Sidor som bilder


Not knowing 'twas my labor, I complain
Of sudden shootings, and of grinding pain :
My throes came thicker, and my cries in-

creas'd, Which with her hand the conscious nurse fup

press’d. To that unhappy fortune was I come, Pain urg'd my clamors, but fear kept me dumb. With inward struggling I restrain'd my

cries, And drunk the tears that trickled from

my eyes.

60 Death was in fight, Lucina gave no aid ; And even my dying had my guilt betray’d. Thou cam'ft, and in thy count'nance fate de.

spair; Rent were thy garments all, and torn thy



Yet feigning comfort, which thou couldst not

give, (Prest in thy arms, and whisp’ring me to live :) For both our fakes, (faidst thou) preserve thy

life ;

Live, my dear sister, and my dearer wife.
Rais’d by that name,


my last pangs I strove; Such pow'r have words, when spoke by those

we love.


The babe, as if he heard what thou hadft sworn, With hafty joy sprung forward to be born.



What helps it to have weather'd out one storm?
Fear of our father does another form.
High in his hall, rock'd in a chair of state, 75
The king with his tempestuous council fate.
Through this large room our only paffage lay,
By which we could the new-born babe convey.
Swath’d in her lap, the bold nurse bore him out,
With olive branches cover'd round about;
And, muttering pray’rs, as holy rites she meant,
Through the divided croud unquestion'd went.
Just at the door, th' unhappy infant cry’d:
The grandfire heard him, and the theft he spy’d.
Swift as a whirlwind to the nurse he flies,
And deafs his stormy subjects with his cries. .
With one fierce puff he blows the leaves

away :
Expos’d the self-discover’d infant lay.
The noise reach'd me, and my prefaging mind
Too foon its own approaching woes divin’d.
Not ships at sea with winds are shaken more,
Nor seas themselves, when angry tempests roar,
Than I, when my loud father's voice I hear:
The bed beneath me trembled with


fear. He rush'd upon me, and divulg'd my stain ; 95 Scarce from my murder could his hands refrain. I only answer'd him with silent tears; They flow'd: my tongue was frozen up

with fears. His little grand-child he commands away, To mountain wolves and ev'ry bird of

prey. 100

90 110

To say,

The babe cry'd out, as if he understood,
And begg’d his pardon with what voice he

could. By what expressions can my grief be shown ? (Yet you may guess my anguilh by your own) To see my bowels, and, what yet was worse, 105 Your bowels too, condemn'd to such a curse ! Out went the king; my voice its freedom found, My breasts I beat, my blubber'd cheeks I

wound. And now appear’d the messenger of death ; Sad were his looks, and scarce he drew his


“ Your father sends you"-(with that

word His trembling hands presented me a sword :) “ Your father sends you this ; and lets you

know, “ That your own crimes the use of it will show.” Too well I know the sense those words im

part: His present shall be treasur’d in


heart. 116 Are these the nuptial gifts a bride receives? And this the fatal dow'r a father gives ? Thou god of Marriage, fun thy own disgrace, And take thy torch from this detested place : 190 Instead of that, let furies light their brands, And fire my pile with their infernal hands.



With happier fortune may my sisters wed;
Warn’d by the dire example of the dead.
For thee, poor babe, what crime could they

pretend ?
How could thy infant innocence offend ?
A guilt there was ; but, oh, that guilt was mine!
Thou suffer'st for a sin that was not thine.
Thy mother's grief and crime! but just enjoy’d,
Shewn to my sight, and born to be destroy'd !
Unhappy offspring of my teeming womb !
Drag'd headlong from thy cradle to thy tomb!
Thy unoffending life I could not save,
Nor weeping could I follow to thy grave :
Nor on thy tomb could offer


shorn hair; 135 Nor shew the grief which tender mothers bear. Yet long thou shalt not from my arms be loft ; For foon I will o'ertake thy infant ghost. But thou, my love, and now my love's despair, Perform his funerals with paternal care. His scatter'd limbs with my dead body burn; And once more join us in the pious urn.

wounded breast thou dropp'st a tear, Think for whose fake my breast that wound did


If on my


And faithfully my last desires fulfil,

145 As I perform my cruel father's will.

Ver. 146. As I perform] The subject of this epistle is so very disgusting an:1 offensive, that I could not bring my mind to make any obfervation upon it, and fuppofe Dryden translated it only to complete the volume.


« FöregåendeFortsätt »