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- The good old Sire was softend to consent;
Bat said, her Wish wou'd prove her Punishment :
For so much Youth, and so much Beauty join'd,
Oppos'd the State, which her Defires defign'd.
The God of Light, aspiring to her Bed,
Hopes what he seeks, with flatı'ring Fancies fed ;
And is by his own Oracles mis-led.
And as in empty Fields the Stubble burns,
Or nightly Travellers, when Day returns,
Their useless Torches on dry Hedges throw,
That catch the flames, and kindle all the Row;
So burns the God, consuming in Desire,
And feeding in his Breast a fruitless Fire :
Her well-turn'd Neck he view'd ( her Neck was bare)
And on her Shoulders her disheveld Hair :
Oh were it comb’d, said he, with what a Grace
Wou'd every waving Curl become her Face !
He view'd her Eyes, like Heav'nly Lamps that shone ;
He view'd her Lips, too sweet to view alone,
Her taper Fingers, and her panting Breast;
He praises all he sees, and for the rest
Believes the Beauties yet unseen are best.
Swift as the Wind, the Damsel Aled away,
Nor did for these alluring Speeches ftay:
Stay, Nymph, he cry'd, I follow, not a Foe:
Thus from the Lion trips the trembling Doe ;
Thus from the Wolf the frighten'd Lamb removes,
And from pursuing Falcons fearful Doves ;
Thou shunn'it a God, and shunn'ít a God, that loves.
Ah, left fome Thorn shou'd pierce thy tender Foot,
Or thou shou’dft fall in fying my Pursuit !
To sharp uneven Ways thy Steps decline;
Abate thy Speed, and I will bate of mine.
Yet think from whom thou doft fo rafhly Ay;
Nor basely born, nor Shepherd's Swain am I.
Perhaps thou know'st not my superior State;
And from that Ignorance proceeds thy Hate.
Mc Claros, Delphos, Tenedos obey ;
These Hands the Patareian Scepter sway.
The King of Gods begot me : What shall be,
Or is, or ever was, in Fate, I see.
Mine is th' Invention of the charming Lyre ;
Sweet Notes, and Heav'nly Numbers, I inspire.
Sure is my Bow, unerring is my Dart;
But ah! more deadly his, who pierc°d my Heart.
Med'cine is mine ; what Herbs and Simples grow
In Fields, and Forests, all their Pow'rs I know;
And am the great Physician call'd below.
Alas, chat Fields and Forests can afford
No Remedies to heal their Love. fick Lord !
To cure the pains of Love, no Plant avails ;
And his own Phyfick the Physician fails.
She heard not half, so furiously she flies ;
And on her Ear th' imperfect Accent dies.
Fear gave her Wings; and, as she fled, the Wind
Increasing spread her flowing Hair behind;
And left her Legs and Thighs expos’d to view :
Which made the God more eager to pursue.
The God was young, and was too hotly bent
'To lose his time in empty Compliment :
But led by Love, and fir'd with such a light,
Impetuously pursu'd his near Delight.
As when th' impatient Greyhound, flipt from far,
Bounds o'er the Glebe, to course the fearful Hare,
She in her Speed does all her Safety lay ;
And he with double Speed pursues the Prey;
O'er-runs her at the fitting Turn, and licks
His Chaps in vain, and blows upon the Flix:
She scapes, and for the neighb'ring Covert strives,
And gaining ihelier doubts if yet she lives :
If little things with great we may compare,
Such was the God, and such the flying Fair :
She, urg'd by Fear, her Feet did swiftly move,
But he more swiftly, who was urg'd by Love.
He gathers ground upon her in the Chace :
her Ilair, with nearer Pace ; And jult is fast’ning on the wish'd Embrace.
The Nymph grew pale, and in a mortal Fright,
• Spent with the Labour of so long a Flight;
- And now despairing cast a mournful Look
Upon the Streams of her Paternal Brook :
Oh help, she cry'd, in this extremest need,
If Water-Gods are Deities indeed :
Gape, Earth, and this unhappy Wretch intomb;
Or change my Form, whence all my Sorrows comte.
Scarce had she finish'd, when her Feet the found
Benumb’d with Cold, and fasten'd to the Ground :
A filmy Rind about her Body grows ;
Her Hair to Leaves, her Arms extend to Boughs :
The Nymph is all into a Laurel gone ;
The Smoothness of her Skin remains alone.
Yet Phæbus loves her still, and, cafting round
Her Bole his Arms, some little Warmth he found.
The Tree ftill panted in th' unfinish'd Part,
Not wholly vegetive ; and heav'd her Heart.
He fix'd his Lips upon the trembling Rind;
It swery'd aside, and his Embrace declind,
To whom the God :, Because thou canst not be:
My Mistress, I espouse thee for my Tree :
Be thou the Prize of Honour and Renown ;
The deathless Poet, and the Poem, crown.
Thou shalt the Roman Festivals adorn,
And, after Poets, be by Victors worn.
Thou shalt returning Cafar’s Triumph grace ;
When Pomps shall in a long Procession pafs':
Wreath'd on the Poft before his Palace wait ;
And be the sacred Guardian of the Gate :
Secure from Thunder, and unharm'd by Jove,
Unfading as th' immortal Pow'rs above :
And as the Locks of Phæbus are unfhorn,
So shall perpetual Green thy Boughs adorn.
The grateful Tree was pleas'd with what he said,
And shook the shady Honours of her Head.
The Transformation of lo into a Heifer.
An ancient Foreft in Thesalia grows ;
Which Tempe's pleafing Valley does inclofe :
Through this the rapid Peneus take his course ;
From Pindus rolling with impetuous force :
Mists from the River's mighty Fall arise ;
And deadly Damps inclose the cloudy Skies :
Perpetual Fogs are hanging o'er the Wood;
And Sounds of Waters deaf the Neighbourhood.
Deep, in a Rocky Cave, he makes abode :
A Manfion proper for a mourning God.
Here he gives Audience ; issuing out Decrees
To Rivers, his dependent Deities.
On this occasion hither they resort ;
To pay their Homage, and to make their Court.
All doubtful, whether to congratulate
His Daughter's Honour, or lament her Fate.
Sperchæus, crown'd with Poplar, first appears ;
Then old Apidanus came crown'd with Years :
Enipeus turbulent, Amphrysos tame ;
And Æas last with lagging Waters came.
Then of his Kindred Brooks a num'rous Throng
Condole his Loss, and bring their Urns along.
Not one was wanting of the wat’ry Train,
That filld his Flood, or mingled with the Main,
But Inachus, who, in his Cave, alone,
Wept not another's Loffes, but his own ;
For his dear Io, whether stray'd, or dead,
To him uncertain, doubtful Tears he shed.
He fought her through the World, but fought in vain ;
And, no where finding, rather fear'd her Slain.
Her, just returning from her Father's Brook,
Jove had beheld, with a desiring Look :
And, Oh, fair Daughter of the Flood, he said,
Worthy alone of foue's Imperial Bed,
Happy whoever fhall those Charms poffess;
The King of Gods (nor is thy Lover less)
Invites thee to yon cooler Shades, to fhun
The scorching Rays of the Meridian Sun.
Nor shalt thou tempt the Dangers of the Grove
Alone, without a Guide ; thy Guide is Jove.
No puny Pow'r, but he, whose high Command
Is unconfin'd, v:ho rules the Seas and Land,
And tempers Thunder in his awful Hand.
Oh fly not : For fhe fled from his Embrace
O'er Lerna's Paftures : he pursu'd the Chace
Along the Shades of the Lyrcean Plain ;
At length the God, who never asks in vain,
Involv'd with Vapours, imitating Night,
Both Air and Earth; and then suppress'd her Flight,
And, mingling Force with Love,enjoy'd the full Delight.