Beam of the mounting Sun!I 1
O brightest, fairest ray
Seven-gated Thebè yet hath seen!
Over the vale where Direè's fountains run
At length thou appearedst, eye of golden Day,
And with incitement of thy radiance keen
Spurredst to faster flight
The man of Argos hurrying from the fight.
Armed at all points the warrior came,
But driven before thy rising flame
He rode, reverting his pale shield.
Headlong from yonder battlefield.
In snow-white panoply, on eagle wing,
He rose, dire ruin on our land to bring,
Roused by the fierce debate
Of Polynices' hate.
Shrilling sharp menace from his breast.
Sheathed all in steel from crown to heel.
With many a plumed crest.
Then stooped above the domes,I 2
With lust of carnage fired.
And opening teeth of serried spears
Yawned wide around the gates that guard our
But went, or e'er his hungry jaws had tired
On Theban flesh,—or e'er the Fire-god fierce
Seizing our sacred town
Besmirched and rent her battlemented crown.
Such noise of battle as he fled
About his back the War-god spread;
So writhed to hard -fought victory
The serpent struggling to be free.
High Zeus beheld their stream that proudly rolled
Idly caparisoned with clanking gold: