Omnia Vincit Amor Ovid Illustrated: The Renaissance Reception
of Ovid in Image and Text

George Sandys, Ovid's Metamorphosis (1632)

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Represented in Figures.
An Essay to the Translation
By G. S.
Cum Priuilegio ad imprimendum hanc Ouidij

[1626 Version]

And Argument of this

FIRE, AIRE, EARTH, WATER, all the Opposites
That stroue in Chaos, powrefull LOVE vnites;
And from their Discord drew this Harmonie,
Which smiles in Nature: who, with rauisht eye,
Affects his owne made Beauties. But, our Will,
, and Powres Irascible, the skill
Of PALLAS orders; who the Mind attires
With all Heroick Vertues: This aspires
To Fame and Glorie; by her noble Guide
Eternized, and well-nigh Deifi'd.
But who forsake that faire Intelligence,
To follow Passion, and voluptuous Sense;
That shun the Path and Toyles of HERCVLES;
Such, charm'd by CIRCE's luxurie, and ease,
Themselues deforme: 'twixt whom, so great an ods;
That these are held for Beasts, and those for Gods.

PHOEBVS APOLLO (sacred Poesy)
Thus taught: for in these ancient Fables lie
The mysteries of all Philosophie.
Some Natures secrets shew; in some appeare
Distempers staines; some teach vs how to beare
Both Fortunes, bridling Ioy, Griefe, Hope, and Feare.
These Pietie, Deuotion those excite;
These prompt to Vertue, those from Vice affright;
All fitly minging Profit with Delight.
This Course our Poet steeres: and those that faile,
By wandring stars, not by his Compasse, saile.
                     . . .


Book I

The World, form'd out of Chaos. Man is made.
The Ages change. The Giants Heauen inuade.
Earth turnes their blood to men. Ioue's flames confound
Lycaon, now a Wolfe. The World is drown'd.
Man-kind, cast stones restore. All quickning Earth
Renewes the rest, and giues new Monsters birth.
Apollo, Python kills; heart-wounded, loues
Lust-flying Daphne; Shee a Lawrell proues.
Ioue, Iö made a Cow, to maske foule deeds.
Hermes, a Heardsman. Syrinx, chang'd to Reeds.
Dead Argu's eyes adorne the Peacocks frame.
The Cow, to , Ioue transformes againe.

Book II

Rash Phaeton fires the World. His sisters mourne
His Tragedie; who into Poplars turne;
Their teares to Amber; Cygnus, to a Swan.
Ioue, Phoebe-like, Calisto found a Man:
Her, Iuno made a Beare: Shee, and her son,
Aduanced starres, that still the Ocean shun.
Coronis, now a Crow, flyes Neptunes fright.
Nictimine is made the Bird of Night.
The too-officious Rauen, late so faire,
Is plum'd with blacke. Ocyroë growes a Mare.
Phoebus, a Heardsman: Mercury, twice such;
Who turnes betraying Battus into Tuch.
Enuious Aglauros, to a Statue, full
Of her minde's spots. Loue Ioue conuerts t'a Bull.

Book III

Arm'd troops from Dragons late-sowne teeth arise.
By his owne Hounds the Hart Actaeon dies.
Iuno a Beldame. Semele doth frie
In wisht imbraces. Bacchus from Ioues thigh
Takes second birth. The wise Tiresias twice
Doth change his sex. Scorn'd Echo pines t' a voice:
Selfe-lou'd Narcissus to a Daffadill.
Bacchus, a Boy. The Tyrrhen's ship stands still,
With Iuy mor'd. Strange shapes the Saylers fright:
Who Dolphines turne, and still in ships delight.

Book IV

Derceta, a Fish. Semiramis a Doue.
Transforming Nais equall Fate doth proue.
White berryes Louers blood with blacke defiles.
Apollo, like Eurynome, beguiles
Leucothoe, buried quick for that offence:
Who, Nectar sprinkled, sprouts to Frankincense.
Grieu'd Clytie, turn'd t' a Flowr, turns with the Sun.
Daphnis, to Stone. Sex changeth Scytheon.
Celmus, a Load-stone. Curets, got by showres.
Crocus, and Smilax turn'd to little flowres.
In one Hermaphrodite, two bodies ioyne.
Mineides, Bats. Sad Ino made diuine,
With Melicert. Who Iunos fact vpbray'd,
Or statues, or Cadmean Fowles are made.
Hermione and Cadmus, worne with woe,
Proue hurtlesse Dragons. Drops to Serpents growe.
Atlas, a Mountayne. Gorgon toucht Sea-weeds
To Corall change. From Gorgons blood, proceeds
Swift Pegasus: Crysaor also takes
From thence his birth. Faire haires conuert to Snakes.

Book V

The Gorgon seene, Cepheni Statues growe:
Phineus, Praetus, Polydect, the foe
Perseus prayse. The fountaine Hippocrene
By Horse-hoofe rays'd. The Muses into Nine
Rape flying Birds: Pierides, to Pyes.
The God's, by Typhon chas't, themselues disguise,
Cyane into a Fountaine flowes.
Th' ill-nurtur'd Boy a spotted Stellion growes.
Lou'd Arethusa thawes into a Spring.
Ascalaphus an Owle. Light feathers wing
The sweet-tongu'd Syrens, who on Waters mourne.
Sterne Lyncus Ceres to a Lynx doth turne.

Book VI

Pallas an old-wife. Haughtie thoughts o're-throw
Haemus and Rhodope; who Mountaines grow.
The Pigmy, a Crane. Antigone becomes
A Storke. A statue Cyneras intombs:
His impious daughters, stones. In various shapes

The Gods commit adulteries and rapes.
Arachne, a Spider. Niobe yet drownes
Her marble cheeks in teares. Unciuill Clownes
Are curst to Frogs. From teares cleere Marsyas flowes.
His iuory shoulder new-made Pelops showes.
Progne, a Swallow; sign'd with murders staines.
Sad Philomel to secret night complaines.
Rage to a Lapwing turnes th' Odrysian king.
Calais and Zetes natiue feathers wing.

Book VII

Men, Dragons teeth produce. Wing'd Snakes their yeares
By odors cast. A seire branch Oliues beares.
Drops sprout to Flowres. Old Aeson young became.
So Libers Nurses. An old Sheepe a Lambe.
Cerambus flies. A Snake, a snake-like Stone.
An Oxe, a Stag. Sad Mera barkes vnknowne.
Hornes front the Coan dames. The Telchines
All change. A Doue-turn'd Maid. The hard to please,
Becomes a Swan. His mother
Hyrie weepes
Into a Lake. High-mounting Combe keepes
Her son-sought Life. A King and Queene estrang'd
To flightfull Foule. Cephisus Nephew chang'd
Into a Seale. Eumelus daughter flies,
Through tracelesse regions. Men from Mushrumps rise:
Phinius and Periphas light wings assume.
So Polyphemons neece. From Cerberus spume
Springs Aconite. Iust Earth a graue denies
To Scyrons bones; which now in rocks arise.
Arne, a C[h]ough. Stout Myrmidons are borne
Of toyling Ants. The late reiected Morne
Masks Cephalus. The Dog, that did pursue,
And Beast pursu'de; two marble Statues grew.


Harmonious walls. Lewd Scylla now despaires;
With Nisus, chang'd: the Lark the Hobby dares.
Ariadnes Crowne a Constellation made.
Th' inuentiue youth a Partridge; still afraid
Of mounting. Meleagers Sisters mourne
His Tragedie: to Fowle, so named, turne.
Fiue water Nymphs the fiue Echinades
Demonstrate. Perimele, neere to these,
Becomes an Iland. Ioue and Hermes take
The formes of men. A Citie turnd t' a Lake:
A Cottage to a Temple. That good pare,

Old Baucis and Philemon, changed are,
At once to sacred Trees. In various shapes

Blew Proteus sports. Oft. selfe-chang'd Metra scapes
Scornd seruitude. The Streame of Calydon
Forsakes his owne, and other shapes puts on.

Book IX

A Serpent Achelous: now a Bull:
His seuered Horne with plenty euer full.
Lichas a Rock. Alcides sunke in flame,
Ascends a God. The labour-helping Dame
A Weesel. Lotis, flying lust, becomes
A tree: the like sad Dryope intombs.
Old Iolaus waxeth young agen.
Callirrho'es Infants sodenly grow Men.
Byblis a weeping Fountaine. Iphis, now
A Boy, to Isis paies his maiden Vow.

Book X

Feare turnes a man to Flint. Lethaea's blame
Olenus beares: now stones; their shapes the same.
Vext Cybele to Pine her Atys turnes.
Sweete Cyparissus in a Cypresse mournes.
Enamoured Ioue an Eagles wings displayes;
And louely Ganymed to Heauen conuayes.
Slaine Hyacinthus sighes in his new Flowre.
The cruell Sacrificers by the powre
Of Venus turnd to Bulls. The Prostitute
To Stones. Pygmalion weds the liuing fruite
Of his rare Art. Erigone doth shine
In heauen; conuerted to the Virgin Signe.
Myrrha, a weeping Tree. Hippomenes
And Atalanta, Lyons. Cyprides
(Inform'd by Mentha's change) her Paramoure
Turnes to a faire, but quickly fading flowre.

Book XI

A Serpent chang'd to Stone. Rough barks infold
The cruell Bacchanals. To staruing Gold
All turnes at Midas touch: He's bodie laues
In cleare Pactolus, whose inriched waues
Wash off his gold and gilt: an Asses eares

His folly shame: the whispred Secret beares
Like sounding-Reeds. Apollo, and the Guide
Of sacred Seas, in humane shapes reside.
Forc't Thetis varies formes. Daedalion
T' a Falcon turn'd. A Wolfe congeal'd to Stone.
Morpheus to mortals, Phobetor to Brutes,
Phantasus to shapes inanimate sutes.
Transform'd Halcyone and Ceyx flye.
Aesacus, who vainely striues to dye.

Book XII

A Snake; a snake-like Stone. Cycnus, a Swan:
Caenis the maid, now Caeneus and a man,
Becomes a Fowle. Neleius varies shapes
At last an Eagle; nor Alcides scapes.


Those purple flowres which Aiax name display,
His blood produce. Inraged
Becomes a Bitch. From Memnons cinders rise
Selfe slaughtring Fowle: a yeerely sacrifice.
What euer Anius daughters handle, proues
Corne, wine, or oyle: themselues transform'd to Doues.
From honour'd virgins ashes Sonnes ascend.
Ambracian Iudge a Stone. Light wings defend
Molossus royall issue. Scylla groues
A horrid Monster. Murderd Acis flowes
With speedy streames. The kinde Nereides
For Glaucus sue: inthron'd in sacred Seas.

Book XIV

Inchanted Scylla, hemb'd with horrid shapes,
Becomes a Rock; Cercopeans turn'd to Apes.
Sibylla weares t' a Voice. Vlysses men
Transformed to Swine, are re-transformd agen.
Picus a Bird: his Followers Beasts. Despaire
Resolues sad-singing Canens into Aire.
The Mates of Diomed vnreconcil'd
Idalia turnes to Fowle. An Oliue wild
Rude Apulus deciphers. Turnus burnes
Aeneas ships: these Berecynthia turnes
To Sea-nymphs; who Alcinöus ship with ioy
Behold a Rock. The Troian flames destroy
Besieged Ardea; from whose ashes springs
A meager Herne, that beares them on her wings.
Aeneas, Deifi'd. Vertumnus tries
All shapes. Rhamnusia, for her cruelties,
Congeales proud Anaxarete to Stone.
Cold Fountaines boyle with heat. T' a heauenly throne
Mars Romulus assumes. Hersilia
Like grace receaues: who ioyne in equall sway.

Book XV

Black Stones conuert to White. Pythagoras
In Ilium's lingring warre Euphorbus was.
Of transmigrations, of the change of things,
And strange effects, the learned Samian sings.
Recur'd Hippolytus is deifide;
Whom safer Age, and name of Virbius hide.
Aegeria thawes into a Spring. From Earth
Prophetick Tages takes his wondrous birth.
A Speare a Tree. Graue Cippus vertues shun
The Crowne, his Hornes present. Apollo's Son
Assumes a Serpents shape. The Soule of Warre,
Great Caesar, slaine, becomes a Blazing Starre.

Textual Note / Sandys' List of Errata / Sandys in Jamestown, Virginia, with Portrait  //  Variation Thematics