Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

Whofe memory of found is long fince gone,
And purposely annihilated for his throne:
Beneath, two foft transparent clouds do meet,
In which he feems to fink his fofter feet.
A melancholy thought, condens'd to air,
Stol'n from a lover in despair,

Like a thin mantle, ferves to wrap
In fluid folds his vifionary shape.

A wreath of darkness round his head he wears, Where curling mifts fupply the want of hairs: While the still vapours, which from poppies rife, Bedew his hoary face, and lull his eyes.

IV.

But hark! the heavenly sphere turns round,
And Silence now is drown'd

In ecftacy of found.

How on a fudden the ftill air is charm'd,
As if all harmony were juft alarm'd !
And every foul with transport fill'd,
Alternately is thaw'd and chill'd.
See how the heavenly choir
Come flocking to admire,

And with what speed and care

Defcending angels cull the thinnest air!

Hafte then, come all th' immortal throng,

And liften to her fong;

Leave your lov'd manfions in the sky,

And hither, quickly hither fly.

Your lofs of heaven nor fhall you need to fear;

While fhe fings, 'tis heaven here.

V.

See how they crowd, fee how the little cherubs skip! While others fit around her mouth, and fip

Sweet Hallelujahs from her lip,

Thofe lips, where in furprize of blifs they rove;
For ne'er before did angels tafte

So exquifite a feast,

Of mufic and of love.

Prepare then, ye immortal choir,
Each facred minstrel tune his lyre,

And with her voice in chorus join;

Her voice, which next to yours is most divine.
Blefs the glad earth with heavenly lays,
And to that pitch th' eternal accents raifè,
Which only breath infpir'd' can reach,

To notes, which only fhe can learn, and you can teach :
While we, charm'd with the lov'd excess,

Are wrapt in fweet forgetfulness

Of all, of all, but of the prefent happiness :
Wishing for ever in that state to lie,

For ever to be dying fo, yet never die.

PRIAM'S

PRIA M'S

LAMENTATION AND PETITION

TO

A CH I L LE S,

FOR THE BODY OF HIS SON HECTOR.

Tranflated from the Greek of Homer, Iliad w.

Beginning at this Line,

Ως ἄρα φωνήσας ἀπέβη πρὸς μακρὸν Ὄλυμπον *Ερμείας.

Argument introductory to this Translation.

Hector's body (after he was flain) remained still in the poffeffion of Achilles; for which Priam made great lamentation. Jupiter had pity on him; and fent Iris to comfort him, and direct him after what manner he fhould go to Achilles' tent; and how he should there ranfom the body of his fon. Priam accordingly orders his chariot to be got ready, and, preparing rich prefents for Achilles, fets forward to the Grecian camp, accompanied by nobody but his herald Idæus. Mercury, at Jupiter's command, meets him by the way, in the figure of a young Grecian, and, after bemoaning his misfortunes, undertakes to drive his chariot unobferved through the guards, and to the door of D Achilles'

[ocr errors]

Achilles' tent; which having performed, he difcovered himself a god, and giving him a short instruction how to move Achilles to compaffion, flew up to heaven.

S O fpake the god, and heavenward took his flight;

When Priam from his chariot did alight;

Leaving Idæus there, alone he went
With folemn pace into Achilles' tent.

Heedlefs he pafs'd through various rooms of state,
Until approaching where the hero fate;
There, at a feast, the good old Priam found
Jove's beft-belov'd, with all his chiefs around ;
Two only were t' attend his perfon plac'd,
Automedon and Alcymus; the rest

At greater distance, greater ftate exprefs'd.
Priam, unfeen by thefe, his way pursued,
And first of all was by Achilles view'd.
About his knees his trembling arms he caft,
And agonizing grafp'd and held them faft;
Then caught his hands, and kifs'd and prefs'd them clofe,
Thofe hands, th' inhuman authors of his woes;
Thofe hands, whofe unrelenting force had coft

Much of his blood (for many fons he loft).

But, as a wretch who has a murder done,

And, feeking refuge, does from justice run,
Entering fome house, in hafte, where he 's unknown,
Creates amazement in the lookers-on :

So did Achilles gaze, furpriz'd to fee

The godlike Priam's royal mifery;

3

All

All on each other gaz'd, all in furprize,

And mute, yet feem'd to question with their eyes,
Till he at length the folemn filence broke;
And thus the venerable fuppliant fpoke:
“Divine Achilles, at your feet behold

"A proftrate King, in wretchedness grown old :
"Think on your father, and then look on me,
"His hoary age and helpless person see;

"So furrow'd are his cheeks, fo white his hairs,

66

Such, and fo many, his declining years;

"Could you imagine (but that cannot be) "Could you imagine fuch, his mifery !

"Yet it may come, when he shall be opprefs'd, "And neighbouring princes lay his country wafte "Ev'n at this time, perhaps, fome powerful foe, "Who will no mercy, no compaffion show, Entering his palace, fees him feebly fly, "And feek protection where no help is nigh. "In vain he may your fatal abfence mourn, “ And wish, in vain, for your delay'd return; "Yet, that he hears you live, is some relief; "Some hopes alleviate his excefs of grief; "It glads his foul to think, he once may fee "His much-lov'd fon; would that were granted me? "But I, moft wretched I! of all bereft! "Of all my worthy fons how few are left! "Yet fifty goodly youths I had to boast, "When firft the Greeks invaded lion's coaft: "Nineteen, the joyful iffue of one womb,

"Are now, alas! a mournful tribute to one tomb.

[blocks in formation]
« ПредишнаНапред »