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He mixes with the bleating lambs his cries,
While the rude swain his rural music tries
To call soft slumbers on his infant eyes. 690
Yet ey’n in those obscure abodes to live,
Was more, alas ! than cruel fate would give,
For on the grassy verdure as he lay,
And breath'd the freshness of the early day,
Devouring dogs the helpless infant tore, 695
Fed on his trembling limbs, and lapp'd the gore.
Th' astonish'd mother, when the rumour came,
Forgets her father, and neglects her fame,
With loud complaints she fills the yielding air,
And beats her breast, and rends her flowing hair ;
Then wild with anguish to her sire she flies : 701
Demands the sentence, and contented dies.

But touch'd with sorrow for the dead too late,
The raging God prepares t' avenge her fate.
He sends a monster, horrible and fell,

Begot by furies in the depths of hell.
The pest a virgin's face and bosom bears ;
High on a crown a rising snake appears,
Guards her black front, and hisses in her hairs :
About the realm she walks her dreadful round, 710
When night with sable wings o'erspreads the ground,

babes before their parents' eyes, And feeds and thrives on public miseries.

But gen'rous rage the bold Choræbus warms, Choræbus, fam'd for virtue, as for arms; 715

Devours young

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NOTES. Ver. 705. He sends] Much superior to the original. I desire to add in this place, that there are many excellent remarks on Statius in the two volumes entitled, Observations on Ancient and Modern Authors, published by Dr. Jortin.

Famam posthabita faciles extendere vita,
Obtulit. illa novas ibat populata penates
Portarum in bivio. lateri duo corpora parvûm 720
Dependent, et jam unca manus vitalibus hæret,
Ferratique ungues tenero sub corde tepescunt.
Obvius huic, latus omne virûm stipante corona,
It juvenis, ferrumque ingens sub pectore diro 725
Condidit; atque imas animæ mucrone corusco
Scrutatus latebras, tandem sua monstra profundo
Reddit habere Jovi. juvat ire, et visere juxta
Liventes in morte oculos, uterique nefandam
Proluviem, et crasso squalentia pectora tabo,
Qua nostræ cecidere animæ. stupet Inacha pubes,
Magnaque post lacrymas etiamnum gaudia pallent.
Hi trabibus duris, solatia vana dolori,
Proterere exanimes artus, asprosque molares
Deculcare genis ; nequit iram explere potestas.
Illam et nocturno circum stridore volantes 735
Impastæ fugistis aves, rabidamque canum vim,
Oraque sicca ferunt trepidorum inhiasse luporum.

Some few like him, inspir’d with martial flame,
Thought a short life well lost for endless fame.
These, where two ways in equal parts divide,
The direful monster from afar descry'd;
Two bleeding babes depending at her side; 720
Whose panting vitals, warm with life, she draws,
And in their hearts imbrues her cruel claws.
The youths surround her with extended spears ;
But brave Choroebus in the front appears,
Deep in her breast he plung'd his shining sword, 725
And hell's dire monster back to hell restor'd. :
Th' Inachians view the slain with vast surprise,
Her twisting volumes and her rolling eyes,
Her spotted breast, and gaping womb imbru’d
With livid poison, and our children's blood. 730
The crowd in stupid wonder fix'd appear,
Pale ev’n in joy, nor yet forget to fear.
Some with vast beams the squalid corpse engage,
And weary all the wild efforts of rage.
The birds obscene, that nightly flock'd to taste, 735
With hollow screeches fled the dire repast;
And rav'nous dogs, allur'd by scented blood,
And starving wolves, ran howling to the wood.


Ver. 720. Two bleeding babes] This image has a near resemblance to a very tremendous one in Gray's eighth Ode, the Fatal Sisters:

“See the grisly texture grow

("Tis of human entrails made), And the weights that play below,

Each a gasping warrior's head!" Which I have heard critics of weak nerves, and affected sensibility, complain of as too horrid.

Sævior in miseros fatis ultricis ademptæ Delius insurgit, summaque biverticis umbra 740 Parnassi residens, arcu crudelis iniquo Pestifera arma jacit, camposque, et celsa Cyclopum Tecta, superjecto nebularum incendit amictu. Labuntur dulces animæ : Mors fila sororum Ense metit, captamque tenens fert manibus urbem. Quærenti

quæ causa duci, quis ab æthere lævus Ignis, et in totum regnaret Sirius annum, Idem auctor Pæan rursus jubet ire cruento In ferias monstro juvenes, qui cæde potiti. 750

Fortunate animi, longumque in sæcula digne Promeriture diem ! non tu pia degener arma Occulis, aut certæ trepidas occurrere morti. Cominus ora ferens, Cyrrhæi in limine templi Constitit, et sacras ita vocibus asperat iras : 756

Non missus, Thymbræe, tuos supplexve penates Advenio : mea me pietas, conscia virtus Has egere vias. ego sum qui cæde subegi, Phoebe, tuum mortale nefas ; quem nubibus atris,

But fir’d with rage, from cleft Parnassus' brow Avenging Phæbus bent his deadly bow, 740 And hissing flew the feather'd fates below : A night of sultry clouds involv'd around The tow'rs, the fields, and the devoted ground : And now a thousand lives together fled, Death with his scythe cut off the fatal thread, 745 And a whole province in his triumph led.

But Phoebus ask'd why noxious fires appear, And raging Sirius blasts the sickly year ; Demands their lives by whom his monster fell, And dooms a dreadful sacrifice to hell.

750 Blest be thy dust, and let eternal fame Attend thy Manes, and preserve thy name, Undaunted hero! who divinely brave, In such a cause disdain'd thy life to save; But view'd the shrine with a superior look, 755 And its upbraided Godhead thus bespoke :

With piety the soul's securest guard, And conscious virtue, still its own reward, Willing I come, unknowing how to fear; Nor shalt thou, Phæbus, find a suppliant here. 760 Thy monster's death to me was ow'd alone, And 'tis a deed too glorious to disown.


Ver. 743.] Vida thus justly characterizes Ovid and Statius, which might have deterred our young author from imitating two writers of so bad a taste :

“ Hic namque ingenio confisus, posthabet artem;
Ille furit strepitu, tenditque æquare tubarum
Voce sonos, versusque tonat sine more per omnes.”

Vidæ Poetic. l. 1. v. 180.

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