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XXUI.

XXX.

And every trace of the fresh butchery

“ And, if Latona's son should find me out, And cooking, the God soon made disappear, I'll countermine him by a deeper plan ; As if it all had vanished through the sky; [hair,- I'll pierce the Pythian temple-walls, though stout,

He burned the hoofs and horns and head and And sack the fane of everything I canThe insatiate fire devoured them hungrily ; Caldrons and tripods of great worth no doubt,

And when he saw that everything was clear, Each golden cup and polished brazen pan, He quenched the coals and trampled the black dust, All the wrought tapestries and garments gay.”And in the stream his bloody sandals tossed. So they together talked ;-meanwhile the Day

XXIV.

XXXI.

All night he worked in the serene moonshine

But when the light of day was spread abroad He sought his natal mountain-peaks divine.

On his long wandering, neither man nor god Had met him, since he killed Apollo's kine,

Nor house-dog had barked at him on bis road; Now he obliquely through the key-hole passed, Like a thin mist, or an autumnal blast.

Ethereal born, arose out of the flood

Of Howing Ocean, bearing light to men.
Apollo past toward the sacred wood,

Which from the inmost depths of its green glen
Echoes the voice of Neptune,-and there stood

On the same spot in green Onchestus then
That same old animal, the vine-dresser,
Who was employed hedging his vineyard there.

XXV.

XXXII.

Right through the temple of the spacious cave Latona's glorious Son began :-“ I pray

He went with soft light feet-as if his tread Tell, ancient hedger of Onchestus green, Fell not on earth ; no sound their falling gave; Whether a drove of kine has past this way,

Then to his cradle he crept quick, and spread All heifers with crooked horns? for they have been The swaddling-clothes about him ; and the knave Stolen from the herd in high Pieria, Lay playing with the covering of the bed,

Where a black bull was fed apart, between With his left hand about his knees—the right Two woody mountains in a neighbouring glen, Held his beloved tortoise-lyre tight.

And four fierce dogs watched there, unanimous as

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There he lay innocent as a new-born child, “ And, what is strange, the author of this theft

As gossips say ; but, though he was a god, Hlas stolen the fatted heifers every one, The goddess, his fair mother, unbeguiled

But the four dogs and the black bull are left:knew all that he had done, being abroad ;

Stolen they were last night at set of sun, “Whence come you, and from what adventure wild, Of their soft beds and their sweet food bereft

You cunning rogue, and where have you abode Now tell me, man born ere the world begun, All the long night, clothed in your impudence? Have you seen any one pass with the cows ?"What have you done since you departed hence ? To whom the man of overhanging brows,

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“ Apollo soon will pass within this gate,

“My friend, it would require no common skill And bind your tender body in a chain

Justly to speak of everything I see ; Inextricably tight, and fast as fate,

On various purposes of good or ill
Unless you can delude the God again,

Many pass by my vineyard,--and to me
Even when within his arms-ah, runagate! 'Tis difficult to know the invisible
A pretty torment both for gods and men

Thoughts, which in all those many minds may Your father made when he made you !"_“ Dear Thus much alone I certainly can say, (be :mother,”

I tilled these vines till the decline of day, Replied sly Hermes, “wherefore scold and bother?

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Lay swathed in his sly wiles. Round every crook Apollo gently smiled and said :—" Aye, aye, — Of the ample cavern, for his kine Apollo

You cunning little rascal, you will bore Looked sharp; and when he saw them not, he took Many a rich man's house, and your array

The glittering key, and opened three great hollow Of thieves will lay their siege before his door, Recesses in the rock—where many a nook Silent as night, in night ; and many a day

Was filled with the sweet food immortals swallow, In the wild glens rough shepherds will deplore And mighty heaps of silver and of gold

That you or yours, having an appetite, Were piled within a wonder to behold!

Met with their cattle, comrade of the night!

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LI.

LVIII.

“ You little swaddled child of Jove and May !" “ The cattle's track on the black dust full well

And seized him :-“ By this omen I shall trace Is evident, as if they went towards My noble herds, and you shall lead the way.” The place from which they came- that asphodel Cyllenian Hermes from the grassy place,

Meadow, in which I feed my many herds ; Like one in earnest haste to get away,

His steps were most incomprehensibleRose, and with hands lifted towards his face, I know not how I can describe in words Round both his ears up from his shoulders drew Those tracks—he could have gone along the sands His swaddling clothes, and—“What mean you to do Neither upon his feet nor on his hands;

LIX.

LII. “ With me, you unkind God !”-said Mercury:

“ Is it about these cows you teaze me so ? I wish the race of cows were perished !--I

Stole not your cows,I do not even know What things cows are. Alas! I well may sigh,

That, since I came into this world of woe, I should have ever heard the name of oneBut I appeal to the Saturnian's throne.”

“ He must have had some other stranger mode

Of moving on: those vestiges immense,
Far as I traced them on the sandy road,

Seemed like the trailof oak-toppings :—but thence
No mark nor track denoting where they trod

The hard ground gave :—but, working at his fence,
A mortal hedger saw him as he past
To Pylos, with the cows, in fiery haste.

LIII.

LX.

Thus Phoebus and the vagrant Mercury

“ I found that in the dark he quietly Talked without coming to an explanation,

Had sacrificed some cows, and before light With adverse purpose. As for Phæbus, he Had thrown the ashes all dispersedly Sought not revenge, but only information,

About the road—then, still as gloomy night, And Hermes tried with lies and roguery

Had crept into his cradle, either eye To cheat Apollo.—But when no evasion

Rubbing, and cogitating some new sleight. Served—for the cunning one his match had found— No eagle could have seen him as he lay He paced on first over the sandy ground.

Hid in his cavern from the peering day.

LIV.

LXI.

He of the Silver Bow, the child of Jove,

Followed behind, till to their heavenly Sire
Came both his children-beautiful as Love,

And from his equal balance did require
A judgment in the cause wherein they strove.
O'er odorous Olympus and its snows
A murmuring tumult as they came arose,

“ I taxed him with the fact, when he averred

Most solemnly that he did neither see
Nor even had in any manner heard

Of my lost cows, whatever things cows be ;
Nor could he tell, though offered a reward,

Not even who could tell of them to me.'
So speaking, Phæbus sate ; and Hermes then
Addressed the Supreme Lord of Gods and Men :

LY.

LXI.

And from the folded depths of the great Hill, “ Great Father, you know clearly beforehand While Hermes and Apollo reverent stood

That all which I shall say to you is sooth ; Before Jove's throne, the indestructible

I am a most veracious person, and
Immortals rushed in mighty multitude;

Totally unacquainted with untruth.
And, whilst their seats in order due they fill, At sunrise Phæbus came, but with no band
The lofty Thunderer in a careless mood

Of Gods to bear him witness, in great wrath
To Phæbus said :—“ Whence drive you this sweet To my abode, seeking his heifers there,
This herald-baby, born but yesterday ? [prey, And saying that I must show him where they are,

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And they by mighty Jupiter were bidden

To go forth with a single purpose both,
Neither the other chiding nor yet chidden:

And Mercury with innocence and truth
To lead the way, and show where he had hidden

The mighty heifers.—Hermes, nothing loth,
Obeyed the Ægis-bearer's will—for he
Is able to persuade all easily.

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These words were winged with his swift delight:

“ You heifer-stealing schemer, well do you
Deserve that fifty oxen should requite

Such minstrelsies as I have heard even now.
Comrade of feasts, little contriving wight,

One of your secrets I would gladly know,
Whether the glorious power you now show forth
Was folded up within you at your birth,

LXXV.
“Or whether mortal taught or God inspired

The power of unpremeditatcd song?
Many divinest sounds have I admired

The Olympian Gods and mortal men among ;
But such a strain of wondrous, strange, untired,

And soul-awakening music, sweet and strong
Yet did I never hear except from thee,
Offspring of May, impostor Mercury!

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LXXVI.

“ How was it possible,” then Phæbus said,

“ That you, a little child, born yesterday, A thing on mother's milk and kisses fed,

Could two prodigious heifers ever flay? E’en I myself may well hereafter dread

Your prowess, offspring of Cyllenian May, When you grow strong and tall.”—He spoke, and Stiff' withy bands the infant's wrists around. [bound

“ What Muse, what skill, what unimagined use,

What exercise of subtlest art, has given [choose Thy songs such power?-for those who hear may

From three, the choicest of the gifts of Heaven,
Delight, and love, and sleep, sweet sleep,whose dews

Are sweeter than the balmy tears of even :-
And I, who speak this praise, am that Apollo
Whom the Olympian Muses ever follow:

LXX.

LXXVII.

He might as well have bound the oxen wild; “ And their delight is dance, and the blithe noise

The withy bands, though starkly interknit, Of song and everflowing poesy; Fell at the feet of the immortal child,

And sweet, even as desire, the liquid voice Loosened by some device of his quick wit.

Of pipes, that fills the clear air thrillingly;
Phæbus perceived himself again beguiled,

But never did my inmost soul rejoice
And stared—while Hermes sought some hole or In this dear work of youthful revelry,
Looking askance and winking fast as thought, (pit, As now I wonder at thee, son of Jove;
Where he might hide himself, and not be caught." Thy harpings and thy song are soft as love.

LXXI.

LXXVIII.

Sudden he changed his plan, and with strange skill

Subdued the strong Latonian, by the might Of winning music, to his mightier will;

His left hand held the lyre, and in his right The plectrum struck the chords—unconquerable

Up from beneath his hand in circling fight The gathering music rose—and sweet as Love The penetrating notes did live and move

« Now since thou hast, although so very small,

Science of arts so glorious, thus I swear,
And let this cornel javelin, keen and tall,

Witness between us what I promise here,
That I will lead thee to the Olympian Hall,

Honoured and mighty, with thy mother dear,
And many glorious gifts in joy will give thee,
And even at the end will ne'er deceive thee."

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