תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

THE

FIRST BOOK

OF

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

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.

THE

THE

THEBAIS OF STATIUS.

F

BOOK THE FIRST.
RATERNAL rage,

the guilty Thebes alarms,
Th'alternate reign destroy'd by impious arms,
Demand our songs; a sacred fury fires
My ravish'd breast, and all the Muse inspires.
O Goddess, say, shall I deduce my rhymes 5
From the dire nation in its early times,
Europa's rape, Agenor's ftern decree,
And Cadmus searching round the spacious fea?
How with the serpent's teeth he fow'd the soil,
And reap'd an iron harvest of his toil ?
Or how from joining stones the city sprung,
While to his harp divine Amphion fung?

IO

P. STATII THEBAIDOS.

F

LIBRE PRIMUS.
RATERNAs acies, alternaque regna profagis

Decertata odiis, fontesque evolvere Thebas,
Pierius menti calor incidit. Unde jubetis
Ire, Deæ? gentisne canam primordia diræ ?
Sidonios raptus, et inexorabile pactum
Legis Agenorex? fcrutantemque æquora Cadmum?
•Longa retro series, trepidum fi Martis operti
Agricolam infandis condentem prælia fulcis
Expediam, penitusque fequar quo carmine muris
Jufferit Amphion Tyrios accedere montes:

Or

IO

20

Or shall I Juno's hate to Thebes resound,
Whose fatal rage th' unhappy monarch found ?
The sire againit the son his arrows drew, 15
O'er the wide fields the furious mother flew,
And while her arms a second hope contain,
Sprung from the rocks and plung’d into the main.

But wave whate'er to Cadmus may belong,
And fix, O Muse! the barrier of thy song
At Oedipus----from his disasters trace
The long confusions of his guilty race:
Nor yet attempt to stretch thy bolder wing,
And mighty Cæsar's conqu’ring eagles fing;
How twice he tam'd proud Ister's rapid tlood, 25
While Dacian mountains stream'd with barb'rous

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

[ocr errors]

20

Unde

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

And thou, great heir of all thy father's fame,
Increase of glory to the Latian name!
Oh bless thy Rome with an eternal reign,
Nor let defiring worlds entreat in vain. 34
What tho' the itars contract their heav'nly space,
And crowd their ihining ranks to yield thee place;
Though all the kies, ambitious of thy sway,
Conipire to court thee from our world away ;
Though Phoebus longs to mix his rays with thine,
And in thy glorics more ferenely shine ; 40
Though Jove himself no less content would be,
To

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

a

Æternum fibi Roma cupit: licet arctior omnes
Limes agat ftellas, et te plaga lucida cæli
Pleiadum, Boreæque, et hiulci fulminis expers 35
Sollicitet; licet ignipedum frenator equorum
Ipfe tuis alte radiantem crinibus arcum
Imprimat, aut magni cedat tibi Jupiter æqua
Parte poli; maneas hominum contentus habenis,
Undarum terræque potens, et fidera dones.

Tempus erit, cum Pierio tua fortior vitro
Facta canam: nunc tendo chelyn; satis arma referre
Aonia, et geminis fceptrum exitiale tyrannis,
Nec furiis poft fata modum, fiammafque rebelles

Of

« הקודםהמשך »