« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
"See, whilft I fpeak, my breath the vapours choke, For now her face lay wrapt in clouds of fmoke)
See my fing'd hair, behold my faded eye, "And wither'd face, where heaps of cinders lie! "And does the plough for this my body tear? "This the reward for all the fruits I bear, "Tortur'd with rakes, and harafs'd all the year? "That herbs for cattle daily I renew,
"And food for man, and frankincenfe for you? "But grant me guilty; what has Neptune done? "Why are his waters boiling in the fun? "The wavy empire, which by lot was given, "Why does it waste, and further fhrink from heaven? "If I nor he your pity can provoke,
See your own heavens, the heavens begin to smoke! “Should once the sparkles catch those bright abodes, "Deftruction feizes on the heavens and gods; "Atlas becomes unequal to his freight,
"And almost faints beneath the glowing weight. “If heaven, and earth, and fea, together burn, "All muft again into their chaos turn.
66 Apply fome fpeedy cure, prevent our fate,
"And fuccour nature, ere it be too late."
She ceas'd; for, chok'd with vapours round her spread,
Down to the deepeft fhades fite funk her head.
Jove call'd to witnefs every power above,
And ev'n the God, whofe fon the chariot drove,
That what he acts he is compell'd to do,
Or univerfal ruin muft enfue.
Straight he afcends the high ethereal throne,
From whence he us'd to dart his thunder down,
From whence his fhowers and ftorms he us'd to pour
But now could meet with neither ftorm nor thower,
Then, aiming at the youth, with lifted hand,
Full at his head he hurl'd the forky brand,
In dreadful thunderings. Thus th' Almighty fire
Supprefs'd the raging of the fires with fire.
At once from life and from the chariot driven,
Th' ambitious boy fell thunder-ftruck from heaven.
The horfes ftarted with a fudden bound,
And flung the reins and chariot to the ground:
The ftudded harnefs from their necks they broke;
Here fell a wheel, and here a filver spoke,
Here were the beam and axle torn away;
And, scatter'd o'er the earth, the shining fragments lay.. 'The breathless Phaeton, with flaming hair,
Shot from the chariot, like a falling ftar,
That in a summer's evening from the top
Of heaven drops down, or feems at least to drop 3.
Till on the Po his blafted corpfe was hurl'd,
Far from his country, in the western world.
PHAETON'S SISTERS TRANSFORMED.
THE Latian nymphs came round him, and amaz'd On the dead youth, transfix'd with thunder, gaz'd;. And, whilft yet smoking from the bolt he lay, His fhatter'd body to a tomb convey,
And o'er the tomb an epitaph devise :
"Here he who drove the fun's bright chariot lies; "His father's fiery fteeds he could not guide,
"But in the glorious enterprize he dy`d."
Apollo hid his face, and pin'd for grief,
And, if the story may deferve belief,
The space of one whole day is faid to run,
From morn to wonted eve, without a fun :
The burning ruins, with a fainter ray,
Supply the fun, and counterfeit a day,
A day, that still did nature's face disclose:
This comfort from the mighty mischief rofe.
But Clymenè, enrag'd with grief, laments,
And, as her grief infpires, her paffion vents:
Wild for her fon, and frantic in her woes,
With hair dishevel'd, round the world she goes,
To feek where-e'er his body might be caft;
Till, on the borders of the Po, at last
The name infcrib'd on the new tomb appears,
The dear dear name the bathes in flowing tears;
Hangs o'er the tomb, unable to depart,
And hugs the marble to her throbbing heart.
Her daughters too lament, and figh, and mourn,
(A fruitlefs tribute to their brother's urn;)
And beat their naked bofoms, and complain,
And call aloud for Phaeton in vain :
All the long night their mournful watch they keep,
And all the day stand round the tomb and weep.
Four times, revolving, the full moon return'd;
So long the mother and the daughters mourn'd;
When now the eldest, Phaethufa, ftrove
To reft her weary limbs, but could not move;
Lampetia would have help'd her, but the found
Herfelf withheld, and rooted to the ground:
A third in wild affliction, as she grieves,
Would rend her hair, but fills her hand with leaves;
One fees her thighs transform'd, another views
Her arms fhot out, and branching into boughs.
And now their legs, and breafts, and bodies, ftood
Crufted with bark, and hardening into wood;
But ftill above were female heads display'd,
And mouths, that call'd the mother to their aid.
What could, alas! the weeping mother do?
From this to that with eager haste she flew,
And kifs'd her fprouting daughters as they grew.
She tears the bark that to each body cleaves :
And from the verdant fingers ftrips the leaves:
The blood came trickling, where the tore away
The leaves and bark: the maids were heard to say,
"Forbear, mistaken parent, oh! forbear;
"A wounded daughter in each tree you tear;
"Farewel for ever." Here the bark increas'd,
Clos'd on their faces, and their words fupprefs'd.
The new-made trees in tears of amber run,
Which, harden'd into value by the fun,
Diftil for ever on the ftreams below:
The limpid ftreams their radiant treasure show,
Mix'd in the fand; whence the rich drops convey'd
Shine in the dress of the bright Latian maid.
THE TRANSFORMATION OF CYCNUS INTO A SWAN.
CYCNUS beheld the nymphs transform'd, ally'd To their dead brother, on the mortal fide,
In friendship and affection nearer bound;
He left the cities and the realms he own'd,
Through pathlefs fields and lonely fhores to range,
And woods, made thicker by the fifters' change.
Whilft here, within the difmal gloom, alone,
The melancholy monarch made his moan,
His voice was leffen'd, as he try'd to speak,
And iffued through a long-extended neck;
His hair transforms to down, his fingers meet
In fkinny films, and shape his oary feet;
From both his fides the wings and feathers break;
And from his mouth proceeds a blunted beak:
All Cycnus now into a Iwan was turn'd,
Who, ftill remembering how his kinfman burn'd,
To folitary pools and lakes retires,
And loves the waters as oppos'd to fires.
Mean-while Apollo iu a gloomy fhade
(The native luftre of his brows decay'd)
Indulging forrow, fickens at the fight
Of his own fun-fhine, and abhors the light :
The hidden griefs, that in his bofom rife,
Sadden his looks, and overcaft his eyes,
As when fome dulky orb obftructs his ray,
And fullies, in a dim eclipfe, the day.
Now fecretly with inward griefs he pin'd,
Now warm refentments to his griefs he join'd,
And now renounc'd his office to mankind.
E'er fince the birth of time, faid he, I've borne "A long ungrateful toil without return; "Let now fome other manage, if he dare,
"The fiery feeds, and mount the burning car,