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And shouting seize the god: our force to' evade
His various arts he soon resumes in aid:
A lion now, he curls a surgy mane;
Sudden, our bands a spotted pard restrain;
Then arm’d with tusks, and lightning in his eyes,
A boar’s obscener shape the god belies:
On spiry volumes, there a dragon rides;
Here, from our strict embrace a stream he glides :
And last, sublime his stately growth he rears,
A tree, and well-dissembled foliage wears.
Vain efforts ! with superior power compress'd,
Me with reluctance thus the seer address’d—

Say, son of Atreus, say what god inspired This daring fraud, and what the boon desired ?" • I thus-" O thou, whose certain eye

foresees The fix'd event of Fate's remote decrees; After long woes, and various toil endured, Still on this desert isle

my

fleet is moor’d; Unfriended of the gales. All-knowing! say, What godhead interdicts the watery way? What vows repentant will the power appease, To speed a prosperous voyage o'er the seas ?”

“ To Jove (with stern regard the god replies) And all the offended synod of the skies, Just hecatombs with due devotion slain, Thy guilt absolved, a prosperous voyage gain. To the firm sanction of thy fate attend ! An exile thou, nor cheering face of friend, Nor sight of natal shore, nor regal dome Shalt yet enjoy, but still art doom’d to roam. Once more the Nile, who from the secret source Of Jove's high seat descends with sweepy force, Must view his billows white beneath thy oar, And altars blaze along his sanguine shore,

6

Then will the gods, with holy pomp adored,
To thy long vows a safe return accord.”

He ceased: heart-wounded with afflictive pain,
(Doom'd to repeat the perils of the main,
A shelfy tract, and long !) “ O seer, (I cry)
To the stern sanction of the’offended sky
My prompt obedience bows. But deign to say,
What fate propitious, or what dire dismay
Sustain those peers, the relics of our host,
Whom I with Nestor on the Phrygian coast
Embracing left? Must I the warriors weep,
Whelm'd in the bottom of the monstrous deep?
Or did the kind domestic friend deplore
The breathless heroes on their native shore ?

“Press not too far, (replied the god) but cease To know, what known will violate thy peace : Too curious of their doom! with friendly woe Thy breast will heave, and tears eternal flow. Part live! the rest, a lamentable train! Range the dark bounds of Pluto's dreary reign. Two, foremost in the roll of Mars renown'd, Whose arms with conquest in thy cause were

crown'd, Fell by disastrous Fate : by tempests toss'd, A third lives wretched on a distant coast.

“ By Neptune rescued from Minerva's hate, On Gyræ, safe Oïlean Ajax sat, His ship o'erwhelm’d: but frowning on the floods, Impious he roar'd defiance to the gods ; To his own prowess all the glory gave, The power defrauding who vouchsafed to save. This heard the raging ruler of the main; His spear, indignant for such high disdain, He launch’d; dividing with his forky mace The’aerial summit from the marble base:

The rock rush'd seaward with impetuous roar Ingulf'd, and to the’ abyss the boaster bore.

By Juno's guardian aid, the watery vast, Secure of storms, your royal brother pass’d; Till coasting nigh the cape, where Malea shrouds Her spiry cliffs amid surrounding clouds, A whirling gust tumultuous from the shore, Across the deep his labouring vessel bore. In an ill-fated hour the coast he gain’d, Where late in regal pomp Thyestes reign'd; But when his hoary honours bow'd to fate, Egysthus govern'd in paternal state. The surges now subside, the tempest ends; From his tall ship the king of men descends; There fondly thinks the gods conclude his toil : Far from his own domain salutes the soil: With rapture oft the verge of Greece reviews, And the dear turf with tears of joy bedews. Him, thus exulting on the distant strand, A spy distinguish'd from his airy stand; To bribe whose vigilance, Egysthus told A mighty sum of ill-persuading gold : There watch'd this guardian of his guilty fear, Till the twelfth moon had wheeld her pale career; And now admonish’d by his eye, to court With terror wing'd conveys the dread report. Of deathful arts expert, his lord employs The ministers of blood in dark surprise; And twenty youths in radiant mail incased, Close ambush'd nigh the spacious hall he placed. Then bids prepare the hospitable treat: Vain shows of love to veil his felon-hate ! To grace the victor's welcome from the wars, A train of coursers, and triumphal cars,

Magnificent he leads: the royal guest,
Thoughtless of ill, accepts the fraudful feast.
The troop forth issuing from the dark recess,
With homicidal rage the king oppress!
So, whilst he feeds luxurious in the stall,
The sovereign of the herd is doom'd to fall.
The partners of his fame and toils at Troy,
Around their lord, a mighty ruin! lie:
Mix'd with the brave, the base invaders bleed;
Egysthus sole survives to boast the deed.”

He said; chill horrors shook my shivering soul,
Rack'd with convulsive pangs in dust I roll ;
And hate, in madness of extreme despair,
To view the sun, or breathe the vital air :
But when superior to the rage

of

woe, I stood restored, and tears had ceased to flow; Lenient of grief, the pitying god began

Forget the brother, and resume the man: To Fate's supreme dispose the dead resign, That care be Fate's, a speedy passage thine: Still lives the wretch who wrought the death de

plored, But lives a victim for thy vengeful sword; Unless with filial

rage

Orestes glow,
And swift prevent the meditated blow:
You timely will return a welcome guest,
With him to share the sad funereal feast.”

• He said: new thoughts my beating heart em-
My gloomy soul receives a gleam of joy. [ploy,
For hope revives; and eager I address'd
The prescient godhead to reveal the rest.
6. The doom decreed of those disastrous two
I've heard with pain, but oh! the tale pursue;
What third brave son of Mars the fates constrain
To roam the howling desert of the main :

Or in eternal shade if cold he lies,
Provoke new sorrow from these grateful eyes.”

That chief (rejoin’d the god) his race derives
From Ithaca, and wondrous woes survives;
Laertes' son: girt with circumfluous tides,
He still calamitous constraint abides.
Him in Calypso's cave of late I view'd,
When streaming grief his faded cheek bedew'd.
But vain his prayer, his arts are vain, to move
The' enamour'd goddess, or elude her love:
His vessel sunk, and dear companions lost,
He lives reluctant on a foreign coast.
But oh, beloved by Heaven! reserved to thee
A happier lot the smiling Fates decree!
Free from that law, beneath whose mortal sway
Matter is changed, and varying forms decay,
Elysium shall be thine; the blissful plains
Of utmost earth, where Rhadamanthus reigns.
Joys ever young, unmix'd with pain or fear,
Fill the wide circle of the’ eternal year:
Stern winter smiles on that auspicious clime:
The fields are florid with unfading prime:
From the bleak pole no winds inclement blow,
Mould the round hail, or flake the fleecy snow;
But from the breezy deep the bless'd inhale
The fragrant murmurs of the western gale.
This grace peculiar will the gods afford
To thee, the son of Jove, and beauteous Helen's

lord.” • He ceased, and plunging in the vast profound, Beneath the god the whirling billows bound. Then speeding back, involved in various thought, My friends attending at the shore I sought. Arrived, the rage of hunger we control, Till night with silent shade invests the pole ;

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