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

Metamorphoses: Book The Eleventh

HERE, while the Thracian bard's enchanting strain
 Sooths beasts, and woods, and all the listn'ing
 The female Bacchanals, devoutly mad,
 In shaggy skins, like savage creatures, clad,
 Warbling in air perceiv'd his lovely lay,
 And from a rising ground beheld him play.
 When one, the wildest, with dishevel'd hair,
 That loosely stream'd, and ruffled in the air;
 Soon as her frantick eye the lyrist spy'd,
 See, see! the hater of our sex, she cry'd.
 Then at his face her missive javelin sent,
 Which whiz'd along, and brusht him as it went;
 But the soft wreathes of ivy twisted round,
 Prevent a deep impression of the wound.
 Another, for a weapon, hurls a stone,
 Which, by the sound subdu'd as soon as thrown,
 Falls at his feet, and with a seeming sense
 Implores his pardon for its late offence.
 The Death of But now their frantick rage unbounded grows,
 Orpheus Turns all to madness, and no measure knows:
 Yet this the charms of musick might subdue,
 But that, with all its charms, is conquer'd too;
 In louder strains their hideous yellings rise,
 And squeaking horn-pipes eccho thro' the skies,
 Which, in hoarse consort with the drum, confound
 The moving lyre, and ev'ry gentle sound:
 Then 'twas the deafen'd stones flew on with speed,
 And saw, unsooth'd, their tuneful poet bleed.
 The birds, the beasts, and all the savage crew
 Which the sweet lyrist to attention drew,
 Now, by the female mob's more furious rage,
 Are driv'n, and forc'd to quit the shady stage.
 Next their fierce hands the bard himself assail,
 Nor can his song against their wrath prevail:
 They flock, like birds, when in a clustring flight,
 By day they chase the boding fowl of night.
 So crowded amphitheatres survey
 The stag, to greedy dogs a future prey.
 Their steely javelins, which soft curls entwine
 Of budding tendrils from the leafy vine,
 For sacred rites of mild religion made,
 Are flung promiscuous at the poet's head.
 Those clods of earth or flints discharge, and these
 Hurl prickly branches sliver'd from the trees.
 And, lest their passion shou'd be unsupply'd,
 The rabble crew, by chance, at distance spy'd
 Where oxen, straining at the heavy yoke,
 The fallow'd field with slow advances broke;
 Nigh which the brawny peasants dug the soil,
 Procuring food with long laborious toil.
 These, when they saw the ranting throng draw near,
 Quitted their tools, and fled, possest with fear.
 Long spades, and rakes of mighty size were found,
 Carelesly left upon the broken ground.
 With these the furious lunaticks engage,
 And first the lab'ring oxen feel their rage;
 Then to the poet they return with speed,
 Whose fate was, past prevention, now decreed:
 In vain he lifts his suppliant hands, in vain
 He tries, before, his never-failing strain.
 And, from those sacred lips, whose thrilling sound
 Fierce tygers, and insensate rocks cou'd wound,
 Ah Gods! how moving was the mournful sight!
 To see the fleeting soul now take its flight.
 Thee the soft warblers of the feather'd kind
 Bewail'd; for thee thy savage audience pin'd;
 Those rocks and woods that oft thy strain had led,
 Mourn for their charmer, and lament him dead;
 And drooping trees their leafy glories shed.
 Naids and Dryads with dishevel'd hair
 Promiscuous weep, and scarfs of sable wear;
 Nor cou'd the river-Gods conceal their moan,
 But with new floods of tears augment their own.
 His mangled limbs lay scatter'd all around,
 His head, and harp a better fortune found;
 In Hebrus' streams they gently roul'd along,
 And sooth'd the waters with a mournful song.
 Soft deadly notes the lifeless tongue inspire,
 A doleful tune sounds from the floating lyre;
 The hollows banks in solemn consort mourn,
 And the sad strain in ecchoing groans return.
 Now with the current to the sea they glide,
 Born by the billows of the briny tide;
 And driv'n where waves round rocky Lesbos roar,
 They strand, and lodge upon Methymna's shore.
 But here, when landed on the foreign soil,
 A venom'd snake, the product of the isle
 Attempts the head, and sacred locks embru'd
 With clotted gore, and still fresh-dropping blood.
 Phoebus, at last, his kind protection gives,
 And from the fact the greedy monster drives:
 Whose marbled jaws his impious crime atone,
 Still grinning ghastly, tho' transform'd to stone.
 His ghost flies downward to the Stygian shore,
 And knows the places it had seen before:
 Among the shadows of the pious train
 He finds Eurydice, and loves again;
 With pleasure views the beauteous phantom's charms,
 And clasps her in his unsubstantial arms.
 There side by side they unmolested walk,
 Or pass their blissful hours in pleasing talk;
 Aft or before the bard securely goes,