Here you will find the Long Poem Metamorphoses: Book The Eighth of poet Ovid

Metamorphoses: Book The Eighth

NOW shone the morning star in bright array,
 To vanquish night, and usher in the day:
 The wind veers southward, and moist clouds arise,
 That blot with shades the blue meridian skies.
 Cephalus feels with joy the kindly gales,
 His new allies unfurl the swelling sails;
 Steady their course, they cleave the yielding main,
 And, with a wish, th' intended harbour gain.
 The Story of Mean-while King Minos, on the Attick strand,
 Nisus and Displays his martial skill, and wastes the land.
 Scylla His army lies encampt upon the plains,
 Before Alcathoe's walls, where Nisus reigns;
 On whose grey head a lock of purple hue,
 The strength, and fortune of his kingdom, grew.
 Six moons were gone, and past, when still from
 Victoria hover'd o'er the doubtful war.
 So long, to both inclin'd, th' impartial maid
 Between 'em both her equal wings display'd.
 High on the walls, by Phoebus vocal made,
 A turret of the palace rais'd its head;
 And where the God his tuneful harp resign'd.
 The sound within the stones still lay enshrin'd:
 Hither the daughter of the purple king
 Ascended oft, to hear its musick ring;
 And, striking with a pebble, wou'd release
 Th' enchanted notes, in times of happy peace.
 But now, from thence, the curious maid beheld
 Rough feats of arms, and combats of the field:
 And, since the siege was long, had learnt the name
 Of ev'ry chief, his character, and fame;
 Their arms, their horse, and quiver she descry'd,
 Nor cou'd the dress of war the warriour hide.
 Europa's son she knew above the rest,
 And more, than well became a virgin breast:
 In vain the crested morion veils his face,
 She thinks it adds a more peculiar grace:
 His ample shield, embost with burnish'd gold,
 Still makes the bearer lovelier to behold:
 When the tough jav'lin, with a whirl, he sends,
 His strength and skill the sighing maid commends;
 Or, when he strains to draw the circling bow,
 And his fine limbs a manly posture show,
 Compar'd with Phoebus, he performs so well,
 Let her be judge, and Minos shall excell.
 But when the helm put off, display'd to sight,
 And set his features in an open light;
 When, vaulting to his seat, his steed he prest,
 Caparison'd in gold, and richly drest;
 Himself in scarlet sumptuously array'd,
 New passions rise, and fire the frantick maid.
 O happy spear! she cries, that feels his touch;
 Nay, ev'n the reins he holds are blest too much.
 Oh! were it lawful, she cou'd wing her way
 Thro' the stern hostile troops without dismay;
 Or throw her body to the distant ground,
 And in the Cretans happy camp be found.
 Wou'd Minos but desire it! she'd expose
 Her native country to her country's foes;
 Unbar the gates, the town with flames infest,
 Or any thing that Minos shou'd request.
 And as she sate, and pleas'd her longing sight,
 Viewing the king's pavilion veil'd with white,
 Shou'd joy, or grief, she said, possess my breast,
 To see my country by a war opprest?
 I'm in suspense! For, tho' 'tis grief to know
 I love a man that is declar'd my foe;
 Yet, in my own despite, I must approve
 That lucky war, which brought the man I love.
 Yet, were I tender'd as a pledge of peace,
 The cruelties of war might quickly cease.
 Oh! with what joy I'd wear the chains he gave!
 A patient hostage, and a willing slave.
 Thou lovely object! if the nymph that bare
 Thy charming person, were but half so fair;
 Well might a God her virgin bloom desire,
 And with a rape indulge his amorous fire.
 Oh! had I wings to glide along the air,
 To his dear tent I'd fly, and settle there:
 There tell my quality, confess my flame,
 And grant him any dowry that he'd name.
 All, all I'd give; only my native land,
 My dearest country, shou'd excepted stand,
 For, perish love, and all expected joys,
 E're, with so base a thought, my soul complies.
 Yet, oft the vanquish'd some advantage find,
 When conquer'd by a noble, gen'rous mind.
 Brave Minos justly has the war begun,
 Fir'd with resentment for his murder'd son:
 The righteous Gods a righteous cause regard,
 And will, with victory, his arms reward:
 We must be conquer'd; and the captive's fate
 Will surely seize us, tho' it seize us late.
 Why then shou'd love be idle, and neglect
 What Mars, by arms and perils, will effect?
 Oh! Prince, I dye, with anxious fear opprest,
 Lest some rash hand shou'd wound my charmer's
 For, if they saw, no barb'rous mind cou'd dare
 Against that lovely form to raise a spear.
 But I'm resolv'd, and fix'd in this decree,
 My father's country shall my dowry be.
 Thus I prevent the loss of life and blood,
 And, in effect, the action must be good.
 Vain resolution! for, at ev'ry gate
 The trusty centinels, successive, wa