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But Phoebus, ask'd why noxious fires appear,
And raging Sirius blasts the fickly year ;
Demands their lives by whom his monster fell,
And dooms a dreadful facrifice to hell.
Bless'd be thy duft, and let eternal fame
Attend thy manes, and preserve thy name ;
Undaunted hero! who, divinely brave,
In such a cause disdain'd thy life to save ;
But view'd the shrine with a superior look, 755
And its upbraided Godhead thus bespoke.
With piety, the soul's securest guard,
And conscious virtue, fțill its own reward,
Willing I come, unknowing how to fear;
Nor shalt thou, Phoebus, find a suppliant here. 760
Thy monster's death to me was ow'd alone,
And 'tis a deed too glorious to disown.
Behold him here, for whom, so many days,
Impervious clouds conceal'd thy fullen rays;
For whom, as man no longer claim'd thy care, 765
Such numbers fell by peftilential air !
But if th' abandon'd race of human kind
From gods above no more compaffion find;
If such inclemency in heav'n can dwell,
Yet why muft un-offending Argos feel
The vengeance due to this unlucky steel?
On me, on me, let all thy fury fall,
Nor err from me, since I deserve it all :
Unless our desart cities please thy sight,
Our fun'ral flames reflect a grateful light.
Discharge thy shafts, this ready bosom rend,
And to the shades a ghost triumphant send;
But for my country let my fate atone,
Be mine the vengeance, as the crime my own.
Merit diftress’d, impartial heav'n relieves;
Unwelcome life relenting Phæbus gives;
For not the vengeful pow'r, that glow'd with rage,
With such amazing virtue durft engage.
The clouds dispers’d, Apollo's wrath expir’d,
And from the wond'ring god th' unwilling youth retir'd,
Thence we these altars in his temple raise,
And offer annual honours, feasts, and praise ;
These folemn feasts propitious Phoebus please,
These honours, still renew'd, his antient wrath appease.
But say, illustrious guest (adjoin'd the king) 790 What name you bear, from what high race, you spring? The noble Tydeus ftands confess’d, and known Our neighbour prince, and heir of Calydon. Relate your fortunes, while the friendly night And filent hours to various talk invite.
795 The Theban bends on earth his gloomy eyes, Confus’d, and sadly thus at length replies ; Before these altars how shall I proclain (Oh gen'rous prince) my nation or my name, Or thro' what veins our ancient blood has roll'd?. 800 Let the sad tale for ever reft untold ! Yet if propitious to a wretch unknown, You seek to share in sorrows not your own; Know then, from Cadmus I derive my race, Jocasta's son, and Thebes my native place,
805 To whom the king, (who' felt his gen'rous breaft Touch'd with concern for his unhappy guest) Replies-- Ah why forbears the son to naine His wretched father, known too well by fame? Fame, that delights around the world, to stray, 819 Scorns not to take our Argos in her way, Evin those who dwell where suns at distance roll, In northern wilds, and freeze beneath the pole; And those who tread the burning Libyan lands, The faithless Syrtes and the moving sands; Who view the western sea's extiemcft bounds, Or drink of Ganges in their eastern grounds; All these the woçs of Oedipus have known, Your fates, your furies, and your haunted town.
If on the sons the parents crimes descend,
What prince from those his lineage can defend ?,
Be this thy comfort, that 'tis thine ť efface
With virtuous acts thy ancestors disgrace,
And be thyself the honour of thy race.
But see! the stars begin to steal away,
And shine more faintly at approaching day:
Now pour the wine; and in your tuneful lays,
Once more resound the great Apollo's praise.
Oh father Phæbus ! whether Lycia's coast
And snowy mountains, thy bright presence boast;
Whether to sweet Caftalia thou repair,
And bathe in filver dews thy yellow hair ;
Or pleas'd to find fair Delos Hoat no more,
Delight in Cynthus, and the fhady shore;
Or chuse thy feat in Ilion's proud abodes,
The shining structures rais ́d by labüring gods.
By thee the bow and mortal shafts are born;
Eternal charms thy blooming youth adorn :
Skill'd in the laws of secret fate above,
And the dark countels of almighty Jove,
*Tis thine the feeds of future war to know,
The change of scepters, and impending woe;
When direful ineteors spread thro' glowing air
Long trails of light, and shake their blazing hair.
Thy rage the Phrygian felt, who durft aspire
T'excel the music of thy heav'nly lyre;
Thy shafts aveng'd leud Tityus' guilty flame,
Th’immortal victim of thy mother's fame ;
Thy hand flew Python, and the dame who loft
Her num'rous offspring for a fatal boast.
In Phlegias' doom thy just revenge appears,
Condemn'd to furies and eternal fears :
He views his food, but dreads, with lifted eye,
The mouldring rock that trembles from on high.
Propitious hear our pray'r, O pow'r divine !
And on thy hospitable Argos shine,
Whether the stile of Titan please thee more,
Whose purple rays th’ Achæmenes adore ;
Or great Olyris, who first taught the swain
In Pharian fields to fow the golden grain ;
Or Mitra, to whose beams the Persian bows,
And pays, in hollow rocks, his awful vows ;
Mitra, whose head the blaze of light adorns,
Who grasps the struggling heifer's lunar horns.