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His naked bosom redden'd with the blow,
She saw him in his prefent misery,
For him the Naiads and the Dryads mourn,
THE STORY OF PENTHEUS,
THIS sad event gave blind Tiresias fame, Through Greece establish'd in a prophet's name.
Th’unhallow'd Pentheus only durs deride The cheated people, and their eyeless guide. To whom the prophet in his fury said, Shaking the hoary honours of his head; “ 'Twere well, presumptuous man, 'twere well for thee “ If thou wert eyeless too, and blind, like me : " For the time comes, nay, 'tis already here, “ When the young god's folemnities appear ; " Which if thou dost not with just rites adorn, • Thy impious carcase, into pieces torn, 66 Shall strew the woods, and hang on every thorn. “ Then, then, remember what I now foretel, " And own the blind Tiresias saw too well." Still Pentheus scorns him, and derides his skill; But time did all the prophet's threats fulfil. For now through prostrate Greece young Bacchus rode, Whilst howling matrons celebrate the god, All ranks and sexes to his Orgies ran, To mingle in the pomps, and fill the train. When Pentheus thus his wicked rage express’d; “ What madness, Thebans, has your soul possess’d? 6. Can hollow timbrels, can a drunken fhout, " And the lewd clamours of a beastly rout, “ Thus quell your courage? Can the weak alarm “ Of womens yell those Itubborn souls disarm,
" Whom nor the sword nor trumpet e’er could fright,
courage show, “ And gain a conquest o'er a feeble foe. “ If Thebes must fall, oh might the fates afford “ A nobler dcom, from famine, fire, or sword ! • Then might the Thebans perish with renown : “ But now a beardless victor facks the town; " Whom nor the prancing steed, nor ponderous shield, “ Nor the hack'd helmet, nor the dusty field, “ But the soft joys of luxury and ease, « The purple vests, and flowery garland please. “ Stand then afide, I'll make the counterfeit " Renounce his godhead, and confess the cheat. « Acrifius from the Grecian walls repellid " This boasted power; why then thould Pentheus yield? “ Go quickly, drag th' audacious boy to me; " I'll try the force of his divinity." Thus did th' audacious wretch those rites profane; His friends diffuade th' audacious wretch in vain ;
In vain his grandfire urg'd him to give o'er
So have I seen a river gently glide,
But now his servants came besmear'd with blood,
THE MARINERS TRANSFORMED TO
HIM Pentheus view'd with fury in his look, And scarce withheld his hands, while thus he spoke : • Vile slave whom speedy vengeance shall pursue, " And terrify thy base feditious crew :
Thy country, and thy parentage reveal, “ And, why thou join'it in these mad orgies, tell.”
The captive views him with undaunted eyes, And, arm'd with inward innocence, replies :
“ From high Meonia's rocky shores I came, « Of poor descent, Acætes is my name : “ My fire was meanly born ; no oxen plough'd “ His fruitful fields, nor in his pastures low'd. « His whole estate within the waters lay; 6. With lines and hooks he caught the finny prey ; “ His art was all his livelihood; which he “ Thus with his dying lips bequeath d to me :
“ In streams, my boy, and rivers, take thy chance; “ There swims, said he, thy whole inheritance.
• Long did I live on this poor legacy, « Till, tir'd with rocks, and my own native sky, “ To arts of navigation I inclin'd; “ Observ'd the turns and changes of the wind : “ Learn'd the fit havens, and began to note “ The stormy Hyades, the rainy Goat, “ The bright Taygete, and the shining Bears, « With all the failor's catalogue of stars.
“ Once, as by chance for Delos I design'd, “ My vesel, driv'n by a strong gust of wind, " Moor'd in a Chian creek: ashore I went, “ And all the following night in Chios spent. • When morning rose, I sent my mates to bring
Supplies of water from a neighbouring spring, " Whilft I the motion of the winds explor'd ; “ Then summon'd-in my crew, and went aboard. “ Opheltes heard my funimons, and with joy “ Brought to the More a soft and lovely boy, “ With more than female sweetness in his look, “ Whom ftraggling in the neighbouring fields he took. “ With fumes of wine the little captive glows, " And nods with sleep, and staggers as he goes.
“ I view'd hiin nicely, and began to trace 2 “ Each heavenly feature, each immortal grace, , “ And saw divinity in all his face. “ I know not who, said I, this god should be ; “ But that he is a god I plainly see : “ And thou, whoe'er thou art, excuse the force « These men have us'd, and oh befriend our course!