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Plots his destruction, which he thus effects.
The giant, gorg'd with flesh, and wine, and blood,
Lay stretch'd at length and snoring in his den,
Belching raw gobbets from his maw, o'ercharg'd
With purple wine and curdled gore confused.
We gather'd round, and to his single eye,
The single eye that in his forehead glar'd
Like a full moon, or a broad burnish'd shield,
A forky staff we dext'rously applied,
Which, in the spacious socket turning round,
Scoop'd out the big round gelly from its orb.
But let me not thus interpose delays;
Fly, mortals, fly this curs'd detested race:
A hundred of the same stupendous size,
A hundred Cyclops live among the hills,
Gigantic brotherhood, that stalk along
With horrid strides o'er the high mountains' tops,
Enormous in their gait; I oft have heard

Their voice and tread, oft seen them as they pass'd,
Sculking and scouring down, half dead with fear.
Thrice has the moon wash'd all her orb in light,
Thrice travell'd o'er, in her obscure sojourn,
The realms of night inglorious, since I've liv'd
Amidst these woods, gleaning from thorns and shrubs
A wretched sustenance. As thus he spoke,
We saw descending from a neighb’ring hill
Blind Polypheme; by weary steps and slow
The groping giant with a trunk of pine
Explor'd his way; around, his woolly flocks
Attended grazing; to the well-known shore
He bent his course, and on the margin stood,
A hideous monster, terrible, deform'd;

Full in the midst of his high front there gap'd
The spacious hollow where his eyeball roll'd,
A ghastly orifice; he rins'd the wound,
And wash'd away the strings and clotted blood
That cak'd within; then stalking through the deep
He fords the ocean, while the topmost wave
Scarce reaches up his middle side; we stood
Amaz'd be sure, a sudden horror chill

Ran through each nerve, and thrill'd in ev'ry vein,
Till using all the force of winds and oars

We sped away; he heard us in our course,
And with his out-stretch'd arms around him grop'd;
But finding nought within his reach, he rais'd
Such hideous shouts that all the ocean shook.
Ev'n Italy, though many a league remote,
In distant echoes answer'd; Ætna roar'd,
Through all its inmost winding caverns roar'd.
Rous'd with the sound, the mighty family
Of one-ey'd brothers hasten to the shore,
And gather round the bellowing Polypheme,
A dire assembly! we with eager haste
Work ev'ry one, and from afar behold
A host of giants covering all the shore.
So stands a forest tall of mountain oaks
Advanc'd to mighty growth: the traveller
Hears from the humble valley where he rides
The hollow murmurs of the winds that blow
Amidst the boughs, and at a distance sees
The shady tops of trees unnumber'd rise,
A stately prospect, waving in the clouds.




Rheni pacator et istri.

Omnis in hoc uno variis discordia cessit
Ordinibus: lætatur eques, plauditque senator,
Votaque patricio certant plebeia favori.

CLAUD. de Laud. Stilic.

Esse aliquam in terris gentem quæ suâ impensâ, suo labore ac periculo bella gerat pro libertate aliorum. Nec hoc finitimis, aut propinquæ vicinitatis hominibus, aut terris continenti junctis præstet. Maria trajiciat: ne quod toto orbe terrarum injustum imperium sit, et ubique jus, fas, lex, potentissima sint. LIV. Hist. lib. 33.


THE battle of Blenheim, which shines so gloriously in British annals, is the chief subject of the following poem. Addison, however, did not undertake it of his own accord but that decisive victory having spread triumph and confidence over the nation, lord Godolphin, then at the head of the treasury, was desirous that it should be celebrated in a manner equal to its importance. He was lamenting to lord Halifax that this had not been done, and requested him to point out some poet more capable of the task. Halifax told him that there was no encouragement for genius; that worthless men were unprofitably enriched with public money, without any care to find or employ those whose labours might do honour to their country. Godolphin replied, that such abuses should be rectified in time; and that if a man could now be found who would do justice to the great action to be celebrated, he should not want an ample recompense. Halifax then named Addison, but required that the treasurer should apply to him in his own person. Godolphin sent the message to Mr. Boyle, afterwards lord Carleton; and Addison, having undertaken the work, communicated it to the treasurer while it was yet advanced no farther than the simile of the angel, and was immediately rewarded by succeeding Mr. Locke in the place of Commissioner of Appeals'.

The execution of this poem is better than the plan. Indeed the subject was fit only for an ode, and might have furnished materials for a very fine one, if Mr. Addison had possessed the talents of a lyric poet. However, particular passages are wrought up into much life and beauty; and the apology in the concluding lines is gracefully enough made for the prosaic manner of the poem: for though the author's invention had not supplied him with a better, his true taste could not but tell him this was defective 2.

1 See JOHNSON's Lives of the Poets.

2 Bp. Hurd.

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