Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VI. Fancy: Sentiment
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VI. Fancy.  1904.
Poems of Fancy: III. Mythical: Mystical: Legendary
A Transformation
Ovid (43 B.C.–18 A.D.)
From the Latin by Henry King

From “The Metamorphoses”

WEARY and travel-worn,—her lips unwet
With water,—at a straw-thatched cottage door
The wanderer knocked. An ancient crone came forth
And saw her need, and hospitable brought
Her bowl of barley-broth, and bade her drink.        5
Thankful she raised it; but a graceless boy
And impudent stood by, and, ere the half
Was drained, “Ha! ha! see how the glutton swills!”
With insolent jeer he cried. The goddess’s ire
Was roused; and as he spoke, what liquor yet        10
The bowl retained, full in his face she dashed.
His cheeks broke out in blotches; what were arms
Turned legs, and from the shortened trunk a tail
Tapered behind. Small mischief evermore
Might that small body work: the lizard’s self        15
Was larger now than he. With terror shrieked
The crone, and weeping, stooped her altered child
To raise; the little monster fled her grasp
And wriggled into hiding. Still his name
His nature tells, and, from the star-light spots        20
That mark him, known as Stellio, crawls the Newt.

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