275quae radio stantis percurrens stamina telae “vulgatos taceo” dixit “pastoris amores Daphnidis Idaei, quem nymphe paelicis ira contulit in saxum: tantus dolor urit amantes; nec loquor, ut quondam naturae iure novato 280ambiguus fuerit modo vir, modo femina Sithon. te quoque, nunc adamas, quondam fidissime parvo, Celmi, Iovi largoque satos Curetas ab imbri et Crocon in parvos versum cum Smilace flores praetereo dulcique animos novitate tenebo. 285“Unde sit infamis, quare male fortibus undis Salmacis enervet tactosque remolliat artus, discite. causa latet, vis est notissima fontis. Mercurio puerum diva Cythereide natum naides Idaeis enutrivere sub antris, 290cuius erat facies, in qua materque paterque cognosci possent; nomen quoque traxit ab illis. is tria cum primum fecit quinquennia, montes deseruit patrios Idaque altrice relicta ignotis errare locis, ignota videre 295flumina gaudebat, studio minuente laborem. ille etiam Lycias urbes Lyciaeque propinquos Caras adit: videt hic stagnum lucentis ad imum usque solum lymphae; non illic canna palustris nec steriles ulvae nec acuta cuspide iunci; 300perspicuus liquor est; stagni tamen ultima vivo caespite cinguntur semperque virentibus herbis. nympha colit, sed nec venatibus apta nec arcus flectere quae soleat nec quae contendere cursu,
become silent again. Running her shuttle swiftly through the threads of her loom, she said: “I will pass by the well-known love of Daphnis, the shepherd-boy of Ida, whom a nymph, in anger at her rival, changed to stone: so great is the burning smart which jealous lovers feel. Nor will I tell how once Sithon, the natural laws reversed, lived of changing sex, now woman and now man. How you also, Celmis, now adamant, were once most faithful friend of little Jove; how the Curetes sprang from copious showers; how Crocus and his beloved Smilax were changed into tiny flowers. All these stories I will pass by and will charm your minds with a tale that is pleasing because new.
“How the fountain of Salmacis is of ill-repute, how it enervates with its enfeebling waters and renders soft and weak all men who bathe therein, you shall now hear. The cause is hidden; but the enfeebling power of the fountain is well known. A little son of Hermes and of the goddess of Cythera the naiads nursed within Ida’s caves. In his fair face mother and father could be clearly seen; his name also he took from them. When fifteen years had passed, he left his native mountains and abandoned his foster-mother, Ida, delighting to wander in unknown lands and to see strange rivers, his eagerness making light of toil. He came even to the Lycian cities and to the Carians, who dwell hard by the land of Lycia. Here he saw a pool of water crystal clear to the very bottom. No marshy reeds grew there, no unfruitful swamp-grass, nor spiky rushes; it is clear water. But the edges of the pool are bordered with fresh grass, and herbage ever green. A nymph dwells in the pool, one that loves not hunting, nor is wont to bend the bow or strive with speed of foot. She