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“ Which if thou dost not with just rites adorn, . . “ Thy impious carcass, into pieces torn, “ Shall strew the woods, and hang on every thorn. “ Then, then remember what I now foretel, “ And own the blind Tiresias saw too well.” Still Pentheus scorns him, and derides his skill; But time did all the prophet's threats fulfil. For now through prostrate Greece young Bacchus rode, Whilst howling matrons celebrate the god. All ranks and sexes to his orgies ran, To mingle in the pomps, and fill the train. When Pentheus thus his wicked rage express'd: “ What madness, Thebans, has your souls possess'd ? “ Can hollow timbrels, can a drunken shout; “ And the lewd clamours of a beastly rout, “ Thus quell your courage ? can the weak alarm “ Of women's yells those stubborn souls disarm, “ Whom nor the sword nor trumpet e’er could fright, “ Nor the loud din and horror of a fight? “ And you, our sires, who left your old abodes, “And fix'd in foreign earth your country gods; “ Will you without a stroke your city yield, “ And poorly quit an undisputed field ? “ But you, whose youth and vigour should inspire “ Heroic warmth, and kindle martial fire, “ Whom burnish'd arms and crested helmets grace, “ Not flow'ry garlands and a painted face ; “ Remember him to whom you stand allied : “ The serpent for his well of waters died. “ He fought the strong; do you his courage show . And gain a conquest o'er a feeble foe.
« If Thebes must fall, oh might the fates afford
So have I seen a river gently glide,
But now his servants came besmear'd with blood.
THE MARINERS TRANSFORMED TO DOLPHINS.
Him Pentheus view'd with fury in his look,
“ Vile slave! whom speedy vengeance shall pursue, " And terrify thy base seditious crew : “ Thy country and thy parentage reveal, “ And why thou join'st in these mad orgies, tell."
The captive views him with undaunted eyes, And, arm'd with inward innocence, replies.
« From high Meonia's rocky shores I came, “ Of poor descent, Acætes is my name : “ My sire was meanly born; no oxen plough'd “ His fruitful fields, nor in his pastures low'd. “ His whole estate within the waters lay; “ With lines and hooks he caught the finny prey. “ His art was all his livelihood; which he “ Thus with his dying lips bequeath'd to me: “ • In streams, my boy, and rivers take thy chance; “ There swims,' said he, “thy whole inheritance.'
“ Long did I live on this poor legacy; 6. Till tir'd with rocks, and my own native sky, « To arts of navigation I inclin'd; “ Observ'd the turns and changes of the wind : « Learn'd the fit havens, and began to note “ The stormy Hyades, the rainy Goat, “ The bright Taygete, and the shining Bears, “ With all the sailor's catalogue of stars.
“ Once, as by chance for Delos I design'd, “ My vessel, driv'n by a strong gust of wind, “ Moor'd in a Chian creek; ashore I went, “ And all the following night in Chios spent. “ When morning rose, I sent my mates to bring “ Supplies of water from a neighbʼring spring, “ Whilst I the motion of the winds explor'd; “ Then summon’d in my crew, and went aboard.
“ Opheltes heard my summons, and with joy “ Brought to the shore a soft and lovely boy, “ With more than female sweetness in his look, “ Whom straggling in the neighb'ring fields he took. " With fumes of wine the little captive glows, “ And nods with sleep, and staggers as he goes.
“I view'd him nicely, and began to trace “ Each heavenly feature, each immortal grace, “ And saw divinity in all his face. “ I know not who,' said I, this god should be ; “ But that he is a god I plainly see: “ And thou, whoe'er thou art, excuse the force “ These men have us'd; and oh! befriend our course!' « « Pray not for us,' the nimble Dictys cried ; “ Dictys, that could the main top-mast bestride, “ And down the ropes with active vigour slide. “ To the same purpose old Epopeus spoke, “ Who overlook'd the oars, and timed the stroke; “ The same the pilot, and the same the rest; “ Such impious avarice their souls possest. «« Nay, heaven forbid that I should bear away “ Within my vessel so divine a prey,' “ Said I; and stood to hinder their intent: “ When Lycabas, a wretch for murder sent “ From Tuscany, to suffer banishment, “ With his clench'd fist had struck me overboard, “ Had not my hands in falling grasp'd a cord.
“ His base confederates the fact approve; “ When Bacchus (for 'twas he) began to move, “ Wak'd by the noise and clamours which they rais’d; “ And shook his drowsy limbs, and round him gaz’d:
“< What means this noise?' he cries; “am I betray'd ? “Ah! whither, whither must I be convey'd ?' “ Fear not,' said Proreus, child, but tell us where “You wish to land, and trust our friendly care.' "To Naxos then direct your course,' said he; “ “Naxos a hospitable port shall be “ To each of you, a joyful home to me.' “ By every god, that rules the sea or sky, “The perjur'd villains promise to comply, “And bid me hasten to unmoor the ship. “ With eager joy I launch into the deep; “ And, heedless of the fraud, for Naxos stand: “ They whisper oft, and beckon with the hand, “ And give me signs, all anxious for their prey, “ To tack about, and steer another way. “ Then let some other to my post succeed,' “Said I, I'm guiltless of so foul a deed.' *** What,' says Ethalion, “must the ship’s whole crew “ Follow your humour, and depend on you ?? “ And straight himself he seated at the prore, “And tack'd about, and sought another shore.
“ The beauteous yoath now found himself betray'd,
“ In vain did I the godlike youth deplore,