Sivut kuvina

Nor knew the puissance of his bow and darts,
To tame the stubborness of human hearts.
With told disdain she griev'd the shepherd si re,
The more he sifrh'd, she scorn'd him still the more.
Ko solace she afforded, no soft look.
Nor e'er the words of sweet compassion spoke: 10
Her eye,her cheek, ne'er gluw'd her flame to prove,
Mo kiss she gave, the lenient balm of love:
But a; a lion, on the desert plain,
With savage pleasure views the hunter train;
Thus in her scorn severe delight she took;
Her words, her eyes, were fierce, and death was
in her look.

She look'd her foul; her face was pal'd with ire;
Vet she was fair ; her frowns but rais'd destre.
.At length, he could no more, but sought relief
From tears, the dumb petitioners of grief; 30
Before her gate he wept, with haggard look,
And, killing the bare threshold, thus he spoke:
'Ah, savage fair, whom no entreaties move!

• Hard heart of stone, unworthy of my love!
1 Accept this cord, 'tis now in vain to live,

• This friendly gift, the last that I (hall give:

• I go where duoin'd; my love, my life are o'er,

• No more I grieve, and you are teaz'd no more;

I go the last kind remedy to prove,

'And drink below oblivion to my love. 30

■ But, ah! what draughts my fierce desires can 'Or quench the raging fury of my flame [tame,

■ Adieu, ye doors! eternally adieu!

• I fee the future, and I know it true.

• Fragrant the rose, but soon it fades away;

• The violet sweet, but quickly will decay;

■ The lily fair a transient beauty wears;

• And the white snow soon weeps away in tears:

• Such is the bloom of beauty, cropt by time,

'Full soon it fades, and withers in its prime. 40

• The days will come when your bard heart shall


'In scorching flames, yet meet no kind return.

'Yet grant this boon, the last that I inipLre: 1 When you stuli fee, suspcndeJ at your door,

* This wretched corse, pass not unheeding by,

* But let the tear of sorrow dim your eye:

'Then Inose the fatal cord, and from your breast 'Lend the light robe, and screen me with your 'vest:

'Imprint one kiss when my fad foul is fled ;'

* Ah, grudge not thus to gratify the dead! 50 1 Fear not—your kisses cannot life restore:

'Though you relent, yet I shall wake no more. 'And last, a decent monument prepare,

* And bury with my love my body there;

'And thrice repeat, " Here rests my friend his "head;"

'Or rather add, " My dearest lover's dead."

'With this inscription be the stone supplied;

"By Cupid's dart this hapless shepherd dy'd:

"Ah! passenger, a little moment spare

"To stop, and say, He lov'd a cruel fair." 6«

This said, he tries against the v.all to fliove

A mighty stone, sad to a beam above

Suspends the cord, impatient of delay,

Fits the dire noose, and spurns the stone away;

Qiiivcring in air he hung, till welcome death

Securely clos'd the avenues of breath.

The fair one, when the pendant swain she saw,

Nor pity felt, nor reverential awe;

But as she pass'd, for not a tear (he (lied,

Her garments were polluted by the dead. 70

Then to the circus, where the wrestlers fought.

Or the more pleasing bath of love file sought:

High on a marble pedestal above,

Frown'd the dread image of the god of love,

Aiming in wrath the meditated blow.

Then sell revengeful on the nymph below;

With the pure fountain mix'd her purple blood—

These words were heard emerging from the flood:

"Lovers, farewell; nor your admirers flight;

"Rcfign'd I die, for Heav'n pronounces right."


Tut argument of this Idyllium is similar to the argument of Virgil's second eclogue, though this is more tragical : I have taken the liberty to make a general transformation, which renders it a thousand times more natural, decent, and gallant. Ver. 1.

Tormofum pastor Corydon ardebat Alexim.

Virg. £c. *. Young Corydon with hopeless lovaaJor'd The fair Alexis, favourite of his lord. Wartm.

Ver. 7. Ovid fays of Anaxarete, Spernit et irridet; factifquc immitihus addit Verba fuperba ferox; et spe quoque sraudat amantem. Met. Ji. 14. 714.

Ver. 16. The Greek is, E*£ii or, as

Heinsius more plausibly reads, Ewu xrayxxt, " (he looked necessity," that i»j death or fate; thus Horace has,

Semotique prifls tarda necessitas

Lethi corripuit gradum. B. 1. O. 3.

And,Te semperanteit sxva ueceflitas. B. I O. 3 j . Which elegant use of the word *0rjitm he has taken from the Grecians: Pindar has, ig'f* xx: and Euripides, «.;» muyxit, exactly the dim xccrjptm of Horace, B. 3. O. 14.

Ver. II. Thus Ovid, speaking of Iphif, Non tulit impatiens longi tormenta doloris Iphis, ct ante fores hxc verba novifCma dixit.

Met. B. 1 + .

Ver. 30. Virgil fays of fouls that endure tract immigration,

Lethxi ad summitundam

Sccuros latiecs, et longa oblivia potant. Æn. B. 6 .
To yon dark streams the gliding ghosts repair,
And quaff deep draughts of long oblivion therer-

* Ver. 54

Hand ignara fnturi. Firg. Æm, 4. 50.

Ver. i&. Thus Ovid, in his Art of Love,
Nee violx semper nee hiantia lilia storent,
It riget amissa senna relicta rosi. JS. 1. 11$.

Ver 59. That Horace,
Fagit retro

Leva juventas at decor. B. %. 0. 11.

Ver. 4l Debiti sparge j lacrymi savillam Varia amid. Her. S. 1. 0. 6..

Ver. s}- That Virgil,
Et rnmtilatn facite, et tumulo superaddite carmen.

VToli grateful hands his monument erect,
And be the stone with this inscription deck'd.


Ver {5. Of the inclamation at the tomb, Æneas thus tella Dclphobus,

Magni Maoe* ter vocc vocavi. JS 1. 6 506.

Ver. 6l- The fate of Ida in Ovid is very Cmitar.

Dilit, et ad postes, &c. Mrt.B.H

Then o'er the posts, once hung with wreathes, he throws

The ready cord, and fits the fatal noose,

For death prepares, and bounding from above,

At once the wretch concludes his life and love.


Ver. 79. Mofchus, Idyl. 6. has nearly the famethought. T«»r* Ktym *Mnt *. r. A. Ye scornful nymphs and swains, 1 tell This truth to you; pray mark it well: "If to your lovers kind you prove, "You'll gain the hearts of those you love." f. F.

The fate of this scornful beauty is similar 1,0 that
of a youth who was killed by the statue of hi*
stepmother falling upon him. See Callimnchus,
Epig. 11. thus translated by Mr. Duncombe.
A youth, who thought his father's wile
Had lost her malice with her life,
Officious with a chaplet grae'd
The statue on her tomb-stone plac'd;
When, falling sudden on his head,
With the dire blow it struck him dead:
Be warn'd from hence, each foster-son,
Your stepdame's sepulchre to shun.




Tm Idyllium is entirely narrative: it first of all gives an account how Hercules, when only ten months old, slew two monstrous serpents which Juno had sent to devour him; then it relates the prophecy of Tiresias, and afterwards describes the education of Hercules, and enumerates his several preceptors. The conclusion of this poem is lost.

Wash's with pure water, and with milk well
To pleasing rest her sons Alcmena led, [fed,
Aloises, ten months old, yet arm'd with might,
And twin Iphiclus, younger by a night:
On a broad of fine brass metal made,

Tac careful queen her royal offspring laid;
(The shield from Ptcrilus Amphitryon won
In fight, a noble cradle for his son !)
Fondly the babes she view'd, and on each head
She plac'd her tender hands, and thus she said: 10
"Sleep, gentle babes, and sweetly take ydur reft,
"Sleep, dearest twins, with softest slumbers blest;
"Securely pass the tedious night away,
"And rise refresli'd with the fair rising day."

She spoke, and gently rock'd the mighty shield; Obsequious slumbers soon their eye-lids scal'd. Bat when at midnight funk the bright-cy'd Bear, And broad Orion's moulder 'gan appear, Stern Juno, urg'd by unrelenting hate, Sent two sell serpents to Amphitryon's gate, 40 Charg'd with severe rommislion to destroy The young Alcides, Jove-begotten boy: Horrid and huge, with many an azure fold.

Tierce through the portal's opening valves they roll'dj

TiAm. II.

Then on their bellies prone, high fwoln with gortj
They glided smooth along the marble floor;
Their fiery eye-balls darted sanguine flame,
And from their jaws destructive poison came.
Alcmena's sons, when near the serpents prest,
Darting their forked tongues, awoke from rest ; 34
All o'er the chamber shone a sudden light,
For all it clear to Jove's discerning sight.
When on the shield hit foes Iphiclus saw,
And their dire fangs that arm'd each horrid jaw.
Aghast he rais'd his voice with bitter cry,
Threw off ^he covering, and prepar'd to fly:
But Hercules stretch'd out his bands to clasp
The scaly monsters in his iron grasp;
Fast in each hand the venom'd jaws he prest
Of the curst serpents, which ev'n gods detest. 49
Their circling spires, in many a dreadful fold,
Around the slow-begotten babe they roll'd,
The babe unwean'd, yet ignorant of sear,
Who never utter'd cry, nor shed a tear.
At length their curls they loos'd, for rack'd with

They strove to 'scape the deathsul gripe in vain.
Alcmena first o'erheard the mournful cries,
And to her hustund thus; " Amphitryon, rise;

*' Distressful fears my boding foul dismay;

'' This instant rife, nor for thy sandals stay: 50

*' Hark, how for help the young Iphiclus calls'.

A sudden splendour, lo! illumes the walls! "Though yet the shades of night obscure the skies; "Some dire disaster threats: Amphitryon, rife."

She spoke: the prince, obedient to her word. Rose from the bed, and soiz'd his rich-wrought sword,

"Which, on a glittering mil above his head,
Hung by the baldric to the cedar bed;
Then from the radiant sheath, of lotos made,
■With ready hand he drew the shining blade: 60
Instant the light withdrew, and sudden gloom
InvolvM again the wide-extended room.
.Amphitryon call'd his train, that numbering lay,
.And slept secure the careless hours away.
"' Rife, rife, my servants, from your couches strait,
*' Bring lights this instant, and unbar the gate."
He spoke: the train, obedient to command,
.Appcar'd with each a flambeau in his hand:
IRapt with amaze, young Hercules they saw
Orasp two fell serpents close beneath the jaw: 70
The mighty infant show'd them to his fire,
And fmil'd to see the wreathing snakes expire;
He leapt for joy that thus his foes he slew.
And at his father's feet the scaly monsters threw.
TVith tender care Alcmena fondly prest,
Half.dead with fear, Iphiclus to her breast;
"While o'er his mighty son Amphitryon spread
The lamb's soft fleece, and sought again his bed.
When thrice the cock pronoune'd the morning

Alcmena call'd the truth-proclaiming seer, 80
Divine Tiresias; and to him she told
This strange event, and urg'd him to unfold
"Whate'er the adverse deities ordain: [plain;

* Fear not,' (he cried, 1 but fate's whole will ex

■ For well thou know'st, O! venerable seer,

* Those ills which fate determines, man must

■ bear.'

She spoke: the holy augur thus reply'd:
*' Hail, mighty queen, to Perseus near ally'd;

■ Parent of godlike chiefs: by these dear eyes, Which never more shall view the morning

"rife, 90 *' Full many Grecian maids, for charms renown'd, "* While merrily they twirl the spindle round, *' Till day's decline thy praises shall proclaim, "And Grecian matrons celebrate thy fame. "So great, so noble will thy offspring prove,

The most gigantic of the gods above, [sway, *' Whose arm, endow'd with more than mortal "Shall many men and many monsters slay:' "Twelve labours past, he (hall to heav'n aspire,

* His mortal part first purified by 6re, 100 And son-in-law be nam'd of that dread power

"Who sent these deadly serpents to devour "The slumbering child: then wolves shall rove

"the lawns, "And strike no terror in the pasturing fawns.

■ But, O great queen! be this thy instant care, "On the broad ncarth dry faggots to prepare, u Afpalarhu-., or prickly brambles, bind,

* Or the tall thorn that trembles in the wind,

"And at dark midnight bum (what time they "came

"To slay thy son) the serpents in the flame, lie "Next morn, collected by thy faithful maid, "Be all the ashes to the flood convey'd, [wind, "And blown on rough rocks by the favouring "Thence let her fly, but cast no look behind. "Next with pure sulphur purge the house, and "bring

"The purest water from the freshest spring; "This, mix'd with salt, and with green olive "crown'd,

"Will cleanse the late contaminated ground. "Last, let a boar on Jove's high altar bleed. "That ye in all atchievements may succeed." It*

Thus spoke Tiresias, bending low with age, And to his ivory car retir'd the reverend sage, Alcides grew beneath his mother's care, Like some young plant, luxuriant, fresh, and fair, That screen'd from storms defies the baleful blast, And for Amphitryon's valiant son he past. Linus, who claim'd Apollo for his sire. With love of letters did his youth inspire, And strove his great ideas to enlarge, A friendly tutor, faithful to his charge. 13c From Eurytus his (kill in shooting came, To send the shaft unerring of its aim. Eumolpus tun'd his manly voice to sing, And call sweet music from the speaking string. In listed fields to wrestle with his foe, With iron arm to deal the deathful blow, And each achievement where fair fame is sought, Harpalycus, the son of Hermes, taught; Whose look se grim and terrible in fight, No man could bear the formidable sight. n« But fond Amphitryon, with a father's care. To drive the chariot taught his godlike heir, At the (harp turn with rapid wheels to roll, Nor break the grazing axle on the goal: Oa Argiva plains, for generous steeds renown'd, Oft was the chief with race .won honours crow.' And still unbroke his ancient chariot lay, Though cankering time had eat the reins away. To launch the spear, to rusli upon the foe, Beneath the shield to shun the faulchion's blow, To marshal hosts, opposing force to force, I To lay close ambum, and lead on the horse. These Castor taught him, of equestrian fame, What time to Argos exil'd Tydeus came. Where from Adrastus he high favour gain'd, And o'er a kingdom, rich in vineyards, reign'c No chief like Castor, till consuming time Unnerv'd his youth, and crop'd the golden prii

Thus Hercules, his mother's joy and pride, Was train'd up like a warrior: by the fide 1 Of his great father's his rough couch was sprei A lion's spoils compos'd his grateful bed. Roast meat he lov'd at supper to partake, The bread he fancied was the Doric cake, Enough to satisfy the labouring hind; But still at noon full sparingly he din'd. His dress, contriv'd for use, was neat and plai His skirts were scanty, for he wore no train.

The conclusion of tbii IJylliun is


Ver. 7. Virgil says nearly the fame thing of tbe coa: of mail which was taken from Demoleus,

!' Cist quart] Demoleo detraxerat ipse

apud rapid um Simoenta sub Ilia alto.

Æn. B. 5.160.

By observing the nfe this shield is put to, we have ac agreeable picture presented to the mind : it is ra emMern of the peace and tranquillity which *Xtrxf% succeed the tumults of war; and likewise a prognostic of the future greatness of this mighty champion in embryo.

Ver. 19. Pindar, in his first Nemæan Ode, tells this fame story, which, as it may be a satisfaction tJ the curious to fee1 how different writers manage the Came subject, I (hall take the liberty to give to Mr. West's translation.

Then glowing with immortal rage, TVe gold-enthroned empress of the gods, Her eager thirst of vengeance to assuage, bTait to her hated rival's curs'd abodes Bade her vindictive serpents haste. They through the opening valves with speed Oi to the chamber's deep recesses past, T« -perpetrate their murderous deed: And mr, in knotty mazes to infold Thar destin'd prey, on curling spires they roll'd, His dauntless brow, when young Alcides rear'd, At i tor their first attempt his infant arms prepar'd.

rail by their azure necks he held, And grip'd in either hand his scaly foes; 7-11 from their horrid carcases expcll'd, At -•■■■g:h the poisonous foul unwilling flows.

Ver. 17. The Greek is. «t' cz-o.uv it *««« ~ 1 Xaurirxi. "a pernicious flame (hot fnm their eyes as they approached:" Pierson, fie bis Versimilia) reads with much more elcpsec and propriety A(f£tyttiwr, 11 looking very ieenly," as the eyes ol serpents are always rerrrfeuted: Hefiod, speaking of dragons, uses the I«æ word twice, ix xiQxXw iru£ je«-i]o %i£x*p.i*ott. Tkeog ver. 818. and in the shield of Hercules, v*rr. I45, Xxjirtttiiotrt 5;* , He brings like»de the authorities of Homer, Æschylus aud Op"juc, to sapport this reading. Virgil has,

Ardentesq; oculi fuffecti sanguine et igni, ?ihila lambcbant linguis vibrantibu* ora.

Æn. B. t. »10.

Ver. 41. Thus Virgil, speaking of the serpents 'hat devoured Laocoon's sons,

—Parva duorum Corpora natorum, &c.

Æn. B. a. ai3

£rsi in curling fiery volumes bound Ha two young sons, and wrapt them round and ruund. fit*.

Ver. 64. The Greek is, lixsui txfurtirrxi, similar to what Virgil says of Rhamaes, Æn. y. 3*6.

1 In slumbers deep he lay.

And, labouring, slept the full debauch away.

Ver. 75. Thus Virgil,
Et trepidx mitres pressere ad pectora natos.

Æn. B. J. Sti-
ver. 84. Thus Achilles fays to Calchas, II. B. 1.
From thy inmost foul
Speak what thou know'st, and speak without con-
trol. 1. Post.
Fix'd is the term to all the race of earth,
And such the hard condition of our birth:
No force can then resist, no flight can save;
All sink alike, the fearful and the brave.

Ver. 96. The words of Theocritus are arc ri;»«t ■rXnrtit «»«,-, " the broad-breasted hero;" I am in doubt how it should be rendered : Creech has translated it, "The noblest burden of the bending iky." In Homer's Odyssey, B. II. Hercules is thus represented among the shades below, Now I the strength of Hercules behold, A towering spectre of gigantic mould; A shadowy form! for high in heaven's abodes Himself resides, a god among the gods. Pepe On which Mr. Pope observes,1 The ancients irna'giued, that immediately after death, there was 'a partition of the human composition into three * parts, the body, image, and mind, the body is bu1 ried in the earth; the image,or uo > v descends 'into the regions of the departed: the mind, or 'eppit, the divine part, is received into heaven; 1 thus the tody of Hercules was consumed in the 'flames, his image is in hell, a,id his foul in 'heaven.'

Ver. 100. The Greek is, tnru h sr«v]« Tfuf i£n," The Tra:hinian pyre will consume his mortal part." Trachin was a city of Thessaly built by Hercules, and the place to which he sent to Dejanira for the shirt which proved fatal to him, and was the occasion of throwing himself into the fire that consumed him; hence therefore, probably, Theocritus calls it the Trachinian pyre. Ver. I03. Virgi'. has, "Nec lupus insidias pecori," 4cc. Both authors seem to have borrowed from Isaiah, chap. ii. ver. 6. "The wolf (hall dwill with the lamb, and the leopard shall iic down with the kid."

Ver. lot. Archbishop Potter observes, * Somr'times the ominous thing was burnt with liana 'infilitla, that is, such fort of wood as was in 'tutela inferfim deorum averlvtiumque, sacred to the 'gods of hell, and those which averted evil omeni, 'being chiefly thorns and such other trees at 1 were fit fur no o'her use than to be burued.

Sometimes the prodigy, when burnt, was cast * into the water, and particularly into the sea, 'as Theocritus has described.' Chap. xvii.

Ver 107. A plant called the Rose of Jerusalem, Or our Lady's Thorn. Johnson's Via.

The Greek is ■ra.U^oi, " paliuros," which Martyn fays, is most probably the plant which is cultivated in our gardens under the name of Christ's Thorn, and is supposed to be the thorn, of which the crown was made, that was put upon our Saviour's head. Notes on Virg. Ed. 5.

Ver. 108. The Greek is 0 iiiem/inn ton kx'(i''t " 0T ,ne dry acherdus which is agitated by the wind:" it is uncertain what plant will answer to the acherdus of the ancients: Homer in the Odyssey, B 14. ver. !• has fenced the sylvan 1'id of Eumceus with acherdus, Kn it(iyiurtt

The wall was stone, from neighb'ring quarries borne.

Encircled with a fence of native thorn, Pcft.

Ver. HI. The most powerful of all incantations Was to throw the ashes of the sacrifice backward into the water. Thus Virgil, ** Fer cineres, Amarylli, soras; rivoq fluenti."

Transque caput jace; ne respexeris. £cl. 8,

Ver IZ4. Theocritus has borrowed this from Homer, 11. B. 18. Thetis, speaking of her son, says,

■Jsf fur iy» /^ts/-***, fvrt* us y**? *Xttr,f.

Like some fair plant, beneath my careful hand,
He grew, he flourished, aud he grae'd the land.

Ver. 140. Virgil says of Dares,
-Nec quisquam ex agmine tanto

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Audet adire virum, manibasq; inducere carstus.

Æn. B. J.

'Ver. 144. In the chariot-race, the greatest care was to be taken to avoid running against the goal; Nestor, in the 13d book of the Iliad, vety particularly cautions his son in regard to this point; and Horace fays,

—Metaque servidis Evitata rotis. OJt I.

starts iVTakiiui f2alv, QvyKf X^yuf Ojsj,

"These accomplishments Castor, (killed in horsemanship, taught him, when he came an exile from Argos, at the time that Tydeus ruled over the whole kingdom famed for vineyards, having received Argos from Adrastus. There is great in- 1 consistency in this passage, which nobody, that 1 know of, has obierved or tried to remedy: we have no account in history, that Castor came a fugitive to Argos, but that Tydeus did, we hive indisputable authority. See Homer's II. B. 14. ver. 119. Diomed fays of his father, in T' t\o§ Aiyi, rtriv, ». T. X.

My fire: from Calydon erpell'd

He past to Argos,and in exile dwell'd;
The monarch's daughter there (so Jove ordiin'd), .
He won, and flouristi'd where Adrastus reign'd:
There rich in fortune's gifts his acres till'd, T
Beheld his vines their liquid harvest yield, > i
And numerous flocks that whiten'd all the field.)

On which Eustathius observes; " This isa very "artful colour: Diomed calls the flight of rus "father, for killing one of his brothers, lravtU<m 1 "and drilling at Argos, without mentioning tb "cause or occasion of his retreat." Might I veil ture to offer an emendation, I would read, fur* Afyu Iaiw, and then the construction might bi "Castor taught him these accomplishments at th time that Tydeus reigned over the kingdom t Argos, whither he had fled an exile, having rt ceived the sovereignty from Adrastus." Thus th passage becomes correspondent with Homer, wit good sense and history; for Tydeus fled from Ci lydonia to Argos for manslaughter, where h married Dtipyle, the daughter of Adrastus, an it should seem by this passage, afterwards succec, ed him in the kingdom.

Ver. 164. A coarse bread like those cakt which the Athenians called wxKmv*.




Hercules having occasion to wait npon Augeas king of Elis, meets with an old herdsman, by who he is introduced to the king, who, with his son Phylcus, had come into the country to take a vi* of his numerous herds : afterwards Hercules and Phylcus walk togerher to the city; in the way, t prince admiring the monstrous lion's skin which Hercules wore, takes occasion to inquire where had it; this introduces an account how Hercules slew the Nemxau lion.

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