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The Metamorphoses of Publius Ovidus Naso in English blank verse Vols. I & II   By: (43 BC - 18?)

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First Page:

TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE

In this eBook, a circumflex (^) is used to indicate that the rest of the word is a superscript. Asterisks () are placed around words that were typeset in a Blackletter typeface in the original book.

Book 3 p. 105.

[Illustration]

R. Westall R.A. del^l. E. Scriven sculp^t

Caught by the image of his beauteous face, He loves th' unbody'd form: a substance thinks The shadow:

Pub. 1807, for the Author.

THE METAMORPHOSES OF PUBLIUS OVIDIUS NASO IN English Blank Verse

Translated by J. J. HOWARD.

VOL. 1.

[Illustration]

London 1807. Printed for the Author; & Sold by John Hatchard, Bookseller to Her Majesty. Piccadilly; H. D. Symonds, Paternoster Row & James Asperne Cornhill.

TO The Patronage OF THE RIGHT HONORABLE WILLIAM, EARL OF LONSDALE, KNIGHT OF THE MOST NOBLE ORDER OF THE GARTER, &c. &c. &c.

THE TRANSLATOR CONFIDES HIS ATTEMPT TO RENDER THE BEAUTIES OF OVID MORE ACCESSIBLE TO ENGLISH READERS, AND TO CHASTEN THE PRURIENCE OF HIS IDEAS AND HIS LANGUAGE, SO AS TO FIT HIS WRITINGS FOR MORE GENERAL PERUSAL.

Pimlico, Aug. 22, 1807.

Bailey & Macdonald, Printers, 3, Harris's Place, Pantheon, Oxford Street.

THE First Book OF THE METAMORPHOSES OF OVID.

From bodies various form'd, mutative shapes My Muse would sing: Celestial powers give aid! From you those changes sprung, inspire my pen; Connect each period of my venturous song Unsever'd, from old Chaös' rude misrule, Till now the world beneath Augustus smiles.

While yet nor earth nor sea their place possest, Nor that cerulean canopy which hangs O'ershadowing all, each undistinguish'd lay, And one dead form all Nature's features bore; Unshapely, rude, and Chaos justly nam'd. Together struggling laid, each element Confusion strange begat: Sol had not yet Whirl'd through the blue expanse his burning car: Nor Luna yet had lighted forth her lamp, Nor fed her waning light with borrowed rays. No globous earth pois'd inly by its weight, Hung pendent in the circumambient sky: The sky was not: Nor Amphitrité had Clasp'd round the land her wide encircling arms. Unfirm the earth, with water mix'd and air; Opaque the air; unfluid were the waves. Together clash'd the elements confus'd: Cold strove with heat, and moisture drought oppos'd; Light, heavy, hard, and soft, in combat join'd.

Uprose the world's great Lord, the strife dissolv'd, The firm earth from the blue sky plac'd apart; Roll'd back the waves from off the land, and fixt Where pure ethereal joins with foggy air. Defin'd each element, and from the mass Chaötic, rang'd select, in concord firm He bound, and all agreed. On high upsprung The fiery ether to the utmost heaven: The atmospheric air, in lightness next, Upfloated: dense the solid earth dragg'd down The heavier mass; and girt on every side By waves circumfluent, seiz'd her place below.

This done, the mass this deity unknown Divides; each part dispos'd in order lays: First earth he rounds, in form a sphere immense, Equal on every side: then bids the seas, Pent in by banks, spread their rude waves abroad, By strong winds vext; and clasp within their arms The tortuous shores: and marshes wide he adds, Pure springs and lakes: he bounds with shelving banks The streams smooth gliding; slowly creeping, some The arid earth absorbs; furious some rush, And in the watery plain their waves disgorge; Their narrow bounds escap'd, to billows rise, And lash the sandy shores. He bade the plains Extend; the vallies sink; the groves to bloom; And rocky hills to lift their heads aloft. And as two zones the northern heaven restrain, The southern two, and one the hotter midst, With five the Godhead girt th' inclosed earth, And climates five upon its face imprest. The midst from heat inhabitable: snows Eternal cover two: 'twixt these extremes Two temperate regions lie, where heat and cold Meet in due mixture; 'bove the whole light air Was hung: as water floats above the land, So fire 'bove air ascends... Continue reading book >>




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