Targum eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 65 pages of information about Targum.


From Horace.

(Canidia and other witches, having enticed a boy of high birth into some secret cell, proceed to bury him in the earth, up to the chin; in order that, when he has perished with hunger in that situation, his liver etc. may serve as ingredients for a draught, by administering which Canidia purposes to regain the affection of Varus, who has deserted her.  The poem commences with the entreaties of the boy, and concludes with the imprecations which he utters when about to be abandoned to famine and inhumation.)

“Father of Gods, who rul’st the sky,
The earth and all the heavenly race! 
What means this noise, why savagely
On me is turn’d each frightful face?—­
By thy dear babes, if aid e’er lent
Lucine to thee in child-birth hour,
By this proud purple ornament,
By hands ne’er clasp’d to crave before,
I beg thee, Dame! thou wilt declare
Why she-wolf like thou me dost eye.” 
Stript of his tests of lineage fair
He stood, who rais’d this piteous cry—­
A boy, of form which might have made
The Thracian furies’ bosoms kind. 
Canidia with her uncomb’d head
And hair with vipers short entwin’d,
Commands wild fig-trees, once that stood
By graves, and cypresses uptorn,
And toads foul eggs, imbued with blood,
And plume, by night-owl lately worn,
Herbs too, which Iolchos and Spain
Produce, renown’d for poisons dire,
And bone from hungry mastiff ta’en,
Straight to be burn’d in magic fire. 
And now the witch strode through the house,
Hell-waters scattering wide around;
Her hair like hedgehog’s bristling rose,
Or like the boar’s whom hunters wound. 
Veia, by pity unrestrain’d,
With pick-axe hastes the ground to tear,
And toil’d till sweat she panting rain’d,
That the poor wretch imburied there
Might slowly die, in sight of food
Renew’d each day, his head so far
Extant from earth, as from the flood
The heads of swimmers extant are;
That the parch’d marrow and the dry
Liver for a love-draught might be,
When fixt upon the feast the eye,
The craving eye should cease to see. 
All Naples says in verity,
And all the neighbouring towns beside,
That Folia lewd of Rimini
Was present there, that dreadful tide—­
She who with verse Thessalian sang
Down from their spheres the stars and moon. 
Her uncut thumb with livid fang
The fell Canidia biting soon: 
“Night and Diana,” scream’d she out,
“Of my deeds faithful witnesses! 
Ye who spread silence wide about,
When wrought are sacred mysteries! 
Now aid me:  in my foe’s house bid
Your wrath and power divine to hie,
Whilst in their awful forests hid,
O’ercome with sleep, the wild beasts lie: 
May suburb curs, that all may jeer,
Bay the old lecher, smear’d with nard {94},
More choice than which these fingers ne’er

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Targum from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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