The Ibis, by Ovid, Translated by A.S. Kline

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

The Ibis, by Ovid, Translated by A.S. Kline

Postby admin » Sat Jun 18, 2016 12:43 am

The Ibis
by Ovid
Translated by A.S. Kline, © 2003

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Table of Contents:

• Ibis:1-40 Preliminaries at the Altar: The Enemy.
• Ibis:41-104 Preliminaries at the Altar: The Invocation.
• Ibis:105-134 The Litany of Maledictions: The Denial Of Benefits
• Ibis:135-162 The Litany of Maledictions: Vengeance From The Grave
• Ibis:163-208 The Litany of Maledictions: His Enemy After Death.
• Ibis:209-250 The Litany of Maledictions: His Enemy’s Fate
• Ibis:251-310 The Litany of Maledictions: Ancient Torments
• Ibis:311-364 The Litany of Maledictions: Ancient Torments
• Ibis:365-412 The Litany of Maledictions: Ancient Torments
• Ibis:413-464 The Litany of Maledictions: Ancient Torments
• Ibis:465-540 The Litany of Maledictions: Ancient Torments
• Ibis:541-596 The Litany of Maledictions: Ancient Torments
• Ibis:597-644 The Litany of Maledictions: Concluding Words
• Index

Librarian's Comment: Although Wikipedia (2010) states that "no scholarly consensus exists as to whom the poet was directing" this verbal assault, the article identifies Titus Labienus, a renowned advocate of free speech who ended his own life when his works were suppressed, as a possible target. This speculation, like the one that identifies his friend Sabinus as the target of Ovid's wrath, strikes the librarian as off the mark. It seems much more likely that "Ibis" was Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus (Octavius/Octavian), who exiled Ovid to Tomis on the Black Sea, since the poem is almost entirely directed against evil kings and their progeny, with curses of exile: "May you be in a place far from Elysian Fields, and be exiled, where the guilty host abide." "Like Hippolytus, Aethra’s grandson, killed by Venus’s anger, may you an exile, be dragged away by your terrified horses." Another clue as to Ibis' great power and influence appears in the verse: "Ibis’s day brought ruin to our people." Examples of death and misfortune to kings and their children follow:

• "And Ixion, beaten, driven by his wheel’s swift circling." [Ixion: King of Lapithae, was bound by Jupiter to a fiery wheel that turns in the underworld.]
• "Nor let your grief be less than Telephus’, who drank from the doe’s teat, and armed received a wound, unarmed help." [Telephus: King of Teuthrantia, was wounded by Achilles’ spear.]
• "Nor see more than Oedipus whom his daughter guided, both her parents being acknowledged sinners." [Oedipus: King of Thebes, unwittingly killed his parents, then blinded himself, was led around by his daughter.]
• "And as that man, Phineus, by whose command a dove of Pallas was sent out to lead the way, and be a guide to the Argo."[Phineus: King of Salmydessus in Thrace, was blinded by the gods and plagued by Harpies for prophesying the future accurately.]
• "Or like Cychreus, who snatched Eurylochus’ crown, let your body be food for ravenous serpents." [Cychreus: King of Salamis, was killed by a serpent.]
• Or like Phoenix, child of Amyntor, the loved will be hated through shameful desire, and the son wounded by the cruel sword.[Amyntor: King of Ormenium, blinded his son Phoenix and cursed him with childlessness after the king's concubine accused him of violating her.]
• "Or like Achilles’ scion, known by a famous name, struck down by a tile hurled from an enemy hand." [Achilles: Son of Peleus, King of Thessaly; Pyrrhus was his son.]
• "May you send those dearest to you to the pyre, an ending to his life that Sardanapalus knew." [Sardanapalus: King of Assyrian Ninevah, set fire to his palace and killed himself after his court was besieged by the Medes.]
• "May your mother be no more chaste than her whom Tydeus would have blushed to have as a daughter-in-law." [Tydeus: King of Calydon, mortally wounded and gnawed on the skull and ate the brains of his opponent, was killed by Athene; his son, Diomedes, loved Helen.]
• "And may the gods grant you have such joy in your wife’s loyalty as Talaus, or Agamemnon." [Talaus: King of Argos;Agamemnon: King of Mycenae, murdered by his wife Clytaemnestra.]
• "If you’ve a daughter, may she be what Pelopea was to Thyestes, Myrrha to her father, Nyctimene to hers. Nor let her be more pious and careful of her father’s life than yours was Pterelaus, or yours Nisus, towards you." [Thyestes: Son of Pelops, feuded with his brother Atreus over the kingship of Mycenae, his brother Atreus and his wife killed his children, cooked them, and served them to him at a banquet; Myrrha: mother of Adonis through incest with her father Cinryas, King of Panchaeia; Nyctimene: daughter of Epopeus, King of Lesbos, unknowingly slept with her father, and was changed by Minerva into an owl; Pterelaus: Son of Poseidon, King of Taphos, his daughter Amphitryon cut off his golden locks and killed him; Nisus: King of Megara, his daughter Scylla cut off his purple lock which betrayed the city.]
• "As Oenomaus who stained that soil more deeply, himself, that was often drenched by the blood of wretched princes." [Oenomaus: King of Pisa, was killed by Myrtilus, his charioteer, in a crash.]
• "Like Antaeus’s brother, Busiris, bound by that blood, who stained the field, and died by his example." [Antaeus: King of Lybia; his brother Busiris, King of Egypt, sacrificed strangers to Jupiter, was killed by Hercules]
• "May you repeat the vile banquet at a Lycaonian table, trying to mislead Jupiter with a deceptive food: and I beg someone to test the power of the god, serve you as Tantalus’s son, or the son of Tereus." [Lycaon: King of Arcadia, presided over cannibalistic practices, and was transformed into a wolf by Zeus; Tantalus: King of Phrygia, served his son Pelops to the gods at a banquet and was punished with eternal thirst in Hades; Tereus: King of Thrace, raped his wife Procne’s sister, cut out her tongue, Procne then served him the flesh of his murdered son and turned him into a bird.]
• "As Aegeus who saw the deceptive sail of Theseus’s ship." [Aegeus: father of Theseus, King of Athens, leapt to his death when Theseus forgot to raise a white sail on his return to Athens.]
• "May the wild boar that killed Lycurgus’s son, and Adonis born of a tree, and brave Idmon, destroy you too." [Lycurgus: King of Edoni of Thrace, opposed Bacchus’ entry into his kingdom so was driven mad, then killed his son Dryas and hewed his own foot with an axe thinking both were vines of Bacchus, torn to pieces with wild horses on the orders of Bacchus; Adonis: son of Myrrha by her father Cinyras, was killed by a wild boar; Idmon: son of Apollo, was killed by a wild boar.]
• "May you be buried in a falling house, like the offspring of Aleus, when Jove’s star befriended a scion of Leoprepeus." [Aleus: King of Tegea.]
• "Or may you give your name to the flowing waters, like Evenus or Tiberinus, drowned in the rushing river." [Evenus: son of Mars, drowned himself in the river Lycormas after his daughter was stolen; Tiberinus, king, drowned in the river Tiber.]
• "Or be torn apart and scattered in the woods by your kin, as Pentheus at Thebes, grandson of the serpent, Cadmus." [Pentheus: King of Thebes, rejected the worship of Bacchus, was torn to pieces by the Bacchantes; Cadmus: Son of the Phoenician King Agenor.]
• "Nor may you be happier than Haemon in your love." [Haemon: King of Thebes, committed suicide when his love Antigone died.]
• "And may that kind of weapon cling to your bones, with which they say Ulysses, the son-in-law of Icarius, was killed." [Ulysses, King of Ithaca, was killed by Telegonus with a spear armed with the spine of a sting-ray.]
• "As a host, Polymestor, killed his foster-child Polydorus, for his great wealth, may a host murder you for your scant riches."[Polymestor: King of Thrace, killed his nephew Polydorus, was blinded and murdered by Polydorus’ mother Hecuba.]
• "May you have no quieter a sleep than Rhesus, and his comrades before him on death’s road." [Rhesus: King of Thrace, was killed by Ulysses and Diomedes in a night raid at Troy.]
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Re: The Ibis, by Ovid, Translated by A.S. Kline

Postby admin » Sat Jun 18, 2016 12:43 am

Ibis:1-40 Preliminaries at the Altar: The Enemy

Until now, now that I’ve reached my fifties,
all my Muse’s poetry has been harmless:
and no letter of Ovid’s exists, of the thousands
written, that can be interpreted as hostile:
and my books have hurt no one but myself:
the author’s own life was ruined by his ‘Art’.
One person alone (and this itself is a great wrong)
won’t grant me the title of an honest man.
Whoever it is (for I’ll be silent still as yet about his name)
he forces my novice hand to take up weapons.
He won’t let me, a man banished to the frozen
source of the north wind, hide myself away in exile:
and he, inexorably, disturbs the wound of a man
seeking peace, bandies my name about the forum:
won’t let the companion of my marriage bed mourn,
the ruin of her living husband, without troubling her,
and while I cling to the shattered fragments of my boat,
he fights for the planks from my shipwreck:
this robber, who ought to quench the sudden flame,
looks for plunder here in the middle of the fire.
He works so there might be no succour for an aged fugitive:
ah, how much more he himself deserves my misfortune!
The gods are kinder! And to me He’s by far the greatest,
who did not wish my path to be that of poverty.
So let thanks be expressed for that, whenever possible,
and may I always deal with so merciful a heart.
Pontus might hear it: perhaps might see to it too,
that the earth nearest me acts as my witness.
But may you who trample on me, violently, in my fall,
be made wretched for it! I’ll be your dearest enemy.
Moisture will sooner cease to conflict with fire,
the sun’s light be merged with that of the moon:
one part of the sky bring east and west winds too,
warm south winds blow out of the frozen pole:
spring with autumn, summer with winter, mix,
dawn and sunset lie in the same part of the sky:
new harmony rise with smoke, that an ancient
quarrel divides, from the brothers’ blazing pyre:
than you and I lay down, in a friendship that you shattered
by your crimes, these weapons we’ve assumed, cruel one.
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Re: The Ibis, by Ovid, Translated by A.S. Kline

Postby admin » Sat Jun 18, 2016 12:44 am

Ibis:41-104 Preliminaries at the Altar: The Invocation

We’ll enjoy that peace, while life remains to me,
that lies between the wolves and the defenceless flock.
First I’ll wage a war in these verses I’ve begun,
though it’s not the thing to go to battle in this metre:
and as the spear of a soldier, who’s not fighting mad
as yet, buries itself deep in the yellow sand,
so I’ll not hurl my sharpened steel at you as yet,
my shaft won’t seek your hateful life at once:
I’ll not speak your name or actions in this work,
but let you hide whom you are, for a little longer.
Then, if you persist, unrestrained iambics will hurl
my missiles at you, stained with Lycambean blood.
Now, as Battiades cursed his enemy Ibis,
I’ll curse you, and yours, in the same way.
And like him I’ve involved my poem with hidden matters:
I’ve followed him, though I’m unused to this sort of thing.
Its convolutions are uttered in imitation of those
in Ibis, forgetful of my own custom and taste.
And since, when asked, I’m not saying who you are, as yet,
you too, in the meantime, can take the name of Ibis:
and as my verse will reflect something of my nights,
so may the sequence of your days be wholly dark.
Have this read to you on your birthday, and at new
year, by anyone whose lips have no need for lies.
Gods of earth and sea, who maintain the good
between the disparate poles, where Jupiter rules,
I beg this of you: bend all your thoughts to this,
and let my wishes carry their weight with you:
and you earth itself, and the waves of ocean,
and the highest sky itself, approve my prayers:
and the stars, and that form clothed with rays of sunlight,
and you Moon, that never glittered brighter in your orbit,
and Night whom we revere for the beauty of your shadows:
and you who spin your fatal work with triple thumbs,
and you the stream of waters, not to be named in vain,
that glides with dread murmurs through infernal valleys,
and you with your hair bound by writhing snakes,
who sit before the shadowy doors of the prison:
you too, the lower powers, Fauns, Satyrs, Lares,
the rivers, and the nymphs and semi-divine races:
appear, at the last, in our presence, all you gods,
old and new, from out the ancient chaos,
while dread charms are sung by treacherous mouths,
and anger and grief act out their proper parts.
All, in order, show your assent to my desires,
and let there be no part of my prayer that fails.
And let it be fulfilled, I beg: so it may be thought
not my word, but a speech of the race of Pasiphae.
And I’ll have recounted these punishments, and he’ll
endure them, let his misery be greater for my skill!
And let the prayers of execration harm his false
name no less, nor the great gods be less inclined to stir:
I curse him as Ibis, whom the mind perceives,
who knows he’s earned these curses by his deeds.
No delay is mine: I act as priest with sure prayer.
Whoever is at my rites, show favour to my words:
whoever is at my rites, speak your words of mourning,
and with wet cheeks begin your weeping for Ibis:
and run with every ill, and on stumbling feet,
and cloak all your bodies with black garments!
You too, why hesitate to don the fatal bands? Now
your funeral altar’s ready, as you yourself can see.
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Re: The Ibis, by Ovid, Translated by A.S. Kline

Postby admin » Sat Jun 18, 2016 12:44 am

Ibis:105-134 The Litany of Maledictions: The Denial Of Benefits

Your cortège is prepared: no delay to the sad prayers:
dread sacrifice, relinquish your throat to my knives.
Let earth deny its fruits to you, the rivers their waves,
let the winds and the breezes deny you their breath.
Let there be no heat to the sun, for you, no light for you
from the moon, let all the bright stars forsake your eyes.
Nor let fire or air offer themselves to you,
nor earth or ocean grant you a way.
Exiled, wander helpless, across the alien thresholds,
seek out scant nourishment with a trembling mouth.
Body never free of ills, mind of grievous sickness,
night be worse than day for you, and day than night.
May you be always pitiable, and yet let no one pity:
let men and women take delight in your adversity.
Let hatred for your tears be on you, be so fit to stink,
that when you might have known the worst of ills,
you’ll suffer more. And be, what’s rare, devoid
of common charity, a face offensive to your own fate.
And let no reason fail, of the many, for your dying:
yet life be forced to shun the death you long for:
and your spirit struggle long to leave your tortured
body, and interminable delay torment it first.
Let this come to pass. Just now, himself, Apollo gave me
an omen of the future, a bird flew from the mournful left.
I’ll consider the gods influenced by what I vow, and I’ll
always be nourished, traitor, by expectation of your death.
And first let that day, that comes too slow for me,
take away this life, often sought to excess by you,
that this grief might have the power to vanish in a moment,
and heal my hateful hours, and these hated days of mine.
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Re: The Ibis, by Ovid, Translated by A.S. Kline

Postby admin » Sat Jun 18, 2016 12:44 am

Ibis:135-162 The Litany of Maledictions: Vengeance From The Grave

While Thracians fight with bows, Iazyges with spears,
while the Ganges runs warm, and Danube cold:
while mountains produce oaks, and plains soft grass,
while the Tuscan Tiber flows with its clear waters,
I’ll wage war on you: death will not end my anger, rather
among the shades it will set a cruel weapon in my hands.
Then, too, when I shall be dissolved in empty air,
my bloodless ghost will still revile all your ways,
then, too, my remembering shadow will pursue
remedy for your deeds, and my bony form your face.
Whether, as I’d not wish, I’m exhausted by long years,
whether I’m dissolved in death by my own hand:
whether I’m lost, shipwrecked by mighty waves,
while the foreign fishes feed on my entrails:
whether wandering birds pick at my limbs:
whether wolves stain their jaws with my blood:
whether any will deign to place me in the earth,
or give my corpse in vain to the common pyre:
wherever I may be, I’ll strive to break from Styx’s shores,
and, in vengeance, stretch an icy hand to where you are.
You’ll see me watching, in the shades of silent nights,
appearing as a vision, I’ll drive away your sleep.
Whatever you do, I’ll flit before your lips and eyes,
and moan so there can be no peace in your house.
Cruel whips, and twining snakes, will hiss, and funeral
torches, forever smoke before your guilty face.
Living, you’ll be haunted by the furies, dead as well,
and the shorter then will be your punishment in life.
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Re: The Ibis, by Ovid, Translated by A.S. Kline

Postby admin » Sat Jun 18, 2016 12:44 am

Ibis:163-208 The Litany of Maledictions: His Enemy After Death

Your funeral will not affect you or your tears: you’ll forgo
your life, unlamented: and the mob will all applaud
while you are dragged away, at the executioners’ hands,
and their hooks are buried deep in your bones.
Let the flames that snatch at all men, flee from you:
let the honest earth reject your hated corpse. May
the cruel vulture tear your entrails, beak and claw,
and the greedy dogs rip out your treacherous heart,
and let there be (though you may be proud to be so
loved) a quarrel for your body, among the wolves.
May you be in a place far from Elysian Fields,
and be exiled, where the guilty host abide.
Sisyphus is there: he rolls and retrieves his stone:
and Ixion, beaten, driven by his wheel’s swift circling,
and Tityus, stretched across nine acres, head to toe,
destined to offer his entrails evermore to carrion birds,
and the Belides who always bear water-jars on their shoulders,
that savage crowd, the daughters-in-law of exiled Aegyptos.
Tantalus, Pelop’s father, always reaches for the fruit there,
and water overflowing forever, forever torments him.
There let one of the Furies rake your flanks with her whip,
till the measure of your sins has been confessed:
another give your scored body to her hellish snakes:
the third one scorch your smoking cheeks with fire.
Be tortured by noxious shades in a thousand ways,
and Aeacus be gifted in forming your punishments.
The torment in the old tales be transferred to you:
let you be the reason for the ancients to be at peace.
You take Sisyphus’s place: he’ll grant you his weight to roll:
now your new limbs will turn Ixion’s swift wheel:
and here the one who snatches vainly at branch and wave,
here the one that feeds the birds with his uneaten entrails.
Let no second death end the torments of this death,
let there be no final hour to all these ills.
Let me prophesy as few of them as the leaves one might gather
from Ida, or drops of flowing water from the Libyan Sea.
For there could never be as many flowers in Sicilian Hybla,
or yellow crocuses, I would say, in Cilician country,
nor winter shudder as much from swift Northerlies,
those that make Mount Athos white with all their hail:
as all the torments you should undergo that could be recalled
by my voice, out of this mouth that adds to them.
Ah, let as many be yours, you wretch, and such disaster,
that even I might be counted on to be reduced to tears.
Those tears will make me endlessly blessed:
those tears will be sweeter, then, to me than laughter.
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Re: The Ibis, by Ovid, Translated by A.S. Kline

Postby admin » Sat Jun 18, 2016 12:45 am

Ibis:209-250 The Litany of Maledictions: His Enemy’s Fate

You were born unfortunate (the gods willed it so),
and no star was kind or beneficent at your birth.
Venus did not shine, nor Jupiter, in that hour,
neither Moon nor Sun were favourably placed,
nor did Mercury, whom that bright Maia bore
to great Jove, offer his fires in any useful aspect.
Cruel Mars that promises no peace, lowered down,
and that planet of aged Saturn, with his scythe.
And the day of your birth was dark and impure,
overcast with cloud, so you would only see sadness.
This is the day to which, in our history, the fatal
Allia gives it name: Ibis’s day brought ruin to our people.
As soon as he’d fallen from his mother’s foul
womb, his vile body lay on Cinyphian soil,
a night-owl sat over against him on the heights,
and uttered dire sounds in a funereal voice,
At once the Furies washed him in marsh water,
where a water channel ran from the Stygian stream,
and smeared venom from a snake of Erebus on his breast,
and clapped their bloodstained hands together thrice.
They moistened the child’s throat with bitches’ milk:
that was the first nourishment in the boy’s mouth:
from it the fosterling drank it’s nurse’s fury,
and howled with a dog’s cry over all the city.
They bound his limbs with dark-coloured bands,
snatched from an accursed abandoned pyre:
and, lest it lie unsupported on the naked earth,
they propped his tender head on a hard stone.
Then to make his eyelids retract they brought brands
made of green twigs close to his eyes, close to the lids.
The child wept when he was touched by bitter smoke,
while one of the three sisters spoke, as follows:
‘We have set these tears flowing for all time, in you,
and they’ll always have sufficient reason to fall.’
She spoke: but ordered Clotho to empower the future,
and she spun the dark fateful thread with her hand:
and so as not to speak a lengthy prophecy with her lips,
she said: ‘There’ll be a poet who will sing your fate.’
I am that poet: from me you’ll learn your torments,
let the gods grant you strength according only to my words:
and let weighty matters follow from my verses,
that you’ll experience with certain grief.
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Re: The Ibis, by Ovid, Translated by A.S. Kline

Postby admin » Sat Jun 18, 2016 12:45 am

Ibis:251-310 The Litany of Maledictions: Ancient Torments

May you not be tortured without ancient precedent,
nor your troubles be less than those of the Trojans,
and may you suffer pain as great as Philoctetes,
heir to Club-bearing Hercules, from venom’s torment.
Nor let your grief be less than Telephus’, who drank from
the doe’s teat, and armed received a wound, unarmed help:
or he who fell headlong from his horse in the Aleian field,
Philopoimen, whose character was nearly his own ruin.
May you know what Phoenix knew, and, robbed of sight,
find your perilous way with the help of a stick.
Nor see more than Oedipus whom his daughter guided,
both her parents being acknowledged sinners:
be blind as Tiresias, the old man famous for Apollo’s art,
after he’d acted as judge of the gods’ playful quarrel:
and as that man, Phineus, by whose command a dove of Pallas
was sent out to lead the way, and be a guide to the Argo:
and Polymestor, lacking eyes, that had viewed gold sinfully,
the father giving them as funeral gifts to his murdered child:
and like Polyphemus, Etna’s shepherd, whose blinding,
Telemus, son of Eurymus, prophesied before the event:
like the two sons of Phineus, from whom he took the same
light he gave: as the faces of Thamyris and Demodocus.
May someone sever your genitals, as Saturn,
when he was born, severed those of Uranus.
Nor let Neptune in the swelling waves be kinder to you
than to him whose brother and wife were turned into birds,
or to Ulysses, that cunning man, whom Ino, Semele’s sister,
pitied as he clung to the shattered timbers of his raft.
Or, lest your flesh shall have known only this one manner
of punishment, let it be split and dragged apart by horses:
or you yourself suffer what the man, who thought to be free
by disgracing Rome, endured from the Carthaginian leader.
Nor let divine power be prompt to your relief, just as
the altars of Jupiter brought Hercules no profit.
And as Thessalus leapt from the heights of Ossa,
you too will throw yourself from the stony cliff.
Or like Cychreus, who snatched Eurylochus’ crown,
let your body be food for ravenous serpents.
Or, as in Ariadne’s fate, may raging liquid rush
over your head, covered by the waters.
And like Prometheus, pinned there, without mercy,
and exposed, feed the birds of the air with your blood.
Or be thrown like stricken Eumolpus, scion of Erectheus,
three times defeated by mighty Hercules, into the vast sea.
Or like Phoenix, child of Amyntor, the loved will be hated through
shameful desire, and the son wounded by the cruel sword.
Let no more cups be mixed for you that are safe to drink,
than for him who was born of horned Jupiter.
Or die suspended like the captive Acheus who hung
a wretched witness to the gold-bearing waters.
Or like Achilles’ scion, known by a famous name,
struck down by a tile hurled from an enemy hand.
Nor let your bones lie more happily than Pyrrhus’,
that were scattered over the roads of Ambracia.
Die driven through by javelins like one born
of Pyrrhus: nor may that rite of Ceres hide you.
And like that king’s scion spoken of just now in my verse,
drink the aphrodisiac juice given you by your parent.
Or be said to have been killed by a sacred adultress,
as Leucon fell to an avenger said to be holy.
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Re: The Ibis, by Ovid, Translated by A.S. Kline

Postby admin » Sat Jun 18, 2016 12:45 am

Ibis:311-364 The Litany of Maledictions: Ancient Torments

May you send those dearest to you to the pyre,
an ending to his life that Sardanapalus knew.
Like those about to violate the temple of Libyan Jove,
may the sand driven by south winds bury your face.
Like those killed by the later Darius’s deceit,
may the ash as it subsides consume your visage.
Or like he who once set out from olive-rich Sicyon,
may hunger and cold be the causes of your death.
Or like the Atarnean may you be brought, basely,
to your lord as a prize, sewn inside a bull’s-hide.
May your throat be cut in your room, like him
of Pherae, whose own wife killed him with a sword.
Like Aleuas of Larissa, by your wound, may you find
those faithless whom you thought were faithful to you.
Like Milo, under whose tyranny Pisa suffered,
may you be hurled alive into shrouded waters.
And may the weapons sent by Jove against Adimantus,
who ruled the Phyllesian kingdom, find you too.
Or like Lenaeus once from Amastris’s shores,
may you be left naked on Achillean soil.
And as Eurydamas was drawn three times round
the tomb of Thrasyllus by hostile Larissean wheels,
as Hector who often rendered the walls safe, circled
them with his body, they not long surviving him,
as the adulterer was dragged over Athenian soil
while Hippomenes’ daughter suffered strange punishment,
so, when that hated life has departed your limbs,
may avenging horses drag your vile body.
May some rock pierce your entrails, as once
the Greeks were pierced in the Euboean Bay:
and as the fierce ravager died by lightning and the waves,
so may the waters that drown you be helped by fire.
May your crazed mind too be driven by frenzies,
like a man who’s whole body is a single wound:
as Dryas’s son who held the kingdom of Rhodope,
he who was disparately shod on his two feet,
or as Oetean Hercules was once, Athamas the serpent’s son-in-law,
Orestes Tisamenus’s father, and Alcmaeon Callirhoe’s husband.
May your mother be no more chaste than her whom Tydeus
would have blushed to have as a daughter-in-law:
or the Locrian who, disguised as her murdered
servant, joined in love with her brother-in-law.
And may the gods grant you have such joy in your wife’s
loyalty as Talaus, or Agamemnon, Tyndareus’s son-in-law,
or such a wife as the daughters of Belus, who dared to plan
their cousins’ deaths, whose necks bow, carrying water.
May your sister burn with fire as Byblis and Canace
did, and not prove true except in their sinning.
If you’ve a daughter, may she be what Pelopea was
to Thyestes, Myrrha to her father, Nyctimene to hers.
Nor let her be more pious and careful of her father’s life
than yours was Pterelaus, or yours Nisus, towards you:
or she who made a place infamous with her crime’s name,
trampling and crushing her father’s limbs under the wheels.
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Re: The Ibis, by Ovid, Translated by A.S. Kline

Postby admin » Sat Jun 18, 2016 12:45 am

Ibis:365-412 The Litany of Maledictions: Ancient Torments

May you die like the young men of Pisa, whose face
and limbs the mountain slopes outside received:
as Oenomaus who stained that soil more deeply, himself,
that was often drenched by the blood of wretched princes,
as that cruel tyrant’s traitorous charioteer, Myrtilus,
died, who gave a new name to Myrtoan waters:
as those who sought in vain the speeding girl,
Atalanta, she who was slowed by the three apples:
those in the hidden cave changed to new monstrous shapes,
never to return from the house of the dark one:
like those whose bodies violent Aeacides sent
to the high pyre, aged men, and then women:
like those we read of, whom the vile Sphinx killed,
those defeated by the tortuous questions she uttered:
like those sacrificed in Bistonian Minerva’s temple,
for whom the goddess’s glance is even now hidden:
like those who once were made into a banquet
in the blood-stained stables of Diomede of Thrace:
like those who encountered the lions of Therodamas,
or suffered the Tauric rites of Thoantean Diana:
like the terrified men that ravening Scylla, and
opposing Charybdis, snatched from the Ithacan ship:
like those consumed in Polyphemus’s vast gut,
like those who fell into Laestrygonian hands:
like those the Punic leader drowned in the waters
of the well, making the depths white with their ashes:
as Penelope’s twelve handmaids died, and the suitors,
and the chief of the tyrants who armed the suitors:
as the wrestler died, thrown by the Boetian stranger,
his conqueror astonished that he had died:
or the strong men crushed in that Antaeus’s arms,
or those killed by the savage crowd of Lemnian women:
or the one, denounced for wicked rites, on whom
a stricken victim, at last, brought down vast rains:
like Antaeus’s brother, Busiris, bound by that blood,
who stained the field, and died by his example:
like the impious man who having poor grass
for fodder, fed his horses on human entrails:
like those two Centaurs, Nessus, and Eurytion, son-in-law
of Dexamenus, killed, with separate wounds, by the same avenger:
like one from his city that your great-grandson,
Saturn, Asclepius, himself saw restored to life:
like Sinis and Sciron and his father Procrustes:
and the Minotaur, half man and half bull:
Sinis, who sent bent pine-trees from earth to air,
to gaze at the Isthmus’ seas on both sides:
and Cercyon, whom Ceres saw with delighted
gaze, dying at the hands of Theseus.
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