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In purple bands; she gave the precious pledge 89
To prudent Neda, charging her to guard thee,
Careful and secret: Neda, of the nymphs
That tended the great birth, next Philyre
And Styx, the eldest. Smiling, she received thee,
And conscious of the grace, absolved her trust:
Not unrewarded; since the river bore
The favourite virgin's name; fair Neda rolls
By Leprion's ancient walls, a fruitful stream.
Fast by her flowery banks the sons of Arcas,
Favourites of Heaven, with happy care protect
Their fleecy charge; and joyous drink her wave. 50
Thee, god, to Cnossus Neda brought: the nymphs
And Corybantes thee, their sacred charge,
Received: Adraste rocked thy golden cradle:
The goat, now bright amidst her fellow stars,
Kind Amalthea, reached her teat distent
With milk, thy early food: the sedulous bee
Distilled her honey on thy purple lips.
Around, the fierce Curetes (order solemn
To thy foreknowing mother!) trod tumultuous
Their mystic dance, and clanged their sounding arms; 30
Industrious with the warlike din to quell
Thy infant cries and mock the ear of Saturn.
Swift growth and wondrous grace, O heavenly Jove,
Waited thy blooming years; inventive wit,
And perfect judgment, crowned thy youthful act.
That Saturn's sons received the three-fold empire
Of Heaven, of ocean, and deep hell beneath,
As the dark urn and chance of lot determined,
Old poets mention, fabling. Things of moment
Well nigh equivalent and neighbouring value 70
By lot are parted: but high Heaven, thy share,
In equal balance laid 'gainst Sea or hell,
Flings up the adverse scale, and shuns proportion. 78
Wherefore not chance, but power, above thy brethren
Exalted thee, their king. When thy great will
Commands thy chariot forth; impetuous strength,
And fiery swiftness wing the rapid wheels,
Incessant; high the eagle flies before thee.
And oh! as I and mine consult thy augur,
Grant the glad omen; let thy favourite rise 80
Propitious, ever soaring from the right.
Thou to the lesser gods hast well assigned
Their proper shares of power; thy own, great Jove,
Boundless and universal. Those who labour
The sweaty forge, who edge the crooked scythe,
Bend stubborn steel, and harden gleening armour,
Acknowledge Vulcan's aid. The early hunter
Blesses Diana's hand, who leads him safe
O'er hanging cliffs, who spreads his net successful,
And guides the arrow through the panther's heart. 90
The soldier, from successful camps returning
With laurel wreathed, and rich with hostile spoil,
Severs the bull to Mars. The skilful bard,
Striking the Thracian harp, invokes Apollo,
To make his hero and himself immortal.
Those, mighty Jove, meantime, thy glorious care,
Who model nations, publish laws, announce
Or life or death, and found or change the empire.
Man owns the power of kings; and kings of Jove.
And, as their actions tend subordinate 100
To what thy will designs, thou giv'st the means
Proportioned to the work; thou seest impartial,
How they those means employ. Each monarch rules
His different realm, accountable to thee,
Great ruler of the world: these only have
To speak and be obeyed; to those are given
Assistant days to ripen the design; 107
To some whole months; revolving years to some;
Others, ill-fated, are condemned to toil
Their tedious life, and mourn their purpose blasted
With fruitless act, and impotence of council.
Hail! greatest son of Saturn, wise disposer
Of every good! Thy praise what man yet born
Has sung! or who that may be born shall sing!
Again, and often hail! indulge our prayer,
Great father! grant us virtue, grant us wealth:
For without virtue, wealth to man avails not;
And virtue without wealth exerts less power,
And less diffuses good. Then grant us, gracious,
Virtue and wealth; for both are of thy gift. 120
THE SECOND HYMN OF CALLIMACHUS. TO APOLLO.
HAH! how the laurel, great Apollo's tree, And all the cavern shakes! far off, far off, The man that is unhallowed: for the god, The god approaches. Hark! he knocks; the gates Feel the glad impulse: and the severed bars | Submissive clink against their brazen portals. Why do the Delian palms incline their boughs, Self-moved: and hovering swans, their throats released, From native silence, carol sounds harmonious !
Begin, young men, the hymn: let all your harps Break their inglorious silence; and the dance, 11 In mystic numbers trod, explain the music. But first by ardent prayer, and clear lustration, Purge the contagious spots of human weakness: Impure no mortal can behold Apollo.
So may ye flourish, favoured by the god, 16
In youth with happy nuptials, and in age
With silver hairs, and fair descent of children;
So lay foundations for aspiring cities,
And bless your spreading colonies' increase. 20
Pay sacred reverence to Apollo's song;
Lest wrathful the far-shooting god emit
His fatal arrows. Silent Nature stands,
And seas subside, obedient to the sound
Of Ið, Iö Pean! nor dares Thetis
Longer bewail her loved Achilles' death;
For Phoebus was his foe. Nor must sad Niobe
In fruitless sorrow persevere, or weep
Even through the Phrygian marble. Hapless mother!
Whose fondness could compare her mortal offspring
To those which fair Latona bore to Jove. 31
Iö! again repeat ye, I& Pean!
Against the deity 'tis hard to strive.
He that resists the power of Ptolemy,
Resists the power of heaven, for power from heaven
Derives; and monarchs rule by gods appointed.
Recite Apollo's praise, till night draws on,
The ditty still unfinished; and the day
Unequal to the godhead's attributes
Various, and matter copious of your songs. 40
Sublime at Jove's right hand Apollo sits,
And thence distributes honour, gracious king,
And theme of verse perpetual. From his robe
Flows light ineffable; his harp, his quiver,
And Lictian bow are gold; with golden sandals
His feet are shod; how rich, how beautiful!
Beneath his steps the yellow mineral rises,
And earth reveals her treasures. Youth and beauty
Eternal deck his cheek; from his fair head
Perfumes distil their sweets; and cheerful health, 50
His duteous handmaid, through the air improved,
With lavish hand diffuses scents ambrosial.
The spear-man's arm by thee, great god, directed,
Sends forth a certain wound. The laurelled bard,
Inspired by thee, composes verse immortal.
Taught by thy art divine, the sage physician
Eludes the urn; and chains, or exiles death.
Thee, Nomian, we adore; for that from Heaven
Descending, thou on fair Amphrysus' banks
Didst guard Admetus' herds. Sith hence the cow
Produced an ampler store of milk; the she-goat 61
Not without pain dragged her distended udder;
And ewes, that erst brought forth but single lambs,
Now dropped their twofold burthens. Blessed the
On which Apollo cast his favouring eye!
But Phoebus, thou to man beneficent,
Delight'st in building cities. Bright Diana,
Kind sister to thy infant-deity,
New-weaned, and just arising from the cradle,
Brought hunted wild goats' heads, and branching antlers
Of stags, the fruit and honour of her toil. 71
These with discerning hand thou knewst to range
(Young as thou wast), and in the well-framed models,
With emblematic skill and mystic order,
Thou show'dst, where towers or battlements should rise;
Where gates should open; or where walls should
While from thy childish pastime man received
The future strength and ornament of nations.
Battus, our great progenitor, now touched
The Libyan strand; when the foreboding crow 80
Flew on the right before the people, marking