Gambar halaman

And aim'd a pointed arrow at her breast;
And would have flain his mother in the beast;
But Jove forbad, and fnatch'd them through the air
In whirlwinds up to heaven, and fix'd them there:
Where the new conftellations nightly rise,

And add a luftre to the northern skies.

When Juno faw the rival in her height, Spangled with stars, and circled round with light, She fought old Ocean in his deep abodes, And Tethys; both rever'd among the gods. They ask what brings her there. "Ne'er ask, says she, "What brings me here; heaven is no place for me. "You'll fee, when night has cover'd all things o'er, "Jove's ftarry bastard and triumphant whore "Ufurp the heavens; you'll fee them proudly roll "In their new orbs, and brighten all the pole. "And who fhall now on Juno's altar wait, "When those she hates grow greater by her hate? "I on the nymph a brutal form impress'd, "Jove to a goddess has transform'd the beast: "This, this was all my weak revenge could do: "But let the god his chaste amours pursue, "And, as he acted after Io's rape,

"Reftore th' adulterefs to her former fhape; "Then may he caft his Juno off, and lead "The great Lycaon's offspring to his bed. "But you, ye venerable powers, be kind; "And, if my wrongs a due refentment find, "Receive not in your wayes their setting beams, "Nor let the glaring ftrumpet taint your streams."


The goddess ended, and her wish was given. Back the return'd in triumph up to heaven; Her gaudy peacocks drew her through the skies, Their tails were fpotted with a thousand eyes; The eyes of Argus on their tails were rang'd, At the fame time the raven's colour chang'd.


THE raven once in fnowy plumes was dreft, White as the whiteft dove's unfully'd breast, Fair as the guardian of the capitol,

Soft as the swan; a large and lovely fowl;'.

His tongue, his prating tongue, had chang`d him quite To footy blacknefs from the pureft white.

The ftory of his change fhall here be told;
In Theffaly there liv'd a nymph of old,
Coronis nam'd; a peerless maid she shin'd,
Confeft the fairest of the fairer kind.

Apollo lov'd her, till her guilt he knew ;
While true she was, or whilst he thought her true.
But his own bird the raven chanc'd to find
The falfe-one with a fecret rival join'd.
Coronis begg'd him to suppress the tale,
But could not with repeated prayers prevail.
His milk white pinions to the god he ply'd;
The bufy daw flew with him fide by fide,
And by a thousand teazing questions drew
Th' important fecret from him as they flew,
The daw gave honeft counsel, though despis'd,
And, tedious in her tattle, thus advis'd.

* Stay

"Stay, filly bird, th' ill-natur'd task refuse,'
"Nor be the bearer of unwelcome news.
"Be warn'd by my example: you difcern
"What now I am, and what I was fhall learn.
My foolish honesty was all my crime;

[ocr errors]

"Then hear my ftory. Once upon a time,
"The two-fhap'd Ericthonius had his birth
"(Without a mother) from the teeming earth;
"Minerva nurs'd him, and the infant laid
"Within a cheft, of twining ofiers made.
"The daughters of king Cecrops undertook
"To guard the cheft, commanded not to look
"On what was hid within. I ftood to fee

"The charge obey'd, perch'd on a neighbouring tree. "The fifters Pandrofos and Hersè keep

"The ftrict command; Aglauros needs would peep, "And faw the monftrous infant in a fright, "And call'd her fifters to the hideous fight: "A boy's soft shape did to the waist prevail, "But the boy ended in a dragon's tail. "I told the ftern Minerva all that país'd, "But, for my pains, discarded and disgrac'd,

The frowning goddess drove me from her sight, "And for her favourite chofe the bird of night. "Be then no tell-tale; for I think my wrong "Enough to teach a bird to hold her tongue. "But you, perhaps, may think I was remov’d, "As never by the heavenly maid belov'd; "But I was lov'd; afk Pallas if I lie;

"Though Pallas hate me now, he won't deny;

[merged small][ocr errors]


"For I, whom in a feather'd fhape you view,
"Was once a maid (by heaven the story 's true)
"A blooming maid, and a king's daughter too.
"A croud of lovers own'd my beauty's charms;
"My beauty was the cause of all my harms;
"Neptune, as on his fhores I went to rove,
"Observ'd me in my walks, and fell in love.
"He made his courtship, he confefs'd his pain,
"And offer'd force when all his arts were yain;
<< Swift he pursued: I ran along the strand,
"Till, spent and weary'd on the finking fand,
"I fhriek'd aloud, with cries I fill'd the air
"To gods and men; nor god nor man was there:
"A virgin goddess heard a virgin's prayer.
"For, as my arms I lifted to the skies,
"I faw black feathers from my fingers rise;
"I ftrove to fling my garment on the ground;
"My garment turn'd to plumes, and girt me round.
"My hands to beat my naked bosom try;
"Nor naked bofom now nor hands had I,
"Lightly I tript, nor weary as before

"Sunk in the fand, but skimm'd along the shore ;
«Till, rifing on my wings, I was prefer'd
"To be the chafte Minerva's virgin bird:
"Prefer'd in vain! I now am in disgrace:
"Nyctimene the owl enjoys my place.

"On her inceftuous life I need not dwell
"(In Lefbos ftill the horrid tale they tell);
"And of her dire amours you must have heard,
"For which the now does penance in a bird,



"That, conscious of her fame, avoids the light,
"And loves the gloomy covering of the night;
"The birds, where'er the flutters, fcare away
"The hooting wretch, and drive her from the day."
The raven, urg'd by such impertinence,
Grew paffionate, it seems, and took offence,
And curft the harmless daw; the daw withdrew :
The raven to her injur'd patron flew,

And found him out, and told the fatal truth
Of falfe Coronis and the favour'd youth.

The god was wroth; the colour left his look,
The wreath his head, the harp his hand forfook;
His filver bow and feather'd fhafts he took,
And lodg'd an arrow in the tender breast,
That had fo often to his own been preft.

Down fell the wounded nymph, and fadly groan'd,
And pull'd his arrow recking from the wound;
And, weltering in her bloed, thus faintly cry'd,
"Ah cruel god! though I have juftly dy'd,
"What has, alas! my unborn infant done,
"That he should fall, and two expire in one?"
This faid, in agonies fhe fetch'd her breath.

The god diffolves in pity at her death;

He hates the bird that made her falfehood known,
And hates himself for what himself had done;
The feather'd fhaft, that fent her to the fates,'
And his own hand, that fent the fhaft, he hates.
Fain would he heal the wound, and ease her pain,
And tries the compass of his art in vain.
Soon as he faw the lovely nymph expire,
The pile made ready, and the kindling fire,
K 2


« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »