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The judges to the commion urn bequeath
Their votes, and drop the fable signs of death;
The box receives all black; but pour'd from

thence The stones came candid forth, the hue of inno

cence. Thus Alimonides his fafety won, Preferv'd from death by Alcumena's son: Then to his kinsman god his vows be pays, , And cuts with prosp'rous gales th’ Ionian feas : He leaves Tarentum, favour'd hy the wind, 65 And Thurine bays, and Temises, behind ; Soft Sibaris, and all the capes that stand Along the shore, he makes in sight of land; Still doubling, and still coafting, till he found The mouth of Æfaris, and promis'd ground : 70 Then saw where, on the margin of the flood, The tomb that held the bones of Croton stood: Here, by the god's command, he built and wall’d The place predicted ; and Crotona callid : Thus fame, from time to time, delivers down 75 The fure tradition of th' Italian town. Here dwelt the man divine whom Samos

bore, But now self-banith'd from his native shore, Because he hated tyrants, nor could bear The chains which none but fervile fouls will




He, though from heaven remote, to heaven

could move, With strength of mind, and tread th' abyss

above; And penetrate, with his interior light, Those upper depths, which Nature hid from

fight : And what he had observ'd, and learnt from

thence, Lov'd in familiar language to dispense.

The crowd with filent admiration ftand, And heard him, as they heard their god's com

mand ; While he discours’d of heaven's mysterious

laws, The world's original, and nature's cause; 90 And what was God, and why the fleecy snows In silence fell, and rattling winds arose ; What shook the stedfast earth, and whence

begun The dance of planets round the radiant fun; If thunder was the voice of angry Jove, Or clouds, with nitre pregnant, burst above : Of these, and things beyond the common reach, He spoke, and charm’d his audience with his

fpeech. He first the taste of flesh from tables drove, And argued well, if arguments could move. 100




O mortals ! from your fellows' blood abstain, Nor taint your bodies with a food profane : While corn and pulse by nature are bestow'd, And planted orchards bend their willing load; While labour'd gardens wholesome herbs pro

duce, And teeming vines afford their generous juice; Nor tardier fruits of cruder kind are loft, But tam'd with fire, or mellow'd by the frost; While kine to pails distended udders bring, And bees their honey redolent of spring ; While earth not only can your needs fupply, But, lavish of her store, provides for luxury ; A guiltless feast administers with ease, And without blood is prodigal to please. Wild beasts their maws with their flain brethren

fill, And yet not all, for some refuse to kill : Sheep, goats, and oxen, and the nobler steed, On browz, and corn, the flowery meadows

feed. Bears, tigers, wolves, the lion's angry brood, Whom heaven endu'd with principles of blood, He wisely funder'd from the rest, to yell In forests, and in lonely caves to dwell, Where stronger beasts oppress the weak by

might, And all in prey and purple feasts delight.


121 135

O impious use! to Nature's laws oppos’d, 125 Where bowels are in other bowels clos'd : Where, fatten'd by their fellow's fat, they

thrive ; Maintain’d by murder, and by death they live. 'Tis then for nought that mother earth provides The stores of all the shows, and all the hides, 130 If men with fleshly morsels must be fed, And chaw with bloody teeth the breathing

bread : What else is this but to devour our guests, And barbarously renew Cyclopean feasts ! We, by destroying life, our life sustain ; And gorge th’ungodly maw with meats ob

scene. Not fo the golden age, who fed on fruit, Nor durft with bloody meals their mouths pol

lute. Then birds in airy space might safely move, And timorous hares on heaths fecurely rove: 140 Nor needed fith the guileful hooks to fear, For all was peaceful, and that peace

sincere. Whoever was the wretch (and curs'd be be) That envy'd first our food's fimplicity ; Th'essay of bloody feasts on brutes began, 145 And after forg’d the sword to murder man. Had he the sharpen'd steel alone employ'd On beasts of prey that other beasts dettroy'd,




Or men invaded with their fangs and paws,
This had been justify'd by Nature's laws,
And self-defence: but who did feasts begin
Of flesh, he stretch'd necessity to fin.
To kill man-killers, man has lawful pow'r,
But not th’extended licence, to devour.

Ill habits gather by unseen degrees,
As brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas.
The fow, with her broad fnout for rooting up
Th’intrusted seed, was judg’d to spoil the

And intercept the sweating farmer's hope :
The covetous churl, of unforgiving kind,
Th’offender to the bloody priest refign’d :
Her hunger was no plea ; for that she dy’d.
The goat came next in order, to be try'd :


cropt the tendrils of the vine :
In vengeance laity and clergy join,
Where one has lost his profit, one his wine.
Here was, at least, some shadow of offence:
The sheep was facrific'd on no pretence,
But meek and unresisting innocence.
A patient, useful creature, born to bear
The warm and woolly fleece, that cloath'd her

And daily to give down the milk she bred,
A tribute for the grass on which she fed.
Living, both food and raiment she supplies,
And is of least advantage when she dies.

The goat




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