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The Argument. Theseus, returning fr a great hunting-match in Calydon, is stopped from proceeding by the
overflowing of the river Acheloüs. The god of the stream courteoully invites him into his cave, where they
pass the time in discoursing of various metamorphoses. At last, to prove the posibility of such changes, he asserts that he has himself the power of varying his form within certain limi. tations, among
which he mencions his having lost one of his horns when in the shape of a bull; and this gives rise to the following story.
Theseus requests the god to tell his woes, “ My arms stretch forth, my pliant limbs prepare, Whence his maim'd brow, and whence his groans “ And with bent hands expect the furious war. arole ;
“ O'er my fleek skin now gather'd dust he throws, When thus the Calydunian stream reply'd, “ And yellow fand his mighty muscles trows. With twining reeds his careless treffes tied : " Oft' he my neck and nimble legs assails, " Ungrateful is the tale ; for who can bear, “ He seems to grasp me, but as often fails : • When conquer'd, to rehearse the ihamelui war?“ Each part he now invades with eager hand; " Yet I'll the melancholy story trace;
“ Safe in my bulk, immoveable I land. " So great a conqueror softens the disgrace; " So when loud storms breaks high, and foam " Nor was it still to mean the prize to yield,
us and roar " As great and glorious to dispute the field. “ Againd some mole that stretches from the shore;
" Perhaps you've heard of Dečanira's name, " The firm foundation lasting tempests braves, " For all the country spoke her beauty's fame. " Defics the warring winds, and driving waves. " Long was the nymph by numerous suitors woo'd, “ Awhile we breathe, then forward rush amain, " Each with address his envy'd hopes pursued : " Renew the combat, and our ground maintain; " I join'd the loving band; to gain the fair, “ Foot strove with foot, 1 prone extend my breast, " Reveal'd my passion to her father's ear. “ Hands war with hands, and forehead forehead " Their vain pretensions all the rest resign;
“ prels'd. * Alcides only frove to equal mine :
« Thus have I feen two furious bulls engage, " He boasts his birth from Jove, recounts his spoils," Infanı'd with equal love, and equal rage; " His ftep-dame's hate subdued, and tinith'd coils. “ Each claims the fairett heifer of the grove,
"Can mortals then (said I) with gods comparc?" And conquest only can decide their love : " Behold a god; minc is the watery care: “ The trembling herds survey the light from far, “ Through your wide realms I take my mazs way, « Till victory decides th' important war. " Branch into streams, and o'er the region stray : “ Three times in vain he trove my joints to wrest; “No foreign guest your daughter's charms adores,“ To force my hold, and throw me from his breast; " But one who rises in your native fhores. “ The fourth he broke my gripe, that clasp'd him "Let not his punilhment your pity nove ;
6 round. " Is Juno's hate an argument for love?
« Then with new force he fretch'd mc on the Though you your life from fair Alcmena drew,
Jove's a feign's father, or by fraud a true. " Close to my back the mighty burden clung, " Choose then; confess thy mother's honour loft," As if a mountain o'er my limbs were flung. * Or thy descent from Jove no longer boast.” “ Believe my cale; nor do I, boallful aim While thus I spoke, be look'd with fern dif- " By feign’d narration to extol my fame. dain,
“ No sooner from his gasp I freedom get, Nor could the sallies of his wrath restrain, “ Unlock my arms, that flow'd with trickling Which thus broke forth : “ This arm decides our
“ sweat, right:
(fight!"" But quick he seiz'd me, and renew'd the Atrife, 4 Vanquish'd in words; be mine the prize in “ As my exhausted bcsom pants for life;
Bold he rush'd on. My honour to maintain," My neck he gripes, my knee to earth he strains; m!&ing my verdant garments on the plain, " I fall, and bice she sand with hame and paia
“ O'er-match'd in frength, to wiles and arts Cloth'd as he stood in the fierce lion's hide, take,
The laden quiver o'er his shoulder ty'd 5. And slip his hold, in form of speckled snake; (For cross the stream his bow and club were calt); “ Who, when I wreath'd in spires my body round, Swift he plung'd in; these billows shall be pass'd. " Or show'd my forky-tongue with hising sound, He said, nor sought where smoother watersglide, • Smiles at my threats. Such foes my cradle But stemm’d the rapid dangers of the tide. “ knew,
The bank he reach'd : again the bow he bears; • He cries; dire snakes my infant hand o'erthrew; When, hark! his bride's known voice alarms his “ A dragon's form might other conquests gain; " To war with me you take that shape in vain. Nessus, to thee I call (aloud he cries); « Art thou proportion'd to the Hydra's length, Vain is thy trust in flight, be timely wise : “ Who by his wounds receiv'daugmented strength? Thou monster double-Ihap'd, my right set free : • He rais'd a hundred hilling heads in air ; If thou no reverence owe my fame and me, " When one I lopp'd, up sprung a dreadful pair. Yet kindred should thy lawless lust deny. 6 By his wounds fertile, and with Daughter strong, Think not, perfidious wretch, from me to fly,
Singly I quell'd him, and stretch'd dead along. Though wing'd.with horse's speed; wounds shall " What canst thou do, a form precarious, prone,
pursue; « To rouse my rage with terrors not thy own ?" Swift as his words the fatal arrow flew : “ He said; and round my neck his hands he cast, The Centaur's back admits the feather'd wood, “And with his straining fingers wrung me falt : And through his breast the barbed weapon stood;
My throat he tortur'd, close as pincers clasp, Which when, in anguish, through the flesh he core, « In vain I strove to loose the forceful grasp. From both the wounds gulh'd forth the spumy gore
“ Thus vanquish'd too, a third form still remains, Mix'd with Lernæon venom; this he took, er Chang'd to a bull, my lowing fills the plains. Nor dire revenge bis dying breast forsook.
Straight on the left his nervous arms were thrown His garment, in the reeking purple dy'd, * Upon my brindled neck, and cugg'd it down; To rouse love's passion, he presents the bride. “ Then decp he struck my horn into the fand, « And felld my bulk along the dusty land.
The Death of Hercules. “ Nor yet his fury cool'd; 'twixt rage and scorn, Now a long interval of time fucceeds, “ From my maini'd front he tore the stubborn
When the great fon of Jove's immortal deeds, “ horn;
(bear, And stepdame's hate, had fill'd earth’s utmoft « This, heap'd with flowers and fruits, the Naiads
round; “ Sacred to plenty, and the bounceous year.” He from Oechalia, with new laurels crown'd,
He spoke ; when lo! a beauteousnymph appears, In triumph was return'd. He rites prepares, Girt, like Diana's train, with flowing hairs; And to the king of gods directs his prayers, The horn she brings, in which all autumn's stor’d, When Fame (who falsehood clothes in truth's disAnd ruddy apples for the second board.
guile, Now morn begins to dawn, the sun's bright fire
And swells her little bulk with growing lies) Gilds the high mountains, and the youths rerire ;
Thy tender car, O Dežanira, mov'd, Nor Nay'd they,
till the troubled stream fubfides, That Hercules the fair lole lov'd, And in its bound with peaceful current glides.
Her love believes the tale; the truth she fears But Acheloüs in his oozy bed
Of his new pallion, and gives way to tears. Deep hides his brow deform'd, and rustic head:
The flowing tears diffus'd her wretched grief, No real wound the victor's triumph show'd,
Why feek I thus, from streaming eyes, relief? But his loft honours griev'd the watery god;
She cries; indulge not thus thele fruitless cares, Yet ev'n that loss the willow's leaves o'erspread, The harlot will but triumph in thy tears : And verdant recds, in garlands, bind his head.
Let something be resolv'd, while yet there's time;
My bed not conscious of a rival's crime.
la silence shall I mourn, or loud complain?
What though, ally'd to Meleager's fame, As the frong son of Jove his bride conveys, I boast the honours of a fifter's nane? Where his paternal lands their bulwarks raise ; My wrongs, perhaps, now urge me to pursue Where from her flopy urn Evenus pours
Soine desperate decd, by which the world fall Her rapid current, swell'd by wintery showers,
view He came. The frequent eddies whirl'd the tide, How far revenge and woman's rage can rise, And the deep rolling waves all pass deny'd. When weltering in her blood the harlot dies. As for himself, he stood unmou'd by fears, * Thus various paflions rul'd by turns her breast. For now his bridal charge employ'd his cares. She now resolves to send the fatal veft, (nove The strong-limb'd Neslus thus officious cry'd Dy'd with Lernæan gore, whose power might (For he the shallows of the Itream had try'd), His foul anew, and rouse declining love. Swim thou, Alcides, all thy strength prepare ; Nor knew the what her sudden rage bestows, On yonder bank I'll lodge thy nuptial care. When she to Lichas trusts her future woes;
Th’ Aonian chief to Nessus trusts his wife, With soft endearments the the boy commands Al pale, and trembling for her hero's life : To bear the garment to her husband's hands.
Th' unwitting hero takes the gift in haste,
The Transformation of Lycbas into a Rook. And o'er his shoulders Lerna's poison caft. Tue hero faid; and, with the torture ftung, As firit the fire with frankincense he ftrows, Furious o'er Oete's lofty hills he sprung: And utters to the gods his holy vows;
Stuck with the shaft, thus fcours the tiger round, And on the marble altar's polish'd frame
And seeks the flying anthor of his wound. Pours forth the grapy stream; the rising flame Now might you see him trembling, now he vents Sudden dissolves the subtle poisonous juice, His anguish'd soul in groans and loud laments; Which taints his blood, and all his nerves bedews. He strives to tear the clinging vest in vain, With wonted fortitude he bore the smart,
And with up-rooted forests strews the plain; And not a groan confefs'd his burning heart. Now, kindling into rage, his hands he rears, At length his patience was subdued by pain, And to his kindred gods directs his prayers. He rends the sacred altar from the plain;
When Lychas, lo, he spies, who trembling flew, Oete's wide forests echo with his cries !
And, in a hollow rock conceal'd from view, Now to rip off the deathful robe he tries.
Had fhunin’d his wrath. Now grief renew'd his Where'er he plucks the vest, the skin he tears,
pain, The mangled muscles and huge bones he bares, His madness chaf'd, and thus he raves again : (A ghastly fight!) or, raging with his pain, Lychas, to thee alone my fate I owe, To rend the sticking plague he tugs in vain. Who bore the gift, the cause of all my woe. As the red iron hifles in the flood,
The youth all pale with shivering fear was stung, So boils the venom in his curdling blood., And vain excuses faulter'd on his tongue. Now with the greedy flame his entrails glow, Alcides (natch'd him, as with suppliant face And livid sweats down all his body flow;
He strove to clasp his knees, and beg for grace. The cracking nerves burnt up are burst in ewain, He toss'd him o'er his head with airy course, The lurking venom melts his swimming brain. And hurl'd with more than with an engine's Then, tifting both his hands aloft, he cries,
force; Glue thy revenge, dread empress of the skies; Far o'er th' Eubean main aloft he flies, Sate with my death the rancour of thy heart, And hardens by degrees amid the skies. Look down with pleasure, and enjoy my smart. So showery drops, when chilly tempefts blow, Or, if e'er pity mor'd a hostile breast
Thicken at first, then whiten into snow; (For here i stand thy enemy profeft),
In balls congeal'd the rolling fleeces bound,
Thus, whirld with nervous force through dis. Death is the gift most welcome to my woe,
tant air, And such a gift a stepdame may bestow.
The purple uide forsook his veins with fear;
And still the name of hapless Lychas bears.
The spotheofis of Hercules.
But now the hero of immortal birth
The son of Pæan lights the lofty pyre,
Here thou, dread hero of celestial line, I law, and with their barbarous lord o'erthrew ? Waft tretch'd at ease; as when, a cheerful guest, What if these hands Nemza's lion New ?
Wine crown'd thy bowls, and flowers thy temples Did not this neck the heavenly globe sustain ?
drest. The female partner of the thunderer's reign, Now on all sides the potent flames aspire, Fatigu’d, at length suspends her harsh commands; And crackle round those limbs that nock the fire. Yee no fatigue hath flack'd these valiane hands. A sudden tremor seiz'd th’immortal hoft, But now new plagues pursue me; neither force, Who thought the world's protest defender loft. Nor arms, nor Jarts, can stop their raging course. This when the thunderer faw, with smiles he Devouring flame through my rack'd entrails strays, cries, And on my lungs and thriveil'd muscles preys; 'Tis from your fears, ye gods, my pleasures rife ; Yet fill Eurystheus breathes che vital air! Joy swells my breast, that my all-ruling hand What mortal now Mall seek the gods with prayer ? O’er such a grateful people boats command,
That you my suffering progeny would aid ; Now with fierce struggles, ragirig with my pain,
Offer their vows, and seek to bring redress.
mands: May all the powers the righteous ad approve! She first perceiv'd that all these racking woes I any god diffent, and judge too great
From the persisting hate of Juno rose. The sacred honours of the heavenly seat,
As here and there she pass’d, by chance the sees Ev'n he shall own, his deeds deserve the sky, The feated goddess; on her close-prefs'd knees Ev'n he, reluctant, shall at length comply. Her fatt-knit hands the leans : with cheerful voice
Th' assembled powers assent. No frown till now Galanthis cries, Whoe'er thou art, rejoice;
The charm unloos’d, the birth my pangs reliev'd; As an old serpent cafts his scaly velt,
Galanthis' laughter vex'd the power deceiv'd. Wreathes in the sun, in youthful glory dreft; Fame says, the goddess dragg'd the laughing maid So when Alcides mortal mould resign'd,
Fast by the hair ; in vain her force eslay'd His better part enlarg'd, and grew refin'd, Her groveling body from the ground to rear; August bis visage phone; almighty Jove
Chang'd to fore feet her shrinking arms appear; In his swift car his honour'd offspring drove; Her hairy back her former hue retains, High o'er the hollow clouds the coursers fly, The form alone is lost; her strength remains ; And lodge the hero in the starry sky.
Who, since the lie did from her mouth proceed,
Shall from her pregnant mouth bring forth her Tbe Transformation of Galantbis.
Nor shall she quit her long-frequented home, Atlas perceiv'd the load of heaven's new guest.
But haunt those houses where Ile lov'd to roam.
The Story of Iolaüs Restored to Youth.
lolé having related the fable of her filter Dryope, Hyllus had lov’d, and join'd in nuptial bands. who was changed into a tree for violating the Her swelling womb the teeming birth confess’d;
blossoms of the plant Lotis (once a nymph); To whom Alcmena thus her speech address'd : while she is discourfing on these matters with O may the gods protect thee, in that hour,
Alcmena, she finds new matter of wonder, in When 'midst thy chroes thou call'st th’ Ilithyan
the sudden change of loalūs to a youth. May no delays prolong thy racking pain, (power ! As when I sued for Juno's aid in vain!
While lolé the fatal change declares, When now Alcides' mighty birth drew nigh,
Alcmena's pitying hand oft wip'd her tears. (fies, And the tenth sign rollid forward on the sky,
Grief too stream'd down her cheeks; soon forrow My womb extends with such a mighty load, And rising joy the trickling moisture dries : As Jove the parent of the burden show'd. Lo lolaus stands before their eyes. I could no more th' increasing smart suflain : A’youth he stood; and the soft down began My horror kindles to recount the pain ;
O'er his smooth chin to spread, and promise man. Cold chills my limbs while I the tale pursue,
Hebe submitted to her husband's prayers,
Indilld new vigour, and restor'd his years.
The Prophecy of Tbemis.
She came, but prejudic'd to give my fate Had not just Themis thus maturely said
(Which check'd her vow, and aw'd the blooming She hears the groaning anguish of my fits,
maid): And on the altar at my door the fits;
Thebes is embroil'd in war. Capadeus stands O'er her left knee her crosling leg ihe cast, Invincible; but by the thunderer's hands Then knits her fingers close, and wrings them fast: Ambition hall the guilty * brothers fire, This Atay'd the birth; in muttering verse shc | Both rush to mutual wounds, and both expire!
pray'd, The niuttering verse th' unfnild birth delay'd. * Etrocles and Polynices.
The recling earth thall ope ber gloomy womb,
The Story of Arachne, Where the * yet breathing bard fall find his tomb.
FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE SIXTK BOOK OS) The t son fhall bathe his hands in parent's blood,
OviD'S MEJANORPHOSES. And in one act be both unjust and good. Of home and sense depriv'd, where'er he flies, The furies and his mother's ghost he spies. Pallas, visiting the muses on their hill to see the His wife the fatal bracelet Mall implore,
fountain Hippocrene, is by them informed how And Phegeus stain his sword in kindred gore. the Pierides were changed into chattering pics Callirhoe Thall then with suppliaat prayer
for rivaling the nine sisters in song.--This Iti. Prevail ou Jupiter's releuting car.
mulating the goddess to take vengeance on Jove shall with youth her infant fons inspire, Arachne, the daughter of Idmon, who defied her And bid their bosoms glow with manly fise. in her own art, gives rise to the following story. The Debate of the Gods.
Pallas, attentive, heard the muses' song,
Pleas'd that so well they had reveng'd their wrong: Waen Themis thus with prescient voice had Reflecting thus—A vulgar soul can praise, spoke
My fame let glorious emulation raise : Among the gods a various murmur broke;
Swift vengeance shall pursue th' audacious pride Diffenfiou rose in each immortal breast,
That dares my facred deity deride : That one should grant what was deny'd the Revenge the goddess in her brealt revolves ; rest.
And, Itraight the bold Arachne's fate resolves; Aurora for her aged spouse complains,
Her haughty mind to Heaven disdain'd cp bend, And Ceres grieves for Jason's freezing veins;
And durft with Pallas in her art contend.
But to her skilful hand owes all her fame;
Her mother, whom the shades of death confine, Till Jove arose ;-he spoke, their tumults cease.
Was, like her husband, born of vulgar line. - Is any reverence to our presence given?
At small Hypæpe though she did relide, Then why this discord ʼmong the powers of hea- Yet induftry proclaim'd what birth deny'd : ven?
All Lydia to her name due honour pays, Who can the fettled will of Fate subdue? 'Twas by the fates that lolaüs knew
And every city fpeaks Arachne's praile.
Nymphs of Timolus quit their shady woods, A second youth. The fates' determin'd doom
Nymphs of Pactolus leave their golden floods, Shall give Callirhoe's race a youthful bloom.
And oft with pleasure round her gazing ftand, Arms oor ambition can this power obrain :
Admire her work, and praisc her artful hand: Quell your desires; even me the fates restrain.
They view'd each motion, with new wonder feiz'di Could I their will controul, no rolling years
More than the work her graceful manner pleas'd. Had Æacus bent down with silver hairs;
Whether raw wool in its first orbs she wound, Then Rhadamanthus still had youth possess’d,
Or with swift fingers twirl'd the spindle round; And Minos with eternal bloom been bless’d.
Whether the pick'd with care the knotty piece, Jove's words the fynod mov'd; the power give
Or comb'd like Itreaky clouds the stretching fleece; o'er,
Whether her needle play'd the pencil'o part; And
urge in vain unjust complaint no more. Since Rhadamanthus' veins now flowly flow'd,
'I'was plain from Pallas she deriv'd her art.
But the, unable to sustain her pride, And Æacus and Minos bore the load;
The very mistress of her art defy'd. Minos, who, in the flower of youth and fame,
Pallas obscures her bright celestial grace, Made mighty nations tremble at his name,
And takes an old decrepit beldame's face. Infirm with age, the proud Miletus fears,
Her head is scatter'd o'er with silver hairs, Vain of his birth, and in the strength of years ; Which seems to bend beneath a load of years. And now, regarding all his realms as lot, He durt not force him from his native coaft.
Her trembling hand, emboss'd with livid veins, But you by choice, Miletus, fled his reign,
On trusty staff her feeble limbs sustains.
She thus accofts thc nymph: “Be timely wisc, And your swift vessel plow'd th' Ægean maio ;
“ Do not the wholesome words of age despise, On Asiatic fhores a town you frame,
“ For in the hoary head experience lies : Which still is honour'd with the founder's name. Here you Cyanëe knew, the beauteous maid,
“ On earth contend the greatest name to gain ; As on her father's winding banks The Atray'd :
• To Pallas yield;- with Heaven you Arive in
Contempt contracts her brow, her passions rise,
At once the tangling thread away the throws,
And scarce can curb her threatening hands from Alomeon.