« PredošláPokračovať »
A DITHYRAMBIC, or DRINKING SONG.
That it was his duty to celebrate the praises of Bacchus, as being full of, and roufed and animated by his divinity.
SAW Bacchus (believe it, pofterity) dictating verfes amongst the remote rocks, and the nymphs a-learning them, and the attentive ears of the goat-footed fatyrs. Evoe* (huzza!) My mind trembles with recent dread, and my foul, being replete with Bacchus, has a tumultuous joy. Evoe! Spare me, Bacchus, fpare me, thou that art formidable for thy dreadful Thyrfus. It is given me to fing the wanton Bacchanalian priestefs, and the fountain of wine, and rivulets flowing with milk, and to re-iterate the honies diftilling from hollow trunks. It is granted me likewife to celebrate the honour added to the conftellations by your happy spouse, and the palace of Pentheus, demolished with hideous ruin, and the perdition of Thracian Licurgus. You command the rivers, you the barbarian féa: you, moist with wine, in felected
* An interjection, used by the priesteffes of Bacchus on this festival, which cannot be literally tranflated. † A fpear, round the shaft of which ivy and vine leaves were twined.
Tu feparatis uvidus in jugis
Biftonidum fine fraude crines..
Tu, cum parentis regna per arduum
Unguibus, horribilique mala ::
Eternam fibi ex fuis carminibus famam pollicetur..
NON ufitata nec [a] tenui ferar
Penna biformis per liquidum æthera
Vates; neque in terris morabur
Urbes relinquam. Non ego, pauperum
Nec Stygia cohibebor unda.
Jam jam refidunt cruribus afperae.
felected mountains, bind the hair of your Thracian priefteffes with a knot of vipers without hurt. You, when the impious band of giants fcaled the realms of father Jupiter, through the sky repelled Rhaecus, with the paws and horrible jaw of the lion-fhape you had affumed. Though reported to be ⚫ better adapted for dances, and jokes, and play, you were accounted infufficient for fight; yet, it then appeared you had the fame common talent for peace and war. Thee, ornamented with thy golden horn, Cerberus innocently gazed at, gently wagging his tail, and, with his triple tongue, licked your feet and legs as you returned.
He promises himself eternal fame from his verjes.
A two-formed poet, will be conveyed through the liquid air with no vulgar nor humble wing: nor will I loiter upon earth any longer; and, fuperior to envy, will I quit cities. Not I, even I, whom my rivals ftile the blood of low parents; my dear Maecenas, fhall die; nor will I be reftrained by the Stygian wave. At this inftant, a rough skin fettles upon my ankles, and all upwards I am tranfformed into a white bird,* and the downy plu
mage The poets allegorically reprefented themselves as transformed into swans.
Superne; [a] nafcunturque leves Per digitos humerofque plumae. Jam, Daedaleo ocior [b] Icaro, Vifam gementis litora Bofpori, Syrtefque Gætulas, canorus
Ales, Hyperboreofque campos.
Me Colchus, et, qui diffimulat metum,
Difcet Iber, Rhodanique potor.
mage arifes over my fingers and shoulders. Now, having become a melodious bird, more expeditious than the Daedalean Icarus, I will vifit the fhores of the murmuring Bofphorus, and the Getulean Syrtes, and the Hyperborian plains. Me, the Colchan, and the Dacian, who pretends not to fear the Marfian cohort, and the remoteft Gelonians, fhall know; me, the learned Spaniard shall study, and he that drinks the waters of the Rhone. Let there be no dirges, or fhameful lamentation, or bewailings at my only feeming funeral: fupprefs your crying, and forbear the fuperfluous honours of a fepulchre.