My Own Notes

Please Login to save notes.

If you are not a registered user, then click here.

Metamorphoses
Ovid

Previous Page 177 of 301 Next Page
     
Bk VIII:376-424 The Calydonian Boar Hunt – the kill.

They would have wounded the beast, had not the bristling creature retreated into the dense woods where no horse or spear could penetrate. Telamon did follow, and careless where he was placing his feet, in his enthusiasm, fell flat on the ground, tripping over the root of a tree. While Peleus was lifting him, the girl from Tegea strung a swift arrow, and sent it speeding from the curved bow. The shaft just grazed the top of the boar's back, and fixing itself below one ear, reddened the bristles with a thin stream of blood. Nor did she praise her own successful shot more than Meleager did. He was supposed to have been the first to see the blood, and first, having seen it, to point it out to his friends, saying: "You will be honoured for the value of this service." The warriors flushed with their shame, urged each other on, gaining courage from their clamour, hurling their spears without sense of order. The jostling spoilt their throw, and prevented the strike they intended. Then Ancaeus of Arcady, with his twin-headed axe, rushing to meet his fate, cried: "O warriors, learn how much better a man's weapons are than a girl's, and leave the work to me! Though Latona's daughter herself protects this creature, in her own way, in spite of Diana, my right arm will destroy it." Swollen with pride, like this, with boastful words, he spoke, and, lifting the double axe in both hands, he stood on tiptoe, poised for the downward blow. The boar anticipated this daring enemy, and struck at the upper groin, the quickest way to kill, with his twin tusks. Ancaeus collapsed, and the slippery mass of his inner organs fell away in a pool of blood: the ground was soaked with the red fluid.

Then Pirithoüs, son of Ixion, went against the quarry, brandishing his hunting-spear in his strong right-hand. Theseus, Aegeus's son, called out, "Stay, farther away, my soul's other half, O dearer to me than myself! It is fine to be brave at a distance, also: Ancaeus's rash courage only did him harm." He spoke, and threw his heavy spear, of cornelian cherry-wood, with its bronze blade. Though well aimed and capable of reaching its mark, it was deflected by the leafy branch of an oak. Jason, Aeson's son, hurled his javelin, which swerved by accident, and the fatal throw transfixing the flanks of an innocent hound, pinned it to the ground.

But Meleager's hand made the difference, and of the two spears he threw, though one stuck in the earth, the other fixed itself in the boar's back. Now, while it raged, and twisted its body round, and spouted out hissing foam and fresh blood, the author of its wound came at it, pricked his quarry to fury, and buried his shining hunting-spear in his enemy's shoulder. Then the companions give proof of their joy, shouting, and crowding around him to grasp his hand in theirs. They gaze, wonderingly, at the huge creature covering so much of the earth it lies on, and still think it unsafe to touch the beast, but nevertheless each wets his spear in its blood.
Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page
  Glossary  
     
Videos
Go to page:   
Top

Copyright © 2020 Gleeditions, LLC. All rights reserved.