Translation:Catullus 64

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Catullus 64
by Catullus, translated from Latin by Wikisource

One of Catullus' few epic poems. Tells of Ariadne's plight as Theseus leaves her. Dactylic Hexameter.

284408Catullus 64Catullus
Literal English Translation Original Latin Line

The pine trees formerly grown on Mt. Pelion's summit
are said to have floated on Neptune's clear waves
to Phasis' waters, and to King Aeëtes's lands,
when the fittest young men, the glory of Argive manpower,
hoping to steal the Golden Fleece from Colchis,
dared travel over the sea's briny waters on a swift ship
as they swept the deep blue expanse with fir-wood oars.
For them, Athena Polias, holding the citadels on the cities' summits,
made a ship that moves rapidly with a light gust of wind,
joining pinewood frameworks to a curved keel.
The Argo first drenched the virgin sea with its travel;
as soon as it ploughed the windy sea with its beak,
and the churned wave was whitened by the rowing,
the maritime Nereids raised their faces from the sparkling
whirlpool of the sea in admiration of the sight.
The mortal men saw the sea nymphs with their own eyes,
by one and no other light, standing naked
up to their breasts out of the foamy sea.
Then Peleus, inflamed, is carried away in love with Thetis,
then Thetis did not scorn human marriage,
then her father himself understands Peleus must be joined to Thetis.
O heroes, born in a time much desired by the generations,
hail, kin of the gods! O good offspring of good mothers,
hail again...!
You all, I'll address you often in my song,
especially you, so especially honored with prosperous wedding torches,
top man of Thessaly, O Peleus, to whom Jupiter himself,
himself the father of the gods, gave his mistress.
Did Thetis, the lovely Nereid, embrace you?
Did Tethys and Oceanus, who in the sea embrace the whole world,
grant you their granddaughter to marry?
When that very same longed-for day
arrived, all of Thessaly thronged to come together to the house,
and the palace was filled with joyous crowding:
they bore gifts before themselves, and show their delight by their faces.
Cieros was abandoned, and so was Phthiotic Tempe;
they left the houses of Crannon and the walls of Larisa;
they came together at Pharsalus and filled Pharsalian houses.
Nobody lived in the hinterland: the necks of young bulls had softened,
the low grapevines hadn't been cleared out with curved hoes,
no bull was tugging at the earth with a sloping plowshare,
no more did the pruners' knife cut down the shade of a tree,
but filthy rust had been accumulating on the lonely ploughs.
Yet Peleus' home, wherever the opulent palace
extended, is shining with gleaming gold and silver.
Ivory shines on the thrones, drinking cups shine on the table,
and the whole house, glittering, rejoiced in the royal treasure.
The royal marriage bed is set for the goddess
in the midst of the palace, refined with Indian tusk,
while a purple tinge covers it with the rosy stain of shellfish.
This bedspread, adorned with ancient figures of men,
shows the virtues of heroes with amazing skill.
And due to looking forth from Dia island's wave-sounding shore,
bearing wild madness in her heart, Ariadne watches
Theseus leaving with a swift fleet;
not yet does even she believe that she sees what she sees,
naturally since she, then having first awakened from deceptive sleep,
discerns herself miserable having been deserted on the lone sand.
But the forgetful, fleeing young man strikes the waters with oars,
abandoning null promises to a storm full of wind.
Whom the Minoan one far off from the seaweed with sorrowful little eyes,
She stony as a statue of Bacchus, looks forth, alas,
She looks forth and rages with great waves of cares,
not retaining the delicate headdress on the blond head,
not having been covered in respect to the chest in a light garment,
not having been bound in respect to the milky breasts with polished bra,
with all things which having slipped away from the whole body here and there
The waves of salt were playing before the feet of that one.
But neither then of the flowing cloth or of the hat
she was hanging on you, Theseus, from the whole heart,
from the whole spirit, from the whole mind having been lost.
A! The miserable one, whom with constant sorrows
frightened Eregina sowing thorny cares in the chest,
at that storm, the fierce Theseus from which time
having set out from the curved shores of Piraeus
touches the Cretan temples of the unjust king.
For once they say that Athens having been compelled by cruel plague
to pay the penalties of the blood of Androgeos,
at the same time was accustomed to give youths having been chosen
and grave of the maidens as a sacrificial meal to the Minotaur.
Now when his narrow walls were troubled by these evils,
Theseus himself for his dear Athens chose to offer his own body,
rather than that such deaths, living deaths,
of Crecopia should be borne to Crete.
And thus relying on the light ship and on the gentle breezes
he comes to great spirited Minos and proud seats.
As soon as the royal maiden caught sight of this one with a desiring eye
whom the chaste little couch emitting sweet smells
was nourishing in the soft embrace of the mother.
just as the rivers of Eurota encircle myrtles
or the spring breeze leads out distinctive colors,
not earlier she turned away from that one passionate light,
whom conceived the flame with all the body entirely
and caught fire total in the deepest marrow.
Alas wretchedly rousing the furies with savage heart,
sacred Cupid, who you mix joy with the cares of men,
and which you rule Golgos and leafy Idalium,
you throw burning girl with what type of disorderly mind
in the wave often the guest sighs!
How many times you brought those fearing with weak heart!
How great she turned pale of gold with great gleam,
with Theseus seeking to fight against the savage monster
or death or reward of praise!
Not however she in vain promising little gifts to the gods
and she undertakes prayers with a silent lip.
For just as a wild whirlwind twisting the trunk with gust
uprooting the oak tree shaking arms on the top of Taurus
or cone bearing pine tree sweating bark, that one
having been uprooted far off by the roots
falls facedown, widely breaking every conceivable thing in the way,
thus Theseus laid low the savage one with the body having been conquered
in vain throwing the horns to the empty winds.
From there the safe bent back the foot with great praise
guiding footsteps wandering to the thin string
lest the untraceable maze might trick the one
going out from the labyrinthian bendings.
But why should I having digressed from the first poem
recall more things, how the daughter leaving behind the face of the father
the embrace of the sister, and finally the embrace of the mother,
who having been destroyed utterly used to be the happy in the sad daughter
she preferred the sweet love of Theseus to all these things:
or how having ben carried by raft to the foam filled shore of Dia
she came, or the husband departing with a forgetful heart
left behind he having been bound in respect to er eyes with sleep.
Often they say that one raging with burning heart
for they say that she poured from the deepest chest clearsounding voice,
then they say that the sad one climbs the steep mountains,
from where she might stretch forth her vision into the vast swells,
then she runs forward into the opposing waves of the trembling salt
raising the soft coverings of calf having been made bare.
and they say that this very wretched one said these things with final lamentations,
producing cold sobs with a wet mouth:
Treacherous one, thus have you left me having carried away from fatherly altars,
treacherous one, you felt me on the deserted shore, Theseus?
thus, departing one with the divine will of the gods having been neglected
forgetful A! did you carry the accursed false oaths of home?
Was not anything able to bend the plan of the cruel mind?
Was there any mercy for you available,
so that a cruel heart might want to pity for us?
But did you not give these promises with a seductive voice
to me: you were not ordering for the sad one to hope for these things,
bu happy unions, but desired weddings,
all which worthless things the airy winds tear,
Now already let no woman trust a man swearing,
let none hope that the speeches of man are faithful,:
for whom while the desiring mind is eager to grasp something,
They fear to swear nothing, they spare to promise nothing.
But as soon as the lust of the desiring mind has been satisfied,
They feared the words as nothing, they care for the false oaths not at all.
Certainly I snatched you as you turned in the middle whirlwind of death,
and rather I decided to lose my brother,
than to fail you, false man, in your utmost moment of need.
For which I will be given to be torn to pieces as prey to wild beast and birds,
and I, dead, will not be buried with dirt having been thrown over.
Just what lioness produced you under the lonely crag,
what sea spat you having been conceived in foaming waves out,
which Syrtis, what rapacious Scylla, what vast Charybdis,
you who [now] gives back such rewards for a sweet life?
If our marriages had not been for you to the heart
because you were bristling the savage rules of the ancient parent
but however you were able to lead me into your seats,
I who might serve you as a slave in joyful labor,
caressing he white tracks with clear waters,
or covering your bed with purple cloth.
But why should I complain in vain to the unaware breezes,
having been terrified by evil, which having been furnished with no senses
They who are able neither to hear nor return the voices having been sent?
That one however is being turned nearly in the middle waves,
nor anyone mortal appears in the empty seaweed.
Thus even savage fortune taunting too much in the final time
begrudged ears for our complaints.
All-powerful Jupiter, if only the Athenian ships had not touched
the Cretan shores for the first time,
nor the treacherous sailor bearing dreadful tributes
for the wild bull had unbound the rope in Crete
nor would that this evil man hiding cruel plans in sweet form
had rested in our seats as a guest!
For where should I bring myself back? With what hope do I, ruined, rely?
Should I seek the Cretan mountains? But with a wide whirlpool of the sea
the savage surface separating divides.
Or should I hope for the help of the father? Whom I left behind having followed
the young man having been sprinkled with fraternal blood?
Or should I console myself with the faithful love of the husband?
Who flees bending the flexible oars in the sea?
Besides the lonely island is being inhabited by no hose,
nor an escape lies open of the sea with waves girding.
no method of flight, no hope: Everything is silent,
all things are deserted, all things show death.
Not however before the eyes will grow weak for me with death,
nor before the senses withdraw from the tired body,
I having been ruined will demand a just penalty from the gods.
And I will pray for the faith of the heavenly ones in the final hour.
Wherefore, Eumenides, punishing the deeds of men with avenging penalty,
to whom the forehead having been encircled with snaky hair
carries forth angers breathing out of the chest,
here come here, hear my complaints,
which I , alas wretched, have been compelled to bring forth
from the bottom marrows helpless, burning, blind with crazy fury.
Since such things are being born from the deepest chest,
you don't suffer our grief to wane,
but with what type of mind Theseus left me alone,
let him pollute both himself and his own with death, goddesses.
After she pour forth these voices from the sad chest,
the troubled one demanding a punishment for savage deeds,
the ruler of the heavenly ones nodded with unconquerable divine will;
by which motion, the land and the bristling seas trembled
and the universe shook the shining stars.
Theseus himself having been planted in respect to the mind with blind darkness
sent away all things with chest having forgotten.
which orders before he was holding in a steady mind
nor raising the sweet signals to the sad parent
nor he shows that he himself safe saw the Athenian port.
For once they say when Aegeus was entrusting the son leaving the walls
of the goddess with a fleet to the winds, that
he having embraced gave such orders to the youth:
"One and only son more precious to me than long life,
son, whom I am forced to send away to dubious misfortunes,
having been returned recently to me in the final end of old age,
since my fortune and your passionate courage
snatches you from uwilling me, to whom the weak eyes not yet
satisfied by the dear figure of the son.
I will not let thee go gladly with cheerful heart,
nor suffer thee to bear the tokens of prosperous fortune:
but first will bring forth many laments from my heart,
soiling my gray hairs with earth and showered dust:
thereafter will I hang dyed sails on thy roving mast,
thast so the tale of my grief and the fire that burns in my heart
may be marked by the canvas stained with Iberian azure.
But if she who dwells in holy Itonus,
who vouchsafes to defend our race and the abodes of Erechtheus,
shall grant thee to sprinkle thy right hand with the bull's blood,
then be sure that these my commands live,
laid up in thy mindful heart, and that no length of time blur them:
that as soon as thy eyes shall come within sight of our hills,
thy yardarms may lay down from them there mourning raiment,
and the twisted cordage raise a white sail:
that so I may see at once and gladly welcome the signs of joy,
when a happy hour shall set thee here in thy home again."
These charges at first did Theseus preserve with constant mind;
but then they left him, as clouds driven by the breath of the winds
leave the lofty head of the snowy mountain.
But the father, as he gazed out from his tower-top,
wasting his longing eyes in constant tear-floods,
when first he saw the canvas of the bellying sail,
threw himself headlong from the summit of the rocks,
believing Theseus destroyed by ruthless fate.
Thus bold Theseus, as he entered the chambers of his home, darkened
with mourning for his father's death, himself received such grief
as by forgetfulness of heart he had caused to the daughter of Minos.
And she the while, gazing out tearfully at the receding ship,
was revolving manifold cares in her wounded heart.
In another part of the tapestry youthful Bacchus
was wondering with the rout of Satyrs and the Nysa-born Sileni,
seeking thee, Ariadna, and fired with thy love;
. . . . . .
who then, busy here and there, were raging with frenzied mind,
while "Evoe!" they cried tumultuously, "Evoe!" shaking their heads.
Some of them were waving thyrsi with shrouded points,
some tossing about the limbs of a mangled steer,
some girding themselves with writhing serpents:
some bearing in solemn procession dark mysteries in caskets,
mysteries which the profane desire in vain to hear.
Others beat timbrels with uplifted hands,
or raised clear clashings with cymbals of rounded bronze:
many blew horns with harsh-sounding drone,
and the barbarian pipe shrilled with dreadful din.
Such were the figures that richly adorned the tapestry
which embraced and shrouded with its folds the royal couch.
Now when the Thessalian youth had gazed their fill, fixing their eager
eyes on these wonders, they began to give place to the holy gods.
Hereupon, as the west wind ruffling the quiet sea
with its breath at morn urges on the sloping waves,
when the Dawn is rising up to the gates of the travelling Sun,
the waters slowly at first, driven by gentle breeze,
step on and lightly sound with plash of laughter;
then as the breeze grows fresh they crowd on closer and closer,
and floating afar reflect a brightness from the crimson light;
so now, leaving the royal buildings of the portal,
hither and thither variously with devious feet the guests passed away.
After their departure, from the top of Pelion
came Chiron leading the way, and bearing woodland gifts.
For all the flowers that the plains bear, all that the Thessalian region
brings to birth on its mighty mountains, all the flowers
that near the river's streams the fruitful gale of warm Favonius discloses,
these he brought himself, woven in mingled garlands,
cheered with whose grateful odour the house smiled its gladness.
Forthwith Penëus is there, leaving verdant Tempe,
Tempe girt with impendent forests
[ ] to be haunted by Dorian dances;
not empty-handed, for he bore, torn up by the roots,
lofty beeches and tall bay-trees with upright stem,
and with them the nodding plane and the swaying sister
of flame-devoured Phaethon, and the tall cypress.
All these he wove far and wide around their home,
that the portal might be greenly embowered with soft foliage.
Him follows Prometheus wise of heart,
bearing the faded scars of hte ancient penalty which whilom,
his limbs bound fast to the rock with chains,
he paid, hanging from the craggy summits.
Then came the Father of the gods with his divine wife and his sons,
leaving thee, Phoebus, alone in heaven,
and with thee thine own sister who dwells in heights of Idrus;
for as thou didst, so did thy sister scorn Peleus,
nor deigned to be present at the nuptial torches of Thetis.
So when they had reclined their limbs on the white couches,
bountifully were the tables piled with varied dainties:
whilst in the meantime, swaying their bodies with palsied motion,
the Parcae began to utter soothtelling chants.
White raiment enfolding their aged limbs
robed their ankled with a crimson border;
on their snowy heads rested rosy bands,
while their hands duly plied the eternal task.
The left hand helf the distaff clothed with soft wool;
then the right hand lightly drawing out the threads
with upturned fingers shaped them, then with downward thumb
twirled the spindle poised with rounded whorl;
and so with teeth they still plucked the threads and made the work even.
Bitten ends of wool clung to their dry lips,
which had before stood out from the smooth yarn:
and at their feet soft fleeces of white-shining wool
were kept safe in baskets of osier.
They then, as they struck the wool, sang with clear voice,
and thus poured forth the Fates in divine chant.
That chant no length of time shall prove untruthful.
"O thou who crownest high renown with great deeds of virtue,
bulwark of Emathian power, famed for thy son to be,
receive the truthful oracle that on this happy day the Sisters
reveal to thee; but run ye on, drawing the woof-threads
which the fates follow, ye spindles, run.
Soon will Hesperus come to thee, Hesperus, who brings
longed-for gifts to the wedded, soon will come thy wife with happy star,
to shed over thy spirit soul-quelling love,
and join with thee languorous slumbers,
laying her smooth arms under thy strong neck.
Run, drawing the woof-threads, ye spindles, run.
No house ever harboured such loves as these;
no love ever joined lovers in such a bond
as links Thetis with Peleus, Peleus with Thetis.
Run, drawing the woof-threads, ye spindles, run.
There shall be born to you a son that knows not fear,
Achilles, known to his enemies not by his back but by his stout breast;
who right often winner in the contest of the wide-ranging race
shall outstrip the flame-feet footsteps of the flying hind.
Run, drawing the woof-threads, ye spindles, run.
Against him not a hero shall match himself in war,
when the Phrygian streams shall flow with Teucrian blood,
and the third heir of Pelops shall lay waste
the Trojan walls, with tedious war beleaguering.
Run, drawing the woof-threads, ye spindles, run.
The hero's surpassing achievements and renowned deeds
often shall mothers own at the burial of their sons,
loosing dishevelled hair from hoary head,
and marring their withered breasts with weak hands.
Run, drawing the woof-threads, ye spindles, run.
For as the husbandman cropping the thick ears of corn
under the burning sun mows down the yellow fields,
so shall he lay low with foeman's steel the bodies of the sons of Troy.
Run, drawing the woof-threads, ye spindles, run.
Witness of his great deeds of valour shall be the wave of Scamander
which pours itself forth abroad in the current of Hellespont,
whose channel he shall choke with heaps of slain corpses,
and make the deep streams warm with mingled blood.
Run, drawing the woof-threads, ye spindles, run.
Lastly, witness too shall be the prize assigned to him in death,
when the rounded barrow heaped up with lofty mound shall receive
the snowy limbs of the slaughtered maiden.
Run, drawing the woof-threads, ye spindles, run.
For so soon as Fortune shall give to the weary Achaeans power
to loose the Neptune-forged circlet of the Dardanian town,
the high tomb shall be wetted with Polyxena's blood,
who like a victim falling under the two-edged steel,
shall bend her knee and bow her headless trunk.
Run, drawing, the woof-threads, ye spindles, run.
Come then, unite the loves which your souls desire:
let the husband receive in happy bonds the goddess,
let the bride be given up—nay now!—to her eager spouse.
Run, drawing the woof-threads, ye spindles, run.
When her nurse visits her again with the morning light,
she will not be able to circle her neck with yesterday's riband;
nor shall her anxious mother, saddened by lone-lying
of an unkindly bride, give up the hope of dear descendants.
Run, drawing the woof-threads, ye spindles, run."
Such strains of divination, foreboding happiness to Peleus,
sang the Fates from prophetic breast in days of yore.
For in bodily presence of old, before religion was despised,
the heavenly ones were wont to visit pious homes of heroes,
and show themselves to mortal company.
Often the Father of the gods coming down again,
in his bright temple, when yearly feasts had come on his holy days,
saw a hundred bulls fall to the ground.
Often Liber roving on the topmost height of Parnassus
drove the Thyades crying "Evoe!" with flying hair,
when the Delphians, racing eagerly from all the town,
joyfully received the god with smoking altars.
Often in the death-bearing strife of war
Mavors or the Lady of swift Triton or the Rhamnusian Virgin
by their presence stirred up the courage of armed bands of men.
But when the earth was dyed with hideous crime,
and all men banished justice from their greedy souls,
and brothers sprinkled their hands with brothers' blood,
the son left off to mourn his parents' death,
the father wished for the death of his young son,
that he might without hindrance enjoy the flower of a young bride,
the unnatural mother impiously coupling with her unconscious son
did not fear to sin against parental gods;
then all right and wrong, confounded in impious madness,
turned from us the righteous will of the gods.
Wherefore they deign not to visit such companies,
nor endure the touch of clear daylight.

Pēliacō quondam prōgnātae vertice pīnūs
dīcuntur liquidās Neptūnī nāsse per undās
Phāsidos ad flūctūs et fīnēs Aeētaeōs,
cum lēctī iuvenēs, Argīvae rōbora pūbis,
aurātam optantēs Colchīs āvertere pellem 5
ausī sunt vada salsa citā dēcurrere puppī,
caerula verrentēs abiegnīs aequora palmīs.
Dīva quibus retinēns in summīs urbibus arcēs
ipsa levī fēcit volitantem flāmine currum,
pīnea coniungēns īnflexae texta carīnae. 10
Illa rudem cursū prīma imbuit Amphītrītēn.
     Quae simul ac rōstrō ventōsum prōscidit aequor
tortaque rēmigiō spūmīs incanduit unda,
ēmersēre fretī candentī ē gurgite vultūs
aequoreae mōnstrum Nērēides admīrantēs. 15
Illā, sīquā aliā, vīdērunt lūce marīnās
mortālēs oculīs nūdātō corpore nymphās
nūtrīcum tenus exstantēs ē gurgite cānō.
Tum Thetidis Pēleus incēnsus fertur amōre,
tum Thetis hūmānōs nōn dēspexīt hymenaeōs, 20
tum Thetidī pater ipse iugandum Pēlea sēnsit.
Ō nimis optātō saeclōrum tempore nātī
hērōes, salvēte, deum genus, ō bona mātrum
prōgeniēs, salvēte iterum [salvēte, bonārum!] 23b
Vōs ego saepe meō, vōs carmine compellābō,
tēque adeō eximiē taedīs fēlīcibus aucte 25
Thessaliae columen Pēleu, cui Iuppiter ipse,
ipse suōs dīvum genitor concessit amōrēs.
Tēne Thetis tenuit pulcherrima Nērēīne?
Tēne suam Tēthȳs concessit dūcere neptem
Ōceanusque, marī tōtum quī amplectitur orbem? 30
     Quae simul optātae fīnītō tempore lūcēs
advēnēre, domum conventū tōta frequentat
Thessalia, opplētur laetantī rēgia coetū:
dōna ferunt prae sē, dēclārant gaudia vultū.
Dēseritur Cieros, linquunt Phthīōtica Tempē 35
Crannōnisque domōs ac moenia Lārīsaea,
Pharsālum cŏĕunt, Pharsālia tēcta frequentant.
Rūra colit nēmō, mollēscunt colla iuvencīs,
nōn humilis curvīs purgātur vīnea rāstrīs,
nōn glēbam prōnō convellit vōmere taurus, 40
nōn falx attenuat frondātōrum arboris umbram,
squālida dēsertīs rōbīgō īnfertur arātrīs.
     Ipsius at sēdēs, quācumque opulenta recessit
Rēgia, fulgentī splendent aurō atque argentō.
Candet ebur soliīs, conlūcent pōcula mēnsae, 45
tōta domus gaudet rēgālī splendida gazā.
Pulvīnar vērō dīvae geniāle locātur
sēdibus in mediīs, Indō quod dente polītum
tīncta tegit roseō conchȳlī purpura fūcō.
     Haec vestis prīscīs hominum variāta figūrīs 50
hērōum mīrā virtūtēs indicat arte.
Namque fluentisonō prōspectāns lītore Dīae
Thēsea cēdentem celerī cum classe tuētur
indomitōs in corde gerēns Ariadna furōrēs,
necdum etiam sēsē quae vīsit vīsere crēdit, 55
utpote fallācī quae tunc prīmum excita somnō
dēsertam in sōlā miseram sē cernat harēnā.
Immemor at iuvenis fugiēns pellit vada rēmīs,
irrita ventōsae linquēns prōmissa procellae.
Quem procul ex algā maestīs Mīnōis ocellīs 60
saxea ut effigiēs bacchantis prōspicit, ēheu,
prōspicit et magnīs cūrārum fluctuat undīs,
nōn flāvō retinēns subtīlem vertice mitram,
nōn contecta levī uēlātum pectus amictū,
nōn teretī strophiō lactentīs vīncta papillās, 65
omnia quae tōtō dēlapsa ē corpore passim
ipsius ante pedēs fluctūs salis adlūdēbant.
Sed neque tum mitrae neque tum fluitantis amictus
illa vicem cūrāns tōtō ex tē pectore, Thēseu,
tōtō animō, tōtā pendēbat pērita mente. 70
Āh misera, adsiduīs quam lūctibus exsternāvit
spīnōsās Erycīna serēns in pectore cūrās
illā tempestāte, ferōx quō ex tempore Thēseus
ēgressus curvīs ē lītoribus Pīraeī
attigit iniūstī rēgis Gortȳnia tēcta. 75
     Nam perhibent ōlim crūdēlī peste coāctam
Androgeōnēae poenās exsolvere caedis
ēlēctōs iuvenēs simul et decus innuptārum
Cecropiam solitam esse dapem dare Mīnōtaurō.
Quis angusta malīs cum moenia vexārentur, 80
ipse suum Thēseus prō cārīs corpus Athēnīs
prōicere optāvit potius quam tālia Crētam
fūnera Cecropiae nec fūnera portārentur.
Atque ita nāve levī nītēns ac lēnibus aurīs
magnanimum ad Mīnōa venit sēdesque superbās. 85
Hunc simul ac cupidō cōnspexit lūmine virgō
rēgia, quam suāvīs exspirāns castus odōrēs
lectulus in mollī complexū mātris alēbat,
Quālēs Eurōtae prōgignunt flūmina mȳrtōs
aurave distīnctōs ēdūcit verna colōrēs, 90
nōn prius ex illō flagrantia dēclīnāvit
lūmina quam cūnctō concēpit corpore flammam
funditus atque īmīs exarsit tōta medullīs.
Heu miserē exagitāns immītī corde furōrēs,
sancte puer, cūrīs hominum quī gaudia miscēs, 95
quaeque regis Golgōs quaeque Īdalium frondōsum,
quālibus incēnsam iactāstis mente puellam
fluctibus in flāvō saepe hospite suspīrantem!
Quantōs illa tulit languentī corde timōrēs,
quantō saepe magis fulgōre expalluit aurī, 100
Cum saevum cupiēns contrā contendere mōnstrum
aut mortem appeteret Thēseus aut praemia laudis.
     Nōn ingrāta tamen frūstrā mūnuscula dīvīs
prōmittēns tacitō succendit vōta labellō.
Nam velut in summō quatientem bracchia Taurō 105
quercum aut cōnigeram sūdantī cortice pīnum
indomitus turbō contorquēns flāmine rōbur
ēruit (illa procul rādīcitus exturbāta
prōna cadit, †lātēque cum eius obvia frangēns),
sīc domitō saevum prōstrāvit corpore Thēseus 110
nēquīquam vānīs iactantem cornua ventīs.
Inde pedem sospes multā cum laude reflexit
errābunda regēns tenuī vestīgia fīlō,
nē labyrinthēīs ē flexibus ēgredientem
tēctī frūstrārētur inobservābilis error. 115
     Sed quid ego ā prīmō dēgressus carmine plūra
commemorem, ut linquēns genitōris fīlia vultum,
ut cōnsanguineae complexum, ut dēnique mātris,
quae miserā in gnātā dēperdita laetābātur,
omnibus hīs Thēsei dulcem praeoptārit amōrem, 120
Aut ut vecta ratī spūmōsa ad lītora Dīae
vēnerit, aut ut eam dēvīnctam lūmina somnō
līquerit immemorī discēdēns pectore coniunx?
Saepe illam perhibent ardentī corde furentem
clārisonās īmō fūdisse ex pectore vōcēs, 125
ac tum praeruptōs trīstem cōnscendere montēs
unde aciem in pelagī vāstōs prōtenderet aestūs,
tum tremulī salis adversās prōcurrere in undās
mollia nūdātae tollentem tegmina sūrae,
atque haec extrēmīs maestam dīxisse querēlīs, 130
frīgidulōs ūdō singultūs ōre cientem:
     "sīcine mē patriīs āvectam, perfide, ab ārīs
perfide, dēsertō līquistī in lītore, Thēseu?
Sīcine discēdēns neglectō nūmine dīvum,
immemor ā! Dēvōta domum periūria portās? 135
Nūllane rēs potuit crūdēlis flectere mentis
cōnsilium? Tibi nūlla fuit clēmentia praestō,
immīte ut nostrī vellet miserēscere pectus?
At nōn haec quondam blandā prōmissa dedistī
vōce mihī, nōn haec miserae spērāre iubēbās, 140
sed cōnūbia laeta, sed optātōs hymenaeōs,
quae cuncta aereiī discerpunt irrita ventī.
Nunc iam nūlla virō iūrantī fēmina crēdat,
nūlla virī spēret sermōnēs esse fidēlēs;
quis dum aliquid cupiēns animus praegestit apīscī, 145
nīl metuunt iūrāre, nihil prōmittere parcunt:
sed simul ac cupidae mentis satiāta libīdō est,
dicta nihil metuēre, nihil periūria cūrant.
Certē ego tē in mediō versantem turbine lētī
ēripuī, et potius germānum āmittere crēvī, 150
quam tibi fallācī suprēmō in tempore dēssem.
Prō quō dīlaceranda ferīs dabor ālitibusque
praeda, neque iniactā tumulābor mortua terrā.
Quaenam tē genuit sōlā sub rūpe leaena,
quod mare conceptum spūmantibus exspuit undīs, 155
quae Sȳrtis, quae Scylla rapāx, quae vāsta Carybdis,
tālia quī reddis prō dulcī praemia vītā?
Sī tibi nōn cordī fuerant cōnūbia nostra,
saeva quod horrebās prīscī praecepta parentis,
attamen in vestrās potuistī dūcere sēdēs, 160
quae tibi iūcundō famulārer serva labōre,
candida permulcēns liquidīs vestīgia lymphīs,
purpureāve tuum cōnsternēns veste cubīle.
     Sed quid ego ignārīs nēquīquam conquerar aurīs,
externāta malō, quae nūllīs sēnsibus auctae 165
nec missās audīre queunt nec reddere vōcēs?
Ille autem prope iam mediīs versātur in undīs,
nec quisquam appāret vacuā mortālis in algā.
Sīc nimis īnsultāns extrēmō tempore saeva
fors etiam nostrīs invīdit questibus aurīs. 170
     Iuppiter omnipotēns, utinam nē tempore prīmō
Gnōsia Cecropiae tetigissent lītora puppēs,
indomitō nec dīra ferēns stīpendia taurō
perfidus in Crētam religāsset nāvita fūnem,
nec malus hic cēlāns dulcī crūdēlia fōrmā 175
cōnsilia in nostrīs requiesset sēdibus hospes!
Nam quō mē referam? Quālī spē perdita nītor?
Īdaeōsne petam montēs? At gurgite lātō
discernēns pontī truculentum dīvidit aequor.
An patris auxilium spērem? Quemne ipsa relīquī 180
respersum iuvenem frāternā caede secūta?
coniugis an fīdō cōnsōler mēmet amōre?
Quīne fugit lentōs incurvāns gurgite rēmōs?
Praetereā nūllō colitur sōla īnsula tēctō,
nec patet ēgressus pelagī cingentibus undīs. 185
Nūlla fugae ratiō, nūlla spēs: omnia mūta,
omnia sunt dēserta, ostentant omnia lētum.
Nōn tamen ante mihī languēscent lūmina morte,
nec prius ā fessō sēcēdent corpore sēnsūs,
quam iūstam a dīvīs exposcam prōdita multam 190
caelestumque fidem postrēmā comprecer hōrā.
     Quārē facta virum multantēs vindice poenā
Eumenidēs, quibus anguīnō redimīta capillō
frōns exspīrantīs praeportat pectoris īrās,
hūc hūc adventāte, meās audīte querellās, 195
quās ego, vae misera, extrēmīs prōferre medullīs
cōgor inops, ardēns, āmentī caeca furōre.
Quae quoniam vērae nāscuntur pectore ab īmō,
vōs nōlīte patī nostrum vānēscere lūctum,
sed quālī sōlam Thēseus mē mente relīquit, 200
tālī mente, deae, fūnestet sēque suōsque."
     Hās postquam maestō prōfūdit pectore vōcēs,
supplicium saevīs exposcēns anxia factīs,
annuit invictō caelestum nūmine rēctor;
quō mōtū tellūs atque horrida contremuērunt 205
aequora concussitque micantia sīdera mundus.
Ipse autem caecā mentem cālīgine Thēseus
cōnsitus oblītō dīmīsit pectore cūncta,
quae mandāta prius cōnstantī mente tenēbat,
dulcia nec maestō sustollēns signa parentī 210
sospitem Erechthēum sē ostendit vīsere portum.
     Namque ferunt ōlim, classī cum moenia dīvae
linquentem gnātum ventīs concrēderet Aegeus,
tālia complexum iuvenī mandāta dedisse:
"gnāte mihī longā iūcundior ūnice vītā, 215
gnāte, ego quem in dubiōs cōgor dīmittere cāsūs,
reddite in extrēmā nūper mihi fīne senectae,
quandoquidem fortūna mea ac tua fervida virtūs
ēripit invītō mihi tē, cui languida nōndum
lūmina sunt gnātī cārā saturāta figūrā, 220
nōn ego tē gaudēns laetantī pectore mittam,
nec tē ferre sinam fortūnae signa secundae,
sed prīmum multās exprōmam mente querellās,
cānitiem terrā atque īnfūsō pulvere foedāns,
inde infecta vagō suspendam lintea mālō, 225
nostrōs ut lūctūs nostraeque incendia mentis
carbasus obscūrāta dicet ferrūgine Hibērā.
quod tibi sī sanctī concesserit incola Itōnī,
quae nostrum genus ac sēdēs dēfendere Erecthēī
annuit, ut taurī respergās sanguine dextram, 230
tum vērō facitō ut memorī tibi condita corde
haec vigeant mandāta, nec ūlla oblitteret aetās;
ut simul ac nostrōs invīsent lūmina collis,
fūnestam antennae dēpōnant undique vestem,
candidaque intortī sustollant vēla rudentēs, 235
quam prīmum cernēns ut laetā gaudia mente
agnōscam, cum tē reducem aetās prospera sistet."
     Haec mandāta prius cōnstantī mente tenentem
Thēsea ceu pulsae ventōrum flāmine nūbēs
āereum niveī montis līquēre cacūmen. 240
At pater, ut summā prōspectum ex arce petēbat,
anxia in assiduōs absūmēns lūmina flētūs,
cum prīmum infectī cōnspexit lintea vēlī,
praecipitem sēsē scopulōrum ē vertice iēcit,
āmissum crēdēns immītī Thēsea fātō. 245
Sīc fūnesta domūs ingressus tēcta paterna
morte ferōx Thēseus, quālem Mīnōidi lūctum
obtulerat mente immemorī, tālem ipse recēpit.
Quae tum prōspectāns cēdentem maesta carīnam
multiplicēs animō voluēbat saucia cūrās. 250
     At parte ex aliā flōrēns volitābat Ĭacchus
cum thiasō Satyrōrum et Nȳsigenīs Sīlēnīs,
tē quaerēns, Ariadna, tuōque incēnsus amōre. 253
. . . . . . . . . . .
quae tum alacrēs passim lymphātā mente furēbant
euhoe bacchantēs, euhoe capita inflectentēs. 255
     Harum pars tecta quatiebant cuspide thyrsos,
pars e divolso iactabant membra iuvenco,
pars sese tortis serpentibus incingebant,
pars obscura cavis celebrabant orgia cistis,
orgia quae frustra cupiunt audire profani; 260
plangebant aliae proceris tympana palmis,
aut tereti tenvis tinnitus aere ciebant;
multis raucisonos efflabant cornua bombos
barbaraque horribili stridebat tibia cantu.
     Talibus amplifice vestis decorata figuris 265
puluinar complexa suo velabat amictu.
quae postquam cupide spectando Thessala pubes
expleta est, sanctis coepit decedere divis.
hic, qualis flatu placidum mare matutino
horrificans Zephyrus proclivas incitat undas, 270
Aurora exoriente vagi sub limina Solis,
quae tarde primum clementi flamine pulsae
procedunt leviterque sonant plangore cachinni,
post vento crescente magis magis increbescunt,
purpureaque procul nantes ab luce refulgent: 275
sic tum vestibuli linquentes regia tecta
ad se quisque vago passim pede discedebant.
     Quorum post abitum princeps e vertice Pelei
advenit Chiron portans siluestria dona:
nam quoscumque ferunt campi, quos Thessala magnis 280
montibus ora creat, quos propter fluminis undas
aura parit flores tepidi fecunda Favoni,
hos indistinctis plexos tulit ipse corollis,
quo permulsa domus iucundo risit odore.
confestim Penios adest, viridantia Tempe, 285
Tempe, quae silvae cingunt super impendentes,
Minosim linquens Doris celebranda choreis,
non vacuos: namque ille tulit radicitus altas
fagos ac recto proceras stipite laurus,
non sine nutanti platano lentaque sorore 290
flammati Phaethontis et aerea cupressu.
haec circum sedes late contexta locauit,
vestibulum ut molli velatum fronde vireret.
post hunc consequitur sollerti corde Prometheus,
extenuata gerens veteris vestigia poenae, 295
quam quondam silici restrictus membra catena
persoluit pendens e verticibus praeruptis.
inde pater diuum sancta cum coniuge natisque
advenit caelo, te solum, Phoebe, relinquens
unigenamque simul cultricem montibus Idri: 300
Pelea nam tecum pariter soror aspernata est,
nec Thetidis taedas voluit celebrare iugales.
     Qui postquam niveis flexerunt sedibus artus
large multiplici constructae sunt dape mensae,
cum interea infirmo quatientes corpora motu 305
veridicos Parcae coeperunt edere cantus.
his corpus tremulum complectens undique vestis
candida purpurea talos incinxerat ora,
at roseae niveo residebant vertice vittae,
aeternumque manus carpebant rite laborem. 310
laeua colum molli lana retinebat amictum,
dextera tum leviter deducens fila supinis
formabat digitis, tum prono in pollice torquens
libratum tereti versabat turbine fusum,
atque ita decerpens aequabat semper opus dens, 315
laneaque aridulis haerebant morsa labellis,
quae prius in leui fuerant exstantia filo:
ante pedes autem candentis mollia lanae
vellera uirgati custodibant calathisci.
haec tum clarisona pellentes vellera voce 320
talia divino fuderunt carmine fata,
carmine, perfidiae quod post nulla arguet aetas.
     "O decus eximium magnis virtutibus augens,
Emathiae tutamen, Opis carissime nato,
accipe, quod laeta tibi pandunt luce sorores, 325
veridicum oraclum: sed uos, quae fata sequuntur,
currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.
     Adveniet tibi iam portans optata maritis
Hesperus, adveniet fausto cum sidere coniunx,
quae tibi flexanimo mentem perfundat amore, 330
languidulosque paret tecum coniungere somnos,
leuia substernens robusto bracchia collo.
currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.
     Nulla domus tales umquam contexit amores,
nullus amor tali coniunxit foedere amantes, 335
qualis adest Thetidi, qualis concordia Peleo.
currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.
     Nascetur vobis expers terroris Achilles,
hostibus haud tergo, sed forti pectore notus,
qui persaepe vago victor certamine cursus 340
flammea praeuertet celeris vestigia ceruae.
currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.
     Non illi quisquam bello se conferet heros,
cum Phrygii Teucro manabunt sanguine
Troicaque obsidens longinquo moenia bello, 345
periuri Pelopis vastabit tertius heres.
currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.
     Illius egregias virtutes claraque facta
saepe fatebuntur gnatorum in funere matres,
cum incultum cano solvent a uertice crinem, 350
putridaque infirmis variabunt pectora palmis.
currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.
     Namque velut densas praecerpens messor aristas
sole sub ardenti flauentia demetit arua,
Troiugenum infesto prosternet corpora ferro. 355
currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.
     Testis erit magnis virtutibus unda Scamandri,
quae passim rapido diffunditur Hellesponto,
cuius iter caesis angustans corporum aceruis
alta tepefaciet permixta flumina caede. 360
Currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.
     Denique testis erit morti quoque reddita praeda,
cum teres excelso coaceruatum aggere bustum
excipiet niveos perculsae virginis artus.
currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi. 365
     Nam simul ac fessis dederit fors copiam Achiuis
urbis Dardaniae Neptunia solvere uincla,
alta Polyxenia madefient caede sepulcra;
quae, velut ancipiti succumbens victima ferro,
proiciet truncum summisso poplite corpus. 370
currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi.
     Quare agite optatos animi coniungite amores.
accipiat coniunx felici foedere diuam,
dedatur cupido iam dudum nupta marito.
currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi. 375
     Non illam nutrix orienti luce revisens
hesterno collum poterit circumdare filo, 377
anxia nec mater discordis maesta puellae 379
secubitu caros mittet sperare nepotes. 380
Currite ducentes subtegmina, currite, fusi."
     Talia praefantes quondam felicia Pelei
carmina divino cecinerunt pectore Parcae.
Praesentes namque ante domos invisere castas
heroum, et sese mortali ostendere coetu, 385
caelicolae nondum spreta pietate solebant.
saepe pater divum templo in fulgente reuisens,
annua cum festis venissent sacra diebus,
conspexit terra centum procumbere tauros.
saepe uagus Liber Parnasi vertice summo 390
Thyiadas effusis evantis crinibus egit,
cum Delphi tota certatim ex urbe ruentes
acciperent laeti divum fumantibus aris.
saepe in letifero belli certamine Mauors
aut rapidi Tritonis era aut Amarunsia virgo 395
armatas hominum est praesens hortata cateruas.
sed postquam tellus scelere est imbuta nefando
iustitiamque omnes cupida de mente fugarunt,
perfudere manus fraterno sanguine fratres,
destitit extinctos gnatus lugere parentes, 400
optauit genitor primaeui funera nati,
liber ut innuptae poteretur flore novercae,
ignaro mater substernens se impia nato
impia non verita est diuos scelerare penates.
omnia fanda nefanda malo permixta furore 405
iustificam nobis mentem avertere deorum.
quare nec talis dignantur visere coetus,
nec se contingi patiuntur lumine claro.