than he deserved.
Lifting his hands and shining arms to heaven,
he moaned. “Oh pardon me, father Lenaeus!
I have done wrong, but pity me, I pray,
and save me from this curse that looked so fair.”
How patient are the gods! Bacchus forthwith,
because King Midas had confessed his fault,
restored him and annulled the promise given,
annulled the favor granted, and he said:
“That you may not be always cased in gold,
which you unhappily desired, depart
to the stream that flows by that great town of Sardis
and upward trace its waters, as they glide
past Lydian heights, until you find their source.
Then, where the spring leaps out from mountain rock,
plunge head and body in the snowy foam.
At once the flood will take away your curse.”
King Midas did as he was told and plunged
beneath the water at the river's source.
And the gold virtue granted by the god,
as it departed from his body, tinged
the stream with gold. And even to this hour
adjoining fields, touched by this ancient vein
of gold, are