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As fast he follow'd in the hot career ;
Desire the lover wing'd, the virgin fear.
A snake unseen now pierc'd her heedless foot ;
Quick thro' the veins the venom'd juices shoot:
She fell, and 'scap'd by death his fierce pursuit.
Her lifelefs body, frighted, he embrac'd,
And cry'd, Not this I dreaded, but thy hafte:
O had my love been less, or less thy fear!
The victory thus bought is far too dear.
Accursed snake! yet I more curs’d than he !
He gave the wound; the cause was given by me.
Yet none shall say, that unreveng'd you dy'd.
He spoke; then climb'd a cliff's o’er-hanging side,
And, resolute, leap'd on the foaming tide.
Tethys receiv'd him gently on the wave ;
The death he fought deny'd, and feathers gave.
Debarr'd the surest remedy of grief,
And forc'd to live, he curft th’unask'd relief.
Then on his airy pinions upward flies,
And at a second fall successless tries ;
The downy plume a quick descent denies.
Enrag'd, he often dives beneath the wave,
And there in vain expects to find a grave.
His ceaseless forrow for th' unhappy maid
Meager'd his look, and on his fpirits prey'd.
Still near the founding deep he lives; his name
From frequent diving and emerging came.
Æfacus, the son of Priam, loving a country life, forsakeş
the court: living obscurely, be falls in love with a nymph; who flying from him, was killed by a ferpent; for grief of this, he would have drowned himself ; but by the pity of the Gods, is turned into a Cormorant. Priam, not bearing 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 summed up, in the present book, but so very briefly, in many places, that Ovid seems more short than Virgil, contrary to his usual fiyle. Yet the House of Fame, which is here described, is one of the most beautiful pieces in the whole Metamorphoses, The fight of Achilles and Cygnus, and the fray betwixt the Lapitha 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 wonder. fully moving
Rim, to whom the story was unknown,
As dead, deplor'd his metamorphos'd fon :
A Cenotaph his name and title kept,
And Hector round the tomb, with all his brothers, wept.
This pious office Paris did not share;
Absent alone, and author of the war,
Which, for the Spartan queen, the Grecians drew
T'avenge the rape, and Asia to subdue.
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 powers, they meet ;
But there, cross winds or calms detain'd the fleet.
Now, while they raise an altar on the shore,
And Jove with folemn sacrifice adore ;
A boding sign the priests and people see :
A snake of fize immense ascends a tree,
And, in the leafy summit, spy'd a neit,
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 drank 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 Mall first afflict our pow'rs :
of labour the nine birds portend; The tenth shall in the town's destruction end.
The serpent, who his maw obscene had fill'd,
The branches in his curl'd embraces held :
But as in spires he stood, he turn'd to stone :
The ftony snake retain’d the figure still his own.
Yet not for this the wind-bound navy weigh'd ;
Slack were their fails ; and Neptune disobey'd.
Some thought him loth the town should be destroy'd,
Whose building had his hands divine employ'd :
Not so the seer; who knew, and known foreshow'd,
The virgin Phoebe with a virgin's blood
Must first be reconcil'd; the common cause
Prevail'd ; and pity yielding to the laws,
Fair Iphigenia the devoted maid
Was, by the weeping priests, in linen robes array'd;
All 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 stop'd the coming blow.
A mist before the ministers she cast ;
And, in the virgin's room, a hind she plac'd.
Th’ oblation slain, and Phæbe réconcil'd,
The storm was hush'd, and dimpled ocean smild:
A favourable gale arose from shore,
Which to the port desir'd the Grecian gallies bore.
Full in the midst of this created space,
Betwixt heav'n, earth and skies, there stands a place
Confining on all three; with tripple bound;
Whence all things, tho' remote, are view'd around,
And thither bring their undulating found.
The palace of loud fame; her seat of pow'r;
Plac'd on the summit of a lofty tow'r ;
A thousand winding entries, long and wide,
Receive of fresh reports a flowing tide.
A thousand crannies in the walls are made;
Nor gate nor bars exclude the busy trade.
'Tis built of brass, the better to diffuse
The spreading sounds, and multiply the news ;
Where echo's in repeated echo's piay :
A mart for ever full, and open night and day.
Nor silence is within, nor voice express,
But a deaf noise of sounds that never cease;
Confus’d, and chiding, like the hollow roar
Of tides, receding from th' insulted shore :
Or like the broken thunder, heard from far,
When Jove to distance drives the rolling war.
The courts are fill'd with a tumultuous din
Of crouds, or iffuing forth, or entering in :
A thorough-fare of news : where some devise
Things never heard; some mingle truth with lies :
The troubled air with empty sounds they beat;
Intent to hear, and eager to repeat.
Error fits brooding there ; with added train
Of vain credulity, and joys as vain :
Suspicion, with fedition join'd, are near;
And rumors rais'd, and murmurs mix'd, and panique fear.
Fame fits aloft; and sees the subject ground,
And seas about, and skies above; enquiring all around.
'The Goddess gives th’alarm; and soon is known
The Grecian fleet, descending on the town.
Fix'd on defence the Trojans are not slow
To guard their fhore from an expected foe.
They meet in fight: by Hector's fatal hand
Protesilaus falls, and bites the firand,
Which with expence of blood the Grecians won ;
And prov'd the strength unknown of Priam's son.
And to their cost the Trojan leaders felt
The Grecian heroes, and what deaths they dealt.
From there first onsets, the Sigean shore
Was strew'd with carcasses, and stain’d with gore :
Neptunian Cygnus troops of Greeks had flain;
Achilles in his car had scour’d the plain,
And clear'd the Trojan ranks: where e'er he fought,
Cygnus, or Hector, through the fields he fought :
Cygnus he found ; on him his force eslay'd :
For Hector was to the tenth year delay'd.
His white-maned steeds, that bow'd beneath the yoke,
He chear’d to courage with a gentle stroke ;
Then urg'd his fiery chariot on the foe :
And rising hook his lance, in act to throw.
But first he cry'd, O youth, be proud to bear
Thy death, enobled by Pelides' spear.