Зображення сторінки


Te viridis Python, Thebanaque mater ovantem Horruit in pharetris. ultrix tibi torva Megæra Jejunum Phlegyam subter cava saxa jacentem Æterno premit accubitu, dapibusque profanis Instimulat: sed mista famem fastidia vincunt. Adsis o, memor hospitii, Junoniaque arva Dexter ames; seu te roseum Titana vocari Gentis Achæmeniæ ritu, seu præstat Osirin Frugiferum, seu Persei sub rupibus antri Indignata sequi torquentem cornua Mitram.

[ocr errors]


Ver. 850. torou Megæra] This expression, and premit and instimulat, are weakened in the translation; but mista fastidia is a harsh expression ; as also is a line above, 842, Tu Phryga submittis citharæ.

Thy hand slew Python, and the dame who lost
Her num'rous offspring for a fatal boast. 850
In Phlegyas' doom thy just revenge appears,
Condemn’d to Furies and eternal fears;
He views his food, but dreads, with lifted eye,
The mould’ring rock that trembles from on high.

Propitious hear our pray’r, O Pow'r divine! 855
And on thy hospitable Argos shine,
Whether the stile of Titan please thee more,
Whose purple rays th’Achæmenes adore ;
Or great Osiris, who first taught the swain
In Pharian fields to sow the golden grain; 860
Or Mitra, to whose beams the Persian bows,
And pays, in hollow rocks, his awful vows;
Mitra, whose head the blaze of light adorns,
Who grasps the struggling heifer's lunar horns.

In order to give young readers a just notion of chasteness and simplicity of style, I have seen it of use to let them compare the mild majesty of Virgil and the violent exuberance of Statius, by reading ten lines of each immediately after one another. The motto for the style of the age of Augustus may be the ~ Simplex Munditiis” of Horace ; for the age of Domitian and the succeeding ages, the “ Cultuque laborat Multiplici” of Lucan. After this censure of Statius's manner, it is but justice to add, that in the Thebais there are many strokes of a strong imagination; and indeed the picture of Amphiaraus, swallowed up suddenly by a chasm that opened in the ground, is truly sublime :

“Illum ingens haurit specus, et transire parantes
Mergit equos ; non arma manu, non frena remisit.
Sicut erat, rectos defert in Tartara currus,
Respexitque cadens cælum, campumque coire
Ingemuit !"

B. vii. v. 817.





« НазадПродовжити »