« ZurückWeiter »
Excipit hunc Nessus, “Neque enim moriemur in
ulti !” 30 Secum ait, et calido velamina tincta cruore Dat munus raptæ, velut irritamen amoris.
Longa fuit medii mora temporis, actaque magni Herculis implerant terras odiumque novercæ. 135
Victor ab Echalia Cenæo sacra parabat
Deïanira, tuas, quæ veris addere falsa
140 Credit amans, Venerisque novæ perterrita fama 40 Indulsit primo lacrimis, flendoque dolorem
Diffudit miseranda suam; mox deinde, “Quid autem,
145 Dum licet, et nondum thalamos tenet altera nostros ! 45 Conquerar, an sileam ? Repetam Calydona, mo
Femineusque dolor, jugulata pellice testor ?"
Prætulit imbutam Nesseo sanguine vestem
Ipsa suos tradit, blandisque miserrima verbis,
Tura dabat primis et verba precantia flammis, Vinaque marmoreas patera fundebat in aras : 160
Incaluit vis illa mali, resolutaque flammis 60 Herculeos abiit late diffusa per artus.
Dum potuit, solita gemitum virtute repressit;
165 Nec mora, letiferam conatur scindere vestem : 65 Qua trahitur, trahit illa cutem,- fædumque relatu,
Aut hæret membris frustra tentata revelli,
Aut laceros artus et grandia detegit ossa.
Tincta lacu, stridit coquiturque ardente veneno. 70 Nec modus est : sorbent avidæ præcordia flammæ,
Cæruleusque fluit toto de corpore sudor,
“ Cladibus," exclamat, “Saturnia, pascere nostris ! 75 Pascere, et hanc pestem specta, crudelis, ab alto,
Corque ferum satia ; vel si miserandus et hosti,-
Busirin domui, sævoque alimenta parentis
185 Vosne, manus, validi pressistis cornua tauri? 85 Vestrum opus Elis habet, vestrum Stymphalides
Nec mihi Centauri potuere resistere, nec mî 90 Arcadiæ vastator aper; nec profuit Hydræ Crescere per
damnum geminasque resumere vires ? Quid, quod Thracis equos, humano sanguine
pingues, Plenaque corporibus laceris præsepia vidi, 195
Visaque dejeci, dominumque ipsosque peremi ? 95 His elisa jacet moles Nemeæa lacertis ;
Hac cælum cervice tuli. Defessa jubendo est
Nec telis armisque potest : pulmonibus errat 100 Ignis edax imis, perque omnes pascitur artus.
At valet Eurystheus :-et sunt, qui credere possint
Corpore fixa gerat, factique refugerit auctor. 105 Sæpe illum gemitus edentem, sæpe trementem,
Sæpe retentantem totas infringere vestes,
Ecce, Lichan trepidum et latitantem rupe cavata 110 Adspicit; utque dolor rabiem collegerat omnem,
“ Tune, Licha,” dixit, “ feralia dona dedisti?
Dicentem genibusque manus adhibere parantem 115 Corripit Alcides, et terque quaterque rotatum
Mittit in Euboicas, tormento fortius, undas.
Inde nives fieri, nivibus quoque mole rotatis 120 Adstringi et spissa glomerari grandine corpus :
Sic illum validis jactum per inane lacertis,
Nunc quoque in Euboico scopulus brevis eminet alte 125 Gurgite, et humanæ servat vestigia formæ :
Quem, quasi sensurum, nautæ calcare verentur,
Inque pyram structis, arcum pharetramque capacem, 130 Regnaque visuras iterum Trojana sagittas
Ferre jubes Pæante satum, quo flamma ministro
Sternis, et imposita clavæ cervice recumbis, 135 Haud alio vultu, quam si conviva jaceres
Inter plena meri redimitus pocula sertis.
Jamque valens et in omne latus diffusa sonabat, Securosque artus contemtoremque petebat 240
Flamma suum : timuere dei pro vindice terræ. 140 Quos ita-sensit enim-læto Saturnius ore
Jupiter alloquitur: “Nostra est timor iste voluptas, o Superi, totoque libens mihi pectore grator,
Quod memoris populi dicor rectorque paterque, 245
Et mea progenies vestro quoque tuta favore est. 145 Nam quanquam ipsius datis hoc immanibus actis ;
Obligor ipse tamen. Sed enim, ne pectora vano
Nec nisi materna Vulcanum parte potentem 150 Sentiet: æternum est, a me quod traxit, et expers
Atque immune necis, nullaque domabile flamma.
Dîs fore confido. Si quis tamen Hercule, si quis 155 Forte deo doliturus erit, data præmia nolet ;
Sed meruisse dari sciet, invitusque probabit!"
Assensere dei ; conjux quoque regia visa est Cetera non duro, duro tamen ultima vultu 260
Dicta tulisse Jovis, seque indoluisse notatam. 160 Interea, quodcumque fuit populabile flammæ,
Mulciber abstulerat: nec cognoscenda remansit
Utque novus serpens, posita cum pelle senecta, 165 Luxuriare solet squamaque nitere recenti :
Sic, ubi mortales Tirynthius exuit artus,
Quem pater omnipotens, inter cava nubila raptum, 170 Quadrijugo curru radiantibus intulit astris.
XXXVIII. ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE.
(X. 1-151. XI. 1–66.)
Orpheus was one of the earliest bards of Greece, and bore an early and important part in civilizing the inhabitants of that country. The legend makes him the son of the Muse Calliope and the god Apollo, from whom he received the melodious lyre, which he furnished with nine instead of seven strings. Others say, that Eagrus, the Thracian river-god and king, was the father of Orpheus. At all events his home was in the north of Greece. His teaching, as well in relation to religious faith and usages as to moral practice and the conduct of life, remained long operative among the early Grecian races, and even in later times the wisdom of the so-called Orphic schools stood in high esteem. The power of his song was so great, that, as the fable says, he was able to touch and draw to himself not only wild beasts, but also trees and rocks : a symbolical signification of the power of truth, which his instructive song impressed on the rough spirits of men, who previously were like wild beasts, but through him became civilized.--According to the legend his wife was the nymph Eurydịcê. The omens at his nuptials were unfavorable. Hymenæus, the god of marriage, appeared indeed at the call of the bard, but did not favour the union (with this the tale begins). Orpheus loses his consort by an early death, occasioned by the bite of a serpent. Mighty as was in other respects the power of his song, he could not call the dead back again to life. The thought of this, perhaps, gave rise to the fable, that he betook himself to the under-world, in order to beg back his wife from Pluto. The king of the shades, and all the dwellers of the under-world, were touched by his song (even the two vultures ceased from tearing the ever-growing liver of Tityos, v. 43). But Orpheus could not fulfil the condition of not turning round, during his toilsome return, to look upon his beloved consort; hence, the condition of her delivery being broken, she was forced to remain in the realm of death. Orpheus too, adds Ovid, would have gone back thither again, had not Charon (Portitor, v. 66) stopt him from doing this. The wretched end of his life Ovid attributes to his having, after the death of Eurydicê, shunned and slighted the female sex, For this supposed wrong, some women who were celebrating the festival of Bacchus, attacked him with bacchanalian fury and tore him to pieces, just as Pentheus had been torn to pieces by the women of Thebes (XVIII.). The foundation of this legend, perhaps, rests on this,—that the religious doctrines of Orpheus and his school were opposed to the worship of Bacchus, by which, however, they were displaced.
immensum croceo velatus amictu
Affuit ille quidem ; sed nec sollennia verba, 5 Nec lætos vultus, nec felix attulit omen;
Fax quoque, quam tenuit, lacrimoso stridula fumo
herbas Dum nova Naïadum turba comitata vagatur, 10 Occidit in talum serpentis dente recepto.
Quam satis ad superas postquam Rhodopeïus auras