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made thee, darling wife, thee, all to himself on the lonely shore, thee at dawn of day, thee at set of sun, his unending song. Aye, and he entered the jaws of Tænarus, the abysmal gates of Pluto's court, and the grove that darkles with a horror of blackness; he went to the shades, and their terrible king, and knocked at the heart which never learnt to soften at human prayer. Startled by the song, came trooping from Erebus' deepest prison thin spectres and phantoms of those who lie in darkness, many as the myriads of birds that hide them in the leaves, when eve or winter's rain chases them from the hills-matrons, and husbands, and frames of highsouled heroes discharged of life, boys and unwedded girls, and youths that had been carried to death in their parents' sight, round whom the blackening ooze and the loathly reeds of Cocytus, and the sluggish waters of that unlovely swamp throw their chains, and Styx, wound nine times about them, holds them in durance. Nay, a charm fell on the very house of death, on the abyss of Tartarus itself, and the Furies, with livid snakes wreathing in their hair, and Cerberus riveted his three mouths attentive and agape, and Ixion's circling wheel stood fixed in wind-bound slumber. And now he was returning home, and every chance was just escaped, and Eurydice, surrendered to his prayer, was passing into the air of heaven, following behind-for such the condition that Proserpine had imposed-when a sudden frenzy took hold of the unthinking lover-a sin that might plead for pardon, were pardon an art known to the shades—he stopped. Eurydice was now his own, treading on the very threshold of daylight -his memory fled, alas ! his soul was mastered-he looked back on her. That instant all his pains were spilt like so much water, the covenant of the ruthless monarch was broken, and a thunder peal was heard thrice through Avernus' sluggish depths. She cried—“Oh! what madness, what monstrous
madness has undone me, poor me, and thee too, my Orpheus ? Look ! again that cruel destiny is calling me back, and sleep is burying my swimming eyes. And now farewell. I am borne away, swathed in night's vast pall, and stretching towards thee powerless hands—thine own, alas ! no longer.”. She said, and suddenly from his sight, liko smoke that mingles with thin air, she fled by another way, and though he caught in vain at the shadows, and essayed to say a thousand things, never saw him more : nor did the ferryman of Orcus suffer him any further to pass the barrier of marsh-water. What was he to. do? whither was he to turn him, thus widowed a second time? where was there a new wail to touch the shades, new accents to melt the gods below? And sheshe was floating off in the boat of Styx, death-chilled already. Seven whole months, one with another, they say, under & skiey rock, by the waters of lonely Strymon, he made his moan, and unfolded this his tale beneath the wintry, caverns, in strains that softened the tiger and drew the oak to follow him—as the nightingale wailing in the poplar shade plains for her lost young, that the rustic churl, with his prying eye, has taken unfledged from the nest: while she weeps the night through, and sitting on a bough, reproduces her piteous melody, and fills the country round with the plaints .of her sorrow. No queen of love, no bridal rites had power over his soul Alone, over Hyperborean ice, and Tanais the snowy, and fields whose marriage-bond with Rhipæan frost is never severed, he would ramble, sorrowing for his lost Eurydice and Pluto's cancelled boon—a service resented as scorn by the Cicon dames, who, on a night of sacrifice to heaven and orgies to Bacchus, tore the youth in pieces, and scattered him broadcast over the plain. Even then, while the head, rent from that pale marble neck, was swept floating down the midst of Eagrian Hebrus' flood, Eurydice, the bare
voice of the cold tongue-Ah ! my poor Eurydice-kept call: ing as life parted. Eurydice, the banks returned all down the stream.'
So far Proteus, and flounced into the deep sea, and when he plunged wreathed the water in foam under the circling eddy.
Not so Cyrene-at once she turned to the trembling listener :- My son, you are free to unburden your mind of its grievous care. This is the whole secret of the plague : for this the nymphs, with whom she wont to dance in the tall green wood, have sent among your bees such piteous havoc. Be it yours to tender a suppliant's offerings, praying to be reconciled, and pay homage to the gracious sisters of the groves: for they will grant forgiveness at your prayer, and abate their wrath. But the method of supplication shall first be explained in due course. Pick out four choice bulls of goodly frame, now grazing among thy herds on the top of green Lycæus, and as many heifers whose neck never yoke has touched. For these set up four altars by the gods' lofty fanes, and let from their throats the stream of sacred blood, and leave the bodies of the kine to themselves in the leafy grove. After, when the ninth morn-goddess shall have displayed the dawn, to Orpheus you will send a funeral sacrifice of Lethe's poppies, and slay a black sheep, and visit the grove again : then, when you find Eurydice appeased, you will pay her the thank-offering of a slaughtered calf.'
Not an hour's delay : at once he does his mother's bidding : to the fane he comes : he uprears the prescribed altars, four choice bulls of goodly frame he leads thither, and as many heifers whose neck never yoke has touched. After, when the ninth morn-goddess had ushered in the dawn, he sends to Orpheus a funeral sacrifice, and visits the grove again. And now a portent, sudden and marvellous to tell, meets their
view : through the whole length of the kine's dissolving flesh bees are seen, buzzing in the belly and boiling out through the bursten ribs, and huge clouds lengthen and sway, till at last they pour altogether to the tree's top, and let down a cluster from the bending boughs.
Such was the song I was making; a song of the husbandry of fields and cattle, and of trees; while Cæsar, the great, is flashing war's thunderbolt over the depths of Euphrates, and dispensing among willing nations & conqueror's law, and Betting his foot on the road to the sky. In those days I was being nursed in Parthenope's delicious lap, embowered in the pursuits of inglorious peace—I, Virgil, who once dallied with the shepherd's muse, and with a young man's boldness, sang of thee, Tityrus, under the spreading beechen shade.
ARMs and the man I sing, who at the first from Troy's shores the exile of destiny, won his way to Italy and her Latian coast-a man much buffeted on land and on the deep by violence from above, to sate the unforgetting wrath of Juņu the cruel-much scourged too in war, as he struggled to build him a city, and find his gods a home in Latium-himself the father of the Latian people, and the chiefs of Alba's houses, and the walls of high towering Rome.
Bring to my mind, O Muse, the causes-for what treason against her godhead, or what pain received, the queen of heaven drove a man of piety so signal to turn the wheel of so many calamities, to bear the brunt of so many hardships ! Can heavenly natures hate so fiercely and so long?
Of old there was a city, its people emigrants from Tyre, Carthage, over against Italy and Tiber's mouths, yet far removed-rich and mighty, and formed to all roughness by war's iror trade—a spot where Juno, it was said, loved to dwell more than in all the world beside, Samos holding but the second place. Here was her armour, here her chariot - here to fix by her royal act the empire of the nations, could Fate be brought to assent, was even then her aim, her