15nunc opto currum, de quo Cerealia primum semina venerunt in rude missa solum. prodigiosa loquor veterum mendacia vatum; nec tulit haec umquam nec feret ulla dies. Tu potius, ripis effuse capacibus amnis— 20sic aeternus eas—labere fine tuo! non eris invidiae, torrens, mihi crede, ferendae, si dicar per te forte retentus amans. flumina deberent iuvenes in amore iuvare; flumina senserunt ipsa, quid esset amor. 25Inachus in Melie Bithynide pallidus isse dicitur et gelidis incaluisse vadis. nondum Troia fuit lustris obsessa duobus, cum rapuit vultus, Xanthe, Neaera tuos. quid? non Alpheon diversis currere terris 30virginis Arcadiae certus adegit amor? te quoque promissam Xutho, Penee, Creusam Pthiotum terris occuluisse ferunt. quid referam Asopon, quem cepit Martia Thebe, natarum Thebe quinque futura parens? 35cornua si tua nunc ubi sint, Acheloe, requiram, Herculis irata fracta querere manu; nec tanti Calydon nec tota Aetolia tanti, una tamen tanti Deianira fuit. ille fluens dives septena per ostia Nilus, 40qui patriam tantae tam bene celat aquae, fertur in Euanthe collectam Asopide flammam vincere gurgitibus non potuisse suis. siccus ut amplecti Salmonida posset Enipeus, cedere iussit aquam; iussa recessit aqua.
that mine were the car from which first came the seeds of Ceres when cast on the untilled ground.a But the wonders whereof I speak are false tales of olden bards; no day e’er brought them forth, and no day will.19
Do thou choose rather, O stream poured wide beyond thy capacious banks—so mayst thou flow on for ever—to glide within thy bounds! Thine, O torrent, will be hate unbearable, believe, if I perchance am said to have been kept by thee—I, a lover! Rivers ought to aid young men in love; what love is, rivers themselves have felt. The Inachus, they say, went pale for Bithynian Melie, and his chill waves felt love’s warmth. Not yet had Troy been under siege two lustrums when Neaera ravished thine eyes, O Xanthus. What? did not Alpheus flow in far-separate lands, driven by faithful love for Arcadian maid?b Thou, too, Peneus, they say didst hide away, in the land of the Phthiotes, Creusa, promised bride to Xuthus. Why call to mind Asopus, smitten with Thebe, child of Mars— Thebe, destined mother of daughters five? If I ask of thee, Achelous, where are now thy horns, thou wilt complain of their breaking by wrathful Hercules’ hand; what neither Calydon could win from him, nor all Aetolia, Deianira none the less alone could win. Rich Nile yonder, who flows through seven mouths and hides so well the homeland of his mighty waters, ’tis said could not drown out with his own floods the fires Asopus’ child Euanthe kindled in him. Enipeus, to dry himself for the arms of Salmoneus’ child, bade his waters retire; the waters, so bid, retired.