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With early morn the gather'd country swarms, And all the continent is bright with arms; Thick as the budding leaves or rising flowers O’erspread the land, when spring descends in
showers: All expert soldiers, skill’d on foot to dare, Or from the bounding courser urge the war. Now fortune changes (so the Fates ordain), Our hour was come to taste our share of pain. Close at the ships the bloody fight began, Wounded they wound, and man expires on man. Long as the morning sun increasing bright O'er heaven's pure azure spread the growing light, Promiscuous death the form of war confounds, Each adverse battle gored with equal wounds : But when his evening wheels o’erhung the main, Then conquest crownd the fierce Ciconian train. Six brave companions from each ship we lost, The rest escape in haste, and quit the coast. With sails outspread we fly the’unequal strife, Sad for their loss, but joyful of our life. Yet as we fled, our fellows' rites we paid, And thrice we callid on each unhappy shade. . Meanwhile the god, whose hand the thunder
forms, Drives clouds on clouds, and blackens heaven
with storms: Wide o'er the waste the
of Boreas sweeps, And night rush'd headlong on the shaded deeps. Now here, now there, the giddy ships are borne, And all the rattling shrouds in fragments torn. We furld the sail, we plied the labouring oar, Took down our masts, and row'd our ships to shore. Two tedious days and two long nights we lay, O’erwatch'd and batter'd in the naked bay.
But the third morning when Aurora brings,
• The land of Cyclops first; a savage kind, Nor tamed by manners, nor by laws confined : Untaught to plant, to turn the glebe and sow; They all their products to free Nature owe. The soil untilld a ready harvest yields, With wheat and barley wave the golden fields, Spontaneous wines from weighty clusters pour, And Jove descends in each prolific shower. By these no statutes and no rights are known, No council held, no monarch fills the throne; But high on hills or airy cliffs they dwell, Or deep in caves whose entrance leads to hell. Each rules his race, his neighbour not his care, Heedless of others, to his own severe.
Opposed to the Cyclopean coasts, there lay An isle, whose hills their subject fields survey ; Its name Lachæa, crown’d with many a grove, Where savage goats through pathless thickets
No needy mortals here, with hunger bold,
Fields waving high with heavy crops are seen, And vines that flourish in eternal green, Refreshing meads along the murmuring main, And fountains streaming down the fruitful plain.
• A port there is, enclosed on either side, Where ships may rest, unanchor'd and untied, Till the glad mariners incline to sail, And the sea whitens with the rising gale. High at its head, from out the cavern'd rock, In living rills a gushing fountain broke: Around it, and above, for ever green, The bushing alders form’d a shady scene. Hither some favouring god, beyond our thought, Through all-surrounding shade our navy brought; For gloomy night descended on the main, Nor glimmer'd Phoebe in the etherial plain : But all unseen the clouded island lay, And all unseen the surge and rolling sea, Till safe we anchor'd in the shelter'd bay. Our sails we gather’d, cast our cables o’er, And slept secure along the sandy shore. Soon as again the rosy morning shone, Reveal'd the landscape and the scene unknown, With wonder seized we view the pleasing ground, And walk delighted, and expatiate round. Roused by the woodland nymphs, at early dawn, The mountain goats came bounding o’er the lawn: In haste our fellows to the ships repair, For
of the silvan war; Straight in three squadrons all our crew we part, And bend the bow, or wing the missile dart: The bounteous gods afford a copious prey, And nine fat goats each vessel bears away; The royal bark had ten. Our ships complete We thus supplied (for twelve were all the fleet).
Here, till the setting sun roll'd down the light, We sat indulging in the genial rite: Nor wines were wanting; those from ample jars We drain’d, the prize of our Ciconian wars. The land of Cyclops lay in prospect near ; The voice of goats and bleating flocks we hear, And from their mountains rising smokes appear. Now sunk the sun, and darkness cover'd o'er The face of things : along the seabeat shore Satiate we slept: but when the sacred dawn, Arising, glitter'd o'er the dewy lawn, I call'd my fellows, and these words address'd “ My dear associates, here indulge your rest; While with my single ship, adventurous, I Go forth, the manners of yon men to try; Whether a race unjust, of barbarous might, Rude, and unconscious of a stranger's right : Or such who harbour pity in their breast, Revere the gods, and succour the distress'd.”
• This said, I climb’d my vessel's lofty side; My train obey'd me, and the ship untied. In order seated on their banks, they sweep Neptune's smooth face, and cleave the yielding
deep. When to the nearest verge of land we drew, Fast by the sea a lonely cave we view, High, and with darkening laurels cover'd o'er; Where sheep and goats lay slumbering round the
shore. Near this, a fence of marble from the rock, Brown with o'erarching pine, and spreading oak. A giant shepherd here his flock maintains Far from the rest, and solitary reigns, In shelter thick of horrid shade reclined; And gloomy mischiefs labour in his mind.