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Of Phasis boasted, and a portly race
Of fair inhabitants)improv'd the Fleece,
When, o'er the deep by flying Phryxus brought,
The famd Thessalian ram enrich'd her plains.

The rising Greece with indignation view'd,
And youthful Jason an attempt conceiv'd
Lofty and bold: along Peneus' banks,
Around Olympus' brows, the Muses' haunts,
He rouz'd the brave to re-demand the Fleece.
Attend, ye British Swains ! the ancient song.
From ev'ry region of Ægea's shore
The brave assembled; those illustrous twins, 225

Castor and Pollux; Orpheus, tuneful bard;
Zetes and Calais, as the wind in speed;
Strong Hercules, and many a chief renown'd.

On deep Tolcos' sandy shore they tbrong'd,
Gleaming in armour, ardent of exploits; 2 30
And soon the laurel cord and the huge stone
Uplifting to the deck, unmoor’d the bark,
Whose keel, of wondrous length, the skilful hand
Of Argus fashion’d for the proud attempt;
And in th' extended keel a lofty mast 235
Uprais'd, and sails full swelling, to the chiefs
Unwonted objects : now first, now they learn'd
Their bolder steerage over ocean wave,
Led by the golden stars, as Chiron's art
Had mark'd the sphere celestial. Wide abroad 240
Expands the purple deep; the cloudy isles,
Scyros and Scopelos, and Icos, rise,
And Halonesos : soon huge Lemnos heaves

Her azure head above the level brine,
Shakes off her mists, and brightens all her cliffs; 245
While they, her flattering creeks and opening bowers
Cautious approaching, in Myrina's port
Cast out the cabled stone upon the strand.
Next to the Mysian shore they shape their course
But with too eager haste: in the white foam

His oar Alcides breaks; howe'er, not long
The chance detains; he springs upon the shore,
And rifting from the roots a tapering pine,
Renews his stroke, Between the threat'ning tow'rs
Of Hellespont they ply the rugged surge, 255
To Hero's and Leander's ardent love
Fatal; then smooth Propontis'wid’ning wave,
That like a glassy lake expands, with hills,
Hills above hills, and gloomy woods, begirt :
And now the Thracian Bosphorus they dare, 260
Till the Symplegades, tremendous rocks !
Threaten approach ; but they, unterrify'd,
Thro' the sharp-pointed cliffs and thund'ring floods
Cleave their bold passage ; nathless by the crags,
And torrents sorely shatter'd : as the strong
Eagle or vulture, in th' entangling net
Involv’d, breaks thro', yet leaves his plumes behind,
Thus thro' the wide waves their slow way they force
To Thynia’s hospitable isle. The brave
Pass inany perils, and to fame by such 270
Experience rise. Refresh’d, again they speed
From cape to cape, and view unnumber'd streams,


Of A sparus and Glaucus, rolling swift
To the broad deep their tributary waves, 275
Till in the long-sought harbour they arrive
Of golden Phasis. Foremost on the strand
Jason advanc'd : the deep capacious bay,
The crumbling terrace of the marble port,
Wond’ring he view'd, and stately palace-domes,280
Pavilions proud of Luxury : around,
In every glitt’ing hall, within, without,
O'er all the timbrel-sounding squares and streets
Nothing appear`d but luxury, and crowds
Sunk decp in riot. To the public weal 285
Attentive none he found; for he, their chief
Of shepherds, proud Aëtes, by the name
Somtimes of King distinguish’d,'gan to slight
The Shepherd's trade, and turn to song and dance:
Ev’n Hydrus ceas'd to watch; Medea's songs 296
Of joy, and rosy youth, and beauty's charms,
With magic sweetness lull’d his cares asleep,
Till the bold heroes grasp'd the Golden Fleece.
Nimbly they wing’d the bark, surrounded soon
By Neptune's friendly waves : secure they speed 295
O’er the known seas, by ev'ry guiding cape,
With prosperous return. The myrtle shores,
And glassy mirror of Jolcos' lake,
With loud acclaim receiv’d them. Every vale,
And every hillock, touch'd the tuneful stops 300
Of pipes unnumber'd, for the Ram regain'd.

Thus Phasis lost his pride : his slighted nymphs
Along the withering dales and pastures mournd;

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The trade-ship left his streams; the merchant shunn'd
His desert borders ; each ingenious art,
Trade, Liberty, and AMuence, all retir'd,
And left to Want and Servitude their seats;
Vile successors! and gloomy Ignorance,
Following like dreary Night, whose sable hand
Hangs on the purple skirts of flying day.

Sithence the Fleeces of Arcadian plains,
And Attic and Thessalian, bore esteein;
And those in Grecian colonies dispers’d,
Caria and Doris, and lönia's coast,
And fam’d Tarentum, where Galesus'tide,

Rolling by ruins hoar of antiert towns,
Thro' solitary vallies seeks the sea :
Or green Altinum, by an hundred Alps
High-crownd, whose woods and snowy peaks aloft
Shield her low plains from the rough northern blast.
Those tou of Bætica's delicious fields,

321 With golden fruitage bless'd of highest taste, What need I name ? the Turdetanan track, Or rich Coraxus, whose wide looms unrollid The finest webs? where scarce a talent weigh'd 325 A ram's equivalent. Then only tin To late-improv'd Britannia gave renown.

Lo! the revolving course of mighty Time, Who loftiness abases, tumbles down Olympus' brow, and lifts the lowly vale. 339 Where is the majesty of ancient Rome, The throng of heroes in her splendid streets,

The snowy vest of peace, or purple robe,
Slow trail'd triumphal ? where the Attic Fleece,
And Tarentine, in warmest litter'd cots, 335
Or sunny meadows, cloth'd with costly care?
All in the solitude of ruin lost,
War's horrid carnage, vain ambition's dust.

Long lay the mournful realms of elder Fame
In gloomy desolation, till appear'd

340 Beauteous Venetia, first of all the nymphs Who from the melancholy waste emerg'd : In Adria's gulf her clotted locks she lav’d, And rose another Venus : each soft joy, Each aid of life, her busy wit restor’d; 345 Science reviv’d, with all the lovely Arts, And all the Graces. Restituted Trade To every virtue lent his helping stores, And cheer'd the vales around; again the pipe And bleating flocks awak'd the cheerful lawn. 350

The glossy Fleeces now, of prime esteem, Soft Asia boasts, where lovely Cassimere, Within a lofty mound of circling hills, Spreads her deliciousstores;woods,rocks, caves,lakes, Hills, lawns, and winding streams; a region term'd The Paradise of Indus. Next the plains

356 Of Lahor, by that arbour stretch'd immense, Thro' many a realm, to Agra, the proud throne Of India's worshipp'd prince, whose lust is law : Remote dominions, nor to ancient fame Nor modern known, till public-hearted Roe, Faithful, sagacious, active, patient, brave,


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