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On Acis' bosom I'my head reclin'd :
And still preierve the poem in my
O lovely Galatea, whiter far
Than falling inows, and rising lilies are ;
More flow'ry than the meads, as crystal bright;
Erect as alders, and of equal height :
More wanton than a kid ; more sleek thy skin,
Than orient shells, that on the shores are seen :
Than apples fairer, when the boughs they lade;
Pleasing, as winter íuns, or summer shade :
More grateful to the fight, than goodly plains ;
And softer to the touch, than down of swans,
Or curds new turn'd; and sweeter to the taste,
Than swelling grapes, that to the vintage hafte :
More clear than ice, or running streams, that stray
Thro' garden plots, but ah! more swift than they.
Yet, Galatea, harder to be broke
Than bullocks, unreclaim'd to bear the yoke :
And far more ftubborn than the knotted oak :
Like sliding streams, impossible to hold;
Like them fallacious; like their fountains, cold :
More warping, than the willow, to decline
My warm embrace ; more brittle than the vine;
Immoveable, and fixt in thy disdain :
Rough, as these rocks, and of a harder grain ;
More violent, than is the rising flood :
And the prais'd peacock is not half so proud :
Fierce as the fire, and sharp as thistles are ;
And more outrageous, than a mother-bear :
Deaf as the billows to the vows I make ;
And more revengeful than a trodden snake :
In swiftness fleeter than the flying hind,
Or driven tempests, or the driving wind.
All other faults with patience I can bear ;
But swiftness is the vice I only fear.
Yet if you knew me well, you would not shun
My love, but to my wish'd embraces run:
Would languish in your turn, and court my stay ;
And much repent of your unwise delay.
My palace, in the living rock, is made
By nature's hand; a spacious pleasing fhade ;
Which neither heat can pierce, nor cold invade.
My garden fill'd with fruits you may behold,
And grapes in clusters, imitating gold;
Some blushing bunches of a purple hue :
And these, and those, are all reserv'd for you.
Red strawberries in shades expecting stand,
Proud to be gather'd by so white a hand.
Autumnal cornels latter fruit provide,
And plumbs, to tempt you, turn their glossy side :
Not those of common kinds ; but such alone,
As in Phæacian orchards might have grown:
Nor chesnuts shall be wanting to your food,
Nor garden-fruits, nor wildings of the wood;
The laden boughs for you alone shall bear;
And yours shall be the product of the year.
The flocks, you see, are all my own; beside
The rest that woods and winding vallies hide ;
And those that folded in the caves abide.
Ak not the numbers of my growing store ;
Who knows how many, knows he has no more.
Nor will I praise my cattle ; trust not me,
But judge yourself, and pass your own decree :
Behold their swelling dugs; the sweepy weight
Of ewes, that sink beneath the milky freight;
In the warm folds their tender lambkins lie;
Apart from kids, that call with human cry.
New milk in nut-brown bowls is duly serv'd
For daily drink; the rest for cheese referv’d.
Nor are these houshold dainties all my store :
The fields and forests will afford us more ;
The deer, the hare, the goat, the favage boar.
All sorts of ven’son ; and of birds the best;
A pair of turtles taken from the nest.
I walk'd the mountains, and two cubs I found,
Whose dam had left 'em on the naked ground;
So like, that no distinction could be seen;
So pretty, they were presents for a queen;
And so they shall; I took them both away;
And keep, to be companions of your play.
Oh raile, fair nymph, your beauteous face above The waves; nor scorn my presents, and my
love. Come, Galatea, come, and view my face ; I late beheld it, in the wat’ry glass, And found it lovelier, than I fear'd it was. Survey my tow'ring stature, and my fize : Not Jove, the Jove you dream, that rules the skies, Bears such a bulk, or is fo largely spread : My locks (the plenteous harvest of my head) Hang o'er my manly face ; and dangling down, As with a shady grove, my shoulders crown. Nor think, because my limbs and body bear A thick-fet underwood of bristling hair, My shape deform'd : what fouler fight can be, Than the bald branches of a leafless tree? Foul is the steed without a flowing mane ; And birds, without their feathers, and their train. Wool decks the sheep; and man receives a grace From bushy limbs, and from a bearded face. My forehead with a single eye is fillid, Round as a ball, and ample as a shield. The glorious lamp of heaven, the radiant sun, Is nature's eye ; and she's content with one. Add, that my father sways your feas, and I, Like you, am of the watry family. I make you his, in making you my own; You I adore, and kneel to you alone :
Jove, with his fabled thunder, I despise,
And only fear the lightning of your eyes.
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 love of Acis, heav'ns! I cannot bear.
But let the tripling please himself; nay more,
Please you, tho' that's the thing I most abhor
The boy shall find, if e'er we cope in fight,
These giant limbs endu'd with giant might.
His living bowels from his belly torn,
And scatter'd limbs, shall on the flood be borne,
Thy flood, ungrateful nymph; and fate fall find
That way for thee and Acis to be join'd.
For oh! I burn with love, and thy disdain.
Augments at once my passion, and my pain.
Translated Ærna flames within my heart,
And thou, inhuman, wilt not
Lamenting thus in vain, he rose, and strode
With furious paces to the neighb’ring wood:
Restless his feet, distracted was his walk;
Mad were his motions, and confus’d his talk.
Mad as the vanquish'd bull, when forc'd to yield
His lovely mistreis, and forsake the field.
Thus far unseen I saw: when, fatal chance
His looks directing, with a sudden glance,
Acis and I were to his fight betray'd ;
Where, nought fufpecting, we securely play'd.
From his wide mouth a bellowing cry he cast;
I see, I see, but this shall be your last.
A roar so loud made Ætna to rebound;
And all the Cyclops labour'd in the found.
Affrighted with his monstrous voice, I fled,
And in the neighb'ring ocean plung'd my head.
Poor Acis turn'd his back, and, Helf, he cry'd,
Help, Galatea, help, my parent Gods,
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 issu'd 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 thro' the yawning chink
New reeds arose, on the new river's brink.
The rock, from out its hollow womb, disclos'd
A sound like water in its course opposid :
When (wond'rous to behold) full in the food,
Up starts a youth, and navel high he stood.
Horns from his temples rise ; and either horn
Thick wreaths of reeds (his native growth) adorn;
Were not his ftature taller than before,
His bulk augmented, and his beauty more,
His colour blue, for Acis he might pass :
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.