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

Metamorphoses: Book The Third

WHEN now Agenor had his daughter lost,
 He sent his son to search on ev'ry coast;
 And sternly bid him to his arms restore
 The darling maid, or see his face no more,
 But live an exile in a foreign clime;
 Thus was the father pious to a crime.
 The Story of The restless youth search'd all the world around;
 of Cadmus But how can Jove in his amours be found?
 When, tir'd at length with unsuccessful toil,
 To shun his angry sire and native soil,
 He goes a suppliant to the Delphick dome;
 There asks the God what new appointed home
 Should end his wand'rings, and his toils relieve.
 The Delphick oracles this answer give.
 "Behold among the fields a lonely cow,
 Unworn with yokes, unbroken to the plow;
 Mark well the place where first she lays her down,
 There measure out thy walls, and build thy town,
 And from thy guide Boeotia call the land,
 In which the destin'd walls and town shall stand."
 No sooner had he left the dark abode,
 Big with the promise of the Delphick God,
 When in the fields the fatal cow he view'd,
 Nor gall'd with yokes, nor worn with servitude:
 Her gently at a distance he pursu'd;
 And as he walk'd aloof, in silence pray'd
 To the great Pow'r whose counsels he obey'd.
 Her way thro' flow'ry Panope she took,
 And now, Cephisus, cross'd thy silver brook;
 When to the Heav'ns her spacious front she rais'd,
 And bellow'd thrice, then backward turning gaz'd
 On those behind, 'till on the destin'd place
 She stoop'd, and couch'd amid the rising grass.
 Cadmus salutes the soil, and gladly hails
 The new-found mountains, and the nameless vales,
 And thanks the Gods, and turns about his eye
 To see his new dominions round him lye;
 Then sends his servants to a neighb'ring grove
 For living streams, a sacrifice to Jove.
 O'er the wide plain there rose a shady wood
 Of aged trees; in its dark bosom stood
 A bushy thicket, pathless and unworn,
 O'er-run with brambles, and perplex'd with thorn:
 Amidst the brake a hollow den was found,
 With rocks and shelving arches vaulted round.
 Deep in the dreary den, conceal'd from day,
 Sacred to Mars, a mighty dragon lay,
 Bloated with poison to a monstrous size;
 Fire broke in flashes when he glanc'd his eyes:
 His tow'ring crest was glorious to behold,
 His shoulders and his sides were scal'd with gold;
 Three tongues he brandish'd when he charg'd his
 His teeth stood jaggy in three dreadful rowes.
 The Tyrians in the den for water sought,
 And with their urns explor'd the hollow vault:
 From side to side their empty urns rebound,
 And rowse the sleeping serpent with the sound.
 Strait he bestirs him, and is seen to rise;
 And now with dreadful hissings fills the skies,
 And darts his forky tongues, and rowles his glaring
 The Tyrians drop their vessels in the fright,
 All pale and trembling at the hideous sight.
 Spire above spire uprear'd in air he stood,
 And gazing round him over-look'd the wood:
 Then floating on the ground in circles rowl'd;
 Then leap'd upon them in a mighty fold.
 Of such a bulk, and such a monstrous size
 The serpent in the polar circle lyes,
 That stretches over half the northern skies.
 In vain the Tyrians on their arms rely,
 In vain attempt to fight, in vain to fly:
 All their endeavours and their hopes are vain;
 Some die entangled in the winding train;
 Some are devour'd, or feel a loathsom death,
 Swoln up with blasts of pestilential breath.
 And now the scorching sun was mounted high,
 In all its lustre, to the noon-day sky;
 When, anxious for his friends, and fill'd with
 To search the woods th' impatient chief prepares.
 A lion's hide around his loins he wore,
 The well poiz'd javelin to the field he bore,
 Inur'd to blood; the far-destroying dart;
 And, the best weapon, an undaunted heart.
 Soon as the youth approach'd the fatal place,
 He saw his servants breathless on the grass;
 The scaly foe amid their corps he view'd,
 Basking at ease, and feasting in their blood.
 "Such friends," he cries, "deserv'd a longer date;
 But Cadmus will revenge or share their fate."
 Then heav'd a stone, and rising to the throw,
 He sent it in a whirlwind at the foe:
 A tow'r, assaulted by so rude a stroke,
 With all its lofty battlements had shook;
 But nothing here th' unwieldy rock avails,
 Rebounding harmless from the plaited scales,
 That, firmly join'd, preserv'd him from a wound,
 With native armour crusted all around.
 With more success, the dart unerring flew,
 Which at his back the raging warriour threw;
 Amid the plaited scales it took its course,
 And in the spinal marrow spent its force.
 The monster hiss'd aloud, and rag'd in vain,
 And writh'd his body to and fro with pain;
 He bit the