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Unbless’d the man, whose music wins to stay
fetter strain’d, and added band to band. • These seas o’erpass’d, be wise! but I refrain To mark distinct thy voyage o'er the main : New horrors rise! let prudence be thy guide, And guard thy various passage through the tide.
* High o'er the main two rocks exalt their brow, The boiling billows thundering roll below; Through the vast waves the dreadful wonders
move, Hence named Erratic by the gods above. No bird of air, no dove of swiftest wing, That bears ambrosia to the' etherial king, Shuns the dire rocks : in vain she cuts the skies, The dire rocks meet, and crush her as she flies. Not the fleet bark, when prosperous breezes play, Ploughs o'er that roaring surge its desperate way; O’erwhelm'd it sinks: while round a smoke expires, And the waves flashing seem to burn with fires. Scarce the famed Argo pass'd these raging floods, The sacred Argo, filld with demigods! E'en she had sunk, but Jove's imperial bride Wing’d her fleet sail, and push'd her o'er the tide.
• High in the air the rock its summit shrouds In brooding tempests, and in rolling clouds; Loud storms around and mists eternal rise, Beat its bleak brow, and intercept the skies. When all the broad expansion, bright with day, Glows with the autumnal or the summer ray, The summer and the autumn glow in vain, The sky for ever lours, for ever clouds remain. Impervious to the step of man it stands, Though borne by twenty feet, though arm'd with
twenty hands; Smooth as the polish of the mirror, rise The slippery sides, and shoot into the skies. Full in the centre of this rock display'd, A yawning cavern casts a dreadful shade: Nor the fleet arrow from the twanging bow, Sent with full force, could reach the depth below, Wide to the west the horrid gulf extends, And the dire passage down to hell descends. O fly the dreadful sight! expand thy sails, Ply the strong oar, and catch the nimble gales : Here Scylla bellows from her dire abodes, Tremendous pest! abhorr'd by man and gods! Hideous her voice, and with less terrors roar The whelps of lions in the midnight hour. Twelve feet, deform’d and foul, the fiend dis.
preads; Six horrid necks she rears, and six terrific heads; Her jaws grin dreadful with three rows of teeth; Jaggy they stand, the gaping den of death; Her parts obscene the raging billows hide; Her bosom terribly o’erlooks the tide. When stung with hunger she embroils the flood, The sea-dog and the dolphin are her food;
She makes the huge leviathan her prey,
“ Close by, a rock of less enormous height Breaks the wild waves, and forms a dangerous
straight; Full on its crown a fig's green branches rise, And shoot a leafy forest to the skies ; Beneath, Charybdis holds her boisterous reign ’Midst roaring whirlpools, and absorbs the main; Thrice in her gulfs the boiling seas subside, Thrice in dire thunders she refunds the tide. Oh if thy vessel plough the direful waves When seas retreating roar within her caves, Ye perish all! though he who rules the main Lend his strong aid, his aid he lends in vain. Ah shun the horrid gulf! by Scylla fly, 'Tis better six to lose, than all to die.”
"I then: “O nymph propitious to my prayer, Goddess divine, my guardian power, declare, Is the foul fiend from human
freed? Or if I rise in arms, can Scylla bleed ?” * Then she" O worn by toils, O broke in
She mocks the weak attempts of human might:
• She ceased : and now arose the morning ray; Swift to her dome the goddess held her way. Then to my mates I measured back the plain, Climb'd the tall bark, and rush'd into the main ; Then bending to the stroke, their oars they drew To their broad breasts, and swift the galley flew. Up sprung a brisker breeze: with freshening
gales The friendly goddess stretch'd the swelling sails : We drop our oars; at ease the pilot guides ; The vessel light along the level glides. When rising sad and slow, with pensive look, Thus to the melancholy train I spoke
“ () friends, oh ever partners of my woes, Attend while I what Heaven foredooms disclose: Hear all! Fate hangs o’er all! on you it lies To live, or perish; to be safe, be wise!
“ In flowery meads the sportive Sirens play, Touch the soft lyre, and tune the vocal lay; Me, me alone, with fetters firmly bound, The gods allow to hear the dangerous sound, Hear and obey: if freedom I demand, Be every
fetter strain’d, be added band to band.” • While yet I speak the winged galley flies, And, lo! the Siren shores like mists arise. Sunk were at once the winds; the air above, And waves below, at once forgot to move! Some demon calm’d the air, and smooth’d the deep, Hush'd the loud winds, and charm’d the waves
to sleep. Now every
sail we furl, each oar we ply; Lash'd by the stroke the frothy waters fly. The ductile wax with busy hands I mould, And cleft in fragments, and the fragments rolld; The' aerial region now grew warm with day, The wax dissolved beneath the burning ray; Then every ear I barr'd against the strain, And from excess of frenzy lock'd the brain. Now round the mast my mates the fetters rolld, And bound me limb by limb, with fold on fold.