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Quas, Parthaoniæ tandem Letoïa clade
270 Exsatiata domus, præter Gorgenque nurumque

Nobilis Alcmenæ, natis in corpore pennis
Allevat, et longas per brachia porrigit alas,
Corneaque ora facit, versasque per aera mittit.

545

XXXV. ACHELOUS.

(VIII. 619-884. IX. 1-100.)

The following tales were, according to Ovid, related in the grotto of the river-god Achelous, where that deity was entertaining Theseus and his friends, who, on their return from the hunting party of Meleager, had been detained by his swollen waters. Achelous had told his guests how he had transformed the nymph Perimêlê into an island, one of the Echinăděs : but his tale was received with incredulity by Pirithous (Ixione natus), who was one of the party. This gave rise to the narration of the following legend by Lelex.

1) Philemon and Baucis, an aged couple living in pastoral simplicity, had kindly received and hospitably entertained Jupiter and Mercury; and as a reward for this and their exemplary piety, the deities granted them their last request, and dying at the same moment which was the blessing they desired—they were changed into two trees standing side by side (v. 73–180).

2) This tale is followed by the combat of Achelõus. As Theseus desired to hear still more examples of the might of the gods, Achelous relates, from his own personal history, how he possessed the power of assuming various forms, and under these changes of shape had sustained a combat with Hercules, who was his rival suitor for the hand of Deianira, the daughter of Eneus, king of Calydon. Hercules was the most distinguished hero of the Grecian legendary world. His mother was Alcmênê, the consort of Amphitryôn, his father was Jupiter. For this, he, as the son of a paramour, was hated by Juno, who instigated and empowered an enemy to force him into the most dangerous combats (jussa novercæ, v. 204); these, however, contributed to make him the benefactor of the human race, by whom he, after his death, was honoured as a god (comp. Introd. XXXVII.). The unconquerable bravery of the child of Jupiter showed itself while he yet lay an infant in the cradle ; for Juno, in order to destroy him, sent two serpents, which, however, the child griped with both his hands, and strangled (whence cunarum labor est, &c., v. 254). Thus, too, the stream-god, Achelous, acknowledges that he was conquered by him, and deprived of one of the horns which he bore on his forehead. His horn, however, was filled by the Naiads with fruit and flowers, and consecrated to Copia (plenty).

1) PHILEMON AND BAUCIS.

est.

.“ Immensa est (certe] finemque potentia cæli Non habet, et quicquid Superi voluere, peractum

620 Quoque minus dubites : tiliæ contermina quercus

Collibus est Phrygiis, modico circumdata muro. 5 Ipse locum vidi : nam me Pelopeia Pittheus

Misit in arva, suo quondam regnata parenti.
Haud procul hinc stagnum, tellus habitabilis olim, 625
Nunc celebres mergis fulicisque palustribus undæ.

Jupiter huc specie mortali, cumque parente 10 Venit Atlantiades positis Caducifer alis.

Mille domos adiere ; locum requiemque petentes ;
Mille domos clausere seræ. Tamen una recepit, 630
Parva quidem, stipulis et canna tecta palustri ;

Sed pia Baucis anus parilique ætate Philemon 15 Illa sunt annis juncti juvenilibus, illa

Consenuere casa, paupertatemque fatendo
Effecere levem, nec iniqua mente ferendam. 635
Nec refert, dominos illic famulosne requiras :

Tota domus duo sunt, îdem parentque jubentque. 20 Ergo ubi coelicolæ parvos tetigere penates,

Submissoque humiles intrarunt vertice postes ;
Membra senex posito jussit relevare sedili, 640
Quo superinjecit textum rude sedula Baucis.

Inde foco tepidum cinerem dimovit, et ignes 25 Suscitat hesternos, foliisque et cortice sicco

Nutrit, et ad flammas anima producit anili,
Multifidasque faces ramaliaque arida tecto 645
Detulit et minuit, parvoque admovit aheno;

Quodque suus conjux riguo collegerat horto, 30 Truncat olus foliis. Furca levat ille bicorni

Sordida terga suis, nigro pendentia tigno,
Servatoque diu resecat de tergore partem 650
Exiguam, sectamque domat ferventibus undis.

Interea medias fallunt sermonibus horas,
35 Sentirique moram prohibent. Erat alveus illic

Fagineus, dura clavo suspensus ab ansa :
Is tepidis impletur aquis, artusque fovendos 655

Accipit. In medio torus est de mollibus ulvis,

Impositis lecto, sponda pedibusque salignis : 40 Vestibus hunc velant, quas non nisi tempore festo

Sternere consuerant; sed et hæc vilisque vetusque
Vestis erat, lecto non indignandą saligno. 660
Accubuere dei : mensam succincta tremensque

Ponit anus; mensæ sed erat pes tertius impar : 45 Testa parem fecit. Quæ postquam subdita clivum

Sustulit; æquatam mentæ tersere virentes.
Ponitur hic bicolor sinceræ bacca Minervæ, 665
Conditaque in liquida corna autumnalia fæce,

Intubaque et radix et lactis massa coacti, 50 Ovaque non acri leviter versata favilla :

Omnia fictilibus. Post hæc cælatus eodem
Sistitur argento crater, fabricataque fago 670
Pocula, qua cava sunt, flaventibus illita ceris.

Parva mora est, epulasque foci misere calentes. 55 Nec longæ rursus referuntur vina senectæ,

Dantque locum mensis paullum seducta secundis.
Hic nux, hic mixta est rugosis carica palmis, 675
Prunaque, et in patulis redolentia mala canistris,

Et de purpureis collectæ vitibus uvæ;
60 Candidus in medio favus est. Super omnia vultus
Accessere boni, nec iners pauperque voluntas.
Interea toties haustum cratera repleri

680 Sponte sua, per seque vident succrescere vina :

Attoniti novitate pavent, manibusque supinis 65 Concipiunt Baucisque preces timidusque Philemon, Et veniam dapibus nullisque paratibus orant.

Unicus anser erat, minimæ custodia villæ : 685 Quem dîs hospitibus domini mactare parabant.

Ille celer penna tardos ætate fatigat, 70 Eluditque diu, tandemque est visus ad ipsos Confugisse deos. Superi vetuere necari,

Dîque sumus, meritasque luet vicinia pænas 690 Impia; dixerunt, “ vobis immunibus hujus

Esse mali dabitur : modo vestra relinquite tecta, 75 Ac nostros comitate gradus, et in ardua montis

Ite simul !” Parent et, dîs præeuntibus, ambo
Membra levant baculis, tardique senilibus annis 695
Nituntur longo vestigia ponere clivo.

Tantum aberant summo, quantum semel ire sagitta 80 Missa potest : flexere oculos, et mersa palude

Cetera prospiciunt; tantum sua tecta manere.
Dumque ea mirantur, dum deflent fata suorum, 700
Illa vetus, dominis etiam casa parva duobus,

Vertitur in templum : furcas subiere columnæ, 85 Stramina flavescunt, aurataque tecta videntur,

Cælatæque fores, adopertaque marmore tellus ;-
Talia cum placido Saturnius edidit ore : 705

“Dicite, juste senex et femina conjuge justo Digna, quid optetis.” Cum Baucide pauca locutus, 90 Judicium Superis aperit commune Philemon :

“Esse sacerdotes delubraque vestra tueri Poscimus; et quoniam concordes egimus annos, 710 Auferat hora duos eadem, nec conjugis unquam

Busta meæ videam, neu sim tumulandus ab illa.” 95 Vota fides sequitur : templi tutela fuere,

Donec vita data est. Annis ævoque soluti
Ante gradus sacros cum starent forte locique 715
Narrarent casus; frondere Philemona Baucis,

Baucida conspexit senior frondere Philemon : 100 Jamque super geminos crescente cacumine vultus,

Mutua, dum licuit, reddebant dicta, “ Valeque,
O conjux !” dixere simul, simul abdita texit 720
Ora frutex. Ostendit adhuc Tyaneïus illic

Incola de gemino vicinos corpore truncos. 105 Hæc mihi nou vani-neque erat cur fallere vellent

Narravere senes; equidem pendentia vidi
Serta super ramos, ponensque recentia dixi : 725
“Cura pii Dîs sunt, et, qui coluere, coluntur.”

2) COMBAT OF ACHELOUS. Desierat, cunctosque et res et moverat auctor, 110 Thesea præcipue, quem facta audire volentem

Mira deûm nixus cubito Calydonius amnis 880
Talibus alloquitur : “Etiam mihi sæpe novandi
Corporis, o juvenes, numero finita potestas.
Nam modo, qui nunc sum, videor, modo flector in

anguem,
115 Armenti modo dux vires in cornua sumo;

Cornua, dum potui: nunc pars caret altera telo 885

Frontis, ut ipse vides.” Gemitus sunt verba secuti.
Quæ gemitus truncæque deo Neptunius heros

Causa rogat frontis ; cum sic Calydonius amnis 120 Cæpit, inornatos redimitus arundine crines :

• Triste petis munus: quis enim sua prælia victus Commemorare velit ? Referam tamen ordine! Nec tam

(ix) 5 Turpe fuit vinci quam contendisse decorum,

Magnaque dat nobis tantus solatia victor.
125 Nomine si qua suo tandem pervenit ad aures

Dežanira tuas ; quondam pulcherrima virgo
Multorumque fuit spes invidiosa procorum. 10
Cum quibus ut soceri domus est intrata petiti,

Accipe me generum,' dixi, · Parthaone nate!' 130 Dixit et Alcides ; alii cessere duobus.

Ille Jovem socerum dare se, famamque laborum,
Et superata suæ referebat jussa novercæ. 15
Contra ego, • Turpe deum mortali cedere :' dixi-
Nondum erat ille Deus :- - dominum me cernis

aquarum
135 Cursibus obliquis inter tua regna fluentem ;

Nec gener externis hospes tibi missus ab oris,
Sed popularis ero, et rerum pars una tuarum. 20
Tantum ne noceat, quod me nec regia Juno

Odit, et omnis abest jussorum pæna laborum. 140 Nam, quo te jactas, Alcmena matre, creatum, Jupiter aut falsus pater est aut crimine verus.'

Talia dicentem jamdudum lumine torvo 27 Spectat, et accensæ non fortiter imperat iræ,

Verbaque tot reddit: 'Melior mihi dextera lingua. 145 Dummodo pugnando superem, tu vince loquendo!' Congrediturque ferox. Puduit modo magna locutum

31 Cedere: rejeci viridem de corpore vestem, Brachiaque opposui, tenuique a pectore varas

In statione manus, et pugnæ membra paravi. 150 Ille cavis hausto spargit me pulvere palmis, 35

Inque vicem fulvæ tactu flavescit arenæ;
Et modo cervicem, modo crura micantia captat,
Aut captare putes, omnique a parte lacessit.
Me mea defendit gravitas, frustraque petebar,

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