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This webpage reproduces a Book of
The Rape of Proserpine


published in the Loeb Classical Library,

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 p345  The Rape of Proserpine

Book III

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Meanwhile Jove bids cloud-girt Iris go gather the gods from the whole universe. She, outstripping the breezes in her rainbow flight, calls to the sea-deities, chides the Nymphs for their delay, and summons forth the river-gods from their moist  p347 caverns. Out they haste in doubt and fear what this disturbance of their peace may signify or what has caused so great an upheaval. The starry heaven is thrown open and the gods are bidden take their seats as merit, not chance, dictates. The first places are accorded to the heavenly powers, next come the ocean-deities, calm Nereus and grey-haired Phorcus, last twiform Glaucus and Proteus, for once of unvarying shape. The agèd river-gods, too, are privileged to take their seats; the other rivers, a thousand strong, stand as stands the youth of an earthly assembly. Dripping water-nymphs lean on their moist sires and Fauns in silence marvel at the stars.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Then the grave Father from his seat on high Olympus thus began: "Once more the affairs of men have won care from me, affairs long neglected since I looked upon the repose of Saturn's reign and knew the torpor of that stagnant age, when I had fain urged the race of man, long sunk in lethargy by reason of my sire's sluggish rule, with the goads of anxious life, whereby their crops should no more grow to maturity of their own accord in the untilled fields nor yet the forest trees drip with honey nor wine flow from springs nor every stream course sounding into cups. 'Twas not that I grudged their blessings — gods may not envy nor hurt — but because luxury is a foe to a godly life, and plenty dulls the minds of men; therefore I bade necessity, invention's mother, provoke their sluggish spirits and little by little search out the hidden tracks of things; bade industry give birth to civilization and practice nourish it.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] "Nature now with ceaseless complaint bids me  p349 succour the race of man, calls me cruel and implacable tyrant, calls to mind the centuries of my sire's empery and dubs me miser of her riches, for that I would have the world a wilderness and the land covered with scrub and would beautify the year with no fruits. She complained that she, who was erstwhile the mother of living things, had suddenly taken upon her the hated guise of a stepmother. 'Of what avail that man derived his intelligence from above, that he has held up his head to heaven, if he wander like the beasts through trackless places, if with them he crushes acorns for food? Can such a life as this bring him happiness, hid in the forest glades, indistinguishable from the life of animals?' Since I bore so often such complaints from the lips of mother Nature, at length I took pity on the world and decided to make man to cease from his oak-tree food; wherefore I have decreed that Ceres, who now, ignorant of her loss, lashes the lions of Mount Ida, accompanying her dread mother, should wander over sea and land in anxious grief, until, in her joy at finding the traces of her lost daughter, she grant man the gift of cornº and her chariot is borne aloft through the clouds to scatter among the peoples ears before unknown and the steel-blue serpents submit them to the Attic yoke.​1 But if any of the gods dare inform Ceres who is the ravisher, I swear by the immensity of mine empire, by the firm-established peace of the world, be he son or sister, spouse or one of my band of daughters, vaunting her birth as from mine own head, that one shall feel afar the wrath of mine arms, the thunderbolt's blow, and be sorry he was born a god and pray for death. Then, sore wounded, he shall be handed  p351 over to my son-in‑law, Pluto himself, for punishment in those regions he had fain betray. There he shall learn whether Hell is true to her own monarch's cause. Such is my will; thus let the unchangeable fates fulfil my decree." He spake and shook the stars with his dread nod.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] But, far from Sicily, no uncertain suspicions of the loss she had suffered alarmed Ceres, where long she had dwelt peaceful and secure beneath the rocky roof of the cave resounding with arms. Dreams doubled her dread and a vision of Proserpine lost troubled her every sleep. Now she dreams that an enemy's spear is piercing her body, now (oh horror!) that her raiment is changed and is become black, now that the infecund ash is budding in the midst of her house. Moreover, there stood a laurel, loved above all the grove, that used with maiden leaf to o'ershadow the virgin bower of Proserpine. This she saw hewn down to the roots, its straggling branches fouled with dust, and when she asked the cause of this disaster the weeping Dryads told her that the Furies had destroyed it with an axe of Hell.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Next her very image appeared in the mother's dreams, announcing her fate in no uncertain manner. She saw Proserpine shut in the dark confines of a prison-house and bound with cruel chains. Yet not so had she entrusted her to the fields of Sicily, not so had the wondering goddesses beheld her in Etna's flowery meadows. Foul was now that hair, more beauteous erstwhile than gold; night had dimmed the fire of her eyes and frost banished the roses from her pale cheeks. The gracious flush of her skin and those limbs whose whiteness matched the hoar-frost are alike turned to hell-tinctured  p353 grain. When, therefore, she was at last able to recognize her daughter, albeit with doubtful gaze, she cried: "What crime hath merited these many punishments? Whence comes this dreadful wasting away? Who hath power to wreak such cruelty upon me? How have thy soft arms deserved fetters of stubborn iron, scarce fitted for beasts? Art thou my daughter or does a vain shadow deceive me?"

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Thus she answered: "Cruel mother, forget­ful of thy daughter's fate, more hard of heart than the tawny lioness! Could'st thou be so heedless of me? Didst thou hold me cheap for that I am thy sole daughter? Dear indeed to thee must be the name of Proserpine who now, shut in this vast cavern, as thou seest, am plagued by torment! Hast thou heart to dance, cruel mother? Canst thou revel through the cities of Phrygia? If thou hast not banished the mother from thy breast, if thou, Ceres, art really my mother and 'twas no Hyrcanian tiger gave me birth, save me, I pray thee, from this prison and restore me to the upper world. If the fates forbid my return come thou down at least and visit me."

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] So spake she and strove to hold out her trembling hands. The iron's ruthless strength forbade it, and the clangour of the chains awoke her sleeping mother. Ceres lay stiff with terror at the vision, rejoices that it was not true, but grieves that she cannot embrace her daughter. Maddened with fear she rushes out of the cavern and thus addresses Cybele: [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] "No longer now will I tarry in the land of Phrygia, holy mother; the duty of protecting my dear daughter calls me back after so long an absence, for she is of an age that is exposed to many dangers. I put not  p355 complete trust in my palace, though built with iron from the Cyclopes' furnace. I fear lest rumour disclose her hiding-place and Sicily too lightly guard my trust. The fame of that place too widely bruited abroad alarms me; needs must I find elsewhere some obscurer abode. Our retreat must be on all men's tongues by reason of the groanings of Enceladus and the neighbour flames. Ill-omened dreams, too, with diverse visions often give me pause, and no day passes but brings some inauspicious hap. How often has my crown of golden ears fallen of itself! How often blood flowed from my breast! In mine own despite streams of tears course down my cheeks and unbidden my hands beat my astonished breast. Would I blow up the flute, funereal is the note; do I shake the cymbals, the cymbals echo a sound of mourning. Alas! I fear there is some trouble in these portents. This long sojourn has wrought me woe."

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] "May the wind carry far away thy vain words," replies Cybele; "not such the Thunderer's want of care that he would not hurl his bolt in his daughter's defence. Yet go and return, dismayed by no evil hap."

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] This said, Ceres left the temple; but no speed is enough for her haste; she complains that her sluggish dragons scarce move, and, lashing the wings now of this one and now of that (though little they deserved it), she hopes to reach Sicily e'er yet out of sight of Ida. She fears everything and hopes nothing, anxious as the bird that has entrusted its unfledged brood to a low-growing ash and while absent gathering food has many fears lest perchance the wind has blown the fragile nest from the tree, lest her young ones be exposed to the theft of man or the greed of snakes.

 p357  [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] When she saw the gate-keepers fled, the house unguarded, the rusted hinges, the overthrown doorposts, and the miserable state of the silent halls, pausing not to look again at the disaster, she rent her garment and tore away the shattered corn-ears along with her hair. She could not weep nor speak nor breathe and a trembling shook the very marrow of her bones; her faltering steps tottered. She flung open the doors and wandering through the empty rooms and deserted halls, recognized the half-ruined warp with its disordered threads and the work of the loom broken off. The goddess' labours had come to naught, and what remained to be done, that the bold spider was finishing with her sacrilegious web.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] She weeps not nor bewails the ill; only kisses the loom and stifles her dumb complaints amid the threads, clasping to her bosom, as though it had been her child, the spindles her child's hand had touched, the wool she had cast aside, and all the toys scattered in maiden sport. She scans the virgin bed, the deserted couch, and the chair where Proserpine had sat: even as a herd, whose drove the unexpected fury of an African lion or bands of marauding beasts have attacked, gazes in amaze at the vacant stall, and, too late returned, wanders through the emptied pastures, sadly calling to the unreplying steers.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] And there, lying in the innermost parts of the house, she saw Electra, loving nurse of Proserpine, best known among the old Nymphs of Ocean; she who loved Proserpine as did Ceres. 'Twas she who, when Proserpine had left her cradle, would bear her in her loving bosom and bring the little girl to mighty Jove and set her to play on her father's  p359 knee. She was her companion, her guardian, and could be deemed her second mother. There, with torn and disheveled hair, all foul with grey dust, she was lamenting the rape of her divine foster-child.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Ceres approached her, and when at length her grief allowed her sighs free rein: "What ruin is here?" she said. "Of what enemy am I become the victim? Does my husband yet rule or do the Titans hold heaven? What hand hath dared this, if the Thunderer be still alive? Have Typhon's shoulders forced up Inarime or does Alcyoneus course on foot through the Etruscan Sea, having burst the bonds of imprisoning Vesuvius? Or has the neighbouring Etna oped her jaws and expelled Enceladus? Perchance Briareus with his hundred arms has attacked my house? Ah, my daughter, where art thou now? Whither are fled my thousand servants, whither Cyane? What violence has driven away the winged Sirens? Is this your faith? Is this the way to guard another's treasure?"

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] The nurse trembled and her sorrow gave place to shame; fain would she have died could she so escape the gaze of that unhappy mother, and long stayed she motionless, hesitating to disclose the suspected criminal and the all too certain death. Scarce could she thus speak: [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] "Would that the raging band of Giants had wrought this ruin! Easier to bear is a common lot. 'Tis the goddesses, and, though thou wilt scarce credit it, her own sisters, who have conspired to our undoing. Thou seest the devices of gods and wounds inflicted by sisters' jealousy. Heaven is a more cruel enemy than Hell.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] "All quiet was the house, the maiden dared not  p361 o'erstep the threshold nor visit the grassy pastures, close bound by thy commands. The loom gave her work, the Sirens with their song relaxation — with me she held pleasant converse, with me she slept; safe delights were hers within the halls. Then suddenly Cytherea came (who showed her the way to our hid abode I know not), and, that she might not rouse our suspicions, she brought with her Diana and Minerva, attending her on either side. Straightway with beaming smiles she put on a pretence of joy, kissed Proserpine many a time, and repeated the name of sister, complaining of that hard-hearted mother who chose to condemn such beauty to imprisonment and complaining that by forbidding her intercourse with the goddesses she had removed her far from her father's heaven. My unwitting charge rejoiced in these evil words and bade a feast be spread with plenti­ful nectar. Now she dons Diana's arms and dress and tries her bow with her soft fingers. Now crowned with horse-hair plumes she puts on the helmet, Minerva commending her, and strives to carry her huge shield.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] "Venus was the first with guileful suggestion to mention fields and the vale of Henna. Cunningly she harps upon the nearness of the flowery mead, and as though she knew it not, asks what merits the place boasts, pretending not to believe that a harmless winter allows the roses to bloom, that the cold months are bright with flowers not rightly theirs, and that the spring thickets fear not there Boötes' wrath. So with her wonderment, her passion to see the spot, she persuades Proserpine. Alas! how easily does youth err with its weak ways! What tears did I not shed to no purpose, what vain  p363 entreaties did my lips not utter! Away she flew, trusting to the sisters' protection; the scattered company of attendant Nymphs followed after her.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] "They went to the hills clothed with undying grass and gather flowers 'neath the twilight of dawn, when the quiet meads are white with dew and violets drink the scattered moisture. But when the sun had mounted to higher air at noon, behold! murky night hid the sky and the island trembled and shook beneath the beat of horses' hoofs and the rumble of wheels. Who the charioteer was none might tell — whether he was the harbinger of death or it was Death himself. Gloom spread through the meadows, the rivers stayed their courses, the fields were blighted, nor did aught live, once touched by those horses' breath. I saw the bryony pale, the roses fade, the lilies wither. When in his roaring course the driver turned back his steeds the night it brought accompanied the chariot and light was restored to the world. Proserpine was nowhere to be seen. Their vows fulfilled, the goddesses had returned and tarried not. We found Cyane half dead amid the fields; there she lay, a garland round her neck and the blackened wreaths faded upon her forehead. At once we approached her and inquired after her mistress's fortune, for she had been a witness of the disaster. What, we asked, was the aspect of the horses; who their driver? Naught said she, but corrupted with some hidden venom, dissolved into water. Water crept amid her hair; legs and arms melted and flowed away, and soon a clear stream washed our feet. The rest are gone; the Sirens, Achelous' daughters, rising on rapid wing, have occupied the coast of Sicilian Pelorus, and in wrath  p365 at this crime now turned their lyres to man's destruction, tuneful now for ill. Their sweet voices stay ships, but once that song is heard the oars can move no more. I alone am left in the house to drag out an old age of mourning."

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Ceres is still a prey to anxiety; half distraught she fears everything as though all were not yet accomplished. Anon she turns her head and eyes to heaven and with raging breast inveighs against its denizens; even as lofty Niphates shakes to the roaring of the Hyrcan tigress whose cubs the terrified horseman has carried off to be the playthings of Persia's king. Speedier than the west wind that is her paramour​2 rushes the tigress, anger blazing from her stripes, but just as she is about to engulf the terrified hunter in her capacious maw, she is checked by the mirrored image of her own form:​3 [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] so the mother of Proserpine rages over all Olympus crying: "Give her back; no wandering stream gave me birth; I spring not from the Dryad rabble. Towered Cybele bare me also to Saturn. Where are the ordinances of the gods, where the laws of heaven? What boots it to live a good life? See, Cytherea dares show her face (modest goddess!) even after her Lemnian​4 bondage! 'Tis that chaste sleep and a loverless couch have given her this courage! This is, I suppose, the reward of those maidenly embraces! Small wonder that after such infamy she account nothing disgraceful. Ye goddesses that have known not marriage, is it thus that ye neglect the honour due to virginity?  p367 Have ye so changed your counsel? Do ye now go allied with Venus and her accomplice ravishers? Worthy each of you to be worshipped in Scythian temples and at altars that lust after human blood. What hath caused such great anger? Which of you has my Proserpine wronged even in her slightest word? Doubtless she drove thee, Delian goddess, from thy loved woods, or deprived thee, Triton-born, of some battle thou hadst joined. Did she plague you with talk? Break rudely upon your dances? Nay, that she might be no burden to you, she dwelt far away in the solitudes of Sicily. What good hath her retirement done her? No peace can still the madness of bitter jealousy."

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Thus she upbraids them all. But they, obedient to the Father's word, keep silence or say they know nothing, and make tears their answer to the mother's questionings. What can she do? She ceases, beaten, and in turn descends to humble entreaty. [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] "If a mother's love swelled too high or if I have done aught more boldly than befitted misery, oh forgive! A suppliant and wretched I fling me at your feet; grant me to learn my doom; grant me at least this much — sure knowledge of my woes. Fain would I know the manner of this ill; whatsoever fortune ye have visited upon me that will I bear and account it fate, not injustice. Grant a parent the sight of her child; I ask her not back. Whosoever thou art, possess in peace what thine hand has taken. The prey is thine, fear not. But if the ravisher has thwarted me, binding you by some oath, yet do thou, at least, Latona, tell me his name; to thee mayhap Diana hath confessed her knowledge. Thou hast known childbirth, the anxiety  p369 and love for children; to offspring twain hast thou given birth; this was mine only child. So mayest thou ever enjoy Apollo's locks, so mayest thou live a happier mother than I."

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Plenteous tears then bedewed her cheeks. She continued: "Why these tears? why this silence? Woe is me; all desert me. Why tarriest thou yet to no purpose? Seest thou not 'tis open war with heaven? were it not better to seek again thy daughter by sea and land? I will gird myself and scour the world, unwearied I will penetrate every corner, nor ever stay my earth, nor rest nor sleep till I find my reft treasure, though she lie whelmed in the Spanish Ocean bed or hedged around in the depths of the Red Sea. Neither ice-bound Rhine nor Alpine frosts shall stay me; the treacherous tides of Syrtes shall not give me pause. My purpose holds to penetrate the fastnesses of the South and to tread the snowy home of Boreas. I will climb Atlas on the brink of the sunset and illumine Hydaspes' stream with my torches. Let wicked Jove behold me wandering through towns and country, and Juno's jealousy be sated with her rival's ruin. Have your sport with me, triumph in heaven, proud gods, celebrate your illustrious victory o'er Ceres' conquered daughter."

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] So spake she and glides down upon Etna's familiar slopes, there to fashion torches to aid her night-wandering labours.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] There was a wood, hard by the stream of Acis, which fair Galatea oft chooses in preference to Ocean and cleaves in swimming with her snowy breast — a wood dense with foliage that closed in Etna's summit on all sides with interwoven branches. 'Tis there that Jove is said to have laid down his  p371 bloody shield and set his captured spoil after the battle. The grove glories in trophies from the plain of Phlegra and signs of victory clothe its every tree. Here hang the gaping jaws and monstrous skins of the Giants; affixed to trees their faces still threaten horribly, and heaped up on all sides bleach the huge bones of slaughtered serpents. Their stiffening sloughs smoke with the blow of many a thunderbolt, and every tree boasts some illustrious name. This one scarce supports on its down-bended branches the naked swords of hundred-handed Aegaeon; that glories in the murky trophies of Coeus; this bears up the arms of Mimas; spoiled Ophion weighs down those branches. But higher than all the other trees towers a pine, its shady branches spread wide, and bears the reeking arms of Enceladus himself, all power­ful king of the Earth-born giants; it would have fallen beneath the heavy burden did not a neighbouring oak-tree support its wearied weight. Therefore the spot wins awe and sanctity; none touches the aged grove, and 'tis accounted a crime to violate the trophies of the gods. No Cyclops dares pasture there his flock nor hew down the trees, Polyphemus himself flies from the hallowed shade.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Not for that did Ceres stay her steps; the very sanctity of the place inflames her wrath; with angry hand she brandishes her axe, ready to strike Jove himself. She hesitates whether to cut down pines or lay low knotless cedars, scans likely trunks and lofty trees and shakes their branches with vigorous hand. Even so when a man, fain to carry merchandise over distant seas, builds a ship on dry land and makes ready to expose his life to tempest, he hews down  p373 beech and alder and marks the diverse utility of the yet growing forest; the lofty tree he selects as yard-arms for the swelling sail; the strong he prefers as a helm; the pliant will make good oars; the water-proof is suitable for the keel.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Two cypresses in the grass hard by raised their inviolate heads to heaven; Simois looks not on such in amaze amid the crags of Ida, nor does Orontes water their like, Orontes that feeds Apollo's grove and harbours rich cities on his banks. You would know them for sisters for they tower equal in height and look down upon the wood with twin tops. These she would have as her torches; she attacks each with vigorous blows, her gown girt back, her arms bared and armed with the axe. First one she strikes, then the other, and rains blows upon their trembling trunks with might and main. Together they crash to the ground, lay their foliage in the dust and lie upon the plain, wept of Fauns and wood-nymphs. She seizes both just as they are, uplifts them and, with hair out-streaming behind her, climbs panting the slopes of the mountain, passes beyond the flames and inaccessible precipices, and treads the lava that brooks no mortal footstep: even as the grim Megaera hastens to kindle yew-trees to light her to crime, speeding her journey to the walls of Cadmus' city or meaning to work her devilment in Thyestean Mycenae; darkness and the shades give her passage, and Hell rings to her iron tread, till she halts beside Phlegethon's wave and fires her torch from its brimming waves.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] When she had climbed to the mouth of the burning rock, straightway, turning aside her head, she thrust the kindling cypresses into its inmost depths, thus closing in the cavern on all sides and stopping up the  p375 blazing exit of the flames. The mountain thunders with repressed fire and Vulcan is shut in a grievous prison; the enclosed smoke cannot escape. The cone-bearing tops of the cypresses blaze and Etna grows with new ashes; the branches crackle, kindled with sulphur. Then, lest their long journey should cause them to fail, she bids the flames never die nor sleep and drenches the wood with that secret drug​5 wherewith Phaëthon bedews his steeds and the Moon her bulls.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Silent night had now in her turn visited upon the world her gift of sleep. Ceres, with her wounded breast, starts on her long journey, and, as she sets out, speaks as follows: [Legamen ad paginam Latinam] "Little thought I, Proserpine, to carry for thee such torches as these. I had hoped what every mother hopes; marriage and festal torches and a wedding-song to be sung in heaven — such was my expectation. Are we divinities thus the sport of fate? does Lachesis vent her spleen on us as on mankind? How lofty was but now mine estate, surrounded with suitors innumerable for my daughter's hand! What mother of many children but would have owned her my inferior by reason of my only daughter! Thou wast my first joy and my last; I was called prolific for that I bare thee. Thou wert my glory, my comfort, dear object of a mother's pride; with thee alive I was goddess indeed, with thee safe I was Juno's equal. Now am I an outcast, beggared. 'Tis the Father's will. Yet why make Jove answerable for my tears? 'Twas I who so cruelly undid thee, I confess it, for I deserted thee and heedlessly exposed thee to threatening foes. Too deeply was I enmeshed in careless enjoyment of shrill-voiced revel, and, happy amid the din of arms,  p377 I was yoking Phrygian lions whilst thou wast being carried off. Yet see the punishment visited upon me. My face is seared with wounds and long gashes furrow my bloody breast. My womb, forget­ful that it gave thee birth, is beaten with continual blows.

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] "Where under heaven shall I find thee? Beneath what quarter of the sky? Who shall point the way, what path shall lead me? What chariot was it? Who was that cruel ravisher? A denizen of earth or sea? What traces of his wingèd wheels can I discover? Whithersoever my steps lead me or chance direct, thither will I go. Even so may Dione be deserted and seek for Venus!

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] "Will my labours be success­ful? Shall I ever again be blest with thine embrace, my daughter? Art thou still fair; still glows the brightness of thy cheeks? Or shall I perchance see thee as thou cam'st in my nightly vision; as I saw thee in my dreams?"

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] So spake she and from Etna first she drags her steps, and, cursing its guilty flowers and the spot whence Proserpine was ravaged, she follows the straying tracks of the chariot wheels and examines the fields in the full light of her lowered torch. Every rut is wet with her tears; she weeps at each trace she espies in her wanderings over the plain. She glides a shadow o'er the sea and the farthest ray of her torches' gleam strikes the coasts of Italy and Libya. The Tuscan shore grows bright and the Syrtes gleam with kindled wave. The light reaches the distant cave of Scylla, of whose dogs some shrink back and are still in dumb amaze, others, not yet horrified into silence, continue to bark.6

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 Attic, because Ceres in her wanderings came to Eleusis where she instructed Triptolemus, son of Celeus, King of Eleusis, in the art of agriculture.

2 marito Zephyro (ll. 265, 266) refers to the theory of impregnation by wind commonly accepted by the ancients (see Arist. H. A. VI.19; Verg. Georg. III. 275, etc.).

For the "etc.", see Spontaneous Generation in Antiquity, p110.

3 It was supposed that the robbed tigress on being confronted with a convex mirror supposed the reduced image to be her cub and contentedly retired with the mirror in her mouth. Another story makes the tigress vent her anger on an ordinary (not convex) mirror.

4 A reference to the binding by Hephaestus (to whom Lemnos was sacred) of Ares and Aphrodite whom he had surprised in adulterous intercourse. The story is told by Homer (Od. 8. 266 et sqq.). Statius (Silv. I.2.60) uses this very phrase "Lemnia vincula."

5 A magic drug or herb on which the sun is said to have fed his horses in order to render them non-inflammable. Ovid tells how Phaëthon was treated by his father in a like way (Met. II.122).

6 For the unfinished state of the poem see Introduction, p. xiv.

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