The stately column, and the gorgeous dome
Raised to the gods, are not the boast alone
Of our magnificent Athens; nor the statues
That grace her streets; this temple of the god,
Son of Latona, beauteous to behold,
Beams the resplendent light of both her children. ION
Turn thine eyes this way; look, the son of Jove
Lops with his golden scimitar the heads
Of the Lernean Hydra: view it well.
I see him.
And this other standing nigh,
Who snatches from the fire the blazing brand.
What is his name? the subject, on the web
Design'd, these hands have wrought in ductile gold. ION
The shield-supporting Iolaus, who bears
The toils in common with the son of Jove.
View now this hero; on his winged steed
The triple-bodied monster's dreadful force
He conquers through the flames his jaws emit.
I view it all attentively.
The battle of the giants, on the walls
Sculptured in stone.
Let us note this, my friends.
See where against Enceladus she shakes
Her gorgon shield.
I see my goddess, Pallas.
Mark the tempestuous thunder's flaming bolt
Launch'd by the hand of Jove.
The furious Mimas
Here blazes in the volley'd fires: and there
Another earth-born monster falls beneath
The wand of Bacchus wreathed with ivy round,
No martial spear. But, as 'tis thine to tend
This temple, let me ask thee, is it lawful,
Leaving our sandals, its interior parts
Strangers, this is not permitted.
Yet may we make inquiries of thee?
What wouldst thou know?
Whether this temple's site
Be the earth's centre?
Ay, with garlands hung,
And gorgons all around.
So fame reports.