Ovid, Metamorphoses

LCL 42: 284-285

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Ovid

660lynca Ceres fecit rursusque per aera iussit Mopsopium iuvenem sacros agitare iugales.’ “Finierat doctos e nobis maxima cantus; at nymphae vicisse deas Helicona colentes concordi dixere sono: convicia victae 665cum iacerent, ‘quoniam’ dixi ‘certamine vobis supplicium meruisse parum est maledictaque culpae additis et non est patientia libera nobis, ibimus in poenas et, qua vocat ira, sequemur.’ rident Emathides spernuntque minacia verba, 670conantesque loqui et magno clamore protervas intentare manus pennas exire per ungues adspexere suos, operiri bracchia plumis, alteraque alterius rigido concrescere rostro ora videt volucresque novas accedere silvis; 675dumque volunt plangi, per bracchia mota levatae aere pendebant, nemorum convicia, picae. Nunc quoque in alitibus facundia prisca remansit raucaque garrulitas studiumque inmane loquendi.”

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Metamorphoses Book V

through the air she bade the Athenian drive her sacred team.’

“Our eldest sister here brought to an end her able recital; then the nymphs with one voice agreed that the goddesses of Helicon had won. When the conquered sisters retorted with reviling, I made answer: ‘Since it was not enough that you have earned punishment by your challenge and you add insults to your offence, and since our patience is not without end, we shall proceed to punishment and indulge our resentment.’ The Pierides mocked, and scorned her threatening words. But as they tried to speak, and with loud outcries brandished their hands in saucy gestures, they saw feathers sprouting on their fingers, and plumage covering their arms; each saw another’s face stiffening into a hard beak, and new forms of birds added to the woods. And while they strove to beat their breasts, uplifted by their flapping arms, they hung in the air, magpies, the noisy scandal of the woods. Even now in their feathered form their old-time gift of speech remains, their hoarse garrulity, their boundless passion for talk.”

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.ovid-metamorphoses.1916