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Qui medius nixique genu est anguemque tenentis.
Dædalus interea Creten longumque perosus 30 Exsilium, tactusque soli natalis amore, Clausus erat pelago. “ Terras licet," inquit, “et undas
185 Obstruat; at coelum certe patet : ibimus illac! Omnia possideat : non possidet aera Minos !”
Dixit, et ignotas animum dimittit in artes,
A minima cæptas, longam breviore sequente, 190
Tum lino medias et ceris alligat imas,
195 Stabat et, ignarus sua se tractare pericla, Ore renidenti modo, quas vaga moverat aura,
Captabat plumas, flavam modo pollice ceram 45 Mollibat, lusuque suo mirabile patris
Impediebat opus. Postquam manus ultima coeptis 200
Instruit et natum, “ Medioque ut limite curras, 50 Icare," ait, “moneo, ne, si demissior ibis,
Unda gravet pendas; si celsior, ignis adurat. 205
Me duce carpe viam !” Pariter præcepta volandi 55 Tradit, et ignotas humeris accomodat alas.
Inter opus monitusque genæ maduere seniles 210
Dedit oscula nato
Ante volat comitique timet velut ales, ab alto 60 Quæ teneram prolem produxit in aera nido;
Hortaturque sequi, damnosasque erudit artes; 215
Aut pastor baculo stivave innixus arator 65 Vidit et obstupuit, quique æthera carpere possent,
Credidit esse deos. Et jam Junonia læva 220
Cum puer audaci cæpit gaudere volatu
225 Mollit odoratas, pennarum vincula, ceras. Tabuerant ceræ : nudos quatit ille lacertos,
Remigioque carens non ullas percipit auras ; 75 Oraque cærulea, patrium clamantia nomen,
Excipiuntur aqua, quæ nomen traxit ab illo. 230
quiram?”“Icare !” dicebat; pendas conspexit in undis, 80 Devovitque suas artes, corpusque sepulcro Condidit; et tellus a nomine dicta sepulti. 235
Hunc miseri tumulo ponentem corpora nati
Et plausit pennis, testataque gaudia cantu est : 85 Unica tunc volucris nec visa prioribus annis, 239
Factaque nuper avis, longum tibi, Dædale, crimen.
Bis puerum senis, animi ad præcepta capacis. 90 Ille etiam medio spinas in pisce notatas
Traxit in exemplum, ferroque incidit acuto 245
Vinxit, ut, æquali spatio distantibus illis,
Dædalus invidit, sacraque ex arce Minervæ 250 Præcipitem misit, lapsum mentitus. At illum, Quæ favet ingeniis, excepit Pallas, avemque
Reddidit et medio velavit in aere pennis. 100 Sed vigor ingenii quondam velocis in alas 254
Inque pedes abiit, nomen, quod et ante, remansit.
Propter humum volitat, ponitque in sepibus ova, 105 Antiquique memor metuit sublimia casus.
Jamque fatigatum tellus Ætnæa tenebat 260 Dædalon, et sumtis defendit Cocalus armis.
Ætolia and the other north-western provinces of Greece, had, in the historic age of that country, sunk into insignificant obscurity. But in the legendary age these districts produced distinguished heroes, who won high renown among their contemporaries. Among these the most celebrated was born at CalydonMeleager, the son of King Eneus and Althæa. — Meleager's Chase is one of the most famous legends of the ancient mythic history. It was sung by many poets, who numbered among the hunters all the noted heroes of that age, who were reported to have met at Calydon in order to take the field against the dreaded monster, the Calydonian boar. This beast had been sent by Diana into the country of King Eneus, because, after an extraordinarily fruitful year (plenus successibus annus, v. 1) he had brought offerings to all the deities, with the single exception of Diana. Man and beast were threatened alike with destruction by the enormous boar, so that the heroes of the time united all their might in order to slay it. Besides the brave Meleager, there were at the chase near relations of the royal family, namely, Meleager's two uncles, the sons of Thestius (Thestiadæ,) and brothers of Queen Althæa. Among the many heroes who came from a distance, there was also a virgin heroine, Atalanta, from Arcadia, of the city Tegea (whence Tegeæa, v. 44.) She enraptured Meleager by her beauty, and had the fortune to be the first to wound the boar, after other heroes had fruitlessly hurled many spears at him. Her spear, however, did not wound him mortally: and Meleager was the first to bring down the wild beast by a deadly blow. To him, therefore, belonged, without dispute, the prize of the contest, the bristly hide of the boar.—He however resigned it to the brave damsel. On this the sons of Thestius became jealous, and would not allow that a booty so glorious should be given over to a woman. Hence was kindled a quarrel, in which Meleager slew them both. Meleager's mother, however, was deeply grieved at the slaughter of her brothers. She could not rejoice in her son's victory over the destructive boar, and long hesitated in indecision whether, for her brother's murder, she should or should not take vengeance on her son.—The Parcæ (triplices Sorores, v. 176) had immediately
on Meleager's birth visited the house of King Eneus, and uttered the word of destiny, that the newborn child should live till a log, then burning on the hearth, should be consumed by the flames. On this the mother snatched the log from the fire, and carefully preserved it. Now, however, when vengeance for the murder of her brothers overpowered her maternal affection, she brought it out, and purposely threw it into the flames, so that Meleager quickly sank and died. Great was the mourning for the early death of the hero : his sisters, in particular, could not recover from their grief for the loss of their brother. At length, however, a benevolent deity took compassion on them, and released them from their sorrows by changing them into birds, which took their name from Meleager (Meleagrădes, a species of pintado, or guineafowl).
Enea, fama ita fert, pleni successibus anni
275 Coeptus ab agricolis Superos pervenit ad omnes 5 Ambitiosus honos ; solas sine ture relictas Præteritæ cessasse ferunt Letoïdos aras.
Tangit et ira deos. “At non impune feremus; Quæque inhonoratæ, non et dicemur inultæ !” 280
Inquit, et Eneos ultorem spreta per agros 10 Misit aprum, quanto majores herbida tauros
Non habet Epiros, sed habent Sicula arva minores.
285 Fervida cum rauco latos stridore per armos 15 Spuma fluit, dentes æquantur dentibus Indis,
Fulmen ab ore venit, frondes afflatibus ardent.
Et Cererem in spicis intercipit. Area frustra 20 Et frustra exspectant promissas horrea messes.
Sternuntur gravidi longo cum palmite fetus,
Non armenta truces possunt defendere tauri. 25 Diffugiunt populi, nec se nisi manibus urbis
Esse putant tutos ; donec Meleagros et una
30 Et cum Pirithoo, felix concordia, Theseus,
Et duo Thestiadæ, prolesque Aphareïa Lynceus,
Hippothoosque Dryasque et cretus Amyntore Phoenix, 35 Actoridæque pares, et missus ab Elide Phyleus.
Nec Telamon aberat magnique creator Achillis,
310 Impiger Eurytion, et cursu invictus Echion,
Naryciusque Lelex Panopeusque Hyleusque feroxque 40 Hippasus, et primis etiamnum Nestor in annis,
Et quos Hippocoon antiquis misit Amyclis,
Eclides, nemorisque decus Tegeæa Lycæi.
Crinis erat simplex, nodum collectus in unum;
Talis erat cultu facies, quam dicere vere
Hanc pariter vidit, pariter Calydonius heros Optavit renuente deo, flammasque latentes 325 Hausit, et, “O felix, si quem dignabitur," inquit,
“ Ista virum !” nec plura sinunt tempusque pudorque 55 Dicere: majus opus magni certaminis urget.
Silva frequens trabibus, quam nulla ceciderat ætas, Incipit a plano, devexaque prospicit arva. 330 Quo postquam venere viri; pars retia tendunt,
Vincula pars adimunt canibus, pars pressa sequuntur 60 Signa pedum, cupiuntque suum reperire periclum.
Concava vallis erat, qua se demittere rivi
Viminaque et longa parvæ sub arundine cannæ. 65 Hinc aper excitus medios violentus in hostes
Fertur, ut excussis elisi nubibus ignes.
Tela tenent dextra, lato vibrantia ferro.