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« The war of elements, that takes its birth,
“ In the dark entrails of the lab'ring earth,
“ And ev'ry change of airy meteor's, bred
“ Where cold Olympus rears his snowy head.
“ To her precedence ev’n the thunderer yields,
“ When earth she leaves, for bright ethereal fields.
“ All deities, throughout the starry sphere,
“ That awful source of living things revere.”
The chief, delighted as he spake, attends; 1710
Leaps from his couch, and calls his gallant friends.
In haste he calls, and to th'assembled bands
Explains what Mopsus from the Gods commands.
Soon to the mountain, ready at his call,
The youths impell’d the bullock from the stall. .
Some from the sacred rocks the vessel clear,
And rowing to the Thracian haven steer,
A few remaining the tall ship defend,
The rest the mountain with their chief ascend.
As in a picture, from that tow'ring height, 1720
The Macrian rocks, and Thrace approach'd the sight;
The Bosporus involv'd in rising steams,
The hills of Mysia, with Æsepus' stream;
That opposite the level Troade bound,
With Nepe's plain, Adraste's walls around.
An ancient vine, within a neighb’ring wood,
Where first it flourish’d, had for ages stood;
The stock uprooted from the parent soil,
A shape and polish takes from Argus toil;
An image of the Goddess, form’d with skill, 1730
They place it high upon a craggy hill,
O’er arching broad where stately beeches grow,
That deeply shoot their twisted roots below.
Stones rudely heaped an hasty altar made,
With dusky leaves of oak their brows they shade.--
The rites begin.-They call in hallow'd strains, That awful pow'r, o'er Dindymus that reigns.“ Parent of Gods, from Phrygia bend thine ear; “ And sacred Tityas,* with Cyllenus * hear."These only of a numerous train were seen, 1740 The guides of fate, th' assessors of the queen, Idean Dactyls, in the Cretan cave, Whon fair Anchialé to being gave, . When, struggling in Lucina's painful toil, With both her hands she grasp'd Oaxis’t soil. The pious chief, if thus the heav'nly mind Might yield, to calm the wave, and thain the wind, With lips devout, and suppliant action prays; And pours libation, o'er the sacred blaze, Orpheus commands, the youths in arms advance, 1750 And tread the measures of the warlike dance, f With swords they clash their shields; and all around, Thro' the vex'd air, the dismal clangors sound. That ancient custom still the nations keep, . When kings are borne within the tomb to sleep. In Rhea's worship, still the Phrygian crowd The Goddess soothe, with drums and timbrels loud.
With spotless hands preferr’d, and pious mind, Their vows and off'rings heav'nly favor find. Divine Antaa|| mark'd them with delight; 1760 Propitious omens blest the gladden'd sight;
* Tityas, Cyllenus.-Names of the Idei Dactyli.
t Oaxis.--There was a river of this name in Crete, another in Mesopotamia.
# This dance was called Betarmus; see notes vol. 2. from the temple of the deity where it was practised, or from the regulation of movement in dancing.
|| Rhea was so called ; the reader will find the origin of this name in the notes, vol. 2.
The trees above abundant fruit display'd;
And earth below the green and tender blade.
From the dark cavern, and the woody lare,
With fawning act, the savage beasts repair. -
More wond'rous still, amid the thirsty soil,
Of Dindymus, unapt for rustic toil,
From rocky crags the gushing fountain came,
Perennial spring, that bears the hero's name.
- That solemn day, the mount of bears along, 1770
They spread the feast, and sooth'd the power with song.*
The winds were hush'd, as morn began to smile,
And force of rowing bore them from that isle.
Each chief contended in the wat'ry field,
Who most should labour, and who last should yield.
Surrounding æther a still calm possest,
And lull'd the waves, and smooth'd old Ocean's breast.
Confiding in that calm, with efforts strong,
They ply'd their oars, the vessel shot along. 1979
Not Neptune's steeds, such was th' impetuous force,
With feet of storm, could reach it's flying course.
When now the deep with winds began to heave,
Breath'd from the river banks, at close of eve,
With toil incessant their exertions fail'd;
Unchang’d alone Alcides' might prevail'd.
In strength resistless, to himself he drew
The force conjoin'd of all the lab'ring crew.
His mighty stroke the vessel sends along;
The timbers tremble, with concussion strong.
As onward to the Mysian land they haste, 1790
The roaring mouths of Rhyndacus t are past.
Ægeon's monument, and Phrygia's plain,
Lay near in prospect, as they trac'd the main.
Here, as the hero dash'd the wave aside,
His oar broke short, within the furrow'd tide.
Half as he grasp?d, with force oblique, he fell;
Half floated wide, upon the billowy swell.
His seat regain’d, he gaz'd in silence round;
Strange to his hands appear'd the rest they found.
What time the delvers and the ploughmen haste
Home to the lowly roof, and spare repast; 1801
When at the porch their weary knees they rest,
And curse their lot, with pangs of hunger prest;
Then, squalid from the parch’d and dusty soil,
Gaze on their hands sore from the rustic toil;
They reach'd the dwellings of Ciane's shore,
And Cius' mouths, where waves conflicting roar.
Th’ Arganthonean* mount, with gloomy brow,
Majestic frowns upon the stream below.
The Mysian habitants, along the plain, 1810
With fair reception greet the peaceful train;
And to their wants supply, with lib'ral hand,
Whate'er the sea-worn mariners demand.
All that for banquet or repose they need,
The racy vintage some, and fleecy breed;
And some collect the billets sere and dry;
Soft herbage others for the couch supply.
Part of the Minya round the hearths repair;
Part mingle wine; the viands part prepare;
They worship Phebus, t as the sun descends, 1820
Rever'd by sailors when their voyage ends.
The festive rites the son of Jove resign'd, .. For diff'rent thoughts possest his active mind.
* For some account of the different places mentioned in the text, the reader, as I have already said, is referred to the notes in the second volume.
+ Phebus Ecbasius, so called, from a Greek verb, that signifies to disembark.
Thro' woods perplex'd he held his devious course;
And sought an oar to match his mighty force.
There, as he wander'd, chance an ash display'd,
Nor thick with branches, nor opprest with shade.
As tapering strait it's graceful head it rear’d,
Like a young poplar the fair plant appear’d.
His bow and quiver on the verdant soil 1830
He laid, and cast aside the lion's spoil.
His pond'rous club Alcides first applied,
He shook the stubborn root, from side to side,
With legs diverging as the hero stands,
He stooping grasp'd the stem, with both his hands,
Then, strongly prest with shoulders broad above,
As with the deeply-rooted plant he strove.
-lt yields--it falls--his vast impetuous sway
The roots and earthy fibres tore away.
As, when Orion holds the wint'ry sky, 1840
And sudden tempests from their caverns fly,
Incumbent from above the furious blast,
With all its bolts and clasps, uptears the mast.
Again the chief his bow and quiver took ;
With puissant hand the massy club he shook;
The lion's hide athwart his shoulders threw;
And hasted to rejoin the gallant crew.
With duteous care and fond attention fraught, A sacred spring the youthful Hylas sought, Far from the band.--He bears a brazen urn, 1850 For limpid water 'gainst the chief's return; In order due, that the repast might shine, Such prompt obedience, gentle youth, was thine: His childhood thus the hero lov'd to train, Since first he bore him from his sire's domain. Alcides' hand depriv'd that sire of life, A steer for rustic labour caus’d the strife; Theodamas, a chief of name renown'd, Among the Dryopes his doom he found.