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P. STATI I

THEBAIDOS

LIBER PRIMU S.

F

Raternas acies, alternaque regna profanis

Decertata odiis, fontesque evolvere Thebas, Pierius menti calor incidit. Unde jubetis Ire, Deae ? gentisne canam primordia dirae? Sidonios raptus, et inexorabile pactum Legis Agenoreae ? scrutantemque aequora Cadmum? Longa retro series, trepidum fi Martis operti Agricolam infandis condentem praelia sulcis Expediam, penitusque fequar quo carmine muris Jusserit Amphion Tyrios accedere montes : Unde graves irae cognata in moenia Baccho Quod faevae Junonis opus; cui sumpserit arcum

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Raternal rage, the guilty Thebes' alarms,

Th’alternate reign destroy'd by impious arms,
Demand our song; a sacred fury fires
My ravish'd breast, and all the Muse inspires.
O Goddess, fay, Mall I deduce my rhimes

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From the dire nation in its early times,
Europa's rape, Agenor's stern decree,
And Cadmus searching round the spacious sea ?
How with the serpent's teeth he fow'd the foil,
And reap'd an iron harvest of his toil ?
Or how from joining stones the city sprung,
While to his harp divine Amphion sung ?
Or shall I Juno's hate to Thebes resound,
Whose fatal rage th’unhappy Monarch found ?

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Infelix Athamas, cur non expaverit ingens
Ionium, socio casura Palaemone mater.
Atque adeo jam nunc gemitus, et profpera Cadmi
Praeteriisse finam: limes mihi carminis efto
Oedipodae confusa domus: quando Itala nondum
Signa, nec Arcloos aufim fperare triumphos,
Bisque jugo Rhenum, bis adactum legibus Istrum,
Et conjurato dejectos vertice Dacos :
Aut defensa prius vix pubescentibus annis
Bella Jovis. Tuque o Latiae decus addite famae,
Quem nova maturi subeuntem exorsa parentis
Aeternum fibi Roma cupit: licet arctior omnes
Limes agat ftellas, et te plaga lucida coeli
Pleïadum, Boreaeque, et hiulci fulminis expers 35
Sollicitet ; licet ignipedum frenator equorum
Ipse tuis alte radiantem crinibus arcum
Imprimat, aut mag ni cedat tibi Jupiter aequa

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The fire against the son his arrows drew, 15
O'er the wide fields the furious mother flew,
And while her arms a second hope contain,
Sprung from the rocks and plung'd into the main.

But wave whate'er to Cadmus may belong,
And fix, O Muse! the barrier of thy song
At Oedipus – from his disasters trace
The long confusions of his guilty race:
Nor yet attempt to ftretch thy bolder wing,
And mighty Cæsar's conqu’ring eagles sing;
How twice he tam'd proud lfter's rapid flood, 25
While Dacian mountains stream'd with barb'rous

blood;
Twice taught the Rhine beneath his laws to roll,
And stretch'd his empire to the frozen Pole,
Or long before, with early valour ftrove,
In youthful arms t'assert the cause of Jove.

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And Thou, great Heir of all thy father's fame,
Encrease of glory to the Latian name !
O bless thy Rome with an eternal reign,
Nor let desiring worlds entreat in vain.
What tho’the stars contract their heav'nly space, 35
And croud their ihining ranks to yield thed place;
Tho' all the lies, ambitious of thy sway,
Conspire to court thee from our world away;
Tho' Phæbus longs to mix his rays with thine
And in thy glories more serenely shine;

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Tho' Jove himself no less content would be
To part his chrone and hare his heav'n with thee;

Parte poli; maneas hominum contentus habenis,
Undarum terraeque potens, et fidera dones. 45
Tempus erit, cum Pierio tua fortior ceftro
Facta canam: nunc tendo chelyn. satis arma referre
Aonia, et geminis fceptrum exitiale tyrannis,
Nec furiis poft fata modum, fammasque rebelles
Seditione rogi, tumulifque carentia regum
Funera, et egestas alternis mortibus urbes; 55
Caerula cum rubuit Lernaeo sanguine Dirće,
Et Thetis arentes assuetum ftringere ripas,
Horruit ingenti venientem Ismenon acervo.

Quem prius heroum Clio dabis ? immodicum irae
Tydea ? laurigeri subitos an vatis hiatus?
Urget et hoftilem propellens caedibus amnem
Turbidus Hippomedon, plorandaque bella protervi
Arcados, atque alio Capaneus horrore canendus.

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