Ovid, Metamorphoses

LCL 42: 280-281

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Ovid

sicut eram, fugio sine vestibus (altera vestes ripa meas habuit): tanto magis instat et ardet, et quia nuda fui, sum visa paratior illi. sic ego currebam, sic me ferus ille premebat, 605ut fugere accipitrem penna trepidante columbae, ut solet accipiter trepidas urguere columbas. usque sub Orchomenon Psophidaque Cyllenenque Maenaliosque sinus gelidumque Erymanthon et Elin currere sustinui, nec me velocior ille; 610sed tolerare diu cursus ego viribus inpar non poteram, longi patiens erat ille laboris. per tamen et campos, per opertos arbore montes, saxa quoque et rupes et, qua via nulla, cucurri. sol erat a tergo: vidi praecedere longam 615ante pedes umbram, nisi si timor illa videbat; sed certe sonitusque pedum terrebat et ingens crinales vittas adflabat anhelitus oris. fessa labore fugae ‘fer opem, deprendimur,’ inquam ‘armigerae, Diana, tuae, cui saepe dedisti 620ferre tuos arcus inclusaque tela pharetra!’ mota dea est spissisque ferens e nubibus unam me super iniecit: lustrat caligine tectam amnis et ignarus circum cava nubila quaerit bisque locum, quo me dea texerat, inscius ambit 625et bis ‘io Arethusa’ vocavit, ‘io Arethusa!’ quid mihi tunc animi miserae fuit? anne quod agnae est, si qua lupos audit circum stabula alta frementes, aut lepori, qui vepre latens hostilia cernit ora canum nullosque audet dare corpore motus? 630non tamen abscedit; neque enim vestigia cernit longius ulla pedum: servat nubemque locumque. occupat obsessos sudor mihi frigidus artus, caeruleaeque cadunt toto de corpore guttae,

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Metamorphoses Book V

on the other bank. So much the more he pressed on and burned with love; naked I seemed readier for his taking. So did I flee and so did he hotly press after me, as doves on fluttering pinions flee the hawk, as the hawk pursues the frightened doves. Even past Orchomenus, past Psophis and Cyllene, past the combs of Maenalus, chill Erymanthus and Elis, I kept my flight; nor was he swifter of foot than I. But I, being ill-matched in strength, could not long keep up my speed, while he could sustain a long pursuit. Yet through level plains, over mountains covered with trees, over rocks also and cliffs, and where there was no way at all, I ran. The sun was at my back. I saw my pursuer’s long shadow stretching out ahead of me—unless it was fear that saw it—but surely I heard the terrifying sound of feet, and his deep-panting breath fanned my hair. Then, forspent with the toil of flight, I cried aloud: ‘O help me or I am caught, help thy armour-bearer, goddess of the hunt, to whom so often thou hast given thy bow to bear and thy quiver, with all its arrows!’ The goddess heard, and threw an impenetrable cloud of mist about me. The river-god circled around me, wrapped in the darkness, and at fault quested about the hollow mist. And twice he went round the place where the goddess had hidden me, unknowing, and twice he called, ‘Arethusa! O Arethusa!’ How did I feel then, poor wretch! Was I not as the lamb, when it hears the wolves howling around the fold? or the hare which, hiding in the brambles, sees the dogs’ deadly muzzles and dares not make the slightest motion? But he went not far away, for he saw no traces of my feet further on; he watched the cloud and the place. Cold sweat poured down my beleaguered limbs and the dark drops rained down from my whole body.

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.ovid-metamorphoses.1916