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Apollo darted from his mighty mind Towards the subtle babe the following

scoff:“Do not imagine this will get you off,

To cheat Apollo.

But when no evasion Served-for the cunning one his match

had foundHe paced on first over the sandy ground.




“You little swaddled child of Jove and May !"

He of the Silver Bow the child of And seized him :-“ By this omen I Jove shall trace

Followed behind, till to their heavenly My noble herds, and you shall lead the

Sire way.”

Came both his children, beautiful as Cyllenian Hermes from the grassy Love, place,

And from his equal balance did require Like one in earnest haste to get away, A judgment in the cause wherein they Rose, and with hands lifted towards

strove. his face

O’er odorous Olympus and its snows Round both his ears — – up from his A murmuring tumult as they came shoulders drew

arose, His swaddling clothes, and—“What

LV mean you to do

And from the folded depths of the great


While Hermes and Apollo reverent “With me, you unkind God ?"-said stood Mercury:

Before Jove's throne, the indestructible “ Is it about these cows you tease me Immortals rushed in mighty multitude; so?

And whilst their seats in order due they I wish the race of cows were perished ! fill, -I

The lofty Thunderer in a careless Stole not your cows—I do not even mood know

To Phæbus said :-“Whence drive you What things cows are.

Alas! I well

this sweet prey, may sigh,

This herald-baby, born but yesterday?That since I came into this world of

woe, I should have ever heard the name of “A most important subject, trifler, this

To lay before the Gods!”——“Nay, But I appeal to the Saturnian's throne.”

father, nay,

When you have understood the business, LIIT

Say not that I alone am fond of prey. Thus Phoebus and the vagrant Mercury I found this little boy in a recess Talked without coming to an explana

Under Cyllene's mountains far awaytion,

A manifest and most apparent thief, With adverse purpose.

As for Phæbus, A scandalmonger beyond all belief. he

LVII Sought not revenge, but only information,

I never saw his like either in heaven And Hermes tried with lies and roguery Or upon earth for knavery or craft :





you daft



Out of the field my cattle yester-even, Rubbing, and cogitating some
By the low shore on which the loud sleight.
sea laughed,

No eagle could have seen him as he lay He right down to the river - ford had Hid in his cavern from the peering day.

driven ; And mere astonishment would make

“I taxed him with the fact, when he To see the double kind of footsteps

averred strange

Most solemnly that he did neither see He has impressed wherever he did range. Nor even had in any manner heard

Of my lost cows, whatever things

cows be; “ The cattle's track on the black dust, Nor could he tell, though offered a full well

reward, Is evident, as if they went towards Not even who could tell of them to The place from which they came—that asphodel

So speaking, Phæbus sate; and Hermes Meadow, in which I feed my many

then herds,

Addressed the Supreme Lord of Gods His steps were most incomprehensible

and Men :I know not how I can describe in

LXII words Those tracks—he could have gone along “Great Father, you know clearly beforethe sands

hand Neither upon his feet nor on his hands; That all which I shall say to you is


I am a most veracious person, and “ He must have had some other stranger Totally unacquainted with untruth. mode

At sunrise, Phæbus came, but with no Of moving on : those vestiges immense,

band Far as I traced them on the sandy road,

Of Gods to bear him witness, in great Seemed like the trail of oak-toppings :

wrath, - but thence

To my abode, seeking his heifers there, No mark nor track denoting where they And saying that I must show him where trod

they are, The hard ground gave :--but, work

LXIII ing at his fence,

“Or he would hurl me down the dark A mortal hedger saw him as he past

abyss. To Pylos, with the cows, in fiery haste.

I know that every Apollonian limb
Is clothed with speed and might and

manliness, “ I found that in the dark he quietly As a green bank with flowers—but Had sacrificed some cows, and before

unlike him light

I was born yesterday, and you may Had thrown the ashes all dispersedly

guess About the road—then, still as gloomy He well knew this when he indulged night,

the whim Had crept into his cradle, either eye Of bullying a poor little new-born thing






That slept, and never thought of cow

LXVII driving.

And they by mighty Jupiter were bidden

To go forth with a single purpose “ Am I like a strong fellow who steals both, kine ?

Neither the other chiding nor yet Believe me, dearest Father, such you

chidden : are,

And Mercury with innocence and This driving of the herds is none of

truth mine;

To lead the way, and show where he Across my threshold did I wander

had hidden ne'er,

The mighty heisers. —Hermes, nothing So may I thrive! I reverence the divine

loth, Sun and the Gods, and I love you, Obeyed the Ægis-bearer's will—for he and care

Is able to persuade all easily. Even for this hard accuser--who must

know I am as innocent as they or you.

These lovely children of Heaven's

highest Lord “I swear by these most gloriously. Hastened to Pylos and the pastures wrought portals

wide (It is, you will allow, an oath of And losty stalls by the Alphean ford, might)

Where wealth in the mute night is Through which the multitude of the

multiplied Immortals

With silent growth. Whilst Hermes Pass and repass for ever, day and

drove the herd night,

Out of the stony cavern, Phoebus Devising schemes for the affairs of

spied mortals

The hides of those the little babe had That I am guiltless; and I will re

slain, quite,

Stretched on the precipice above the Although mine enemy be great and plain.

strong, His cruel threat-do thou defend the young!”

“Ilow was it possible,” then Phæbus LXVI

said, So speaking, the Cyllenian Argiphont “ That you, a little child, born yesterWinked, as if now his adversary was

day, fitted :

A thing on mother's milk and kisses And Jupiter according to his wont,

fed, Laughed heartily to hear the subtle- Could two prodigious heifers ever witted

flay? Infant give such a plausible account, Even I myself may well hereaster dread And every word a lie.

But he re- Your prowess, offspring of Cyllenian mitted

May, Judgment at present-and his exhorta. When you grow strong and tall.”—He tion

spoke, and bound Was, to compose the affair by arbitra- Stiff withy bands the infant's wrists tion.






do you

even now.



LXXIII He might as well have bound the oxen And how to the Immortals every one wild;

A portion was assigned of all that is; The withy bands, though starkly in. But chief Mnemosyne did Maia's son terknit,

Clothe in the light of his loud meloFell at the feet of the immortal child,

dies; Loosened by some device of his quick And as each God was born or had begun wit.

He in their order due and fit degrees Phoebus perceived himself again be. Sung of his birth and being—and did

guiled, And stared — while Hermes sought Apollo to unutterable love.

some hole or pit, Looking askance and winking fast as thought,

These words were winged with his swift Where he might hide himself and not delight: be caught.

“You heiser - stealing schemer, well Sudden he changed his plan, and with Deserye that fifty oxen should requite

Such minstrelsies as I have heard strange skill Subdued the strong Latonian, by the might

Comrade of feasts, little contriving Of winning music, to his mightier

wight, One of your secrets I would gladly

know, His left hand held the lyre, and in

Whether the glorious power you now

show forth The plectrum struck the chords—unconquerable

Was folded up within you at your birth, Up from beneath his hand in circling

The gathering music rose- and sweet as

“Or whether mortal taught or God inLove

spired The penetrating notes did live and move

The power of unpremeditated song? Many divinest sounds have I admired,

The Olympian Gods and mortal men Within the heart of great Apollo

among; he

But such a strain of wondrous, strange, Listened with all his soul, and laughed

untired, for pleasure.

And soul-awakening music, sweet and Close to his side stood harping fearlessly

strong, The unabashed boy; and to the Yet did I never hear except from thee,

Offspring of May, impostor Mercury! Of the sweet lyre, there followed loud

and free His joyous voice; for he unlocked the “ What Muse, what skill, what untreasure

imagined use, Of his deep song, illustrating the birth What exercise of subtlest art, has given Of the bright Gods, and the dark desert | Thy songs such power ?—for those who Earth:

hear may choose

his right





From three, the choicest of the gifts I would be gentle with thee; thou canst of Heaven,

reach Delight, and love, and sleep,—sweet All things in thy wise spirit, and thy sleep, whose dews

sill Are sweeter than the balmy tears of Is highest in heaven among the sons of even:

Jove, And I, who speak this praise, am that who loves thee in the fulness of his Apollo

love. Whom the Olympian Muses ever follow:


“ The Counsellor Supreme has given to

thee “And their delight is dance, and the blithe noise

Divinest gifts, out of the amplitude

Of his profuse exhaustless treasury;
Of song and overflowing poesy;
And sweet, even as desire, the liquid

By thee, 'tis said, the depths are un

derstood voice

Of his far voice; by thee the mystery Of pipes, that fills the clear air thrill

Of all oracular fates, -and the dread ingly;

mood But never did my inmost soul rejoice In this dear work of youthful revelry A child—perceive thy might and ma

Of the diviner is breathed up, even 1As now. I wonder at thee, son of Jove;

Thy harpings and thy song are soft as


“ Thou canst seek out and compass all “Now since thou hast, although so very

that wit small,

Can find or teach ;—yet since thou Science of arts so glorious, thus I

wilt, come take

The lyre—be mine the glory giving it -swear, And let this cornel javelin, keen and

Strike the sweet chords, and sing tall,

aloud, and wake Witness between us what I promise Thy joyous pleasure out of many a fit

Of tranced sound — and with fleet here, That I will lead thee to the Olympian

fingers make Hall,

Thy liquid - voiced comrade talk with Honoured and mighty, with thy It can talk measured music eloquently.

thee,mother dear, And many glorious gifts in joy will give thee,

LXXXII And even at the end will ne’er deceive “Then bear it boldly to the revel loud, thee.”

Love- wakening dance, or feast of LXXIX

solemn state, To whom thus Mercury with prudent A joy by night or day— for those enspeech :

dowed “Wisely hast thou inquired of my With art and wisdom who interro. skill :

gate I envy thee no thing I know to teach It teaches, babbling in delightful mood Even this day :—for both in word and All things which make the spirit most will


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