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To seek where'er his body might be cast;
All the long night their mournful watch they keep, And all the day stand round the tomb, and weep.
Four times revolving the full moon returned; So long the mother and the daughters mourned: When now the eldest, Phaëthusa, strove To rest her weary limbs, but could not move; Lampetia would have helped her, but she found Herself withheld, and rooted to the ground: A third in wild affliction, as she grieves, Would rend her hair, but fills her hands with leaves; One sees her thighs transformed, another views Her arms shot out, and branching into boughs. And now their legs and breasts and bodies stood Crusted with bark, and hardening into wood; But still above were female heads displayed, And mouths, that called the mother to their aid. What could, alas! the weeping mother do? From this to that with eager haste she flew, And kissed her sprouting daughters as they grew. She tears the bark that to each body cleaves, And from their verdant fingers strips the leaves: The blood came trickling, where she tore away The leaves and bark: the maids were heard to say, "Forbear, mistaken parent, oh! forbear; A wounded daughter in each tree you tear; Farewell for ever." Here the bark increased, Closed on their faces, and their words suppressed. The new-made trees in tears of amber run, Which, hardened into value by the sun, Distil for ever on the streams below: The limpid streams their radiant treasure show,
Mixt in the sand; whence the rich drops conveyed, Shine in the dress of the bright Latian maid.
THE TRANSFORMATION OF CYCNUS INTO A SWAN.
Cycnus beheld the nymphs transformed, allied
Meanwhile Apollo, in a gloomy shade
Now secretly with inward griefs he pined, Now warm resentments to his grief he joined, And now renounced his office to mankind. "E'er since the birth of time," said he, "I've borne A long, ungrateful toil without return; Let now some other manage, if he dare, The fiery steeds, and mount the burning car; Or, if none else, let Jove his fortune try, And learn to lay his murdering thunder by; Then will he own, perhaps, but own too late, My son deserved not so severe a fate."
The gods stand round him, as he mourns, and pray He would resume the conduct of the day, Nor let the world be lost in endless night Jove too himself, descending from his height, Excuses what had happened, and entreats, Majestically mixing prayers and threats. Prevailed upon, at length, again he took The harnessed steeds, that still with horror shook, And plies 'em with the lash, and whips 'em on, And, as he whips, upbraids them with his son.
THE STORY OF CALISTO.
The day was settled in its course; and Jove
Her fields he clothed, and cheered her blasted face
Nor was there one of all the nymphs that roved
The sun now shone in all its strength, and drove The heated virgin panting to a grove; The grove around a grateful shadow cast: She dropt her arrows, and her bow unbraced; She flung herself on the cool, grassy bed; And on the painted quiver raised her head.
Jove saw the charming huntress unprepared,
"How fares my girl? How went the morning chase?"
To Jove himself, though Jove himself were here."
He then salutes her with a warm embrace,
Possest at length of what his heart desired,
But now Diana, with a sprightly train
How in the look does conscious guilt appear!
Nor slightly tripped, nor by the goddess ran,
A covert so obscure, and streams so clear, The goddess praised: "And now no spies are near, Let's strip, my gentle maids, and wash, she cries. Pleased with the motion, every maid complies; Only the blushing huntress stood confused, And formed delays, and her delays excused; In vain excused her fellows round her pressed, And the reluctant nymph by force undressed. The naked huntress all her shame revealed, In vain her hands the pregnant womb concealed; Begone!" the goddess cries with stern disdain, Begone! nor dare the hallowed stream to stain:" She fled, for ever banished from the train.
This Juno heard, who long had watched her time To punish the detested rival's crime: The time was come; for, to enrage her A lovely boy the teeming rival bore.
The goddess cast a furious look, and cried, "It is enough! I'm fully satisfied! This boy shall stand a living mark, to prove My husband's baseness, and the strumpet's love: But vengeance shall awake: those guilty charms, That drew the Thunderer from Juno's arms, No longer shall their wonted force retain, Nor please the god, nor make the mortal vain.
This said, her hand within her hair she wound, Swung her to earth, and dragged her on the ground. The prostrate wretch lifts up her arms in prayer; Her arms grow shaggy, and deformed with hair, Her nails are sharpened into pointed claws, Her hands bear half her weight, and turn to paws;