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“The Mariners transform’d to Dolphins” (ll) – Ovid
“His base confederates the fact approve;
His base confederates, the shipmates who
When Bacchus (for ’twas he) begun to move,
Wak’d by the noise and clamours which they rais’d;
And shook his drowsie limbs, and round him gaz’d:
What means this noise? he cries; am I betray’d?
Ah, whither, whither must I be convey’d?
whither, whither, where, where, to
what place, to what place
Fear not, said Proreus, child, but tell us where
You wish to land, and trust our friendly care.
Proreus, another of the several sailors
serving on Acoetes‘ ship
To Naxos then direct your course, said he;
Naxos a hospitable port shall be
To each of you, a joyful home to me.
Dionysus presently direct[s] his, however
questionable, hosts to repair
By ev’ry God, that rules the sea or sky,
The perjur’d villains promise to comply,
And bid me hasten to unmoor the ship.
With eager joy I launch into the deep;
And, heedless of the fraud, for Naxos stand.
the fraud, [t]he perjur’d villains promise to comply
They whisper oft, and beckon with the hand,
And give me signs, all anxious for their prey,
To tack about, and steer another way.
They, the rebellious crew
anxious, wary, suspicious
to tack, to change course
Then let some other to my post succeed,
Said I, I’m guiltless of so foul a deed.
succeed, take the place of, replace
guiltless, Acoetes will not accept
responsibility for the treachery of
What, says Ethalion, must the ship’s whole crew
Follow your humour, and depend on you?
Ethalion, again a shipmate
And strait himself he seated at the prore,
And tack’d about, and sought another shore.
prore, the prow, the fore part of a ship
“The beauteous youth now found himself betray’d,
And from the deck the rising waves survey’d,
And seem’d to weep, and as he wept he said:
And do you thus my easy faith beguile?
Thus do you bear me to my native isle?
thus, in such a manner
Will such a multitude of men employ
Their strength against a weak defenceless boy?
this weak defenceless[ness] is his only
defence, apparently, to his captors, who
cannot, with the exception of Acoetes,
perceive the god’s divinity
“In vain did I the God-like youth deplore,
deplore, express strong disapproval
of what the seamen were doing to
The more I begg’d, they thwarted me the more.
And now by all the Gods in Heav’n that hear
This solemn oath, by Bacchus’ self, I swear,
The mighty miracle that did ensue,
Although it seems beyond belief, is true.
make way, says Acoetes, for the
metamorphosis, what you are
about to hear
The vessel, fix’d and rooted in the flood,
fix’d, became affixed
Unmov’d by all the beating billows stood.
In vain the mariners would plow the main
With sails unfurl’d, and strike their oars in vain;
plow the main, move forward on
the high seas
Around their oars a twining ivy cleaves,
And climbs the mast, and hides the cords in leaves:
The sails are cover’d with a chearful green,
And berries in the fruitful canvass seen.
Amidst the waves a sudden forest rears
Its verdant head, and a new Spring appears.
the ship is transformed into a
R ! chard
Filed Under: "Metamorphoses"
Tags: "Bacchus" - Sergey Solomko
, a poem to ponder
, dramatic monologues
, in search of beauty
, in search of God/dess
, in search of truth
, literature to ponder
, paintings to ponder
, parsing art
, poetry to ponder
, up my idiosyncrasies
, walking in beauty
: Acoetes - a fisherman
: Ethalion - a shipmate of Acoetes
: Naxos - a Greek island
: Proreus - a shipmate of Acoetes