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STATIUS HIS THEBAIS.
Translated in the Year MDCCIII.
ARGUMENT. o EDIPUS King of Thebes having by mistake
slain his father Laius, and married his mother Jocasta, put out his own eyes, and resigned the realm to his sons, Eteocles and Polynices. Being neglected by them, he makes his prayer to the fury Tifiphone, to fow debate betwixt the brothers. They agree at lafi to reign fingly, each a year by turns; and the first lot is obtained by E. teocles. Jupiter, in a council of the gods, declares his resolution of punishing the Thebans, and Argives alfo, by means of a marriage betwixt Polynices and one of the daughters of Adrastus King of Argos. Juno opposes, but to no effect; and Mercury is fent on a meffage to the shades, to the ghost of Laius, who is to appear to Eteocles, and provoke him to break the agreement. Polynices in the mean time departs from Thebes by night, is overtaken by a storm, and arrives at Argos; where he meets with Tydeus, who had fled from Calydon, having killed his brother. A
draftus entertains them, having received an oracle from Apollo, that his daughters should be married to a boar and a lion, which he understands to be meant of these strangers by whom the hides of those beasts were worn, and who arrived at the time when he kept an annual feast in honour of that god. The rise of this folemnity he relates to his guests, the loves of Phoebus and Pfamathe, and the itory of Chorcebus. He inquires, and is made acquainted with their descent and quality: The facrifice is renewed, and the book concludes with a hymn to Apollo.
The translator hopes he needs not apologize for his choice of this piece, which was made almost in his childhood. But finding the version better than be expected, he gave it fome correction a few years afierwards.
THEBAIS OF STATIUS.
BOOK THE FIRST.
the guilty Thebes alarms,
P. STATII THEBAIDOS.
Decertata odiis, fontesque evolvere Thebas,
Or shall I Juno's hate to Thebes resound,
But wave whate'er to Cadmus may belong,
blood; Twice taught the Rhine beneath his laws to roll, And stretch'd his empire to the frozen pole, Or long before, with early valour ítrove, In youthful arms t' affert the cause of Jove. 30
graves iræ cognata in monia Baccho; Quod fævæ Junonis opus; cui fumpferit arcum Infelix Athamas, cur non expaverit ingens Ionium, focio cafura Palæmone mater. Atque adeo jam nunc gemitus, et prospera Cadmi Præteriisse finam: limes mini carminis esto Oedipoda confusa domus: quando Itala nondum Signa, nec Arctoos ausim sperare triumphos, Bisque jugo Rhenum, bis adactum legibus Iftrum, Et conjurato dejectos vertice Dacos: Aut defensa prius vix pubescentibus annis Bella Jovis. Tuque o Latiæ decus addite famæ, Quem nova maturi fubeuntem exorsa parentis
And thou, great heir of all thy father's fame,
part his throne and share his heav'n with thee: Yet stay, great Cefar! and vouchsafe to reign. O'er the wide earth, and o'er the wat’ry main ; Resign to Jove his empire of the skies,
45 And people Heav'n with Roman deities.
The time will come, when a diviner flame Shall warm my breast to sing of Cæsar's fame: Mean while permit, that my preluding Muse In Theban wars an humbler theme may
chuse : 50
Æternum fibi Roma cupit: licet arctior omnes
Tempus erit, cum Pierio tua fortior vitro