The Transformation of Echo

Fam'd far and near for knowing things to come,
From him th' enquiring Nations sought their Doom;
The fair Liriope his Answers try'd,
And first th' unerring Prophet justify'd;
This Nymph the God Cephisus had abus'd,
With all his winding Waters circumfus'd,
And on the Nereid got a lovely Boy,
Whom the soft Maids ev'n then beheld with Joy.
The tender Dame, sollicitous to know
Whether her Child should reach old Age or no,
Consults the Sage Tiresias , who replies,
" If e'er he knows himself, he surely dies.
Long liv'd the dubious Mother in Suspence,
'Till Time unriddled all the Prophet's Sense.
Narcissus now his Sixteenth Year began,
Just turn'd of Boy, and on the Verge of Mans
Many a Friend the blooming Youth caress'd,
Many a Love-sick Maid her Flame confess'd:
Such was his Pride, in vain the Friend caress'd,
The Love-sick Maid in vain her Flame confess'd.
Once, in the Woods, as he pursu'd the Chace,
The babbling Echo had descry'd his Face;
She, who in other's Words her Silence breaks,
Nor speaks her self but when another speaks.
Echo was then a Maid, of Speech bereft,
Of wonted Speech; for tho' her Voice was left,
Juno a Curse did on her Tongue impose,
To sport with ev'ry Sentence in the Close.
Full often when the Goddess might have caught
Jove and her Rivals in the very Fault,
This Nymph with subtle Stories would delay
Her Coming, till the Lovers slipp'd away
The Goddess found out the Deceit in time,
And then she cry'd, " That Tongue, for this thy Crime,
" Which could so many subtle Tales produce,
" Shall be hereafter but of little use.
Hence 'tis she prattles in a fainter Tone,
With mimick Sounds, and Accents not her own.
This Love-sick Virgin, over-joy'd to find
The Boy alone, still follow'd him behind;
When glowing warmly at her near Approach,
As Sulphur blazes at the Taper's Touch,
She long'd her hidden Passion to reveal,
And tell her Pains, but had not Words to tell:
She can't begin, but waits for the Rebound,
To catch his Voice, and to return the Sound.
The Nymph, when nothing could Narcissus move,
Still dash'd with Blushes for her slighted Love,
Liv'd in the shady Covert of the Woods,
In solitary Caves and dark Abodes;
Where pining wander'd the rejected Fair,
'Till harrass'd out, and worn away with Care,
The sounding Skeleton, of Blood bereft,
Besides her Bones and Voice had nothing left.
Her Bones are petrify'd, her Voice is found
In Vaults, where still it Doubles ev'ry Sound.
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