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Such was the prophesy
of Helenus, when great Aeneas took
away his guardian deities, and I
rejoice to see my kindred walls rise high
and realize how much the Trojans won
by that resounding victory of the Greeks!

“But, that we may not range afar with steeds
forgetful of the goal, the heavens and all
beneath them and the earth and everything
upon it change in form. We likewise change,
who are a portion of the universe,
and, since we are not only things of flesh
but winged souls as well, we may be doomed
to enter into beasts as our abode;
and even to be hidden in the breasts
of cattle. Therefore, should we not allow
these bodies to be safe which may contain
the souls of parents, brothers, or of those
allied to us by kinship or of men
at least, who should be saved from every harm?
Let us not gorge down a Thyestean feast!

“How greatly does a man disgrace himself,
how impiously does he prepare himself
for shedding human blood, who with u knife
cuts the calf's throat and offers a deaf ear
to its death-longings! who can kill the kid
while it is sending forth heart rending cries
like those of a dear child; or who can feed
upon the bird which he has given food.
How little do such deeds as these fall short
of actual murder? Yes, where will they lead?

“Let the ox plough, or let him owe his death
to weight of years; and let the sheep give us
defence against the cold of Boreas;
and let the well-fed she-goats give to man
their udders for the pressure of kind hands.

“Away with cruel nets and springs and snares
and fraudulent contrivances: deceive
not birds with bird-limed twigs: do not deceive
the trusting deer with dreaded feather foils:
do not conceal barbed hooks with treacherous bait:
if any beast is harmful, take his life,
but, even so, let killing be enough.
Taste not his flesh, but look for harmless food!”

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load focus Latin (Hugo Magnus, 1892)
load focus English (Arthur Golding, 1567)
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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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