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Ditis amor.

Vidit rutilos Trinacria currus,
Vidit equos flammasque, infraque immane barathrum
Palluit, infernumque vomentia Tartara Regem.
At vulnus circum gerit insanabile Mater,
Amissam repetens prolem; vos dicite, Nymphæ,
(Nostis enim,) nemora et saltus quæcunque Sicanos,
Ventosumque Erycen, aut lene fluentis Anapi
Sorte tenetis aquam; Lilybæon, et alta Pelori
Culmina, et undantem centum fornacibus Ætnam;
Quo non Diva pedem tulerit, quæ spreverit usquam
Littora, “ Persephone” quibus haud clamarit in oris.
Per fines Italum, per Dorica rura vagantem
Duxit amor, fausto donec magis ordine rerum
Ad sacrum nemus, et viridem properaret Eleusin
Orba Ceres; alacres illam in sua regna coloni
Excipiunt, fletusque avido solantur amore.
Testis tu, curvi dictus monstrator aratri
Triptoleme, alato vectus serpente per orbem;
Vos etiam, campi, testes, et Rharius ille
Rite canendus ager, toto qui primus in orbe
Sementem, aut dulcem frumenti noverit herbam.
Hinc et Eleusinam præsenti numine glebam
Diva sibi coluit, celebrandasque ordine pompas,
Et sanctum jussit servari in sæcula nomen.

Ergo omnes Danaum vario sub nomine gentes
Huc fluere, et densa stipare altaria pompa;
Quin et ab extremis mundi regionibus ultro
Tot coeunt populi, votivaque munera portant;
Quos Oriens mittit, quos frigidus aere vesper,
Qui Tanain, Istrumque colunt, qui regna Canopi,
Et Latii genus, et rerum pulcherrima Roma.

Scilicet Ægypti madidis in finibus Isin
Linigeri implorent prisco de more ministri;
Imperet antiquas Asiæ Diana per urbes,
Creta Jovem poscat, Venerem circumflua Cyprus,
Principium rerum; at duris Samothraces in arvis
Idæam celebrent Matrem, sanctosque Cabiros;
Primus Eleusinæ Cereri locus; ultimus orbis
Hanc colit, hanc sacræ primam venerantur Athenæ.

Felices nimium! templi secreta tueri
Queis datur, arcanisque impune assistere sacris.
Hi curis vacui, et vita meliore potiti
Lætitiam pacemque colunt; his purior aer,
His nitidus splendore suo Sol; arva virescunt

Semper, et æternum spirat ver aureus annus.
Contra autem, quos tu, Dea, non spectaveris usquam
Participem sacrorum, aut in tua jura vocaris,
Perpetui exagitant fletus; post ultima fata
Non Superas adit ille domos, sedesve piorum
Discretas; non densa inter myrteta recumbens
Otia agit, lætisque vagus spatiatur in arvis.

Tum si quis templi secreta, et mystica jura
Prodiderit fando, aut Numen violaverit aræ,
Non illum accipiunt epulæ, non pocula Bacchi,
Nec dulces citharæ, sanctæ neque carmina Musæ.
Morte luit facinus, tumuloque Infamia major
Devovet æternis caput execrabile diris,
Et manet in seros longe deducta nepotes.

Scilicet in puros ritus, et fodera sancta
Diva suos vocat, et sanæ consortia mentis;
Non illa obscoenos cultus, non impia novit
Orgia, per Rhodopen aut qualia sæpe nivosam
Thyades instaurant Bacchæ, rapiuntque furentes
Huc illuc tædas; “ Euoe!” cum personat Hebrus,
Et nemora ingeminant longis ululatibus “Euoe!"
At sanctos animi mores, castumque decorem
Præcipit usque suis, et toto præmia laudis
Corde sequi, atque brevem virtuti impendere vitam.

Haud impune ergo arcanos penetrare recessus'
Infandum! atque ipsi voluit succedere templo,
Omne ausus furiale nefas, nuperque cruentus
Materna de cæde Nero; nil contulit ipsi
Purpura, nil fulgens diadema, at territus omni
Abstinuit luco, et nigris sese abdidit umbris.

Quin et Thriasii präsentis numina Divæ 2
Senserunt campi, rapidi cum turbinis instar
Baccharetur ovans vasto circum agmine Medus,
Disjectæque urbes, et desolata jacerent
Arva, nec eversas tegeret jam Pallas Athenas.
Tunc inter tenebras et dira tonitrua, nimbo
Accinctam, ex adytis magnam procedere Matrem
Vidit Cecropidum pubes; tremuere cavernæ
Adventante Dea; quo visu, expalluit amens
Barbarus, ac toto trepidarunt littore nautæ.

Proxima quæ memorem ? quo possim carmine totam Sacrorum seriem, celebresque ex ordine pompas

I Suet. Vita Ner.

2 Herodotus, lib. viii.

Rite sequi, et magnam gemina cum prole Parentem ?
An memorem tædas, et anhelo concita cursu
Agmina, votivamque agitantes lampada mystas?
An te, magne, canam, te myrto insignis Iacche,
Quem strepitu Matris pubes deducit ad ædem,
Quem thyrsus thiasusque decent, quem mystica vannus
Adde puellarum gestantem occulta catervam
Sacra manu, tardeque super volventia plaustra
Impositas calathos, obscuræque orgia cistæ,
Orgia, non oculis spectanda impune profanis.

Ergo ubi jam cunctis arcana silentia terris
Sparserit alma quies, lecti longo ordine mystæ
Succedunt templo, viridanti tempora circum
Velati myrto, niveaque in veste nitentes.
Ipse inter medios, turbaque insignior omni
Emicat antistes, tunica strophioque refulgens.
Stant circum comites; tædam fert eminus alter
Sacratam, magnaque alter ter voce profanos
Admonet ire procul, foribusque absistere sanctis.
Tum subito mugire solum, immensoque fragore
Quassari ingentes ipsis altaribus ædes;
Tum diræ audiri voces, tum infanda videri
Portenta, et densos percurrere fulmina lucos.
Procubuere metu; laxis bacchatur habenis
Perque artus animosque timor; tam lurida circum
Nox Erebi, et sontum luctus, poenæque videntur
Ingruere, ac Stygias Manes ululare per umbras.

Mox tenebras inter medias lux alma repente
Exoritur, meliorque dies, et purior aer
Excipit, et dulces nemorum in convallibus umbræ.
Apparet Divæ simulacrum, ipsius imago
Luminis, ac vivo solidum de lumine corpus.
Vellem equidem, vellem, ni frigida vena vetaret,
Insanire simul, blandumque haurire furorem,
Et saltare choro, tædasque agitare volantes.
Cuncti adeo sancta penitus dulcedine capti
Concelebrant magnam Matrem; poscentibus olim
Ut dederit frumenta viris, ususque colendi
Monstrarit; varias ut vitæ in venerit artes,
Et mores hominum cultu placarit agrestum:
“ Te Superi Manesque colunt; tu cærula coeli,
Et pelagi tractus, et magni monia mundi
Sustentas, nigroque potens dominaris Averno.
Te duce, se glomerant nebulæ; te, decidit imber,

Semen alunt sulci, turgetque in palmite germen.
Te, Dea, te metuunt liquidi per inania cæli
Aeriæ volucres, metuunt te lustra ferarum,
Squamigerique angues, et nigri' monstra profundi:
Te Terra agnoscit Dominam; quacunque moventur,
Usque tuæ auscultant coelestia sidera voci,
Et festinantes revolutis cursibus anni.”

Ergo, si qua fides, ubi sancto in limine membra
Straverit, atque adyto trepidas admoverit aures,
Solennes inter cantus, pompamque nitentem,
Insolitas voces, neque adhuc vulganda profanis
Dicta bibit Mysta; ut frustra sibi Græcia centum
Taurorum pingui placarit sanguine Divos,
Lenæum e pateris frustra libarit honorem,
Turicremosque focos, et inanes struxerit aras.
Unum namque sibi auctorem, finemque, Deumque
Naturæ leges, et rerum arcana fateri
Fodera, qui pulchram hanc florentemque ubere terram,
Et pelagi maria, et lati spatia ultima coeli,
Imperiis regit omnipotens, impletque, movetque,
Ad se cuncta trahens, sese per cuncta refundens.

Hæc olim cecinere, obscura exordia lucis
Venturæ, dubiique incerta crepuscula veri.
At nondum erroris tenebras amovit inertes
Cæca Superstitio; nondum æthere lucet aperto
Tota dies, largoque irrorat lumine mundum ;
Donec Tu, sanctis toties memorate Prophetis,
Ipsa Dei soboles, tandem mortalibus ægris
Exspectate venis; tu summi jussa Parentis
Scilicet, æternique operis Mysteria Verbi.
Te fracti ærumnis omnes, victique labore
Sponte petunt, ipsoque bibunt de fonte salutem.
Te, Deus, humano manifestum in corpore Numen,
Haud sterili pompa, aut cæsis de more juvencis,
Sed cultu meliore, animoque et corde fideli
Prosequimur. Tu prisca luis contagia culpæ
Morte tua; tu das purgatis crimine sedes
Affectare tuas, propiusque accedere coelo.

G. HOWARD,

EX ÆDE CHRISTI.

138

ON THE ATTRIBUTES THAT

THAT CONSTI. TUTE THE PERFECTION OF BEING.

Unless we can agree in attaching a clear, uniform, and definite idea to the term perfection, we can have no certainty of understanding each other, when we use it either in conversation or writing. Whatever a person affirms of it, may indeed be true, in the sense which he annexes to it; but if others understand it in a different sense, they either differ with him in opinion, or run the risk of being misled by assenting to what he asserts of it; for though it may be true in the one sense, it may be erroneous in the other. It is a term applied by some writers to the works of man; while others, who pretend to examine more rigidly the idea for which it stands, maintain that there is nothing perfect but God—that he alone is absolute perfection, because he alone is the only being to whom nothing is wanting. This is the language of philosophers and metaphysicians; but I doubt whether it has not more the appearance than the reality of truth, and whether it be not as applicable to the works of the Creator as to the Creator himself; and even to the works of man, whenever they are found to contain all the qualities or modes of being that enter into our ideas of perfection

. I know it will be easily granted me, that every thing is perfect which

possesses these qualities; while it will still be contended that the Deity alone is the only being to whom they can belong, and that a perfect poem, painting, or statue, never proceeded from the hand of man, nor yet any other production to which the term can be applied. To appreciate more correctly the value of this doctrine, let us first examine in what perfection is supposed to consist; secondly, whether this supposed perfection can exist; and thirdly, in what perfection ought to consist: and if we find that perfection cannot consist in what it is supposed to consist, let us agree in making it consist in what it ought to consist.

Perfection, then, we are told, consists in that which wants nothing; and a perfect being is a being that contains in himself every thing necessary to render him perfect, who would be perfect if there were no other being in existence but himself, and whose attributes, powers, energies, capa. cities, omniscience, omnipresence, ubiquity, mercy, benevo

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