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His every look was peaceful, and exprest
The foftnefs of the lover in the beast.
Agenor's royal daughter, as fhe play'd
Among the fields, the milk-white bull survey'd,
And view'd his spotless body with delight,
And at a distance kept him in her fight.
At length she pluck'd the rising flowers, and fed
The gentle beaft, and fondly ftrok'd his head.
He stood well-pleas'd to touch the charming fair,
But hardly could confine his pleasure there.
And now he wantons o'er the neighbouring strand,
Now rolls his body on the yellow fand;
And now, perceiving all her fears decay'd,
Comes toffing forward to the royal maid;
Gives her his breast to stroke, and downward turns
His grifly brow, and gently stoops his horns.
In flowery wreaths the royal virgin drest
His bending horns, and kindly clapt his breast.
Till now grown wanton, and devoid of fear,
Not knowing that the preft the thunderer,
She plac'd herself upon his back, and rode
O'er fields and meadows, feated on the God.
He gently march'd along, and by degrees
Left the dry meadow, and approach'd the seas;
Where now he dips his hoofs, and wets his thighs,
Now plunges in, and carries off the prize.
The frighted nymph looks backward on the fhore,
And hears the tumbling billows round her roar;
But ftill fhe holds him faft: one hand is borne
Upon his back; the other grafps a horn:
Her train of ruffling garments flies behind,
Swells in the air, and hovers in the wind.
Through ftorms and tempefts he the virgin bore,
And lands her fafe on the Dicean fhore;
Where now, in his divineft form array'd,
In his true shape he captivates the maid :
Who gazes on him, and with wondering eyes
Beholds the new majestic figure rife,
His glowing features, and celestial light,
And all the God discover'd to her fight.
THE STORY OF CADMUS.
HEN now Agenor had his daughter loft,
He fent his fon to search on every coaft;
And fternly bid him to his arms restore
The darling maid, or see his face no more.
But live an exile in a foreign clime;
Thus was the father pious to a crime.
The restless youth fearch'd all the world around; But how can Jove in his amours be found? When, tir'd at length with unfuccefsful toil, To fhun his angry fire and native foil, He goes a fuppliant to the Delphic dome; "There asks the God what new-appointed home Should end his wanderings, and his toils relieve. The Delphic oracles this answer give :
"Behold among the fields a lonely cow, "Unworn with yokes, unbroken to the plough; "Mark well the place where first she lays her down, "There measure out thy walls, and build thy town, And from thy guide Boeotia call the land,
"In which the deftin'd walls and town shall stand.” No fooner had he left the dark abode,
Big with the promise of the Delphic God,
When in the fields the fatal cow he view'd,
Nor gall'd with yokes, nor worn with fervitude;
Her gently at a distance he pursued;
And, as he walk'd aloof, in filence pray'd
To the great power whofe counfels he obey'd.
Her way through flowery Panopè fhe took,
And now, Cephifus, crofs'd thy filver brook;
When to the heavens her spacious front she rais'd,
And bellow'd thrice, then backward turning gaz'd
On those behind, till on the deftin'd place
She stoop'd, and couch'd amid the rifing grass.
Cadmus falutes the foil, and gladly hails
The new-found mountains, and the nameless vales,
And thanks the Gods, and turns about his eye
To fee his new dominions round him lie;
Then fends his fervants to a neighbouring grove
For living ftreams, a facrifice to Jove.
O'er the wide plain there rose a fhady wood
Of aged trees; in its dark bosom stood
A bushy thicket, pathlefs and unworn,
O'er-run with brambles, and perplex'd with thorn:
Amidst the brake a hollow den was found,
With rocks and shelving arches vaulted round.
Deep in the dreary den, conceal'd from day,
Sacred to Mars, a mighty dragon lay,
Bloated with poison to a monstrous fize;
Fire broke in flashes when he glanc'd his eyes:
His towering creft was glorious to behold,
His fhoulders and his fides were fcal'd with gold;
Three tongues he brandish'd when he charg'd his foes: His teeth stood jaggy in three dreadful rows.
The Tyrians in the den for water fought,
And with their urns explor'd the hollow vault :
From fide to fide their empty urns rebound,
And roufe the fleepy ferpent with the found.
Straight he beftirs him, and is feen to rife;
And now with dreadful hiffings fills the skies,
And darts his forky tongue, and rolls his glaring eyes.
The Tyrians drop their veffels in the fright,
All pale and trembling at the hideous fight.
Spire above fpire uprear'd in air he stood,
And, gazing round him, over-look'd the wood:
Then floating on the ground, in circles roll'd;
Then leap'd upon them in a mighty fold.
Of fuch a bulk, and fuch a monstrous fize,
The ferpent in the polar circle lies,
That stretches over half the northern skies.
In vain the Tyrians on their arms rely,
In vain attempt to fight, in vain to fly :
All their endeavours and their hopes are vain;
Some die entangled in the winding train;
Some are devour'd; or feel a loathsome death,
Swoln up with blafts of peftilential breath.
And now the fcorching fun was mounted high,
In all its luftre, to the noon-day sky;
When, anxious for his friends, and fill'd with cares,
To fearch the woods th' impatient chief prepares.
A lion's hide around his loins he wore,
The well-pois'd javelin to the field he bore
Inur'd to blood; the far-deftroying dart,
And, the best weapon, an undaunted heart.
Soon as the youth approach'd the fatal place,
He saw his fervants breathlefs on the grafs;
The fcaly foe amid their corpfe he view'd,
Basking at ease, and feafting in their blood,