“Apollo and Daphne”
Literal English translation:
I. The first love of Phoebus Apollo was Daphne, daughter of Peneus; unwitting chance did not give this (love), but the fierce anger of Cupid. Delian Apollo, haughty because of the serpent recently slaughtered, saw this one (Cupid) bending the horns (of his bow) with string pulled taught and said, “What are you doing, frisky boy, with strong weapons?” He had said, “Such trappings are befitting our shoulders, we who are able to give sure wounds to beasts, to give sure wounds to the enemy, (we) who have just now routed Python, swollen with countless arrows, pressing so many acres with his disease-bearing belly. You, be content to provoke I don’t know what loves with your torch, and don’t aspire to our praises.” The son of Venus said to him, “Your bow pierces everything, Phoebus, (but) mine pierces you, and just as all animals yield to the god, so your glory is less than ours.” He spoke, and energetic, with the air having been struck by his beaten wings, he stationed himself (came to a stand) on the shady peak of Parnassus, and from his arrow-bearing quiver he drew forth two weapons of different workmanship: this one puts love to flight, that one creates love; the one which creates (love) is made of gold and gleams with a sharp tip, the one which puts love to flight is dull and has lead under its shaft.
II. The god fixed this arrow (i.e. the one that puts love to flight) in the nymph, the daughter of Peneus, but with that one (i.e. the one that creates love) he struck Apollo’s marrow through pierced bones: immediately one (Apollo) loves, the other (Daphne) flees the name of lover, rejoicing in the hiding places of the woods and the spoils of captive beasts, and imitating unwed Phoebe; a ribbon restrained her hair placed without law. Many sought her, (but) she, having shunned those seeking (her), unable to endure a man and inexperienced of one, frequents pathless groves and has no care for what Hymen, what Amor, or what marriage may be. Often her father said, “Daughter, you owe me a son-in-law,” (and) often her father said, “You owe me grandsons”; she, hating nuptial torches as a crime tinged her beautiful face with bashful blush, and, clinging on her father’s neck with her graceful upper arms, she said, “Dearest father, grant me to enjoy perpetual virginity: the father of Diana granted this previously.” Indeed he obeys; but that beauty of yours forbids you to be what you desire, and your form fights against your prayer.
III. Phoebus loves and desires marriage of (with) Daphne having been seen (i.e. at first sight), and he hopes for that which he desires, and his own oracles deceive him; and just as light stalks burn up with the grain having been removed, as hedges burn because of torches, which a traveler accidentally either moved too close or left behind now near dawn, so the god departed into flames, so he is burned in his whole heart and nourishes sterile love by hoping. He watches her...