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The mortal dame, too feeble to engage
The lightning's flashes, and the thunder's rage,
Consum'd amidst the glories she desir'd,
And in the terrible embrace expir'd.

But, to preserve his offspring from the tomb,
Jove took him smoking from the blasted womb;
And, if on ancient tales we may rely,
Inclos'd th' abortive infant in his thigh.

Here, when the babe had all his time fulfill'd,
Ino first took him for her foster-child;

Then the Niseans, in their dark abode,
Nurs'd secretly with milk the thriving god.


'Twas now, while these transactions pass'd on earth,
And Bacchus thus procur'd a second birth,
When Jove, dispos'd to lay aside the weight
Of public empire, and the cares of state;
As to his queen in nectar bowls he quaff'd,
"In troth," says he, and as he spoke he laugh'd,
"The sense of pleasure in the male is far

"More dull and dead than what you females share.”
Juno the truth of what was said denied ;
Tiresias therefore must the cause decide;
For he the pleasure of each sex had tried.
It happen'd once, within a shady wood,
Two twisted snakes he in conjunction view'd;
When with his staff their slimy folds he broke,
And lost his manhood at the fatal stroke.
But after seven revolving years he view'd
The self-same serpents in the self-same wood;

"And if," says he, "such virtue in you lie,
"That he who dares your slimy folds untie
"Must change his kind, a second stroke I'll try."
Again he struck the snakes, and stood again
New-sex'd, and straight recover'd into man.
Him therefore both the deities create
The sovereign umpire in their grand debate;
And he declar'd for Jove: when Juno, fir'd
More than so trivial an affair requir'd,
Depriv'd him, in her fury, of his sight,
And left him groping round in sudden night.
But Jove (for so it is in heaven decreed,
That no one god repeal another's deed)
Irradiates all his soul with inward light,

And with the prophet's art relieves the want of sight.


FAM'D far and near for knowing things to come, From him th' inquiring nations sought their doom; The fair Liriope his answers tried,

And first th' unerring prophet justified;

This nymph the god Cephisus had abus'd,
With all his winding waters circumfus'd,

And on the Nereid got a lovely boy,

Whom the soft maids e'en then beheld with joy.
The tender dame, solicitous to know
Whether her child should reach old age or no,
Consults the sage Tiresias, who replies,
"If e'er he knows himself, he surely dies."
Long liv'd the dubious mother in suspense,
Till time unriddled all the prophet's sense.

Narcissus now his sixteenth year began,
Just turn'd of boy, and on the verge of man;
Many a friend the blooming youth caress'd,
Many a lovesick maid her flame confess'd.
Such was his pride, in vain the friend caress'd,
The lovesick maid in vain her flame confess'd.

Once, in the woods, as he pursued the chace,
The babbling echo had descried his face;
She, who in others' words her silence breaks,
Nor speaks herself but when another speaks.
Echo was then a maid, of speech bereft,
Of wonted speech; for though her voice was left,
Juno a curse did on her tongue impose,
To sport with every sentence in the close.
Full often, when the goddess might have caught
Jove and her rivals in the very fault,

This nymph with subtle stories would delay
Her coming, till the lovers slipp'd away.

The goddess found out the deceit in time,
And then she cried, "That tongue, for this thy crime
"Which could so many subtle tales produce,
"Shall be hereafter but of little use.'

Hence 'tis she prattles in a fainter tone,
With mimic sounds, and accents not her own.
This lovesick virgin, overjoy'd to find
The boy alone, still follow'd him behind;
When glowing warmly at her near approach,
As sulphur blazes at the taper's touch,
She long'd her hidden passion to reveal,
And tell her pains, but had not words to tell;
She can't begin, but waits for the rebound,
To catch his voice, and to return the sound.

The nymph, when nothing could Narcissus move, Still dash'd with blushes for her slighted love, Liv'd in the shady covert of the woods, In solitary caves and dark abodes; Where pining wander'd the rejected fair, Till harass'd out, and worn away with care, The sounding skeleton, of blood bereft, Besides her bones and voice had nothing left. Her bones are petrified, her voice is found In vaults, where still it doubles every sound.


THUS did the nymphs in vain caress the boy,
He still was lovely, but he still was coy;
When one fair virgin of the slighted train.

Thus pray'd the gods, provok'd by his disdain:

"Oh may he love like me, and love like me in vain !" Rhamnusia pitied the neglected fair,

And with just vengeance answer'd to her prayer.
There stands a fountain in a darksome wood,
Nor stain'd with falling leaves nor rising mud;
Untroubled by the breath of winds it rests,
Unsullied by the touch of men or beasts;
High bowers of shady trees above it grow,
And rising grass and cheerful greens below.
Pleas'd with the form and coolness of the place,
And over-heated by the morning chace,
Narcissus on the grassy verdure lies:

But whilst within the crystal fount he tries

To quench his heat, he feels new heats arise.

For as his own bright image he survey'd,
He fell in love with the fantastic shade;
And o'er the fair resemblance hung unmov'd,
Nor knew, fond youth! it was himself he lov'd.
The well-turn'd neck and shoulders he descries,
The spacious forehead, and the sparkling eyes;
The hands that Bacchus might not scorn to show,
And hair that round Apollo's head might flow,
With all the purple youthfulness of face,
That gently blushes in the wat'ry glass.
By his own flames consum'd the lover lies,
And gives himself the wound by which he dies.
To the cold water oft he joins his lips,
Oft catching at the beauteous shade he dips
His arms, as often from himself he slips.
Nor knows he who it is his arms pursue

With eager clasps, but loves he knows not who.
What could, fond youth, this helpless passion move?
What kindle in thee this unpitied love?

Thy own warm blush within the water glows,
With thee the colour'd shadow comes and goes,
Its empty being on thyself relies;

Step thou aside, and the frail charmer dies.

Still o'er the fountain's wat'ry gleam he stood, Mindless of sleep, and negligent of food; Still view'd his face, and languish'd as he view'd. At length he rais'd his head, and thus began To vent his griefs, and tell the woods his pain: "You trees," says he, " and thou surrounding grove, "Who oft have been the kindly scenes of love, "Tell me, if e'er within your shades did lie "A youth so tortur'd, so perplex'd as I?


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