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OUT OF THE EIGHTH BOOK OF
CONNECTION to the former STORY.
Ovid, having told how Theseus had freed Athens from
the tribute of children, which was imposed on them by Minos king of Creta, by killing the Minotaur, here makes a digression to the story of Meleager and Atalanta, which is one of the most inartificial connections in all the Metamorphoses: for he only says, that Theseus obtained such honour from that combat, that all Greece had recourse to him in their necessities; and, amongst others, Calydon; though the hero of that country, prince.Meleager, was then living.
FROM him, the Caledonians fought relief;
Though valiant Meleagrus was their chief.
Beginning from the rural Gods, his hand Was liberal to the powers of high command: Each Deity in every kind was bless’d, 'Till at Diana's fane th' invidious honour ceas d. Wrath touches ev'n the Gods; the queen of night, Fird with disdain, and jealous of her right, Unhonour'd though I am, at least, said she, Not unreveng'd that impious act shall be. Swift as the word, she sped the boar away, With charge on those devoted fields to prey. No larger bulls th' Ægyptian pastures feed, And none fo large Sicilian meadows breed: His eye-balls glare with fire, fuffus'd with blood; His neck shoots up a thickset thorny wood; His bristled back a trench impal'd appears, And stands erected, like a field of spears. Froth fills his chaps, he fends a grunting found, And part he churns, and part befoams the ground. For tusks with Indian elephants he strove, And Jove's own thunder from his mouth he drove. He burns the leaves; the scorching blast invades The tender corn, and shrivels-up the blades: Or, suffering not their yellow beards to rear, He tramples down the spikes, and intercepts the year. In vain the barns expect their promis'd load, Nor barns at home, nor reeks are heap'd abroad: In vain the hinds the threshing-floor prepare, And exercise their flails in
air. With olives ever green the ground is strow'd, And grapes ungather'd shed their generous blood.