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That for her husband mix'd a pois'nous draught,
How some with swords their sleeping lords have flain, And fome have hammer'd nails into their brain, And fome have drench'd them with a deadly potion; All this he read, and read with great devotion.
Long time I heard, and swell'd, and blush'd, and frown'd;
But when no end of thefe vile tales I found,
And down he fettled me with hearty blows.
'Twas torn to fragments, and condemn'd to flames.
Now heav'n on all my husbands gone, bestow
OEDIPUS King of Thebes having by miftake slain
his father Laius, and married his mother Jocafta; put out his own eyes, and refign'd the realm to his fons, Etcocles and Polynices. Being neglected by them, he makes his prayer to the fury Tifiphone, to fow debate betwixt the brothers. They agree at laft to reign fingly, each a year by turns, and the first lot is obtain'd by Eteocles. Jupiter, in a council of the Gods, declares his refolution of punishing the Thebans, and Argives alfo, by means of a marriage betwixt Polynices and one of the daughters of Adraftus King of Argos. Juno oppofes, but to no effect; and Mercury is fent on a meffage to the Shades, to the ghoft of Laius, who is to appear to Eteocles, and provoke him to break the agreement. Polynices in the mean time departs from Thebes by night, is overtaken by a storm, and arrives at Argos; where he meets with Tydeus, whe had fled from Calydon, having killed his brother. Adraftus entertains them, having received an oracle from Apollo, that his daughters fhould be married to a Boar and a Lion, which he understands to be meant of thefe ftrangers, by whom the hides of thofe beasts were worn, and who arrived at the time when he kept an annual feast in honour of that God. The rife of this folemnity he relates to his guefts, the loves of Phoebus and Pfamathe, and the ftory of Chorobus. He enquires, and is made acquainted with their defcent and quality: The facrifice is renewed, and the book concludes with a Hymn to Apollo.
The Tranflater kepes he needs not apologize for hi. choice of this piece, which was made almoft in his Childhood. But finding the Verfion better than he expected, he gave it fome Correction a few years afterwards.
FRATERNAL rage, the guilty Thebes' alarms,
RATERNAS acies, alternaque regna profanis Decertata odiis, fontefque evolvere Thebas, Pierius menti calor incidit. Unde jubetis Ire, Deae gentifne canam primordia dirae ? Sidonios raptus, et inexorabile pactum Legis Agenoreae? fcrutantemque aequora Cadmum? Longo retro feries, trepidum fi Martis operti Agricolam infandis condentem praelia fulcis