« PredošláPokračovať »
MYRSON. You see all things, and you do not perceive that we are come to the place we proposed.
LYCIDAS. O PAN! O god! what a delightful spot!
MYRSON. The falling stream, that looks like a silver tapestry floating gently as the wind directs, covers the entry of the cavern, and those bushes crown it with their clustering foliage. Come, let us go behind the cascade, and enter the grotto. LYCIDAS. This pleasing coolness makes me shudder. How the stream falls foaming at our feet! Each drop of water, by reflecting the rays of the sun, appears a spark of fire.
MYRSON. Let us seat ourselves on this mossy rock. Our feet will rest upon the stones that stand out of the water; and, enclosed in this cavern, the cascade will spread before us a transparent cur
LYCIDAS. No, never have I seen a more enchanting retreat!
MYRSON. Yes, this grotto is delicious, and it is consecrated to the god PAN. The shepherds retire from it toward the middle of the day; for, they say, about that hour the god comes hither to repose himself. Dost thou know the wonderful history of this stream? If thou art willing, I will sing it thee.
LYCIDAS. We are here pleasingly reposed; seated on the moss, and against the rock reclining, I shall hear thy song with rapture.
MYRSON. How lovely wert thou, ERYTHEA! daughter of ERIDAN, the fairest of DIANA'S nymphs! Yet, did her beauty just begin to bloom. When almost a child, her shape by elegance was form'd. On her charming visage smil'd the rising flower of innocence! A timid candour soften'd the splendour of her azure eyes, and her rising bosom, rounded by the GRACES, like the fairest rose buds, promis'd all their future charms!
During the ardours of a summer's day, with her sister nymphs, she chaced the forest deer. Fatigued, and languishing with heat, she to a fountain ran to quench her thirst. There she laved her beauteous visage, and, from the hollow of her hand, with her sweet rosy lips she sipp'd the water.Thus, reclining o'er the fountain, ERYTHEA of no danger dream'd. But PAN, conceal'd behind a neighbouring bush, had fix'd his eyes upon her: sudden the god felt all the furious flames of love. Unperceiv'd, he had already stole upon her, when the rustling of the grass beneath his feet betray'd his near approach. Seiz'd with fear, she fled-she 'scap'd the nervous arms of PAN; those arms that trembled strong with fierce desire. On her bosom already she perceived their burning heat, just ready to embrace her; a rose-leaf wou'd have fill'd the space between them. She leap'd the stream, more light than is the hind; fear to her flight gave strength. He pursued. She flew across the meadow, like a rapid wind, that of the rising grass scarce bends the tops. But terror soon suspends
her flight. To the border of a steep rock arrived, back she starts; all pale and trembling sees the dread abyss below. O DIANA !-with accents of despair, she cries-O DIANA! thou the chaste virgin's sure protectress, O save me! suffer not a brutal arm to press this bosom, devoted to thy worship. Come, chaste goddess, to my aid, O come! -But already had the god approach'd so near, that his burning breath she felt, and his hands already were stretch'd out to seize her. When DIANA, an enemy to savage love, heard the plaintive accents of her nymph.
PAN, thinking to embrace the nymph, perceiv'd the waters from his hands escape, and flow across his bosom, panting with fierce desire. ERYTHEA, in his arms, became a fountain. Thus, in the heat of spring, from the black rocks descends the melting snow. She sprang from the arms of the god, she trickled down his knees, and murmur'd through the grass; she fell from the height of the rock, and quickly roll'd her waters to the bottom of the valley. Thus was the chaste stream of ERYTHEA found.