previous next

Tiresias.

TIRESIASBLINDPROPHECIES

While these events according to the laws
of destiny occurred, and while the child,
the twice-born Bacchus, in his cradle lay,
'Tis told that Jupiter, a careless hour,
indulged too freely in the nectar cup;
and having laid aside all weighty cares,
jested with Juno as she idled by.

Freely the god began; “Who doubts the truth?
The female's pleasure is a great delight,
much greater than the pleasure of a male.”
Juno denied it; wherefore 'twas agreed
to ask Tiresias to declare the truth,
than whom none knew both male and female joys:
for wandering in a green wood he had seen
two serpents coupling; and he took his staff
and sharply struck them, till they broke and fled.
'Tis marvelous, that instant he became
a woman from a man, and so remained
while seven autumns passed. When eight were told,
again he saw them in their former plight,
and thus he spoke; “Since such a power was wrought,
by one stroke of a staff my sex was changed—
again I strike!” And even as he struck
the same two snakes, his former sex returned;
his manhood was restored.—

as both agreed
to choose him umpire of the sportive strife,
he gave decision in support of Jove;
from this the disappointment Juno felt
surpassed all reason, and enraged, decreed
eternal night should seal Tiresias' eyes.—
immortal Deities may never turn
decrees and deeds of other Gods to naught,
but Jove, to recompense his loss of sight,
endowed him with the gift of prophecy.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Latin (Hugo Magnus, 1892)
load focus English (Arthur Golding, 1567)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Juno (Georgia, United States) (2)
Jupiter (Florida, United States) (1)
Juno (North Carolina, United States) (1)
Bacchus (Tennessee, United States) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: