from METAMORPHOSES BOOK 5, LINES 1-29
Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso) trans. Sir Samuel Garth, John Dryden et al.
............
............


Dumque ea Cephenum medio Danaeius heros
agmine commemorat; fremida regalia turba
atria conplentur: nec, coniugialia festa
qui canat, est clamor; sed qui fera nuntiet arma,
inque repentinos convivia versa tumultus,
adsimulare freto possis, quod saeva quietum
ventorum rabies motis exasperat undis.




primus in his Phineus belli temerarius auctor
fraxineam quatiens aeratae cuspidis hastam
"en", ait, "en adsum praereptae conjugis ultor;
nec mihi te pennae, nec falsum versus in aurum
Iuppiter eripiet!"


Conanti mittere Cepheus,
"quid facis?" exclamat, "quae te, germane, furentem
mens agit in facinus? meritisne haec gratia tantis
redditur? hac vitam servatae dote rependis?
quam tibi non Perseus, verum si quaeris, ademit,
sed grave Nereidum numen, sed corniger Ammon,
sed quae visceribus veniebat belua ponti
exsaturanda meis;




illo tibi tempore rapta est,
quo peritura fuit, nisi si, crudelis, id ipsum
exigis, ut pereat, luctuque levabere nostro.
scilicet haud satis est, quod te spectante revincta est,
et nullam quod opem patruus, sponsusve tulisti;
insuper a quoquam quod sit servata, dolebis
praemiaque eripies? Quae si tibi magna videntur,
ex illis scopulis, ubi erant adfixa, petisses.
nunc sine, qui petiit, per quem haec non orba senectus,
ferre, quod et meritis, et voce est pactus, eumque
non tibi, sed certae praelatum intellige morti."



............
............


While Perseus entertain'd with this report
His father Cepheus, and the list'ning court,
Within the palace walls was heard aloud
The roaring noise of some unruly crowd;
Not like the songs which chearful friends prepare
For nuptial days, but sounds that threaten'd war;
And all the pleasures of this happy feast,
To tumult turn'd, in wild disorder ceas'd:
So, when the sea is calm, we often find
A storm rais'd sudden by some furious wind.
Chief in the riot Phineus first appear'd,
The rash ringleader of this boist'rous herd,
And brandishing his brazen-pointed lance,
"Behold", he said, "an injur'd man advance,
Stung with resentment for his ravish'd wife,
Nor shall thy wings, o Perseus, save thy life;
Nor Jove himself; tho' we've been often told
Who got thee in the form of tempting gold."
His lance was aim'd, when Cepheus ran, and said,
"Hold, brother, hold; what brutal rage has made
Your frantick mind so black a crime conceive?
Are these the thanks that you to Perseus give?
This the reward that to his worth you pay,
Whose timely valour sav'd Andromeda?
Nor was it he, if you would reason right,
That forc'd her from you, but the jealous spight
Of envious Nereids, and Jove's high decree;
And that devouring monster of the sea,
That ready with his jaws wide gaping stood
To eat my child, the fairest of my blood.
You lost her then, when she seem'd past relief,
And wish'd perhaps her death, to ease your grief
With my afflictions: not content to view
Andromeda in chains, unhelp'd by you,
Her spouse, and uncle; will you grieve that he
Expos'd his life the dying maid to free?
And shall you claim his merit? Had you thought
Her charms so great, you shou'd have bravely sought
That blessing on the rocks, where fix'd she lay:
But now let Perseus bear his prize away,
By service gain'd, by promis'd faith possess'd;
To him I owe it, that my age is bless'd
Still with a child: Nor think that I prefer
Perseus to thee, but to the loss of her."

  
Click here 2 for another translation of this poem.



next
index
translator's next