Now all undrest the shining Goddess stood, When young Actaeon, wilder’d in the wood,
wilder’d in the wood, wandered
in the wild, in the forest
To the cool grott by his hard fate betray’d,
betray’d, treacherously confronted,
his hard fate would not be on his
side for this one
The fountains fill’d with naked nymphs survey’d.
survey’d, observed, espied,
The frighted virgins shriek’d at the surprize
(The forest echo’d with their piercing cries).
listen, you can hear it
Then in a huddle round their Goddess prest: She, proudly eminent above the rest, With blushes glow’d; such blushes as adorn The ruddy welkin, or the purple morn;
ruddy welkin, red sky, as at sunset
And tho’ the crowding nymphs her body hide, Half backward shrunk, and view’d him from a side. Surpriz’d, at first she would have snatch’d her bow, But sees the circling waters round her flow; These in the hollow of her hand she took, And dash’d ’em in his face, while thus she spoke:
These, ’em, the circling waters
“Tell, if thou can’st, the wond’rous sight disclos’d, A Goddess naked to thy view expos’d.”
Deafen’d and stunn’d with their promiscuous cries.
When now the fleetest of the pack, that prest Close at his heels, and sprung before the rest, Had fasten’d on him, straight another pair, Hung on his wounded haunch, and held him there, ‘Till all the pack came up, and ev’ry hound Tore the sad huntsman grov’ling on the ground, Who now appear’d but one continu’d wound.
With dropping tears his bitter fate he moans, And fills the mountain with his dying groans. His servants with a piteous look he spies, And turns about his supplicating eyes.
And now the pointed spears advance in rows; Now nodding plumes appear, and shining crests, Now the broad shoulders and the rising breasts; O’er all the field the breathing harvest swarms, A growing host, a crop of men and arms.