vicerat, aesculeae capiebat frondis honorem. 450nondum laurus erat, longoque decentia crine tempora cingebat de qualibet arbore Phoebus. Primus amor Phoebi Daphne Peneia, quem non fors ignara dedit, sed saeva Cupidinis ira, Delius hunc nuper, victa serpente superbus, 455viderat adducto flectentem cornua nervo “quid” que “tibi, lascive puer, cum fortibus armis?” dixerat: “ista decent umeros gestamina nostros, qui dare certa ferae, dare vulnera possumus hosti, qui modo pestifero tot iugera ventre prementem 460stravimus innumeris tumidum Pythona sagittis. tu face nescio quos esto contentus amores inritare tua, nec laudes adsere nostras!” filius huic Veneris “figat tuus omnia, Phoebe, te meus arcus” ait; “quantoque animalia cedunt 465cuncta deo, tanto minor est tua gloria nostra.” dixit et eliso percussis aere pennis inpiger umbrosa Parnasi constitit arce eque sagittifera prompsit duo tela pharetra diversorum operum: fugat hoc, facit illud amorem; 470quod facit, auratum est et cuspide fulget acuta, quod fugat, obtusum est et habet sub harundine plumbum. hoc deus in nympha Peneide fixit, at illo laesit Apollineas traiecta per ossa medullas; protinus alter amat, fugit altera nomen amantis 475silvarum latebris captivarumque ferarum
every youth who had been victorious in boxing, running, or the chariot race received the honour of an oaken garland. For as yet the laurel-tree was not, and Phoebus was wont to wreathe his temples, comely with flowing locks, with a garland from any tree.
Now the first love of Phoebus was Daphne, daughter of Peneus, the river-god. It was no blind chance that gave this love, but the malicious wrath of Cupid. Delian Apollo, while still exulting over his conquest of the serpent, had seen him bending his bow with tight-drawn string, and had said: “What hast thou to do with the arms of men, thou wanton boy? That weapon befits my shoulders; for I have strength to give unerring wounds to the wild beasts, my foes, and have but now laid low the Python swollen with countless darts, covering whole acres with plague-engendering form. Do thou be content with thy torch to light the hidden fires of love, and lay not claim to my honours.” And to him Venus’ son replied: “Thy dart may pierce all things else, Apollo, but mine shall pierce thee; and by as much as all living things are less than deity, by so much less is thy glory than mine.” So saying he shook his wings and, dashing upward through the air, quickly alighted on the shady peak of Parnasus. There he took from his quiver two darts of opposite effect: one puts to flight, the other kindles the flame of love. The one which kindles love is of gold and has a sharp, gleaming point; the other is blunt and tipped with lead. This last the god fixed in the heart of Peneus’ daughter, but with the other he smote Apollo, piercing even unto the bones and marrow. Straightway he burned with love; but she fled the very name of love, rejoicing in the deep fastnesses of the woods, and in the spoils of beasts