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And threw her Body prostrate on the Bed,
And, to conceal her Blushes, hid her Head:
There silent lay, and warn’d her with her Hand
To go: But she receiv'd not the Command;
Remaining still importunate to know:
Then Myrrha thus: Or ask no more, or go :
I prithee go, or staying spare my Shame;
What thou wou'dftis hear, isimpious ev'n to name.
At this, on high the Beldame holds her Hands,
And trembling, both with Age,and Terror, stands;
Adjures, and falling at her Feet intreats,
Sooths her with Blandishments, and frights with
To tell the Crime intended, or disclose
What Part of it she knew, if she no farther knows.
And last; if conscious to her Counsel made,
Confirms anew the Promise of her Aid.
Now Myrrha rais’d her Head; but soon oppress’d
With Shame, reclin'd it on her Nurse's Breast;
Bath'd it with Tears,and strove to have confess’d:
Twice she began, and stopp'd; again the try'd ,
The falț'ring Tongue its Office still deny’d.
At last her Veil before her Face the spread,
And drew a long preluding Sigh, and said,
O happy Mother, in thy Marriage-bed!
Then groan'd, and ceas'd ; the good Old Wó-
Stiff were ber fyes, and ghastly was her Look:
Her boary Hair upright with Horror stood,
Made to her Grief) more knowing than the woud:
Much the reproach'à, and many things she said,
To cure the Madness of th’unhappy Maid:
In vain: For Myrrha stood convict of Ill;
Her Reason vanquish'd, but unchangʻd her Will:
Perverse of Mind, unable to reply';
She stood resolv'd or to possess, or die.
At fength the Fondness of a Nurse prevail'd
Against her better Senfe, and Virtue faild:
Enjoy, my Child, since such is thy Desire,
Thy Love, The said; the durft not say, thy Sire.
Live, though unhappy, live on any Terms:
Then with a second Oath her Faith confirms.
The folemn Feast of Cere's now was near, When long white Linnen Stoles the Matrons wear;
Rank'd in Proceffion walk the pious Train, Off’ring First-fruits, and Spikes of yellow Grain: For nine long Nights the Nuptial-Bed they thun, And fanctifying Harvest, lie alone.
Mix'd with the Crowd, the Queen forsook her And Ceres Pow'r with secret Rites ador'd:
[Lord, The Royal Couch 'now vacant for å time, The crafty Crone, officious in her Crime, The curst Occasion took : The King she found Easie with Wine, and deep in Pleasures drownd, Prepard fór Love: The Beldame blew the Flame, Confess'd'the Passion, but conceald the Name. Herform she prais’d; the Monarch ask'd her Years, And she reply'd, The same thy Myrrha bears. Wine and commended Beauty fir'd his Thought; Impatient; he commands her to be brought. shome, Pleas’d with her Charge perform’d, she hies her And grátulates the Nymph, the task was over
Myrrha was joy'd the welcome News to hear;
But clogg'd with Guilt, the Joy was unsincere:
So various, so difcordant is the Mind,
That in our wilt, a different Will we find.
Til the presag’d, and yet pursu'd her Lust;
For guilty Pleasures give a double Gust.
'Twas Depth of Night: Aretophylax had driv'n
His lazy Wain half round the Northern Heav'n,
When Myrrha haftend to the Crime desir'd;
The Moon beheld her first, and first retir'd:
The Stars amaz’d, ran backward from the Sight,
And (shrunk within their Sockets) lost their Light.
Icarius firit withdraws his holy Flame:
The Virgin Sign, in Heav'n the second Name,
Slides down the Belt, and from her Station flies,
And Night with Sable Clouds involves the Skies.
Bold Myrrha still pursues her black Intent;
She stumbled thrice, (an Omen of th’ Event ;)
Thrice shriek'd the Fun’ral Owl, yet on the went,
Secure of Shame, because secure of Sight;
Ev’n bashful Sins are impudent by Night. (Dame,
Link'd Hand in Hand, th’Accomplice, and the
Their Way exploring, to the Chamber came:
The Door was ope, they blindly grope their way,
Where dark in Bed th’expecting Monarch lay:
Thus far her Courage held, but here forsakes;
Her faint Knees knock at ev'ry Step she makes.
The nearer to her Crime, the more within
She feels Remorse, and Horror of her Sin ;
Repents too late her criminal Desire,
And wishes, that unknown the cou'd retire.
Her, lingring thus, the Nurse (who fear'd Delay
The fatal Secret might at length betray)
Pulid forward, to compleat the Work begun,
And said to Cinyras, Receive thy own:
Thus saying, she deliver'd Kind to Kind,
Accurs’d, and their devoted Bodies join'd.
The Sire, unknowing of the Crime, admits
His Bowels, and profanes the hallow'd Sheets;
He found the trembled, but believ'd fhe ftrove
With Maiden Modesty, against her Love,
And fought with flatt’ring Words vain Fancies to,
remove. Perhaps he said, My Daughter, cease thy Fears, (Because the Title suited with her Years ;) And Father, she might whisper him again, That Names might not be wanting to the Sin. Full of her Sire, she left th’incestuous Bed, And carry'd in her Womb the Crime she bred;