Next day I got up sound in
mind and body, and went down to the same grove of planetrees, though I was rather
afraid of the unlucky place, and began to wait among the trees for Chrysis to lead
me on my way.
After walking up and down a short while, I sat where I had been the day before, and
Chrysis came under the trees, bringing an old woman with her. When she had greeted
me, she said, “Well, disdainful lover, have you begun to come to your
senses?” Then the old woman took a twist of threads of different colours out
of her dress, and tied it round my neck. Then she mixed some dust with spittle, and
took it on her middle finger, and made a mark on my forehead despite my protest . .
After this she ordered me in a rhyme to spit three times and throw stones into my
bosom three times, after she had said a spell over them and wrapped them in purple,
and laid her hands on me and began to try the force of her charm. . . . Dicto citius
nervi paruerunt imperio manusque aniculae ingenti motu reple[p. 293]
At illa gaudio exsultans “Vides” inquit“Chrysis mea, vides, quod
aliis leporem excitavi?” . . .
The stately plane-tree, and Daphne decked with berries, and the quivering cypresses,
and the swaying tops of the shorn pines, cast asummer shade. Among them played the
straying waters of a foamy river, lashing the pebbles with its chattering flow. The
place was proper to love; so the nightingale of the woods bore witness, and Procne
from the town, as they hovered about the grasses and the tender violets, and pursued
their stolen loves with a song. . . .
She was stretched out there with her marble neck pressed on a golden bed, brushing
her placid face with a spray of myrtle in flower. So when she saw me she blushed a
little, of course remembering my rudeness the day before; then, when they had all
left us, she asked me to sit by her, and I did; she laid the sprig of myrtle over my
eyes, and then growing bolder, as if she had put a wall between us, “Well,
poor paralytic,” she said, “have you come here to-day a whole man?”
“Do not ask me,” I replied, “try me.” I threw myself
eagerly into her arms, and enjoyed her kisses unchecked by any magic until I was
tired . . . . .