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Unbless’d the man, whose music wins to stay
Nigh the cursed shore, and listen to the lay;
No more that wretch shall view the joys of life,
His blooming offspring, or his beauteous wife!
In verdant meads they sport, and wide around
Lie human bones, that whiten all the ground;
The ground polluted floats with human gore,
And human carnage taints the dreadful shore.
Fly swift the dangerous coast; let every ear
Be stopp'd against the song : 'tis death to hear!
Firm to the mast with chains thyself be bound,
Nor trust thy virtue to the' enchanting sound.
If, mad with transport, freedom thou demand,
Be
every

fetter strain’d, and added band to band. • These seas o’erpass’d, be wise! but I refrain To mark distinct thy voyage o'er the main : New horrors rise! let prudence be thy guide, And guard thy various passage through the tide.

* High o'er the main two rocks exalt their brow, The boiling billows thundering roll below; Through the vast waves the dreadful wonders

move, Hence named Erratic by the gods above. No bird of air, no dove of swiftest wing, That bears ambrosia to the' etherial king, Shuns the dire rocks : in vain she cuts the skies, The dire rocks meet, and crush her as she flies. Not the fleet bark, when prosperous breezes play, Ploughs o'er that roaring surge its desperate way; O’erwhelm'd it sinks: while round a smoke expires, And the waves flashing seem to burn with fires. Scarce the famed Argo pass'd these raging floods, The sacred Argo, fill'd with demigods! E'en she had sunk, but Jove's imperial bride Wing’d her fleet sail, and push'd her o'er the tide.

• High in the air the rock its summit shrouds In brooding tempests, and in rolling clouds; Loud storms around and mists eternal rise, Beat its bleak brow, and intercept the skies. When all the broad expansion, bright with day, Glows with the autumnal or the summer ray, The summer and the autumn glow in vain, The sky for ever lours, for ever clouds remain. Impervious to the step of man it stands, Though borne by twenty feet, though arm'd with

twenty hands; Smooth as the polish of the mirror, rise The slippery sides, and shoot into the skies. Full in the centre of this rock display'd, A yawning cavern casts a dreadful shade: Nor the fleet arrow from the twanging bow, Sent with full force, could reach the depth below, Wide to the west the horrid gulf extends, And the dire passage down to hell descends. O fly the dreadful sight! expand thy sails, Ply the strong oar, and catch the nimble gales : Here Scylla bellows from her dire abodes, Tremendous pest! abhorr'd by man and gods! Hideous her voice, and with less terrors roar The whelps of lions in the midnight hour. Twelve feet, deform’d and foul, the fiend dis.

preads; Six horrid necks she rears, and six terrific heads; Her jaws grin dreadful with three rows of teeth; Jaggy they stand, the gaping den of death; Her parts obscene the raging billows hide; Her bosom terribly o’erlooks the tide. When stung with hunger she embroils the flood, The sea-dog and the dolphin are her food;

She makes the huge leviathan her prey,
And all the monsters of the watery way;
The swiftest racer of the azure plain
Here fills her sails, and spreads her oars in vain;
Fell Scylla rises, in her fury roars, (vours.
At once six mouths expands, at once six men de-

“ Close by, a rock of less enormous height Breaks the wild waves, and forms a dangerous

straight; Full on its crown a fig's green branches rise, And shoot a leafy forest to the skies ; Beneath, Charybdis holds her boisterous reign ’Midst roaring whirlpools, and absorbs the main; Thrice in her gulfs the boiling seas subside, Thrice in dire thunders she refunds the tide. Oh if thy vessel plough the direful waves When seas retreating roar within her caves, Ye perish all! though he who rules the main Lend his strong aid, his aid he lends in vain. Ah shun the horrid gulf! by Scylla fly, 'Tis better six to lose, than all to die.”

"I then: “O nymph propitious to my prayer, Goddess divine, my guardian power, declare, Is the foul fiend from human

vengeance

freed? Or if I rise in arms, can Scylla bleed ?” * Then she" O worn by toils, O broke in

fight,
Still are new toils and war thy dire delight?
Will martial flames for ever fire thy mind,
And never, never be to Heaven resign’d?
How vain thy efforts to avenge the wrong!
Deathless the pest! impenetrably strong!
Furious and fell, tremendous to behold!
E’en with a look she withers all the bold!

She mocks the weak attempts of human might:
O fly her rage! thy conquest is thy flight.
If but to seize thy arms thou make delay,
Again the fury vindicates her prey,
Her six mouths yawn, and six are snatch'd away.
From her foul womb Cratæis gave to air
This dreadful pest! To her direct thy prayer,
To curb the monster in her dire abodes,
And guard thee through the tumult of the floods.
Thence to Trinacria's shore you bend your way,
Where graze thy herds, illustrious source of day!
Seven herds, seven flocks, enrich the sacred

plains,
Each herd, each flock, full fifty heads contains;
The wondrous kind a length of age survey,
By breed increase not, nor by death decay.
Two sister goddesses possess the plain,
The constant guardians of the woolly train ;
Lampetie fair, and Phaethusa young,
From Phæbus and the bright Neæra sprung:
Here watchful o'er the flocks, in shady bowers
And flowery meads they waste the joyous hours.
Rob not the god! and so propitious gales
Attend thy voyage, and impel thy sails;
But if thy impious hands the flocks destroy,
The gods, the gods avenge it, and ye die!
'Tis thine alone (thy friends and navy lost)
Through tedious toils to view thy native coast.”

• She ceased : and now arose the morning ray; Swift to her dome the goddess held her way. Then to my mates I measured back the plain, Climb'd the tall bark, and rush'd into the main ; Then bending to the stroke, their oars they drew To their broad breasts, and swift the galley flew.

Up sprung a brisker breeze: with freshening

gales The friendly goddess stretch'd the swelling sails : We drop our oars; at ease the pilot guides ; The vessel light along the level glides. When rising sad and slow, with pensive look, Thus to the melancholy train I spoke

“ () friends, oh ever partners of my woes, Attend while I what Heaven foredooms disclose: Hear all! Fate hangs o’er all! on you it lies To live, or perish; to be safe, be wise!

“ In flowery meads the sportive Sirens play, Touch the soft lyre, and tune the vocal lay; Me, me alone, with fetters firmly bound, The gods allow to hear the dangerous sound, Hear and obey: if freedom I demand, Be every

fetter strain’d, be added band to band.” • While yet I speak the winged galley flies, And, lo! the Siren shores like mists arise. Sunk were at once the winds; the air above, And waves below, at once forgot to move! Some demon calm’d the air, and smooth’d the deep, Hush'd the loud winds, and charm’d the waves

to sleep. Now every

sail we furl, each oar we ply; Lash'd by the stroke the frothy waters fly. The ductile wax with busy hands I mould, And cleft in fragments, and the fragments rolld; The' aerial region now grew warm with day, The wax dissolved beneath the burning ray; Then every ear I barr'd against the strain, And from excess of frenzy lock'd the brain. Now round the mast my mates the fetters rolld, And bound me limb by limb, with fold on fold.

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