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Tell me, my lord, she said, what fault unknown
Thy once belov’d Alcyone has done?
Whither, ah whither is thy kindness gone!
Can Ceyx then sustain to leave his wife,
And unconcern’d forsake the sweets of life?
What can thy mind to this long journey move,
Or need'st thou absence to renew thy love ?
Yet, if thou goeft by land, tho' grief poffefs
My soul even then, my fears will be the less.
But ah! be warn’d to thun the watry way,
The face is frightful of the stormy fea.
For late I saw a-drift disjointed planks,
And empty tombs erected on the banks.
Nor let false hopes to trust betray thy mind,
fire in caves constrains the wind, Can with a breath a clam'rous rage appeale, They fear his whistle, and forsake the seas ; Not so, for once, indulg'd, they sweep the main : Deaf to the call, or hearing hear in vain ; But bent on mischief bear the waves before, And not content with seas insult the More; When 'ocean, air, and earth, at once engage, And rooted forests fly before their rage : At once the clashing clouds to battle move, And lightnings run across the fields above : Į know them well, and mark'd their rude comport, While yet a child, within my father's court: In times of tempest they command alone, And he but fits precarious on the throne: The more I know, the more my fears augment, And fears are oft ‘prophetic of th’event. But if not fears, or reasons will prevail, If fate has fix'd thee obstinate to fail, Go not without thy wife, but let me bear, My part of danger with an equal share, And present suffer what I only fear ;
26 CE Y X and A L C Y O'NE.
Then o'er the bounding billows fhall we fly,
Secure to live together, or to die.
These reasons mov'd her starlike husband's heart,
But still he held his purpose to depart :
For as he lov'd her equal to his life,
He wou'd not to the seas expose his wife ;
Nor could be wrought his voyage to refrain,
But sought by arguments to sooth her pain ;
Nor these avail'd ; at length he lights on one,
With which fo difficult a cause he won :
My love, so short an absence cease to fear,
For by my father's holy flame, I swear,
Before two moons their orb with light adorn,
If heav'n allow me life, I will return.
This promise of fo short a ftay prevails;
He soon equips the ship, supplies the fails,
And gives the word to lanch; the trembling views
This pomp of death, and parting tears renews :
Last, with a kiss, she took a long farewel,
Sigh'd, with a sad presage, and swooning fell;
While Ceyx seeks delays, the lusty crew,
Rais'd on their banks, their oars in order drew
To their broad breasts, the ship with fury flew.
recover'd rears her humid eyes,
And first her husband on the poop espies
Shaking his hand at distance on the main;
She took the fign; and took her hand again.
Still as the ground recedes, retracts her view
With sharpen'd fight, till she no longer knew
The much lov'd face; that comfort loft supplies
With less, and with the galley feeds her eyes ;
The galley born from view by rising gales,
She follow'd with her fight the flying fails :
When ev'n the flying fails were seen no more,
Forsaken of all fight, she left the shore.
Then on her bridal bed her body throws,
And fought in sleep her weary'd eyes to close:
Her husband's pillow, and the widow'd part
Which once he press’d, renew'd the former smart.
And now a breeze from shore began to blow,
The sailors ship their oars, and cease to row;
Then hoist their yards a-trip, and all their sails
Let fall, to court the wind, and catch the gales :
By this the vessel half her course had run,
And as much reited till the rising sun ;
Both shores were lost to fight, when at the close
Of day, a ftiffer gale at east arose :
The sea grew white, the rolling waves from far,
Like heralds, first denounce the watry war.
This seen, the master soon began to cry,
Strike, strike the top-fail ; let the main-sheet fly,
And furl your fails: the winds repel the found,
And in the speaker's mouth the speech is drown'd.
Yet of their own accord, as danger taught,
Each in his way, officiously they wrought;
Some stow their oars, or stop the leaky fides,
Another bolder yet the yard bestrides,
And folds the fails ; a fourth, with labor, laves
Th’intruding seas, and waves ejects on waves.
In this confusion while their work they ply,
The winds augment the winter of the sky,
And wage intestine wars; the suff’ring seas
Are toss'd, and mingled as their tyrants please.
The master would command, but, in despair
Of safety, stands amaz'd with stupid care,
Nor what to bid, or what forbid he knows,
Th’ungovern'd tempeft to such fury grows ;
Vain is his force, and vainer is his skill;
With such a concourse comes the flood of ill :
The cries of men are mix'd with rattling Throwds ;
Seas dash on seas, and clouds encounter clouds;
At once from east to west, from pole to pole,
The forky lightnings flash, the roaring thunders roll.
Now waves on waves ascending scale the skies,
And, in the fires above, the water fries :
When yellow sands are fifted from below,
The glitt'ring billows give a golden show :
And when the fouler bottom spews the black,
The Stygian dye the tainted waters take :
Then frothy white appear the flatted feas,
And change their colour, changing their disease.
Like various fits the Trachin veffel finds,
And now sublime she rides upon the winds;
As from a lofty summit looks from high,
And from the clouds beholds the nether ky;
Now from the depth of hell they lift their fight,
And at a distance fee superior light:
The lashing billows make a loud report,
And beat her sides, as batt’ring rams a fort :
Or as a lion, bounding in his way
With force augmented bears against his prey ;
Sidelong to seize : or unapal'd with fear
Springs on the toils, and rushes on the spear :
So feas impellid by winds with added pow'r
Assaults the sides, and o'er the hatches tow'r.
The planks, their pitchy cov’rings wash'd away,
Now yield; and now a yawning breach display:
The roaring waters with a hostile tide
Rush through the ruins of her gaping fide,
Mean time in sheets of rain the sky descends,
And ocean swell’d with waters upwards tends,
One rising, falling one ; the heav'ns and sea
Meet at their confines, in the middle way :
"The fails are drunk with show'rs, and drop with rain,
Sweet waters mingle with the briny main.
No ftar appears to lend his friendly light:
Darkness and tempeft make a double night.
But flashing fires disclose the deep by turns,
And while the lightnings blaze, the water burns.
Now all the waves their scatter'd force unite,
And as a soldier, foremost in the fight,
Makes way for others, and an host alone
Still presses on, and urging gains the town;
So while th’invading billows come a-breast,
The hero tenth, advanc'd before the rest,
Sweeps all before him with impetuous fway,
And from the walls defcends upon the prey;
Part following enter, part remain without,
With envy hear their fellows conqu’ring sout,
And mount on others backs, in hope to share
The city, thus become the seat of war.
An universal cry resounds aloud,
The failors run in heaps, a helpless crowd;
Art fails, and courage falls, no succour near;
As many waves, as many deaths appear.
One weeps, and yet despairs of late relief;
One cannot weep, his fears congeal his grief;
But, stupid, with dry eyes expects his fate.
One with loud shrieks laments his loft estate,
And calls those happy whom their fun’rals wait.
This wretch with pray’rs and vows the Gods implores,
And ev'n the skies he cannot see, adores.
That other on his friends his thoughts bestows,
His careful father, and his faithful spouse.
The covetous worldling in his anxious mind
Thinks only on the wealth he left behind.
All Ceyx his Alcyone employs,
For her he grieves, yet in her absence joys :
His wife he wishes, and would still be near,
Not her with him, but wilhes him with her:
Now with last looks he seeks his native shore,
Which fate has deftin'd him to see no more;