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Mildews and blights ; the meadows are defac’d,
The fields, the flowers, and the whole year, laid waste:
On mortals next, and peopled towns she falls,
And breathes a burning plague among their walls,
When Athens the beheld, for arts renown'd,
made happy, and with plenty crown'd,
could the hideous fiend from ars forbear,
To find out nothing that desery'd a tear.
Th' apartment now she enter'd, where at rest
Aglauros lay, with gentle fleep oppreft.
To execute Minerva's dire command,
She strok'd the virgin with her canker'd hand,
Then prickly thorns into her breast convey'd,
That stung to madnefs the devoted maid :
Her subtle venom still improves the smart,
Frets in the blood, and festers in the heart.
To make the work more sure, a scene she drew
And plac'd before the dreaming virgin's view
Her sister's marriage, and her glorious fate;
Th’imaginary bride appears in state ;
The bridegroom with unwonted beauty glows 3
For Envy magnifies whate'er she shows,
Full of the dream, Aglauros pin’d away
In tears all night, in darkness all the day;
Confuni'd like ice, that just begins to run,
Wlien feebly smitten by the distant fun;
Or like unwholesome weeds, that set on fire
Are slowly wasted, and in smoke expire.
Given up to envy (for in every thought
The thorns, the vepom, and the vision wrought)
Oft did she call on death, as oft decreed,
Rather than see her sister's with succeed,
To tell her awful father what had past :
At length before the door herself she cast;
And, sitting on the ground with sullen pride,
A passage to the love-fick god deny'd.
The god caress’d, and for admission pray'd,
And sooth'd in softest words th' envenom'd maid.
In vain he sooth'd ; “ Begone! the maid replies,
“ Or here I keep my seat, and never rise."
" Then keep thy. seat for ever,” cries the god,
And touch'd the door, wide opening to his rod.
Fain would the rise, and stop him, but she found
Her trunk too heavy to forsake the ground;
Her joints are all benumb’d, her hands are pale,
And marble now appears in every
As hen a cancer in the body feeds,
And gradual death from limb to limb proceeds ; .
So does the chilness to each vital part
Spread by degrees, and creeps into her heart;
Till, hardening every where, and speechless grown,
She fits unmoy'd, and freezes to a stone.
But still her envious hue and fullen mien
Are in the sedentary figure seen.
When now the god his fury had allay'd, And taken vengeance of the stubborn maid, From where the bright Athenian turrets rise He mounts aloft, and re-ascends the lies,
Jove saw him enter the sublime abodes,
And, as he mix'd among the croud of Gods,
Beckon'd him out, and drew him from the rest,
And in soft whispers thus his will exprest :
“ My trusty Hermes, by whose ready aid “ Thy Sire's commands are through the world convey'd, “ Resume thy wings, exert their utmost force, “ And to the walls of Sidon speed thy course; « There find a herd of heifers wandering o'er “ The neighbouring hill, and drive them to the shore."
Thus fpoke the God, concealing his intent.
The trusty Hermes on his message went,
And found the herd of heifers wandering o'er
A neighbouring hill, and drove them to the shore ;
Where the King's daughter with a lovely train
Of fellow-nymphs, was sporting on the plain.
The dignity of empire laid aside
(For love but ill agrees with kingly pride);
The ruler of the skies, the thundering God,
Who shakes the world's foundations with a nod,
Among a herd of lowing heifers ran,
Frisk'd in a bull, and bellow'd o'er the plain.
Large rolls of fat about his fioulders clung,
And from his neck the double dewlap hung.
His skin was whiter than the snow that lies
Unfully'd by the breath of southern skies;
Small shining horns on his curi'd forehead stand,
As turn’d and polith'd by the workman's hand;
His eye-balls rolld, not formidably bright,
But gaz'd and languith'd with a gentle light.
His every look was peaceful, and exprest
The softness of the lover in the beast.
Agenor's royal daughter, as she play'd
Among the fields, the milk-white bull survey'd,
And yiewid his spotless body with delight,
And at a distance kept him in her fight.
At length fhe pluck'd the rising flowers, and fed
The gentle beast, and fondly strok'd his head.
He stood well-pleas'd to touch the charming fair,
But hardly could confine his pleasure there. ,
And now he wantons o'er the neighbouring strand,
: Now rolls his body on the yellow fand;
And now, perceiving all her fears decay'd,
Comes tossing forward to the royal maid;
Gives her his breast to stroke, and downward turns
His grisly brow, and gently stoops his horns.
In flowery wreaths the royal virgin drest
His bending horns, and kindly clapt his breast.
Till now grown wanton, and devoid of fear,
Not knowing that the prest the thunderer,
She plac'd herself upon his back, and rode
O’er fields and meadows, feated on the God.
He gently march'd along, and by degrees
Left the dry meadow, and approach'd the seas;
Where now he dips his hoofs, and wets his thighs,
Now plunges in, and carries off the prize.
The frighted nymph looks backward on the shore,
And hears the tumbling billows round her roar ;
But still the holds him faft: one hand is borne
Upon his back; the other grasps a horn :
Her train of ruffling garments flies behind,
Swells in the air, and hovers in the wind.
Through storms and tempefts he the virgin bore,
And lands her safe on the Dictean shore;
Where now, in his divineft form array'd,
In his true shape he captivates the maid :
Who gazes on him, and with wondering eyes
Beholds the new majestic figure rise,
His glowing features, and celestial light,
And all the God discover'd to her fight,