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VII.

Then scooping with a chisel of grey steel,

He bored the life and soul out of the beast Not swifter a swift thought of woe or weal

Darts through the tumult of a human breast Which thronging cares annoy—not swifter wheel

The flashes of its torture and unrest Out of the dizzy eyes—than Maia's son All that he did devise hath featly done.

VIII.

And through the tortoise's hard strong skin
At proper

distances small holes he made, And fastened the cut stems of reeds within,

And with a piece of leather overlaid The open space and fixed the cubits in, Fitting the bridge to both, and stretched o'er all Symphonious chords of sheep-gut rythmical.

IX.

When he had wrought the lovely instrument,

He tried the chords, and made division meet Preluding with the plectrum, and there went

Up from beneath his hand a tumult sweet
Of mighty sounds, and from his lips he sent

A strain of unpremeditated wit
Joyous and wild and wanton—such you may
Hear among revellers on a holiday.

He sung

how Jove and May of the bright sandal Dallied in love not quite legitimate; And his own birth, still scoffing at the scandal,

And naming his own name, did celebrate ;

His mother's cave and servant maids he planned all

In plastic verse, her household stuff and state,
Perennial pot, trippet, and brazen pan-
But singing he conceived another plan.

XI.

Seized with a sudden fancy for fresh meat,

He in his sacred crib deposited
The hollow lyre, and from the cavern sweet

Rushed with great leaps up to the mountain's head,
Revolving in his mind some subtle feat
Of thievish craft, such as a swindler might
Devise in the lone season of dun night.

XII.

Lo! the great Sun under the ocean's bed has

Driven steeds and chariot-the child meanwhile strode O'er the Pierian mountains clothed in shadows,

Where the immortal oxen of the God
Are pastured in the flowering unmown meadows,

And safely stalled in a remote abode-
The archer Argicide, elate and proud,
Drove fifty from the herd, lowing aloud.

XIII.

He drove them wandering o'er the sandy way,

But, being ever mindful of his craft, Backward and forward drove he them astray,

So that the tracks, which seemed before, were aft:
His sandals then he threw to the ocean spray,

And for each foot he wrought a kind of raft
Of tamarisk, and tamarisk-like sprigs,
And bound them in a lump with withy twigs.

XIV.

And on his feet he tied these sandals light,

The trail of whose wide leaves might not betray His track; and then, a self-sufficing wight,

Like a man hastening on some distant way, He from Pieria's mountain bent his flight; But an old man perceived the infant pass Down green Onchestus, heaped like beds with grass.

XV.

sunny vine:

The old man stood dressing his

“Halloo ! old fellow with the crooked shoulder! You grub those stumps? Before they will bear wine

Methinks even you must grow a little older: Attend, I pray, to this advice of mine,

As you would 'scape what might appal a bolderSeeing, see not—and hearing, hear not-andIf you have understanding—understand.”

XVI.

So saying, Hermes roused the oxen vast;

O'er shadowy mountain and resounding dell, And flower-paven plains, great Hermes past;

Till the black night divine, which favouring fell Around his steps, grew grey, and morning fast

Wakened the world to work, and from her cell,
Sea-strewn, the Pallantean Moon sublime
Into her watch-tower just began to climb.

XVII.

Now to Alpheus he had driven all

The broad-foreheaded oxen of the Sun ; They came unwearied to the lofty stall

And to the water troughs which ever run

Through the fresh fields-and when with rushgrass tall

Lotus and all sweet herbage, every one
Had pastured been, the Great God made them move
Towards the stall in a collected drove.

XVIII.

A mighty pile of wood the God then heaped,

And having soon conceived the mystery
Of fire, from two smooth laurel branches stript

The bark, and rubbed them in his palms,—on high Suddenly forth the burning vapour leapt,

And the divine child saw delightedly-
Mercury first found out for human weal
Tinder-box, matches, fire-irons, flint, and steel.

XIX.

And fine dry logs and roots innumerous

He gathered in a delve upon the groundAnd kindled them and instantaneous

The strength of the fierce flame was breathed around : And whilst the might of glorious Vulcan thus

Wrapt the great pile with glare and roaring sound, Hermes dragged forth two heifers, lowing loud, Close to the fire—such might was in the God.

XX.

And on the earth upon their backs he threw

The panting beasts, and rolled them o'er and o'er, And bored their lives out. Without more ado

He cut up fat and flesh, and down before The fire on spits of wood he placed the two,

Toasting their flesh and ribs, and all the gore Pursed in the bowels; and while this was done He stretched their hides over a craggy stone.

XXI.

We mortals let an ox grow old, and then

Cut it up after long consideration,
But joyous-minded Hermes from the glen

Drew the fat spoils to the more open station
Of a flat smooth space, and portioned them; and when

He had by lot assigned to each a ration Of the twelve Gods, his mind became aware Of all the joys which in religion are.

XXII.

For the sweet savour of the roasted meat

Tempted him, though immortal. Nathelesse He checked his haughty will and did not eat,

Though what it cost him words can scarce express, And every wish to put such morsels sweet

Down his most sacred throat, he did repress;
But soon within the lofty portalled stall
He placed the fat and flesh and bones and all.

XXIII.

And every trace of the fresh butchery

And cooking, the God soon made disappear, As if it all had vanished through the sky;

He burned the hoofs and horns and head and hair, The insatiate fire devoured them hungrily;

And when he saw that everything was clear, He quenched the coals and trampled the black dust, And in the stream his bloody sandals tossed.

XXIV.

All night he worked in the serene moonshine

But when the light of day was spread abroad He sought his natal mountain-peaks divine.

On his long wandering, neither man nor god

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