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Amidst the braidings of her flowing hair,
The spoils of orient rocks and shells appear ;
Like midnight stars, ten thousand diamonds deck 210
The comely rising of her graceful neck:
Of wondrous work, a thin transparent lawn
O’er each soft breast in decency was drawn ;
Where still by turns the parting threads withdrew,
And all the panting bosom rose to view.

215 Her robe, her every part, her air, confess The power

of female skill exhausted in her dress. Fantastic madness of unthinking pride, To boast that wealth, which prudence strives to hide ! In Civil Wars such treasures to display,

220 And tempt a soldier with the hopes of prey ! Had Cæsar not been Cæsar, impions, bold, And ready to lay waste the world for gold, But just as all our frugal names of old; This wealth could Curius or Fabricius know, 225 Or ruder Cincinnatus from the plow, As Cæsar, they had seiz’d the mighty spoil, And to inrich their Tiber robb’d the Nile. Now, by a train of Naves, the various feast In mafly gold magnificent was plac'd : Whatever earth, or air, or seas afford, In vast profusion crowns the labouring board. For dainties, Ægypt every land explores, Nor spares those very gods her zeal adores. The Nile's sweet wave capacious crystals pour, 235 And gems of price the grapes delicious store ; No growth of Mareotis' marshy fields, But such as Meroë maturer yields;




Where the warm fun the racy juice refines,
And mellows into age the infant wines.

With wreaths of Nard the guests their temples bind,
And blooming roses of immortal kind;
Their dropping locks with oily odours flow,
Recent from near Arabia, where they grow:
The vigorous spices breathe their strong perfume, 245
And the rich vapour fills the spacious room.

Here Cæsar Pompey's poverty disdain'd, And learn'd to waste that world his arms had gain'd. He saw th' Ægyptian wealth with greedy eyes, And wilh'd some fair pretence to seize the prize. 250 Sated at length with the prodigious feast, Their weary appetites froin riot ceas'd; When Cæsar, curious of some new delight, In conversation sought to wear the night : Then gently thus addrest the good old priest, 255 Reclining decent in his linen vest. O wife Achoreus ! venerable seer! Whose age bespeaks thee heaven's peculiar care, Say from what origin thy nation sprung, What boundaries to Ægypt's land belong? 260 What are thy people's customs, and their modes, What rites they teach, what forms they give their gods? Each ancient sacred mystery explain, Which monumental sculptures yet retain. Divinity disdains to be confin'd,

265 Fain would be known, and reverenc'd by mankind. 'Tis faid, thy holy predeceffors thought Cecropian Plato worthy to be taught :


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And sure the sages of your schools have known
No soul more form'd for science than my own. 270
Fame of my potent rival's flight, 'tis true,
To this your Pharian shore my journey drew;
Yet know, the love of learning led me too.
In all the hurries of tumultuous war,
The stars, the gods, and heavens, were still my care.
Nor shall my skill to fix the rolling year
Inferior to Eudoxus' art appear.
Long has my curious soul, from early youth,
Toil'd in the noble search of sacred truth :
Yet still no views have urg'd my ardour more,
Than Nile's remotest fountain to explore,
Then say what fource the famous stream supplies,
And bids it at revolving periods rise ;
Shew ine that head from whence, since time begun,
The long succession of his waves has run;

285 This let me know, and all my toils shall cease, The fword be sheath'd, and earth be bleft with peace.

The warrior spoke; and thus the seer reply'd: Nor shalt thou, mighty Cæsar, be deny'd. Our fires forbad all, but themselves, to know, 290 And kept with care profaner laymen low : My soul, I own, more generously inclin’d, Would let in daylight to inform the blind. Nor would I truth in mysteries restrain, But make the gods, their power, and precepts, plain; 295 Would teach their miracles, would spread their praise, And well-taught minds to just devotion raise. Know then, to all those stars, by nature driven In opposition to revolving heaven, Some one peculiar influence was given.


The fun the seasons of the year supplies,
And bids the evening and the morning rise;.
Commands the planets with superior force,
And keeps each wandering light to his appointed course.
The silver moon o'er briny seas presides,

And heaves huge ocean with alternate tides.
Saturn's cold rays in icy climes prevail;
Mars rules the winds, the storm, and rattling hail;
Where Jove ascends, the skies are still serene ;
And fruitful Venus is the genial queen :

310 While every limpid spring, and falling fream, Submits to radiant Hermes' reigning beam. When in the Crab the humid ruler shines, And to the sultry Lion near inclines, There fix'd immediate o'er Nile's latent source,

315 He strikes the watery stores with ponderous force ; Nor can the flood bright Maia's son withstand, But heaves, like ocean at the moon's command; His waves ascend, obedient as the seas, And reach their destin'd height by just degrees.

320 Nor to its bank returns th' enormous tide, Till Libra's equal scales the days and nights divide. Antiquity, unknowing and deceiv'd, In dreams of Ethiopian snows believ'd: From hills they taught, how melting currents ran, 325 When the first swelling of the flood began. But, ah, how vain the thought! no Boreas there In icy bonds constrains the wintery year, But sultry southern winds eternal reign, And scorching suns the swarthy natives ftain. 330


Yet more, whatever flood the frost congeals,
Melts as the genial spring's return he feels;
While Nile's redundant waters never rise,
Till the hot Dog inflames the summer skies ;
Nor to his banks his shrinking stream confines, 335
Till high in heaven th' autumnal balance ibines,
Unlike his watery brethren he presides,
And by new laws his liquid empire guides.
Fram dropping reasons no increase he knows,
Nor feels the fleecy Towers of melting snows.

His river swells not idly, ere the land
The timely office of his waves demand;
But knows his lot, by Providence aflign’d,
To cool the season, and refresh inankind.
Whene'er the Lion Meds his fires around,

345 And Cancer burns Syene's parching ground; Then, at the prayer of nations, comes the Nile, And kindly tempers up the mouldering soil. Nor from the plains the covering god retreats, Till the rude fervour of the skies abates ;

350 Till Phæbus into milder autumn fades, And Meroä projects her lengthening shades. Nor let inquiring scepticks ask the cause, 'Tis Jove's command, and these are Nature's laws.

Others of old, as vainly too, have thought By western winds the spreading deluge brought; While at fix'd times, for many a day, they last, Possess the skies, and drive a constant blast; Collected clouds united Zephyrs bring, And shed huge rains from many a dropping wing, To heave the flood, and swell th' abounding spring.



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