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Let old Timotheus yield the Prize,
Or both divide the Crown;
At last, Divine Cecilia came,
Inventress of the Vocal Frame ;
Enlarg’d the former narrow Bounds,
[fore. With Nature's Mother-Wit, and Arts unknown be
Let old Timotheus gield the Prize,
Or both divide the Crown;
She drew an Angel down.
TWELFTH BO OK
Connection to the End of the Eleventh Book. Æfacus, the Son of Priam, loving a Country-Life,
for fakes the Court: Living obscurely, he falls in Love with a Nymph; who flying from him, was kill'd by a Serpent ; for Grief of this, he wou'd have drown'd himself ; but by the pity of the Gods, is turn'd into a Cormorant. Priam, not hearing of Æfacus, believes him to be dead, and raises a Tomb to preserve his Memory. By this Transition, which is one of the finest in all Ovid, the Poet naturally falls into the Story of the Trojan War, which is summ’d up, in the present Book, but so very briefly, in many places, that Ovid seems more short than Virgil, contrary, to his usual Style. Yet the House of Fame, which is here describ'd, is one of the most beautiful Pieces in the whole Metamorphoses. The Fight of Achilles and Cygnus, and the Fray betrvixt the Lapythæ and Centaurs, yield to no other part of this Poet: And particularly the Loves and Death of Cyllarus and Hylonome, the Male and Female Centaur, are wonderfully moving.
RIAM, to whom the Story was
[wept. And Hector round the Tomb, with all his Brothers
This pious Office Paris did not share,
A thousand Ships were mann'd, to fail the Sea:Nor had their just Resentments found delay, Had not the Winds and Waves oppos'd their way. At Aulis, with United Pow'rs they meet, But there, Cross-winds or Calms detain'd the Fleet.
Now, while they raise an Altar on the Shore, And Jove with solemn Sacrifice adore; A boding Sign the Priests and People fee: A Snake of size immense ascends a Tree, And, in the leafie Summet, spy'd a Nest, Which, o'er her Callow young, a Sparrow press’d. Eight were the Birds unfledg'd; their Mother flew; And hover'd round her Care; but still in view: Till the fierce Reptile first devour'd the Brood; Then seiz'd the flutt'ring Dam,and drunk her Blood. This dire Oftent, the fearful People view; Calchas alone, by Phæbus taught, foreknew What Heav'n decreed; and with a smiling Glance, Thus gratulates to Greece her happy Chance. O Argives, we shall Conquer: Troy is ours, But long Delays shall first afflict our Pow'rs: Nine Years of Labour, the nine Birds portend; The Tenth shall in the Town's Destruction end.
The Serpent, who his Maw obscene had filld, The Branches in his curl'd Embraces held: But, as in Spires he stood, he turn’d to Stone: The stony Snake retain’d the Figure still his own.
Yet, not for this, the Wind-bound Navy weigh’d, Slack were their Sails; and Neptune disobey'd. Some thought him loath the Town fhou'd be de.
stroy'd, Whose building had his Hands divine employ'd : Not so the Seer;who knew,and known foreshow'd, The Virgin Phæbe, with a Virgin's Blood Must first be reconcil'd; the common Caufe Prevail d; and Pity yielding to the Laws, Fair Iphigenia the devoted Maid
[ray'd; Was, by the weeping Priests, in Linnen-RobesarAll mourn her Fate; but no Relief appear'd: The Royal Victim bound, the Knife already rear'd: When that offended Pow'r, who caus'd their Woe, Relenting ceas'd her Wrath;and stopp'd the coming A Mist before the Ministers she cast;
[Blow. And, in the Virgin's room, a Hind she plac'd. Th’Oblation flain, and Phebe reconcild, The Storm was hush'd, and dimpled Ocean smild: