Sidor som bilder
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Ovid, having told bow Theseus bad freed Athens from

the tribute of children, which was imposed on them by Minos king of Creta, by killing the Minotaur, here makes a digresion to the story of Meleager and Atalanta, which is one of the most inartificial connections in all the Metamorphoses : for he only says, that Theseus obtained such honour from that combat, that all Greece had recourse to him in their necesīties ; and, amongst others, Calydon ; though the hero of that country, prince Meleager, was then living.


him, the Caledonians fought relief;
Though valiant Meleagrus was their chief.
The causė, a boar, who ravag'd far and near :
Of Cynthia's wrath, th' avenging minifter.
For Oeneus, with autumnal plenty bless’d,
In gifts to heaven his gratitude express’d :
Cull’d fheaves, to Ceres ; to Lyæus, wine;
To Pan, and Pales, offer'd sheep and kine ;
And fat of olives, to Minerva's Mrine.





Beginning from the rural Gods, his hand
Was liberal to the powers of high command :

Each Deity in every kind was bless’d,
Till at Diäna's fane th’invidious honour ceas'd. % 107
Wrath touches ev'n the Gods-; the queen of night,
Fir'd with disdain, and jealous of her right,
Unhonour'd though I am, at least, said the,
Not unrevengd that impious act shall be.
Swift as the word, the sped the boar away,
With charge on those devoted fields to prey.

1 No larger bulls th' Ægyptian pastures feed, And none fo large Sicilian meadows breed : His eye-balls glare with fire, suffus'd with blood ; His neck shoots up a thick set thorny wood; His bristled back a trench impal'd appears, And stands erected, like a field of spears. Froth fills his chaps, he sends a grunting found, And part he churns, and part befoams the ground, For tusks with Indian elephants he ftrove, And Jove's own thunder from his mouth he drove, He burns the leaves ; the scorching blast invades The tender corn, and thrivels-up the blades : Prs suffering not their yellow beards to rear, He tramples down the spikes, and intercepts the year. In vain the barns expeet their promis'd load, Nor barns at home, nor reeks are heap'd abroad : In vain the hinds the threshing-floor prepare, And exercise their fails in empty air. With olives ever green the ground is strow'd, And grapes ungather'd shed their generous blood.

Amid the fold he rages, nor the sheep
Their shepherds, nor the grooms their bulls can keep.

From fields to walls the frighted rabble run,
Nor think themselves fecure within the town:
Till Meleagrus, and his chosen crew,
Contemn the danger, and the praise pursue.
Fair Leda's twins, (in time to Aars decreed)
One fought on foot, one curb'd the fiery steed;
Then issued forth fam’d Jason after these,
Who mann'd the foremost ship that sail'd the seas'
Then Theseus join'd with bold Pirithous came :
A single concord in a double name:
The Thestian sons, Idas who swiftly ran,
And Ceneus, once a woman, now a man.
Lynceus, with eagle's eyes and lion's heart;
Leucippus, with his never-erring dart 5
Acaftus, Phileus, Phænix, Telamon,
Echion, Lelex, and Eurytion,
Achilles' father, and great Phocus' sons
Dryas the fierce, and Hippasus the strong;
With twice old lolas, and Neftor then but young.
Laertes active, and Ancæus bold;
Mopsus the sage, who future things foretold ;
And t'other seer yet by his wife unfold.
A thousand others of immortal fame ;
Among the rest fair Atalanta came,
Grace of the woods; a diamond buckle bound
Her veft behind, that else had flow'd upon the ground,
And Thew'd her bufkin'd legs; her head was bare,
But for her native ornament of hair ;





« FöregåendeFortsätt »