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And still unbroken stood his car sublime,
Though the worn reins had felt the worm of time.
But how to launch with all a warrior's art,
With all a warrior's force, the deathful dart ;
To shun, beneath his shield's protective shade,
The furious impulse of the flashing blade;
To marshal armies dreadful in array,

Lead the fierce horse, and well-tim'd ambush lay;
Such Castor taught-what time, in Tydeus' reign,
He fled, an exile, over Argos' plain.

The Argive sceptre from Adrastus came,
Who bade the vineyard vales hail Tydens' name.
No warrior's equal prowess could engage
The valiant Castor, ere unstrung by age.
Thus taught the paths of glory to pursue,
Beneath his mother's eye the hero grew.
Fast by his father's bed, a lion's hide
Form'd his rough couch, in all its shaggy pride.
His evening viands, large as hinds partake,
Were savoury ven'son and the Doric cake:
But sparing were his noonday meals!-array'd
In no rich vest, whose floating folds display'd
The needle's art-in plain unprincely robe
'Twas his to range the' inhospitable globe,

IDYLLIUM

THE TWENTY-FIFTH.

HERCULES THE LION SLAYER.

His instruments of labour laid aside,
The hoary herdsman to the chief replied:
'I haste, (nor deem it a reluctant task)
O stranger, to impart whate'er you ask:
For much celestial Hermes I revere,
Whose statues awful in each road appear.
He most of all the heavenly tribe, they say,
Hates those who from the traveller turn away.
These flocks, with which the hills, the vales, are
Innumerous, own Augias for their lord: [stor'd--
O'er various soils they range beyond our view;
On Elisus' soft banks their path pursue,
Or where divine Alpheus' waters flow;
Or where Buprasium's clustering vineyards glow;
Or wanton here, amid these meads of gold;
And every flock apart enjoys its fold.

Though crop'd by many a herd that roves around,
In fresh luxuriance smiles their pasture-ground,
Menius' rich marsh: for here, beneath the dew,
The varied herbage springs for ever new.
See to the right, their stalls conspicuous gleam,
Beyond the winding current of the stream,

Where grow yon clumps of high perennial plane, And yon wild olive spreads, Apollo's fane :

Each shepherd swain, slow pacing down the glade, Invokes his first of gods, and hails the shade.

Next rise our stalls, whose spacious rooms contain
The stores our care hath heap'd, of golden grain-
The riches that around our sovereign flow,
While thrice plough'd up, the teeming glebe we sow.
They who the vineyards plant, or prune, or rear,
Or tread the wine-press with laborious care,
Well know the wealthy monarch's vast domain ;
The grass-green vales, the harvest-reddening plain;
And widely-waving far as yonder hills

Whose fair tops glitter with refreshing rills,
These shadowy gardens, where our daily toil
(For such the life of swains) prepares the soil.
But tell me, is it chance or business leads
Your footsteps, stranger, to these happy meads?
Say, do you seek (nor deem my service vain)
The king, or one of his attendant train?
Trust to my care: and sure, if right I ween,
Your manly graces, and your portly mien
Shine, with no semblance of ignoble birth-
For thus the sons of gods appear on earth.'
Jove's son replied: 'O friend, I speed my way
To hail the prince whom Elis' realms obey!
But if, amidst his citizens, the cause
Of right engage him to dispense the laws;
Then give me for my guide the master-swain,
Whose council best may help me to explain
My wants; for Jove decreed, when earth began,
That man should ever want the help of man.'

Sure some immortal's smile your worth hath won! (The herdsman cried) your work's already done!

For hither from the town Augias came,

With Phyleus, his lov'd son, long mark'd by fame, But yester morn-to view, for many a day,

His rural riches in their full display.

[eyes,
Thus kings, who trace their wealth with watchful
Flourish, while aggrandiz'd their houses rise!
But let us hasten, and the sovereign hail-
To yonder stall I'll guide you down the vale.'
This said, he leads the way, while wonder rose,
Full many a thought revolving as he goes!
For with the feelings of unusual awe,

The lion's spoils, the club's strong knots he saw.
Oft, he would ask, whence came this hero guest→→→
Yet fear, as oft, the rising words repress'd;
Obtrusive they might seem, or ill-design'd-
Who knows the motions of another's mind?

Whilst yet far off, the dogs sagacious knew
Their coming by their tread and scent; and flew
From every part, and great Alcides bay'd;
But round the shepherd fawn'd, and whining play'd.
With threats he snatch'd the stones that loosely lay,
And drove the scattering mastives far away;
While pleas'd, as silenc'd by his voice they fled,
To mark their guardian vigilance he said:
'Ye gods! what useful animals are these!
Heavens! how subservient to the shepherd's ease!
Had they but quick instinctive sense to know
The different aspect of a friend or foe,
No creature could outvie their honest worth-
But rushing with an ill-tim'd fury forth,

How fierce they bay'd!' he spoke—they disappear'd, And not the murmur of a growl was heard.

Meantime the sun his westering car display'd, While Hesper glimmer'd through the cooling shade.

And now each shepherd of the prince beholds
Returning flocks, and speeds them to their foids.
Then numerous oxen bend their winding way,
And herd succeeded herd, in long array.

Like vapours, that, as blustering winds impel,
Sail o'er the heavens, and still condensing, swell;
Cloud driven on cloud, in countless heaps arise,
And with incumbent blackness blot the skies;
Thus herds and flocks fill'd, thickening, every road,
And the deep vallies echoed as they low'd.
Now, crouded every fold and every stall,
See troops of slaves, with tasks assign'd to all—
To tame the frisky cow, through shackling weights,
Or give the fattening calves their mother's teats,
Or bear the pails, or drive the bulls apart,
Or press the curdled cheese with nicer art.
From stall to stall the curious king repairs,
And marks the product of his rural cares.
His eyes o'er all the rich assemblage rove,
Whilst, near, his son and great Alcides move.
Here (though his soul, to no mean views confin'd,
Scorn'd the weak wonder of the vulgar mind)
Amphitryon's offspring notes, with many a glance
Admiring, as his eager steps advance,

Such flocks, in crowds around, a countless host-
Such myriad droves-a wealth ten kings might boast!
But to the sun his sire Augias ow'd

A boon, on common mortals unbestow'd.
His herds increasing snuff'd the zephyr's breath,
Nor felt the blasts that blow contagious death.
His beauteous cows, with healthful vigour strung,
Were never known to cast the' untimely young.
Fair female calves the thriving mothers rear,
The kind still fairer each succeeding year.

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