WHEN Minerva, to give pleasureTo Prometheus, her well-loved one,Brought a brimming bowl of nectarFrom the glorious realms of heavenAs a blessing for his creatures,And to pour into their bosomsImpulses for arts ennobling,She with rapid footstep hasten'd,Fearing Jupiter might see her,And the golden goblet trembled,And there fell a few drops from itOn the verdant plain beneath her.Then the busy bees flew thitherStraightway, eagerly to drink them,And the butterfly came quicklyThat he, too, might find a drop there;Even the misshapen spiderThither crawl'd and suck'd with vigour.
And when, in journeying o'er the path of life,
By night to Cupid's treacherous mill!
But he roused himself up from his startling dream, and then slowlyTurn'd tow'rd the village his steps, and once more started,--for once moreSaw he the noble maiden's stately figure approaching.Fixedly gazed he; it was no phantom in truth; she herself 'twasIn her hands by the handle she carried two pitchers,--one larger,One of a smaller size, and nimbly walk'd to the fountain.And he joyfully went to meet her; the sight of her gave himCourage and strength, and so he address'd the surprised one as follows:--"Do I find you again, brave maiden, engaged in assistingOthers so soon, and in giving refreshment to those who may need it?Tell me why you have come all alone to the spring so far distant,Whilst the rest are content with the water that's found in the village?This one, indeed, special virtue possesses, and pleasant to drink is.Is't for the sake of that sick one you come, whom you saved with such courage?"
'Tis hope guides that dear maid.
Truth from woe sever,Love and joy part;Days still more worthy
Then from mouth to hands it flies,And I round him sport the while.
Happily teach thee the word, which may the mystery solve!Closely observe how the plant, by little and little progressing,