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Not those of common kinds; but such alone, Thy flood, ungrateful nymph; and Fate shall find
“ The flocks, you see, are all my own; beside Lamenting thus in vain, he rose, and strode The rest that woods and winding valleys hide, With furious paces to the neighbouring wood : And those that folded in the caves abide.
Restless his feet, distracted was his walk; Ask not the numbers of my growing store; Mad were his motions, and confus'd his talk: Who knows how many, knows he has no more. Mad as the vanquish'd bull, when forc'd to yield Nor will I praise my cattle; trust not me, His lovely mistress, and forsake the field. But judge yourself, and pass your own decree : Thus far unseen I saw : when, fatal Chance Behold their swelling dugs; the sweepy weight His looks directing, with a sudden glance, Of ewes, that sink beneath the milky freight : Acis and I were to his sight betray'd : In the warm folds their tender lambkins lie, Where, nought suspecting, we securely play d. Apart from kids, that call with human cry. From his wide mouth a bellowing cry he cast; New milk in nut-brown bowls is duly serv'd “ I see, I see, but this shall be your last.” For daily drink; the rest for cheese reserv'd. A roar so loud made Etna to rebound; Nor are these household dainties all my store: And all the Cyclops labour'd in the sound. The fields and forests will afford us more;
Affrighted with his monstrous voice, I fled,
Hely, Galatea, help, my parent gods,
A rib, which from the living rock he tore: So pretty, they were presents for a queen; Though but an angle reach'd him of the stone, And so they shall; I took them both away; The mighty fragment was enough alone And keep, to be companions of your play. To crush all Acis; 'twas too late to save, “ O raise, fair nymph, your beauteous face But what the Fates allow'd to give, I gave: above
That Acis to his lineage should return, The waves; nor scorn my presents, and my love. And roll, among the river gods, his urn. Come, Galatea, come, and view my face; Straight issued from the stone a stream of blood; I late beheld it in the watery glass,
Which lost the purple, mingling with the flood. And found it lovelier than I fear'd it was.
Then like a troubled torrent it appear'd : Survey my towering stature, and my size: The torrent too, in little space, was cleard. Not Jove, the Jove you dream, that rules the skies, The stone was cleft, and through the yawning chink Bears such a bulk, or is so largely spread : New reeds arose, on the new river's brink. My locks (the plenteous harvest of my head) The rock, from out its hollow womb, disclos'd Hang o'er my manly face; and dangling down, A sound like water in its course oppos'd : As with a shady grove, my shoulders crown. When (wondrous to behold) full in the flood, Nor think, because my limbs and body bear Up starts a youth, and navel-high he stood. A thick-set underwood of bristling hair,
Horns from his temples rise; and either horn My shape deform'd: what fouler sight can be, Thick wreaths of reeds (bis native growth) adora. Than the bald branches of a leafless tree?
Were not his stature taller than before,
With rapid motion, and his name retains.
FROM THE FIFTEENTH BOOK OL
OVID'S METAMORPHOSES Frown not, fair nymph; yet I could bear to be Disdain'd, if others were disdain'd with me. But to repulse the Cyclops, and prefer
The fourteenth book concludes with the death and The love of Acis, Heavens! I cannot bear.
deification of Romulus: the fifteenth begins But let the stripling please himself; nay more, with the election of Numa to the crown of Rome. Please you, though that's the thing I most abhor; On this occasion, Ovid, following the opinion of The boy shall find, if e'er we cope in fight,
some authors, makes Numa the scholar of PythaThese giant limbs endu'd with giant might:
goras; and to have begun his acquaintance His living bowels from bis belly torn,
with that philosopher at Crotona, a town in And scatter'd limbs, shall ou the flood be borne, Italy ;- from thence he makes a digression to the
moral and natural philosophy of Pythagoras : He leaves Tarentum, favour'd by the wind, on both which our author enlarges; and which And Thurine bays, and Temises, behind; are the most learned and beautiful parts of the Soft Sibaris, and all the capes that stand Metamorphoses.
Along the shore, he makes in sight of land ;
Still doubling, and still coasting, till he found A ring is sought, to guide the glowing state,
The mouth of Æsaris, and promis'd ground : One able to support the public weight,
Then saw where, on the margin of the flood, And fill the throne where Romulus had sate.
The tomb that held the bones of Croton stood : Renown, which oft bespeaks the public voice,
Here, by the god's command, he built and wali'd Had recommended Numa to their choice :
The place predicted; and Crotona calld: A peaceful, pious prince; who, not content Thus Fame, from time to time, delivers down To know the Sabine rites, his study bent
The sure tradition of th’Italian towu." To cultivate his mind: to learn the laws
Here dwelt the man divine whom Samos bore, Of Nature, and explore their hidden cause :
But now self-banish'd froin his native shore, Urg'd by this care, his country he forsook,
Because he hated tyrants, nor could bear And to Crotona thence his journey took.
The chains which none but servile souls will wear: Arriv'd, he first inquir'd the founder's name He, though from Heaven remote, to Heaven could Of this new colony: and whence he came.
move, Then thus a senior of the place replies,
With strength of mind, and tread th’abyss above; (Well read, and curious of antiquities)
And penetrate, with his interior light, “ 'Tis said, Alcides hither took his way
Those upper depths, which Nature hid from sight: From Spain, and drove along his conquerid prey ;
And what he had observ'd, and learnt from thence, , Then, leaving in the fields his grazing cows,
Lov'd in familiar language to dispense. He sought himself some hospitable house :
The crowd with silent admiration stand, Good Croton entertain'd his godlike guest,
And heard him, as they heard their god's comWhile be repair'd his weary limbs with rest.
mand; The hero, thence departing, bless'd the place;
While he discours'd of Heaven's mysterious laws, And here," he said, “in Time's revolving race,
The World's original, and Nature's cause ; A rising town shall take its name from thee;'
And what was God, and why the fleecy snows Revolving Time fulfill'd the prophecy :
In silence fell, and rattling winds arose; For Myscelos, the justest man on Earth,
What shook the stedfast Earth, and whence begun Alemon's son, at Argos had his birth :
The dance of planets round the radiant Sun; Him Hercules, arm'd with his club of oak,
If thunder was the voice of angry Jove, O'ershadow'd in a dream, and thus bespoke;
Or clouds, with nitre pregnant, burst above: 'Go, leave thy native soil, and make abode Of these, and things beyond the common reach, Where Æsaris rolls down his rapid flood;'
He spoke, and charm'd his audience with his He said; and sleep forsook him, and the god.
speech. Trembling he wak’d, and rose with anxious heart;
He first the taste of Aesh from tables drove, His country laws forbad him to depart:
And argued well, if arguments could move. What should be do? 'Twas death to go away;
“O mortals! from your fellows blood abstain, And the god menac'd if he dar'd to stay:
Nor taint your bodies with a food profane : All day he doubted; and when night came on,
While corn and pulse by Nature are bestow'd, Sleep, and the same forewarning dream, begun : And planted orchards bend their willing load; Once more the god stood threatening o’er his While labour'd gardens wholesome herbs produce, head;
And teeming vines afford their generous juice; With added curses if he disobey'd.
Nor tardier fruits of cruder kind are lost,
While kine to pails distended udders bring,
And bees their honey redolent of spring ;
But, lavish of her store, provides for luxury;
A guiltless feast administers with ease, Condemn'd, and destitute of human aid,
And without blood is prodigal to please..
‘Opower, who hast deserv'd in Heaven a throne fill,
“A custom was of old, and still remains, Bears, tigers, wolves, the lion's angry brood,
Whom Heaven endued with principles of blood, White stones and black within an urn are cast, He wisely sunder'd from the rest, to yell The first absolve, but fate is in the last :
In forests, and in lonely caves to dwell, The judges to the common urn bequeath
Where stronger beasts oppress the weak by might, Their votes, and drop the sable signs of death ; And all in prey and purple feasts delight. The box receives all black; but, pour'd from thence, “O impious use ! to Nature's laws oppos'd, The stones came candid forth, the hue of inno- Where bowels are in other bowels closd : Thus Alimonides bis safety won, [cence. Where, fattend by their fellows' fat, they thrive; Preserv'd from death by Alcumena's son: Maintain'd by murder, and by death they live. Then to his kinsman god his vows he pays,
'Tis then for nought that mother Earth provides And cuts with prosperous gales th' Ionian seas : The stores of all she shows, and all she bides,
If men with fleshy morsels must be fed,
Then broken up alive, his entrails sees And chaw with bloody teeth the breathing bread; Torn out, for priests t inspect th' gods decrees. What else is this but to devour our guests,
“ From whence, O mortal men, this gust of And barbarously renew Cyclopean feasts! Have you deriv'd, and interdicted food ? [blood We, by destroying life, our life sustain;
Be taught by me this dire delight to shun, And gorge th’ungodly maw with meats obscene. Warn’d by my precepts, by my practice won:
“ Not so the golden age, who fed on fruit, And, when you eat the well-deserving beast, Nor durst with bloody meals their mouths pollute. Think, on the labourer of your field you feast! Then birds in airy space might safely move,
“ Now since the god inspires me to proceed, And timorous hares on heaths securely rove, Be that, whate'er inspiring power, obey'd. Nor needed fish the guileful hooks to fear, For I will sing of mighty mysteries, For all was peaceful, and that peace sincere. Of truths conceal'd before from human eyes, Whoever was the wretch (and curs'd be he) Dark oracles unveil, and open all the skies. That envy'd first our food's simplicity;
Pleas'd as I am to walk along the sphere Th'essay of bloody feasts on brutes began, Of shining stars, and travel with the year, And after forg'd the sword to murder man; To leave the heavy Earth, and scale the height Had he the sharpen'd steel alone employ'd Of Atlas, who supports the heavenly weight: On beasts of prey that other beasts destroy'd, To look from upper light, and thence survey Or men invaded with their fangs and paws, Mistaken mortals wandering from the way, This had been justify'd by Nature's laws,
And wanting wisdom, fearful for the state And self-defence: but who did feasts begin Of future things, and trembling at their fate ! Of flesh, he stretch'd necessity to sin.
“ Those I would teach; and by right reason To kill man-killers, man has lawful power; To think of death, as but an idle thing. [bring But not th' extended licence, to devour.
Why thus affrighted at an empty name, “ III habits gather by unseen degrees,
A dream of darkness, and fictitious flamne ? As brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas.
Vain themes of wit, which but in poems pass, The sow, with her broad snout for rooting up And fables of a world, that never was! Th’intrusted seed, was judg'd to spoil the crop, What feels the body when the soul expires, And intercept the sweating farmer's hope: By time corrupted, or consum'd by fires ? The covetous churl, of unforgiving kind,
Nor dies the spirit, but new life repeats Th’ offender to the bloody priest resign'd: In other forms, and only changes scats. Her hunger was no plea; for that she dy'd. “Ev'n I, who these mysterious truths declare, The goat came next in order, to be try'd: Was once Euphorbas in the Trojan war; The goat had cropt the tendrils of the vine: My name and lineage I remember well, In vengeance laity and clergy join,
And how in fight by Sparta's king I fell. Where one had lost his profit, one his wine. In Argive Juno's fane I late beheld (shield. Here was, at least, some shadow of offence: My buckler hung on high, and own'd my former The sheep was sacrific'd on no pretence,
“ Then death, so call'd, is but old matter dress'd But meek and unresisting innocence.
In some new figure, and a vary'd vest : * A patient, useful creature, born to bear
Thus all things are but alter'd, nothing dies; The warm and woolly fleece, that cloth'd her mur And here and there th' unbody'd spirit flies, derer,
By time, or force, or sickness dispossest, And daily to give down the milk she bred,
And lodges, where it lights, in man or beast; A tribute for the grass on which she fed.
Or hunts without, 'till ready limbs it find, Living, both food and raiment she supplies, And actuates those according to their kind; And is of least advantage when she dies.
From tenement to tenement is toss'd; “ How did the toiling ox his death deserve, The soul is still the same, the figure only lost A downright simple drudge, and born to serve ? And as the soften'd wax new seals receives, O tyrant! with what justice canst thou hope This face assumes, and that impression leaves; The promise of the year, a plenteous crop; Now call'd by one, now by another name; (sames When thou destroy'st thy labouring steer, who tili'd, 'The form is only chang'd, the wax is still the And plow'd, with pains, thy else ungrateful field? So death, so calPd, can but the form deface, From his yet reeking neck to draw the yoke, Th’immortal soul flies out in empty space; That neck with which the sarly clods he broke; To seek her fortune in some other place. And to the hatchet yield thy husbandman,
“ Then let not piety be put to flight, Who finish'd autumn, and the spring began ! To please the taste of glutton appetite; Nor this alone! but Heaven itself to bribe, But suffer inmate souls secure to dwell, We to the gods our impious acts ascribe: Lest from their seats your parents you expel; First recompense with death their creatures toil, With rabid hunger feed upon your kind, Then call the bless'd above to share the spoil: Or from a beast disłodge a brother's mind. The fairest victim must the powers appease: “ And since,like Țiphys, parting from the shore, (So fatal 'tis sometimes too much to please!) In ample seas I sail, and depths untry'd before, A purple fillet his broad brows adorns,
This let me further add, that Nature knows With flowery garlands crown'd, and gilded horns: No stedfast station ; but, or ebbs, or flows: He hears the murderous prayer the priest prefers, Ever in motion ; she destroys her old, But understands not 'tis his doom he hears: And casts new figures in another mould. Beholds the meal betwixt his temples cast Ev'n times are in perpetual flux; and run, (The fruit and product of his labours past); Like rivers from their fountain, rolling on; And in the water views perhaps the knife
For Time, no more than streams, is at a stay: Uplifted, to deprive him of his life;
The flying hour is ever on her way;
And as the fountain still supplies her store, By slow degrees he gathers from the ground The vave behind impels the wave before ;
His legs, and to the rolling chair is bound; Thus in successive course the minutes run,
Then walks alone; a horseman now become, And urge their predecessor minutes on,
He rides a stick, and travels round the room : Still moving, ever new: for former things
In time he vaunts among his youthful peers, Are set aside, like abdicated kings:
Strong-bon'd, and strung with nerves, in pride And every moment alters what is done,
of years, And innovates some act till then unknown. He runs with mettle his first merry stage, Darkness we see emerges into light,
Maintains the next, abated of bis rage, And shining suns descend to sable night;
But manages his strength, and spares his age. Evin Heaven itself receives another die,
Heavy the third, and stiff, he sinks apace, When weary'd animals in slumbers lie
And, though 'tis down-hill all, but creeps along the Of midnight ease; another, when the gray Of morn preludes the splendour of the day. Now sapless on the verge of death he stands, The disk of Phæbus, when he clinbs on high, Contemplating his former feet and hands; Appears at first but as a bloodshot eye;
And, Milo-like, his slacken'd sinews sees, And when bis chariot downward drives to bed, And wither'd arms, once fit to cope with Hercules, His ball is with the same suffusion red;
Unable now to shake, much less to tear, the trees. But mounted high in his meridian race
“ So Helen wept, when her too faithful glass All bright he shines, and with a better face: Reflected to her eyes the ruins of her face: For there, pure particles of ether flow,
Wondering what charms her ravishers could spy, Far from th' infection of the world below.
To force her twice, or ev'n but once enjoy! “. Nor equal light th'unequal Moon adorns, “Thy teeth, devouring Time, thine, envious Age, Or in her wexing, or her waning borns.
On things below still exercise your rage : For every day she wanes, her face is less,
With venom'd grinders you corrupt your meat, But, gathering into globe, she fattens at increase. And then, at lingering meals, the morsels eat.
“ Perceiv'st thou not the process of the year, “ Nor those, which elements we call, abide, How the four seasons in four forms appear,
Nor to this figure, nor to that, are tyd; Resembling human life in every shape they wear? For this eternal world is said of old Spring first, like infancy, shoots out her head, But four prolific principles to hold, With milky juice requiring to be fed :
Four different bodies; two to Heaven ascend, Helpless, though fresh, and wanting to be led. And other two down to the centre tend: The green stem grows in stature and in size, Fire first with wings expanded mounts on high, But only feeds with hope the farmer's eyes;
Pure, void of weight, and dwells in upper sky; Then laughs the childish year with flowerets Then air, because unclog'd in empty space, crown'd,
Flies after fire, and claims the second place: And lavishly perfumes the fields around,
But weighty water, as her nature guides, (sides. But no substantial nourishment receives,
Lies on the lap of Earth, and mother Earth subInfirm the stalks, unsolid are the leaves.
“ All things are mixt with these, which all con“ Proceeding onward whence the year began, And into these are all resolv'd again : (tain, The Summer grows adult, and ripens into man.
Earth rarifies to dew; expanded more This season, as in men, is most replete
The subtil dew in air begins to soar; With kindly moisture, and prolific heat,
Spreads as she flies, and weary of her name “ Autumn succeeds, a sober tepid age,
Extenuates still, and changes into flame; Not froze with fear, nor boiling into rage;
Thus having by degrees perfection won, More than mature, and tending to decay,
Restless they soon untwist the web they spun, When our brown locks repine to mix with odious And fire begins to lose her radiant hue, grey.
Mix'd with gross air, and air descends to dew; “Last, Winter creeps along with tardy pace, And dew, condensing, does her form forego, Sour is bis front, and furrow'd is his face.
And sinks, a heavy lump of earth, below. His scalp if not dishonour'd quite of hair, [bare, “ Thus are their figures never at a stand, The ragged fleece is thin, and thin is worse than But chang'd by Nature's innovating hand;
“ Ev'n our own bodies daily change receive, All things are alter'd, nothing is destroy'd, Some part of what was theirs before they leave;
The shifted scene for some new show employ'd. Nor are to-day what yesterday they were;
“ Then, to be born, is to begin to be Nor the whole same to morrow will appear.
Some other thing we were not formerly : “T'imewas, when we were sow'd, and just began, And what we call to die, is not t' appeas, Fromn some few fruitful drops, the promise of a
Or be the thing that formerly we were. Then Nature's hand (fermented as it was)
Those very elements, which we partake Moulded to shape the soft, coagulated mass ;
Alive, when dead some other bodies make: And when the little man was fully form’d,
Translated grow, have sense, or can discourse; The breathless embryo with a spirit warm'd; But death on deathless substance has no force. But when the mother's throes begin to come,
“ That forms are chang'd I grant, that nothing The creature, pent within the narrow room,
Continue in the figure it began:
[can Breaks his blind prison, pushing to repair
The golden age to silver was debas'd:
“ The face of places, and their forms, decayi A helpless babe, but by instinct he cries.
And that is solid earth, that once was sea : He next essays to walk, but downward press'd Seas in their turn, retreating from the shore, On four feet imitates his brother beast :
Make solid land what ocean was before ;
And far from strands are shells of fishes found, “ Grathis, and Sibaris her sister food,
Who has not heard of Salmacis obscene, Here Nature living fountains opes; and there Whose waters into women soften men ? Seals up the wombs where living fountains were; Of Ethiopian lakes, wbich turn the brain Or earthquakes stop their ancient course, and bring To madness, or in heavy sleep constrain ? Diverted streams to feed a distant spring.
Clytorean streams the love of wine expel, So Lycus, swallow'd up, is seen no more,
(Such is the virtue of th' abstemious well) But far from thence knocks out another door. Whether the colder nymph that rules the flood Thus Erasinus dives; and blind in earth
Extinguishes, and balks the drunken god; Runs on, and gropes his way to second birth, Or that Melampus (so have some assur'd) Starts up in Argos meads, and shakes his locks When the mad Prætides with charms he curd, Around the fields, and fattens all the flocks. And powerful herbs, both charms and simples cast So Mysus by another way is led,
Into the sober spring, where still their virtues last. And, grown a river, now disdains his head :
“ Unlike effects Lyncestis will produce; Porgets his humble birth, his name forsakes, Who drinks his waters, though with moderate use, And the proud title of Caïcus takes.
Reels as with wine, and sees with double sight: Large Amenane, impure with yellow sands, His heels too heavy, and his head too light. Runs rapid often, and as often stands;
Ladon, once Pheneos, an Arcadian stream, And here he threats the drunken fields to drown, (Ambiguous in th’ effects, as in the name) And there his dugs deny to give their liquor down. By day is wholesome beverage; but is thought
“ Anigros once did wholesome draughts afford, By night infected, and a deadly draught. But now his deadly waters are abhorr'd:
“ Thus running rivers, and the standing lake, Since, hurt by Hercules, as Fame resounds, Now of these virtues, now of those partake: The Centaurs in his current wash'd their wounds, Time was (and all things Time and Fate obey) The streams of Hypanis are sweet no more, When fast Ortygia floated on the sea; But brackish lose their taste they had before. Such were Cyanean isles, when Typhis steerd Antissa, Pharos, Tyre, in seas were pent,
Betwixt their straits, and their collision fear'd; Once isles, but now increase the continent; They swam where now they sit; and firmly join'd While the Leucadian coast, main-land before, Secure of rooting up, resist the wind. By rushing seas is sever'd from the shore.
Nor Etna vomiting sulphureous fire So Zancle to th' Italian earth was ty'd,
Will ever belch; for sulphur will expire And men once walk'd where ships at anchor ride; (The veins exhausted of the liquid store); [more. Till Neptune overlook'd the narrow way,
Time was she cast no flames; in time will cast no And in disclain pour'd in the conquering sea.
“ For whether Earth's an animal, and air “ Two cities that adorn'd th’ Achaian ground, Imbibes, her lungs with coolness to repair, Buris and Helice, no more are found,
And what she sucks remits; she still requires But, whelm'd beneath a lake, are sunk and lulets for air, and outlets for her fires; drown'd;
When tortur'd with convulsive fits she shakes, And boatsmen through the crystal water show, That motion chokes the vent, till other vept she To wondering passengers, the walls below.
makes : " Near Træzen stands a hill, expos'd in air Or when the winds in hollow caves are clos'd, To winter winds, of leafy shadows bare:
And subtil spirits find that way oppos'd, This once was level ground: but (strange to tell) | They toss up flints in air; the Aints that hide Th’included vapours, that in caverns dwell, The seeds of fire, thus toss'd in air, collide, Labouring with colic pangs, and close confin'd, Kindling the sulphur, till, the fuel spent, In vain sought issue from the rumbling wind : The cave is cool'd, and the fierce winds relent. Yet still they heav'd for vent, and heaving still Or whether sulphur, catching fire, feeds on Enlarg'd the concave, and shot up the hill; Its unctuous parts, till, all the niatter gone, As breath extends a bladder, or the skins
The flames no more ascend; for earth supplies Of goats are blown t'enclose the hoarded wines : The fat that fecds them; and when earth denies The mountain yet retains a mountain's face, That food, by length of time consum'd, the fire, And gather'd rubbish heals the hollow space. Famish'd for want of fuel, must expire.
“Of many wonders, which I heard or knew, “A race of men there are, as Fame has told, Retrenching most, I will relate but few :
Who shivering suffer Hyperborean cold, What are not springs with qualities oppos'd Till, nine times bathing in Minerva's lake, Endued at seasons, and at seasons lost ?
Soft feathers to defend their naked sides they take, Thrice in a day thine, Ammon, change their form, 'Tis said, the Scythian wives (believe who will) Cold at high noon, at morn and evening warm : Transform themselves to birds by magic skill; Thine, Athaman, will kindle wood, if thrown Smear'd over with an oil of wondrous might, On the pild earth, and in the waning Moon. That adds new pinions to their airy flight. The Thracians have a stream, if any try
“ But this by sure experiment we know, The taste, bis harden'd bowels petrify;
That living creatures from corruption grow : Whate'er it touches it converts to stones,
Hide in a hollow pit a slaughter'd steer, And makes a marble pavement where it runs. Bees from his putrid bowels will appear;