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He fought, but in the dark tempestuous night
He knew not whither to direct his fight.
So whirl the seas, such darkness blinds the sky,
That the black night receives a deeper dye.
The giddy ship ran round; the tempest tore
Her mast, and over-board the rudder bore.
One billow mounts, and with a scornful brow,
Proud of her conquest gain’d, insults the waves below;
Nor lighter falls, than if some giant tore
Pindus and Athos with the freight they bore,
And toss'd on seas; press'd with the pond'rous blow,
Down finks the ship within the abyss below:
Down with the vessel sink into the main
The many, never more to rise again.
Some few on scatter'd planks with fruitless care,
Lay hold, and swim ; but while they swim despair.
Ev'n he who late a sceptre did command,
Now grasps a floating fragment in his hand:
And while he struggles on the stormy main,
Invokes his father, and his wife, in vain.
But yet his confort is his greatest care,
Alcyonè he names amidt his pray'r ;
Names as a charm against the waves and wind :
Most in his mouth, and ever in his mind.
Tir'd with his toil, all hopes of safety past,
From pray’rs to wishes he descends at lait;
That his dead body, wafted to the fands,
Might have its burial from her friendly hands.
As oft as he can catch a gulp of air,
above the seas, he names the fair :
And ev'n when plung'd beneath, on her he raves,
Murm’ring Alcyonè below the waves :
At last a falling billow stops his breath,
Breaks o'er his head, and whelms him underneath.
Bright Lucifer unlike himself appears
That night, his heav'nly form obscur'd with tears ;
And since he was forbid to leave the kies,
He muffled with a cloud his mournful eyes.
Mean-time Alcyonè (his fate unknown) Computes how many nights he had been gone. Observes the waning moon with hourly view, Numbers her age, and wishes for a new ; Against the promis'd time provides with care, And hastens in the woof the robes he was to wear : And for herself employs another loom, New-dress'd to meet her Lord returning home, Flatt’ring her heart with joys, that never were to come: She fum'd the temples with an od'rous flame, And oft before the sacred altars came, To pray
for him, who was an empty name. All pow'rs implor'd, but far above the rest To Juno fhe her pious vows address'd, Her much-lov'd lord from perils to protect : And safe o'er seas his voyage to direct : Then pray'd, that she might still possess his heart, and no pretending rival fhare a part;
This last petition heard of all her pray'r,
The rest, dispers’d by winds, were lost in air.
But she, the goddess of the nuptial bed,
Tir'd with her vain devotions for the dead,
Resolv'd the tainted hand should be repell’d,
Which incense offer'd, and her altar held :
Then Iris thus bespoke: thou faithful maid,
By whom thy queen's commands are well convey'd,
Haste to the house of sleep, and bid the God
Who rules the night by visions with a nod,
Prepare a dream, in figure, and in form
Resembling him who perifh'd in the storm :
This form before Alcyonè present,
To make her certain of the fad event.
Indu'd with robes of various hue she fies, And Aying draws an arch, (a segment of the skies :) Then leaves her bending bow, and from the steep Descends, to search the filent house of fleep.
Imitated from the Eighth Book of OviD.
By Dean SWIFT.
N ancient times, as ftory tells,
The faints would often leave their cells,
And strole about, but hide their quality,
To try good people's hospitality.
It happen'd on a winter night,
As authors of the legend write,
Two brother hermits, faints by trade,
Taking their tour in masquerade,
Disguis’d in tatter'd habits, went
To a small village down in Kent;
Where, in the stroller's canting strain,
They begg'd from door to door in vain,
Try'd ev'ry tone might pity win;
But not a foul would let them in.
Our wand'ring faints in woeful state,
Treated at this ungodly rate,
Having through all the village pass’d,
To a small cottage came at last ;
Where dwelt a good old honeft ye’man,
Call'd in the neighbourhood Philemon,
Who kindly did these faints invite
In his poor hut to pass the night ;
And then the hospitable fire
Bid goody Baucis mend the fire ;
While he from out the chimney took
A flitch of bacon off the hook,
And freely from the fattest fide
Cut out large slices to be fry'd;
Then ftepp'd aside to fetch 'em drink,
Fill’d a large jug up to the brink,
And saw it fairly twice go round;
Yet (what is wonderful!) they found
'Twas still replenish'd to the top,
As if they had not touch'd a drop.
The good old couple were amaz’d,
And often on each other gaz’d;
For both were frighten’d to the heart,
And just began to cry,-What ar't!
Then fostly turn'd aside to view
Whether the lights were burning blue.
The gentle pilgrims, foon aware on't,
Told them their calling, and their errant;
Good folks, you need not be afraid,
We are but saints, the hermits faid;
No hurt shall come to you or yours:
But for that pack of churlish boors,
Not fit to live on christian ground,
They and their houses shall be drown'd;
Whilft you shall see your cottage rise,
And grow a church before your eyes.