« AnteriorContinuar »
My Votary, thy Babe from Death defend,
Nor fear to save whate'er the Gods will send.
Delude with Art thy Husband's dire Decree :
When Danger calls, repose thy Trust on me ;
And know thou hast not ferv'd a thankless Deity.
This Promise made, with Night the Goddess Aled :
With Joy the Woman wakes, and leaves her Bed ;
Devoutly lifts her spotless Hands on high,
And prays the Pow'rs their Gift to ratify.
Now grinding Pains proceed to Bearing Throes,
'Till its own Weight the Burden did disclose.
'Twas of the beauteous Kind, and brought to Light
With Secrecy, to fhun the Father's Sight.
Th' indulgent Mother did her Care employ,
And pass’d it on her Husband for a Boy.
The Nurle was conscious of the Fact alone ;
'he Father paid his Vows as for a Son;
And callid him Iphis, by a common Name,
Which either Sex with equal Right may claim.
Iphis his Grandfire was ; the Wife was pleas'd,
Of half the Fraud by Fortune's Favour eas'd :
The doubtful Name was us'd without Deceit,
And Trutḥ was cover'd with a pious Cheat.
The Habit thew'd a Boy, the Beauteous Face
With Manly Fierceness mingled Female Grace.
Now thirteen Years of Age were swiftly rụn,
When the fond Father thought the Time drew on
Of settling in the World his only Son.
Janthe was his Choice ; so wondrous fair,
Her Form alone with Iphis cou'd compare ;
A Neighbour's Daughter of his own Degree,
And not more bless'd with Fortune's Goods than he.
They foon espous'd; for they with ease were join’d, Who were before contracted in the Mind.
Their Age the same, their Inclinations too ;
And bred together in one School they grew.
Thus, fatally dispos'd to mutual Fires,
They felt, before they knew, the same Desires.
Equal their Flame, unequal was their Care
One lov'd with Hope, one languilh'd in Despair.
The Maid accus'd the ling’ring Days alone :
For whom she thought a Man, she thought her own,
But Iphis bends beneath a greater Grief ;
As fiercely burns, but hopes for no Relief.
E'en her Despair adds Fuel to her Fire;
A Maid with Madness does a Maid defire.
And, scarce refraining Tears, Alas, said the,
What Issue of my Love remains for me!
How wild a Passion works within my Breast !
With what prodigious Flames am I pofseft !
Could I the Care of Providence deserve,
Heay'n muft destroy me, if it would preserve.
And that's my Fate, or sure it would have sent
Some usual Evil for
Punishment : Not this unkindly Curse; to rage, and burn, Where Nature shews no Prospect of Return. Nor Cows for Cows consume with fruitless Fire ; Nor Mares, when hot, their Fellow-Mares desire : The Father of the Fold supplies his Ewes ; The Stag through secret Woods his Hind pursues ; And Birds for Mates the Males of their own Species
choose. Her Females Nature guards from Female Flames, And joins two Sexes to preserve the Game : Wou'd I were nothing, or not what I am ! Crete, fam'd for Monsters, wanted of her Store, 'Till my new Love produc'd one Monster more.
The Daughter of the Sun a Bull defir'd,. '.
And yet e’en then a Male a Female fir'd :
Her Passion was extravagantly new;
But mine is much the madder of the two..
To things imposible she was not bent,
But found the Means to compass her Intent.
To cheat his Eyes she took a diff'rent Shape ;,
Yet ftill she gain'd a Lover, and a Leap.
Shou'd all the Wit of all the World conspire,
Shou'd Dedalus asfilt my wild Desire,
What Art can make me able to enjoy,
Or what can change lanthe to a Boy ?
Extinguish then thy Paffion, hopeless Maid,
And recollect thy Reason for thy Aid.
Know what thou art, and love as Maidens ought,
And drive these Golden Wishes from thy Thoughts
Thou canst not hope thy fond Desires to gain ;
Where Hope is wanting, Wishes are in vain.
And yet no Guards against our Joys conspire ;
No jealous Husband hinders our Defire;
My Parents are propitious to my Wish,
And she her self consenting to the Bliss.
All things concur to prosper our Design :
All things to prosper any Love but mine.
And yet I never can enjoy the Fair ;
'Tis past the Pow'r of Heav'n to grant my Pray'r..
Heav'n has been kind, as far as Heav'n can be ;
Our Parents with our own Desires agree ;
But Nature, stronger than the Gods above,
Refuses her Asistance to my
She sets the Bar that causes all my Pain ;
One Gift refus'd makes all their Bounty vain.
And now the happy Day is just at hand,
To bind our Hearts in Hymen's holy Band :
Our Hearts, but not our Bodies : Thus accursid,
In midft of Water I complain of Thirft.
Why com'ft thou, uno, to these barren Rites,
To bless a Bed defrauded of Delights ?
And why shou'd Hymen lift his Torch on high,
To see two Brides in cold Embraces lie ?
Thus Love-sick Iphis her vain Passion mourns ;
With equal Ardour fair lanthe burns,
Invoking Hymen's Name, and Juno's Pow'r,
To speed the Work, and haste the happy Hour.
She hopes, while Telethufa fears the Day,
And strives to interpose fome new Delay :
Now feigns a Sickness, now is in a Fright
For this bad Omen, or that boding Sight.
But having done whate'er she could devise,
And empty'd all her Magazine of Lies,
The Time approach'd ; the next ensuing Day
The fatal Secret muft to Light betray.
Then Telethufa had recourse to Pray’r,
She and her Daughter with dishevell’d Hair
Trembling with Fear, great Ifis they ador'd,
Imbrac'd her Altar, and her Aid implor’d.
Fair Queen, who doft on fruitful Eygpt smile,
Who sway'st the Sceptre of the Pharian Ille,
.Ind sev'n-fold Falls of disemboguing Nile ;
elieve, in this our last Distress, fhe said,
A suppliant Mother, and a mournfül Maid.
Chou, Goddess, thou wert present to my Sight;
Reveal'd I saw thee by thy own fair Light :
I saw thee in my Dream, as now I see,
With all thy Marks of awful Majesty :
The glorious Train that compass’d thee around ;
And heard the hollow Timbrel's holy Sound.
Thy Words I nosed, which I still retain ;
Let not thy sacred Oracies be vain.
That Iphis lives, that I my self am free
From Shame, and Punishment, I owe to thee.
On thy Protection all our Hopes depend:
Thy Counsel sav'd us, let thy Pow'r defend.
Her Tears pursu'd her Words, and while the spoke
The Goddess nodded, and her Altar Mook:
The Temple Doors, as with a Blast of Wind,
Were heard to clap; the Lunar Horns that bind
The Brows of lfis cast a Blaze around ;
The trembling Timbrel made a murm’ring Sound.
Some Hopes these happy Omens did impart ;
Forth went the Mother with a beating Heart,
Not much in Fear, nor fully fatisfy'd ;
But Iphis follow'd with a larger Stride :
The Whiteness of her Skin forsook her Face;
Her Looks embolden'd with an awful Grace ;
Her Features and her Strength together grew,
And her long Hair to curling Locks withdrew.
Her sparkling Eyes with manly Vigour shone ;
Big was her Voice, audacious was her Tone.
The latent Parts, at length reveal'd, began
To shoot, and spread, and burnish into Man.
The Maid becomes a Youth ; no more delay
Your Vows, but look, and confidently pay.
Their Gifts the Parents to the Temple bear :
The Votive Tables this Inscription wear ;
Iphis, the Man, has to the Goddess paid
The Vows, that Iphis offer’d when a Maid.
Now when the Star of Day had shewn his Face,
Venus and Juno with their Presence grace
The Nuptial Rites, and Hymen from above
Descended to compleat their happy Love ;