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He, when his morning task is done,
Can slumber in the noontide sun ;
And hie him home, at evening's close,
To sweet repast, and calm repose.
• He, unconscious whence the bliss,
Feels, and owns in carols rude, That all the circling joys are his,
Of dear Vicissitude. From toil he wins his spirits light, From busy day the peaceful night ; Rich, from the very want of wealth, In heaven's best treasures, peace and health.'
TRANSLATION OF A PASSAGE FROM
THER. LIB. VI. VER. 704–724.
THIRD in the labours of the disc came on,
With sturdy step and slow, Hippomedon ; Artful and strong he poised the well-known weight, By Phlegyas warn’d, and fired by Mnestheus' fate, That to avoid, and this to emulate. His vigorous arm he tried before he Aung, Braced all his nerves, and every sinew strung; Then with a tempest's whirl, and wary eye, Pursued his cast, and hurl'd the orb on high ; The orb on high, tenacious of its course, True to the mighty arm that gave it force,
Far overleaps all bound, and joys to see
Its ancient lord secure of victory.
The theatre's green height and woody wall
Tremble ere it precipitates its fall ;
The ponderous mass sinks in the cleaving ground,
While vales and woods and echoing hills rebound.
As when from Ætna's smoking summit broke,
The eyeless Cyclops heaved the craggy rock :
Where Ocean frets beneath the dashing oar,
And parting surges round the vessel roar;
'Twas there he aim'd the meditated harm,
And scarce Ulysses scaped his giant arm.
A tiger's pride the victor bore away,
With native spots and artful labour gay,
A shining border round the margin roll'd,
And calm’d the terrors of his claws in gold.
AGRIPPINA, the Empress-mother.
NERO, the Emperor.
PopPÆA, believed to be in love with Otho.
Otho, a young man of quality, in love with PopPÆA.
SENECA, the Emperor's Preceptor.
ANICETUS, Captain of the Guards.
DEMETRIUS, the Cynic, friend to SENECA.
ACERONIA, Confidant to AGRIPPINA.
SCENE-The Emperor's villa at Baia.
Agrip. 'Tis well, begone! your errand is per
form’d, [Speaks as to Anicetus entering. The message needs no comment. Tell your master, His mother shall obey him. Say you saw her Yielding due reverence to his high command : Alone, unguarded, and without a lictor,
As fits the daughter of Germanicus.
Say, she retired to Antium ; there to tend
Her household cares, a woman's best employment.
What if you add, how she turn’d pale and trembled :
You think, you spied a tear stand in her eye,
And would have dropp’d, but that her pride restrain'dit ?
(Go ! you can paint it well) 'twill profit you,
And please the stripling. Yet 'twould dash his joy
To hear the spirit of Britannicus
Yet walks on earth : at least there are who know
Without a spell to raise, and bid it fire
A thousand haughty hearts, unused to shake
When a boy frowns, nor to be lured with smiles
To taste of hollow kindness, or partake
His hospitable board : they are aware
Of th' unpledged bowl, they love not aconite.
ACER. He's gone : and much I hope these walls
And the mute air are privy to your passion.
Forgive your servant's fears, who sees the danger
Which fierce resentment cannot fail to raise
In haughty youth, and irritated power.
AGRIP. And dost thou talk to me, to me of danger, Of haughty youth and irritated power,