תמונות בעמוד

Though happy men the present goods possess, The' unhappy have their share in future hopes no

less. How early has young Chromius begun The race of virtue, and how swiftly run,

And borne the noble prize away,
Whilst other youths yet at the barriers stay !
None but Alcides e'er set earlier forth than he:
The God, his father's, blood nought could restrain,

'Twas ripe at first, and did disdain
The slow advance of dull humanity.
The big-limb’d babe in his huge cradle lay,
Too weighty to be rock'd by nurses' hands,

Wrapp'd in purple swaddling-bands; When, lo! by jealous Juno's fierce commands,

Two dreadful serpents come, Rolling and hissing loud, into the room; To the bold babe they trace their bidden way; Forth from their flaming eyes dread lightnings went, Their gaping mouths did forked tongues, like

thunderbolts, present. Some of the amazed women dropp'd down dead

With fear, some wildly fled
About the room, some into corners crept,

Where silently they shook and wept:
All naked from her bed the passionate mother

To save or perish with her child; [leap'd, She trembled, and she cry'd; the mighty infant

smiled : The mighty infant seem'd well pleased

At his gay gilded foes; And, as their spotted necks up to the cradle rose, With his young warlike hands on both he seized; In vain they raged, in vain they hiss'd,

In vain their armed tails they twist,

circles cast about; Black blood, and fiery breath, and poisonous soul,

he squeezes out!

With their drawn swords
In ran Amphitryo and the Theban lords ;
With doubting wonder, and with troubled joy,

They saw the conquering boy

Laugh, and point downwards to his prey, Where, in death's pangs and their own gore, they

folding lay.
When wise Tiresias this beginning knew,
He told with ease the things to' ensue ;

From what monsters he should free
The earth, the air, and sea ;
What mighty tyrants he should slay,

Greater monsters far than they ;
How much at Phlægra's field the distress'd Gods

should owe To their great offspring here below; And how his club should there outdo Apollo's silver bow, and his own father's thunder


And that the grateful Gods, at last, The race of his laborious virtue past,

Heaven, which he saved, should to him give; Where, marry'd to eternal youth, he should for

ever live; Drink nectar with the Gods, and all his senses please In their harmonious, golden palaces;

Walk with ineffable delight Through the thick groves of never-withering light,

And, as he walks, affright

The lion and the bear, Bull, centaur, scorpion, all the radiant monsters



“ Pindarum quisquis studet æmulari, &c.”

PINDAR is imitable by none;
The Phænix Pindar is a vast species alone.
Who e'er but Dædalus with waxen wings could fly,
And neither sink too low nor soar too high?

What could he who follow'd claim,
But of vain boldness the unhappy fame,

And by his fall a sea to name?
Pindar's unnavigable song

[along; Like a swoln flood from some steep mountain pours

The ocean meets with such a voice, From his enlarged mouth, as drowns the ocean's

So Pindar does new words and figures roll
Down his impetuous dithyrambick tide,

Which in no channel deigns to’abide, .
Which neither banks nor dykes control:
Whether the' immortal Gods he sings,

In a no less immortal strain,
Or the great acts of God-descended kings,
Who in his numbers still survive and reign;

Each rich-embroider'd line,
Which their triumphant brows around

By his sacred hand is bound,
Does all their starry diadems outshine.
Whether at Pisa's race he please
To carve in polish'd verse the conqueror's images
Whether the swift, the skilful, or the strong,
Be crowned in his nimble, artful, vigorous song;
Whether some brave young man's untimely fate,
In words worth dying for, he celebrate-

Such mournful, and such pleasing words,
As joy to his mother's and his mistress' grief af.

He bids him live and


in fame; Among the stars he sticks his name; The grave can but the dross of him devour, So small is Death's, so great the Poets, power! Lo, how the obsequious wind, and swelling air,

The Theban swan does upwards bear
Into the walks of clouds, where he does play,
And with extended wings opens his liquid way!

Whilst, alas ! my timorous Muse
Unambitious tracks pursues ;
Does with weak, unballast wings,
About the mossy brooks and springs,
About the trees' new-blossom'd heads,
About the gardens' painted beds,
About the fields and flowery meads,
And all inferior beauteous things,

Like the laborious bee,

For little drops of honey flee, And there with humble sweets contents her in


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Not winds to voyagers at sea, Nor showers to earth more necessary be (Heaven's vital seed cast on the womb of earth

To give the fruitful year a birth)

Than Verse to Virtue; which can do The midwife's office and the nurse's too ; It feeds it strongly, and it clothes it gay,

And, when it dies, with comely pride Embalms it, and erects a pyramid

That never will decay Till heaven itself shalt melt

away, And nought behind it stay. Begin the song, and strike the living lyre; Lo! how the years to come, a numerous and well

fitted quire, All hand in hand do decently advance, [dance! And to my song with smooth and equal measures Whilst the dance lasts, how long soe'er it be, My music's voice shall bear it company ;

Till all gentle notes be drown'd

In the last trumpet's dreadful sound:
That to the spheres themselves shall silence bring,

Untune the universal string :
Then all the wide-extended sky,
And all the’ harmonious worlds on high,

And Virgil's sacred work, shall die;
And he himself shall see in one fire shine
Rich Nature's ancient Troy, though built by

hands divine.

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