[ocr errors]

Spite of his orisons---Some say, the hand

45 Of his good Saint convey'd him sale to land: But he it as it may;---I pass it o'er, Ilenceforth of him the story speaks no more.

When cruel Rodomont had thus remov’d The talking hermit, oft in vain reprov’d,

50 With milder looks he turn'd, where at his side, The damsel stood all pale and terrify'd; Whion now in speech by lovers oft addrest, He call’d his life, of every good the best; lis balm of hope, fair comfort, smiling joy, With each endearment amorous tongues employ. Courteous he seem’d, as if he woull disarm ller thoughts of fear, that any force mizht harın Her virgin vow: those graces that intan'd His cruel heart, liis wonted pride had tam’d;

60 And though his hand could pluck ihe fruit, he chose T’ atstain at distance, and but touch the boughs. lle fondly hop'd by slow degrees to find Fair Isabella to his wish inclin'd : While she, subjected to a tyrant's laws,

05 (Like some poor mouse within her foe's sharp claws) Unfriended an: forlorn, would rather care The worst ills than what she fear'd tu bear; Still pondering on the means, if such could be, Jierself and honour from his power to free;

70 With her own hand determin’d to prevent Iler shame by death, cre his abhorr’d intent Should make her wrong the knight, who, late entwin'd By her lov'd arms, his parting breath resign’d;

Ver. 06, Like some pour mouse, &c.) Certainly too ludicrous an image on se pathetic an occasion,

To whom, with heart devout, the mourning dame 75
llad vowd to dedicate her virgin name.
She mark’l, and trembling marh’, th’unhallow'd fire
That warnı'l the Pagan with inipure desire.
What shall she do? Ilow shape her dangerous course?
What way remains t'elude his brutal force ?

Long time revolving in her fearful mind
A thousand schenics, at length, her thoughts design'd
One that might suve her chastity from blame;
WVbich here we tell u her etcrual fame.

The Paglii, by bis words and deeds, confess’ul 85 The lurking purpose of his impious brcast: Lost was the courtesy which first he show'd, When fair his speech in gentlest accents flow'd. To him the damsel---Would'st thou but ensure My honour safe, a gist thou may'st procure,

90 Of far more worth than aught thou canst obtain From what must fix on me eternal stain. Scorn not a lasting prize, iz prize to raise O’er all the sous of war thy deathless praise. A hundred and a hundrel may'st thou fini,

95 Fair dames the loveliest of our fein ile hind; But who, like me, are fated to bestow Th’invalu'd good thou to my hand inay’si owe. A herb I know, and latc have seen, that boil'd With rue and ivy, o'er a fire when pild


Ver. 89. ... !Iouldst thou hul ensure',

Ny ho our soje, &c.--.] A similar story is told of a virgin in the time of Mirvan, the caliph, in the eighth century, and of another named Brasilla (the ume uncertain) related by Francesco Barbaro, in his book concerning the choice of it wife.


With cypress-wood, will (strange to teli) produce,
By guiltless fingers syncez'd, a sovereign juice,
With which, thrice bath'd, the body will be found
One moon secur'd unuurt from flame or wound:
That month elaps'd the bathing we renew,

105 No longer time avails the powerful dew. The proof of what I tell, thy wondering eyes Shall witness soon---to thee a nobler prize (Or much I crr) than if this day had viei'u All Europe by thy conquering arm subdu’d.

110 In recompease for what I s'all bestow I ask but this---here plight thy solema vow, Ne'er from this hour by word or deed to harm My virgin honour, or my fears alarm.

The damsel thus the Pagan's suit repress’d, 115 Who now with new desire of faine possess’d, Vow'd all she ask'), impatient to be made Alike impassive to the fame or blade: Resolv’d to curb his lust, till prov'd he view'd The wondrous water with such spell indu'l,

120 Through which his limbs might scorn cach weapon's

power, As Cygnus or Achilles scorn'd before ;

Ver. 190. As Cygnus or Achilles --- ] Orid tells 115, Metam. Book xii. that Cygnus, the son of Neptune, could not be wounded. The common stort of Achilies is, that he was dipperl in the river Styx by his mother Thelis, and thereby became invulnerable in every part escept the heel by which she heit: him, and that he was at last shot by Paris at the altar, in the only vulnerable place, at the instigation of Apollo, during the ceremony of his nuptials with Polyxena, the daugirier of Priani. This rbie is certainly of much dater daie thin llomer, and noi contienance in the poems of Virgil, Horace, or Ovid. llomer representa lino a: beins woulideri in the

But meant his compact should no longer bind:
No lear, no reverence, in his impious mind,
Of God or Saint--for breach of faith the worst
Oi Afric's sons, by perjur'd deeds accurs'a !

[ocr errors]

battle of the rirer, by steropens, who was ambi-dexter, and threw two darts at Achilles at the same time.

Al once Anteropeus dineharg'd each lance,
(For both his dextrous hands the lance could wield)
One struck, but pierc'd not the Vulcanian shield;
One raz'd Achilles' hand, the spouting blood
Spun forth......

Popc's Iial, B. xxi. v. 189.

Achilles was not slain in the temple, but fell in the field of battle, according to Ilomer, as appears by the conversation between that hero and Agamemnon in the shades.

o non'of Peleus! greater than mankind!
(Thus Agamemnon's kingly shade rejoin’d)
Thrice happy tion, to press the martial plain,
Midst heaps of heroes in thy quarrel slain:
In clouds of smoke, rais’al by the noble fray,
Great and terrifick even in death you lay.

Pope's Odys. Book xxiv. ver. 31.

IIesiod has no account of the modern fable of Achilles, nor any of the ancient Greek tragedians. Sophocles thus mentions his death, in the tragedy of Philocteten, detii. Scene i.

Phil. I tho chilles dead?

....lle is, and not
Ry mortal hands, but by Apollo'shaft
Tell glorius
* See Dr. Francklin's eies ut translation of Sophocles.

Ver. 195.

.....the worst Qidiru's sons, by perju'il duds accurat...] The ill faith o: ihe ('arthaginians was known 10 a proverb in the time of the Ruinans, Punica iclesThus Addison in the mouth of Mba:

Ou Punic faith
Is infamous, and branded to a prore:b.

O'er hanging cliffs, through vallics dark with shade, From towns and cities far the virgin stray'd, Collecting various herbs, while at her side The Pagan watcli’d, and every motion ey’d.


Bion, who lived 137 years before Christ, in a fragment of an epithalamium on the nupirals of Peleu; and Thetis, makes no mention of the immersion in the Styx; neither does Catullus in his poem on the same subject. Strabo, wlio died 65 years after Catullus, does not speak of this fable of the Styx, althou;h he frequently alludes to the story of Achilles. liorace cails Achilles, “ filius Thetidos Marin ," in three places. He speaks thus of his death...“ abstulit clarum cita mors Achillem ;” and mentions him frequently, but never as having been inrulnerable.

Ovid gives no countenance to the story, though he particularly commemorates the death of Cygnus, slain by Achilles; and tells 115, that the Grecian hero, to his great surprise, finding him invulner. able, was obliged to strangle him; that before his death he boasted to Achilles of his superior advantage derived from being the son of Neptune, aliuding to this preternatural gist.

Nate dea (nam tc fama prenorimus) inquit
Ille, quid a nobis vulmus miraris abesse ?
(Wirabatur enim) non hæc, quam cernis cquinis
Fulva jubis, cassis, neque onus cava parma sinistræ
Auxilio mihi sunt: decor est qua situs ab istis.
Mars quoque ab hec capere amma solet: removebitur omne
Tegminis officium ; tamen indistrictus abibo.
Ist aliquid, non esse satum Nereide, sed qui
Nereaque, et natas et totum temperet æquor.

ulctam. Lib. xii, v. 36,

.........Goddess born!
For ornament, not use, these arms are worn;
This helin and heavy buckler I can spare,
As only decorations of the war:
So dars is arin'd for glory, not for need :
"Tis somewhat more from Neptune to proceed,
Than from a daughter of the sea to spring :
Your Sire is mortal, mine is Ocean's king.
Secure of death, I could contemn thy dart
Tiongl naked, and impassible depart,


« 前へ次へ »