תמונות בעמוד
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

L A ! how the laurel, great Apollo's tree,
11 And all the cavern shakes ! far off, far off,
The man that is unhallow'd : for the God,
The God approaches. Hark! he knocks; the gates
Feel the glad impulse ; and the sever'd bars
Submissive clink against their brazen portals.
Why do the Delian palms incline their boughs,
Self-mov'd ? and hovering fwans, their throats releas'd
From native silence, carol sounds harmonious ?

Begin, young men, the hymn: let all your harps
Break their inglorious silence; and the dance,
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, favour'd by the God,
In youth with happy nuptials; and in age
With silver hair, and fair descent of children!
So lay foundations for aspiring cities,
And bless your spreading colonies increase!

Pay sacred reverence to Apollo's song;
Lest wrathful the far-shooting God emit
His fatal arrows. Silent Nature stands ;
And seas subfide, obedient to the found

[ocr errors]

Of lö, lö Pean! nor dares Thetis
Longer bewail her lov'd Achilles' death;
For Phæbus was his foe. Nor mult fad Niobe
In fruitless forrow persevere, or weep
Ev'n through the Phrygian marble. Hapless mother!
Whose fondness could compare her mortal offspring
To those which fair Latona bore to Jove.
lö! again repeat ye, lö Pean!

Against the Deity 'tis hard to strive.
He, that refifts the power of Ptolemy,
Refifts 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 unfinish'd; and the day
Unequal to the Godhead's attributes
Various, and matter copious of your songs.

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 Lician 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 cheeks : from his fair head
Perfumes distill their sweets; and cheerful Health,
His duteous handmaid, through the air improv'd,
With lavish hand diffuses scents ambrosial.

The spearman's arm by thee, great God, directed, Sends forth a certain wound. The laurel'd bard,


K 2

Inspir'd by thee, composes verse immortal.
Taught by thy art divine, the fage 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. Sithence the cow
Produc'd an ampler store of milk; the she-goạt
Not without pain dragg'd her diftended udder ;
And ewes, that erst brought forth but single lambs,
Now dropp'd their two-fold burthens. Bleft the cattle,
On which Apollo cast his favouring eye!

But, Phæbus, thou to man beneficent, Delight'st in building cities. Bright Diana, Kind sister to thy infant deity, New-wean'd, and just arising from the cradle, Brought hunted wild-goats heads, and branching antlers Of stags, the fruit and honour of her toil. These with discerning hand thou knew'st to range (Young as thou wast), and in the well-fram'd models, With emblematic skill, and mystic order, Thou shew'st where towers or battlements should rise, Where gates should open, or where walls should com

While from thy childish pastime man receiv'd
The future strength and ornament of nations.

Battus, our great progenitor, now touch'd
The Libyan ftrand; when the foreboding crow
Flew on the right before the people, marking
The country destin'd the auspicious seat
Of future kings, and favour of the God,
Whose oath is sure, and promise stands eternal.

Or Boëdromian hear'ft' thou pleas’d, or Clarian
Phæbus, great king? for different are thy names,
As thy kind hand has founded many cities,
Or dealt benign thy various gifts to man.
Carnean let me call thee ; for my country
Calls thee Carnean : the fair colony
Thrice by thy gracious guidance was transported,
Ere settled in Cyrene ; there w' appointed
Thy annual feasts, kind God, and bless thy altars
Smoaking with hecatombs of slaughter'd bulls,
As Carnus, thy high priest and favour'd friend,
Had erit ordain'd; and with mysterious rites,
Our great forefathers taught their sons to worship.
lö Carnean Phæbus ! lö Pean!

The yellow crocus there and fair narcissus
Reserve the honours of their winter-store,
To deck thy temple ; till returning spring
Diffuses Nature's various pride ; and flowers
Innumerable, by the soft south-we!
Open'd, and gather'd by religious hands,
Rebound their sweets from th’ odoriferous pavement.
Perpetual fires shine hallow'd on thy altars,
When annual the Carnean feast is held ;
The warlike Libyans, clad in armour, lead
The dance ; with clanging swords and shields they beat
The dreadful measure : in the chorus join
Their women, hrown but beautiful : such rites
To thee well pleasing. Nor had yet thy votaries,
From Greece transplanted, touch'd Cyrene's banks,
K 3


And lands determin’d for their last abodes;
But wander'd through Azilis' horrid forest
Dispers’d; when from Myrtusa's craggy brow,
Fond of the maid, auspicious to the city,
Which must hereafter bear her favour'd name,
Thou gracious deign'st to let the fair-one view
Her typic people ; thou with pleasure taught'st her.
To draw the bow, to say the thaggy lion,
And stop the spreading ruin of the plains.
Happy the nymph, who, honour'd by thy passion,
Was aided by thy power! The monstrous Python
Durst tempt thy wrath in vain : for dead he fell,
To thy great strength and golden arms unequal.

lö! while thy unerring hand elanc'd
Another, and another dart ; the people
Joyfully repeated lö! lö Pean!
Elance the dart, Apollo : for the safety
And health of man, gracious thy mother bore thee.

Envy, thy latest foe, suggested thus : Like thee I am a power immortal; therefore To thee dare speak. How canst thou favour partial Those poets who write little ? Vast and great Is what I love: the far-extended ocean To a small rivulet I prefer. Apollo Spurn’d Envy with his foot ; and thus the God: Dæmon, the head-long current of Euphrates, Assyrian river, copious runs, but muddy ; And carries forward with his stupid force Polluting dirt; his torrent still augmenting, His wave still more defil'd: mean while the nymphs


« הקודםהמשך »