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Observations placeholder

Ovid - Metamorphoses - The Transformation of Daphne into a Laurel



Type of Spiritual Experience


Ovid gained from friendship and companionship which is under the generic heading of reducing threats.

A description of the experience

From The Transformation of Daphne into a Laurel – Ovid Metamorphoses

The first and fairest of his loves, was she
Whom not blind fortune, but the dire decree
Of angry Cupid forced him to desire:
Daphne her name, and Peneus was her sire
He gathers ground upon her in the chase:
Now breathes upon her hair, with nearer pace;
And just is fastening on the wished embrace.
The nymph grew pale, and in a mortal fright,
Spent with the labour of so long a flight;
And now despairing, cast a mournful look
Upon the streams of her paternal brook;
‘Oh help’, she cried,’ in this extremest need!
If water Gods are deities indeed:
Gape Earth, and this unhappy wretch entomb;
Or change my form, whence all my sorrows come’.
Scarce had she finished, when her feet she found
Benumbed with cold, and fastened to the ground:
A filmy rind about her body grows;
Her hair to leaves, her arms extend to boughs:
The nymph is all into a laurel gone;
The smoothness of her skin remains alone.
Yet Phoebus loves her still, and casting round
Her bole, his arms, some little warmth he found.
The tree still panted in the unfinished part:
Not wholly vegetative, and heaved her heart.
He fixed his lips upon the trembling rind;
It swerved aside, and his embrace declined.
To whom the God, ‘Because thou canst not be
My mistress, I espouse thee for my tree:
Be thou the prize of honour, and renown;
The deathless poet, and the poem, crown.
Thou shalt the Roman festivals adorn,
And, after poets, be by victors worn.
Thou shalt returning Caesar's triumph grace;
When pomps shall in a long procession pass.
Wreathed on the posts before his palace wait;
And be the sacred guardian of the gate.

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items




Science Items

Activities and commonsteps