Page images

Portentous now along the winding shores,
Hoarse-sounding Pegasæan Neptune roars;
From Pelian Argos' keel loud murmurs broke,
Urgent to sail ;—the keel of sacred oak,
Endu'd with voice, and marvellously wrought,
Ithonian Pallas from Dodona brought.
Now on their destin'd ports arrang'd along,
In seemly order sat the princely throng ;
Fast by each chief his gliti’ring armour flames :
The midmost station bold Ancoeus claims,
With great Alcides, (whose enormous might
Arm'd with a massy club provokes the fight)

1 Close plac'd beside him :-in the yielding flood The keel deep sinking owns the demi-god.

Their bawsers now they loose, and on the brine To Neptune pour the consecrated wine; Then from his native shores sad Jason turns His oft-reverted eyes, and silent mourns. As in Ortygia, or the Delphic fane, Or where Ismenus laves Bæotia's plain, Apollo's altar round, the youthful choir, The dance according with the sounding lyre, The hallow'd groves with equal cadence beat And more in measure their alternate feet;.Together so Thessalia's Princes sweep With well-tim'd oars the silver-curling deep : While, raising high the Thracian harp, presides Melodious Orpheus, and the movement guides. Dash'd by their oars the foaming billows broke, And loud re-murmur'd to each mighty stroke. Swift sail'd the ship, the sun refulgent beam'd, And bright as flame their glittering armour gleam'd.

While to their out-stretch'd oars the heroes bow,
The parted ocean whitening foams below.
So shines the path along some grassy plain,
Worn by the footsteps of the village swain -
Th' immortal powers that Jove's proud palace

All on that memorable day look'd down,
The godlike chiefs, and Argo to survey,
As through the deep they urg'd their daring way.
Then too, on Pelion's cloud-capt summit stood
The nymphs that wander in that sacred wood;
Wond'ring they view'd below the sailing piue,
Ithonian Pallas fram'd the work divine,
And bold Thessalia's labouring heroes sweep
With stretching oars the uavigable deep.
Lo! from the mountain's topmost cliff descends
The centaur Chiron; to the shore he bends
His hasty footsteps, on the beach he stood,
And dipp'd his fetlocks in the bring flood.
He hail'd the heroes with his big broad hand,
And wish'd them safe to gain their native land,
With Chiron came Chariclo to the shore ;
The young Achilles in her arms she bore;
Peleus, his sire, with secret pleasure smil'd,
As high in air she rais'd the royal child.

And now the winding bay's safe precincts past,
Thessalian Argo plough'd the wat'ry waste;
On Tipby's care the valiant chiefs rely'd
To steer the vessel through the foaming tide ;
The small well-modellid rudder to command
Obsequious to the movement of his hand.
And next inserting in the keel below
The mast tall tapering, to the stern and prow,

[ocr errors]

With ropes that through the rolling pullies glide,
They rear upright and firm on ev'ry side ;
Then high in air the swelling sails they raise,
While on their bosoms buxom zephyr plays ;
With favouring gales their steady course they keep
To where Tiscum frowns upon the deep.
Meanwhile sweet Orpheus, as they sail'd along,
Rais'd to Diana the melodious song,
Who sar'd them where her guardian power presides,
From treach'rous rocks that lurk beneath the tides.
The fish in shoals, attentive to his lay,
Pursu'd the poet o'er the wat'ry way;
And oft emerging from their liquid sphere,
Strove more distinct his heavenly notes to hear.
As sheep in flocks thick pasturing on the plain
Attend the footsteps of the shepherd swaid,
His well-known call they hear, and fully fed,
Pace slowly on, their leader at their head,
Who pipes melodious, as he moves along,
On sprightly reeds his modulated song:-...
Thus, charm'd with tuneful sounds, the scaly train
Pursu'd the flying vessel o'er the main.

And now the winds with fav’ring breezes blew,
Corn-crown'd Thessalia lessend to the view ;
By Pelion's steep they pass.


(From Theocritus.) As Cupid, the slyest young wanton alive, Of its hoard of sweet honey was robbing a hive, The centinel bee buzz'd with anger and grief, And darted its sting in the band of the thief.

He sobb’d, blew his fingers, stamp'd hard on the ground,
And leaping with anguish, shew'd Venus thu wound;
Then began in a sorrowful tone to complain,
That an insect so little should cause so great paig.
Venus smiling, her son in such taking to see,
Baid, “Cupid you put me in mind of a Bee ;

You're just such a busy diminutive thing, “Yet you make woeful wounds with a desperate sting."


(From Anacreon.)

Mulciber, this silver take,
And a curious goblet make :
Let thy utmost skill appear,
Not in radiant armour there;
Let me there no battles see,
What are wars or arms to me!
Form it with a noble sweep,
Very wide, and very deep.
Carve not there the northern team,
Nor Orion's dreadful beam;
Pleiads, Hyads, Bears displease;
What have I to do with these?
Why should slow Boötes roll,
Why should horrid monsters prowl,
On the margin of my bowl?
Draw me, wlat I value more,
Vines with purple clusters store,
Bacchus ever young and fair,
Cupid with the golden bair,-
Gay Bathyllus too be there.

[ocr errors]

See that beautiful and bold, s,
All these figures rise in gold;
In the wine-press let them join,
Hand in hand to tread the vine.


(From Anacreon.)

If the treasur'd gold could give
Man a larger term to live,
I'd employ my utmost care
Still to keep, and still to spare ;
And when Death approach'd, would say,
“Take thy fee, and walk away."
But since riches cannot save
Mortals from the gloomy grave,
Why should I myself deceive,
Vainly sigh, and vainly grieve?
Death will surely be my lot,
Whether I am rich or not.

Give me freely-while I live, int
Generous wines, in plenty give.
Soothing joys my life to cheer
Beauty kind, and friends sincere ;
Happy, could I ever find
Friends sincere, and beauty kind !

« PreviousContinue »