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Ovid XIV Chapter 6: 320-396 The transformation of Picus
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' " Picus the son of Saturn, was king in the land of Ausonia, and loved horses trained for war. The hero's appearance was as you see it there. Though, if you looked at his beauty itself, you would approve the true and not the imaginary form. His spirit equalled his looks. In age, he had not yet seen four of the five-yearly Games at Elis in Greece. He had turned the heads of the dryads born on the hills of Latium: the nymphs of the fountains pursued him, and the naiads; those that live in the Tiber; and in the River Numicius; in Anio's streams; and the brief course of the Almo; the rushing Nar; and Farfar of dense shadows; and those who haunt the wooded pool of Scythian Diana, and its neighbouring lakes. But, spurning them all, he loved one nymph alone, whom, it is said, Venilia once bore, on the Palatine hill, to two-faced Janus. She, when she had grown to marriageable age, was given to Picus of Laurentum, preferred of all her suitors. She was of rare beauty, but rarer her gift of song, so that she was called Canens. She could move the rocks and trees with her singing, make wild beasts gentle, halt wide rivers, and detain the wandering birds. One day when she was singing her song, with a girl's expressiveness, Picus left home to hunt the native wild boar, in the Laurentian fields. Astride the back of an eager mount, he carried two hunting spears in his left hand, and wore a Greek military cloak, dyed crimson, fastened with a golden brooch. Sol's daughter had come to those same woods, leaving the fields, called Circean from her name, to cull fresh herbs in the fertile hills. As soon as she saw the youth from the cover of a thicket, she was stunned: the herbs she had culled fell from her hand, and flames seemed to reach to her very marrow. As soon as she had recovered rational thought after the wave of passion, she wanted to own to her desires, but she could not reach him, because of his horse's speed, and his crowd of companions. 'Though the wind take you, you will not escape,' she cried, 'if I know my skill, if the power of herbs has not completely vanished, and my incantations do not fail.' Saying this, she conjured up a bodiless phantom boar, and commanded it to cross under the king's very eyes, and seem to enter a dense grove of trees, where the woods were thickest, and the place was impenetrable to horses. Instantly, and unwittingly, without a moment's delay, Picus, followed his shadowy prey, and, quickly leaping from the back of his foaming mount, he roamed, on foot, through the deep wood, chasing an empty promise. Circe recited curses, and spoke magic words, worshipping unknown gods, with unknown incantations, by which she used to dim the face of the bright moon, and veil her father's orb, with moisture-loving cloud. Now, also, by her song, the sky is darkened, and the earth breathes out fog, and his companions wander on blind trails, and the king's protection is lost. Having made the time and place, she says: 'O, by those eyes, that have captured mine, and by that beauty, most handsome of youths, that has made a goddess suppliant to you, think of my passion, and accept the sun, who sees all things, as your father-in-law [Note 1]. Do not, unfeelingly, despise Circe, daughter of Titan.' She spoke: he fiercely rejected her and her entreaties, and said: 'Whoever you may be, I am not for you. Another has captured my love and holds me, and I hope she will hold me forever. While the Fates guard Canens, Janus's daughter, for me, I will not harm our bond of affection by an alien love. Repeating her entreaties, time and again, in vain, Circe cried: 'You will not go unpunished, or return to your Canens, and you will learn the truth of what the wounded; a lover; a woman, can do: and Circe is a lover; is wounded; is a woman!' Then twice to the west, twice to the east, she turned; thrice touched the youth with her wand, thrice spoke an incantation. He ran, but was surprised to find himself running faster than before: he saw wings appear on his body. Angered at his sudden transformation to a strange bird in the woods of Latium, he pecked at the rough oak wood with his hard beak, and in fury wounded the long branches. The feathers of his crown and nape took on the colour of his crimson cloak, and what had been a golden brooch, pinning his clothes, became plumage, and his neck was surrounded behind by green-gold. Nothing was left to Picus of his former being, except his name."

Note 1: father-in-law = Sol

Event: Picus and Circe