Ovid: Metamorphoses

Book 10, Plate 92

(The story of Orpheus continued)

And now his yearly race the circling sun
Had thrice compleat thro' wat'ry Pisces run,
Since Orpheus fled the face of womankind,
And all soft union with the sex declin'd.

Whether his ill success this change had bred,
Or binding vows made to his former bed;
Whate'er the cause, in vain the nymphs contest,
With rival eyes to warm his frozen breast:
For ev'ry nymph with love his lays inspir'd,
But ev'ry nymph repuls'd, with grief retir'd.

A hill there was, and on that hill a mead,
With verdure thick, but destitute of shade.

Where, now, the Muse's son no sooner sings,
No sooner strikes his sweet resounding strings.

But distant groves the flying sounds receive,
And list'ning trees their rooted stations leave;
Themselves transplanting, all around they grow,
And various shades their various kinds bestow.

Here, tall Chaonian oaks their branches spread,
While weeping poplars there erect their head.

The foodful Esculus here shoots his leaves,
That turf soft lime-tree, this, fat beach receives;
Here, brittle hazels, lawrels here advance,
And there tough ash to form the heroe's lance;
Here silver firs with knotless trunks ascend,
There, scarlet oaks beneath their acorns bend.

That spot admits the hospitable plane,
On this, the maple grows with clouded grain;
Here, watry willows are with Lotus seen;
There, tamarisk, and box for ever green.

With double hue here mirtles grace the ground,
And laurestines, with purple berries crown'd.

With pliant feet, now, ivies this way wind,
Vines yonder rise, and elms with vines entwin'd.

Wild Ornus now, the pitch-tree next takes root,
And Arbutus adorn'd with blushing fruit.

Then easy-bending palms, the victor's prize,
And pines erect with bristly tops arise.

For Rhea grateful still the pine remains,
For Atys still some favour she retains;
He once in human shape her breast had warm'd,
And now is cherish'd, to a tree transform'd.

From here you may go to the text and image of Book 10, Plate 93, or to the complete page of Plates for Book 10, or to the Baur 1703 Title Page, or to the Ovid Title Page.