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C- COLUTHUS LTCOPOLITES.
THE RAPE OF HELEN, &c.
Y« cjmphs of Troy, for beauty fam'J, who trace
From Xinthus' fertile streams your ancient race, Of: on whose sandy banks your tires are laid,. And many a trinket which your bands have made, Wliat time to Ida's hallow'd mount ye throng, To join the festive choir in dance and song; No longer on your favourite banks repose, But come, the judgment of the swain disclose; Sir from what hills t° trackless deeps unknown, Roih'd with impetuous zeal the daring clown; 10 Sty to what end, with future ills replete, O'er distant oceans sail'd a mighty fleet; , What feu could this adventurous youth embroil, Sow discord's feeds, o'er what disastrous soil? Siy from what source arose the dire debate. Which swains could end and goddesses create. What his decision? Of the Grecian dame Who to the shepherd's ear convey'd the name? Speak, for ye saw, on Ida's still retreat, Judicial Paris fill his shepherd's seat; to Vans ye saw, the graces' darling queen, As on her judge approv'd (he smil'd serene.
What time Hxmonia's lofty mountains rung
War's g<xii j, when to Vulcan's dome he sped,
Such now, without bis helmet or his lance,
And by the gadfly stung, the heifer strays 50
To dart the sorky lightning, and command
Her purpose changing, she with'rattling arms
And midst the gods the golden mischief flung.
'His herds he grazes on mount Ida's brow,
'thus leads: 'Show him yon prize, and urge him to declare 'Which of these goddesses he deems most fair: 'In whom, of all his matchless skill can trace
< The cic.fe arch'd eyebrow and the roundest face,
* On such a face, where bends the circling bow,
'The golden apple, beauty's prize, bestow.' 91 Thus spoke the sire: the willing son obey'd,
Arid to their judge the deities convcy'd.
Each anxious fair her charms to heighten tries,
•And dart new lustre from her sparkling eyes.
Her Tcil aside insidious Venus flung;
Loose from the clasp her fragrant ringlets hung;
She then in golden cauls each curl compress'd,
Summon'd her little love, and thus address'd: 'Behold, my sons, the hour of trial near! 100
* Embrace, my loves, and bid me banistt fear.
* This days decision will eahance my fame,
* Crown beauty's queen, or sink in endless shame.
* Doubting I stand, to whom the swain may say, 'Bear thou, most fair, the gulden prize away.
'Nurs'd was each grace by Juno's fostering hand;
* And crowns and sceptres shift at her com
* Minerva dictates in th' embattled field;
* And heroes tremble when (he shakes her shield. ■ Of all the goddesses that rule above, II*
* Far most defenceless is the queen of love.
* Without or spear or shield must Venus live;
'And crowns and sceptres she has none to give.
* Yet why despair? Though with no faulchion
'Love's silken chain surrounds my slender waist. 'My bow this cestos, this the dart I fling,
* And with this cestus I infix my sting.
* My sting infix'd renews the lover's pain,
* And Virgins languish but revive again.'
Thus to her loves the rosy-finger'd queen lio
And how they reach mount Ida's grassy steep,
* A pastoral staff, which swains delight to hold,
His flocks desert him, and his oxen stray.
* Close by their piping lord repose their head.
To the thick shrubs his tuneful reed convert, jj» j And all unfinifh'd leaves his warbled lays, I Thus winged Hermes to the shepherd (aid,
Who mark'd the gods approach with silent dread s 'Dismiss thy fears, nor with thy flocks adult;
'A mighty contest Paris must decide.
'Haste, judge annonne'd; for whose decision wait
* Three lovely females, of celestial state.
'Haste, and the triumph of that face declare, 'Which sweetest looks, and fairest midst the fair: 'Let her, whose form thy critic eye prefers, l6»
* Claim beauty's prize, and be this apple hers.
Thus Hermes spoke; the ready swain obey'd, And to decide the mighty cause eflay'd. With keenest look he mark'd the heavenly diaa; Their eye«, quick flashing as the lightning's flame', Their snowy necks, their garments fring'd with gold,
And rich embroidery wrought in every fold; Their gait he mark'd, as gracefully they mov'd, And round their feet his eye sagacious rovM. But, ere the smiling swain his thoughts erpresi'd, Grasping his hand him Pallas thus address'd j 171 'Regard not Phrygian youth, the wife of Jo«,
* Nor Venus heed the queen of wedded love; 'But martial prowess if thy wisdom prize,
* Know, f possess it; praise me to the skies.
* Thee, fame reports, puissant states obey,
'And Troy's proud city owns thy sovereign Any; 'Her suffering sons thy conquering arm haB • shield,
'And stern Bellona shall to Paris yield.
'Comply ; her succour will Minerva lend, 180
'Teach thee war's science, and in fight defend.'
Thus Pallas strove to influence the swain, Whose favour Juno thus attempts to gain:
• Should'st thou with beauty's prize my chanm 'reward,
'AU Asia's realms shall own thee for their lord.
* Say, what from battles but contention springs' 'Such contests shun; for what are wars to Icings! 'But him, whose hands the rod of empire sway, 'Cowards revere, and conquerors obey.
* Minerva's friends are oft Bellona's slaves, lac 'And the fiend slaughters whom the goddefi
Proffers of boundless sway thus Juno made; And Venus thus, contemptuous smiling, said; But first her floating veil aloft she threw, And all her graces to the shepherd shew; Loosen'd her little loves' attractive chain, Aud tried each art to captivate the swain.
'Accept my boon' (thus spoke the smiutj dame),
'Battles forget, and dread Bellona's name. 'Beauty's rich meed at Venus' hand receive, 1 And Asia's wide domain to tyrants leave. 30) 'The deathfu} fight, the din of arras I fear; ■' Can Venus' hand direct the martial spear? 'Women with beauty stoutest hearts ass.u'1, 'Beauty, their best defence, their strongest mail. 'Prefer domestic ease to martial strife, 1 And to exploits of war a pleasing wife. 'To realms extensive Helen's bed prefer, 'And scaff at kingdoms, when oppos'd to her.
1 Thy price with en»y Sparta shall survey, 310 1 And Troy to Paris tune the bridal lay.
The ihephcrd, who astonish'd stood acd muu, Conufu'd to Venn* the Hesperian Um, The claim of beauty, and the source of woei; For dire debates from this decision rose. Uplifting in her hand the glowing prize, She rallied thus the vanquished deities:
'To me, ye martial dames, the prize resign; 1 Beauty I court, and beauty's prize is mine. 'Mother of mighty Mars and Vulcan too, 330 'Fame fays, the choir of rrices sprung from 'you:
'Vet distant far, this day, your daughters stray u, 1 And Do one grace appear'd to lend you aid. 1 Man too dcclin'd t' assert his mother's right, 1 Though oft his brandish'd sword decides the •fight,
'His boasted flames why could not Vulcan cast, 'Aid at one blaze his mother's rivals blast? 'Vain are thy triumphs, Pallas, vain thy scorn; 'Thou, not in wedlock, nor of woman horn. Jove'.- teeming head the monstrons birth con
'tains, 3 JO
'And the barb'd iron ripp'd thee from his brains. 'Brac'd with th' unyielding plaits of ruthless
'She curses Cupid and the silken veil.
1 Connubial bliss and concord she abhors,
'In discord glories, and delights in wars.
'Yet know, virago, not in feats of arms
1 Triumph weak women, but in beauty's charms.
'Nor men nor women are those muugrels base,
1 Like you, equivocal in form and face.' 339
la terms like these the laughter-loving queen Rallied her rivals, and increas'd their spleen, As, lifting high, she view'd with secret joy Her beauty's triumphs, and the bane of Troy. Infpir'd with love tor her, the fair unknown, By beauty's conquering queen pronoune'd his own,
IB-fated" Paris to the forest's maze
Th' extended beach with choice oblations stor'd,
Full or the deck the bursting torrent pours.
Now. far remote, they view Pangræa's height:
Or lest hi" hair, beneath his casque confin'd, 390 ,
Should, if he ran, be ruffled with the wind.
The city's splendour Paris' eye detains,
The citizen's abodes, and glistering fanes. ,
Here Pallas' form, in mimic gold pourtray'd,
Here Hyacinthus' image he survey'd.
Him with delight the Amiclæans view'd,
Pursuing Phœbus, and by him pursu'd;
But, sore displeas'd at jealous Zephyr's spite,
They urg'd the stripling to unequal fight;
For Phoebus' efforts ineffectual prov'd, 30s>
To save from Zephyr's rage the youth he lov'd.
Earth with compassion heard Apollo's cries, .
And from her bosom bade a flower arise,
His favourite's name, imprefs'd upon whose
Still, as the god contemplates, sooths his grief. .
'Not sandy Pyle thine origin can show; 33s
■ I know not thee, though Neslor's Ion I know.
■ Phthia, the nurse of heroes, train'd not thee j
* For known are all ih' Æacidx to me,
* Peleus, and Telamon renown'd in sight,
■ Patroclus' courtesy, Achilles' mij>ht.'
Inspir'd by love, thus spoke the gentle dame; And he thus answering, fann'd the rising flame: "If e'er recording same, illustrious maid, 338 "Hath to thine car gre.it I lion's name convey'd, "Ilion, whose walls on Phrygian frontiers stand,
* Rear'd by Apollo's and by Neptune's hand; "Him if thou know'st, most opulent of kings,
"Who reigns o'er Ilion, and from Saturn springs;
"I to hereditary worth aspire;
u The wealthy Priam is my honour'd sire,
11 My high descent from Dunlanus I prove;
"And ancient Dar-thnus descends from Jove.
"Th' immortals thus forsake the realms of light,
"And mix with mortab in the social rite.
"Neptune and Phcc'ous thus forsick the sphere,
"Firm on its base my native Troy to rear. 351
"But know, on three fair goddesses, of late,
"Sentence I pass'd, and dos'd the long debate.
"On Venus, who with charms superior shone,
"I lavish'd praises, and conferr'd my boon.
"The Cyprian goddess, plcas'd with my decree,
"Reserv'd this rccompcnce, O queen, for me;
** Some faithful fair, possess'd of heavenly charms,
■ Should, she protested, bless my longing arms;
"Helen her name, to beauty's queen ally'd; 360 *' Helen, for thee I stemm'd the troubled tide.
Unite we now in Hymen's mystic bands: "Thus love inspires, and Venus thus commands. ** Scorn not my suit, nor beauty's queen despise: TM More need I add to influence the wile? "For well thou know'st, how dastardly or basil
* Is Menelaus's degenerate race.
"And well I know, that GræciVs ample coast "No fair like thee, for beauty sam'd, tan boast."
He said: on earth her sparkling eyes she cast, Embarrass'd paus'd awhile, and spoke at last: 371
'To visit Ilion, and her towers survey,
* Rear'd by the god of ocean and of day,
* (Stupendous labours by celestials wrought)
'Hath oft, illustrious guest, employ'dmy thought,
* Oft have I wilh'd to saunter o'er the vales,
* Whose flowery pasture Phœbus' flocks regales; 'Where, beneath Ilion's walls, along the meads,
* The shepherd-god his low ing oxen feeds.
« To Ilion I'll attend thee: haste, away; 380
* For beauty's queen forbids our long delay.
* No husband's threats, no husband's search I
* Though he to Troy suspect his Helen fled.'
The Spartan dame, of matchless charms possess'd,
Proffer'd these terms to her consenting guest. Night, which relieves our toils, when the bright fun.
In ocean funk, his daily course has run,
Voices divine through this mysterious gate
At morning's dawn Hermione apt ears, 4:0
* Where, fair attendants, is my mother fled, 'Who left me steeping in her lonely bed? 'For yesternight (he took her trusty key, 'Turn'd the strong bolt, and slept secure with me.' Her hapless sate the pensive train deplore, And in thick circles gather round the door; Here all contend to moderate her grief, 4I0 And by their kind condolence give relief: 'Unhappy princess, check the rising tear; 'Thy mother, alilent now, will soon appear.
* Soon as thy sorrow's bitter source she knows, 'Her speedy presence will dispel thy woes.
'The virgin.check, with sorrow's weight o'er• come,
'Sinks languid down, and loses half its bloom. 'Deep in the head the tearful eye retires,
* There sullen fits, nor darts its wonted fires. 419 1 Eager, perchance, the band of nymphs to meet, 'She saunters devious from her favourite seat,
'And, of some flowery mead at length possess'd, 'Sinks on the dew-bespangled lawn to rest. 'Or to some kindred stream perchance she strays, 'Bathes in Eurotas' streams, and round its mar
'Why talk ye thus?' (the pensive maid replies, The tears of anguish trickling from her eyes) 'She knows each roseate bower, each vale and 'hill,
'She knows the course of every windingrill. 'The stars are set; «n rugged rocks she lies: 43* 1 The stars are up; nor does my mother rise. 'What hills, what dales thy devious steps detain? 'Hath some relentless beast my mother slain? 1 But beasts, which lawless round the forest rove, 1 Revere the sacred progeny of Jove. [brow, 'Or art thou fall'n from some steep mountain's 'Thy corse conceal'd in dreary dells below?
* But through the groves, with thickest foliage
1 crown'd, sgrocud, 1 Beneath each (hrivcIPd leaf that strews the 'Assiduous have I sought thy corse in vain: 44* ( Why should we then the guiltless grove arraign? 'Bat have Eurotas' streams, which rapid flow, 'O'erwhehned thee bathing in its deeps below ■ 'Yet in the. deeps below the Naiads live, 'And they to womankind protection give.' Thus spoke she sorrowing, and reclin'd-her
And sleeping seem'd to mingle with the dead;