|Do not fly Iberia
Display Latin text
Display Dutch text
Ovid XIV Chapter 10: 483-511 Acmon and others are changed into birds
Return to index
|'Now my friends lost heart, having endured ultimate misery in war and on the sea, and begged me to end our wanderings. But fiery-natured Acmon, truly exasperated by our disasters, said: "What is left, indeed, men, that your patience would not bear? What more could Cytherean Venus do, do you think, if she wished to? When we fear the worst there is a place for prayer, but when our lot is worst, fear is under our feet, and at the height of misfortune we are unconcerned. Though she herself should hear me, though she should hate, as she does, all those under Diomede's command, yet we all scorn her hatred. Great powers hardly count as great to us." Acmon of Pleuron goaded Venus with these insulting words, and rekindled her former anger. Few of us approved of what he said: the majority of his friends reproved him, and when he tried to answer, his voice and throat grew attenuated; his hair turned to plumage; and plumage covered his newly formed neck, chest and back. His arms received large feathers, and his elbows twisted to form swift wings; his toes took up most of his feet, and his face hardened and stiffened like horn, and ended in a pointed beak. Lycus, and Idas, Rhexenor, Nycteus and Abas, marvelled at him, and while they marvelled, they took the same form. The larger number of the flock rose, and circled the oarsmen on beating wings. If you ask the shape of these suddenly created birds, they were like white swans, though they were not swans. Now I can scarcely hold this house, and its parched fields, as Daunus of Iapygia's son-in-law, with this tiny remnant of my friends.'