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A roar so loud inade Ætna to rebound;
And all the Cyclops labour'd in the found.
Affrighted with his monstrous voice, I fled,
And in the neighbouring ocean plung’d my
Poor Acis turn'd his back, and, Help, he cry'd,
Help, Galatea ! help, my parent god: ,
And take me dying to your deep abodes!
The Cyclops follow'd; but he sent before
A rib, which from the living rock he tore :
Though but an angle reach'd him of the stone,
The mighty fragment was enough alone
To crush all Acis ; 'twas too late to save,
But what the fates allow'd to give, I gave :
That Acis to his lineage should return;
And roll, among the river gods, his urn.
Straight issued from the stone a stream of blood;
Which lost the purple, mingling with the flood.
Then like a troubled torrent it appear’d:
The torrent too, in little space, was clear'd.
The stone was cleft, and through the yawning
chink New reeds arose, on the new river's brink. The rock, from out its hollow womb, disclos'd A found like water in its course oppos'd : When (wondrous to behold) full in the flood Up starts a youth, and navel-high he stood. 225
Horns from his temples rise; and either horn
Thick wreaths of reeds (his native growth)
Were not his stature taller than before,
His bulk augmented, and his beauty more,
His colour blue, for Acis he might pafs :
And Acis chang’d into a stream he was.
But mine no more, he rolls along the plains
With rapid motion, and his name retains.
FROM THE FIFTEENTH BOOK OF
The fourteenth Book concludes with the death and
deification of Romulus; the fifteenth begins with the election of Numa to the crown of Rome. On this occafon, Ovid, following the opinion of some authors, makes Numa the scholar of Pythagoras ; and to have begun his acquaintance with that philofopher at Crotona, a town in Italy; from thence he makes a digreson to the moral and natural philosophy of Pythagoras : on both which our author enlarges; and which are the most learned and beautiful parts of the Metamorphoses,
A KING is sought to guide the growing
state, One able to support the public weight, And fill the throne where Romulus had fate.
It is a fingular circumstance, that neither Lucretius nor Pupe finished their philosophical poems. Ovid has not set forth the Pythagorcan philofophy so well as Lucretius the Epicurean,
Dr. J. WARTON.
Renown, which oft bespeaks the public voice,
Had recommended Numa to their choice:
A peaceful, pious prince ; who, not content
To know the Sabine rites, his ftudy bent
To cultivate his mind : to learn the laws
Of nature, and explore their hidden caufe.
Urg'd by this care, his country he forfook, 10
And to Crotona thence his journey took.
Arriv'd, he first enquir'd the founder's name
Of this new colony; and whence he came.
Then thus a senior of the place replies,
(Well read, and curious of antiquities)
'Tis faid, Alcides hither took his way
From Spain, and drove along his conquer'd prey;
Then, leaving in the fields his grazing cows,
He fought himself some hospitable house.
Good Croton entertain’d his godlike guest; 20
While he repair’d his weary limbs with reft.
The hero, thence departing, blefs'd the place;
And here, he said, in Time's revolving race,
A rising town shall take its name from thee.
Revolving Time fulfill’d the prophecy:
For Myfcelos, the justest man on earth,
Alemon's son, at Argos had his birth :
Him Hercules, arm'd with his club of oak,
O'ershadow'd in a dream, and thus bespoke;
Go, leave thy native foil, and make abode 30
Where Æfaris rolls down his rapid food,
He said; and sleep forfook him, and the god.
Trembling he wak’d, and rose with anxious
His country laws forbad him to depart:
What should he do? "I'was death to go away; 35
And the god menac'd if he dar'd to stay :
All day he doubted, and, when night came on,
Sleep, and the same forewarning dream, begun:
Once more the god fiood threatning o'er his
With added curses if he disobey'd.
Twice warn’d, he ftudy'd fight; but would con-
his person and his wealth away.
Thus while he linger'd, his design was heard;
A speedy process form’d, and death declar'd.
Witness there needed none of his offence,
Against himself the wretch was evidence :
Condemn’d, and deftitute of human aid,
To him, for whom he suffer'd, thus he pray'd.
O Power, who haft deserv'd in heaven a
Not given, but by thy labours made thy own, 50
Pity thy suppliant, and protect his cause,
Whom thou haft made obnoxious to the laws,
A custom was of old, and still remains,
Which life or death by fuffrages ordains ;
White ftones and black within an urn are cast, 55.
The first abfolve, but fate is in the last.