Ovid's Metamorphoses : The Origin of Sin

                             When, from his throne
                             supreme, the Son of Saturn viewed their deeds,
                             he deeply groaned: and calling to his mind
                             the loathsome feast Lycaon had prepared,
                      220 a recent deed not common to report,
                             his soul conceived great anger --worthy Jove--
                             and he convened a council. No delay
                             detained the chosen Gods.
                             When skies are clear
                     225 a path is well defined on high, which men,
                             because so white, have named the Milky Way.
                             It makes a passage for the deities
                             and leads to mansions of the Thunder God,
                             to Jove's imperial home. On either side
                     230 of its wide way the noble Gods are seen,
                             inferior Gods in other parts abide,
                             but there the potent and renowned of Heaven
                             have fixed their homes.--It is a glorious place,
                             our most audacious verse might designate
                     235 the "Palace of High Heaven." When the Gods
                             were seated, therefore, in its marble halls
                             the King of all above the throng sat high,
                             and leaning on his ivory scepter, thrice,
                             and once again he shook his awful locks,
                      240 wherewith he moved the earth, and seas and stars,--
                             and thus indignantly began to speak;
                             "The time when serpent footed giants strove
                             to fix their hundred arms on captive Heaven,
                             not more than this event could cause alarm
                      245 for my dominion of the universe.
                             Although it was a savage enemy,
                             yet warred we with a single source derived
                             of one. Now must I utterly destroy
                             this mortal race wherever Nereus roars
                     250 around the world. Yea, by the Infernal Streams
                             that glide through Stygian groves beneath the world,
                             I swear it. Every method has been tried.
                             The knife must cut immedicable wounds,
                             lest maladies infect untainted parts.
                     255 "Beneath my sway are demi gods and fauns,
                             nymphs, rustic deities, sylvans of the hills,
                             satyrs;--all these, unworthy Heaven's abodes,
                             we should at least permit to dwell on earth
                             which we to them bequeathed. What think ye, Gods,
                     260 is safety theirs when I, your sovereign lord,
                             the Thunder-bolt Controller, am ensnared
                             by fierce Lycaon?" Ardent in their wrath,
                             the astonished Gods demand revenge overtake
                             this miscreant; he who dared commit such crimes.
                     265 'Twas even thus when raged that impious band
                             to blot the Roman name in sacred blood
                             of Caesar, sudden apprehensive fears
                             of ruin absolute astonished man,
                             and all the world convulsed. Nor is the love
                     270 thy people bear to thee, Augustus, less
                             than these displayed to Jupiter whose voice
                             and gesture all the murmuring host restrained:
                             and as indignant clamour ceased, suppressed
                             by regnant majesty, Jove once again
                     275 broke the deep silence with imperial words;
                             "Dismiss your cares; he paid the penalty
                             however all the crime and punishment
                             now learn from this:--An infamous report
                             of this unholy age had reached my ears,
                      280 and wishing it were false, I sloped my course
                             from high Olympus, and--although a God--
                             disguised in human form I viewed the world.
                             It would delay us to recount the crimes
                             unnumbered, for reports were less than truth.
                     285 "I traversed Maenalus where fearful dens
                             abound, over Lycaeus, wintry slopes
                             of pine tree groves, across Cyllene steep;
                             and as the twilight warned of night's approach,
                             I stopped in that Arcadian tyrant's realms
                     290 and entered his inhospitable home:--
                             and when I showed his people that a God
                             had come, the lowly prayed and worshiped me,
                             but this Lycaon mocked their pious vows
                             and scoffing said; 'A fair experiment
                     295 will prove the truth if this be god or man.'
                             and he prepared to slay me in the night,--
                             to end my slumbers in the sleep of death.
                             So made he merry with his impious proof;
                             but not content with this he cut the throat
                     300 of a Molossian hostage sent to him,
                             and partly softened his still quivering limbs
                             in boiling water, partly roasted them
                             on fires that burned beneath. And when this flesh
                             was served to me on tables, I destroyed
                     305 his dwelling and his worthless Household Gods,
                             with thunder bolts avenging. Terror struck
                             he took to flight, and on the silent plains
                             is howling in his vain attempts to speak;
                             he raves and rages and his greedy jaws,
                     310 desiring their accustomed slaughter, turn
                             against the sheep--still eager for their blood.
                             His vesture separates in shaggy hair,
                             his arms are changed to legs; and as a wolf
                             he has the same grey locks, the same hard face,
                     315 the same bright eyes, the same ferocious look.
                             "Thus fell one house, but not one house alone
                             deserved to perish; over all the earth
                             ferocious deeds prevail,--all men conspire
                             in evil. Let them therefore feel the weight
                     320 of dreadful penalties so justly earned,
                             for such hath my unchanging will ordained."
                             with exclamations some approved the words
                             of Jove and added fuel to his wrath,
                             while others gave assent: but all deplored
                     325 and questioned the estate of earth deprived
                             of mortals. Who could offer frankincense
                             upon the altars? Would he suffer earth
                             to be despoiled by hungry beasts of prey?
                             Such idle questions of the state of man
                      330 the King of Gods forbade, but granted soon
                             to people earth with race miraculous,
                             unlike the first.