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THE TRANSFORMATION OF DAPHNE
He view'd her eyes, like heavenly lamps that
shone! INTO A LAUREL.
He view'd her lips, too sweet to view alone,
Her taper fingers, and her panting breast;
Believes the beauties yet unseen are best.
Thou shuun'st a god, and shunn'st a god, that Resistless are my shafts; and Python late,
loves. In such a feather'd death, has found his fate. Ah, lest some thorn should pierce thy tender foot, Take up thy torch, and lay my weapons by; Or thou should'st fall in Aying my pursuit! With that the feeble souls of lovers fry.”
To sharp uneven ways thy steps decline; To whom the son of Venus thus reply'd :
Abate thy speed, and I will bate of mine. “ Phoebus, thy shafts are sure on all beside; Yet think from whom thou dost so rashly fly; But mine on Phæbus: mine the fame shall be Nor basely born, nor shepherd's swain am I. Of all thy conquests, when I conquer thee.” .Perhaps thou know'st not my superior state;
He said, and soaring swiftly wing'd bis flight; And from that ignorance proceeds thy hate.
Me Claros, Delphos, Tenedos obey :
The king of gods begot me: what shall be,
Or is, or ever was, in fate, I see.
Sure is my bow, unerring is my dart;
In fields and forests, all their powers 1 know; The scornful damsel shuns his loath'd embrace : And am the great physician cal”d below. In bunting beasts of prey her youth employs; Alas, that fields and forests can afford And Phæbe rivals in her rural joys.
No remedies to heal their love-sick lord ! With naked neck she goes, and shoulders bare, To cure the pains of love, no plant avails; And with a fillet binds her flowing hair.
And his own physic the physician fails.” By many suitors sought, she mocks their pains, She heard not balf, so furiously she Alies, And still her vow'd virginity maintains.
And on her ear th’imperfect accent dies. Impatient of a yoke, the name of bride
Fear gave her wings; and as she fled, the wind She shuns, and hates the joys she never try'd. Increasing spread her flowing hair behind; On wilds and wood she fixes her desire :
And left her legs and thighs exposd to view; Nor knows what youth and kindly love inspire. Which made the god more eager to pursue. Her father chides her oft: “ Thou ow'st,” says he, The god was young, and was too hotly bent “ A husband to thyself, a son to me.”
To lose bis time in empty compliment: She, like a crime, abhors the nuptial bed :
But, led by Love, and fir'd by such a sight, She glows with blushes, and she hangs her head. Impetuously pursued his near delight. Then, casting round his neck her tender arms, As when th’ impatient greyhound, slipt from far, Soothes him with blandishments and filial charms: Bounds o'er the glebe, to course the fearful bare, “Give me, my lord,” she said, “ to lie, and die, She in her speed does all her safety lay; A spotless maid, without the marriage-tie.
And he with double speed pursues the prey; 'Tis but a small request; I beg no more
O’er-runs her at the sitting turn, and licks Than what Diana's father gave before.”
His chaps in vain, and blows upon the flix: The good old sire was soften'd to consent ;
She scapes, and for the neighbouring covert strives, But said, her wish would prove her punishment: And, gaining shelter, doubts if yet she lives : For so much youth, and so much beauty join'd, If little things with great we may compare, Opposid the state, which her desires design'd. Such was the god, and such the flying fair: The god of light, aspiring to her bed,
She, urg'd by fear, her feet did swiftly move; Hopes what he seeks, with flattering fancies fed; But he more swistly, who was urg'd by love. And is by his own oracles misled.
He gathers ground upon her in the chase : And as in empty fields the stubble burns,
Now breathes upon her hair, with nearer pace; Or nightly travellers, when day returns,
And just is fastening on the wish'd embrace. Their useless torches on dry hedges throw,
The nymph grew pale, and in a mortal fright, That catch the flames, and kindle all the row; Spent with the labour of so long a flight; So burns the god, consuming in desire,
And now despairing cast a mournful look, And feeding in his breast the fruitless fire:
Upon the streains of her paternal brook : Her well-turn'd neck he view'd (her neck was bare) “Oh, help,” she cry'd, " in this extremest need, And on her shoulders her dishevell’d hair:
If water-gods are deities indeed: « Oh, were it comb’d,” said he, “with what a grace Gape, Earth, and this unhappy wretch entomb: Would every waving curl become her face !"
Or change my form whence all my sorrows come."
Scarce had she finish’d, when her feet she found . Invites thee toʻyon cooler shades, to shun
Nor shalt thou tempt the dangers of the grove Her hair to leaves, her arms extend to boughs: Alone without a guide ; thy guide is Jove. The nymph is all into a laurel gone,
No puny power, but he, whose high command The smoothness of ber skin remains alone.
Is uncontin'd, who rules the seas and land, Yet Phæbus loves her still, and, casting round And tempers thunder in his awful band. Her bole, his arms, some little warmth he fouvd. Oh, fly not" -- (for she fled from his embrace The tree still panted in th' unfinish'd part, O'er Lerna's pastures) he pursued the chas Not wholly vegetive, and heav'd her heart. Along the shades of the Lyrcæan plain; He fix'd his lips upon the trembling rind;
At length the god who never asks in vain, It swerv'd aside, and his embrace declin'd. Involv'd with vapours, iinitating night, [flight, To whom the god : “ Because thou canst not be Both air and earth; and then suppress'd her My mistress, I espouse thee for my tree:
And, mingling force with love, enjoy'd the full Be thou the prize of honour and renown;
delight. The deathless poet, and the poem, crown.
Mean-time the jealous Juno, from on high Thou shalt the Roman festivals adorn,
Survey'd the fruitful fields of Arcady ; And, after poets, be by victors worn.
And wonderd that the mist should over-run Thou shalt returning Cæsar's triumph grace; The face of day-light, and obscure the Sun. When pomps shall in a long procession pass: No natural cause she found, from brooks or bogs, Wreath'd on the post before his palace wait; Or marshy lowlands to produce the fogs : And be the sacred guardian of the gate:
Then round the skies she sought for Jupiter, Secure from thunder, and unharı'd by Jove, Her faithless husband; but no Jove was there. Unfading as th' immortal powers above:
Suspecting now the worst,“ Orl," she said, And as the locks of Phæbus are unshorn,
Am much mistaken, or am much betray'd.” So shall perpetual green thy boughs adorn." With fury she precipitates her flight; The grateful Tree was pleas'd with what he said, Dispels the shadows of dissembled night, And shook the shady honours of her head. And to the day restores his native light.
Th'almighty leacher, careful to prevent
The consequence, foreseeing her descent, THE TRANSFORMATION OF 19 INTO AN Transforms his mistress in a trice: and now HEIFER.
In lo's place appears a lovely cow.
So sleek her skin, so faultless was her make, An ancient forest in Thessalia grows,
Ev’n Juno did unwilling pleasure take Which Tempe's pleasant valley does enclose; To see so fair a rival of her love; Through this the rapid Peneus takes his course, And what she was, and whence, inquir'd of Jove: From Pindus rolling with impetuous force: Of what fair herd, and from what pedigree? Mists from the river's mighty fall arise ;
The god half-caught was forc'd upon a lie; And deadly damps enclose the cloudy skies: And said, she sprung from earth. She took the Perpetual fogs are banging o'er the wood;
word, And sounds of waters deaf the neighbourhood : And begg'd the beauteous heifer of ber lord. Deep, in a rocky cave, he makes abode:
What should he do? 'twas equal shame to Jove, A mansion proper for a mourning god.
Or to relinquish, or betray his love: Here he gives audience; issuing out decrees Yet to refuse so slight a gist, would be To rivers, his dependent deities.
But more to increase his consort's jealousy: On this orcasion hither they resort,
Thus Fear, and Love, by turns his heart assaild; To pay their homage, and to make their court, And stronger Love had sure at length prevail’d; All doubtful, whether to congratulate
But some faint hope remain'd, his jealous queen His daughter's honour, or lament her fate. Had not the mistress through the heifer seen. Sperchæus, crown'd with poplar, first appears;
The cautious goddess of her gift possest, Then old A pidaous came crown'd with years : Yet harbourd anxious thoughts within her breast; Enipeus turbulent, Amphrysos tame;
As she who knew the falsehood of her Jove,
And justly fear'd some new relapse of love.
The head of Argus (as with stars the skies)
But two by turns their lids in slumber steep; Wept not another's losses, but bis own;
The rest on duty still their station keep;' For his dear lo, whether stray'd or dead,
Nor could the total constellation sleep. To him uncertain, doubtful tears he shed.
Thus, ever present to his eyes and mind, He sought her through the world, but sought in His charge was still before him, though behind, vain;
In fields he suffer'd her to feed by day; And, no where finding, rather feard her slain. But, when the setting Sun to night gave way,
Her, just returning from her father's brock, The captive cow he summond with a call, Jove had beheld with a desiring look;
And drove her back, and ty'd her to the stall. “And, oh, fair daughter of the flood,” he said, On leaves of trees and bitter herbs she fed, Worthy alone of Jove's imperial bed,
Heaven was her canopy, bare earth her bed ;
She drank from troubled streams defil'd with mud.
Her woful story fain she would have told,
Clad like a country swain, he pip'd, and sung; With hands upheld, but had no hands to hold. And playing drove his jolly troop along. Her head to her ungentle keeper bow'd,
With pleasure Argus the musician heeds; She strove to speak; she spoke not, but she low'd. But wonders much at those new vocal reeds. Affrighted with the noise, she look'd around, “ And whosoe'er thou art, my friend,” said he, And seem'd t'inquire the author of the sound. “ Up hither drive thy goats, and play by me:
Once on the banks where often she had play'd This hill has brouze for them, and shade for thee." (Her father's banks) she came, and there sur The god, who was with ease induc'd to climb, vey'd
Began discourse to pass away the time; Her alterd visage, and her branching head ; And still betwixt his tuneful pipe he plies, And starting from herself she would have fled. And watch'd his hour, to close the keeper's eyes. Her fellow-pymphs, familiar to her eyes,
With much ado, he partly kept awake; Bebeld, but know ber not in this disguise.
Not suffering all his eyes repose to take: Ev'n Inachus himself was ignorant;
And ask'd the stranger, who did reeds invent,
And whence became so rare an instrument.
THE TRANSFORMATION OF SYRINX INTO And her neck offers to their stroking hands :
Tuen Hermes thus; “ A nymph of late there was,
Syrinx her name, by Sylvans oft pursu'd, “ Ah wretched me!” her mournful father cry'd; As oft she did the lustful gods delude: She with a sigh to teretched me reply'd :
The rural and the wood-land powers disdain'd; About her milk-white neck his arms he threw, With Cynthia hunted, and her rites maintain'; And wept, and then these tender words ensue: Like Phæbe clad, ev'n Phæbe's self she seems, " And art thou she, whom I have sought around So tall, so straight, such well-proportion'd limbs : The world, and have at length so sadly found? The nicest eye did no distinction know, So found, is worse than lost: with mutual words But that the goddess hore a golden bow: Thou answer'st not, no voice thy tongue affords : Distinguish'd thus, the sight she cheated too. But sighs are deeply drawn from out thy breast; Descending from Lycæus, Pan admires And speech deny'd by lowing is express'd.
The matchless nymph, and burns with new desires. Unknowing, I prepard thy bridal bed,
A crown of pine upon his head he wore; With empty hopes of happy issue fed :
And thus began her pity to implore. Rut now the husband of a herd must be
But, ere he thus began, she took her flight
So swift, she was already out of sight.
There by the river stopt, and tir'd before,
Relief from water-nymphs her prayers implore. More had he said, but, fearful of her stay,
“ Now while the lustful god, with speedy pace, The starry guardian drove his charge away Just thought to strain her in a strict embrace, To some fresh pasture; on a billy height
He fills his arms with reeds, new rising on the place. He sate himself, and kept her still in sight.
And while he sigbs his ill success to find,
That, much surprising Pan, yet pleas'd him more. THE EYES OF ARGUS TRANSFORMED
Admiring this new music, “Thou,' he said,
• Who canst not be the partner of my bed,
At least shall be the consort of my mind; Now Jove no longer could her sufferings bear: And often, often, to my lips be join'd.' But call'd in haste his airy messenger,
He form'd the reeds, proportion'd as they are : The son of Maïa, with severe decree
Unequal in their length, and wax'd with care, To kill the keeper, and to set her free.
They still retain the name of his ungrateful fair.” With all his harness soon the god was sped ;
While Hermes pip'd, and sung, and told his tale, His flying hat was fasten'd on his head;
The keeper's wipking eyes began to fail, Wings on bis heels were hung, and in his hand And drowsy slumber on the lids to creep; He holds the virtue of tbe snaky wand.
Till all the watchman was at length asleep. Tbe liquid air his moving pinions wound,
Then soon the god bis voice and song supprest; And, in the inoment, shuot him on the ground, And with his powerful rod confirm’d his rest: Before be came in sight, the crafty god
Without delay his crooked falchion drew, His wings dismiss'd, but still retain'd his rod : And at one fatal stroke the keeper slew. That sleep-procuring wand wise Hermes took, Down from the rock fell the dis-ever'd head, But made it seem to sight a shepherd's hook. Opening its eyes in death, and falling bled; With this he did a herd of goats control,
And mark'd the passage with a crimson trail: Which by the way he met, and slily stole.
Thus Argus lies in pieces, cold and pale;
OUT OF THE EIGHTH BOOK OF
And all bis hundred eyes, with all their light, 'Tis hard to judge if Clymene were mov'd Are clos'd at once, in one perpetual night.
More by his prayer, whom she so dearly lov'd, These Juno takes, that they no more may fail, Or more with fury fir'd, to find her name And spreads them in her peacock's gaudy tail. Traduc'd, and made the sport of common Fame. Impatient to revenge her injur'd bed,
She stretch'd her arms to Heaven, and fix'd her She wreaks her anger on her rival's head;
On that fair planet that adorns the skies; [eyes With Furies frights ber from her native home, “ Now by those beams,” said she, “whose holy And drives her gadding round the world to roam :
fires Nor cea 'd her madness and her flight, before Consume my breast, and kindle my desires; She touch'd the limits of the Pharian shore.
By him who sees us both, and chears our sight, At length, arriving on the banks of Nile,
By him, the public minister of light, Wearied with length of ways, and worn with toil, I swear that Sun begot thee: if I lie, She laid her down : and, leaning on her knees, Let him his cheartul influence deny: Invok'd the cause of all her iniseries :
Let him no more this perjur'd creature sce, And cast her languishing regards above,
And shine on all the world but only me. For help from Heaven, and her ungrateful Jove. If still you doubt your mother's innocence, She sigh’d, she wept, she low'd; 'twas all she could; His eastern mansion is not far from hence; And with unkindness seem'd to tax'the god. With little pains you to his levec go, Last, with an bumble prayer, she begg'd repose, And from himself your parentage may know.” Or Death at least to finish all her woes.
With joy th' ambitious youth his mother heard, Jove heard her vows, and, with a flattering look, And eager for the journey soon prepar'd. lo her behalf to jealous Juno spoke.
He longs the world beneath him to survey ; He cast his arms about her neck, and said:
To guide the chariot, and to give the day:
His travel urging, till he came in sight,
Connection to the former Story.
Ovid, having told how Theseus had freed Athens
froin the tribute of children, which was imposed She tries her tongue, her silence softly breaks, And fears her former lowings when she speaks:
on them by Minos king of Creta, by killing the A gddess now through all th' Egyptian state;
Minotaur, here makes a digression to the story And serv'd by priests, who in whitelinen wait.
of Meleager and Atalanta, which is one of the Her son was Epaphus, at length believ'd
most inartificial connections in all the Meta. The son of Jove, and as a god receiv'd.
morphoses: for he only says, that Theseus obWith sacrifice ador'd, and public prayers,
tained such honour from that combat, that all He common temples with his mother shares,
Greece had recourse to him in their necessities; Equal in years, and rival in renown
and, amongst others, Calydon; though the hero With Epaphus, the youthful Phaëton,
of that country, prince Meleager, was then living. Like honour claims, and boasts his sire the Sun. His haughty looks, and his assuining air,
From him, the Caledonians sought relief; The son of Isis could no longer bear:
Though valiant Meleagrus was their chief. “Thou tak'st thy mother's word too far," said he, The cause, a boar, who ravag'd far and near: " And hast usurp'd thy boasted pedigree.
Of Cynthia's wrath, th'avenging minister. Go, base pretender to a borrow'd name!"
For Oeneus, with autumnal.plenty bless'd, Thus tax'd, he blush'd with anger, and with shame; In gifts to Heaven his gratitude express'd: But shame repressid his rage: the daunted youth Cullid sheaves, to Ceres; to Lyæus, wine; Soon seeks his mother, and inquires the truth:
To Pan, and Pales, offer'd sheep and kine; “ Mother," said he, “this infamy was thrown
And fat of olives, to Minerva's shrine. By Epaphus on you, and me your son,
Beginning from the rural gods, his hand He spoke in public, told it to my face;
Was liberal to the powers of high command ; Nor durst I vindicate the dire disgrace :
Each deity in every kind was bless'd, Erin I, the bold, the sensible of wrong,
Till at Diana's fane th’invidious honour ceas d. Restrain û by shame, was forc'd to hold iny tongue.
Wrath touches ev'n the gods; the queen of night, To hear an open slander, is a curse :
Fir'd with disdain, and jealous of her right, But not to find an answer, is a worse.
“ Unhonour'd though I ain, at least,” said she, If I am Heaven-begot, assert your son
“Not unreveng'd that impious act shall be.” By some sure sign; and make my father known, Swift as the word, she sped the boar away, To right my honour, and redeem your own." With charge on those devoted fields to prey. He said, and saying cast his arms about
No larger bulls th’ Ægyptian pastures feed, Her neck, and begg'd her to resolve the doubt. And bone so large Sicilian meadows breed :'
His eye-balls glare with fire, suffus'd with blood ; , Of action eager, and intent on thought,
Of waters from above, and falling rain:
With broad steel heads the brandish'd weapons And exercise their flails in empty air.
The beast impetuous with his tusks aside (glar'd. Witb olives ever green the ground is strow'd, Deals glancing wounds; the fearful dogs divide: And grapes ungather'd shed their generous blood. All spend their mouth aloft, but none abide. Amid the fold he rages, nor the sheep [keep. Echion threw the first, but miss'd his mark, Their shepherds, por the grooms their bulls can And stuck his boar-spear on a maple's bark,
From fields to walls the frighted rabble run, Then Jason; and his javelin seem'd to take, [back. Nor think themselves secure within the town: But fail'd with over-force, and whizz'd above his Till Meleagrus, and his chosen crew,
Mopsus was next; but ere he threw, address'd Contemn the danger, and the praise pursue. To Phæbus thus: “O patron, help thy priest. Fair Leda's twins, (in time to stars decreed) If I adore, and ever have ador'd One fought on foot, one curb'd the fiery steed; Thy power divine, thy present aid afford; Then issu'd forth fam'd Jason after these,
That I may reach the beast.” The god allow'd Who mann'd the foremost ship that sail'd the seas; | His prayer, and, smiling, gave him what he could: Then Theseus join'd with bold Pirithous came: He reach'd the savage, but no blood he drew, A single concord in a double name:
Dian unarm'd the javelin as it few. The Thestian sons, Idas who swiftly ran,
This chaf’d the boar, his nostrils flames expire, And Ceneus, once a woman, now a man.
And his red eye-balls roll with living fire, Lynceus, with eagle's eyes and lion's heart; Whirl'd from a sling, or from an engine thrown, Leucippus, with his never-erring dart;
Amidst the foes, so flies a mighty stone, Acastus, Phileus, Phænix, Telamon,
As flew the beast; the left wing put to flight, Echion, Lelex, and Eurytion,
The chiefs o'erborn, he rushes on the right. Achiiles' father, and great Phocus' son;
Empalamos and Pelagon he laid Dryas the fierce, and Hippasus the strong; In dust, and next to death, but for their fellows With twice old lolas, and Nester then but' young. aid. Laertes active, and Ancæus bold;
Onesimus fard worse, prepard to fly; Mopsus the sage, who future things foretold; The fatal fang drove deep within his thigh, And t’ other seer yet by his wife unsold.
And cut the nerves; the nerves no more sustain A thousand others of immortal fame;
The bulk; the bulk, unpropp'd, falls headlong on Among the rest fair Atalanta came,
the plain. Grace of the woods; a diamond buckle bound Nestor had fail'd the fall of Troy to see, Her vest behind, that else had flow'd upon the But, leaning on his lance, he vaulted on a tree; ground,
Then, gathering up his feet, look'd down with fear, And show'd her buskin'd legs; her head was bare, And thought his monstrous foe was still too near. But for her native ornament of hair;
Against a stump his tusk the monster grinds, Which in a simple knot was ty'd above,
And in the sharpen'd edge new vigour finds; Sweet negligence, unheeded bait of love!
Then, trusting to his arms, young Orthys found, Her sounding quiver on her shoulder tyd, And ranch'd his hips with one continu'd wound. One hand a dart, and one a bow supply'd.
Now Leda's twins, the future stars, appear : Such was her face, as in a nymph display'd White were their habits, white their horses were ; A fair fierce boy, or in a boy betray'd
Conspicuous both, and both in act to throw, The blushing beauties of a modest maid.
Their trembling lances brandish'd at the foe: 'The Caledonian chief at once the dame
Nor had they miss'd; but he to thickets fled, Beheld, at once his heart receiv'd the flame, Conceal'd from aiming spears, not pervious to With Heavens averse. “O bappy youth,” he cry'd;
the steed. “For whom thy Fates reserve so fair a bride!" But Telamon rush'd in, and hap'd to meet He sigh'd, and had no leisure more to say :
A rising root, that held his fasten'd feet; His honour call'd his eyes another way,
So down he fell, whom, sprawling on the ground, And forc'd him to pursue the nuw neglected prey. His brother from the wooden gyves unbound.
There stood a forest on the mountain's brow, Mean time the virgin-huntress was not slow Which over-look'd the shaded plains below, T'expel the shaft from her contracted bow: No sounding ax presum'd those trees to bite; Beneath his car the fasten'd arrow stood, Coeval with the world, a venerable sight.
And from the wound appeard the trickling blood. The heroes there arriv'd, some spread around She blush'd for joy: but Meleagrus rais'd The toils, some search the footsteps on the ground, His voice with loud applause, and the fair archer Sume from the chains the faithful dogs unbound.