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And the same evening did he steal away

Apollo's herds ;—the fourth day of the moon, On which him bore the venerable May,

From her immortal limbs he leaped full soon, Nor long could in the sacred cradle keep, But out to seek Apollo's herds would creep.

IV.

Out of the lofty cavern wandering

He found a tortoise, and cried out—“A treasure!” (For Mercury first made the tortoise sing)

The beast before the portal at his leisure The flowery herbage was depasturing,

Moving his feet in a deliberate measure Over the turf. Jove's profitable son Eyeing him laughed, and laughing thus begun :

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“A useful godsend are you to me now,

King of the dance, companion of the feast, Lovely in all your nature ! Welcome, you Excellent plaything! Where, sweet mountain

beast, Got you that speckled shell ? Thus much I know,

You must come home with me and be my guest; You will give joy to me, and I will do All that is in my power to honour you.

VI.

“ Better to be at home than out of door ;

So come with me, and though it has been said

That you

alive defend from magic power, I know you will sing sweetly when you're dead." Thus having spoken, the quaint infant bore,

Lifting it from the grass on which it fed,
And grasping it in his delighted hold,
His treasured prize into the cavern old.

VII.

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Then scooping with a chisel of gray steel,

He bored the life and soul out of the beastNot swifter a swift thought of woe or weal

Darts through the tumult of a human breast Which thronging cares annoy—not swifter wheel

The flashes of its torture and unrest Out of the dizzy eyes—than Maia’s son All that he did devise hath featly done.

VIII.

And through the tortoise's hard strong skin
At
proper

distances small holes he made, And fastened the cut stems of reeds within,

And with a piece of leather overlaid The open space and fixed the cubits in, Fitting the bridge to both, and stretched o'er all Symphonious chords of sheep-gut rythmical.

IX.

When he had wrought the lovely instrument,

He tried the chords, and made division meet Preluding with the plectrum, and there went

Up from beneath his hand a tumult sweet

HYMNS OF HOMER.

HYMN TO MERCURY.

I.

Sing, Muse, the son of Maia and of Jove,

The Herald-child, king of Arcadia
And all its pastoral hills, whom in sweet love

Having been interwoven, modest May
Bore Heaven's dread Supreme—an antique grove

Shadowed the cavern where the lovers lay In the deep night, unseen by Gods or Men, And white-armed Juno slumbered sweetly then.

II.

Now, when the joy of Jove had its fulfilling,

And Heaven's tenth moon chronicled her relief, She gave to light a babe all babes excelling,

A schemer subtle beyond all belief;
A shepherd of thin dreams, a cow-stealing,

A night-watching, and door-waylaying thief, Who ’mongst the Gods was soon about to thieve, And other glorious actions to achieve.

III.

of day;

The babe was born at the first peep
He began playing on the lyre at noon,
VOL. III.

20

Of mighty sounds, and from his lips he sent

A strain of unpremeditated wit
Joyous and wild and wanton—such you may
Hear among revellers on a holiday.

X.

He sung how Jove and May of the bright sandal

Dallied in love not quite legitimate ;
And his own birth, still scoffing at the scandal,

And naming his own name, did celebrate ;
His mother's cave and servant maids he planned all

In plastic verse, her household stuff and state, Perennial pot, trippet, and brazen panBut singing he conceived another plan.

XI.

Seized with a sudden fancy for fresh meat,

He in his sacred crib deposited
The hollow lyre, and from the cavern sweet
Rushed with great leaps up to the mountain's

head,
Revolving in his mind some subtle feat
Of thievish craft, such as a swindler might
Devise in the lone season of dun night.

XII.

Lo! the great Sun under the ocean's bed has Driven steeds and chariot-the child mean

while strode O'er the Pierian mountains clothed in shadows,

Where the immortal oxen of the God

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