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Of sounding wheels, our bards proclaim
His patient sires, for many a year,
Essayed their sacred home to rear, Till time assigned, in fatal hour, Their native virtues, wealth and power ; And made them from their low degree, The eye of warlike Sicily.
And, may that power of ancient birth, From Saturn sprung, and parent Earth,
Of tall Olympus' lord, Who sees with still benignant eye The games' long splendour sweeping by
His Alpheus' holy ford :-
A happier doom accord!
But who would these recall, –
Unbounded blessings fall ?Example meet for such a song, The sister queens of Laius' blood;
Who sorrow's edge endured long, Made keener by remembered good! Yet now, she breathes the air of Heaven (On earth by smouldering thunder riven.)
Long-haired Semele :
To Pallas dear is she;-
That same tremendous Providence
And lay the mighty low.-
Whose son, with murder dyed,
Unconscious parricide !Unconscious !-yet avenging hell Pursued th' offender's stealthy pace, And heavy, sure, and hard it fell, The curse of blood, on all his race!
Spared from their kindred strife,
The young Thersander's life, Stern Polynices' heir, was left alone :
In every martial game,
And in the field of fame,
Was left, the pride and prop to be
In fair Olympia crowned ;
The isthmus twelve times round.-
And wealth, unstained by pride,
Of syren ease abide :-
O'er life's unsteady tide !
He in his heart hath known
In chambers dark and dread,
Where he, whom none may name,(6)
Seated in judgment high;
But, ever bright, by day, by night,
Nor stem for scanty food the wave;
No tear bedims their thankful eye,
Nor mars their long tranquillity; While those accursed bowl in pangs unspeakable.
And thus, they tell that deep below
But, ignorant and blind,
Our life in peace resigned,
A ruddy smile behind. -
And, whence our blessings flow,
But, but who the thrice-renewed probation Though twenty lustres rolling round
With rising youth her nation crowned,
In heart, in hand, should none be found The soul from all transgression pure;
Like Theron's honoured name.To such and such alone is given,
Yes! we have heard the factious liek To walk the rainbow paths of heaven,
But let the babbling vulgar try To that tall city of almighty time,
To blot his worth with tyrannyWhere Ocean's balmy breezes play,
Seek thou the ocean strand And, flashing to the western day,
And when thy soul would fain record
Go-reckon up the sand !
TO THE SAME. Filled with triumphal boughs ;—the righteous May my solemn strain ascending doom
Please the long-haired Helen well,
And those brave twins of Leda's shell
The stranger's holy cause defending !
With whose high name the chorus blending Who with his consort dear,
To ancient Agragas shall rise, Dread Rhea, reigneth here,
And Theron for the chariot prize On cloudy throne with deathless honour graced.
Again, and not in vain, contending And still, they say, in high communion, The muse, in numbers bold and high, Peleus and Cadmus here abide;
Hath taught my Dorian note to fly, And, with the blest in blessed union,
Worthy of silent awe, a strange sweet harmony. (Nor Jove has Thetis' prayer denied.)(7)
Yes !-as I fix mine eager view The daughter of the ancient sea
On yonder wreath of paly blue, Hath brought her warrior boy to be;
That olive wreath, whose shady round Him whose stern avenging blow
Amid the courser's mane is bounded; Laid the prop of llium low,
I feel again the sacred glow Hector, trained to slaughter, fell,
That bids my strain of rapture flow, By all but him invincible;
With shrilly breath of Spartan flute, And sea-born Cycnus tamed; and slew The many-voiced harp to suit; Aurora's knight of Ethiop hue.
And wildly fling my numbers sweet,
Again mine ancient friend to greet. Beneath my rattling belt I wear
Nor, Pisa, thee I leave unstrung; A sheaf of arrows keen and clear,
To men the parent of renown. Of vocal shafts, that wildly fly,
Amid whose shady ringlets strung,
Etolia binds her olive crown;
To deck his parent's hallowed town;
With placid brow and suppliant prayer There are who hate the minst rel's power,(8) Soothing the favoured northern seed, As daws who mark the eagle tower,
Whose horny-hoofed victims bleed
To Phæbus of the flowing hair.
A boon from these the hero prayed :
One graft of that delightful tree; For arrow sent on friendship's wing,
To Jove's high hill a welcome shade, Than him the Agragantine king
To men a blessed fruit to be, Who best thy song may claim.
And crown of future victory.For, by eternal truth I swear,
For that fair moon, whose slender light His parent town shall scantly bear
With inefficient horn had shone, A soul to every friend so dear,
When late on Pisa's airy height A breast so void of blame;
He reared to Jove the altar stone;
TO PSAUMIS OF CAMARINA.
Now, through the dappled air, alone,
Ou, urging on the tireless speed
The cheering notes resound;
With Pisan olive crowned.-
That trains the warrior steed:-
For wise and peaceful rede,
-What ?-do we wave the glozing lie ? Then whoso list my truth to try,
The proof be in the deed !-
When, matchless in his speed,
Sprang to the proffered meed; Bowed to the queen his wreathed head;“ Thou seest my limbs are light," he said;
“And, lady, may'st thou know, That every joint is firmly strung, And hand and heart alike are young; Though treacherous time my locks among
Have strewed a summer snow!"
TO THE SAME. Accept of these Olympian games the crown, Daughter of Ocean, rushy Camarine ! The flower of knightly worth and high renown, Which car-borne Psaumis on thy parent shrine
(Psaumis, the patriot, whom thy peopled town So bright, so bold, so wonderful,
The choicest themes of verse I cull,
The green Olympian wreath is bound;
And Syracusa's denizen ?-
Who, 'mid the sons of mortal men,
Rearing her goodly bowers on high.-(12) Nor who in peace hath past his days,
That now, redeemed from late disgrace, Marring with canker sloth his might, The wealthy mother of a countless race,
May hope a name in standing fight She lifts her front in shining majesty.
Nor in the hollow ship to raise ! 'Tis ever thus! by toil, and pain,
By toil, illustrious toil alone, And cumbrous cost, we strive to gain
Of elder times the heroes shone; Some seeming prize whose issues lie
And, bought by like emprize, to thee, In darkness and futurity.
Oh warrior priest, like honour be! And yet, if conquest crown our aim,
Such praise as good Adrastus bore
To him, the prophet chief(13) of yore,
When, snatched from Thebes' accursed fight,
With steed and car and armour bright,
Down, down he sank to earthly night.
When the fight was ended,
And the sevenfold pyres
All their funeral fires
In one sad lustre blended.
The leader of the host
Murmured mournfully, The strong in virtuous energy,
" I lament for the eye May feel thine endless care.
Of all mine army lost!And, victor thou, whose matchless might
To gods and mortals dear, The Pisan wreath bath bound;
Either art he knew; Still, Psaumis, be thy chief delight
Augur tried and true, In generous coursers found.
And strong to wield the spear!" Calm be thy latter age, and late
And by the powers divine, And gently fall the stroke of fate,
Such praise is justly thine,
Oh Syracusian peer,
As she shall truly tell, the muse of honeyed tongue,
And, Phintis, climb the car with me ;(14)
For well they know the path to trace
Of yonder victor's pedigree !
Unbar the gates of song, unbar!
For we to day must journey far,
To Sparta, and to Pitane.-
She, mournful nymph, and nursing long
Her silent pain and virgin wrong,
To Neptune's rape a daughter fair,
| From that dark bed of breathing bloom Evadne of the glossy hair,
His mother gave his name; (Dark as the violet's darkest shade,)
And Iamus, through years to come, In solitary sorrow bare.
Will live in lasting fame; Then to her nurse the infant maid
Who, when the blossom of his days, She weeping gave, and bade convey
Had ripened on the tree, To high Phersana's hall away:
From forth the brink where Alpheus strays, Where woman-grown, and doomed to prove Invoked the god whose sceptre sways In turn a god's disastrous love,
The hoarse resounding sea; Her charms allured the lord of day.
And, whom the Delian isle obeys,
The archer deity.Nor long the months, ere, fierce in pride,
Alone amid the nightly shade, The painful tokens of disgrace
Beneath the naked heaven he prayed, Her foster-father sternly eyed,
And sire and grandsire called to aid; Fruit of the furtive god's embrace.
When lo, a voice that loud and dread He spake not, but, with soul on flame,
Burst from the horizon free; He sought th' unknown offender's name,
“ Hither!" it spake, "to Pisa's shore! At Phæbus' Pythian dwelling place.
“My voice, oh son, shall go before, But she, beneath the greenwood spray,
"Beloved, follow me!"Her zone of purple silk untied; And flung the silver clasp away
So, in the visions of his sire, he went That rudely pressed her heaving side ;(15) Where Cronium's scarred and barren brow While, in the solitary wood,
Was red with morning's earliest glow Lucina's self to aid her stood,
Though darkness wrapt the nether element.And fate a secret force supplied.
There, in a lone and craggy dell,
A double spirit on him fell, But, who the mother's pang can tell
Th' unlying voice of birds to tell, As sad and slowly she withdrew,
And, (when Alcmena's son should found And bade her babe a long farewell,
The holy games in Elis crowned,) Laid on a bed of violets blue?
By Jove's high altar evermore to dwell, When ministers of Heaven's decree,
Prophet and priest !- From him descend (Dire nurses they and strange to see,)
The fathers of our valiant friend, Two scaly snakes of azure hue
Wealthy alike and just and wise, Watched o'er his helpless infancy,
Who trod the plain and open way; And, rifled from the mountain bee,
And who is he that dare despise Bare on their forky tongues a harmless honey dew.
With galling taunt the Cronian prize, Swift roll the wheels! from Delphos home Or their illustrious toil gainsay, Arcadia's car-borne chief is come;
Whose chariots whirling twelve times round But, ah, how changed his eye!
With burning wheels the Olympian ground His wrath is sunk, and past his pride,
Have gilt their brow with glory's ray ? “Where is Evadne's babe," he cried,
For, not the steams of sacrifice “Child of the deity ?
From cool Cyllene's height of snow,(16) "T was thus the augur god replied, Nor vainly from thy kindred rise “Nor strove his noble seed to hide;
The heaven-appeasing litanies "And to his favoured boy, beside,
To Hermes, who to men below, “The gift of prophecy,
Or gives the garland or denies :“And power beyond the sons of men By whose high aid, Agesias, know, "The secret things of fate to ken,
And his, the thunderer of the skies, “His blessing will supply.”—
The olive wreath hath bound thy brow!-
Arcadian! Yes, a warmer zeal
Shall whet my tongue thy praise to tell ! And nurtured in the wild,
I feel the sympathetic flame Was moistened with the sparkling dew
Of kindred love;-a Theban I, Beneath his hawthorn bower;
Whose parent nymph from Arcady Where morn her wat'ry radiance threw, (Metope's daughter, Thebe) came.Now golden bright, now deeply blue,
Dear fountain goddess, warrior maid, Upon the violet flower.
By whose pure rills my youth hath played ;