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All are alike involv'd in ill, and all
Must by the same relentless Fury fall.
Thus ended he; the greater Gods assent,
By Clamours urging his fevere intent;
The less fill up the Cry for Punishment.
Yet still with pity they remember Man ;
And mourn as much as heav'nly Spirits can.
They ask, when those were lost of human Birth,
What he wou'd do with all his waste of Earth ?
If his dispeopl'd World he would resign
To Beasts, a mute, and more ignoble Line ?
Neglected Altars muft no longer smoke,
If none were left to worship, and invoke.
To whom the Father of the Gods reply'd ;
Lay that unnecessary fear aside :
Mine be the care, new People to provide.
I will from wondrous Principles ordain
A Race unlike the first, and try my Skill again.
Already had he toss'd the flaming Brand ;
And roll'd the Thunder in his spacious Hand ;
Preparing to discharge on Seas and Land :
But stop'd, for fear, thus violently driv’n,
The Sparks should catch his Axle-tree of Heav'n.
Remembring, in the Fates, a time, when Fire
Shou'd to the Battlements of Heav'n aspire,
And all his blazing Worlds above shou'd burn,
And all th' inferior Globe to Cinders turn.
His dire Artill’ry thus dismiss’d, he bent
His thoughts to some securer Punishment :
Concludes to pour a Watry Deluge down ;
And, what he durft not burn, resolves to drown.
The Northern Breath, that freezes Floods, he binds ; With all the Race of Cloud-dispelling Winds :
The South he loos'd, who Night and Horror brings;
And Fogs are shaken from his flaggy Wings.
From his divided Beard two Streams he pours ;
His Head and rheumy Eyes distil in Show'rs.
With Rain his Robe and heavy Mantle flow :
And lazy Mifts are lowring on his Brow,
Still as he swept along, with his clench'd Fift
He squeez'd the Clouds; th’imprison'd Clouds refift:
The Skies, from Pole to Pole, with peals resound;
And Show'rs inlarg'd come pouring on the Ground.
Then, clad in Colours of a various Dye,
Junonian Iris breeds a new supply,
To feed the Clouds : Impetuous Rain descends;
The bearded Corn beneath the Burthen bends :
Defrauded Clowns deplore their perish'd Grain;
And the long Labours of the Year are vain.
Nor from his Patrimonial Heav'n alone
Is Jove content to pour his Vengeance down ;
Aid from his Brother of the Seas he craves,
To help him with Auxiliary Waves.
The watry Tyrant calls his Brooks and Floods,
Who rowl from moffy Caves, their moist abodes ;
And with perpetual Urns his Palace fill :
To whom, in brief, he thus imparts his Will:
Small Exhortation needs ; your Pow'rs employ :
And this bad World (fo fove requires) destroy.
Let loose the Reins to all your wátry Store :
Bear down the Dams, and open ev'ry door.
The Floods, by Nature Enemies to Land,
And proudly swelling with their new Command,
Remove the living Stones, that stop'd their way,
And, guthing from their Source, augment the Sea.
Then,with his Mace, their Monarch ftruck the Ground:
With inward trembling Earth receiv'd the Wound;
And rising Streams a ready paffage found.
Th' expanded Waters gather on the Plain :
They float the Fields, and over-top the Grain ;
Then rushing onwards, with a sweepy sway,
Bear Flocks, and Folds, and lab'ring Hinds away,
Nor safe their Dwellings were ; for, sap'd by Floods,
Their Houses fell upon their Houshold Gods.
The solid Piles, too strongly built to fall,
High o'er their Heads behold a watry Wall.
Now Seas and Earth were in confufion loit ;
A World of Waters, and without a Coast.
One climbs a Cliff; one in his Boat is born,
And ploughs above, where late he fow'd his Corn.
Others o'er Chimney tops and Turrets row,
And drop their Anchors on the Meads below :
Or downward driv'n, they bruise the tender Vine,
Or, toss'd aloft, are knock'd against a Pine.
And where of late the Kids had crop'd the Grass,
The Monsters of the deep now take their place.
Insulting Nereids on the Cities ride,
And wond’ring Dolphins o'er the Palace glide.
On Leaves, and Mafts of mighty Oaks, they brouze;
And their broad Fins entangle in the Boughs.
The frighted Wolf now swims amongst the Sheep;
The yellow Lion wanders in the deep :
His rapid force no longer helps the Boar :
The Stag swims faster than he ran before.
The Fowls, long beating on their Wings in vain,
Despair of Land, and drop into the Main.
Now Hills and Vales no more distinction know;
And levellid Nature lies oppress'd below.
The most of Mortals perish in the Flood:
The small remainder dies for want of Food.
A Mountain of stupendous height there stands Betwixt th’ Athenian and Bæotian Lands,
The bound of fruitful Fields, while Fields they were,
But then a Field of Waters did appear :
Parnassus is its name; whose forky rise
Mounts thro' the Clouds, and mates the lofty Skies.
High on the Summit of this dubious Cliff,
Deucalion wafting moor’d his little Skiff.
He with his Wife were only left behind
Of perih'd Man; they two were human Kind.
The Mountain Nymphs and Themis they adore,
And from her Oracles relief implore.
The most upright of Mortal Men was he ;
The most fincere, and holy Woman, she.
When I upiter, surveying Earth from high,
Beheld it in a Lake of Water lie,
That, where so many Millions lately liv'd,
But two, the best of either Sex, surviv'd ;
He loos’d the Northern Wind: fierce Boreas fies
To puff away the Clouds, and purge the Skies:
Serenely, while he blows, the Vapours driv'n
Discover Heav'n to Earth, and Earth to Heav'n.
The Billows fall, while Neptune lays his Mace
On the rough Sea, and smooths its furrow'd Face.
Already Triton, at his call, appears
Above the Waves; a Tyrian Robe he wears;
And in his hand a crooked Trumpet bears.
The Sovereign bids him peaceful sounds inspire,
And give the Waves the signal to retire.
His wrichen Shell he takes, whose narrow vent
Grows by degrees into a large extent;
Then gives it breath ; the Blaft, with doubling found,
Runs the wide Circuit of the World around.
The Sun first heard it, in his early Eait,
And met the rattling Echo's in the West.
7 The Waters, liftning to the Trumpet's roar,
Obey the Summons, and forsake the Shore.
A thin Circumference of Land appears ;
And Earth, but not at once, her Visage rears,
And peeps upon the Seas from upper Grounds :
The Streams, but just contain'd within their bounds,
By low degrees into their Channels crawl ;
And Earth increases as the Waters fall,
In longer time the tops of Trees appear,
Which Mud on their dishonour'd Branches bear.
At length the World was ail refior'd to view,
But desalate, and of a fickly hue:
Nature beheld her self, and stood aghaft,
A dismal Desart, and a filent Waite.
Which when Deucalion, with a piteous look,
Beheld, he wept, and thus to Pyrrhe spoke :
Oh Wife, oh Sister, oh of all thy Kind
The best, and only Creature left behind,
By Kindred, Love, and now by Dangers join'd;
Of Multitudes, who breath'd the common Air,
We two remain ; a Species in a Pair :
The reft the Seas have swallow'd ; nor have we
E'en of this wretched Life a certainty.
The Clouds are fill above; and, while I speak,
A second Deluge o'er our Heads may break.
Shou'd I be snatch'd from hence, and chou remain,
Without relief, er Partner of thy pain,
How cou'dft thou such a wretched Life sustain ?
Shou'd I be left, and thou be loit, the Sea,
That bury'd her I lov'd, shou'd bury me.
Oh cou'd our Father his old Arts inspire,
And make me Heir of his informing Fire,
'That so I might abolish'd Man retrieve,
And perith'd People in new Souls might live!