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With fighs and groans her obfequies he kept,
And, if a god could weep, the god had wept.
Her corpfe he kifs'd, and heavenly incenfe brought,
And folemniz'd the death himself had wrought.
But, left his offspring fhould her fate partake,
Spite of th' immortal mixture in his make,
He ript her womb, and set the child at large,
And gave him to the centaur Chiron's charge:
Then in his fury black'd the raven o'er,
And bid him prate in his white plumes no more.
OCYRRHÖE TRANSFORM'D TO A MARE.
OLD Chiron took the babe with fecret joy, Proud of the charge of the celestial boy, His daughter too, whom on the fandy shore, The nymph Chariclo to the centaur bore, With hair difhevel'd on her shoulders, came To fee the child, Ocyrrhöe was her name; She knew her father's art, and could rehearse The depths of prophecy in founding verfe. Once, as the facred infant fhe furvey'd, The god was kindled in the raving maid, And thus fhe utter'd her prophetic tale; "Hail, great physician of the world, all hail; "Hail, mighty infant, who in years to come "Shall heal the nations, and defraud the tomb; "Swift be thy growth! thy triumphs unconfin'd! "Make kingdoms thicker, and increase mankind. "Thy daring art shall animate the dead,
"And draw the thunder on thy guilty head:
"Then fhalt thou die; but from the dark abode
"Rife up victorious, and be twice a god.
"And thou, my fire, not deftin'd by thy birth
"To turn to dust, and mix with common earth,
"How wilt thou tofs, and rave, and long to die,
"And quit thy claim to immortality;
"When thou shalt feel, inrag'd with inward pains,
The Hydra's venom rankling in thy veins ?
"The gods in pity shall contract thy date ;
"And give thee over to the power of fate.”
Thus, entering into deftiny, the maid
The fecrets of offended Jove betray'd:
More had the ftill to fay; but now appears
Opprefs'd with fobs and fighs, and drown'd in tears. "My voice, fays fhe, is gone, my language fails; "Through every limb my kindred shape prevails; "Why did the god this fatal gift impart, "And with prophetic raptures fwell my heart? "What new defires are these? I long to pace "O'er flowery meadows, and to feed on grass; "I haften to a brute, a maid no more; "But why, alas! am I transform'd all o'er ? "My fire does half a human shape retain, "And in his upper parts preserves the man.” Her tongue no more distinct complaints affords, But in fhrill accents and mis-shapen words Pours forth fuch hideous wailings, as declare The human form confounded in the mare : Till by degrees, accomplish'd in the beast, She neigh'd outright, and all the steed expreft. K 3
Her ftooping body on her hands is borne,
Her hands are turn'd to hoofs, and fhod in horn;
Her yellow treffes ruffle in a mane,
And in her flowing tail the frisks her train.
The mare was finish'd in her voice and look,
And a new name from the new figure took.
THE TRANSFORMATION OF BATTUS TO
SORE wept the centaur, and to Phoebus pray'd;" But how could Phoebus give the centaur aid? Degraded of his power by angry Jove,
In Elis then a herd of beeves he drove ;
And wielded in his hand a staff of oak,
And o'er his fhoulders threw the fhepherd's cloak;
On seven compacted reeds he us'd to play,
And on his rural pipe to waste the day.
As once, attentive to his pipe, he play'd,"
The crafty Hermes from the god convey'd
A drove that separate from their fellows ftray'd,
The theft an old infidious peasant view'd
(They call'd him Battus in the neighbourhood);
Hir'd by a wealthy Pylian prince to feed
His favourite mares, and watch the generous breed.
The thievith god fufpected him, and took
The hind afide, and thus in whispers spoke;
"Discover not the theft, whoe'er thou be,
"And take that milk-white heifer for thy fee.
"Go, ftranger, cries the clown, fecurely on,
"That stone shall fooner tell;" and show'd a stone.
The god withdrew, but straight return'd again,›
In fpeech and habit like a country swain;
And cried out, "Neighbour, haft thou seen a stray
"Of bullocks and of heifers pass this way?
"In the recovery of my cattle join,
"A bullock and a heifer fhall be thine."
The peafant quick replies, "You'll find them there
"In yon dark vale :" and in the vale they were.
The double bribe had his falfe heart beguil'd:
The god, fuccefsful in the trial, smil'd;
"And doft thou thus betray myself to me?
Me to myself doft thou betray?" fays he:
Then to a Touch-ftone turns the faithless spy,
And in his name records his infamy.
THE STORY OF AGLAUROS, TRANSFORM'D
INTO A STATUE.
THIS done, the god flew up on high, and pass'd O'er lofty Athens, by Minerva grac'd,
And wide Munichia, whilft his eyes furvey
All the vast region that beneath him lay.
Twas now the feaft, when each Athenian maid
Her yearly homage to Minerva paid;
In canisters, with garlands cover'd o'er ;
High on their heads their myftic gifts they bore;
And now, returning in a folemn train,
The troop of fhining virgins fill'd the plain.
The god well-pleas'd beheld the pompous show,
And faw the bright proceffion pass below;
Then veer'd about, and took a wheeling flight,
And hover'd o'er them; as the spreading kite,
That smells the flaughter'd victim from on high,
Flies at a distance, if the priests are nigh,
And fails around, and keeps it in her eye!
So kept the god the virgin choir in view,
And in flow winding circles round them flew.
As Lucifer excels the meaneft ftar,
Or, as the full-orb'd Phoebe Lucifer;
So much did Hersè all the reft outvy,
And gave a grace to the folemnity.
Hermes was fir'd, as in the clouds he hung:
So the cold bullet, that with fury flung
From Balearic engines mounts on high,
Glows in the whirl, and burns along the sky.
At length he pitch'd upon the ground, and show'd
The form divine, the features of a. god.
He knew their virtue o'er a female heart,
And yet he strives to better them by art.
He hangs his mantle loofe, and fets to show
The golden edging on the feam below;
Adjusts his flowing curls, and in his hand
Waves with an air the fleep-procuring wand :
The glittering fandals to his feet applies,
And to each heel the well-trim'd pinion ties.
His ornaments with nicest art display'd,
He feeks th' apartment of the royal maid.
The roof was all with polish'd ivory lin'd,
That, richly mix'd, in clouds of tortoife fhin'd.
Three rooms contiguous in a range were plac'd;
The midmoft by the beauteous Hersè grac'd;.
Her virgin fifters lodg'd on either fide.
Aglauros first th' approaching god defcry'd,