Sivut kuvina

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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* Those most he hitsi of all the gods on high

* Who the lone traveller's request deny.

• The numerous flocks your eyes behold around,

* With which the vales are flor'd, the hills are


1 Augeas owns; o'er various walks they spread, 'In different mesili, in different pastures fed; 'Some oo the banks of Elisuntus stray, 4 Some where divine Alpheus winds his way, 'Seme in Bsprasiam, where rich wines abound,

* And force in this well-cultivated ground.

'And though exceeding many flocks are told,

* Each separate flock enjoys a separate fold.

'Here, though of oxen numerous herds are seen, 'Yet springs* the herbage ever fresh and green i« 'In the moist marsh of Menius: every mead, 'And vale irriguotu, where the cattle feed,

* Produce sweet herbs, embalm'd in dewy tears, 'Whose fragrant virtue fattens well the steers.

'Behold that stall beyond the winding flood,

* Which to the right appears by yonder wood,

* Where the wild olive, and perennial plane,

'Grow, spread, and flourish, great Apollo's fane, 'To which the hinds, to which the shepherds bow, 1 And deem him greatest deity below! 30 'Next are the stalls of swains, whose labours bring

'Abundant riches to the wealthy king;

'Four times each year the fertile foil they plough,

'And gather thrice the harvests which they sow;

'Thef hb'ring hinds, whose hands the vineyards • dress,

* 'Whose feet the grapes in purple autumn press, 'bow well the vast domain Augeas owns,

'Kids fields, whose lap the golden ear imbrowns, 'Or iiaded gardens, far as yonder hills, 'Whose brows are water'd by resplendent rills; 'This spacious tract we tend with daily care, 'As fits those swains who rural labours share.

'Bat fay (and all ray service you shall claim), 'Say for what cause you here a stranger came: 'Would you the king or his attendants fee? 'I can conduct you; only trust to me. 'For such your form, and such your manly grace, 'You seem deriv'd from no ignoble race: 'Sore thus the gods, that boast celestial birth, 'Appear majestic to the sons of earth.' 50

He spoke: and thus Jove's valiant son rcply'd! 'My wandering steps let some kind shcDlierd 'guide

'To king Augeas, whom these realms obey; 'To fee Augeas am I come this way.

* But if fair justice the good monarch draws 'To Elis, to administer the laws,

* Conduct me to fume honourable swain,

'Who here presides among his rural train,

'That I to him my purpose may disclose,

'And follow what his prudence shall propose: 60

* For heaven's eternal wisdom has decreed,

■ That nun of man should ever stand in need.' Thus he: the good old herdsman thus reply'dt

* Strre some immortal being is your guide: 'For lo! your business is already done;

'Last night the king, descendant of the sun, '*'ith royal Phyleus, from the town withdrew, I Ha Hecks unnuniber'd, and his herds to view.

■ Thus when great kings their own concerns ex


'By wife attention they augment their store. 'But let me quick, for time is on the wing,

■ In yonder tent conduct you to the king.'
This said, lie walk'd before his royal guest,

Much wondering, much revolving in his breast,
When at his back the lion's spoils he saw,
And in his hand the club infusing awe.
He wilh'd to ask the hero whence he sprung?
The rising query dy'd upon his tongue:
He fear'd the freedom might be deem'd a fault:
'Tis difficult to know another's thought. 80
The watchful dogs, as near the stalls they went,
Perceiv'd their coming by their tread and scent,
With open mouths from every part they run,
And bay'd incessant great Amphitryon's son;
But round the swain they wagg'd their talcs and

And gently whining secret joy betray'd.
Loose on the ground the stones that ready lay
Eager he snatch'd, he drives them far away;
With his rough voice he terrified them all, 89
Though pleas'd to find them guardians us his stall.
'Ye gods! (the good old herdsman thus began)
'What useful animals are dugs to man?
'Had Hcav'n but sent intelligence to know
'On whom to rage, the friendly or the foe,
'No creature then could challenge honour more,
'But now too furious, and too fierce they roar.'

He spoke; the growling mastiffs ceas'd to bay,
And stole obsequious to their stalls away.
The fun now westward drove his radiant steeds,
Aud evening mild the noontide heat succeeds;
His orb declining from the pastures calls 191
Sheep to their folds, and oxen to their stalls.
Herd following herd, it joy'd the chief to fee
Unnumber'd cattle winding o'er the lea.
Like watery clouds arising thick in heaven,
By the rough south or Thracian Boreas driven;
So fast the shadowy vapours mount on high,
They cover all the region of the sky;
Still more and more the gathering tempest brings,
And weightier burdens on its weary wings. 110
Thus thickening march the cattle o'er the plain,
More than the roads or meadows can contain;
The lutly herds incessant bellowing keep,
The stalls are fill'd with steers, the folds withi

Though numerous staves stand round of every kind,
All have their several offices affign'd.
Some tic the cow's hind legs, to make her stand
Still, and obedient to the milker's hand:
Some give to tender calves the swelling teat,
Their sides distend with milky beverage sweet.
Some form fat cheeses with the housewife's art,
Some drive the heifers from the bulls apart, Ijj
Augeas visited the stalls around,
To lee what stores in herds and flocks abound;
With curious eye he mov'd majestic on,
Join'd by Alcides and his royal son.
Here Hercules, of great and steady foul,
Whom mean amazement never could controul,
Admir'd such droves in myriads to behold.
Such spreading stocks that never could be told


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