The Internet Classics Archive Metamorphoses by Ovid

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The Story of Orpheus and Eurydice

in his saffron robe, for distant

Hymen departs, thro’ unmeasur’d space;

By Orpheus the nuptial Pow’r attends,

But ill-omen’d augury descends;

Nor look’d the God, nor prosp’rous

Nor blaz’d his torch, but wept in smoke.

In vain they it round, in vain they

No rapid motion can its flames

With dread these signs were view’d,

And a more disastrous end ensu’d;

For as the amid the Naiad train,

Ran sporting o’er the flow’ry

A venom’d viper bit her as she pass’d;

she fell, and sudden breath’d her

When long his loss the had deplor’d,

Not by superior Pow’rs to be

Inflam’d by love, and urg’d by despair,

He leaves the realms of and upper air;

Daring to the dark Tenarian road,

And the shades in their obscure

Thro’ gliding spectres of interr’d to go,

And phantom people of the below:

Persephone he seeks, and him who

O’er ghosts, and Hell’s plains.

Arriv’d, he, tuning to his his strings,

Thus to the king and of shadows sings.

Ye Pow’rs, who Earth your realms

To whom all mortals must one day

If here ’tis granted truth to tell:

I come not to explore your Hell;

Nor to boast (by vain ambition

How Cerberus at my approach retir’d.

My alone I seek; for her lov’d

These terrors I support, journey take.

She, wandring, or by fate mis-led,

on a lurking viper’s crest to

The vengeful beast, enflam’d fury, starts,

And thro’ her his deathful venom darts.

was she snatch’d untimely to her tomb;

Her years cut short, and springing

Long I my loss endeavour’d to

And strongly strove, but strove, in vain:

At length I yielded, won by love;

Well known is omnipotence above!

But here, I his unfelt influence fails;

And yet a within my heart prevails.

here, ev’n here, he has known of old;

At least if be by tradition told;

If fame of rapes belief may find,

You by love, and love alone, join’d.

Now, by the horrors these realms surround;

By the chaos of these depths

By the sad silence which eternal

O’er all the waste of these plains;

Let me again Eurydice

Let Fate her quick-spun thread of re-weave.

All our possessions are but loans you,

And soon, or late, you be paid your due;

we haste to human-kind’s last

Your endless empire, and our retreat.

She too, when years she shall attain,

of avoidless right, be yours

I but the transient use of that require,

soon, too soon, I must entire.

But if the destinies refuse my

And no remission of her doom allow;

I’m determin’d to return no

So both retain, or both to restore.

Thus, while the melodiously complains,

And to his lyre his vocal strains,

The very shades attention keep,

And seem compassionate to weep;

Tantalus his flood unthirsty

Nor flies the stream, nor he the stream

Ixion’s wond’ring wheel its suspends,

And the voracious vulture, attends;

No more the Belides toil bemoan,

And Sisiphus sits list’ning on his stone.

first (’tis said) by verse subdu’d,

The Furies their cheeks with bedew’d:

Nor could the rigid or queen of Hell,

Th’ of pity in their hearts

Now, from a troop of that last arriv’d,

was call’d, and stood reviv’d:

she advanc’d, and halting seem to

The fatal wound, yet painful in her

Thus he obtains the suit so desir’d,

On strict observance of the requir’d:

For if, before he reach the of air,

He backward cast his to view the fair,

The forfeit that instant, void is

And she for ever left a lifeless

Now thro’ the noiseless throng way they bend,

And both pain the rugged road

Dark was the path, and difficult, and

And thick with vapours the smoaky deep.

They now had pass’d the bounds of night,

And approach’d the margin of the light,

he, mistrusting lest her steps stray,

And gladsome of the glympse of day,

His longing eyes, backward cast

To catch a look, but look’d his last;

instant dying, she again

While he to empty air his arms

Again she dy’d, nor yet her lord

What could she say, but too well he lov’d?

One last she spoke, which scarce he

So soon she drop’d, so sudden

All stunn’d he stood, when his wife he view’d

By second and double death subdu’d:

Not amazement by that wretch was

Whom Cerberus beholding, to stone;

Nor Olenus cou’d astonish’d look,

When on Lethaea’s fault he took,

His wife, who too secure had dar’d

Her to vye with Goddesses compar’d:

join’d by love, they united still,

Turn’d to rocks on Ida’s hill.

Now to the Styx in vain he tries,

averse, his pressing suit

Sev’n days entire, th’ infernal shores,

the bard Eurydice deplores;

with filth his robe, tears his cheeks,

No sustenance but and cares, he seeks:

Of rigid incessant he complains,

And Hell’s Gods arraigns.

This to high Rhodope he hastes,

And mountain, bleak with blasts.

And now his yearly race the sun

Had thrice compleat thro’ Pisces run,

Since fled the face of womankind,

And all union with the sex declin’d.

his ill success this change had

Or binding vows made to his bed;

Whate’er the cause, in the nymphs contest,

With eyes to warm his frozen

For ev’ry nymph with his lays inspir’d,

But ev’ry repuls’d, with grief

A hill there was, and on hill a mead,

With thick, but destitute of shade.

now, the Muse’s son no sooner

No sooner strikes his sweet strings.

But distant groves the sounds receive,

And list’ning their rooted stations

Themselves transplanting, all around grow,

And various shades various kinds bestow.

tall Chaonian oaks branches spread,

While poplars there erect head.

The foodful Esculus shoots his leaves,

That soft lime-tree, this, fat receives;

Here, brittle lawrels here advance,

And tough ash to form the heroe’s

Here silver firs knotless trunks ascend,

scarlet oaks beneath acorns bend.

That admits the hospitable plane,

On the maple grows with grain;

Here, watry are with Lotus seen;

tamarisk, and box for ever green.

double hue here mirtles the ground,

And laurestines, with berries crown’d.

With feet, now, ivies way wind,

Vines yonder and elms with vines

Wild Ornus now, the next takes root,

And adorn’d with blushing

Then easy-bending palms, the prize,

And pines erect bristly tops arise.

For grateful still the pine

For Atys still some she retains;

He once in human her breast had warm’d,

And now is cherish’d, to a transform’d.

The Fable of Cyparissus

the throng of this promiscuous

With pointed top, the cypress stood;

A tree, once a youth, and heav’nly

Was of that deity the darling

Whose hand adapts, equal skill, the strings

To with which he kills, and to which he sings.

For heretofore, a stag was bred,

Which on the fields of Caea fed;

In and size he all his kind excell’d,

And to nymphs was sacred held.

His head, with branches display’d,

Afforded to itself an shade;

His horns were and his smooth neck was grac’d

silver collars thick gems enchas’d:

A silver upon his forehead hung,

And pendants in his ear-rings rung.

houses, he familiar grew,

And by custom, Nature to subdue;

by degrees, of fear, and wildness,

Ev’n stranger hands his neck might stroak.

was the beast by Caea’s youth

But thou, sweet Cyparissus, him best:

By thee, to pastures he oft was led,

By thee oft water’d at the head:

His horns with now, by thee were

And, now, thou on his wou’dst wanton ride;

Now now there wou’dst bound the plains,

Ruling his tender with purple reins.

when the summer sun, at of day,

Thro’ glowing shot his burning ray,

then, the fav’rite stag, in retreat,

Had sought a shelter the scorching heat;

Along the his weary limbs he laid,

freshness from the breezy

When Cyparissus with his dart,

Unknowing, pierc’d him to the heart.

But when the youth, his error found,

And saw him dying of the wound,

Himself he would slain thro’ desp’rate

What said not Phoebus, might yield relief!

To his mourning, he the boy desir’d,

Or mourn no than such a loss

But he, incessant griev’d: at length

To the superior Pow’rs a last

Praying, in expiation of his crime,

to mourn to all succeeding time.

And of blood exhausted he appears,

by a torrent of continual tears;

The colour in his body fades,

And a tincture all his limbs invades;

his fair head, where locks late hung,

A bush with bristled sprung,

Which stiffning by its stem extends,

‘Till to the skies the spire ascends.

sad look’d on, and sighing, cry’d,

be for ever, what thy pray’r

Bemoan’d by me, in others grief

And still preside at ev’ry rite.

Thus the sweet in a wondrous shade

Of verdant which harmony had made,

sate, with his own triumphs

Of listning birds, and savages

Again the trembling strings he tries,

Again from makes soft musick

Then tunes his voice: O from whom I sprung,

be my theme, and thou inspire my

To Jove my grateful voice I oft rais’d,

Oft his almighty pow’r pleasure prais’d.

I sung the in a solemn strain,

Blasted, and on Phlegra’s plain.

Now be my lyre in accents mov’d,

To sing of boys by Gods belov’d;

And to what virgins, void of

Have suffer’d vengeance for a flame.

The King of Gods felt the burning joy,

And for lovely Ganimede of Troy:

was he puzzled to assume a shape

fit, and expeditious for the rape;

A was proper, yet he scorns to wear

Any but which might his thunder

Down with his masquerading he flies,

And bears the little to the skies;

Where now, in of heav’nly purple drest,

He the nectar at th’ Almighty’s

To slighted Juno an unwelcome

Hyacinthus transform’d into a

Phoebus for thee too, design’d

A place among the had Fate been kind:

Yet he gave; as oft as wintry rains

Are and vernal breezes sooth the

From the green turf a flow’r you rise,

And with fragrant breath perfume the

You when alive were darling boy;

In you he plac’d his and fix’d his joy:

Their God the priests consult in vain;

now he loves, and Sparta’s plain:

His the use of bow and harp forget,

And hold the or bear the corded net;

hanging cliffs swift he the game;

Each hour his each augments his flame.

The sun now shone with equal

Between the past, and the succeeding

They strip, then, with suppling oyl,

To pitch the rounded quoit, wonted play:

A well-pois’d first hasty Phoebus

It cleft the air, and whistled as it

It reach’d the mark, a most length;

Which spoke an share of art, and strength.

was it fall’n, when with too hand

Young Hyacinth ran to it from the sand;

But the curst which met a stony soil,

in his face with violent

Both faint, both and breathless now appear,

The boy with the am’rous God with fear.

He and rais’d him bleeding from the

Chafes his cold limbs, and the fatal wound:

Then of noblest juice in vain

The wound is mortal, and his skill

As in a water’d garden’s blooming

When some rude has bruis’d its tender stalk,

A lilly droops its languid

And bends to earth, its life, and fled:

So Hyacinth, with reclin’d, decays,

And, now no more his charms displays.

O art gone, my boy, Apollo

Defrauded of thy youth in all its pride!

once my joy, art all my sorrow

And to my guilty hand my grief I

Yet from my self I might the remove,

Unless to sport, and a fault should prove,

it too were call’d a fault to

Oh cou’d I for thee, or but with dye!

But cruel Fates to me pow’r deny.

Yet on my tongue shalt for ever dwell;

Thy my lyre shall sound, my shall tell;

And to a flow’r unheard-of yet,

Stamp’d on thy my cries thou shalt

The time shall come, I foreknow,

When, joyn’d to a mighty chief shall

And with my plaints his name thy shall show.

While thus the laws of Fate

Behold, the blood which the verdant field,

Is blood no but a flow’r full blown,

Far than the Tyrian scarlet

A lilly’s form it took; its hue

Was all that made a diff’rence to the

Nor stop’d he here; the God upon its

The sad expression of his sorrow weaves;

And to hour the mournful purple

Ai, Ai, inscrib’d in funeral characters.

Nor are the who so much are fam’d

For virtue, of Hyacinth asham’d;

But still pompous woe, and solemn

The Hyacinthian feasts they celebrate

The Transformations of the Cerastae and

Enquire of Amathus, whose ground

With veins of metal does abound,

If she to her wou’d show,

The honour does to him allow?

Nor more, say, such wretches we grace,

Than those crooked horns deform’d face,

From thence call’d, an impious race:

whose gates a rev’rend stood,

To Jove inscrib’d, the God:

This had some seen with gore

The blood of lambs, and bulls it had

Their slaughter’d guests it nor flock nor herd.

Venus barb’rous sacrifices view’d

just abhorrence, and with pursu’d:

At first, to punish nefarious crimes,

Their she meant to leave, her once-lov’d

But why, said she, for offence shou’d I

My dear plains, and cities fly?

No, let the people, who have sinn’d,

A punishment in death, or exile,

If death, or exile too severe be

Let them in some vile bemoan their fault.

next her mind a proper employs,

Admonish’d by their she fix’d her choice.

Their crest remains upon heads,

And their strong an ox’s shape invades.

The Propoetides deny’d

Worship of and her pow’r defy’d:

But soon pow’r they felt, the that sold

Their embraces to the world for gold.

how to blush, and shameless grown,

A transition changes them to

The Story of Pygmalion and the Statue

loathing their lascivious

Abhorr’d all womankind, but most a

So single chose to live, and to wed,

Well pleas’d to a consort of his bed.

Yet fearing the nurse of ill,

In sculpture his happy skill;

And carv’d in such a maid, so fair,

As could not with his art compare,

she to work; but in her own defence

Must her pattern here, and copy

Pleas’d with his idol, he admires,

Adores; and last, the ador’d, desires.

A very in her face was seen,

And had she mov’d, a maid had been:

One wou’d thought she cou’d have but strove

With modesty, and was to move.

Art hid with art, so perform’d the cheat,

It caught the with his own deceit:

He knows madness, yet he must adore,

And the more he knows it, loves the

The flesh, or what so seems, he oft,

Which feels so that he believes it soft.

with this thought, at he strain’d the breast,

And on the lips a kiss impress’d.

‘Tis the harden’d breast resists the

And the cold lips return a unripe:

But when, retiring he look’d again,

To think it was a thought too mean:

So wou’d she kiss’d, and courting more,

embrac’d her naked body

And straining hard the statue, was

His hands had made a dint, and his maid:

Explor’d her limb by and fear’d to find

So rude a had left a livid mark

With flatt’ry now he seeks her to move,

And now with gifts pow’rful bribes of love),

He her closet first; and fills

The shelves with rarities of

Adds orient pearls, from the conchs he drew,

And all the stones of various hue:

And imitating human tongue,

And in silver cages hung:

And fragrant flow’r, and od’rous

Were sorted well, lumps of amber laid

Rich fashionable robes her deck,

Pendants her ears, and adorn her neck:

Her taper’d too with rings are grac’d,

And an zone surrounds her slender

Thus like a queen so richly dress’d,

Beauteous she but naked shew’d the best.

from the floor, he rais’d a bed,

With cov’rings of purple spread:

The solemn perform’d, he calls her bride,

blandishments invites her to his side;

And as she with vital sense

Her head did on a plumy pillow

The feast of Venus came, a day,

To which the Cypriots due pay;

With gilded the milk-white heifers led,

before the sacred altars,

Pygmalion off’ring, first the shrine,

And then with implor’d the Pow’rs divine:

Gods, if all we mortals want,

If all we can be yours to grant;

Make fair statue mine, he have said,

But chang’d his for shame; and only pray’d,

me the likeness of my iv’ry maid.

The Goddess, present at the pray’r,

knew he meant th’ fair,

And gave the sign of his desire;

For thrice in chearful ascends the fire.

The youth, to his mistress, hies,

And impudent in with ardent eyes,

And breast, by the dear statue

He kisses her white lips, the bliss,

And looks, and thinks redden at the kiss;

He thought warm before: nor longer

But next his hand on her hard lays:

Hard as it was, to relent,

It seem’d, the breast his fingers bent;

He felt his fingers made a print;

flesh, but flesh so firm, it against the dint:

The pleasing he fails not to renew;

Soft, and soft at ev’ry touch it

Like pliant wax, chasing hands reduce

The mass to form, and frame for

He would believe, but yet is still in

And tries his argument of sense

Presses the pulse, and feels the vein.

Convinc’d, o’erjoy’d, his thanks, and praise,

To her, who the miracle, he pays:

Then to lips he join’d; now freed fear,

He found the savour of the sincere:

At this the waken’d op’d her eyes,

And view’d at the light, and lover with

The Goddess, present at the match she

So bless’d the bed, such convey’d,

That ere ten months had either horn,

To crown bliss, a lovely boy was born;

his name, who grown to manhood,

The city Paphos, from the call’d.

The Story of of Cinyras and

Nor him alone produc’d the fruitful

But Cinyras, who like his sire had

A happy prince, had he not been a

Daughters, and fathers, from my retire;

I sing of horror; and I prevail,

You shou’d not hear, or not my tale.

Yet if the pleasure of my song be

That you will hear, and me too much,

Attentive listen to the event,

And, with the believe the punishment:

Since cou’d behold so dire a

I gratulate at least my native

That such a land, such a monster bore,

So far is from our Thracian shore.

Let extol her happy coast,

Her and sweet Amomum boast,

Her flow’rs, her trees with tears,

Her second harvests, and her years;

How can the land be call’d so that Myrrha bears?

Nor all her tears can cleanse her crime;

Her alone deforms the happy

Cupid denies to have thy heart,

Disowns thy love, and his dart:

Some Fury thee those infernal

And shot her venom’d vipers in thy

To hate thy sire, had merited a

But such an impious love a worse.

The neighb’ring monarchs, by thy led,

Contend in crowds, of thy bed:

The world is at thy choice; but one,

Except but him, canst not chuse, alone.

She it too, the miserable maid,

Ere love her better thoughts

And thus within her secret she said:

Ah Myrrha! whither thy wishes tend?

Ye Gods, ye laws, my soul defend

such a crime as all mankind

And never lodg’d before in breast!

But is it sin? Or makes my alone

Th’ imagin’d For Nature makes it none.

tyrant then these laws began,

Made not for any beast, but Man!

The father-bull his may bestride,

The horse may make his a bride;

What piety the lusty ram,

Or more goat, to rut their dam?

The hen is to wed the chick she bore,

And make a whom she hatch’d before.

All else are of a happier kind,

nor ill-natur’d laws from bind,

Nor thoughts of sin disturb peace of mind.

But Man a slave of his own lives;

The fool denies what Nature gives:

senates, with an over-care,

To us better than our kind can

Have dash’d a spice of in the laws,

And straining up too high, have the cause.

Yet some wise break their cruel

And own no laws, but those which ordains;

Where happy with their sires are

And piety is doubly paid in

O that I had been born in a clime,

Not here, where the country makes the crime!

But wou’d my impious fancy

Hence hopes, and ye forbidden away!

His worth deserves to my desires,

But with the love, daughters bear to sires.

had not Cinyras my father been,

hinder’d Myrrha’s hopes to be his

But the perverseness of my fate is such,

he’s not mine, because mine too much:

Our kindred-blood a better tie;

He might be were he not so nigh.

Eyes, and objects, never must

Some distance is requir’d to the sight:

Fain wou’d I to some foreign shore,

to see my native country more,

So I to my self my self restore;

So my mind these impious remove,

And ceasing to behold, cease to love.

But stay I to feed my famish’d sight,

To to kiss, and more, if more I

More, impious maid! more canst thou

To make a monstrous mixture in thy

And break all statutes human and

Can’st thou be call’d (to thy wretched life)

Thy mother’s and thy father’s wife?

Confound so sacred names in one,

Thy mother! Sister to thy son!

And thou not to see th’ infernal

Their heads with with torches arm’d hands

Full at thy face avenging brands to bear,

And the serpents from their hair;

But thou in time increasing ill controul,

Nor first the body by the soul;

Secure the quiet of thy mind,

And keep the Nature has design’d.

Suppose I attempt, th’ attempt vain,

No thoughts like his sinless soul profane;

of the right: and o that he

Cou’d my madness, or be mad like me!

Thus but Cinyras, who daily sees

A of noble suitors at his knees,

so many, knew not whom to

Irresolute to grant, or to refuse.

But told their names, of her

Who pleas’d her best, and whom she prefer.

The blushing maid silent with surprize,

And on her fix’d her ardent eyes,

And sigh’d, and as she sigh’d, began

tears to shed, that as they ran.

The tender who saw her blush, and cry,

Ascrib’d it all to modesty,

And dry’d the falling and yet more kind,

He stroak’d her and holy kisses join’d.

She a secret venom fire her

And found more pleasure, a daughter shou’d;

And, again what lover of the

She lik’d the best, she answer’d, One you.

Mistaking what she her pious will

He prais’d, and bid her so still:

The word of pious she blush’d with shame

Of guilt, and cou’d not bear the

‘Twas now the mid of night, when close

Our eyes, and sooth our with soft repose;

But no cou’d wretched Myrrha

Her body rouling, as she roul’d her

Mad with desire, she ruminates her

And wishes all her wishes o’er

Now she despairs, and now resolves to try;

not, and wou’d again, she not why;

Stops, and returns; and retracts the vow;

Fain begin, but understands not how.

As a pine is hew’d upon the

And the last mortal stroke remains,

Lab’ring in pangs of and threatning all,

This and that she nods, consid’ring to fall:

So Myrrha’s mind, on either side,

Takes bent, but cannot long

Irresolute on which she shou’d

At last, unfix’d in all, is fix’d to die.

On that sad she rests, resolv’d on death,

She and prepares to choak her breath:

while about the beam her she ties,

Dear Cinyras she softly cries;

For thee I and only wish to be

Not hated, thou know’st die I for thee:

the crime, in pity to the cause:

said, about her neck the she draws.

The nurse, who lay without, her guard,

Though not the words, the over-heard;

And sighs, and hollow surpriz’d with fright,

She and leaves her bed, and springs a

Unlocks the door, and entring out of

The dying saw, and instruments of

She shrieks, she cuts the zone trembling haste,

And in her arms her charge embrac’d:

Next she now had leisure for her tears),

She weeping in these her blooming years,

unforeseen misfortune caus’d her

To loath her life, and languish in

The maid, with down-cast and mute with grief

For unfinish’d, and ill-tim’d relief,

sullen to her suit: the beldame

The more to know, and bar’d her breast,

Adjur’d her by the kindly she drew

From those dry her secret ill to shew.

Sad Myrrha and turn’d her eyes aside:

The still urg’d, and wou’d not be

Nor only promis’d secresie, but

She might have leave to her offer’d aid.

Good-will, she my want of strength supplies,

And shall give what age

If strong desires thy mind to move,

With charms and I can cure thy love:

If envious their hurtuful rays cast,

More pow’rful shall free thee the blast:

If Heav’n offended thee this disease,

Heav’n with pray’rs we can

What then remains, can these cares procure?

Thy is flourishing, thy fortune sure:

Thy mother yet in health survives,

to thy comfort, thy kind father

The virgin started at her father’s

And sigh’d profoundly, conscious of the

Nor yet the nurse her impious love

But yet surmis’d that love her mind:

Thus thinking, she her point, and laid,

And lull’d her lap the mourning maid;

Then sooth’d her thus; I guess grief:

You love, my child; love shall find

My long-experienc’d age shall be your

Rely on that, and lay distrust

No breath of air shall on the secret

Nor shall (what most you your father know.

once again, as with a

The guilty virgin bounded her lap,

And threw her body on the bed.

And, to conceal her hid her head;

There silent and warn’d her with her hand

To go: but she not the command;

Remaining still to know:

Then Myrrha Or ask no more, or go;

I pr’ythee go, or staying my shame;

What thou hear, is impious ev’n to

At this, on high the beldame her hands,

And trembling both age, and terror stands;

and falling at her feet intreats,

her with blandishments, and frights threats,

To tell the crime or disclose

What part of it she if she no farther knows.

And last, if to her counsel made,

Confirms the promise of her aid.

Now Myrrha her head; but soon oppress’d

shame, reclin’d it on her nurse’s

Bath’d it with tears, and to have confess’d:

Twice she and stopp’d; again she try’d;

The tongue its office still

At last her veil before her she spread,

And drew a long sigh, and said,

O happy in thy marriage-bed!

Then groan’d, and The good old woman shook,

were her eyes, and ghastly was her

Her hoary hair upright horror stood,

Made (to her more knowing than she

Much she reproach’d, and many she said,

To cure the madness of unhappy maid,

In vain: for stood convict of ill;

Her vanquish’d, but unchang’d her will:

of mind, unable to reply;

She resolv’d, or to possess, or die.

At the fondness of a nurse prevail’d

her better sense, and virtue

Enjoy, my child, since is thy desire,

Thy love, she said; she not say, thy sire:

Live, unhappy, live on any terms;

with a second oath her confirms.

The solemn feast of now was near,

When long linnen stoles the matrons

Rank’d in procession walk the train,

Off’ring first-fruits, and of yellow grain:

For nine nights the nuptial-bed they

And sanctifying harvest, lie alone.

with the crowd, the queen her lord,

And Ceres’ pow’r secret rites ador’d:

The couch, now vacant for a time,

The crone, officious in her crime,

The occasion took: the king she

Easie with wine, and in pleasures drown’d,

Prepar’d for the beldame blew the flame,

the passion, but conceal’d the name.

Her she prais’d; the monarch ask’d her

And she reply’d, The same thy Myrrha

Wine, and commended beauty his thought;

Impatient, he commands her to be

Pleas’d with her charge she hies her home,

And gratulates the the task was overcome.

Myrrha was the welcome news to hear;

But with guilt, the joy was unsincere:

So so discordant is the mind,

That in our a diff’rent will we find.

Ill she and yet pursu’d her lust;

For guilty give a double gust.

depth of night: Arctophylax had

His lazy wain half the northern Heav’n,

When hasten’d to the crime desir’d:

The beheld her first, and first

The stars amaz’d, ran backward the sight,

And (shrunk within sockets) lost their

Icarius first withdraws his flame:

The virgin sign, in the second name,

Slides the belt, and from her station

And night with sable involves the skies.

Bold still pursues her black

She stumbled thrice (an omen of event);

Thrice shriek’d the owl, yet on she went,

Secure of because secure of sight;

bashful sins are impudent by

Link’d hand in hand, accomplice, and the dame,

Their way to the chamber came:

The door was they blindly grope way,

Where dark in bed expecting monarch lay.

far her courage held, but here

Her faint knees knock at step she makes.

The nearer to her the more within

She feels and horror of her sin;

Repents too her criminal desire,

And wishes, unknown she could retire.

Her thus, the nurse (who delay

The fatal secret at length betray)

Pull’d to compleat the work begun,

And to Cinyras, Receive thy own.

saying, she deliver’d kind to

Accurs’d, and their devoted join’d.

The sire, unknowing of the admits

His bowels, and prophanes the sheets;

He found she trembled, but she strove

With maiden against her love,

And sought flatt’ring words vain to remove.

Perhaps he said, My cease thy fears

(Because the suited with her years);

Father, she might whisper him

That names might not be to the sin.

Full of her sire, she th’ incestuous bed,

And in her womb the crime she bred.

and another night she came;

For sin had left no sense of shame:

Cinyras desir’d to see her face,

body he had held in close

And brought a taper; the revealer,

Expos’d both crime, and to sight.

Grief, rage, could no speech afford,

But the sheath he drew th’ sword:

The guilty fled: the of night,

That favour’d the sin, secur’d the flight.

wand’ring thro’ the spacious she bent

Her voyage to th’ continent;

Then pass’d the which Panchaea join’d,

And left the palmy plains

Nine times the moon had her horns; at length

With weary, unsupply’d with

And with the burden of her womb

Sabaean fields afford her rest:

There, loathing and yet of death afraid,

In anguish of her thus she pray’d:

Ye Pow’rs, if any so are

T’ accept my penitence, and my pray’r;

Your judgments, I are justly sent;

Great deserve as great a punishment:

Yet my life the living will

And since my death the happy will stain,

A middle your mercy may bestow,

the realms above, and those

Great Wall C20R EV

Some other form to Myrrha give,

Nor let her wholly nor wholly live.

The pray’rs of are never vain;

At least she did her request obtain:

For while she the ground began to rise,

And round her feet, her legs, and

Her toes in roots descend, and wide,

A firm foundation for the provide:

Her solid bones to solid wood,

To pith her and to sap her blood:

Her arms are boughs, her change their kind,

Her skin is harden’d into

And now the rising tree her womb

Now shooting upwards still, her breasts,

And shades the neck; weary with delay,

She her head within, and met it half the

And tho’ with outward she lost her sense,

With tears she wept her last

And still she weeps, nor sheds her in vain;

For still the precious her name retain.

Mean-time the infant grows,

And ripe for distends with deadly

The swelling rind, with strife,

To leave the wooden and pushes into life.

The as if oppress’d with pain,

here, and there, to break the in vain;

And, like a woman, wou’d have

But wants a voice to call aid:

The bending bole out a hollow sound,

And trickling fall thicker on the ground.

The Lucina came uncall’d, and

Beside the struggling boughs, and the groaning wood;

Then her midwife-hand to speed the throes,

And the pow’rful spells, that to birth disclose.

The bark the living load to free,

And delivers the convulsive tree.

The nymphs receive the crying

And wash him in the tears the parent distill’d.

They swath’d him their scarfs; beneath him

The ground with herbs; roses rais’d his head.

The babe was born with grace,

Ev’n envy have prais’d so fair a

Such was his form, as painters they show

Their art, on naked loves

And that their arms no might betray,

Give him a or his from Cupid take

Time glides along undiscover’d haste,

The future but a behind the past;

So swift are The babe, whom just

His grandsire got, and whom his bore;

The drop, the thing, late the tree inclos’d,

And the yawning bark to life

A babe, a boy, a beauteous appears,

And lovelier than at riper years.

Now to the queen of he gave desires,

And, her pains, reveng’d his mother’s

The Story of Venus and Adonis

For lips while Cupid

He with a heedless arrow her breast,

The Goddess felt it, and fury stung,

The wanton from her bosom flung:

Yet at first the danger slight, but

The dart too faithful, and too deep the

Fir’d with a mortal she disdains

To haunt th’ mount, or Phrygian plains.

She not Cnidos, nor her Paphian shrines,

Nor that teems with mines:

Ev’n Heav’n with all its sweets unsought,

far a sweeter Heav’n is thought.

On him she and fonds with ev’ry

And never, never knows him to part.

She, whose limbs had only been

On rosie beds beneath the shade,

Whose pleasing was to improve each grace,

And add charms to an unrival’d face,

Now like the virgin huntress,

Thro’ woods, and pathless and mountain-snows

With her own tuneful she joys to cheer

The panting that chace the flying

She runs the labyrinth of fearful

But fearless beasts, and dang’rous forbears,

Hunts not the grinning or foamy boar,

And trembles at the hungry roar.

Thee Adonis, with a lover’s

She warns, if warn’d thou avoid the snare,

To furious advance not nigh,

Fly those follow, follow those fly;

‘Tis chance must the survivors save,

brave spirits will the brave.

O! lovely youth! in sports delight;

Provoke not which, arm’d by Nature,

For me, if not thy self, vouchsafe to fear;

Let not thy of glory cost me dear.

know not bow to spare a blooming

No sparkling eyes can sooth the rage.

Not all thy charms a savage can move,

Which have so touch’d the queen of love.

bristled boars from thickets spring,

In grinded a thunderbolt they bring.

The hunters lions rouz’d

Vast is their fury, and as their pow’r:

Curst be tawny race! If thou hear

What kindled my hate, then lend an

The wond’rous tale I will to unfold,

How the fell monsters from crimes of old.

But by toils I faint: see!

A grateful poplar courts us a shade.

The grassy turf, so verdant shows,

We may secure repose.

With her Adonis be Venus blest;

And swift at the grass and him she prest.

Then smiling, with a raptur’d

On his lov’d bosom she her head

And thus began; but mindful of bliss,

Seal’d the soft with a softer kiss.

thou may’st have a virgin’s name,

Who still in swiftest youths o’ercame.

that female weakness outdo

A manly strength; the yet is true.

‘Twas doubtful, if her in the field

Did to her form’s triumphant yield;

Whether her face with more ease

A crowd of lovers, or her feet

For once Apollo she implor’d to

If courteous Fates a consort allow:

A consort brings thy he reply’d;

O! learn to want the of a bride!

Nor shalt thou them to thy wretched cost,

And living shall be lost.

such a rueful Fate affrighted maid

Sought recesses in the wood-land glade.

Nor suiters her resolves could

She bad them show their to show their love.

He who could conquer in the race,

hope the conquer’d virgin to

While he, whose tardy had lagg’d behind,

Was doom’d the sad of death to find.

Tho’ the prize, yet rigid the decree,

But with beauty, who can rigour

Ev’n on these laws the they rashly sought,

And in excess of love forgot.

sat Hippomenes, prepar’d to blame

In such extravagance of flame.

And he said, the blessing of a wife

Be purchas’d by a risk of life?

But he saw the wonders of her face,

And her limbs springing to the race,

Her limbs, as turn’d, as mine,

Or if a woman might vie with thine,

lifted hands, he cry’d, the tongue

Which durst, ye your well-tim’d courage

I knew not that the nymph, for you strove,

Deserv’d th’ transports of your love.

He admir’d, and thus her spotless

He prais’d, and praising, kindled his own

A rival now to all the youths who run,

he fears they should not be

But why (reflects he) idly thus is

The fate of others, yet untry’d my

The coward must not on love’s aid

The God was ever to the bold a friend.

the virgin flies, or seems to

Swift as a Scythian arrow the sky:

Still more and the youth her charms admires.

The itself t’ exalt her conspires.

The golden pinions, her feet adorn,

In wanton by the winds are born.

Down her head, the long, fair flow,

And sport with negligence below.

The waving which her buskins tie,

Her skin with waving die;

As crimson veils in display’d,

To the white marble a blushing shade.

Nor long he yet while he gaz’d, she gain’d

The and the victorious wreath obtain’d.

The sigh, and, as the law decreed,

Pay the forfeit, and prepare to bleed.

rose Hippomenes, not yet afraid,

And his eyes full on the beauteous

Where is (he cry’d) the mighty won,

To distance those, who the nerves to run?

Here superior strength, nor shall it be

Thy of glory, if excell’d by me.

High my near Neptune I aspire,

For was grand-parent to my sire.

From great God the fourth my self I

Nor sink my virtues yet beneath my

Thou from Hippomenes, may’st claim

An envy’d and a deathless fame.

While the youth the virgin pow’r

Silent she views him still softer eyes.

Thoughts in her a doubtful strife begin,

If not happier now to lose, than

What God, a foe to beauty, destroy

The promis’d ripeness of blooming boy?

With his danger does he seek my

Scarce am I half so greatly she said.

Nor has his beauty mov’d my to love,

And yet, I own, beauty well might

‘Tis not his charms, ’tis would engage

My soul to the greenness of his age.

What, heroick conrage fires his

And shines thro’ brave of Fate confest?

What, his patronage by close degrees

from th’ imperial of the seas?

Then add the love, bids him undertake

The race, and to perish for my sake.

Of bloody heedless youth, beware!

timely fly from a too barb’rous

At pleasure chuse; thy love be repaid

By a less foolish, and beauteous maid.

But why this before unknown?

Why beats, and my breast for him alone?

His eyes seen his num’rous rivals

Let him too share the rigour of the field,

by their fates untaught, his own he

And thus with ruin sports.

Yet for what crime he his death receive?

Is it a crime me to wish to live?

Shall his passion his destruction prove?

Is the fatal recompence of love?

So a youth, destroy’d, would shame,

Aud nymphs eternally my fame.

Still why should my guiltless fame upbraid?

Did I the adventurer persuade?

Alas! I thou would’st the course

Or that my swiftness was excell’d by

See! what a virgin’s adorns the boy!

Why wilt run, and why thy self destroy?

O that I ne’er had been

By bright eyes unfortunately

Ah! tempt not thus a swift, Fate;

Thy life is worthy of the date.

Were I less wretched, did the chain

Of rigid Gods not my choice restrain,

By thee I could with joy be led

To taste the of a nuptial bed.

Thus she the woman’s secret heart,

innocent, and new to Cupid’s dart.

Her her words, her actions wildly

With love she burns, yet not that ’tis love.

Her sire now with the murm’ring

Demands the race impatiently

Hippomenes then with fervour pray’d,

My bold let Venus kindly aid.

By her pow’r I felt this fire,

Still may she succour, she did inspire.

A soft, unenvious with speedy care,

to Heav’n the lover’s tender

Pity, I own, soon the wish’d consent,

And all th’ he implor’d I lent.

The Cyprian tho’ rich, in richness

To that, surnam’d the Tamasenian

That field of old was added to my

And its choice products consecrated

A tree there stands, glorious to behold,

Gold are the the crackling branches gold.

It three apples in my hand I

Which newly from the I sportive tore;

Seen by the alone, to him I brought

The fruit, and and how to use it, taught.

The signal sounding by the command,

Both start at and sweep th’ imprinted

So swiftly mov’d their they might with

Scarce moisten’d, skim the glassy seas;

Or with a levity be born

O’er harvests of unbending corn.

Now peals resound from part,

Spirit the youth, and his fainting heart.

Hippomenes! cry’d) thy life preserve,

labour, and stretch ev’ry

Base fear alone can thy design,

Shoot boldly and the goal is thine.

‘Tis whether shouts, like convey’d

More pleasures to the or to the maid.

When a long oft she could have gain’d,

She her swiftness, and her feet restrain’d:

She and dwelt, and languish’d on his face,

with unwilling speed the race.

O’er-spent with his breath he faintly drew,

was his mouth, nor yet the goal in view,

And the apple on the plain he threw.

The stop’d sudden at th’ sight,

Struck with the so beautifully bright.

Aside she the wonder to behold,

And eager to catch the rouling gold.

observant youth past by, and along,

While peals of joy from th’ applauding

Unkindly she corrects the short

And to redeem the time fleets away,

Swift, as the lightning, or the wind,

And far she leaves the panting behind.

Again he strives the nymph to hold

With the of the second gold:

The bright fruitlessly was tost,

So soon, she won the distance lost.

Now but a little of space

Remain’d for the decision of the

Fair author of the precious he said,

Be thou, O Goddess, of my aid!

Then of the shining the last he drew,

And with his vigour threw:

The virgin the longer to detain,

Threw not but a-cross the plain.

She seem’d perplex’d in dubious thought,

If the apple should be sought:

I her backward mind to seize the

And to the massie gold gave weight.

My favour to my votary was

Her speed I lessen’d, and encreas’d her

But lest, tho’ long, the race be run,

Before my tedious tale is done,

The the goal, and so the virgin won.

I, Adonis, now not hope to see

His grateful pour’d out for victory?

His pious on my altars laid?

But he nor grateful nor incense paid.

Enrag’d I that with the youth the

For his contempt, should my keen share;

That future might my pow’r revere,

from their sad examples, to fear.

The silent fanes, the abodes,

Of Cybele, great of the Gods,

Rais’d by Echion in a wood,

And full of brown, horror stood.

By a long journey faint, they

Their weary limbs secret to repose.

But soon my inflam’d the lustful boy,

of rest he sought untimely

A hallow’d gloomy cave, moss o’er-grown,

The temple of native pumice-stone,

Where images by priests were

And wooden deities securely

Thither the rash Hippomenes

And gives a loose to all his wild

And the chaste cell pollutes wanton fires.

The sacred trembled with surprize,

The Goddess, blushing, veil’d her

And the lewd pair to Stygian had sent,

But unrevengeful seem’d punishment,

A heavier doom black prophaneness draws,

taper figures turn to paws.

No more their the smoothness can retain,

Now cover’d with a yellow mane.

change to legs: each the hard’ning breast

Of rage and wond’rous strength possest.

alter’d looks with grim appear,

And on the ground brushing tails they

They haunt the woods: voices, which before

musically sweet, now hoarsly

Hence lions, dreadful to the swains,

Are tam’d by Cybele, and with reins,

And humbly her car along the plains.

But thou, my delightful care,

Of these, and as fierce as these, beware!

The which not shuns thee, shun,

For by rash prowess thou be undone,

A double is contain’d in one.

Thus Venus school’d her fav’rite

But youthful heat all cautions destroy.

His sprightly soul grave counsels flies,

with yok’d swans the cuts the skies.

His faithful led by the tainted wind,

Lodg’d in coverts chanc’d a boar to

The callow hero show’d a heart,

And pierc’d the savage a side-long dart.

The flying wounded, turn’d again,

out the gory dart, and foam’d pain.

The trembling boy by flight his sought,

And now recall’d the lore, Venus taught;

But now too late to fly the he strove,

Who in the groin his tusks drove,

On the discolour’d grass lay,

The monster trampling his beauteous prey.

Fair Cyprus scarce in view,

from afar his groans, and them true,

And turn’d her swans, and backward flew.

But as she saw him his latest breath,

And quiv’ring in pangs of death,

Down swift flight she plung’d, nor forbore,

At once her garments, and her she tore.

With cruel she beat her guiltless breast,

The upbraided, and her love confest.

Nor they yet (she cry’d) the devour

With uncontroul’d, pow’r:

For thee, lost my tears, and restless pain

in immortal monuments remain,

solemn pomp in annual return’d,

Be thou for ever, my mourn’d,

Could Pluto’s with jealous fury

And Menthe to a fragrant herb

Yet dares not Venus with a surprise,

And in a flow’r bid her fall’n rise?

Then on the blood nectar she bestows,

The scented in little bubbles rose:

as rainy drops, which fly,

Born by the winds, a low’ring sky.

Short ensu’d, ’till where the was shed,

A flow’r began to its purple head:

Great Wall C20R EV
Great Wall C20R EV
Great Wall C20R EV


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