Abbildungen der Seite

Whether to sweet Castalia thou repair 831
And bathe in silver dews thy yellow hair ;
Or pleas’d to find fair Delos float no more,
Delight in Cynthus and the shady shore ;
Or thus thy seat in Ilion's proud abodes,

The shining structures rais'd by lab'ring gods.
By thee the bow and mortal shafts are borne.;
Eternal charms thy blooming youth adorn ;
Skill'd in the laws of secret Fate above,
And the dark councils of Almighty Joye, 840
'Tis thine the seeds of future war to know,
The change of sceptres and impending woe;
When direful meteors spread through glowing air
Long trails of light, and shake their blazing hair.
Thy rage the Phrygian felt, who durst aspire 845
T'excel the music of thy heav'nly lyre ;
Thy shafts aveng'd lewd Tityus guilty flame,
Th' immortal victim of thy mother's fame;
Thy hand slew Python, and the dame who lost
Her num'rous offspring for a fatal boast; 850
In Phlegyas' doom thy just revenge appears,
Condemn'd to furies and eternal fears ;
He views his food, but dreads, with lifted eye,
The mould'ring rock that trembles from on high.”

Propitious hear our pray’r, O Pow'r divine ! And on thy hospitable Argos shine ;

856 Whether the style of Titan please thee more, Whose purple rays th' Achæmenes adore : Or

great Osiris, who first taught the swain In Pharian fields to sow the golden grain ; 860

0: 1:hra, to whose beams the Persian bows,

pays, in hollow rocks, his aweful vows; Vihra! whose head the blaze of light adorns, M'ho grasps the struggling heifer's lunar horns.”





se said; and for her lost Galanthis sighs, When the fair consort of her son replies ; "Since you a servant’s ravish'd form bemoan, And kindly sigh for sorrows not your own, Let me (if tcars and grief permit) relate A nearer woe,

a sister's stranger fate. No nymph of all (Echalia could compare For beauteous form with Dryopè the fair ; Her tender mother's only hope and pride, (Myself the offspring of a second bride.) This nymph compress’d by him who rules the day, Whom Delphi and the Delian isle obey, Andræmon lov'd; and bless'd in all those charms That pleas'd a god, succeeded to her arms.

A lake there was, with shelving banks around, Whose verdant summit fragrant myrtles crown'd; These shades unknowing of the Fates, she sought, And to the Naiads flow'ry garlands brought ;

Her smiling babe (a pleasing charge) she prest
Within her arms, and nourish'd at her breast.
Not distant far, a wat’ry lotos grows ;
The spring was new, and all the verdant boughs,
Adorn’d with blossoms, promis’d fruits that vie
In glowing colors with the Tyrian dye :
Of these she cropp'd to please her infant son,
And I myself the same rash act had done ;
But lo! I saw (as pear her side I stood)
The violated blossoms drop with blood;
Upon the tree I cast a frightful look ;
The trembling tree with sudden horror shook.
Lotis the nymph (if rural tales be true)
As from Priapus' lawless lust she flew,
Forsook her form ; and fixing here, became
A flow'ry plant, which still preserves her name.
This change unknown, astonish'd at the sight,
My trembling sister strove to urge her flight ;
And first the pardon of the nymphs implor’d,
And the offended sylvan pow'rs ador’d:
But when she backward would have fled, she found
Her stiff’ning feet were rooted in the ground:
In vain to free her fastend feet she strove,
And as she struggles only moves above ;
She feels th' encroaching bark around her grow
By quick degrees, and cover all below.
Surpris’d at this, her trembling hand she heaves
To rend her hair ; her hand is fill'd with leaves :
Where late was hair, the shooting leaves are seen
To rise and shade her with a sudden green.

The child Amphissus, to her bosom prest,
Perceiv'd a colder and a harder breast,
And found the springs, that ne'er till then deny'd
Their milky moisture, on a sudden dry’d.
I saw, unhappy! what I now relaie,
And stood the helpless witness of thy fate,
Embrac'd thy boughs, thy raising bark delay'd,
There wish'd to grow, and mingle shade with shade.

Behold Andræmon and th' unhappy sire
Appear, and for their Dryopè inquire ;
A springing tree for Dryopè they find,
And print warm kisses on the panting rind.
Prostrate, with tears their kindred plant bedew.
And close embrace as to the roots they grew.
The face was all that now remain'd of thee,
No more a woman, nor yet quite a tree ;
Thy branches hung with humid pearls appear,
From ev'ry leaf distils a trickling tear ;
And strait a voice, while yet a voice remains,
Thus through the trembling boughs in sighs com-

If to the wretched any faith be giv'n,

swear by all th' unpitying pow'rs of heav'n,
No wilful crime this heavy vengeance bred:
In mutual innocence our lives we led.
If this be false, let these new greens decay,
Let sounding axes lop my
And crackling flames on all my honors prey.
But from my branching arms this infant bear,
Let some kind nurse supply a mother's care ;

[ocr errors]

limbs away,


And to his mother let him oft be led,
Speit in her shades, and in her shades be fed.
Teach hiin, when first his infart voice shall frame
Imperfect words, and lisp his mother's name,
To hail this tree; and say, with weeping eyes,
Within this plant my hapless parent lies ;
And when in youth he seeks the shady woods,
Oh! let him fly the crystal lakes and floods,
Noi touch the fatal flow'ıs; but, warnd by me,
Believe a goddess shrin'd in ev'ry trce.
My sire, my sister, and my spouse, farewel !
If in

your breast, or love, or pity, dweil,
Protect your plant, nor let my branches feel
The browsing cattle, or the piercing steel.
Farewel! and since I cannot bend to join
My lips to yours, adrante, at least, to mine.
My son, thy mother's parting kiss receive,

yet thy mother has a kiss to give.
I can no more ; the creeping rind invades
My closing lips, and hides my head in shades :
Remove your hands, the bark shall soon suffice
Without their aid to seal these dying eyes.'

She ceas'd at once to speak, and ceas’d to be, And all the nymph was lost within the tree : Yet latent life through her new branches reign'd, And long the plant a human heat retain'd.

« ZurückWeiter »