How great a wish has now come over me[p. 454]
To tell to heaven and earth the way in which
I did prepare that supper. Aye, by Pallas,
How sweet it is when everything goes right!
How tender was my fish! and how I dress'd it!
Not done with cheese, or powder'd o'er with dyes,
But looking as he did in life, though roasted.
So mild and gentle was the fire which I
Did to the fish apply, you'd scarce believe it.
It was as when a hen does seize some food,
And carries it away to eat at leisure:
She runs all round with care; another sees her,
And straightway follows her to take it from her.
So here, the man who first found out the pleasure
Of dainty eating, sprang up high and ran
All round and round, with his dish in his hand.
The rest pursued him—it was fine to see them:
Some got a little, some got nothing, some
Got all they wanted. Well, as I was saying,
I took some river fish, eaters of mud.
What if I'd had a scare, or blue-back'd fish
From Attic waters, O thou saving Jupiter!
Or boar from Argive woods, or noble conger
From Sicyon's bay, the conger which the god
Of the deep sea doth bear aloft to heaven,
Fit banquet for his brethren. Then no doubt
The guests who ate would all have seem'd like gods;
I should have been immortal, since the dead
By the mere smell of my meat I bring to life again.
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