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So fleek her fkin, fo faultlefs was her make,
Ev'n Juno did unwilling pleasure take
To fee lo fair a rival of her love;
And what she was, and whence, enquir'd of Jove :
Of what fair herd, and from what pedigree?
The God half-caught was forc'd upon a lie,
And faid, the fprung from earth. She took the word,
And begg'd the beauteous heifer of her lord.,
What fhould he do? 'twas equal shame to Jove,
Or to relinquish, or betray his love:
Yet to refufe fo flight a gift, would be
But more t' increase his confort's jealousy :
Thus fear, and love, by turns his heart affail'd;
And stronger love had fure at length prevail'd;
But fome faint hope remain'd, his jealous queen
Had not the mistress through the heifer feen.
The cautious Goddess of her gift poffeft,
Yet harbour'd anxious thoughts within her breaft
As the who knew the falfehood of her Jove,
And justly fear'd fome new relapse of love.
Which to prevent, and to fecure her care,
To trufty Argus fhe commits the fair.
The head of Argus (as with stars the skies)
Was compafs'd round, and wore an hundred eyes.
But two by turns their lids in flumber steep;
The reft on duty still their station keep;
Nor could the total constellation sleep.
Thus, ever prefent, to his eyes and mind,
His charge was ftill before him, though behind,
In fields he fuffer'd her to feed by day;
But, when the fetting fun to night gave way,
The captive cow he fummon'd with a call,
And drove her back, and ty'd her to the fall.
On leaves of trees and bitter herbs the fed,
Heaven was her canopy, bare earth her bed;
So hardly lodg'd: and to digeft her food,
She drank from troubled streams defil'd with mud.
Her woful story fain she would have told,
With hands upheld, but had no hands to hold.
Her head to her ungentle keeper bow'd,
She ftrove to speak; she spoke not, but she low'd.
Affrighted with the noise, she look'd around,
And feem'd t'inquire the author of the found.
Once on the banks where often fhe had play'd
(Her father's banks) fhe came, and there furvey'd
Her alter'd vifage, and her branching head;
And ftarting from herself she would have fled.
Her fellow-nymphs, familiar to her eyes,
Beheld, but knew her not in this disguise.
Ev'n Inachus himself was ignorant;
And in his daughter did his daughter want.
She follow'd where her fellows went, as the
Were still a partner of the company :
They ftroke her neck; the gentle heifer stands,
And her neck offers to their ftroking hands:
Her father gave her grafs; the grafs fhe took ;
And lick'd his palms, and caft a piteous look
And in the language of her eyes she spoke.
She would have told her name, and ask'd relief,
But, wanting words, in tears fhe tells her grief.
Which with her foot fhe makes him understand
And prints the name of Io in the fand,
Ah wretched me! her mournful father cry'd ;
⚫ She with a figh to wretched me reply'd:
About her milk-white neck his arms he threw ;
And wept, and then these tender words enfue:
And art thou fhe, whom I have fought around
The world, and have at length fo fadly found?
So found, is worfe than loft: with mutual words
Thou answer'ft not, no voice thy tongue
But fighs are deeply drawn from out thy breast; .
And speech deny'd by lowing is exprefs'd.
Unknowing, I prepar'd thy bridal bed;
With empty hopes of happy iffue fed.
But now the husband of a herd must be
Thy mate, and bellowing fons thy progeny.
Oh, were I mortal, death might bring relief!
But now my God-head but extends my grief;
Prolongs my woes, of which no end I fee,
And makes me curfe my immortality.
More had he faid, but, fearful of her stay,
The ftarry guardian drove his charge away
To fome fresh pasture; on a hilly height
He fate himself, and kept her ftill in fight.
Now Jove no longer could her fufferings bear:
But call'd in hafte his airy meffenger,
The fon of Maïa, with fevere decree
To kill the keeper, and to fet her free.
With all his harnofs foon the God was sped;
His flying hat was faften'd on his head;
Wings on his heels were hung, and in his hand
He holds the virtue of the fnaky wand.
The liquid air his moving pinions wound,
And, in the moment, fhoot him on the ground.
Before he came in fight, the crafty God
His wings difmifs'd, but ftill retain'd his rod :
That fleep-procuring wand wife Hermes took,
But made it seem to fight a fhepherd's hook.
With this he did a herd of goats control;
Which by the way he met, and flily stole.
Clad like a country fwain, he pip'd, and fung;
And playing drove his jolly troop along.
With pleasure Argus the musician heeds;
But wonders much at thofe new vocal reeds.
And whofo'er thou art, my friend, faid he,
Up hither drive thy goats, and play by me:
This hill has brouze for them, and fhade for thee.
The God, who was with eafe induc'd to climb,
Began difcourfe to pafs away the time;
And ftill betwixt his tuneful pipe he plies:
And watch'd his hour, to clofe the keeper's eyes.
With much ado, he partly kept awake;
Not fuffering all his eyes repofe to take :
And afk'd the ftranger, who did reeds invent,
And whence began fo rare an instrument.
The TRANSFORMATION of SYRINX into REED S.
Then Hermes thus; a nymph of late there was,
Whose heavenly form her fellows did surpass.
The pride and joy of fair Arcadia's plains;
Belov'd by Deities, ador'd by fwains :
Syrinx her name, by Sylvans oft pursued,
As oft fhe did the luftful Gods delude:
The rural and the wood-land powers difdain'd;
With Cynthia hunted, and her rites maintain'd;
Like Phoebe clad, ev'n Phoebe's felf fhe feems,
So tall, so straight, fuch well-proportion'd limbs :
The niceft eye did no distinction know,
But that the Goddess bore a golden bow:
Diftinguish'd thus, the fight fhe cheated too.
Defcending from Lycæus, Pan admires
The matchless nymph, and burns with new defires.
A crown of pine upon his head he wore ;
And thus began her pity to implore.
But, ere he thus began, she took her flight
So fwift, fhe was already out of fight.
Nor ftay'd to hear the courtship of the God;
But bent her courfe to Ladon's gentle flood:
There by the river ftcpt, and tir'd before,
Relief from water-nymphs her prayers implore.