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Chanted the dark decrees; the dreadful sound
Reverberated through the bellowing cave,
Commingling truth with ecstasies obscure.
Apollo, as she raged, flung loosened rein,
And thrust beneath her heart a quickening spur.
When first her madness ceased, and her wild lips
Were still at last, the hero thus began :
“No tribulations new, 0 Sibyl blest,
Can now confront me; every future pain
I have foretasted; my prophetic soul
Endured each stroke of fate before it fell.
One boon I ask. If of th' infernal King
This be the portal where the murky wave
Of swollen Acheron o'erflows its bound,
Here let me enter and behold the face
Of my loved sire. Thy hand may point the way;
Thy word will open wide yon holy doors.
My father through the flames and falling spears,
Straight through the centre of our foes, I bore
Upon these shoulders. My long flight he shared
From sea to sea, and suffered at my side
The anger of rude waters and dark skies,—
Though weak—0 task too great for old and gray!
Thus as a suppliant at thy door to stand,
Was his behest and prayer. On son and sire,
0 gracious one, have pity,—for thy rule
Is over all; no vain authority
Hadst thou from Trivia o'er th' Avernian groves.
If Orpheus could call back his loved one's shade,
Emboldened by the lyre's melodious string :
If Pollux by the interchange of death
Redeemed his twin, and oft repassed the way :
If Theseus—but why name him? why recall
Alcides' task? I, too, am sprung from Jove.”
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