Iam iam efficaci do manus scientiae, supplex et oro regna per Proserpinae, per et Dianae non movenda numina, per atque libros carminum valentium 5refixa caelo devocare sidera, Canidia, parce vocibus tandem sacris, citumque retro solve, solve turbinem. movit nepotem Telephus Nereium, in quem superbus ordinarat agmina 10Mysorum et in quem tela acuta torserat: luxere12 matres Iliae addictum feris alitibus atque canibus homicidam Hectorem, postquam relictis moenibus rex procidit heu pervicacis ad pedes Achillei: 15saetosa duris exuere pellibus laboriosi remiges Ulixei volente Circa membra; tunc mens et sonus relapsus atque notus in vultus honor. dedi satis superque poenarum tibi, 20amata nautis multum et institoribus: fugit iuventas et verecundus color reliquit ossa pelle amicta lurida; tuis capillus albus est odoribus; nullum ab labore me reclinat otium;
17A palinode and its reception
All right, all right! I yield to the power of your magic, and I humbly beseech you by the kingdom of Proserpine, by the divinity of Diana that must not be provoked, and by those books of spells that can dislodge the stars and call them down from the sky, leave off your awful incantations, Canidia, I beg you, and let the swift wheel that you have set in motion run back, back.
Telephus prevailed on Nereus’ son,30 when in his pride he had marshalled his Mysian troops against him and had attacked him with sharp spears. After the king came out from the city walls and cast himself down, so pathetically, at the feet of the stubborn Achilles,31 the Trojan mothers were able to lament the man-slaying Hector who had been consigned to the wild dogs and birds of prey. With Circe’s permission the oarsmen of the much-enduring Ulysses stripped from their limbs the skins that were rough with pigs’ bristles; whereupon their sanity and voice returned, and the former dignity was restored to their faces. You have punished me enough and more than enough, you who are so much loved by sailors and hawkers. My youth and modest complexion have vanished,32 leaving my bones covered with yellow skin, while my hair has been turned white by your perfumes. No peace gives me respite
- 30Telephus, king of the Mysians, attacked Achilles, whose mother was the Nereid Thetis. He was wounded by Achilles, but the latter was persuaded to heal his wound with the rust of the spear.
- 31Priam came out from Troy to recover the body of Hector from Achilles; it was then given decent burial.
- 32“The fresh colour of blushing youth” (T. E. Page).