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If men with fleshy morsels must be fed,
Then broken up alive, his entrails sees And chaw with bloody teeth the breathing bread; Torn out, for priests t' inspect th' gods decrees. What else is this but to devour our guests,
“ From whence, O mortal men, this gust of And barbarously renew Cyclopean feasts! Have you derivd, and interdicted food? [blood We, by destroying life, our life sustain;
Be taught by me this dire delight to shun, And gorge thungodly maw with meats obscene. Warn'd by my precepts, by my practice won :
“ Not so the golden age, who fed on fruit, And, when you eat the well-deserving beast, Nor durst with bloody meals their mouths pollute. Think, on the labourer of your field you feast! Then birds in airy space might safely move, “ Now since the god inspires me to proceed, And timorous hares on heaths securely rove, Be that, whate'er inspiring power, obey'd. Nor needed fish the guileful hooks to fear, For I will sing of mighty mysteries, For all was peaceful, and that peace sincere. Of truths conceal'd before from human eyes, Whoever was the wretch (and curs'd be he) Dark oracles unveil, and open all the skies. That envy'd-first our food's simplicity;
Pleas'd as I am to walk along the sphere Th' essay of bloody feasts on brutes began, Of shining stars, and travel with the year, And after forgd the sword to murder man; To leave the heavy Earth, and scale the height Had he the sharpen'd steel alone employ'd Of Atlas, who supports the heavenly weight: On beasts of prey that other beasts destroy'd, To look from upper light, and thence survey Or men invaded with their fangs and paws, Mistaken mortals wandering from the way, This had been justify'd by Nature's laws,
And wanting wisdom, fearful for the state And self-defence: but who did feasts begin Of future things, and trembling at their fate! Of flesh, he stretch'd necessity to sin.
“ Those I would teach; and by right reason To kill man-killers, man has lawful power; To think of death, as but an idle thing. (bring But not th' extended licence, to devour.
Why thus affrighted at an empty name, “ Ill habits gather by unseen degrees,
A dream of darkness, and fictitious flame? As brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas.
Vain themes of wit, which but in poems pass, The sow, with her broad snout for rooting up And fables of a world, that never was! Th’intrusted seed, was judg'd to spoil the crop, What feels the body when the soul expires, And intercept the sweating farmer's hope : By time corrupted, or consum'd by fires ? The covetous churl, of unforgiving kind,
Nor dies the spirit, but new life repeats Th’ offender to the bloody priest resign'd: In other forms, and only changes scats. Her hunger was no plea; for that she dy'd.
“ Ev'n I, who these mysterious truths declare, The goat came next in order, to be try'd: Was once Euphorbus in the Trojan war; The goat had cropt the tendrils of the vine: My name and lineage I remember well, In vengeance laity and clergy join,
And how in fight by Sparta's king I fell. Where one had lost his profit, one his wine. In Argive Juno's fane I late beheld Here was, at least, some shadow of offence: My buckler hung on high, and own'd my former The sheep was sacrific'd on no pretence,
“ Then death, so call'd, is but old matter dressid But meek and unresisting innocence.
In some new figure, and a vary'd vest : A patient, useful creature, born to bear
Thus all things are but alterid, nothing dies; The warm and woolly fleece, that cloth'd her mur- And here and there th' unbody'd spirit flies, derer,
By time, or force, or sickness dispossest, And daily to give down the milk she bred,
And lodges, where it lights, in man or beast; A tribute for the grass on which she fed.
Or hunts without, 'till ready linbs it find, Living, both food and raiment she supplies, And actuates those according to their kind; and is of least advantage when she dies.
From tenement to tenement is toss'd; “ How did the toiling ox his death deserve, The soul is still the same, the figure only lost : A downright simple drudge, and born to serve ? And as the soften'd wax new seals receives, O tyrant! with what justice canst thou hope This face assumes, and that impression leaves; The promise of the year, a plenteous crop; Now call'd by one, now by another name; (same: Whenthou destroy'st thy labouring steer, who tilld, The form is only chang'd, the wax is still the And plow'd, with pains, thy else ungrateful field ? So death, so calld, can but the form deface, From his yet reeking neck to draw the yoke, Th’immortal soul flies out in empty space; That neck with which the surly clods he broke; To seek her fortune in some other place. And to the hatchet yield thy husbandman,
“ Then let not piety be put to flight, Who finish'd autumn, and the spring began ! To please the taste of glutton appetite; Nor this alone! but Heaven itself to bribe, But suffer inmate souls secure to dwell, We to the gods our impious acts ascribe :
Lest from their seats your parents you expel; First recompense with death their creatures toil, With rabid hunger feed upon your kind, Then call the bless'd above to share the spoil: Or from a beast dislodge a brother's mind. The fairest victim must the powers appease : “ And since, like Tiphys, parting from the shore, (So fatal 'tis sometimes too much to please!) In ample seas I sail, and depths untry'd before, A purple fillet his broad brows adorns,
This let me further add, that Nature knows With flowery garlands crown’d, and gilded borns: No stedfast station; but, or ebbs, or flows: He hears the murderous prayer the priest prefers, Ever in motion ; she destroys her old, But understands not 'tis his doom he hears : And casts new figures in another mould. Beholds the meal betwixt his temples cast Ev'n times are in perpetual fux; and run, (The fruit and product of his labours past); Like rivers from their fountain, rolling on; And in the water views perhaps the knife
For Time, no more than streams, is at a stay: Uplifted, to deprive him of his life;
The flying hour is ever on her way,
And as the fountain still supplies her store, By slow degrees he gathers from the ground
His legs, and to the rolling chair is bound; Thus in successive course the minutes run, Then walks alone; a horseman now become, And urge their predecessor minutes on,
He rides a stick, and travels round the room: Still moving, ever new: for former things In time he vaunts among his youthful peers, Are set aside, like abdicated kings:
Strong-bon'd, and strung with nerves, in pride And every moment alters what is done,
of years, And innovates some act till then unknown. He runs with mettle his first merry stage, Darkness we see emerges into light,
Maintains the next, abated of bis rage, And shining suns descend to sable night;
But manages his strength, and spares his age. Evin Heaven itself receives another die,
Heavy the third, and stiff, he sinks apace, When weary'd animals in slumbers lie
And, though 'tis down-hill all, but creeps along the Of midnight ease; another, when the gray Of morn preludes the splendour of the day. Now sapless on the verge of death he stands, The disk of Phoebus, when he climbs on high, Contemplating bis former feet and hands; Appears at first but as a bloodshot eye;
And, Milo-like, his slacken'd sinews sees, And when bis chariot downward drives to bed, And wither'd arms, once fit to cope with Hercules, His ball is with the same suffusion red;
Unable now to shake, much less to tear, the trees. Bat mounted high in his meridian race
“So Helen wept, when her too faithful glass All bright he shines, and with a better face: Reflected to her eyes the ruins of her face: For there, pure particles of ether flow,
Wondering what charms her ravishers could spy, Far from th' infection of the world below.
To force her twice, or ev'n but once enjoy! "Nor equal light th’unequal Moon adorns, “Thy teeth, devouring Time, thine, envious Age, Or in her wexing, or her waning horns.
On things below still exercise your rage : For every day she wanes, her face is less,
With venom'd grinders you corrupt your meat, But, gathering into globe, she fattens at increase. And then, at lingering meals, the morsels eat. “ Perceiv'st thou not the process of the year,
“ Nor those, which elements we call, abide, How the four seasons in four forms appear,
Nor to this figure, nor to that, are ty'd;
Four different bodies; two to Heaven ascend,
Pure, void of weight, and dwells in upper sky; Then laughs the childish year with Aowerets Then air, because unclog'd in empty space, crown'd,
Flies after fire, and claims the second place: And lavishly perfumes the fields around,
But weighty water, as her nature guides, [sides. But no substantial nourishment receives,
Lies on the lap of Earth, and mother Earth subInfirm the stalks, unsolid are the leaves.
“ All things are mixt with these, which all con" Proceeding onward whence the year began, And into these are all resolv'd again : (tain, The Summer grows adult, and ripens into man.
Earth rarifies to dew; expanded more This season, as in men, is most replete
The subtil dew in air begins to soar; With kindly moisture, and prolific heat.
Spreads as she flies, and weary of ber name “ Autumn succeeds, a sober tepid age,
Extenuates still, and changes into flame; Not froze with fear, nor boiling into rage;
Thus having by degrees perfection won, More than mature, and tending to decay,
Restless they soon untwist the web they spun, When our brown locks repine to mix with odious And fire begins to lose ber radiant hue, grey.
Mix'd with gross air, and air descends to dew; " Last, Winter creeps along with tardy pace, And dew, condensing, does her form forego, Sour is bis front, and furrow'd is his face. And sinks, a heavy lump of tarth, below. His scalp if not dishonour'd quite of hair, [bare. “ Thus are their figures never at a stand, The sagzed fleece is thin, and thin is worse than But chang’d by Nature's innovating hand;
“ Ev'n our own bodies daily change receive, All things are alter'd, nothing is destroy'd, Some part of what was theirs before they leave; The shifted scene for some new show employ'd. Nor are to-day what yesterday they were ;
“ Then, to be born, is to begin to be Nor the whole same to morrow will appear.
Some other thing we were not formerly: “Timewas, when we were sow'd, and just began, And what we call to die, is not t'appear, From some few fruitful drops, the promise of a
Or be the thing that formerly we were. Then Nature's hand (fermented as it was) (man;Those very elements, which we partake Monded to shape the soft, coagulated mass;
Alive, when dead some other bodies make: And when the little man was fully form'd, Translated grow, have sense, or can discourse; The breathless embryo with a spirit warm’d; But death on deathless substance has no force. But when the mother's throes begin to come, “ That forms are chang'd I grant, that nothing The creature, pent within the narrow room, Continue in the figure it began :
[can Breaks his blind prison, pushing to repair The golden age to silver was debas'd : His stified breath, and draw the living air; To copper that; our metal came at last. Cast on the margin of the world he lies,
" The face of places, and their forms, decay; A helpless babe, but by instinct he cries.
And that is solid earth, tbat once was sea : He next essays to walk, but downward press'd Seas in their turn, retreating from the shore, On four feet imitates his brother beast:
Make solid land what ocean was before ;
And far from strands are shells of fishes found, “ Grathis, and Sibaris her sister flood,
Clytorean streams the love of wine expel, So Lycus, swallow'd up, is seen no more,
(Such is the virtue of th' abstemious well) But far from thence knocks out another door. Whether the colder nymph that rules the food Thus Erasinus dives; and blind in earth
Extiuguishes, and balks the drunken god; Runs on, aud gropes his way to second birth, Or that Melampus (so bave some assur'd) Starts up in Argos meads, and shakes his locks When the mad Prætides with charms he cur'd, Around the fields, and fatteps all the flocks. And powerful herbs, both charms and simples cast So Mysus by another way is led,
Into the sober spring, where still their virtues last. And, grown a river, now disdains his head :
“ Unlike effects Lyncestis will produce; Forgets his humble birth, his name forsakes, Who drinks his waters, though with moderate use, And the proud title of Caïcus takes.
Reels as with wine, and sees with double sight: Large Amenane, impure with yellow sands, His heels too heavy, and his head too lights Runs rapid often, and as often stands;
Ladon, once Pheneos, an Arcadian stream, And here he threats the drunken fields to drown, (Ambiguous in th’ effects, as in the name) And there his dugs deny to give their liquor down. By day is wholesome beverage ; but is thought
“ Anigros once did wholesome draughts afford, By night infected, and a deadly draught. But now his deadly waters are abhorr’d:
“ Thus running rivers, and the standing lake, Since, hurt by Hercules, as Fame resounds, Now of these virtues, now of those partake: The Centaurs in his current wash'd their wounds, Time was (and all things Time and Fate obey) The streams of Hypanis are sweet no more, When fast Ortygia floated on the sea ; But brackish lose their taste they had before. Such were Cyanean isles, when Typhis steer'd Antissa, Pharos, Tyre, in seas were pent,
Betwixt their straits, and their collision fear'd; Once isles, but now increase the continent; They swam where now they sit; and firmly join'd While the Leucadian coast, main-land before, Secure of rooting up, resist the wind. By rushing seas is sever'd from the shore.
Nor Etna vomiting sulphureous fire So Zancle to th’ Italian earth was ty'd,
Will ever belch; for sulphur will expire And men once walk'd where ships at anchor ride; (The veins exhausted of the liquid store); (more. Till Neptune overlook'd the narrow way,
Time was she cast no flames; in time will cast no And in disdain pour'd in the conquering sea.
“ For whether Earth's an animal, and air “Two cities that adorn'd th’ Achaian ground, Innbibes, her lungs with coolness to repair, Buris and Helice, no more are found,
And what she sucks remits; she still requires But, whelm'd beneath a lake, are sunk and Inlets for air, and outlets for her fires; drown'd;
When tortur'd with convulsive fits she shakes, And boatsmen through the crystal water show, That motion chokes the vent, till other vent she To wondering passengers, the walls below.
makes : “ Near Træzen stands a hill, expos'd in air Or when the winds in hollow caves are clos'd, To winter winds, of leafy shadows bare:
And subtil spirits find that way oppos'd, This once was level ground: but (strange to tell) They toss up flints in air; the flints that hide Th’ included vapours, that in caverns dwell, The seeds of fire, thus toss'd in air, collide, Labouring with colic pangs, and close confind, Kindling the sulphur, till, the fuel spent, In vain sought issue from the rumbling wind : The cave is cool'd, and the fierce winds relent. Yet still they heav'd for vent, and heaving still Or whether sulphur, catching fire, feeds on Enlarg'd the concave, and shot up the hill; Its unctuous parts, till, all the matter gone, As breath extends a bladder, or the skins
The flames no more ascend; for earth supplies Of goats are blown t'enclose the hoarded wines: The fat that feeds them; and when earth denies The mountain yet retains a mountain's face, That food, by length of time consum'd, the fire, And gather'd rubbish heals the hollow space. Famish'd for want of fuel, must expire.
“ Of many wonders, which I heard or knew, “ A race of men there are, as Fame has told, Retrenching most, I will relate but few :
Who shivering suffer Hyperborean cold, What are not springs with qualities oppos'd Till, nine times bathing in Minerva's lake, Endued at seasons, and at seasons lost?'
Soft feathers to defend their naked sides they take. Thrice in a day thine, Ammon, change their form, 'Tis said, the Scythian wives (believe who will) Cold at high noon, at morn and evening warm : Transform themselves to birds by magic skill; Thine, Athaman, will kindle wood, if thrown Smear'd over with an oil of wondrous might, On the pil'd earth, and in the waning Moon. That adds new pinions to their airy flight. The Thracians have a stream, if any try
“ But this by sure experiment we know, The taste, his harden’d bowels petrify;
That living creatures from corruption grow : Whate er it touches it converts to stones,
Hide in a hollow pit a slaughter'd steer, And makes a marble pavement where it runs. Bees from his putrid bowels will appear;
Who, like their parents, haunt the fields, and bring | Seeks the Sun's city, and his sacred church, Their honey-harvest home, and hope another And decently lays down his burthen in the porch, spring.
“ A wonder more amazing would we find ? The warlike steed is multiply'd, we find, Th’ hyena shows it, of a double kind, To wasps and hornets of the warrior kind. Varying the sexes in alternate years, Cat from a crab his crooked claws, and hide In one begets, and in another bears. The rest in earth, a scorpion thence will glide The thin cameleon, fed with air, receives And shoot his sting, his tail in circles toss'd The colour of the thing to which he cleaves. Refers the limbs his backward father lost.
“ India, when conquer'd, on the conquering god And worms, that stretch on leaves their filthy loom, For planted vines the sharp-ey'd lynx bestow'd, Crawl from their bags and butterflies become. Whose urine, shed before it touches earth, Ev'n slime begets the frog's loquacious race: Congeals in air, and gives to gems their birth. Short of their feet at first, in little space
So coral, soft and white in ocean's bed, With arms and legs endued, long leaps they take, Comes harden'd up in air, and glows with red. Rais'd on their binder part, and swim the lake, “ All changing species should my song recite, And waves repel: for Nature gives their kind, Before I ceas'd, would change the day to night. To that intent, a length of legs behind.
Nations and empires flourish and decay, “The cubs of bears a living lump appear, By turns command, and in their turas obey ; When whelp'd, and no determin'd figure wear. Time softens hardy people, time again The mother licks them into shape, and gives Hardens to war a soft, unwarlike train. As much of form as she herself receives.
Thus Troy, for ten long years, her foes withstood, “ The grubs from their sexangular abode And daily bleeding bore th' expense of blood : Crawl out unfinish’d, like the maggot's brood : Now for thick streets it shows an empty space, Trunks without limbs; till Time at leisure brings Or, only fill'd with tombs of her own perish'd race, The thighs they wanted, and their tardy wings. Herself becomes the sepulchre of what she was.
“The bird who draws the car of Juno, vain Mycene, Sparta, Thebes of mighty fame, Of her crown'd head, and of her starry train;
Are vanish'd out of substance into name, And he that bears th' artillery of Jove,
And Dardan Rome, that just begins to rise, The strong-pounc'd eagle, and the billing dove: On Tiber's banks, in time shall mate the skies; And all the feather'd kind, who could suppose Widening her bounds, and working on her way, (But that from sight, the surest sense, he knows) Ev'n now she meditates imperial sway: They from th’ included yolk, not ambient white Yet this is change, but she by changing thrives, arose ?
Like moons new born, and in her cradle strives " There are who think the marrow of a man, To fill her infant horns; an hour shall come Which in the spine, while he was living, ran; When the round world shall be contain'd in Rome. When dead, the pith corrupted, will become For thus old saws foretel, and Helenus A snake, and hiss within the hollow tomb. Anchises' drooping son enliven'd thus,
" All these receive their birth from other things; When Ilium now was in a sinking state, But from himself the phenix only springs:
And he was doubtful of his future fate : Self-born, begotten by the parent flame
O goddess-born, with thy hard fortune strive, In which he burn'd, another and the same : Troy never can be lost, and thou alive. Who not by corn or herbs his life sustains, Thy passage thou shalt free through fire and sword, Bat the sweet essence of amomum drains: And Troy in foreign lands shall be restor'd. And watches the rich gums Arabia bears,
In happier fields a rising town I see, While yet in tender dew they drop their tears. Greater than what e'er was, or is, or e'er shall be: He (his five centuries of life fulfill’d)
And Heaven yet owes the world a race deriv'd His nest on oaken boughs begins to build,
But from lulus he must draw his birth,
Whom Heaven will lend mankind on Earth to reign, (For softness strew'd beneath) his funeral bed is And late require the precious pledge again.' Funeral and bridal both; and all around (rear'd: This Helenus to great Æneas told, The borders with corruptless myrrh are crown'd: Which I retain, e'er since in other mold On this incumbent; till etherial flame
My soul was cloth'd; and now rejoice to view First catches, then consumes, the costly frame; My country's walls rebuilt, and Troy reviv'd Consumes him too, as on the pile he lies :
anew, He liv'd on odours, and in odours dies.
Rais'd by the fall : decreed by loss to gain ; " An infant phenix from the former springs, Enslav'd but to be free, and conquer'd but to reign. His father's heir, and from his tender wings
“ 'Tis time my hard-mouth'd coursers to control, Shakes off his parent dust, his method he pursues, Apt to run riot, and transgress the goal : And the same lease of life on the same terms and therefore I conclude, whatever lies renews :
In earth, or Aits in air, or fills the skies, When grown to manhood he begins his reign, All suffer change, and we, that are of soul And with stiff pinions can his Aight sustain, And body mix'd, are members of the whole. He lightens of its load the tree that bore
Then when our sires, or grandsires shall forsake His father's royal sepulchre before,
The forms of men, and brutal figures take, And his own cradle: this with pious care
Thus hous'd, securely let their spirits rest, Plac'd on his back, he cuts the buxom air, Nor violate thy father in the beast,
Thy friend, thy brother, any of thy kin;
Free as in air, let birds on Earth remain, If none of these, yet there's a man within: Nor let insidious glue their wings constrain ; O spare to make a Thyestean meal
Nor opening hounds the trembling stag affright, Tenclose his body, and his soul expel.
Nor purple feathers intercept his flight: “ Ill customs by degrees to habits rise,
Nor hooks conceal'd in baits for fish prepare, Ill habits soon become exalted vice:
Nor lines to heave them twinkling up in air. What more advance can mortals make in sin “ Take not away the life you cannot give: So near perfection, who with blood begin?
For all things have an equal right to live. Deaf to the calf, that lies beneath the knife, Kill noxious creatures, where 'tis sin to save ; Looks up, and from her butcher begs her life: This only just prerogative we have : Deaf to the harmless kid, that, ere he dies, But nourish life with vegetable food, All methods to procure thy mercy tries,
And shun the sacrilegious taste of blood." And imitatęs in vain thy children's cries.
These precepts by the Samian sage were Where will be stop, who feeds with household taught, bread,
Which godlike Numa to the Sabines brought,
[death. O happy monarch, sent by Heaven to bless
And all the Muses o'er his acts preside,"