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To whom he gave the lyre that sweetly sounded,
Which skilfully he held and played thereon. He piped the while, and far and wide rebounded
The echo of his pipings; every one
While he conceived another piece of fun,
“I fear thee and thy sly chameleon spirit,
Lest thou shouldst steal my lyre and crooked
This glory and power thou dost from Jove inherit,
To teach all craft upon the earth below; Thieves love and worship thee—it is thy merit
To make all mortal business ebb and flow
LXXXIX. “ That you will never rob me, you will do
A thing extremely pleasing to my heart.” Then Mercury sware by the Stygian dew,
That he would never steal his bow or dart, Or lay his hands on what to him was due,
Or ever would employ his powerful art Against his Pythian fane. Then Phæbus swore There was no God or man whom he loved more.
“And I will give thee as a good will token
The beautiful wand of wealth and happiness ; A perfect three-leaved rod of gold unbroken,
Whose magic will thy footsteps ever bless;
Of earthly or divine from its recess,
“For, dearest child, the divinations high
Which thou requirest, 'tis unlawful ever That thou, or any other deity, Should understand—and vain were the endea
vour; For they are hidden in Jove's mind, and I,
In trust of them, have sworn that I would never Betray the counsels of Jove's inmost will To any
God—the oath was terrible.
“Then, golden-wanded brother, ask me not
To speak the fates by Jupiter designed ; But be it mine to tell their various lot
To the unnumbered tribes of human kind. Let good to these and ill to those be wrought
As I dispense—but he who comes consigned By voice and wings of perfect augury To my great shrine, shall find avail in me.
“ Him will I not deceive, but will assist ;
But he who comes relying on such birds
The purpose of the Gods with idle words,
“ There are three Fates, three virgin Sisters, who,
Rejoicing in their wind-outspeeding wings, Their heads with flour snowed over white and new,
Sit in a vale round which Parnassus flings Its circling skirts—from these I have learned true
Vaticinations of remotest things. [dooms, My father cared not. Whilst they search out They sit apart and feed on honeycombs.
They, having eaten the fresh honey, grow
Drunk with divine enthusiasm, and utter With earnest willingness the truth they know;
But, if deprived of that sweet food, they mutter All plausible delusions ;--these to you
I give ;--if you inquire, they will not stutter; Delight your own soul with them :--any man You would instruct may profit if he can.
“ Take these and the fierce oxen, Maia's child
O'er many a horse and toil-enduring mule, O'er jagged-jawed lions, and the wild
White-tusked boars, o'er all, by field or pool, Of cattle which the mighty Mother mild
Nourishes in her bosom, thou shalt ruleThou dost alone the veil of death upliftThou givest not-yet this is a great gift."
Thus King Apollo loved the child of May
joy. Hermes with Gods and men even from that day
Mingled, and wrought the latter much annoy, And little profit, going far astray Through the dun night. Farewell, delightful
Boy, Of Jove and Maia sprung-never by me, Nor thou, nor other songs, shall unremembered
TO THE SUN.
OFFSPRING of Jove, Calliope, once more
Fiercely look forth his awe-inspiring eyes, Beneath his golden helmet, whence arise And are shot forth afar, clear beams of light; His countenance with radiant glory bright, Beneath his graceful locks far shines around, And the light vest with which his limbs are bound, Of woof ethereal, delicately twined Glows in the stream of the uplifting wind. His rapid steeds soon bear him to the west ; Where their steep flight his hands divine arrest, And the fleet car with yoke of gold, which he Sends from bright heaven beneath the shadowy