Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ovid, Phaethon (Meta. Book II)

Publius Ovidius Naso
8 CE (over 2,000 years ago)
Trans RMBullard
Latin (Golden Age)


Regia Solis erat sublimibus alta columnis,
[The lofty palace of the Sun stood on sublime columns,]

clara micante auro flammasque imitante pyropo,
[shining clear with glittering good, and with bronze that rivalled the flames,]

cuius ebur nitidum fastigia summa tegebat,
[whose bright ivory covered its highest posts,]

argenti bifores radiabant lumine valvae.
[and the double doors radiated light with the light of silver.]

materiam superabat opus:
[the finished work of art outdid its own material:]

 nam Mulciber illic               5
aequora caelarat medias cingentia terras
terrarumque orbem caelumque,
[you see, up there, the Mulciber  veils the seas that bind the midst of the earth]

 quod imminet orbi.
[which is something that looms over the sphere of the world.]

caeruleos habet unda deos,
[The water possesses blue-colored gods,]

Tritona canorum
Proteaque ambiguum ballaenarumque prementem
Aegaeona suis inmania terga lacertis               10
Doridaque et natas,
[hoary Triton, and shifty Proteos, and Aegaeon, who presses upon the enormous backs of his whales with his arms,]

 quarum pars nare videtur,
[one part looking like a snout,]

pars in mole sedens viridis siccare capillos,
[the other, sitting upon the bulk, to dry their green locks of hair,]

pisce vehi quaedam:
[and another, to be carried along by means of a fish:]

 facies non omnibus una,
non diversa tamen, qualem decet esse sororum.
[the appearance is not the same for them all, but not exactly different: which is appears to be appropriate for sisters.]

terra viros urbesque gerit silvasque ferasque               15
fluminaque et nymphas et cetera numina ruris.
[The earth carries men, and cities, and forests, and wild beasts, and rivers, and nymphs, and the other natural divinities of the countryside.]

haec super inposita est caeli fulgentis imago,
[The picture of the thundering sky is placed above the preceding things,]

signaque sex foribus dextris totidemque sinistris.
[and sex astrological signs on the right side of the doors, and the same number on the left side.]

    Quo simul adclivi Clymeneia limite proles
[And meanwhile, at that very doorpost, Clymene's son arrived, having climbed there,]

 et intravit dubitati tecta parentis,               20
[and he entered the roofs of his mysterious father,]

protinus ad patrios sua fert vestigia
[and straightaway he brought his tracks to his father's place]

consistitque procul;
[and he beheld his face from far away;]

 neque enim propiora ferebat
[you see, he could not suffer to bring his eyes nearer;]

 purpurea velatus veste sedebat
in solio Phoebus claris lucente smaragdis.
[Phoebus was sitting there, cloaked in a purple garb, upon a shining throne made of radiant emerald.]

a dextra laevaque Dies et Mensis et Annus               25
Saeculaque et positae spatiis aequalibus Horae
Verque novum stabat cinctum florente corona,
[And Day was standing there on his right and left, and Month, and Year, and Century, and the Hours, spaced along evenly, and Spring, newly bound with a flowering crown,]

stabat nuda Aestas et spicea serta gerebat,
[and Summer stood there, naked, and wearing a garland of corn husk,]

stabat et Autumnus calcatis sordidus uvis
[and Autumn stood there, soaking from stomped grapes,]

et glacialis Hiems canos hirsuta capillos.               30
[and icy Winter, her gray hairs shuddering.]

    Ipse loco medius rerum novitate paventem
Sol oculis iuvenem, quibus adspicit omnia, vidit
[It was the Sun himself, in the very center of the place, who saw the young boy, panicked from the strangeness of his surroundings, in the area he gazed upon all things there,]

'quae' que 'viae tibi causa? quid hac' ait 'arce petisti,
progenies, Phaethon, haud infitianda parenti?'
[and he said , "What is the cause for your journey? Phaethon, my son, what are you looking for in this citadel here, one that a father should never had allowed access to?"]

ille refert: 'o lux inmensi publica mundi,               35
Phoebe pater,
[The other replied: "O, light for the people, that belongs to the immense world, my father Phoebus,]

si das usum mihi nominis huius,
[if you allow my to use the preceding name,]

nec falsa Clymene culpam sub imagine celat,
[and Clymene does not deceitfully hide an act of shame under a fable,]

pignora da, genitor,
[grant me a promise, my sire]

per quae tua vera propago
[upon which I might actually be believed to be your son,]

 et hunc animis errorem detrahe nostris!'
[and take away this doubt wandering around in my thoughts!"]

dixerat, at genitor circum caput omne micantes               40
[He had barely spoken this, when his father set down the rays shining about the circumference of his head,]

propiusque accedere iussit
[and he ordered him to come closer]

amplexuque dato 'nec tu meus esse negari
dignus es, et Clymene veros' ait 'edidit ortus,
[and embracing him, he said to him, "It's not right that people do not believe you are my son, and Clymene honestly recounted your birth,]

quoque minus dubites, quodvis pete munus,
[nor should you doubt it any less that whatever gift you wish,]

ut illud
me tribuente feras!
[you will enjoy it once I've granted it!]

promissi testis adesto               45
dis iuranda palus,
[Let that swamp, that is always sweared upon, bear witness to my promise,]

 oculis incognita nostris!'
[the one I've never seen with my own eyes!"]

vix bene desierat,
[And scarcely had he finished speaking]

 currus rogat ille paternos
[when that boy asked for his father's chariot]

inque diem alipedum ius et moderamen equorum.
[and for the right to steer his winged-footed steeds to daylight.]

    Paenituit iurasse patrem:
[It shocked his father to have to swear so:]

 qui terque quaterque
concutiens inlustre caput
[and three, and then four times, he shook his bright head violently]

 'temeraria' dixit               50
'vox mea facta tua est;
[and he said, "My deeds make your voice reckless;]

 utinam promissa liceret
non dare!
[only, don't allow me to grant you what I've promised!]

 confiteor, solum hoc tibi, nate, negarem.
[I confess, my boy, this is the only thing that I would refuse you.]

dissuadere licet:
[allow me to dissuade you:]

 non est tua tuta voluntas!
[your wish is not a safe one!]

magna petis, Phaethon,
[you ask for great things, Phaethon,]

 et quae nec viribus istis
munera conveniant nec tam puerilibus annis:               55
[and things which are not fit gifts for a boy of so little strength, and so young an age:]

sors tua mortalis,
[your lot is with mortals,]

 non est mortale, quod optas.
[but what you ask is not a mortal thing.]

plus etiam, quam quod superis contingere possit,
[And furthermore, something that only can be accomplished by the gods of the heavenly gods,]

nescius adfectas;
[you try it, no even knowing;]

 placeat sibi
quisque licebit,
[and one of them can try it, if it pleases him,]

non tamen ignifero quisquam consistere in axe
me valet excepto;
[but, try as they might, no one is strong enough to hold themselves upon my fiery axis, except me;]

 vasti quoque rector Olympi,               60
qui fera terribili iaculatur fulmina dextra,
non agat hos currus:
[not even the regent of vast Olympus, who hurls fierce bolts of fire from his terrible war arm,]

 et quid Iove maius habemus?
[and what do we know that is stronger than Jove?]

ardua prima via est
[the path is arduous]

et qua vix mane recentes
enituntur equi;
[and one by which my horses can scarcely manage, even when they are fresh in the morning;]

 medio est altissima caelo,
[and it is the highest point, in the middle of the sky,]

unde mare et terras ipsi mihi saepe videre               65
fit timor
[where even I feel afraid to gaze down upon the sea and lands,]

 et pavida trepidat formidine pectus;
[and my heart beats with panicking fear.]

ultima prona via est
[the very last part of the path is bent]

et eget moderamine certo:
[and it lacks in certain measure:]

tunc etiam quae me subiectis excipit undis,
[and then, that which snatches me away from the waters lying before,]

ne ferar in praeceps,
[lest I be carried away falling headlong,]

 Tethys solet ipsa vereri.
[Tethys herself becomes as an object of my fear.]

adde, quod adsidua rapitur vertigine caelum   
[And don't forget that the sky is seized by constant twirling]

sideraque alta trahit
[and drags along the lofty stars]

celerique volumine torquet.
[and twists around in swift rolling.]

nitor in adversum, nec me, qui cetera, vincit
[I lean to the other side, nor does the force overpower me, over there,]

et rapido contrarius evehor orbi.
[and I'm whisked along even more contrarily around the swift-moving globe.]

finge datos currus:
[Imagine in your mind the course of this chariot, it were granted:]

 quid ages?
[What would you do?]

 poterisne rotatis
obvius ire polis,
[Could you steer around the cities as they wheel around,]

 ne te citus auferat axis?               75
[and not let the quick axis of the world carry you away?]

forsitan et lucos illic urbesque deorum
[and perhaps, from way up there, you can conceive the groves and cities of the gods,]

animo delubraque ditia donis
[and in your mind, how their lairs are stocked with gifts:]

 per insidias iter est formasque ferarum!
[the journey lies through treacherous shapes of wild beasts!]

utque viam teneas
[and so that you can hold your path,]

 nulloque errore traharis,
[and not be drag away by any wandering off the path,]

per tamen adversi gradieris cornua tauri                80
Haemoniosque arcus violentique ora Leonis
saevaque circuitu curvantem bracchia longo
Scorpion atque aliter curvantem bracchia Cancrum.
[you would nevertheless have to make your way through the horns of a hostile bull, and the Haemonius' bow, and the jaws of violent Leo, and Scorpio, who curves his savage arms along a lengthy circuit, and Cancer, who curves his claws elsewhere.]

nec tibi quadripedes animosos ignibus illis,
quos in pectore habent, quos ore et naribus efflant,               85
in promptu regere est:
[nor are you ready to steer my four-legged horses, furious with their well-known fires, which they possess in the heart, and which they breathe from their mouth and nostrils:]

 vix me patiuntur,
[they barely tolerate me,]

 ubi acres
incaluere animi
[whenever their bitter furies have grown hot,]

 cervixque repugnat habenis.—
[and their necks fight back at the reins.--]

at tu, funesti ne sim tibi muneris auctor,
nate, cave,
[But listen you, beware, my son, don't let me be the author of a deadly gift, ]

 dum resque sinit tua corrige vota!
[only amend your prayers, so long as the matter can allow it!]

scilicet ut nostro genitum te sanguine credas,               90
[Be assured that you should believe yourself to be a son, born from my bloodline,]

pignora certa petis:
[and you seek certain proof:]

 do pignora certa timendo
[I'm now giving your certain proof, in the fear I show you]

et patrio pater esse metu probor.
[and I now show that I'm your father, from the fear that a father feels.]

 adspice vultus
ecce meos;
[Only look! gaze upon my face;]

utinamque oculos in pectora posses
[if only you could see right in my heart,]

et patrias intus deprendere curas!
[and realize the worries your father feels inside!]

denique quidquid habet dives,
 circumspice, mundus               95
eque tot ac tantis caeli terraeque marisque
posce bonis aliquid;
[and finally, gaze around you, whatever the riches the world has, equally and as many and as much in its sky, its earth, and its seas, please demand something from these good things;]

nullam patiere repulsam.
[Allow me no refusal.]

deprecor hoc unum,
[I only beg you this one single thing,]

quod vero nomine poena,
non honor est:
[because there is no honor in a title that is truly a punishment:]

 poenam, Phaethon, pro munere poscis!
[Phaethon, you ask for a punishment instead of a gift!]

quid mea colla tenes blandis, ignare, lacertis?               100
[Why, you foolish boy, do you cling to my neck with your loving arms?]

ne dubita!
[Doubt it not!]

 dabitur (Stygias iuravimus undas),
quodcumque optaris;
[Whatever you wish for, will be given, for I've sworn on the waters of the Styx;]

 sed tu sapientius opta!'
[but for your sake, you must make your wise more wisely!"]

    Finierat monitus;
[He had finished giving his warning;]

 dictis tamen ille repugnat
propositumque premit
[and yet, that foolish boy rejected his words, and pressed on with his first idea]

 flagratque cupidine currus.
[and he burn with desire for his chariot.]

ergo, qua licuit, genitor cunctatus ad altos               105
deducit iuvenem, Vulcania munera, currus.
[And so, when it was officially allowed, his father, hesistantly, led down the young lad to his chariot, his official token fashioned by Vulcan.]

aureus axis erat, temo aureus, aurea summae
curvatura rotae, radiorum argenteus ordo;
[Its axis was made of gold, its steering rod, of gold, the curvature at the tip of its wheels, of god, and its array of spokes, silver;]

per iuga chrysolithi positaeque ex ordine gemmae
clara repercusso reddebant lumina Phoebo.               110
[along its yoke, crystals and gems, placed in order glistened back shining lights with the shattered lights of Phoebus.]

    Dumque ea magnanimus Phaethon miratur
[All the while, high-minded Phaethon wondered upon these sights]

[and he looked the masterpiece over thoroughly,]

 ecce vigil nitido patefecit ab ortu
purpureas Aurora fores et plena rosarum
[and all of a sudden, wakeful Aurora began to reveal her purple gates and rose-filled atria, from her glittering rise:]

diffugiunt stellae,
[The stars fled in all directions,]

quarum agmina cogit
[whose array the Morning Star, Light-Bringer, forced out]

et caeli statione novissimus exit.               115
[and left as the very last one from his station in the sky.]

    Quem petere ut terras mundumque rubescere vidit
cornuaque extremae velut evanescere lunae,
[At the very time he was advising him, he was saw the lands of the world growing red, and the horns of the moon's final appearance vanishing,] 

iungere equos Titan velocibus imperat Horis.
[Titan ordered him to attach his steeds to the swift Hours.]

iussa deae celeres peragunt ignemque vomentes,
ambrosiae suco saturos, praesepibus altis               120
quadripedes ducunt adduntque sonantia frena.
[The speedy goddess carried out his commands, and they led out his four-hoofed steeds that spewed out flames, and that were raised on the juice of ambrosia, and they attach their sonorous reins.]

tum pater ora sui sacro medicamine nati
[Then, his father wiped the face of his son with a holy ointment]

 et rapidae fecit patientia flammae
[and made it able to endure the fast flames]

inposuitque comae radios
[and he placed his crown of light upon his head]

 praesagaque luctus
pectore sollicito repetens suspiria dixit:               125
[and repeating his sigh-filled foreboding from a heart panicked by grief, he said:]

'si potes his saltem monitis parere parentis
parce, puer, stimulis et fortius utere loris!
["My boy, if you can only pay heed to these warnings of a parent, and make greater use of imaginary reins!]

sponte sua properant,
 labor est inhibere volentes.
[The task is to restain these flying beasts, for they rush ahead by their volition.]

nec tibi derectos placeat via quinque per arcus!
[Nor should you think it enjoyable to make your way through the five arcs!]

sectus in obliquum est lato curvamine limes,               130
[The boundary has been cut along an oblique by a wide curvature,]

zonarumque trium contentus fine polumque
effugit australem iunctamque aquilonibus arcton:
[and contained within the confines of three zones, it rushes away from the South Pole and the North Pole, which is joined to the northerly winds:] 

hac sit iter—
[Let this be where journey lies--]

manifesta rotae vestigia cernes—
[watch for the clear tracks of your wheel--]

utque ferant aequos et caelum et terra calores,
[and so that both the sky and earth can bear your heat evenly,]

nec preme nec summum molire per aethera currum!               135
[do not press your chariot down too much, or be too lenient, along the upper sky!]

altius egressus caelestia tecta cremabis,
[If you go too high, you will singe the roofs of heaven,]

inferius terras;
[but too low, you will singe the world;]

 medio tutissimus ibis.
[you will travel most prudently in the middle.]

neu te dexterior tortum declinet ad Anguem,
[nor should it veer you down too far to the right, towards the twisting Snake,]

neve sinisterior pressam rota ducat ad Aram,
[nor your wheels lead you to close to the left, in the vicinity of the Ram,]

inter utrumque tene!
[steer between the two!]

 Fortunae cetera mando
[I leave the rest to fortune,]

,               140
quae iuvet et melius quam tu tibi consulat opto.
[whatever can help, and I, more than you, wish that you pay attention to my advice.]

dum loquor,
[As I speak,]

 Hesperio positas in litore metas
umida nox tetigit;
[the dewy night has completed covering the markers placed upon the shores of Hesperia;]

 non est mora libera nobis!
[Delay is no longer a luxury for us!]

[I ask you:]

 effulget tenebris Aurora fugatis.
[Dawn is shining, and the shadows fleeings.]

corripe lora manu, 
[Snatch up the reins in your hand,]

vel, si mutabile pectus               145
est tibi, 
[or, if your mind is able to changed, ]

 consiliis, non curribus utere nostris!
[than make use of my advice, and not my chariot!]

dum potes
[While you can]

 et solidis etiamnum sedibus adstas,
[and you not yet stand upon these heavy seats,]

dumque male optatos nondum premis inscius axes,
[and not yet have you unwittingly pressed upon axles that have been foolishly wished for,]

quae tutus spectes, sine me dare lumina terris!'
[allow me to grant the light you see, in safety, to the world!"]

    Occupat ille levem iuvenali corpore currum               150
[The other fills the light chariot with his youthful figure]

statque super manibusque leves contingere habenas
[and he stands above, and rejoices in seizing the thin reins in his hands,]

et invito grates agit inde parenti.
[and from there, he gives his thanks to his reluctant father.]

    Interea volucres Pyrois et Eous et Aethon,
Solis equi, quartusque Phlegon hinnitibus auras
flammiferis inplent 
[Meanwhile, the flying steeds, Pyrois, Euos, and Aethon, and the fourth Phlegon, the horses of the Sun, filled the breezes with flaming hinnying]

pedibusque repagula pulsant.
[and they beat the shutters with their hooves.]

quae postquam Tethys, fatorum ignara nepotis,
[Which afterward, Tethys, unaware of her grandson' doom, beat back,]

et facta est inmensi copia caeli,
[and a mass of the enormous sky gathered,]

corripuere viam 
[and they tore upon their path]

pedibusque per aera motis
obstantes scindunt nebulas
[and they ripped through the clouds, rushing through the air upon excited hooves]

 pennisque levati
praetereunt ortos isdem de partibus Euros.               160
[and they, lifted upon wings, passed right by the East winds that were borne up from these very same regions.]

sed leve pondus erat
[But their burden was light]

 nec quod cognoscere possent
Solis equi, 
[nor could Sun's steeds manage to wrap their minds around this,]

solitaque iugum gravitate carebat;
[and their yoke lacked its usual weight;]

utque labant curvae iusto sine pondere naves
[and just like curved ships that totter from an uneven weight]

perque mare instabiles nimia levitate feruntur,
[and they are born through the sea, unstable from too much levity,]

sic onere adsueto vacuus dat in aera saltus
[and thusly the main, freed from its natural weight, sprays up into the air]

succutiturque alte similisque est currus inani.
[and it is crashed about, way up, and the chariot looked like to a wandering vessel.]

    Quod simul ac sensere,
[And as soon as they perceived this,]

 ruunt tritumque relinquunt
quadriiugi spatium
[the four steeds rushed forth and left behind the third realm,]

nec quo prius ordine currunt.
[nor did they sprint to where they were properly heading before.]

ipse pavet
[Our protagonist panicked]

nec qua commissas flectat habenas
nec scit qua sit iter,
[and neither did he know how to bend the reins he was given command over, nor where he was going,]

 nec, si sciat, imperet illis.               170
[nor, even if he knew, could he issue any orders to those horses.]

tum primum radiis gelidi caluere Triones
[and soon the icy Triones began to heat up from the rays of light]

et vetito frustra temptarunt aequore tegi,
[and in vain, they tried to find cover in the sea, now restricted to them,]

quaeque polo posita est glaciali proxima Serpens,
[and the Serpent set right next to the icy-covered pole nearby,]

frigore pigra prius nec formidabilis ulli,
incaluit sumpsitque novas fervoribus iras;               175
[while before she was sluggish from the sheer coldness, and posed no danger to anything, now it began to be heat up, and she conceived new furies from her wild bouts of frenzy;]

te quoque turbatum memorant fugisse, Boote,
[and you too, Bootes, people recall that you were flustered, and had to flee away,]

quamvis tardus eras
[even though you were slow,]

 et te tua plaustra tenebant.
[and your wagons were carrying you.]

    Ut vero summo despexit ab aethere terras
infelix Phaethon penitus penitusque iacentes,
[And indeed, as ill-starred Phaethon cast his gaze down from the high heavens upon the lands lying far, so far, below]

[his skin turned pale]

et subito genua intremuere timore               180
[and suddenly his knews began to tremble from the fright]

suntque oculis tenebrae per tantum lumen obortae,
[and the mist was removed from his eyes from the very brightness of the light]

et iam mallet equos numquam tetigisse paternos,
[and now he rather would not have even touched the his father's steeds,]

iam cognosse genus piget
[now it grieved him to have learned about his family lineage]

 et valuisse rogando,
[and to have gotten his way through his inquiries]

iam Meropis dici cupiens ita fertur,
[now, people say that he so desired to be hailed as the son of Merops,]

 ut acta
praecipiti pinus borea, cui victa remisit               185
frena suus rector, quam dis votisque reliquit.
[the pine structure was carried headfirst by the north wind, upon whose driver cast back his reins, now overwhelmed, which he left as offerings to the gods.]

quid faciat?
[Whatever could he do?]

 multum caeli post terga relictum,
ante oculos plus est:
[A great deal of the sky was set behind his back, and there was more before his eyes:]

 animo metitur utrumque
et modo,
[he gauged both sides in his mind, and then,

 quos illi fatum contingere non est,
prospicit occasus,
[he looked forward to his downward path, the ones he was not fated to move along,]

interdum respicit ortus,               190
[at the same time, he looked back upon his height he traveled upwards,]

quidque agat ignarus
[and whatever he managed to do, he did so as gape-jawed as an idiot,]

et nec frena remittit
[and neither did he give slack to his reins,]

nec retinere valet
[nor was he able to pull back]

 nec nomina novit equorum.
[nor did he remember the names of the horses.]

sparsa quoque in vario passim miracula caelo
vastarumque videt trepidus simulacra ferarum.
[Everywhere, he caught sight of the wondrous signs scattered in various parts of the sky, and in terror, the images of the monstrous beasts.]

est locus,
[There is a place,]

in geminos ubi bracchia concavat arcus                195
[where Scorpio curves together his arms into twin arcs,]

et cauda flexisque utrimque lacertis
porrigit in spatium signorum membra duorum:
[and with its tail and legs bent from either side, reaches toward the space where there are parts of two other signs,]

hunc puer ut nigri madidum sudore veneni
vulnera curvata minitantem cuspide vidit,
[the boy saw this one, and that it was soaking with the sweat of its venom, and threatening to cause curved wounds from its sting,]

mentis inops gelida formidine lora remisit.
[and he let go of the reins, losing his mind out in frozen terror.]