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Whose fiery front shall fill men's minds with dread.

Run spindles, run, draw out the fateful thread.

“ With him no hero ever shall compare
When Phrygia's plains with Trojan gore run red,
When Pelops' grandson after lingering war (15)
Shall o'er Troy's citadel destruction spread.

Run spindles, run, draw out the fateful thread.

“ Mothers who mourn their sons his deeds shall own,
The matchless valour given to him alone,
Beating the withered breast, while tears they shed,
Casting foul ashes on the whitened head.

Run spindles, run, draw out the fateful thread.

As 'neath a burning sun the reaper mows
The whitening crops close-set in standing rows,
Thus shall he pile the plain with Trojan dead.

Run spindles, run, draw out the fateful thread.

“Scamander's waves his courage fierce shall show,
Whose stream joins Hellespont's swift whirling flow,
His water choked with heap of Trojan slain,
Shall warm with gore run to the ensanguined main,
Such slaughter shall the mighty warrior spread.

Run spindles, run, draw out the fateful thread.

“Last witness to his worth, that virgin fair (16)
Whose snowy limbs the tomb heaped high in air
Shall on its lofty rounded summit bear,
Shall fall a sacrifice by fate most dread.

Run spindles, run, draw out the fateful thread.

For when the wearied Greeks by fortune's aid
Shall seize the citadel which Neptune made,
Then shall the tomb be reddened with the gore
Of her whom Hecuba to Priam bore :
Headless she falls, meekly she yields her life,
Like helpless victim 'neath the two-edged knife,

appease the hero's ghost her blood is shed.
Run spindles, run, draw out the fateful thread.

“Come join the loves for which ye long have sighed, Let mortal lover take immortal bride, The goddess share the eager husband's bed.

Run spindles, run, draw out the fateful thread.

“Soon shall the nurse essay in vain to bind (17) The string which erst the maid's fair neck confined, The fruit of joys which Hymen's might hath sped.

Run spindles, run, draw out the fateful thread.

« Nor shall the mother fear lest mutual hate

Divide the matron from her loving mate,

Nor shall she failure of fair offspring dread.

Run spindles, run, draw out the fateful thread.

Thus the weird sisters Peleus' happy fate With omen good in song did celebrate : For in those days, when men the gods on high Still feared, and worshipped with due piety, The gods the homes of men would not despise, And oft were seen on earth by mortal eyes. Full oft, revisiting from realms above His glittering temples would the mighty Jove See, when the sacred festival came round, A hundred bulls fall low upon the ground. Full oft would Bacchus from Parnassus' crest Descend, and drive before a noisy rout Of dancing Thyads, with god-maddened breast And hair unbound, yelling with frenzied shout. Them would all Delphi eager rush to meet, And the lov'd god with smoking altars greet, Oft, 'mid death-bearing strife, would Mars appear, Or she whose fame is built on Trito's mere, (18) Or the Rhamnusian maid, and armed bands (19) Would urge to combat with divine commands. But when the earth with direful guilt was stained, When in men's minds no justice yet remained, When blood in fratricidal strife was shed, When sons forgot to mourn their parents dead,

When for his child's swift fate the father sighed, (20)
That he might win his first born's promised bride.
When the incestuous mother sought to gain
Her son's embrace, unconscious of the stain,
And feared not to defile the household fane. (21)
All right and wrong in dire confusion blent
With guilts fell madness in men's bosoms sent,
Turned the just minds of righteous gods away,
And thus it is that in the light of day
No mortal eyes a god can ever greet,
No throngs of men are graced by godlike feet.


Although deep care and wearing woe

Me from the learn'd Nine sever,
My Hortalus, nor can I show

The Muses' sweet fruit ever
In verse, so mighty is the sea
Of sorrow which hath whelmed me,

For lately the dark river
Of Lethe, with slow-streaming wave
My brother's pallid feet did lave.

'Neath the Rhætean shore he lies,

Earth weighs his lov'd form down,


For ever vanished from our eyes

By Troy's most fatal town.
Ah brother ! shall I never see
Thy face again, more loved by me

Than life or all I own;
Shall I again those accents dear
Thy deeds recounting never hear?

No, thou art gone ! but through my days

I ne'er will cease to love,
Thy mournful fate will all my lays

With grief for ever move,
As the bird's song 'mid leafy gloom
Bewailing Itys' direful doom

Her lasting woe doth prove;
But though such grief o'ermasters me,
These lines, my friend, I'll send to thee.

Lest thou should'st think that from my mind

Thy words in my distress
Had slipped, as love's sweet gift confined

Within a maiden's dress
Slips, when she starts upon her feet,
Unhappy, thoughtless girl, to greet

Her mother's fond caress,
O’er her face spreads the conscious blush
When falls the fruit with downward rush.

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