My Own Notes

Please Login to save notes.

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

Metamorphoses
Ovid

Previous Page 225 of 301 Next Page
     
Bk XI:266-345 Ceyx tells the story of Daedalion.

Peleus was happy in his wife and son, and was a man for whom all things were successful, if you exclude the crime of killing his brother Phocus. Guilty of shedding his brother’s blood, exiled from his father’s country, the soil of Trachin gave him sanctuary. Here Ceyx, son of Lucifer, the morning star, ruled, without force or shedding blood, his face filled with his father’s radiance. At that time he was sad and unlike his normal self, mourning the loss of his brother, Daedalion. The son of Aeacus came to him, weary with cares and travel, and entered the city with a few companions. He left the flocks of sheep and cattle he had brought with him in a shady valley not far from the city walls. When he was first allowed to meet the king, he held out the draped olive branch of the suppliant, and told him whose son he was, concealed his crime, and lied about the cause of his flight. He begged to be allowed to support himself in the city or the fields. The king of Trachis replied with these kind words: "Peleus, the opportunities in our kingdom are open even to the lower ranks, and I do not rule an inhospitable realm. Add to this willingness, the powerful influence of a noble name, and your being the grandson of Jove. So waste no time in supplication! You will receive all that you wish. Take a share of everything you see, and call it yours! I wish what you see was better than it is!"
        
And he wept. Peleus and his companions asked what the cause was of so much grief, to which he replied: "Perhaps you think that bird, the hawk, that lives on prey, and terrifies other winged creatures, always had feathers. He was once a man (and – inner nature is so consistent – even then he was fierce, warlike and equipped for violence): his name, Daedalion. We were the sons of Lucifer, who summons the dawn, and is last to leave the sky. I care for peace; I care for preserving peace; and for my wife. Savage warfare pleased my brother. His power subdued kings and nations, that now, transformed, flutters the doves of Boeotia. He had a daughter, Chione, endowed with great beauty, who at fourteen, and ready for marriage, had a thousand suitors. It chanced that Phoebus-Apollo, and Mercury, son of Maia, one returning from his sacred Delphi, the other from the summit of Cyllene, saw her at the same instant, and, at the same instant, flushed with desire. Apollo deferred his hope of union with her till the night, but Mercury could not wait, and touched the virgin’s face with his sleep-inducing wand. She lay beneath that potent touch, and suffered the assault of the god. Night scattered the heavens with stars: Phoebus, having gained access disguised as an old woman, enjoyed the delight that had been forestalled. When Chione came to full term she bore the wing-footed god a son, Autolycus, crafty, talented in all intrigue, who could make black seem white, and white black, not unworthy of his father; and to Phoebus (it was a twin birth) she bore Philammon, famous for tuneful song and the lyre.
        
But what is the benefit in having produced two sons, in having pleased two gods, in being the child of a powerful father, and grandchild of the shining one? Is glory not harmful also to many? It certainly harmed her! She set herself above Diana, and criticized the goddess’s beauty. But, the goddess, moved by violent anger, said to her: 'Then I must satisfy you with action.' Without hesitating, she bent her bow, sent an arrow from the string, and pierced the tongue that was at fault, with the shaft. The tongue was silent, neither sound nor attempts at words followed: and as she tried to speak, her life ended in blood.
        
I embraced her, in my misery, feeling a father’s grief in my heart, and spoke words of comfort to my dear brother. Her father heard them no more than the cliffs hear the murmuring of the sea, mourning his lost one, bitterly. But when he saw the burning of her body, four times he made as if to throw himself into the blazing pyre; four times was thrust back; fled madly; and ran where there were no tracks, like a bullock whose neck is tender from the yoke, tormented by hornets’ stings. Even then to me he seemed to run faster than humanly possible, and you would have thought he had winged feet.
        
He escaped us all, swift with desire for death, and gained the summit of Parnassus. When Daedalion hurled himself from the high cliffs, Apollo, pitying him, turned him into a bird, and lifted him, pendent on suddenly-formed wings, giving him a hooked beak, and curved talons, his former courage, and greater strength of body. Now, as a hawk, he rages against all birds, is merciful to none, and, suffering, is a cause of suffering."
Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page
  Glossary  
     
Videos
Go to page:   
Top

Copyright © 2020 Gleeditions, LLC. All rights reserved.