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but now perceiving Argus' eyes were dimmed
in languorous doze, he hushed his voice and touched
the drooping eyelids with his magic wand,
compelling slumber. Then without delay
he struck the sleeper with his crescent sword,
where neck and head unite, and hurled his head,
blood dripping, down the rocks and rugged cliff.
Low lies Argus: dark is the light of all
his hundred eyes, his many orbed lights
extinguished in the universal gloom
that night surrounds; but Saturn's daughter spread
their glister on the feathers of her bird,
emblazoning its tail with starry gems.
Juno made haste, inflamed with towering rage,
to vent her wrath on Io; and she raised
in thought and vision of the Grecian girl
a dreadful Fury. Stings invisible,
and pitiless, she planted in her breast,
and drove her wandering throughout the globe.
The utmost limit of her laboured way,
O Nile, thou didst remain. Which, having reached,
and placed her tired knees on that river's edge,
she laid her there, and as she raised her neck
looked upward to the stars, and groaned and wept
and mournfully bellowed: trying thus to plead,
by all the means she had, that Jupiter
might end her miseries. Repentant Jove
embraced his consort, and entreated her
to end the punishment: “Fear not,” he said,
“For she shall trouble thee no more.” He spoke,
and called on bitter Styx to hear his oath.
And now imperial Juno, pacified,
permitted Io to resume her form,—
at once the hair fell from her snowy sides;
the horns absorbed, her dilate orbs decreased;
the opening of her jaws contracted; hands
appeared and shoulders; and each transformed hoof
became five nails. And every mark or form
that gave the semblance of a heifer changed,
except her fair white skin; and the glad Nymph
was raised erect and stood upon her feet.
But long the very thought of speech, that she
might bellow as a heifer, filled her mind
with terror, till the words so long forgot
for some sufficient cause were tried once more.
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