§ 1 CIRIS
Tossed though I am, this way and that, by love of renown, and knowing full well that the fickle throng's rewards are vain; though the Attic garden, breathing forth sweet fragrance, enwraps me in fine-flowering Wisdom's verdant shade, so that my mind is fain to go in quest of a song worthy thereof, prepared though she is for far different tasks and far different toils — she has looked aloft to the stars of the mighty firmament, and has dared to climb the hill that has found favour with few — yet I will not cease to fulfil the task I have begun, wherein I pray that my Muses may find their due repose, and lightly lay aside that seductive love.
But if, O Messalla, thou
§ 35 Such is the goddess' sail, borne at the solemn season, and on such wise, most learned youth, would I fain enweave thee, amid roseate suns, and the moon's white star, that makes heaven throb with her celestial chariot, into a great poem on Nature, so that unto late ages our page might speak thy name, linked in song with Wisdom's theme. But seeing that now for the first time our infant efforts are turned to such high arts, since now first we are making strong our youthful sinews, this theme, nevertheless — 'tis all we can offer — whereon we have spent life's earliest schooling, and the years of our youth — do thou meanwhile accept, a gift wrought by me with many a toilsome vigil, a vow long promised and now at last fulfilled. 'Tis the story of how, once upon a time, unfilial Scylla, frenzied by love's portents, saw in the sky aloft strange gatherings of birds, and, mounting the heaven on slender pinion, hovered on azure wings above her home, paying this penalty, accursed one, for the crimson lock, and for the utter uprooting of her father's city.
§ 54 Many great poets tell us, Messalla (for let us confess the truth: 'tis truth Polyhymnia loves) that she, with limbs changed to far different form, haunted the rock of Scylla with her voracious bulk. She it is, they say, of whom we read in the toils of Ulysses, how that, with howling monsters girt about her white waist, she often harried the Ithacan barques and in the swirling depths tore asunder with her sea-dogs the sailors she had clutched. But neither do Homer's pages suffer us to credit this tale nor does he who is the pernicious source — of those poets' sundry mistakes. For various writers have commonly feigned various maidens as the Scyllas named by Colophon's Homer. He himself says that Crataeis was her mother; but whether Crataeis or Echidna bare that twy-formed monster; or whether neither was her mother, and throughout the poem she but portrays the sin of lustfulness and love's incontinence, or whether, transformed through scattered poisons, the luckless maiden (luckless, I say, for of what wrong had she been guilty? Father Neptune himself had embraced the frightened maid on the lonely strand, and broken his conjugal vow to chaste Amphitrite) beheld awful shapes plant themselves about her: — how often, alas! did she marvel and grow pale at her strange limbs! how often, alas! did she turn in terror from her own baying! but still long afterwards she exacted penalty, for when the delight of his consort was riding upon the deep, she herself confounded the savage sea with much blood — or whether, as 'tis said, seeing that she excelled all women in beauty, and in avarice made wanton havoc of her eager lovers, she of a sudden became fenced about with fell fishes and dogs, for that she, a woman, dared to defraud the powers divine, and to withhold from Venus the vow-appointed price, even the payment which a base harlot, encompassed by a thronging crowd of youths, and stirred with a wild and savage spirit, had imposed upon her lovers — that by this report she was with reason defamed, Pachynus has learned and so bears witness, speaking by the lips of Venus, queen of Old Paphos: — whatsoever and howsoever each has spoken of such disastrous state, 'tis all dreams: rather let the Ciris become known, and not a Scylla — who was but one of many maidens.
§ 92 Therefore, ye divine Muses, who, when I essayed to put forth my abstruse songs, granted me the high rewards I craved — ye, whose pure columns not seldom are stained by the altar-offerings that I bring; at whose temple-doors the hyacinths yield their bloom, or the sweet blushing narcissus, or the crocus and lilies, blended with alternate marigolds, and on whose threshold are scattered blooming roses — now come, ye goddesses, now breathe a special grace upon this toil, and crown this fresh scroll with glory immortal!
§ 101 Near to the home of Pandion lie cities between the Attic hills and Theseus' gleaming shores, smiling from afar with their roseate shells; and, worthy to yield to none of these in repute, stands Megara, whose walls were reared by the toil of Alcathous — by the toil of Alcathous and Phoebus, for him the god aided; whence too the stones, imitating the lyre's shrill notes, often, when smitten, re-echo Cyllene's murmurs, and in their sound attest the ancient love of Phoebus. This city the prince who in those days was eminent above others in arms, even Minos, had ravaged and laid waste with his fleet, because Polyidos, fleeing from the Carpathian sea and the streams of Caeratea, had taken shelter in the ancestral home of Nisus. Seeking to win him back in war, the Gortynian hero was strewing the Attic land with Cretan arrows. But neither in that hour do the citizens, nor in that hour does the king himself, fear to strike down the troops that flock in hostile band to the walls, or valorously to blunt the spirit of the unconquered foe, since it is enough to remember the answer of the gods. For surmounting the king's head (wondrous to tell) uprose white hair (the temples were decked with laurel), and midway on its crown was a roseate lock. As long as this preserved its nature, so long had the Fates, voicing in unison their fixed will, given assurance that Nisus' country and kingdom would be secure. Thus all their care was centred in that hoary hair, which, adorned in wonted fashion, a golden buckle and close roll bound with a cicada's shapely clasp.
§ 129 Ay truly would this defence of the city have been vain (nor had it been) were it not that Scylla, swept away by fresh madness — Scylla, who proved to be the ruin of her hapless father and her fatherland — gaped and gazed upon Minos, ah! with too passionate eyes. But that mischievous boy, whom, when angered, neither his mother could sway, nor he, who was at once father and father's father, even Jupiter (he even quelled Punic lions, and taught the stout strength of tigers to soften; he even taught gods and men — but too large is the theme!), that same tiny boy at this time whetted the stern wrath of mighty Juno, whose home, forbidden to all, the perjured maid (perjuries goddesses remember from of old, yet remember long!) had unwittingly profaned; for, as she was engaging in the goddess' rites, she indulged in a frolic, and went far beyond the band of matrons and her companions, rejoicing in the ungirdled robe that plays about her body, and throwing loose its swelling folds, as the North wind tosses it about. Not yet had the fire tasted the holy offerings; not yet had the priestess bathed in the wonted water and adorned her head with pale olive-leaves, when the ball slipped away from her hands, and as it rebounds the maiden runs forward. Would that thou hadst not been beguiled by play, and hadst not loosened the golden robe on thy slender body! O would that thou hadst ever with thee all thy apparel, which might have kept back thy steps and stayed thy course! Never would thy hand have profaned the sanctuary of the goddess, nor wouldst thou, unhappy one, with an oath have made vain expiation! And yet who would suppose that perjury had been thy bane.
§ 157 There is a righteous plea: Juno feared to show thee to her brother. But that fickle god (by whom whatever falsehood lurks in any spoken word is ever sought for punishment), drawing golden shafts from his gleaming quiver (ah! too much terror does the Tirynthian awake at sight of them!), had lodged them all in the maiden's gentle heart. Soon as she drank the fire into her thirsty veins, and caught deep within her marrow the potent frenzy, even as a fierce Thracian woman in the chill lands of the Edonians, or as a priestess of Cybele, inspired by barbaric box-wood flute, the luckless maid raves through the city. No balsam of Ida adorns her fragrant locks, no scarlet shoes of Sicyon protect her tender feet, no collar of pearls keeps she upon her snowy neck. Ever do her feet hurry to and fro in uncertain course; oft she returns, forlorn one, to climb her father's walls, and makes the plea that she is visiting the lofty towers; oft too at night, when pondering bitter complaints, from her high palace-home she watches for her love, and gazes forth to the camp, ablaze with frequent fires. Naught she knows of the distaff, she cares not for precious gold, the tuneful harp rings not with its slender strings, the loom's soft threads are smitten not with the Libyan comb. No blush is on her cheeks; for in a blush love finds a bar. And when for ills so great she finds no comfort, and sees slow-wasting death steal o'er her frame, she fares whither anguish summons her, whither the fates compel her to hasten, and by awful frenzy is she driven headlong, so that, severing it with stealth and cunning from her father's head, she — mad girl — might send the shorn lock to the foe. For to the unhappy girl are offered these terms alone — or perchance in ignorance she did the deed (what good man would not believe anything rather than convict the maid of such a crime?), yet alas! unblest was she: for what doth folly avail?
§ 191 O Nisus, father, who, when thy city has been cruelly despoiled, shalt have scarcely one home left in lofty turrets, where in weariness thou canst settle in thy high-built nest, thou too as a bird shalt be feared; thy daughter shall pay thee thy due. Rejoice, ye swift creatures, that rest upon the lofty clouds, ye that dwell upon the sea, that dwell in green woods and echoing groves, rejoice, ye sweet birds that widely roam; yea, and ye too whose human limbs are changed by cruel law of the fates, ye Daulian maids, rejoice; there comes one beloved by you, swelling the ranks of her royal kindred, even Ciris and her father himself. Do ye, O forms once most fair, outstrip the clouds of heaven, and fly to the skies, where the new sea-eagle will climb to the homes of the gods, and the fair Ciris to the honours granted her.
§ 206 And now, even now, the eyes of Nisus were fast bound in sweet sleep, and at the entrance doors hard by, with vain zeal the sentries on guard were keeping watch, when Scylla, stealthily descending from her silent couch, with straining ears essays the silence of night, and checking her sobs, catches at the fine air. Then, poising her feet on tip-toe, she passes without and fares forth, her hand armed with two-edged shears; but failure of strength in her sudden terror first bears witness of her misdeeds to the shades of heaven. For where the path led to her father's threshold, she lingers a moment at the chamber-entrance, and glances up at high heaven's flickering stars, promising gifts that win no acceptance with the righteous gods.
§ 220 Soon as aged Carme, daughter of Ogygian Phoenix, took note of her rising (for she had heard the creaking of the bronze hinge on the marble threshold), straightway she seizes the faint and weary maid, and therewith cries: 'O precious foster-child, whom we revere, 'tis not without reason that throughout thy frame a sallow paleness pours its thin blood through thy feverish veins, nor has light trouble forced thee — nay, it could not — to this deed, or else I am deceived: and O Rhamnusian maid, rather may I be deceived! For why else shall I say thou touchest neither the cups of sweet Bacchus nor the teeming fruits of Ceres? Why watchest thou alone by thy father's bed in that hour, when the hearts of men rest from weary cares, when even rivers stay their swift course? Come, tell now at least thy poor nurse that which, oft as I have besought thee, thou hast sworn means naught — why, unhappy maid, thou lingerest near thy father's beauteous locks? Ah me! may it not be that that madness has assailed thy limbs, which once took captive the eyes of Arabian Myrrha so that in monstrous sin (which Adrastea forbid!) thou shouldst be fain by one folly to wrong both parents! But if by some other passionate love thou art swayed (for that thou art, not so strange to me is the Amathusian, that I cannot learn this by some sign), if a lawful flame wastes thee with familiar flame, I swear to thee by the divine presence of Dictyna, who, first of the gods in my eyes, granted me a sweet foster-child in thee, that sooner shall I face all toils, thousands meet and unmeet, than suffer thee to pine away in such sad wretchedness and in such affliction.' Thus she cries, and, clad as she was in soft raiment, she casts her garb about the shivering maid, who before had stood, high-girt, in light saffron robe. Then, imprinting sweet kisses on her tear-bedewed cheeks, she earnestly seeks the causes of her wasting misery, yet suffers her not to make aught of reply, until, all trembling, she has withdrawn her marble-cold feet within.
§ 257 Then cries the maid: 'Why, dear nurse, dost thou thus torture me? Why so eager to know my madness? 'Tis no love common to mortals that inflames me; 'tis not the faces of friends that draw toward them my eves, 'tis not my father who is thus loved: nay more, I hate them all! This soul of mine, O nurse, loves naught that should be loved, naught wherein there lurks, albeit vain, some ghost of natural regard, but loves from midst the ranks of war, from midst our foes. Alas! Alas! What can I say? With what speech can I, sad one, launch forth upon this woe? Yet surely I will speak, since thou, O nurse, dost not permit me to be silent: this take thou as my last dying gift. Yonder foe, who, thou seest, is seated before our walls, to whom the Sire himself of the gods has given the glory of sceptre, and to whom the Fates have granted that he suffer from no wound (I must speak; vainly with my words do I travel round the whole story), 'tis he, 'tis he, that same Minos, that doth besiege my heart. O, I entreat thee by the many loves of the gods, and by thy heart, revered by me, thy mindful foster-child, do thou rather save me, if thou canst, and not destroy me. But if hope of the salvation I crave be cut off, grudge me not, dear nurse, the death I have deserved. For, good Carme, had not a perverse, yea, a perverse chance or god, brought thee first before my eyes, then either with this steel (she reveals the steel, hidden in her robe) I should have taken from my father's head his crimson lock, or with single stroke before his eyes have won me death.'
§ 283 Scarce had she uttered these words, when, affrighted by the fell disaster, Carme defiles her unshorn locks with a shower of dust, and in aged accents makes grievous lamentation: 'O Minos, who now a second time hast visited upon me thy cruelty! O Minos, in my old age a second time mine enemy! how truly through thee, and thee alone, has Love ever brought grief, either to my child in other days, or now to my distraught fosterling! Have I, who was taken captive and carried oft to this distant land, who have suffered such grievous servitude and harsh travails, have I failed to escape thee, O thou who art already for the second time the cruel destruction of my loved ones? Now, now, even for me, who am older than is meet, there lives no child, so that I may long to live. Why have I, frenzied one, when thou, Britomartis, thou, Britomartis, the sole hope of my tomb, wert torn from me — why have I been able to prolong my day of life? And would that thou, maiden so dear to fleet Diana, hadst neither pursued, a maiden, the hunt that belongs to men, nor, aiming Knossian shafts from Parthian bow, hadst driven the Dictaean goats to their familiar meadows! Never with such resolve to flee from Minos' passion wouldst thou have sped headlong from the towering mountain-crag, whence some' relate that thou didst flee, and assign thee the godhead of the virgin Aphaea; but others, that so thy fame might be greater, have called the moon Dictyna after thy name. May this, I pray, be true; for me at least, my child, thou art no more. Never shall I see thee flitting on the mountain's highest peak amid the Hyrcanian hounds, thy comrades, and the wild beast throng, nor on thy return shall I hold thee in my embrace.
§ 310 But all this burden and this shame was mine, when hope of thee, my foster-child, still remained unshattered, and that tale of thine had not yet profaned my ears. Has cruel fortune taken thee also from me, thee, who alone art for my old age a cause of living? Ofttimes, vainly charmed by thy sweet slumber, though nature weighed heavy upon me, I was loth, I said, to die, for I would fain weave for thee a marriage-veil of Corycian yellow. To what end, unhappy one, or by what fate am I now held back? Or knowest thou not by what law the crimson, arising from the crown of thy father's head, fringes his shining hoary hair, the crimson that hangs as a slender surety I from thy father's lock? If thou knowest not, I may hope for some salvation, since all unknowing thou hast essayed a crime unspeakable. But if it is as I fear, then by thyself, my child, and by thy love, of which I, unhappy one! have had many a proof, and by the power of Ilithyia so cruel to destroy, do not, I pray, with intent so foolish, pursue this great wickedness. I do not essay, O Love, to turn thee from thy purpose — that can not be — nor is it for me to contend with gods; but may it be thy wish, my child, to wed when thy father's kingdom is safe, and at least to have for thyself some home! This one counsel I will give, I who am taught and schooled by disaster. But if in no other way thou canst sway thy sire (but this thou canst: for what couldst thou, an only child, not do?) then rather I pray (pious right shalt thou have, for thou shalt have a plea for action and occasion for resentment) — then rather renew these thy attempts and essays. The gods and I — I promise thee, my child — will wait upon thee; no task proves long, which step by step is wrought.'
§ 340 When with these words she had lightened passion's troubled tide, and with soothing hope had beguiled her love-sick heart, little by little with trembling hands she essays to draw a veil over the maiden's cheeks, and with darkness to woo reposeful calm, uptilting the lamp of oil and quenching the thirsty light; then lays her hand upon her mad heart's frequent throbs, soothing her bosom with constant fondling. Thus all that night, sad soul, she hung poised on elbow over the tear-chilled eyes of her drooping foster-child. Soon as the morrow's dawn was joyously bringing kindly day to mortals, and on chill Oeta was scattering the rays of those advancing fires, which timorous maidens now flee and now crave (the star of Hesperus they shun, they long for Eos to blaze), the girl obeys the bidding of her nurse, and here and there earnestly seeks all manner of pleas for wedlock. In soft accents she assails her father's ears, and praises the blessings of gentle peace; much strange speech flits from the foolish lips of the untutored maid: she trembles, she says, at the impending battle-strife, and fears the common god of war; now for the king's friends and now for himself is she afraid: sadly she bewails her bereaved father, who suffers her not to give him grandchildren whom he would share with Jove. Now, too, she conceives falsehoods feigned in base deceit, and affrights her fellow-citizens with the terrors of the gods; now for various omens, from this one and from that, she makes quest, nor fails to find them. Nay more, she dared to bribe holy seers, so that, when a victim fell, slain by sacred steel, one should prompt the king to join Minos to himself as son, and to put an end to the doubtful conflict.
§ 369 But the nurse, mixing sulphur in a broad bowl, bruises therewith narcissus and cassia, savoury herbs, and thrice tying thrice nine threads, marked with three different hues, she cries: 'Spit thrice into thy bosom, as I do, maiden; spit thrice, maiden: in an uneven number heaven delights.' Then, oft paying to mighty Jove the Stygian rites, rites unknown to soothsayers, Trojan or Greek, she, sprinkling the altars with Amyclaean branch, essays to bewitch the king's mind with Thessalian enchantments. But when now no device moves steadfast Nisus, and neither men nor gods can sway him (such confidence in warding off peril places he in his little lock) again she allies herself with her foster-child's design, and again makes ready to shear the crimson hair, for now she is eager to relieve a passion so protracted,- yet not less so because of her joy in returning to the towns of Crete; our motherland is sweet, if only for our buried ashes.
§ 386 Therefore once more Scylla assails her father's head. Then it is that his hair rich in its Sidonian purple, is cut off; then that Megara is taken and the divine oracles are proved; then that, suspended in strange fashion from lofty ships, the maiden daughter of Nisus is dragged over the blue sea-waters. Many Nymphs marvel at her amid the waves; father Neptune marvels, and shining Tethys, and Galatea, carrying off in her company her eager sisters. At her, too, marvels she who traverses the mighty main in her azure car, drawn by her team of fishes and two-footed steeds, Leucothea, and little Palaemon with his goddess mother. At her, too, marvel they who live by lot alternate days, the dear offspring of Jupiter, mighty seed of a Jupiter to be, the Tyndaridae, who marvel at the maiden's snowy limbs. Yea, these cries and these laments she, in the midst of the waves, sent ringing through the air in her fruitless wailing, uplifting to heaven, hapless one, her blazing eyes — her eyes, for bonds confined her tender hands.
§ 404 'Stay, ye wild winds, O stay for a space your blasts while I make plaint, and, to the gods (albeit their witness has availed me naught) yet as I die, in my last hour, I raise my cry. You, ye winds and breezes, yea you, I will call to witness! Ye, if ye that meet me are of human stock, ye discern me: I am Scylla, of blood akin to yours (of thy grace may I say this, O Procne!); I am she who once was daughter of mighty Nisus, she who was wooed in rivalry by Greeks of every realm wherever the winding Hellespont embraces his lands. I am she, Minos, whom by sacred compact thou didst call wife: this thou hearest, albeit thou payest no heed. Shall I in bonds float o'er the waves of so vast a sea? In bonds shall I be suspended for so many days, each following each? Yet that I am worthy of other punishment I may not plead, seeing that thus I surrendered my motherland and my dear home to foemen and to a tyrant — though I knew it not — thus pitiless. Yet shame so foul as this methought my countrymen might work me, should some mischance first disclose our alliance, and when their city walls were razed I, cruel one, alas! assailed their shrines with flames; but if thou wert victor, I deemed that the stars would change their courses ere thou shouldst do such deed to me, thy captive. Now, now 'tis wickedness that conquers all I Did I, forlorn one, love thee above my father's realm? Did I love thee? Yet 'tis not strange. A maiden, deceived by thy face — as I saw, how was I lost! how a fatal frenzy swept me away! — I did not deem that from that form of thine such guilt could spring. With thy beauty thou wouldst deceive even the stars!
§ 433 I was moved not by a palace rich in its delights — rich in frail coral and amber tears — was moved not by damsels of like youth and beauteous to behold; no fear of gods with its menace could hold me back: Love conquered all: for what could Love not conquer? No more shall my temples drip with rich myrrh, nor shall the bridal pine kindle its pure flames, nor shall the Libyan couch be strewn with Assyrian purple. Chiefly do I thus complain: even yonder earth, that is common to all, will not entomb me, her foster-child, with sprinkling of sand! Might not I, amid the mothers and married slave-women — might not I, amid other handmaids, have performed their task, and for thy happy wife, whoe'er she be, have unrolled the spindles, weighted with their coils? But O that at least, by law of war, thou hadst killed me, thy captive! Now, pray, now, O Minos, give heed to the chances of human-kind! Be it enough that I, and I alone, have looked upon thus much misery! Grant that this disaster has been due to me by fate, or has come by uncertain chance, or in fine by a guilt that deserves it: aught shall I believe rather than that thou hast been its author!'
§ 459 Meanwhile, set free from the shore, the fleet glides forth; the great sails swell with the sudden Northwest; the oar bends in the green salt water; the feeble wailing of the weary maid dies away in the long voyage. Behind her she leaves the Isthmus, shut in with its narrow throat, the rich realm at Corinth of the great son of Cypselus; forthwith she passes Sciron's steep heights, and goes beyond the dread tortoise's cave, so fatal to her fellow-citizens, and the cliffs, stained with the blood of many a guest. And now indeed she sees afar secure Piraeus, and looks back — alas! alas! in vain — upon famous Athens. Now at a distance, rising from the flood, the fields of Salamis she espies, lying apart from the waves, and now she sees the shining Cyclades: on this side the bay? [ms. Venus] of Sunium opens to her; on that, opposite, Hermione's town. Then she leaves Delos, dearest beyond all to the mother of the Nereids and to Aegean Neptune; she sees afar Cythnus, girt with foaming shore, and draws near to marble-white Paros and green Donysa, with Aegina and health-bringing Seriphus. Now at length her strength flees from her weary frame, her head falls back heavy on her bended neck, her marble-white arms grow livid under the close-drawn knots. Monsters of the sea, giant forms of the deep, throng about her on all sides, and in the blue-grey waters threaten her with lashing tails and gaping mouths.
§ 478 Onward she moves, tossed to and fro by uncertain winds (even as a tiny skiff when it follows a great fleet, and an African hurricane riots upon the wintry sea) until Neptune's spouse, queen of the azure realm, brooked it not that such a beauteous form should be harassed by the waves, and transformed the maiden's hapless limbs. But still she purposed not to clothe the gentle maid with scales for ever, or establish her amid treacherous fishes (all too greedy is Amphitrite's flock): rather she raised her aloft on airy wings, that she might live on earth as Ciris, named from the deed wrought — Ciris, more beauteous than Leda's Amyclaean swan. Hereon, as when at first in a snowy egg there is the soft outline of a living thing, and the limbs' imperfect junctures, as they grow together in unwonted heat, float about, yet incomplete; so with Scylla's body, encompassed by the waters of the deep, while the parts were even yet uncertain, the half-human joints were changing it throughout, and throughout were being changed. First, the lovely face and those lips yearned for by many, and the broad brow's charm, began to grow together and to prolong the chin with a slender beak. Then, where on the head the line appeared that parts the hair in equal portions, lo! of a sudden, as if copying her sire's glory, on her crown a tuft waved its crimson crest, while soft plumes, blending varied hues, clothed her marble-white body with vesture of wings, and the feeble arms put forth long feathers. Then other parts and the legs, coloured with blushing crimson, an unfamiliar leanness overlaid with rough skin, and to the tender feet fastened sharp nails. And yet to succour the hapless maiden in this manner only was scarce worthy of Neptune's gentle spouse. Never hereafter did the eyes of her kin behold her tying back her purple fillets upon her golden head; no chamber, fragrant with Syrian spice, no home welcomed her; what, indeed, had she to do with home? And soon as from the hoary tide with speed and uproar she arose to the sky on whirring wings, and far and wide has scattered a cloud of spray o'er the waters, the hapless maid, vainly recovered from death, lives her wild life among the lonely rocks — the rocks and cliffs and deserted shores.
§ 520 Yet even this not without penalty: for the king of the gods, who with his power sways all regions of the world, being grieved that a maid so wicked should be flitting to the world above, while under dark night's cover her father's light was quenched, unto him by reason of his piety (for oft with the blood of sleek bulls had he suppliantly besprinkled the altars, and oft with lavish gifts had he adorned the homes of the gods) granted under changed form the life he had craved, and suffered him to be on earth a winged sea-eagle, for in lightning-swift eagles that god ever delights. But upon that unhappy maid, since she had first been condemned by judgment of the gods, of fate and of her husband, he laid an angry father's relentless hate. For even as, amid the grandeur of heaven's constellations, the glorious Scorpion, which alone I have seen bestarred with two-fold brilliance, puts to rout in alternate strife the gleaming Orion: so the sea-eagle and the Ciris, with ever remindful fate, maintain the fierceness of mutual wrath from age to age. Wherever she flees, cleaving the light air with her wings, lo! savage and ruthless, with loud whirr Nisus follows through the sky; where Nisus mounts skyward, she flees in haste, cleaving the light air with her wings.