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Stern beasts in trains that by his truncheon fell, Now grisly forms, shoot o'er the lawns of hell.
• There Tityus large and long, in fetters bound, O’erspread nine acres of infernal ground; Two ravenous vultures, furious for their food, Scream o'er the fiend, and riot in his blood, Incessant gore
the liver in his breast, [feast; The’immortal liver grows, and gives the’immortal For as o'er Panopé's enamel'd plains Latona journey'd to the Pythian fanes, With haughty love the’audacious monster strove To force the goddess, and to rival Jove.
• There Tantalus along the Stygian bounds Pours out deep groans (with groans all hell res
sounds); E'en in the circling floods refreshment craves, And pines with thirst idst a sea of waves : When to the water he his lip applies, Back from his lip the treacherous water flies. Above, beneath, around his hapless head, Trees of all kinds delicious fruitage spread; There figs sky-dyed, a purple hue disclose, Green looks the olive, the pomegranate glows, There dangling pears exalted scents unfold, And yellow apples ripen into gold; The fruit he strives to seize; but blasts arise, Toss it on high, and whirl it to the skies.
I turn’d my eye, and as I turn'd survey'd A mournful vision! the Sisyphian shade; With many a weary step,
many a groan, Up the high hill he heaves a huge round stone; The huge round stone, resulting with a bound, Thunders impetuous down, and smokes along the
Again the restless orb his toil renews,
round, And clang their pinions with terrific sound; Gloomy as night he stands, in act to throw The aerial arrow from the twanging bow. Around his breast a wondrous zone is rollid, Where woodland monsters grin in fretted gold: There sullen lions sternly seem to roar, The bear to growl, to foam the tusky boar; There war and havoc and destruction stood, And vengeful murder red with human blood. Thus terribly adorn'd the figures shine, Inimitably wrought with skill divine. The mighty ghost advanced with awful look, And, turning his grim visage, sternly spoke:
“ O exercised in grief! by arts refined! O taught to bear the wrongs of base mankind ! Such, such was I! still toss'd from care to care, While in your world I drew the vital air! E’en I who from the lord of thunders rose, Bore toils and dangers, and a weight of woes; To a base monarch still a slave confined, (The hardest bondage to a generous mind!) Down to these worlds I trod the dismal way, And dragg’d the three-mouth'd dog to upper day;
E’en hell I conquer'd, through the friendly aid Of Maia's offspring and the martial maid.”
• Thus he, nor deign’d for our reply to stay, But turning stalk'd with giant-strides away.
• Curious to view the kings of ancient days, The mighty dead that live in endless praise, Resolved I stand; and haply had survey'd The godlike Theseus, and Pirithous' shade; But swarms of spectres rose from deepest hell, With bloodless visage, and with hideous yell, They scream, they shriek; sad groans and dis
mal sounds Stun my scared ears, and pierce hell’s utmost
bounds. No more my heart the dismal din sustains, And my cold blood hangs shivering in
veins; Lest Gorgon rising from the infernat lakes, With horrors arm’d, and curls of hissing snakes, Should fix me, stiffen'd at the monstrous sight, A stony image, in eternal night! Straight from the direful coast to purer air 1 speed my flight, and to my mates repair. My mates ascend the ship; they strike their oars; The mountains lessen, and retreat the shores; Swift o'er the waves we fly; the freshening gales Sing through the shrouds, and stretch the swel
The Argument. THE SIRENS, SCYLLA AND CHARYBDIS. He relates, bow, after his return from the shades, he was sent
by Circè on his voyage, by the coast of the Sirens, and by the strait of Scylla and Charybdis; the manner in which he escaped those dangers : how, being cast on the island Trinacria, bis companions destroyed the oxen of the Sun; the vengeance that followed : how all perished by shipwreck except himself, who, swimming on the mast of the ship, arrived on the island of Calypso. With which his narration concludes.
• Thus o'er the rolling surge the vessel flies,
• Soon as the morn restored the day, we paid
A rising tomb, the silent dead to grace,
· Meantime the goddess our return survey'd
“O sons of woe! decreed by adverse Fates Alive to pass through hell's eternal gates! All, soon or late, are doom'd that path to tread; More wretched you,twice number'd with the dead! This day adjourn your cares; exalt your souls, Indulge the taste, and drain the sparkling bowls; And when the morn unveils her saffron ray, Spread your broad sails, and plough the liquid way: Lo I this night, your faithful guide, explain Your woes by land, your dangers on the main."
“The goddess spoke; in feasts we waste the day, Till Phoebus downward plunged his burning ray; Then sable night ascends, and balmy rest Seals
every eye, and calms the troubled breast, Then, curious, she commands me to relate The dreadful scenes of Pluto's dreary state; She sat in silence while the tale I tell, The wondrous visions, and the laws of hell.
Then thus-“The lot of man the gods dispose; These ills are pass’d; now fear thy future woes. O prince, attend ; some favouring power be kind, And print the' important story on thy mind!
“ Next, where the Sirens dwell, you plough
Their song is death, and makes destruction please.