hand first touch'd, ere it his arm invade, Soon he divides it with his shining blade : 1410 The serpent's force by sad example taught, With his loft hand, his ransom'd life he bought.
Who that the scorpion's infect form surveys, Would think that ready death his call obeys ? 1414
Threatening, he rears his knotty tail on high;
The vast Orion thus he doom'd to die,
And fix'd him, his proud trophy in the sky.
Or could we the Salpuga's anger dread,
Or fear upon her little cell to tread ?
Yet the the fatal threads of life commands,
1420 And quickens oft the St; gian fifters' hands.
Pursued by dangers, thus they pass’d away
The restless night, and thus the cheerless day;
Ev'n earth itself they fear'd, the common bed,
Where each lay down to reft his weary head: 1425
There no kind trees their leafy couches strow,
The sands no turf nor mosly beds bestow;
But tir'd, and fainting with the tedious toil,
Expos’d they sleep upon the fatal soil.
With vital heat they brood upon the ground, 1430
And breathe a kind attractive vapour round,
While chill, with colder night's ungentle air,
To man's warm breast his snaky foes repair,
And find, ungrateful guests, a fheiter there.
Thence fresh fupplies of poisonous rage return, 1435
And fiercely with recruited deaths they burn.
Restore, thus fadly oft the soldier said,
Restore Emathia's plains, from whence we fled;
This grace, at least, ye cruel gods afford,
That we may fall beneath the hostile sword,
The Dipsa's here in Cæsar's triumph share,
And fell Cerastą wage his civil war.
Or let us haste away, press farther on,
Urge our boli passage to the burning zone,
And die by those æthereal fames alone.
Afric, thy deserts we accuse no more,
Nor blame, oh nature! thy creating power :
From man thou wisely didst these wilds divide,
And for thy monsters here alone provide ;
A region waste and void of all beside.
Thy prudent care forbad the barren field,
The yellow harvest's ripe increase to yield ;
Man and his labours well thou didft deny,
And bad'st him from the land of poisons fly.
We, impious we, the bold irruption made ; 1455
We, this the serpent's world, did first invade;
Take then our lives a forfeit for the crime,
Whoe'er thou art, that rul'ít this cursed clime:
What god foe'er, that only lov'st to reign,
And doft the commerce of mankind disdain;
Who, to secure thy horrid empire's bound,
Haft fixt the Syrts, and torrid realms around;
Here the wild waves, there the flames scorching breath,
And fill’d the dreadful middle space with death.
Behold, to thy retreats our arms we bear, 1465
And with Rome's civil rage prophane thee here;
Ev’n to thy inmost seats we strive to go,
And seek the limits of the world to know.
Perhaps more-dire events attend us yet;
New deaths, new monsters, still we go to meet. 1470
Perhaps to thofe far seas our journey bends,
Where to the waves the burning sun descends ;
Where, rushing headlong down heaven's azure Steep,
All red he plunges in the hifling deep.
Low finks the pole, declining from its height,
And seems to yield beneath the rapid weight,
Nor farther lands from fame herself are known,
But Mauritanian Juba's realms alone..
Perlraps, while, rafhly daring, on we pass,
discover some more dreadful place;
Till, late repenting, we may wish in vain
To see these serpents, and these sands again.
One joy at least do these sad regions give,
Ey'n here we know 'tis possible to live;
That, by the native plagues, we may perceive.
Nor ask we now for Afia's gentler day,
Nor now for European suns we pray ;
Thee, Afric, now, thy absence we deplore,
And sadly think we ne'er shall see thee more.
Say, in what part, what climate, art thou lost? 1490
Where have we left Cyrene's happy frost ?
Cold skies we felt, and frosty winter there,
While more than summer suns are raging here,
And break the laws of the well-order'd
year. Southward, beyond earth's limits, are we pass d, 1495 And Rome, at length, beneath our feet is plac'd. Grant us, ye gods, one pleafure ere we die, Add to our harder fate this only joy, That Cæsar may pursue, and follow where we fly.
Impatient, thus the soldier oft complains, 1500 And seems, by telliny, to relieve his pains. But most the virtues of their matchless chief Inspire new strength, to bear with every grief; All night, with careful thoughts and watchful eyes, On the bare sands expos'd the hero lies; 1505 In every place alike, in every hour, Dares his ill fortune, and defies her power.