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Excipit hunc Nessus, “Neque enim moriemur in

ulti !” 30 Secum ait, et calido velamina tincta cruore Dat munus raptæ, velut irritamen amoris.

Longa fuit medii mora temporis, actaque magni Herculis implerant terras odiumque novercæ. 135

Victor ab Echalia Cenæo sacra parabat
35 Vota Jovi; cum fama loquax præcessit ad aures,

Deïanira, tuas, quæ veris addere falsa
Gaudet, et e minima sua per mendacia crescit,
Amphitryoniaden Ioles ardore teneri.

140 Credit amans, Venerisque novæ perterrita fama 40 Indulsit primo lacrimis, flendoque dolorem

Diffudit miseranda suam; mox deinde, “Quid autem,
Flemus ?” ait: “pellex lacrimis lætabitur istis.
Quæ quoniam adveniet, properandum aliquidque
novandum est,

145 Dum licet, et nondum thalamos tenet altera nostros ! 45 Conquerar, an sileam ? Repetam Calydona, mo

rerne?
Excedam tectis, an, si nihil amplius, obstem?
Quid si, me, Meleagre, tuam memor esse sororem,
Forte paro facinus, quantumque injuria possit 150

Femineusque dolor, jugulata pellice testor ?"
50 Incursus animus varios habet : omnibus illis

Prætulit imbutam Nesseo sanguine vestem
Mittere, quæ vires defecto reddat amori;
Ignaroque Lichæ, quid tradat nescia, luctus 155

Ipsa suos tradit, blandisque miserrima verbis,
55 Dona det illa viro, mandat. Capit inscius heros,
Induiturque humeris Lernææ virus Echidnæ.

Tura dabat primis et verba precantia flammis, Vinaque marmoreas patera fundebat in aras : 160

Incaluit vis illa mali, resolutaque flammis 60 Herculeos abiit late diffusa per artus.

Dum potuit, solita gemitum virtute repressit;
Victa malis postquam est patientia, repulit aras,
Implevitque suis nemorosam vocibus Eten.

165 Nec mora, letiferam conatur scindere vestem : 65 Qua trahitur, trahit illa cutem,- fædumque relatu,

Aut hæret membris frustra tentata revelli,

Aut laceros artus et grandia detegit ossa.
Ipse cruor, gelido ceu quondam lamina candens 170

Tincta lacu, stridit coquiturque ardente veneno. 70 Nec modus est : sorbent avidæ præcordia flammæ,

Cæruleusque fluit toto de corpore sudor,
Ambustique sonant nervi; cæcaque medullis
Tabe liquefactis, tollens ad sidera palmas, 175

“ Cladibus," exclamat, “Saturnia, pascere nostris ! 75 Pascere, et hanc pestem specta, crudelis, ab alto,

Corque ferum satia ; vel si miserandus et hosti,-
Hostis enim tibi sum-diris cruciatibus ægram
Invisamque animam natamque laboribus aufer. 180
Mors mihi munus erit: decet hæc dare dona nover-

cam !
80 Ergo ego fædantem peregrino templa cruore

Busirin domui, sævoque alimenta parentis
Antæo eripui ; nec me pastoris Iberi
Forma triplex, nec forma triplex tua, Cerbere,
movit?

185 Vosne, manus, validi pressistis cornua tauri? 85 Vestrum opus Elis habet, vestrum Stymphalides

undæ
Partheniumque nemus ? Vestra virtute relatus
Thermodontiaco cælatus baltheus auro,
Pomaque ab insomni non custodita dracone ? 190

Nec mihi Centauri potuere resistere, nec mî 90 Arcadiæ vastator aper; nec profuit Hydræ Crescere per

damnum geminasque resumere vires ? Quid, quod Thracis equos, humano sanguine

pingues, Plenaque corporibus laceris præsepia vidi, 195

Visaque dejeci, dominumque ipsosque peremi ? 95 His elisa jacet moles Nemeæa lacertis ;

Hac cælum cervice tuli. Defessa jubendo est
Sæva Jovis conjux ; ego sum indefessus agendo.
Sed nova pestis adest, cui nec virtute resisti 200

Nec telis armisque potest : pulmonibus errat 100 Ignis edax imis, perque omnes pascitur artus.

At valet Eurystheus :-et sunt, qui credere possint
Esse deos ?” Dixit, perque altam saucius Eten
Haud aliter graditur, quam si venabula taurus 205

Corpore fixa gerat, factique refugerit auctor. 105 Sæpe illum gemitus edentem, sæpe trementem,

Sæpe retentantem totas infringere vestes,
Sternentemque trabes irascentemque videres
Montibus, aut patrio tendentem brachia cælo. 210

Ecce, Lichan trepidum et latitantem rupe cavata 110 Adspicit; utque dolor rabiem collegerat omnem,

“ Tune, Licha,” dixit, “ feralia dona dedisti?
Tune meæ necis auctor eris ?” Tremit ille pavetque
Pallidus, et timide verba excusantia dicit. 215

Dicentem genibusque manus adhibere parantem 115 Corripit Alcides, et terque quaterque rotatum

Mittit in Euboicas, tormento fortius, undas.
Ille per aerias pendens induruit auras ;
Utque ferunt imbres gelidis concrescere ventis, 220

Inde nives fieri, nivibus quoque mole rotatis 120 Adstringi et spissa glomerari grandine corpus :

Sic illum validis jactum per inane lacertis,
Exsanguemque metu nec quicquam humoris ha-

bentem
In rigidos versum silices prior edidit ætas. 225

Nunc quoque in Euboico scopulus brevis eminet alte 125 Gurgite, et humanæ servat vestigia formæ :

Quem, quasi sensurum, nautæ calcare verentur,
Appellantque Lichan.-At tu, Jovis inclyta proles,
Arboribus cæsis, quas ardua gesserat Ete, 230

Inque pyram structis, arcum pharetramque capacem, 130 Regnaque visuras iterum Trojana sagittas

Ferre jubes Pæante satum, quo flamma ministro
Subdita ; dumque avidis comprenditur ignibus

agger,
Congeriem silvæ Nemeæo vellere summam 235

Sternis, et imposita clavæ cervice recumbis, 135 Haud alio vultu, quam si conviva jaceres

Inter plena meri redimitus pocula sertis.

Jamque valens et in omne latus diffusa sonabat, Securosque artus contemtoremque petebat 240

Flamma suum : timuere dei pro vindice terræ. 140 Quos ita-sensit enim-læto Saturnius ore

Jupiter alloquitur: “Nostra est timor iste voluptas, o Superi, totoque libens mihi pectore grator,

Quod memoris populi dicor rectorque paterque, 245

Et mea progenies vestro quoque tuta favore est. 145 Nam quanquam ipsius datis hoc immanibus actis ;

Obligor ipse tamen. Sed enim, ne pectora vano
Fida metu paveant, Etæas spernite flammas:
Omnia qui vicit, vincet quos cernitis ignes, 250

Nec nisi materna Vulcanum parte potentem 150 Sentiet: æternum est, a me quod traxit, et expers

Atque immune necis, nullaque domabile flamma.
Idque ego defunctum terra coelestibus oris
Accipiam, cunctisque meum lætabile factum 255

Dîs fore confido. Si quis tamen Hercule, si quis 155 Forte deo doliturus erit, data præmia nolet ;

Sed meruisse dari sciet, invitusque probabit!"

Assensere dei ; conjux quoque regia visa est Cetera non duro, duro tamen ultima vultu 260

Dicta tulisse Jovis, seque indoluisse notatam. 160 Interea, quodcumque fuit populabile flammæ,

Mulciber abstulerat: nec cognoscenda remansit
Herculis effigies, nec quicquam ab imagine ductum
Matris habet, tantumque Jovis vestigia servat. 265

Utque novus serpens, posita cum pelle senecta, 165 Luxuriare solet squamaque nitere recenti :

Sic, ubi mortales Tirynthius exuit artus,
Parte sui meliore viget, majorque videri
Cæpit, et augusta fieri gravitate verendus. 270

Quem pater omnipotens, inter cava nubila raptum, 170 Quadrijugo curru radiantibus intulit astris.

XXXVIII. ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE.

(X. 1-151. XI. 1–66.)

Orpheus was one of the earliest bards of Greece, and bore an early and important part in civilizing the inhabitants of that country. The legend makes him the son of the Muse Calliope and the god Apollo, from whom he received the melodious lyre, which he furnished with nine instead of seven strings. Others say, that Eagrus, the Thracian river-god and king, was the father of Orpheus. At all events his home was in the north of Greece. His teaching, as well in relation to religious faith and usages as to moral practice and the conduct of life, remained long operative among the early Grecian races, and even in later times the wisdom of the so-called Orphic schools stood in high esteem. The power of his song was so great, that, as the fable says, he was able to touch and draw to himself not only wild beasts, but also trees and rocks : a symbolical signification of the power of truth, which his instructive song impressed on the rough spirits of men, who previously were like wild beasts, but through him became civilized.--According to the legend his wife was the nymph Eurydịcê. The omens at his nuptials were unfavorable. Hymenæus, the god of marriage, appeared indeed at the call of the bard, but did not favour the union (with this the tale begins). Orpheus loses his consort by an early death, occasioned by the bite of a serpent. Mighty as was in other respects the power of his song, he could not call the dead back again to life. The thought of this, perhaps, gave rise to the fable, that he betook himself to the under-world, in order to beg back his wife from Pluto. The king of the shades, and all the dwellers of the under-world, were touched by his song (even the two vultures ceased from tearing the ever-growing liver of Tityos, v. 43). But Orpheus could not fulfil the condition of not turning round, during his toilsome return, to look upon his beloved consort; hence, the condition of her delivery being broken, she was forced to remain in the realm of death. Orpheus too, adds Ovid, would have gone back thither again, had not Charon (Portitor, v. 66) stopt him from doing this. The wretched end of his life Ovid attributes to his having, after the death of Eurydicê, shunned and slighted the female sex, For this supposed wrong, some women who were celebrating the festival of Bacchus, attacked him with bacchanalian fury and tore him to pieces, just as Pentheus had been torn to pieces by the women of Thebes (XVIII.). The foundation of this legend, perhaps, rests on this,—that the religious doctrines of Orpheus and his school were opposed to the worship of Bacchus, by which, however, they were displaced.

Inde
per

immensum croceo velatus amictu
Aera digreditur Ciconumque Hymenæus ad oras
Tendit, et Orphea nequicquam voce vocatur. ·

Affuit ille quidem ; sed nec sollennia verba, 5 Nec lætos vultus, nec felix attulit omen;

Fax quoque, quam tenuit, lacrimoso stridula fumo
Usque fuit, nullosque invenit motibus ignes.
Exitus auspicio gravior : nam nupta per

herbas Dum nova Naïadum turba comitata vagatur, 10 Occidit in talum serpentis dente recepto.

Quam satis ad superas postquam Rhodopeïus auras
Deflevit vates; ne non tentaret et umbras,
Ad Styga Tænaria est ausus descendere porta,

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