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The Story of CEYX and ALCYONE,
Translated by Mr. DR YDEN.
HESE prodigies affect the pious prince ;
But more perplex'd with those that happen'd
He purposes to seek the Clarian God,
Avoiding Delphi, his more fam'd abode,
Since Phrygian robbers made unsafe the road.
Yet could he not from her he lov'd so well,
The fatal voyage, he resolv’d, conceal ;
But when she saw her Lord prepar'd to part,
A deadly cold ran shiv’ring to her heart ;
Her faded cheeks are chang’d to boxen hue,
And in her
the tears are ever new.
She thrice essay'd to speak; her accents hung,
And falt'ring dy'd unfinish'd on her tongue,
Or vanish'd into fighs : with long delay
Her voice return'd and found the wonted way.
Tell me, my Lord, she said, what fault unknown
Thy once belov'd Alcyonè has done?
Whither, ah, whither, is thy kindness gone!
Can Ceyx then fuftain to leave his wife,
And unconcern'd forsake the sweets of life?
What can thy mind to this long journey move?
Or need'st thou absence to renew thy love?
Yet if thou go'st by land, tho' grief possess
My soul ev’n then, my fears will be the less.
But ah! be warn'd to shun the watry way,
The face is frightful of the stormy sea :
For late I saw a-drift disjointed planks,
And empty tombs erected on the banks.
Nor let false hopes to trust betray thy mind,
fire in caves constrains the wind,
Can with a breath their clam'rous rage appeare,
They fear his whistle, and forsake the seas :
Not fo; for once indulg'd, they sweep the main ;
Deaf to the call, or hearing, hear in vain ;
But bent on mischief bear the waves before,
And not content with seas, insult the shore,
When ocean, air, and earth at once engage,
And rooted forests fly before their rage :
At once the clashing clouds to battle move,
And lightnings run across the fields above :
I know them well, and mark'd their rude comport,
While yet a child within my
father's court :
In times of tempests they command alone,
And he but fits precarious on the throne :
The more I know, the more my fears
And fears are oft prophetic of th' evēnt.
But if not fears, or reasons will prevail,
If fate has fix'd thee obstinate to fail,
Go not without thy wife, but let me bear
My part of danger with an equal share
And present, what I suffer only fear :
Then o'er the bounding billows shall we Ay;
Secure to live together, or to die.
These reasons mov'd her starlike husband's heart,
But still he held his purpose to depart:
For as he lov'd her equal to his life,
He would not to the seas expose his wife ;
Nor could be wrought his voyage to refrain,
But sought by arguments to footh her pain :
Nor these avail'd; at length he lights on one,
With which fo difficult a cause he won :
My love, so short an absence cease to fear,
For by my father's holy flame I swear,
Before two moons their orb with light adorn,
If heav'n allow me life, I will return.
This promise of fo short a stay prevails;
He foon equips the ship, supplies the fails,
And gives the word to launch; she trembling views
This pomp of death, and parting tears renews :
Last with a kiss she took a long farewel,
Sigh'd with a fad presage, and swooning fell :
While Ceyx seeks delays, the lusty crew,
Rais'd on their banks, their oars in order drew
To their broad breasts, the ihip with fury flew.
The queen recover'd, rears her humid
And first her husband on the poop espies,
Shaking his hand at distance on the main ;
She took the fign, and shook her hand again.
Still as the ground recedes, contracts her view
With sharpen'd fight, 'till she no longer knew
The much lov'd face; that comfort lost supplies
With less, and with the galley feeds her eyes:
The galley borne from view by rising gales,
She follow'd with her fight the flying sails :
When ev’n the flying fails were feen no more,
Forsaken of all fight fhe left the shore.
Then on her bridal bed her body throws,
And fought in sleep her wearied eyes to close :
Her husband's pillow, and the widow'd part
Which once he press’d, renew'd the former smart.
And now a breeze from shore began to blow,
The sailors ship their oars, and cease to row W;
Then hoist their yards a-trip, and all their fails
Let fall, to court the wind, and catch the gales :
By this the vessel half her course had run;
And as much rested 'till the rising fun;
Both shores were lost to fight, when at the close
Of day a ftiffer gale at East arose :
The sea grew white, the rolling waves from far,
Like heralds, first denounce the watry war.
This seen, the master foon began to cry,
Strike, strike the top-sail; let the main-sheet fly,
And furl your sails : the winds repel the sound,
And in the speaker's mouth the speech is drown'd.
Yet of their own accord, as danger taught
Each in his way, officiously they wrought:
Some stow their oars, or stop the leaky fides,
Another bolder yet the yard bestrides,
And folds the fails; a fourth with labour laves
Th’intruding seas, and waves ejects on waves.
In this confufion while their work they ply,
The winds augment the winter of the sky,
And wage intestine wars; the fuff'ring seas
Are tofs'd, and mingled, as their tyrants please.
The master would command, but in despair
Of safety, stands amaz’d with stupid care ;
Nor what to bid, or what forbid he knows,
Th’ungovern'd tempest to such fury grows :
Vain is his force, and vainer is his skill;
With such a concourse comes the flood of ill;
The cries of men are mix'd with rattling frowds ;
Seas dash on seas, and clouds encounter clouds :
At once from East to West, from pole to pole,
The forky lightnings flash, the roaring thunders roll.
Now waves on waves ascending scale the skies,
And in the fires above the water fries :
When yellow sands are fifted from below,
The glittering billows give a golden show :
And when the fouler bottom spews the black,
The Stygian dye the tainted waters take :
Then frothy white appear the flatted seas,
And change their colour, changing their diseafe,
Like various fits the Trachin vessel finds :
And now sublime, she rides
the winds; As from a lofty fummit looks from high, And from the clouds beholds the nether sky;