nunc caput obiectare fretis, nunc currere in undas et studio incassum videas gestire lavandi. tum cornix plena pluviam vocat improba voce et sola in sicca secum spatiatur harena. 390ne nocturna quidem carpentes pensa puellae nescivere hiemem, testa cum ardente viderent scintillare oleum et putris concrescere fungos. Nec minus ex imbri soles et aperta serena prospicere et certis poteris cognoscere signis: 395nam neque tum stellis acies obtunsa videtur nec fratris radiis obnoxia surgere Luna, tenuia nec lanae per caelum vellera ferri; non tepidum ad solem pinnas in litore pandunt dilectae Thetidi alcyones, non ore solutos 400immundi meminere sues iactare maniplos. at nebulae magis ima petunt campoque recumbunt, solis et occasum servans de culmine summo nequiquam seros exercet noctua cantus. apparet liquido sublimis in aëre Nisus 405et pro purpureo poenas dat Scylla capillo: quacumque illa levem fugiens secat aethera pinnis, ecce inimicus, atrox, magno stridore per auras insequitur Nisus; qua se fert Nisus ad auras, illa levem fugiens raptim secat aethera pinnis. 410tum liquidas corvi presso ter gutture voces aut quater ingeminant, et saepe cubilibus altis
- 386undas M: -am γR
dashing their heads in the waves, now running into the waters, and aimlessly exulting in the joy of the bath. Then the villainous raven with deep tones calls down the rain, and in solitary state stalks along the dry sea sand. Even at night, maidens that spin their tasks have not failed to mark a storm as they saw the oil sputter in the blazing lamp, and a mouldy fungus gather on the wick.
Nor 24 less after rain may you foresee bright suns and cloudless skies, and know them by sure signs. For then the stars’ bright edge is seen undimmed, and the moon rises under no debt to her brother’s rays, 25 and no thin fleecy clouds pass over the sky. Not now do the halcyons, the pride of Thetis, spread their wings on the shore to catch the warm sun, nor do the uncleanly swine think of tossing straw bundles to pieces with their snouts. But the mists are prone to seek the valleys, and rest on the plain, and the owl, as she watches the sunset from some high peak, vainly plies her evening song. Nisus is seen aloft in the clear sky, and Scylla suffers for the crimson lock. Wherever she flees, cleaving the light air with her wings, lo! savage and ruthless, with loud whirr Nisus follows through the sky; where Nisus mounts skyward, she flees in haste, cleaving the light air with her wings. Then the rooks, with narrowed throat, thrice or four times repeat their soft cries, and oft in their
- 24This paragraph (393–423) seems to be an experiment with rhymed quatrains: 5 verses unrhymed; then first -unt, -os, -os, -unt; followed by -o, -us, -us, -o and pennis, auras, auras, pennis; the scheme is broken in the next five lines, the second and fourth of which, however, end with altis, actis; then a last quatrain -is -or, -or, -is. Like the first 5 verses the final 5 are unrhymed. See further Owen Ewald in HSCP 93 (1990) 311–3.
- 25The moon’s light is then so radiant that it seems to be her own and not reflected from the sun.