Fall 2003, Week One
|Hactenus Oenides, Venulus Calydonia regna
Peucetiosque sinus Messapiaque arva relinquit.
in quibus antra videt, quae, multa nubila silva
et levibus cannis latitantia semicaper Pan
nunc tenet, at quodam tenuerunt tempore nymphae.
Apulus has illa pastor regione fugatas
terruit et primo subita formidine movit,
mox, ubi mens rediit et contempsere sequentem,
ad numerum motis pedibus duxere choreas;
inprobat has pastor saltuque imitatus agresti
addidit obscenis convicia rustica dictis,
nec prius os tacuit, quam guttura condidit arbor:
arbor enim est, sucoque licet cognoscere mores.
quippe notam linguae bacis oleaster amaris
exhibet: asperitas verborum cessit in illa.
So said Diomede, grandson of Oeneus of Calydon. Venulus left that kingdom passing the Peucetian valleys, and the fields of Messapia. Here he came across a cave, dark with trees, and masked by slender reeds, that now is held by the goat-god Pan, but once was held by the nymphs. A shepherd from that region of Apulia scared them to flight, at first, suddenly inspiring terror in them. When they had collected their wits, scornful of their pursuer, they returned to their dancing, feet skipping to the measure.
The shepherd mocked them, leaping wildly in imitation, and adding foul language, with coarse abuse. Nor was his mouth silent till tree-bark imprisoned his throat: he is indeed a tree: you may know its character, by the taste of its fruit that bears the mark of his speech in the wild olivesí bitterness. The sharpness of his words has entered them.