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Waiting not,
Tisiphone, revengeful, takes a torch;—
besmeared with blood, and vested in a robe,
dripping with crimson gore, and twisting-snakes
engirdled, she departs her dire abode—
with twitching Madness, Terror, Fear and Woe:
and when she had arrived the destined house,
the door-posts shrank from her, the maple doors
turned ashen grey: the Sun amazed fled.

Affrighted, Athamas and Ino viewed
and fled these prodigies; but suddenly
that baneful Fury stood across the way,
blocking the passage— There she stands with arms
extended, and alive with twisting vipers.—
She shakes her hair; the moving serpents hiss;
they cling upon her shoulders, and they glide
around her temples, dart their fangs, and vomit
corruption.—Plucking from the midst two snakes,
she hurls them with her pestilential hand
upon her victims, Athamas and Ino, whom,
although the vipers strike upon their breasts,
no injury attacks their mortal parts;—
only their minds are stricken with wild rage,
inciting to mad violence and crime.

And with a monstrous composite of foam—
once gathered from the mouth of Cerberus,
the venom of Echidna, purposeless
aberrances, crimes, tears, hatred—the lust
of homicide, and the dark vapourings
of foolish brains; a liquid poison, mixed,
and mingled with fresh blood, in hollow brass,
and boiled, and stirred up with a slip of hemlock—
she took of it, and as they trembled, threw
that mad-mixed poison on them; and it scorched
their inmost vitals—and she waved her torch
repeatedly, within a circle's rim—
and added flame to flame.—

Then, confident
of having executed her commands,
the Fury hastened to the void expanse
where Pluto reigns, and swiftly put aside
the serpents that were wreathed around her robes.

At once, the son of Aeolus, enraged,
shouts loudly in his palace; “Ho, my lads!
Spread out your nets! a savage lioness
and her twin whelps are lurking in the wood;—
behold them!” In his madness he believes
his wife a savage beast. He follows her,
and quickly from her bosom snatches up
her smiling babe, Learchus, holding forth
his tiny arms, and whirls him in the air,
times twice and thrice, as whirls the whizzing sling,
and dashes him in pieces on the rocks; —
cracking his infant bones.

The mother, roused
to frenzy (who can tell if grief the cause,
or fires of scattered poison?) yells aloud,
and with her torn hair tangled, running mad,
she carries swiftly in her clutching arms,
her little Melicerta! and begins
to shout, “Evoe, Bacche!”—Juno hears
the shouted name of Bacchus, and she laughs,
and taunts her;—“Let thy foster-child award!”

There is a crag, out-jutting on the deep,
worn hollow at the base by many waves,
where not the rain may ripple on that pool;—
high up the rugged summit overhangs
its ragged brows above the open sea:
there, Ino climbs with frenzy-given strength,
and fearless, with her burden in her arms,
leaps in the waves where whitening foams arise.

Venus takes pity on her guiltless child,
unfortunate grand-daughter, and begins
to soothe her uncle Neptune with these words;—
“O Neptune, ruler of the deep, to whom,
next to the Power in Heaven, was given sway,
consider my request! Open thy heart
to my descendants, which thine eyes behold,
tossed on the wild Ionian Sea! I do implore thee,
remember they are thy true Deities—
are thine as well as mine—for it is known
my birth was from the white foam of thy sea;—
a truth made certain by my Grecian name.”

Neptune regards her prayer: he takes from them
their mortal dross: he clothes in majesty,
and hallows their appearance. Even their names
and forms are altered; Melicerta, changed,
is now Palaemon called, and Ino, changed,
Leucothoe called, are known as Deities.

When her Sidonian attendants traced
fresh footprints to the last verge of the rock,
and found no further vestige, they declared
her dead, nor had they any doubt of it.
They tore their garments and their hair—and wailed
the House of Cadmus— and they cursed at Juno,
for the sad fate of the wretched concubine.

That goddess could no longer brook their words,
and thus made answer, “I will make of you
eternal monuments of my revenge!”

Her words were instantly confirmed—The one
whose love for Ino was the greatest, cried;
“Into the deep; look—look—I seek my queen.”
But even as she tried to leap, she stood
fast-rooted to the ever-living rock;
another, as she tried to beat her breast
with blows repeated, noticed that her arms
grew stiff and hard; another, as by chance,
was petrified with hands stretched over the waves:
another could be seen, as suddenly
her fingers hardened, clutching at her hair
to tear it from the roots.—And each remained
forever in the posture first assumed.—
But others of those women, sprung from Cadmus,
were changed to birds, that always with wide wings
skim lightly the dark surface of that sea.

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