Ovid, Metamorphoses

LCL 43: 188-189

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cum sua terribili petit inritamina cornu, poeniceas vestes, elusaque vulnera sentit; 105num tamen exciderit ferrum considerat hastae: haerebat ligno. “manus est mea debilis ergo, quasque” ait “ante habuit vires, effudit in uno? nam certe valuit, vel cum Lyrnesia primus moenia deieci, vel cum Tenedonque suoque 110Eetioneas inplevi sanguine Thebas, vel cum purpureus populari caede Caicus fluxit, opusque meae bis sensit Telephus hastae. hic quoque tot caesis, quorum per litus acervos et feci et video, valuit mea dextra valetque.” 115dixit et, ante actis veluti male crederet, hastam misit in adversum Lycia de plebe Menoeten loricamque simul subiectaque pectora rupit. quo plangente gravem moribundo vertice terram extrahit illud idem calido de vulnere telum atque ait: “haec manus est, haec, qua modo vicimus, 120hasta: utar in hoc isdem; sit in hoc, precor, exitus idem!” sic fatus Cycnum repetit, nec fraxinus errat inque umero sonuit non evitata sinistro, inde velut muro solidaque a caute repulsa est; 125qua tamen ictus erat, signatum sanguine Cycnum viderat et frustra fuerat gavisus Achilles: vulnus erat nullum, sanguis fuit ille Menoetae! tum vero praeceps curru fremebundus ab alto desilit et nitido securum comminus hostem 130ense petens parmam gladio galeamque cavari cernit, at in duro laedi quoque corpore ferrum.


Metamorphoses Book XII

wrath, and finds it ever eluding his fierce attack. He examined the spear to see if the iron point had not been dislodged. It was still on the wooden shaft. “Is my hand then so weak,” he said, “and has the strength, which it once had, ebbed away in this case alone? For surely it had strength enough when I as leader of the attack overthrew Lyrnesus’ walls, or when I caused Tenedos and Thebes, the city of Eetion, to flow with their own blood, when the Caïcus ran red with the slaughter of its neighbouring tribes, and when Telephus twice felt the strength of my spear. On this field also, with so many slain, heaps of whose corpses upon the shore I have both made and see, my right hand has been mighty and still is mighty.” He spoke and, as if he distrusted his former prowess, he hurled the spear full at Menoetes, one of the Lycian commons, and smote clean through his breastplate and his breast beneath. As his dying victim fell clanging down head first upon the solid earth, Achilles plucked out the spear from the hot wound and cried: “This is the hand, this the spear with which I have just conquered. I likewise shall use it on this foeman, and may the outcome be the same for him, I pray.” So saying, he hurled again at Cycnus, and the ashen spear went straight and struck, unshunned, with a thud upon the left shoulder, whence it rebounded as from a wall or from a solid cliff. Yet where the spear struck, Achilles saw Cycnus marked with blood, and rejoiced, but vainly: there was no wound; it was Menoetes’ blood! Then truly in headlong rage he leaped down from his lofty chariot and, seeking his invulnerable foe in close conflict with his gleaming sword, he saw both shield and helmet pierced through, but on the unyielding body his sword was even blunted. The

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.ovid-metamorphoses.1916