Ovid, Metamorphoses

LCL 43: 22-23

Go To Section
Go To Section
Tools

Ovid

sic ubi mortales Tirynthius exuit artus, parte sui meliore viget, maiorque videri 270coepit et augusta fieri gravitate verendus. quem pater omnipotens inter cava nubila raptum quadriiugo curru radiantibus intulit astris. Sensit Atlas pondus. neque adhuc Stheneleïus iras solverat Eurystheus, odiumque in prole paternum 275exercebat atrox. at longis anxia curis Argolis Alcmene, questus ubi ponat aniles, cui referat nati testatos orbe labores, cuive suos casus, Iolen habet. Herculis illam imperiis thalamoque animoque receperat Hyllus, 280inpleratque uterum generoso semine; cui sic incipit Alcmene: “faveant tibi numina saltem, conripiantque moras tum cum matura vocabis praepositam timidis parientibus Ilithyiam, quam mihi difficilem Iunonis gratia fecit. 285namque laboriferi cum iam natalis adesset Herculis et decimum premeretur sidere signum, tendebat gravitas uterum mihi, quodque ferebam, tantum erat, ut posses auctorem dicere tecti ponderis esse Iovem. nec iam tolerare labores ulterius poteram. quin nunc quoque frigidus artus, dum loquor, horror habet, parsque est meminisse 291doloris. septem ego per noctes, totidem cruciata diebus, fessa malis, tendensque ad caelum bracchia, magno Lucinam Nixosque pares clamore vocabam. 295illa quidem venit, sed praecorrupta, meumque quae donare caput Iunoni vellet iniquae.

22

Metamorphoses Book IX

bright new scales; so when the Tirynthian put off his mortal frame, he gained new vigour in his better part, began to seem of more heroic size, and to become awful in his godlike dignity. Him the Almighty Father sped through the hollow clouds with his team of four, and set him amid the glittering stars.

Atlas felt his weight. But not even now did Eurystheus, the son of Sthenelus, put away his wrath; but his bitter hatred for the father he still kept up towards his race. Now, spent with long-continued cares, Argive Alcmena had in Iole one to whom she could confide her troubles, to whom she could relate her son’s labours witnessed by all the world, and her own misfortunes. For by Hercules’ command, Hyllus had received Iole to his arms and heart, and to him she was about to bear a child of that noble race. Thus spoke Alcmena to her: “May the gods be merciful to you at least and give you swift deliverance in that hour when in your need you call on Ilithyia, goddess of frightened mothers in travail, whom Juno’s hatred made so bitter against me. For when the natal hour of toil-bearing Hercules was near and the tenth sign was being traversed by the sun, my burden was so heavy and what I bore so great that you could know Jove was the father of the unborn child; nor could I longer bear my pangs. Nay, even now as I tell it, cold horror holds my limbs and my pains return even as I think of it. For seven nights and days I was in torture; then, spent with anguish, I stretched my arms to heaven and with a mighty wail I called upon Lucina and her fellow guardian deities of birth. Lucina came, indeed, but pledged in advance to give my life to cruel Juno. There she sat upon the altar before the door, listening to my groans, with her

23
DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.ovid-metamorphoses.1916