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And strong to wield the spear.'
And by the powers divine,
Sush praise is justly thine,
O Syracusan peer,
For of a gentle blood thy race is sprung,
As she shall truly tell, the muse of honeyed
Then yoke the mules of winged pace,
And, Phintis, climb the car with me;
For well they know the path to trace
Of yonder victor's pedigree. Unbar the gates of song, unbar,— For we today 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, Evadne of the glossy hair, (Dark as the violet's darkest shade,) In solitary sorrow bare. Then to her nurse the infant maid She weeping gave, and bade convey To high Phersana's hall away:
Where woman-grown, and doomed to prove In turn a god's disastrous love,
Her charms allured the lord of day.
Nor long the months, ere, fierce in pride,
The painful tokens of disgrace
Her foster-father sternly eyed,
Fruit of the furtive god's embrace.
He spake not, but with soul on flame,
He sought th' unknown offender's name,
At Phoebus' Pythian dwelling place.
But she, beneath the greenwood spray,
Her zone of purple silk untied;
And flung the silver clasp away
That rudely pressed her heaving side;
While, in the solitary wood,
Lucina's self to aid her stood, And fate a secret force supplied.
But, who the mother's oang can tell,
As sad and slowly she withdrew, And bade her babe a long farewell, Laid on a bed of violets blue?
When ministers of heaven's decree,
(Dire nurses they and strange to see,) Two scaly snakes of azure hue
Watched o'er his helpless infancy, And, rifled from the mountain bee, Bare on their forky tongues a harmless honey dew.
Swift roll the wheels! from Delphos home Arcadia's car-borne chief is come;
But, ah, how changed his eye !— His wrath is sunk, and past his pride, 'Where is Evande's babe,' he cried,
'Child of the deity?
'T was thus the augur god replied,
Nor strove his noble seed to hide;
And to his favored boy, beside,
The gift of prophecy,
And power beyond the sons of men
The secret things of fate to ken,
His blessing will supply.'
But, vainly, from his liegemen round,
He sought the noble child;
Who, naked on the grassy ground,
And nurtured in the wild,
Was moistened with the sparkling dew
Beneath his hawthorn bower;
Where morn her watery radiance threw,
Now golden bright, now deeply blue,
Upon the violet flower.
From that dark bed of breathing bloom
His mother gave his name;
And Iamus, through years to come,
Will live in lasting fame;
Who when the blossom of his days,
Had ripened on the tree,
From forth the brink where Alpheus strays,
Invoked the god whose sceptre sways
The hoarse resounding sea;
And, whom the Delian isle obeys,
The archer deity.
Alone amid the nightly shade,
Beneath the naked heaven he prayed,
And sire and grandsire called to aid;
When lo, a voice that loud and dread
Burst from the horizon free;
'Hither,' it spake,' to Pisa's shore,
My voice, O son, shall go before, Beloved, follow me.'
So in the visions of his sire, he went
Where Cranium's scarred and barren brow
Was red with morning's earliest glow,
Though darkness wrapt the nether element.
There, in a lone and craggy dell,
A double spirit on him fell,
TV untying voice of birds to tell,
And, (when Alcmena'sson should found
The holy games in Elis crowned,)
By Jove's high altar evermore to dwell,
Prophet and priest!—From him descend
The fathers ofour valiant friend,
Wealthy alike and just and wise, Who trod the plain and open way;And who is he that dare despise
With galling taunt the Cronian prize,
Or their illustrious toil gainsay,
Whose chariots whirling twelve times round
With burning wheels the Olympian ground,
Have gilt their brow with glory's ray?For, not the steams of sacrifice
From cool Cyllene's height of snow,
Nor vainly from thy kindred rise
The heaven-appeasing litanies
To Hermes, who, to men below,
Or gives the garland or denies : By whose high aid, Agesias, know,
And his, the thunderer ofthe skies,
The olive wreath hath bound thy brow.
A rcadian l Yes, a warmer zeal
Shall whet my tongue thy praise to tell.
I feel the sympathetic flame
Of kindred love ;-a Thehan I,
Whose parent nymph from Arcady
(Metope'sdaughter, Thebe) came.
Dear fountain goddess, warrior maid,