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observed the consort of the Thunder-God
her altered mien; but she for ripening time
withheld severe resentment. Now delay
was needless for distracted Juno heard
Calisto of the god of Heaven had borne
a boy called Arcas. Full of jealous rage,
her eyes and thoughts enkindled as she cried;
“And only this was wanting to complete
your wickedness, that you should bear a son
and flaunt abroad the infamy of Jove!
Unpunished you shall not escape, for I
will spoil the beauty that has made you proud
and dazzled Jupiter with wanton art.”
So saying, by her forehead's tresses seized
the goddess on her rival; and she dragged
her roughly to the ground. Pleading she raised
her suppliant arms and begged for mercy.—While
she pled, black hair spread over her white limbs;
her hands were lengthened into feet, and claws
long-curving tipped them; snarling jaws deformed
the mouth that Jove had kissed. And lest her prayers
and piteous words might move some listening God,
and give remembrance, speech was so denied,
that only from her throat came angry growls,
now uttered hoarse and threatening.
her understanding, though her body, thus
transformed, makes her appear a savage bear.—
her sorrows are expressed in many a groan,
repeated as she lifts her hands—if we
may call them so—repeated as she lifts
them towards the stars and skies, ungrateful Jove
regarding; but her voice accuses not.
Afraid to rest in unfrequented woods,
she wandered in the fields that once were hers,
around her well-known dwelling. Over crags,
in terror, she was driven by the cries
of hounds; and many a time she fled in fear,
a huntress from the hunters, or she hid
from savage animals; forgetting her
transformed condition. Changed into a bear,
she fled affrighted from the bears that haunt
the rugged mountains; and she feared and fled
the wolves,—although her father was a wolf.
When thrice five birthdays rounded out the youth
of Arcas, offspring of Lycaon's child,
he hunted in the forest of his choice;
where, hanging with his platted nets the trees
of Erymanthian forest, he espied
his transformed mother,—but he knew her not;
no one had told him of his parentage.
Knowing her child, she stood with levelled gaze,
amazed and mute as he began approach;
but Arcas, frightened at the sight drew back
to pierce his mother's breast with wounding spear.—
but not permitting it the god of Heaven
averted, and removed them from that crime.
He, in a mighty wind—through vacant space,
upbore them to the dome of starry heaven,
and fixed them, Constellations, bright amid
the starry host.
Juno on high beheld
Calisto crowned with glory—great with rage
her bosom heaved. She flew across the sea,
to hoary Tethys and to old Oceanus,
whom all the Gods revere, and thus to them
in answer to their words she made address;
“And is it wondered that the Queen of Gods
comes hither from ethereal abodes?
My rival sits upon the Throne of Heaven:
yea, when the wing of Night has darkened
let my fair word be deemed of no repute,
if you behold not in the height of Heaven
those new made stars, now honoured to my shame,
conspicuous; fixed in the highest dome of space
that circles the utmost axis of the world.
“Who, then, should hesitate to put affront
on Juno? matchless goddess! each offense
redounds in benefit! Who dreads her rage?
Oh boundless powers! Oh unimagined deeds!
My enemy assumes a goddess' form
when my decree deprives her human shape;—
and thus the guilty rue their chastisement!
“Now let high Jove to human shape transform
this hideous beast, as once before he changed
his Io from a heifer.—Let him now
divorce his Juno and consort with her,
and lead Calisto to his couch, and take
that wolf, Lycaon, for a father-in-law!
“Oh, if an injury to me, your child,
may move your pity! drive the Seven Stars
from waters crystalline and azure-tint,
and your domain debar from those that shine
in Heaven, rewarded for Jove's wickedness.—
bathe not a concubine in waters pure.”—
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