Ovid, Metamorphoses

LCL 42: 96-97

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sedibus huc adsim? pro me tenet altera caelum! mentior, obscurum nisi nox cum fecerit orbem, 515nuper honoratas summo, mea vulnera, caelo videritis stellas illic, ubi circulus axem ultimus extremum spatioque brevissimus ambit. et vero quisquam Iunonem laedere nolit 519offensamque tremat, quae prosum sola nocendo? o ego quantum egi! quam vasta potentia nostra est! esse hominem vetui: facta est dea! sic ego poenas sontibus inpono, sic est mea magna potestas! vindicet antiquam faciem vultusque ferinos detrahat, Argolica quod in ante Phoronide fecit 525cur non et pulsa ducit Iunone meoque collocat in thalamo socerumque Lycaona sumit? at vos si laesae tangit contemptus alumnae, gurgite caeruleo septem prohibete triones sideraque in caelo stupri mercede recepta 530pellite, ne puro tinguatur in aequore paelex!” Di maris adnuerant: habili Saturnia curru, ingreditur liquidum pavonibus aethera pictis, tam nuper pictis caeso pavonibus Argo, quam tu nuper eras, cum candidus ante fuisses, 535corve loquax, subito nigrantis versus in alas. nam fuit haec quondam niveis argentea pennis ales, ut aequaret totas sine labe columbas, nec servaturis vigili Capitolia voce cederet anseribus nec amanti flumina cycno. 540lingua fuit damno: lingua faciente loquaci qui color albus erat, nunc est contrarius albo.


Metamorphoses Book II

queen of heaven, am here? Another queen has usurped my heaven. Count my word false if tonight, when darkness has obscured the sky, you see not new constellations fresh set, to outrage me, in the place of honour in highest heaven, where the last and shortest circle encompasses the utmost pole. And is there any reason now why anyone should hesitate to insult Juno and should fear my wrath, who do but help where I would harm? Oh, what great things have I accomplished! What unbounded power is mine! She whom I drove out of human form has now become a goddess. So do I punish those who wrong me! Such is my vaunted might! It only remains for him to release her from her bestial form and restore her former features, as he did once before in Argive Io’s case. Why, now that I am deposed, should he not wed and set her in my chamber, and become Lycaon’s son-in-law? But do you, if the insult to your foster-child moves you, debar these bears from your green pools, disown stars which have gained heaven at the price of shame, and let not that harlot bathe in your pure stream.”

The gods of the sea granted her prayer, and Saturnia, mounting her swift chariot, was borne back through the yielding air by her gaily decked peacocks, peacocks but lately decked with the slain Argus’ eyes, at the same time that thy plumage, talking raven, though white before, had been suddenly changed to black. For he had once been a bird of silvery-white plumage, so that he rivalled the spotless doves, nor yielded to the geese which one day were to save the Capitol with their watchful cries, nor to the river-loving swan. But his tongue was his undoing. Through his tongue’s fault the talking bird, which once was white, was now the opposite of white.

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.ovid-metamorphoses.1916