The Fifteen Books of
Ovid's Metamorphoses, 1567
The first translation into English -
credited to Arthur Golding
Transcribed and Edited by B.F. copyright © 2002
Web design and additional editing by R. Brazil
Words discussed in the glossary are underlined
THE XII. BOOKE of Ovids Metamorphosis.
King Priam being ignorant that Aesacus his sonne
Did live in shape of bird, did moorne: and at a tumb wheron
His name was written, Hector and his brother solemly
Did keepe an Obit. Paris was not at this obsequye.
Within a whyle with ravisht wyfe he brought a lasting warre
Home unto Troy. There followed him a thowsand shippes not farre
Conspyrd togither, with the ayde that all the Greekes could fynd:
And vengeance had beene tane foorthwith but that the cruell wynd
Did make the seas unsaylable, so that theyr shippes were fayne
At rode at fisshye Awlys in Baeotia to remayne. ... [XII.10]
Heere as the Greekes according to theyr woont made sacrifyse
To Jove, and on the Altar old the flame aloft did ryse.
They spyde a speckled Snake creepe up uppon a planetree bye
Uppon the toppe whereof there was among the braunches hye
A nest, and in the nest eyght birdes, all which and eeke theyr dam
That flickering flew about her losse, the hungry snake did cram
Within his mawe. The standers by were all amazde therat.
But Calchas, Thestors sonne, who knew what meening was in that,
Sayd: We shall win. Rejoyce, yee Greekes, by us shall perish Troy,
But long the tyme will bee before wee may our will enjoy. ... [XII.20]
And then he told them how the birds nyne yeeres did signifie
Which they before the towne of Troy not taking it should lye.
The Serpent as he wound about the boughes and braunches greene,
Became a stone, and still in stone his snakish shape is seene.
The seas continewed verry rough and suffred not theyr hoste
Imbarked for to passe from thence to take the further coast.
Sum thought that Neptune favored Troy bycause himself did buyld
The walles therof. But Calchas (who both knew, and never hilld
His peace in tyme) declared that the Goddesse Phebe must
Appeased bee with virgins blood for wrath conceyved just. ... [XII.30]
As soone as pitie yeelded had to cace of publicke weale,
And reason got the upper hand of fathers loving zeale,
So that the Ladye Iphigen before the altar stood
Among the weeping ministers, to give her maydens blood:
The Goddesse taking pitie, cast a mist before theyr eyes,
And as they prayd and stird about to make the sacrifyse,
Conveyes her quight away, and with a Hynd her roome supplyes.
Thus with a slaughter meete for her Diana beeing pleasd,
The raging surges with her wrath togither were appeasd,
The thousand shippes had wynd at poope. And when they had abode ... [XII.40]
Much trouble, at the length all safe they gat the Phrygian rode.
Amid the world tweene heaven, and earth, and sea, there is a place,
Set from the bounds of eche of them indifferently in space,
From whence is seene what ever thing is practisd any where,
Although the Realme bee nere so farre, and roundly to the eare
Commes whatsoever spoken is. Fame hath his dwelling there.
Who in the toppe of all the house is lodged in a towre.
A thousand entryes, glades, and holes are framed in this bowre.
There are no doores to shet. The doores stand open nyght and day.
The house is all of sounding brasse, and roreth every way, ... [XII.50]
Reporting dowble every woord it heareth people say.
There is no rest within, there is no silence any where.
Yit is there not a yelling out: but humming, as it were
The sound of surges beeing heard farre off, or like the sound
That at the end of thunderclappes long after dooth redound,
When Jove dooth make the clowdes to crack. Within the courts is preace
Of common people, which to come and go doo never ceace.
And millions both of trothes and lyes ronne gadding every where,
And woordes confusely flye in heapes. Of which, sum fill the eare
That heard not of them erst, and sum Colcaryers part doo play ... [XII.60]
To spread abrode the things they heard. And ever by the way
The thing that was invented growes much greater than before,
And every one that getts it by the end addes sumwhat more.
Lyght credit dwelleth there. There dwells rash error: there dooth dwell
Vayne joy: there dwelleth hartlesse feare, and Bruit that loves to tell
Uncertayne newes uppon report, whereof he dooth not knowe
The author, and Sedition who fresh rumors loves to sowe.
This Fame beholdeth, what is doone in heaven, on sea, and land,
And what is wrought in all the world he layes to understand.
He gave the Trojans warning that the Greekes with valeant men ... [XII.70]
And shippes approched, that unwares they could not take them then.
For Hector and the Trojan folk well armed were at hand
To keepe the coast and bid them bace before they came aland.
Protesilay by fatall doome was first that dyde in feeld
Of Hectors speare: and after him great numbers mo were killd
Of valeant men. That battell did the Greeks full deerly cost.
And Hector with his Phrygian folk of blood no little lost,
In trying what the Greekes could doo. The shore was red with blood.
And now king Cygnet, Neptunes sonne, had killed where he stood
A thousand Greekes. And now the stout Achilles causd to stay ... [XII.80]
His Charyot: and his lawnce did slea whole bandes of men that day.
And seeking Cygnet through the feeld or Hector, he did stray.
At last with Cygnet he did meete. For Hector had delay
Untill the tenth yeare afterward. Then hasting foorth his horses
With flaxen manes, ageinst his fo his Chariot he enforces.
And brandishing his shaking dart, he sayd: O noble wyght,
A comfort let it bee to thee that such a valeant knyght
As is Achilles killeth thee. In saying so he threw
A myghty dart, which though it hit the mark at which it flew,
Yit perst it not the skinne at all. Now when this blunted blowe ... [XII.90]
Had hit on Cygnets brest,and die no print of hitting show,
Thou, Goddesse sonne (quoth Cygnet), for by fame we doo thee knowe.
Why wooondrest at mee for to see I can not wounded bee?
(Achilles woondred much thereat.) This helmet which yee see
Bedect with horses yellow manes, this sheeld that I doo beare,
Defend mee not. For ornaments alonly I them weare.
For this same cause armes Mars himself likewyse. I will disarme
Myself, and yit unrazed will I passe without all harme.
It is to sum effect, not borne to bee of Neryes race,
So that a man be borne of him that with threeforked mace ... [XII.100]
Rules Nereus and his daughters too, and all the sea besyde.
This sayd, he at Achilles sent a dart that should abyde
Uppon his sheeld. It perced through the steele and through nyne fold
Of Oxen hydes, and stayd uppon the tenth. Achilles bold
Did wrest it out, and forcybly did throwe the same agayne.
His bodye beeing hit ageine, unwounded did remayne,
And cleere from any print of wound. The third went eeke in vayne.
And yit did Cygnet to the same give full his naked brist.
Achilles chafed like a Bull that in the open list
With dreadfull hornes dooth push ageinst the scarlet clothes that there ... [XII.110]
Are hanged up to make him feerce, and when he would them teare
Dooth fynd his wounds deluded. Then Achilles lookt uppon
His Javelings socket, if the head thereof were looce or gone.
The head stacke fast. My hand byleeke is weakened then (quoth he)
And all the force it had before is spent on one I see.
For sure I am it was of strength, both when I first downe threw
Lyrnessus walles, and when I did Ile Tenedos subdew,
And eeke Aetions Thebe with her proper blood embrew.
And when so many of the folke of Tewthranie I slew,
That with theyr blood Caycus streame became of purple hew. ... [XII.120]
And when the noble Telephus did of my Dart of steele
The dowble force, of wounding and of healing also feele.
Yea even the heapes of men slayne heere by mee, that on this strond
Are lying still to looke uppon, doo give to understond
That this same hand of myne both had and still hath strength. This sed,
(As though he had distrusted all his dooings ere that sted,)
He threw a Dart ageinst a man of Lycia land that hyght
Menetes, through whose Curets and his brest he strake him quyght.
And when he saw with dying limbes him sprawling on the ground,
He stepped to him streyght, and pulld the Javeling from the wound, ... [XII.130]
And sayd alowd: This is the hand, this is the selfsame dart
With which my hand did strike even now Menetes to the hart.
Ageinst my tother Copemate will I use the same: I pray
To God it may have like successe. This sed, without delay
He sent it toward Cygnet, and the weapon did not stray,
Nor was not shunned. Insomuch it lighted full uppon
His shoulder: and it gave a rappe as it uppon som ston
It lyghted had, rebownding backe. Howbeeit where it hit,
Achilles sawe it bloodye, and was vaynly glad of it.
For why there was no wound. It was Menetes blood. Then lept ... [XII.140]
He hastly from his Charyot downe, and like a madman stept
To carelesse Cygnet with his swoord. He sawe his swoord did pare
His Target and his morion bothe. But when it toucht the bare,
His bodye was so hard, it did the edge thereof abate.
He could no lengar suffer him to tryumph in that rate,
But with the pommell of his swoord did thump him on the pate,
And bobd him well about the brewes a doozen tymes and more,
And preacing on him as he still gave backe amazd him sore,
And troubled him with buffetting, not respetting a whit.
Then Cygnet gan to bee afrayd, and mistes beegan to flit ... [XII.150]
Before his eyes, and dimd his syght. And as he still did yeeld,
In giving back, by chaunce he met a stone amid the feeld,
Ageinst the which Achilles thrust him back with all his myght,
And throwing him ageinst the ground, did cast him bolt upryght.
Then bearing bostowsely with both his knees ageinst his chest,
And leaning with his elbowes and his target on his brest,
He shet his headpeece cloce and just, and underneathe his chin
So hard it straynd, that way for breath was neyther out nor in,
And closed up the vent of lyfe. And having gotten so
The upper hand, he went about to spoyle his vanquisht fo. ... [XII.160]
But nought he in his armour found. For Neptune had as tho
Transformd him to the fowle whose name he bare but late ago.
This labour, this encounter brought the rest of many dayes,
And eyther partye in theyr strength a whyle from battell stayes.
Now whyle the Phrygians watch and ward uppon the walles of Troy,
And Greekes likewyse within theyr trench, there came a day of joy,
In which Achilles for his luck in Cygnets overthrow,
A cow in way of sacrifyse on Pallas did bestowe,
Whose inwards when he had uppon the burning altar cast,
And that the acceptable fume had through the ayre past ... [XII.170]
To Godward, and the holy rytes had had theyr dewes, the rest
Was set on boords for men to eate in disshes fynely drest.
The princes sitting downe, did feede uppon the rosted flesh,
And both theyr thirst and present cares with wyne they did refresh.
Not Harpes, nor songs, nor hollowe flutes to heere did them delyght.
They talked till they nye had spent the greatest part of nyght.
And all theyr communication was of feates of armes in fyght
That had beene doone by them or by theyr foes. And every wyght
Delyghts to uppen oftentymes by turne as came about
The perills and the narrow brunts himself had shifted out. ... [XII.180]
For what thing should bee talkt beefore Achilles rather? Or
What kynd of things than such as theis could seeme more meeter for
Achilles to bee talking of? But in theyr talk most breeme
Was then Achilles victory of Cygnet. It did seeme
A woonder that the flesh of him should bee so hard and tough
As that no weapon myght have powre to raze or perce it through,
But that it did abate the edge of steele: it was a thing
That both Achilles and the Greekes in woondrous maze did bring.
Then Nestor sayd: This Cygnet is the person now alone
Of your tyme that defyed steele, and could bee perst of none. ... [XII.190]
But I have seene now long ago one Cene of Perrhebye,
I sawe one Cene of Perrhebye a thousand woundes defye
With unatteynted bodye. In mount Othris he did dwell:
And was renowmed for his deedes: (and which in him ryght well
A greater woonder did appeere) he was a woman borne.
This uncouth made them all much more amazed than beforne,
And every man desyred him to tell it. And among
The rest, Achilles sayd: Declare, I pray thee (for wee long
To heare it every one of us), O eloquent old man,
The wisedome of our age: what was that Cene and how he wan ... [XII.200]
Another than his native shape, and in what rode, or in
What fyght or skirmish, tweene you first acquaintance did beegin,
And who in fyne did vanquish him if any vanquisht him.
Then Nestor: Though the length of tyme have made my senses dim,
And dyvers things erst seene in youth now out of mynd be gone:
Yit beare I still mo things in mynd: and of them all is none
Among so many both of peace and warre, that yit dooth take
More stedfast roote in memorye. And if that tyme may make
A man great store of things through long continuance for to see,
Two hundred yeeres already of my lyfe full passed bee, ... [XII.210]
And now I go uppon the third. This foresayd Ceny was
The daughter of one Elatey. In beawty shee did passe
The maydens of all Thessaly. From all the Cities bye
And from thy Cities also, O Achilles, came (for why
Shee was thy countrywoman) store of wooers who in vayne
In hope to win her love did take great travail, suit and payne.
Thy father also had perchaunce attempted heere to matcht
But that thy moothers maryage was alreadye then dispatcht,
Or shee at least affyanced. But Ceny matcht with none,
Howbeeit as shee on the shore was walking all alone, ... [XII.220]
The God of sea did ravish her. (So fame dooth make report.)
And Neptune for the great delight he had in Venus sport,
Sayd: Ceny, aske mee what thou wilt, and I will give it thee.
(This also bruited is by fame.) The wrong heere doone to mee
(Quoth Ceny) makes mee wish great things. And therfore to th' entent
I may no more constreyned bee to such a thing, consent
I may no more a woman bee. And if thou graunt thereto,
It is even all that I desyre, or wish thee for to doo.
In bacer tune theis latter woordes were uttred, and her voyce
Did seeme a mannes voyce as it was in deede. For to her choyce ... [XII.230]
The God of sea had given consent. He graunted him besyde
That free from wounding and from hurt he should from thence abyde,
And that he should not dye of steele. Right glad of this same graunt
Away went Ceny, and the feeldes of Thessaly did haunt,
And in the feates of Chevalrye from that tyme spent his lyfe.
The over bold Ixions sonne had taken to his wyfe
Hippodame. And kevering boordes in bowres of boughes of trees
His Clowdbred brothers one by one he placed in degrees.
There were the Lordes of Thessaly. I also was among
The rest: a cheerefull noyse of feast through all the Pallace roong. ... [XII.240]
Sum made the altars smoke, and sum the brydale carrolls soong.
Anon commes in the mayden bryde, a goodly wench of face,
With wyves and maydens following her with comly gate and grace.
Wee sayd that sir Pirithous was happy in his wyfe:
Which handsell had deceyved us wellneere through soodeine stryfe.
For of the cruell Centawres thou most cruell Ewryt, tho
Like as thy stomacke was with wyne farre over charged: so
As soone as thou behilldst the bryde, thy hart began to frayne.
And doubled with thy droonkennesse thy raging lust did reigne.
The feast was troubled by and by with tables overthrowen. ... [XII.250]
The bryde was hayled by the head, so farre was furye growen.
Feerce Ewryt caught Hippodame, and every of the rest
Caught such as commed next to hand, or such as like him best.
It was the lively image of a Citie tane by foes,
The house did ring of womens shreekes. We all up quickly rose.
And first sayd Theseus thus: What aylst? art mad, O Ewrytus?
That darest (seeing mee alive) misuse Pirithous?
Not knowing that in one thou doost abuse us both? And least
He myght have seemd to speake in vayne, he thrust way such as preast
About the bryde, and tooke her from them freating sore thereat. ... [XII.260]
No answere made him Ewrytus: (for such a deede as that
Defended could not bee with woordes) but with his sawcye fist
He flew at gentle Theseus face, and bobd him on the brist.
By chaunce hard by, an auncient cuppe of image woork did stand,
Which being huge, himself more huge sir Theseus tooke in hand,
And threw't at Ewryts head. He spewd as well at mouth as wound
Mixt cloddes of blood, and brayne and wyne, and on the soyled ground
Lay sprawling bolt upryght. The death of him did set the rest,
His dowblelimbed brothers, so on fyre, that all the quest
With one voyce cryed out, Kill, kill. The wyne had given them hart. ... [XII.270]
Theyr first encounter was with cuppes and cannes throwen overthwart,
And brittle tankerds, and with boawles, pannes, dishes, potts, and trayes,
Things serving late for meate and drinke, and then for bluddy frayes.
First Amycus, Ophions sonne, without remorse began
To reeve and rob the brydehouse of his furniture. He ran
And pulled downe a Lampbeame full of lyghtes, and lifting it
Aloft like one that with an Ax dooth fetch his blowe to slit
An Oxis necke in sacrifyse, he on the forehead hit
A Lapith named Celadon, and crusshed so his bones
That none could know him by the face: both eyes flew out at ones. ... [XII.280]
His nose was beaten backe and to his pallat battred flat.
One Pelates, a Macedone, exceeding wroth therat,
Pulld out a maple tressles foote, and napt him in the necks,
That bobbing with his chin ageinst his brest to ground he becks.
And as he spitted out his teeth with blackish blood he lent
Another flowe to Amycus, which streyght to hell him sent.
Gryne standing by and lowring with a fell grim visage at
The smoking Altars, sayd: Why use we not theis same? with that
He caught a myghty altar up with burning fyre thereon,
And it among the thickest of the Lapithes threw anon. ... [XII.290]
And twoo he over whelmd therewith calld Brote and Orion.
This Orions moother, Mycale, is knowne of certeintye
The Moone resisting to have drawne by witchcraft from the skye.
Full dearely shalt thou by it (quoth Exadius) may I get
A weapon: and with that in stead of weapon, he did set
His hand uppon a vowd harts horne that on a Pynetree hye
Was nayld, and with two tynes therof he strake out eyther eye
Of Gryne: whereof sum stacke uppon the horne, and sum did flye
Uppon his beard, and there with blood like jelly mixt did lye.
A flaming fyrebrand from amids an Altar Rhaetus snatcht, ... [XII.300]
With which uppon the leftsyde of his head Charaxus latcht
A blow that crackt his skull. The blaze among his yellow heare
Ran sindging up, as if dry corne with lightning blasted were.
And in his wound the seared blood did make a greevous sound,
As when a peece of steele red hot tane up with tongs is drownd
In water by the smith, it spirts and hisseth in the trowgh.
Charaxus from his curled heare did shake the fyre, and thowgh
He wounded were, yit caught he up uppon his shoulders twayne.
A stone, the Jawme of eyther doore that well would loade a wayne.
The masse therof was such as that it would not let him hit ... [XII.310]
His fo. It lighted short: and with the falling downe of it
A mate of his that Comet hyght, it all in peeces smit.
Then Rhaete restreyning not his joy, sayd thus: I would the rowt
Of all thy mates myght in the selfsame maner prove them stowt.
And with his halfeburnt brond the wound he searched new agayne,
Not ceasing for to lay on loade uppon his pate amayne,
Untill his head was crusht, and of his scalp the bones did swim
Among his braynes. In jolly ruffe he passes streyght from him
To Coryt, and Euagrus, and to Dryant on a rowe.
Of whom when Coryt (on whose cheekes yoong mossy downe gan grow) ... [XII.320]
Was slayne, What prayse or honour (quoth Euagrus) hast thou got
By killing of a boy? mo woordes him Rhetus suffred not
To speake, but in his open mouth did thrust his burning brand,
And downe his throteboll to his chest. Then whisking in his hand
His fyrebrand round about his head he feercely did assayle
The valyant Dryant. But with him he could not so prevayle.
For as he triumpht in his lucke, proceeding for to make
Continuall slaughter of his foes, sir Dryant with a stake
(Whose poynt was hardned in the fyre) did cast at him a foyne
And thrust him through the place in which the neck and shoulders joyne. ... [XII.330]
He groand and from his cannell bone could scarcely pull the stake.
And beeing foyled with his blood to flyght he did him take.
Arnaeus also ran away, and Lycidas likewyse.
And Medon (whose ryght shoulderplate was also wounded) flyes.
So did Pisenor, so did Cawne, and so did Mermeros
Who late outronning every man, now wounded slower goes:
And so did Phole, and Menelas, and Abas who was woont
To make a spoyle among wylde Boares as oft as he did hunt:
And eeke the wyzarde Astylos who counselled his mates
To leave that fray: but he to them in vayne of leaving prates. ... [XII.340]
He eeke to Nessus (who for feare of wounding seemed shye)
Sayd: Fly not, thou shalt scape this fray of Hercles bowe to dye.
But Lycid and Ewrinomos, and Imbreus, and Are
Escapte not death. Sir Dryants hand did all alike them spare.
Cayneius also (though that he in flying were not slacke,)
Yit was he wounded on the face: for as he looked backe,
A weapons poynt did hit him full midway betweene the eyes,
Wheras the noze and forehead meete. For all this deane, yit lyes
Aphipnas snorting fast asleepe not mynding for to wake,
Wrapt in a cloke of Bearskinnes which in Ossa mount were take. ... [XII.350]
And in his lither hand he hilld a potte of wyne. Whom when
That Phorbas saw (although in vayne) not medling with them, then
He set his fingars to the thong: and saying: Thou shalt drink
Thy wyne with water taken from the Stygian fountaynes brink,
He threw his dart at him. The dart (as he that tyme by chaunce
Lay bolt upright uppon his backe) did through his throteboll glaunce.
He dyde and felt no payne at all. The blacke swart blood gusht out,
And on the bed and in the potte fell flushing lyke a spout.
I saw Petreius go about to pull out of the ground
An Oken tree. But as he had his armes about it round, ... [XII.360]
And shaakt it too and fro to make it looce, Pirithous cast
A Dart which nayled to the tree his wrything stomacke fast.
Through prowesse of Pirithous (men say) was Lycus slayne.
Through prowesse of Pirithous dyde Crome. But they both twayne
Lesse honour to theyr conquerour were, than Dyctis was, or than
Was Helops. Helops with a dart was striken, which through ran
His head, and entring at the ryght eare to the left eare went.
And Dyctis from a slipprye knappe downe slyding, as he ment
To shonne Perithous preacing on, fell headlong downe, and with
His hugenesse brake the greatest Ash that was in all the frith, ... [XII.370]
And goard his gutts uppon the stump. To wreake his death comes Phare:
And from the mount a mighty rocke with bothe his handes he tare:
Which as he was about to throwe, Duke Theseus did prevent,
And with an Oken plant uppon his mighty elbowe lent
Him such a blowe, as that he brake the bones, and past no further.
For leysure would not serve him then his maymed corce to murther.
He lept on hygh Bianors backe, who none was woont to beare
Besydes himself. Ageinst his sydes his knees fast nipping were,
And with his left hand taking hold uppon his foretoppe heare
He cuft him with his knubbed plant about the frowning face, ... [XII.380]
And made his wattled browes to breake. And with his Oken mace
He overthrew Nedimnus: and Lycespes with his dart,
And Hippasus whose beard did hyde his brest the greater part:
And Riphey taller than the trees, and Therey who was woont
Among the hilles of Thessaly for cruell Beares to hunt,
And beare them angry home alyve. It did Demoleon spyght
That Theseus had so good successe and fortune in his fyght.
An old long Pynetree rooted fast he strave with all his myght
To pluck up whole bothe trunk and roote, which when he could not bring
To passe, he brake it off, and at his emnye did it fling. ... [XII.390]
But Theseus by admonishment of heavenly Pallas (so
He would have folke beleve it were) start backe a great way fro
The weapon as it came. Yit fell it not without some harme.
It cut from Crantors left syde bulke, his shoulder, brest, and arme.
This Crantor was thy fathers Squyre (Achilles) and was given
Him by Amyntor ruler of the Dolops, who was driven
By battell fore to give him as an hostage for the peace
To bee observed faythfully. When Peleus in the preace
A great way off behilld him thus falne dead of this same wound,
O Crantor, deerest man to mee of all above the ground, ... [XII.400]
Hold heere an obitgift hee sayd: and both with force of hart
And hand, at stout Demoleons head he threw an asshen dart,
Which brake the watling of his ribbes, and sticking in the bone,
Did shake. He pulled out the steale with much adoo alone.
The head thereof stacke still behynd among his lungs and lyghts.
Enforst to courage with his payne, he ryseth streight uprights,
And pawing at his emny with his horsish feete, he smyghts
Uppon him. Peleus bare his strokes uppon his burganet,
And fenst his shoulders with his sheeld, and evermore did set
His weapon upward with the poynt, which by his shoulders perst ... [XII.410]
Through both his brestes at one full blowe. Howbee't your father erst
Had killed Hyle and Phlegrye, and Hiphinous aloof
And Danes who boldly durst at hand his manhod put in proof.
To theis was added Dorylas, who ware uppon his head
A cap of woolves skinne. And the hornes of Oxen dyed red
With blood were then his weapon. I (for then my courage gave
Mee strength) sayd: See how much thy hornes lesse force than Iron have.
And therewithall with manly might a dart at him I drave.
Which when he could not shonne, he clapt his right hand flat uppon
His forehead where the wound should bee. For why his hand anon ... [XII.420]
Was nayled to his forehead fast. Hee roared out amayne.
And as he stood amazed and began to faynt for payne,
Your father Peleus (for he stood hard by him) strake him under
The middle belly with his swoord, and ript his womb asunder.
Out girdes mee Dorill streyght, and trayles his guttes uppon the ground
And trampling underneath his feete did breake them, and they wound
About his legges so snarling, that he could no further go,
But fell downe dead with empty womb. Nought booted Cyllar tho
His beawtye in that frentick fray, (at leastwyse if wee graunt
That any myght in that straunge shape, of natures beawtye vaunt.) ... [XII.430]
His beard began but then to bud: his beard was like the gold:
So also were his yellowe lokes, which goodly to behold
Midway beneath his shoulders hung. There rested in his face
A sharpe and lively cheerfulnesse with sweete and pleasant grace.
His necke, brest, shoulders, armes, and hands, as farre as he was man,
Were suche as never carvers woork yit stayne them could or can.
His neather part likewyse (which was a horse) was every whit
Full equall with his upper part, or little woorse than it.
For had yee given him horses necke, and head, he was a beast
For Castor to have ridden on. So bourly was his brest: ... [XII.440]
So handsome was his backe to beare a saddle: and his heare
Was blacke as jeate, but that his tayle and feete milk whyghtish were.
Full many Females of his race did wish him to theyr make.
But only dame Hylonome for lover he did take.
Of all the halfbrutes in the woodes there did not any dwell
More comly than Hylonome. She usde herself so well
In dalyance, and in loving, and in uttring of her love,
That shee alone hilld Cyllarus. As much as did behove
In suchye limbes, shee trimmed them as most the eye might move.
With combing, smoothe shee made her heare: shee wallowed her full oft ... [XII.450]
In Roses and in Rosemarye, or Violets sweete and soft:
Sumtyme shee caryed Lillyes whyght: and twyce a day shee washt
Her visage in the spring that from the toppe of Pagase past:
And in the streame shee twyce a day did bath her limbes: and on
Her left syde or her shoulders came the comlyest things, and none
But fynest skinnes of choycest beasts. Alike eche loved other:
Togither they among the hilles roamd up and downe: togither
They went to covert: and that tyme togither they did enter
The Lapithes house, and there the fray togither did adventer.
A dart on Cyllars left syde came, (I know not who it sent) ... [XII.460]
Which sumwhat underneathe his necke his brest asunder splent.
As lyghtly as his hart was raazd, no sooner was the dart
Pluckt out, but all his bodye wext stark cold and dyed swart.
Immediatly Hylonome his dying limbes up stayd,
And put her hand uppon the wound to stoppe the blood, and layd
Her mouth to his, and labored sore to stay his passing spryght.
But when shee sawe him throughly dead, then speaking woordes which might
Not to my hearing come for noyse, shee stikt herself uppon
The weapon that had gored him, and dyde with him anon
Embracing him beetweene her armes. There also stood before ... [XII.470]
Myne eyes the grim Pheocomes both man and horse who wore
A Lyons skinne uppon his backe fast knit with knotts afore.
He snatching up a timber log (which scarcely two good teeme
Of Oxen could have stird) did throwe the same with force extreeme
At Phonolenyes sonne. The logge him all in fitters strake,
And of his head the braynepan in a thousand peeces brake,
That at his mouth, his eares, and eyes, and at his nosethrills too,
His crusshed brayne came roping out as creame is woont to doo
From sives or riddles made of wood, or as a Cullace out
From streyner or from Colender. But as he went about ... [XII.480]
To strippe him from his harnesse as he lay uppon the ground,
(Your father knoweth this full well) my sword his gutts did wound,
Teleboas and Cthonius bothe, were also slaine by mee.
Sir Cthonius for his weapon had a forked bough of tree.
The tother had a dart. His dart did wound mee. You may see
The scarre therof remayning yit. Then was the tyme that I
Should sent have beene to conquer Troy. Then was the tyme that I
Myght through my force and prowesse, if not vanquish Hector stout,
Yit at the least have hilld him wag, I put you out of Dout.
But then was Hector no body: or but a babe. And now ... [XII.490]
Am I forspent and worne with yeeres. What should I tell you how
Piretus dyde by Periphas? Or wherefore should I make
Long processe for to tell you of Sir Ampycus that strake
The fowrefoote Oecle on the face with dart of Cornell tree,
The which had neyther head nor poynt? Or how that Macaree
Of Mountaine Pelithronye with a leaver lent a blowe
To Erigdupus on the brest which did him overthrowe?
Full well I doo remember that Cymelius threw a dart
Which lyghted full in Nesseyes flank about his privie part.
And think not you that Mops, the sonne of Ampycus, could doo ... [XII.500]
No good but onely prophesye. This stout Odites whoo
Had bothe the shapes of man and horse, by Mopsis dart was slayne,
And labouring for to speake his last he did but strive in vayne.
For Mopsis dart togither nayld his toong and neather chappe,
And percing through his throte did make a wyde and deadly gappe.
Fyve men had Cene already slayne: theyr wounds I cannot say:
The names and nomber of them all ryght well I beare away.
The names of them were Stiphelus, and Brome, and Helimus,
Pyracmon with his forest bill, and stout Antimachus.
Out steppes the biggest Centawre there, huge Latreus, armed in ... [XII.510]
Alesus of Aemathias spoyle slayne late before by him.
His yeeres were mid tweene youth and age, his courage still was yoong,
And on his abrun head hore heares peerd heere and there amoong.
His furniture was then a swoord, a target and a lawnce
Aemathian like. To bothe the parts he did his face advaunce,
And brandishing his weapon brave, in circlewyse did prawnce
About, and stoutly spake theis woordes: And must I beare with yow,
Dame Cenye? for none other than a moother (I avow)
No better than a moother will I count thee whyle I live.
Remembrest not what shape by birth dame nature did thee give? ... [XII.520]
Forgettst thou how thou purchasedst this counterfetted shape
Of man? Consyderest what thou art by birth? and how for rape
Thou art become the thing thou art? Go take thy distaffe, and
Thy spindle, and in spinning yarne go exercyse thy hand.
Let men alone with feates of armes. As Latreus made this stout
And scornefull taunting in a ring still turning him about,
This Cenye with a dart did hit him full uppon the syde
Where as the horse and man were joyned togither in a hyde.
The strype made Latreus mad: and with his lawnce in rage he stracke
Upon sir Cenyes naked ribbes. The lawnce rebounded backe ... [XII.530]
Like haylestones from a tyled house, or as a man should pat
Small stones uppon a dromslets head. He came more neere with that,
And in his brawned syde did stryve to thrust his swoord. There was
No way for swoord to enter in. Yit shalt thou not so passe
My handes (sayd he.) Well sith the poynt is blunted thou shalt dye
Uppon the edge: and with that woord he fetcht his blow awre,
And sydling with a sweeping stroke along his belly smit.
The strype did give a clinke as if it had on marble hit.
And therewithall the swoord did breake, and on his necke did lyght.
When Ceny had sufficiently given Latreus leave to smyght ... [XII.540]
His flesh which was unmaymeable. Well now (quoth he) lets see,
If my swoord able bee or no to byght the flesh of thee.
In saying so, his dreadfull swoord as farre as it would go
He underneathe his shoulder thrust, and wrinching to and fro
Among his gutts, made wound in wound. Behold with hydeous crye
The dowblemembred Centawres sore abasht uppon him flye,
And throwe theyr weapons all at him. Theyr weapons downe did fall
As if thy had rebated beene, and Cenye for them all
Abydes unstriken through. Yea none was able blood to drawe.
The straungenesse of the cace made all amazed that it sawe. ... [XII.550]
Fy, fy for shame (quoth Monychus) that such a rable can
Not overcome one wyght alone, who scarcely is a man.
Although (to say the very truthe) he is the man, and wee
Through fayntnesse that he was borne by nature for to bee.
What profits theis huge limbes of ours? what helpes our dowble force?
Or what avayles our dowble shape of man as well as horse
By puissant nature joynd in one? I can not thinke that wee
Of sovereigne Goddesse Juno were begot, or that wee bee
Ixions sonnes, who was so stout of courage and so hault,
As that he durst on Junos love attempt to give assault. ... [XII.560]
The emny that dooth vanquish us is scarcely half a man
Whelme blocks, and stones, and mountaynes whole uppon his hard brayne pan:
And presse yee out his lively ghoste with trees. Let timber choke
His chappes, let weyght enforce his death in stead of wounding stroke.
This sayd: by chaunce he gets a tree blowne downe by blustring blasts
Of Southerne wynds, and on his fo with all his myght it casts,
And gave example to the rest to doo the like. Within
A whyle the shadowes which did hyde mount Pelion waxed thin:
And not a tree was left uppon mount Othris ere they went.
Sir Cenye underneathe this greate huge pyle of timber pent, ... [XII.570]
Did chauf and on his shoulders hard the heavy logges did beare.
But when above his face and head the trees up stacked were,
So that he had no venting place to drawe his breth: One whyle
He faynted: and another whyle he heaved at the pyle,
To tumble downe the loggs that lay so heavy on his backe,
And for to winne the open ayre ageine above the stacke:
As if the mountayne Ida (lo) which yoonder we doo see
So hygh, by earthquake at a tyme should chaunce to shaken bee.
Men dowt what did become of him. Sum hold opinion that
The burthen of the woodes had driven his soule to Limbo flat. ... [XII.580]
But Mopsus sayd it was not so. For he did see a browne
Bird flying from amid the stacke and towring up and downe.
It was the first tyme and the last that ever I behild
That fowle. When Mopsus softly saw him soring in the feeld,
He looked wistly after him, and cryed out on hye:
Hayle peerlesse perle of Lapith race, hayle Ceny, late ago
A valeant knyght, and now a bird of whom there is no mo.
The author caused men beleeve the matter to bee so.
Our sorrow set us in a rage. it was too us a greef
That by so many foes one knyght was killd without releef. ... [XII.590]
Then ceast wee not to wreake our teene till most was slaine in fyght,
And that the rest discomfited were fled away by nyght.
As Nestor all the processe of this battell did reherce
Betweene the valeant Lapithes and misshapen Centawres ferce,
Tlepolemus displeased sore that Hercules was past
With silence, could not hold his peace, but out theis woordes did cast:
My Lord, I muse you should forget my fathers prayse so quyght.
For often unto mee himself was woonted to recite,
How that the clowdbred folk by him were cheefly put to flyght.
Ryght sadly Nestor answerd thus: Why should you mee constreyne ... [XII.600]
To call to mynd forgotten greefs? and for to reere ageine
The sorrowes now outworne by tyme? or force mee to declare
The hatred and displeasure which I to your father bare?
In sooth his dooings greater were than myght bee well beleeved.
He fild the world with high renowme which nobly he atcheeved.
Which thing I would I could denye. For neyther set wee out
Deiphobus, Polydamas, nor Hector that most stout
And valeant knyght, the strength of Troy. For whoo will prayse his fo?
Your father overthrew the walles of Messen long ago,
And razed Pyle, and Ely townes unwoorthye serving so. ... [XII.610]
And feerce ageinst my fathers house hee usde bothe swoord and fyre.
And (not to speake of others whom he killed in his ire)
Twyce six wee were the sonnes of Nele all lusty gentlemen.
Twyce six of us (excepting mee) by him were murthred then.
The death of all the rest myght seeme a matter not so straunge:
But straunge was Periclymens death whoo had the powre to chaunge
And leave and take what shape he list (by Neptune to him given,
The founder of the house of Nele). For when he had been driven
To try all shapes, and none could help: he last of all became
The fowle that in his hooked feete dooth beare the flasshing flame ... [XII.620]
Sent downe from heaven by Jupiter. He practising those birds,
With flaping wings, and bowwing beake, and hooked talants girds
At Hercle, and beescratcht his face. Too certeine (I may say)
Thy father amde his shaft at him. For as he towring lay
Among the clowdes, he hit him underneath the wing. The stroke
Was small: howbee't bycause therwith the sinewes being broke,
He wanted strength to maynteine flyght, he fell me to the ground,
Through weakenesse of his wing. The shaft that sticked in the wound,
By reason of the burthen of his bodye perst his syde,
And at the leftsyde of his necke all bloodye foorth did glyde. ... [XII.630]
Now tell mee, O thou beawtyfull Lord Amirall of the fleet
Of Rhodes, if mee to speake the prayse of Hercle it bee meete.
But lest that of my brothers deathes men think I doo desyre
A further vendge than silence of the prowesse of thy syre,
I love thee even with all my hart, and take thee for my freend.
When Nestor of his pleasant tales had made this freendly end,
They called for a boll of wyne, and from the table went,
And all the resdew of the nyght in sleeping soundly spent.
But Neptune like a father tooke the matter sore to hart
That Cygnet to a Swan he was constreyned to convert. ... [XII.640]
And hating feerce Achilles, he did wreake his cruell teene
Uppon him more uncourteously than had beseeming beene.
For when the warres well neere full twyce fyve yeeres had lasted, hee
Unshorne Apollo thus bespake: O nevew, unto mee
Most deere of all my brothers impes, who helpedst mee to lay
Foundation of the walles of Troy for which we had no pay,
And canst thou syghes forbeare to see the Asian Empyre fall?
And dooth it not lament thy hart when thou to mynd doost call
So many thousand people slayne in keeping Ilion wall?
Or (too th'entent particlerly I doo not speake of all) ... [XII.650]
Remembrest thou not Hectors Ghost whoo harryed was about
His towne of Troy? where nerethelese Achilles that same stout
And farre in fyght more butcherly, whoo stryves with all his myght
To stroy the woorke of mee and thee, lives still in healthfull plyght?
If ever hee doo come within my daunger he shall feele
What force is in my tryple mace. But sith with swoord of steele
I may not meete him as my fo, I pray thee unbeeware
Go kill him with a sodeine shaft and rid mee of my care.
Apollo did consent: as well his uncle for to please,
As also for a pryvate grudge himself had for to ease. ... [XII.660]
And in a clowd he downe among the host of Troy did slyde,
Where Paris dribbling out his shaftes among the Greekes hee spyde:
And telling him what God he was, sayd: Wherfore doost thou waast
Thyne arrowes on the simple sort? If any care thou haste
Of those that are thy freendes, go turne ageinst Achilles head,
And like a man revendge on him thy brothers that are dead.
In saying this, he brought him where Achilles with his brond
Was beating downe the Trojane folk, and leveld so his hond
As that Achilles tumbled downe starke dead uppon the lond.
This was the onely thing wherof the old king Priam myght ... [XII.670]
Take comfort after Hectors death. That stout and valeant knyght
Achilles whoo had overthrowen so many men in fyght,
Was by that coward carpet knyght beereeved of his lyfe,
Whoo like a caytif stale away the Spartane princes wyfe.
But if of weapon womanish he had foreknowen it had
His destnye beene to lose his lyfe, he would have beene more glad
That Queene Penthesileas bill had slaine him out of hand.
Now was the feare of Phrygian folk, the onely glory, and
Defence of Greekes, that peerelesse prince in Armes, Achilles turnd
To asshes. That same God that had him armd, him also burnd. ... [XII.680]
Now is he dust: and of that great Achilles bydeth still
A thing of nought, that scarcely can a little coffin fill.
Howbee't his woorthy fame dooth lyve, and spreadeth over all
The world, a measure meete for such a persone to beefall.
This matcheth thee, Achilles, full. And this can never dye.
His target also (too th'entent that men myght playnly spye
What wyghts it was) did move debate, and for his armour burst
Out deadly foode. Not Diomed, nor Ajax Oylye durst
Make clayme or chalendge to the same, nor Atreus yoonger sonne,
Nor yit his elder, though in armes much honour they had wonne. ... [XII.690]
Alone the sonnes of Telamon and Laert did assay
Which of them two of that great pryse should beare the bell away.
But Agamemnon from himself the burthen putts, and cleeres
His handes of envye, causing all the Capteines and the Peeres
Of Greece to meete amid the camp togither in a place,
To whom he put the heering and the judgement of the cace.
FINIS DUODECIMI LIBRI.
Length: 7,760 words
Continue on to Metamorphoses Book 13
Metamorphoses Book 14
Metamorphoses Book 15
Go Back to Metamorphoses Main Page - Epistle & Preface
Go Back to Metamorphoses - Book 1
Go Back to Metamorphoses - Book 2
Go Back to Metamorphoses - Book 3
Go Back to Metamorphoses - Book 4
Go Back to Metamorphoses - Book 5
Go Back to Metamorphoses - Book 6
Go Back to Metamorphoses - Book 7
Go Back to Metamorphoses - Book 8
Go Back to Metamorphoses - Book 9
Go Back to Metamorphoses - Book 10
Go Back to Metamorphoses - Book 11
Go Back to Elizabethan Authors HOME PAGE
The Elizabethan Authors website is a collaborative effort by Robert Brazil & Barboura Flues
All Rights Reserved. All site contents Copyright © 2002 B. Flues and elizabethanauthors.com
Webmaster contact: email@example.com