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But Pollux shone, like a celestial star,
Resplendent thro' the gloom that shoots afar
The silver shafts serenely bright and fair.
Loose on his shoulders wav'd the shining hair. 60
Scarce on his cheeks the down of manhood rose, .
From his glad eyes a speaking lustre flows;
Yet, in his heart the lion's force was found;
He moves his hands, and meditates a wound,
Doubtful, if yet their pliant strength they hold,
Worn by the toilsome oar, and numb'd by cold.--
Far diff'rent Amycus.--He stood apart,
And thro'_the youth * his glances seem'd to dart.
Athirst for blood, with wishes dire possest,
To dash the vital streams from that fair breast. 70
Lycoreus now, the king's attendant, laid
Before their feet the blood-stain'd gauntlets made,
Pond'rous and hard, of dry and thickest hide.-
The haughty chief these words of scorn applied.
"Take which thou wilt; and arm thee, for the blow.-
“ Without a lot, preöption I bestow:
« Lest thou hereafter, or thy social band
“ Unfairness charge upon the victor's hand.
“ But arm for fight; that feeling thou may'st tell,
“ How, in preparing gauntlets I excel;
80 " And how these hands, without remorse, or pause, • The blood-stain'd visage mar, and crashing jaws." The noble youth a wordy contest spares; And gently smiling for the fight prepares. Without a preference, from earth he caught The pair of gauntlets, chance had near him brought. Beside him Castor, and brave Talaus stand, They bind the weapons on each valiant hand; And much encouragement and counsel gave, Proofs of their love, but needless to the brave. 90
Aratus, next, with Ornytus came near,
And arm’d the monarch, for the task of fear.
Ah fools, untaught, to pierce the future gloom,
And see that combat seal their master's doom!
Now, force to force the combatants apply.
Before their fronts, they mix their hands on high.
The king appears a wave abrupt and dark,
That breaks with fury on the lab'ring bark.
Scarce with his skill th' intrepid pilot saves
The vessel buoyant o'er th' enormous waves, 100
From the deep gulf escap’d, on either hand,
Like walls immense, where heap'd up waters stand.
Thus he, with direful threats, the youth pursued,
Yet, mock'd by skill, no blood his hands imbrued.
No restano pause--the youth with vigour bounds,
From side to side-and shuns th' impending wounds.
With dauntless courage, and unerring sight,
He weighs and speculates the future fight,
Marks the defences of his giant foe,
The points unguarded, that invite a blow. 110
There, there he presses, there his hopes are fix’d,
And hands with hands, and blows with blows are mix'd.
-As'skilful carpenters the wedges drive,
When timbers destin'd for some ship they rive;
With noisy sway the hammer's weight descends;
Wedge after wedge a forceful passage rends;
Stroke follow'd stroke, nor interval, nor pause,
Their cheeks resounded, and their crashing jaws;
And loud their grinding teeth.—The fight prevaild,
Without remission, till their forces fail'd. 120
With weary pantings painful breath they drew,
Apart they stood, and wip'd the briny dew,
Roll'd copious from their fronts. With doubled rage,
Again they close, again in fight engage.
Thus, for some heifer, beauty of the mead,
Two bulls to battle rush, with butting head.
Bebrycia's king stood rais'd, in act to wound,
Like those that fell stout oxen to the ground. ..
With weight enormous, a dire stroke he sped,
The youth avoids it, with inclining head. 130
And bending forward, as the foe advanc'd,
His elbow lightly on the shoulder glanc'd.
Now, closing firmly knee to knee was prest,
Arm twin'd with arm, and breast encounter'd breast.
Above his ear, with quick resistless blow,
The gallant stripling smote his giant foe.
The bones within were shatter'd by the wound,
He sunk in anguish, kneeling on the ground.
With loud acclaim, that deed the Minyæ view.
In gushing blood th' indignant spirit flew. 140
Thro' the Bebrycians grief and rage prevail'd.-
With clubs and lances they the youth assaild.
Before the youth advanc'd the social band,
Resplendent falchions arm'd each valiant hand.
First Castor slew the slain, and from above
The head his weapon to the shoulders clove. i
The vast Itomeneus and Mimas felt
What mortal harms the sword of Pollux dealt.
As fiercely rush'd the first, with trampling sound,
Beneath his breast he felt the fatal wound, 159
And prone in dust lay stretch'd.-A rapid blow
On Mimas lighting smote away his brow;
Suffus'd in blood, bare roll'd the ball of sight;
He groan'd, and sunk in everlasting night.
Orides, with injurious daring stor'd,
Servant of Amycus, and like his lord,
Bold Talaus wounded, in th' eventful strife.
Full on the flank, nor reach'd the seat of life.
Beneath his belt he feels the point of brass,
With gliding wound short of the vitals pass.
160 His mighty club with force Aratus sway'd; The valiant Iphitus he prostrate laid,
Not destin'd by that stroke to yield his breath,
But he from Clytus' hand receiv'd his death.
With indignation bold Ancæus swell'd;
Aloft a dreadful battle-ax he held,
A bear's black spoils upon his left hand hung,
Himself like lightning 'mid the crowd he fung.
Athirst for vengeance on the savage band,
The sons of Æäcus * beside him stand.
The gallant Jason join'd with these attends,-43
To swell the chosen groupe of noble friends. S ome
As, when in winter dreary frosts prevail, or
Th'embattled wolves the crouded fold assail.
The guardian dog, the shepherd's care is vain;
They rush upon the trembling fleecy train;
They prowl with keen and eager search around,
And mark the prey, tho' numbers choice con-
found; Fetter'd by fear, and pent in narrow space, Heap'd on each other fall the bleating race. The heroes thus on the Bebrycians flew; And, heaps on heaps, o'erturn'd the caitiff crew. 1 As when, with piercing smoke the peasants drive The swarm, from cavern'd rock, or straw-built hive; -73
D hos brie With fearful murmurs indistinctly loud, ol io Within their walls the buzzing clusters crowd; But, when the fiery vapours roll'd amain, V SI Spread thro' their cells the suffocating bane, BRA Stunn'd and confus'd, their citadel they leave, The sounding air their dusky legions cleave; 190 Confounded thus the routed myriads spread, To bear the tidings of their monarch dead. Struck with the present ill, the thoughtless band Knew not the full disasters of the land.
To wrap their vineyards and their towns in flame,
Their ancient foes, the Mariandyni* came.
Rich miñes of steel awake the jealous rage,
And endless wars these hostile neighbours wage.
Thine absence, Amycus, new boldness bred;
Lycus, their chief, the fierce irruption led.
The Minya thin the fold, and waste the stall, And Aocks unnumber'd for provision fall. Then spake some chief, the valiant Greeks among, -“ Our arms have quell'd the rude barbarian throng, “ But had Alcides in th' adventure shar'd, “ The foes this trial of our strength had spar'd; “ No terms had been impos'd by lawless might, “ No champion then selected for the fight; “ But when their king approach'd with insult fraught, “ His club had meekness to that boaster taught. 210 " Alas, unhonour'd, on a distant plain, “ The hero wanders, while we plough the main. 6 Too late the Greeks their mighty loss shall know, “ When their dire front unwonted perils show."
He said--but sov'ran Jove bad all ordain’d.-The night came on; and there the Greeks remain'd. To heal their wounds the leach applied his aid; And pious off'rings to the Gods they paid; Spread for the train, they bid the banquet shine, And slumber chace, with sacrifice and wine.- 220 With tawny laurel, then, their brows they bind; And laurel boughs are with their cables 'twin'd. In measur’d hymn, then Orpheus join'd his voice, To the sweet lyre—the silent shores rejoice: The list’ning breezes fold the gauzy wing; While thee Laconian sont of Jove they sing.
* A tribe of Bithynia, and neighbours of the Bebrycians. + Laconian son of Joue-Phebus.---See the note on this passage.