Won their swift way up to the snowy head
Of white Olympus, with the joyous lyre
Soothing their journey; and their father dread
Gathered them both into familiar
Affection sweet,-and then, and now,
and ever,
Hermes must love Him of the Golden Quiver,

To whom he gave the lyre that sweetly sounded,
Which skilfully he held and played thereon.
He piped the while, and far and wide rebounded
The echo of his pipings; every one
Of the Olympians sat with joy astounded,
While be conceived another piece of fun,
One of his old tricks-which the God of Day
Perceiving, said:-" I fear thee, Son of May;-

"I fear thee and thy sly camelion spirit,

Lest thou should steal my lyre and crooked bow;
This glory and power thou dost from Jove inherit,
To teach all craft upon the earth below;
Thieves love and worship thee-it is thy merit
To make all mortal business ebb and flow
By roguery:-now, Hermes, if you dare
By sacred Styx a mighty oath to swear

"That you will never rob me, you will do

A thing extremely pleasing to my heart."
Then Mercury sware by the Stygian dew,

That he would never steal his bow or dart,
Or lay his hands on what to him was due,
Or ever would employ his powerful art
Then Phoebus swore
Against his Pythian fane.
There was no God or man whom he loved more.

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"And I will give thee as a good-will token
The beautiful wand of wealth and happiness;
A perfect three-leaved rod of gold unbroken,
Whose magic will thy footsteps ever bless;
And whatsoever by Jove's voice is spoken

Of earthly or divine from its recess,
It like a loving soul to thee will speak,
And more than this do thou forbear to seek.

"For, dearest child, the divinations high

Which thou requirest, 'tis unlawful ever That thou, or any other deity,

Should understand-and vain were the endeavour; For they are hidden in Jove's mind, and I,

In trust of them, have sworn that I would never Betray the counsels of Jove's most will

To any God-the oath was terrible.

"Then, golden-wanded brother, ask me not To speak the fates by Jupiter designed;

But be it mine to tell their various lot

To the unnumbered tribes of human kind.
Let good to these and ill to those be wrought
As I dispense-but he, who comes consigned
By voice and wings of perfect augury
To my great shrine, shall find avail in me.

Tim will 'I not deceive, but will assist;
ut he who comes relying on such birds
atter vainly, who would strain and twist
purpose of the Gods with idle words,

ms their knowledge light, he shall have mist d-whilst I among my other hoards

A most important subject, trifler, this
To lay before the Gods!"-"Nay, father, nay,
When you have understood the business,

Say not that I a'one am fond of prey. I found this little boy in a recess

Under Cyllene's mountains far away-
A manifest and most apparent thief,
A scandal-monger beyond all belief.


** I never saw his like either in heaven Or upon earth for knavery or craft:Out of the field my cattle yester-even,

By the low shore on which the loud sea laughed,
He right down to the river-ford had driven;

And mere astonishment would make you daft
To see the double kind of footsteps strange
He has impressed wherever he did range.

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"The cattle's track on the black dust full well
Is evident, as if they went towards

The place from which they came-that asphodel
Meadow, in which I feed my many herds; -
His steps were most incomprehensible-

I know not how I can describe in words
Those tracks he could have gone along the sands
Neither upon his fect nor on his hands ;-

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"He must have had some other stranger mode
Of moving on those vestiges immense,
Far as I traced them on the sandy road,

Seemed like the trail of oak-toppings:-but thence No mark nor track denoting where they trod

The hard ground gave:-but, working at his fence,

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A mortal hedger saw him as he past
To Pylos, with the cows, in fiery haste.

"I found that in the dark he quietly

Had sacrificed some cows, and before light Had thrown the ashes all dispersedly

About the road-then, still as gloomy night,
Had crept into his cradle, either eye

Rubbing, and cogitating some new sleight.
No eagle could have seen him as he lay
Hid in his cavern from the peering day.

"I tax'd him with the fact, when he averred
Most solemnly that he did neither see
Nor even had in any manner heard

Of my lost cows, whatever things cows be;
Not could he tell, though offered a reward,
Not even who could tell of them to me."
So speaking, Phoebus sate; and Hermes then
Addressed the Supreme Lord of Gods and Men:-

"Great Father, you know clearly before hand That all which I shall say to you is soothe; I am a most veracious parson, and

Totally unacquainted with untruth.

At sunrise Phoebus came, but with no band
Of Gods to bear him witness, in great wrath
To my abode, seeking his heifers there,
And saying that I must show him where they are,

Or he would hurl me down the dark abyss.
I know. that every Apollonian limb

Is clothed with speed and might and manliness,
As a green bank with flowers-but unlike him

I was born yesterday, and you may guess

He well knew this when he indulged the whim
Of bullying a poor little new-born thing
That slept, and never thought of cow-driving.

"Am I like a strong fellow who steals kine?
Believe me,
dearest Father, such you are;
This driving of the herds is none of mine;
Across my threshold did I wander ne'er,
may I thrive! I reverence the divine
Sun and the Gods, and I love you, and care
Even for this hard accuser-who must know
I am as innocent as they or you.



"I swear by these most gloriously-wrought portals — (It is, you will allow, an oath of might) Through which the multitude of the Immortals Pass and repass for ever, day and night, Devising schemes for the affairs of mortals—

That I am guiltless; and I will requite,
Although mine enemy be great and strong,
His cruel threat-do thou defend the young!"

So speaking, the Cyllenian Argiphont


Winked, as if now his adversary was fitted : And Jupiter, according to his wont,

Laughed heartily to hear the subtle-witted Infant give such a plausible account,

And every word a lie. But he remitted Judgment at present-and his exhortation Was, to compose the affair by arbitration,

And they by mighty Jupiter were bidden

To go forth with a single purpose both,

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