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But Heav'n is pleas'd, nor ought we to complain,
That we, th' Examples of Mankind, remain.
He said: the careful Couple join their Tears,
And then invoke the Gods, with pious Prayers.
Thus in Devotion having eas'd their Grief,
From sacred Oracles they feek Relief :
And to Cephisus' Brook their way pursue :
The Stream was troubled, but the Ford they knew.
With living Waters, in the Fountain bred,
They sprinkle first their Garments, and their Head,
Then took the way, which to the Temple led.
The Roofs were all defild with Moss and Mire,
'The desert Altars void of folemn Fire.
Before the Gradual proftrate they ador'd,
The Pavement kiss’d; and thus the Saint implor'd.
O Righteous Themis, if the Pow'rs above
By Pray'rs are bent to pity, and to love ;
If human Miseries can move their Mind ;
If yet they can forgive, and yet be kind;
Tell how we may restore, by second birth,
Mankind, and people desolated Earth.
Then thus the gracious Goddess, nodding, faid;
Depart, and with your Vestments veil
head: And stooping lowly down, with loosen'd Zones, Throw each behind your backs your mighty Mother's
Amaz'd the Pair, and mute with wonder, stand,
'Till Pyrrha first refu:'the dire Command.
Forbid it Heav'n, said she, that I fou'd tear
Those Holy Relicks from the Sepulchre.
They ponder'd the mysterious words again,
For some new sense; and long they sought in vain :
At length Deucalion clear'd his cloudy brow,
And said: the dark ænigma will allow
A Meaning ; which, if well I understand,
From Sacrilege will free the God's Command :
This Earth our mighty Mother is, the Stones
In her capacious Body are her Bones :
These we must caft behind. With hope, and fear,
The Woman did the new Solution hear:
The Man diffides in his own Augury,
And doubts the Gods; yet both resolve to try.
Descending from the Mount, they first unbind
Their Vests, and veil'd they cast the Stones behind :
The Stones (a Miracle to Mortal View,
But long Tradition makes it pass for true )
Did firit the Rigour of their Kind expel,
And suppled into softness as they fell;
Then swell’d, and swelling by degrees grew warm ;
And took the Rudiments of human Form;
Imperfect Shapes : in Marble such are seen,
When the rude Chizzel does the Man begin ;
While yet the roughness of the Stone remains,
Without the rising Muscles and the Veins,
The fappy parts, and next resembling juice,
Were turn'd to moisture, for the Body's use:
Supplying humours, blood and nourishment;
The rest, too solid to receive a bent,
Converts to Bones ; and what was once a Vein,
Its former Name and Nature did retain.
By help of Pow'r Divine, in little space,
What the Man threw affum'd a Manly Face ;
And what the Wife, renew'd the Female Race.
Hence we derive our Nature; born to bear
Laborious Life, and harden'd into Care.
The rest of Animals, from teeming Earth
Produc'd, in various forms receiv'd their birth.
The native moisture, in its close retreat,
Digcfted by the Sun's Ætherial Heat,
As in a kindly Womb, began to breed :
Then swelld, and quicken'd by the vital Seed.
And some in less, and some in longer space,
Were ripen'd into form, and took a sey'ral face.
Thus when the Nile from Pharian Fields is filed,
And seeks, with Ebbing Tides, his Ancient Bed,
The fat Manure with Heav'nly Fire is warm’d;
And cruited Creatures, as in Wombs, are form’d:
These, when they turn the Glebe, che Peasants find ;
Some rude, and yet unfinish'd in their kind :
Short of their Limbs, a lame imperfect Birth;
One half alive, and one of lifeless Earth.
For heat and moisture when in Bodies join'd,
The temper that results from either Kind
Conception makes; and fighting 'till they mix,
Their mingled Atoms in each other fix.
'Thus Nature's hand the Genial Bed prepares
With friendly Discord, and with fruitful Wars.
From hence the surface of the Ground with Mud
And Slime besmear'd (the fæces of the Flood)
Receiv'd the Rays of Heav'n ; and fucking in
The Seeds of Heat, new Creaturės did begin:
Some were of sev'ral sorts produc'd before ;
But of new Monsters Earth created more.
Unwillingly, but yet she brought to light
Thee, Python, too, the wond’ring World to fright,
And the new Nations, with so dire a sight :
So monstrous was his bulk, so large a space
Did his vait Body and long Train embrace :
Whom Phæbus balking on a Bank espy'd.
Ere now the God his Arrows had not try'd,
But on the trembling Deer, or Mountain Goat;
At this new Quarry he prepares to shoot.
Though every Shaft took place, he spent the Store
Of his full Quiver; and 'cwas long before
Th'expiring Serpent wallow'd in his Gore.
Then, to preserve the Fame of such a deed,
For Python flain he Pythian Games decreed.
Where Noble Youths for Maftership shou'd ftrive,
To Quoit, to Run, and Steeds and Chariots drive.
The Prize was Fame : In witness of Renown,
An Oaken Garland did the Victor crown.
The Laurel was not yet for Triumphs born;
But every Green alike by Phæbus worn
Did, with promiscuous Grace, his flowing Locks adorn.
The Transformation of DAPHNE into
The first and faireft of his Loves was she,
Whom not blind Fortune, but the dire Decree
Of angry Cupid forc'd him to defire:
Daphne her Name, and Peneus was her Sire.
Swellid with the Pride, that new Success attends,
He sees the Stripling, while his Bow he bends,
And thus insults him : Thou lascivious Boy,
Are Arms like these for Children to employ ?
Know, such Atchievements are my proper claim;
Due to my vigour and unerring aim :
Refiftless are my Shafts, and Python late,
In such a feather'd Death, has found his fate.
Take up thy Torch, and lay my Weapons by;
With that the feeble Souls of Lovers fry..
To whom the Son of Venus thus reply'd :
Phebus, thy Shafts are sure on all beside ;
But mine on Phæbus : mine the Fame shall be
Of all thy Conquests, when I conquer thee.
He said, and soaring swiftly wing'd his flight;
Nor ftop'd but on Parnasus' airy height.
Two diff'rent Shafts he from his Quiver draws;
One to repel Desire, and one to cause.
One Shaft is pointed with refulgent Gold,
To bribe the Love, and make the Lover bold:
One blunt, and tipt with Lead, whose bale Allay
Provokes Disdain, and drives Desire away.
The blunted Bolt against the Nymph he dret :
But with the sharp transfix'd Apollo's Breaft.
Th' enamour'd Deity pursues the Chace;
The scornful Damsel suns his loath'd Embrace :
In hunting Beaits of Prey her Youth employs ;
And Phæbe rivals in hèr rural Joys.
With naked Neck she goes, and Shoulders bare ;
And with a Fillet binds her flowing Hair.
By many Suitors sought, the mocks their pains,
And still her vow'd Virginity maintains.
Impatient of a Yoke, the name of Bride
She shuns, and hates the Joys, the never try'd.
On Wilds and Woods the fixes her Desire ;
Nor knows what Youth, and kindly Love, inspire.
Her Father chides her oft : Thou ow'it, says he,
A Husband to thy self, a Son to me.
She, like a Crime, abhors the Nuptial Bed :
She glows with Blushes, and she hangs her Head.
Then, casting round his Neck her tender Arms,
Sooths him with Blandishments, and filial Charms:
Give me, my Lord, she said, to live, and die,
A spotless Maid, without the Marriage-Tie.
* Tis but a small Request; I beg no more
Than what Diana's Father gave before.