Tools

Ovid

hactenus, et tacuit; “iaculo quod crimen in ipso est?” 795Phocus ait; iaculi sic crimina reddidit ille: “Gaudia principium nostri sunt, Phoce, doloris: illa prius referam. iuvat o meminisse beati temporis, Aeacide, quo primos rite per annos coniuge eram felix, felix erat illa marito. 800mutua cura duos et amor socialis habebat, nec Iovis illa meo thalamos praeferret amori, nec me quae caperet, non si Venus ipsa veniret, ulla erat; aequales urebant pectora flammae. sole fere radiis feriente cacumina primis 805venatum in silvas iuvenaliter ire solebam nec mecum famuli nec equi nec naribus acres ire canes nec lina sequi nodosa solebant: tutus eram iaculo; sed cum satiata ferinae dextera caedis erat, repetebam frigus et umbras 810et quae de gelidis exibat vallibus aura: aura petebatur medio mihi lenis in aestu, auram exspectabam, requies erat illa labori. ‘aura’ (recordor enim), ‘venias’ cantare solebam, ‘meque iuves intresque sinus, gratissima, nostros, utque facis, relevare velis, quibus urimur, aestus!’ 816forsitan addiderim (sic me mea fata trahebant), blanditias plures et ‘tu mihi magna voluptas’ dicere sim solitus, ‘tu me reficisque fovesque, tu facis, ut silvas, ut amem loca sola: meoque 820spiritus iste tuus semper captatur ab ore.’ vocibus ambiguis deceptam praebuit aurem nescio quis nomenque aurae tam saepe vocatum

398

Metamorphoses Book VII

“But what charge have you to bring against the javelin itself?” asked Phocus. The other thus told what charge he had against the javelin:

“My joys, Phocus, were the beginning of my woe. These I will describe first. Oh, what a joy it is, son of Aeacus, to remember the blessed time when during those first years I was happy in my wife, as I should be, and she was happy in her husband. Mutual cares and mutual love bound us together. Not Jove’s love would she have preferred to mine; nor was there any woman who could lure me away from her, no, not if Venus herself should come. An equal passion burned in both our two hearts. In the early morning, when the sun’s first rays touched the tops of the hills, with a young man’s eagerness I used to go hunting in the woods. Nor did I take attendants with me, or horses or keen-scented dogs or knotted nets. I was safe with my javelin. But when my hand had had its fill of slaughter of wild creatures, I would come back to the cool shade and the breeze that came forth from the cool valleys. I wooed the breeze, blowing gently on me in my heat; the breeze I waited for. She was my labour’s rest. ‘Come, Aura,’ I remember I used to cry, ‘come soothe me; come into my breast, most welcome one, and, as indeed you do, relieve the heat with which I burn.’ Perhaps I would add, for so my fates drew me on, more endearments, and say: ‘Thou art my greatest joy; thou dost refresh and comfort me; thou makest me to love the woods and solitary places. It is ever my joy to feel thy breath upon my face.’ Some one overhearing these words was deceived by their double meaning; and, thinking that the word ‘Aura’ so often on my lips was a nymph’s name, was convinced that I was in love with

399
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.ovid-metamorphoses.1916