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Her spotted breast, and gaping womb imbrued
With livid poison, and our children's blood.
The crowd, in stupid wonder fix'd, appear;
Pale ev'n in joy, nor yet forget to fear.
Some with vast beams the squalid corpse en-

gage, And weary

all the wild efforts of rage. The birds obscene that nightly flock'd to taste, With hollow screeches fled the dire repast; 736 And ravenous dogs, allured by scented blood, And starving wolves, ran howling to the wood. • But fired with rage, from cleft Parnassus’

brow Avenging Phæbus bent his deadly bow, And hissing flew the feather'd fates below. A night of sultry clouds involved around The towers, the fields, and the devoted ground: And now a thousand lives together fled ; Death with his scythe cut off the fatal thread; And a whole province in his triumph led. 746

• But Phoebus, ask'd why noxious fires appear, And raging Sirius blasts the sickly year, Demands their lives by whom his monster fell, And dooms a dreadful sacrifice to hell.

Bless'd be thy dust, and let eternal fame Attend thy manes, and preserve thy name, Undaunted hero! who, divinely brave, In such a cause disdain’d thy life to save; But view'd the shrine with a superior look, 755 And its upbraided godhead thus bespoke :

• • With piety, the soul's securest guard, And conscious virtue, still its own reward,


Willing I come, unknowing how to fear;
Nor shalt thou, Phæbus, find a suppliant here.
Thy monster's death to me was owed alone, 761
And ’tis a deed too glorious to disown.
Behold him here, for whom so many days,
Impervious clouds conceal’d thy sullen rays;
For whom, as man no longer claim'd thy care,
Such numbers fell by pestilential air!

But if the abandon'd race of human kind
From gods above no more compassion find;
If such inclemency in heaven can dwell ;-
Yet why must unoffending Argos feel

770 The vengeance due to this unlucky steel? On me, on me, let all thy fury fall; Nor err from me, since I deserve it all; Unless our desert cities please thy sight, Or funeral flames reflect a grateful light. Discharge thy shafts, this ready bosom rend, And to the shades a ghost triumphant send ; But for my country let my fate atone : Be mine the vengeance, as the crime my own.'

• Merit distress'd impartial Heaven relieves; Unwelcome life relenting Phoebus gives; 781 For not the vengeful power, that glow'd with rage, With such amazing virtue durst engage. The clouds dispersed; Apollo's wrath expired; And from the wondering god the unwilling youth retired.

785 Thence we these altars in his temple raise; And offer annual honors, feasts, and praise; These solemn feasts propitious Phæbus please; These honors, still renew'd, his ancient wrath


775 795


• But say, illustrious guest,' adjoin'd the king, • What name you bear; from what high race you spring ?

791 The noble Tydeus stands confess'd, and known Our neighbor prince, and heir of Calydon. Relate your fortunes, while the friendly night And silent hours to various talk invite.'

The Theban bends on earth his gloomy eyes,
Confused, and sadly thus at length replies :
• Before these altars how shall I proclaim,
O generous prince! my nation or my name,
Or through what ancient veins our blood has

roll'd ?
Let the sad tale for ever rest untold !
Yet, if propitious to a wretch unknown,
You seek to share in sorrows not your own ;
Know, then, from Cadmus I derive my race,
Jocasta's son, and Thebes my native place.'

To whom the king, who felt his generous breast
Touch'd with concern for his unhappy guest,
Replies :- Ah! why forbears the son to name
His wretched father known too well by fame?
Fame, that delights around the world to stray, 810
Scorns not to take our Argos in her way:
Ev’n those who dwell where suns at distance

roll, In northern wilds, and freeze beneath the pole; And those who tread the burning Libyan lands, The faithless Syrtes, and the moving sands; 815 Who view the western sea's extremest bounds, Or drink of Ganges in their eastern grounds ;All these the woes of Edipus have known, Your fates, your furies, and your haunted town. .


If on the sons the parents' crimes descend, 820
What prince from those his lineage can defend?
Be this thy comfort ; that 'tis thine to efface,
With virtuous acts, thy ancestor's disgrace,
And be thyself the honor of thy race.
But, see! the stars begin to steal away,

And shine more faintly at approaching day:
Now pour the wine; and in your tuneful lays
Once more resound the great Apollo's praise.

• O father Phæbus ! whether Lycia's coast, And snowy mountain thy bright presence boast; Whether to sweet Castalia thou repair, And bathe in silver dews thy yellow hair; Or, pleased to find fair Delos float no more, Delight in Cynthus, and the shady shore; Or choose thy seat in Ilion's proud abodes, 835 The shining structures raised by laboring gods ;By thee the bow and mortal shafts are borne; Eternal charms thy blooming youth adorn. Skill'd in the laws of secret fate above, And the dark counsels of Almighty Jove,

840 'Tis thine the seeds of future war to know, The change of sceptres, and impending wo, When direful meteors spread, through glowing air, Long trails of light, and shake their blazing hair. Thy rage the Phrygian felt, who durst aspire 845 To excel the music of thy heavenly lyre: Thy shafts avenged lewd Tityus' guilty flame, The immortal victim of thy mother's fame: Thy hand slew Python, and the dame who lost Her numerous offspring for a fatal boast : In Phlegyas' doom thy just revenge appears, Condemn’d to furies and eternal fears;





He views his food; but dreads with lifted eye The mouldering rock that trembles from on high.

• Propitious, hear our prayer, O power divine ! And on thy hospitable Argos shine;

856 Whether the stile of Titan please thee more, Whose purple rays the Achæmenes adore; Or great Osiris, who first taught the swain In Pharian fields to sow the golden grain ; 860 Or Mitra, to whose beams the Persian bows, And pays

in hollow rocks his awful vows ;Mitra, whose head the blaze of light adorns, Who grasps the struggling heifer's lunar horns.'

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