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Nor did the third his conqueft long survive,
Dying ere scarce he had begun to live.
The dire example ran through all the field,
?Till heaps of brothers were by brothers killd;
The furrows swam in blood: and only five
Of all the vast increase were left alive.
Echion one, at Pallas's command,
Let fall the guiltless weapon from his hand;
And with the rest a peaceful treaty makes,
Whom Cadmus as his friends and partners takes ;
So founds a city on the promis'd earth,
And gives his new Bæotian empire birth.
Here Cadmus reign'd; and now one would have guese'd
The royal founder in his exile bleft:
Long did he live within his new abodes,
Ally'd by marriage to the deathless Gods;
And, in a fruitful wife's embraces old,
A long increase of children's children told:
But no frail man, however great or high,
Can be concluded bleft before he die.
Allain was the first of all his race,
Who griev'd his grandsire in his borrow'd face ;
Condemn’d by ftern Diana to bemoan
The branching horns, and visage not his own;
To shun his once-lov'd dogs, to bound away,
And from their huntsman to become their prey,
And yet consider why the change was wrought,
You'll find it his misfortune, not his fault;
Or if a fault, it was the fault of chance :
For how can guilt proceed from ignorance ?
The Transformation of ACTÆ ON 10
a Stag. In a fair chace a shady mountain stood, Well stor’d with game, and mark'd with trails of blood. Here did the huntsmen 'till the heat of day Pursue the stag, and load themselves with prey ; When thus Allæon calling to the rest : “ My friends, fays he, our sport is at the best. “ The sun is high advanc'd, and downward theds “ His burning beams directly on our heads; “ Then by consent abstain from further spoils, “ Call off the dogs, and gather up the toils ; « And ere to-morrow's sun begins his race, “ Take the cool morning to renew the chace.” They all consent, and in a chearful train The jolly huntsmen, loaden with the lain, Return in triumph from the sultry plain.
Down in a vale with pine and cypress clad,
Refresh'd with gentle winds, and brown with shade,
The chaste Diana's private haunt, there stood
Full in the centre of the darksom wood
A spacious grotto, all around o’er-grown
With hoary moss, and arch'd with pumice-stone,
From out its rocky clefts the waters flow,
And trickling swell into a lake below.
Nature had every where so play'd her part,
That every where she seem'd to vie with art.
Here the bright goddess, toild and chaf:d with heat,
Was wont to bathe her in the cool retreat.
Here did she now with all her train resort,
Panting with heat, and breathless from the sport;
Her armour-bearer laid her bow aside,
Some loos'd her sandals, fome her veil unty'd;
Each busy nymph her proper part undrest;
While Crocalè, more handy than the rest,
Gather'd her flowing hair, and in a noose
Bound it together, whilft her own hung loose.
Five of the more ignoble fort by turns
Fetch up the water, and unlade their urns.
Now all undrest the shining goddess stood,
When young Ataon, wilder’d in the wood,
To the cool grot by his hard fate betray'd,
The fountains fill?d with naked nymphs survey'd.
The frighted virgins shriek'd at the surprise,
(The forest echo'd with the piercing cries)
Then in a huddle round their goddess prest:
She, proudly eminent above the rest,
With blushes glow'd; such blushies as adorn
The ruddy welkin, or the purple morn:
And tho' the crowding nymphs her body hide,
Half backward shrunk, and view'd him from aside.
Surpriz?d, at first she would have fnatch'd her bow,
But sees the circling waters round her flow;:..
These in the hollow of her hand she took,
And dash'd 'em in his face, while thus she spoke:
“ Tell, if thou canst, the wondrous sight disclos’d;
“ A goddess naked to thy view expos’d.”
This faid, the man began to disappear
By now degrees, and ended in a deer.
A rising horn on either brow he wears,
And stretches out his neck, and pricks his ears ;
Rough is his skin, with sudden hairs o'er-grown,
His bosom pants with fears before unknown.
Transform'd at length, he flies away in haste,
And wonders why he flies away so fast.
But as by chance, within a neighb’ring brook,
He saw his branching horns and alter'd look,
Wretched Aflæon! in a doleful tone
He try'd to speak, but only gave a groan;
And as he wept, within the watry glass
He saw the big round drops, with silent pace,
Run trickling down a favage hairy face.
What should he do? Or seek his old abodes,
Or herd among the deer, and sculk in woods ?
Here ihane dissuades him, there his fear prevails,
And each by turns his aking heart assails.
As he thus ponders, he behind him spies
His opening hounds, and now he hears their cries:
Agen'rous pack, or to maintain the chace,
Or snuff the vapour from the scented grass.
He bounded off with fear, and swiftly ran
O’er craggy mountains, and the flow'ry plain ;
Through brakes and thickets forc'd his way, and flew
Through many a ring, where once he did pursue.
In vain he oft endeavour'd to proclaim
His new misfortunes, and to tell his name ;
Nor voice nor words the brutal tongue supplies ;
From shouting men, and horns, and dogs he flies,
Deafen'd and stun'd with their promiscuous cries.
When now the fleetest of the pack, that prest
Close at his heels, and sprung before the rest,
Had faften’d on him, straight another pair
Hung on his wounded haunch, and held him there,
Till all the pack came up, and ev'ry hound
Tore the sad huntsman grov’ling on the ground,
Who now appear'd but one continu'd wound.
With dropping tears his bitter fate he moans,
i fills the mountains with his dying groans.