Sivut kuvina

Not one king's wealth he thought them, nor of

ten, Though greatest of the rulers over men: The fun his sire this privilege assign'a, [kind; To be in flocks and herds more rich than all min'I he so still increas'd ; no plague e'er render'd vain The gainful labour of the shepherd swain; Year following year his industry was blest, (best. More calves were rtar'd, and still the last were No cows e'er cast their young, or e'er declin'd, The calves were chiefly of the female kind. 140 With these three hundred bulls, a comely sight, Whose horns were crooked, and whose legs were

white; And twice an hundred of bright glossy red, By whom the business of increase was sped: But twelve, the flower of all, exulting run In the green pastures, sacred to the sun; The stately swan was not so silver white, And in the meads they took im stable delight: These, when gaunt lions from the mountain's

brow Descend terrific on the herds below, 1to

Rush to the war, the savage foe they gore.
Their eyes look death, anil horribly they roar.
But most majestic these bold bull* among
Stalk'd Phaeton, the sturdy and the strong;
So radiant, so refulgent from afar,
The shepherd-swains compar'd him to a star.
When round the shoulders of the chief he spy'd.
Alarming sight! the lion's tawny hide,
Full at his slank he aim'd his iron head,
And proudly doom'd the matchless hero dead : 160
But watchful Hercules, devoid of fear,
Seiz'd his left horn, and stopp'd his mad career;
Prope to the earth his stubborn neck he prest.
Then writh'd him round, and biuis'd his ample

At one bold push exerted all his strength.
And high in air upheld him at arm's length.
Through all the wondering train amazement ran,
Silent they gaz'd, and thought him more than man.

rhyleus and Hercules (the day far spent) Lest the rich pastures, and to His went: I JO

The footpath first, which tow'rd the city lay,
Led from the stalls, but narrow was the way:
Through vineyards next it past, and gloomy glades,
Hard to distinguish in the greenwood shades.
The devious way as noble t'hyltus led,
To his right shoulder he inclin'd his head,
And slowly marching through the verdant grove,
7 hus mild bespoke the progeoy of Jove:

'By your last bold achievement it appears, 'Great chief, your fame long since has reach'd 'my cars, 180

* For here arriv'd a youthful Argive swain, ■ From Helice that borders on the main,

• Who for a uuth among th' Epcans told,

• That late he saw a Grecian, brave and bold,
'Slay a fell lion, sell to husbandmen,

'That in the Nemcan forest made his den:
4 W hether the chief from sacred Argos came,

* Or proud Mycene, or Tirynthc claim

1 His birth, I heard not: yet he trae'd his line, 'If true my tale, from Perseus the divine. 190

'No Greek but you cnnld such a toil sustain;

'I reason from that mighty monster slain.

'A perilous encounter '. whose rough hide

'Protects your shoulders, and adorns your side.

'Say then, if you are he, the Grecian bold,

• Of whom the Argive's wond'rous tale was told 1

'Say, what dread weapon drunk the monster's

'blood, 'And how he wander'd to the Nemean wood, 'For not in Greece such savages are found, 'No beasts thus huge infest Achaian ground; :■:.<.■ 'She breeds the ravenous wolf, the bear, the boar, 'Fernicious monsters! but she breeds no more. 'Some wonder'd at accounts so strange and new, 'Thought the Greek boastful, and bis tale un

'true.' Thus Phyleus spoke, and as the path grew wide, He walk'd attentive by the hero's side, To hear distinct the toil, sustaining man, Who thus, obsequious to the prince, began; "Son of Augeus, what of me you heard "Is strictly true, nor has the stranger err'd. 310 "But since you wish to know, my tongue shall

"tell, [sell,

"From whence the monster came, and how he "Though many Greeks have mentinn'd this affair "None can the truth with certainty declare. "'Til thought some vengeful angersway'd, "Sent this sore plague for sacrifice unpaid, "To punish the Phoroneans: like a flood "He delug'd the I'iUan fields with blood: "The Bembinæans, miserable men, •' Felt his chief rage, the neighbours to hi* den. "The hardy task, this hideous beast to kill, "Eurystheus first enjoin'd me to fulfil, "But hop'd me slain: on the bold conflict bent. "Arm'd to the field with bow and darts I went, "A solid club, of rude wild olive made, "Rou^h in hisrugged rindmy rij>ht hand sway'd "On Helicon's fair hill the tree I found, "And with the roots I wrench'd it from thi

*■ ground.

"When the close covert I approach'd, where laj *' The lordly lion lurking for his prey, 331

"I bent my bow, firm fix'd the string, and strait "Notch'd on the nerve the messenger of fate: "Then circumspect I pry'd with curious eye, "First, unoblerv'd, the ravenous beast to spy. "Now mid-day reign'd; I neither could explore "His paw's broad print, nor hear his hideous roar "Nor labouring rustic find, nor shepherd swain, "Nor cowherd tending cattle on the plain, "To point the lion's lair: fear chill'd them all. "And kept the herds and herdsmen in the slaJL aa, "I search'd the groves and saw my foe at length "Then was the moment to exert my strength. "Long ere dim evening c!o»'d, he sought his del "Gorg'd with the flesh of cattle and of men: "With flaughter stain'd hi* squalid mane ap

a pear'd, [sme-ar'd,

"Stern was his face, his chest with blood be. "And with his pliant tongue he lick'd his gory'


"Mid shady shrubs I hide myself with care, "Expecting he might issue {torn his hir»

* Fill at his flank I sent a (hast, in vain, 350 'The harmless {baft rebounded on the plain.

'Stann'd|at the shock, from earth the savage • tab'd

* His tawny head, and all around him gaz'd:

"Wondering from whence the seather'd ven

** geance flew, "He goaJh'd hit horrid teeth, tremendous to the

14 view.

"Vex'd that the first had unavailing fled, "A second arrow from the nerve 1 sped:

* In his broad chest, the mansion of hit heart,

"I lauach'd the shaft with ineffectual art; i » His hair, his hide the seather'd death repel; "Before his feet it innocently fell. 161

■ Etuag'd, once more, I try'd my bow to draw, "Then first his foe the furious monster saw: .

* He laA'J his sturdy sides with stern delight,

■ And rising in his rage prepar'd for fight. "With instant ire his main erected grew,

* His hair look'd horrid, of a brindled hue;

"Circling hi* back, he feem'd in act to bound, ■ And like a bow he bent his body round:

* As when the fig-tree skilful wheelers take, 270

* for rolling chariots rapid wheels to make; 'The fellies first, in fires that gently glow,

* Gradual they heat, and like a circle bow;

* Awhile in curves the pliant timber stands,

* Then springs at once elastic from their hands.

* On me thus from afar, his foe to wound,

"ic-rung the fell lion with impetuous bound.

* My left hand held my darts direct before,

* Arcund my breast a thick strong garb I wore;

* 1st right, club guarded, dealt a deadly blow 288

* fail on the temples of the rushing foe:

"So hard his skull, that with the sturdy stroke, "My knotted club os rough wild-olive broke 1 "Yet ere 1 clos d, his savage fury fled, "With trembling legs he stood, and nodding "head;

"The forceful onset had cunfus'd his brain, "Dim mills obscur'd his eye, and agonizing pain. "Thi» I perceiv'd; and now, an easy prey, < "I threw my arrows and my bow away, "And ere the beast recover'd of his wound, 190 "Seiz'd his thick neck, and pinn'd him to the "ground;

"With all my might on his broad back I prest , "Lest his fell claws should tear my adverse breast "Then mounting, close my legs in his I twin'd, "And with my feet secur'd his paws behind; "My thigu I guarded and with all my strength "Hcav'd him from earth, and held him at arms •' length,

"And strangled thus the scllcst of the fell;

"His mighty soul descending linn, to hell.

"The conquest gain'd, fresh doubts my mind

u divide, 300 "How shall I strip the monster's shaggy hide i "Hard task! for the tough skin repell'd the


"Of pointed wood, keen steel, or sharpest flint: "Some god inspir'd me, standing still in pause, "Tu flay the lion with the lion's claws. "T his I accomplish'd, and the spoil now yields "A firm security in fighting fields: "Thus, Phyleus, was the Nemean monster slain."J "The terror of the forest and the plain, f "That flocks and herds devour'd, and many as I "village swain." 310 J


Though this noble Idyllium- is by far the longest of any that Theocritus has left us, containing, exdafive of the beginning which is lost, no less than iSt verses, yet the commentators, Scaliger, Casauban, snd D. Heinsius, have not left us one single emendation or note upon it: and therefore I null trouble the reader with but few observations: yet these gray old critics have been lavish of their remarks upon the 27th Idyllium, infinitely the aost obscene of all the pieces that have been attributed to Theocritus. One remark is very obTtsss, that the first part of this Idyllium, as far as ver. 178 in the translation, is entirely pastoral and bacohc; containing beautiful descriptions of meadows, pastures hills, vales, rivers, shepherds, herdsmen, and their stalls and dogs,flocks and herdsinsumerable : the second part is an account of a famous exploit performed by Hercules, aud therelore the whole must surely belong to the Arcadian poetry.

Ver. 6. The ancients erected statues to Mercury in the public roads, as guides to travellers, which tlcy called Herat?; they were of marble

and four square; nothing but the head was finish, ed j thus Juvenal, Sat. 8. 53.

-Truncoque simillimus Herma;.

Nuilo quippe alio vincis discrimine, quara quod Uli matmorcum caput est, tua vivit imago.

Ver 13. A river near Elis.

Ver. 14. A famous river of Arcadia near Elis, which the ancients feigned to have funk under ground, and so passed through the sea, without mixing its streams with the salt waters, till arriving at Sicily, it mingled its current with the fountain Arcthufa near Syracuse. Thus Virgil, Æn. 3. •94. " Alphcum simiest,' &c.

Hither 'tit said Alpheu* from his source
In Elia' realms, directs his watery course:
Beneath the main he takes his secret way,
And mounts with Arcthula up to day. P'H.

Ver. 1 j. A city and country of .J.chaia near Elis, from Buprasius its founder.

Those where fait tlis and Buprafium join.

Pcftt 1U B. 2,

Ver. 10

Non liquidi gregibui sontcs, Don gramma dcsnnt.

Gtor. %. aoo. There for thy flocks fresh fountains never fail, Undying verdure clothes the grassy vale. Wartm.

Ver- 27. This tree was sacred to Apollo, and substituted as a temple where presents were offered to him: Virgil, speaking of an olive tree, Æn. I*. 766. says,

Servati ex ondis ibi figere dona solebant
Laurenti divo.

The fliipwreck'd sailors, on the hallow'd wood,
Hung their devoted vests in honour of the god.


Ver. 33. Virgil fays, that the foil for Vines,


Terque quaterque solum scindendum. Gtor. B. 1.

Thrice and sour times, the foil, each rolling year,

The ponderous ploughs and heavy drags must bear.

Ver. 46. v

Credo equidem, nec vans sides, genus esse deorum.


Ver. SSEvandrum petimus. Æn. B. 8.

Ver. J5, Thus Dido in Virgil, Jura dabat legesq. viris, operumque labonm Partibusxquabac justis. Æn. IS. I. 511.

Ver. 64. Dis equidem auspicibus reor, et Junone secuntU, Hue curium Iliacas vento tenuissc carinaa. Æn. 4.

Ver. 81. Here Theocritus imkatei Homer; fee Odys. 0. 14. 20.

Soon as Ulysses near th' enclosure drew, _ >

With open mouths the furious mastiffs flew. Pose.

On which Mr. Pope observes, 'What Homer speaks of Ulysses, Theocritus' applies to Hercules j a demonstration that he thought it to be a picture fcf nature, and therefore inserted it m that heroic Idyllium.'

Ver. 88. Thus also Eumxui did, T^ith (how'rsof stone*he driven them far away, The scattering dogs around at dillanci bay. l'fpt.

Ver. loo. Thus the herds in Virgil return home in the evening, 1

Vesper ubi c pastu vituloa ad tecta redurit.

CWr. 4.433.

When evening homewards drives the calve* and

sheep. Wartm,

Ver. 105. Thin OwiUvfinely'represents the aivrumbered herds of Augea<» and is very'»|ike a passige in Homer's 11. 15. 4. which I shall ,beg leave to transcribe.

In one firm orb the bands were rang'd around,
A-elond of heroes'blicken'd all the ground.
Thus from a lofty promontory'* brow,
A swain surveys, tie gatherir.g storm below;
£lo% from the main the heavy vapours rife, 1

Sfread in dim streams, and fail along the ikies,

Till black as night the swelling tempest ihovrj
The clouds condensing as the west-wind blows.

Ver. in. Thus Virgil fays in regard to the management of bulls,

Aut intus clauses satura ad prxsepia servant.

Gar. 3. 1X4. Ver. 1x6. Thus Virgil,

Ibat rex obsitus aevo;

Et comitem Æneam juxta natumque tenebat. B. S.

Ver. 133. We may here observe, that Theocritus makes the great increase of the herds of Augeas, to arise from the gift and influence of the fun, his father.

Ver. 140. This circumstance must occasion a prodigious propagation : thos exceedingly increased the cattle of Jacob. Genesis xxi. 30—43." Thy cattle is m>w increased to a multitude: and. the man increased exceedingly, and had much cattle." And chap. xxii. 38. Jacob says, " These twenty years have 1 been with thee; thy ewes and thy slie-gbats have not cast their yooog."

Ver. 149. The Greek ward is iV«, and" in thin place properly signifies Horn, as it docs also in the Iliad, B. 15. ver. 58*.; and the bull Phaeton's being alarmed at seeing the slein os the Nemean hon. ver. 158. seems in a very agreeable manner to determine this construction.

Ver. l8x. Was once a city of Achaia, three quarters of a league from Corinth, but swallowed up by the sea.

Ver. 186. Thus Virgil,
Tu mactus vastum Nemea sub rupe leonem.

Æn. 8. 194. Beneath thy arm the Nemean monster fell. Pitt.

Ver. iM. A city near Argos where Hercules wa< nursed, whence he is called Tirynthiui.

Ver. 190. Was grandfather to Amphitryon, the husband of Alcmena.

Ver. 200. Thus Horace, Quale portentum neque militaris Dauoia in latis aiit cseulctis, &c. B. I. OJ. 23.

Ver. 101. At rabidx tigres absent, et sova leonutri semJna. firg. Gtor. 3. I jr. Ver. it I. At fi tantus amor cases cognoseerc nostros.

Æn. B. a. IC. Ver. liy. Inhabitants ofa city in Argot: Phorencus, the sou of Inachus, succeeded his father enlarged his territories, and gathered the people: who were before dispersed about the country into one city, which was called from him Phoronimn Vi-iverfil H:Ji. B. 1. Ci,. itS. Virgil compares Pyrrhus to a flood. Æn. a. a*o6. Not half so fierce the foamy deluge bounds, And bursts resistless o'er the levcll'd mounds; Pours down the vale, and roaring o'er the plain Sweeps herds and hinds, and houses to the main.


Ver. HJ

Ut duroi mille labores

Keges sub Eurystheo, satis Junonis iniqua:, ?er:akriu Æn. B. 8- »9I.

The thooJao j labours of the hern's hands, in join'ci by proud Eurystheus' stern commands.

Ver. M4- Virgil fays of Hercules:

.-;\v irmo manu, nodisqoe gravatom

Unbar. Æn. B. 8. aa«.

Ver. 2ji. Thns Pandarus in Homer, II. 4.

Couching low,

Tits tie sharp arrow to the well-strung bow.


Ver. 137. Ovid speaking of the Calydonian boar, says,

Dtffugiunt populi; nec se, nisi mcenihus urbis, Ijt- potant tutos. Met. B. 8. 298.

Ver. 156. Thus Hector is vexed, that his lance <fid not penetrate the armour of Ajaxa II. B. 14. Toco back the disappointed Trojan drew, con'd the lance that unavailing slew.


Ver. 164. There is. an image in Virgil very .: a: to this; B. tt. v. 6. " Turn demum," &c. As, piere'd at distance by the hunter's dart, The Libyan lion roatses at the smart; And loodly roaring traverses the plain; Sccarges his sides; and rears his horrid mane; Tags furious at the spear; the foe defies, iai grinds his teeth for rage, and to the combat flier. Pitt.

Ver. 470. The Greek is, .;;►!-,-, enprijuut, a wild fig-tree: the fame word occurs in Homer, 11. B. »i, 37, which Mr. Pope renders a sycamore;

As from a sycamore, his sounding steel

Lopp'd the green arms, to spoke a chariot wheel.

Ver. »j8. Thus Cadmus encountering with the dragun;

Instantiaquc ora retardat

Cuspide pretenta. Ovid, Mettm. B. 3.

Ver. aj7. The construction of this passage is) perplexed, but I hope I have hit upon the right, as the circumstance of Hercules's heaving the linn from the ground, is exactly the fame as happened to the bull Phaeton,

And high in air upheld him at arm's length.

Vtr. 164.

Indeed the words in the original are very similar.

Ver. 298. Thomson in his Seasons, joins thi* epithet to the hyena : " The keen hyena, felled of the fell."

Ver. 306. Aventinus, the son of Hercules, is represented by Virgil in the same dress. Ipse pedes tegmen torquens immane leonis, Sec.

Æn. B. 7. 66<,

He stalk'd before his host; and, wide di spread,

A lion's teeth grinn'd horrid o'er his head;
Then sought the palace in this strange attire, J
And look'd as stern, and dreadful as his fixe.


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T«is Idyllium contains a short account of the death of Pentheus, king of Thebes; who refusing to own the divinity of Bacchus, and endeavouring to prohibit his orgies, is torn in pieces by his owa mother Agave, and by^bis aunts Ino and Autonoe.

, Aotokoe, and Agave, whose rough cheeks
Resembled the ripe apple's ruddy streaks,
With frantic Ino had resolv'd to keep
Three holy revels on the mountain's steep:
Greco ivy, and sweet asphodel they took,
Aid leafy branches from the shagged oak,
With these the madding Bacchanalians made
Twelve vetdant altars in an opening glade;
Three to fair Semcle they rais'd, and nine
To youthful Bacchus, jolly god of wine. 10
from chests they take, and joyful shooting, lay
Their offerings on the fresh erected spray;
Snch rites they practis'd, and such offerings

As plsa.'d the god, and wh?.t himself had taught.

Lodg'd in a lentifk-tree, conceal'd from sight,
Astonish'd Pentheus saw the mystic rite;
Autonee first the latent monarch spy'd,
With horrid yellings down the hill she hy'd,
The orgies of the frantic god o'erthrew,
Which no profane, unhallow'd eye must view. im
Maddening (he rag'd, the rest all rag'd : and dread
Supplied with pinions Pentheus as he fled;
He hop'd by flight their fury to elude:
With robes tuck's up they eagerly pursu'd!
Then Pentheus thus: " What means this rage I

Autonoe thus: ' You'll feel before you hear.'
His mother roar'd, and snatch d his head awayj
Loud as the female lion o'er her prey;

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Mr. Warton observes, " That Euripides, in his Bacchantes, has given a very 6ne description of the Bacchanalian women tearing Pentheus in pieces, for secretly inspecting their mysteries, which is worked up with the greatest sire, and the truest poetical enthusiasm. Theocritus has likewise nobly described this event.

Ver. I. These were all sisters and the daughters of Cadmus and Harmonia.

Ver. 5. Anacreon, Epig. 4. describes three Bacchæ, and ivy is one of their oblations to Bacchus:

First Heliconias with a thyrsus past,
Xanthippe next, and Glauca was the last;
Lo '. dancing down the mountains they repair,
And grateful gifts to jolly Bacchus bear;
Wreaths of the rustling ivy for his head,
With grapes delicious, and a kid well fed. F. F.

Ver. 8. Thus Virgil, Ed. 5.

En quatuor aras:
Eccc duas tibi, Daphni, quoque altaria Phœbo.

Ver. 15. The story of Pentheus is told by Ovid in the Metara. B. 3. in a manner something different, which I shall give in Mr. Addison's translation.

Here the rash Pentheus, with unhallow'd eyes,
The howliug dames and mystic orgies spies.
JHis mether sternly view'd him where he stood,
And kindled into madness as she view'd:
Her leafy javelin at her son she cast,
And cries, "The boar that lays our country

"The boar, my sisters! aim the fatal dart,
"And strike the brindled monster to the heart."
Pentheus astonish'd heard the dismal sound,
And sees the yelling matrons gathering round,
iie fees, and weeps at his approaching fate,
And begs fer mercy, and repents too late.


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"Help! help I my aunt Autonoe, he cry'd;
"Remember how your own Actæon dy'd."
Deaf to his cries, the frantic matron cropi
One stretch'd-out arm, the other Ino lops.
In vain does Pentheus to his mother sue,
And the raw bleeding stumps presents to view:
His mother howl'd, and heedless of his prayer
Her trembling hand lhe twisted in his hair,
"And this, she cry'd, shall be Agave's share,
When from the neck his struggling head lhe tore,
And in her hands the ghastly visage bore.
With pleasure all the hideous trunk survey;
Then pull'd and tote the mangled limbs away,
As starting in the pangs of death it lay.
Soon as the wood its leafy honours casts,
Blown off and scatter'd by autumnal blasts,
With such a sudden death lay Pentheus slain,
And in a thousand pieces strew'd the plain.
Ver. 27.

Quid .' caput absciffum demens cum portat Agave
Nati infelicis, sibi turn furiosa videtur?

Nor. B. 2. Sal. 3.

Ver. 34. There is great beauty in the original. EJ zri),(r:fuc, Kxi u Tlittr.x, ^.jooraj, which, arising from the similarity of the words nyfn/ui and iWna, cannot be kept up in the translation.

Ver 45. Ovid mentions the fame thing, Met. B. 3. 310.

Impersectus adhuc infans genetricis ab alvo
Eripitur, patrioque tencr (si credere dignum)
Insuitur femori, maternaque tempora complet.

Ver. 46. She was the mother of Bacchus, and sister to Ino, Agave, and Autonoe.

Ver. jo. There is a similar thought in Bion, Idyl. 6. 8

It ill becomes frail mortals to define

What's best and fittest of the works divine, f. F.


Is by the commentators generally attributed to Moschus, and therefore I may well be excused from mnllaung as the work o£ Theocritus, Were that not the cafe, it is of such a nature that it cannot

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