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Passes the strait that parts the foaming seas,
And stately Corinth's pleasing site surveys.

'Twas now the time when Phæbus yields to night,
And rising Cynthia sheds her silver light :
Wide o'er the world in solemn pomp she drew
Her airy chariot, hung with pearly dew;
All birds and beasts lie hush'd : Sleep steals away
The wild desires of men, and toils of day,
And brings, descending through the silent air
A sweet forgetfulness of human care.
Yet no red clouds, with golden borders gay,
Promise the skies the bright return of day;
No faint reflections of the distant light (night;
Streak with long gleams the scattering shades of
From the damp earth impervious vapours rise,
Increase the darkness, and involve the skies.
At once the rushing winds with roaring sound
Burst from the Æolian caves, and rend the ground,
With equal rage their airy quarrel try,
And win by turns the kingdom of the sky :
But with a thicker night black Auster shrouds
The heavens, and drives on heaps the rolling clouds;
From whose dark womb a rattling tempest pours,
Which the cold North congeals to haily showers.
From pole to pole the thunder roars aloud,
And broken lightnings flash from every cloud.
Now smokes with showers the misty mountain-

ground, And floated fields lie undistinguish'd round, The Inachian streams with headlong fury run, And Erasinus rolls a deluge on : The foaming Lerna swells above its bounds And spreads its ancient poisons o'er the grounds : Where late was dust, now rapid torrents play, Rush through the mounds, and bear the dams away: Old limbs of trees from crackling forests torn, Are whirl'd in air, and on the winds are borne. The storm the dark Lyczan groves display'd, And first to light exposed the sacred shade.

The intrepid Theban hears the bursting sky,
Sees yawning rocks in massy fragments fly,
And views astonish'd from the hills afar,
The foods descending, and the watery war,
That, driven by storms, and pouring o'er the plain,
Swept herds, and hinds, and houses to the main.
Through the brown horrors of the night he fled,
Nor knows, amazed, what doubtful path to tread;
His brother s image to his mind appears,
Inflames his heart with rage, and wings his feet with

So fares a sailor on the stormy main,
When clouds conceal Böotes' golden wain;
When not a star its friendly lustre keeps,
Nor trembling Cynthia glimmers on the deeps;
He dreads the rocks, and shoals, and seas, and skies.
While thunder roars, and lightning round him flies.

Thus strove the chief, on every side distress'd,
Thus still his courage with his toils increased;
With his broad shield opposed, he forced his way
Through thickest woods, and roused the beasts of prey
Till he beheld, where from Larissa's height
The shelving walls reflect a glancing light:
Thither with haste the Theban hero flies;
On this side Lerna's poisonous water lies,
On hat Prosymna’s grove and temple rise :
He pass’d the gates, which then unguarded lay,
And to the regal palace bent his way ;
On the cold marble, spent with toil, he lies,
And waits till pleasing slumbers seal his eyes.

Adrastus here his happy people sways,
Bless'd with calm peace in his declining days.
By both his parents of descent divine,
Great Jove and Phæbus graced his noble line:
Heaven had not crown'd his wishes with a son,
But two fair daughters heir d his state and throne
To him A pollo (wondrous to relate !
But who can pierce into the depths of Fate ?)

Had sung-— Expect thy sons on Argos shore,
A yellow lion, and a bristly boar.'
This, long revolved in his paternal breast,
Sate heavy on his heart, and broke his rest;
This, great Amphiarus, lay hid from thee,
Though skill'd in fate, and dark futurity.
The father's care and prophet's art were vain :
For thus did the predicting god ordain.

Lo, hapless Tydeus, whose ill-fated hand
Had slain his brother, leaves his native land,
And, seized with horror, in the shades of night,
Through the thick deserts headlong urged his flight,
Now by the fury of the tempest driven,
He seeks a shelter from the inclement heaven,
Till, led by fate, the Theban's steps he treads,
And to fair Argos' open court succeeds.

When thus the chiefs from different lands rescn,
To Adrastus' realms, and hospitable court ;
The king surveys his guests with curious eyes,
And views their arms and habit with surprise.
A lion's yellow skin the Theban wears,
Horrid his mane, and rough with curling hairs;
Such once employ'd Alcides' youthful toils,
Ere yet adorn'd with Nemea's dreadful spoils.
A boar's stiff hide, of Calydonian breed,
Enides' manly shoulders overspread :
Oblique his tusks, erect bis bristles stood :
Alive, the pride and terror of the wood.

Struck with the sight, and fix'd in deep amaze
The king the accomplish'd oracle surveys ;
Reveres Apollo's vocal caves, and owns
The guiding godhead, and his future sons.
O'er all his bosom secret transports reign,
And a glad horror shoots through every vein.
To heaven he lifts his hands, erect his sight,
And thus invokes the silent queen night :

Goddess of shades, beneath whose gloomy reig. Yon spang ed arch glows with the starry train;

You, who the cares of heaven and earth allay,
Till nature, quicken'd by the inspiring ray,
Wakes to new vigour with the rising day :
O thou, who freest me from my doubtful state,
Long lost and wilder'd in the maze of fate!
Be present still: oh goddess ! in our aid
Proceed, and 'firm those omens thou hast made.
We to thy name our annual rites will pay,
And on thy altars sacrifices lay;
The sable flock shall fall beneath the stroke,
And fill thy temples with a graceful smoke
Hail, faithful Tripos ! hail, ye dark abodes
Of awful Phæbus : I confess the gods !

Thus, seized with sacred fear, the monarch pray'.
Then to his inner court the guests convey'd :
Where yet thin fumes from dying sparks arise
And dust yet white upon each altar lies,
The relics a former sacrifice.
The king once more the solemn rites requires,
And bids renew the feasts, and wake the fires.
His train obey, while all the courts around
With noisy care and various tumult sound.
Embroider'd purple clothes the golden beds;
This slave the floor, and that the table spreads :
A third dispels the darkness of the night;
And fills depending lamps with beams of light;
Here loaves in canisters are piled on high,
And there in Aames the slaughter'd victims fry.
Sublime in regal state Adrastus shone,
Stretch'd on rich carpets on his ivory throno;
A lofty couch receives each princely guest;
Around, at awful distance, wait the rest.

And now the king, his royal feast lo grace, Acestis calls, the guardian of his race, Who first their youth in arts of virtue train’d, And their ripe years in modest grace maintain'de Then softly whisper'd in her faithful ear, And bade his daughters at the rites appear..

When from the close apartments of the night,
The royal nymphs approach divinely bright ;
Such was Diana's, such Minerva's face ;
Nor shine their beauties with superior grace,
But that in these a milder charm endears,
And less of terror in their looks appears.
As on the heroes first they cast their eyes,
O'er their fair cheeks the glowing blushes rise,
Their downcast looks a decent shame confess'd,
Then on their father's reverend features rest.

The banquet done, the monarch gives the sign
To fill the goblet high with sparkling wine,
Which Danaus used in sacred rites of old,
With sculpture graced, and rough with rising gold.
Here to the clouds victorious Perseus flies,
Medusa seems to move her languid eyes,
And e'en in gold, turns paler as she dies.
There from the chase Jove's towering eagle bears,
On golden wings, the Phrygian to the stars;
Still as he rises in the ethereal height,
His native mountains lessen to his sight;
While all his sad companions upward gaze,
Fix'd on the glorious scene in wild amaze;
And the swift hounds, affrighted as he flies,
Run to the shade, and bark against the skies

This golden bowl with generous juice was crowu'd The first libation sprinkled on the ground: By turns on each celestial power they call, With Phoebus' name resounds the vaulted hall. The courtly train, the strangers, and the rest, Crown'd with chaste laurel, and with garlands

dress'd, While with rich gums the fuming altars blaze, Salute the god in numerous hymns of praise.

Then thus the king : “ Perhaps, iny noble guests, These honour'd altars, and these annual feasts To bright Apollo's awful namc design’d, Unknown, with wonder may perplex your mind,

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