previous next

Then back and forth she argues; and so great
is her uncertainty, she blames herself
for what she did, and is determined just
as surely to succeed.

She tries all arts,
but is repeatedly repulsed by him,
until unable to control her ways,
her brother in despair, fled from the shame
of her designs: and in another land
he founded a new city.

Then, they say,
the wretched daughter of Miletus lost
control of reason. She wrenched from her breast
her garments, and quite frantic, beat her arms,
and publicly proclaims unhallowed love.
Grown desperate, she left her hated home,
her native land, and followed the loved steps
of her departed brother. Just as those
crazed by your thyrsus, son of Semele!
The Bacchanals of Ismarus, aroused,
howl at your orgies, so her shrieks were heard
by the shocked women of Bubassus, where
the frenzied Byblis howled across the fields,
and so through Caria and through Lycia,
over the mountain Cragus and beyond
the town, Lymira, and the flowing stream
called Xanthus, and the ridge where dwelt
Chimaera, serpent-tailed and monstrous beast,
fire breathing from its lion head and neck.

She hurried through the forest of that ridge—
and there at last worn out with your pursuit,
O Byblis, you fell prostrate, with your hair
spread over the hard ground, and your wan face
buried in fallen leaves. Although the young,
still tender-hearted nymphs of Leleges,
advised her fondly how to cure her love,
and offered comfort to her heedless heart,
and even lifted her in their soft arms;
without an answer Byblis fell from them,
and clutched the green herbs with her fingers, while
her tears continued to fall on the grass.
They say the weeping Naiads gave to her
a vein of tears which always flows there from
her sorrows—nothing better could be done.

Immediately, as drops of pitch drip forth
from the gashed pine, or sticky bitumen
distils out from the rich and heavy earth,
or as the frozen water at the approach
of a soft-breathing wind melts in the sun;
so Byblis, sad descendant of the Sun,
dissolving in her own tears, was there changed
into a fountain; which to this late day,
in all those valleys has no name but hers,
and issues underneath a dark oak-tree.

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 English (Arthur Golding, 1567)
load focus Latin (Hugo Magnus, 1892)
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.
Xanthus (Turkey) (1)
Miletus (Turkey) (1)
Lycia (Turkey) (1)
Caria (Turkey) (1)

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

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

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