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Like various fits the Trachin vessel finds,
Nor lighter falls, than if some giant tore And now sublime she rides upon the winds; Pindas aod Athos, with the freight they bore, As from a lofty summit looks from high,
And toss'd on seas: press'd with the ponderous' And from the clouds beholds the nether sky;
blow Now from the depth of Hell they lift their sight, Down sinks the ship within th' abyss below: And at a distance see superior light:
Down with the vessel siuk into the main The lashing billows make a loud report,
The many, never more to rise again. And beat her sides, as battering rams a fort : Some few on scatter'd planks with fruitless care Or as a lion, bounding in his way,
Lay hold, and swim, but, while they swim, despair. With force augmented bears against his prey, Ev'n he who late a sceptre did cominand Sidelong to seize: or, unappall’d with fear, Now grasps a floating fragment in his hand, Springs on the toils, and rushes on the spear: And, while he struggles on the stormy main, So seas impell?d by winds with added power Invokes his father, and his wife, in vain ; Assault the sides, and o'er the hatches tower. But yet his consort is his greater care;
The planks, their pitchy coverings wash'd away, Alcyone he names amidst his prayer,
Most in his mouth, and ever in his mind:
As oft as he can catch a gulph of air,
Murmuring Alcyone below the waves : Darkness and tempest make a double night. At last a falling billow stops his breath, But flashing fires disclose the deep by turns, Breaks o'er his head, and whelms him underneath. And, while the lightnings blaze, the water burns. Bright Lucifer unlike himself appears
Now all the waves their scatter'd force unite, That night, his heavenly form obscur'd with tears; And as a soldier, foremost in the fight,
And since he was forbid to leave the skies, Makes way for others, and an host alone
He muffed with a cloud his mournful eyes. Still presses on, and urging gains the town;
Mean time Alcyone (his fate unknown) So, while th' invading billows come a-breast, Computes how many nights he had been gone, The hero tenth advanc'd before the rest,
Observes the waning Moon with hourly view,
Numbers her age, and wishes for a new;
And hastens in the woof the robes he was to wear:
Flattering her heart with joys that never were to An universal cry resounds aloud,
come: The sailors run in heaps; a helpless crowd; She fum'd the temples with an odorous flame, Art fails, and courage falls, no succour near;
And oft before the sacred altars came, As many waves, as many deaths appear.
To pray for him, who was an empty name. One weeps, and yet despairs of late relief; All powers implor'd, but far above the rest One cannot weep, his fears congcal his grief, To Juno she her pious vows address'd, But, stupid, with dry eyes expects his fate. Her much-lov'd lord from perils to protect, One with loud shrieks laments his lost estate, And safe o'er seas his voyage to direct : And calls those happy whom their funerals wait. Then pray'd that she might still possess his heart, This wretch with prayers and vows the gods im- And no pretending rival share a part; And ev'n the skies he cannot see, adores. (plores, This last petition heard of all her prayer, That other on his friends his thoughts bestows, The rest dispers'd by winds were lost in air. His careful father, and his faithful spouse.
But she, the goddess of the nuptial bed, The covetous worldling in his anxious mind Tir'd with her vain devotions for the dead, Thinks only on the wealth he left behind.
Resolv'd the tainted hand should be repell’d, All Ceyx his Alcyone employs,
Which incense offer'd, and her altar held:
This form before Alcyone present,
Indu'd with robes of various hue she flies,
Deep in a cavern, dwells the drowsy god;
Whose gloomy mansion nor the rising Sun, Earth, fruits, and flowers, he represents in dreams, Nor setting, visits, nor the lightsome noon : And solid rocks unmov'd, and running streams: But lazy vapours round the region fly,
These three to kings and chiefs their scenes display, Perpetual twilight, and a doubtful sky;
The rest before th' ignoble commons play: No crowing cock does there his wings display, Of these the chosen Morpheus is dispatch'd : Nor with his horny bill provoke the day:
Which done, the lazy monarch overwatch'd Nor watchful dogs, nor the more wakeful geese, Down from his propping elbow drops his head, Disturb with nightly noise the sacred peace: Dissolv'd in sleep, and shrinks within his bed. Nor beast of Nature, nor the tame are nigh,
Darkling the demon glides for flight prepard, Nor trees with tempests rock’d, nor human cry; So soft that scarce his fanning wings are heard. But safe repose without an air of breath
To Trachin, swift as thought, the Aitting shade Dwells here, and a dumb quiet next to death. Through air his momentary journey made: An arm of Lethe, with a gentle flow
Then lays aside the steerage of his wings, Arising upwards from the rock below,
Forsakes his proper form, assumes the king's; The palace moats, and o'er the pebbles creeps, And pale as death, despoild of his array, And with soft murmurs calls the coming Sleeps ; Into the queen's apartment takes his way, Around its entry nodding poppies grow,
And stands before the bed at dawn of day: And all cool simples that sweet rest bestow; Unmov'd his eyes, and wet his beard appears ; Night from the plants their sleepy virtue drains, And shedding vain, but seeming real tears; And passing sheds it on the silent plains :
The briny water dropping from his hairs; No door there was th' unguarded house to keep, Then staring on her, with a ghastly look On creaking hinges turn'd, to break his sleep: And hollow voice, he thus the queen bespoke :
But in the gloomy court was rais'd a bed, " Know'st thou not me! Not yet, unhappy wife? Stuff'd with black plumes, and on an ebon-sted : Or are my features perish'd with my life? Black was the covering too, where lay the god Look once again, and for thy husband lost, And slept supine, his limbs display'd abroad : Lo all that's left of him, thy husband's ghost! About his head fantastic visions fly,
Thy vows for my return were all in vain; Which various images of things supply,
The stormy south o'ertook us in the main; And mock their forms; the leaves on trees not And never shalt thou see thy living lord again. more,
Bear witness, Heaven, I call'd on thee in death, Nor bearded ears in fields, por sands upon the shore. And while I call'd, a billow stopp'd my breath :
The virgin, entering bright, indulg'd the day Think not that flying Fame reports my fate; To the brown cave, and brush'd the dreams away: I present, I appear, and my own wreck relate. The god, disturb’d with his new glare of light Rise, wretched widow, rise, nor undeplor'd 'Cast sudden on his face, unseal'd his sight, Permit my ghost to pass the Stygian ford : And rais'd his tardy head, which sunk again, But rise, prepard, in black, to mourn thy peAnd sinking on his bosom knock'd his chin :
rish'd lord.” At length shook off himself; and ask'd the dame, Thus said the player-god; and, adding art (And asking yawn'd) for what intent she came? Of voice and gesture, so perform'd his part,
To whom the goddess thus: “ ( sacred Rest, She thought (so like her love the shade appears) Sweet pleasing sleep, of all the powers the best! That Ceyx spake the words, and Ceyx shed the O peace of mind, repairer of decay, [day,
tears. Whose balms renew the limbs to labours of the She groand, her inward soul with grief opprest, Care shuns thy soft approach, and sullen fiies She sigh’d, she wept; and sleeping beat her breast: Adorn a dream, expressing human form, [away! Then stretch'd her arms t' embrace his body bare, The shape of him who sutler'd in the storm, Her clasping arms enclose but empty air: And send it fitting to the Trachin court,
At this not yet awake she cry'd, “ Oh stay, The wreck of wretched Ceyx to report:
One is our fate, and common is our way!" Before his queen bid the pale spectre stand, So dreadful was the dream, so loud she spoke, Who begs a vain relief at Juno's hand.”
That, starting sudden up, the slumber broke; She said, and scarce awake her eyes could keep, Then cast her eyes around in hope to view Unable to support the fumes of sleep:
Her vanish'd lord, and find the cision true: But fled returning by the way she went,
For now the maids, who waited her commands, And swerv'd along her bow with swift ascent. Ran in with lighted tapers in their hands. The god, uneasy till he slept again,
Tir'd with the search, not finding what she seeks, Resolv'd at once to rid himself of pain;
With cruel blows she pounds her blubber'd cheeks; And, though against his custoin, call'd aloud, Then from her beaten breast the linen tare, Exciting Morpheus from the sleepy crowd: And cut the golden caul that bound her bair. Morpheus of all his numerous train express'd Her nurse demands the cause; with louder cries The shape of man, and imitated best;
She prosecutes her griefs, and thus replies. The walk, the words, the gesture, could supply, “No more Alcyone, she suffer'd death The habit mimic, and the mien belie;
With her lov'd lor, when Ceyx lost his breath: Plays well, but all his action is confind;
No flattery, no false comfort, give me none,
My shipwreck'd Ceyx is for ever gone;
His lustre lost, and every living grace,
Though with pale cheeks, wet beard, and droopiog On meanier thoughts, and things devoid of soul; None but my Ceyx could appear so fair :
I would have straiu'd him with a strict embrace, A bird new-made about the banks she plies,
Nor seeks in air ber humble flight to raise,
Now lighting where the bloodless body lies,
At all her stretch her little wings she spread, 'T'was what I begg’d, when with a bleeding heart And with her feather'd arms einbrac'd the dead : I took my leave, and suffer'd thee to part,
Then, fiickering to his pallid lips, she strove
To print a kiss, the last essay of love:
Whether the vital touch reviv'd the dead,
The gods their shapes to winter-birds translate, Now I die absent in the vast profound;
But both obnoxious to their former fate.
They bill, they tread; Alcyone compress'd But neither will I strive; nor wretched thee Seven days sits brooding on her floating nest : In death forsake, but keep thee company.
A wintery queen: her sire at length is kind, If not one common sepulchre contains
Calms every storm, arid hushes every wind : Our bodies, or one urn our last remains,
Prepares his empire for his daughter's ease, Yet Ceyx and Alcyone shall join,
And for his hatching nephews smooths the seas. Their names remember'd in one common line."
No farther voice her mighty grief affords, For sighs come rushing in betwixt her words, And stopt her tongue; but what her tongue deny'd, ÆSACUS transformed into a CORMORANT. Soft tears and groans, and dumb complaints supply'd.
FROM THE ELEVENTH BOOK OF 'Twas morning; to the port she takes her way,
OVID'S METAMORPHOSES. And stands upon the margin of the sea : That place, that very spot of ground she sought,
These some old man sees wanton in the air, Or thither by her destiny was brought,
And praises the unhappy constant pair. Where last he stood: and while she sadly said, Then to his friend the long-neck'd cormorant Twas here he left me, lingering here delay'd
The former tale reviving others woes: [shows, His parting kiss; and there his anchors weigh'd ; “ That sable bird,” he cries, " which cuts the cloud Thus speaking, while her thoughts past actions With slender legs, was once of royal blood; trace,
His ancestors from mighty Tros proceed, And call to mind, admonish'd by the place, The brave Laomedon, and Ganymede Sharp at her utmost ken she cast her eyes,
(Whose beauty tempted Jove to steal the boy), And somewhat floating from afar descries; And Priam, hapless prince! who fell with Troy: It seem'd a corpse adrift, to distant sight,
Himself was Hector's brother, and (had Fate But at a distance who could judge aright?
But given this hopeful youth a longer date) It wafted nearer yet, and then she knew
Perhaps had rival'd warlike Hector's worth, That what before she but surinis'd, was true : Though on the mother's side of meaner birth; A corpse it was, but whose it was, unknown, Fair Alyxothoë, a country maid, Yet mov'd, howe'er, she made the case her own: Bare Æsacus by stealth in Ida's shade. Took the bad omen of a shipwreck'd man,
He fled the noisy town, and pompous court,
Lov'd the lone bills, and simple rural sport,
The youth had long the nymph Hesperia woo'd,
Her haply on her father's bank he spy'd, Now driven ashore, and at her feet it lies,
While fearless she her silver tresses dry'd ; She knows too much, in knowing whom she sees: Away she fled: not stags with half such speed, Her husband's corpse; at this she loudly shrieks, Before the prowling wolf, scud o'er the mead; “ 'Tis he, 'tis he,” she cries, and tears her checks, Not ducks, when they the safer flood forsake, Her hair, her vest, and, stooping to the sands, Pursu'd by hawks, so swift regain the lake. About his neck she cast her trembling hands. As fast he follow'd in the bot career: “ And is it thus, 0 dearer than my life,
Desire the lover wing'd, the virgin fear. Thus, thus return'st thou to thy longing wife!" A snake unseen now pierc'd her heedless foot; She said, and to the neighbouring mole she strode Quick through the veins the venom'd juices shoot: (Rais'd there to break th’incursions of the flood): She fell, and 'scap'd by death his tierce pursuit. Headlong from hence to plunge herselt she springs, Her lifeless body, frighted, he embrac'd, But shoots along supported on her wings; And cry'd, ' Not this I dreaded, but thy haste :
THE TWELFTH BOOK OF
O had my love been less, or less thy fear! And, in the leafy summit, spy'd a nest,
Which, o'er her callow young, a sparrow press'd.
This dire ostent the fearful people view ; [blood. Tethys receiv'd him gently on the wave;
Calchas alone, by Phæbus taught, foreknew The death he sought deny'd, and feathers gave. What Heaven decreed: and with a smiling glance, Débarr'd the surest remedy of grief,
Thus gratulates to Greece her happy chance. And forc'd to live, he curst th' unask'd relief. “ () Argives, we shall conquer ; Troy is ours, Then on his airy pinions upward Ries,
But long delays shall first afflict our powers : And at a second fall successless tries :
Nine years of labour, the nine birds portend; The downy plume a quick descent denies.
The tenth shall in the town's destruction end.” Enrag'd, he often dives beneath the wave,
The serpent, who his maw obscene had filld, And there in vain expects to find a grave.
The branches in his curl'd embraces held: His ceaseless sorrow for th' unhappy maid But, as in spires he stood, he turn'd to stone: Meager'd his look, and on bis spirits prey'd. The stony snake retain'd the figure still his own. Still near the sounding deep he lives; his name Yet not for this the wind-bound navy weigh'd; From frequent diving and emerging came.” Slack were their sails; and Neptune disobey'd.
Some thought him loth the town should be
destroy'd, Whose building had his hands divine employ'd: Not so the scer: who knew, and known foreshow'd,
The virgin Phæbe with a virgin's blood OVID'S METAMORPHOSES. Must first be reconcil'd; the common cause Wholly translated.
Prevail'd; and, pity yielding to the laws,
Was, by the weeping priests, in linen robes array'd; Connection to the end of the Eleventh Book.
All mourn her fate; but no relief appeard: Æsacus, the son of Priam, loving a country life, The royal victim bound, the knife aiready reard :
forsakes the court : living obscurely, he falls in When that offended power, who caus’d their woe, Jove with a nymph; who, flying from him, was Relenting ceas'd her wrath; and stopp'd the comkilled by a serpent; for grief of this, he would ing blow. have drowned himself; but, by the pity of the A mist before the ministers she cast; gods, is turned into a cormorant, Priam, not And, in the virgin's room, a bind she plac'd. hearing of Æsacus, believes him to be dead, and Th'oblation slain, and Phæbe reconcil'd, raises a tomb to preserve his memory. By this The storm was hushd, and dimpled Ocean smild: transition, which is one of the finest in all Ovid, A favourable gale arose from shore, the poet naturally falls into the story of the which to the port desir’d the Grecian galleys bore. Trojan war, which is summed up, in the present
Full in the midst of this created space, (place book, but so very briefly, in many places, that Betwixt Heaven, Earth, and Skies, there stands a Ovid seems more short than Virgil, contrary to Confining on all three ; with triple bound; his usual style. Yet the house of Fame, which whence all things, though remote, are view'd is here described, is one of the most beautiful around, pieces in the whole Metamorphoses. The fight And thither bring their undulating sound. of Achilles and Cygnus, and the fray betwixt The palace of loud Fame ; her seat of power; the Lapithæ and Centaurs, yield to no other plac'd on the summit of a lofty tower; part of this poet: and particularly the loves A thousand winding entries, long and wide, and death of Cyllarus and Hylonome, the male Receive of fresh reports a flowing tide. and female Centaur, are wonderfully moving, A thousand crannies in the walls are made ;
Nor gate nor bars exclude the busy trade.
'Tis built of brass, the better to diffuse Priam, to whom the story was unknown, The spreading sounds, and multiply the news; As dead, deplor'd his metamorphos'd son: Where echoes in repeated echoes play: A cenotaph his name and title kept, [wept. | A mart for ever full, and open night and day. And Hector round the tomb, with all his brothers Nor silence is within, nor voice express, This pious office Paris did not share;
But a deaf noise of sounds that never cease; Absent alone, and author of the war, .
Confus'd, and chiding, like the hollow roar Which, for the Spartan queen, the Grecians drew Of tides, receding from th’insulted shore : T'avenge the rape, and Asia to subdue.
Or like the broken thunder, heard froin far, A thousand ships were manu'd, to sail the sea : When Jove to distance drives the rolling war. Nor bad their just resentments found delay, The courts are fill'd with a tumultuous din Had not the winds and waves oppos’d their way. Of crouds, or issuing forth, or entering in : At Aulis, with united powers, they meet;
A thoroughfare of news : where some devise But there, cross winds or calms detain'd the fleet, | Things never heard; some mingle truth with lies:
* Now, while they raise an altar on the shore, The troubled air with empty sounds they beat; And Jove with solemn sacrifice adore ;
Jotent to hear, and eager to repeat, A boding sign the priests and people sec;
Errour sits brooding there; with added train A snake of size immense ascends a tree,
Of vain credulity, and joys as vain :
Suspicion, with sedition join'd, are near; Twice Telephus employ'd their piercing steel,
The vigour of this arm was never vain :
He said, and doubtful of his former deeds,
He chose Menætes from among the rest; Fix'd on defence, the Trojans are not slow
At him he lanch'd his spear, and pierc'd his breast: To guard their shore from an expected foe.
On the hard earth the Lycian knock'd his head, They meet in fight: by Hector's fatal hand And lay supine; and forth the spirit fled. Protesilaus falls, and bites the strand,
Then thus the hero: “Neither can I blame
And wish but with the same success to throw." The Grecian heroes, and what deaths they dealt. So spoke the chief; and while he spoke he threw;
From these first onsets, the Sigæan shore The weapon with unerring fury flew, Was strew'd with carcases, and stain'd with gore:
At bis left shoulder aim'd: nor entrance found; Neptunian Cygnus troops of Greeks had slain ; But back, as from a rock, with swift rebound Achilles in his car had scour'd the plain,
Harmless return'd: a bloody mark appeard,
And in close fight on foot renews the war.
Raging with high disdain, repeats his blows; And, rising, shook his lance, in act to throw.
Nor shield nor armour can their force oppose; But first he cry'd, “() youth, be proud to bear
Huge cantlets of his buckler strew the ground, Thy death, enobled by Pelides' spear.”
And no defence in his bor'd arms is found. The lance pursued the voice without delay; But on his flesh no wound or blood is seen ; Nor did the whizzing weapon miss the way,
The sword itself is blunted on the skin. But pierc'd his cuirass, with such fury sent,
This vain attempt the chief no longer bears; And sign'd his bosom with a purple dint.
But round bis hollow temples and his ears At this the seed of Neptune; “ Goddess-born,
His buckler beats: the son of Neptune, stunn'd For ornament, not use, these arms are worn;
With these repeated buffets, quits his ground; This helm, and heavy buckler, I can spare,
A sickly sweat succeeds, and shades of night, As only decorations of the war:
Inverted Nature swims before his sight : So Mars is arm'd for glory, not for need.
Th'insulting victor presses on the more, 'Tis somewhat more from Neptune to proceed, And treads the steps the vanquish'd trod before, Than from a daughter of the sea to spring :
Nor rest, nor respite gives, A stone there lay Thy sire is mortal; mine is ocean's king.
Behind his trembling foe, and stopp'd his way : Secure of death, I should contemn thy dart,
Achilles took the advantage which he found, Though naked, and impassable depart:”
O'er-turn'd, and push'd him backward on the He said, and threw: the trembling weapon pass'd
ground. Through nine bull-hides, each under other plac'd,
His buckler held him under, while he pressid, On his broad shield, and stuck within the last. With both his knees above, bis panting breast. Achilles wrench'd it out; and sent again
Unlac'd bis helm : about his chin the twist The hostile gift : the hostile gift was vain.
He try'd ; and soon the strangled soul dismiss'd. He try'd a third, a tough well-chosen spear;
With eager haste he went to strip the dead; Th'inviolable body stood sincere,
The vanquish'd body from his arms was fled, Though Cygnus then did no defence provide, His sea-god sire, t' immortalize his fame, But, scornful, offer'd his unshielded side.
Had turn'd it to the bird that bears his name. Not otherwise th' impatient hero far'd,
A truce succeeds the labours of this day, Than as a bull, encompass'd with a guard,
And arms suspended with a long delay. Amid the circus roars: provok'd from far
While Trojan walls are kept with watch and ward; By sight of scarlet, and a sanguine war,
The Greeks before their trenches mount the guard; They quit their ground, bis bended horns elude, The feast approach'd; when to the blue-eyed maid In vain pursuing, and in vain pursued.
His vows for Cyrnus slain the victor paid, Before to farther fight he would advance, And a white heifer on her altar laid. He stood considering, and survey'd his lance. The reeking entrails on the fire they threw; Doubts if he wielded not a wooden spear
And to the gods the grateful odour few : Without a point: he look'd, the point was there. Heaven had its part in sacritice: the rest “ This is my hand, and this my lance," he said, Was broil'd and roasted for the future feast. “ By wbich so many thousand foes are dead. The chief invited guests were set around; O whither is their usual virtue fled ?
And hunger first assuag'd, the bowls were crown'd, I had it once; and the Lyrnessian wall,
Which in deep draughts their cares and labours And Tenedos, confess'd it in their fall.
drown'd. Thy streams, Caïcus, roll'd a crimson food: The mellow harp did not their ears employ, And Thebes ran red with her own natives blood. And mute was all the warlike symphony;