תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

His servants with a piteous look he spies,
And turns about his fupplicating eyes.
His servants, ignorant of what had chanc'd,
With

eager haite and joyful shouts advanca,
And call'd their Lord Actæon to the game;
He shook his head in answer to the name;
He heard, but wish'd he had indeed been gone,
Or only to have stood a looker on.
But, to his grief, he finds himself too near,
And feels his rav’nous dogs with fury tear
Their wretched master panting in a deer.

}

The Birth of BACCHU S.

Adeon's sufferings, and Diana's rage,
Did all the thoughts of men and gods engage ;
Some call'd the evils, which Diana wrought,
Too great, and disproportion'd to the fault;
Others again esteem'd Adæon's woes
Fit for a virgin goddess to impose.
The hearers into different parts divide,
And reasons are produc'd on either side.

Juno alone, of all that heard the news,
Nor would condemn the goddess, nor excuse:
She heeded not the justice of the deed,
But joy'd to see the race of Cadmus bleed ;,

[blocks in formation]

For ftill the kept Europa in her mind,
And, for her fake, detested all her kind.
Besides, to aggravate her hate, she heard
How Semele, to Jove's embrace preferid,
Was now grown big with an immortal load,
And carry'd in her womb a future God.
Thus terribly incens'd, the goddess broke
To sudden fury, and abruptly spoke.

Are my reproaches of so small a force?
'Tis time I then pursue another course :
“ It is decreed the guilty wretch shall die,
“ If I'm indeed the mistress of the sky;

If rightly stil d among the pow'rs above “ The wife and fifter of the thund'ring Jove,

(And none can sure a sister's right deny) “ It is decreed the guilty wretch shall die. “ She boasts an honour I can hardly claim ;

Pregnant she rises to a mother's name;

While proud and vain she triumphs in her Jove, “ And shows the glorious tokens of his love: 6. But if I'm still the mistress of the skies, “ By her own lover the fond beauty dies.” This said, descending in a yellow cloud, Before the gates of Semele she stood.

Old Beroë's decrepit shape she wears, Her wrinkled visage, and her hoary hairs ;

Whilst in her trembling gate she totters on,
And learns to tattle in the nurse's tone.
The goddess, thus disguis’d in age, beguild
With pleasing stories her false foiter-child.
Much did she talk of love, and when she came
To mention to the nymph her lover's name,
Fetching a figh, and holding down her head,
“ 'Tis well, says she, if all be true that's said.
“ But trust me, child, I'm much inclin'd to fear
6 Some counterfeit in this your Jupiter.
Many an honest well designing maid,
“ Has been by these pretended gods betray'd.
“ But if he be indeed the thund'ring Jove,
“ Bid him, when next he courts the rites of love,
“ Descend triumphant from th' ethereal sky,
“ In all the pomp of his divinity;

Encompass’d round by those celestial charms,
“ With which he fills th' immortal Jurno's arms.”

Th' unwary nymph, ensnar'd with what she said, Desir’d to fove, when next he sought her bed, To grant a certain gift which she would choose; “ Fear not, replied the God, that I'll refuse “ Whate’er you ask : May Styx confirm my voice, “ Choose what you will, and you shall have your choice. “ Then, says the nymph, when next you seek my arms, May you descend in those celestial charms

5 lits

ژل

“ With which your Juno's bofom you inflame,
“And fill with transport heaven's immortal dame."
The God surpris'd would fain have stopp'd her voice :
But he had sworn, and she had made her choice.

To keep his promise he ascends, and shrouds
His awful brow in whirlwinds and in clouds;
Whilst all around, in terrible array,
His thunders rattle, and his light’nings play.
And yet, the dazzling luftre to abate,
He set not out in all his pomp and state,
Clad in the mildest lightning of the skies,
And arm'd with thunder of the smallest size:
Not those huge bolts by which the giants Alain
Lay overthrown on the Phlegrean plain.
'Twas of a lesser mold, and lighter weight;
They call it thunder of a second rate,
For the rough Cyclops, who by Jove's command
Temper’d the bolt, and turn'd it to his hand,
Work'd

up

less flame and fury in its make,
And quench'd it sooner in the standing lake.
Thus dreadfully adorn'd, with horror bright,
Th’illustrious God, descending from his height,
Came rushing on her in a storm of light.

The mortal dame, too feeble to engage
The lightening's flashes and the thunder's rage,

Con

Consum'd amidst the glories she desir'd,
And in the terrible embrace expir’d.

But, to preserve his offspring from the tomb,
Fove took him smoking froin the blaited womb;;
And, if on ancient tales we may rely,
Inclos'd th' abortive infant in his thigh.
Here, when the babe had all his time fulfillid,
Ino first took him for her foster-child;.
Then the Niseans, in their dark abode,
Nurs’d secretly with milk the thriving God.

The Transformation of TIRES I A S.

[ocr errors]

'Twas now, while these transactions paft on earth, And Bacchus thus procur'd a second birth, When Jove, dispos’d to lay aside the weight Of public empire, and the cares of state ; As to his Queen in nectar bowls he quaffd, “ In troth, says he, (and as he spoke he laugh'd) The sense of pleasure in the male is far " More dull and dead, than what you females share." Juno the truth of what was said deny’d; Tirefias therefore must the cause decide ; For he the pleasure of each sex had try'd.

It happen'd once, within a shady wood, Two twisted snakes he in conjunction view'd;

When

}

« הקודםהמשך »