Metamorphoses (The Silver Age) – Ovid


      “Poor Woman of the Village” 


              Gustave Courbet



the good times wouldn’t last, however,

discord among the gods would bring 

on the Silver Age 


           But when good Saturn, banish’d from above,
           Was driv’n to Hell, the world was under Jove. 


Saturn, god of plenty, had presided over 

the Golden Age


Jove, or Jupiter, god of thunder, was 

king of the gods


there would be consequences for this

disarrangement, this strife

           Succeeding times a silver age behold,
           Excelling brass, but more excell’d by gold. 


silver might not have been gold, but it

was still better than brass, as, later,

we’ll see


           Then summer, autumn, winter did appear:
           And spring was but a season of the year. 


no longer “immortal” 


by casting Saturn into the Underworld, Jove

set off the cycle of the seasons, whereby

Saturn, clutching his way back to the realm

of the deities, after his initial fall, would inspire

regeneration, the return of springtime, for a

while, before being ousted again, and again, 

and again

           The sun his annual course obliquely made,
           Good days contracted, and enlarg’d the bad. 


in keeping with the suns “oblique[ ]” 

progressions, not parallel, not at  

right angles


           Then air with sultry heats began to glow;
           The wings of winds were clogg’d with ice and snow; 


the emergence of heat and cold

           And shivering mortals, into houses driv’n,
           Sought shelter from th’ inclemency of Heav’n. 


see above


           Those houses, then, were caves, or homely sheds;
           With twining oziers fenc’d; and moss their beds. 


oziers, or osiers, shrubs of which the 

branches have traditionally been used 

to make baskets, basketry


           Then ploughs, for seed, the fruitful furrows broke, 
           And oxen labour’d first beneath the yoke.

not to mention Man, the advent of agriculture,



R ! chard