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in bis infancy expos’d to wild beasts upon the
foot-race, the discus, the fight with the cæstus, mountains; but by some miraculous preser
the wrestling, and shooting of arrows; which vation he escaped this danger, and afterwards, last ends with a prodigy, foreboding that none by mistake, slew bis own father, as they con- of the confederate princes should return from tended for the way. He then married Jocasta, the war, except Adrastus. queen of Thebes, whom he knew not to be his mother, and had hy her two sons, Etheucles and Polynices; who, after their father had put out his eyes, and banished himself from Soox mournful fame through ev'ry town proThebes, agreed between themselves to govem
claiuns year by year interchangeably. But this agree- The rites of sepulture, and Grecian games : ment was ill observed. Etheocles, when his What mighty chiefs should glory give or gain, date of government was expired, refused to
Prepar'd to combat on the listed plain. resign it to Polynices: who, in his rage, Aed The e honours first the great Alcides paid to Adrastus, king of Argos, to implore assist- To please old Pelop's venerable shade: ance against his brother. Adrastus received What time pear Pisa he inhum'd the dead, the young prince with all imaginable tender- And bound with olive-wreaths bis dusty head. ness, and gave him in marriage to his fair These, with new hopes glad Pho is next bestow'd, daughter Deipyle, as the oracles had appoint. When Python sunk beneath her bowyer gud. ed. He then, with the assistance of his allies, These still religion to Palæmon pays undertakes to settle Polynices on the throne, | (Religion blinded with a length of days) and to depose Etheocles. Upon this, Thebes When hanging o'er the deep in anguish raves is besiegeii, and after several encounters, His royal mother'to the sounding waves; the difference is at last decided by the duel O'er either Isthmus floats the mingled moan, and death of the two brothers. This is the And distant Thebe answers groan for groan. main action of the poem.
The pious games begin, with loud alarms, Besides this, by way of an under-action, the Here the young warriours first prelude in arms:
poet bas interwoven another distinct story. Each blooining youth Aonia sends to fame, The goddess Venus is resolved to revenge her- And each dear object to the Tyrian dame; self upon the · Lemnians, because they neg- Who once enıbru'd in blood, shall heap around lected all sacrifices to her. She first disgusts High hills of slain, and deluge all the ground. the men with their wives, and then in return The youthful sailors thus with early care spirits up the women into a resolution of mur- Their arins exper ence, and for sea prepare : dering their husbands. This horrible design on some smooth lake their lighter oars essay, was executed by each of them, except Hyp- | And learn the dangers of the watry way; sipyle, who saved her father Thoas. Some
But once growa boid, they lanch before the time afterwards this alsı) was discovered.
wind Hypsipyle, to avoid the fury of the women Eager and swift, nor turn their eyes behind. Aled to the sea-shore; where she was taken Aurora now, fair daughter of the day, by the pirates, and presented by then to king Warm’d the clear orient with a blushing ray; Lycurgus, who made her nurse to his son Swift fruin mankind the pow'r of slumbers flew; Archemorus. The dominions of this prince lay And the pale Moon her slimm'ring beams with directly in the way from Argos to Thebes.
drew. As Adrastus and his allies were marching O'er the long woods the matin dirges run, thither, the troops were ready to perish for And shrieks of sorrow wake the rising Sun. want of water. They chanced in a wood to Th' unhappy father, father now no more, meet Hypsipyle, who pitying their misfortunes, His bosom beat, his aged hairs be tore: lays down in haste her young child, and shows Beside hun lay each ornament of state, them a spring that could never be drained. To make bim wretched, as they made him great. She receives the thanks of Adrastus, and with more than fernale grief the roother cries, having at his request recited her own adven- And wringing both her hands, obeests the skies; tures, returns back, and finds the young in Bending she weeps upon th' extended siain, fant Archemorus just kill'd by a serpent. Her Bathes ev'ry wound, returns, and weeps again, confusion and fears are described in an excel- But when the kings in sad and solemn woe, Jent speech upon that occasion. The Grecians Enter'd the dome, majestically slow: kill the serpent, and in honour of the dead (As if just then the trembling babe was found, prince perform all the rites of burial; wbich And life's last blood came issuing thro' the wound) is the subject of this present book.
Breast took from breast the melancholy strain, First of all it begins with an historical account And pausing nature wept, and sob'd again.
of the Nemean games, then follows the fu- Confus'd each Grecian hangs his guilty head, neral, with a more particular description of And weeps a flood of tears to wail the dead. hewing the forests, and offering their hair to Mean while Adrastus bears the friendly part, the deceased. The anguish of Adrastus, the And with kind words consoles the father's heart. lamentations of Eurydice, and the silence of He marks th’ eternal orders of the sky, Hypsipyle, are extremely well adapted to na- And proves tbat map was born to grieve and die; ture. A monument is erected to the memory Now tells him (leav'n will future children seud of Archemorus, which is ornamented with the To heir his kingduin, and his years defend. whole story in sculpture. After this succeed the funeral games; the chariot-race, the
In vain the charmer pleads, unbounded flow Sudden and swift as kindling flames arise, The parent's tears, in violence of woe.
float o'er the fields, and blaze unto the skies. He bears no more than storms that thund'ring The sinking grove resounds with frequent groans, Regard the sailors vows, or piercing cries, [rise, Sylvanus starts, and hoary Pales moans. And the wild hoirour of their stony eyes. Trembling and slow the guard an-nymphs retire,
Apart, a crowd of friends the bier bestrow Or clasp the tree, and perish in the fire. With cypress-boughs: then place the straw be. So when some chief (the city storm'd) conlow.
They strike, they level, seize and bear away,
The music of the Phrygian fife complains; In lonely woods, to mangling dogs a prey. Whose pow'rful sounds th' unwilling ghosts obey, Heart-wounded at the sight, in anguish stands And, pale and shiv'ring, mount the realms of day. Eurydice, and spreads her trembling hands; First Pelops taught these melancholy strains, Then turns her eyes, half dying with a groan, When Niobe's fond offspring prest the plains : For kindred miseries so like her own.
Six blooming youths, and six fair virgins fell, Arms, scepters, jewels, on the dead they throw, Sent by fierce Cynthia to the shades of Hell, And sacrifice all grandeur to their woe.
Incence and oil upon the pile they throw, As if the hero, deck'd with warlike spoil,
And mighty monarchs mighty gifts bestow. Was borne in triumph to the fun'ral pyle. High-rais'd in air the mournful bier is born, Yet as due rites, with kind affection paid, Dejected chiefs Lycurgus' train adorn; Can add some honours to the infant-shade; The female sex around the mother crowd, Hence rose magnificence, and solemn tears, And weep and sob, and rent their griefs aloud : With presents suited to maturer years.
Behind, Hypsipyle's soft sorrows flow
Each heaving bosom draws a deeper sigh,
Thus while the crystal tears unbounded ran,
In piercing shrieks Eurydice began.
In the first moments of thy infant breath? These and the rest at once, the furious sire How could I dread these bloody wars to see ; Dooms in d straction to the greedy fire.
Or deem that Thebes should ever murder thee 2 Meanwhile, assembled by the seer's commands, What sudden vengeance wing'd with wrath diTo raise the pyre, crowd thick the Grecian Pursues me still, and curses all my line? (vine bands,
Yet Cadmus' sons in ease and plenty live, From Nemee these, and 'Tempe's lofty crown, Blest with each joy th' indulging pow’rs can give; Tumble whole heaps of crashing forests down: No mourning dames in sable weeds appear, Their airy brows the naked hills visplay,
To bathe the last cold ashes with a tear. And earth once more beholds the face of day. “ Wretch that I was, too fondly to believe Deep groan the groves : on ruffling pinions rise A faithless slave, a wand'ring fugitive! Birds after birds; the angry savage flies. Pious she told the melancholy tale Sacred through time, from age to age it stood, With fair invention, pow'rful to prevail ; A wide-spread, gloomy, venerable wood; Is this that guardian of the Lemnian state, Older than man, and ev'ry sylvan maid, Who snatch'd her father from the jaws of fate) Who haunts the grot, or skiins along the glade. “ Ah no! herself the bloody furies join'd, Stretch'd o'er the ground the tow'ring oaks were And vow'd like those, destruction to mankind! seen,
Is this her care; to leave in woods alone The foodful becch, and cypress ever green: Her prince, nay more, an infant not her own? The nuptial elm, and mountain-holm entire, Suppose through pity or neglect she stray'd, The pitchy tree that feeds the fun’ral fire: (While my dear child lay trembling in the shade) The resin soft, and solitary yew,
Unknowing of the monsters wild and vast, For ever dropping with unwholesome dew; Who haunt the gloomy groves, or dreary waste; The poplar Trembling o'er the silver flood, Each murm’ring fount that quivers to the breeze, The warrior ash that reeks in hostile blood, Each dying gale that pants upon the trees, Th’advent'rous fir that sails the vast profound, Sudden by turns distract an infant's ears, And pine, fresh bleeding from th' odorous and death attends th' imaginary fears. wound
“ Hail thou dear infant ! wretched,early ghost, All at one time the nodding forests bend, Murder'd by her wbo ought to love thee most. And with a crash together all descend,
Whose bands sustain'd thee, and whose music Loud as when blustring Boreas issues forth,
(warm’d: To bring the swecping whirlwind from the north : Whose eye o'ersaw thee, and whose bosome
Who dry'd thy cheeks with streams of crystal Remote from these, another fire they feed drown'd,
(sound. With firstling victims of the woolly breed. And taught thy voice to frame the fault'ring Intent in thought the pious augur stands, Ungrateful wretch, may grief thy years consume, Approves the rites, inspires the fainting bands : And pains eternal bend thee to ihe tomb ! Calmly dissembling in his anxious mind Tear her, ye warriors, tear her from my eyes, Each sad presage of miseries behind. Deaf to her vows, her penitence, or cries:
Reiurning from the right with loud alarms, Deep in her bosom drive th’avenging dart, Again the warriors beat their clatt'ring arms: To drink the blood that feeds her faitbless heart. Shields, lances, helms, the sinking flames o'er. In the same moment I'll resign my breath,
spread, Satiate with fury, and content in death!” A friend's last pledges to the warlike dead.
Sbe spake, and starting saw the Lemnian maid, Full on the winds the swelling music floats,
And Nemee's shades pour back the length’ning Sadden ber rage rekindles at the view,
notes, And trickling down her cheeks descend the drops So when the trumpeter with lab'ring breath of dew,
Shakes the wide fields, and sounds the charge of " Bear, oh ye chiefs, this female curse away,
death: Who adds a horrour to the fun'ral day,
The blood ferinenting feels a gentle heat, Who with a smile profanes the matron's moan, Quick roll the eyes, and fast the pulses beat : And triumphs in misfortunes not her own." F’er yet their rage the martial god controls, She said, and sinking drew a fainter sigh. Nor swells their nerves, nor rushes on their souls. Rage stop'd her voice, and grief o'erwhelmed Now careful Night in sober weeds array'd, her eye;
O’er the clear skies extends her dusky shade. Thence slowly moving thro' the crowd she went They bend the copious goblet o'er the pyre, By silent steps, in sullen discontent.
And quench with wine the yet remaining fire. So when the holy priest with curious eyes, Nine times his course bright Lucifer had rollid, Dooms some fair heifer to the sacrifice,
And ev'ning Vesper deck'd his rays with gold : Or the gaunt lion bears her thro' the wood, Now o'er the urn the sacred earth they spread: As down her side distils the life-warm blood : And raise a monument to grace the dead. The mother-beast, dejected and alone,
Here in relief the Lemnian virgin stands, Pours to the winds her lamentable moan, Who points the grateful spring to Grecia's bands: With mournful looks she paces from the plain, There young Opbeltes breathes his dying moan, And often goes, and often turns again.
And seems to shiver, and turn pale in stone ; The father now unbares his rev'rend head; In waving spires the serpent floats along, His silver locks he scatters o'er the dead : And rolls his eyes in death, and darts his forky Then with a sigh, the venerable man
tongue. Thus to the parent of the gods began.
By this, the pleas'd spectators in a row, “If Jove's almighty wisdom can deceive, Throng the green Circus, and enjoy the show. Curst is the man who fondly will believe ! Deep in the bosom of a vale it stood, These sacred bairs, long from the razor free, Sacred to sports, and overhung with wood: I bore, a pious gift reservd for thee:
A darker green its grassy surface crowns,
Mean while the kindling brand awakes the And boastful youth, and deep-discerning age.
Whose front as yet, no blaze of white adoras.
grace, And clearer gold with flaming lustre glows. Shine the fair glories of their ancient race: la balmy clouds Arabia's odours rise,
Each speaking figure seems to touch the soul, To waft their grateful fragrance to the skies, And life and motion animate the whole. Rich urns of milk, tott'ring, their streams in- Here lab'ring Hercules with anguish prest cline,
The roaring lion to his manly breast. Mingling with blood, and ting'd with sable wine. Inspir’ol with art th’historic tigures rise, Sev'n mournful cohorts (as their chicftains | And ev'n in sculpture live, and meet the eyes lead)
Here rev'rend Inachus extends bis side With arms reverst pace slowly round the dead; O'er the green margin of his silver tide: Now moving to the left, enclose the pyre, Transform'd, behind him fearful lö stood, And scatter beaps of dust to sivk the fire, And cropt the grass beside her father's flood; Thrice join their spears, thrice clash their sound. She mixes with the herd her mournful cries, ing shields;
And often turns, and watches Arguis' eyes. Poyr times the females shriek, and clamour fills Cler, fronı the Pharian coast inluiging.lore the Gelds,
Transferı'd inmuital, tu the realms abuve.
Still in her fanes the sable Memphian bows, Nor strokes nor blandishment their rage conAnd eastern Magi pay their early vows.
(souls, Here Tan-alus amid the pow'rs divine
They bound and swell with more than female Lifts the deep goblet crown'd with sparkling wine: Sprung from the cloud-born Centaurs, such their Nor stands (as poets sing) in streams below,
force, Still curst with life, yet fated still to woe, Their lustful heat, and fury in the course. The wretch for ever pines, the streams for ever Then fair Hypsipile's bold offspring came, flow.
Two lovely twins, alike intent on fame, (same. There Pelops lashes on with loos'ned reins Their steeds, their chariots, and their arms the Neptune's fleet coursers o'er the smoking plains: (This Thuas call'd, the name his grandsire bore, Behind his rival o'er the rapid steed
And Euneos that, to sail from shore to shore) Hangs imminent—and drives with equal speed. Each wish'd the glorious victory his own, Acrysius here in thoughtful posture stands : If not-- his brother to be blest alone. There brave Choræbus lifts his bleeding hands. Last Chromis and Hippodamus succeed, Here am'rous Jore descending as of old, Each checks the reins, and each inspires his Impregnates Danae with a show'r of gold.
steed : Her blushes Amymóne strives to hide,
Alike with martial eminence they shone, Comprest by Neptune in the silver tide.
Enomäus' this, and that Alcides' son ; Alcmena there young Hercules admires,
One drove the coursers erst at Pisa bred, As her head blazes with three lambent fires. And one the savage steeds of Diomed.
Here Belus' sons at Hymen's altars stard, Whence first they start, a stony fragment And join with hearts averse ihe friendly hand : Of old, a limit to contiguous lands, (stands, A faithless smile of ill-dissembled grace
An aged oak of leares and branches bare, Seem'd most to flatter in Egysthus' face: Presents a goal to guide the circling car, As the calm villain with severe delight
Their distance such, as the wing'd arrow flies Acts in bis mind the murders of the night. Thrice from the bow sent hissing through the Now ev'ry bosom beats with hopes, or fear,
skies, The clamours thicken,and the crowd draws near. Mean while, high-thron'd amid th' Aonian Inspire the muse, to sing each hero's deeds, Divine Apollo strikes the silver lyre; [quire O pow'r of verse! and name, and gen'rous steeds. He sung the wars on Phlegra's fatal plain,
Before, afar, Arion beats the plain ; [mane : And Python, o'er Castalia's fountain slain. Loose to the breeze high-danc'd his Aoating He sung what order rules the worlds on high, Immortal steed! whom first th' earth-shaker's Who bids the thunder roar, and lightning fy: band
Who feeds the stars, or gave the winds to blow: Tam'd to the lash, and drove along the strand : What springs eternal swell the seas below; Though restless as the wintry surges roll, Who spread the clouds, who rolls the lamp of And furious still, and unsubdu'd of soul.
light Mix'd with his watry steeds the god he bore O'er Heav'n's blue arch, or wraps the world in To Lybian Syrtes, or th' Jopian shore:
night. Swift flew the rapid car, and left behind
Here ceas'd th' harmonious god, his lyre he The noise of tempests, and the wings of wind. With decent care beneath a laureat shade; [laid To glory next great Hercules he drew,
Then in rich robes his beauteous limbs he drest: O'er hills, and vales, and craggy rocks he flew : A starry zone hung blazing o'er bis breast. Then to Adrastus' government was gir'n
Sudden a shout confus'dly strikes bis ears Th’immortal courser, and the gift of Heav'n. He bends his awful eyes, the crowd appears, The royal hand by due degrees reclaim'd, Each chief he knows, and honours each, but most And jength of years his stubborn Spirit tam'd: The ? priest, and ruler of Thessalia's host, Him now with many a wish, and many a pray'r, “What pow'r,” (hecries) “has tir'd with thirst of Adrastus lends to Polynices' care ;
These two adorers of Apollo's name? [fame Shows him to urge his fiery soul along
Equally dear and good, alike renown'd With tim'rous hand, and gentleness of tongue: For piety, alike with favours crown'd. The reins to guide, the circling lash to wield, When once a swain the lowing herds I drove, And drive victorious o'er the dusty field. (Such was the doom of fate, and wrath of Jore) So sail Apollo with a boding sigh
Still did Admetus' pious altars blaze, Told his fond child the danger of the sky : And ev'ry temple rung with hymns of praise; Careful the parent, such advice to give;
While at my shrine Amphiaräus stands, Could fate be chang'd, or headstrong youth and lifts his eyes, and spreads his trembling believe !
hands; Th’ @balian priest moves second o'er the dearest, best of men; alas no moreplain,
Black fate impends, and all thy joys are o'er. Who boasts his coursers of immortal strain : Soon must the Theban earth in sunder rend Sprung from fair Cyllarus in days of yore : Her opening jaws, and thou to Hell descend! (The guilty product of a stol'n amour)
Admetus' life to distant times shall last, When Castor griev'd in bitterness of soul, (pole. And ev'ry year add glories to the past : Where seas scarce flow beneath the Scythian | Unknowing of repentance, cares, and strife, White were the steeds that drew him o'er the These bands shall guide him to the verge of life. field,
Each bird of omen told the fatal day". White was his helm, his ribbands, and his shield. He said, and weeping turn'd his eyes away : Next, bold Admetus, whirling from abore
• Amphiaräus. * Admetus. The sounding scourge, his female coursers drore :
Then sndden from Olympus' airy height, Unable to control, the trembling chief
Sits sadly silent, and indulges grief:
Pleas'd with his liberty the sea-horn horse Bending he shoots adown the shining skies : Springs with a bound, and thunders o'er the Er'n while on Farth the god pursues his way, Behind, aloft, the streams of glory play,
Loud shouts the multitude ; in wild debate Dance on the winds, or in a blaze decay.
Of fears and terrours Polynices sate, Now in bis helm impartial Prothöns throws Flins
the reins, and waits th' event of fate. The flying lots, and as the lots dispose,
So spent with toils, and gasping after breath, Around him rang'd in beauteous orier came Pants the pale sailor in the arms of death; Each ardent youth, a candidate for fame. In sad despair gires ev'ry labour o'er, Here wild mistrust, and jealousies appear, And marks the skies and faithless winds no more. And pale surprise, and self-suspecting fear: Now horse with horse, to chariot chariot clos'd, Restless impatience, cold in ev'ry part,
Wheels clash'd with wheels, and chief to chief And a sad dread that seems to sink the heart.
Amphiaräns hastens with a blow
T'exalt their pride, a crowd of servants deck With vows and pray’rs Hippodamus excites
Strimon encourag'd by bold Chromis fies, Instant, (the signal giv’n) the rival throng And swift Æchion starts at Euneos' cries : Starts sudden with a bound-and shouts along. And fair Podarcè Heck'd with purple stains, Swift as a vessel o'er the waters flies,
By Thoas summon'd, beats the sounding plains. Swift as an arrow hisses through the skies : In silence Polynices drives alone, Swift as a flame devours the crackling wood, Sighs to himself, and treinbles to be known. Swift as the headlong torrents of a flod.
Three times the smoking car with rapid pace Now in one cloud they vanish from the eye, Had turn'd the goal, the fourth concludes the Nor see nor know their rivals as they fly : They turn the goal: again with rapid pace Fast and more fast the panting coursers blow, The wheels roll round, and blot their former And streams of sweat from ev'ry member flow. trace;
Now Fortune first the crown of conquest Now on their knees they steer a bending course,
brings Now hang impatient o'er the flving horse. (Suspending in mid air her trembling wings). From groaning earth the mingling clamours rise, inact to hurl Admetus to the plain, Confusion fills their ears, and darkness blinds Revengful Thoas gives up all the rein ; their eyes.
Hippodamus survey'd the fraud from far: Instinct with prescience, or o'eraw'd by fear, Full in its course he met the driving car, Arion feels an unknown charioteer
Loud clash'd the wheels; Hippodamus withdrew Pois'd on the reins ; to sudden thought restord, To turn the chariot, ardent Chromas flew He dreads the fury of his absent lord :
Instant before, in angry fight oppos'd, Enrag'd now runs at random, and visdains Chief strove with chief, to chariot chariot clos'd. To bear a stranger : wonder fills the plains. In vain th’impatient coursers urge along, All think the steed too eager for the prize; Lock'd in th' enibrace, indissolubly strong. The steed breathes vengeance, from the driver So when the summer winds in silence sleep, flies,
And drowsy Neptune stills the watry deep: And seeks his master round with wishful eyes. O'er the clear verdant wave extended lics The next, though mighty far the next, suc- Th' unmoring vessel, till the goles arise. ceeds
Again the warriors strive, the fields resound : Amphiaräns with his snow-white steeds: Hippodamnus, all sodden with a bound Close by his side Admetus whirls along, Shock'd from his chariot tumbled to the ground. Euneos and Thoas join the flying throng: The Thracian coursers (but their chief withstoorl) Next Chromas and Hippodamus appear, Spring to devour his limbs, and drink his blood : Who wage a dreadful conflict in the rear : Instant the gen'rons victor turn'd away, Skill’d of themselves, in vain they urge the chase, and gain'd more glory though he lost the day. (Their steeds too heary for so swift a race)
Mean while the god who gilds th' ethereal Hippodamus Alex first, and full behind
space Impatient Chromis blows the sultry wind. Descends, himself a partner of the race:
Admetus now directs the side-long horse (Just where the steeds their stretching shade To turn the goal, and intercept the course: And the long labours of the Circus end) (extend, His equal art the priest of Phưebus tries, A Gorgon's head aloft in air he bore, The goal he brushes, as his chariot Aies;
Horrid with snakes, and stain'd with human gore: While mad Arion wanders o'er the plain, One ghastly look were able to dismay Nor minds the race, nor hears the curbing rein. I The steeds of Mars, or those that lead the day;