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And now a thousand lives together fled,
Death with his fcythe cut off the fatal thread,
And a whole province in his triumph led.
But Phoebus afk'd why noxious fires appear,
And raging Sirius blafts the fickly year;
Demands their lives by whom his monster fell,
And dooms a dreadful facrifice to hell.
Bleft be thy duft, and let eternal fame
Attend thy Manes, and preserve thy name,
Undaunted hero! who divinely brave,
In fuch a cause difdain'd thy life to fave;
But view'd the fhrine with a fuperior look,
And its upbraided Godhead thus bespoke :
With piety, the foul's fecureft guard,
And conscious virtue, ftill its own reward,
Willing I come, unknowing how to fear;
Nor fhalt thou, Phoebus, find a fuppliant here. 760
Thy monster's death to me was ow'd alone,
And 'tis a deed too glorious to difown.
Behold him here, for whom, so many days,
Impervious clouds conceal'd thy fullen rays;
For whom, as Man no longer claim'd thy care, 765
Such numbers fell by peftilential air!
But if th' abandon'd race of human kind
From Gods above no more compaffion find;
If fuch inclemency in heav'n can dwell,
Yet why must unoffending Argos feel
The vengeance due to this unlucky fteel?
Vota mihi. fatis eft: merui ne parcere velles.
Proinde move pharetras, arcufque intende fonoros,
Infignemque animam leto demitte: fed illum
Pallidus Inachiis qui defuper imminet Argis,
Dum morior, depelle globum. Fors aequa merentes
Refpicit. ardentem tenuit reverentia caedis
Latoïden, triftemque viro fummiffus honorem
Largitur vitae. noftro mala nubila coelo
Diffugiunt. at tu ftupefacti a limine Phoebi
Exoratus abis. inde haec ftata facra quotannis
Solemnes recolunt epulae, Phoebeiaque placat
Templa novatus honos: has forte invifitis aras.
Vos quae progenies? quanquam Calydonius Oeneus
Et Parthaoniae (dudum fi certus ad aures
Clamor iit) tibi jura domûs; tu pande quis Argos
Advenias? quando haec variis fermonibus hora eft.
Dejecit moeftos extemplo Ifmenius heros
In terram vultus, taciteque ad Tydea laefum
Obliquare oculos, tum longa filentia movit :
Non fuper hos divûm tibi fum quaerendus honores
Unde genus, quae terra mihi: quis defluat ordo
Sanguinis antiqui, piget inter facra fateri.
Sed fi praecipitant miferum cognofcere curae,
Cadmus origo patrum, tellus Mavortia Thebae,
Et genetrix Jocafto mihi. tum motus Adrastus
On me, on me, let all thy fury fall,
Nor err from me, fince I deserve it all:
Unless our defert cities please thy fight,
Or fun'ral flames reflect a grateful light.
Discharge thy fhafts, this ready bofom rend,
And to the fhades a ghost triumphant fend;
But for my Country let my fate atone,
Be mine the vengeance, as the crime my own.
Merit diftrefs'd, impartial heav'n relieves : 780 Unwelcome life relenting Phoebus gives;
For not the vengeful pow'r, that glow'd with rage, With fuch amazing virtue durft engage.
The clouds difpers'd, Apollo's wrath expir'd, 784
And from the wond'ring God th'unwilling youth retir'd.
Thence we these altars in his temple raise,
And offer annual honours, feasts, and praise;
These folemn feasts propitious Phoebus please :
These honours, ftill renew'd, his ancient wrath ap-
But fay, illuftrious guest, (adjoin'd the King) 790
What name you bear, from what high race you spring?
The noble Tydeus ftands confefs'd, and known
Our neighbour Prince, and heir of Calydon,
Relate your fortunes, while the friendly night
And filent hours to various talk invite.
The Theban bends on earth his gloomy eyes,
Confus'd, and fadly thus at length replies:
Before these altars how fhall I proclaim
(Oh gen'rous prince) my nation, or my name,
Hofpitiis (agnovit enim) quid nota recondis?
Scimus, ait; nec fic averfum fama Mycenis
Volvit iter. regnum, et furias, oculofque pudentes
Novit, et Arctoïs fi quis de folibus horret,
Quique bibit Gangen, aut nigrum occafibus intrat Oceanum, et fi quos incerto littore Syrtes
Deftituunt, ne perge queri, cafufque priorum Annumerare tibi. noftro quoque fanguine multum
Erravit pietas. nec culpa nepotibus obftat.
Tu modo diffimilis rebus mereare fecundis
Excufare tuos. fed jam temone fupino
Languet Hyperboreae glacialis portitor urfae.
Fundite vina focis, fervatoremque parentum
Latoïden votis iterumque iterumque canamus.
Or through what veins our ancient blood has roll'd? Let the fad tale for ever reft untold!
Yet if propitious to a wretch unknown,
You seek to share in forrows not your own;
Know then from Cadmus I derive my race,
Jocafta's fon, and Thebes my native place,
To whom the King (who felt his gen'rous breaft
Touch'd with concern for his unhappy gueft)
Replies:-Ah why forbears the fon to name
His wretched father known too well by fame?
Fame, that delights around the world to ftray, 810
Scorns not to take our Argos in her way;
Ev'n those who dwell where funs at diftance roll,
In northern wilds, and freeze beneath the pole ;
And those who tread the burning Libyan lands,
The faithlefs Syrtes and the moving fands;
Who view the western fea's extremeft bounds,
Or drink of Ganges in their eaftern grounds;
All these the woes of Oedipus have known,
Your fates, your furies, and your haunted town.
If on the fons the parents crimes defcend,
What Prince from thofe his lineage can defend?
Be this thy comfort, that 'tis thine t'efface
With virtuous acts thy ancestor's difgrace,
And be thyfelf the honour of thy race.
But fee! the stars begin to fteal away,
And shine more faintly at approaching day;
the wine; and in your tuneful lays
Once more refound the great Apollo's praise.