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When first appear the ruddy freaks of light,
And glimm'ring beams dispel the parting night.
In these foft fhades unprest by human feet
The happy Phenix keeps his balmy seat;
Far from the world disjoin'd he reigns alone,
Alike the empire and its king unknown:
A godlike Bird! whose endless round of years
Outlasts the stars and tires the circling spheres.
Not us'd like vulgar birds to cat his fill,
Or drink the crystal of the murm'ring rill,
But fed with warnith from Titan's purer ray,
And flak'd by streams which eastern seas convey,
Still he renews his life in these abodes,
Contemps the pow'r of Fate and mates the gods. 20
His fiery eyes shoot forth a glitt'ring ray,
And round his head ten thousand glories play;
High on his creft a ftar celestial bright
Divides the darkness with its piercing light;
His legs are stain’d with purple's lively die,
His azure wings the fleeting winds outfly;
Soft plumes of cheerful blue his limbs infold,
Enrich'd with spangles and bedropt with gold.
Begot by none himself, begetting none,
Sice of himself he is, and of himself the son; 30
His life in fruitful death renews his date,
And kind destruction but prolongs his fate;
Ęv'n in the grave new strength his limbs receive,
And on the fun’ral pile begin to live;
For when a thousand times the summer fun
35 His bending race has on the zodiack run, And when as oft' the vernal signs have rollid, As oft' the wintry brought the numbing cold, Then drops the Bird worn out with aged cares, And bends beneath the mighty load of years.
So falls the stately pine that proudly grew The fade and glory of the mountain's brow: When pierc'd by blasts and spouting clouds o'erspread It slowly finking nods its tote’ring head, Part dies by winds and part by fickly rains, 45 And wasting age destroys the poor
remains. Then as the silver empress of the Night O’erclouded glimmers in a fainter light, So frozen with age and shut from light's supplies In lazy rounds scarce roll his feeble eyes, And those fleet wings for strength and speed renown'd Scarce rear th' inactive lumber from the ground.
Mysterious arts a second time create The Bird prophetick of approaching fate: Pil'd on a heap Sabæan herbs he lays,
35 Parch'd by his fire the Sun's intensest rays ; The pile design'd to form his fun'ral scene He wraps in covers of a fragrant green, And bids his spicy heap at once become A grave destructive and a teeming womb. 60
Or the rich bed the dying wonder lies, Imploring Phæbus with persuasive cries
him in collected rays, And new create him in a deadly blaze.
The god beholds the suppliant from afar, And stops the progress of his heav'nly car. “Othou,”sayshe,“whom harmless firesshall burn, " Thy age the flame to second youth shall turn, “ An infant's cradle is thy funeral urn! “ 'Thouon, whom Heav'n hasfix'dth'ambig'ousdoom Hi To live by ruin and by death to bloom, 71
' Thy life, thy strength, thy lovely form, renew, " And with fresh beauties doubly charm the view!"
Thus speaking, ʼmidst the aromatick bed A golden beam be tosses from his head;
75 Swift as desire the shining ruin flies, And straight devours the willing sacrifice, Who haftes to perish in the fertile fire, Sink into strength, and into life expire.
In flames the circling odours mount on high, 80
Perfume the air and glitter in the sky;
The moon and stars anaz'd retard their flight,
And Nature startles at the doubtful sight!
For whilst the pregnant urn with fury glows
The goddess labours with a mother's throes,
Yet joys to cherish in the friendly flames
The noblest product of the fill the claims.
Th’enliv’ning duit its head begins to rear,
And on the ashes sprouting plumes appear;
In the dead Bird reviving vigour reigns,
90 And life returning revels in his veins;
A new born Phenix starting from the flame
Obtains at once a son's and father's name,
And the great change of double life displays
In the short moment of one transient blaze! 95
On his new pinions to the Nile he bends,
And to the gods his parent urti commends,
'To Egypt bearing with majestick pride
The balmy nest where first he liv'd and dy'd.
Birds of all kinds admire th’unusual fight,
And grace the triumph of his infant flight;
In crowds unnumber'd round their chief they fly,
Oppress the air and cloud the spacious sky;
Nor dares the fiercelt of the winged race
Obstruct his journey thro’th'ethereal space; 105
The hawk and eagle useless wars forbear,
Forego their courage and consent to fear;
The feather'd nations humble homage bring,
And bless the gaudy flight of their ambrosial king!
Less glitt'ring pomp does Parthia's monarch yield Commanding legions to the dusty field, III Tho' sparkling jewels on his helm abound, And royal gold his awful head surround, Tho'rich embroid'ry paint his purple vest, And his steed bound in costly trappings dreit, Pleas'd in the battle's dreadful van to ride In graceful grandeur and imperial pride.
Fan'd for the worship of the Sun there stands A facred fane in Egypt's fruitful lands,
Hewn from the Theban mountain's rocky womb,
An hundred columns rear the marble dome; I21
Hither it is said he brings the precious load,
A grateful off'ring to the beamy god,
Upon whose altar's confecrated blaze
The seeds and relicks of himself he lays, 125
Whence flaming incense makes the temple shine,
And the glad altars breathe perfumes divine;
The wafted smell to far Pelufium flies
To cheer old ocean and enrich the skies,
With nectar's sweets to make the nations smile, 130
And scent the sevenfold channels of the Nile.
Thrice happy Phenix! Heav’n’s peculiar care
Has made thyself thyself's surviving heir;
By death thy deathless vigour is fupply'd,
Which sinks to ruin all the world beside : 135
'Thy age not thee aflifting Phoebus burns,
And vital fames light up thy fun’ral urns:
Whate’er events have been thy eyes survey,
And thou art fixt while
Thou saw'ft when raging Ocean buríl his bed, 140
O’ertopp'd the mountains and the earth o'erspread;
When the raih youth inflam'd the high abodes,
Scorch'd up the skies and scar'd the deathless gods.
When Nature ceases thou shalt still remain,
Nor second Chaos bound thy endless reign ;
Face's tyrant laws thy happier lot fall brave,
Baffle destruction and elude the grave.