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But Bacchus was not so content: he quyght forsooke their land:
And with a better companye removed out of hand
Unto the Vyneyarde of his owne mount Tmolus, and the river
Pactolus though as yit no streames of gold it did deliver,
Ne spyghted was for precious sands. His olde accustomd rout
Of woodwards and of franticke froes envyrond him about.
But old Silenus was away. The Phrygian ploughmen found
Him reeling bothe for droonkennesse and age, and brought him bound
With garlands unto Midas, king of Phrygia, unto whom
The Thracian Orphye and the preest Eumolphus comming from
The towne of Athens erst had taught the Orgies. When he knew
His fellowe and companion of the selfesame badge and crew,
Uppon the comming of this guest, he kept a feast the space
Of twyce fyve dayes and twyce fyve nyghts togither in that place.
And now th'eleventh tyme Lucifer had mustred in the sky
The heavenly host, when Midas commes to Lydia jocundly
And yeeldes the old Silenus to his fosterchyld. He, glad
That he his fosterfather had eftsoones recovered, bad
King Midas ask him what he would. Right glad of that was hee,
But not a whit at latter end the better should he bee.
He minding to misuse his giftes, sayd: Graunt that all and some
The which my body towcheth bare may yellow gold become.
God Bacchus graunting his request, his hurtfull gift performd,
And that he had not better wisht he in his stomacke stormd.
Rejoycing in his harme away full merye goes the king:
And for to try his promis true he towcheth every thing.
Scarce giving credit to himself, he pulled yoong greene twiggs
From off an Holmetree: by and by all golden were the spriggs.
He tooke a flintstone from the ground, the stone likewyse became
Pure gold. He towched next a clod of earth, and streight the same
By force of towching did become a wedge of yellow gold.
He gathered eares of rypened come: immediatly beholde
The come was gold. An Apple then he pulled from a tree:
Yee would have thought the Hesperids had given it him. If hee
On Pillars high his fingars layd, they glistred like the sonne.
The water where he washt his hands did from his hands so ronne,
As Danae might have beene therwith beguyld. He scarce could hold
His passing joyes within his harr, for making all things gold.
Whyle he thus joyd, his officers did spred the boord anon,
And set downe sundry sorts of meate and mancheate theruppon.
Then whither his hand did towch the bread, the bread was massy gold:
Or whither he chawde with hungry teeth his meate, yee might behold
The peece of meate betweene his jawes a plat of gold to bee.
In drinking wine and water mixt, yee myght discerne and see
The liquid gold ronne downe his throte. Amazed at the straunge
Mischaunce, and being both a wretch and rich, he wisht to chaunge
His riches for his former state, and now he did abhorre
The thing which even but late before he cheefly longed for.
No meate his hunger slakes: his throte is shrunken up with thurst:
And justly dooth his hatefull gold torment him as accurst.
Then lifting up his sory armes and handes to heaven, he cryde:
O father Bacchus, pardon mee. My sinne I will not hyde.
Have mercy, I beseech thee, and vouchsauf to rid mee quyght
From this same harme that seemes so good and glorious unto syght.
The gentle Bacchus streight uppon confession of his cryme
Restored Midas to the state hee had in former tyme.
And having made performance of his promis, hee beereft him
The gift that he had graunted him. And lest he should have left him
Beedawbed with the dregges of that same gold which wickedly
Hee wished had, he willed him to get him by and by
To that great ryver which dooth ronne by Sardis towne, and there
Along the chanell up the streame his open armes to beare
Untill he commeth to the spring: and then his head to put
Full underneathe the foming spowt where greatest was the gut,
And so in washing of his limbes to wash away his cryme.
The king (as was commaunded him) ageinst the streame did clyme.
And streyght the powre of making gold departing quyght from him,
Infects the ryver, making it with golden streame to swim.
The force whereof the bankes about so soked in theyr veynes,
That even as yit the yellow gold uppon the cloddes remaynes.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Charles Simmons, The Metamorphoses of Ovid, Books XIII and XIV, 14.844
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