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In vain his grandfire urg'd him to give o'er
His impious threats; the wretch, but raves the more.
In a smooth course, and inoffensive tide;
THE MARINERS TRANSFORMED TO
HIM Pentheus view'd with fury in his look, And fcarce withheld his hands, while thus he spoke : "Vile flave whom speedy vengeance shall purfue, "And terrify thy bafe feditious crew:
"Thy country, and thy parentage reveal,
"And, why thou join'ft in these mad orgies, tell." The captive views him with undaunted eyes, And, arm'd with inward innocence, replies: "From high Meonia's rocky fhores I came, "Of poor defcent, Acœtes is my name : "My fire was meanly born; no oxen plough'd "His fruitful fields, nor in his pastures low'd. "His whole eftate within the waters lay; "With lines and hooks he caught the finny prey; "His art was all his livelihood; which he "Thus with his dying lips bequeath'd to me ; MA
"In ftreams, my boy, and rivers, take thy chance; "There swims, faid he, thy whole inheritance. "Long did I live on this poor legacy,
"Till, tir'd with rocks, and my own native sky,
"Obferv'd the turns and changes of the wind:
"Once, as by chance for Delos I defign'd, “My vessel, driv'n by a strong gust of wind, "Moor'd in a Chian creek: afhore I went, "And all the following night in Chios spent. "When morning rofe, I fent my mates to bring "Supplies of water from a neighbouring fpring, "Whilft I the motion of the winds explor'd; "Then fummon'd-in my crew, and went aboard. Opheltes heard my funmons, and with joy "Brought to the shore a soft and lovely boy, "With more than female fweetnefs in his look, "Whom ftraggling in the neighbouring fields he took. "With fumes of wine the little captive glows, "And nods with fleep, and staggers as he goes. "I view'd him nicely, and began to trace "Each heavenly feature, each immortal grace,. "And faw divinity in all his face.
"I know not who, faid I, this god should be; "But that he is a god I plainly see :
"And thou, whoe'er thou art, excufe the force
"Thefe men have us'd, and oh befriend our course!
"Pray not for us, the nimble Dictys cry'd;
"Said I; and stood to hinder their intent:
"When Bacchus (for 'twas he) began to move,
"Wak'd by the noife and clamours which they rais'd ;
“Fear not, faid Proteus, child, but tell us where
“To each of you, a joyful home to me.
By every God, that rules the fea or sky, "The perjur'd villains promife to comply, "And bid me haften to unmoor the thip. "With eager joy I launch into the deep; "And, heedlefs of the fraud, for Naxos ftand: They whisper oft, and beckon with the hand.
"And give me figns, all anxious for their prey,
“Said I, I 'm guiltlefs of fo foul a deed.
"What, fays Ethalion, must the ship's whole crew "Follow your humour, and depend on you? "And ftraight himself he feated at the prore, "And tack'd about, and fought another shore. "The beauteous youth now found himself betray'd, "And from the deck the rifing waves furvey'd "And seem'd to weep, and as he wept he said; "And do you thus my eafy faith beguile? "Thus do you bear me to my native isle? "Will fuch a multitude of men employ
Their ftrength against a weak defencelefs boy? "In vain did I the Godlike youth deplore, "The more I begg'd, they thwarted me the more. "And now, by all the Gods in heaven that hear "This folemn oath, by Bacchus' felf, I swear, "The mighty miracle that did enfue, "Although it feems beyond belief, is true. "The veffel, fix'd and rooted in the flood, "Unmov'd by all the beating billows ftood. "In vain the mariners would plough the main "With fails unfurl'd, and strike their oars in vain ; Around their oars a twining ivy cleaves,
"And climbs the maft, and hides the cords in leaves :
"The fails are cover'd with a chearful green,
"And berries in the fruitful canvas feen.
"Amidst the waves a fudden foreft rears
"Its verdant head, and a new spring appears.
"The god we now behold with open eyes; "A herd of spotted panthers round him lies "In glaring forms; the grapy clusters fpread "On his fair brows, and dangle on his head. "And whilft he frowns, and brandishes his spear, "My mates, furpriz'd with madness or with fear, Leap'd over-board; firft perjur'd Madon found
Rough fcales and fins his stiffening fides furround: "Ah what, cries one, has thus transform'd thy look? "Straight his own month grew wider as he fpoke: "And now himfelf he views with like furprize. "Still at his oar th' induftrious Libys plies; "But, as he plies, each bufy arm fhrinks in, "And by degrees is fashion'd to a fin. "Another, as he catches at a cord,
"Miffes his arms, and, tumbling over-board,
"And spout the waves, and wanton in the deep.
Speechlefs with wonder, and half dead with fear,
"And him shall ever gratefully adore."
"This forging flave, fays Pentheus, would prevail "O'er our juft fury by a far-fetch'd tale;