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And now above, and now below they flew,

And near the earth the burning chariot drew.

The clouds difperfe in fumes, the wondering moon
Beholds her brother's fteeds beneath her own ;
The highlands fmoke, cleft by the piercing rays,
Or, clad with woods, in their own fuel blaze.
Next o'er the plains, where ripen'd harvests grow,
The running conflagration spreads below,

But thefe are trivial ills: whole cities burn,
And peopled kingdoms into ashes turn.

The mountains kindle as the car draws near,
Athos and Tmolus red with fires appear;
Oeagrian Hamus (then a fingle name)
And virgin Helicon increafe the flame;
Taurus and Oete glare amid the sky,
And Ida, fpite of all her fountains, dry.
Eryx, and Othrys, and Citharon, glow;
And Rhodope, no longer cloath'd in fnow;
High Pindus, Mimas, and Parnaffus, fweat,
And Ætna rages with redoubled heat.

Ev'n Scythia, through her hoary regions warm'd,
In vain with all her native froft was arm'd.
Cover'd with flames, the towering Appennine,
And Caucafus, and proud Olympus, shine;
And, where the long-extended Alps aspire,
Now ftands a huge continued range of fire.

Th' aftonish'd youth, where-e'er his eyes could turn, Beheld the univerfe around him burn:

The world was in a blaze; nor could he bear

The fultry vapours and the fcorching air,

Which from below, as from a furnace, flow'd;
And now the axle-tree beneath him glow'd:
Loft in the whirling clouds, that round him broke,
And white with ashes, hovering in the smoke,
He flew where-e'er the horfes drove, nor knew
Whither the horfes drove, or where he flew.

'Twas then, they fay, the fwarthy Moor begun
To change his hue, and blacken in the fun.
Then Libya firft, of all her moisture drain'd,
Became a barren waste, a wild of fand.
The water-nymphs lament their empty urns;
Boeotia, robb'd of filver Dirce, mourns;
Corinth Pyrene's wafted spring bewails;
And Argos grieves whilft Amymonè fails.
The floods are drain'd from every distant coast:
Ev'n Tanaïs, though fix'd in ice, was loft;
Enrag'd Caïcus and Lycormas roar,

And Xanthus, fated to be burnt once more.
The fam'd Mæander, that unweary'd strays
Through mazy windings, fmokes in every maze.
From his lov'd Babylon Euphrates flies;
The big-swoln Ganges and the Danube rise
In thickening fumes, and darken half the skies.
In flames Ifmenos and the Phafis roll'd,
And Tagus floating in his melted gold.

The fwans, that on Cäyster often try'd

Their tuneful fongs, now fung their last, and dy'd.
The frighted Nile ran off, and under ground
Conceal'd his head, nor can it yet be found :
His feven divided currents are all dry,

And where they roll'd, feven gaping trenches lie.


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No more the Rhine or Rhone their courfe maintain, Nor Tiber, of his promis'd empire vain.

The ground, deep cleft, admits the dazzling ray, And ftartles Pluto with the flash of day.

The feas fhrink in, and to the fight disclose

Wide naked plains, where once their billows rofe;
Their rocks are all discover'd, and increase
The number of the fcatter'd Cyclades.
The fish in fholes about the bottom creep,
Nor longer dares the crooked dolphin leap :
Gafping for breath, th' unshapen Phocæ die,
And on the boiling wave extended lie.
Nereus, and Doris with her virgin train,
Seek out the laft receffes of the main ;
Beneath unfathomable depths they faint,
And fecret in their gloomy caverns pant.
Stern Neptune thrice above the waves upheld
His face, and thrice was by the flames repell'd.
The earth at length on every fide embrac'd
With fcalding feas, that floated round her waste,
When now fhe felt the fprings and rivers come,
And crowd within the hollow of her womb,
Up-lifted to the heavens her blafted head,

And clapt her hands upon her brows, and said;
(But firft, impatient of the fultry heat,

Sunk deeper down, and fought a cooler seat :)

"If you, great King of Gods, my death approve, "And I deferve it, let me die by Jove;

"If I must perish by the force of fire,
"Let me transfix'd with thunderbolts expire.


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See, whilft I speak, my breath the vapours choke, For now her face lay wrapt in clouds of smoke) "See my fing'd hair, behold my faded eye, "And wither'd face, where heaps of cinders lie! “And does the plough for this my body tear? "This the reward for all the fruits I bear, "Tortur'd with rakes, and harafs'd all the year? "That herbs for cattle daily I renew,

"And food for man, and frankincense for you? "But grant me guilty; what has Neptune done?


Why are his waters boiling in the fun?

"The wavy empire, which by lot was given,

"Why does it waste, and further fhrink from heaven? "If I nor he your pity can provoke,

See your own heavens, the heavens begin to smoke! "Should once the fparkles catch thofe bright abodes, "Deftruction feizes on the heavens and gods; "Atlas becomes unequal to his freight,

"And almost faints beneath the glowing weight.
"If heaven, and earth, and fea, together burn,
"All muft again into their chaos turn.
"Apply fome fpeedy cure, prevent our fate,

"And fuccour nature, ere it be too late."
She ceas'd; for, chok'd with vapours round her spread,
Down to the deepeft fhades fire funk her head.
Jove call'd to witnefs every power above,

And ev'n the God, whofe fon the chariot drove,
That what he acts he is compell’d to do,

Or univerfal ruin muft enfue.

Straight he afcends the high ethereal throne,

From whence he us'd to dart his thunder down,

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From whence his fhowers and ftorms he us'd to pour,
But now could meet with neither storm nor thower,
Then, aiming at the youth, with lifted hand,
Full at his head he hurl'd the forky brand,
In dreadful thunderings. Thus th' Almighty fire
Supprefs'd the raging of the fires with fire.

At once from life and from the chariot driven,
Th' ambitious boy fell thunder-ftruck from heaven,
The horfes ftarted with a fudden bound,

And flung the reins and chariot to the ground:

The ftudded harness from their necks they broke
Here fell a wheel, and here a filver spoke,

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Here were the beam and axle torn away;

And, fcatter'd o'er the earth, the fhining fragments lay.. The breathless Phaeton, with flaming hair,

Shot from the chariot, like a falling ftar,

That in a fummer's evening from the top

Of heaven drops down, or feems at least to drop ;
Till on the Po his blafted corpfe was hurl'd,
Far from his country, in the western world.


THE Latian nymphs came round him, and amaz'd On the dead youth, transfix'd with thunder, gaz'd;. And, whilft yet fimoking from the bolt he lay, His fhatter'd body to a tomb convey,

And o'er the tomb an epitaph devise :

"Here he who drove the fun's bright chariot lies; "His father's fiery steeds he could not guide,

But in the glorious enterprize he dy`d."


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