In mournful pomp the matrons walk the round, With baleful cypress and blue fillets crown’d, With eyes dejected, and with hair unbound.
Sad cypress, vervain, yew, compose the wreath, And ev’ry baleful green denoting death.
The sacred lake of Trivia from afar, The Veline fountains, and sulphureous Nar, Shake at the baleful blast, the signal of the war.
First, from the ground a lofty pile they rear, Of pitch trees, oaks, and pines, and unctuous fir: The fabric’s front with cypress twigs they strew, And stick the sides with boughs of baleful yew.
Unseen, unfelt, the fiery serpent skims Betwixt her linen and her naked limbs; His baleful breath inspiring, as he glides, Now like a chain around her neck he rides, Now like a fillet to her head repairs, And with his circling volumes folds her hairs.
Night, Erebus, and Chaos she proclaims, And threefold Hecate, with her hundred names, And three Dianas: next, she sprinkles round With feign’d Avernian drops the hallow’d ground; Culls hoary simples, found by Phoebe’s light, With brazen sickles reap’d at noon of night; Then mixes baleful juices in the bowl, And cuts the forehead of a newborn foal, Robbing the mother’s love.
They fed, and, flutt’ring, by degrees withdrew Still farther from the place, but still in view: Hopping and flying, thus they led him on To the slow lake, whose baleful stench to shun They wing’d their flight aloft; then, stooping low, Perch’d on the double tree that bears the golden bough.
Now, now, I quit the field! forbear to fright My tender soul, ye baleful birds of night; The lashing of your wings I know too well, The sounding flight, and fun’ral screams of hell!
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Show samples from other sources
She looked at him with two unblinking, baleful eyes.
The budget cuts had a baleful effect on education.