« הקודםהמשך »
· Destraction, like a vulture, hovers nigh; I pass cerulean gulphs, and now behold Lur'd with the hope of human blood,
New solid globes their weight, self-balanc'd, bear, She hangs upon the wing, uncertain where to fy, Unpropp'd, amidst the fluid air, [roll'd. But licks her drowthy jaws, and waits the promis'd And all, around the central Sun, in circling eddies food.
Unequal in their course, see they advance, Here cruel Discord takes a wider scene,
And form the planetary dance!
Here the pale Moon, whom the same laws ordain To exercise more unrelenting rage ;
T' obey the Farth, and rule the Main; Appointed fleets their numerous powers engage,
Here spots no more in shadowy streaks appear; With scarce a space of sea between.
But lakes instead, and groves of trees,
The wondering Muse transported sees,
And their tall heads discover'd mountains rear. Affrighted Ocean flies the roar, And drives the billows to the distant shore;
And now once more I downward cast my sight,
When, lo! the Earth, a larger moon, displays The distant shore, That such a storm ne'er felt before,
Far off, amidst the Heavens, her silver face,
And to her sister moon by turns gives light! Transmits it to the rocks around; The rocks and bollow creeks prolong the rolling Her scas are shadowy spots, her land a milky white. sound.
What power unknown my course still upwards Still greater horrours strike my eyes.
guides, Behold, convulsive earthquakes there,
Where Mars is seen his ruddy rays to throw And shatter'd land in pieces tear,
Through heatless skies, that round him seem to And ancient cities sink, and sudden mountains rise ! glow, Thro' opening mines th' astonish-d wretches go,
And where remoter Jove o'er his four moons presides? Hurry'd to unknown depths below.
And now I urge my way more bold, The bury'd ruin sleeps; and nought remains Unpierc'd by Saturn's chilling cold, But dust above and desert plains,
And pass his planetary guards, and his bright ring Unless some stone this sad inscription wear,
behold. Rais'd by some future traveller :
Here the Sun's beams so faintly play, “ The prince, his people, and his kingdom, here,
The mingled shades almost extinguish day. One common tomb contains.”
His rays reverted hence, the fire withdraws,
For here his wide dominions end ;
D'er the firm land usurping ride, (tide. Hither their bordering realms extend.
And now far off, through the blue vacant borne, sound.
I reach at last the milky road, · Waves rolld on waves, deep burying deep, lift
to lead to Jove's supreme abode, high
Where stars, profuse in heaps, Heaven's glittering A watery inonument, in which profound
heights adorn, The courts and cottages together lie.
Lost in each other's neighbouring rays, Ev'n now the floating wreck I spy,
They undistinguish'd shine in one promiscuous blaze And the wide surface far around
So thick the lucid gems are strown,
Laid up his stores for many a sphere
In destin'd worlds, as yet unknown. Swell o'er thy digues, oppos'd in vain,
Hither the nightly-wakeful swain, With deadly rage, and, rising in its might,
That guards his folds upon the plain, Pour down swift ruin on thy plains below.
Oft turns his gazing eyes, Thus Fire, and Air, and Earth, and Main,
Yet marks no stars, but o'er his head A never-ceasing fight maintain,
Beholds the streamy twilight spread, While man on every side is sure to lose ;
Like distant morning in the skies; And Fate has furnish'd out the stage of life
And wonders from what source its dawning splena With War, Misfortune, and with Strife;
dours rise. Till Death the curtain drops, and shuts the scene of woes.
But, lo!-what's this I see appear?
It seems, far off, a pointed Maine ; But why do I delay my flight?
From earth-wards too the shining meteor came Or on such gloomy objects gaze?
How swift it climbs th' aërial space! I go to realms serene with ever-living light.
And now it traverses cach sphere, Haste, Clouds and Whirlwinds, haste a raptur'd Aud seems some living guest, familiar to the place.. bard to raise;
'Tis he-as I approach more near, Mount me sublime along the shining way,
The great Colunibus of the skies I know ! Where plancts, in pure streams of ether driv'n, 'Tis Newton's soul, that daily travels here
Swim through the blue expanse of Heaven. In search of knowledge for mankind below. And, lo! th' obsequious Clouds and Winds obey! O stay, thou happy spirit, stay, And, lo! again the nations downwards fly, And lead me on thro' all th’ unbeaten wilds of day; And wide-stretch'd kingdoms perish from my eye. As when the Sibyl did Rome's father guide Heaven! what bright visions now arise!
Safe through the downward roads of night, What opening worlds my ravish’s seuse surprise! And in Elysium blest his sight
With views, till then, to mortal eyes deny'd. to join in this attempt. Achillas marches Here let me, thy companion, stray
against Alexandria with an army composed of From orb to orb, and now behold
Egyptians and Romans, and besieges Cæsar in Unnumber'd sans, all seas of molten gold; the palace, who seizes Ptolemy as a pledge for his
And trace each Comet's wandering way, own security. A herald, sent from the king to And now descry light's fountain-head,
inquire the cause of this tumult, is slain. An And measure its descending speed ;
attack being male, Cæsar defends himself, burns Or learn how sun-born colours rise
the Egyptiau ships in the harbour, and possesses In rays distinct, and in the skies,
himself of Pharos, where he puts Pothinus to Blended in yellow radiance, fow,
death. Arsinoe, younger sister of Ptolemy, by Or stain the fleecy cloud, or streak the watery bow; the aid of Ganimede, her governor, arriving in
Or, now diffus'd, their beauteous tinctures shed the camp, causes Achillas to be slain. GaniOn every planet's rising hills, and every verdant merle renews the attack against Cæsar, who mead.
is blocked up in Pharos, and reduced to the Thus, rais'd sublime on Contemplation's wings,
Wien conquering Cæsar follow'd to the land
His rival's head, and trod the barbarous strand, An inmate of the Heavens, adopted into light!
His fortune strove with guilty Egypt's fate So for a while the royal Eagle's brood
In doubtful fight, and this the dire debate; In his low nest securely lies,
Shall Roman arms great Lagus' realm enthrall ? Amid the darkness of the sheltering wood,
Or shall the victor, like the vanquish'd, fall Yet there, with in-born vigour, hopes the skies: By Egypt's sword ? Pompey, thy ghost withstoud Till, fledg’d with wings full-grown, and bold to Th' impending blow, and sav'd the general's blood,
The bird of Heaven to Heaven aspires, [rise, Lest Rome, too happy after loss of thee, Soars 'midst the meteors and celestial fires,
Should rule the Nile, herself from bondage free. With generous pride his humbler birth disdains,
Secure, and with this barbarous pledge content,
The crowd that saw his entry, while, before,
Observing Cæsar soon his errour spy'd,
That not for him his mighty rival dy'd,
Yet smooth'd his brow, all marks of fear suppressid, TRANSLATED.
And hid his cares, deep bury'd in his breast.
Then with intrepid mien he took his way,
Works which thy ancient power, great Macedon, Pompey, flying to Egypt, after his defeat at Phar. He view'd the splendid fanes with careless eyes,
display. salia, was by the king's consent, basely in urder Shrines rich with gold and sacred mysteries, ed by Pothinus, and his head presented to Cæsar as he approached the Egyptian coast, in pursuit Descends the vault, which holds the royal race.
Nor fix'd his sight, but, cager in his pace, of his enemy. The poet having represented this catastrophe in the two former books; the argu-l in Fate's eternal chains, here sleeps profound,
Philip's mad son, the prosperous robber, bound ment of the tenth book is as follows: Cæsar lands in Egypt. He goes to Alexandria; And in the world's revenge the monster slew.
Whom Death forbade his rapines to pursue, visits the temple, and the sepulchre of the kings, His impious bones, which, through each climate tost, in which Alexander the Great was buried. The poet, in a beautiful digression, declaims against Had met a juster fate, this tomb obtain'd,
The sport of winds, or in the ocean lost, the ambition of that monarch. Ptoleiny, the young king of Egypt, meets Cæsar at his ar
And sacred, to that kingdom's end, remain d. rival, and receives him into his palace. His And gollike Liberty resume her reign,
0! should auspicious years roll round again, sister Cleopatra, who had been kept a prisoner Preservd to scorn the reliques would be shown in Pharos, makes her escape, and privately of the bold chief, whose boundless pride alone getting admittance to Cæsar, implores his pro
This curst example to ambition gave, tection. By his means she is reconciled to her How many realms one mortal can enslave! brother; after which she entertains Cæsar at a feast. The supper being ended, Cæsar requests Disdaining what his father won before, of Achoreus, the priest, an account of the anti-Aspiring still, and restless after more, quities of Egypt, particularly of the river Nile. He left his home; while Fortune smooth'd his way, Achoreus's reply. The course of that river de- And o'er the fruitful East enlarg'd his sway. scribed, with an enumeration of the various Red Slaughter mark'd his progress, as he past; opinions concerning its spring, and the causes The guilty sword laid human nature waste, of its overflowing. Pothinus plots the death of Discolourd Ganges' and Euphrates' food, Casar. His message to Achillas to invite bim With Persian this, and that with Indian blood
THE TENTH BOOK OF
THE ARGUMENT AND CONNECTION OF THE STORY WITH
TRE FOR EGOING BOOKS.
He seem'd in terrour to the nations sent,
Though Pompey's ghost yet haunt those barbaroys The wrath of Heaven, a star of dire port nt,
walls, And shook, like thunder, all the continent ! And, howling in his ears, for vengeance calls,
Secure in guilt, he bugs a harlot's charms,
And mingles lawless love with lawless armsy
Luxurious Cæsar, shamefully supine,
Sells the dear purchase of his martial toil.
Him Cleopatra sought t'espouse her care;
Presuming of her charins, the mournful fair Death only could arrest his mad career,
In wild disorder loos'd her lovely hair, Who to his grave the world's sole empire bore,
And, with a face inviting sure relief, With the same envy 'twas acquir'd before;
In tender accents thus disclos'd her grief: And, wanting a successor to his reign,
“ Great Cæsar, look! of Lagus' royal race, Left all to suffer conquest once again.
So thou restore me to my rightful place, Yet Babylon first yielded to his arms,
I kneel a queen. Expell’d my father's throne, And Parthia trembled at his proud alarms.
My hope of succour is in you alone. Oh shame to tell! could haughty Parthia fear You rise a prosperous star to Egypt's aid; 'The Grecian dart, and not the Roman spear? O shine propitious on an injur'd maid ! What though the North, and South, and West, My sex has oft the Pharian sceptre sway'd, are ours,
For so the laws admit. Let Cæsar read Th' unconquer'd East defies our feeble powers, Our parent's will; my brother's crown and bed So fatal once to Rome's great Crasși known, Are mine to share, and were the youth but free A province now to Pella's puny town.
From saucy tutors, he would marry me.
But by Pothinus' nod his passions move, Now from Pelusium, where expanding wide
Pothinus wields his sword, and manages his love Nile pours into the sea his ample tide,
Forbid that crime; I freely qnit my claim, Came tbe boy-king; his presence soon appeas'd But save from such reproach our house and name. The people's rage, and giddy tumult ceas'd.
Rescue the royal boy from mean command, In Egypt's palace, Cæsar sleeps secure;
Restore the sceptre to his trembling hand, This princely hostage does awhile ensure
This vile domestic's lawless pride restrain, His terms of peace; when lo! the sister-queen,
Remove the traitor-guard, and teach the king to In a small boat conceal'd, securely mean,
reign. With gold corrupts the keeper of the port,
Th' imperious slave, who kill'd great Cæsar's foe, And undiscover'd lands, and lurks within the Inur'd to blood, would murder Corsar too, court.
But far, far hence, ye gods, avert the threaten'd The royal whore, her country's worst disgrace,
blow! The fate and fury of the Roman race!
Let Pompey's head suffice Pothinus' fame,
Nor let a nobler death increase our shame!”
Here paus'd the queen, and spoke in looks the Italian games, and spread the kindled fire.
rest: A rabble rout, a vile enervate band
Not words alone could move his savage breast; Presum'd th' imperial eagles to withstand ;
Her eyes enforce her prayers, soft beauty pleads, Canopus march'd, a woman at their head,
And brib'd the judge; a night of guilt succeeds. And then, if ever, Rome knew aught of dread, Then soon for peace th' affrighted brother sought, Een mighty Rome with terrour heard the jar And with rich gifts his reconcilement bought. Of clatter'd cymbals tinkling to the war, And shook her lofty towers, and trembled from Affairs united thus, the court ordains afar.
A solemn feast, where joy tumultuous reigns. What triumphs had proud Alexandria seen, Here Cleopatra's genius first was shown, Had great Octavius then a captive been,
And arts till then to frugal Rome unknown. When hovering Victory, at Leucate's bay, The hall a temple seem'd; corrupter days Hung on her wings, and 'twas a strife that day,
Scarce to the gods would such a structure raise If the lost world a distaff should obey.
Rich was the fretted roof, and cover'd o'er From that corst night this daring hope arose,
With ponderous gold; all onyx was the floor. That shameful night, the source of future woes, Nor marble plates alone the walls incas'd, Which first commenc'd polluted loves between Beauteous to sight, and all th' apartment grac'd ; A Roman general and Egyptian queen.
But solid pillars of thick agate stood, who can Anthony's wild passion blame?
And ebony supply'd for common wood. Erin Cæsar's finty heart confess'd the softening Ivory the doors, with Indian tortoise seen flame!
Inlaid, and studded emerald between. The foul adulterer, reeking with the stains The beds too shone, profuse of gems, on high, Of impions slaughter on Thessalian plains, The coverings Tyrian silk, of double dye, Carash'd from blood, amidst the rage of war, Embroider'd part with gold, with scarlet part, in joys obscene forgets his cruel care.
A curious mixture of Egyptian art.
And now the crowd of menial slaves appears, The people's minds, and to what powers you pray Of various skin and size, and various years. What customs keep, and what devotion pay. Some swarthy Africans with frizzled hair;
Whate'er your ancient monuments contain,
To whom your sires their mystic rites confest,
Fame of my rival led me first, 'tis true,
I still had varant hours amidst my wars,
Henceforth all calendars must yield to mine,
And ev'n Eudoxus shall the palm resign. T enjoy a brother spouse, and share his throne, But, more than all, the love of truth, which fires Had stain'd her cheeks, and arm'd with artful care My glowing breast, an ardent wish inspires Her fatal eyes, new conquest to prepare;
To learn, what numerous ages ne'er could know, Bright jewels grac'd her neck, and sparkled in her Your river's source, and causes of its flow. hair.
Indulge my hope Nile's secret birth to view,
He paus'd; when thus Achoreus made reply ; Which through the net-work veil a thousand
* Ye reverend shades of our great ancestry! charms display'd.
While I to Cæsar Nature's works explain, Here might be seen large oval tables, wrought
And open stores yet hid from eyes profane, Of citron froin Atlantic forests brought,
Be it no crime your secrets to reveal! T'heir tressels ivory; not so rich a sort
Let others hold it pious to conceal Was Cæsar's prize in vanquish'd Juba's court.
Such nighty truths. I think the gods design'd Blind ostentatious madness! to display
Works such as these to pass all human kind, Your wealth to whom ev'n civil war's a play,
And teach the wondering world their laws and And tempt an armed guest to seize the prey !
heavenly mind. Grant riches not the purpose of his toil,
“ At Nature's birth, a various power was given Nor with rapacious arms to hunt for spoil,
To various stars, that cross the poles of Heaven, Think him a hero of that chaster time,
And slack the rolling sphere. With sovereign rays When poverty was praise, and gold a crime; The Sun divides the months, the nights, the days; Suppose Fabricius present at the show,
Fix'd in his orb, the wandering course restrains Or the rough consul chosen from the plough, Of other stars, and the great dance ordains. Or virtuous Curius; cach would wish to come
The changeful Moon attends th’alternate tides, With such a triumph back to wondering Rome. Saturn o'er ice and snowy zones presides;
Mars rules the winds, and the wing'd thunder What earth and air, the sea and Nile afford, Jove's is a sky serene and teinperate air; (guides; In golden vessels heaps the plenttous board; 'The secds of life are Venus' kindly care. Whate'er ambitious Luxury could find
O'er spreading streams, Cyllenius, is thy reign : Through the search'd globe, and more than want
And when that part of Heaven thou dost attain, enjoin'd;
When Cancer with the Lion mingles rays,
Beneath whose hot survey, deep in his bed,
Obscure from sight, old Nilus veils his head ; With wine from Meroc's isle, whose noble age, When thou, from thence, in thy celestial course, Fermenting, sparkles with ungovern'd rage: Ruler of foods, dost strike the river's source, With twisted wreaths, which fragrant flowers com The conscious streams break out, and flowing soon Delightful nard, and ever-blooming rose, [pose, Obey thy call, as Ocean does the Moon; They crown their brows; and strow their oily hair Nor check their tide, till night has from the Sun With spice from neighbouring fields, not yet expir'd Regain'd those hours th’advancing Summer won.
in air. Here Cæsar learns the fruitful world to drain,
“ Vain was the faith of old, that melted snow While conscious thoughts his secret soul arraign;
Proin Ethiopian hills produce this flow ; Blushing he inward inourns the dire debate
For let the native's sun-burnt skins declare, With his poor son, but mourns, alas ! too late,
That no bleak North breathes wintry tempests And longs for war with Egypt's wealthy state.
But vapours from the South possess the parching At length, the tumult of the banquet o'er, Besides, such torrents as by snows increase, (air. When sated Luxury requir'd no inore,
Begin to swell when Spring does first release Cursar protracts the silent hours of night,
Those wintery stores; Nile nc'er prorokes his And, turning to Achoreus, cloth'd in white,
streains, High on a lofty couch" Say, boly seer !
Till the hot Dog-star shoot his angry beams; Whase hoary age thy guardian gods revere, Nor then resumes his banks, till Libra weighs Devoted to their rites! wilt thou relate
In equal scale the measur'd nights and days. The rise and progress of the Pharian state?
Hence he the laws of other strams declines, Describe the laul's extent, what huumours sway Yor flows in winter, when at distance elines
The moderate Sun; commanded to repair, To promis'd spoils a numerous army led;
Where'er thou flow'st, thy springs possest by none, And swells against the Lion's burning jaws,
And not one land can call thee, Nile, her own. Moistening the plains, till Phoebus late descends Yet what the god, who did thy birth conceal, To Autumn's cooler couch, and Meroe's shade ex. Has giv'n to know, to Cæsar I'll reveal. tends.
First from the Southern pole thy stream we trace, Who can the cause of such great changes read?
Which rolling forward with a speedy pace, Ev'n so our parent Nature had decreed
Under hot Cancer is directly driven Nile's constant course, and so the world has need.
Against Bootes' wain, far in the north of Heaven. As rainly too Antiquity apply'd
Yet winding in thy course from east to west, Th’ Etesian winds to raise this wondrous tide, Arabia now, now Libya's sands are blest Which blow at stated seasons of the year
With thy cool food; which first the Seres spy, For several days, and long possess the air ; [Ay Yet seek thee too; thy current, rolling by, Or thought vast clouds, which, driv'n before them, Through Æthiopia next, a stranger, flows: Beyond the South, discharg'd the burden'd sky Nor can the world perceive to whom it owes Op Nilus' head, and thence his current swellid; Thy sacred birth, which Nature hid from all, Or that those winds the river's course repellid, Lest any nation should behold thee small, Which stopp'd, and press'd by th' entering sea, And, covering deep thy infant head, requird disdains
That none should find what is by all admir'd. His banks, and issuing boils along the plains.
Thou, by a law to other streams unknown, Some think vast pores, and gaps in earth abound, In summer's solstice o'er thy banks art thrown, Where streams in silent veins-creep under ground, and bring'st in thy full tide a winter of thy own. Led from the chilling North, the line to meet,
To thee alone 'tis given thy waves to roll When pointed beams direct on Meroe beat,
Athwart the globe, enlarg'd to either pole ; While the parch'd earth a watery succour craves; These nations seek thy fountain, these would trace Then Po aad Ganges roll their smother'd waves Thy gulph. With spacious arms thou dost embrace Deep through the vaults beneath; and, Nile sup
Hot Meroe, fruitful to a sooty race, Discharges at one vent their mingled tide, (ply'd, And proud of ebon woods; yet no retreat Nor can the gather'd food in one straight channel Their useless shades afford to shun th' excessive ride.
heat. Some think the sea, which round all lands ex
Then through the regions of the scorching Sun,
Not lessen'd by his thirst, thy waters run. tends
O'er barren sands they take a tedious course, His liquid arms, these gushing waters sends ; That length of course the saltness Wears away;
Now rolling in one tide their gather'd force; Or thus; since Phæbus and the stars, we say,
Now wandering in their way, and sprinkled round, Drink ocean's streams; when, pear hot Cancer's Thy channel here its scatter'd troops regains,
O'er yielding banks thy wanton billows bound. The thirsty Sun a larger portion draws, (claws,
Between th' Ægyptian and Arabian plains, That more than air digests, attracted so,
Where Philas bounds the realm ; with easy pace Falls back by night, and causes Nile to flow.
Thy slippery waves through deserts cut their race, Might I in so perplex'd a cause engage, Where Nature by a tract of land divides I think, since Nature grew mature in age, Our sea, distinguish'd from the Red-Sea's tides. | Some waters, Cæsar, have deriv'd their birth Who that beholds thee here so gently flow,
From veins by strong convulsions broke in earth! Would think thou ever could'st tempestuous grow! And some coeval with the world began,
But when o'er rugged cliffs and ways unev'n And starting through appointed channels ran, In steepy cataracts thou'rt headlong driv'n, When this whole frame th’ Almighty Builder rear'd, Thy rushing waves, resisted, fiercer fly, Ordain'd its laws, and its first motions steer'd. And batter'd froth rebounding fills the sky,
The hills remurmur with the dashing sound, The kings of Greece, of Ægypt, and the East, Andent like you, were with this wish possest,
Thy billows ride triumphant far around,
And rear their conquering heads with hoary ho And every age has labour'd to attain
nours crown'd. The wondrous truth, but labour'd still in vain,
Hence shaken Abatos first feels thy rage, For Nature lurks obscure, and mocks their pain.
And rocks, which in our great forcfathers age Philip's great son, whose consecrated name
Were call'd the river's veins; because they show Memphis adores, the first in regal fame,
His first increase, and symptoms of his flow. Enrious of this, detach'd a chosen band
Vast piles of mountains here encompass wide To range th' extreme of Æthiopia's sand!
His streams, to Libya's thirsty land deny'd, They pass the scorching soil, and only view
Which thus enclos'd in a deep valley glide.
At Memphis first he sees the open plains,
Then flows at large, and his low banks disdains Yet drank your Rhodanus and Padus first
While thus secure, as if no danger nigh, At both their springs, ere Nile obey'd his thirst. Till Night's black stecds had travell'd half the sky, Cambyses, mad with lust of power i'o'er-run They pass the hours of rest, Pothinus' mind The long-liv'd nations of the rising Sun,
From brooding mischief can no leisure find VOL X.