Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

155 Haud secus ac moles, quam magno murmure fuctus

40 Oppugnant: manet illa, suoque est pondere tuta. Digredimur paullum, rursusque ad bella coimus, Inque gradu stetimus, certi non cedere; eratque

Cum pede pes junctus, totoque ego pectore pronus 160 Et digitos digitis et frontem fronte premebam. 45

Non aliter vidi fortes concurrere tauros,
Cum pretium pugnæ, toto nitidissima saltu
Expetitur conjux : spectant armenta paventque,

Nescia quem maneat tanti victoria regni. 165 Ter sine profectu voluit nitentia contra

50
Rejicere Alcides a se mea pectora; quarto
Excutit amplexus, adductaque brachia solvit,
Impulsumque manu-certum mihi vera fateri-

Protinus avertit tergoque onerosus inhæsit. 170 Si qua fides :-neque enim ficta mihi gloria voce 55

Quæritur :-imposito pressus mihi monte videbar.
Vix tamen inserui sudore fluentia multo
Brachia, vix solvi duros a pectore nexus :

Instat anhelanti, prohibetque resumere vires, 175 Et cervice mea potitur. Tum denique tellus 60

Pressa genu nostro est, et arenas ore momordi.

• Inferior virtute, meas devertor ad artes, Elaborque viro longum formatus in anguem.

Qui postquam flexos sinuavi corpus in orbes, 180 Cumque fero movi linguam stridore bisulcam; 65

Risit et illudens nostras Tirynthius artes,

Cunarum labor est angues superare mearum,'
Dixit, ‘et, ut vincas alios, Acheloe, dracones,

Pars quota Lernææ serpens eris unus Echidnæ? 185 Vulneribus fecunda suis erat illa, nec ullum 70

De comitum numero caput est impune recisum,
Quin gemino cervix herede valentior esset.
Hanc ego ramosam natis e cæde colubris

Crescentemque malo domui domitamque peremi: 190 Quid fore te credis, falsum qui versus in anguem 75

Arma aliena moves ? quem forma precaria celat?'

Dixerat, et summo digitorum vincula collo Injicit: angebar, ceu guttura forcipe pressus, Pollicibusque meas pugnabam evellere fauces.

P

195 Sic quoque devicto restabat tertia tauri

ε0
Forma trucis : tauro mutatus membra rebello.
Induit ille toris a læva parte lacertos.
Admissumque trahens sequitur, depressaque dura

Cornua figit humo, meque alta sternit arena. 200 Nec satis hoc fuerat: rigidum fera dextera cornu 85

Dum tenet, infregit truncaque a fronte revellit.
Naïdes hoc, pomis et odoro flore repletum,
Sacrarunt, divesque meo Bona Copia cornu est.”

Dixerat; et Nymphe, ritu succincta Dianæ, 205 Una ministrarum, fusis utrimque capillis 90

Incessit, totumque tulit prædivite cornu
Auctumnum et mensas, felicia poma, secundas.

Lux subit; et, primo feriente cacumina sole,

Discedunt juvenes: neque enim, dum flumina pacem 210 Et placidos habeant lapsus, totæque residant, 95

Opperiuntur, aquæ. Vultus Achelous agrestes,
Et lacerum cornu mediis caput abdidit undis.

Hunc tamen ablati domuit jactura decoris,
Cetera sospes habet ; capitis quoque fronde saligna
Aut super imposita celatur arundine damnum.

XXXVI. ERYSICHTHON.

(VIII. 740–880.)

From very ancient times there had been, at Dotium, a city of Thessaly, a plot of ground sacred to Ceres. In this enclosure one mighty oak, which towered over the whole wood, enjoyed special veneration, and was decorated with garlands and votive tablets (memores tabellæ, v. 8). But the impious Erysichthôn, son of the Thessalian king, Triopas, with sacrilegious hand felled the oaks of the sacred grove, for the purposeso says the legend of building himself a banqueting-hall. In all trees there lived, according to the ancient belief, wood nymphs (Dryads), whose life came to an end with the death of the tree. The Dryads complained to the goddess Ceres of the impiety of Erysichthôn, who had destroyed the goddess's grove, and with it the life of their sisters. Ceres, filled with indignation, promised them that the criminal should be punished with her vengeance : and as, when Jupiter nodded his awful head to ratify his words, the vast Olympus trembled, so, at the solemn assent of Ceres, attested by the nodding of her head, all the corn-bearing fields, which stand under the protection of the goddess, were set in tremulous motion (v. 45). She wished to punish the offender with everlasting hunger by withholding from him all her bounteous gifts ; but, being the goddess of the nourishing fruits of the earth, she cannot herself come in contact with hunger, as being the contrary of her essential nature. Accordingly, she sends away one of the nymphs to the cold north, where there are no corn-bearing fields, and where the goddess of hunger dwells. For the speedy performance of the journey she gives the nymph her own car drawn by dragons (v. 59, seq.) the same on which Triptolěmus had journeyed to spread the gifts of Ceres among the nations of the earth (comp. XXIII. 302, sqq.)—The will of the goddess is fulfilled, and Erysichthôn, into whom Famine (Fames) had breathed herself during his sleep, suffers insatiable hunger ; and, compelled by its violence, not only consumes all his goods, but, after all his property is gone, he even sells his daughter for a slave, in order to find means for appeasing his insatiable craving for food. His daughter, however, who had received from Neptune the gift of transforming herself into different shapes, returns to him again and again : but again and again the father repeats her sale ; all, however, is too little, and at last he devours his own limbs, in order to appease his hunger. The fable of Erysichthôn, like that of Narcissus (s. Introd. XVII.), belongs to the class of those myths which have a moral purpose, being intended for a warning against gluttony, which, besides estranging men from the gods, is the ruin even of their bodies themselves.

Sunt, quibus in plures jus est transire figuras; Nec minus Autolyci conjux, Erysichthone nata, 740 Juris habet. Pater hujus erat, qui numina divům

Sperneret, et nullos aris adoleret honores. 5 Ille etiam Cereale nemus violasse securi, Dicitur et lucos ferro temerasse vetustos.

Stabat in his ingens annoso robore quercus, 745 Una nemus: vittæ mediam memoresque tabellæ

Sertaque cingebant, voti argumenta potentis. 10 Sæpe sub hac Dryades festas duxere choreas,

Sæpe etiam manibus nexis ex ordine trunci
Circuïere modum; mensuraque roboris ulnas 750
Quinque ter implebat, nec non et cetera tanto

Silva sub bac, silva quanto jacet herba sub omni. 15 Non tamen iccirco ferrum Triopeius illa

Abstinuit, famulosque jubet succidere sacrum
Robur, et, ut jussos cunctari vidit, ab uno 755
Edidit hæc rapta sceleratus verba securi :

“Non dilecta deæ solum, sed et ipsa licebit 20 Sit dea : jam tanget frondente cacumine terram !”

Dixit, et, obliquos dum telum librat in ictus, Contremuit gemitumque dedit Deoïa quercus, 760 Et pariter frondes, pariter pallescere glandes

Cæpere ac longi pallorem ducere rami.
25 Cujus ut in trunco fecit manus impia vulnus;

Haud aliter fluxit discusso cortice sanguis,
Quam solet, ante aras ingens ubi victima taurus 765
Concidit, abrupta cruor e cervice profundi.

Obstupuere omnes, aliquisque ex omnibus audet 30 Deterrere nefas sævamque inhibere bipennim.

Adspicit hunc, “Mentisque piæ cape præmia !” dixit
Thessalus, inque virum convertit ab arbore ferrum,
Detruncatque caput, repetitaque robora cædit; 771

Editus e medio sonus est cum robore talis : 35 • Nympha sub hoc ego sum Cereri gratissima

ligno,
Quæ tibi factorum pænas instare tuorum
Vaticinor moriens, nostri solatia læti.”

775 Persequitur scelus ille suum, labefactaque tandem Ictibus innumeris, adductaque funibus arbor 40 Corruit, et multam prostravit pondere silvam.

Attonitæ Dryades damno nemorisque suoque :
Omnes germanæ Cererem cum vestibus atris 780
Mærentes adeunt, pænamque Erysichthonis orant.

Annuit his, capitisque sui pulcherrima motu 45 Concussit gravidis oneratos messibus agros,

Moliturque genus pænæ miserabile, si non
Ille suis esset nulli miserabilis actis,

785
Pestifera lacerare Fame.' Quæ quatenus ipsi
Non adeunda deæ :-neque enim Cereremque Fa-

memque 50 Fata coire sinunt-montani numinis unam Talibus agrestem compellat, Oreada, dictis :

Est locus extremis Scythiæ glacialis in oris, 790 Triste solum, sterilis, sine fruge, sine arbore tellus ;

Frigus iners illic habitant Pallorque Tremorque 55 Et jejuna Fames : ea se in præcordia condat

Sacrilegi scelerata, jube, nec copia rerum
Vincat eam, superetque meas certamine vires. 795
Neve viæ spatium te terreat, accipe currus,
Accipe quos frenis alte moderere dracones !”

60 Et dedit. Illa dato subvecta per aera curru

Devenit in Scythiam, rigidique cacumine montis-
Caucason appellant-serpentum colla levavit, 800
Quæsitamque Famem lapidoso vidit in agro

Unguibus et raris vellentem dentibus herbas. 65 Hirtus erat crinis, cava lumina, pallor in ore,

Labra incana situ, scabri rubigine dentes,
Dura cutis, per quam spectari viscera possent; 805
Ossa sub incurvis exstabant arida lumbis ;

Ventris erat pro ventre locus; pendere putares 70 Pectus, et a spinæ tantummodo crate teneri.

Auxerat articulos macies, genuumque tumebat
Orbis, et immodico prodibant tubere tali. 810
Hanc procul ut vidit ;--neque enim est accedere

juxta Ausa ; --refert mandata deæ, paullumque morata, 75 Quanquam aberat longe, quanquam modo venerat

illuc, Visa tamen sensisse famem ; retroque dracones Egit in Hæmoniam versis sublimis habenis. 815

Dicta Fames Cereris, quamvis contraria semper

Illius est operi, peragit, perque aera vento
80 Ad jussam delata domum est, et protinus intrat

Sacrilegi thalamos; altoque sopore solutum-
Noctis enim tempus--geminis amplectitur alis, 820
Seque viro inspirat, faucesque et pectus et ora

Afflat, et in vacuis spargit jejunia venis;
85 Functaque mandato fecundum deserit orbem,

Inque domos inopes, assueta revertitur arva.

Lenis adhuc somnus placidis Erysichthona pennis Mulcebat : petit ille dapes sub imagine somni, 826

Oraque vana movet dentemque in dente fatigat, 90 Exercetque cibo delusum guttur inani,

Proque epulis tenues nequicquam devorat auras.
Ut vero est expulsa quies ; furit ardor edendi,

830 Perque avidas fauces immensaque viscera regnat.

Nec mora, quod pontus, quod terra, quod educat aer, 95 Poscit, et appositis queritur jejunia mensis,

Inque epulis epulas quærit : quodque urbibus esse,
Quodque satis populo poterat, non sufficit uni. 835
Plusque cupit, quo plura suam demittit in alvum.

« ZurückWeiter »